Sunday, August 26, 2007

we pause from our soapbox to bring you...the children

Wondering what's up with the Toddles? Well, courtesy of Zina and her Guy, here's a peek at the Toddles' future.

The Eldest, by contrast, has had a very relaxed week. In fact, so relaxed that I was getting cocky (ha! This vacation thing is a pieceapie. No worries, mate - I'm cruising on through), so I should really thank him for the rather cranky day he had today. Yes, indeedy.
The shining moments of his day focussed around a playdate we had with Zina (noticing a trend, maybe?), who shared her marvels in cake making. 'Happy Birthday to Me,' indeed!

On the way home, in the car, the Eldest mused,

Mummy, wouldn't it be wonderful if everything could fly? If everything could float?
Me, contemplating a general lack of gravity as I navigate Harvard Square, and enjoying the timing of the thought: hmm. I used to wish that I could fly, as a kid. But I do like some things to stay on the ground.
Eldest, pursuing the thought: And what if all of your wishes came true, like every single one every single time? Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Me, avoiding drunk students: Umm. Like what?
Eldest, starry eyed: Like what if we could wish to live only three blocks from Zina? Wouldn't that be wonderful? We could have two hundred thousand playdates with them! No - two hundred thousand million playdates! No - two hundred thousand trillion playdates!

He drifts off into silence, considering the numbers that will bring him days and hours with the boy who, as he says, 'has a head full of rockets and ideas.' He does, too.




Later, at home the Toddles wanders out onto the deck and calls out, 'Hi, Zina! Come play?' Okay, kids, I'm getting the point. Besides, the lady makes a mean birthday cake.
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A couple of weeks ago, we were all three in the local post office. There was an ungodly long line for the clerks, and the automatic stamp machine thing (which the boys adore - it has buttons, it spits out printed papers, some of the papers are stickers - I mean, WOW.) was broken. Sigh. We trudged over to the line, and I settled the Toddles in the Ergo. A fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a second later, I was ever so slightly possibly aware that the Eldest was bursting with energy. He was hopping up and down. He was bouncing in place. He was ducking under, around and through the dividing ropes. He was bopping the tops of the rope holders as if they were drums, and ringing out cymbal-like finishes with the ropes' clips. In short, the boy needed to run. So, I tried.

Honey, d'you want to run from there and back?
No good - too many people around for him to whomp into. Okay, take two:
Honey, how many grey squares d'you think there are from here to there?
pause, while the Eldest animatedly counts.
And what about green squares?
shorter pause, while the Eldest works out that there are as many green squares as there are grey.
Mum, I want to count triangles.

The triangles are part of a border that circle the post office. I look at them, consider the distance from them to exists, evaluate the crowd for possible child snatchers, and take a chance. Okay, I say. Go for it.

The Eldest starts. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...his voice floats back to me. By twenty-three, he's disappeared into the crowd, and I see only flashes of his bright blue shirt. Seventy-seven, seventy-eight, seventy-nine, excuse me. EXCUSE me.

I triangulate: from his voice, he must be by the Automatic Postal Hunka Metal, which a pair of women are attempting to operate. EXCUSE ME! He is firm and still in the boundaries of polite. The women step backwards, a flash of blue moves past them, eighty, eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three...

The voice trails through the room, loud enough that I can hear it clearly way back in the line, then starts getting closer. I can see him now - he's by the entrance, and there he is by the little muddy carpet. Two hundred sixty, two hundred sixty one. He pauses, considers, then lifts the carpet. Two hundred sixty two, two hundred sixty three. The man in front of me nods approvingly. Good work, kid, he says to himself.

Two hundred fifty eight, two hundred fifty nine, two hundred (pause). The Eldest, swimming happily in his numbers, has lost track. He's in sight of the line for the clerks now, and a man two behind me calls out 'two hundred SIXTY!' The Eldest picks up the thread of his count again, but at two hundred sixty-nine loses it again. Two hundred seventy, kid, says another, and the Eldest takes his cue.

In case you were wondering, there are two hundred and ninety three triangles in the post office. And I was deeply disappointed in my fellow line-standers when they did not join me in applause, but I'm willing to forgive them - they broke silence long enough to appreciate and assist, and that's a decent start.
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It's been a while since we've had a new recipe on this blog, so here ya go. This one was born of desperation on Friday, while a friend committed the ultimate feat of nursing her tiny person AND teaching the Eldest to fold an origami bird that actually flaps its wings. Grateful (and not a little impressed), I escaped to the kitchen to make dinner. I had planned on coconut lime lox pasta (our favorite culinary tongue twister), only to discover a fatal lack of coconut milk, lox and limes. Whoops. So, here you go:

Origami Pantry Pasta
serves 4-6

1 pkg pasta (I used Tinkyada's spaghetti, which I always cook for far less than instructed), cooked.

In the pasta pot, toss:
olive oil (4 Tb?)
1 large chopped onion or 2 smaller chopped onions.
Let brown. Then add:
Arora Indian Creations goan fish curry mix (about a third of the packet) - I find this at Whole Foods and at my local kosher butcher. Can't find it? Try mixing up the spices listed here - use the extra, mixed with equal amounts lime/lemon juice and olive oil to spread generously over fish, then bake. But back to the pasta...

Stir onion, oil and spices for a couple of minutes. Toss in:

6 kaffir lime leaves (I keep bags in the freezer). Don't have lime leaves? Squeeze about 1/3rd cup lime juice and set aside.

Add:
1 can salmon, preferably the kind with the bones included (extra calcium, folks!). Stir, mashing gently. Once salmon is heated through (check if you need extra oil to keep things from sticking to the bottom of the pot), add most of a bag of frozen chunks of okra.

No, really. You want to barely cook the okra, until it's just defrosted and still bright green, then turn off the heat, toss in the lime juice, stir quickly and slap a lid on the pan. Set aside, off the still-hot burner. Do this quickly enough and the okra will be a bit crunchy and definitely not gluey.

Serve warm, and watch the Toddles steal bits of okra off your plate. Try not to laugh when the Eldest, six okras in, quietly decides to add the rest of his okra to your plate.

Options: replace okra with green beans or chunks of zucchini, summer squash. Unless, of course, if you are feeding it to us - in which case, do stick to the green beans or the oh-so daring okra.
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Quote of the week: My heart is pounding with joy to see my friend.
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Zina-ed out yet? Oh, but wait, there's more (I can hear her laughing already): try this link. No, really. And before you start raising an eyebrow at the Mama, do remember that my MIL reads this blog, and I'd say nothing here that I don't want her to know about. (Brief pause to consider the stability and functionality of my mouth/brain filter, my keyboard/brain filter. No, I think I mean that.) So, ladies, what does porn mean to you?

2 comments:

Zina said...

BEST BLOG POST EVER!

I have not updated my blog yet as so many other things have been popping up.

Eldest is such a sweet kid. All the boys are.

You are welcome at our place any time!

Auntie A said...

Yay Eldest! I do love that triangle story...

As for the porn - hah! Thanks for giving me a chuckle at work.