Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It's a Magnet on My Tongue

It's been decades since the east coast has seen an allergy season like this one.  Blame it on the crazy winter or climate change or the newly-minted phrase climate disruption, but pollen is everywhere, and along with it the mandatory sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes.  Our little guy is suffering the worst of it.  He's had more Zyrtec in the last six days then he has in the previous six years.  We just can't help but look at those puffy, red and swollen eyes and reach for the bottle that offers better living through chemistry.  If we don't, it only gets worse and he starts complaining about itchy ears too.

Unfortunately, one evening last week the bottle of liquid Zyrtec alluded us.  Romi was off to bed, but he was truly miserable.  We looked for the magic elixir but when we couldn't find it we asked the Romster if was game for swallowing a pill.  Not surprisingly our six-year-old adult in kindergarten clothing was up for it.

We took the small white oblong pill out of the bottle and explained the procedure: place it in the middle of your tongue so you can't taste it, take a sip of water, swallow both while leaning your head back if necessary.  I put the pill on his little tongue, handed him the glass and watched him swallow, after which he stuck out his tongue to proudly display the little white pill.  Rob tried next, following the same procedure--with the same result.  Rob then resorted to his dog tricks, throwing it down the back of Romi's throat like he does with Penny.  At this point, Romi took the pill out of his mouth and explained that he didn't care for the taste.  No big surprise there.  We tried again, and again the pill made an appearance.  Rob kept explaining, "How is this possible?!"  Romi kept calmly replying, "It's a magnet stuck to my tongue."

In a bout of hilarious frustration, Rob put the pill on Romi's tongue and had him drink the entire glass of water, after which Romi pulled the pill from his mouth and handed it tback to Rob. 

Next Rob refilled the water glss, dropped the pill in, swooshed it around and had Romi drink the entire thing.  After which Romi once again produced the little white beast and explained that it wasn't his favorite. 

I'm honestly not sure which was more hysterical to watch, Romi's party trick, his calm manner in returning the pill time and time again to his Abba, or Rob's incredulous freak out every time the little white pill reappeared.

In the end, neithber Romi's allergies or the pill disappeared, but the good news is we finally found the bottle of liquid Zyrtec!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Six. I know, right?!

Our little guy is six, as in six years old, as in a year older than five, a half-dozen rotations around the sun, 60 months, that six.  I'm not certain how it happened, but it certainly is a lot of fun.  He has been so anxiously awaiting his birthday, complete with the traditional childhood countdown.  On the day before his birthday, I drove him crazy, asking him a zillion times (or so it seemed to him) how old he was and pointing out this was his last day to answer, "Five."

Romi understood the importance of this birthday when he explained to me that it was a big deal because six takes two hands.  (Think about it.)  The one part of the getting older that Romi struggled to grasp was how Rob could be older when Romi's birthday came first.  I tried to explain to him the concept that Rob's birthday might be three days after his own, but it happened years before his.  He looked at me and asked, "How old was Abba when we got me?"  I love this kid.

Romi's birthday fell on a Friday and I think I was even more excited than he was that he got to go to school on his birthday, something I have only experienced once.  We left for school early so we could pick up a special snack for his class: Munchkins (donut holes from the Kosher Dunkin' Donuts in town).  He had a great day, complete with stickers, a special award, and birthday crown.  We told Romi he could pick anything he wanted for Shabbat dinner that night and he chose his favorite since coming to B'more: smoked salmon sandwiches on flax bread.  While eating take-out sandwiches for Shabbat was a bit unusual, part of me was also thrilled I didn't have to make big meal so close to Passover.  We gave him our gifts Friday night: some airplane PlayMobil pieces to go with the airplane Carrie and LuLu sent and a gender-neutral dollhouse that he absolutely loved.

To say Romi has not been a fan of birthday parties is an understatement.  Not only has he refused to attend, he didn't enjoy his own in the past and has never wanted one before.  This year, however, that changed and his absolute favorite topic of conversation for the past four months has been planning his party.  I explained to him that if he wanted his friends to come to his party, he had to reciprocate, so he has been making small forays into the birthday social scene, albeit reluctantly.

