Mac and Cheese Fail: How the Internet Saves the Day as I Get a Crash Course in "Soccer Mom"

Some of you may have figured out by now that I’m a nanny.  Now some people like to think that nannies are glorified babysitters, but that isn’t the case with my job.  I do a lot for the family:  take care of the kiddos, do laundry, grocery shop, cook, make sure the dogs don’t destroy the house, etc.  Basically I help keep the household running in a semi-smooth fashion (although admittedly some days it seems like I barely manage to keep the house from burning down).

Anyway, with the oldest child participating in a fall sport, the dinner routine becomes a little ookey, especially since there is a total of two hours and ten minutes from when I pick her up from the bus stop to when she should be merrily dribbling a soccer ball down the field.  That’s two hours and ten minutes to get homework done, get her ready to go, make dinner, and feed the kids–not to mention driving time.  Needless to say I’ve been thinking about meals that my mom used to make back in her Soccer Mothering days.  One evening’s choice:  Macaroni and Cheese.  Easy, right?

Wrong.  I’m an idiot and happened to make chocolate chip cookies that morning, delicious cookies that used the last two sticks of butter.  All I had left was a measly little remnant of some forgotten bit of butter, not nearly enough to cover the double batch of mac and cheese.  Better yet, I realize this five minutes after I start boiling the macaroni and five minutes before dinner needs to be on the table.

Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no I thought as I watch the macaroni boil.  My first instinct is to check the internet for a solution, but of course the computer is in the basement and I need to get the oldest ready NOW!  However, I don’t see any other solutions, so with two minutes until macaroni becomes mac-a-mush I tell the oldest she must go get dressed (adding in, “I’m sorry the homework isn’t done, you’ll just have to do it later!”) and dash down to the basements.  I throw myself into the chair, type in “substitution for butter in macaroni and cheese,” and scan the results.  I find something that seems reasonable, click off the internet, and sprint back upstairs to drain the macaroni.  As I start mixing the remaining ingredients, the oldest comes back downstairs and informs me that she’s not really fond of mac and cheese anymore.  I tell her, “Sorry, this is what we’re having,” while the voice in my head is going, I couldn’t care less at this point, just eat the stupid thing.  I’m actually sweating at this point and a little out of breath from sprinting up and down the stairs.  In my defense, it is a rather large house. 

As I finish the macaroni, I call for the kids and placed the finished meal on the table.  I glance at the clock:  5 minutes behind is right on time for soccer moms, right?  If so, we’re right on time and the kids are eating the mildly botched batch of macaroni and cheese.  We finished dinner without any further incidents and even made it to soccer practice with time to spare.  So, the life lessons of that after noon are 1) I need some more practice before I get this whole shuttling kids to extracurriculars down and 2)  If you ever are out of butter when making boxed mac and cheese, cooking oil is a good substitute.   

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