Mother’s Little Helper


I woke up feeling feisty this morning, daring even, despite nearly a week of severely fragmented sleep, dealing with a toddler made psychotic with teething pain.

I merrily announce that we’ll be having blueberry muffins for breakfast.  Samantha is ecstatic, ready to be my helper.  We’ll have a mother-daughter bonding experience.

My blueberry muffins are a recipe of my own creation, a high protein super food national magazines should feature on their covers.  It is tailored exactly to the tastes of my children, down to their preferred textures and colors.  It is optimized for maximum child nutrition.  It creates only half a sink of dirty dishes.   It doesn’t take long to make.

It doesn’t take long, that is, until the delays begin to slowly rack up.  A spill here.  A tussle there.  An ingredient lost.  The children are getting hungrier and hungrier.  Their behavior is increasingly chaotic and irrational.  With the increased noise and movement, my brain is getting fuzzier and fuzzier.  Each step in the baking process is taking longer and longer.

By the time I’m spooning the batter into the muffin cups, the kitchen is a surreal scene.  Simon is angrily shouting “BUT I TOLD YOU!” about something to do with the muffin cups.  Samantha is walking in tight little circles, repeating, “What’s my next job?  What’s my next job?  What can I do next, Mama?  What now, Mama?”  The toddler is wrapped tightly around my leg.  He is pressing his face against my jeans over and over again, then looking up at me and cackling.  My lack of reaction is making him try harder and harder, until I finally figure out that he is attempting, with increasing success, to bite me.

I am the only adult in the house.

I understand how Valium became known as “mother’s little helper.”

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7 thoughts on “Mother’s Little Helper

    • Every time I sit down to write it out, I forget how I do it! I have a recipe that I get out each time I make them, but I deviate radically from it.

  1. Oh my. Gasping with laughter here because I can so picture this scene.
    I’d beg you to write a book with all your stories, but I guess that’s out of the question at the moment. Maybe when muffin making becomes calm and easy you’ll know it’s time to tackle it?

    • Valium may have earned its reputation several decades ago, but I think mine is the most medicated generation. You did indeed miss out. 😉

  2. Natalie— I have the overwhelming, incredible pining to live to next door to you when I read your posts or your blog. I attempt to muse what would happen if we threw your three into a room with my five, and we stood back to watch the action…..I don’t know if everyone would make it OUT of said room, but it would make for a great story!

    Did everyone eventually get a muffin?

    • I left the muffins on the counter and fled to the computer room. An hour later, there was nothing left but a few crumbs and a tiny handful of paper wrappers on the floor. I did take Seth’s share with me for him, so that he didn’t have to compete with the other two jackals.

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