The theme for this party was airplanes and I may have gone a bit overboard.  Here's the invitation we sent out:

We transformed the front walk into a runway; made kick-ass paper airplanes (good job Rob and Marcos!); played airplane Red Light, Green Light (thank you Isabel for explaining to JoJo how the game is really played); decorated parve airplane sugar cookies, and had hot dogs for lunch (thanks Jamie for grilling).  We topped it off with an airplane pinata, which resisted all efforts to merrily dispel its contents so Rob eventually took a 2 by 4 to the thing and even then it took him five good whacks at it.

Romi had an absolute blast.  He has definitely changed his mind about parties and is already concocting plans for the next one!

Random fact about Romi: he is obsessed with Monopoly and is really, really good at it.  He can decipher what is says on the Chance and Community Chest cards, regardless of the fact that he can't read.  He understands that there's 10 spaces on each side and moves accordingly, his biggest joy in life is buying hotels and he can make change like no body's business.  Finally, a financial whiz in the family!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

That's Not a Knife....

In some ways, Rob and I are the most cautious of parents, and and in others, well, not so much.  We can't help it, Romi just seems so darn capable so much of the time.  He is far less klutzy then his Ima and far more organized than his Abba.  Poor kid will be in charge of everything by the time he's six.  

In any case, we let Romi use knives.  I don't mean butter knives; we've given him those since he was a baby, much to the angst of fellow diners for years.  (Not only has it never been a problem, but I have always been much more concerned with the tong-brandishing fork).  But by knives I mean the good knives--the Henkels.  Until recently, that has never been an issue.  Alas Romi recently got his first minor cut with the knives.  The irony?  It wasn't him wielding the blade, it was me.  He was sitting on the counter and I got too close.  Oy, the guilt.  Romi still has free reign of the knives but my permission is questionable.

One of the things we love most about out little Romala is his innate kindness.  In June I was having a difficult time as the anniversary of both my parents' deaths loomed.  One day I was speaking with my mom and dad, expressing my displeasure with their departing, when Romi asked me what I was doing.  I said that I was talking to my parents because I missed them.  He inquired as to why I missed them and I explained, yet again, that I don't get to see them because they died.  (Parentless Parenting at its finest.)  Romi, clearly not happy that I was not happy, calmly and lovingly reassured me that he would be my mom and dad.

Of course, it's not all sweetness and nice.  Sometimes it's deviousness and cleverness.  For example, when told that he couldn't play with any more  printer paper (you would not believe how much this boy can tear through!), he simply took the printer paper out of the cabinet and then explained that it was fine since it didn't come from the printer.  On a recent outing he insisted on taking the his huge jangle of keys.  When I asked why he needed them he explained that the Giant grocery card was mandatory.  When I pointed out we weren't going to Giant, he informed me that the card is linked to our phone number (which indeed it is) and that he might need the that information. Little bugger took the keys.

Lately, Romi has taken to pretending to  be a baby alligator, with Rob and I playing the role of Mommy Alligator and Daddy Alligator.  He loves to call us by our first names, bring us "deliveries," and to describe the weather as "bloody hot."  (I have to take the blame for that one.)  

We had a lovely visit with his cousin Tesssa.  Romi fell head over heels for her and tells me a few times a week that he's sad because he misses her and requests her immediate return.  We had a wonderful time showing her around Baltimore, chasing fireflies and eating in all of the best spots.  We missed out on a baseball game since the O's were out of town, but other than that it was a great visit.  One fine but hot day, Steven and Tessa offered to pedal an Inner Harbor Dragon Boat while I relaxed and enjoyed the ride and Romi steered the vessel.  I would have captured the moment with my camera, but when I politely asked Romi to turn around and smile, he dismissed me, informing me that he had to concentrate.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Farm Living is the Life for Me

This past memorial Day, Rob has the unfortunate task of doing a complete inventory for work and I decided the best way to help him complete the monumental job was to get out of the way and to take Romi with me. We planned an all-day outing to Lancaster, PA.  Steven jumped in the car that morning and the three of us set off for an adventure.

