Everyone knows that babies are not good for your sex life. I mean – I’m pretty sure there are books about it. At the very least, Googling “sex after baby” should get you a significant number of hits: lack of sleep, body issues, overall stress of being entirely responsible for the life of another human being. And yet, no one seems to give as much credit to a pre-schooler for a parent’s dwindling libido. No one ever seems to say as much about how a talking, walking, sleeping little person can still beat it out of you – pun totally intended.
'Cause, I have to admit, when it comes to babies, we got a pretty good thing going here with Harvey. I mean, I totally don’t want to jinx it, but basically he is like a mini version of Tygh – or, at least, how Tygh used to be before we had kids (we are both suffering from some form of PTSD). Harvey is a good eater, a good sleeper, shits regularly, smiles constantly and really only fusses when he wants a breast in his mouth. Like I said: just like Tygh.
June, on the other hand, may be responsible for her parents’ divorce. Now, up until recently, June has really been a model child. I mean, she had her moments of crying or being pissy, but usually that was referable to her being over-tired or hungry. She has always pretty much gone with the flow, listening to rules, taking baths, going to bed without a problem, voluntarily taking a time-out when she felt herself getting overwhelemed (I know, a little weird), etc. But, now she is three. And a half. And there is a new baby to compete with. And, dammit, she will not be outdone.
So, on top of the recent onset of daytime shenanigans, including, but not limited to, tantrum throwing, whining, pouting and pretending she can’t do things for herself (all of which I am told are totally normal), bedtime has become a full-on half-time show. There is story-telling, singing, bathroom breaks, water breaks, wardrobe changes and then re-plays. And just as we think she has finally given in and resigned herself to her bed, just as we take that last step towards the couch so that we can flop down with a loud sigh and begin watching nighttime tele together (our version of foreplay, these days), just as our whole outlook on life and parenting starts to veer up from the nadir we were just in the middle of, we hear “Mooooooooomeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” And I don’t know whether to yell or to cry. Can you hear the sound of my libido plummeting?
It has gotten so bad, that we finally decided to tough love it and not respond to her endless calls for us (with ample explanations ahead of time that bedtime is bedtime, that she needs to pee NOW and not in ten minutes, and that all of her stuffed animals/blankets are indeed next to her in bed) after we close the door. But even the stress of that decision wears on us each night as she continues to yell for us long after her bedroom door has been closed. Who needs birth control?
Thus, in lieu of candles and pillow talk, we have both resorted to the physical closeness of emotional (over?) eating. Which I guess is good on some levels because it has gotten me to fiddle with all sorts of fabulous dessert recipes. I know rubharb is in season, and I should write about that. But nothing beats chocolate for curing what ails. And a current favorite right now is brownies. Really good homemade brownies. Dense-yet-cakey-fudgy-and-moist-with-that-nice-crackly-top brownies. Brownies that come together in a pinch.
That baby weight may take a little longer to come off than I would like. But, we gotta get a little pleasure outta nighttime.
Oven at 350. Line a 9x13" pan with foil and grease.
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s special dark, but I know any hoity toity single-sourced, organic version will do)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 Tblsp vanilla extract
1 C (2 sticks)butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet)
In a large bowl, lightly beat 5 eggs, then beat in cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Mix until fully combined and smooth (I know this order of ingredient blending seems odd for brownies, but just keep going...)
Melt butter in microwave or small saucepan. When melted, add sugar, and stir to combine.
Add warm butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. Make sure the butter mixture is warm, but not too hot, or it will scramble your eggs.
Add the flour and stir until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and stir to distribute.
Spread batter into prepared pan, and smooth as needed.
Bake brownies about 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the brownies. Moist crumbs should stick to it.
Cool as long as you want. Or eat right away. Add ice cream if you are really horny.
*Updated 12/31/16 - use 5 eggs instead of 4, baked in 9 x 13 lines with greased foil. Lowered temp to 325 for last 10 minutes, baking a total of 45 minutes.