My Daddy is so silly, and he made me a little apple buddy to play with that had a face and little hands. I called him Mr. Apple, and I played with him, telling him, “Don’t worry, Mr. Apple, I won’t hurt you.” I had him play with my little Barbie dolls, and they talked to each other and had a great time. I was even wearing my Snow White dress, and I know that an evil witch gave her an apple too, so I was just like her (well, except for the fact that my Mr. Apple was not a poisoned apple and was a dressed up apple instead, but otherwise, it was just like the movie).
See? There he is. Isn’t he cute? The problem with Mr. Apple, though, is that deep down I knew that he was an apple. Deep down I knew that he was one of my favorite foods, and I knew that he was delicious under all of that cute. After a while of playing with him, I took his hands off and took a bite of him. My Mama heard me chomping on him… I just couldn’t resist his deliciousness.
He was just pretend after all, and he was food, so he couldn’t go to waste. He couldn’t have stayed my play friend for long because he would have gotten all yucky, so I made sure that he was nice and happy in his new place… in my belly. I’m sure that there will be a new apple buddy soon, and he just might meet the same fate… because apples? They are one of our very best foods. Crunch.
Sometimes, when something is so, so good… like this Whole Foods giant chocolate chip muffin… you have to just make an ugly face while you are putting it in your belly. It might not be dainty, or pretty, but you just don’t care. That is my “this will be gone in 90 seconds” face.
is my “I’m having a moment” face. Sometimes you have to pause and enjoy too, after all.
It has been a big week for new things for me along with my this-little-piggy toe socks that I told you about yesterday. Mama and Daddy eat with these little designed fun sticks called chopsticks all of the time, and Daddy is so good with them that he can even pick up one little grain of rice at a time if he wants too. They are so fun to try to use, but they are so hard that I can’t quite do it yet even though Mama and Daddy have shown me how to put my fingers and they have let me take them to try to pick little things up around the house so that I can practice. My little fingers, even with little people chopsticks, can’t quite do it yet. They go all criss-crossed, and they are so slippery in my little hands.
Since I loved trying to use them so much, they ordered me small kid practice ones that are not slippery. They have finger holes where my fingers need to go on the sticks, and they help my little fingers stay in place when I am picking up food. Since I have had them, I have had them on my fingers almost all the time, picking up snacks and fruit and almost everything with them. I even picked up my entire English muffin this morning and took a bite. This is a good thing, because as you can see from the stains on my freshly washed hands, my eating generally tends to be pretty messy.
One day, when I am big, I will be a chopstick expert that can pick up a grain of rice like Daddy, and my practice chopsticks will help me to get there even faster. Thank you, little penguin chopstick buddy, for making eating food even more fun.
If I look really sad sitting there, it’s because I was sad. Every day, every single day first thing in the morning, I have a banana. I want one every day because they are sweet and delicious, but my Mama and Daddy tell me that they are also one of the best foods to start our days with and that it is good that I love them.
I have grown to become very dependent on having a banana, and Mama calls me her little monkey when I move all around the house saying “Na-Na” while I eat. It is one of my favorite things, and no matter what we are doing for the day, they are always there on top of the white pantry in the kitchen, sitting right on the edge waiting for Mama to grab and hand to me. They are way up there I think because if they were at my level, they would all be gone before the afternoon. Mama says that there is too much of a good thing and that moderation is good for everything, even something as good as bananas.
Today, though, I went over to the spot beside the pantry and said “Na-Na” and Mama said something about us being “out” of bananas. I didn’t know that things could run “out.” I heard her say, “I’m sorry, Dorian, we have no bananas this morning.” Everything got fuzzy after that, but I heard her say something about the store later on, but that didn’t help at all. Doesn’t she know that little people don’t know how to wait? Doesn’t she know that little people need everything to be where they expect them every time? Forgetting really isn’t an option. Mama calls this anticipating what is going to happen, and I think that she can work a bit on that because of what happened to the bananas supply today.
I sat in that spot right by the pantry for what seemed like ages waiting for a group of bananas to magically appear up there like they always are. Even though Daddy went to the store later that day and made sure that I had a banana as a snack before our dinner, it still made an impact. Things aren’t always, always going to be waiting for me every time, and sometimes the things that I want aren’t going to be there for me. Mama told me that her and Daddy do their best to make sure that I am always happy, safe, and healthy, but she said that they can forget little things sometimes. Mama told me that there is song by a big band named The Rolling Stones that says, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” She says that is true in life, and that I will keep learning more and more about wanting and needing as I get bigger. I need bananas, Mama, I don’t just want them. Since they are back in the house, I guess it’s okay… but I really hope that we don’t have a repeat of the trauma that happened today with my little yellow fruit friends.
