1. DO NOT ask your 5 year old boy if he wants to do some canning with Mama. That would be foolish.
2. Pull out your Apple Machine as your five year old is busily trussing up the kitchen with Daddy’s climbing ropes like a spider on crack. Resist freaking out about yet another room in the house becoming impassable, move quickly to distraction mode. Loudly comment about how you have really missed your Apple Machine but feel worried about using it, what with all those dangerous blades and that fast spinning handle. Pine for an Apple Machinist to do the job for you. Proceed to pass the first apple through the machine. Betcha 10 bucks that’s the last apple you have to do yourself… for at least 10 minutes.
The Apple Machinist in action.
3. Pacify the future Machinist with apple scraps.
This is the expression your baby will make during approximately 5 seconds of the canning process. If you’re lucky.
4. Once the allure of blades and speed has worn off, move on to packing the apples in your Vitamix for some very LOUD blending. It must be on HIGH power and you must jump each time your 5 year old hits the start button to show how terrifyingly powerful the Vitamix truly is. Have your 5 year old vigorously plunge the apples with the Vitamix plunger doodad until all is smooth. Include the peels! This is a Vitamix, after all.
5. Cook up the sauce and can as per usual. Pat self on back for engaging child in such a wholesome activity. Realize half the apple you gave the baby is somehow covering that portion of your back. Wistfully wish you could shower the mush from your hair. Settle for wiping self down with the sock that is so conveniently lying on the kitchen floor.
6. No more steps! Collapse in a heap next to the dog on the floor and hope someone else makes dinner.
As parents B and I perpetually struggle between what will delight O right this minute and what we think is actually good for him in the long run. Screens are especially perilous territory. After some harrowing battles over the parameters of limited screen time, we are now an only-on-special-occasions screen time family. Not having a TV helps this cause. Who would have thought that I would come to value the 45 minutes that the boys spend zoning out with nothing to do while driving to and fro from visiting family each week? Between our iPhones, the iPad and other assorted electronic items it would be theoretically possible for the Big Bro to have almost no down time. What would it be like to never daydream?
So we were especially delighted by the gift Big Bro’s Nana got him for his 5th birthday. Good, old fashioned fun: caterpillars that turned to Painted Lady Butterflies right there in our kitchen!
Here is the subsequent release:
Big Bro holds a butterfly! Magical!
In the last weeks we’ve bustled around trying to get ready for the busy, sleep deprived time to come.
We also found ways to amuse ourselves.
And then he came! Baby R!
With the tremendous support of my family and my friend/midwife Laura there to expertly guide the labor process and catch him at the end, baby R arrived on the evening of the 24th.
Apparently he had been waiting to share his birthday with his Papa, my dad.
O has been taking to his big brother role very well. His only complaint thus far has been about seeing the end of baby R’s umbilical cord, which he declared “disgrusting” and described as looking like “dried out onion and beans.”
Bonny isn’t sure what to make of the squeaky new human, but she sure likes having everyone home all the time.
I’m still pretty exhausted but we’re all settling in well, hearts a little fuller still.