Life is tough enough, if not for the physical pleasures, it just would not be worth living.
What are the physical pleasures of which you speak, Single Dad?
Let’s look at them through location … at least typical, generalized locations:
Let’s face it, there are times when there is no greater physical pleasure, and I am not talking a long relaxing shower, or an invigorating jacuzzi with your mate. Either you’ve been in the car too long, waking up the next morning from a big, wonderful meal, or been having some issues and things have not been clearing out as they should, there are times when done on the toilet you want to pump your fist and scream “YES!” If all goes as intended, you relax, feel wonderful, unburdened, and ready to move on with the day. Parts of your body all too often ignored, or not thought of, feel good, and that makes you feel good. You know it, you just may not want to admit it. Physical pleasure? Darn straight.
Our kids do get to share in this, if they are lucky. Wearing a diaper all day gives one the freedom all day long. Unfortunately, many of our kids do have issues in this area, bowels and such are complicated and many medicines, food, lack of exercise, etc. wreak havoc (reek havoc?). But we do know, they when they are successful, when there have been issues, you can see the release of stress in their face, their personality. Ah, when it all works right … pleasure for one and all.
The kitchen? Alimentary my dear Watson (apologies to Sir Doyle who never wrote those, nor similar words, actually). Yes, we now travel to the other end of the alimentary canal … taste buds and associated structures. What greater pleasure, for some of us at least, than eating? Stuffing our face, pigging out, bust a grub, mangiare, esn, eszik, that’s what we do, and as often as not, it is pleasurable. Or should be.
I write this while thoroughly enjoying some delicious Vietnamese coffee and dark chocolate. Personally, I will pretty much eat anything. At least anything eaten by the mainstream in modern cultures. Yes, I watch those wacko TV shows (Bizarre Foods, Anthony Bourdain, Man vs. Wild, etc.) and see these guys (where ARE the women?) eating stuff that, well, I don’t think is meant to be eaten. I enjoy going to the local Asian supermarket and looking for new things to try. They sell every part of the chicken (every) (and some parts that only roosters have), parts of bulls that, well, I made a very good pizzle stew (go ahead, I dare you, google it), and yesterday, while wandering the isles, I bought some more interesting but somewhat more mainstream looking foods …
Ingredients: Black sesame, black rice, black bean, rye, black fungus, black dates, oats, whole wheat, buckwheat, soy lecithin, flax seed, modified starch, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oligofructose (Inulin).
Directions: Empty one sachet into a cup; add about 220ml of hot water, stir and serve. (For better taste and nutrition can also be served with milk, soybean milk, juices, other cereal powders … etc.)
The fact that it is “Vegan” should have tipped me off. I tried it for breakfast today, figuring a bit healthy would work. You know how you tell how healthy something is? You know, the better it tastes, the worse it is for you. This stuff is incredibly healthy. As healthy as it comes. So healthy, no amount of sugar, or ketchup (and ketchup makes everything taste better, no?) would help. Healthy extraordinaire. But I tried it. And I have 14 sachets of it left, a free one with every Universal Beverage Holder that you buy!
I love to eat. I, for one, get tremendous pleasure out of the tastes, textures, smells, adventures all intertwined with foods. A grass fed Kobe beef tenderloin, a fresh squab (do you even know what a squab really is?), a half dozen oysters on the half shell with an ice cold Vox vodka, my mother’s Hungarian goulash (Erika, do you guys really eat that or is it similar to chow mein in China?), the comfort of the original Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, a NY street hot dog with those incredible onions, caviar and blini while boating the canals of St. Petersburg, taking Paan at a hill station in the foothills of the Himalaya’s (I admit that I ended up spitting it out down the side of the mountain, but alas, a fantastic culinary experience), all wonderful. All centered around food.
A few summers ago, I came home and the nanny was all riled. Turns out, Pearlsky was not eating. All day, nothing. I have a one day rule … anything that happens one day I don’t worry about it. One day with extra seizures, one day not eating, whatever. I told her to not worry. But then, next day, no eating again. Nothing, no water, no Pediasure, no food, nada, zippo. I was a bit concerned, but even with “normal” kids, I don’t think I would get bent if they did not eat all their food. She’ll eat if she is hungry.
