Mixed Bag

When I checked the mail today, I found a helpful mailer from a local medical center, addressed to me, telling me how to identify flu symptoms in my child and how to determine an appropriate dose of children’s Tylenol or Motrin. I am unreasonably upset.

I do get parent things in the mail every so often; I don’t always get upset, but I guess this is a bad time. Catalogs bother me the least, for whatever reason—I feel like people want to sell whatever they can to anyone who will buy it, so it doesn’t feel personal (I know that none of it is personal, but that’s hard to keep in mind), and besides…I do still buy kid stuff. Really, it’s the non-profit stuff that bothers me the most: pamphlets about making sure that my kid has health insurance, or an announcement about children’s events at local parks. I don’t have a child. There should be some kind of USPS website you can go on and check one of these boxes: I had a miscarriage; My husband is dead; She’s in prison for cruelty to animals. You get the idea. Then the awful, unexpectedly inappropriate mail would never come.

I don’t think that I find that many things triggering in everyday life because I don’t get triggered when I’m already on my guard. When I went to Planned Parenthood, I saw brochures for adoption—but I expected that, so it was no big deal. Heck, I picked up a brochure for Ruth and Nora’s agency to see what it said. No problem! It’s when I’m just checking to see whether we have a movie or maybe a letter, and then.

I think I’m finally, really done shopping for The Visit. I was explaining to Mr. Book last night that I was raised with certain ideas about hospitality—ideas that Ruth and Nora don’t share, so I’m having to figure out which of them are a good idea in this instance. One of the most basic is this; when people come over, you get them something to drink and you have something out that they can snack on. It is important to have the things they like to drink: when my baby sister comes to visit I have Sprite, and when Mr. Book and I were long distance, I always bought Dr. Pepper for his visits. Neither of these are things I would ever drink myself or normally have around. So for The Visit, I have bought two weird stevia sodas that I know Ruth likes, in addition to juice, sparkling water, and chai, since I’ve seen her drink these things at her home and out. For Nora, diet Coke. I drink Coke Zero, but she finds it too sweet—so now we have two small bottles of diet Coke in the fridge. They like tea, but I already have tea. I’ve been fussing about the idea of feeding Cricket for awhile—I want so much to make him animal crackers or something, but feel that this would be overstepping—and finally just asked Ruth whether it would be helpful if I could mash up a sweet potato with some almond butter or something. She told me today that while there are a few things he still isn’t eating, Cricket likes to eat what everyone else is, so assuming that not everything I make is inappropriate…. I am so excited. Here’s the final menu:

  • Cranberry Bean Stew
  • Artichoke and Fava Bean Stew
  • Kalamata Olives Stewed with Potatoes and Tomatoes
  • Tabbouli made with Quinoa
  • Marinated Olives over Feta
  • Pita made by me

Aside from the chunk of feta and the pita bread, everything conforms perfectly to Ruth’s dietary preferences, and it’s delicious vegan Greek. The sitting-out snack food will be mixed nuts, chocolate-covered almonds, and some honeycrisp apples. I got more small good news from Ruth, but I’ll save it for tomorrow.