I'm kidding. She's not a jerk. Even though she really never let me play with my food.
My sister and I would cross our fingers that the parents had to run errands while we cleaned up dinner. As the garage door closed behind them, we would look at each other over our half eaten plates of spaghetti and yell, "Hands Free Dinner!" We'd then put our arms behind us and plant our faces in the loops of noodles and tomato sauce. If we ever, EVER had mashed potatoes, I was in heaven. I'd take any leftovers and plop them on my plate, using my fork to create wonderful mountains and valleys awash with gravy rivers. I would beg to be able to do the dishes. I'd grab the remaining potatoes that I knew my mom was going to wash down the drain, and I would make little balls, dig my hands in and enjoy the squishy sensation. She eventually caught on to my ploy and would immediately rinse that bowl so I would be unable to fulfill my goal of playing with my food.
I'm now almost 32 years old, and I live on my own. I have a dog, a savings account, and a car loan. I decided last night to make my own dinner. I bought a stuffed flank steak and popped it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes after doctoring it up with spices. I contemplated side dishes, and pulled out instant mashed potatoes. I made my portion, plated both items, and poured myself a glass of wine. I had no thoughts of shenanigans, just planned on eating in front of the television as my roommate was out and I could watch all the shows I'd missed last week.
I took a bite of steak. Delicious. I segment my food eating, so finished that before moving on to the potatoes. I stuck the first creamy bite into my craw, and a flashbulb went off in my head.
There was no one there to tell me no. No one who would judge me. No one to rinse out the bowl before I could play.
I'm an adult. But this totally happened last night, and it's sure to happen again and again.
Look, Ma! No hands!
Tune in next week when I eat an entire plate of spaghetti and meat sauce...WITH NO HANDS!!