 Annette (the GPS) made the odd decision to take us 75 miles away all on surface streets and two-lane highways.  It may have taken us a bit longer, but it was a beautiful drive.  We had winding roads and verdant hills and scenic vistas.  Romi even looked up from his iPod every now and then to enjoy the views.  I felt a bit odd--read voyeuristic--checking out Amish country.  How would I feel if people turned the Chasidic Jews into a tourist attraction?  Oh, wait....  In any case, I felt guilty about how fascinating it was to spy a horse-drawn plow and people dressed out of the movies working their farms.

We arrived in Strausburg and went in search of some food.  Many of the local eateries were combined with motels, so that scared us off.  We are also intrigued but intimated by "traditional" Amish fare since we doubted it's status as vegetarian-friendly.  Instead we settled on the local, inexpensive and very friendly pizzeria. After lunch we headed to our farm tour.  It wasn't quite what we expected, but turned out to be wonderful.  Laura was a laid-back and informative tour guide, and this being spring there were baby animals galore.  They ranged from kittens to bunnies all the way up to calves.  We learned all about the milking process, held baby ducks (no Heather, I can't quack like one), and took a liking to the two-week old goats.  The tour was capped off with a wagon ride, pulled by a tractor.
We returned to town in search of ice cream.  The corner store made homemade waffle cones and they tasted as great as they smelled.  I almost caved and bought Rob some butterscotch peanut butter, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  The nostalgic candy display had everything from Bit-O-Honey to candy necklaces and dots.  I was most excited to see Mom's beloved Clove and Black Jack gums.

Ice cream consumed, we got in the car to find Misty Creek Goat Dairy Farm.  Romi fell instantly asleep, which was good because we had no idea here we were going.  We drove through suburban farm country, a mix of Amish and non-Amish.  We spied horses and buggies, Amish kids on bikes, and honor fruit and veggie stands.  We found the farm and Steven waited in the car while I went into a tiny room complete with a refrigerator full of the best-tasting goat cheese samples ever.  The little room was completely unattended, it just had wares on display (including goat milk soap).  I settled on a plain but scrumptious goat cheese and a blue cheese.  To pay, you sign your name on a clipboard, write down how much you bought, and make your own change in the cash drawer.  I enjoyed the experience almost as much as I am enjoying the cheese!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Stick and a Rock

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but my baby-turned-toddler has morphed into a boy.  It's beautiful and wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it certainly is a different world! 

Romi may be a "big kid," but there are times when he still has trouble putting himself to sleep, especially if he manages a catnap during the day.  If he tries and isn't successful, one of us will go into his room and do the "relax your feet, relax your legs" game to see if we can't get him on his way to dreamland.  The other day, Romi was struggling to get some shut eye and told Rob that he needed help getting his body to sleep, simply requesting, "Abba, please unfold me."

One of the best things about having a kidlet is to discover all the things he knows.  Romi loves to "read": and "spell" and do simple math problems.  He's fascinated with the alphabet and new vocabulary.  I was curious, however, how much his reasoning skills had developed and as he walked around counting, I asked the little man if he could count backwards.  He quickly assured me he could and to demonstrate, continued his upward counting while walking backwards.  He honestly had no idea why I found this so damn amusing.

A true story:
Rob and Romi were driving to school when Romi spied a lost dog (no Heather, not the cafĂ©) poster on a telephone pole.  He asked Rob what it was and Rob explained that someone had lost a pet and was hoping to find it so it could come home safe and sound.  Later that day, I had picked up Romi from school to take him back to the synagogue with me.  Seeing as it was such a beautiful day, we drove through the park, which houses the Maryland Zoo.  The zoo had recently begun a summer ad campaign, with large posters hanging from light poles around the park.  Romi carefully identified each zoo animal, penguin, lion, zebra, until he exclaimed, "Wow!  The zoo has lost a lot of animals!"

