Friday, August 31, 2007


When we found out we were having a third Child (making three in five years) Kirk and I knew at once we were going to have to go from a man-on-man to a zone defense. As long as the Children stayed reasonably well clustered we could, using extra hands or an ankle in a pinch, maintain physical contact if not control over them most of the time. Of course, it's asking far too much to have three small ones maintain a tight formation at all times. Herding cats doesn't begin to cover it. I still have a compulsive need to count heads before going through a door - almost any door - and the Children by now ignore my fevered mumbles of "one... two... how many did we start with today?"

As they got older, more independent and easier to threaten (never underestimate the power of a Child's imagination on potential punishment - ours included the concept of white socks with sandals, shorts and a hawaiian shirt... at the next school dance) the immediate need to physically wrangle them all diminished, but the logistical issues increased. We began by limiting each Child to one need-transport activity. Anything that was bussed or chauffeured in some way was fine, but we would only drive each Child to one thing. They all picked soccer which was fine until we realized this meant three teams, each meeting twice or three times a week for practices (almost all of them on different days) plus games. Add in Kirk's insane willingness to coach AND ref and the Children (drawn by the allure of striped polyester and the right to wear a whistle) volunteering for field duty as well and we just spent the year in an endless frenzy of soccer events.

Now of course it's just me doing the driving and the attending and the cheering on. So far it's going fairly well, with everyone's schedule meshing reasonably with the available transport. Children 1 and 3 are doing JROTC which means 4x weekly extra class plus (as of yesterday) civil air patrol which might take some doing. It also means going to "armed" and "unarmed" drill meets which makes for two problems. Unarmed has the kids marching around in little squares and being asked Gotcha! questions by various people - how do you cheer for that? I've only been to a couple and I have no idea if you're supposed to pump your arms in the air and shout, "Yeeeeawww! Way to about face baby!!" or if that's considered de trop. For armed it's more simple - that's the one where they take 13lb. "rifles" and hurl them at each other with enormous vigor and enthusiasm. It's going to be worse than watching Olympic ice-skating (I shut my eyes every time someone's going to jump or throw someone or something - the possibility for humiliating mistakes is far too great) because not only might Child drop something with an huge clatter, it might miss a catch and knock out its teeth or break a nose. I just know I'm going to be the one mom on the sidelines saying "hey! Don't play with those! You'll shoot your eye out!" and Child will disown me.

I need a manual for this stuff.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I have a particularly attractive... we'll call it dress... that I save for the hotter days of summer. I come home from work and, if the temperature is what I would call "#$%$#" I reach into the closet for this piece of sartorial wonder. Yes, it is black and made of some sort of material that I strongly suspect features heavily in "Bingo Hall Beauties - the Summer Collection!" It also completely lacks a shape of any kind (unless you want to count unidentifiable tube thing as a shape) BUT I know it's gorgeous because - it's cool. I can, given a leetle swamp-cooling and some shade, wear this thing and manage not to melt into a sad little puddle by the end of the afternoon.

The Children are not so impressed. In fact, the other day while we were sitting around in the almost cool of the late evening one of them quite rudely called it a mu-mu. This, I replied snidely, is not a mu-mu. It is elegant and black and mu-mu's have ginormous flowers. Also they are worn by ginormous women.

Yes, said another Child darkly, and they are see through. It sat in silent and grim contemplation of the memory that produced this remark. None of us wanted to know any more so we left it to it. The originator of the rude comment expanded on its opinion of The Dress and giggled. It stood there, tossing a soccer ball up and down and smiled superiorly at me. That's when I realized what it was wearing: it's favorite striped dress (which had fit it. Five years ago) and a pair of plaid flannel pajama bottoms. I spluttered a bit and pointed meaningfully at it. It had the grace to blush a bit, but retorted "at least it's not a mu-mu!"

