Category Archives: Kids

Immunity Amnesia

I was fascinated as well as horrified to read that getting the measles leaves an individual with a compromised immune system that increases  vulnerability to other infections like flu and pneumonia.  The measles makes the immune system forget all the antibodies it has built up against diseases already encountered, leaving the post-measles sufferer at risk to catch diseases they already had. Boy, is that unfair, as well as dangerous.  This phenomenon is called “Immunity Amnesia”

I remember getting chickenpox, measles, rubella, mumps, and roseola.  I remember polio vaccine in a sugar cube, as well as a small pox booster.   I didn’t run into anyone who had a bad experience with these childhood illnesses until I encountered some middle aged and elderly developmentally disabled folks in our area who contracted measles or scarlet fever as very young children long before there were vaccines and were left with serious intellectual and developmental disabilities.  How tragic, and how wonderful we have vaccines now.

 What do you remember about childhood illnesses? 

I Love a Parade

Last Thursday morning at 6:00,  Husband and I and four of our travelling companions  left our hotel on Times Square, walked down 49th St, crossed  Broadway, and made our way over to 6th Ave where we found a nice open space of sidewalk right across from Simon and Schuster Publishing  House to claim as ours for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Prime areas near the corner were cordoned off, reserved for widows and orphans of police and fire fighters.

The curbside was already claimed by some intrepid souls who got there at 5:00. It was cold, but we felt warm gusts of air from the subway through grates in the sidewalk.  The teenager in our group promptly laid down on the metal grates and went to sleep until the parade started.  I kept pretty warm in my lined jacket, but it really helped when a Netflix representative handed out Green Eggs and Ham earmuffs to everyone around us.

 Police patrolled on foot and bicycle, and were blocking off side streets with metal barriers. The people nearby us were from Arizona, Minnesota, and Connecticut as well as City residents.  We shared stories and took turns getting coffee and pastries as the sun rose.

The parade began many blocks north in Central Park, and got to us at about 9:30.  There had been much anxiety if the balloons would fly, as it was pretty windy, but fly they did, although closer to the ground than was typical. The were loads of clowns in charming costumes, dancers of all ages, lots of stilt walkers,  and lovely floats. Many of the participant were school aged children who looked  so happy and proud to be in the parade. I really liked the Christmas trees on stilts.

The marching bands were from all over the country.  Their chaperones and parents marched right along behind them. We had fun judging the straightness of their rows and columns.  (“Guide right!”) The biggest group was The Second Time Around Marching Band comprised of dozens of quite aged baton twirlers, pom pom wavers, and musicians in natty uniforms  who looked ecstatic to be marching again. The floats were elaborate and featured singers, TV personalities, and actors. I wasn’t very familiar with most of them, but our teenager assured me they were  quite famous

Astronaut Snoopy was the first balloon, with the Grinch and his dog, Max the last.

The parade ended for us at 11:30 with Santa on his float.  The side streets were still blocked to motor traffic, and it was fun to meander with hordes of New Yorkers  in the lanes normally full of honking cabs and cars and buses.  We all trooped back to the hotel and took naps. It had been a long, cold wait, but well worth it.

Tell some parade stories. What would you like to do in a parade?

Day of Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving.

  • I’m grateful that thanks to Mother Nature, I don’t have to worry about any more raking for awhile. Or pruning.
  • I’m thankful that although I don’t have a working chimney right now (until repairs in spring – maybe), I do have a working chimney liner, thus heat.
  • I’m grateful that Nonny is still spry and vibrant, and coming to visit in a couple of weeks.
  • I’m thankful that YA’s foot is healing nicely and she can now get around on her own, drive and go back to work.
  • I’m grateful that most of my friends and loved ones afflicted with the big “c” have beat it back with a stick and am thankful that this community was able to surround the friend and loved one who didn’t with caring and support.
  • I’m thankful that I haven’t thrown my new cell phone out the window (yet).
  • I’m grateful that usually once a day a stranger shows me kindness (even if it’s just stopping on Lyndale so I can either pull into or out of my driveway).

Enough about me. Anything good on your grateful list this year?

Ask Me Why

If you asked YA if traditions were important to her, she would emphatically say “No”. So ask me why I am making a whole batch of iced sugar cookies in the shapes of leaves this week (and airbrushed in autumn colors)?  Or trying to find the iconic green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving day?  Or why we’re going to get a tree on Black Friday, even though I’m going out of town two days later?