A snippet of my life:  Rob, Steven and Romi are hanging out.  I come in, look at Penny and exclaim: Who put tape on the dog's head?!  The irony was that I really had to ask.  It could have been any one of them.  Bets on who was the dog-tape perpetrator?

It should come as no surprise that Rob loves to torment his son.  When his birthday came around and Romi began to discuss gifts, Rob insisted that we were getting him a stick and a rock.  This went on for days.  My son, however, is a quick learner and yesterday, when I inquired what Romi wanted to get Rob for Father's Day, you guessed it, his suggestion: a stick and a rock!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Romi Turns FIVE

I have yet to find a way to deal with parenting regrets.  Even the small ones.  I realized this morning that we could have recorded Romi opening his birthday present, and the lost opportunity really made my heart sink.  Yes, I will always remember it, but I really missed out the opportunity to share it.  Really, how many times in my kid's life will he literally jump and down with pure joy and happiness after unwrapping an Easy Bake Oven?  He likes it so much he kissed it, more than once.  It's been less than 24 hours and we've already made chocolate chip cookies and cornbread.  Next he wants to take on rosemary bread.  He truly loves this thing.  It's not so often you can make someone you love so happy.

The rest of his fifth birthday was pretty great too.  He woke up at 6:15 and shouted happy birthday to Penny (they share the date).  He had been driving us crazy, asking to open presents that had come in the mail, so we let him explore gifts from Nana and Papa, and Aunt Kim, Uncle Joe and Austin and Sabrina.  While he was thrilled with the toys and clothes inside, it only wet his appetite for more, but we held the little guy off.

With much nudging, we got the birthday boy dressed, fed and out the door to school.  That morning was a field trip to the BSO and Ima was the room parent.  The symphony is housed in a magnificent building.  We listened to a beautiful version of Peter and the Wolf, accompanied by narration and a puppet show, although I am pretty sure this one had been tweaked for 21st-Century sensibilities.  (I highly doubt the original ends with the hunter taking the wolf to the zoo .)

On the bus ride home I was playing a game at the red lights with two of Romi's classmates.  When they shouted, "Again! Again!" Romi pointed out that there were no more lights between our location and school.  It always amazes me how aware our little guy is of the world around him.  (Of course he was right.)

I kidnapped Romi from school and we went to Chipotle ("Pochile") for lunch, after which I introduced Romi to Cold Stone.  He was happy to make the acquaintance.  We then headed off to paint pottery, where Romi created a rendition of Penny.  He was quite concerned about getting the coloring right, until he got bored with brown and white and decided she needed some blue.

We returned home to find Steven and Sho with more gifts in hand.  I'm not sure who some of the presents were actually for since Steven seems as enamored, if not more, of them then the five year old.  We played outside on the front lawn for a while before walking up to Walgreens for a light bulb for the Crayola Crayon Maker.

Upon our return we made crayons and when Abba got home Penny and Romi exchanged gifts.  (We got the dog treats and a ball, she got Romi a Playmobile dining room set for his dollhouse.  Both were happy.)  We were thrilled when Devin and Paul arrived. They certainly added to the festivities, and they even came bearing more presents.  Joel and Hallie sent a Kosherland game and Devin and Paul brought awesome ice cube makers (including guitars!) and Mad Libs. 

We had told Romi he could have anything he wanted for dinner.  I was only a little surprised when he didn't choose the waffle at the diner but instead went for the smoked salmon ALT at Neopol. The five of us walked to Belvedere Square and had a great meal.