"No!" Shouted Child 3 with glee, "it's a Pajoomoo!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Let Me Hear You Fren-u-l8

Friday was dies ipse* - the Day of Frenectomy. We had spent a very entertaining week running through the likely consequences of this Procedure (Children 1 and 2 and I agreed in the end that 3 would go to say something irritatingly pedantic and it would put its eye out - a just and righteous outcome we all felt) and Child 3 had given its teachers a several-day count down to I Won't Be Able To Talk Day. All in all we got pretty good value out of the thing.

I have an irritating - I'll call it habit but it's more like obsession - with timeliness. Surely other people suffer from this (my Children are nodding and chorusing "yes Mom, WE suffer from this), but I think mine is frighteningly worse than the norm because I was raised by 1 scientist with a firm mind for precision which is where the need to be prompt comes from and 1 writer with a tremendous gift for imaginary catastrophes. It means I can't just leave for somewhere with travel time and a five minute window I have to add in enough time for a flat tire, a back up on the freeway and a funeral procession. Which is a long way of saying we might maybe have gotten to the ENT place an hour before 3's actual appointment.

It was okay though because for the first (and probably last) time ever they trilled happily that actually they could maybe probably see us right now, and instead of leaving us sat on our disturbingly stained lobby chairs they whisked us right into the inner sanctum. We answered the usual questions, and the nurse entertained herself by asking Child 3 to stick out its tongue and then giggling at it (at Child, not tongue). I had brought a book along (family tradition - might have mentioned it) but Child 3 insisted on being entertained (selfish little git) so instead we learned a great deal about the inner workings of the nose, and spent a little time looking in the mirror and poking our fingers up the illustrated septum. Apparently we weren't entirely quiet because we heard more giggling from outside the door.

Dr ENT arrived eventually, peered around in Child's mouth [NOTE: I had indeed told Child to take its toothbrush to school and brush its teeth before the appt. I'm very thoughtful that way. Child 3 isn't though - it forgot] AND - I almost forgot this bit - you know that big round thing on a strap that Buggs Bunny wears when he's being a doctor? Dr ENT actually had one! I've never seen one before but he solemnly donned it. Turns out it's a mirror with a hole in the middle. I suppose if you spend all your time looking up people's noses or into their not-recently-brushed gobs you need special equipment. But I digress...

He asked why we wanted this thing done and Child 3 trotted out the dentist story. Dr ENT looked down his nose at us and announced "you know, I've heard that so many times but I don't really believe it." Child 3 looked at me in terror thinking that I would shake the good Dr's hand and haul its unsnipped lingual frenulum right on out of there. However, and this isn't necessarily a good thing, I figured darn it, I got the Child out of school, I drove all the way out here AND I paid the stupid co-pay - we're getting this thing snipped dadgummit!

Child 3 had its mouth stuffed with cotton loaded with topical anesthetic which made things much quieter for a while. Then Dr ENT wandered back in and jabbed the poor Child seven or eight times with the numbing stuff and then wandered out again. We spent a very happy 20 minutes or so having a discussion, half of which sounded like "Ah, cah you uhehgag ee ow?" while more giggling came from the desk outside.

The actual Procedure was impressive and quite fun to watch since Child 3 was effectively gagged with two large clamps hanging out of its mouth. It only took a second though, and Child was cauterized, declamped and given a small glass of ice for its trouble. We managed to get out the door before our actual appointment time - a personal record.

Poor Child 3 chattered unintelligibly and delightedly down to the car, out the parking lot and about two blocks up the street before the numbing meds wore off. I think it hadn't considered that part of things so it was highly affronted that Procedures can be painful. I assured it that mouths heal quickly, and that it would feel better soon (which was received politely but with the thanks it deserved) and since the poor little insect was clearly unhappy we stopped by Target for some orajel type stuff which restored some of Child's spirits.

Child 3 has spent the entire weekend in delighted exploration of its new tongue. As a parent I should be filled with the wonder of seeing an offspring discover something anew like this. However this process has pretty much meant: "Hey, Mom! Check out the bottom of my tongue! There's a black pit there, isn't it gross?" and "You know what?? The underside of my tongue feels really slimy and squishy and soft!" and "Hey! I keep thinking I have stuff in my teeth and you know what? It's my TEETH!! HA!"

