Notes on Eating, Chess, and Other Things That Don’t Always Go As Planned

I have a love-hate relationship with running with the jogging stroller. On the one hand, I like not needing to work my running schedule around when someone will be home with the boys. And I like being able to take the boys with me places and get there faster (and fare-free) than if I had taken public transportation. And, as I’m struggling to push the fully-loaded double jogger up a hill, I like to think that I’m a lot stronger than I would be without that thing. But then I also have to push that thing up hills, and that’s almost enough to make $4.50 and waiting on the platform seem like a bargain.

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Tonight as I was making dinner, I helped the boys get their backpacks and shoes on, made sure they had their wallets, put some crackers in a baggie so they wouldn’t starve, and, unfortunately, did not get to send them to school.

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Manchild has been asking me to make spaghetti and meatballs all week. He’s been really excited about it. And I have been, too. I mean, what could go wrong? He requested it, he’s been pumping himself up to eat it, certainly this would be one meal where we wouldn’t even have to remind him to take another bite. And then as I was bringing the plates to the table, the boy started to look a little disappointed. Turns out, something could go wrong. Turns out, my spaghetti and meatballs didn’t look like the ones he had imagined. The balls weren’t round enough, and they weren’t supposed to be in the sauce, they were supposed to be on top of the sauce. But even after I fixed that little misunderstanding, the boy didn’t eat more than a couple of bites.

Micah and I enjoyed it, however, and will enjoy it again tomorrow, I’m sure.

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Just when I think I’m beginning to awaken to the world of fashion, I find out that I don’t even know what fashion is.

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This week I learned how to play, more or less, Chinese chess (Xiangqi), Indian chess (Chaturanga), and Japanese chess (Shogi). I have not played a single one of these games all the way through, but I have gotten so far as setting up the board, learning how each piece moves, and the broad strokes of how they are different from Western chess. I’ve even started to play a couple of games but they were cut short either because Squish woke up from his nap or I made a decent move and Manchild couldn’t think of a way to destroy me save to not-so-surreptitiously remove the offending piece from the game board, which is, as you know against the rules.

I can’t say I ever thought I’d learn anything about any other culture’s chess game, especially considering that I have very little interest in the chess I grew up with. But that’s one of the perks of motherhood, I guess. You get to learn about all sorts of things that you were never interested in to begin with.

How about you? What unexpected things have you learned because you are a mom?

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve learned all the names of Thomas’ friends. All those train-guys are fascinating, evidently.
    I’ve learned how to care for different types of hair and different skin.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Oh, yes! The trains! We had the boys singing the theme song for way too long as we were driving home from PA over Thanksgiving. Who knew? And I’m pretty sure Thomas underwear is going to be the clincher for getting Squish potty-trained. 🙂

    I think it is so great that you get to learn about different hair and skin. I imagine that it gives you an ‘in’ into various conversations and circles you may not have had the opportunity to join otherwise.

    [Reply]

  2. I learned all about dinosaurs, lizards, and more than I ever wanted to know about insects. It turned out that I knew enough about animals that I was able to be a pretty knowledgeable tour guide for my group of five kindergarteners when I chaperoned my son’s field trip to the zoo. That was cool.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    That is pretty cool. I think one of my fantasies is to one day get a job that I am qualified for solely based on random things I learned from being a mom. Tour guide at a zoo or museum seems like it could be one of those jobs.

    [Reply]

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