Okay, Friday worked, thanks to some furious triaging. I did not go to the school visit, I did take the Toddles to the pediatrician, where thankfully he did not vomit on her shoes...and was told that he didn't have strep - instead, he has some sort of inventive GI bug that begins with vomit and ends with diahrrea.
What is this, medical sibling rivalry?
It infuriates me, though, that the nurse on call was happy to write a script for antibiotics without even eyeballing the kid. This is a child with a truly horrendous family history of drug allergy, specifically antibiotics (can't get more dramatic than the Eldest at his best!), who is already collecting his own list of allergies, and there are resistant bacterial strains thanks to sloppy medicine of exactly this sort. One third of all prescriptions for antibiotics are not necessary - and the Eldest has had three surgeries thanks to resistant strains of bacteria. Four? Too many, in any case.
I'm on a good maternal advocacy run - between the nurse on Friday and the clinical assistant two weeks ago. She barked orders at me (get him undressed. Put him there.), then ignored the wailing Toddles as he sat on the scale, too busy herself bitching to a coworker about something. Face turned away from the child, she stuck out an arm to keep him in place. I saw the scale's numbers blink, blink, stop on a weight, leaned in and plucked the Toddles from the CA's grasp. We're done now, I told her. She looked at me, furious. I didn't get a weight! she said, accusingly. Yes, you did, I pointed out calmly (how annoying is it when people are calm in the face of your ire? Heh), it was 9.960 kilo. She took petty vengeance on me by refusing to write it down, but I happily recited the weight for the doc we saw, who wrote it down on the chart. Neener, neener, neener.
It's surprisingly hard to have those moments when you stand up for yourself or your child at just the right point in the process, that you can gauge the power structures and object without worrying, paralyzed, about consequences - or not feeling entitled to begin with to issue anything resembling a complaint. So I take my triumphs where I can find them. 9.960 kilo of ruthless cuteness, I say to the inconsiderates of the world. See how you like them diapers. Which, by the way, is a nice little weight for an almost -18 month old who nearly slid off the weight charts 6 months ago. Ha, and ha again.
Lovely lunch on Shabbat, with recipe below. I bought a moulded cake pan from Williams-Sonoma, shown here, though I assure you that it cost half that! These little minicakes solve the vegan gluten-free cake challenge, which is that you can get good crust, but the suckers get squodgy in the middle - or just collapse - when you try and make a regular round/square/springform cake. And don't get me started on bundts. Sigh. But with these wee things, I can make a kid-appealing cake that actually has the texture to please, well, ME. (FYI, I used Cathy's Cupcakes recipe with dark, nondairy chocolate chips from Trader Joe's.)
On a different note, the Cambridge Public School system is currently reeling under a wave of solid approval from the city's middle class, who are happily sending their children to Cambridge public schools. I will be tracking this issue here: http://nancywalser.blogspot.com/
But on to the recipes:
Chicken with Leek and Fig
1/4 c olive oil
4 large, well washed, chopped leeks
16 light skinned fresh figs OR dried figs (note: fresh are much, much better!)
salt and pepper to taste
8 chicken thighs (or one large package of the flash-frozen Empire chicken thighs), fat and possibly skin removed
2 cups white cooking wine
2 Tb balsamic vinegar
1 Tb honey
3 sprigs fresh thyme (okay, if you absolutely must, dried can be substituted - maybe 1/2 tsp)
Heat olive oil in a large pan, saute leeks until soft and browning (this will take a while). If your pan isn't nonstick, you will need to stir regularly, or risk adding more oil - if you do so, I strongly recommend skinning the chicken to keep this from being a rather fatty dish.
Add figs, salt, pepper, wine, vinegar, honey and thyme. Simmer 10 minutes or so.
Arrange chicken in a roaster. Pour fig-leek mixture on top. Bake 450F for 45 minutes or until chicken is done.