My alarm clock went off at 5:45 this morning for the first time since last Thursday, and verily, I didst think Very Bad Words Indeed.
In a discussion with some friends (okay, FINE; it was a thread on Facebook, because we all know I never actually talk to people face-to-face anymore), I realized just how LONG of a day the kids have, for no discernible reason. I mean, okay; Monkey is gone by 7:15 but is generally home before 3:00, which just seems like a long day for a little guy. It’s not beyond the norm, I suppose, although the schools are always bitching about how they don’t have time to teach [fill in this blank with “the standardized test material” or “the real learning stuff we’d still like to teach aside from the standardized test material” as you see fit].
Chickadee, however, leaves the house before 8:00 (though she is blossoming into So Not A Morning Person and gets up with the rest of us so as to grunt her way into alertness by bus time) and is rarely home before 5:00, or later on activity days. But at least she spends that entire time sitting on a bus or behind a desk, with none of that pesky fresh air or exercise stuff getting in the way!
I begin to understand how people warm up to homeschooling, when I think about this stuff. I mean, at least we could sleep in. And free up a whole lot of time.
Chickadee’s vegetarianism (we are coming up on a year of it, with no signs of flagging) has really influenced my cooking. Mostly in a good way, I think. It’s also led to things like tonight’s dinner, which I like to call That Vaguely Indian Bean, Lentil and Veggie Dish Wherein I Substituted Approximately Twelve Of The Thirteen Ingredients To Suit What I Had On Hand, Plus I Put It In The Crock Because I Am Lazy And Don’t Own A Pressure Cooker. Now, I’ll admit that sometimes such experiments turn out great. “Let’s see what happens” is one of my favorite cooking methods, actually. But sometimes it results in, “Well, now. Who wants pizza?” And I just peeked in the crock and I’m thinking this can still go either way.
Licorice continues to enjoy Doggie Class. There are several Doggies Behaving Badly and her favorite thing to do is park herself under my chair (she makes herself a little cave) and cock her head at the dog who constantly barks or the one who prances around like a reindeer. In this sense, she is a model student.
On the other hand, most of the other dogs are puppies, and so by comparison, Licorice is the old dog trying to learn new tricks. So while the other dogs are all OHTREATS! ILIKETREATSGIMMETREATS! IWILLJUMPFORTREATS!, Licorice is happy to do what I ask if she understands it immediately, and if she does not, she loses interest and figures I am not going to give her that treat, and furthermore, she doesn’t need my stinkin’ treat and she will just lay there and look annoyed.
For example: The only thing I’ve been able to teach Licorice on my own is “Sit.” And even that was sort of an accident, but she knows the VERBAL command. She will sit if 1) you SAY sit and 2) you have a treat in your hand. In class, we’re learning hand signals. And Licorice is not so much interested in hand signals, thanks. So I can cheat and tell her sit, or continue gesticulating wildly while she rolls her eyes at me. Or at least, that’s what I thought would be our fate. Somehow, JUST TODAY she has learned the hand signal for sit (finally). It’s kind of a power fist gesture (closed fist, knuckles straight up), and every time I do it now and she actually plops her rear on the ground I kind of want to demand a fist bump from her as well. But her little paws are not so amenable to making fists.
The triumph over sit-on-signal came just in time, because I had been growing despondent over her unwillingness to lie down on command. The other dogs, you slide the treat down their chests and they collapse to the ground, happily. Not Licorice. She backs up and cocks her head at you and eventually wanders away. Same thing for any sort of “luring” behaviors where we’re supposed to be able to bring the dog along by waving food. Every other dog is leaving a trail of drool and Licorice is all, YAWN. If you wanted me to have it you would give it to me, she thinks.
Somehow I forgot to remove lunchboxes from backpacks before the long weekend, and Monkey’s lunchbox now smells like grim death. I don’t know what was in there, nor do I want to know. But when I went to fix lunches this morning it was enough to make my eyes water, and to cause me to pack for him in our Emergency Backup Lunchbag. Then I threw the stinky one into the washing machine even though it says “hand wash only,” because I washed it by hand and it still smelled like rancid turds.
Otto said, “Maybe it’s time to buy a new one? Isn’t it over a year old?” And it is, but it LOOKS fine, and is plenty sturdy. It just reeks. The idea of chucking it is hard for me.
Also, it’s from LL Bean, who theoretically guarantees products for life. So THEORETICALLY if I call them up and say that I am dissatisfied with their product, they will replace it, no questions asked. I think that’s hilarious, because if they DID ask questions, I would have to confess that my dissatisfaction stems from my own inability to remove rotting food from said item in a timely manner. It doesn’t seem like that’s their fault, frankly. (Side note: No, I would not ask for a replacement in this case. Just saying that I could, which is silly.)
This morning Otto declared that he needed to quit his job so that he would have time to do all of his chores. I laughed and then shoved him outside and changed the locks.