Sheer poetry.

*I fought it, I really did. I was going to put the stupid pun right up there in the very first sentence but I managed to resist and instead I'll put it here. You can ignore it if you like. "It wasn't dies ipse, it was dies snipse." I'm sorry.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Boring, Possibly Nerdy Post About Workish Stuff

So I've been sat here for at least half an hour trying to do a really good trace of an original Edison style lightbulb. Doesn't that sound exciting? I'll post something possibly more interesting about Child 3's frenulectomy to make up for it later. Maybe.

See, the trouble is someone kind sent me an email asking me what I do (you know, other than writing up blog posts and tormenting Children) and it's hard to answer that without making it sound much cooler than it is. So... this week I have...

...Done tedious and piecemeal updates to some vital but very dull parts of a web site. This has included shining moments like staring firmly at a sheet of paper and thinking "Gee... that looks like a Q, or maybe a 2 but I think they mean Wednesday."

...Reworked several previously locked projects because of last minute but serious changes that meant juggling files between the computer I actually have at work and the one at home that has the vital and obscure fonts I stupidly used (they look pretty good though). At one point this involved expanding the text into vector shapes which is never a comfortable thing to do since you can't then edit the darn text. Much fun was had but so far the edits seem to have been accepted.

...Joined in Happy Fun Department Housekeeping Day necessitated by an upcoming visit from Higher Up the food chain. Boxes were shifted! Ancient but highly sensitive pieces of paper were collected for shredding! Rude comments were thought of and said sotto voce just for fun! And hopefully a delicate balance was achieved between making the department look sleek and highly efficient and somehow conveying that we would quite like a great deal more space and money please and thank you.

... Consulted on marketing for a major program, trying to nail down this year's key theme and looking into the best media and methods for presenting it which has meant mocking up three different central images and writing several tag lines and a bit of copy.

So, when asked what I do I usually say "I'm a web designer" and leave it at that because no one wants to stick around to hear "I do marketing strategy with a heavy helping of web programming and design served up with a side of graphic work. Oh, and if pressed I'll help you take out the trash."

Scuze me now, I have bezier curves to tweak.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Problem with X and Y

Can someone tell me when they changed math? I thought it was a settled thing, that the Ancient Greeks (those whacky toga wearing baklava eaters) had worked out the whole thing ages ago - with a little interference from Newton. Isn't math supposed to be one of those lovely reliable things that never changes? It's the one thing where you can learn in kindergarten that 2+5=7 and it always will (foreverandever AAAAAHmen).

Well, someone didn't tell Child 2's teacher that, or else he is one sick man because Child 2 came home with a quadratic equation that needed graphing and...

It started just fine. I instantly set X to zero and whammo showed it how to find the Y intercept. Then Child 1 looked in and suggested that maybe it would be a good idea to factor the thing and do that special bit of magic where you set each little set of parenthesis to zero (which always seemed like cheating to me) and Child 2 did that too. Then we eyed "A" (after we all thought waaaaay back to last year - or many many many years ago for me - and remembered what A, B and C are in a quadratic equation) and Child 2 was able to announce that this particular piece of math was going to be a downward pointing one. We were definitely on a roll. BUT then some spoil sport mentioned finding the vertex, and we sort of hit a wall. See, Child 1 figured we could throw a bit of -2A and a B around and since that sounded like what I almost remembered from my Algebra In the Stone Age class I was all for it.

BUT - but Child 2 had taken notes (lots of notes it said! Thorough and complete notes! Look!) which said:

UNFOIL the @%#$#@. [equation]. If you find a number you haven't seen before, do something with it. [totally different equation with brand new number].

We squinted at these fine notes and looked dubiously at the problem in hand. It didn't look like anything I had seen before and frankly I didn't trust that whole new number thing. Fine Child 2, I said, we're going to do it my way (and Child 1's way, and actually the way Child 2 now remembered being taught as well) because that's the way I know and if it was good enough for me... and then I mumbled something about showing its work and hoping for the best. Oh, and asking the teacher to walk it through the UNFOILING magical new number method and maybe taking slightly better notes.

