Tuesday, November 27, 2007

wrangler in rose

{Note: Fatherhood is the most rewarding task I have undertaken in my life, and equally stressful, quite often at the same time. This post is a recollection of some events that produced such a state. But most importantly, my kids are well and I have survived to tell the tale..........and as with each tale of wandering near the brink, whether of sanity, health or reality, this tale portends of future occurences and long lasting consequences.}


Where am I?

Has it really been a fortnight of wranglin' around in a pastel ruled girlie land; a season of pinks, purples and myriad other shades, where rosie pink has infiltrated everything......



Two weekends ago it all started innocently enough with my desire to feed some farmers. The Ecology Center had their annual Feed the Farmers party and with purple sweet potatoes in the market it was time for that lavender beauty again. This is my favorite way to make cheesecake and the results are fantastic. The color of the finished product has folks wondering what's in it from across the room. When they find out it has sweet potato they usually raise an eyebrow in doubt. Then they try it, smile, and ask you once agin what's in it, because they simply can't fathom how your last statement of ingredient can yield such a tasty and royal colored treat. Or you get the "there's sweet potato in here?" questioning face, followed by the "but it's delicious!?" look of bewilderment. Try it sometime. You'll see what I'm talking about and then you can let me know what you had as experience for reactions to it.

Between making the cheesecake twice, eating some baked sweet potato for lunch twice myself, and feeding it to the wee one a few times as well, I spent each day involved with a lavendar hue at some point. Topped off with the elder monkey's hair having pink highlights, then coupled with her wearing pink and/or a princess dress for a few days on end while prancing and bopping, hopping and stomping around constantly, I was beginning to wonder if my eyesight had been "pink shifted." Like astronomy and universal expansion being seen in the red shift of things and stuff like that. Only closer to home, super girlie, and way pink. Before I realized it fully, my life in rose colored sight and taste had already lasted a week.

After the day of grotesque turkey consumption came the real days of pink though. Big girl turned four. It was birthday season. I thought to myself, Holy crap. I've got a four year old and a 6 month old!! Couple this with our orchids showing signs of blooming again this year and I'm startin' to feel like a real adult!

Plans for the momentous occasion began the previous weeks with late night store runs and the first rumblings of craft work. These were followed by actual progress on requested birthday items as the hours counted down. Last year we had a piñata, so this year we were being held to furnishing another. Only this time, with a preconceived notion of what the realm of possibility was, she requested a spiderbatflamingo. You've heard of one right? The great mythical creature of long ago. The part spider, part bat, part flamingo beast that was feared by some but loved and now revered by my kid. I hadn't heard of one before and was having trouble envisioning such a thing, but it didn't stop me from trying to accommodate her desires. Now the problem was how to find one. "Sure honey, we could have a piñata like that, no problem!" What the hell was I thinking? No one is going to have such a thing. I'll have to make it myself! I can do it!?


Well it only took about four hours of actual work on it, with maybe another ten of thinking about it real hard. It had a black widow body, and bat wings mounted near the intersection of the cephalothorax and abdomen, since I wasn't sure where a spiders wings would go, being that they haven't any. A flamingo neck and head complete with monkey chosen "poisonous fangs" mounted near the base completed the creature. We hung it from our dining room fixture for maximum effect. It was greeted on party morning with a "that's a flamingo spider!" Then after a wing-type question, "with bat wings!"

It was a hit, so to say. The underside of the spider didn't prove too difficult to whack through and the red violin shape was recognized by monkey and most others as belonging to a black widow. It made me think that maybe we have a future entymologist on our hands. Wait, or is that etymologist? Anyway, the treats seemed to trickle out in small handfulls with each turn of abuse. Perfect for the crowd. I was proud of my design, and the stress of the piñata making and the related worry over its ability to function, resulting in a bizarre sense of "performance anxiety," was over. The creature ended thoroughly mangled and empty of candy. My daughter's face was lit up and happy, beaming with the destruction and success. I patted myself on the back and gave my big girl a huge squeeze, feeling myself getting all choked up.......

Two days after the party, and finally a sense of normalcy is beginning to return to the house, after the holiday/birthday/special-nessy of it all. For me, it was time to start paying closer attention to our latest cider. I had managed to procure yet more apple juice for yet more apple hooch, making it three batches so far this year. And I'm proud to report that this time I went and bought the juice without squeezing it myself, thus saving an inordinate amount of time during a season that was lacking already. The juice was fresh pressed, unpasteurized and kept cold for a day. Not to mention, from one hell of a delicious fuji apple. Well, it was from more than one apple obviously, but not more than one variety. I can't wait to compare it in a few months with the rest of the ciders, side by side.

