English: Probably the best Vietnamese soup, Ph...

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Steph’s not feeling well.  She’s got a mild case of fever and chills.  In our family, when we aim to fend off sickness during cold and flu season, we resort to eating lighter foods and promote the body’s sweating mechanism to help get rid of the cold (cold = exterior attack in acupuncturist terms).  (I know, it’s old school medicine.)  We hit up the pho restaurant.

For those that don’t know, pho is a vietnamese style of rice noodle soup.  You can get this noodle soup with all sorts of meats and vegetables thrown in.  According to Chinese medicine, the properties of the soup is a nice balance of yin and yang ingredients and is a great substitute for the standard chicken noodle soup that mama Campbell’s doles out in the red and white tins.

I meet Steph for lunch at her favorite pho place, Pho Ca Dao in Mira Mesa.  Mira Mesa has tons of pho shops scattered along MM Boulevard, but this one is our favorite.  Pho Ca Dao doesn’t make the very best pho, but it has the friendliest staff we’ve ever had at a pho restaurant.  So, we make it a point to return often.

Now, Gavin’s “having lunch” with us.  (What kind of parent would leave a baby at home alone?)  He gets perched atop a high chair for a bird’s eye view of the visual and olfactory masterpiece, pho.  He gets so excited about pho that he starts to squirm in his seat.  We give him a pair of chopsticks to try and calm him down.  But, chopsticks without pho is like a bath without water…no fun.  Ten seconds later, the sticks are played out onto to the floor.

Meanwhile, mommy takes a few bites and soon gives up the wet noodles, and I’m chewing each of my bites the appropriate 25 times to ensure maximum enjoyment.  But I can’t.  The Worm, true to his name, is really fussy now, squirming (and vocalizing his dislike of PIPA and SOPA).  Since it’s lunch time, Pho Ca Dao is Pho Can Crowded.  A loud, screaming baby is the last thing we need right now.  (And I’m pretty sure it’s the last thing anyone around us needs, too.)  Anxiously, I start scooping larger and larger portions of noodles in my mouth for fear that the volcano Gavin will erupt at any moment and we’ll be eating our pho on the sidewalk outside the building.

Steph says “You better hurry, Gavin’s ‘done’.”  I’m thinking, that little pipsqueaking monkey lovable, kindhearted infant can’t wait 5 minutes more? is definitely more important than me getting nourishment for my weary body.  I spoon larger and larger portions into my boca grande.

I’m eating so fast that I shove half a jalapeno in my mouth without knowing it.  Like the responsible guy that I am (who is always thinking about the starving kids in Ethiopia), I don’t spit it out.  I keep on chewing…25 times.  And if that wasn’t hot enough, the jalapeno seeds (the hottest *#@$ing part) were extra fireworks for my tastebuds.  The volcano’s not in the high chair anymore, it’s in my mouth.  And I’m sweating like a w#@re in church for the next 5 minutes.  I guess I won’t be catching a cold anytime soon.

I can’t wait to see that jalapeno pepper on the way out.  I’m sure it will be a treat.

Thank you Gavin for teaching me a lesson today about looking at my food before eating it.   Grrr.

Gavin – 3; Dad – 1