No More Nuggets!!!

October 25, 2012

I was in my bathroom, thinking about my nose, it’s too short, and my eyelashes, also too short, when I noticed… in the bowl with our toothbrushes and toothpastes, there was one singular tube where before there had been at least two or three. Katy doesn’t brush with Dora Gel, Colin no longer uses the extra flouride bubblegum goo; they are both brushing with my Crest.

This brought me to thinking about all of things that we, as a family, have started to let go of. Chicken nuggets are a thing of the past, we have chicken, baked chicken, chicken and pasta, oven fried, and chicken tacos, but no more nuggets. In my car, no more car seats, haven’t had them for a long time, but also no juice boxes tucked in the pockets, or highlights magazines on the seats. No ziplock bags of snacks stuffed in the console, no cheerios on the floor.

Mostly, these days we like the same movies and the same ESPN. When we go for walks, they don’t shadow my steps, asking every six minutes if we can stop and look for snakes. When we go out for dinner, they are the ones that keep me from letting the waitress bring one more bowl of popcorn before dinner. “Mom, do you really need it? Really?”

Colin is twelve and Katy is eight. When I want to go out for a while, I don’t look for a sitter. I don’t make those phone calls “Danielle, would you mind if my daughter…”  Colin stays home with her.

We have seamlessly transitioned into a family of four instead of one that defines itself as two adults and two children. Yes, my kids will always be my children, but I no longer have to worry about snacks, or remind them about homework, or buy 3 tubes of toothpaste because Katy will only brush with Dora, Colin likes bubble gum. We all like Crest.

I’m not sure when it changed. Maybe it was around the time I outlawed Barbie movies, or Burger King, or food in the car. It’s made shopping easier and it’s a helluva lot nicer to hang out with them. I just wish I could remember the exact moment that our lives moved into this phase. We have conversations instead of exchanges that used to weighted heavily with whining and/or speeches, (by both sides!)

I don’t miss the car seats, ambiguous poultry, and little kid habit of watching the same movie 62 times in a row. I do miss always having to take Katy to the bathroom after dinner to wipe off her chin, sticky with ketchup while she looked at me with an expression that told me that  she truly believed I was the only one in the world capable of cleaning her face. “Thanks, mommy. I’ll try not to do it again.” And we’d both laugh, knowing that Katy, with her unparalleled love of the stuff, would definitely do it again.

She doesn’t do it anymore. At age eight Katy decided she was giving up the dipping method in regards to burger condiments, so she is no longer stained by dessert. I guess the only thing I do miss about those days was that look . II’d glimpse a variation on her face when she watched me pop corn on the stove- “Your the only one that does this, Mommy. Everyone else just uses their Microwave!” I’d fined that expression in Colin’s eyes when I helped him with a paper, or laced up his skates- “Mom, how do you do that so fast?”

But today I got a new look from Colin and Kate. They were hovering over my shoulder while I was on the computer taking care of some studying. Colin asked if he could see my grades. So I showed him what I’ve gotten so far. Straight A’s. (Two of my professors actually haven’t put any of my homework grades on line, those A’s were just for showing up to class.) “Wow, mom,” Colin said quietly. “Wow, mom!”, Katy said not quite so quietly. “You’re doing so good, we didn’t even help you study!”

I miss the old look I guess, sometimes, when I feel the need for eyes to gaze at me with awe, I was Superwoman, Betty Crocker and Florence Nightingale in one. That was nice.

But during our latest moments tonight I saw on their faces respect and pride. I have to tell you, so far I think I like this phase best.

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