Sunday, December 04, 2005

b is for babysitting and beef

Surprise! I'm not dead. Let's get back on the alphabet train, shall we?

Babysitting
I began my babysitting career early on, age 12 or so. It carried me well through college and even beyond. As a kid, I passed out fliers around my neighborhood to promote my service. I wasn't just the cheap, convenient childcare next door, I was a booming industry. Mothers fought over me. They wept when I moved away to college and in turn the families I babysat for through school mourned when I moved back. Too bad it took me that long to figure out my service was worth far more than what I was paid all that time (with the exception of one family, my most beloved, whose kids went on to be in our wedding and who always treated me like gold).

Okay, so babysitting stories. Where to begin? I could write the book. Nanny Diaries ain't got nothing on me.

Let's see...there was the projectile vomitting episode, the time I flooded my neighbors garage while attempting to wash sheets after a mid-night bed-wetting (not mine, the kid's), and the late night blackout due to the ridiculous glow of Christmas lights on the front lawn of a particularly wonderful (allbethem Griswold-like) family during which episode their three-year old nonchalantly told me I needed to "hit the circuit breaker" as though this were a regular household occurence.

There was the genius idea to let the kids play in the sprinklers turned Soak-The-Babysitter madness that landed me in the master of the house's bathrobe for the better part of the day while my clothes dried. There was the kid who growled and barked at me, the 6th grade boy who pissed me off so much I almost left him on the side of the road, and The Day of All The Poop, the daycare debacle where I was left to care for 8 kids under the age of 3 for a morning while their uppity mom's gathered for their weekly bookclub.

And of course, my personal favorite...the potty-training toddler who was "afraid" of of the toilet thus her (retarded, hippy, doting) parents encouraged her to poop on the lawn. And that she did, before my very unbelieving eyes. Afterwards, I took her inside to clean her up and came back to take care of her...um...droppings only to find no mess and the two family dogs sheepishly licking their chops.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen it all. And what have I learned from this? 90% OF ALL ADULTS ARE IDIOTS. The percentage of well-raised, well-mannered kids in this world is slim. Parents don't know how to be PARENTS. I'm not suggesting raising kids is EASY, but mastering the concept that YOU ARE THE BOSS, YOUR 2-YEAR OLD ISN'T should be.

And with that I shall climb down off my soapbox.

Beef
Delicious, satisfying and fulfilling, I agree it's what's for dinner. But for some reason, I am horrible at making that a reality in our household and my husband is suffering for it.

Bottom line: I am bad a cooking meat. All meat. Beef, poultry, you name it. On the whole I am a decent cook but meat is my glorious downfall. No matter what I do, it is always tough. How come I can't make it turn out like mom's? Or the scrumptious meat of restuarants? I need tutoring.

Henceforth, I tend to avoid preparing meat whenever possible. It's expensive, it always seems like more work and the outcome is always disappointing so I figure, why bother?

Well not so long ago dear Emily came down to visit and attend one of Jon's football games with me. We got to the field and she asked where he was so I pointed him out across the way. She gasped. "THAT'S Jon?!? It couldn't be. He's a SHADOW of a man. What on earth are you feeding him??"

"Um, a lot of salad?"

"Woman! He's wasting away! That boy needs PROTEIN."

Upon recounting this story to my mother, she promptly went out and bought us an early Christmas present...a Crock Pot...so that I would no longer have any excuse to malnourish my handsome groom. Two great things about my mom: 1. She knows the proper remedy to nearly any situation, and 2. She loves her son-in-law.

So the Crock Pot thing is working out okay so far but nonetheless, I am opening up my comments as a forum for anyone who would like to contribute recipes or secret tips on how to not suck at preparing meat. Beef, poultry, really meat of any kind. But no fish recipes, please. I love the stuff but Jon doesn't so any tantalizing fish recipes will just make me really depressed.

Posted by Poka Bean at 3:28 PM 10 comments