Last weekend, I thought I’d make something nice for dinner since we had some extra “Saturday” time. The hubs was upstairs watching THE football game (aka, his chosen one of the 6 that are on), and my daughter was fuzzied up on the couch watching Dora. (I know, I know.) She had eaten, so I anticipated a few minutes of free time to sear the steaks and get them into a hot oven.

I found my mind drifting back to the dating days when the menu/plan would have gone something like this:

6:30 – date arrives, looking and smelling perfect
6:32 – beverages are poured, flirty (no kids, eyes-on-me) conversation begins
7:00 – steaks (which have been resting for an hour at room temp) are added to a screaming hot skillet for 3 minutes per side
7:06 – steaks are popped into the oven for a 5m30second bake-off
7:06:30 – cucumbers (which have been marinating in homemade balsamic dressing since noon) are mixed with pre-chopped baby tomatoes, goat cheese, and freshly minced onion
7:07 – beverages are refilled, perhaps for the second time
7:08 – salad and side are plated
7:11:30 – steaks are removed from oven and set aside to rest for precisely 5 minutes
7:16:30 – steaks are plated, parsley sprinkled
7:17 – dinner is served

Well, as we say in the south, bless my heart, because here’s how dinner went down last night.

6:30 – hubs is heard upstairs screaming expletives at the football game, which my daughter promptly (and gleefully) repeats. You’ve never heard “that’s what I’m TALKING about. ****ing A!!” until you’ve heard it from a toddler. *Sigh*
6:31 – I scream LANGUAGE!!  up the stairs as I place steaks into hot skillet.
6:31:30 – I leave the stove to scoot the toddler back because she is too close the stove, having chosen to lie down on the kitchen floor in direct line of spatter.
6:32 – Backtalk! Daughter is placed in time out.
6:34 – Steaks are flipped; daughter is missing. Turns out she has gone upstairs to repeat expletives directly to the source. Fine.
6:36:30 – Smoke alarm goes off.
6:37 – Steaks are removed from stove. Dog is removed from pantry, where she has happily been eating hot dog buns during the smoke alarm mayhem.
6:37:15 – Smoke alarm is turned off. Happy to know it works. Happier that the scared toddler is still upstairs with daddy.
6:37:30 – Steaks are placed into oven. Toddler is rescued from upstairs, where husband is caught debating how long toddler can wait to go poopy because the most recent play is under review. (In his defense, it was a touchdown…if you’re curious, it was not overturned. Score.)
6:41 – Tapping my foot while toddler decides that she did not actually have to poopy, but would like to change into a different outfit all the same. (“NOT PAJAMAS MOMMY – just different s’orts. And my fip fops.”)
6:42 – Hands are washed, toddler is happily flailing about inside her t-shirt, which she’s swapping for a new outfit, and I am desperately searching for an oven mitt.
6:43 – Steaks are out. Am now wondering if we even have cherry tomatoes.
6:48 – Have located tomatoes. Slap steaks on a plate, chop tomatoes and cucumbers, fling in some feta because it’s already crumbled, squirt in some Italian dressing and shake the whole deal inside the Tupperware bowl with lid.
6:48:30 – Dump salad on to plates, peek outside to make sure dog is not eating the hibiscus, and yell “dinner’s ready” up the steps. Hubs comes down, takes 2 bites, grabs a beer, says “great job babe” and heads back up the steps, leaving myself and toddler to pick at our plates. (And by “pick” I mean “devour…yum.)

As I cleaned up the stove (counter, sink, floor, etc) it occurred to me – I would not change one bit of our evening so far. Except perhaps the dog eating people food…that’s going to come back to haunt us later on.