Friday, October 4, 2013

... and lived happily ever after

It wasn't just a cry but a wail.

The sound coming from Miles' room was fierce and furious and though we are trying to curtail the nighttime shenanigans, I knew that I had to go up to see what was wrong.

"My nose was stuck in the crib," Miles cried between sobs as I opened the door. "Huh?" I asked as I picked him up, sure that I misunderstood him. "My nose was stuck in the crib," he sobbed.

I sat down with him in the ikea chair, rubbing his back and stroking his hair. I told him that he was OK and everything was alright. I reminded him that he was safe and mama would protect him. With each passing second, his body collapsed deeper into my chest.

I was nearly ready to put him back down when his head popped up. "Mac and cheese story, please." I pretended not to hear him, pushing his head back down. He resisted. "Mac and cheese story, please."

The effing mac-and-cheese story. What was supposed to be a funny stopgap between singing and turning on the light to read another story has become a thing for Miles. He requests to hear it at least once, if not twice, a night. It leaves Mark in a quandary when I'm teaching Thursday nights because his only response to Miles' request is: What the hell is the mac-and-cheese story.

Well, it's a story about a prince ... and, here it is to be recorded for all posterity.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away lived a warm and generous prince named Miles. Miles was kind-spirited and loved all of the members of the kingdom. He was always doing what was best for their health and happiness, and his spirit was infections and inspiring.

One morning, Prince Miles woke up and looked outside the bedroom window of his castle. It was a beautiful day that begged to be enjoyed so he bounded down the stairs and called everyone to the kingdom square. He declared that it was the perfect day to enjoy a swim and encouraged everyone to come with him.

Prince Miles and the people of his kingdom ran toward the beach, sand squishing between their toes. The dove in to the calm, cool water and began to swim around the outer edges of the lake. The sun was beginning to rise over the water's edge, inching slowly up with each steady stroke. Prince Miles felt as though he was just getting started when he reached the shore once again, even though he had swam 2.4 miles.

Eager to spend more time with his kingdom, he asked if anyone would like to join him for a bike ride. Prince Miles threw on his kit and cycling shoes and led the peleton to the outskirts of the kingdom. They rode up hills and down hills. They navigated curves and rode through meadows. They saw mountains and lush valleys. The bike path was dotted with animals - deer and rabbits, giraffes and zebras, lions and tigers, polar bears and monkeys.

Prince Miles' Garmin read 112 miles by the time he returned to the start. Even still, the kingdom felt invigorated and excited to revisit some of the sights of the bike ride. They laced up their Brooks, filled bottles with Nuun and grabbed a few Gus to sustain them. Their steps were slow but steady, fueled with adrenaline and conversation. They received "oohs" and "aahs" from the monkeys as they passed, and the deer stomped their hooves.

By the time they returned to the castle, 26.2 miles later, the sky had grown dark and Prince Miles' belly began to rumble. He headed inside the castle and asked the cook to make him something to eat. Knowing that Prince Miles needed a dish rich in carbs, protein and fat, he whipped up a decadent batch of mac and cheese. Made with the finest cheese, it was rich and creamy. The first bite was bliss for the hungry Prince Miles, who promptly declared in the best mac and cheese he had ever had. He ate and ate until his belly could take no more but there was still plenty of mac and cheese.

Prince Miles called to the members of the kingdom to come in the castle and enjoy the cook's masterpiece. They all agreed that it was the best mac and cheese and a fitting reward for such an exciting day. They decided that they must do it again next year, if only for the mac and cheese.

The end.


  1. Love this! One day he'll be crossing that finish line himself, wondering where the mac and cheese is... : )

  2. This. is. awesome!!! I love it.

    We get "talk fire trucks" - which is just tell him about what happens when fire trucks get called out to fires. I've yet to come up with an awesome RUNNING story though. Mother runner FAIL!

  3. Hilarious and adorable. And a reminder that for a toddler, if it's good the first time, it's even better the 5000th time. So make sure that whatever it is (story, song, book, joke), YOU LIKE IT.

  4. I love it! It makes me want to illustrate the story! If only I could draw people.... !

  5. So cute! Be sure to put it in his baby book. Lots of laughs later!

  6. A tri story and mac and cheese story! Just perfect. 2 of my favorite things. When I am blessed with a baby, I will remember the Mac and Cheese Story :)