I think I might be giving birth to the second coming of Jimmy John; all I want to eat are sandwiches. Like any craving, these tend to strike at extremely inconvenient or inappropriate times, like midnight, while at church, or at 9:30 this morning. Monday is a girl-only morning; Super K. and Super P. are safely at school, so Super Toddler and I run errands because running errands with 1 child, when you have 3, amounts to a vacation. We had picked up my prenatal vitamins, gotten gas, recycled the cans, and scored an awesome deal on cat food, saving nearly 15 dollars with some clever couponing via me. I think it was this last one that made me lose my mind and go into Whole Foods.
Now, I do NOT shop at Whole Foods generally. The fact that I am thrilled about my cat food couponing should tell you why. But once, about a year ago, Awkward Dad (who doesn't share my love of the frugal) bought me a sandwich from Whole Foods. It was an amazing sandwich. Like a truly transcendent experience of fancy bread, freshly sliced roast beef, aged cheddar, heirloom tomato, and handmade mayo. I can't get this sandwich out of my head this morning. I try to talk myself out of it. I try to eat a cheese stick. I try to focus on waiting for lunch. I try to eat a graham cracker. I try to count all the money I would be saving if I didn't buy the amazingly good Whole Foods sandwich of the gods. I try to eat some raisins. I give up slightly and try other sandwich options, but, by this point, it is 10:15 and no one is open. Even McDonald's is still serving breakfast and I don't want breakfast or McDonald's. I want a sandwich. I want a sandwich. I want a sandwich.
I want a sandwich.
No, the baby wants a sandwich.
This is what I tell myself to justify walking into Whole Foods and paying $6.50 for a teeny, tiny, albeit utterly glorious looking, sandwich. I go with the turkey and provolone this time. I convince myself that I am heeding the baby's wishes. That the baby needs this overpriced turkey and provolone sandwich on artisan bread with butter lettuce and a perfectly ripe tomato in order to grow properly and achieve whatever fetus milestone he/she is working on this week. This soothes my price guilt slightly; that I am sacrificing my balanced checkbook for the sake of this growing life. And not because I am hungry and this sandwich should be in a sandwich museum; it is that beautiful.
Super Toddler and I return to the car and, since we are now 30 minutes early to pick up Super Preschooler, I settle in to enjoy my hard-won sandwich. However, the growing baby inside me doesn't appear to be the only member of the Awkward family to want a sandwich. Super Toddler calmly opens her palm and waves her little fingers in an "alright, hand it over" gesture that I really really want to ignore. I don't want to share my sandwich with her. I want to eat every last bite of this gorgeous and startlingly expensive creation by myself. Isn't it enough that I have what amount to a parasite in me that is going to take all the nutrients from this feast and leave my hips with all the fat and carbs? Isn't it enough that my children take all my sleep, money, worry, time, energy, focus, and love? Does she really have to take my sandwich too? I can't remember a meal I have eaten in the past 5 years that I wasn't sharing with someone, be they inside or outside of my body. Do I really have to share this with her?
Well, I think you all know the answer to this, Readers. I gave her half the sandwich. Half of a beautiful, lovingly constructed, delicious sandwich that she proceeded to dismantle, as she ate the meat, threw the tomato at me, gave the bread to some birds outside, and wiped the lettuce and any lingering mayo on the window. It hurt to watch, so I tired not to. I, instead, tried to focus on the lovely half-sandwich that I now had. I ate it and it was gone far too quickly, leaving me tons of time to focus on the important things; 1.) That encouraging sharing in my children through my own example might be difficult but ultimately worth it to shape generous, thoughtful, and harmonious human beings who will better the world with their mere presence. 2.) What I am going to eat for lunch? 3.) Can I wait until Super Toddler's nap time to eat lunch or is it too gross to eat in the bathroom while telling them all that Mommy just needs a little "private time?"
Like saying no to this face is ever really an option.
I don't think so.