Hello black bean burrito. You were made just for me. I love you. You are food, and you cannot show love, but I love you all the same.
You are meant to be mine, and you will all be in my belly soon.
I am your best friend. I am your worst enemy. I am your destroyer. Others may say that a fork is not for burritos, but forks are for everything, so they are all wrong. Giant burrito, you may fall apart, but just like with the things that don’t go the way we want in life (like when my little dog pull toy lost his leg), I will pick up the pieces, and you will all come together in my little belly. It’s warm in my belly, burrito, and you can take a little food nap after we are done here. Until next time, my little friend.
As much as I like to watch my Daddy cook and to pretend that I am cooking in my little kitchen, I am not allowed yet to help the way that I want to. I reach out to the stove to stir, and Daddy has let me very, very carefully, but he says the word “hot” and “ouch” and “careful.” He gets scared because I get close to the hot pan, because even though I say “hot” back to him, I don’t know exactly how “hot” things can be yet. I know when food is hot I have to blow on it to get it cool before it joins my belly, but that is not the same kind of hot as a pan or a pot gets apparently.
One thing that I can do, though, that my Granny taught me, is to wash the dishes in our little kitchen. There is a sink full of water and the other side runs water and has the dishes that have our food germs on them. I take all of the things that aren’t sharp or scary and I run them under the water after they have been washed to get the soap right off of them. I do this until the sink is empty, and then I get sad because I want to do it all over again. I don’t understand why we can’t just do everything twice just to make sure that they are clean. Mama tells me that there are lots of things to do to keep the house clean that that they aren’t really fun for big people, but I don’t understand. After all, after Mama folded the clothes this morning, I took some of them and put them on the floor for her to do over. She said, “oh Dorian, please,” and I was glad that she appreciated the work that I was doing. I let her have laundry fun all over again.
All that I know is that all of the “chores” that Mama and Daddy seem to do all of the time really don’t seem bad at all. After all, I am now a dish expert, and those are fun. Mama and Daddy just need to find the joy in every day life like me.
Daddy is our cook, and last night he made a yummy veggie stew with tomatoes, leeks, carrots, asparagus, squash, zucchini, barley, and herbs. It was so, so good in my belly that I couldn’t wait for the new bite while I was eating the one in my mouth. I wanted it to get in my belly faster than I could even swallow it.
Because it cooked for a long time, it was soft and it melted together when you ate it. That’s how stew is, Daddy says. It cooks for a while, and all of the flavors come together in a way that makes it all taste yummy and slide right down into your belly. It makes you warm and cozy, and since it is cold outside here, that is perfect to make you feel sleepy and happy.
Before the food melts together though, it goes into the big strainer so it can get washed and then it gets cut up. I like to take the pieces of food that most people don’t eat cold, and I take big bites out of them. Last night Mama washed an entire leek and when I reached for it, Daddy gave it to me thinking that I may play with it. Instead, though, just like I do for lots of veggies, I took a bite out of it like an apple with my four little teeth. Then I took another, and another, and another, until the leek had a large part missing from it. It was all chewed up when I gave it back to Daddy.
I do that with a lot of veggies before they are cooked, which Daddy says are “raw foods.” They give me pieces of all of the veggies to eat before they are heated up. I love them—they taste like the dandelions that I am always stealing from the yard and eating.
Daddy says that raw veggies are really healthy because heating them up takes some of the good stuff in the food out of the food, and he says some people only eat “raw” food that is barely heated or not heated at all so that they can get all of the good stuff. He said that it is good that I like them as much as I do, and he says if I keep eating that way and liking those things that I will be really healthy as I get bigger and bigger. I don’t care about that, though, I just care that I can taste the Earth with every bite… and the Earth tastes wonderful.
My Daddy is a great home chef. He knows how to make anything, and often Mama will say something like, “I sure would like to have” and then says some kind of food. Daddy will usually whip it up for her and he makes it delicious every time. Daddy said that food is one way to show love and that he shows all of us that he loves us so, so much by making us food that we love. Food is happiness, after all, and I learned that life lesson early on. I. Love. Food.
