The Texture Of Things

A Morning Recipe

January 26th, 2009

You’ll need:
One cat with needs
One bowl of cereal with no intention of sharing

Combine one cat with standard desire to consume cereal bowl milk. Add to cat an insatiable hunger for all things granola, graham, cookie, and cracker.

In a small bowl, pour Golden Grahams and milk. Add spoon. Sit down and begin to enjoy.

In cereal bowl, find cat’s tail, nose, or whiskers. (Paw would also work.)

Fight off cat for thirty seconds.

After fighting, stand up and walk to center of room or to any part of room with open floor space and at least three feet between furniture tall enough for cat to access bowl from. (Kitchen may be substituted, but is not recommended.)

Finish cereal. Discover cats have no kibble and realize that was probably the problem.

Serves one. Discard leftovers.

History

January 20th, 2009

Dear Tater and Tot,

When you are old enough to wonder about these days, I want to be able to tell you about them.

Today, America changed. Today, America saw its first African American President Inaugurated. This is an important moment in our history because it is a first, a door opening for future Americans.

When you ask me where you were when it happened, I will tell you this. We were in our living room, watching it on tv. I had been walking Tater around to get him to settle into a nap while I listened to the coverage on the kitchen radio. Tot, you stayed home from preschool with a cold, so you were kneeling at the ottoman in your rainbow-striped jammies. When I asked you if you wanted to see it, you said yes.

“Barack Obama will become President today. Do you want to watch?”
“Yes.” So I turned off the kid shows and put on a news channel.

We watched a poet and a prayer and a performance and a President, and that was that.

While it was a momentous occasion, I didn’t make a big deal over it, my little ones, because I don’t want it to ever be a big deal that America can elect someone who isn’t white or male or a member of a major political party. I am glad that for the whole of your lives, a President who also happens to be a minority will simply be within normal limits. I am hopeful that by the time you are both voting age, what a person is will not matter as much as what she or he stands for, as it has so often in our past.

It is a good dream to have, for all of us.

Love,
Mama

Just So You Know, This Does Not Have A Bad Ending

January 20th, 2009

Most of our lives, we go along thinking, “It could never happen to us,” and for the most part, it’s true. In fact, if you think about it, when we hear scary stories on the news, we may well think, “I don’t even know anyone that’s ever happened to.” Well, now you do.

Our house is filled with products that have been recalled due to the salmonella scare. Sure, many homes have Austin and Keebler peanut butter crackers in the cupboard as snacks, but in this house, pb crackers are on the tot’s plate every single lunch and dinner. They are in my purse for when we’re out and she needs to eat. They are in her lunch bag at the babysitter’s house. Peanut butter and peanut butter products are her main source of protein.

Has anyone in this house gotten sick from them? No. The tot and I have a cold, but that is the extent of any illness here. Still, it feels like every time I turn around I see a packet of crackers in the snack drawer here and a half-packet of crackers leftover on the table there and I snatch them up, feeling relieved that she didn’t see them and open them for herself in a fit of independence. (It does happen from time to time.) I have told her that we aren’t eating peanut butter crackers from packages right now, only homemade ones (which she resists), but she’s 4.5 and really it’s my job to be in charge of shielding her from potentially dangerous things.

I am left with a weird feeling as this story develops. Of all the food contamination scares we’ve had in the last few years, I never really worried about them. They were all detached and distant from my life because I didn’t eat those things. I mean, seriously? Spinach? C’mon. Who the hell eats spinach? But here, this feels a little too close.

The up side to this is that the tot is forced to eat more cheese crackers (which should help desensitize her to cheese flavors) and is being offered more chicken nuggets (though she hasn’t been eating them), but even consumption of those is down right now due to her cold. For now, it’s lots of fluids for us and a big dose of relief that at least jarred peanut butter is considered safe for the time being, if she decides she feels like eating.

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