My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Burning the bacon

It happens every. time.   I mean, I like my bacon crispy… but this is ridiculous.  I cannot cook bacon without scorching it.

Actually, this week I have burned bacon twice, a big pot of rice, and some garlic in butter.

I have come to realize that all this burning is not so much an indicator of my culinary failings as it is a symbol of a bigger problem in my life.

I try to do too many things at once, making it impossible to do any of them very well.  It’s taking a toll on my self-esteem.

A few days ago, when the smoke alarm went off reminding me that I had bacon in the oven, (you know, because that would save me a little time) I just lost it.   My emotional outburst was definitely disproportionate to the incident.    The smoke alarm seemed to be screaming at me that I was a failure.  Again.

When I’m cooking, I am also usually cleaning, counseling, answering, encouraging, scolding, signing, and a variety of other things.  Sometimes when I’m trying to help everyone at once, I find myself giving the wrong answer to the wrong child, or agreeing to terms that I never even heard.

I know that’s the problem.  I know I need to slow down and focus on one thing, or one precious person at a time.  I know that.  And I would love to do that.

But how?  What else can I do when there are 18 things that all really do need to be done at the same time?  How do I look into the eyes of each person that needs my attention, and still give the bacon the one-on-one time that it requires?

1 comment:

  1. The disproportionate emotional outburst reminds me of the Thanksgiving that I burned the lemon meringue pie so I crawled under the table and cried. My dad and Sarah crawled under with me. If you find yourself overwhelmed with the burned bacon just know that I would crawl under the table with you.
    I frequently discover the washing machine half way through a load with no clothes in it. That's the thing I always forget I'm doing because I'm doing too much at once. That or the last dozen cookies in a batch. I would never forget the first dozen because I'm too anxious to eat them. I don't know how many last pans of cookies have spent an extra 20 minutes in the oven and come out black.