I have a chocolate drawer, or really a drawer where I keep the chocolate. That drawer is never empty. With the amount we cook and the amount of times I frequent five different grocery stores a week, I never run out of chocolate. Chocolate, Valrona dark chocolate to be exact is my brown, sugary heroine and it saves me from life’s little nut busters every day. One square in the afternoon after putting King Whines A Lot down for a nap and one or two squares after the king retires for the evening. I eat a lovely, perfectly formed square and then plop my fanny onto the sofa to watch Wimbledon highlights, The Soup or redundant and unsatisfying Michael Jackson coverage on CNN, CNBC or BET.
I hated chocolate while I was pregnant. Otto was probably being territorial and made sure that I did not love anything as much as his little nugget head while he was safely squirreled away in my belly. The nausea was minimal but the thought of chocolate made me gag. But now, as a mother with strict limitations on what can be legally and ethically ingested to induce pleasure, chocolate really is my go to buzz.
The fact that the chocolate ran out today, a day that has been filled with crying, complaining and a full-blown temper tantrum over a duvet in his crib and a football pajama top that no longer does it for Otto, made it a rough day. Breakfast was a blow out of shrieks and weeps before being ironically, devoured, the car ride from the park was tearful at best and the post lunch, mom needs to make your bed with all new linens because it was all urine soaked when you woke up today and then you decided you suddenly hated your hippo duvet that you loved this morning, ended in a battle royal that my Oompa Loompa clearly won. I found two old baby blankets I thought he hated and a pajama top two sized too small and squeezed Otto into it like a unruly, emotional sausage. I stared down into his crib, watching him try his best to not start the cavalcade of sobs again and I suddenly realized that he resembled a tiny, green, Lou Ferrigno running through the forest, chasing a 70’s, bad guy with a mustache the size of canoe. He turned toward the wall and left me standing there with tears welling up in my already puffy eye sockets and a keen desire to take up smoking bubble gum cigarettes.
Speaking softly to myself like the crazy lady who walks around our neighborhood with a straw hat covered in bird poop and a pair of cut off jean shorts small enough to make Britney’s vagina jealous, I walked down the stairs to find relief. I now knew what it would be like if I had just returned from a tour of Vietnam where I was held prisoner and forced to baby sit a slew of Viet Kong toddlers who played with real guns, screamed at me in a language I knew nothing of and threw their own poop at me if I misbehaved. I opened the drawer for a fix but found only a half eaten box of stale Hot Tamales, chewing gum and a sad collection of all natural, unsatisfying fruit roll-ups, nature’s way of saying “Ha, ha! Fuck you!”
Being desperate and shell shocked, I went to the cupboard where I keep the baking ingredients, ripped open a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and shoved a handful in my mouth, as if channeling Neely from Valley of the Dolls. Only my pills were tiny little swirls of chocolaty goodness, no bigger than your basic rat turd. They melted in my mouth with the speed of molten lava, making all the pain go bye-bye. Then I scribbled down “chocolate” on the grocery list and prayed that I would find a golden ticket.