I don’t know what it is that makes me feel like I have this “being an adult” gig completely under control when I have dinner simmering away in the crockpot, but man! I’m telling you! Not even Wonder Woman herself could have held a candle to my competence yesterday. I had a roast, with potatoes and carrots and onions, all done up with Whole30 spices and fragrances and COMPLIANCE, in the crockpot yesterday, and nothing could stop me. I was a whirlwind of activity, as I made beds and plowed through the laundry like a mom, who’s eating a bag of Hershey’s miniature candy bars in her bedroom closet, before the kids find her and want their cut of the Special Darks. I was thriving yesterday on GETTING IT DONE. The kitchen sparkled, the throw pillows were, for once, in their places, because I put them there three hundred and nine times, after boys had flopped onto the sofa and thrown those pillows straight to the floor. Bathrooms were clean, bookcases were straightened, because LOOK AT ME, WITH DINNER ALREADY COOKING! I took Thing 2 to the summer movie matinee, which was Lego Batman. Every kid in our town invited every cousin they have, who lives out of town, to attend. The theater was bursting at the seams with kids, my own child was standing in his seat, begging for a real pop (because last week, I bought him A WATER, which apparently traumatized his childhood enough that he’ll need counseling as an adult), and the movie BROKE in the first thirty seconds. A nice teenage boy, who is employed by the theater, clearly got the short straw, or lost with a paper to someone else’s scissors, because he had to come into the doorway of that circus of an auditorium, to bellow over the monkeys with cymbals and cowbells and popcorn, “The movie will be up and running in five to ten minutes, but we will offer a refund to anyone who would like it!”
And then he took his leave, after a flying strawberry Twizzler hit him in the cheek.
I simply sat in my folding theater seat with a grin on my face, because NO PROBLEM! I’VE ALREADY GOT DINNER COVERED!
And then there was today.
I basically had zero game plan for dinner until it was dinner time, which is no way to live when you’re on the Whole30. Life on the Whole30 is all about being prepared and organized and UTTERLY READY to throw a meal down with no notice, because otherwise, you may resort to slathering peanut butter on white bread in the privacy of your own pantry, to ward off the munchies.
On days like that, beds don’t even get made, because listen: How can I focus on pulling up a quilt and fluffing all the pillows, when I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M COOKING FOR DINNER IN EIGHT MORE HOURS?!
That’s right. I can’t focus, which is why the Jedi Manor ran itself like a frat party thrown by half-baked chimpanzees with party horns today. Every Matchbox car we own has been on the floor all day long, right beside the living room’s throw pillows.
Back on Monday night, I had my act together, too. I had thrown together a Whole30-compliant potato salad, that was held together with fake mayonnaise and hopes and dreams. It was delicious. We loaded that up into my giant, CARRY ALL THE THINGS, canvas tote bag, with pistachios and Rx Bars and fruit, and we met our friends at their pond, for a Whole30 picnic. Deb brought compliant, sliced sausages and cashews and paper plates, and juice boxes for small boys, who turn their noses up at a Whole30. We threw everything together and had a perfectly lovely picnic, as long as no one mentioned the fact that THERE IS NO WINE HERE, BECAUSE WHOLE30 WON’T LET YOU HAVE IT.
There were also no cookies, no chocolate cake and no gourmet cheese from a little shop in France to spread on crackers, because sometimes the Whole30 just wants to ruin your picnicking life, until there’s no heartbeat.
Deb brought her big, college boys. Hubs and I brought our slightly younger boys. And then the big boys (and one perfectly lovely, perfectly sweet girlfriend) all entertained the five-year-old, while the grownups pretended that our water bottles were full of Chardonnay, while we threw our heads back and laughed and told stories and laughed some more.
A pond picnic was exactly what we needed this week, as it restored our souls and pumped our hearts a little wider with the love of good friends.
Thing 2 was in the water before the lid was even popped off the enormous bowl of potato salad.
The good-looking lifeguards were vigilant and attentive. They taught Thing 2 to “swim like a puppy” and never complained about chasing an orange Frisbee that was WILDLY THROWN across the pond by a five-year-old arm.
He has been in swimming lessons all summer, and he has perfected his diving skills. He is, in fact, ready for the Olympics in diving… if you ask him.
That spunky little boy as perfected the spin dive…
… AND the almighty belly flop.
I think he did sixteen thousand, nine hundred and four variations of those two dives on Monday night. Of course, we kept cheering him on, because he’s the cutest Olympian diver we’ve ever seen…
… and also because swimming back to the dock tends to WEAR A CHILD OUT.
It’s a well-known fact that worn-out children are also children WHO SLEEP.
Thing 2 recruited his oldest college buddy to hike the creek with him It was exactly like A River Runs Through It, but with more action, more running in the water, more haphazardly-thrown Frisbees and zero fly fishing.
He had T up on the dock, practicing his form, as Thing 2 shouted, “No, no, NO! Put your hands ABOVE your head, T! Put them above your head, clap your hands together, and then just dive in!”
I’m happy to report that T finally mastered his teacher’s bossy dive instructions, so Thing 2 signed all the forms to pass T to the next level.
After two entire hours of swimming, diving and searching for treasure that may have fallen off a pirate ship pushing its way through a tiny creek bed, the sun ended up setting. This disappointed Thing 2 greatly, because it meant that POND SWIMMING WAS ENDING and that BEDTIME WAS UPON HIM.
The utter sadness of a small boy, who has been pushed out of a beloved pond by the sunset and the promise of bed cannot be matched.
Hubs and I brought our boys home. The little one got a shower and brushed his teeth, and then he slept, from 9:15 that evening…
… until 7:40 Tuesday morning.
All the blesses.
Y’all have a good weekend.