The other day, out of the blue, I started thinking about Goldfish. Not the ones that you win in a plastic baggy at a fair and then end up giving a “burial at sea” (flush) a few days later. No, I mean the cheddar-flavored, fish-shaped crackers. The ones I buy in four pound boxes at Costco and put in my kids’ lunches.
That made me think of the Chickadees you can get at Target. But I find Chickadees not terribly exciting. Maybe they’re too small or something. I’m not sure.
And then my mind meandered over to Bunnies. You know the ones. Annie makes them with only the most wholesome, organic ingredients. Or something. All I know is, if I’m trying to look like a good mom in front of other parents, I buy them. That means I hardly ever buy them. But they’re pretty tasty and you can get a mix with some pretzels and other “healthy” snacky-type foods. I like that. I feel very virtuous giving my kids cheddar bunnies. And kind of rich, too.
Because if I’m feeling particularly thrifty, I buy Whales. I don’t even know the brand, but they’re on the bottom shelf at Walmart and I’ve seen them at the Dollar Tree, so they have that cheap feel to them. But I’ll be honest, they’re my favorite. What’s the spice they add to their “cheese flavor” that entices me so? Paprika? Cayenne? Who knows, but I like it.
Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the pros and cons of the different shaped animal crackers. I like to think I’m somewhat of a connoisseur.
And not just of crackers, but of cheap wine. Granted, I’ve never shied away from big jugs of wine that cost under ten bucks, but when the grocery budget is taken over by pink yogurt and fancy hot dogs, even that seemed extravagant. So now my evening wind-down comes courtesy of a glass of Three Wishes, Charles Shaw, Oak Leaf or Cul-de-Sac. You know, all the wines that cost $3 a bottle, at whatever grocery store you find yourself.
I asked some other moms to find out what kinds of things they think about now that they have kids.
Cleaning the house with kids requires strategy and speed. Without the little rugrats underfoot, you never had to do a complete overhaul of the first floor in ten minutes, during snacktime. You could leisurely straighten one room at a time, whenever the heck you felt like it, if you even felt like it. Now, there’s no choice, unless you’re auditioning for Hoarders: Toy Edition.
Likewise, cooking must be speedy and organized, or you’ll end up giving your kids Nutella sandwiches more than is probably recommended. Not that I would know about that or anything.
Less palatable subjects also weigh heavily on a parent’s mind. You know the ones. Poop and puke. Analyzing them. Closely. Blech. And I can promise you, I never had the thought to force a kid to puke down my shirt to prevent a chain reaction of vomiting. Not until I had kids.