Thursday, November 12, 2009

Anyone else out there have this problem?

I.S.N Syndrome

Not a problem. Yes, of course. Not a big deal. Anytime.

Damn it, bugger it I’ve done it again. Why the flip can’t I say NO? So now I have to race like a Formula One driver to pick up someone elses kids before I collect my own. Parking will be a nightmare, it’s pouring with rain, I will have to provide healthy snacks, not the usual convenience rubbish, all children to mine, four lots of homework, four lots of unpredictable hormones and why- because Janet is going to the hairdressers. The need for her to have her roots done has sent my: night before, perfectly planned schedule spiraling into that universe called chaos.

I am not angry at Janet. I am angry at weak, pathetic me. I have always suffered from this illness. It should appear in the Medical Journals-I.S.N Syndrome (Inability to Say No).This illness clashes like Tina and Ike with my other disorder, O.C.D (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).That one minute phone call, that one, perfectly, reasonable request has turned me into a gibbering wreck. Must reorganize. Must recalculate. Think…. Oh my God, I don’t have enough car seats. What if I have an accident? “Hi Janet, sorry I have broken your children” What if the police stop me? “I know officer but, can we keep this short, I haven’t done my ironing yet and it’s on my list of things “I must do TODAY!”

It’s always been this way:-

Kate, you’ll lend Sally your Barbie, won’t you?
I’ll give her Flicker the pony too?

Kate, you don’t mind editing the school magazine do you?
My pleasure.

Kate, you have the time to organize the last minute reunion don’t you?

Kate, you’ll help take sixty, hyperactive children to the zoo won’t you?
Would love to!

Kate, could you look after our dogs, cats, tarantula and boa constrictor while we are on holiday?
Yes, you know me and animals.

Kate, would you mind bending over backwards, wrapping both legs round your neck and doing a cartwheel?
Not a problem.

Kate, any chance of you jumping off that bridge for me.
Wheeeeeee-here I go!

N. O- only two letters. I have tried, I have practiced in the mirror, (practiced it with a slight shake of the head, with an apologetic shrug of the shoulders). But the moment comes and I just say YES immediately or start burbling rubbish as to why I can’t help; and then say YES. The aftermath? Running round like a headless chicken, panic, brain burn out, nausea, verbal self abuse.

Good old, dependable Kate-she’ll do it. I seethe with anger at not being able to say THAT word. I am jealous of all of you who can. One day this worm will turn. One day I will stun you –“NO sorry I can’t. NO can do. NO, not possible today” Shock, horror Kate said NO! I want that moment captured on film.

Oh, hang on phone call.

“Of course I can have your three children over the Bank Holiday weekend, Sally whilst you go off to a spa to relax. No, we didn' have anything planned that can't be changed. No,I won’t forget they are not allowed gluten or dairy product- no problem!”


Now you lot- no sitting there feeling all self righteous and thinking how stupid I must be. Honestly how many of you have said YES to something when what you were really thinking was NO? How many times have you suddenly found yourself with unexpected (and sometimes unwanted) extra people for lunch or dinner? Don' t panic! Here are some pasta based store cupboard recipes to save the day!

I am hoping your store cupboard and fridge contain the following:-

Pasta-Spaghetti/macarones/bows/wierd cartoon shaped ones..whatever.
A jar of Pesto
chilli sauce or oil or dried chillies
Parmesan (or any other cheese- except cheese squares!!!)
A jar of tomato pasta sauce
olive oil

Pasta x 3

1. Cook spaghetti as per instructions on the packet. Once you have drained it add lots of pesto, mix well and add a few good handfuls of whichever cheese you found lurking in the fridge.

2.Set oven to 180 degrees C. Cook macarones or whichever shaped past you have. Transfer to an oven proof dish and cover with tomato sauce, mix well, season with black pepper, add lots of cheese, cover with foil and into oven to heat until piping hot and cheese all gooey.

Variation on this, incase you found your cupboard tomato sauce free, use condensed mushroom or chicken soup.

3.Not always suitable for children but really quick and easy to prepare for surprise, hungry, adult invasion! Best not to use freaky Loony Tunes shaped pasta for grown ups but if that is all you have,so be it! Cook pasta as per instructions on the packet. Drain and put it back in the pan you boiled it is (saves on washing up and means you don't have to pre heat a serving dish) and whilst still hot crumble on a few dried chillies and add a few good glugs of olive oil. Lots of grated cheese (parmesan is best) and serve!

How many chillies depends on how spicy you and your friends like things. I love really spicy food so if I like the unexpected guests I tone down the chilli heat, but if I don't like them I'll add a couple extra!
Serve any of the above with any salad you can find or, if the lettuce has seen better days, slice up some tomatoes and dress with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Yes, I know most children don't like salad but....tough!
Got no fresh bread? Just warm yesterdays bread in the oven and for about 10 minutes it will have the texture of fresh baked bread- insist they eat the bread whilst it is warm (really what you are trying to avoid is it turning rock hard after the afore mentioned 10 minutes!!!)
Dessert........Ice cream (with or without smashed up choccie balls on top)

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