4 hours ago
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I rush around the kitchen on maximum efficiency as it’s time to ramp up production. Next to me on the counter is the menu plan for the entire quarter, three whole months, to encompass the holiday season, when there will be 8 bodies skulling around the place all in need of three meals a day and two snacks.
Nonna is jet lagged but vertical.
Special needs, special diets – not my specialty.
I pause between cake icing and caramelized onions to deal with dog barf.
“So Maddy……….wot do we ave ere den? Divorce papers?”
Her fingers pat the stapled papers and ruffle the corners because she is the source of the twiddle gene whilst I scrub the carpet nearby. She pats down her body in search for the all elusive, reading glasses. The document is formatted to size 14 font, perfect for me but still too small for her. “Here, borrow mine.” She takes my reading glasses with doubt, “I don’t think deez will elp.”
“1.25 will still make a difference.”
“Not when dey are so mucky.”
I nab them back as I wash both hands and glasses in the sink - “try them now.”
“Ooo dats better. So what do we ave ere den?” Her fingertip helps her navigate the plan amid many sighs. She nods with approval every time she finds any item that includes pasta. Little squeaks of satisfied joy every time she comes across pizza. In my children’s ideal world, they’d eat eat pasta or pizza daily, quite possibly both. I’m the only deviant: whilst I loathe both of them, pasta is quick and pizza is purchased. On the one hand it keeps them all optimistic; on the other hand it’s an easy night off for me. It would be so easy to have easy nights every night. She turns page after page, week after week, month after month. “Lot of chicken you ave ere. You like chicken?”
“Ah!” She pats the paper, a sign of finality if not fatality, as she makes her little raspberry noise, the sound equivalent of ‘rats to that!
“No…..it’s just I see dat we’re not going out to a restaurant at all……..in the next three months.”
“Hmm……I see what you mean.”
“Does he keep you on a budget? Housekeeping?”
“Sort of……he earns it, I spend it.”
“Oooo you are a lucky woman den!”
“I suppose I am.”
“Dah budget doesn’t stretch to dinner out sometimes?” It’s my turn to sigh but she cottons on without another word, “I spose it is a lot isn’t it……all 8?”
“Hmm…..” I pause, spoon mid air as her son appears in the kitchen brandishing his brand new phone, great for games apparently, “ooo dere you are! Where you bin hiding with your silly phone.”
“It’s not silly, it’s a Droid.”
“Don’t tell me about google goggles again! You and your toys and your gizmos! We ave more important tings to talk about.”
“So wot you tink den?”
“Think about what mum?”
“Shall we go out to dinner?”
“Sure if you like. Where would you like to go?”
“Not fussy. Anywhere, just make it sometime soon.”
“Soon? Why soon?”
“I want to go whilst I’m still alive.”
“Why you are always so fat?” she asks him as she pats his tummy affectionately before leaving, as she calls over her shoulder, impish grin in place, “maybe it help keep your bag of bones wife alive too!”