Child 2 did that and I figured it was the end of story until the next day when it turned out that the Ancient History method of finding a vertex returned the wrong answer.

We're not taking it lying down though. Child 2 is bearding the lion in its den (or the math teacher in its study hall - whatever) and is determined to walk out with the Answer to All UNFOILING or die trying. Then it will sit down and explain it all to its elderly mother - hopefully in a kind and gentle voice with lots of pauses for strengthening sips of tea.

I'm going to rest up now. I have a feeling Child 1 is coming home today to tell me they changed all of the biology as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Over here where I live it gets hot in the summer. I might have mentioned this before because from June to September I often can't think of anything else. I have made a serious effort not to whinge too much this year since some of my more honest friends have pointed out that it's actually not much fun listening to me wail about how it's over 100! Again! Which is hot! Again! Like yesterday! So basically I save that stuff for the kids and we spend long fruitful hours draped over the furniture in melty strings and discuss how hot. it. is. and how much we hate it. We're a ton of fun, really!

But I digress. What I was saying is that it's really hot, that this month in particular has been a scorcher. So I've been bemused to see, at nearly every off-ramp I use, a dedicated pan-handler walking the goat-head infested strip of sand, hoping that before the light turns someone will feel guilty enough to empty their ashtray of spare change. I hope it's reasonably profitable to do this because honestly I can think of few more horrible ways to spend an afternoon than striding around next to the baking hot tarmac.

Usually there's no way to tell one from another - even gender is difficult to really nail down with certainty - but yesterday's was distinctive. She was wearing a full length coat for one thing, and had two enormous blankets wrapped firmly around herself for good measure. She was at least 20 years older than the usual type, and was flashing a pleasant and toothless smile at each car as they came by. She seemed happy and fairly harmless and I was pretty sure she would do well for herself if she didn't pass out from heat exhaustion first. Traffic was heavy and even after the light turned the cars were only slowly trickling through the intersection so I was able to watch as one by one a driver would approach, begin to slow down and roll down a window and then suddenly lurch forward again. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I passed her myself and managed to read her cardboard sign.

"Homeless. Please Help. I got the Playge. God Blass"

Monday, August 20, 2007


We have had some small experience with starting new schools in this family. While waiting in the advisor's office during one of the Four Days Of Registration Fun we counted up and realized that Child 3 has attended seven different schools, Child 2 has managed 8 and Child 1 beats them both with 9.

There have been good transitions - we went from a quite good school to a superb school in Alaska for example - and less good transitions (going from Alpenglow's brand new play structure, sledding hill and ice skating rink to Nelson Elementary's single chin up bar and broken swings. That was fun). The worst naturally was moving from California back here.

It would have been horrible anyway; we were all leaving well loved friends and a small, warm community under the very worst circumstances. But the school they would be going to was dreadful. I knew it was dreadful - I had gone there myself and it had not gotten any better - and for a while I tried to believe that we wouldn't be here for long, that Kirk would be found and we would be able to go home again, so the kids could be home-schooled for just a few weeks. Weeks of course became months and there was no choice but to register them.

It was hard - one of a long list of things I didn't think I could bear to do, but there was no choice for any of us and so we went through the tedious and ridiculous process of proving they were all gifted (lumped in this school in with all the special learning kids so they were, as I was, labeled "special needs") hoping that this would at least put them in some better classes. They did their best. They went every day, grimly sometimes but bravely. They learned first hand about prejudice and bias (as I was, they were a 6% ethnic minority) which I hope will be a constant reminder to them about not judging people on appearance. They also unfortunately learned that as bright kids in a struggling school they could get full credit simply by handing in an assignment - never mind doing their best work (or even doing it on time). Child 3 was shocked, on attending a different school, to discover that month-late assignments aren't normally accepted for full marks.

