Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Posted by Dan at 10:10 PM
Last week was a pretty sad week- our washing machine broke and left us with piles of unwashed diapers for five days, and our toilet overflowed, filled the bathroom with three inches of water, AND leaked into the basement (requiring every remaining towel in our house for clean-up, and of course we couldn’t launder them afterwards).
Since things pretty much sucked anyway, we decided to put together my parents’ hand-me-down office desk. It was fairly straightforward except when the baggie of hardware to go with it disappeared for twenty minutes or so until C innocently suggested, "Maybe it’s in the Lerkim," which is his Lorax-inspired hiding place behind the chair in our living room. Indeed, we found it there- apparently a Barbaloot had whisked it away when we weren’t looking.
This desk was large enough to replace three desks previously inhabiting the office, and they spent several days being shifted around the house. (For a while they blocked our downstairs hallway completely; for a while one prevented us from opening the hall closet; for a while one occupied our bed.) Also, the transfer of computers-and-supplies between desks has been fairly painful, and two large plastic tubs that we’d just purchased for storing recyclables have been usurped and are now holding piles o’ crap under the desk.
But now, all is good. The washing machine was fixed and while it still cost plenty of money, the repairman took pity on us and sold us a "service agreement" that covered the repair for about a quarter of what he could have charged us. The toilet disaster is cleaned up and may have provided C with a good visual lesson in what happens when you use too much toilet paper. (He also has been instructed on where the water turn-offs are.) The new desk is much prettier and more functional, and the old ones have all been relocated or sold at a convenient neighbors’ garage sale.
So now what are we in for?
Posted by Dan at 7:56 PM
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
We’ve been bad parents this week. On Wednesday, Dan was the parent helper at preschool; we figured for snack we’d bring in cheese and crackers or something we had around the house. At 11 p.m. I remembered that it was supposed to be a pseudo-birthday celebration for C since he turns 5 over the summer- crackers weren’t going to cut it. So in the morning I dig out a three-year-old box of brownie mix and start mixing it together- when I realize we have no eggs. Hmm, what do eggs do in a recipe? Here, I’ll add some more oil- and a little water- and I’ll beat it up with some ground flaxseeds to hold it together. Just in case it doesn’t work, I’ll put some cookies in the oven- we had just enough frozen dough for 16 very small cookies. But it’ll work. No problem. I’ll toss some leftover Halloween M&Ms on top too, to make it look festive.
For future reference, flaxseeds do not replace eggs. C wanted to bring it along anyway, so he did. 5-year-olds aren’t too picky when it comes to chocolate, luckily, so they were only slightly phased by the lumps of greasy chocolate sludge they were served. (I’m glad we had the cookies too!)
Thursday was Show and Share Day. We never remember to bring anything in for it. This time I realized it while dropping C off, and the best I could come up with was- my library card. (Dan at least could have dug a photo out of his wallet.) So I gave it to him and told him to talk about how fun it is to pick out books. (We don’t want to think about what his teachers think of us by now.)
Monday, C had no matching socks that fit him, due to our washing machine being out of commission. "How about you wear sandals today?" Luckily he was amenable, and the weather was borderline-acceptable for it.
Posted by Dan at 9:04 AM
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Posted by Dan at 9:38 PM
Posted by Dan at 9:36 PM
Despite all the truth behind the popular conception that parenthood can leave you in a constant mental fog, only capable of functioning at the intellectual level of a head of baby bok choy (well perhaps less, when we sleep less than a cabbage gets to), there’s also nothing like parenthood to help you take notice of things.
Like how many seconds your infant can sit up by herself now, balanced on pudgy forearms like a potato- shaped motorcycle with missing wheels, before tottering over…Or how noisy the world is during the day when your baby is trying to nap (and how eerily quiet in the house at night, except for the dogs heavy sighs, as you pace back and forth, back and forth)…
I’m also still re-learning to see the world through C's 4.75 year-old eyes—view from 36 inches I’ve been calling it (though his eyes may be farther off the ground than that at this point). The hundreds of digital photos he’s taken since getting the camera the Christmas before last illustrate this well—dog butts; a dozen seemingly identical pictures looking straight across at the top of a block tower; automobiles looming large, shot while passing, as if with a fish eye lens; adults faces from underneath, peering down like parade puppets.
But it’s his fascination with money (and occasionally noticing a track) that has reminded me to look down, and look well. There are a surprising number of coins to be found when you’re that low to the ground, and more than a few bills as well. Although I usually notice other treasures. Today it's amongst the flotsam in the little strip of green space next to A's doctor’s office parking lot.
Even the trash has meaning of course, though. Take the styrofoam coffee cups and takeout plates and discarded car air fresheners, and the solar calculator I tried, just to be sure it didn’t work. These are signals from folks who didn’t take the time, or care enough to bring a travel mug for their cup of Jo, or to find a trash can. I’ve always struggled to understand just when it became OK to cast our garbage to the wind. Sure litter has been around since kids threw clay tablets with their old homework assignments into the pit by the road, but mass roadside litter-storms probably coincide with the period when automobiles started appearing everywhere like dandelions in the spring. I just can’t picture people throwing a pop can from a bicycle very often, or a crumpled piece of paper from a horse-drawn buggy—these modes of transport would put you too close to the offending object, and your guilt, for too long (and again when you passed by on the way home). And if you drove the only car in town, I’d think you’d want to show it off and honk and wave to everyone in passing—"ah-wooooo-ga!"—not be known as the fast and fearless littering roadster).
But when I’m done pondering this and look past the mound of cigarette butts, I see nature(remarkably) in our midst. It takes a moment to register, but those clumps of gray fuzz mean we’re standing below an owls dining room. Below—that means there’s something above—and only then do I look up and notice the great old (and half-dead) tree with no leaves to shade with yet this spring. A relic no-doubt overlooked by those that tidy up nature for us and make sure all those dead trees are removed post-haste (afterall, this thing could fall on your car, or several; though it will most likely come down in a storm, when no one’s likely to be parked at the far end of this big lot).
But I’m glad it’s been overlooked for now (they must not have been looking down closely enough to notice it); and I can picture the owl with a midnight snack, and almost hear it as clearly as the redwing blackbirds are calling right now—telling me it’s spring, and that at night there are also frogs to be heard in the marshy area back there. Maybe I’ll see if A's doctor has night time appointments…
Posted by Dan at 8:21 PM
Posted by Dan at 8:19 PM