Any traditions you’d like to leave by the wayside?

The Horror!

During the day yesterday, YA called me while I was at work.

YA: Do I need a library card to use the computers at the library?
Me:   I’m not sure.  Did you call to ask them?
YA: I’m there now. I don’t think I have a library card.
Me: I’m sure you do.
(Me rustling in purse)
Me: I have your card right here.  Do you need the number?
YA: No – they gave me a temporary number.

This seemed innocuous enough until the real implications of the phone encounter hit me. I had her library card in my wallet because when she was a toddler and kindergartner, she didn’t have a place to keep her library card, so I held onto it.  After all, back then, we were usually at the library together.

But if I still have her card, that means that since we quit going together (once she hit 2nd or 3rd grade),  SHE HAS NEVER STEPPED FOOT IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY ON HER OWN.

Not having a reader for a child has been a hard pill to swallow. Obviously your children aren’t little models of yourself, but when they differ from you in a treasured part of your life, it takes some getting used to.  I thought I had long ago come to this acceptance but yesterday’s realization was like that proverbial cold bucket of water.  Ouch.  If I was still in therapy we’d have to talk about this at my next appointment!

Any epiphanies recently?  (Good or bad.)

Again?

Well, the heat is finally back on. I’m not going to bore you all with the details but suffice it to say that six days without heat really brought out my need for comfort food.

On Thursday, YA made macaroni and cheese. Nothing fancy – just out of a box, but I had a few bites right out of the pan and it really hit the spot.  So on Friday, as I was waiting for what turned out to be the first of a series of boiler/chimney bad news, I decided to make a big batch of mac and cheese for the weekend.  I used my Instant Pot and instead of water, I used a box of vegetable broth that I had in the cabinet.  Then instead of cheddar, I used some pepper jack, a little mozzarella and a handful of shredded parmesan.  I wasn’t following a recipe – just punting.  It was really really good.  So I had mac and cheese for dinner.  Then for lunch on Saturday.  And Sunday.

So you’d think that by Monday I might be sick of mac and cheese? I would have thought so too.  But when the caterers showed up at my warehouse event to set up the mac & cheese bar, I wanted to just dive right into the big chaffing dish.  The mac & cheese bar had been my idea, but I hadn’t known how much I would personally want it myself.  There were lots of toppings on the bar (bacon, scallions, toasted breadcrumbs, etc.) but when the participants headed back to their hotel, I had a bowl without anything but the pasta and cheese.  If I’m counting correctly, that’s mac and cheese five days in a row!  And I still have some of the pepper jack dish in the fridge, so it might be six days in a row.  If YA doesn’t have any tomorrow, maybe I can make it seven days!

Do you like to adulterate your mac & cheese??

 

Retro Bribery

The news today is that McDonald’s has decided to re-introduce some of their retro Happy Meal toys. To celebrate the 40th birthday of Happy Meals, they are bringing back some of the toys that were most popular in the past.  This means some little Beanie Babies, a Mulan figurine and even a Tamagotchi.  I remember my sister waiting in line repeatedly for the little Beanie Baby toys from McDonalds for her kids; I expect we will see more of the same with this promotion.

When YA was young, our go-to restaurant was Noodles, who didn’t do kids’ meals or toys. McDonalds still isn’t the most vegetarian-friendly place and it certainly wasn’t 24 years ago.  Same with Burger King, Wendy’s and the rest.  I do remember that Taco Bell (our other favorite) had a kid’s meal w/ a toy, but Child didn’t like the inclusions, so she never got the kids’ meal.  And if there was an occasional cheap plastic toy, it usually went in the trash when we got home.  Two big dogs and little cheap plastic toys are not a good combination.  (Side story.  When Child was little I had told all my nearest and dearest that I didn’t want Barbies in the house.  Not because I have anything intrinsically against a Barbie doll, but because they always come with lots of little bits; Child was still too little to be held responsible for picking up lots of little toy accessories and I didn’t want the dogs ingesting them.  That Solstice, middle sister sent an Arial doll.  Little coconut bra, little comb, little Sebastian and little Flounder.  When I questioned my sister, she said “but it isn’t a Barbie”.  We donated it.)

Long story short, it makes me wonder that our society thinks we can’t ask our kids to sit through a short meal without being bribed by a toy and now retro toys.   Personally I save bribery for much bigger issues!!

Have you ever had to coerce someone with toys/treats/gifts?