Back to school. Taking the pan off the heat, stirring and folding, returning to the burner. Keeps the eggs soft. They saw Gordon Ramsay do it on Master Chef.
Around the age June is now, a lack arrived. He not only settled but reached for the smallest gun in the pile before Cops and Robbers. And when they got to Montana he became referee in recess football. Not a player. Never meant to be.
He worried he’d pass incapacity on. Or the food allergy would make June hang back.
But she always takes a big bite. This kid has appetite.
As if her teeth were on fire. She clawed and whimpered. Hives sprouted in the nook of her right arm. McCormick wiped the peanut butter off her lips. Julie called the doctor. A modest dose of antihistamine seemed to end the crisis. Julie left for work. She was presenting to all of North American sales.
McCormick took June to art class, by the end of which her movements were slow and wobbly, more animal than human. Sometimes extreme cuteness made him think of her that way. Today danger did. Her breathing was shallow. McCormick saddled up the stroller and prayed.
SIDS he warded against by keeping the room at 68 and the crib next to their bed. For six months, Dr. Minh said. Julie moved them to the loft after five, leaving June the master.
Then there was that second nanny, who randomly turned off her phone and often returned late from the playground. “You think I’m going to kidnap your baby?” she asked. Julie authorized him to fire her that same night.
Now, to reduce the worry list again, he offers June a nibble of peanut-butter toast. Stay calm, he thinks. In five minutes you’ll feel so much better.