Yesterday was my first day back to work after a weeklong break, at home with the kids and Ryan. Because my children thankfully inherited my husband’s laziness and narcolepsy, they miraculously slept in everyday until 9:30-10:00am. When you wake up after the third hour of “The Today Show” then you know you are doing vacation right- mainly because you’re well rested and also because no one should start their day looking at Al Roker.
Needless to say, the adjustment back to reality was harsh and mildly depressing. I managed to soften the blow by rewarding myself with post-work brownie baking. At work, I sacrificed eating a regrettable amount of Special K cereal and two random Kit Kats I found in my bag in order to save my surplus calories for the brownie batter I’d eat. The only problem with this plan (which is the same problem I have in planning my fake death to escape student loan payments): MY KIDS.
Now because I’m not a total monster, Liney and OB have previously partaken in the indulgence that is raw brownie batter. I realize that this contains raw egg, but just like raw cookie dough, you HAVEN’T LIVED if you haven’t eaten it. You also deserve a swift kick to the gut if you lecture me on how it’s bad for you to eat. I do a lot of unhealthy shit: I once drank a beer mid-marathon. I buy myself individual cakes and eat them for lunch. And most unhealthy of all, I follow Donald Trump on Twitter just to make myself irrationally homicidal.
So how was I going to eat the brownie batter without my beloved kiddos noticing and wanting to eat it all for themselves? They’re scavengers, after all. This was a real conundrum that I thought about throughout the day. How could I bribe them to eat something else? How could I distract them while I slipped away with a bowl of melted chocolate? PARENTHOOD IS SO HARD.
When we got home, Caroline immediately wanted to have a snack and watch a show. YES. When Oliver caught wind of Caroline eating a snack and watching something—he wanted in on it too. SCORE! They were both going to be jamming out on pudding while watching “Tinkerbell” and “Mighty Machines,” respectively. No way would they give up watching a magical fairy or construction site footage to bake with their mom.
I stirred those brownies and got out a plastic spoon as to not make scraping sounds to draw attention to my crime. Then, I ate my way through half of that bowl. The heavenly mixture of brownie mix, a single egg, vegetable oil and water was like the sweet answer to my stomach’s search. I quickly put the remaining mixture in a pan and baked them so Ryan wouldn’t come home asking why the brownie mix was gone, but there were no brownies.
Fast-forward an hour while playing “blue dump truck crashes into orange crane truck” with Oliver, my stomach started turning. Because I’m an intelligent adult, I thought the remedy to this was to eat Tostitos tortilla chips. In my mind, the combination of sweet (brownie mix) and salt (chips) would balance one another out. It makes sense. Like, if you’re sweating during a workout then replenish it with water. If your stomach is full of sweet chocolaty goodness then soak it up with a salty chip.
I ran to the bathroom and violently expelled the contents of my stomach. Like, hugged-the-toilet-after-a-drunken-college-night puked. I haphazardly walked out of the bathroom and met with up Caroline. I told her of my illness and she looked so sympathetic and sad that mommy was sick so I blurted out, “I’m okay, I’m okay! I just ate too much brownie batter.”
“You made brownies? You ate the brownie batter? Is there any left?”
“No. They’re already in the oven.”
Cue total and utter toddler heartbreak. There I stood, the mother that Caroline thought she once knew. The one that shares her brownie mix not one that secretly eats it behind her back. Perhaps me throwing up was internal guilt that I didn’t pull over a chair for Caroline and hand her a plastic spoon to scrape the bowl. Or maybe it was really because you shouldn’t eat raw eggs.
So that’s my story of parental disappointment at the hands of a Ghirardelli brownie mix. Not only did I deprive my children of brownie batter, but I hid it from them and was punished by throwing up. Caroline may never trust me again, but Oliver on the other hand…
The secret’s still safe.