Roast lamb was on the table for dinner last night. The boys walked in from school, house is smelling divine and I get a holler from the front door, “what’s that smell, Mum?” Hmmm, not sure if that was an insult or excitement but I’ll take it which ever it is. At any rate, they all cleaned their plates so it must have been the latter…
My Granny Mart taught me to make home-made gravy. Mum taught me to cook a roast lamb. Gran’s thick soup of deliciousness is normally on the salty side if you don’t get in before her to season it first. Starting with a little of the roast fat left in the bottom of the roasting pan, you whack the heat up and add a sprinkle of plain flour. It was at this stage last night that “Dootz” our youngest son, took over the gravy. He’s a good little cook, always keen to learn, but can get a little carried away and is very, easily distracted. And, I mean VERY easily.
While stirring the fat rue vigorously to cook the flour, you have to scratch at the bottom to pick up all the black, cooked blood. Sounds completely disgusting but I promise, this is what makes the difference. Adding some water, a little at first, stir until a paste is formed and then start adding more water, but not too much at once or it will go lumpy. Eventually you have a nice ‘on the runny side’ batter and when left to simmer it will thicken.
So I left my more than capable Dootz in charge of the gravy while I tended to the meat and vegies. I was standing beside him looking in the other direction, only at arms reach and I hear a desperate whisper “oh shit!” and a whole lot of blowing and flapping. Now, our boys don’t swear – in front of us that is, but I’m certain they would elsewhere, how could they not with a Potty Mouthed Mother… so his swearing grabbed my attention. I turned to see him waving an oven mitt around, blowing at it trying to put out the tiny smouldering flame that was beginning on the corner. He looked at me bewildered and said, “it’s on fire Mum!” … You don’t say son, I was thinking. Easily extinguished under the tap I couldn’t help but giggle about another incident with fire we have had involving the same child.
Now we are going back about six years or more. He was in Prep I think. Very inquisitive, into everything but at the same time extremely aware of other people and their feelings and expectations. He knew right from wrong at a very early age. He hasn’t changed much, just a whole lot taller and more grown up.
This one day was warm. I had the house opened up, scented candles burning, and roast in the oven. Hubby was out the back mowing the lawn and I was from memory out the front yard pruning bushes. All is well, sun’s shining and I hear a kerfuffle inside. Some quiet yelling, and a raised but concerned hubbies voice. Walking into the house I smell smoke. The faint smell of paper burning and maybe plastic. “FUCK!!”
Getting to the back yard where the voices are I find hubby hosing down the bin. Dootz is in tears and big brother is standing back, shocked look on his face in a half smirk. After trying to settle Dootz we finally learn that he had gone to get a tissue from next to the scented candle that was burning. Some how, whether deliberate or not a tissue caught on fire. Dootz, thinking he was doing the right thing ran with the tissue to the bin and shoved the burning tissue in the bin. Hubby smelled the smoke and came in to find the bin in flames.
Dootz; our second baby. A big, blue-eyed baby boy, almost five kilos heavy the day he was born. He went straight into a big cot and slept right through the night at 8 weeks after we put him on the bottle. He was so hungry all the time and would almost suck my spine through my nipple. He was a vicious feeder. Nothings changed in that respect, he eats like a man and loves his food but just with out the nipple. He teethed early at 4 months, only crawled for a month and then walked at 10 months; he was running a day later. He rode a bike with no training wheels at 3 years of age after seeing his brother doing it the night earlier.
I caught him on the roof of our house at 4 years of age after he scaled the side gate to get a ball off the roof. I heard this feet pattering across the roof and walked out back to find him on the roof retrieving his ball. There’s really nothing he hasn’t tried and I doubt he’ll ever be any different. A daredevil with no pain threshold at all. When he was not even two he got his head stuck between the padded cushion and bottom rung of a the back of a dining chair; standing there with his head laying on the cushion watching the Wiggles until his dad could get home forty minutes later to cut the rung off the chair. I tried every which way to squeeze his head back out, I oiled his head and body, I stripped him naked and tried to push him back the other way; we twisted and pushed but he was NOT coming out of that gap. I couldn’t count how many walls and doors he has run into over the years, we called him Dozer for a while but most of the family knew him as Dootz.
He talked early and his first words were the usual Mum, Dad, bub and the likes. His first two words together were of course, “More Mum!” and his first three words together were “Dootz a dat” or in English ‘Look at that’, with an arm held out pointing. He said ‘dootz’ A LOT!! His blonde fluffy, slightly curled hair and big blue eyes peering at you, “Dootz a dat.”Dootz makes me laugh almost every day. There is always something that he says or does; a little comment when something catches his attention for the first time, like when he sits in a different seat, or stands in an area of a room he’s not normally in and he’ll let me know he’s never seen the room from that angle or sat in that particular seat. He’s a quirky kid and I love him for it. He places his clothes folded neatly at his bedroom door every night ready for the next day, and sleeps with his arms behind his head, like he’s chillaxing at the beach. He goes about his day with no worries, and loves to make you feel good. A quick ‘huggie’ when no one is watching or a random cup of tea because he thinks I need it. He’s thoughtful and considerate, hating that anyone might be feeling unhappy or upset.
He may have his idiosyncrasies but that’s why we love him. There’s no one else like him. Our Dootz!
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!