Just when I thought the season of pink might come to an end, I get roped into "let's put some of the foamy stickers on the cider daddy!" Willingly that is. You see, I'm a sucker for my monkey. She's trained me how to be a dad, and she deserves all I can give. I'm proud. And stressed. And comfortable in my masculinity amongst all the girlie-ee. Stickered in pink, even wearing a skirt or ribbons in my hair, I've never been happier in my whole life.

15 comments:

Mallika said...

Awww, that's so sweet. Happy birthday to your elder monkey. I can't believe the little one is six months already. Time is flying...

leena! said...

What a great post! Super dad, thy name is Sourdough Monkey Wrangler. My mom was the same way with my weird little kid suggestions...I believe she once made me a tooth brush halloween costume (to accompany my giant tube of blow up toothpaste I won at the carnival, of course). Yup. The suggestions just get crazier as they get older. And don't worry. Pink is the new black.

cookiecrumb said...

Jumps of joy for your little monkeylina.
Tell her it's Bean Sprout's fourth birthday today!
(No pinata.)

Celia Fae said...

You are really the best dad in the whole world. Purple desserts, pink hair, fancy pinatas. You should be crowned king.

Happy Birthday to the little squirt. I hope her day was the best ever.

Callipygia said...

That is a great post! I love the pinata and the ube cheesecake, but most of all the sentiment.

HipWriterMama said...

Oh! What an awesome pinata! You are an awesome dad. Happy Birthday to your eldest monkey... Pink rules!

Stacie said...

awwwww, Wrangler, that is too sweet! As the mom of two boys, I suppose I live in the opposite Land of Blue, where Darth Vader stalks the night, and lego cars crash into everything... yeah, lots of smashing and crashing, but that pinata is the spiderbatflamingo bomb! Please, I would love to swap some goodies in the mail! Cummon, I love to knit for baby girls!!
That cider looks good too....

Monkey Wrangler said...

Mallika: I've give your sentiment to the monkey. And everyday I look at "big boy" and can't believe how fast it is all going.

Leena: Figures you had a cool and weird mom. I'm sure you'd keep some traditions going if little ones are in your future. And thanks for the comfort on pink's status these days.......

Cookie: Thanks. I told her about Bean Sprout's Birthday and she got this silly look on her face and squeeled :we're the same age now!" Poor dog, maybe I can make 'em a teeny tiny little pinata next year out of the leftovers.

Aunty Celia: Awwwww thanks! Crowned like jebus oe elvis?

Calli: Thanks shugga. It's nice to do a sweet one every now and then.

Hip: From the land of pink and raising three sharp brains, I'm flattered! I gave her your birthday sentiments; she looked confused and then said she liked your name.

Stacie: Yeah, I'm sure there will be a little Vader action in a few years around here. In terms of siblings differentiating themselves, the wee one just might go the all boy route to combat the pinkness surrounding him.

I'll come on over to your neck of the woods and write you a note about swapping goods......

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how many four year old Monkeys request sushi for lunch on their birthday, and eat the fish off the top and leave the rice? That was great. I love my pink-haired-tutu-wearing-spiderbatflamingo-princess-sushi-eating-monkey niece, and her awesome Da'da. (Wish I had one like you :)

Love Sis (the real 'Begina')

Busy all the time. said...

the monkey is so lucky to have a dad like you!

K & S said...

that was such a great post, your monkeys are so lucky to have such a special dad like you :)

Mimi said...

Your family is so cute. I love the pinata.
I am amazed at the color of your sweet potato cheesecake. On my monitor it looks really purply-pinkish (if that is a word). Very cool indeed!
Man! I want to make cider! Fuji hard cider. I bet that should be yummy-good.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Begina: Awwww, thanks. And I think the answer is one.

Batt: Thanks thanks thanks. Sometimes, I wish I were my dad too.......

Kat: Thanks there Ma'am! They are lucky monkeys indeed, if not the least because their daddy likes eating well.

Mimi: Sheesh thanks! I think they're pretty adorable myself. As for the cheesecake, get your hands on some of the purple sweet potatoes. If no one has them at a farmers' market (they should be in season right now) then check out your local Chinatown and ask for Hawaiian or Okinawan sweet potato.

I'll let y'all know how the cider turns out. {Belch!}

Elisabeth said...

Hi Wrangler,

I'm a journalist doing some research on eating local, and I'd love to talk to you about it. What's the best way to get in touch with you? Please let me know at ekwakhefferan@aimmmedia.com.

Thanks!

Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Monkey Wrangler said...

Elisabeth: I'd love to get together to talk, but I just tried emailing you and it bounced back saying the domain was invalid. Maybe you could try again or leave a phone number or something? I'll try and guess where the mistake is and go from there........