I love to watch Daddy cook too, and I even get to help him in the kitchen sometimes. He will give me a big pot and a spoon and teach me to stir, and even though I am little, he shows me what he is doing and explains it to me. He has me taste the food that he is making too, and that is my favorite part. He says that if I keep being a big helper that I will grow up knowing to cook and that I can learn how things go together. He says that there is a lot to know but that I can know all that he does one day, and he says my food wouldn’t be the same because I would learn to make it my own way.
Because I like to watch Daddy cook and I love to pretend to stir in pots and pans just like my Daddy, and because when food is happening Daddy can’t have me in there all the time because I tend to get right under his feet, I now have my own little kitchen with my own steel mini pan and my own wisk. I have my own little food in my own little fridge, too, so I can add salt and pepper and flavor like my Daddy does. I can do everything that my Daddy can do in my little kitchen that is right where I can watch Daddy and copy him. My big sister Addie and my big, big sister Lilli can help to make pretend food happen, too, and they love to play with me.
In my mind I am a famous chef like Gordon Ramsay, who we watch on Netflix all of the time. I even scream like him when things aren’t the way that I have in my head. I am a natural born leader, and one day, Mr. Ramsay, I may well be competition for you. Come over and see what I can do, magical Michelin food people, you may just be surprised.
Mama and Daddy got me these giant pretzels the size of me for us all to eat called SuperPretzels. There are little stands almost everywhere that you look in New York City, and they smell so, so good. I couldn’t help but to tear into them and bite and bite and bite until they are all gone. It wasn’t just me– Addie tore into hers too, see? So it isn’t just me– it’s everyone with those giant pretzels that are the size of big people’s heads.
You sure are tasty New York… there are good smells everywhere that you go. If I could only eat all of the things, but my little belly just won’t let me do it.
We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, which was Friday. Mama and Daddy and me hung out together on Thursday, which is apparently the day when almost everyone has all of the food and the sleep and the playing together, but we waited to celebrate.
We spent the whole morning instead watching the big parade at Macy’s, which is a giant department store in a giant place called NYC that I haven’t been to yet but I am going to soon. Mama says that is where Santa is, and I know that is true because I saw him coming to town in his big sleigh at the end of the parade.
Daddy then spent the whole day making food a day later than most people because he was getting ready for our food happening for Thanksgiving on Friday. You see, Mama and Daddy have explained to me that we have a blended family, which means that everyone isn’t all together all of the time because those people have to be shared with their other family, too. That means that holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes happen in pieces and sometimes happens on days that aren’t the days that almost everyone else celebrates. Our Thanksgiving, then, changed to a new day—yesterday—because that is when my big sister Addie, my big, big sister Lilli, and my giant brother Jonah were able to be there together with us.
Mama and Daddy told me that it doesn’t matter what day you celebrate—it matters when everyone can be together. That makes it a holiday, and it isn’t a holiday unless you can be together with the people that you love so, so much. Our own little family is all of us, even though we don’t see each other every single day. That just makes that time even more special, because everyone realizes how much they have missed each other and how much they love each other. When we get together we play and play and play and play and play.
When everyone got to the house, which this year was my sisters and my brother, Mama and Daddy, and my Granny, Daddy started making food happen again, complicated giant piles of food that Daddy made with love, and Mama helped him and she made more food happen, too. Mama and Daddy are vegans, which means that they don’t use any things that come from animals. They said that this is because they try to make it so that they try to do as little harm to others as they can. Daddy is such a good cook, so he can make delicious food happen with whatever his magical food hands touch.
After the long time of food happening, we all sat down to eat. Before that, I had a lot of Mama’s sunflower macaroni and cheese that she loves to make. I got to eat first, but that is because I am little and when my tummy says that food needs to go there, it has to go there right that moment. Waiting is not something that I am good at yet.
We had a cranberry “jello,” soy Turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes swimming in yummy Earth Balance butter, Brussels sprouts made with cinnamon sugar, pears in a sugar sauce that was so, so yummy, Mama’s macaroni, rolls, and brownies with SO Delicious ice cream on top.
I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore, which is what Daddy said that I am supposed to do, and then we sat around and laughed and talked, which is the other thing that Daddy said is supposed to happen. I think that I like Thanksgiving, because two of my favorite things are food and laughing, and that is what it seemed to be all about.
The important thing, Mama said, is that we are all together and all playing and spending time being happy to get to love one another. Our time goes by fast, but we still all get to play and to hug and to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, no matter when and how you celebrated with your group of people that you love.