As some of you know, our firstborn tax deduction will be leaving the nest this week and going to college in another state. Which state, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you. I think she's going to be in the state of Confusion, which is not to be confused with the state of Yes-I'm-Blond-Why-Do-You-Ask?
Case in point: My little fledgling will be living in a dorm with four other girls. There will be a kitchen there. For cooking. Meals. Do you see where I'm going with this? If she wants to eat food, she will need to make it herself. This will require some work on her part other than walking into the kitchen, saying, "Ooh that smells good when is dinner?"
A few months ago she made a frozen pizza and nearly had a meltdown. This is a girl who aced her SAT, who was in the Gifted Programs through school and who reads the classics for relaxation. This is not a dumb girl, but she could not figure out how to bake the pizza and asked me to bake it for her. I declined, informing her that she would soon be cooking for herself and learning to make a frozen pizza on her own might be a good first step in the right direction. She was not pleased, but did manage to bake the pizza without burning down the house or injuring herself. I counted this a success, albeit a small one.
My daughter will be flying to her new school with lots of luggage, and we had the following conversation the other day:
TAX DEDUCTION: "I'm going to have a microwave there, right?"
ME: "Yes, you'll have a microwave and an oven."
T.D.: "When are we going to buy groceries?"
ME: "For who?"
T.D. (expressive eyeroll): "ME, mom. I'm going to need to take groceries with me."
At this point I'm staring at her openmouthed with one of those looks on my face. The one that clearly says, "You can't be serious here." She ignores my look, as usual, and goes on to list the canned goods she'll be requiring. Canned goods. To take on the plane in her luggage. I snap my mouth shut and then ask her if she thinks they don't have groceries stores where she's going.
There's a long pause as she thinks about this question. I can almost see the little hamster on the wheel in her head going around and around and not getting anywhere, so I try again. I am gentle with her, as scaring her is not my intention.
ME: "Um, hija? How about we go grocery shopping when we get there?"
TAX DEDUCTION: "But they won't have the same kind of food that I like there!"
ME: "Hija, this is not Mars you're going to. There are stores there. They stock food. In fact, the very same food that you find in the stores here, you'll find there. I promise."
T.D.: "Are you sure? How do you know?"
ME: "I've actually been where you're going, and the only time I had to shoot a deer for meat was that one brutally cold winter when there was nothing left in the barn and we were starving, so I got out my trusty gun and followed some tracks in the snow. Well, about that time."
T.D.: "Mooooooooom!! That's not funny!"
ME: "I didn't think so either. Have you ever had to gut a deer with only a dinner fork? I tell you what, it's not..."
T.D.: "Mom, stop it!"
ME: "Fine, OK. But I'm almost certain you won't have to kill your food there, and there are stores stocked with everything you'll need, so we'll wait to shop till we get there, OK?"
So now my beautiful blond tax deduction will soon be leaving the nest. I better make sure I pack her a fork.