shake’s malts

One of the best things in the world is a good chocolate malt, as long as it’s a black and white made with hard-pack vanilla ice cream—never soft serve—chocolate syrup, extra malt powder and very thick, with little to no milk.

Serendipitously, when Calvin was just over two months old, his pediatrician prescribed a diet of daily chocolate malts—for me! I acquiesced to this harsh regimen without protest.

Born six weeks prematurely, and with significant neurological problems, Calvin had a rough start spending his first two months in the hospital. While in the NICU, because of immature lung development, Calvin needed the help of a respirator to breathe. He also had dangerous tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and rapid respiration. But the thing that kept us imprisoned in the hospital for nearly eight weeks was his inability to nurse efficiently enough to thrive.

Weighing in at just four pounds fifteen ounces at birth, he gained little over the first several months and, by the time he was eight months old, he weighed just thirteen pounds. He didn’t even register on the growth chart. The daily malts that the pediatrician prescribed were meant to increase the fat in my breast milk so that Calvin would put on some extra weight. Happily, we both did, and to be honest, I've never gotten sick of Shake’s malts.

photo by Michael Kolster

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