Grey Soup and Tornado Chips

 I was reminded this past weekend, as Aaron talked about food, of the very interesting ways that he describes certain foods.  As always, Aaron notices the uniqueness of various foods and he registers this information in his brain.  He then uses what he has registered in order to describe each food.  So often, he won’t say the name of the food that he’s trying to describe, but he’ll use the features of that food to identify it.  Sometimes he tries to tell us the color of the food, but since he’s color blind this often just adds to the comedy of his word pictures.

One day when he came home from his group, I asked him what they had fixed to eat that day.  It was the day that the staff cooked lunch for everyone.  He said, “We had chili with those black beans and those square crackers that have holes in them!”  I told him that the beans were probably kidney beans…….which he thought was quite funny……….and that the crackers were saltines.  Yet I know that the next time he tells me about kidney beans, they will be black beans……….and that saltines will the square crackers with holes in them.

He watched me make the green bean casserole for Thanksgiving dinner.  Shortly after that, he was trying to describe an omelet to me and the process of making it.  He said, “It was like those green beans we had……..all together.”  I understood exactly what he meant!

Telling me about the bread they had eaten at his group one day, he said, “It was French bread, I think.  Or garlic bread………..well, it was bread with black spots.”  I’ve learned not to be alarmed at the mention of black spots on or in a particular food.  Aaron describes most spices as being “black spots.”  He continued about the garlic bread…….”That garlic bread is strong in your mouth!” 

One day he was telling me what he had gotten to drink at the bowling alley.  “Mom, I got lemonade.”  That was unusual for him, so I asked him if he liked it.  He answered, “Lemonade has a strong and nasty taste………..I like it!”  OK.  Whatever you say, Aaron.

I returned home from a church event on Sunday afternoon and Aaron came down to talk to me……to be sure I was up on all the details of his day.  Finally, I asked him if he had eaten anything all day and he said, “Yes, I had some of that grey soup with those beans in it!”

Fortunately, I knew that he was referring to some Taco Soup that I had made……..which actually does have a tiny tinge of grey in it from the beans and their liquid.  But somehow, grey soup just sounds a little unappetizing to me.  I do wonder what people think when he tells them that his mom made some grey soup.  And again, it doesn’t matter that I said, “Oh, you mean the TACO SOUP.”  Aaron will still say “that grey soup” no matter what. 

We then had a discussion about the beans in the Taco Soup, which led him to remember a bean dish that he often sees in the deli at Wal-Mart or Dillon’s.  “You know, Mom, in that deli area?  It had some of those beans in a sauce kind of way……those red beans.”  Through some questions and a process of elimination, I finally realized that Aaron was talking about Baked Beans – which I reiterated to him several times.  Less than 24 hours later we were in Dillon’s, where Aaron happily saw some baked beans in the deli, and he exclaimed, “Mom!  There are some of those beans in that sauce kind of way!”  He didn’t even notice my shoulders slump as I once again stressed, “Yes, Aaron.  BAKED BEANS!” 

But he wasn’t through talking about fascinating deli food.  “Mom, they had those eggs with that squishy egg stuff on top!”  As tasty as that sounds, Aaron, there is a name for those eggs, too………..DEVILED EGGS.  He quickly says, “Yeah!” as he rushes on to the next food topic, and I know that he will not know the squishy eggs as Deviled Eggs the next time he sees them.

Yesterday he told me that there were some of the packaged nuts from his Christmas stocking that he did not like.  “You know, Mom,” he began.  Why does he always think that I know what he is going to be talking about, based on his crazy descriptions?!  Anyway, he continued, “I don’t like some of those nuts that were in my stocking.”  He paused as he waited for me to get with the conversation and ask him the question that he wanted to hear……….which I did………because if I don’t, it will just prolong the inevitable.

Which nuts don’t you like, Aaron?

“It’s those honey baked nuts.  They were totally baked!” 

Oh yes, Aaron.  The HONEY ROASTED PEANUTS.  I never exactly got a clear idea of why he doesn’t like them……….whether it’s the honey or the fact that they are totally baked.  Regardless, Gary is now the new owner of several packs of those honey baked nuts.

As we played Skip-Bo, he ate some Bugles chips.  But Aaron never calls them Bugles.  “Mom, these are those tornado chips!” 

Yes, Aaron……….those are BUGLES! 

He agrees and then says, “They look like tornadoes, don’t they, Mom?”  And I know that they are forever tornado chips in Aaron’s world. 

Today he was excited to show me what he had picked up at Subway……….a take-out menu and a nutrition guide.  He was fascinated with all the numbers on the nutrition guide, but I was happy for him to finally be able to discuss the various sandwiches by name………..not by how many black dots the bread had or if it had white mustard or that yellow cheese. 

Yes, Aaron………..the sub you get is a COLD CUT SUB.  On ITALIAN BREAD!  See?  There it is, in black and white.  Read it for yourself! 

I can only hope.

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