Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good Enough for Me

I am addicted to cookies.  I used to enjoy them a lot as a kid, but now, as a stay-at-home dad, it's almost impossible for me to get through a day without them, especially since the second child was born.  Coffee keeps me awake, but cookies keep me sane.  Yes, I know it's not healthy.  I've tried to wean myself off them from time to time, and I think I'm down to one pack a week.  Sometimes I even opt for the gum, but spearmint is no match for peanut butter chocolate chip.  No, cookies are my vice.  It's a little after noon as I write this paragraph, and I've already had three.  Kyle isn't even home from nursery school yet.

Jennifer has laughed at my addiction, and has mockingly called me a Cookie Monster from time to time.  I admit that I am, but she's not innocent in all this.  No, she's an enabler.  Just look at the thing sitting on top of my refrigerator.  Do you see that?  That's a gift she gave me a couple Christmases ago.  Yes, it is emblazoned with the Coca-Cola logo.  Yes, it says, "Big King Size: Ice Cold."   But don't be fooled: there's nothing cold in there.  There's no Coca-Cola in that jar.  That jar was given to me for one thing: cookies.  Sweet, beautiful cookies.  Mmmmmmm.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, the cookie jar.  I suppose it was a necessity.  I was already deep within Nabiscoland by that Christmas, and Jennifer was probably tired of seeing an open package of Chips Ahoy! in the kitchen.  At least the jar is neater.  I like it because it's quieter than the crinkly packaging, especially now that I have to hide my addiction from my three-year-old, who enjoys the treat as much as I do.  Often while he's sitting on the couch, watching TV, I sneak into the kitchen and slowly and carefully open the jar.  I grab a couple and then close the jar, hoping he doesn't notice.  Sometimes I accidentally clang the lid against one of the edges, and then my boy's finely-tuned cookie monitor dings, and I hear, "Can I have a cookie, Daddy?"  It's very difficult to say "no" to that, especially since I can't really say anything at all with a cookie already in my mouth.  Mmmmmmm.

Okay, so maybe that's a little pathetic.  How did it get this bad?  I look at the picture below and I say, how did it NOT get this bad?

Mmmmmmmm.  Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Blaming the child.  Kyle drove me to this.  Back when I was a brand-new parent, with a brand-new baby, I suddenly found myself alone with brand-new dirty diapers, brand-new tantrums, and brand-new anxiety.  Did you know that when a baby wants a bottle, and when you tell that baby you're getting that bottle ready, the baby doesn't sit and wait patiently?  Did you know that sometimes a pacifier doesn't pacify?  Did you know that a baby can cry when he's tired and cry when he doesn't want to nap - at the same time?  Did you know that diapers sometimes don't do the one and only job they are supposed to do?  Did you know that it often takes at least 45 minutes to get out the door with a baby if you are planning on going outside for about 45 minutes?  I think at some point, as I was rushing around, trying to figure out what this constantly demanding child needed, I realized I needed some relief.  Something for myself.  Amazingly, the taste of a cookie did the trick.  Well, not just one... more like five.  Ah, who cared if there was still half a day 'til bedtime?  I was happy, at least for a moment.  Now there's no going back.

Sometimes I look at the Nutrition Facts and laugh at the serving size.  Really?  Do they actually believe a person would eat just one or two of these things?  Maybe some people do, as a special treat in the middle of the day, on a little plate next to one of those miniature cups of espresso.  But these people probably don't buy several packages of Chocolate Chunk at a time, or even go for the supermarket duplex cookies.  They prefer the quality cookies.  I usually don't have time for quality cookies.  Even when I do, I wouldn't eat just one.  Sometimes Jennifer has to stop me from eating a whole package of Pepperidge Farm in one sitting.  Really, what are these "Nutrition Facts" people thinking? 

Time does play a factor in my cookie-eating abilities, and so does my cookie-loving son's highly-sensitive ears.  I must eat my cookies fast, quietly, and with nobody noticing.  So I have learned how to eat them like a frog eats a fly.  I grab a cookie and, using my tongue, zip the entire thing into my mouth.  Now you see it; now you don't.  It's one talent I have perfected as a stay-at-home dad, and I'm awfully proud of it.  I have eaten hundreds of cookies without Kyle noticing, and now I'm sneaking them in as Adam screams for a bottle.  Mixing formula is a whole lot better while slowly munching on some Oreos.

That's what being a stay-at-home dad has done to me.  Cookies and coffee have kept me from turning prematurely gray during the toughest parts of the past three and a half years.  Could be worse, I suppose.  And while I often cower in a corner with my addiction, there are many other times when my kids make the job easy, and during those times it's fun to live it up... sharing a cookie together.  Mmmmmmmm.

1 comment:

erica said...

I'm catching up, and I have to tell you that I love this post. I completely understand. I remember when Kent got old enough to realize I was eating in the car and that he wanted some of whatever it was. One of my favorite snacks is Kashi dark mocha almond bars-- they're granola bars, but with chocolate chips, so I love them and my kid loves the chocolate. I actually found myself unwrapping one while coughing to hide the sound, then holding it down at my side and sneaking bites when he wasn't looking, just so I could eat a snack (I was always STARVING!) and not have to share it.

A friend of mine once wondered aloud why we eat crap if we don't want our kids to have it, but I know why. And apparently you do, too. :) We have to get through the day somehow.