Judo Chop!

Posted on March 15, 2011


Dear Grey Hair,

What the hell? I think that I have plucked out enough stray grey to make a wig for a worry doll. Am I really under more stress than normal or am I just getting old!? Either way I am not enjoying it. I really might have to just dye my entire head dark instead of just touching up the lighter strands if this keeps up. I will have to start shopping for the entire grey-coverage hair color option, however that is said in Italian. My, how Rome has aged me. Or these boys have aged me. I sleep as much as an old woman and I sometimes don’t even match so that should qualify me for a senior discount at the store. I hate to admit it but I have worn jeans with both black and brown! Ughghg I know I cringe at the sight of the words. Imagine how I felt once I shut the door behind me. In a world where no one knows me or recognizes me it is easier to slack and not care what I am wearing ALL the time. This is something that I have become used to here but I know that this is not permanent so I can’t focus too hard on this.

I slept in again and had some coffee before watching TV and working out. I made myself do at least 45 minutes of mat work until I was rewarded with bowtie pasta for a late lunch. I still think of food as reward if I do something good for myself first. Since I ate all my pasta I felt it necessary to have that slice of bread with ricotta and strawberry jelly for dessert. Then a flower shaped cookie. Then at commercial break from Glee I had to try the almond biscotti that was glaring at me through the box in the back of the drawer with all the pasta. They must be good if they are hidden with the pasta right? I almost had a spoonful of Nutella but I backed away from the kitchen and chose to get dressed for the day instead. I had about thirty minutes until it was time to meet the Nana to pick up the boys and head to judo.

It is stop and go traffic all the way to school. We find a decent parking spot and I jump out to retrieve Matteo. I convince him to wait in the car with his Nana while I go and wait for Tommaso. I brought a book with me to pass time while I waited the 15 minutes for him outside in the sun. Once he finally comes running out he seems actually excited to see ME. Once we get closer to the gate to the main street he sees his friend Guido and asks me to play for only “cinque minuto!?” so I agree but tell him that is it since we have judo today and we can’t be late. I watch him and his pal kick the tiny soccer ball around. By four minutes I tell him that he only has one more minute left! Once the five minutes are up he pleads for ONE MORE minute. Va bene. I gather his jacket, scarf and backpack and start walking towards him with his plastic frog in my hand to persuade him. He agrees and follows me up the steps like I have a chocolate treat for him. It still takes us at least 3 minutes to leave the school grounds since he decided to throw his frog as high as he could so it got stuck in a tree. Then it was tossed over a high fence that I had to climb over. I held it until we got to the car and only gave it back after he was seat belted in and we were all on our way. The entire ride Tommaso is telling us that he CANNOT participate in judo since he hurt his leg yesterday. I argue with him that he was just running and playing soccer so how is that different from judo? He whines and I roll my eyes with Nana. We are going and that is that. Now eat your merenda and shut it. Nana is so bossy I love it.

I like judo since that means I get to read and relax while the boys practice their fighting skills. I found another book in the “free” library today. A book written by the same chick that wrote Sex and the City. It’s a long one so I will take my time and probably only read it at judo. Matteo has judo first and then 45 minutes later we dress Tommaso for his class. The Nana left for a bit and was barely back in time to make Tommaso get dressed for his class. I went over to him to tell him to change his clothes but he refused and kept watching his friend play his “DS” (Nintendo/video game). Even though he got his DS taken he still managed to play someone else’s and there was nothing that we could do about it. I laughed at his sneakiness. No one told him that he couldn’t play his friends DS. I know this routine. I wrote it, I know every way around rules and when people tell me “no.” He kept telling me that he was not going to change his clothes and right when I was about to lift him off his chair and make him Nana came charging through and told him that he was late! God, I love this lady. She changed his clothes so fast you would think he was on a runway for karate clothes. Take two! He whined and bitched about his foot, which I found confusing since I thought it was his leg? Maybe he has two injuries or maybe he just does not want to participate in judo at all? Who knows but about twenty-minutes into class he came running out and demanded some water. I was sitting peacefully in a chair reading and I jumped at all the commotion. He grabbed MY water and dumped it on his foot! What the hell? Why? I still don’t know. Then about five more minutes passed and he came out again and then drank all my water. I know that when I have my own kids I will share their slobber but for now, I am not yet ready to take on some other kids backwash. Not yet. I make a face and try to hide my discomfort behind my book. Nana probably saw it; maybe that is why she told me to go refill the bottle. Later, I left the full bottle in her car. Oops.

The boys take a bath while I prepare the pizza for dinner. I open some wine, since I MUST have wine while I am in the kitchen preparing food! Everything is ready and all I have to do is toss the pizza and decorate it. T had already prepared and cooked the peppers and sliced the zucchini and cubed the fresh mozzarella. Beautiful. The dough felt a little tough and I was unsure what the turn out would be. I fought with the dough and finally finished decorating my pizzas. One large and one small. You have to have at least two pizzas. The second one is always better. In this case the second one was also a lot prettier….as you can see.


The pizzas were NOT as good as the first time I made them but we figured out why. The “yeast” was already opened and once it is opened it changes the consistency. It must be fresh and not an already opened package. We ate both pizzas but they were sort of dry and uncooked at the same time. I must have GOOD pizza this week to make up for this mess. I drank more wine to ease the chef guilt of a mediocre dinner. They didn’t seem to mind but since I still felt bad that it was not as good as I wanted I cleaned the entire kitchen after dinner. The dishwasher is out-of-order so I hand washed everything and turned down the light before T was back from putting the kids down for bed. I will try again this week at another dish. Or perhaps attempt a dessert to save face? It isn’t really that bad but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted. I made the dough earlier in the day with such high hopes! Oh well.

Posted in: When in Rome