“So, wait. Say that again.” I said listening intently as I pushed my grocery cart down the aisle stopping to mull over whether or not it was cheaper to buy a 15 oz jar of sliced pickles or purchase the 30 oz, and slice them myself.
The Christmas music was playing louder than usual, Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You. I couldn’t quite concentrate on shopping, because my phone conversation and the music was humming in my ear.
“Okay, okay. That sounds good. Really firm, but logical. I should probably write this down.” But before I could dig in my purse to find a pen, she started to wrap things up. I think she was tired of telling me the same thing over and over again.
“Look Nicole. You don’t need to write this down. Just look her in the eye and say, I have made up my mind. End of discussion. She’ll be upset. She may not talk to you, but she’ll get over it, AND she’ll know there are consequences to her actions.” says my sister, flatly.
“It is easy.” she retorted.
“Kay then.” I didn’t want to get off the phone.
“Go. Do it. It’ll be easier than you think. Call me later and tell me how it went. Bye.”
I checked out with the cashier, grabbed my groceries and proceeded to take the long walk home. Figuratively. I was only 5 minutes from the house, and I drove. But you get my point. I kept replaying the conversation in my head over and over again.
I called my sister. Told her what a horrible predicament I’m in.
I told her that Shelbi wants me to play in the Mother/Daughter Softball game, but I refuse to.
Shelbi calls WHILE I’m on the phone with said sister, and she’s crying uncontrollably because I won’t go to said game.
I tell my sister there is a new set of circumstances. One including a crying child.
Sister completely baffles me and says, “So what. She needs to learn her lesson.”
I stand dumbfounded.
I get off the phone and throw up 10 times.
I wipe my mouth, and I walk into the house. My kid is laid out on the couch, legs outstretched with her red softball uniform on and red crying eyes to match.
I kneel down next to her. “Why are you crying?” I whisper.
“I don’t know.” she lies.
“You must know why you’re crying. If you can’t tell me, then how can I help?”
“Does it have to do with the softball game?”
She nods her head in agreement.
“Are you upset that I’m not going?”
Another affirmative nod.
“Well, you know why I won’t go, don’t you?”
She shakes her head no, and sniffles a few more times.
“Because you have told me every day for the past 3 months, YOU HATE SOFTBALL. And now you want to go to this game, you hate, and I don’t get it. And the softball season is over, and I don’t even know why they keep wanting to prolong it. You’ve had a rotten attitude lately, and I think you need to understand that there are consequences to your actions. You can’t just run around being mean and bossy, and then snap your fingers and expect the world to fall at your feet. It doesn’t work that way. If you would have given the sport a chance, I could see. But you didn’t. You complained incessantly. Over and over again. That is why I WON’T go.”
She sniffles more. Tears pooling in her eyes. “It’s just that all the other Mom’s will be there, and I thought it would be . . . . . .fun.”
Holding my head in my hands, “I just don’t see how I can do it. And I have to take Bella to a birthday party. How about this? You go with Daddy to the game, and after I’ll take you to McDonald’s and Christmas shopping, and we can spend time together then?”
“Okay. No problem.” She half smiles and gets up, ready to go.
As she starts to stand, visions of her as a little girl tugging on my pant leg, leaning over to kiss me, crawling into my lap, all flash before my eyes. She’s growing up so fast. She’s almost taller than me now. She doesn’t want to be with me as much anymore, and now she’s asking to me to spend time with her, and I’m trying to teach her a lesson.
So I rush to change clothes.
Pack up the car and go play in that softball game.
I take Bella to her birthday party, and Shelbi to McDonald’s and Christmas shopping afterwards.
She never complained once. In fact I think I saw her smile 1 million times. And giggled a thousand more.
And I think she was the happiest little girl in the universe.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I’ve noticed lately that when Mr. Woo and I come back from our late night Christmas parties I always fall asleep on the drive home. And. . . . . I always awaken to him shaking me with my mouth wide open, as he announces we are home.
Apparently, when I sleep while in a sitting position, my bottom jaw releases like a trap door and my bicuspids are visible for all to see.
Uuuhhh. That has got to be completely unattractive of me.
Why do I sleep with my mouth open?
Could it be that I’m in awe of my questionable parenting skills.
Maybe I’m dreaming about catching the softball with my mouth to save the game that we lost. Mom’s 10 Girls 22.
Possibly, I’m about to sing a Christmas carole, but Mr. Woo wakes me up before I can belt one out.
Or could it be. . . .
that I’m dreaming of Christmas dinner. At the exact time when the fork meets my mouth and I open it. . .oh . so. . .slowly savoring the grandness that is this salad.
Simple to make.
A new family favorite.
It was the only dish that had no leftovers at Thanksgiving.
Simple Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Bacon
2 bags of frozen sweet shoepeg corn, thawed
3 large Roma tomatoes, diced
2 scallions, chopped finely
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
Handful of Cilantro, chopped
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 TB olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. To a large bowl add corn, tomatoes, scallions, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and bacon. Stir to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
2. Eat it, refrigerate, make it a day in advance. Tastes great no matter what. I like it as is, but it would taste yummy with tortilla chips. But then again, what doesn’t taste yummy with tortilla chips?