Friday, February 26, 2010

Arms & Legs In

Flight of the Bumbles II

One of the treatments for phobia is immersion, so I'm headed out to fly.

I'm at the airport hearing a faux voice over the loud speaker... "We are at an extra high security level," and despite it's monotone calm, my guts begin to unravel.
In my extra high state of insecurity, I perch at the edge of my seat and listen for the next announcement. My nerves are at a matching extra high level, and my reaction is knife sharp. I clutch at my husband, "Did you hear that? Did you? Extra high!"

He mumbles something from under the newspaper that he customarily settles over his face as soon as we alight in any of the world's waiting areas.

"We are currently at orange."

"Orange?" "Orange," my nervous twinge morphs to an outrage that is noticeable to other passengers, except to the husband who is still under his paper. I'm off on a tirade.

"Orange?" I repeat the comment giving it the correct emphasis, "Orange?" "It's apparent that TSA has never raised children! Do they not understand the fine art of threats?" And the monologue begins.

My verbal soliloquy to the newspaper covered lump continues, "Do they not know that you have to hold back. When you issuing threats, you must reserve something for "RED". The human psyche becomes inured to the constancy of empty threats."

"What are they going to say when it's red? Explain that? Does the lack of government vision extend even to the airlines?" I continue with rhetorical queries, but it works whenever government is involved.

"Has no one thought ahead? What are they going to say next?" I muse aloud. By this time, other potential flyers are overhearing, but I have my earbuds in, so they assume that I am accidentally speaking too loudly over my sound reducing earphones. They are wrong.

"What comes after extra high level? What can they say next? We are currently experiencing "PEE YOUR PANTS" security levels?" and finally I ease into my ending.

"Please. Anyone with children knows that you must reserve your hyperbole. Hold something back for heaven sakes! That's why my best threats start at one and count to ten. Heaven help the child that doesn't move by five or six. Even a teen knows that to get to eight is life threatening--because by then, Mom has to get up and enforce--and you'd better duck if you make Momma move."

And I settle back into my waiting seat, noticing out of the corner of my eye each head that nods, and eyes that glint. I have made even more converts to the paranoia that accompanies flight.

Another important part of fear therapy is rational thought. I need to admit that our flight security levels are never--not ever-- going lower than orange. Just admit to myself that flying "extra high security, orange level, ' is forever. 'Cause even if Bin Ladenis assassinated, we're stuck with TSA because no government worker is ever laid off.

And there I go. Off on another rant. Hey, it's therapy!

excerpt from the book: Arms and Legs In and Have a Nice Ride

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Food Foibles

I am an authoritarian chef in my house. The children will eat what I fix and when I fix it--no variation. And so for the first ten years of my second son's life I choose tortillas and yogurt.

Jesting aside, I really had great intentions to start. I would involve my children in food, allow them to explore and expand their own food horizons. I have video of Dia at three discussing in long sentences why she doesn't enjoy Asian food, "I like it fine, but it's just so hard to eat with chopsticks."

Ah so cute. And there sits the brother, the baby hitched up to the table in the background with this steely eyed grin on his face, and one eyebrow cocked as if to say, "Really, really? You are such a suck-up and I am so gonna introduce this family to the real world."

From the time he turned two, the boy refused to eat. It was as if the world no longer made food to his taste and he wasn't going to bother. Then he turned six and discovered that non-food items were another way to tweek the mother food instinct, and so the boy snacked on paper, plastic and other interesting items--but still, nothing of any nutritional value and never enough of whatever it was, to appease the mother and assure her that at least he was getting full... of something.

I tried everything and every doctor. I sought the help of a dietitian who said it had become a control issue and to give the boy a multi-vitamin and back off. At that point, I was willing to settle for the calcium deposits in chalk. The meals at home ended in anger and tears, (mostly mine). And when the child was mistaken at the pool for a visiting albino Ethopian, I was sure at the time, that the whole world was eyeballing Mom! Feed That Boy!

Nothing worked and he wandered about for years with dark circles (the photo evidence) from inability to sleep and when the movie "Meet The Robinson's" came out, I was certain that they modeled poor depressed and exhausted Guber after my son.

The story has a happy ending, the food police didn't come and haul me away and we finally discovered that what his body was yelling was, "Just don't feed me stuff that makes me sick."

The boy now wakes up early in order to get first pickin' before he leaves for seminary, he gets home and eats another full meal before school, he cuts out early for elevensies, gobbles lunch, eats after school and again for supper.

And now when food or anything else is missing...

Ian Ate It.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

…cooking al la queen

I love gluten-free cooking because the art responds well to my wit and whimsy. I have no culinary training, therefore I’m not constrained by any set of rules or recipes, and that makes my gf cooking always new and stimulating. This attitude keeps the repetition at bay and makes every meal exciting—for there may never be another creation quite like the last, and if there were, I have such a short memory, I wouldn’t recall it anyway.

Hey, I’ve salvaged another ruined meal. I decided to whip up instant potatoes for supper. I boiled the water, added butter, milk and salt, and then dumped in the last of the potato flakes. Oops, a little thin.

In retrospect, I should have added onion and parsley and called it soup, but I wanted mashed potatoes. So, I pulled out the few potatoes I had left and snapped off their feelers. After peeling, slicing, boiling, and mashing, I made the mistake of adding them to the soup. Still soup, yet even more of it!

Resolutely not wanting soup, I put them in the oven to bake off some of the water. Meanwhile I warmed tomato soup for supper.

The next morning when I turned on the oven to make muffins, I remembered the potatoes. Voila! They were just the right consistency for potato pancakes!

…welcome for dinner at my house anytime, Terina