In The Weeds: Chef’s Special – Freebirds
It’s official. My husband and I are no longer in the restaurant industry. I’ve been out for several months now, but most of you loyal readers know that my husband has provided for our family by kicking his own ass for 12 hours a day for the last six years as the hardest working executive chef I’ve ever known.
He has missed holidays, weddings, funerals, great concerts, lazy Sundays, country drives, first words, first steps, preschool programs, guys weekends and fishing trips as he sacrificed his sleep, his sanity, and his knees to bring home both the literal and figurative bacon. His awe inspiring passion and talent for food has only been matched by his dedication and work ethic, and my gratitude for his love and loyalty cannot described in a simple blog with my simple words.
After six years of dreaming of the little things, like being able to sit on the couch together in our living room on a Saturday afternoon, our dream has been realized. He still works with food, but he does it Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. And, I must tell you, it feels like we won the super jackpot ultimate millionaire lottery. We’ve just smiled at each other stupidly these last few weeks when we catch ourselves experiencing a moment that most take for granted, like sorting laundry on a Friday night.
We both understand and appreciate the opportunities that we’ve been given in restaurants. The industry has paid our bills, and we love the work, but the unrelenting hours and pace do begin to chip away at the soul. My husband set a goal to be out of restaurants before our son started kindergarten, and he reached it – six months early.
This week’s post is a public love note to my man. Thank you, honey, for the being there for us even though you were never there. We are so glad you’re home.
As a flashback tribute to those early years of marriage and baby when we could only dream of a “normal” life, I am posting two of my husband’s favorite stories from 2006 that I wrote to keep him up to date with our son. Love you, Chef.
From the archives:
1) I had to make an emergency run to CVS the other night for saline solution. It was just before M’s bed time so I just threw him in the carseat, sans diaper bag, and off we went. (Note to non-parents: Once you have a kid, you better plan on having all your shit taken care of before bed time – so like, 8 pm. It’s like being grounded from leaving your house after dark for a couple of years. Just when you think “he’s in his crib and what could happen in the five minutes it takes to run to Starbucks half a block away?”….well rest assured that this will be the five minutes that your house decides to burn to the ground and then you end up on the news as a negligent parent.) Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, CVS run. Oh, and I should take this moment to mention that M had about, oh, 40 raisins at lunch time.
So we get there and I take him out of the car and to my horror, there is poop on the carseat. I realize that I’ve already put him on my hip and now there’s poop on me. Great. He is wearing overall shorts so I put him down and then pick him up and carry him inside by the straps. Got a few weird looks as I’m dashing for the wipes aisle. I rip open a package of wipes in aisle 5 and start trying to wipe up his left thigh and everything else. He takes this as a fun game and starts giggling and running away from me. This is when I see raisins start to fall out of his shorts. So I’m following him and scooping up poop covered raisins every 15 inches or so. They look just like they did going in, except plumper. Oh, and I mentioned I have no diaper bag, so I’m having to shove wipes full of poo and raisins into my purse. Eventually, I got the wipes and the saline (and a pint of ice cream as a reward for what I’d just been through) paid for and out the door. I drove away thinking the guys watching the security camera were either vomiting into a trash can or having a big ‘ol laugh along with me.
2) M has discovered his penis. He could not be more thrilled by this. I suppose most guys feel the same. But being a girl and raised with one sister, I just can’t relate. That is not to say that I prevent him from enjoying it – I mean, I certainly don’t want him in therapy as an adult talking about how he was shamed into not touching it, or worse, telling his surgeon that he just feels like he shouldn’t have one. At any rate, he is having the best time. Each diaper change is a wrestling match of me just trying to hold his hands back and wipe him up at the same time (quite a challenge) so that he doesn’t get mess on his hands. But once he’s clean, he’s free to check it out and he always pulls and looks at it and giggles and then looks at me like, “This is awesome. Have you seen this?” Then as the new diaper is being put on, there is whining and resistence to putting his favorite toy away. I try to distract him with a actual toy, something that lights up or plays music, but I know it doesn’t really compare as most guys will tell you. I suppose I’m in for years of my boy and his discoveries. But I must say that I’m looking forward to this passing as he discovers a pet rock or toy cars. It will pass….right?
Speaking of passing…..
I found a penny in M’s dirty diaper last week. Yeah, that’s right. The boy makes change. Maybe he heard they are thinking of doing away with the penny (as it now costs more than $.01 to produce) and he was tying to smuggle it into the next generation to sell on eBay. Whatever his motivation for eating it and making a wish, I’m so glad I didn’t know about it prior to seeing it in his Pamper. I would have wasted hours at the ER and lost sleep fretting over damage to his internal organs. As it turns out, the digestion process makes them come out pretty shiney.