Mary promised Rhiannon that I would teach Rhiannon how to make hummus, since that is one product Mary can buy at the store and that Rhiannon will eat. So we bought a can of chick peas and today was the day we planned to do all of those jobs we say we will do ... but don’t.
|Recipe: water, yeast, salt flour ....|
.... and a bottle of green food colouring...
though Mary says, "tasty in spite of the colour"
For example, Xavier has been asking for green bread. I thought that was a disgusting idea, but last February I did make the bread pink for Valentine’s day, so I choked down my resistance and put green dye into the pan along with the yeast and the sugar. As to the hummus, Mary stood at the counter, let all of the kids touch the chick peas, squeeze one or two out of their skins and then proceeded to add the lemon juice, olive oil and tahini paste, Rhiannon in charge of pulsing the blender. Mary made her stop the blender whenever it was time to stir some of the chick peas down closer to the blade. I asked Mary later, why she didn’t do the same thing herself when she was making the roasted red pepper pesto for supper, since when she poked it down with her wooden spoon she lost part of the wooden spoon to the blade. “Well, I hope Leo gets that part and not me,” she said as she continued to making the dish.
At any rate, Rhiannon got on the phone to wish a friend happy birthday as we were in the middle of our cooking experiment and I heard her say to the friend, “My grandmother is helping me to make hummus.”
“Odd,” I thought. “Here I am at the sink, doing the dishes, not saying a word, her mother is coaching her through the cooking experience, and the story is being told as though I am an integral part of it.”
That surprises me, that I am even acknowledged today, for earlier there had been a family incident. Rhiannon was resisting helping her mother who was putting away clean laundry. Resisting by screaming, so she was banished to her bedroom.
I had the assignment of using the seam ripper to take a line of sequin’s off of Naomi’s dress, but the screaming was interesting me, so I slipped down the hall with my handwork, thinking I would sit outside of her door on the hallway floor, continue ripping out the line of sequins and just be there at the door when she finally came out. As I was preparing to sit on the hardwood floor of the hall, which I admit, it takes me a little bit of time to figure out how to getting sitting down there comfortably and leaning on a wall, the screaming stopped and I saw the door slowly open. Ever so slowly. I could tell behind that door was a little girl planning to execute another series of screams for her mother. I couldn’t help myself. Just at the moment when I thought she was come out of the door, I shouted boo. Well, maybe I shouted BOO! She was so mad that her screaming agenda had been hijacked and that now she was full of fear, that she ran to her mother for protection from me, tattling, now, that I had scared her. Well, since Mary was in the room next door, it would have been hard for her to have missed the whole thing. Mary tried to mediate between us saying sternly, “Grandma, say you are sorry.” I tried. All that would come out was, “When I am sewing and I hear someone screaming, I want it to stop, so I will probably always be just outside of the door ready to scare you when you are inside screaming. Sorry about that.”
All day I have been laughing whenever I have thought of that.
I wish dark looks worked on me. Rhiannon wishes that as well, but they don’t do anything for me, except give me wonder at how such strong feelings of needing control can be so deep in one so young. I love watching that. Such a darling little four year old. Yesterday on the way to school she did the same thing. She gets dropped off at her day care home on the same walk when everyone else gets taken to school. She was running up and down the street, giving hugs to Leo, Mary, Xavier, Naomi, even the dog, saying her good-byes, kissing everyone and getting hugs and kisses in return. I said to Naomi, “Watch this, everyone in the family is going to get a hug, but not me. She is going to punish me for not doing what she says by not hugging me.” That made Naomi laugh.
As I told Mary later, I don’t think a person should have to hug someone they don’t want to hug, even if that person is making them cinnamon buns with icing every day, teaching them nursery rhymes and helping them to make nests for birds out of grass and twigs.
Our day began with me thinking we were going to the folk festival today. But rain and thunder intervened, so much of it that the kids were allowed to run out into it with the clothes on and to put bricks and cinder blocks in the gutters to try to stop up the rivulets, as well as try to float paper boats down the streams. So the agenda changed and Mary and Leo were going to do his folk festival drum workshop in the afternoon and I was going to stay home with the kids, since one drenching was enough for them in the day. But the Folk Festival people called, asking if he could cancel and come on Sunday instead – so we had another change of plans, Leo taking the kids to a baptism and Mary and me staying home to sort and clean. I wish I had been with them for on the way home they stopped by the Dairy Queen to find out that the Blizzards are on sale – buy one, get the second one for 99 cents. I have been begging Mary to bail out of her diet and go to the Dairy Queen with me, ever since I came. I haven’t been able to get her in through those doors even once. Eight more days and the sale is over. Seven more days and I have to go home. I hope she will weaken and go at least once with me to the Dairy Queen.
I wonder if apologizing tonight to Rhiannon would help. Mary may have said to me once today, "Thank you, Grandma, for taunting my four year old."
PS. Speaking of bailing out of diets, Mary is eating some fat-free, sugar-free chocolate pudding saying, "To make up for the fact that it is so disgusting, you have to eat 2 cups of it instead of 1/2 cup of it to feel satisfied."
Another postscript: We have been doing rap songs to go along with the cinnamon buns. Check out Rhiannon and Naomi's Cinnamon Bun Wrap.