Hells bells, but I need chocolate. I think someone cosmic looked at my calendar and decided that it was laughably laid back, so today was a compilation of three, perhaps four days. Certainly enough happened today to have been happily spread out over a number of days...cetainly I'll spend that long catching my breath.
Two days ago, the Man turned to me and said, 'It sounds silly, but I'm a little worried. The Toddles used to have a 'da-da' sound months ago, and he isn't making one now.' I laughed, and told him to be patient.
Yesterday, the Toddles pointed to a photo of a baby and said, 'bay-bie!' I agreed. He pointed to his father and said, 'Da-die!' I agreed. His poleaxed father was too overwhelmed with love to appreciate the comic timing.
Since then, the little one has been pointing and naming, repeating words, producing them at a furious pace. Finally, we've begun serious language acquisition and use! This is almost as much fun as the parrot phase, except that sentences are now looming in the Toddles' world...to be followed nearly immediately by his first verbalized argument. He is, of course, fully capable of arguing with us now, irrespective of his linguistic skills. Natch.
Which takes us to today. Today, which the Toddles spent combining his new words or word variants in interesting ways, which skill we decided to take out on the town by taking Mary Jr to the clinic, for which we were amply rewarded by having the Toddles admired by any number of slightly infectious undergraduates. Whoops.
Still, the little guy had fun. Life is good in his world right now, with the Eldest learning ways to play with him successfully (games that have the Eldest shouting, 'no!' and bodily hauling the kid from place to place do NOT count). This, of course, makes things rosier in my world, making me more relaxed, flexible - I even got a hug when I picked up the (typically recalcitrant) Eldest from preschool today. Damn.
And tonight we invented By George Pizza, offspring of the By George, I Think We've Got it Bread. The Toddles declined this offering, but the Eldest nearly ate the whole pizza. Mouth full, he talked excitedly about other incarnations for this 'za (more olives, less basil, more sauce), and wistfully about being able to eat it at school. You got it, kid.
Balance, of course, is necessary. So, the universe served up a dose of new allergy mom, a woman I know to be sane from the hemophilia e-lists, who was shocked to see the number of her son's diagnoses double. And after a mild anaphylactic reaction, no less. I resisted the urge to list, pettily, my kids' allergies, because I remember this: she's at sea, shocked and worried. It really doesn't matter whose list is bigger or smaller at this point, what really matters is the throwing of the life preserver. Irrespective of how fine she is going to be or how pissy I'm feeling, it's only fair to let her be shocked and appalled and frightened for her child, without undercutting that process by minimizing the source of her fears.
Which is why I did not mention that today I had a meeting in which the Eldest's nursery-preschool told me that they cannot have the Toddles in their school next year. The class he'd've been in has the highest ratio of teachers per student, all loving, experienced folks. One teacher, grandmother to an allergic child, queen of the school kitchen, and the person who made sure that there were two kinds of milk in the Eldest's class - dairy and soy - finally looked at me and said, 'if it were my child, I'd be scared to send him. The little ones are unpredictable and fast. There's no way we could keep him from getting someone else's lunch in the face.'
Having seen the little buggers move (my little bugger included), I had to agree. We decided that while this was true of the tinies (15 mo - 2yr9mo) the same did not hold true for the following class (2 yr 9mo - 4 yr). Which means that there will be no school for the Toddles next year. the Man and I have said, over and over, that if any school could do it, this one could. They are so child-centered, fall so easily in love with their children, and have performed feats of organization and adaptation for the Eldest - all of which pale in comparison to what would need to be done for the Toddles.
Which cannot, as it turns out, be done at all. Which means that my dissertation will struggle haplessly for another year, which means that once again, allergies will dictate our family life - and mine, above all. Drop into the mix my mother, panicking over an upcoming visit, apparently paralyzed to do anything without me and still, still unable to remember whether anyone is allergic to tree nuts (the Eldest - he's anaphylactic), and I'm so glad I kept my mouth in lock-step with my brain while talking to this new mum, while my psyche was frothing at the mouth and shrieking unprintables.
She'll be fine. And eventually, so will I. But first, I intend to kick some pillows and rant a bit. (No, this didn't count as ranting. See 'unprintable' comment.) Some days, balance sucks. But pizza's always good...
By George Pizza
makes one cookie tray-full of pizza, roughly enough for three hungry people.
2 cups gluten-free flour mix (this is the same mix from the By George Bread, so make extra and use it for either. Keep extra in fridge in airtight container/ziploc. 2 parts white rice flour, 2/3rds part potato starch flour, 1/3rd part tapioca flour)
2 Tb sugar
2 tsp guar gum/xanthan gum (note: xanthan gum can have traces of corn)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
1 cup milk/soy milk. Warm 1.5 minutes in microwave.
2 Tb veg oil
2 flaxgel subs (2 Tb flaxmeal/ground flaxseed + just under 1/2 cup water, zapped in microwave 1 min 30 seconds, more or less, let cool a bit) or 2 eggs
1 tsp rice vinegar or other mild vinegar
Assemble dry ingredients. Mix. Turn oven on to 350 F.
Make up egg subs in microwave, warm milk. Add those and other wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
Using a cake mixer, mix. Then, beat on high for 2 minutes. Turn oven off.
Pour dough into a greased container, put into oven for 30 minutes.
Pull the risen dough out of the oven. Spray with cooking spray a cookie sheet and a rolling pin. (I prefer a nonstick, resuable baking sheet that I lay right down on the tray, and don't have to grease. Use the greased rolling pin to gently spread the dough out. Since I'm a klutz, I roll it directly onto the tray. Turn oven on to 450.
Bake at 450F for 15-20 minutes. It will go golden brown, a bit darker around the edges. Pull out, add toppings, bake some more - I was in a hurry tonight, so I zapped it under the broiler for about 8 minutes, on the lower rack. The goal is to bake the crust with the first baking (pre-sauce, since gluten free breads are notorious for going soggy), then to heat the sauce and toppings with the second baking.
Enjoy, but don't linger too long in the kitchen after you put this on the table - the Man was working late tonight, and came home to a paltry pair of slices remaining...Heh.