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A Short-Order Cook

April 5, 2010

I woke up this morning with a splitting headache and a dirty house.  Talk about a lethal combination.  And although I knew Mrs. Maria would be by to restore order to the disaster area called our condo, I couldn’t stop myself from muttering things like, “I live with slobs,” and “If I drop dead today, these two pack rats will never make it to Tuesday.” 

Maya made her way into the kitchen in the middle of one rather unfavorable comment and requested pancakes for breakfast.  I closed my eyes, counted to ten and said:

“Sorry Maya, no time for pancakes this morning.”

“How about waffles instead?”

“No time for those either.  You can have Cheerios, Puffins, or oatmeal.”

“I’m tired of eating cereal or oatmeal every day.” 

“Well that’s too bad.  This isn’t a restaurant and I’m not a short-order cook.”

“What’s a short-order cook Mama?”


“So can I have pancakes?”

I thought I was going to lose my mind but there was no time for that because as I threw a box of Cheerios in her direction she’d already moved on to a discussion about lunch.  She is her father’s child after all.

“What did you pack in my lunchbox?”

“Chicken nuggets, Pirate’s Booty, apples, and carrots.”

“I don’t like carrots.”

“Well if you want to eat fun things like Pirate’s Booty you have to eat your fruits and vegetables first.”

“But I don’t like them.”

“I don’t like a lot of things but I still have to do them.  And so do you.  I mean it Maya.”

“We’ll see.”

We’ll see?  We’ll see?  Since when does a 5-year-old say “we’ll see?”  My blood pressure shot through the roof.  I recall very little of my forthcoming tirade except that it included a lecture about starving children who would love to have her carrots (yes I really did say that) and how I was no longer going to cater to her numerous likes and dislikes (I was totally bluffing and we both knew it).

By the time I dropped her to school I felt a bit bad for losing my temper.  I read her two books, promised her a trip to the library after school, and even debated taking her out for ice cream after dinner.  After all, smart ass or not, who can resist a cute kid yelling goodbye and, “Love you lots Mama!”

Not even me.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. Nadia permalink
    April 5, 2010 3:09 pm

    oh maya jani, she is irresistible!! and way too smart for her own good! i’m constantly amazed by the things she says and cannot imagine those words coming out of shani’s mouth:) XOXOXO to her!!

  2. whydeprive permalink
    April 5, 2010 3:12 pm

    My mom and my brother had conversations like that ALL the time! I would always eat anything, but he wouldnt. I remember hearing a lot of “Im not making a different meal for everyone. If you dont eat it you dont get dinner.”

  3. actorsdiet permalink
    April 5, 2010 5:15 pm

    we’ll see?!?! i think i remember saying that once to my mom but i never said it again. because she may have slapped me! woops.

  4. April 5, 2010 5:51 pm

    you have a “smart ass 5 year old” I love it…

    I love your convo this am with her.. although I tried to picture me in your place and how I would have handled it and I don’t think it would have looked pretty.

  5. April 5, 2010 6:22 pm

    I just love hearing these stories. They’re funny because I can completely envision how hard it must be when you’re not only trying to juggle work and marriage, but also motherhood. I can’t believe it sometimes when kids know to use those phrases like “we’ll see.” It’s like they’re little 35 year olds. I can imagine wanting to be firm about your beliefs and not wanting to cater to every request, but still being a softie when it comes to taking care of her. You’re such a great mom. And Maya sounds like a really sweet girl!

  6. April 5, 2010 6:29 pm

    Haha, you are so funny! 🙂 You are a wonderful mama!! 🙂

  7. April 5, 2010 6:36 pm

    You are lovely Mum..with a beautiful daughter!!!

  8. April 5, 2010 6:40 pm

    Hahaha I always crack up laughing when I read your posts and wonder if you’re as funny in real life as you are on the blog. We’ll see! 🙂

  9. April 5, 2010 6:53 pm

    Haha “we’ll see”… you just never know what 5 years olds will say. And you KNOW they always hear and repeat the things that you don’t want them to… and half the time when they are being smart mouths, they learned it from you!! Well not YOU you, I mean a general you.. oh, you know what i mean! I hope.

  10. April 5, 2010 7:22 pm

    Sorry, Ameena, I was chuckling…in your expense. This is precisely the reason why I do NOt want to be a parent…kids drive you crazy, and they’re getting wiser and wiser! I would not have known how to handle that situation…at one hand, it’s kind of cute and funny…on the other, you just wanna throttle the kid! Haha. What a contradiction.

