“Oh, I’m Bean. I have autism. My fine motor skills are soooooo undeveloped. I don’t like holding a pencil or a pen or anything like that. Sure I write my name’s letters sometimes but I’ll feebly clutch the pen like a dead bird when I do it and I’ll give up halfway through the second E because it’s just all a bit much.
But you know, sometimes, maybe, while you and Dad are watching a baseball game, I’ll just grab a crayon and whip out an entire rabbit person, with irises and pupils and everything, like this:
This is Lau-Lau from Waybuloo. AS IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW.
“Because I’m Bean, and autism or not, I do WHAT I want WHEN I want and HOW I want. Get it through your pointy heads, chromosome donors.”
You guys, she drew a picture! I am so excited.
Note to self: buy snowshoes.
Spring, she has not sprung just yet. I’m sure our relatives and friends in the northern U.S. are faced with similar frustrations at the moment. The longer days and the date on the calendar have you itching to get out the seed catalog or the baseball mitt or the spring coat, but the conditions outside still call for two pairs of socks on your feet and a bag of kitty litter in the trunk of the car. “Man makes plans while God laughs,” someone told me once.
I have this:
Good morning to you, too.
Today is Eve’s Daddy’s birthday (and also my Daddy’s birthday). It’s snowy where we are, so it was certainly a pancake breakfast kind of morning.
Dashing through the snow/
In a 6-quid plastic sleigh
Now, I like to make breakfast for people, I really do. But a few pancake mornings ago I realized how wasteful the entire process of making individual pancakes can be. Consider:
- You waste heat warming up an empty pan and warming the oven to keep the ‘cakes at temperature as you make them;
- You waste batter when you inevitably burn or fail to flip the first ‘cake, and when you get big dribbles on the counter while pouring batter into the pan;
- You waste tons of butter/ oil/ cooking spray making multiple batches, even with a non-stick pan;
- You waste lots of time wiping down your counter and cooking surfaces, which are splattered with grease;
- You waste family togetherness time dishing up individual servings of pancakes that are gobbled down before everyone’s been served, and yours, as the server, are liable to be cold and rubbery.
Cold, but very much NOT rubbery.
So I spurn thee, individual cakes. I now make my pancakes as a single puffy mound of goodness. For this I use The Skillet.
Bean watched some NFL action with her Daddy last night and gave us running updates on the progress of the game. Which she is qualified to do, as someone who has handled the ol’ pigskin herself, viz.:
She used to play, you know. (2010 photo)
The game was the Baltimore Ravens vs. aunt Anya’s Indianapolis Colts, and during the scoreless first quarter, Bean noted that:
“The people is running and has a ball! Clapping! Yes, go people! You get up, people, and take the ball!”
In the second quarter, when Baltimore put the first points on the board with a field goal, Eve had the following observation:
“He kicked it! He kicked a ball and it is flying in the sticks! Oh wow!”
But her allegiances began to show when the Colts answered the field goal with one of their own. Reaction was swift and vehement:
“No, you stop it! You stop a kicking, go out! Get out of here!”
We are denied further commentary as the Bean had to go to bed during halftime. Sorry, Anya. The kid clearly prefers the Ravens. Just another reason to hate Joe Flacco, I guess.
At some point in the last 10-12 weeks, a gene lying dormant in Bean went live. It caused a chain reaction of tiny, but significant changes in her little body– a rush of hormone here, a bloom of synapses there– ultimately becoming manifest to outside observers about four weeks later when she began, apropos of nothing, to feel compelled to put on Mommy’s shiny gold dress and repeat a single totemic word: “Princess!”
I’ve studiously avoided throwing the Disney princesses at her. I mean, she’s watched The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty, but her interest in them centered around secondary characters: Sebastian the Crab, or the witch Maleficent or the three Good Fairies (aside: Sleeping Beauty really should be called “Fairy Turf Wars”– I’ll explain that in a later post). And we didn’t shower her with pink toys, tending to encourage her interest in things like Octonauts, horses, ballet, and Toy Story. But the princesses are Out There, and things Out There have a way of getting In Here.
The Bean came in to my office a little while ago, wearing a solemn expression.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“You need to get me a cho-locate,” she said.
“I need to get you chocolate? Why?”
“I am a ballenerina.”
Irrefutable logic. I gave her a few M&Ms.