Work with me, please.

Monkey Business

My biggest accomplishment this weekend may have been making monkey bread for the first time.  It was one of my childhood favorites, and I was happy to share it with the kids.  Actually, Mae and Jay did most of the work.  They enjoyed cutting the canned biscuits and rolling the pieces into balls.  The good thing about this recipe is that, unlike most baking, it’s random.  The balls don’t have to be uniform in size or shape.  The kids could wildly throws the balls into the plastic bag that held the sugar-cinnamon combination and stuff the covered balls, raisins, and chopped pecans any which way into the bundt pan.  Jay was giving me instructions by the end.  When I put my fingers into the plastic bag to cover the dough balls evenly, Jay took the bag.”No, Mom.  You have to shake it like this.  See?”  Mae loved the finished product.  Jay, not so much.

We continue to live with late nights and early mornings on the weekends.  On Friday, we let Mae and Jay stay up until almost midnight even though they had a full day of school and aftercare, and then swim lessons.  They should have been tired enough to sleep late on Saturday morning.  Noooo.  Mae was up just before 7 a.m. and Jay at 7:25 a.m.  However, of course, when I needed them up at 8:00 this morning to get ready for Dharma, they were sound asleep and slept until 8:30.  No fair.

Yesterday, I went to the library without them and checked out books for both.  One is Don’t Wake Up Mama from the Five Little Monkeys series.  A clever choice, I thought, especially since it’s Mama Monkey’s birthday in the book and my birthday is coming up on October 7.  As Hubby was about to read to Jay at bedtime, I asked him to read Don’t Wake Up Mama.  Well, he didn’t.  After reading time, Hubby said that Jay didn’t select it when asked what he wanted to read and besides, it was “propaganda.”  It was worth a shot.  I had nothing to lose.

Taking (little) chances.  That’s what I’m trying to do these days, upon my seven-year old’s advice.  I’m almost 40, so I made baked ziti today for the first time in years.  I stopped making it (and a whole bunch of other stuff) because it’s the kind of dish Mae and Jay are unlikely to eat.   For one thing, it has tomatoes and they don’t like tomatoes.  I decided to make it anyway, put it on their plates, and just see.  Mae was interested enough to come into the kitchen at one point, and ask, in her supervisory voice, “How’s that ziti coming along?”  She tried it and actually liked it, or at least she liked some of it.  She pushed aside the tomato and sausage pieces and ate the ziti.  I’ll take that.  Jay started whining as soon as he saw it on his plate.  He asked about a dozen times, “Can I eat my broccoli and then get three M&Ms?”  He seemed to think that three M&Ms was a reasonable trade-off for eating broccoli, and that the least I could do for even putting ziti on his plate was give him three M&Ms.  I turned into my tape recorder self.  “You can eat your broccoli and then go to bed, or you can eat your broccoli and ziti and then get three M&Ms.”  Finally, he ate all of his broccoli and I fed him the ziti while reading books to him.  He finished it all and I gave him five M&Ms.  I’m a reasonable person.

They are tucked away in bed now, and it’s time to wind down and get ready to start the week.  Mae begins a new reading plan this week, including two days a week with the third grade class.  She continues to have mostly good days at school, a relief, and I hope the change in routine won’t throw her off too much.  Aftercare is another story and I’ll come back to that later.  For now, since I seem to be the only person here who cares about my sleep, I’m going to bed.

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