Friday, December 14, 2007


I have a lot to do today. A. Lot. And what have I started? Why nothing at all! Why is it that the more I have to do, the less I am motivated to do it? Talk about putting ones self under the gun. So I figured maybe I need more energy than my breakfast toast and tea could supply, and had a bowl of cereal for lunch. But not just ANY cereal. DD's sugary cereal that looks like little toasts, and tastes like sugar laminated cardboard pieces. If anything could give me a burst of energy it would be that cereal. Usually we don't have sweet cereals in the house. I am not a fan of them, neither is dh. We usually have some combo of corny flakey things, oaty oh shaped things, maybe some waffle weaved wheaty deals. Then there is the fibery cereal that DH likes to eat. I like it too, but it costs like a buck a bowl to eat so I leave it for him. Every once in a while (if there is a sale or I have a coupon - which is not very often) I indulge in something with flakes and clusters and dried fruity bits. But in general, plain cereal is what we have. Now that DH is paying for the groceries (didn't I mention that? Since I am out of work DH is for the first time, paying every bill and for everything we buy) there is a learning curve to work out. Whenever DD asks for sugary cereal, I always answer NO. Not because I have any real problem with it (look at the nutritional content, and be as amazed as I was that the nutritional info is not much different than the plainer varieties) but rather I know she is not going to eat it. The box will be ripped open the minute we get home, before the rest of the groceries are even unloaded. She will pour herself a big bowl and fill it to the brim with milk. Then she will eat two spoons, realize she doesn't like it, and proceed to play around in it for several minutes, pretending to eat it but really just pushing it around the bowl. Then, once the cereal is so soggy and mushy that it is unrecognizable, she will announce that she is done. And that box of cereal will sit up there, untouched and mocking me until it becomes so stale it all melds into one single piece. If it was particularly expensive and not overly heinous in colour, sometimes I try to eat it so as not to waste the money. But I have a low tolerance for sweet things in general, and kiddie breakfast cereal is usually quite gross on top of being over-sweetened. The textures are usually horrid - slimey mostly. And some of them have more candy-marshmallow pieces than cereal bits in there. Once in a while I encounter a recipe that calls for it, and I will try that out in a last ditch effort. I have no idea why my feeble brain thinks I can possibly make sugary cardboard more palatable by coating it in even sweeter sticky marhsmallow and tossing in some chocolate chips or raisins. My latest effort - just so you know - will involve mixing the aforementioned recent cereal aquisition, melted white chocolate chips, and chopped jelly candies (also leftover, but from halloween candy picks), pressed and cut into bars to make some christmasy looking concoction. These will be packaged into the christmas card boxes, wrapped in holiday waxed paper and nestled into pretty ruffled paper liners and sent to school as christmas treats for the kiddies in DD's class. They may have to peel the kids off the ceiling afterwards, but I will be rid of the cereal, the candy, AND the white chips that have been haunting me. Too expensive to throw away, too disgusting to eat. Since DH now is controlling the grocery purse strings, he made the wise decision to allow DD to get that box of sugar coated toast bombs. After all, there was room in the budget. Of COURSE there was room in the budget. Because though he bought sugary cereal and cheetohs and pretzels and frozen mini-pizzas, he didn't get any of the NON-essentials. Like bread and milk and meat and eggs and stuff. How silly would THAT be, to waste money on actual ingredients? Dh opened the fridge last night and exclaimed he has never seen it so empty. For the past couple of weeks, it has been a litany of stuff we do not have on hand. Where is the bread? We are out. Where is the milk? We are out. Where is the cheese? Well, you get the picture. The pantry cupboard is bare, but for the small can of pineapple and a tin of escargot that seem to have come with the house. There is nothing but the crust ends in the breadbox, no milk or mayonaise or mustard or ketchup - not that it matters because there is nothing to put it on. The freezer is practically empty as well, save a few packages of frozen veggies and some freezer pops they didn't like that have been abandoned in the back. You see, I have handed the finances completely over to DH. He has control of the budget and the shopping and the supplying and the planning, and everything. For the first time he is paying ALL of the household bills and expenses. And it has been quite a learning experience. He had no idea what utilities cost here. Not that they are high in general (energy star appliances, and I conserve where ever I can) but higher than he expected apparently. I guess maybe he understands why we shouldn't leave the stero on all night (muted and forgotten), the basement lights on 24/7, and let the hose run on the lawn for two days straight. The hardest thing for him to handle, however, has been "groceries". Not just food, but all the items a person supplies a house with over the course of a week or month. Toilet paper. Shampoo. Light bulbs. Laundry supplies. When you buy milk on Sunday and eat two bowls of cereal and drink a glass of milk a day, by tuesday you are out of milk and need more. See his idea is that you shop ONE TIME per week, and buy no more than one container of anything, even though you know you use more than that in seven days. Then you expect it to last, and become astonished and angry when it does not. "We never ran out of anything before!". Of course we didn't. Because when I noticed on Tuesday we were running low on milk, I got more when I was out for stamps. And while I was making a Costco run for toilet paper and cheese, I bought bread and fabric softener because we were almost out. I did this while working more than 40 hours per week, dealing with DD, and taking care of the rest of the house. It wasn't a big deal and required no advance planning or logistic diagrams. While I was out doing something else, I tacked on the other tasks. DH is not so great at that. If I ask him to stop and get something on the way home from work, his entire day becomes geared towards that task. It's like, dude, it's just milk on the way home from work. Chill baby. Oh. So back to the cereal. I decide to try a bowl of the sugary cereal for lunch, to give me enough energy to at least start what I need to do. Only it kind of backfired. No extra energy, just a sore stomach, the jitters, and now we are out of milk again. I wonder if I can get DH to stop on the way home from work......


Anonymous said...

Start a 'list of needs' on the frige door... of course -- dh would have to be trained to look, remember & purchase... or take the list & remember to purchase on way home... ahh my little housefrau... how long til he begs you to take all that responsibility back... one week or two?

hensteeth said...

Wow. I almost wish I was a fly on the wall when you decided to wipe your hands and be done with it.

Almost, because I've been to that brink and looked over the edge. And there was no toilet paper, yogurt or flour down below.

Housewifery will never get its due. Kind of like motherhood until yours becomes one.

And like the older women told me years ago, I'll just keep racking up the brownie points in heaven.

Just the Right Size said...

Good for you! I think you are right, this will be a BIG learning experience for your DH. Maybe he will learn to apprciate what you do every day!

I also think this will be a good learning experience for you to not try to take care of everything yourself. It may not be perfect, but it is good to let go and trust that everything will work out...somehow.

This is a lesson that I need to work on myself! :-)