Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Grown up?

Baby Watch 2006 is in full swing. Paperbaby is here and we're waiting for MusicBaby to make his appearance at any moment. I felt this was a good time to throw in a post about growing up.

My mom was not uber health conscious while I was growing up. She never had any big rules that you had to follow upon pain of death or deprivation. So I got to eat chocolate and ice cream and juice. I didn't have to drink milk at meal times or finish everything on my plate. She was also not a complete slacker. You couldn't say you hated something if you hadn't tried it and if you were at someone else's house the No Thank You Helping rule* was firmly in effect.

She was also really good at making stuff sound good. "You sure you don't want any? OK, great, more for the rest of us!" But her true genius came out in the way she could put limits on the stuff that you craved so much you would have promised to clean the bathtub with your tongue if you could just have a bite.

This is where she came up with the 10 chip rule. If we were making chocolate chip cookies (and, after we caught on, even when we weren't) we were allowed to have a spoonful of dough or we could have 10 chocolate chips. There were special tiny fluted tin dishes she would extract from a special drawer and we were allowed to count out 10 chips from the bag into our own little dish. It was so ingenious that we'd ask for 10 chips. "May we each have 10 chocolate chips?" Not "some", not 50, not a bag full, just 10, please. OK, if we were really, really bold we'd ask for 20. And sometimes we'd get them.

This may seem silly. And looking back on it now I am sort of surprised that it worked but man, it was like getting an Oscar to be allowed the supreme indulgence of one's own serving of 10 chocolate chips specially chosen with one's own pudgy little fingers. (God's honest truth my fingers were skinny by the time this ritual ended. I remember sitting on my bed during a snow day in Junior High with Queen Bee feasting on chocolate chips out of a fluted tin cup.)The whole thing taught you to appreciate an indulgence, though. You wouldn't just toss back your whole cup full of chips in one swallow. You wouldn't chew each chip in quick succession, either. You might chew one to see how that felt. Then let one slowly melt in your mouth. See how long you could make a third last. Nibble the swirly tops off of all the rest while deciding how to finish them. The process could take half an hour, particularly if you got into a heated debate over your technique. Not an uncommon occurence.

I am a grown up now, at least according to my bank and the IRS and a couple of people who think it's a good idea to stop me for directions. My friends may not agree, and I'm more inclined to trust my friends. Here's why.

Apparently a few months ago I was in a cookie baking phase, or at least a cookie baking preparational phase, because it seems that I went to Costco and bought a 4 pound bag of chocolate chips. They have sat in my crisper (Shut it!) for months now. They were sealed and all was good.

About a week ago I needed a treat really badly and when I looked around chocolate chips were the only thing I truly wanted. I actually had the end of another 4 pound bag, it was about 20 chips. I don't have a pretty little fluted tin cup to serve them in but I'm a grown up, I don't need a tin cup, hell I'd only have to WASH a tin cup if I used it so I ate them out of the bag.

I fed the beast!**

Two days later I opened the new bag. I have no checks and balances people! No one recounts my chips. No one puts them in a bowl. No one closes the crisper and says, "Maybe you can have another 10 tomorrow." My first indication of trouble is that sort of fuzzy chocolatey feeling on my teeth and my eyeballs twitching from all that sugar. I don't do caffeine anymore so you put enough sugar in me and I'm Baby's First Tweaker. Not good. I think I've eaten a pound of chocolate chips in a week. I'm so glad I don't have a scale.

I want my mommy. ***


*Doesn't matter if you don't like it, as long as you aren't going into anaphylactic shock you can and will eat a small helping.

**10 chips to the person who can tell me where I got that phrase this week.

***Fortunately she arrives on Friday.


  1. **Ooooh! Oooooh! I know, I know, I know!!! Izzy fed the beast - TWICE!

    I'm SO holding you to the ten chips - but I want mine to come from that shop in the Village...

  2. Very good! I suspect Izzy's beast is more of a meat-eater, if you will, but I felt I could still use the phrase.

    I'll get you the good chips, promise.

    For those of you still wondering what the hell we're talking about, this is from the last couple of weeks of Grey's Anatomy. Hot Doctor Izzy had been celibate for a while but in a moment of crisis she seized opportunity and "fed the beast" with Hot Asshole Doctor Alex. Sigh.

  3. If you think plain chocolate chips are good, try a spoonful of peanut butter mixed with one to two spoonfuls of peanut butter (I use natural, with is perfect - not too sweet, but still very satisfying). Yum!

    I remember when I was a kid, my mom would let my brother and I each choose a 2 liter bottle of soda and a box of crappy candy cereal EVERY WEEK! I am horrified at the amount of sugar we consumed, but this is the same woman who would feed us those candy orange and spearmint slices (you know, sugar coated in sugar?) at the beginning of a 5 hour car drive. The woman was (and is) insane.

    My current obsession is brownies. I have been holding off on making them, but I am giving in tomorrow. AND I'm making them with M&Ms, marshmallows and probably pecans.

    So everyone "carpe cocoa"!

  4. Frantic eyeball twitch
    Never happened with caffeine~
    Breathe and count to ten

  5. Smart ass! The thing about the blessed caffeine was that you felt like you were getting so much accomplished at your incomparable rate of speed that you didn't care about the eyeball twitching.

  6. Oh, and, these comments get fed into my inbox without any indication of what entry the correspond to. Before I checked the blog I thought it was your response to the second baby announcement and I was all, "Well, it's funny with the yawning picture and all but I'm not sure I get it."

  7. Vanx, I'm in love with the fact that you post comments in haiku. I'm working on a limerick as I write this.

    Suzanne, you need to just SHUT UP about baking. You KNOW I have no means of heat transfer around here - well, at least none that are big enough to accept my brownie pan. I'm in SERIOUS brownie withdrawal, and it's just mean for you to be talking not only about browines but brownies with M&Ms AND PECANS, for the love of Jesus!! If I didn't love you so very much, I'd be calling you bad names right now. Literally - on the phone, calling you terrible names.

    The girls get to choose crappy candy cereal, as you call it - it's "junk cereal" in our house - on vacations. Sometimes I'll bring home a box just for weekends, too. I think every kid should experience a CocoPuffs high once in a while.

    Okay, here it is:

    Though twitching eyes might make her dizzy
    the sugar high keeps her quite busy
    while counting out chips
    may be good for her hips
    ten's no longer enough for Miss Kizzy.


  8. S, you know there is such a thing as a baking dish for the toaster oven. Really, there will be plenty of brownies. I am well-known for overdoing it on the quantity as well as the sugar content. And we're only two hours away. That goes for everyone else posting too. I'll make a double batch just in case....