Monday, June 19, 2006

with cat-like tread

I am not here. You do not hear me (especially as I clear away the dinner dishes). You do not see me. Whatever you do, do not come down the stairs.

Sigh. If only the whole Jedi mind thing actually worked. If only I were a Jedi. Now that is a fun job description! Beats the heck out of 'homemaker,' which I staunchly refuse to write on forms.

Yes, I'm hiding in my own house. Having whipped up a dinner for a somewhat unexpected guest (whencefor the family calendar, eh?), I'd escaped to a cafe to finish the research for an article I'm writing, said article having an alarmingly close deadline. I arrived at the cafe, contemplated the amount of sugar syrup needed in an iced coffee with soy milk rather than dairy, and whizzed through the last of my research. But of course, when I flipped open my laptop, it had a nice big red 'X' over the battery icon. I had twelve minutes of power left and no power cord. So I slunk home, trying to salvage the evening by calling some much neglected friends and leaving messages on their slightly less neglected answering machines.

And now I hide. From my children, my partner (who knows that I'm here, but there's principle involved) and from typing up the rest of my notes for this article, which is sufficiently boring to make me flee to an otherwise unentertaining environment. But now I'm back, and even the dinner dishes are starting to look intriguing...

The article is actually (I'm trying to persuade myself here, so bear with me) one I'm rather passionate about. It's part of my 'take control' series of articles, as I've quietly labelled them. The first was about managing ERs, especially around July, when teaching hospitals have major staff turnover. Then there was one about managing painful procedures. This last (I think it's the last) is about managing hospital stays. I used to be the queen of hospital stays, second only to the cancer and transplant moms. We had a bag packed, full of carefully chosen goodies (including some for me) and useful objects, which lived at the back of the closet. When the time came, we'd grab it, toss in three changes of clothes and head off. Badda bing, badda boom.

But as the child got older, the complexities of hospital visits grew. It was no longer enough for him just to be where I was, as he felt more keenly the interruption of routine, the loss of familiar sights and especially, home. And then there was the time when he had what I can only describe as post traumatic stress. We gt home from the hospital after a particularly difficult stay, and the next morning the child just sat on the futon for most of the day, thumb plugged firmly in his mouth. He was too focussed on his own inner tape to eat, sleep, even watch TV. All he wanted was to be cuddled. After a couple of years of fairly smooth hospital to-ing and fro-ing, I was knocked flat by this. I called one of the hospital chaplains, now a friend, and she talked me through it. Ten days later, the child felt ready to reemerge from his little huddled ball, but I felt irrevoccably changed. My respect for him and awareness of his needs had exploded, to reinvent itself more complexly, and I hope, thoughtfully.

Whoops - look at that. I just might have talked myself back into getting the slog work done, so that I do the fun part and actually write. Oh, thank heavens.

dinner tonight:
maple-grapefruit salmon (needed fresh ginger), broiled
leftover buckwheat garden salad
leftover soybean pasta
arepas (thanks to M.H., who walked me through the international aisle at our local supermarket)
tomato-peach salsa
dessert: leftover ginger pear sorbet, homegrown strawberries. Hmm. Maybe I really *am* Martha Stewart? @$%!&* ahem, phooey.

conclusions: salsa was pretty good, but really needed a riper peach. And the arepas have promise, but I need to figure out a way to make them less oily (more baked, less fried - happy medium?) I might try the arepas again and use them as thick tortillas....hmm.


dykewife said...

my brother has multiple food allergies, in fact, he has a lot fewer foods he can eat. all of this because of a treatment for colitis that left him sensitive to salicilates (sp?). his wife decided that, though he doesn't have celiacs, being allergic to the grains makes the difference moot. so she got cook books designed for people who have celiacs. the thing about people with celiacs is that many are also very senstive to dairy and eggs. you've probably already been referred to them, but i know, just in case.

i am curious about one thing. how were you able to work around/with the bris for your oldest son being as he has hemphelia?

all the best

mama o' the matrices said...

Hey, dykewife! Welcome to the blog. Yup, I have been cooking GF the past couple of weeks, although I run into the problem that many GF recipes call for lots and lots of eggs (one of the babe's allergies). But we're bumbling along.
Ah, the bris. Okay, so the short version is that the bris is how we learned about the hemophilia. I don't recommend it as an educational experience. I remember staring at the blood on my hand, as if it were a foreign object that had been placed there without my noticing.
This is why the current Tufts billboards piss me off so: "I have a have a healthy baby girl." Oh, fer the love of small squirmies, you can't plan it. You get a kid, complicated, uncomplicated, with the kiddo's own quirks. Plan? Don't try and sell me that myth - I'm way beyond it. Which is a long way of responding to your blog post by saying that my phrasing for kids like this is 'quirky' or 'funky' or just 'interestingly complex.' Again, welcome!