The miracle of dinner

It’s Friday night, which means it’s homemade pizza night, which means it’s time to play god.

My husband and son want pepperoni, I want tons of vegetables and my daughter will probably fill up on shredded cheese before the pizza is even made.

I – meaning, my bread machine – get the dough started. I open the flour and out of nowhere, my children appear.

“Can I help cook?” asks the 4-year-old.

“Mommy, blurgin flllssh backles cook?” the 2-year-old imitates.

Within moments, my children and my kitchen are covered in flour.

I am tempted to text my husband, “I hope you know how INSANE it is to try to cook a meal with the kids around.”

Good thing I turn into a miracle-worker at dinnertime.

I part the white sea of flour and send the kids outside. But before I can get out the broom, I have to get out the pool, the sunscreen, the swimsuits, the water toys, the swimmy shoes (because heaven forbid the 2-year-old goes in bare feet), a snack for the kids to have while they wait for me to blow up the pool and twice the number of towels a normal human would need because: toddlers.

An hour later, I have just enough time to sweep the kitchen before it’s time to chop the peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and – oh! – onions. I have to remember the onions. I love my pizza with onions. The onions make the pizza the treat that it is every Friday night.

But before I can get into the fridge for an onion, the toddler starts crying. One of her shoes came off and the apocalypse is nigh. Fortunately, I seemingly grow 10 arms like some kind of Hindu god during dinner. I hold and comfort the baby while I pull the dough ball from the bread machine to find it is a disaster.

It is tearing. It is sticking to everything.

It is no match for my other-worldly abilities. Some flour and some olive oil and boom – that bad boy is flattened and in the oven to pre-cook.

Then I hear the cry for help. My son is holding a T-Rex snapped at the neck.

“Help! The spinosaurus attacked!” he explains.

I close my eyes, breathe deeply and expertly apply super glue to bring the dinosaur back to life.

Crisis averted, I turn to my vegetables and start to chop.

“Mommy, look!” cried the 2-year-old, who is insanely proud of removing her diaper and dancing through the living room in all her chubby, naked glory.

I set down the knife mid-chop and wrap the diaper back around her waist as I remind myself to chop the cucumber before I chop the onion or else my son says he can taste the onion and he won’t eat the salad. The onion! I keep forgetting about my precious onion. MUST REMEMBER ONION.

I glance at the clock to see my husband will be home in 20 minutes. I grab a cup and fill it with ice water so it melts to the temperature he loves. After six years of marriage and two kids, it’s the little things, right? And because Mother Nature and I totally get each other, I know just how long that ice takes to melt.

I set the cup on the table and the dog starts whining. Oh, little puppy, I didn’t forget about you! All creatures in this home are loved.

OK, dog fed, vegetables chopped, pizza crust is ready, salad is prepared.

No forks.

I hand-wash the dishes so we have enough clean utensils to eat, but not before my omniscient self senses that the kids are about to ask me to rewind their movie to the funny part – again!

I get the pizza in the oven, set the table with the “help” of my son (takes twice as long but teaches him a valuable lesson, right?), put the diaper back on the baby again, clean up all the shredded cheese she threw on the floor and rewind the movie to the funny part one more time before my husband walks in the door.

Dinner is ready. Everyone is happy.

I sing my own praises as I bite into my pizza.

I am Wonder Woman! I am a hero! I AM GOD!

I – I forgot the onions. I am mortal.

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