Thursday, July 30, 2015

Capitalizing the Sweet Tooth

"I don't like that," Senia Mae says before I can even get the lid off of the dutch oven to show her what's simmering inside. "I'll have peanut butter and jelly." Somehow I have been plucked from my old world of red wine and brie en croute only to be vigorously tossed into the land of peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

"You are not having peanut butter and jelly for every meal. Little bodies need different kinds of nutrition to grow. Peanut butter and jelly is good sometimes, but tonight I made something you're really going to love."

"What?" she asks.

"Well its pot roast, green beans, and home made macaroni and cheese. Three things you really like to eat." Instead of forcing fancy cuisine on my five year old, I was trying a more moderate tactic: cooking foods we could all enjoy together.

"OK," she said as she headed to the table.

A few minutes later I noticed she had eaten most of the beans, all of the mac and cheese, but hadn't touched the meat. "Momma, I don't like this," she said pointing to the bbq style sandwich I had made her on a hamburger bun.

"Why not?"

"It's too sweet." Now if I had been serving her brussels sprouts I could understand, but nothing to her is too sweet. This was a slow cooked beef bbq with brown sugar and hickory: moist, tender, and almost heavenly. I knew she was just being obstinate.

"But you love sweet things," I said. "You have a sweet tooth." She stopped for a minute, touching her teeth as she thought about what I was saying. It was hard to keep a straight face.


"Oh, the sweet tooth is the one next to the big one in the front." It came out so fast that I didn't even realize what a tall tale I was telling.

"This one?" she said, pointing to her left incisor.

"No, one in from that one." I moved her finger over one tooth.

"This is my sweet tooth?"

"Yep," I lied, knowing I was taking advantage of my daughter's gullible nature. "That's the tooth that makes you like all sweets. Now you can finish your meat because you have a sweet tooth."

She was amazed at her special tooth, touching it with one hand, thrilled by the new discovery as she speared little pieces of food with her other.

I know that lying is one of the "Thou shall nots," but my little white one got three more bites into her without any more argument. Certainly on the big chart in the sky those two things can cancel each other out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is it early stage Alzheimer's or just busy Mom syndrome?

People tell me all of the time, “I can’t believe how much you can get done. How do you manage to fit everything in?” By everything they mean being a full time wife, mother, and chiropractor in private practice… a drummer in the church praise band, writer, blogger, sometimes good cook, and hopefully soon to be published author.

What they really don’t know is… I am not really that organized. Actually I am a complete unsystematic mess. The only reason I have any efficiency whatsoever is that I tackle tasks immediately. If I do not tend my mental garden soon after the seeds have been sown, all information seems to be permanently rinsed down the drain, never resurfacing. Just this morning we showed up at my in-law’s house and my partner said, “Kara, tell them why we are here….” I had no recollection of why we were there even though we had been just talking about it in the car. The problem was we also talked about refilling our coffees, where we were going for dinner, and how my editor commented on the final cuts.

Lying in bed at night I wonder, “Is this how Pat Summit felt: overbooked, overcompensating, and overwhelmed, trying to avoid the diagnosis of early onset dementia?” I make a mental list of my symptoms, most of which could go either way. I usually remember at least 2/3rds of the grocery list although I rarely find the need to write it down. I can remember complaints a patient had two years ago, even if they haven’t been in since then. I don’t necessarily get lost on the way home, sometimes I just get so absorbed, singing at the top of my lungs as the bass rattles my brain, “I’m sorry but I’m just thinking of the right words to say. I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be. But if you wait around awhile I’ll make you fall for me I promise. I promise you.” I have only driven past my road a handful of times.

Maybe it really is nothing. My partner and I are managing to have sex at least once a week, my five year old still crawls into bed wanting to snuggle with me, and although I have set up a workstation on my treadmill so I can get more done while I get my workout, I am convinced that I appear to be well contained on the outside. A couple of days at the beach should really slow me down enough to get myself back together. But until then my motto has shifted from “Get it done” to “Get it done right now or I will have no memory of it.”

If there are any other busy moms out there that can relate to this level of hysteria please let me know… if only to put both of our minds at ease.