When we returned home, Romi opened his game and oven, ate his Elmo cupcake, and preceded to melt down from all the excitement.  He woke up today and still complained of being tired from yesterday, a sure sign of a great birthday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Break Adventures

Ten days of playing--woo-hoo!  We crammed as much fun and love and adventures and silliness as we possibly could into this winter break.  It all started out with my birthday breakfast at Miss Shirley's with cheesecake-stuffed gingerbread French toast.  Really.  There's no way to make that up.  After a scrumptious breakfast we played duck-pin bowling with our good friends the Lunkens.  It took me a while to catch on and I felt like I was going to drop the ball each time, but I eventually got the hang of it.  We exited from the bowels of the bowling alley (it's in the basement) to discover the most perfect snow!  Gentle white flakes were falling to the ground, covering everything and making it beautiful, without being windy or cold or annoying.  We returned home for pie-pie, my beloved newish tradition of eating pie for dinner (tarts from Neopol) and pie for dessert (a lemon tart from Dangerously Delicious).  With all of my loot (toothbrush, jeans, neck pillow, Fizzy Lizzy, puzzle, cookie scoop, silk sock liners, Oriole's cup), it made for quite a wonderful 44th birthday.

By Christmas morning the gorgeous snow had gone, which was unfortunate but it did make it easier for us to get to the airport.  We packed and schleped and flew on an Airbus 320 to JoJo and when we arrived we got the best present ever--Gabi!  I can't believe it had been a year and half since we had seen our beautiful niece.  We laughed and played and just looked at each other until it was time to go to diner.  We headed out for Indian food, ran into a small snafu (they deserve a poor Yelp review) and ended up at a casual Indian dinner with really, really good food.  We should make it a yule tide tradition!  (Confession: I have no idea what "yule tide" means.)


Our big plans for the 26th were foiled by the weather.  JoJo was devastated not to be able to show us Asheville, but the cold and rain and wind prevailed.  Instead we went to expensive bowling followed by an expensive Italian dinner.  On Thursday, the three of us headed out early to the Great Wolf, knowing it might be one of our last adventures there.  We swam and laughed and ate and got wet and had a really, really good time.  We took a break in the afternoon, ate some Mexican food with JoJo, and went back that night to play some more.  Between the water park, arcade, odd show in the lobby with fake snow and JoJo battling the waves, the Great Wolf was a huge hit.

Gabi, not wanting to miss a thing, got up early on Friday to accompany us to the Lazy 5 Ranch, a Charlotte attraction we hadn't frequented since she was a little girl.  We got there early enough that the ranch was fairly empty, making the animals all that more interested in what we had to offer (food).  Romi was uncertain of the llamas and emus and pigs and whatnot that surrounded the rental car, but we all got into it.

We played chicken with an emu and lost.  Steven's feelings of betrayal was palpatial when he called and discovered our location.  We thought he had the last laugh when we came across the giraffe pen and it was empty.  However, we soon learned that the giraffes don't come out until 11 so we hit the road again, only this time there were way more cars.  With Shabbat coming in early we had to hoof it, so Rob used service roads and went up the wrong way to make certain we all got to feed giraffes.  Gabs and I could have done without the giraffe spit, but that's the price we willingly paid.

Steven arrived Friday night and we had a wonderful Shabbat dinner.  It was glorious to have all seven of us together.  Shabbat was lovely and restful (for the three of us anyway).  Once the sun went down we headed out to Cabo Fish Taco, where they take your cell phone number so they can text you when your table is ready.  We went in and out of Hampden-wanna-be stores and Romi even got to explore the fire station as we waited for our table.  After dinner, Romi made his first trip ever to a tattoo parlor while Gabi got her third nose piercing.  It looks great!

Our flight home on Sunday afternoon was not enough to deter us from some more fun.  We all loaded into the Dugie mobile and headed to O-Hop for breakfast.  On the way there Morgan made the discovery that the day before she had been wearing her sweater upside down.  Not inside out, upside down.  Think twice before letting this one operate on you!  We laughed almost as much as we did when JoJo asked if the guy with the fake ID was really 23.

Full and happy from a great breakfast we went to the airport.  Our flight was delayed but we eventually made it home safe and sound.  The next day was our anniversary and Rob and I had a lovely lunch in Fell's Point at the Black Olive.  We rang in New Year's Day with lunch at our house with Holly, Phil and Janet.

