1. You will begin to sauté some onion and garlic but notice that the dishwasher needs to be emptied first. You must empty the dishwasher, so that you will have a place to put the multiple items that will be made dirty while cooking. Multiple items will be made dirty because you will be cooking three different meals. What fun would it be if everyone could ever eat the same meal?

*You will need to dry off all the dishes before putting them away because for some reason they never seem to fully dry during the cleaning cycle. This will take an extra 10 minutes.

*In the middle of trying not to burn the garlic, while also trying to put away the dishes, your youngest daughter will come downstairs and attempt to take Oreos from the pantry. You will remind her that it is almost dinnertime. Thwarted from her attempt to indulge on chocolate and cream goodness, she will throw herself to the floor crying that she “is TOTALLY STARRRRRVING,” and exclaiming that you “are the MEANEST Mom… EVERRR!”

*While distracted by being the meanest Mom ever to your routinely mistreated, redheaded middle child who never gets anything, your dog will have peed on the floor. Somehow amidst the whining, you did not hear the dog begging to be let out. You will have to bust out the paper towels and cleaning supplies.

*By the time your cleaning is complete, the garlic has burned.

*You will now have to clean the scorched pan.

*You will now need to start over.

2. You will scrub the scorched pan…….dry it off and begin to heat the oil again. Add garlic. Smell that yummy goodness. You will now realize that you forgot to start the chicken nuggets and French fries that your son routinely eats for almost every meal. Everything needs to be ready at the same time and if you don’t start his meal now, he can’t eat with the family. Family mealtime MUST happen, or your kids will grow up to be derelicts with no family values. Family dinnertime MUST happen, and your daughters have dance in one hour. You must drive 20 minutes away. The clock is ticking. First the fries because they take longer. The oil and garlic have now heated thoroughly, and you must add the chicken that you diced up earlier in the day.

*You never finished those dishes. You will ask your oldest daughter for help, but she will be doing her homework. Valid reason. She will be at dance from 6:00-9:30. When else will she get her work done? She will get home at 10:00 and still need to shower, finish any incomplete work and get some actual sleep. Tomorrow dance will be from 4:00-9:30, so any of her work that is due between now and Friday HAS got to be done….NOW! (Side note: THIS type of overscheduling is why kids today can’t fully participate in doing chores the way we did as kids)

*You will ask your younger daughter to help but she is still too famished to muster any energy because you denied her an Oreo energy boost. While she wails on…. and on….and on…. about the merits of Oreos before dinner, you will give up and empty the remaining contents of the dishwasher. You just don’t have the time or energy to fight.

*You will remove the clean dishes while your 70 lb. bulldog puppy repeatedly attempts to GET INTO the dishwasher. When getting into the dishwasher has been thwarted, the dog will attempt to nibble your toes because, apparently…… toes are tasty.

*Continue putting away dishes with a puppy attached to your foot.

 *You will return to the stove to sauté the chicken. The chicken is not yet ready to remove from the pan, so you will check on the french fries. The fries have cooked enough. Now you can add the nuggets into the oven.

*Continue to finish making meals with puppy still attached to your foot.

3. You will realize that you forgot to put the washed clothes into the dryer and your daughter’s dance outfit is STILL WET. You run to the washer to put the clothes into the dryer but forget that your oldest daughter added her clothes into the dryer days ago and never folded any of it. You pile everything on top of the dryer, while being annoyed that it will all be wrinkled….leaving someone to  have to re-do it all, but there is no time to fold it right now. You rifle through the wash to find the dance clothing. Disaster averted. Dance outfit is now drying.

*Return to remove chicken from pan and add veggies. Sauté it all up. Allow to simmer.

*Realize that fries are burning. Toss fries into the garbage. Remove finished nuggets and wrap in foil to keep warm. Start new fries.

*Boil water to make pasta for child who was denied Oreos and is now famished and “dying of hunger,” but would never eat the actual “family meal” that her Mother made. “But I am STARRRRRVING!”

*Remove nuggets and fries from the oven for the other child who also will never touch the actual “family meal” that his Mother made……but he is also “SO HUNGWY!” Chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner is all he will eat. Ask him jokingly what he wants for any meal and he will always respond with “Sewiouswy? Duh!”

*Realize that the dog has eaten the doormat and is now throwing up in the other room. This is the THIRD doormat she has eaten. Time to stop buying doormats. Just let the dirt accumulate. That’s what vacuum cleaners are for.

4. You will begin to clean up fragments of the tattered doormat while the puppy attempts to eat your pant leg. Realizing this isn’t going to work, you sequester her in her crate. You now will be privileged enough to listen to her incessant yelping while you are on your hands and knees cleaning the potpourri of puke and undigested carpet fragments.

*Your oldest daughter will emerge from her room to inquire about dinner. She will be seemingly unaware that you are on your hands and knees feeling like a puke cleaning shrew. She hasn’t emerged from her room in what seems like days but NOW she will decide it is a good time to discuss life altering teenage decisions.

*While your daughter dances around your puke cleaning self, she will spew exciting tidbits of how…. this one likes that one… but that one doesn’t like the other one…..and it will all become one great big jumble of words because you really aren’t listening. You aren’t really listening because………. YOU ARE MIDWAY THROUGH CLEANING PUKE. OH, what fun! You really need to be a more present parent though.

*It’s time to add that chicken back into the pan. Mix and continue to allow it to sauté with those veggies.

*Your middle child will now come raging into the kitchen because you have washed and dried the wrong dance outfit. The one that you washed is now “ugly and stupid,” despite it having been her favorite for the past few months. She will declare that she “HAS NO OTHER CLOTHES!” It’s not like she has an entire drawer of dance clothes, or anything.

*Your youngest child will now decide that he needs to do an underwear dance in the kitchen. He will tell Alexa to play Sir Mix-a-Lot. He will have one pair of underwear on his head and thankfully another pair where underwear belongs. “Oh, my God Becky, look at her butt” His scrawny butt shaking will spur an impromptu family dance party. “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”

*You will completely forget that you were even cooking or on any time schedule.

5. You will now realize that the water you were boiling for pasta has overflown. The fries have burnt for a second time and  the nuggets that you wrapped in foil for later are lukewarm and no longer the proper, crispy texture accepted by your finicky eater. That lovely chicken and vegetable sauté has now been overcooked to the point of being inedible. Your older dog just pooped on the floor. You were having a dance party and just thought he was dancing too….but no….he was trying to tell you that he needed to go out. Oops.

*You give up.

*Wendy’s…….it’s what’s for dinner.

Jenn Miele Leslie lives in Woodbridge, CT with her husband, three kids ages 8, 9 and 14 and two bulldogs who likes to fart and snore. Originally from Long Island, N.Y. (yes, that IS how you say it – if you’re from there you just understand) she misses being able to find a decent bagel or breakfast sandwich. Once an Art Therapist specializing in working with adults with various developmental disabilities, Jenn now spends her time shuttling her minions to: school; playdates; dance classes and competitions; occupational therapy; coding classes; and what feels like a million additional places, on a daily basis. In her occasional down time, Jenn enjoys photography, painting and an iTunes playlist that boasts way too many 90’s alternative songs.

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