Mom Humor: PB&J is for the Birds - MetroFamily Magazine
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Mom Humor: PB&J is for the Birds

by Heather Davis

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Growing up, my uncle and his wife would host Thanksgiving at their home in Dallas. When we got together with them in Dallas, it was nothing short of proper. 

Now, I’m not saying we weren’t a proper family, but my mom would have to make us brush our hair before coming to the table. When we went to Dallas for Thanksgiving, we always packed better-than-Sunday clothes. We’d dress for dinner and my aunt would then have me and my sister change something about our clothes—a  hair bow or different tights— to look more proper than we actually were.  

She would even go so far as to fix our plates so they’d have good presentation. By the end of my first plateful, I’d have a horrible headache from all the “properness,” and I’d quickly change clothes and go outside to play.  

I’d sneak a piece of pumpkin pie later on in the afternoon, while barefoot nonetheless!

As a side note, I didn’t know that football was on TV on Thanksgiving Day. That’s how proper these occasions were! No football! And we were in Dallas!?

One summer when I was about 13, our sweet dog got out of our yard and came back an expectant first-time mother. She delivered the weekend before Thanksgiving. Since it was cold, Tabby and puppies were housed in a plastic kiddie pool in our back hallway.  There was no way we could make the trip to Dallas.

“That’s okay,” my momma said, “We’ll stay home and have Thanksgiving with just ourselves.”

All week long, my momma and I shopped and prepared for a full-blown, all-out Thanksgiving dinner for four. My sister, who was still in elementary school, would come in on occasion to help, but she was more enthralled with the puppies. My daddy, who was not a big sports enthusiast, watched football all day long in the living room. As the day progressed (read: as I sampled more and more stuffing, gravy, turkey), my head began to swim. Then my head began to ache … I was not going to make it to lunchtime that much was clear.

I looked over at my momma, sweat pouring down her chalk-white face, and said, “I don’t feel good…”  Then I dashed past the whining puppies and into the bathroom where I threw up every last thing I had ever eaten in my whole entire life.  I then collapsed on the cool bathroom floor, took a breath and then threw up everything I had ever thought about eating in my whole entire life.

My momma raced back to the bathroom to check on me, but scooted right past the front bathroom and headed for the back bathroom, where she replayed the scene I was acting out. I know 13-year-olds have a flair for the dramatic, but I remember thinking I would die before I got to see the puppies open their eyes.

I proceeded to lay on the cold floor when I wasn’t puking my guts out. My momma would holler at me every once in a while, “You okay? {wretch}” 

I’d answer back, “Don’t know! {gag}”

After what seemed like hours of my ménage à trois with the floor and toilet, I finally pulled myself into the shower and rinsed off. I wrapped a towel around my cold, shaky and now emaciated body and wandered into the kitchen where I found nothing.

This is not an exaggeration. There was not one sign of Thanksgiving dinner anywhere to be found in our house. I shuffled into the living room where I found my sister and my daddy eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and watching the Cowboys play. My dad looked up, held out his sandwich to me and said, “Hungry?”

I barely had the energy to shake my head.

My mom was now back in the kitchen and she said, “Where’s everything?”

My sister, who could never keep a secret, said, “In the trash.”

Apparently, afraid that dinner was spoiled in some way, my daddy and sister had thrown out every last crumb of a perfectly good Thanksgiving dinner—and according to my sister, they put plastic bags on their hands so they wouldn’t even have to touch the contaminants.

“It wasn’t bad,” my momma whined, “Heather and I are just allergic to sage.”

I was? This was news to me, but it made sense. It wasn’t the properness that made me sick every year; it was the sage. But, my ever-proper aunt had never really given me enough of anything to bring on a full-blown projectile episode!

So, happy Turkey Day to all of you who have no sage allergies. And to the rest of us, Happy PB & J day!

Heather Davis is an Oklahoma momma, writer and peanut butter and jelly cook extraordinaire. She’s the author of the award-winning TMI Mom books. Her latest ebook, What The Elf Saw, is available through Amazon.com

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