Monday, June 09, 2008

challenging food

This past Friday, we considered the possibilities of lentils. The Eldest took it so seriously that he asked for seconds, startling the nurse assigned to us. She looked briefly worried, and then turned to me for explanations. The Eldest, his mouth full, looked puzzled. Hasn't she seen a kid eat before? he asked me silently, chewing. I shrugged. Having seen her puzzle over a knot left by a nice fat bruise, I suspected that there was more in this world (o Horatio) than was dreamt of by her philosophy. The Eldest, his mouth happily full, didn't argue.

Food challenges, successful or otherwise, are amazingly boring. In between the carefully masked bouts of adult terror (while the child eats) is the waiting for something to happen - or not (more adult terror). So, it requires entertainment in equal proportion to the boredom and the adult's twitchiness. We Imperfects walked into the windowless little exam room assigned to us for the lentil challenge, and knew exactly what to do. We marched right back out of the room, and headed for the giant basket of crayons in the waiting room.

By the time lentils were approved and the second helpings supplied, we'd created a cosmos on the examining table's paper cover. We had stars, planets, the rainbows, trees and birds of the Earth, and some mysterious hieroglyphics courtesy of the Toddles, who lost interest in crayons when discovered the room's scale and went over to jump on it. (more surprise from the nurse, who by now should have known that we were entirely out of her reckoning.)

The table's paper in hand, we headed off. I was a limp maternal rag, but the boys bounced and grinned over my head, and I grimly set myself to appreciate the Eldest's triumph.

Ah, but I hate food challenges. I'm aware that the Eldest's calm is purely a product of luck thus far - he has yet to fail a challenge, and so has an inflated view of his safety at moments like these. Which I'm not about to disabuse. Gently, we tell him that the doctors are making their best decisions about the allergen, and blithely he recalls past triumphs. But my fears are not really the point. There was laughter today, crayons and storybooks, not to mention an enormous drawing of the universe. So, onwards we pumpkin. The Man offered a juicy, challenge-free alternative,

nonetheless, I think we might just push our luck on this one. But first, a few weeks to let my nerves settle, hmm?


All Adither said...

Oh. Yikes. We haven't gotten to challenge anything yet, but I think your description was good. I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able to challenge a couple things in the next few years.

Auntie A said...

Yoikes. Maternal terror, indeed. Still, glad it went well. And the Eldest's "mi ani" day sounds absolutely lovely. No wonder he wants to go back to school.

Keeping cool with watermelon seems like a most excellent idea. I see you're having the same suddenly-summer weather that we are.

Anonymous said...

I'd be nervous too...

Seeing the picss, I can't get over how much they've grown! Such hadnsome boys!

mama o' the matrices said...

Lois, they have grown, haven't they? Yowza.

Yep, Auntie A - it's suddenly summer here. Very, very summer. Who cranked the atmospheric thermostat, is what I want to know...sheesh.

All adither - yep, it's nervous-making stuff, the food challenges. But it's also a wonderful moment to build trust. But maybe not with a two-year-old terror of a sibling along? Tactical error, that one.