I am relieved I figured it out. I was getting scared it was me.
I thought I had it for sure.
I would get in the car and look at the dashboard to see a big E for empty, and ask myself, But ... didn't I just fill the tank?
When I would open the pots and pans drawer in the kitchen, there would be my set of white measuring cups. They belonged with baking items. But what's worse, the cups were not just in there, but DUMPED in there, scattered as if someone snuck into my house and stuck a gun in my back while I was in the middle of putting away the dishes. Either that or I had lost consciousness mid-chore.
Hunting around for juice glasses suddenly became a daily part of my life. Are they here? Did I leave them in the bathroom? I always put them by the larger tumblers, but where are they now? And why aren't they where I put them in with the other glasses?
I am losing my mind.
I open kitchen cabinets and say to my kids, begging for an explanation, "I put the can opener in with the pot holders? Why?"
And then I remember whose turn it was that day to put away the dishes.
Whose turn it was to fill the gas tank.
Who shoves things in drawers then slams it boom shut quick.
When my teens empty the dishwasher, it's like watching the loudest silent "I don't give a s**t" in action. They stash things away in places that later make me feel like I'm living with early onset dementia. My kids frighten me, they make me worry about myself. Is it me doing things that bring me to question my faculties?
Like tonight, when I made meatloaf. My kids love my meatloaf, that's why I make it. Let me give you this freebie since you're already reading this anyway -- I use apricot jam. That's the secret to meatloaf loving kids. Jam magically holds the ground meat together and gives the baked loaf a sweet irresistible aftertaste. You're welcome.
I make this often-requested dinner entrée in double batches. It takes its sweet time (sorry can't help myself) early in the afternoon because I know the kids will walk in the back door crazy starved with hunger after their two hour swim practice. At 3:00 pm I pop the meatloaf in for an hour. I set the timer, run and get my one non-teenager to bring home from school, then pull out the meatloaf at 4:00 pm and set it atop the stove to let the apricot jam juices circulate and render the meat juicy and sweet. By 5:00, it has settled in and re-absorbed the jam and when the teens bring down the back door and they smell heaven in the oven, there is no future life partner for them that can compete. It will be TeamMama forever.
The only thing left to do is let the barbeque sauce simmer on the stove while I start some laundry and keep one ear open for them. But when I walk back into the kitchen to check on the special sauce, there is no meatloaf cooling on top of the stove.
And my alarm begins again. The inner dialogue of confused self questioning, Didn't I just make a double batch of meatloaf? I know I made a double batch of meatloaf. I could have sworn I did the recipe x two.
What happened to the meatloaf???
What happened, is this: My boys had come home earlier than expected and swooped in and ravaged the meat they saw on the stove. I was sorting and folding sorting and folding, the washer and dryer noisily running in the background, and both kids grabbed tablespoons and said Don't Mind if I Do and had at it with the browned and glazed brick slab of goodness.
Never mind the butter and garlic smothered potatoes, mom.
Forget the crisp green salad with cherry tomatoes from today's market.
Just a fistful of meat is all we need.
And with that, the meat was gone. Since I had made their ears bleed with years of DISHES IN THE SINK, that's where they had put their "dishes" aka the two loaf pans. Meat? Maybe once upon a time, but to my eyes, I saw no trace of what I had just spent two hours preparing. At least, I think I did.
Have I lost my mind? Do I have to make an appointment with my mother's neurologist? Didn't I make meat for tonight?
Where is the meat???
Before you begin your own down on your hands and knees APB alert for missing items and misplaced coffee mugs - and meatloaf - ask yourself: Are there teenagers in your house?
I hope, for your sake, the answer to all your mystically placed and combobulated items, is a much relief filled sigh of *yes.*
And if you need me to commiserate, I'll be here. Down on the kitchen floor, where I came to get cutting boards and instead found forks and spoons jammed in between and wondering what in Sam Hill would make me cram silverware where the cutting boards go.
I swear I put them in the silverware drawer where they belong. Didn't I?
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