Unfortunately, everyone is now back at work and school, and the 10 days of Winter Break are just a great memory.  Here's looking to the next vacation where seven people, two cats and two dogs all stay in a two-bedroom house!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Sports

A flyer came home from preschool advertising a Winter Sports class with one of Romi's favorite teachers, Coach Jen.  For 45 minutes on Sunday mornings, Romi had the opportunity to learn the basics of basketball, soccer and hokey.  I asked him if he was interested and was pleasantly surprised when answered in the affirmative.  Seeing as my little guy is not a joiner, I asked again and he once more gave me an enthusiastic yes.  As I sat down to write the $85 check, I inquired one more time, making absolutely certain that this was something Romi was truly interested in.  Rob and I were thrilled when it seemed that Romi would participate in a team sport.  We thought it would be good for his large motor skills, his team building skills and his social skills.  We also thought about how much fun it would be to watch our little guy play.  A win all around!

The morning came and Rob and Romi went off to Winter Sports, dressed ready to play, stocked with water bottles.  Here's a photo to give you an idea of how it went:

Clearly, Romi did not find the principles of basketball overly engaging. So much for large motor skills.  As for social skills, those didn't fare much better:

But at least we could watch our little man play, right?  Well....

We made Romi attend four sessions of Winter Sports  to honor his commitment   There are still five more sessions, but we don't feel it's necessary to tell him that!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

With Thanks

Thanksgiving was always my mom's favorite holiday.  She loved being together, the food, the fun, the perparations.  We certainly appreciate the invitations from family and friends over the years to spend the holiday together, but my mom liked it best when we stayed home and, well, did it the way we liked it.  It got a bit tougher in recent years, trying to match up food favorites (whipped cream!) with kashrut issues (turkey), but we managed.  To be honest, the last few Thanksgiving holidays have been tough.  Nothing feels right without mom.  That is, until this year.

This year, JoJo came up from Charlotte, Morgan came down from Pittsburgh and it was just us, having a grand time.  On Wednesday, the family, sans JoJo (she had yet to arrive) lunched at City Cafe, a favorite place that we hadn't been to since Steven's birthday.  Morgan and I did a bunch a prep cooking, getting the dairy stuff out of the way, and we grabbed Pei Wei for dinner since the kitchen was in full swing.  That night, Morgan, Rob and Romi went to pick JoJo up from the airport.  It was late, but we told Romi he could go if he was all ready for bed upon departure.  This meant he jumped in the car wearing pajamas, his Crocs, the crocheted orange scarf I made him, and his pilot hat from Nana and Papa.  Yes, he looked adorable, but the really amusing part was that JoJo, Rob and I all made independent Captain and Tennille comments.  The kids had no idea what the rest of us were talking about, but I guess when you get old love really will keep you together!

On Thursday JoJo and I headed to the gym before the cooking got serious.  Everything went fine until JoJo's dumb bell mysteriously went rolling around the gym. Her hysterical laughter was the hardest part of her workout that day. She insists it was a ghost, but I'm not sure she can blame the supernatural for this one.  When we returned home we had no trouble keeping busy in between preparations.  JoJo invented the game of using a kid's sleeping bag to slide down the stairs, and everyone took a turn, including Shoshana.  We also had a dance party in the dining room.  Instead of participating, Rob took video.  Sheesh!

We sat down for an early dinner, completely aware that we would need to wait three hours before pie.  You know it's  good Thanksgiving when there are more dishes on the table then people sitting around it.  We loaded up the dining room and added mom's laptop so Gabi could join us for dinner.  It truly made it Thanksgiving, having her there with us.  The food was amazing, the conversation hysterical, a great holiday.

After dinner we wandered over to the Lunkens.  They and the 20-plus immediate family members celebrating together made us feel right at home.  We trekked home in the cold night air, working up a pie appetite.  Well, most of us walked.  Romi rode triumphantly on the shoulders of Morgan and JoJo, like a young king.  He even sang the circus song.  As Heather always says, the force is strong with that one.

