Turns out, I needed that bout of fussing. As soon as I wrote that piece, things started looking on the up and up. After what feels like weeks of below-30 weather, we got a balmy day. Cloudy, yes, but almost warm. I did piles of laundry and hung them on the line. Three of the kids went outside (no shoes, even) and played for an extended period of time. Two psychology students from the local university came to play with my little ones. (It’s for a basic developmental psychology class—I let them play with my kids and they give me a break. It’s what I call a win-win situation.) I spent some concentrated time with my older two. I had a nice chitty-chat with my mama. I had a nice chitty-chat with a friend. I made plans to go for a walk and then canceled them in favor of a trip to the library and grocery store. The new Bon Appetit came in the mail and it had a stack of brownies on the cover. Miss Beccaboo came down with a bug and turned into a bug on my living room rug. Maybe it’s not cool to say it, but I kind of like it when my kids come down with a fever and just lay there all lethargic and pathetic-like. They don’t talk, they don’t eat, they don’t fuss, then don’t make messes. Is this taking The Pollyanna Approach too far? Perhaps, but it’s true.
This is where Pioneer Woman and I differ. Up until this point, we are exactly the same, but when it comes to sick children? Not so much. Ree says, and I quote, “...[When you know] that at any given moment, you’d remove any harmful microbe from their body and inject it into yours? That’s when you know you’re a mama.”
Actually, no thanks. I get her point, and I imagine that would be true for me if we were talking about some really serious illness, but for just the common cold? Or a stomach flu? No way, Jose. I much rather it’d be them than me. Little kids handle illness way better than grown-ups. Plus, when I go down, everyone and everything suffers. It’s not cost effective for me to get sick.
Let me just be clear here, serious illnesses are no walk in the park. I’m only talking all nonchalant about non-serious illness. The bad stuff? Heaven forbid. I am not a callous mom. Take this story, for example:
Once Miss Beccaboo had a high fever and couldn’t move her head, and I freaked and tore into the ER. This was back when she was four or five and her temperature was sky-high. Even when the mercury was at the top of the thermometer (!), we still hesitated (I'd made far too many routine-disrupting trips to the doctor only to get the yeah-it’s-probably-just-a-virus verdict), preferring to make several calls to the doctor on call (who didn’t say “come in”). But after a couple days of raging fever, she couldn’t/wouldn’t open her eyes, her body was all stiff-like, and then—horrors of horrors—she failed my touch-your-head-to-your-chest test. (I have several tests to see if an illness is severe: can you stand upright and walk without limping? Yes? Then it’s probably not appendicitis. Can you touch your chin to your chest? Yes? Then it’s probably not meningitis.) That’s when I split for the hospital.
It was a horrible couple hours. The ER doctor, his face tense, hovered. This, his close attention, both terrified and comforted us. White blood counts were soaring. There was a brutal spinal tap. I cried my eyes out in the waiting room, certain she was dying. She lived, obviously, thankfully. It was just (though not “just,” as we learned) a case of pneumonia, one without any of the typical symptoms.
Good heavens. This post has no point. Except to say I’m feeling better. There will be fresh library books to read. I’ll belly dance with renewed vigor. I’ll—
Oh, YES! Now I remember the point. I was going to list off all the ways that my day got better and then culminate with the big highpoint (is that redundant to say “culminate” and “highpoint” in the same sentence?), which is, THE COOKIES I MADE!
(So maybe I was going through chocolate cream pie withdrawal after all?)
After posting my whiny post, I got an email saying that so-and-so was now following me on twitter (not because of my whiny post, I assume). I clicked over to that person’s blog and scrolled down. A picture of peanut butter cookies caught my eye, and the words “This recipe will be my new go-to recipe for when I must. have. cookies. NOW” jumped out at me and smacked me upside the head. I mixed them up right then and there and didn’t even read the rest of that particular post until after I had disappeared three of the gooey, warm, chocolate-y peanut butter cookies.
And then I splatted out this whole post. Sugar makes me prolific. Profound, no. Prolific, yes.
I’ve heard many good things about the flourless peanut butter cookie. While they are quite different from the classic peanut butter cookie (and those cookies certainly do have a place in the cookie choir), these little gems are definitely a keeper. They are like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups that have been turned inside out—mostly sensual peanut butter creaminess with bits of sexy dark chocolate studded throughout.
So now I’ve got a good thing going. I’m on the up and up.
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The Craving Chronicles
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Stir together the first six ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (I put mine on parchment paper, but a greased baking sheet would probably do just fine.) They should still be quite soft and just flecked with bits of brown. Allow them to set up on the baking pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
This same time, years previous: random thoughts