Sweet Teeth

The Little Angel delighted me this morning. I was making peanut butter pancakes for us – my breakfast, his first snack of the morning. I’d gotten the big bag of chocolate chips out of the cupboard (to sprinkle on the cooking pancakes, of course) and he made a beeline for the bag, swatting at it, trying to divine a chocolate chip out.

Most of my teeth are sweet, a few savory. I don’t like sweet for the sake of sweet: if I can’t taste the underlying flavor (especially chocolate!) then I’m not interested. The Big Angel likes to occasionally suck on a sugar cube, but that wouldn’t hold any appeal for me because I need the underlying flavor. Eating is not important to Big Angel: we have to frequently ask him if he’s hungry and he’ll absentmindedly reply “oh yeah, I’d forgotten to eat.” I cannot even imagine such a concept.

It would appear none of Little Angel’s teeth are sweet as he doesn’t seek sweets; he often avoids them. He is a hardcore noodle, rice and chip man: he is half-Japanese, after all! Prior to his catastrophic regression his favorite food was broccoli with lots of butter, salt and pepper: he would just turn to us and repeatedly ask for “brok-ly brok-ly brok-ly.” He liked to speak in triplicate. He loved (and still loves) seeing fish in a fish tank, and would go right up to the fish tank, yelling “sakana sakana sakana!” (Japanese for “fish”) Now he bangs his open palm on the glass, so excited, and he squeals, I guess you’d call it. While he is nonverbal he is very vocal. And loud. For my birthday a few years ago my parents had a CD made of voicemails the Little Angel had left (when I’d call them and have him speak into the phone): it took me a few months to steel myself to play it and even then, I was unable to listen the whole way through. It upset me too much to hear what he and we had lost. It’s also difficult for me to look at pictures of him prior to his regression: he was so appropriate, so on-target. The H.J., for whatever reason, had left up on my computer screen a page of pictures of the children prior to Little Angel’s regression (before age three and a half years): he was standing at the easel, waterpainting, smiling at the camera; he and Big Angel were playing games together; he, Big Angel and a pre-teen neighbor were looking at images on the back of a camera. Seeing them was like a horrible auto accident: I couldn’t not look. I paid a heavy price the following weeks, deeply depressed. Melancholy.

Little Angel will close his lips and turn his head if we offer him sweets, like cookies and cakes; he has no use for frozen sweets like ice cream or popsicles. I feel as if I am on the qui vive for sweets for him, not because he needs them but because I want to bake something special for him, especially for his birthday. This year we had a rice, onion and broccoli bake, which isn’t exactly the same as presenting a decadent sweet … although it probably was the same to him, come to think of it. Just me and my unimportant conventions.

Other than the fact that I was there when he came out of my body and he has my pinky toe, I could be unconvinced that child is mine. How could someone be genetically related to me who doesn’t crave sweets?

So to see him go after that bag of chocolate chips, even if he only ate five (one at a time which I had laid on the countertop), filled me with effervescence.

I was already in a chipper mood as I was pleased with my outfit – color-coordinated bra and all. I put on an orange dress and huge turquoise slab earrings; I adore blue and orange together. But then I realized I wanted to wear lavender sandals and color-wise that just didn’t make sense – the lavender was too mild a shade to play well with the turquoise. So off went the turquoise earrings and on went jade discs, which were of relative depth to the sandals, plus everyone knows green and purple is a lovely marriage.

When I was pregnant with Big Angel I’d heard all kinds of talk about how the husband should present the wife with a gift after the baby is born. Not wanting to be left out I nattered at the H.J. about this, and in hospital he and brand-new Big Angel presented me with these jade earrings.

But all I cared about was having the Big Angel. I am a serious jewelry whore: I am head-over-heels in love with jewelry. But my most prized jewel (whatever it might be that day) could never compare to what I felt holding that magnificent Big Angel. Even now that he’s a big boy, every piece of jewelry is insignificant. He and Little Angel are my sun, my moon, my stars. They are my everything.

I kept the earrings, though. Don’t be daft! And the H.J. found another pair of lovely earrings to give me when Little Angel was born. Both sets of earrings are magnificent but I especially love wearing them because they remind me of my two most treasured days

Big Angel has spent the week white water kayaking, and today Little Angel and I went on quite a drive to see a Developmental Optometrist. While not (yet) fascinating, it was certainly illuminating and could prove both helpful and quite a challenge. He is slightly farsighted and has very subtle (so subtle it is difficult to detect to the untrained observer) intermittent esotropia: that means occasionally his right eye will slightly, almost imperceptibly wander in as it’s tired from all the focusing it’s been doing.

His craniosacral + physical therapist (one-in-the-same) are concerned about his depth perception, assuming it has to do with both his inability to descend and also to avoid obstacles. This is what spurred me to find the Developmental OD. He gave me some exercises to do with Little Angel and I’ll also pass them on to his therapists and education team. For example, instead of holding something right in front of Little Angel’s face for him to see it, we should hold it to the side to make his eye muscles practice looking hard to the side, up, down. I did that this afternoon with his snack because he is highly motivated around food!

On the considerable drive home we stopped to purchase another pair of swim trunks for Big Angel. A classically beautiful in the Nantucket sense woman helped us; she asked me about Little Angel so I gave her a little information. She got emotional and went on about god and god’s wisdom and god this and god that.

My back got tight and straight because I do not appreciate talk like that. I unequivocally do not believe in god; the H.J. goes even further because he wouldn’t say he doesn’t “believe” in god. He calmly yet firmly states there is no god, so “belief” has nothing to do with it.

I believe in the connectedness of man, of living things. I know this woman was being kind and loving, but I don’t want to hear it. Her god cannot exist for a family like mine because it doesn’t make sense: if her god loves us so much, why would all this have happened? I am unwilling to get into a philosophical / theological argument with myself here, just suffice to say it deeply bothered me when she brought up her god stuff. My displeasure also bothered me, because she was not proselytizing: she was trying to share kindness and that is always, always welcome. I wish I could’ve heard only that and somehow tuned out the god stuff.

Big Angel did get a darling pair of swim trunks, though. He’s wearing them right now.

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