After lunch, Ella thought she’d read an article in The Economist.
Monthly Archives: September 2007
After lunch, Ella thought she’d read an article in The Economist.
I loved this freeform embroidry. The heavy stitching was inspired by this lovely post by Anna Maria Horner of Chocolate Lollipop fame. Though mine is not nearly as lovely – nor as intricate – nor skilled, I appreciated the inspiration! (And Ella WANTED to wear this today, so I had to stop stitching)
echinoshirt back viewOriginally uploaded by Pranamama.It still needs buttons, but the shirt is made and Peter is thrilled. He wore it yesterday for pictures. I love the way the dragonflies are on his shoulders, one in front, one in back.He chose the fabric in Seattle while we were there on vacation this July.
The selvedge was such a beautiful contrast that I used it for the sleeve facing. Like a delicious secret. Also, the selvedge was soft and fuzzy so I left it rather than folding under the seam allowance at Peter’s request.
Peter commented that his stepbrothers at both houses are babyhogs, so he loves to be able to spend time alone with Ella without competing for attention.
And if my mom is reading this: he’s wearing my watch because he came home devastated that his ended up in a lake while swimming at camp. I think the days of velcro bands are over, since he cannot stop opening and closing them so they become weak.
It was a rough day, because Ella decided she only needed to sleep for the 2 hours I spent making this shirt. I suppose it was a karmic joke, since I was begging her in my thoughts to please sleep so I could finish the shirt, and I didn’t care what happened after that. I feel a little like Faust for tempting fate so blithely.
We had some calms forte dissolved in som tea last night (+2 extra for me) and slept like, well, babies. Today we’re having a wonderful adventure.
I knew she had opinions. I mean, how could she be my child and not be willing to express her opinions? I never expected her to actually choose her own clothing before she could talk, however, and I’m a bit taken aback by the whole experience.
Last week my mother brought over an adorable outfit for Ella to possibly wear for her first birthday photographs. I’m not sure if she couldn’t resist this pinafore and baby blouse or if she thought I wouldn’t get something made in time, but I love and appreciate the gift no matter the reason. I love the dress so much, in fact, that I hung it in the doorway to Ella’s room.
It had been there for days before Ella noticed it, and we walk throught the doorway at least 6 times a day, just to change diapers. Today was different. She had recently said “fleur” in the kitchen, pointing at some sunflowers, and when we walked into her room, she pointed at the dress. I thought she was interested in expressing more about flowers (of the embroidered variety) when she stopped us at the doorway, pointing and babbling to the dress. I took her in, to change her, and she continued pointing to the dress throughout her (typically squirmy) change. I asked her if she wanted to wear the dress, and she responded by shaking her head yes, and flapping her arms and legs and laughing.
I took down the hanger and pulled the pinafore off. I buttoned it up over the romper she was wearing ad she seemed very pleased with herself. She walked around her room, holding the bed, talking to toys and various fairies when all at once, she noticed the blouse and stopped. She turned to me, the bolted toward the blouse and, pulling it off the bed, plopped down on the floor. I couldn’t believe that she was attempting to pull it over her head. I took it from her gently, showing her the ribbons on the sleeves, assuming that was what held her interest, but she pulled it back and wrapped it around her head like a babushka! She waited patiently (so rare!) while I undressed her and then put the blouse and pinafore on her.
Look how happy it made her
I am going to have a lot of fun with this kid!
Peter and I went to a cooking class on Saturday. I was going to go by myself, but when I informed Peter that the theme was “Fall into vegan cooking” he begged to go with me. He dreamed of squash and pumpkins and vegan cheese, and this class did not disappoint.
First, it was in a building that already felt like “home.” A loft in Eastern Market. Peter and I lived in a loft the Downtown Detroit area before moving to Grosse Pointe, and then over here to the West Side (still sometimes feels like I’m visiting).
Gregg’s friendly, warm smile greeted us, and Peter displayed none of the initial nervousness that usually comes with meeting new people. Angela was preparing class materials in the kitchen, so we sat and waited for the other student, enjoying some water and conversation. While I noticed the sun streaking through the windows onto the mellow gold painted brick wall, we listened to music that further brought Peter and me to a feeling of “home.” Bjork and Leonard Cohen took me back to our loft-living days, and even though Peter was only 3 at the time, I know he felt it too.
Once our fellow student arrived, we chose some tea to drink (thai tea I purchased today because it was so delicious for me, and raspberry ginger for Peter) and found our way into the kitchen for our lesson. Peter was being careless with his feet when we first sat down and kicked over a basket of veggies. I know I should be more patient with him. I guess I was still in the “everyday life” mode instead of the “enjoy this amazing opportunity with your extraordinary kid” mode I quickly found as he asked questions and talked about his experiences with the rest of the adults.
We cooked a stuffed veggie “meat” loaf, squash with candied nuts and raisins, stuffing with fresh herbs, and magnificent pumpkin muffins. Peter had his eye on the squash all day. Constantly checking the clock on the oven, comparing with the watch in his hand…the entire class he paid attention to preparation methods, asking which things he could do at home, and offering some of his opinions on vegetarianism as a child, and as a person in a non-vegetarian world.
Throughout the day, we learned about nutrition, the experiences of our teachers, and cooking techniques we will use from now on, forever.
When it was time to eat together, Peter ate more than I have ever seen him eat in one sitting, commenting all the while how delicious the food was, and enjoying the company of our teachers and the other student. He asked to take an extra muffin to his dad, and wanted to take his recipies to his dad and stepmom so they could help him prepare some of the food we made. He wanted to show them that vegan food can be delicious.
I hardly wanted to take him back, though I know he was thrilled to show his dad what he learned, and I missed Ella something terrible by the time we were back in the car.
Sometimes it takes moments apart from everyday life to recognize that what we teach our children literally makes them who they are. I’m so proud of who Peter is becoming, and I’m grateful to be his mother.
At the Detroit Waldorf School, where Peter attended pre-kindergarten, his teacher told me that Peter was given to me because I am the only person in the world who could be his mother. Understanding that with all his challenges – he’s my child because I’m the best mother for him, has given me great strength when I’ve had to stand up for his needs as a child with Asperger Syndrome. I learn more every day that parenting Peter is extroardinarily challenging precisely because he is such a special person.
J has a theory that the children who provide the most frustrations and challengeas young people are those who will grow to be people who change the world. Maybe he’s right. All I know is that my children have changed my world. Their high needs have made me highly-responsive, and I appreciate the fine-tuning my personality has received as a result.
I forget that it’s not every kid who, at almost 10, is a lifelong vegetarian and animal-rights activist, occasional practicioner of yoga, and great lover of books and hiking. I’ll need to remember this next time he’s whining about not enough pokemon time, or having to re-do his homework.
I’m so grateful to have rediscovered my son, and what “home” feels like, in someone else’s kitchen.
I’ve been growing my hair “long” for close to five years. I keep thinking I’d like it better “…if only it were a little longer,” but I never do. I was so sure I was ready to make a change today, that I took a before picture:
Fortunately, Ella recognized me when I came home (though she looked at me with a wrinkled brow until I nursed her and she was SURE I was “mama”), but I feel like a whole new person. Maybe a little punk rock, even.
If only it took one day to lose the next 30 lbs I could feel like I had a total body makeover! Oh well, I know that part takes work, so I’ll continue tomorrow…off to finish my print work now. The deadlines interrupted by our weekend illness still need to be met.