Friday, October 27, 2006

Where my heart lies

Barnacle Boy enjoys cooking. Last year he saw Rachel Ray on Oprah (not at my house!) making fudge, came home, found the recipe on the web and the ingredients in the cupboard and produced quite wonderful fudge. It's become part of his regular rotation of cooking projects. Tonight it is deluging outside and his sib, the Crash Kid, has a coterie of friends over to play war games. The Boy decided it was a good night for fudge and perhaps an opportunity to experiment with the recipe (with the idea, I'm sure, that his sib and buddies would consume pretty much anything he produced). A luscious mint chunky fudge is now cooling in the 'fridge.

As he was stirring away, he asked for his "favorite pan": a 50-year-old heart-shaped aluminum cake pan. It was the first cake pan my mother ever purchased, to bake a cake for her first Valentine's Day after she married my dad - in 1958, when she was 7 months pregnant with me. When I left California to post-doc on the east coast, she gave me one of the two in the set. I felt as if she'd given me her heart to take with me then, and now that it is linked to the Boy's heart as well, makes it all the more precious.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Point Values

Barnacle Boy and his good friend, Bead Girl, found an on-line quiz that purports to tell you whether you'll go to heaven or not. They took it together, while I eavesdropped. The Boy turns out to be "Sitting with the Apostles", oddly reminiscent of this Sunday's Gospel (where James and John, prodded on by their mother, ask Christ to sit at His right hand in heaven). Giggling, they urged me to take the quiz. I'm, alas, in the "Maybe" zone. Points, I'm told, are assigned based on what the Bible says.

I fear my theology is too nuanced and I was far too honest! Barnacle Boy was quick to comfort me, pointing out that "All moms have to go to heaven, they work so hard." He just as quickly followed with, "And all the kids that have to listen to them, too!" I can guess what his idea of purgatory is!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

There oughta be a law

Barnacle Boy needs a flu shot, as he does every year. He's still smarting (figuratively, of course) from having been ambushed at his brother's check-up two years ago when I asked his pediatrician about whether Crash Kid needed a flu shot. Crash breathed easy when the answer came back "No.", Alas, the process that led to this conclusion reminded the pediatrican that Barnacle Boy did need one! Barnacle, all set to gloat while his sibling got stuck, was hoist on his own petard.

The issue is asthma, so he can't have the FluMist version. Tonight he's worrying about the yet-to-be scheduled shot and decided that if he needs to get stuck, everyone should get stuck. "There ought to be a law that says if one person in a family can't have FluMist, no one can!" I think if he could, he'd ban it for everyone!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Mouse that Roared

Fluffy definitely contributes to the upkeep of the household. This is the time of year when the mice look for warmer quarters, which can include our house. Last weekend I came down early to find that Fluffy had left us a little "gift" in the center of the sunroom carpet. I disposed of the body quietly.

Yesterday morning I woke before 6 am to Fluffy's piteous cries. Was she hurt? Sick? Not. My favorite mathematician had found her enjoying a lovely game with a furry friend in his study. She was not pleased when he removed her toy.

Today Crash Kid greets me at the door with "Guess what happened in home room today?" It seems that one of Fluffy's mice took refuge in Mike's backpack and when he pulled out his binder in homeroom today, seized the moment and escaped. There hasn't been this much excitement in homeroom yet this year. To finish his tale, Crash pulls out his language arts paper, covered in (presumably) mouse blood. Middle school boy to the core, he didn't feel this merited a new copy from his teacher. I, however, was suitably appalled!

High Risk Blessings

Fluffy has joined the family. Barnacle Boy and his good friend joined me on a trip to the SPCA, determined to adopt a kitten. And kittens there were in abundance. But off to the side, in a bottom cage was an incredibly fuzzy cat. The friend was entranced, "She's purring at me!" The card on the cage read "Loves to be held and petted." Given that what Barnacle Boy reallly, really wanted was a pet he could hug and hold, this seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. So Fluffy, age 1, joined the family.

Her first outing was to our parish's blessing of the animals. Lots of dogs (and a plethora of present and former college presidents - three!), two cats and a pair of birds. And all in a highly excited state (well, not the college presidents). One pet drew blood from the presiding priest - the laying on of hands in this context is risky - but not Fluffy. She did consider the possibility that the two birds sitting next to us might be a good snack, but was restrained by her leash from following through. The birds seemed blissfully ignorant of their peril.