I had my annual performance review at work this past week. All the projects, all the hours, all the metrics were laid out in black and white. A year’s worth of work neatly packaged up and quantifiable with a boss telling me whether I did a good job or not.
It sort of made me wish parenting was as clear as the work we do at, well, work. But at home? With our kids? It’s so much trickier. It’s invisible work. We don’t know what’s working and what isn’t, what’s important and what isn’t. And we won’t know, possibly for decades.
It might be tempting to lean into the clarity of our jobs but that would only be a distraction from the real work. Important, invisible work.
It was 27 degrees, dark, with a scrim of ice over everything. I think Dash had the right idea. But the whole point of a running group is group accountability, so I headed outside and ran/skated through eight miles.
I returned to find that Dash was not second guessing his decision to stick with the couch.
He took a lot of convincing to get outside. The mean mug didn’t stop for the entire, reluctant walk.
After the winter concert, the fourth grade band is having some fun with a pep band unit.
There has been a lot of Jaws, Baby Shark, Addams Family, and Seven Nation Army.
I kept expecting one of her craft projects this week to be making a homemade t-shirt gun.
Cecilia and Trombone Santa, meanwhile, were practicing upstairs.
Not the time to try to take a nap in our house.
Not an arena t-shirt launcher, but some homemade Play-Doh recipe nostalgia.
I convinced her we could skip the quarter cup of salt if she promised not to eat the dough.
We spent the afternoon emptying Grammy and Poppy’s basement of most of the moving boxes and paper.
Ally had a lot of questions about my summers working as a moving man.
Our reward, okay, my reward for the dose of manual labor was some sake.
I have no idea why anyone would pick our town to open New England’s only sake brewery but I’m glad they did.
It usually take some convincing to get people to go, but almost everyone admits that it was much better than they anticipated. And it doesn’t take as much convincing to get them to come back.
After the late afternoon sake, we switched continents and cuisines and went with takeout burritos and some homemade nachos.
The girls are getting better at ordering in Spanish.
After dinner we had an emergency. A cookie emergency. Sometimes you just need warm cookies fast.
If this happens to you, here is what you can do to have two cookies ready-to-eat, start-to-finish in 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Melt half a stick of butter in a small saucepan until bubbling, remove from heat. Add a quarter cup of brown sugar, whisk until smooth. Add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Whisk. Add one egg yolk and a splash of vanilla. Whisk.
Combine dry ingredients (half a cup AP flour, eight a tsp baking soda, pinch of salt) then add to saucepan and stir until combined. Throw in a handful of chips. Plop onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cook for twelve minutes.
Whoops, forgot a step. Optional, but Ally insists it’s mandatory.
Dance (and do dishes) while cookies are in the oven.
Enjoy warm, gooey cookies on the couch in comfy jammies.
Not pictured: drift off to sleep full of sake, burritos, and chocolate.