My daughter’s growing up, simple as that. Here’s visual proof:
This weekend she graduated to a Big Girl bed. This is a major change for her, a transition from babydom to freedom. Now the last vestige of her infancy is gone, stacked in the garage and covered in plastic sheeting. Now she has, and I shudder at the parental overtones in this, responsibility. During the night she could get up and play with knives, take a swim in the pool, experiment with forks and outlets, or investigate the knobs on the oven. There is no longer a physical restraint holding her back, just her own sense of right and wrong and, we hope, some sense of responsibility that has been instilled in her by her hand-wringing parents. If you think this is hyperbole, you are grossly underestimating the pride and maturity felt by a toddler when you bestow something “grownup” upon them. She knows it’s a big change and her first words to me this morning when I got her up: “I like my new big girl bed, Babbo.” That made my Father’s Day and some.
Of course all this maturity and responsibility didn’t stop her from jumping on her new bed like a Masai warrior. She is two and a half, after all. And when my wife told her she could only get out of bed for the potty or a fire, after making a trip to the bathroom, she got back in bed then said she needed to get back out. “Why?” asked my wife. “To get fire.”
Now onto matters of the stomach. You were wondering if Uncle F%$k-Up managed to do something wrong with the roast beef. Did I somehow, despite prior experience, make it taste like dirt? Was it the color of dessicated roadkill with the consistency of water buffalo jerky? No. It was roast beef with a port wine reduction glaze and was served with grilled zucchini (Week Four of the Summer of Zucchini) and fresh-baked sourdough. True to character, though, I managed to forget to trim off the gristly bits, so during dinner my wife and I had to pick from our teeth some anatomical thingies with the look and texture of surgical tubing. So you can learn from that mistake.
But wait! I learned something much more important this weekend: how to crisp a crust. I’ve known to leave bread in a cooling oven for a few minutes for a crackly crust, but yesterday I left it in for over ten minutes as I struggled to disassemble the crib. When I took it out the bread looked like this:
This crust did more than sing, it bellowed. And flakes of golden goodness flew off it like ablative tiles when I sliced it up. Last year I despaired for ever getting to a perfect rustic bread. This weekend I took another great step forward. And on Father’s Day too!