This is a long way of saying that we were all, particularly Child 2 and me, more than a little anxious about this yet-another new school. When they came back after the first day with mostly positive stories to tell I realized how incredibly tense I had been - how my guilt over everything, the multiple schools, all of the unhappiness and distress had been twisted up so tightly I could hardly breath.

So. Child 3 has found a set of people to play soccer with at lunch. It loves its Survival class, thinks its biology teacher speaks too quietly but is otherwise okay, finds its English teacher amusing and is happily confident that math will be no problem at all. Child 1 is still hoping to find some congenial people to eat lunch with, but has a temporary arrangement that makes it happy. It has signed up for a 7th hour and it is charmed to realize that one of its set books for the semester is not only not deeply depressing, it is also an entertaining read. And Child 2? Child 2 whose shyness and tension sometimes expresses itself in a scowl that looks unfriendly and angry but is really nervousness; Child 2 who of all of the Children answered my questions about how it felt about starting another new school with a brief, tight "It'll be alright" - Child 2 approached a couple of strangers all on its own and started a conversation. Child 2 found not one or two but a laughing, boisterous crowd of 20 who like the same music, watch the same movies and quote the same ridiculous lines. Child 2 went to a sleep-over birthday party this weekend and met even more friends. Child 2 is happy.

And so am I.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pardon Me, But Your Frenulum Is in My Ankyloglossia

Child 3 is tongue-tied. Hang on a moment whilst I Google for the much more impressive medical term which I'm sure exists... Ah! There it is! Child 3 suffers from Ankyloglossia - sounds fatal doesn't it? Actually, suffers is a slight exaggeration. Child 3 did not exhibit any difficulties feeding (nor does it yet although we're hopeful), nor does its "unusual lingual frenulum" stop it from talking, singing, humming, making irritating noises with its cheeks etc.

Its doctors have looked at it, enjoyed the view, and then announced callously that "it'll probably resolve itself when It's playing soccer sometime or something." As a loving, caring parent I thought hard, realized this meant no further fuss and/or bother on my part and decided doctor must know best!

However some spoil-sport of a dentist thought otherwise so now Child 3 must get the darn thing fixed. Personally I feel the Child bribed the dentist because it had visions of improved machine gun noises and an ability to roll its "r's" dancing before its eyes. I offered to do the job myself with a pair of hedge-trimmers but Child 3, although recently shot for tetanus, politely turned me down. I think the glorious possibilities of local anesthetic combined with a small potential for spurting blood has really captured the imagination.

So while getting the Children shot the other day we took the opportunity and asked for an appointment to do the tongue thing please. Foolishly I thought that when the nurse complied I would arrive at the appointment, hand over my larger-than-last-year co-pay (thanks so very much kindly work provided health insurance!) and this very minor procedure would be carried out then and there. Oh no, naturally not. Our kindly doctor looked earnestly into Child 3's mouth (doing the most amusing series of imitative facial grimaces all the while) and soberly told me that he could not tread where the sacred ENT folks walk and we would have to be Referred. So irritating that we couldn't be Referred to begin what with the driving across town and paying the co-pay and all that.

So now we have to wait two days to get the Referral so we can call the people who will then make an appointment and start the merry dance again. Except since this is a Genuine Procedure the co-pay will likely be twice as much.

Darn it, what's the point of living in this cowboy desert if you can't perform minor surgery on a beloved relative with nothing but a rusty bowie knife and a bottle of rot-gut whiskey?

I wonder if they carry those at Costco...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And There Was Much Rejoicing


It only took four days to get the Children registered at their school. Yes, just the four - a dawdle really, a saunter down a sun-dappled lane. With a little screaming and hair rending thrown in for ambiance.

However! They are now registered - every last three of them. Granted, Child 1 had a totally unacceptable schedule, but it has now become a tolerable schedule instead and Child 1 declares itself Well Pleased. Child 2 is missing an entire class because the kindly adviser hemmmed and hawed on day 4 and announced that there were no classes open for Child 2 because Child 2 (silly thing) is insisting on keeping up with its language and said language year II is only taught 5th hour and apparently all other really good classes are also only offered at 5th hour. Child 3 started out with what was nicely called a "temporary" schedule but has been upgraded to a "nearly finalized" schedule with asterisks because it is now in honors math AND honors English and might-be-could-be in honors biology but maybe not. At this point I'm dusting my hands off and calling it all done.

