Making Cheesy Eggs

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Deep into the summer schedule, I was just rousing myself as Cute W hustled upstairs to take a shower for work. “J wants cheesy eggs,” he told me.

Apparently, the spinach-enriched eggs were only a passing fancy. She’s back to plain ol’ cheese and eggs, and she’s back to asking Daddy for them. That’s because everyone in my family–except me–likes their eggs “dead.” I’ve pointed out that they’re already dead. No one’s hatching. No one’s cheeping. They don’t find this amusing.

This is a hereditary problem. One Mother’s Day my mother-in-law heard from a friend that folks were considering contacting Child Protective Services about a little boy quoted in the newspaper. A bunch of kids were asked about their moms, and he’d said, “I love my Mom even though she doesn’t cook me breakfast.” They were troubled. Children need breakfast. “That was me,” said my mother-in-law. “W won’t let me cook his eggs because he doesn’t think that I cook them enough. He makes his own.”

So J asked Cute W to cook her some cheesy eggs, but he’d answered that she could do it herself or ask Mommy, because he had to get ready for work.

I went downstairs and found J. She was warm and morning-snuggly. I picked her up for a hug, but she’s too big for an easy hold-and-hug these days, so I propped her on the counter. “I’m going to make your eggs, but we can keep them in the pan as long as you want,” I said.

She was disappointed. “It’s just that, last time you cooked them too long and they got crispy. ” She hugged a little harder to ease the sting of this criticism.

“Dude!” I’m indignant now. “I always tell you when I think they’re done, and then I wait for you to say that you’re okay with them. If they got crispy the last time, it’s because you wanted them to keep cooking. Every time I make them so that they’re perfect and then I have to cook them past perfect to where you like them.”

But I set to work, with low, low heat and plenty of stirring. “We’re going to eliminate every bit of moisture while avoiding crispiness for as long as possible,” I said.

The eggs were looking pretty good. Then they’re looking great. Then they’re looking increasingly dry. It made me crazy, but I kept myd cool and continue to stir attentively.

Cute W came down. “Ah, see, Mommy’s doing a good job with the eggs,” he says brightly, smiling with approval.

J sighed.

I looked at Cute W and said, “The eggs look okay, but she’s still a little disappointed because Daddy’s eggs are so much better.” I was being sarcastic. First, I think my eggs are better, but since I’m the only one in the house, it’s about as meaningless as saying that tons of people in the world sleep past 8 am on the weekends. Second, my eggs looked exactly like Daddy’s “better” eggs.

But J  pressed against my leg for a sideways hug and said quietly, “Thanks for understanding me, Mom.”

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