Momma Bear

It was another round of dental pain for my Dagmar today with a trip to the oral surgeon to have all four wisdom teeth surgically removed.

You would think that after all she went through last winter getting her dental implants that this would be a breeze. After all – can it get any worse than having someone screw titanium screws into your jaw bone?


Jan drove her the 2 hours to her appointment, sat with her before surgery and during recovery.  He even drove her straight home with no side trips to Menards!

As soon as they got home – “Momma Bear” took over. My poor baby with the swollen cheeks and pain filled eyes.

With her chipmunk cheeks stuffed with gauze, she communicated with grunts and hand signs.

When she handed me three potatoes I deduced that she wanted then mashed. Momma Bears just know those things. So I peeled them, cooked them, and mashed them – extra creamy with lots of butter.

Later, as her pain meds kicked in, she got more talkative.

“Mom could I have some water?”

“These pills are really wonderful!”

“Mom, tapioca pudding sounds so good right now!”

What? I didn’t see that one coming! I have never made tapioca pudding in my life! I’ve never even served it on my table. I’m not sure where or when she has even tasted it!

Hmmm….maybe it’s the oxycodone speaking.

But if my baby bear wants tapioca pudding, she’s gonna get tapioca pudding.  Good thing there was some tapioca pearls in the cupboard left-over from some pie-baking adventure.

One recipe search on Google and an hour and half later, tapioca pudding is cooling in the fridge.

“Oh Mom, this is so good!”

Score one for Momma Bear!

“Mom, I am so hungry for grits.”

Um, grits?

“Really creamy with lots of butter and maple syrup”

I’ve never made grits before in my life. I don’t even like grits.

I think I see a pattern here.

Momma Bear is going to get a work out.

I think I’m going to go count the pain meds.

And remove the bloody wisdom teeth from the kitchen table.

This could be a long evening.


The Art of Subterfuge in Mothering

This morning as I whipped up some apple, pear, banana fruit smoothies for my children and watched them guzzle them down, I got to thinking.

Now I realize that thinking that early in the morning can often be dangerous, as my brain is not fully activated yet. But my idea seemed like such a good one- are you ready? I could hide other fruits and vegetables in their smoothies!

It was brilliant!

Just think about the vegetables that could be blended right in!  Even my pickiest eater wouldn’t be able to pick them back out again!

Think about the nutrients my kids would unknowingly consume! Frozen peas, carrots, green beans, celery… no, wait…those are too normal. What about broccoli or kohlrabi or Brussels sprouts?  I know- tomatoes!

Some mothers seem to get away with it on a regular basis.

My sister-in-law Julie cooks up a vegetable medley that she hides in almost everything. Her meatballs are so packed with vitamins they should have a warning label. “Beware: These meatballs are extremely healthy and will make you as strong as Popeye.”

My friend Cinnamon concocts a smoothie for her children that includes spinach! Yes, spinach. And they drink it?! As if any of my kids would voluntarily drink something green.

Ahh yes- that brings us to the heart of the matter. When tricking kids into eating something healthy it must be well-hidden.

How could I possibly disguise the color and smell of say, spinach. It tends to be quite green no matter what you do with it.

Believe me I know. My Mom was always trying to hide things from us. Didn’t always work though. Her most famous cooking story remains “The Legend of the Green Fish Loaf.”

She had discovered a recipe for a fish loaf using canned salmon and spinach. She decided that she would just throw the spinach in the blender with the other ingredients and hide it. We would never know it was there!

She learned that spinach cannot be disguised. It turned the entire salmon loaf green.

We rushed to the table in anticipation of supper and there IT sat.  All green and bubbly with cheese on top. I wish we would have taken pictures of our faces as we sat around the table looking at IT.

IT went over like the proverbial lead balloon. Poor Mom has never been able to forget it. (Being the good children that we are, we keep reminding her.)

No, I realize now that such thinking is quite dangerous. There is an art to subterfuge as a mother, and I definitely have a lot to learn about it!

Hey, I still have a kid who can pick out ground up onions in a meatball.  Maybe I should send him to Aunt Julie’s for awhile….