Bunky starts kindergarten on Monday. I’m coming out of denial, finally. Celiac letters have been written, teachers have been contacted (and they got back to me pronto, which is promising). Her outfit – three quarter sleeve purple dress with black stars – has been selected (by her, pretty much the second she saw it at Target). She is ready.
Me, not so much. But that’s okay. I’m kind of realizing that’s how it goes. Times passes, kids grow up, leaving us parents gasping for air. How did time go by so fast? Wasn’t my girl just a baby in my arms (screaming her brains out)? Oh, I hate when cliches are true. It’s annoying.
When Bunky was a baby we took her to the local elementary school for an evening screening of the movie, “Yellow Submarine.” At the time the song was a huge part of our lives since we played it about seventeen (or more) times a day, often on high volume, as it was one of the only things that could stop our colicky infant from shrieking. It didn’t always work, and when it did, it was a temporary fix, but it kept us from going completely insane. I remember sitting in an audience and watching all the children skittering across the wooden floor, dancing, laughing, and talking with their friends. They looked so big. My husband and I glanced at each other over our baby’s downy head and smiled. Our girl would be going to school here, someday. But in the moment that had felt very far away.
Now, here we are.
Since B has celiac, I’m on lunch and snack and holiday and birthday duty all year long. That’s a lot of food planning for a person who is not such an awesome planner. On top of all that, there’s breakfast to consider. I’ve talked about B’s addiction to Cocoa Pebbles (thanks to her dad, also an addict). Not only is it like eating a bowl full of sugar, she’s starving an hour later. Not ideal for any day, but worse for school. She does love chocolate yogurt pops, which are healthy, but not very filling. So what to do? I found two winners that are now in my freezer waiting for launch.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins, modified from this awesome recipe on Cakes n’ Bakes.
Here are my adjustments:
- I skipped the cream cheese filling and added chocolate chips instead.
- My flour blend is about 60/40 whole grains (millet and sorghum) to starch (potato and sweet rice) and I added a teaspoon of xanthan gum.
- I went light on the ginger and nutmeg and added extra cinnamon.
- Instead of 1 cup of white sugar, I went with 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar.
I plan on posting my modified version soon, once I completely eliminate the white sugar. I may sub all coconut sugar or try some maple syrup. Ideally, I’d like these breakfast muffins to be as healthy as possible, but with enough sweetness so my kid will eat them. It is a waste of time for me to make them uber healthy if she chokes on them. You realize I’m competing with Cocoa Pebbles here. Not easy. But possible, because she LOVES these muffins! I had to hide them in the freezer so they wouldn’t disappear by Monday.
My other breakfast success, a Nicole Hunn recipe for Gluten Free Oatmeal Bars. She calls them an after school boost, but I’m going with before school.
- Almond butter instead of peanut butter, cause that’s the way I roll
- Just chocolate chips, no raisins or other healthy dried fruit
- 6 tablespoons of honey seemed like a lot to me, so I used 4 – plenty sweet
Bunky said she liked them, but we’ll see what happens when I slide one in front of her at breakfast. I also plan on packing small squares of them in her lunch. They are delicious and full of protein and oats, yum.
See these ladies?
Very popular summer craft project around here. Felt pieces glued on cardboard dolls. I draw the hair and dress patterns and Bunky cuts and glues. I will miss making these with B during Little Guy’s nap. But time marches on and school is fast approaching.
Yesterday was the first day it really felt like September. The sky was a crisp blue and the breeze was a perfect blend of cool-warm. We walked to the playground marveling at the perfect temperature while newly fallen leaves crunched beneath our feet. My girl was thrilled to wear one of her new school sweaters and pants.
The kid loves summer, but she is ready for autumn, for apple picking and gluten free donuts, for Halloween and Little Guy’s birthday. She reminds me of my mom, whose favorite season was fall, who lived for the cooler temperatures, fall foliage, and country drives, who loved pumpkin picking and Thanksgiving.
It makes sense that my mind is heavy thinking about my mom right now. It often is, but more so with this kindergarten milestone approaching. If she were alive I would be able to talk to her about releasing my girl into big kid school, we would be able to commiserate as mothers together. I could tell her that I get it now. I could thank her.
But since I can’t, I will hold her close in my heart, thinking of her, imagining her doing the same thing over three decades ago, as I wave goodbye to my daughter on Monday.