The Boy frustrates me a lot lately. A lot of it is his snarky attitude—where on EARTH did he get that???—but the nagging required to get him to do anything other than play video games and play more video games is exhausting.
He thinks piano is stupid because most of his friends don’t play. Ask me how much I care about that opinion. Someday he’ll be glad I forced him to take a minimum of five years of lessons. I know this. But right now, I am sooo tempted to give in. I hate that he once thought it was so fun, but because of his idiot friends, he thinks he has to hate it now. I hate how he loathes practicing even though he really truly is good at playing; he caught on way faster than Katie did. I hate that he stops playing mid-song if the practice timer dings. I hate that he still has another year of lessons to get to FIVE and I really just want to get it over with so I can nag less.
I also really, really hate “Scarborough Fair.” So much. But I can’t ask him not to play it.
It’s not just piano. He makes the I’d-tell-you-I-hate-you-if-I-thought-I-could-get-away-with-it face if we remind him to do his homework before he gets on the Xbox. He makes the face again if we ask him why he hasn’t turned in assignments and therefore has a 29% in social studies. He makes the face if I ask him to push his chair in or pick up trash he’s let fall to the floor or hang up his towel. I do not enjoy that face. I want to smack that face. He has no idea how lucky he is that we’ve never adopted a spanking/slapping disciplinary method. He also has no idea how close I am to re-thinking that policy.
So… yeah. I’m sometimes not a big Jack fan these days. If I’ve had a little bit to drink, I refer to him as some not-very-nice things, and that is why I don’t often drink around him.
But then last week he came home with a recipe from his FACS class (FACS = Family & Consumer Sciences, this generation’s Home Economics) and wanted to make us dinner. It was basically homemade Hot Pockets, but he was excited to re-create what was “so delicious” in class that day, so we got the ingredients and let him make us White Trash Dinner. It’s hard to complain about a kid who wants to prepare a meal for his family.
The next day he came home with recipes for lemon chicken and blueberry muffins. I noticed he kept referring to the iPad while making the chicken, and assumed it was a FACS web site or something; when I asked, he said “It’s got tons of recipes and they look so good. It’s mar… tha… stewart… dot com.” I think he’d be even more impressed with her if I showed him this:
While the chicken was grilling, Jack even set the table. We ooohed and aaahed over the yumminess of the meal. It really was quite good. When we were done, he cleared off the table. In other words, he acted like a normal human person.
Last Friday he came home with a cheesecake recipe—a cheesecake recipe that called for THREE AND A HALF POUNDS OF CREAM CHEESE. I thought that was slightly excessive, and encouraged him to find a different one. At the same time, I was glad he was wanting to make things from scratch rather than reading directions on the back of a Jell-O cheesecake box. Once he’d settled on a new recipe, he was eager to get started on it, and stayed up until midnight to wait for it to finish baking.
That cheesecake was fall-over-dead delicious. He was so proud, too, to watch us devour it.
After twelve long years of feeding that kid, it’s kinda nice to have the favor returned.
Now he’s talking culinary school and getting all snobby about food. It’s hilarious. Forget that the kid has still never eaten anything green, nor does he ever plan to. He thinks he’s a foodie now.
And it makes my shriveled black Mean Mom heart fill with love and adoration again for this little boy who can still acknowledge that not everything that makes Mom happy is as horrible as piano. Today, cooking. Tomorrow, maybe a concerto? Eh, I can hope.