I’ve never been particularly handy with anything other than a remote control or a pen. I’ve just always found ways to scare myself out of using a drill to hang pictures or fix things on my own. My moral compass of feminism is going fucking haywire but, I am woman enough to confess that I leave the drilling to my husband. I’m a worst case scenario kind of girl; I can worry my way out of just about everything, which worked for me for a while in my single days. But then, kids came a-meddling.
At first, becoming a stay at home mom with a new baby meant just taking care of the baby’s needs while lightly maintaining myself and keeping our house from becoming a hoard.
Four years and three kids later I find myself wanting to move on to bigger and better projects and take the initiative on “Things” that are more useful and hands-on than a sink full of dirty dishes. I want to use my brain for more than Bravo marathons and diaper changes, if for nothing else than to prove that I can. So once in a while I get a bug. The bug crawls up under my skin and creeps its way into my brain. Once I contract a bug the only cure for the craving is to spontaneously begin a project or create some change. Usually my house serves as my canvas.
But as aforementioned, I’m not going to be the girl who can build you a bathroom, fear of electrocution and whatnot.
So I start small.
I pick some familiar task I saw on HGTV or something that sounds easy, like how I started painting my deck a week ago.
*Sounds* easy (raucous laughter), but it probably won’t be finished until October.
Sometimes I pick a soft open, something I used to do well. For instance; making baby food. Delilah, my main chunk, is six glorious months old now, and technically her pediatrician would like her to start solids soon anyways.
Bolstered by reasoning I adamantly decided I’d make a batch of blueberries, because that was the only thing I had on hand without a stitch of fuzzy mildew and I have this delusion that we will use what we have before we buy more. Unless I’m buying lipstick, or shoes, or yoga pants.
Motherhood is full of duplicity.
I began by digging the blender out of the pantry and cleaning the dust off of the little guy. It’s a cute blender with an impish little smiling face painted on. “Hi, just your friendly blender here, ready to fortify your feelings of accomplished homemaking skills”.
I can harken back to having my first child, the last time I attempted to make baby food and keep on-trend with all the good moms who care too much about their children to give them preservatives.
It’s been a dogs age since I’ve cared that much.
Memory serving intact, we must first cook the berries. So out with the sauce pot, and in with the berries. I heat the stove to simmer and now someone is already whining. Attention must be paid to whatever melee awaits in the other room where the children are free-range eating grain off the floor. (Aw, my homestead).
I return to the pan to find that I’ve missed the place between whole berries and burnt mush. Oh delight. I’m sure my baby is going to love the Cajun-char of berries for her first food. Her palate is probably quite sophisticated what with all the wine and Cliff Bars I consume. So I just do what anyone who can’t stand to waste a whole pint of berries would do, and I add water to the pan and reconstitute. My outdated, depression-era guilt-laden frugality has finally paid off after all these years. We have edible mush. IT’S ALIVE.
Now just pour it into the blender, a clean Mason jar is on deck and ready for what I think is called canning. (But my head needs to call it “jarring”, amiright?)
I should have expected nothing less than the blistering burn of imperfection that ensues whenever I make an attempt to stray from my normal, stagnant place in the household.
I don’t know where everything starts to go wrong, if I can’t trust my smiley blender than who can I trust? This world is a cruel place. I still maintain I did nothing to deserve what I got next. No justice I say.
Berries in blender, check.
Lid on the blender, check.
Hand on the lid on blender, check.
The obnoxious whirr of the blender and then the…
My hand is burning, what bloody massacre has occurred? Sacre Bleu!
My kitchen is purple, my hand is stinging! The lid is still on the blender and my hand is still on the lid and yet there is purple blueberry hell fire seeping out over the edges of the blender, oozing onto the counter tops like Ghostbusters slime and it’s creating the prettiest purple puddles. And my face, and neck, and my kitchen are all splattered with murdered blueberries. I don’t know how many times I can kill one pint of blueberries but I’m pretty sure we’re getting close to the edge now.
After washing my hands and toweling off the counters I am able to assess how much baby food has survived what I’ve tried to do to it. After pointlessly adding it to my Mason jar I can measure about four ounces. The fruits of my labor; four pathetic ounces of blueberries.
Lo, it seems I forgot that I have living children in the house where I am trying to be a better failure of a housekeeper, and I round the corner to check on the kids in the play room, to find this majestic shit going down:
I would have been better off sticking my blueberries into a cocktail.
There are parenting short cuts for a reason, and I’ll burn my baby food blender in effigy to the struggle.
Learn from me, buy your jars and just lie to whoever you’re trying to impress and say it’s homemade.
But if you think this incident with homemade baby food appeased the gnawing need I had to create something, you would be wrong.
Someday I’ll tell you about that time I showed up with a twelve foot pool on a ninety degree day and true to form, I totally didn’t nail that either.