Leftover lo mein from the Dumpling House, 5-minute grocery store stir-fry and two giant broccoli florets - plus generic yogurt and condiments from the work fridge
For ages I’ve been talking about doing a photo essay I would title “Scraps for Lunch: A Mother’s Lament.” I recently listened to a conference podcast of Noah, the skull-a-day guy advocating doing a “thing-a-day” project and viola! Lunch is my thing-a-day!
My goal is to photograph my lunch every day and post it here, somewhat in the style of the gallery of regrettable foods, with a dash of Hip Mama. My first documented lunch is from Valentine’s day. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, and this lunch proves it
I am queen of the helicopter parents. But there are enough of us that we are becoming a social problem. Here’s my story.
Thing 1 was coming, they couldn’t stop him, it was only 24 weeks and 3 days. Someone asked: should we try to save him? Well, yes. Yes! Ten days later, a team of doctors closed the door behind us to explain brain bleeds, sepsis, meningitis. Shall we pull the plug? Well, no. No!
Babydaddy laid hands on him every day, massaged him when he was ready. For the three months he was in intensive care, and the three weeks at an intermediate hospital, I would get up in the night and pump breast milk, thinking about my baby across town. Babydaddy delivered it every morning, earning the name “milkman.” It was funny.
We had every therapy going for as long as possible: early intervention, the intermediate unit, private therapies. Terms multiplied: sensory processing dysfunction, sensory integration problems, orally defensive, auditory sensitivities, comprehensive developmental delay, cognitive function impairment, retinopathy of prematurity. He did occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, play therapy; we consulted with a neurologist, school psychologist, wraparound service provider, developmental specialist. He worked with an occupational therapist for a year and a half to tolerate teeth and hair brushing.
Not surprisingly, parenting didn’t feel natural. I learned to read to my baby watching Phyllis, our physical therapist. Voices, commentary, labeling colors, counting… she was very good! Merging professional research skills with my genetic propensity for silliness (mom was class clown, dad’s distantly related to Lucille Ball), my mothering style came together. Eventually. But I still channel Phyllis on occasion.
Thing 2 was full term. They are complete opposites; she is a sensory seeker with a wild sense of adventure and an inventive sense of fashion. Keeping them both busy and happy is an exasperating and sweet challenge. I still believe that every day can be fun and educational while reinforcing kids' boundaries. I’m on a mission to save us helicopter parents from ourselves. No more bubble wrapped kids and guilty parents. Let’s teach them coping skills. Let’s get fun.
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Great idea! Mmmmm that lunch looks good …what is that?
Ooo I miss the Dumpling House! & love that you are writing a blog.
Samala! Thank you for the encouragement! It was really going to be all about A Mother’s Lament until I realized that my panacea was giving me, um, a panacea ponch! I expect to deduce something really profound from a mother’s lament. No prethought hypotheses, but that’s still my goal 🙂