It feels weird to admit to being really good at something that I don’t love to do. Changing diapers, for example. Not that anyone is competing and not that there’d be an easy way to measure it, but I like to think that when it comes to changing diapers, I am excellent.
Or, laundry. It isn’t so much in the perfect cleanliness of each item after it is removed from a full wash/dry cycle, but I like to think that my laundry habit is nearly excellent. For almost an entire year now, I’ve managed to wash, dry, fold, and put away all of my children’s clothes every Monday, and to wash, dry, and replace all our sheets and towels every other Thursday. (Don’t ask me about my own laundry. There’s a reason I own, no lie, 37 pairs of underwear if you count thongs, which I only do for the sake of laundry avoidance).
I’m probably not an excellent cook. I don’t love to cook or bake, but I do love to eat, and even when I go through my post-baby seasons of not eating enough, ever, I still have five other mouths to feed, one to three times daily, so it seems like a reasonable goal to excel at this chore, even though it isn’t something I do because it brings me joy.
I cook dinner for my family at least five out of seven nights a week, and mostly from scratch, though I’m not above the Pillsbury Ready-Made Pie Crust or reheating leftovers two nights in a row.
So a couple years ago I got really into making pancakes in huge batches and serving them all week for breakfast. This year, I’ve been doing the same thing with muffins. I like to play around with the ratio of healthy to tasty, and I like to add weird things like spinach remnants sometimes to see if my kids notice.
But more than anything, I like to have a big huge batch of these babies sitting in my fridge because for some reason, when there’s muffins, things are good. Just knowing they’re there, ready to go. Compact. Portable. Filling. Mostly easy to clean up. Covering more than one food group. The after-school chaos of homework plus hunger plus baby plus hunger plus the mess and the boy and the narrowing time frame before dinner plus imminent and overwhelming hunger…
I realize I appear to be one of those moms who preps and packs lunches the night before, so that my kitchen resembles a Betty Crocker centerfold at 7:17am. The real truth is we don’t even use the auto-start timer on our
crack coffee pot. Breakfast plus lunches plus morning snacks plus backpacks and coats and homework and did-you-feed-the-kitty plus she-called-me-stupid plus it-isn’t-summer-please-go-put-on-pants…
It isn’t rare to find me in my kitchen at 9:30 at night, baking.
“Honey,” John says, “Sit down. Take a break. Be done. The kids don’t need muffins.”
And he’s right. The kids don’t need muffins.
I need muffins.