Photo: I traced my first sewing pattern and cut from it today! What!? Look at me go! This is a practice run before I cut into that pretty hand-pieced quilt top I finished last week. Wanna make sure I know what I’m doing because that quilt was a lot of work! Now that the pieces are cut, it’s time to sit down with my sewing machine… dun dun duuuunnnnn….
It’s vacation week in Massachusetts, so we’re all home with children and we’re all coming up with things to do. I did another mom a favor yesterday by hosting Major’s “favorite friend” for an extra-long playdate (9:30-1:30!) so that she could take her elder daughter skiing for the day. Don’t feel bad for me: that mom did us a big huge awesome favor earlier this year and this was the payment for it. Totally equal exchange. Major’s friend has a pretty strong personality, but she’s manageable, so it’s not too big of a deal. They spent the first 15 minutes just running in the house. It was… it was a lot. But eventually that calmed down into other activities.
What I noticed, though, as I was watching and listening in on all the “fun” the children were having, is that 4 year-olds LOVE to replace words they know with gross words just for laughs. Major and Friend (I need a name for her… she’s going to come up a lot… I’ll think of one…) ran around my house screaming “Boo-boo banana butt” off the top of their lungs for a good 30 minutes. And, of course, “poop” came up more than once in the course of their play. And it would be at the most random moments, like singing the ABCs or counting or something: “ABCDEFGHIPOOP [hysterical laughter from all three children].” And though Minor doesn’t fully get the joke, it wasn’t just Major doing the potty talk. His friend was all about it, too! She started it, really. What in the what, ya’ll?
And I surprised myself by not choosing this battle. He’s been doing word replacement for weeks (usually with the word “taco,” which he still thinks is the funniest word in the entire world) but the potty talk hasn’t really come up. I’m appalled and yet, I dunno, I sorta shrugged about it. Boys will be boys? It’s so not like me to decide that this is ok… I’m sure that if we were out of the house or with other people, I’d be trying to keep a lid on it… but at home? But that’s a slippery slope because, of course, he doesn’t know or care about the difference between “at home” and “out in public.” So…
This was illustrated pretty perfectly by Friend, who was out of her house and using the potty language. And when her mother came to pick her up, she was like, “oh no! No potty talk! NO POTTY TALK!” Opps. Should have enforced that. It was hard enough to get that girl to say “please” or “thank you,” in my presence. There was no way I was going to get her to do much else.
It’s funny how quickly this all gets gendered. And it’s funny to me how my expectations for my boys are different from the little girls that are in our world. If I had a little girl, I’d be doing the same thing: “Poop isn’t a word we say when we’re not at the potty.” I can just see myself and hear myself. But for some reason, little boys? Shmeh. Boys are gross. Boys will be boys. That’s not a victim-less crime. I am going to have to be reflective about that. Then again, aren’t I fighting enough battles when it comes to behavior, decorum, and high expectations? Letting little boys say “poop” for a cheap laugh probably isn’t the worst decision I can make, right?
Don’t answer that yet, because it isn’t just Major who is participating in gross “boy” behavior.
Minor figured out that he can burp. And he can control it. And he can make it loud if he wants to.
Jesus in Heaven, please help me.
My sweet little baby, slurpin’ down his milk at the breakfast table. Then he just let’s one go!
And both boys just roar with laughter.
“No thank you… no thank you…” I mutter futilely. The boys think that is funny, too. “Mommy! Mommy! I’m making a sound!” and then the child burps again… Lordy.
Major can’t seem to do it (Lord knows he’s trying!), but that’s ok, because Minor can burp enough for the both of them. Where does that even come from??
What’s a mom to do? Why are little boys so gross?
I tell my husband all about this over dinner yesterday. This is my husband: “Oh my God! They are like real boys now! I used to do that all the time! That’s hilarious!”
Suddenly I wonder if having a little girl annoyingly obsessed with Frozen wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all…
…no, no… it would be.
Let’s talk of other things. Let’s talk about Jambalaya.
Yesterday was Mardi Gras! I just had to have it! So after my marathon playdate, I went to the grocery store with two babies to go get some shrimp so I could make jambalaya! Now, I know that I linked to a Barefoot Contessa recipe on Friday, and that has been my go-to recipe for this dish. But The Husband went to New Orleans for a business trip a little over a year ago, and he brought me back a cookbook from a famous New Orleans restaurant (there is a recipe for Bananas Foster in it, my favorite dessert. That’s why he got it for me.), and so I decided to crack it open and cook from it instead. They have a recipe for Creole Jambalaya that is actually pretty easy. The recipes in this book are pretty accessible and, if you are at all familiar with any French cooking techniques and you’re just the least bit adventurous, I highly recommend this cookbook.
And if you try the Jambalaya (and you should, because it’s delicious), I tweaked slightly from the book: I added sausage instead of oysters (because the oysters at my local Roche brothers didn’t look that great and were outrageously expensive) and I did something else. The recipe calls for 1 cup of water, which I thought was silly. Water doesn’t add any flavor to the dish. So I took the shells that I peeled off the shrimp and boiled them in water with some salt to make a little bit of stock. It would have been stronger if I’d used shrimp with the heads still on them (which I always recommend). If you can put more flavor in, why wouldn’t you? And one more note: the recipe calls for you to put the shrimp in before the rice and you end up cooking the shrimp for upwards of 30 minutes. This creates very over-cooked shrimp. I actually prefer Ina’s technique, which calls for you to prepare everything, then put the shrimp on last, cover the pot and remove it from the heat and let that shrimp steam for 15 minutes before serving. This only works if you’re working with a quality pot that will retain that heat for you. Your shrimp, though, will be perfectly cooked if you do it that way.
I am so behind on editing my novel, it’s horrible. Just terrible! I’m procrastinating like it’s my job! Did I cut fabric for a sewing project today? Did I pin fabric for another sewing project today? Did I wake up at 6:30 instead of 5, essentially killing my edit/rewrite window this morning, dear reader? I’m a terrible person. Stop letting my procrastinate!
See you Friday for Quiet Procrastinating Thoughts. 🙂