Well, except for the tetanus shots which Children 2 and 3 unexpectedly required (hence one of our fruitless Days Of Registration Fun) and which they will have to receive this afternoon. Rather interesting actually - I was monologuing my way through the next day's Things To Do: and you will have the house key, yes? And also your class schedule? And what do you mean you already lost your combination lock???* And don't forget I'll be calling you out of class so you can get shot. I said the last thing several times as we worked out where they were to come and what time of day it would all happen and I realized that the buzz of talk around us had died down to a rather shocked hush.

Don't worry. I plan on offering them blindfolds.

*ETA: We found the lock. It was on a ceiling fan blade. Placed there "so I could find it."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good Advice

I am so lucky, yes lucky, lucky, lucky. I am apparently so incredibly desirable that large numbers of Russian women are simply clamoring to form a deeply loving and committed relationship with me (they assure me that they are very religious and also believe in families so it's not like they're toying with my affections here). I also have total strangers concerned about my health and well being so they give me advice on how to enhance, enliven and probably em-biggen all sorts of areas of my life - some of which I don't actually have.

And now, now a very intelligent and creative individual has shared with me a top-secret something that I'm sure is the answer to all my problems. I believe it's a financial tip although the prose is a little difficult in places:

H*u*g*e N-e w_s To Imp'act C Y'T*V
Chi+na Yo*uTV C*o*r*p*.
Symbo,l: C-Y,T V
We h.a'v-e a+lready s_e.e_n CYTV' s ma.rket imp act befo*re climbin- g to o,v,e-r $2'.00 w i_t*h n,e-w+s+.
P-ress Relea_se:
Chi_na YouT-V's CnB oo W-e'b S_i,t,e Ran_ks N*o+..1 on M+icro*soft L-i+v.e Eng'ine
C'nBoo Tr_affic I*n.creases 4_9,% O,v,e r T,w+o Month*s
R'e-a.d t*h'e news+, thin*k ab out t*h e imp-act, and
j.u_m p on t+h-i's firs+t thin.g Tom,or-row m ornin_g! $ -0.42 is a g*i+f.t at t,h i,s pri ce..._..
Do y-o'u'r h*omewo.rk a+n+d w+atch t_h-i*s t rade Monda y morning..

I have to admit, this is the sort of careful marketing that makes me want to leap out and invest everything I have.

I also have a strange urge to learn Esperanto, but I'm not sure if that's related.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Well Loved

Child 2 has an emotional relationship with nearly everything. With its close (and dearly beloved) family it's often a rather grumpy emotional relationship, but given how much button-pushing it puts up with I feel that's only to be expected. It's the inanimate things that are a little more problematic.

Child 2 is a hoarder and collector from a long and distinguished line of such beings. In fact it has a double dose because there's the genetic link (from my side definitely, less certainly on Kirk's) as well as the behavioral link since its paternal grandfather is the Hoarder Grand Poobah and High Mucketty Muck. With an emphasis on the muck.

Child 2 has a fine even handed approach to its hoards; currently its dresser top is strewn with small plastic toys from a friend's brother's recent birthday, several DVDs brought in apparently simply to gently pat the covers, an inevitable stack of books and a general dusting of papers etc that refuse category. When told that "clean your room" needs to include such surfaces it looks at me in blank confusion and wonders how I cannot see that all of these objects are fabulous and utterly desirable and must be in plain sight (or semi-obscured sight) at all times to be truly appreciated.

