There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to blurt it out:
Last week I almost sent a dog food sandwich in my son’s lunch.
In my defense, I’ve been burning my candle at both ends, with two full plates, while also helping other people burn their candles. So when I woke up that morning, I had begun to multi-task: pack lunches and chop up Murph’s food.
Murph eats this all natural, blah blah,blah dog food that comes in a giant log that looks like bologna. So I cut two slices of that, then cut the bread up for MD’s sandwich (it has to fit in the bento box) and then put the dog food slices on the bread instead of ham and put the sandwich in the box.
When I went to chop up the dog bologna, I was confused, because I couldn’t find it. Luckily, I noticed my error. My husband on the other hand, had just walked into the kitchen and was confused as to what I was doing. We both laughed over what had almost happened.
As we’re sitting there chatting away, I make the sandwich and leave it there and begin to chop the dog’s food. I finish that and then turn and slice the sandwich in half, place it in the lunch box and then I hear my husband gasp.
“Did you just cut his sandwich with the knife you just cut the dogs food with?”
“Yes you did.”
“No I didn’t,” I replied and then I pulled the sandwich out of the box, looked at the cut and realized that I did in fact cut his sandwich with the dog’s knife. So, I did what any mother pressed for time would do: I WIPED IT OFF.
Look, there have been plenty of times in MD’s life where I’ve simply had to wing it. That time he was vomiting all over the kitchen and I had just done two loads of towels? Yeah, I just ushered him outside and hosed him off on the back deck. Letting him eat snacks he found under the couch cushions? Totally fine. When he was five months old and my Dad said it was okay for him to try steak and yogurt? I went with it. I trusted the advice of my parents and grandparents.
MD was born when the internet was really in it’s infancy. Sure, it was around, but it was still a pain in the ass to access. This means that I became a mother in a time when I didn’t have Facebook or Twitter. I didn’t have access to hundreds of parenting magazines or Mom Clubs online to tell me I was doing it wrong. But you know what? I’m glad I didn’t have access to any of it. Although, I often wonder if it would have changed my skill sets.
I learned through trial an error how to parent. For instance, when he was five he got the plastic mallet from the game Don’t Break the Ice stuck in his mouth. After I regained composure from laughing, I realized how serious the situation was. While he sat there freaking out, I was reading the label on a tub of Crisco to see if it was okay to slather over his mouth. Turns out, Crisco on a napkin swiped on the inside of a cheek works like a charm. Even now, I still wing it. I have never been a helicopter parent and sometimes I can be a bit harsh when I notice other parents doing it to their own children. Yet, I remind myself that that’s their choice, not mine.
That morning after I wiped the dog food off MD’s sandwich, we were walking into the school. A little first grade girl was walking in before us, about to take a bite of her banana when it toppled over onto the sidewalk. I watched as her mother picked it up and tossed it in the bush, clearly aggravated that her daughter dropped the food.
I looked over at my son and said, “Do you know how much food you’ve eaten in your lifetime that I’ve brushed dirt off of?” He looked a little horrified by this, but I continued. “I mean, I watched you eat unidentified fruit snacks from under the couch cushions and once you even licked the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s. Dude, God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt.”
I bet he won’t be laughing once he finds out he had a little dog food in his lunch that day. Or maybe he will.
After all, it is all natural and gluten free.