The Boy of Summer
Stormy Portents

Sneaky Mom

Little gets past Charlie.

When we used to give him all manner of supplements in the early days of trying out this and that 'treatment,' I never got too far mixing the contents of capsules into applesauce or peanut butter. Charlie has never liked applesauce or peanut butter and finding weird grainy bits of stuff in either meant he was absolutely turned off. Eventually we taught him to swallow pills via an ABA program and this simplified things dramatically.

Thursday afternoon I nonetheless engaged in a rare act of subterfuge. Charlie had dozed off in the brown chair with the giant timer on his iPad ticking off the seconds. Knowing the timer would sound at the halfway point, I tiptoed over and put it on pause.

He had woken at 7am, a perfectly normal time for a weekday. As he is on vacation, he and I started the day with a walk and then he and Jim went on a shorter (6 mile) bike ride and that, and a quick pediatrician visit because the infection on his left cheek came back and Jim and I wanted to address it immediately before, as happened a few months ago, it spread to his whole cheek and misery was evinced via behavior-- all of this plus the fact that it was 98 degrees fahrenheit, the hottest day of the year so far, must have drained Charlie.

He really was raring to go on bike ride number 2 at 1pm but it was broiling outside. So putting the timer on pause was, I realized, a little stratagem to help Charlie pass the hottest part of the hottest day in our air-cooled house rather than outside.

After he woke, we proceeded, as promised, to Jersey City. The everything of vacation, heat, the doctor, the cheek, the traffic on the Garden State Parkway, the antibiotic to fight the cheek infection, the hot tan of the concrete of a two-lane bridge with no shoulder: It was too much and Charlie moaned, then cried, then screamed and I looked down at the Hackensack River.

Jim drove and, when we had descended the other side of the bridge and were advancing to the exit for Liberty State Park, I cheerily said a little refrain that Charlie has been liking since around the time of my recent California trip.

'Gong Gong loves you, PoPo loves you, Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you, we all love Charlie.'

Charlie repeated the words (saying /f/ for the /v/ in 'love') and Jim drove over the cobblestones to Liberty State Park and we noted it was 100 degrees and we got the bikes off the car.

It was about 100 degrees, I am not kidding. #libertystatepark

They biked in the harbor past the Statue of Liberty in a hot breeze. But the air was moving.

Yes, this is all the unadorned truth of our Thursday.


Obviously, the caption is 'I'll take Manhattan.' #libertystatepark by Jim


Brenda (mamabegood)

Love your entire unadorned truth.


Motherly act of subterfuge, smart!


can't tell you how nice it is to see your handsome young man smiling. he made it through all of those troubles and, finally, was just able to enjoy being in his bike-riding element. such a nice thing.

Melanie Harper

Mom's gotta do what Mom's gotta do. Luckily, my kid likes applesauce, and knows I doctor it, and eats it anyway. In the past I had to be sneaky about that, but now that he eats mass quantities of anything reachable, sneakiness is a waste of his valuable eating time. It's summer, so he must be growing... Glad y'all got to stay indoors!


Kristina, your absolute candid nature in writing this blog just astounds me. I'm always amazed at the ways that you find to parent to please both you and Charlie. Well done. You're certainly a role model.


What a lovely little rhyme about the special people in Charlie's world!
My husband and I still repeat some of the phrases we made up to amuse our nearly grown kids when they were little, and the kids enjoy hearing them.
It's one of the sweet things about being a parent.

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