It’s Sunday morning. I should make everyone bacon.
Oh, yeah. Bacon and pancakes. That’s the sort of thing an awesome mom would do on a Sunday morning. She’d get up, and put on her blue bathrobe, start the coffee, and then she’d fill the kitchen with the scent of sizzling, popping bacon and delicious gluten-free pancakes. She’d probably even hum a little tune, and remember to hug each child in turn, and inquire about their sleep in a pleasant, never-ruffled voice.
I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna make them bacon and pancakes and I’m gonna totally be that mom today.
Oh. Wait. I don’t have any more gluten-free pancake mix. Crap.
Well, that’s okay. It’s not like I said the word “pancakes” out loud. The kids won’t know what they’re missing. I can always make bacon and eggs instead – Lord knows I have enough eggs. With, err, “three” chickens (just like the city ordinances require), I definitely have enough eggs.
Eggs and bacon is still a really awesome thing on a Sunday morning. It’s an American staple – who doesn’t love it? Bacon and eggs. I’m gonna be that awesome mom who makes the whole house smell like bacon and eggs on Sunday morning.
Except….. except I can’t find any bacon in the fridge. Or the freezer. Or the basement freezer.
Eggs and…. eggs? Or maybe Miguitas – eggs and tortillas? How many times have I cooked that this week? Will they go for it? I glance at the sleep-tousled boys in the living room, lounging in their mismatched pajamas as they stare blankly at cartoons.
“Hey boys… you guys want Miguitas for breakfast? Or do you just want me to make them over-easy?” I take a moment and pride myself in the way I managed to word that – it gives them the illusion of choice, but still leaves them without a real decision. If that’s not being a real mom, I don’t know what is.
Neither boy bothers to take their eyes off the flickering screen long enough to respond.
“Chicken nuggets. I want chicken nuggets.”
“Me too! I want chicken nuggets, too!”
What? Eww. Gross. “Chicken nuggets aren’t a breakfast food,” I say. “How about cereal? Cereal and milk?”
“No, thank you,” DragonMonkey says, all pleasant politeness.
“Yeah, no thank you,” Squid echoes. “Can I please have chicken nuggets?”
“Guys. This is Sunday. You can’t have…. it’s just….” I stare at them, frustrated. It’s Sunday morning. We’re supposed to be eating pancakes and eggs… or at the very least bacon and eggs. You can’t have a beautiful, Norman-Rockwell style Sunday morning with frozen gluten-free chicken nuggets heated up in the microwave on scratched Ikea plastic plates.
I mean, technically you can, but nobody is gonna be painting a picture of it any time soon.
I open my mouth once again, drawing breath to tell them no, that they can’t have chicken nuggets for breakfast, that it’s trashy and gross, and terrible nutrition, and we have higher standards than that, and….
… and at least it has protein? I mean, what exactly are pancakes, anyways, but flat, uninteresting doughnuts that you pour sugary maple syrup over? Chicken nuggets don’t have a high sugar content. I mean, it’s not like they’re asking to shoot up heroin, or juggling puppies, right? It’s just chicken nuggets…. and gluten-free ones at that.
Surely that gives me some kind of bragging power? I mean, sure, we’re not eating gluten-free by choice, but the fact that it’s gluten-free (and therefore “healthy”) balances out the fact that it’s 7:30 in the morning and I’m pouring ketchup as dipping sauce for my kids’ breakfast, right?