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Forget air fern – I have air child

Submitted by on Saturday, 27 September 2008 No Comment

I had an air fern in my bedroom when I was a teen, and it was the perfect plant for the Black Widow of Horticulture — because, just ask the “neighbors,” I don’t do gardening well.

Stick an air fern in a vase and forget it. No water needed, no fertilizer necessary. It thrives without sustenance.

Seems I’ve gone from air fern to air child.

Yes, it’s hunger strike time for Big Guy. What he’s protesting, I don’t know. But I do know he’s not eating enough to keep an air fern alive.

Have I mentioned that he’s a picky eater and hall of fame stubborn to boot? As in, if Eddie Murray gives up the donkey role in “Shrek,” Big Guy could step in in a heartbeat. You’d think that, having gone through hunger strikes with him a few million times or so, I would have learned not to spazz.

But noooooooo! I fret, I nag, I coax, I cajole. None of which works. And the stuff that does work I forget when I’m worried that I won’t have to buy Big Guy a Halloween costume because he’ll already be skeletal by then.

His caloric intake this morning: Half a Nutri-Grain bar and milk for breakfast. Goldfish for snack at school. Chocolate milk for lunch. He didn’t even pretend he was going to eat today, his lunch box remaining in his backpack. “I’ll eat my lunch when we get home,” he promised.

Instead of going home, though, he led us on a scooter ride around the block, up the street and halfway to Los Angeles. As the wind whipped, I feared he’d go airborne. I envisioned of my baby clutching the handlebars as his tiny body twisted in the breeze, parallel to the scooter deck. I wished I’d brought a butterfly net.

He conceded slight hunger when we got home. “I’ll have one piece of turkey,” he said. “No, two. No, three, but no more.” And by “piece of turkey,” he meant a thin slice of lunch meat. You .. you … you … air fern!

After “take a rest time” — this week’s euphemism for “nap,” because Big Guy is too sophisticated for that baby stuff — I tried again.




No, thank you.



Wait. He said no to cheese? I grabbed the phone book to find numbers for anorexia treatment centers.

“I’ll just have a bowl of Cheerios,” he said. “With milk.”

One bowl turned to two, which progressed to two more bowls of Kix. Same thing happened at dinner. Not exactly a balanced meal, but it does have 10 vitamins plus iron and whole grain.And it’s better than air.

Oh, and the air fern — found out it’s not a plant, but a marine animal. One that’s already dead, to boot. So much for my track record at keeping things alive on a diet of air.

Keep chowing on Cheerios, Big Guy.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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