It also owns an enormous number of stuffed animals. It was banned from acquiring any more several years ago when the population overflowed its bed and seemed to be planning an invasion of the rest of the house, but that left the dozens of "best friend" cuddly toys that already had burrowed their plastic-eyed way into its heart. When we moved after Kirk's disappearance we had to cram our not-too-large household into a considerably smaller space and so, with much difficulty, Child 2 was forced to decide exactly which among the many would become the chosen few allowed to remain out and about. The others were tucked carefully into plastic garbage bags and interred in bins in the garage. They have remained there for well over a year now, but Child 2 refuses to hear gentle (loud and continuous) hints about thinning the herd.

Then there are its clothes. Child 2 was one of those children who seemed to stay the same size for ever. It was petite - to say the least - for most of its young life and so could wear the same grubby, worn out sweaters and jeans for two, sometimes three years running. Maybe that's why emotional attachment to clothes, for Child 2, is enormous, what with having invested years of sweat and grass stains and all. Even more beloved are things handed down by friends - doubly valuable and impossible to relinquish.

Yesterday Child 2 took out a shirt I had washed and pointed out to it as probably no longer wearable. It was a magical shirt, I admit, bought just for Child 2 all itself, bought because it was clear Child 2 would love it (new clothes were and are much more now extremely rare in our family). It was, however, bought five years ago. Child 2, after squeezing into the shirt with much effort, glanced down at the exposed bits of flesh and admitted, reluctantly, that just maybe the shirt is on the small side. It has agreed that the shirt can be handed down, probably with ceremony and a solemn promise that Child 2 can visit the shirt when necessary.

It will be missed.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Words of Wisdom

The thing about kids - you know, having them and then keeping them around and things - is that conversation becomes rather surreal. I know it's not just my particular kids because I had a dear friend ask me to wait a moment while she hollered "that, young man is a one way door and you know we've had this conversation before, so put down the carrot."

You learn quite quickly not to ask for context when these things come up, so while I know it happened, I'm not entirely sure why Child 2 had to say severely, "YOU are over-stretching my frog!" but it stuck in my mind.

Today was register-for-school day, and we have reached that plateau of bliss where all three Children are attending the very same school which means 1 schedule for holidays etc and 1 bus. Things haven't been this good since Child 1 was unfortunately allowed to graduate from 5th grade. However there is a price. I had to register all of them which meant I trotted down with two of the three clutching two pieces of id per person, copies of shot records and what I was assured (twice) was perfectly adequate Proof Of Residence. Only it wasn't naturally which we discovered after standing in the wrong line for only an hour. Not to worry, if we lumbered home, picked up the piece of Really And For True Proof Of Residence they would be happy to register all Children at once thus saving me another trip out to the school.

You can see it coming, right?

Picked up Child 3 (meaning it was peeled off of its video game and forcibly inserted into its shoes), found original copy of Really And For True Proof Of Residence, went and stood in entirely NEW line for another 1/2 hour only to discover... that our Proof Of Residence is faulty AND they're closing down for the day so we'll have to so-sorry-come-back-tomorrow.

I seriously wanted to lean across the desk and hiss, "lady, you are totally over-stretching my frog." Child 2, I hear you baby.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Lesson Learned

As I was leaving work the other day I walked behind a woman about my age who appeared to have forgotten her trousers. It was a little strange because her hair was absolutely perfect and her make-up had been done with great care. Maybe she spent so long on her head she just figured - Oh, what the heck I'll throw on this mini-sweater dress and call it done. Or maybe she was about to attend a high school reunion and wanted to make sure everyone would recognize her so she wore her favorite outfit from junior year.

The problem was she had realized too late what a tragic mistake it was, and so as she walked she kept almost-but-not-quite tugging on the hem to try to stretch it down towards her knees. There was a desperate tenseness about her - she might as well have stopped and shouted "yes! Yes, I decided I could get away with wearing a piece of knit maroon whatever that would make a generous tea cozy but is a little on the skimpy side as a piece of clothing." Out of pity I had to look away.

The same day in the bookstore a man sailed past me wearing a bicycle helmet. He wore it with enormous grace and elegance and as he looked around there was an expression of such supreme certainty on his face it seemed utterly right that he should wear that helmet.

Confidence my friends is key.