Piper requested pasta fagioli for dinner last night. Again. In the perfect Piper world, any kind of pasta with any kind of bean in any kind of broth would be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Probably snacks, too. Here’s how I make mine:
Bring to a simmer 4 cups water, 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.), 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsps dried basil, and a dash of red pepper flakes (Piper actually likes it spicy). Simmer for 30 minutes. Add 3 cans drained cannellini beans. Simmer another 30. Cook pasta (I use elbow or shells). Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add chopped spinach or kale. Serve it all up topped with parmesan. Yum.
Last night Piper ate two heaping bowls. Then she begged for a third. Halfway through it, she ran to the couch, splayed herself on it, and announced “Just a minute! I’m digesting!”
We had a little celebratory dinner last night in our house. It’s been a big year. Another cross-country move, new schools, new jobs, yet another new home. Sissy received a glowing report card. Piper finally learned to swim. We’ll take any excuse for a party. I let Sissy and Piper plan the menu: pizza, lemonade, salad, fancy miniature pastries. The table was set with superfluous paper umbrellas and paper plates. Candles were lit. We’re fancy.
We took a moment to say what we were grateful for. Piper was thankful we all know our place in the family. “Mommy, I’m glad you keep us doing. That way we never get bored and we get our doing done. Daddy, thanks for not eating the stuff you’re allergic to so that you can make everything fun because when you’re sick, you aren’t fun at all. And, Sissy, your job is to make everyone happy. You always play with me and that makes us all happy.”
Having a meal with Piper is like inviting a squirrel and a talking parrot to the same table. She wiggles. She leaps about. She busts out Lady Gaga lyrics in the middle of your sentence. She either hoards all the food or refuses everything on the table. She intentionally drops things under the table so she climb off her chair and explore. She brings back the dropped piece of pasta and some black beans from last night’s dinner. She eats both. She interrupts. We ask her to wait her turn to speak. She waves her hand obnoxiously in the air waiting to be called on. Normal stuff, right? Entirely mulgated. Her dinner manners seem appropriate for the ripe age of four. After twenty seconds of an excruciatingly long wait Piper puts her glass down and smooths the napkin in her lap. Dramatic pause. Then she declares something profound like “I’ve decided not to be human anymore. I’m keeping my options open.” Which logically explains the squirrel and parrot behavior.