Archive for August, 2008
Being the dutifully involved parent and ever trying to make things better for her child, no matter how indirectly, I am the newly minted secretary of our school district’s PTO. An easy job really, one that makes it look as if I’m doing a lot of work when all I’m really doing is writing minutes from the meeting. Truth be told, I enjoy volunteering when I can. So much has been given to us, so much help offered, so much caring displayed, that I can’t help but want to give some of that back. Plus it doesn’t hurt in the karma department.
Yet I suspect down the road, my memories of PTO will boil down to one in particular. At this morning’s district meeting for all K-8 parents, I watched my son’s class quietly come through the gymnasium on their way to music class. On their way back, I turned to wave at him as unobtrusively as I could, and he loudly whispered to his teacher, “Can I go give my Mommy a kiss?”
What possible better Mommy moment could there be?
An Angel has landed upon us. She is well disguised, with hair done, make-up on and wearing high-heeled shoes, but no wings. We know they are there, however – just hidden. She has made comments such as: “I want to make sure C is able to have the same snacks as everyone else;” “C, I know having the bigger box of crayons is important to you, and it’s not as important to some kids, so I think you should bring the bigger box;” and, “I moved his desk so he could see better, but I also moved the nice girl next to him along with him so he could continue to sit by her.”
I’m pretty sure she is descended from a cross between a fairy godmother and Mary Poppins. C can barely say her name without a salacious little grin forming on his lips. He wants to check out books about her favorite flowers at the library so he’ll know more about them. We had to drive by her house last weekend so he could see her street. He was thrilled to know we can almost see her house from ours, and I picture him peeking out his window after lights out in an attempt to see if the lights are still on in her house.
Mom’s not immune either; I have the feeling that this Angel is thinking about him after hours, wondering what she can do to further his enjoyment and learning. She patiently listened to all of his questions on the preview day, which wins major points in my book. Every once in awhile, someone really special comes into C’s life, and for that I am eternally grateful. She seems to get him, enjoy him and challenge him, which is difficult to wrap up all into one person.
In case you haven’t guessed, Miss Angel, whose real name is Mrs. B., is C’s teacher in 2nd grade. But it may as well be Heaven to C.
Someone showed C muscles recently, and tied muscles to protein. I’m not sure if he watched the weight lifters on the Olympics or if he saw a picture of Popeye, but enter the latest obsession: protein counts in food. Despite my attempts to talk to him about a balanced diet, he really only wants to eat high protein foods. It has nothing to do with cravings, or what his body needs, but rather with muscles and numbers.
This is C’s latest in a long stream of obsessions having to do with numbers. The idea of each food having a different protein content is very appealing to him. It makes sense of his world – he can compare and contrast and order. He’s starting to notice the other numbers on the labels too. Tonight he asked me what “deriby filer” is. Slow Mommy, but it took me a few minutes of questions to figure out he was talking about “dietary fiber.” Not wanting him to go overboard on that one, I again brought up the need for balance in his foods.
Perhaps I can use this latest obsession to help him both gain weight and eat foods he has feared in the past. The “failure to thrive” diagnosis that seems to follow him around like a lost puppy could maybe blossom into something resembling more than a big head atop a skinny body. If I could mock up a label for ice cream that reads “50 g protein” on it I might be in business. Or maybe I could turn macaroni and cheese into something desirable by giving it a very high protein content. Cakes, puddings and cookies? Yup, high protein. Eat all you want, kid. Rice crackers that he loves but have zero caloric value? Nope, C, low protein content, don’t eat those.
I think I might be on to something.