It's like 10 minutes before we have to leave, but already Edie has pooped and is running around the house with her pull-up hanging off and poop drizzling down her leg and she's laughing because the poop doesn't bother her, but, like, she knows it bothers me, a lot, and so, I am running though the house shrieking after her, pulling wipes out of the container and streaming them through the air, like I am flying a kite, which I never would have really thought about, until Lucy shouts, "Hey Mommy! You're flying a kite!" and then, I realize I am, indeed, flying a kite and I think my kid might be a genius, or a poet or something, or just hyper-observant, and yet, I am quite sure I am the un-coolest thing on the planet, a knobby-kneed newborn fawn comes to mind, all appendages and legs and unable to catch the little child that is ducking and dodging me like a greased pig, a fawn chasing a greased pig, trying to hold on, but Lucy thinks this is way cool and she is encouraging Edie to "keep running...faster, Edie" and laughing so hard tears are forming in her eyes and in some celebratory gesture, she grabs some wipes off the counter and she's running through the house, naked as a jay bird, flying wipes in the air and getting ready to lift off into the clouds and on to outer space, and so Edie is running around the house, while I am running after her and kite girl is trailing behind, seeing blue sky and gentle breezes and long sandy beaches where there are none, and in that moment, I catch myself in the mirror trying to force Edie to straddle so I can wipe her, and I'm kind of bent over in this weird position and I notice that I look like a flamingo eating a fish, which as you know, is not the most flattering image that comes to mind and perhaps, not the sanest, but I really do look like a flamingo for some reason, and behind me, I can also see about $30 of wipes being tossed into the air while Lucy squeals, "It's snowing, Mommy! Blankets and blankets of snow..." and she whirls through the room like a snow ballerina, the kind on pretty pink jewelery boxes and Edie takes the pull-up from my hand and hurls it across the room and smiles at me, this coy, self-satisfied grin that tells me she is quite pleased with her own rebellion and that she made her point, loud and clear, and I scan the blizzard of wipes and realize, we aren't going anywhere. Not a chance in hell.
We are just here, naked or in semi-stages of un-dress, hair in knots, teeth un-brushed, and surrounded by a thick cluster of wipes that have laid to rest everywhere. And so, we go with that. We stay just like that. All imperfect and un-presentable. We shun pull-ups. We leave the wipes right where they are. We stage a rebellion and decide to just fly rockets into the sun. We decide not to worry about the things that worry us on other days.
We take a vote and the girls, all of us, decide to try to leave the house again later. Maybe. If we feel like it.
We shun the rules, baby.
I haven't given you a recipe lately, so here is a perfect one when you don't feel like leaving the house.
Veal Stew with Cipollini Onions
adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time: 25-30 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
Passive Cooking Time: 45 minutes
14 cipollini onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
2.5 lb veal stew meat
salt and pepper
1/3 C flour
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/4 C dry white wine
2 1/2 C chicken stock
7 or 8 oz can diced tomatoes in their juice
7 small red-skinned potatoes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 C fresh parsley for garnish
In a pot, boil the unpeeled cipollinis for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut off the root ends and peel (this is the biggest pain of preparing this meal but worth it, expect to take about 5 minutes to peel the onions).
Note: if the cipollini onions prove too time-consuming, you can easily just use 1 large onion cut into wedges. The cipollini's make it special, but it still rocks with regular onions.
Heat the oil in the stock pot, (preferably a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper and then coat with flour. Add veal to pot in batches and cook until browned on all sides (about 8 minutes total per batch). Set aside.
Note: You can do this ahead and just stow the crunchy veal pieces in the fridge while you play.
Add garlic and thyme to the same pot and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the crispy bits after the wine comes to a boil. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half (about 3 minutes).
Return the veal to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes with juice. Partially cover and simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the onions, potatoes and carrots and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, the sauce will thicken as it cooks.
Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with thick wedges of crusty bread.