The big one, Charlie, nattering away in the background, “I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m hungry,” all the while the little one, Ray, desperate for hugs, clinging to my legs and shaking me as hard as he might, “Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!”
What I meant to do was dash down the steps to the garage because I’m meant to be at the primary school to help build masts and sails for a kids’ art project and I’m meant to bring the tools and plans and mill the donated timber to the correct dimensions and time’s running short, very short, and …
so I picked up Ray and carried him down the stairs to the garage, where I hefted the tools into the car one handed. Chucked some wood scraps in, collected some safety gear because nobody will bring their own I know. Tool box. Spare batteries. Charlie’s coming along, so a soccer ball and a water bottle.
In my head, it’s chaos.
In reality, it’s also chaos.
Back up the steps to the ongoing drone “I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m hungry,” Ray having now spotted his bike, he’s on repeat “MY BIKE! MY BIKE! MY BIKE!”
Times have now turned truly desperate, so to the ingredient list:
- Pam’s Frozen Chicken Burgers
Among the virtues of this dish are:
- Frozen chicken burgers are easily prepared one-handed, leaving another hand to cradle a clingy child.
- They cook quickly if you ignore the directions on the bag and set the oven to “burn the fucking chicken if you must but cook fast goddamnit”!
- No child has ever complained about sodium and MSG-laced processed chicken. Shitty food. No fuss.
- Set the desired number of chicken burgers on a cooking sheet.
- Place the cooking sheet in the middle of the oven.
- Use grill / top heat, and a convection fan if your oven has one, set to 180 degrees C.
- Survive seven minutes of droning and desperation.
Why frozen chicken burgers? Let me explain. My seven minutes were spent as follows:
“Dad can you help me build a BMX ramp?”
“Yes soon, but I have Ray right now and I just put your chickens in and Ray’s not happy right now for some reas — — –”
You see, Ray’s had an ear infection and he’s been on antibiotics. You know what those do to little tummies?
“Dad, I really need you. I found Ray’s bag of hammers. I need the ramp for school. Is my bike ready? I’m still hungry.”
[exasperated after a new discovery] “Hang on! Please! While I clean this diarrhoea off my sleeve!”
This is the mechanical chaos of children, devolved to pure entropy.
My sleeve will one day recover. My humanity is quite another matter.
And that. THAT is why you ALWAYS keep a bag of frozen chicken burgers handy. Use them wisely when your survival hangs in the balance.
(I also suggest keeping a powerful clothes detergent close at hand, because it’s never just YOUR sleeve that suffered a diarrhoea splat. That shit came from somewhere, and it too will need a good old fashioned scrubbing.)