Copyright © 2015 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.
When Alice was very young, we communicated with her with voice and sign. For a long time, her only spoken word was ‘up’, but she could sign pretty well. E and I, through the trauma that followed her birth when Alice was tied to an oxygen feed, longed for the opportunity to get out once in a while. When Alice was on solids, we tried to give her a varied diet. We let her try whatever we were eating and were surprised that Alice rejected pasta with tomato sauce; surprising since she liked mac and cheese. We went out to a local Italian restaurant and ordered her ravioli without sauce, because that’s basically mac & cheese. I ordered penne in vodka sauce. As per usual, I offered her a noodle from my plate. She ate it, and signed ‘more’. I missed what she wanted more of, so I signed “WANT MORE DADDY NOODLE?” Alice signed “YES. MORE.”
As a side note, Alice’s signing had an accent. For the longest time, she didn’t sign ‘yes’ properly (your forearm up, hand in a fist, then nod your fist like a head nodding) and instead signed it by sticking her arm straight out and lowering down, like she was signalling a group to take their seats.
Of course, I gave her another noodle. “MORE” “MORE DADDY NOODLE?” “MORE” Eventually, she was signing “DADDY NOODLE” and that became a thing and one of her favorite foods. Alice would not eat spaghetti with red sauce, but she would eat it if it was called daddy’s noodles. Daddy’s noodles has not been a static thing. We’ve messed with it a lot over the years: added ground beef, chopped spinach, mushrooms, and so on. Tonight E made meatballs and cooked them in a marinara that I had canned last summer.
And since we eat wheat free since we discovered that Alice has Celiac disease, we served it all over brown rice linguine. It is certainly a different dish than penne with vodka sauce, but it is still daddy’s noodles.