Last Friday, my husband was running late. Well, later than usual. So late, in fact, that I was not going to be able to fix dinner in solitude as I usually do.
So, twenty minutes after my husband said, "I'll be home in forty minutes," Oscar and I went in the kitchen to cook dinner. Together.
No, normally when Nelson is running this late, we'll just have PB&J or take out and call it a night. But, I had 3/4 lb of ground turkey that I'd saved from the prior evening's meatloaf to use in a pasta sauce (oh, you so wish you had dinner at my house every night, right?) Since we were leaving town on Saturday, if I didn't cook the meat, it would go bad. And, if you hadn't noticed groceries are a wee bit expensive these days, so I'm not willing to let anything go bad, even if it's just 3/4 lb of ground turkey.
So, I set Oscar up in front of the measuring spoons/cups and mixing bowl cabinet and try to get him interested. He is not at all interested in measuring cups. But, he is interested in the sodas sitting in 12-packs beside the fridge. He started taking them out putting them on the floor, rolling the, etc. Pretty harmless, right?
So, I begin making dinner. I put a pot of water on to boil, I pre-heat a skillet for the meat. It seems to be going well, but one of the reasons I don't like cooking with Oscar in the kitchen is that he's so tall, he can reach up and touch the front burners (no kidding) so I have to cook on the back burners, which is a total pain.
The meat is on, all is going well, until I hear a pop. And a hisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. And I feel moisture spraying on my legs. I look down and one of the soda cans has exploded and is spraying soda (non-diet cola) all over Oscar, and me, and the pantry door, and the front of the stove, and the floor. I have a small kitchen, okay?
So, I swoop in and snatch the can from Oscar's already sticky hands and toss it in the sink behind me. I turn my attention back to Oscar and he's now standing up in the soda and trying to walk. This does not work. He slips in the sticky brown liquid falls. And burst into panicky tears. And covers himself even more thoroughly in soda.
I pick him up and he is inconsolable. While holding my sticky, soaking offspring, I wet a kitchen towel and attempt to use to to mop up the floor with my foot. You can imagine how well that worked.
Meanwhile, the meat is burning, the water is boiling and I don't have a free hand. Oscar screams like a banshee if I put him down, so I have to disrobe him, one-handed, while holding him. Good times.
I finally get him down to his onesie and wipe him and me down with a wet towel. Again, one handed, while holding him. I also somehow stir the "browned" meat.
I put him down in the living room, and he screams as though someone is putting needles into his eyes. I throw in the pasta, add jarred sauce to the meat and return to my devastated youth. Who is not injured by the way, although I do think falling in a puddle of soda hurt his pride.
We play, happy for a few moments, until I have to drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. At the precise moment Oscar's screams reach fever pitch (four seconds after I leave the room), Nelson walks in the door.
He picks up Oscar, "What's wrong, buddy?"
I come back in the room to see my son soothed by his daddy.
I'm breathing fire when I respond.