Wednesday, November 07, 2007

conversations with the short

But first, a quick nod to my new persona as book critic: this one was a good read, I thought, with an absolutely delightful authorial voice, and blogospheric-worthy sense of self. I could have done without the chookhouse, but the tale of two mariners had me frozen in my seat. I absolutely had to know what happened next...

Yup, worth reading. But you decide for yourself - wiser heads might point out a certain bias on my part.
[During lunch, at which point the Toddles reminds us all that he really does have a bit of a lisp]

small person: I hear a duck
Adult: my ears hear a truck, too.
[truck rumbles down the street]
small person, scornfully: noooo, the other duck.
Adult: my ears do not hear another truck.
small person, mouth slightly full: it is the backoe.
Adult: oh, the back-hoe was by the river before
small person, now liberally daubed with tomato sauce, singing: I fink the backoe should wive [live] down-a, down-a
Adult: live down where?
small person, undaunted, still saucy and still singing: Oh, I fink the backoe should wive down-a, down-a, Sanniego [San Diego]
Adult, sensing a narrative to which she is not - quite - a party: oh. Right then.

Scene: at the table, the Eldest is carefully, patiently, folding an origami compsygnathus. The Man is with him, watching this latest generation of passionate hobbyists at work.

Man: You know, when you were about a month old, I had a dream that someday you would have an activity that you loved, and we would support you in it.
Eldest stirs briefly in response, then returns to his work.
Man, meditatively: you know, I think we’re living that dream.
Eldest, looking up, his attention caught: I think we ARE living that dream, Daddy!
Yes, said the dreamer, smiling gently. But not during dinner.

The Toddles is on my back, sitting happily in the Ergo carrier while leafing through a copy of Where the Wild Things Are.

How are you doing back there?
Oh, good.
And how are the wild things?
Oh, um, good. And also Max.
Excellent. And where are Max and the wild things now?
Oh, um, in my mouth.

[choked gargle from the sherpa, a distinctly pleased silence from her baggage]

Mama at the sink, washing dishes. A small figure trots by.

I’m going to work wif dis, drifts back to the maternal ear.
Oh, okay hon, she says, unthinking. But then, snikt

[running feet]

What on earth?

how one discovers that the two year old can open the child-locked cabinets and drawers.
a quiet, pre-bedtime moment. The Mama is leisurely inspecting the child's head for, alas, lice.

Mum, hemophilia is when you are missing factor eight and factor nine. But who is missing factor nine?
I blink, and reel off a couple of names.
Oh. But what about ----, or --------, or ---------?
Oh, they are missing factor eight, hon. Like you.

And so is [list deleted]. They were with us at camp , d’you remember?
Thoughtfully, Yes. Those guys are all my buddies.
Yes. And I’m glad.

The gift of camp was a weekend of joy without the mention of hemophilia, thus quietly linking hemophilia with a sense of opportunity and delight. Brilliantly done. The less subtle goal, though, was building community - and with it a sense of shared experience, normalcy, blahditty blah blah. All good stuff, no?

This past week was the National Hemophilia Foundation’s big annual meeting. Someday, I’ll take the Eldest, and he can look at rooms and rooms of people, all reluctant clotters like him, like us. Until then, I'll just bask quietly in the knowledge that for a kid with a rare thingummijiggy, he's got quite a few thingumijiggy-type friends.

Which reminds me - a (belated) good luck to you, exblick! I hope you had a great session.
The Rower’s Tapenade

a dip enjoyed by Head of the Charles competitors everywhere, but especially by one member of the Watertown Master’s team…makes one soup bowl-ful.

1 can of tasteless black olives. No, not kalamata, not green, the cheap-o, plastic-textured can of olives that should be offensive to all sane palates. Drained.
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 large clove garlic, peeled
handful of parsley (try to avoid the stems)

Toss garlic and salt into a food processor, and whirl until pretty finely minced. Add everything else. Whirl until olives are in small pieces. Keeps in refrigerator for up to a week, though the liquid may separate. If it does, just stir it back in.

Note: this is not quite the tapenade that the MIL makes – I am given to understand that she’s made some adjustments. However you make it, please remember to include the following PSA: the following dip is an olive dip made for non-olive eaters. Please do not lick the bowl without offering first swipe to the cook.


magid said...

I'd like to read that book.... and if I'm remembering correctly, there might be a copy with my name on it?

Plus lots of *chortling* over the antics of the Toddles :-)

mama o' the matrices said...

Oh, good heavens - so there is. Autographed and everything. (slaps head) So much for the courier service.

Yes, the Grandmere is enjoying the Toddles' antics, as well. Too much, I might add. She laughs with pleasure (and she says, not a whit of vengefulness, but one must wonder and wasn't I the GOOD child?) whenever I tell her stories.


Auntie A said...

Wow, Toddles' verbosity is growing by leaps and bounds. Thanks for sharing!

Shabbat shalom!

Exblick said...

Our session was great. I brought up the lack of allergy friendliness again and again. We're gonna make it happen!

The tapenade sounds great. I've made it with some green olives, too. Mmmmm, I'm hungry.

David said...

Thank you for posting this recipe! As the rower in question, I must reiterate that it was delicious!

magid said...

I'll trade you for more kid books :-)

mama o' the matrices said...

exblick, I'm so glad the session went well! That's great to hear - you deserve that sort of reception. And thank you, thank you for pushing the allergy issue. It should be a no-brainer. We bleed, we ooze, we accomodate...folks with issues other than our own, maybe? Maybe.

David, glad you like the recipe. We loved getting to watch the rowing! Thanks for offering a really, really good reason to go see the fun.

And magid, it's a deal. We just need to do that calendar thing again, now that this week's a bust (again!). What about shabbat lunch?