    If she doesn’t like carrots…what about some other vegetable?

  11. April 5, 2010 7:30 pm

    She’s so funny! Kids are hysterical when they say things like that, stuff they’ve heard grown-ups say. That Love you lots, mama is precious. As long as she wasn’t saying it to get her way. Not that I would have done that as a kid….

  12. April 5, 2010 7:32 pm

    Ameena, I absolutely love the relationship you have with Maya. Plenty of comical tension, but tonnes of love at the heart of it.

    That being said, I really don’t know if I’d have the patience to control my temper in a situation like that. I’d definitely be throwing a fit if I had a headache or if I was hungry, though. Those are times you just don’t mess with someone…

  13. April 5, 2010 8:24 pm

    How about idlis, dosas or rotis? If you ask her to eat those, mebbe she’ll be glad for the oatmeal or cornflakes 😀

    She’s a normal kid and you will laugh at yourself later 😀

  14. April 5, 2010 8:41 pm

    That’s what I love about this young age, no matter how mad you get and how much you yell at them they never hold a grudge. Five minutes later it’s all sweet words and butterfly kisses again.

    Cute face and sweet words, Maya definitely knows how to put a killer combo together.

  15. April 5, 2010 8:56 pm

    oh that Maya! lil stink!

    I tell JJ all the time I don’t negotiate with terrorists!

    he still whines!

    he’s 2, what can I say!

    xooxxoxoxo love your stories!!!

  16. April 5, 2010 8:59 pm

    Kids will be kids. hehehe… They say the darnest things and we fall for them…most of the time.

  17. April 5, 2010 9:01 pm

    Aww, she’s so cute! “We’ll see” is just about the funniest thing someone her age could say. What a very mature way to say, “I don’t think there’s any way in hell.” 🙂

  18. April 5, 2010 10:21 pm

    Oh boy, you’ve got a fiesty one on your hands, Ameena! Probably how i was with my mom 🙂 Hang in there when she’s 15!!!!

  19. April 6, 2010 3:31 am

    Little kids can be so saucy sometimes– my little cousin is the same way! He’s always smarting off, and has been that way since he was about TWO! I can’t wait to see what he’s like as a teenager…oy.

  20. April 6, 2010 4:02 am

    Maya is adorable — such a smartie too! I’ve heard smart kids are much harder to raise, lol!

  21. April 6, 2010 4:28 am

    You’re such a wonderful Mom! And Maya is just toooooo cute… 🙂

  22. April 6, 2010 5:47 am

    Maya is so precocious, and certainly keeps you busy!

  23. fitandfortysomething permalink
    April 6, 2010 5:59 am

    you are a great momma and maya loves you for sure 🙂

  24. April 6, 2010 6:06 am

    Headache and dirty house? Ouch! Hope you’re on the mend, darlin.

  25. April 6, 2010 6:18 am

    Hilarious. Your little bundle of joy sounds like quite the firecracker. 🙂 “We’ll see” Haha.. The girl knows what she likes!

  26. April 6, 2010 8:44 am

    Kids can be such a pain, but in the end you can’t help but love them. “We’ll see”. I definitely LOL-ed at that one =)

  27. April 6, 2010 8:53 am

    Love these stories! I remember my mom would always give me a choice…”do you want this or this” and then it felt like I was still making a decision but really it was still what she wanted me to have haha

  28. April 6, 2010 3:10 pm

    this is one of my favorite posts i have read anywhere for a while. love it.

  29. April 6, 2010 3:12 pm

    the two of you would make a great comedy team! you should take your show on the road. 🙂
    my kids love pirate’s (and veggie) booty too.

  30. lowandbhold permalink
    April 6, 2010 3:13 pm

    Haha, it sounds like she has a similar personality as you do. Pirates Booty is genius for a kid’s lunchbox.

  31. April 6, 2010 7:01 pm

    Love this – we don’t have kids, but I have a 5 year old niece that I adore who sounds like she’s going on 21. I am always in awe of what she can think of, and try to think back to when I was that age, and remember if I talked like that – some how I don’t think so. At least, despite the frustration you’ll be entertained.

  32. April 7, 2010 5:51 am

    The two of you are such a great comedy act! Love it. I wish I’d been that saucy as a little girl–and I wish my mom had handled it like you (rather than with foul LatinMama temper, as she did).

    The two of you (guulp!) almost make me REALLY want a little kid. Now checking my temperature after that comment.

  33. April 7, 2010 10:24 pm

    Cute story 🙂


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