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  So we’re halfway through the first week of school – hooray! My husband got a sub position for one of the three days, which isn’t too bad considering it’s week one and a bit early for teachers to be calling out in droves. My son is surviving his zero hour class so far, but I’m not sure my husband shares the sentiment, and I can’t blame him. My turn to drive my son is coming and I’m dreading it; I don’t want to be driving anywhere at 6:45am. It’s just plain wrong.

Avery loves kindergarten so far, and told her teacher as much, but went on to add that she “doesn’t like getting up early.” Her teacher apparently shares her feelings. That said, Avery goes beyond not liking getting up early; she can be damned near impossible to wake up. Today wasn’t bad, but yesterday I was forced to give up and had Chris carry her down the stairs to the couch, still snoring on his shoulder. My poor little night owl! This is a huge shock to her system… to all of our systems, actually.

One of the reasons I practically fantasize about Chris being able to give up the part-time jobs is that for the entirety of the 18 years of our lives together, he’s been the cook. It’s not that I can’t cook, I can. I actually love to bake, and I make the best chocolate chip cookies around. But cook dinner every night? No, no thank you. I hadn’t done it for 18 years and I had zero desire to start. Chris is a wonderful, enthusiastic and creative cook. Why would I want to stand in the way of that?

Then Chris started working from 4-10pm, and what I wanted flew out the window. The kids had to eat, obviously, and I’m a fan of eating myself. So after 18 years I found myself in the unwelcome position of making dinner every night. At first I was heavily reliant upon Trader Joe’s and what I happily describe as “insta-food.” I still really like it, especially when I’m exhausted and time is tight. Mixing riced cauliflower with their chicken fried rice is a new family favorite, and I can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. What I lack in creativity where meals are concerned I make up for with lightning speed! This is probably the one category where I excel that Chris does not. After all these years, he still drastically underestimates how long the process of moving food from stove to table will take. Not me; my sense of time is strong, and the desire to get the hell out of that kitchen spurs me on. I’ve gotten a lot more confident in the last three months, often making foods that didn’t come out of a bag at all. (A round of applause!) But while I’ve managed to exceed everyone’s expectations in this area (which to be blunt were not high to begin with), I’d still happily relinquish the stove. When Chris cooked, I cleaned up. It was an even exchange that suited everyone. The trouble is, Chris now gets home from work at 10:15 or 10:30pm, and then has to shower immediately (he works in the fish department). He’s not even eating dinner until 10:45pm. So I’m now the one cooking AND cleaning up. The kids are great about helping clear the table, but the rest is up to me. It’s a very large part of my evening, and I’m not a fan. I do take pride in the speed at which I can pull things off,  but mostly I’m just tired and want a break.

Speaking of which, I just spent the the evening at Chuck E. Cheese for the second time in under a week, which has to be some kind of record for me. The first was for Avery’s friend’s birthday party, and tonight was for a school fundraiser. It’s far, far from being my favorite place. The amount of auditory and visual stimulation sends my brain right to the edge. I’ve never experienced a bad drug trip (or any drug trip), but this is what I assume it would feel like.

On the bright side, I didn’t have to cook! Yay for the little things!