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  • You may have not encountered this word before, it's a hybrid, you take the word "pizza" and then you take the "ques" off of the word "quesadilla" and then you squish "pizza" in front of "dillas". And then whamo..."pizzadilla". Up until last night, it didn't exist, I'm certain.

    Last night I made pizzas for just my son and I. His sisters were away for the evening. So just some simple pizzas for us. Dough, sauce, cheese, but I did sprinkle a few offensive olives on just my slice. After slicing and serving the pizza, my son, my 9 year old son, was not content with the level of sauce on his slice of pizza. He thought it too much, exceedingly so, and commenced the "dinner whine".

    Oh, the "dinner whine". If you are a parent you hate this. It is the "What's for dinner? Ooh, yuck!", it's the ungrateful ooze that streams from your middle-class child's mouth when they turn their nose up to the food that's on their plate.

    I don't have it in me at that point in the day to manage the "dinner whine", usually. I just send them to their rooms, until they are ready to sit at the table without the whine. Whether they eat or not, is entirely up to them, but I, personally, don't want to be around a whiner.

    (In my defense I do make an effort to make something that everybody can enjoy, so they can lay their swords, and join our family meal.)

    We tried this round twice. After the second time of being sent to his room, he came down, apologized and said, "It's just too much sauce mom."

    "Ok, if you think that, there's some dough in the refrigerator, you can make your own pizza," I said while still enjoying my food at the table.

    I didn't want to watch. Or even listen to bang, search, bang. Finally he asked how to set the oven temperature. Still not moving from my seat, I gave him the instructions verbally.

    After the timer went off on the stove, he got on my oven mitts, and opened the oven door. A look of disappointment spread across his face while curiosity pulled me up from my seat to inspect the situation.

    I looked at the baked, hot mass of brown cheese bubbling inside the oven. "Well, it's a quesadilla with a lot of cheese on it," I said.

    That's not what he wanted to hear. Somewhere, and I don't really know where, he got confused. Very confused and did not sprinkle the reserved dough I had set inside the fridge with cheese, but had pulled out a quesadilla instead.

    With tears immediately flooding his eyes, he threw his head in his arms and then on the counter and said "I'm so stupid, I can't do anything right!"

    I jumped on that like white on rice: "You're not allowed to talk like that about anybody, especially yourself!"

    I could see where we were at, the shaky ground of confidence a child with dyslexia has and the desperation that comes after feeling inadequate. These are the moments that you need love from a parent, and these are the very moments that are so hard to parent in. I grappled to find footing not to slip on the slope of pity for him and felt remorseful knowing he needed instructions in a different way.

    I scooped his head up and placed it on my chest without looking into his eyes and wrapped my arms around him. I didn't understand is over-reaction. Did I need to? All I could say was, and I believe it to be sent from God above, "You've just invented a pizzadilla. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going to be fighting over your invention."

    Tears and snot bubbles blew out of his nose from laughing and soaked my shirt. His body released a bit, and he hugged me back.

    "Man, I'm so glad my sisters weren't here to see this" was all he could say.
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