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“Casseroles, Shut-Ins and Feminism”

There’s not a lot out there on the “shut-in,” and sadly, people just don’t talk about them much anymore.  (They used to be an official heading in most church bulletins in the South.)  One thing is certain, however, the shut-in is desperate for casseroles—and lots of them.

In case you’re not Southern, Dictionary.com defines a “shut-in” as a “a person confined by infirmity or disease to the house, a hospital, etc.”

As a former graduate level feminist-theory student turned Christian homeschool mom, I have an interesting perspective on the casserole.  When I finally succumbed to marriage at 27, I was fresh out of grad school.

So it’s no mystery why I sobbed openly when my mother’s cousin presented me with a blue and white quilted “casserole caddy” (complete with a pink bow) during a wedding shower held in a church multi-purpose room.  At that point, I had never made a casserole, could not imagine myself doing such, and was convinced my life as a married woman would render me scrubbing grout lines and analyzing the benefits of Biz over Whisk.

It’s also not surprising that a few weeks after marrying, I began drinking a few too many Joseph’s Cherries (raspberry seltzer with grenadine and vodka) and trying my hand at huswifery.  The results were tragic:  Endless, crumbly, dry peach cobblers and an attempt at falafel that tasted like soap.  H renamed the dish “cho cho balls.”

Now, 13 years and three children later, I actually have a casserole argument.  H exhibits severe disdain for my casseroles; yet he exults that if I am providing a meal for a “shut-in” family, my own family goes without.  And that is true.  But truthfully my own family is glad–they will get takeout Mexican.  And the shut-ins’ are happy to see my casseroles coming!  They are shut in—they have no choice…no ability to go out and get some alternative.  And I’ll tell you they all ask for the recipes when it’s all said and done so what does that say about my casserole-popularity?

I have two offerings for the shut-in: “Wild Rice Chicken Casserole,” or a “Cheez Whiz Spaghetti Casserole.”

So my dear friend Ashley calls me yesterday to make sure I knew some friends had a motorcycle accident and were going to be “shut in” for a while.  She asks, “So which one are you doing, “the chicken” or “that Cheez Whiz thing?”

Am I that predictable?

“Yeah, it sucks to be a ‘shut-in’ in this town,”  H encourages.

Posted on 14 July '08 by , under Huswifery. 4 Comments.

Childhood Expressions, Channel Style

First, let me say how glad I am to have met Dr. Barbara Boucher through the blogosphere.  She is an OT, PT and has an PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences.  I really wish she would move in next door to me because I need someone like her on an hourly basis, but at the very least I can encourage others to visit her blog which is full of all types of wisdom and insight!

This week Barbara is hosting a blog carnival where she encourages us to write about favorite childhood expressions.  Last week, I started this quasi-eloquent essay about a stuffed bear that has seen our family from tonsillectomies to MRIs, elbow casts to, now, concussions, but the essay has grown a life of its own and I need to think about it more.  In the interest of actually making a deadline, I have decided to write about some of the the quirky, odd expressions my children have come up with through the years.

NURSING NOMENCLATURE

I nursed all three of my children well into toddlerhood, and all three devised funny methods of asking to nurse.  Joseph crafted this this “Na Na Na” chant that served him well from about 8 months through 14 months when I found myself exhausted during a second trimester of pregnancy trying, unsuccessfully, to nurse a toddler.  To this day, if he has a question about that particular anatomy, he will refer to those “parts” as “Na Nas.”

Edward, often direct, did not devise a particular word, but would simply command, “Now,” and aim himself in the general direction of a “na na.”  He was also known to propel himself in the direction of strange “na nas” if a familiar one wasn’t in view.

(Not surprising, really.)

Sue crafted this new word “nernie” for nursing, and she, like Joseph, continues to use the word “nernie” to refer to a woman’s bosom, as in the question, “Look at that lady’s nernies!  Why are they so pointy?” and the encouraging and accurate, “Why are that lady’s nernies so much bigger than yours?”

I am well aware that one of the taboo subjects in any motherhood blog is potty training or potty-related writing, but I’ve been at this for almost three years and I just don’t care any more.

POTTY LINGUISTICS

When Edward turned two, he declared/deduced that poo poo should actually be called “brown” (because most of the time it was brown).  He then proceeded to call it such in all situations.

We have had to explain this lexical confusion/genius? to teachers, babysitters, friends’ parents: “If he says he needs to ‘make brown,’ that means he needs to poo poo.”

Our entire family has embraced this terminology for the past six years—even grandparents and great-grandparents:  “No, we’ve got to hurry, hurry!  He said brown—brown do you hear me?”

This of course changes the meaning of seemingly innocuous comments like “Brown Head” or “He smells like brown.”  Or, “I think there is dog brown on my shoe.”  “What’s that on the carpet—it looks like brown!”

Or the ever-popular: “This casserole is yuck–it tastes like brown!”

So now, not to be outdone, Sue has labeled tee tee “fountain.”

And now we have conversations like this: “Is it brown or just fountain?”  “There’s a little bit of fountain on my princess potty.”  “Uh-oh…fountain in the car seat!”

(Fountain over brown any day, I say!)

I am not precisely sure this rather ridiculous post is what Barbara had in mind when she asked us to write about childhood expressions, but this is my quirky take and the best I can muster under the circumstances.  (Please remember I am spending every waking hour trying to keep my sensory-seeking-eight-year-old from running or jumping or bouncing or hopping or bopping or crashing or soaring because he has a mild concussion and can’t return to school until Wednesday and then it will only be for half-days.  Yep, I’m homeschooling again, at least for this week, and it feels sorta good!)

Please pop over to Barbara’s blog and join the carnival!

Posted on 26 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 10 Comments.

Potty Linguistics

When Edward turned two, he declared/deduced that poo poo should actually be called “brown” (because most of the time it was brown).  He then proceeded to call it such in all situations.  We have had to explain this lexical confusion/genius? to teachers, babysitters, friends’ parents: “If he says he needs to ‘make brown,’ that means he needs to poo poo.”

Our entire family has embraced this terminology for the past four years—even grandparents and great-grandparents:  “No, we’ve got to hurry, hurry!  He said brownbrown do you hear me?”

This of course changes the meaning of seemingly innocuous comments like “Brown Head” or “He smells like brown.”  Or, “I think there is dog brown on my shoe.”  “What’s that on the carpet—it looks like brown!”  Or the ever-popular: “This casserole is yuck–it tastes like brown!”

Not to mention the hilarity when reading Mr. Brown Can Moo.  You get the picture.

So now, not to be outdone, Sue has labeled tee tee “fountain.”  And now we have conversations like this: “Is it brown or just fountain?”  “There’s a little bit of fountain on my princess potty.”  “Uh-oh…fountain in the car seat!”  (Fountain over brown any day, I say!)

(There will be a lot to explain at preschool this year…perhaps I should prepare a handy glossary card.)

Today we were two hours away at Edward’s bi-monthly OT appointment, and we spent a generous amount of time trudging from gas station to “fast food outlet,” princess potty seat in hand, because a girl can’t “fountain” in a Sprite bottle or potato chip bag like a small boy.

Once we were headed back to our smallish town and were miles away from any potty spot, Edward announced his immediate need.  Still, this is no problem, we simply pulled over in some unsuspecting church parking lot.  He perched adroitly at the edge of the van door and relieved himself: “Look!  I’m a weed ‘pee er’!  I’m covering those weeds–look!”  Sue heard this and immediately screamed, “I want to be a weed ‘pee er’ like Edward!  I want to fountain a weed!  Let me out of this car seat so I can fountain!”

Posted on 28 July '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 7 Comments.