Those, my friends, are the sound effects of me using "Pop Chef," the food cut-out system advertised on a bunch of kid programming these days. My soon-to-turn 11 year-old was just dying to have it for her birthday, because it would make her dream of affordable homemade edible arrangements soooo much easier.
And somehow it was I, myself, moi, me,who stayed up to 1 AM completing these delectable creations, with tiny fruit butterflies and hearts and flowers. I still have fruit residue on my hands... I'm telling you, it won't fully wash off, this evidence of the produce massacre I caused... I killed that watermelon in cold juice and just mercilessly gutted it for hours. Just have to live with that I guess. And the sticky floor that needs cleaning, again. No, I don't like cooking/food prep, why do you ask? :D In general, let alone using an ineffectual toy I idiotically bought... for hours. While exhausted. I see it all in my dreams now...
Yep, I ended up doing it myself, without the kids... and on a side note this is why--though I love animals, though they beg me, though I'm just certain I am somehow ruining their characters by thus depriving them--I ain't gettin' no pet till the youngest is... I dunno, would you say 20 sounds good? Okay, fine: I will totally buy a hairless creature that doesn't poop or use water once I find it, I promise. Anyone with me here? :)
But yeah, in general I'm a nice mom, particularly around birthdays, and dubious as I was (and apparently should have been) I got the %$&*#*! gadget. My husband went to the grocery store with her and purchased a watermelon, honey dew, cateloupe, pineapple, two mangoes, and six kiwi. He then with supportive thoughts sat down to watch European football, leaving me holding the peeler with two hyper tweens bouncing around the kitchen.
I carefully dispatched each piece, peeling so as only to take a small amount of my own skin, handing the eager girls precut and prepared pieces for them to punch. (ooo alliteration alert, hee hee)
And they had sooo much fun for the first 9 minutes... I mean, just a blast! But then it became apparent that "Pop Chef" was imperfect. It had flaws. The stupid balloon piece meant to "blast" your cut fruit through the cutter was, to be kind, pathetic. (Pfft pfft.) If you had a thinner piece at the peak of ripeness yeah, it "popped/dropped" out. But try anything thicker and you had to take extreme and violent measures to extricate your perfect flower mango from that blasted thing.... which in the end leaves you with a mangled mango. (Btw, I've never worked with mango in my life before... it has like stringy smooshy outside with a tough fibrous core. Is there a secret to this? UGH!)
As I worked on past midnight, doggedly determined to have something to show (Arranged! In a friggin vase!!) for the purchases, time, and mess of it all, I thought, and discarded, the idea that my children were ungrateful. They're just kids, I reasoned. They had thanked me profusely, but were disappointed and tired and had to go to bed anyway... Time will teach them what to value. I comforted myself that, really, this all was a valuable lesson in the untrustworthiness of advertising. I thought, and accepted, the idea that making the best of a unpleasant situation was a worthwhile endeavor.
I finished the arrangement. I had only skewed myself three times. Exhausted, I stuck it in the fridge.
The next morning, in great glee, my daughter grabbed it in haste and.... spilled perfection all over the floor.
She teared up. Oh no... I don't think so!!! No worries honey. Momma's got this. With grim determination (me vs fruit now, all out war) I picked up the scattered skewers, washed the pieces, and stuck em' right back on. Okay, a little more soggy and rumpled then before, but otherwise, good as new, right? Yeah, sure! Ignoring my pains of arrangement the night before, I thrust the drippy sticks into the vase, into my daughter's hands, and directed her out the door to share with her friends, who merrily devoured them.
In 9 minutes.
I think someday my girls will look back fondly and remember mom's labor of love here. Hmmm.... Till then, save your money, and eat fruit whole, with peels on! More fiber that way.
And thank you, Lord, for still working patiently with me, with all my flaws, till we create something beautiful together. :) I think I can only check off some "love" and "forbearance" for today. Working to getting more into tomorrow... ;)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23