August FIRST, Two thousand and 9

Saturday 9:07 p.m.
Woke up at about 5 a.m. realizing Jorge never came back to sleep, just to return my keys.. I guess he found his ride back to New Jersey.. I guess it’s a bitch getting on public transportation from the Heights to Jersey after midnight..
Being my mother’s daughter, I left the bed empty JUST for HIM, Jorge, my cousins’ pseudo brother and Friday night occupant of the empty bed. The empty bed is in Andrews’s room and last night I was on Andrew duty, this meant sleeping near Andrew in case he woke up in the middle of the night.
But knowing he is the Friday night occupant, I slept on the couch and renounced the A.C. cooled room just for HIM. And he didn’t return to sleep in it.
Pissed cause I could have FALLEN ASLEEP in the cold instead of the HOT sofa, I got up and waddled my fat ass to the room. I made sure Andrew was ok, and threw myself in the cold bed… Ahhhhhh – I just LOVE the person that came up with refrigeration.
Woke up again at 9 a.m. This time thanks to Andrew. Went to his crib and attempted to fool him into falling asleep, just for another half hour… please please… yeah right!
So I take him in my arms and take him to the bed, where he asks me for the famous ‘strawberry baba’ which is a bottle of whole milk with strawberry flavored Quik.
I go to the kitchen and prepare his Majesty’s request.
Its wondrous how when a family goes a couple of good years childless, they become a bit frigid and scattered. But when a child is born, it changes everything, the new additions are like Royalty, because everything and anything is done for them. Every want and every need, no matter how frivolous, is a met command. Little fuckers.. you should see this kid, my cousins jump at every little cry.. Before he came, we hardly saw each other. Couple of phone calls here and there to set up missed meetings. Now we are here every weekend to take HIM to the park or the zoo or the museum… Shit!!
But I love it..
So he’s sipping on his bottle, me hoping his eyelids are closing, him becoming more and more awake.. DAMN that was COLD MILK!!… after half of the bottle, he leaps off the bed – Let the requesting continue
Andrew: – I wanna play
Me: – Ok go play
Andrew: – Andwoo and Wousie play
Meaning ‘Get up and play with me’ – so I think for half a second ‘do I let him wander off to the living room and torment my mom or do i get up and start my Saturday at 9 A.M.’ …. tick tock tick tock… ok it was more than half a second.. long enough for him to repeat – Andwoo and Wousie PLAY!!!
I got up
I brushed my teeth and washed my face knowing he would follow me and watch me.. love how little things can entertain little ones of two..
I placed him in front of the idiot box while I made him breakfast for him and I.. mashed a potato for him and toasted bread for me..
Sat him down and hoped he wouldn’t refuse his breakfast as he usually does. Eating is NOT his favorite thing to do, something that makes me doubt he belongs to THIS family.. and so it was.. – No, I don wang potatoes, I wang bread – (Little Dick!! thats MY breakfast, IM ON A DIET!! I WISH I could have potatoes and YOU want my whole wheat toast?!!) I break off a little piece, small enough for him to chew and use the rest to bribe him into eating his mash potatoes… No Good, he eats my bread and the potatoes go to the garbage..
Time for Sponge Bob, but my mom puts some Spanish Cartoons, hating how we speak too much English to him. The lifelong argument ‘Ustedes hablan Español’.. ‘Hablenle Español‘.. well more like commands than arguments..
I fall asleep on the couch and when I wake up (12:30), I have this desire of just Getting out.. GO OUT!!
and Andrew reads my thoughts
‘I wanna go out!!’
so I clean his face and change his diaper and GO OUT!!
All the way to the elevator – my mother – ‘Agarrale la mano, no lo sueltes!!’ and I’m like – ‘NO! Yo lo voy a dejar ir, y que se lo lleve un carro!!!’… Lady I am the oldest Grandchild in this family, I have changed diapers, fed, babysat, helped with the homework, have gone to PARENT-TEACHER NIGHTS in my TEENS!!! are you kidding?!!
so we are outside… I take him to McD’s and I get my iced coffee and nuggets for him.. and then to the 148th street kiddie playground. Now at this moment I’m realizing how DAMN HOT it is, and how maybe it wasn’t such a great idea coming high noon to a playground to let loose this little demon..
He’ll have a Blast and I’ll get sunstroke!!
I’m on him like a tick on a street dog, realizing that his favorite thing in the playground could actually hurt him – the slide! – at high noon?!! that metal slab could cook his little thighs to the touch!! so i explain to him – ‘It’s hot.. you can’t sit on it..’ I touch it with a finger and mimic getting burned so he can understand its dangerous.. He touches it with his little finger and quickly removes it and repeats – ‘It’s Hot!’

