Saturday, June 4, 2011

White Bread

Alison was channeling Mel Gibson yesterday.

"Freedom! Freedom!"

Alright. Maybe the call for freedom in Braveheart had bit of a different context, but Alison's was no less passionate. Summer vacation is here and she is thrilled.


The Ogdens got sprung a week earlier and Hannah, proud graduate of the Safe Sitter program, was in charge at home alone this week. Ali got out at 1 p.m. Friday and we picked up the Ogdens en route to the Jordan Y pool.

"So, Hannah, how many times did you call your mom while you were in charge?" I asked.

Her tart response: "It's not how many time I called my mother. It's how many times my mother called me!

Hannah was apparently dodging calls from two aunts, her grandma and father as well as Karin. I'm not sure how much time she actually got to be in solo charge, as opposed to the tele-sitting, but both she and Alex were in tip-top shape.


Alison rarely gets into trouble at school, but we usually ask her for a conduct report at the end of the day. While she escaped her last day without even a hint of need for discipline, there were some shennanigans involving some of the boys in Alison's class. "What happened to them?" I asked. Ali's teacher, Mrs. Zinkan, isn't known for her benevolence.

"Oh, there was a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a whole lotta conduct cuts!" she reported.


Weeks shortened by a holiday are always bad for me at work because I get all caught up in trying to cram 5 days of work into 4 days. This week was complicated by my taking part in a little field trip for Ali and her early release from school on Friday.

So if you had the misfortune of working with or around me this week, I apologize profusely. Please forgive my shortness, abrupt or incomplete answer, non-answer, oblivian or general bitchiness. I'll be better next week, I promise.


Going on the field trip was fun. Picking her up from school was better. The chatter between Ali, Alex and Hannah is better than Bravo TV. It's just silly and fun.

"Hey Alex, what's invisible and smells like carrots?"

"I don't now."

"Bunny farts."

Doubled over giggles.

"Hey Mrs. Reed. Did Ali really eat a light bulb when she was little?

"Well, she had a piece of glass in her mouth but I don't know that she actually ate an entire bulb," I said. "Her father was on duty. I wasn't even in the house."

"Yep. That's how it happened," Alison said solemnly. The incident was one that scared the bejesus out of Jeff. Who was in charge. I was not there. Ali claims she remembers it. I don't think so. But it makes a good story.

Along this vein, we learned that Hannah once pushed a popcorn kernel up her nose and ruined her mother's Saturday night. Alex ate a penny. "It came out in my diaper."

More giggles.


So a few years ago, Alison came home from Jenna's house raving about her breakfast.

"Mom! Miss Amy makes the best toast. It's soooooo good. I had five pieces."

Toast? She makes toast?

"Yeah. I don't know how she does it. It's the best thing EVER."

So of course I had to call. It's white bread. Plain white bread. Probably not even a bunny on the bag. Put it in the toaster, press the lever and voila! The best breakfast ever.

So not fair. We live in Broad Ripple. We embrace diversity. White bread sneaks into our house only when I forget to tell King Rib that we don't want the white bread that comes with our ribs.

We have whole grains. Piles of fruit. We eat vegetables free from the goo of melted cheese or Ranch dressing. Maybe a little spray butter. (I do shave my legs religiously. We're health conscious, not crazy.)

Anyway, last week, I encouraged Jeff to pick up a loaf of white bread to surprise Alison. (How sad is it that white bread can be a surprise?) She's been loving it.

Last night, the Ogdens were here after the pool and buckets of Huddles frozen yogurt. They were all hungry, but Team Ogden was committed to a dinner with their neighbors. I didn't want to ruin their dinner.

"Hey guys. Want some white bread toast with butter?" Ali suggested after I said I thought mac-n-cheese would fill them up too much. I brought them grapes and bing cherries.

"Oooh. White bread? Yeah!!! That would be awesome!"

(Karin's a whole-grain girl, too, apparently.) So they scarfed down the toast and everyone was happy.

Alison even cooked. Sort of. "Mom, how do you turn on the toaster? How do you set the time?"

No, we don't have a fancy toaster. This is just proof that Alison could be more in charge of her own culinary destiny...

This morning, she asked for more toast, but allowed that I could make it for her. She was on the couch downstairs with cartoons ablazing.

"You could put some of that butter on it, too," she called. "You know, that creamy kind you make?"

That would be unsalted, Kroger brand butter, melted just a tad so it spreads easily.

Clearly, I'm every bit the top chef Amy Tokash is....

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