I don’t know if my life used to be more interesting than it is now, or if I just used to believe it to be more interesting. (Maybe don’t tell me. Allow me my fantasy that my life was once better than it is now.) I keep thinking, “I’ll write once something fascinating happens.” But guess what! I suppose this is middle age, yes? When you realize that your life is just not all that exciting…?
(To be fair, I actually had that epiphany over the weekend when Otto was watching Formula One and I plunked myself down on the couch next to him. The coverage cut to a new thermal imaging camera they’re using to show how hot the tires get on the track, and at the same time both of us went, “Ooooooooooh!” That was when I realized that what passes for excitement in your 40s is really nothing like what you imagined when you were younger. It was also when I realized that true love is also a far cry from what I once assumed.)
So until something thrilling happens (haaaa), you get snippets.
Homeschooling is fun, part 1: Monkey sometimes giggles while doing his work at the computer, and then shares with me the various mirth-inducing answers on the quiz he’s taking or whatever. His biology class often has multiple choice questions where one or two of the available options is just ridiculous. At one point they were doing a unit on chemistry (in biology! because I don’t know why!) and one of the questions was about the term we use to refer to water. While “the universal solvent” was the correct answer, “the great wet briny” and “the ultimate moistener” were also available answer options.
Now whenever I don’t know the answer to one of Monkey’s questions, I say, “The great wet briny!” And it’s still funny.
Also, “the ultimate moistener” is now how we refer to Licorice.
Homeschooling is fun, part 2: Currently they’re doing a unit on ecology. One of today’s assignments was to go through some sort of test-your-eco-friendliness quiz which required him to ask me a gazillion and one questions about our house, our salaries, etc. In spite of the fact that we recycle, compost, grow our own vegetables, buy secondhand, blah blah blah BLAH, at the end of this LENGTHY quiz, Monkey was informed that if every family in the world lived the way we do, we would need “4.5 earths.”
I get that the point is to help kids understand that we’re killing the earth, but man, I think he might be scarred for life. (It got worse when the quiz also told him that statistically speaking, we’re doing better than most Americans. I guess they need even more extra earths.) Also, where would we put 3.5 more earths? And do we need that to live forever or what? I have so many unanswered questions.
Homeschooling is fun, part 3: As of this morning I officially want to punch myself in the face. One of Monkey’s teachers wasn’t following the accommodations that he’s supposed to get until the special ed coordinator stepped in and clarified, and NOW things are on track, EXCEPT that he turned in a bunch of work late around the time of said intervention and it was all marked way down for being late… right after it was explained in painstaking detail that he’s to be given extra time and not penalized. And so I had to be that parent I hate who writes to the teacher to ask for my precious snowflake’s grades to be raised.
No only do I want to punch myself in the face, but the teacher probably thinks I’m a complete loon. I was falling all over myself to find a way to communicate, “Yo, NOT COOL because NO” at the same time as “I would never grade grub for my kids; it’s not about the grades, it’s about following procedure and also not making my kid so discouraged that he stops working.” It’s a delicate balance and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I am not particularly delicate. So that’s awesome.
Homeschooling is fun, part 4:
Public school is off today so that teachers can have meetings, which means that Chickadee is home. But Monkey’s online classes are NOT off today. As a result, he’s supposed to be working on classwork and she is supposed to be doing homework and instead of either of them working they’ve mostly been bickering over leftover pancakes and chores, with the occasional break to hassle the dog.
I am going to start shooting video so that the next time Chickie wants to know why I can’t homeschool both of them, I can just roll some highlights of The Day I Nearly Killed Them Both.
If I ever start a rock band, I’m going to call it The Banana Window. One of my children will only eat a banana if it is THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF FRECKLY, and I believe we have established that this window of Banana Acceptability is only about 6 hours long. This has nothing to do with anything, but I think it’s a great illustration of how the smallest things your loved ones do can make you feel things which are decidedly not at all loving.
If I’m completely honest, another reason I haven’t been writing much is that The Great Medication Adjustment is ongoing and maybe not quite as idyllic as I’d hoped it would be. We all know that my husband is a good and patient and kind man, and when he put his hand on my knee a few days ago and gazed into my eyes and lovingly whispered that some of the things coming out of my mouth recently are better suited to my inside-the-head voice, I had to concede that I am PERHAPS just a touch more irritable of late. But mostly because people are annoying and stupid, you understand. Ahem. Still, he may have a point.
The problem (as if there’s only one…) is that by nature I maintain a certain baseline hatred of people, I think. [Otto: You do not hate people. Me: Yes I DO. Otto: You do NOT. Do you hate ME? Me: YOU ARE NOT PEOPLE! Otto: I give up.] This can make it hard to discern when my regular hermit-tendencies have crossed over into murderous rage towards my fellow humans. Although when I write it out like that, I guess I can see where that could be… alarming.
I’m working on it. Though I suspect my doctor is a little tired of hearing, “Yeah, well, I’m kind of tired? And also I hate everyone? Is that fixable?”
Speaking of the ultimate moistener, I think I mentioned a while back that Licorice’s nails are too long and she hates having them cut and I am a big wuss about tending to her pedicure needs. Well, I decided to put on my big girl panties and just cut her nails a tiny bit every weekend so that we get her nails shorter and she hopefully gets used to having it done.
In response to this plan, Licorice has become a great big dramatic liarpants who yelps and yips and cries the minute I touch her feet. The first time she did it, I’d just snipped a nail and was afraid I’d gone too deep. But the next time she did it when I just touched a foot pad with my finger, so then I knew she was being a drama queen. Perhaps we should call her the dramatic moistener, instead.
I have no idea what we’re having for dinner tonight. What are you having? Even though I apparently hate you, I might want to steal your dinner plan. Because that’s the kind of jerkface I am.