Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Pizza Box

So I’ve been at this parenting thing for four years now (five if you count pregnancy) and have to tell you:  it’s a demanding gig.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to pieces, but it’s like doing a job you love while being on call 24/7, without weekends, vacations or sick leave. The fact that my children fill my life with heartwarming wonderment doesn’t meant I don’t long to sleep in every once in a while or pee by myself.

It’s especially rough when you’re trying hard to be a good parent, because 1) you never get any promotions, raises, or ego-boosting progress reports, and 2) no matter what you do, your choices WILL be criticized (“You actually let your daughter RUN AROUND WITHOUT SHOES? Well, with that kind of blatant disregard for social standards, I guess we’ll have YOU to thank for draining our tax dollars when she ends up in prison. Now ex-squeeze me while I spend my weekend dancing and drinking to oblivion while you’re scraping dried rice off the wall.”)


I had surgery recently. Nothing major or life-threatening, but it does mean I can’t use my shoulder muscles to pick up anything heavy for several weeks, which is a problem when you have two 30+ pound toddlers running around the house. I can’t lift them into car seats or grab them before they dive off the roof.

My parents have very generously offered to drop them off at preschool then look after them until my husband picks them up after work while I’m recovering.

So my kids are getting lots of grandma and grandpa time, which looks something like this:

There are lots of princess dresses and fancy cupcakes involved


It also means that I’m getting the first “Me-Time” I’ve had in 4+ years, unless you count those few days I was in the hospital squeezing out Bridget. Which I don’t.

And what does Me-Time look like?

It ain’t pretty, folks.

Normally, I’m the kind of mom that buys organic meat and vegetables for home-cooked meals that I expect everyone to sit down at the table to eat. Yes, THAT kind of mom.

I did pre- and post-natal yoga, breastfed and blended my own baby food (with dashes of cinnamon) and cook elaborate meals that my kids stare at as though expecting exploding worms to come wriggling out of them. I know my husband secretly thinks I’m crazy for all the effort and sometimes I suspect he’s right, especially when scraping said meals off the floor.

It’s a lot of work, so I was really looking forward to the break, when I would finally get a chance to meditate and exercise and read all of those good books that had been piling up. Because that’s what I thought my vacation would look like.

What does it actually look like? Me sleeping in late for two weeks straight while wearing sweats, popping painkillers, and cramming rice krispie squares into my face-hole.

My week looked like this

Yep, you read that right. This has been a nonstop slumming marathon of Doc Martin episodes, video games and leftover Halloween candy.

Also writing. As a freelance writer, I’m always trying to stuff paragraphs in-between colorful episodes of child whimsy, so I was looking forward to writing without distraction.

Instead, I’ve ended up blogging every day because it’s fun.

So fun, in fact, that when my stomach starts making outrageous demands about getting something to eat, it really ticks me off.

I’m in The Zone.  I’m emptying out this emotional backlog and don’t want to stop what I’m doing for tedious crap like feeding myself. Know your place, belly. Don’t tell me what to do.

When my brain starts getting foggier and head begins to pound, though, I realize I have to do something. But I can’t be bothered to do anything as elaborate as smearing peanut butter on a slice of bread. Instead, I end up grabbing sodas or leftover snickerdoodles because they mean quick sugars, the fastest route to shutting my stomach the hell up, with the least effort.

It’s been ugly, like that scene in Chocolat where the Mayor is all Puritanical about chocolate-eating until he loses his sh1t one night and is discovered in the chocolate shop window the next morning, passed out and smeared in chocolate.

So today, feeling a little guilty about treating my body like a back-alley dumpster, I decided to step things up a notch by heating up some frozen food for lunch. Digging through our freezer, I discovered some stuff my husband bought for quick meals.

Pizza for aviators

I decided on a bunch of Red Baron mini pepperoni pizzas (made with pork, chicken, AND beef) and figured I’d take the high road by actually heating them up in a conventional oven instead of popping them in the microwave like an animal.


I flipped the box over to read the instructions, whereupon the box told me to slap the pizzas on a cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 16 to 18 minutes. But here’s the thing: it says I can cook four pieces at a time OR the full eight pieces.

What kind of control-freak crap is this, pizza box?

Cooking four is okay. Cooking eight is okay.

But five? SIX?

In six lies madness.

Don’t tell me what to do, pizza box.





21 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Pizza Box

    1. This is true. The pizzas are all Barbie-sized, so I felt like a ravenous giant raiding a Barbie village.

      Writing time is awesome, and there are so many video games you can’t play in front of kids (what with the exploding limbs and explosions).


      1. Now that is funny. I can just you from the Toy Story perspective in slow motion seeming like a giant eating a giant pizza.

        Yeah, I had a little valuable writing time this weekend, because my wife and son were at Disney and my daughter is introvert like me so we just did an introvert weekend where we hardly talked to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If I were slightly crazier, I might’ve put the pizzas in my daughters’ dollhouse so I could stare through the windows and pizza-snatch.

          I may be going a little stir crazy.

          Introvert? I think I’m just left of center. How old is your daughter?

          My kids are both under five, so there isn’t much quiet to be had. My 3 year old will literally not stop talking for hours on end, lol


          1. My kids are 8 and 11. Great ages. You can leave them at home, they sleep through the night, and if you ever have an off day, you could go the whole day and not even talk to them. Well, my daughter anyways. My son is like your daughter. Non stop talker.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I look forward to it! Many people seem to like having infants best, but while I loved my kids when they were infants, they are all lot more fun now. Infants scream all day.

              I’m guessing I’ll love ages 4 through 12 🙂


  1. Me-time is a rare blessing, my dear ( I don’t need to tell you that.) The children are the light of our lives, but they don’t seem to understand that we Big People don’t possess the same unflagging stamina they do.
    I commend you, and plan on heading to the store to buy those delectable mini-pizzas – though I shouldn’t, at my age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right! Having kids was the best thing that ever happened to me, but it’s hard to catch your breath sometimes. We need to recharge on occasion.

      Funny, this post ended up advertising Red Baron pizzas (“Red baron pizza, the next best thing to binge on after Netflix marathons!”)

      Ha, I don’t think people of any age should be eating these things, but we have to have a little fun 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed. Somehow, in today’s society, ‘fun’ has been misconstrued as something to be discouraged, particularly in adults. A shame.
        Keep coming up for air, my dear, and hold your children with all the love you can rally -they’ll be choosing your nursing home later, you know. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So true. Maybe this is why so many people cling to childhood: adulthood seems so cheerless.

          There’s a saying about all this: “give the devil his due.” Love that saying.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “Give the devil his due”… yes, that is a good one, and apt. I practically invented that phrase in 1974. I was 31 and still thought I was 21- you find yourself hard-pressed to find redeeming qualities in men of that age and mentality .
            Fortunately, I came around. I hope.:)

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’ve heard so many men say this! That very young men are frightening, but tend to mellow with age.

              They do seem more reasonable after growing up a bit (of course, it always depends on the individual). Very young men often seem like cyclones of id and wanton destruction 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. You would be right on both counts, my dear. Young men, I’m afraid, are a veritable mess, and rather self-centered. As you mentioned there is still hope -on a case by case basis.
                As for id, I was the Wizard of Id ( I say this jokingly, yet it was perhaps some of my darkest times in life).
                My dear, I apologize for “age-dropping”. Nobody wants to hear how I roamed with dinosaurs.:/

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Well it seems you have had the full experience… Crazy times then moments of greater reflection. I believe women mellow out as well, though maybe not always so dramatically. 🙂

                  Dinosaur tales can be quite informative. Wisdom comes from experience

                  Liked by 1 person

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