It’s tax season, which means my mother’s stable work schedule has gone out the window. At least we’re out of the beginning part where we eat terrible overcooked meals because my father hadn’t cooked in almost nine months and now it was solely his responsibility. Sometimes I help with parts of it, but I’d probably do even worse and I don’t want my mother to come home to a bad meal. She already has to deal with a lot, not just the hours but the uncertainty of when the day will end. She normally takes the same lunch to work every day, but now she takes more or less depending on when she thinks she’ll get home for dinner. If she brings too little, she’s hungry when there’s still work to be done, and if she eats a snack she might not be hungry for dinner right when she gets home. And then there are the Saturdays where she has to go through her entire preparation routine just to go in to the office for a few hours. It’s a good thing that this only lasts for a few months.
Not having a steady dinner time disrupts me too. It takes me a long time to start on assignments, and I have more homework than I should because by the time the working section ends I’m still getting ready to start. I get distracted at school by the noise of other kids, and I get distracted at home by going to random web pages. I neither accomplish anything nor spend the time relaxing or enjoying myself. But at some point, I’m able to start my work, and it usually takes less time to do than to start, but I can never tell how long it will take before I do it. If I don’t know when dinner is, then I don’t know how much time I have to get things done before I’m called to the table. So I end up not starting anything before dinner so I won’t have to stop what I’m doing just when I spent the past several hours starting it. I have a half hour warning usually because my mother calls us and tells us she’s coming home soon, but thirty minutes usually isn’t enough time to get anything done.
If my father and I eat at our usual time it would probably be better for me, but then my mother won’t have the stability of coming home to a hot meal with her family. Instead of sitting around doing nothing, I could help cook. But in order to help cook I need to learn how to cook. Cooking has a lot of little rules that you need to follow otherwise things like terrible tasting meals, or food poisoning, or your house burning down might happen. So at least one of my parents would have to teach me the steps involved with each recipe, and since they both have jobs even if they want to help me learn they may not have the time or patience to do so. At least I’ll be taking cooking class next year so maybe then I’ll be of some help.