On Friday the girls spent the day with Hedi in Hampden, eating and shopping and kibbutzing.  We had to hurry home to prepare more food for Shabbat, believe it or not.  We figured Shababt dinner was our chance to rectify some missing dishes from our meat meal the day before and we made some truly amazing mashed potatoes, laden with cream and butter.

As soon as Shabbat was out, JoJo and I headed to Pikesville of all places to get her nose piecered.  Her kids were not in favor of it, but she persevered in the face of their disapproval.  (Morgan even told her it would be unprofessional and Gabi gave way too many details of how much it would hurt.)  It looks great!

Sunday saw us eating once again, this time at Belvedere, and heading out for duck pin bowling.  Rob simply can't wait until Joel comes back to they can experience this one together.  (Be forewarned, there is no beer!)

Along the way, we also played Cranium and decided to start a petition on change.org to get rid of butter popcorn Jelly Bellies.  Someone needs to officially put an end to candy that tastes like a dirty movie theater.

Over the course of the weekend, Romi had been complaining about some ear pain, but luckily Morgan was on hand with all of her new doctor tools, ready to practice physical exams on all her dear loved ones.  She's great until she gets to testing reflexes...oy!  She reported that his ear drum looked fine and guessed he was bothered by a lot of wax build up.  JoJo immediately jumped online to find remedies, which we discussed in earnest until the poor little guy looked at us all and pleaded, "please no do that to me."

At the end of the weekend, we were all so sad it was over.  It was the best Thanksgiving in a long time.  And it was just as mom would have wanted it.  I missed her, but the only time it really got to me was when I couldn't share a moment with her.  Morgan was putting her doctor "toys" away and was having trouble with her otoscope.  She took it over to Rob, asking'"Uncle, can you fix this?" and I had so many flashbacks to her as a little girl, bringing a toy over for him to repair.  A bittersweet moment if there ever was one!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Life in Baltimore has certainly benefited from having Rob home.  When we made the decision to be hungry together as versus solvent apart, we knew we would be both adding and removing problems from our hectic lives, but Rob's travel regimen had truly become untenable.  I remember well his first week at home.  After nearly eight months straight of being a single weekday parent, I was thrilled to have some backup.  One fall morning in early September, in Rob's very first week of unemployment, I remember actually enjoying the morning get-ready-for-the day routine.  I was in the shower, by myself, thinking about my day and not where my four-year-old might be and what he might be doing.  It was blissful--hot water, no anxiety, a second pair of hands downstairs making the kid's lunch.  Unfortunately, my peaceful two-parent morning came to an abrupt end when Romi ventured upstairs and found me wrapped in a towel.  He was clearly on a mission, his face earnest, his movements deliberate,  I soon found out why.  The conversation started like this:

"Ima, Abba OK."  (This was said with emphasis on each word.)  Before I had time to respond, the little guy continued, "Abba need you,"  OK, my thought processes were humming but not panicking until we got to the next part.  Romi calmly added, "Big knife, lot of blood."

He may be a man of few words, but his message was delivered loud and clear.

I threw on a robe and as the two of us ventured downstairs, Romi lovingly and thoughtfully reassured his injured father, "Abba, us coming!" In the kitchen I found Rob sitting on the floor, a towel on his foot, but no blood in sight.  Rob didn't appear to be in much pain and cheerfully explained that as he was slicing cucumbers for Romster's lunch, he knocked the chef's knife off the counter.  This wouldn't have been a big deal but Rob thought it was a good idea to cut cukes in bare feet and somehow the blade managed to land sharp-side down.  Consequently, he had a pretty good gash across the top of his foot.

Rob reported that his foot popped like a balloon and had a pretty impressive pool of blood underneath his toes. When he asked Romi for a paper towel to clean it up, our wonderful hamster offered to do it for him. So the four-year old cleaned up the blood before calmly coming to get me to help. 

Rob got four stitches on his foot and a pretty good scar, Romi got ice cream for being such a helpful trooper, and I got to take care of two people instead of just one.  Welcome home.