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So I receive a call from my cousin Tiesha, his surrogate mom, asking where were we..
‘At the park’.. She responds ‘This early?’ Obviously she has done this before… stupid me..
So I take him home… and figured I had all afternoon OFF, with NOTHING to do.. a.k.a Go Insane Time.. so I buy some eggplants and decide to make eggplant lasagna or Eggplant Parmigiana.
Now THIS dish right here, although simple, very few ingredients, takes a DAMN long time to do..
its all in the PREPARATION, slice and egg and bread and fry the eggplants..
and I ALWAYS make too Much, I thought 4 eggplants would be just right, YEAH right!! more like, too much, enough for two trays… but of course NOTHING goes to waste in our family, thanks to our grandma..
My cousin Ralphy was home, Thank Goodness!! Someone else on Andrew Duty..
I clean, slice, soak in water and prepare the eggs for the batter..
I prepare the sauce..
Little by little they all start appearing. Tiesha arrives with her husband and friend of the family, German.
And I cook and fry eggplants and stir the sauce… My grandfather arrives… and I cook…
Tiesha grates the cheese.. Polly O! is more like – Polly Oh Shit that’s gotten expensive!! 6.50$ for mozzarella?!! Whatever!! it’s not even real mozzarella!! so of course get the no frills…
My other cousin Steve arrives, a.k.a. the human vacuum cleaner, and eats some of the fried eggplant slices and this one time I’m grateful, because it was too much..
The ingredients are ready and comes time to make the actual dish that has to go in the oven…
Layer and layer of fried eggplants and sauce and cheese.. one tray… two trays.. and a broken OVEN!! ARGHHHH… so Thank Goodness, I have access to the oven next door.. Next door, another nightmare.. but not bad enough to NOT use the oven…
I go back downstairs, I need diet pepsi..
I run into my aunt Carmen and automatically wish I had my cell on me so I could call upstairs and warn them she was coming up.. she can’t stand my grandfather, her father… long story…
no luck, but oh well..
So the Lasagnas are done, and diets are broken.. they liked it… They BETTER had liked it!!! SHIT!!
I love cooking, aside from it being something to do, I like the end result. It feeds my loved ones.. a good that lately has become a bad, food=love..
Tiesha and German tells us of their nights adventure of drunken women in the heights coming on to their friends, and amongst them JORGE!! Oh so THAT’S where he was!!!
”Morenito, Tu Ta Bueno Morenito!!!’ Yeah I use to think that too, and I too was drunk..
So my aunt and cousins sit in the living room, watching the MJ top ten videos.. Again…
and little by little every one retires to their lives and I remain with Andrew and Fisher Price on the computer.
He KNOWS!!! Every time I sit down in that same spot on the table, HE KNOWS I’m gonna get on the computer and starts..

Andrew
I WANNA SEE!!

‘I wanna seeeee.. I wanna seeeee’ translation ‘ Stop what you thought you were gonna do and pay attention to ME’… He’s two.. if he were three I would have shoved his little ass and told him to fuck off.. or maybe its that I’m 34 and my patience has changed or matured or WHATEVER!!
Or is it that maternal thing they speak of.. so I give in and up on my lap he comes and we print out coloring pages and go over our A,B,C’s and play the animal match game… DAMN! My Leg is falling asleep!!
Grandma: – ‘Toma! Dale de comer
YIPEE!! Feeding time for the little one and FREE time for me.. my aunt Carmen proceeds to feed him and I’m finally on and after checking some emails realize it wasn’t much that I HAD to do, and I would love for him to bug me again..
I wanna seeeee, I wanna seeeeee…
my cousin Tiesha starts cleaning and cleaning and the cleaning extends to the fridge.. wow, the fridge..
now the fridge in our house is not just the household appliance used to store food… it has become the appliance that stores food that then becomes scientific experiments that can evaluate the length of time foods can be stored WITHOUT going BAD.. You CANT throw food away in this house.. The only acceptable way food can be discarded in this house, is through a mouth. Willing or not, food will be reheated, rehashed, reused and/or recooked to be ‘re’served without us knowing. It is RIDICULOUS!! Fine, my grandma has lived through wartimes but COME ON!! Are you willing to food poison your family cause you don’t want to throw away last month’s half eaten birthday cake?!! I can see it now – 78 year old grandmother of Thirteen taken away in handcuffs for poisoning her family by serving two year old frozen beef steaks!! IM TOTALLY SERIOUS!! That was the last thing my cousin threw in the garbage – meat dated 2003!!
Now guys, don’t get me wrong, it is safe to eat in my house.. i do make sure all ingredients are freshly bought, its just be cautious of anything left to be defrosted!! KIDDING!!
My cousin’s wife and friend, Nancy texts me – ‘The lasagna was great, my mom Loved it’… SEEEE, it’s safe to dine at the Carvajal’s..
Time for Andrews’s bath and the last strawberry baba of the day…
He’s out on the sofa like a meth addict after his dose.. eyelids closing, head wobbly and arms fallen over, not wanting to let go of the bottle… OFF you GO MY MAN!! To bed it is… and I sit finally free of him, able to get back on the computer…
and tell about my August FIRST, Two thousand and 9

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