Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Brunch Italian Style

Sunday morning, lazing around in bed with the New York Times and huge mugs of coffee with an overstuffed bagel -- this is pure fantasy for many American parents who haven't actually had this kind of brunch since pre-baby days. Here, it is even less likely. The church bells would make it unlikely that anyone can sleep past 9:00. The huge mugs would be replaced with teeny tiny baby espresso cups. And the bagels would be replaced by something that I can't imagine since all the bakeries are closed on Sundays. I woke up with Mamma Lia's early phone call asking for an energy treatment. I did it pre-coffee, but don't get any ideas. That is something I only do for Mamma Lia. Then we got invited to Gabriella's for lunch with her friend Paola and her son, nephew and little niece Sara. Here's how it went:

First we debate how to remind them that we are vegetarians. Decide to send a text message that says, "Can we bring something vegetarian?"
Debate whether to make chocolate chip cookies again; decide brownies are better.
Make brownies--Julia Child rocks!
Arrive. Admire all the meat.
Note that we needn't feel bad about K's cough because everybody has a cold, especially i piccini/the little ones who keep putting their fingers in the chestnut pie.
Discover lovely potato torta and stuffed zucchinis to eat.
Feel relieved when T and daughter Adriana go out for a bit on their own.
Feel less relieved when they run out of stuff to do. Wish pool was open since it feels like summer.
Spend a good half hour in total mayhem when toddler locks self in bathroom, kids complain about going out in the heat, we don't have enough car space for everyone to make planned trek, one boy needs inhaler spray from home, toddler misses nap, little niece eats many cookies.
Miraculously we all exit. Nephew notes that his unlocked bike has been stolen.
We spend twenty minutes walking three blocks and making sure that little kids don't get killed by three - count them- cars and one lone motorcycle. 
Finally get to piazza grande where Adriana fades out and T runs around blowing bubbles and playing fetch with little kiddles who adore her.
Feel great about meeting friendly, smart, kind people. Worry how in the world to break it to them that a two hour drive to Parma next weekend is probably beyond T's limits for being in a car.


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