Takedown, Shakedown, You’re Busted!

I am gonna get you!

Alex is an American bad a$$.

Don’t be fooled by his disarmingly charming smile, his signature dimples, his angelic voice crooning hello on repeat, his willingness to share. If you’re pint-sized, he will take you down.

Consider yourself warned.

Hey, kid at Gymboree making a move on the must-have maraca. Back off, son…if you know what’s good for you.

Unsuspecting niece visiting from Costa Rica…don’t fall for his love in a strangle hold. Run–don’t walk–away from an embrace that lasts more than one minute…especially if you’re hogging the toys (yelling “¡Es mía!”–“mine” over and over again does not translate well in Alex’s world).

Told you!

I used to be able to relax a little bit and swap stroller squad stories at Gymboree. Ah, those were the days. I’d supervise closely, of course, but I didn’t have to rely on multiple personalities to pull off a play date (managing a tense b*tch anticipating an attack on the inside while laughing freely on the outside). Alex is so smart…he works the room with his best flirty material and goes in for a big ‘ol baby hug while the Mommies coo about his incredible sweetness. And then he strikes (and Mommy apologizes while fanning herself through a hot flash of humiliation).

Alex is an absolute doll to adults and to kids who are younger than him, but he’s going through a little phase of kicking a$$ and forgetting names (he calls them all “baby”) at the moment. Besides matching him up against a four-year-old (already on tap for this weekend), do you have any ideas on how to deal with this phase? Mommy needs a time-out!

***So, I am a little distracted by this issue, and needed to make a quick dinner. Mango Chili Chicken is ready in 20 minutes flat, leaving me with plenty of time to mull over my little hooligan’s behavior.***

Chili-Mango Chicken

(My husband clipped this recipe out of his Men’s Health magazine and asked me to make it. That’s love, folks.)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thin), cut into 1/2″ pieces (Mommy Dish note: the original recipe called for chicken thighs; not my family’s favorite!)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
2 cups sugar snap or snow peas
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (preferably sambal oleek)
Black pepper to taste


Combine the chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the sugar snaps and stir-fry for 1 minute, using a metal spatula to keep the vegetables in near-constant motion. Add the chicken, along with its marinade, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Add the mango, chili sauce, and black pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute longer, until the chicken is cooked through and the mango has softened into a near sauce-like consistency. Serve over brown or white rice.

This one’s healthy…only 8 grams of fat per serving! Enjoy!

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