The third day I was called home early. Still nothing, she just refused to eat. I started to go through everything in the house, trying different foods, having her smell them first, etc. Finally, I reached for the hummus. One smell and she started eating. The entire container. For the next four days, the only thing Pearlsky would eat was hummus, and loved the red pepper hummus. I would walk into her room in the morning and obviously she was breathing through her mouth, a garlic laden hummus fog was greeting me. But she was eating, and washing it down with water. Then things returned to normal, but hummus is still a favorite and she will eat an entire tub, of any size.
She has other gastronomic pleasures … scrambled eggs with ketchup; the world’s best coffee (I own a small coffee company, named after her, of course she loves it!). It is a pleasure that she can partake in. We have tried to use food to have her practice making choices (communication anyone?), but that does not work. But start feeding her something different, or a favorite, and all I can say is, watch your fingers. A pleasure she can have, that we offer often.
I am told there are pleasures to be had there.
Life for us is tough, let’s face it. Dealing with these children is more than the difficulties of dealing with “normal” kids. We are “on” 24/7. Always have an ear out, either for a seizure, choking, getting into something, or when not home, an ear out for that phone call … always listening, waiting, expecting.
So, if we have someone watching our kid, s/he’s at school, with the babysitter / nanny / nurse, if we have 30 minutes to steal (or 10 or 60, but let’s not go there), isn’t it in our best interest to grab our partner and have a “go”? What other time, ever, is your mind so distracted yet focused? Even if you don’t like your partner anymore, let it be purely physical. Or, if you are still in love, go for it full throttle. It is our escape, our god given escape. Few if any animals do it purely for the pleasure. And for some of us, it is the only escape. And why not?
And if there is no partner around … don’t think of Onan. You see, Onan had this evil brother, Er. You know he was evil, because his name spelled backwards in its native language was … “evil.” A real stretch there. Anyway, the all knowing, all powerful, blessed be He, decided in His infinite wisdom to “off” the evil Er. That left Tamar a widow, one without having birthed an heir to Er. So Onan is told to go do the dirty deed with his widowed sister-in-law (think about that guys …) and make sure that Er and Tamar have an heir.
Onan was a man with his own mind. Two heads, one mind. He goes to visit Tamar and do the deed. But, alas, he is thinking that he should not have offspring that he cannot call his own, and he, well, pulls out early, coitus interruptus, and “spills his seed upon the ground.” This really pissed off the holy one, blessed be He, and God killed Onan as punishment. I sort of like Alan Dershowitz‘s opinion that Onan and Tamar engaged in frottage or in anal sex (that last link is very “dirty” and if read to the end, hysterical). Also, he suggests that the anger of God was directed not at the sexual act, but at Onan’s disobedience by refusing to knock up his brother’s widow, but I digress …
Hence, according to people that make the rules, because Onan wasted his seed, you can’t do that, so no masturbation for you! At least those of us who have seeds. Then you get the religious zealots and weirdos (zealots are not necessarily weirdos, but then, if the shoe fits …).
The other day I was informed that there is another boy in my son’s group at the residential facility who has a habit. Yes, he likes to play with himself. Well, duh, who doesn’t? But at “inappropriate” times. You go teach a severely disabled person the “appropriate” times to touch yourself in a way that feels good. Hell, I have school telling me that they are doing what they can to stop Pearlsky from putting her fingers in her mouth, the one thing she can do to feel good. Similar to Pearlsky and her fingers in her mouth, the boy’s caretakers are trying to stop the young man from doing something that he can control, that he gets some type of pleasure from.
Physical pleasures. What is wrong with them? If we exploit them, integrate them where we can, what about our kids. Do you try different foods or are you in a rut? Even if your kid has a g-tube, s/he probably has viable taste buds, no? Licking, sucking, tasting, chewing, may or may not lead to “eating” or swallowing, but have you explored such?
The last topic is much harder because of our culture, and I sure as hell ain’t going to say more. But I have a lot more to say.