Stickers, box macaroni and cheese, and cherry limeade (oh yeah, and spaghettios too)

Rewind. 1987 or thereabouts. I’m not sure if I ever actually wrote “stickers” on my grokkery list in those days. I don’t think I had to because Lizard Breath wouldn’t let me pass the sticker aisle over at the Westgate Kroger. We had to buy two (count ’em) packages of stickers every time we went there. No, I don’t remember what she did with all those stickers. Yes, they were expensive but I was a pushover. Whaddya mean, your grokkery store didn’t have a sticker aisle?

Forward just a bit. 1992 maybe? It was summer and the Rotgutski kids (no, of COURSE that’s not their real name) were staying with their grandparents next door and all the kids were running back and forth between houses. At lunchtime, they all trooped in my back door. Max was wielding a box of that orange fluorescent macaroni and cheese. I hated that stuff even when I was a kid back in the Jurassic Age, therefore, my kids had not encountered it yet. I had been thinking that peanut butter sandwiches would make a fine lunch and I told the kids I wouldn’t cook that box. That was okay with them. They took the box over to “Papa” next door and he cooked it for them. After that, fluorescent orange macaroni and cheese was definitely on my grokkery list. I have *never* eaten any of that stuff but I spent plenty of time cooking it. Oh, by the way, I love “Papa” anyway.

Fast forward just a bit. I am one of those nuts who actually likes to do bookkeeping work and I had happily taken on the elementary school PTO’s mess. It was worse than I could ever have believed. The checkbook hadn’t been balanced in something like five years and both the IRS and the school principal were breathing down my neck. I spent about a week submerged in untangling the mess. Disengaged parenting? Getting to a breathing point, I emerged into the Landfill Chitchen and realized that somebody had cooked spaghettios. Who? I was the only adult home and I didn’t do it. Okay, I guess a 10-year-old who’ll be starting middle school in a couple weeks can cook spaghettios. Or shy-shows, as she used to call them.

Fast forward more. College and high school kids. I don’t know what got me onto cherry limeade (also known as Frog Juice around here). I actually think I first thought that my brother would like it. I don’t remember if he did or didn’t but it sure took off with the teenage set. One morning after Mouse had friends over, I got up and went into the Landfill Chitchen and found TWO empty half-gallons of that stuff. Heck, at least they weren’t drinkin’ our Kaintucky bourbon, roight?

I was at the Jackson Road Meijer grokkery store early this morning and I didn’t have a list so I was trawling along through the aisles hoping in vain that all the things I needed would jump off the shelves into my cart. I was passing the frog juice (cherry limeade) and my memories just about melted me down. It wasn’t so much that I wish my kids were still small or that I could go back to those days exactly. It was more that I can’t believe how fast time has gone. You have your first baby and you don’t know doodly-squat about raising children. I didn’t, anyway. Other peoples’ mileage may vary on that. You reinvent the wheel over and over again and you have some success. You make mistakes too. I certainly did. Some of the typical mistakes that most parents make and some unique Kayak Woman mistakes too. And then about the time you think you have it figured out, they are grown up and gone and you aren’t making fluorescent orange macaroni and cheese any more. Your one chance to bring up your children is over and sometimes they are even telling you what to do. And sometimes they are actually right! And yes, I did re-write this and yes, it’s a lame ending but I think it is a wee bit less lame than the drivel I wrote last night.

Oh, I did buy some Easter candy, now that the Halloween candy is finally gone. Should I send some to Cali?

3 Responses to “Stickers, box macaroni and cheese, and cherry limeade (oh yeah, and spaghettios too)”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I’m trying to figure out if I should make Easter baskets or who is even going to be home or where we’re going/what we’re doing. My MIL usually hosts it, but she is too sick to go anywhere. It’s all completely up in the air at the moment. Right now I’m leaning toward sending the girls cards with money in them and if they can come down, great. The cherry limeade sounds refreshing, as long as it’s not too heavy on the cherry. I love cherry pomegranate crystal light, but am not normally a fan of cherry. Glad you didn’t cry in the store because that would most certainly be the end of the world. 😉

  2. isa Says:

    If I don’t eat it I know someone who will, initials Z.R. His mum doesn’t buy, and therefore won’t send Easter candy. 🙂

  3. Dona Says:

    Kraft mac-n-cheese was a staple in our house. I’ve since graduated to organic Annie’s brand, but for a while it was just about the only thing the whole family would eat. (Although I do know how to make mac-n-cheese from scratch no one but I liked it.