Sunday, March 21, 2010

Diary Of a Stressed Out Step Mom…

It is said that there is something to be learned in all things. Now, sometimes I wonder that, but I do believe if we are not aware of the lesson in the midst of the storm, we will eventually see it.

I also have begun to wonder if maybe the lesson is not always for me. I am not saying I am not capable of learning or need to learn, but I do wonder if, at times, we are not just a part of someone else’s puzzle. Maybe our purpose is to be stepped on (for lack of a better term).

I suppose the phrase “stepped on” represents where I have seen myself much of the time in the past year. But I am laughing about it today.

See, there is a kitchen problem in my house. The problem is, it is MY kitchen. I am and have been kind about that, but I am not as accommodating at this stage of the game as I have been.

The problem arises due to desire of my step son to express his creativity in the form of cooking. Now this was and has been supported. Notice past tense? But a couple weeks into this Lenten season, with what I gave up and what I took on, this kitchen creativity became impossible to tolerate.

I believed that I would have some enlightenment through these 40 days, but I did not realize it would allow me to close one door so firmly and kindly (well not without a little tantrum) in the midst of this clarity.

The problem with the creativity was this (quotes based on actions of above party): “I will use what ever food I find in the fridge – whether you need it or not- and I will leave major messes for others to clean up.” These moments of creativity were also usually started when I was not home, so in addition to the mess, I would open the door to the strong odor of oil having been cooked at very high temperatures or burnt food.

In all fairness, the mess part had improved some since the first few months of this living arrangement. But several weeks ago – three to be exact, the mess to end all mess was left! Just a couple days before, there had been more clean up than necessary and a text had been sent to the culprit that if there is not time to clean up behind your gourmet meals, said culprit needed to stick to sandwiches or fast food take out.

So on this said Friday, I came home to the finishing up of a foodie endeavor. I worked on my computer as the last sizzle of the steak in the pan was silenced. I smiled at the noise of the HOT pan going under the cool water of the faucet, thinking, at that age I probably did not know that you should not do that.

I chuckled, inside, as I heard the scraping of a hard object on the non stick pan, clearing the burnt on food (this has been addressed numerous times as something to please not do). I thought, “yes! When he moves out, that pan is his and I get a new one!”

The food was swallowed whole and the out the door he went in a rush not to be late for work.

I headed into the kitchen to do my next task at hand.

That is when the proverbial you know what hit that fan we often hear about.

Yes he cleaned and put away the skillet used.

But the food scattered on the counter.????


Steak juice and marinade splattered on the other side of the kitchen?!?!?

Dots before my eyes . . . .

In the sink, every dish used to create, covered with beef blood and marinade too!!!

The light left on and the ironing board up and the iron out, left for others to take care of…


And then through the door here he comes. He forgot something, but he is happily making plans on his phone.

I showed out. Yes, I did.

I let out one scream and a jump up down stomp (he was in his room).

I expressed more maturely to him, face to face, how not right, how not fair that is.

With a look of “chill out” on his face he said sorry that way teenagers say it, you know, sar eeeee….

I cleaned the kitchen and worked my way to calm.

That has been the last day that raw meat has been in the fridge in the house.

There are plenty of leftovers and lunch meat available. But no longer is there raw meat to work with. No longer do I leave enough rice to inspire any Asian concoctions (a lot extra gets frozen). I have not come home to the odor of any burnt food, burnt oil, sink full of un-rinsed dishes nor too many crumbs left on the counter.

Friday, as I was working on the computer, he came in to get something to eat. After searching the fridge for several minutes, he closed it, drank some juice and left the room. The inability to cook something from scratch created some discomfort on his part – I love body language- don’t you??

A few minutes later he came back down, loudly opening and roughly closing the fridge and silverware drawer, giving me inspiration for this post…

The sandwich won!

Which means, there was a clean kitchen and peace....


Sniffles and Smiles said...

You are sooooo smart!!! I love it!! I'm making lots of mental notes here! Glad that peace reigns once more :-) Love you, and your wonderful sense of humor!! Janine XO

Betsy Brock said...

Oh dear....this does not sound fun! Glad you figured out a solution!

FancyHorse said...

It sounds like you're doing a good job training him to be considerate of others. It can be a hard lesson to learn!

Gayle said...

Oh. My. Gosh. It sounds like you came up with a great plan to rid yourself of all the mess and stress!

TJ said...

Great post - felt like I was there. :) But glad I wasn't. haha