The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Mothering skills have eluded me

Rachael Conlin Levy

… or Jane and her mom make Emerald City Salad.

I picked up one of my sons from school today at 10:30 a.m. because he’d thrown up. When he climbed into the car he was hiding a smile. Sick? Probably not. But how do I insist that the school keep a kid who’s puked?

This 7-year-old has learned to work the system. About every two weeks, I receive a call from the school nurse, Eloisa, who’s phoning because he’s in her office, again. By now we’re in agreement that there must be visible signs of sickness, like vomit or a thermometer that reports a fever. Today’s proof lay in the bottom of the trash can, so I came, grudgingly. My toddler’s nap had been interrupted, my mouth was set in a grim line, and what does he say when he climbs into the car?

“Was Ivan eating chocolate?”

“He had part of a donut.”


So much for the sore tummy. He’s spending the day in his room. In bed. Without a book.

I’m desperate, cranky and sick of my life being interrupted by sick kids. On days like this I grab chocolate and plop down in front of the computer for an episode or two of my favorite food show, Cookus*Interruptus, featuring Feeding the Whole Family author Cynthia Lair. My top episodes can be found in the right-hand column. They all involve Cynthia’s daughter, Jane, who is a single mom with enough irreverence and sarcasm to light a fire under any pot. On more than one bad day, Jane’s saved me (and my son).

One response to “Mothering skills have eluded me”

  1. mamapease says:

    Your kids are going to start feeling better soon and you will remember what it’s like to be well. I hope very soon!!

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