Best Cooker-Mama Ever

“Thank you, Mama” Nora said to me solemnly when I kissed her goodnight before her nap the other day, “for making the best breakfast ever.”


Can this kid lay it on thick or what? You know what we had for breakfast that day? The same peaches (from a can) with blueberries and raspberries (thawed from frozen) we always have, plus a cereal bar. Gourmet stuff, for sure.


But she often compliments my cooking, which is an entirely new experience for me. I can follow a recipe fairly well and occasionally luck into a really good one, but no one would accuse me of being a domestic goddess.


Except my own kid, that is. Her other favorite compliment, usually at bedtime, is: “Mama? You are the best cooker-mama ever.”


Someone should make a coffee mug with that slogan: World’s Best Cooker-Mama.


It’s sweet of her, even though I know she’s full of it. I can’t quite figure out her angle. Is she buttering me up for something? Trying to distract me? Maybe, but usually she says it when things are calm around here (it does happen!), so it doesn’t seem like a distraction. That I know of. Unless she’s really good …


Maybe, I realize, she’s just being sweet, which is entirely possible when you’re talking about a 3-year-old. Sure, she once told me a huge zit on my chin made me “look like a circus,” but just as they can be unintentionally cruel, they can also say just the right thing at just the right time once in a while. She’s said other nice things, though not as frequently as the cooking comments. She likes to compliment my shirts, especially if they’re flowery or involve stripes. And sometimes she’ll pat my hair and tell me she likes it, even if it’s first thing in the morning and it’s sticking out in 17 different directions.


So I’m going to take this at face value, and pretend that offspring trickery doesn’t start until the tween years or so (LA LA LA, I can’t hear you!). 


Because when you’re bone tired from staying up too late working the night before as you plop that cereal bar on a plate (lovingly cut up to look like a robot hand, though, give me some credit!), it feels awfully good to think that maybe your efforts, however meager, are appreciated. And that someone thinks you’re pretty even when your hair is terrible.