Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Pretend Zen

It was the morning of the big Girl Scout meeting and I was a little worried my smile and the world smiles with you approach might fall short. I decided to call in the big guns, or more precisely the 'pretend I'm on Prozac' approach where (as I imagine it) problems, big and small, are no problem at all.

The girls arrived and crowded around my kitchen table to prepare their shopping lists. When I told them they'd be doing their shopping by themselves they had lots of questions:

"Can we stop and get the free cookie?"
"Should we buy organic ingredients?"
"Do we each get our own shopping cart?"

My answer in Prozac-inspired style: "Good questions! I think you should come to your own consensus." A consensus was quickly reached about the free cookie (no surprises there) but there was a little more discussion about the second two issues.

At the grocery store, my fellow sister leader and I had the pleasure of watching from the front of the store as the girls trailed up and down the aisles. It was surprisingly amusing to watch them search for taco seasoning in the cookie aisle. After 45 minutes they had collected their ten ingredients, calculated the cost (discovering in the process that organic costs more) and we checked out and headed home.
The girls went to work. Milk was spilled. Eggs were cracked, sometimes in the bowl and sometimes on the counter. My kitchen floor developed a coating of cocoa powder and flour that combined with the few chunks of hamburger meat that had flipped out of the pan.

"Ewwww," said the girls. "That's disgusting."

"Yes," I agreed, still on my pretend Prozac. "Someone should probably clean it up before you step in it. It'll be really gross if it gets on your socks."

They stared at me blankly for a moment. Then one of them grabbed the cleaning spray and another grabbed the paper towels.

Onions were chopped. Tears were shed. The decision was made to wear goggles to protect from onion fumes. The jury is still out on whether it was effective.

My husband ventured in from outside where he was hanging Christmas lights just in time to witness one Girl Scout wielding my Sabatier cleaver over the head of another Girl Scout.

"Umm, honey, do you think they should use those knives?!?"

I could see the panic in his eyes but I held on tight to my pretend Prozac zen. "Girls, remember, those knives can cut through bone," I said and calmly took a sip of tea.

After several hours we all sat down, happily unmaimed, to a delicious lunch of tacos, cornbread and chocolate pudding cake. We were a little behind schedule, but hey, timing IS one of the hardest things to get right in cooking. As for me, dare I say it? I had FUN! Smile and the world smiles with you. Fake it 'til you make it. Or maybe, just pretend you're on Prozac and the zen will follow!
It was all edible! Some of them even wanted seconds.


Hart Johnson said...

Yeah... better you than me... erm. I do think, though, those things can be more fun evaluated from the back side, rather than during. It's very good of you to have done all this.

Beylit said...

The girls wearing the goggles to avoid onion tears is adorable. Tell them next time to hold something like a matchstick in their teeth, it helps prevent the tears. I actually think it is just the fact that at that point you are breathing through your mouth and not your nose, but you know it is a thought. Goggles are cute though.

Sarah Tokeley said...

I am in awe of your little island of serenity :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

As long as no one got hurt (and the food was edible) I'd say it was a big success!

Jo Schaffer said...

Hahaha! Pretend Prozac! (=

Weaver said...

Oh, I've been a Brownie leader before. Loved it. Hated it. Usually all in the same instant. =D

"My answer in Prozac-inspired style"


Jenny S. Morris said...

My favorite part is that they asked if they should buy organic. So cute. Oh, and the goggles are funny. Once again you are a brace soul. ;0)

Johanna Garth said...

Hart, It's more required than good but I'll totally take the props!

Beylit, good advice. Next pic will be of them holding matches in their teeth;) Everyone's mom will LOVE me!

Sarah, it's truly awesome. If only I could hold on to it all the time.

Alex, yes, no injuries thankfully!

So Donna, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Jenny, you have to admit that's very Portlandia, right!

Tracy said...

I totally want some of those goggles! Only I'm going to wear them all the time, for all my cooking. Thankfully, for my husband anyways, that's not that much.

I do admire your ability to not freak out about the cleaver thing. That truly is zen!

jenny milchman said...

OMG, you are brave. Thank goodness I'm only up to Brownies. They can't cut through bone--yet.

That had me laughing. You kick it with that Zen-like calm, girl.

Anonymous said...

whoa, "pretend I'm on Prozac" might really work for me! I'm up next leading these girls and I already am the 'not fun one', so I'm stressed! Rach

The Bookworm said... nice. It looks like your 'pretend I'm on Prozac' approach worked well :)
I do need to try that goggles trick with chopping said...

This was a fun post.

Please let me know when the jury reaches its verdict. I always wondered if there's anything I can do to stop onion induced tears.


Talei said...

Zen and Prozac, I might need some of that now. Sounds like a fun time was had! ;-)

Johanna Garth said...

Tracy, I LOVE the idea of wearing goggles during cooking

Jenny, not yet...just wait!

Rach, your the cookie mom. That's guaranteed fun!

Naida, it was like some crazy mind over matter thing!

Robyn, I'm pretty sure the goggles didn't work but someone else suggested a match between the teeth!

Talei, it was (surprisingly) fun!

Kathleen Barker said...

These times are treasures of the future for you and the girls.

Wendy said...

Aw, love this post. Personally, I couldn't have done it, so I say GO YOU.

When my kids want to cook I take them to grandma's house. She can handle that sort of random chaos.

I go home and put a cold rag on my forehead for an hour til it's time to go pick them back up.