Monday, November 19, 2007

nighttime mathematics (with substitutions)

10 pm, Friday night.

The Toddles, having struggled all week with the lingering traces of fish in his system (it takes 2 weeks to clear an allergen out, post-exposure), has been sleeping badly for some time. While the rest of the family sleeps a relieved, sabbatical sleep, he pops up in bed.

Toddles: I'm awake.
mama, dryly: I can see that.
Toddles, confidingly: My poops are coming out of my bottom. They are working hard.
mama, straight-faced: ah. and where are they going?
Toddles, airily: oh, into my diaper.
Toddles, thinking out loud: one bottom for me, one bottom for [Eldest], one bottom for Daddy and one bottom for Mummy. [pause to consider this] One bottom each.
[satisfied nod]
The Toddles cocks his head to one side, and considers the matter further: One penis for me, one penis for [Eldest], one penis for penis for Mummy.
Toddles turns to the mama, and lays a comforting hand on her slightly quivering arm.
You have no penis, but you have Josh Beckett.
mama, controlling herself very, very carefully: I have who?
Toddles, confidently: You have a Josh Beckett. You like Josh Beckett.

one can only hope that he refers to the poster thoughtfully supplied by the Boston Globe, rather than a rather unusual choice of euphemism.


Even during the daytime, the Toddles is turning into a fascinating little person. We have delicious, hilarious conversations, and I find myself picking my way through the unknown territory of his mind. His perspective isn't just about two and a half feet lower than mine, it's completely, absolutely different. And one of the things I love about it is his fearlessness. (That's also the same thing that makes me gasp, clutch and my chest and eat far too much chocolate, but it's a good thing. In moderation.)

The Toddles, you see, will eat just about anything.

We discovered this one day when I decided to reintroduce the guessing spices game that I played with the Eldest at this age. (what spice is in this? here are three jars..what do you think?) The Toddles, however, is uninterested in waiting for the foods to be cooked, and instead likes to try the flavors before cooking and combining. He proved his point over cauliflower dum (cumin, coriander, pepper, turmeric, salt, cayenne. my face is warm, said he and smiled) and Imperfect Joes (where the heck did that recipe go? Oh, well. I think it was pepper, paprika, dark chili powder...etc). Then he moved on.

He ate

  • artichokes
  • mama's in haste green curry paste
  • ginger preserves
  • lemon-ginger tea (to prove the point)
  • hempmilk (a suggestion by Mary Jr, which I tried and found even more disturbing than ricemilk, which may say more about me than about hemp as milk)
  • the various spices of tandoori chicken (see here, though I skipped the yogurt and marinating. Instead, I sauteed an onion, tossed in the spices, then the chicken and finally added about 1/4 cup of reduced fat coconut milk, covered the pot and called it done. Ten minutes, tops.)

We all paused briefly to admire this, considered his early training on Vegemite, and appreciated the fearless gourmand that is this child. Huzzah! Wonder how long it will last?


Mama's in Haste Green Curry Paste

  • 1 lemon, zested and squeezed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 large handful of parsley, another of cilantro (if available)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3-4 scallions, or a good chunk of red onion
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • small chunk of ginger, peeled

Toss the lot into a food processor, and whirl it around until fairly smooth. Remove and keep out of the reach of your toddler, while you spoon it into a jar. If you stretch an old plastic bag over the top of the jar before putting on the lid, the paste will be more airtight and keep longer - up to two weeks.

Best curry paste moment ever: watching the Toddles eat it straight out of the jar. Last shabbat, he hauled a stepping stool over to the fridge, opened the fridge, pulled out the curry paste, got a spoon, and asked me to open it. I couldn't help myself - I opened the jar for the kid, and then sat there wishing for a camera and non-sabbatical moment, as he ate it right out of the jar. Dang.


dykewife said...

wow! curry paste right out of the jar? he's more adventurous than i am.

boy is another child who will try anything and usually likes it. when he was a wee one he'd chow down anything and then ask for more. he's gotten more discerning in his old age and doesn't like sweet potatoes, though he snarfed them down with both hands when he was little.

i wonder how one milks a hemp.

mama o' the matrices said...

Hmm. Somehow I can see boy doing just that. And to be fair, the curry paste was quite mild and beautifully lemony-green. I ate a teaspoon of it myself. (Why should the kidlet have all the fun?)

Zina said...

You have two remarkable boys. Wow. Toddles really has a head on his shoulders.

Josh Beckett?


mama o' the matrices said...

Yep, Josh Beckett. Dustin Pedroia hangs next to Mister Beckett by now, but all the Toddles had to say about him was, 'he has a big hat.'

Which, if you think about it from the right angle, clarifies absolutely nothing.

Auntie A said...

Ha! Toddles is a funny, funny, leetle boy (gets it from his mama no doubt). They are so much fun to talk to at that age...