Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the Pesach voice (and breaking news!)

Breaking News:
the Toddles is now officially cleared for a food challenge to oats. Putting on my best 'here goes nuthin' face, I asked if there was any way that the usual 6 month wait for a food challenge could be shortened...slightly. I explained about Pesach, and how oats (if cleared) would be the only legit grain for matza, according to Judiac law. Our allergist listened carefully, and then barely hesitated.

If it can be done, I will make it happen. I'll come in myself to staff the challenge, and I'll do my best to cut through the red tape. I babbled words of thanks, words of explanation, trying to make him understand just how grateful we are and how big a deal this is.

Our allergist blushed, telephonically, and said he'd see us on Thursday. Oh, oh, my.
Time is running short on Pesach preparations, assisted possibly by the need to sit around and wait for a plumber (annoying) or spend an unexpected afternoon feeding the Toddles oats (scary yet exciting). I am now a mama-shaped blur, coloured with lack of sleep (a congested, pre-challenge non-antihistamined Toddles means a tired mama) and stress. I can't move fast enough, read labels fast enough, or run enough errands. And then it happened.

There's a voice in my head, and I think it's about four years old. It just spoke up today,

I quit Pesach!

Standing in the parking lot at Target, I spun around. My cart was full, the Toddles miserable and I was pretty sure that nobody but me had heard it. The voice elaborated, I quit! I'm done, I'm fed up, I want to go plant something, write something, I want to breathe without someone asking me 'what should I do now,' having NOT looked at the itemized, organized by priority lists of Pesach Things To Do. I'm out.

I settled the damp Toddles into the car, kissed his nose, and drove off, thoughtfully.

After organizing our trip to Australia, organizing during Australia, preparing for the bleeding disorder conference we went to, Pesach has somehow become too much. I want ordinary life, I want to settle into the usual slightly too-busy routine of our days. And if I have to do Pesach, can we please at least find the time for me to sit down and figure it all out, first?

Unpacking the car, I found the Drawer Dividers of Desperation. They were, fortunately, unaccompanied by the Piles of Toys of Panic. I considered the internal plea for organization, congratulated myself on stepping away from the sense of overwhelmedness that the ultimate toy stack would have tried to solve, and breathed.

When did I put spandex back on? This will never do. Time for some cavalry.

I started by kissing the Toddles again. Poor child, it wasn't his fault that he refused to sit in the cart, then chose a cart that he could climb out of, then refused to be buckled, then slid out of the buckles, then sat precariously in a seat from which he would fall repeatedly. Nope, not his fault - just an unfortunate combination of twoness and a mama unprepared to be firm and forestall the troubles to come. Dang.

I kissed him a third time - kissing that child is therapeutic for me. How could I have forgotten this? Then, I called magid, who sat down and listened while I recounted the voice's declarations and sorted myself out. I hung up with magid, buoyed up with her offer to help and especially, to listen some more. And I called the Man.

We have a problem, I told him. I could feel the palpable click as he set aside his work-day self to listen to me. I explained.

An hour later, he was home and sitting with me as I worked out the menu. He suggested desserts that he would make, he told me I was brilliant, capable, wonderful. He hugged me a lot, and smiled. And he didn't pull out his Palm Pilot once.

Now, the official first days' menu is set. I have a variety of dish options laid out for the rest of Pesach, but I suspect we'll eat leftovers quite a bit. The horrific kosher butcher shopping is now done. The Toddles is happily bouncing in his seat as the Man drives him to pick up the Eldest, and then they'll do the non-produce shopping with the absolutely, positively final shopping list. Tomorrow morning, I'll buy the produce and gasp at the amount of fruits and veggies, and the astonishing dearth of places to store them.

And all will be well, and all manner of things will be well. (okay, so Julian of Norwich said that, but I think a nice Jewish girl can borrow the idea for the nonce.)

Intrigued by the idea of an allergy friendly Starbucks? Vote on it!

Kudos to Evan Frankel from New Jersey, who suggested the idea. And bah, humbug to the half-hearted idiots who always post about food allergies. No, I don't want to just stay home. But until Starbucks figures this one out, I'm taking my coffee budget to Bloc 11. After all, when did Starbucks make a pretty leaf pattern on my latte, hmmm?


magid said...

I'm hoping for the oats to get the thumbs up (though at this crazy time of year, I'm not holding my breath... that would make me nuttier. It would be so excellent if you got oats back!)

I hope the rest of the week includes buckets more cope for you.

Zina said...

I will pray for a great result from the food challenge. I can't wait to do food challenges with O, but I get the feeling that won't be a while.

A Pesach. You've got a good man there. I am sorry I can't seem to help... or is there? Let me know.

Smaller coffee houses are wonderful, but DH wants consistency and predictability in all things - so he gravitates toward Starbucks like space debris does to Jupiter.

It is hard to talk to people about allergies, and for them to not understand how difficult it is. Of course, how can they know without them (or a loved one) actually having an allergy.

mama o' the matrices said...

Zina, absolutely you cannot help. I won't let you. Thou shalt not. Thou shalt, however, keep on doing the nose-above-water thing at home. Capisce?

Yep, Starbucks has consistency. But bloc 11 has way better coffee. And oh! their salads. One of their employees is gluten-free, and she's got the folks there pretty allergy aware. I asked for a corn-free, egg-free, gluten-free salad, and got a humdinger that had me wiping the plate with my finger.

bah, humbug to Starbucks. They can't beat that combination! But I'll buy coffee there if they do become allergy aware. They may be the Evil Coffee Empire with not-quite good coffee, but I support the folks who make my life easier.

Plus, they are convenient. Ubiquitous?

Lois Grebowski said...

Hope the oats works. Will hope and pray for that...