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April 6, 2014

Standards

My goal tonight was to stretch an unimpressive stash of leftovers into a meal that would feed the whole family.  We were eating in shifts.  I had to unload the team's concession supplies from my minivan when I picked up Laddie from practice.  Then I had to race him to an appointment and Curly and Reggie were going to be dragged along.  I fed the two shortest family members at 4:30.  Early.  Eddie walked in just as we were heading out to grab Laddie.  My written instructions were in clear sight on the counter.  I delivered the spoken version quickly.  Twice.  Three spoonfuls of meat - warm them up on the plate.  Shredded cheese, lettuce, and crushed Doritos mixed with warm meat . . . taco salad.  Simple.  All the required food items were lined up in order on the counter.

When I picked up Laddie at 5:30 he grumbled that I failed to supply him with a meal.  Oops.  We wouldn't be home till after 7 pm.  I forgot to throw a plate of warmed up food in the car.  I don't do fast food.  Almost never.  (That's a story for a different day.  It isn't a healthy thing, but an added expense I can't bear).  Although he initially scoffed at the granola bar I offered, he did eventually eat it.  Laddies' mood improved when I pulled into a pizza place.  Slightly confused, he grabbed a $5 pizza to go, and woofed down most of it in the car.  Curly and Reggie were thrilled to inhale some of it while in the waiting room.  Three happy kids.  Delightful.

By the time I arrived home, Eddie, Mini, and Tetonka had already departed for music lessons.  Tonight my dad was shuttling them to and from my brother's house for Irish music lessons since it was one of Coach's late nights.  Before I removed my coat, I realized with horror that the 2 1/2 cups of taco salad meat was basically gone from the Tupperware container.  Eddie failed to follow my directions.  Again.  Three spoonfuls of meat translated into 2 1/2 cups in the world where Eddie lives in a constant state of hunger.  So much for stretching the leftovers.  The plates hadn't been cleared from the table - of course.  Mounds of meat lay soaked in a puddle of Western dressing with bits of Doritos and lettuce dotting the surrounding area of the plates.  I would have to recycle the remaining meat from Eddie and Mini's plates for Coach.  Tetonka's plate showed only a residue of dressing and a bit of stray lettuce.  Shock.

The Irish musicians sauntered in a moment later.  I explained the oversight (or should I say 'over-meat') to Eddie.  It all seemed so much clearer now.  'That's why I was so full,' he remarked.  He was quick to use my speedy departure and my auctioneer style instructions as a defense.  The handwritten step by step notes I left for him were glossed over.  Details.

Tetonka had to load the dishwasher.  I gave him instructions not to load the 'meaty' plates into the dishwasher.  To make it less confusing, I stacked them on top of the pizza box . . . on the stove . . . out of the way.  Tetonka was curious about the pizza.  Who could be so lucky?  Seriously, these kinds of treats are few and far between in our house.  I explained how the pizza ended up in our kitchen - so out of place!  There was only one piece left, and it was for Daddy.

I hustled my tagalongs up to the bath, and checked in the hall once to be sure I heard the clink of glasses.  The kitchen was being worked on.  Progress.

After I had Curly and Reggie in bed, I went back downstairs.  There was lots of meat in the sink.  Tetonka isn't allowed to use the garbage disposal.  He needs his digits.  I looked around the kitchen in bewilderment.  The plates with meat had been loaded.  Why?  Tetonka is not exactly known for his attention to detail.  Not much of an overzealous kitchen duty chap.  How could he have decided to clear the plates that I intentionally told him not to clean?  He was speechless.  He couldn't figure out how he could have done it either.

Then I realized the error of my ways.  I brought a pizza box into the house.  I stacked plates on this cardboard focal point and asked that the dishes not be touched.  Tetonka couldn't help himself.  He opened said Pandora's box.  In his hurry to peek into the container, he removed the plates from the top of the box.  He then absentmindedly loaded them into the sink.  Always best to complete a task and hope that missing food isn't noticed rather than taking a bite and running.  If a missing bite of pizza doesn't give you away, then running will.  That one piece of pizza had called to him and nothing else mattered.  I proved my case by opening the pizza box.  Tetonka looked on in horror.  He cringed.  There was the lone slice.  One bite was missing from  its cold rubbery tip. 

No, I did not dig the half eaten, once salvaged, scraped-from-dirty-plate-into-even-dirtier-sink meat back onto Coach's dinner plate.  Even if Tetonka doesn't, I have standards. 

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