My sweet Miles,
I hope someday when we’re sitting together, picking at the last remains from a plate of prawns with asparagus-chile foam (or whatever is in culinary style in 2033), we’ll look back and laugh at the limited diet of your youth. In a move I couldn’t have predicted, you have abandoned your previous staples: pasta with tomato sauce and Hy-Vee’s Chinese Express orange chicken. You did eat pasta at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house last weekend, but you haven’t had it at home even once in weeks.
Now you eat pancakes and graham crackers. Sometimes I can coax a few apple slices and sunflower seeds into you, but the previous holy trinity (cheese, apples, sunflower seeds) no longer contains cheese. You’re an accidental vegan. You don’t even seem to want popsicles or fudge pops anymore.
You realize this behavior tears a mother’s heart apart, right? I spent 35.5 weeks without raw eggs, sashimi, alcohol and deli meats to keep you healthy. I took all the supplements, even the ones the rude midwife scoffed at (which, by the time Tobin’s gestation came around, mysteriously appeared on their recommended list—BOOYAH) and ate lots of vegetables. But, shockingly, it turned out that once you left my body, I could no longer control every aspect of your nutrition.
Photo by Beth Clarke
This would not be such a big deal if your moods weren’t so tightly connected to your blood sugar levels. If you get hungry and there are no graham crackers in the house, that’s some big trouble right there. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on our upcoming vacation. I’m not going to bring multiple boxes of graham crackers on the cruise ship. There will be pancakes available at breakfast, but after that, we’ll have to see what happens.
You’re super excited for the cruise. I made you a cruise calendar, which is an Advent-type chart with each day covered up with a Post-it note. You love taking down a Post-it every day and counting how many days are left until the trip. Now it’s only two. We really need this vacation. Your dad has been working long, hard hours on a major project at work, and this vacation is a reward for his efforts as well as our stress related to having less of his time available for us.
You say you’re really looking forward to our beach days, which is great considering your poor response to the sand and ocean on your first beach vacation. I can’t wait to get into the ocean either, but what I’m most excited about is just having an extended amount of leisure time with you, your brother, and your dad. You won’t have to rush out of bed and through breakfast to make it to school on time. You won’t have to bundle up in your multi-layered sweatshirt/coat/hat/mittens ensemble. You won’t have to be quiet during Tobin’s nap, because you can go do something fun on the ship.
You finished up your pre-kindergarten classes at school, which were special sessions your teacher ran to help ease you and your fellow Montessorians to the teacher-driven style you’ll experience next year. I think you’ll do well in kindergarten (assuming I can get you to eat a packed lunch; not only is your food repertoire limited, you also get a touch of the stress anorexia and won’t eat if you’re not comfortable in a situation). You came out of every pre-kindergarten session cheerful and energetic.
You’re doing well in preschool too. In true Montessori style, your teachers never dissuade you from doing anything that interests you, which right now is mostly writing numbers on long, long, long rolls of adding machine-type paper. Every day when I come to pick you up, I look at your cubby, and it has more scrolls of paper in it. Every day I get overwhelmed by the prospect of carrying all those out to the car while also managing you, your brother, and all your winter gear. Finally one of your teachers gathered a whole bunch of them up for me in a bag, which is now sitting on our kitchen counter. I think you’ve accumulated more since then, though. On the plus side, you’re getting really good at writing your numbers.
My favorite part of pick-up is the way you immediately run to Tobin and hug him. He’s kind of a mascot for your class, and a lot of times your classmates want to play with him too, but you’re a bit protective of him. He loves your hugs, even when you knock him over. He’s always smiling and laughing when he sees you.
Another recent obsession for you has been drawing. Your skills have really taken off, and you draw complex scenes with multiple characters and stories behind them. In fact, right now you’re at the hearth drawing with markers, having abandoned Super Mario Brothers on your computer. This is a good turn of events.
We’ve been hearing a lot of singing around the house lately. You love to sing the songs from our Family Folk Machine choir, and you and Tobin can do an extremely cute duet of “Country Roads.” He listens to you so carefully, and just about every time you pause and leave a word out, he can fill it in. I think he’s going to want to run up on the stage and join us at the concert. I’m hoping I can get you to stand with the other kids at the concert. At our rehearsals you stay stuck to me, but maybe in the next few months you’ll get over that.
Have a good month, my little Scoop. I can’t wait for our week of low-stress fun. I hope you discover a new food.
I hope you discover ten new foods.
Realistically, I hope you ingest enough calories that if you need a ring-style life preserver, it doesn’t slip right off your skinny little body.
Photo by Beth Clarke