Breakfast in Bed
Originally published in American Way
It's hard to pretend you're sleeping when you hear your kitchen being demolished, not by construction workers putting in new cabinets, but by your kids making you "breakfast in bed". If your children haven't done this for you yet, I suggest you make sure your homeowners policy is up to date and to have a fire extinguisher at the ready.
I awoke to the banging of pots and heads, a smell wafted up that I could not place - had a skunk with gas wandered in and died? Were the neighbors re-tarring their roof with rotten eggs? Had a Meth Lab exploded down the street? I walked down the stairs and heard my oldest son admonish his little brother "You idiot, don't put bacon in the toaster - use this fork and get it out!" "You don't know what you're doing either - you let the spoon melt all over the omelet," my youngest fires back. He had a point. I tiptoed back upstairs and waited for them to finish cooking, hoping they wouldn't lose a limb in the process. A few minutes after they decided that "It smelled like poop" and needed Mom's perfume they trod upstairs with the most expensive and yet inedible breakfast I've ever seen.
"Happy Mothers Day" they shouted - kind of as a warning and I held my breath and feigned joy as best I could. Though most of my Givenchy had been used to hide the other smells - the powerful combination of burnt cheese, gummy bears, and a plastic spoon were hard to conceal. How all of those things managed to melt without any of the egg actually cooking boggled the mind. The only thing more mind boggling was my acting job - my oohing, my aahing, my ability to eat a few bites without throwing up should have gotten me nominated for an academy award. Best Performance in a Night Gown.
And though I've bragged about it before I'd never been more grateful not to have a gag reflex. Did I mention the side dish? Skittles and Spaghettios - a combination that would make the most loving mother hurl. But I did not. No, I successfully swallowed some and was even able to mutter "That was great" before I excused myself to the bathroom. Like a contestant on “Fear Factor” who didn't win, I felt nauseous and overwhelmed - not only from the food but later from the state of the kitchen. How can children only four feet tall get butter on the ceiling? Why are their anchovies on the curtains? And when are they going to college? These and many other questions I'll never know the answers to.
I do know they mean well. I know they love me and that they'll never host their own show on the Food Channel. Still that meal was memorable. And I figure getting your stomach pumped is a small price to pay for the opportunity to be called Mom.