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3 kittens

Representing the data

Posted on 2014.04.12 at 14:38
Today I shall brag about the children.

1. About a month ago, Hawaii said "Mom, this is going to make a mess but just listen. I want to organize all my books and make a list of all their titles and..." ...at this point I hollered for Jammies, because he is highly organized, and Hawaii is highly organized for a four year old, and they can step inside each other's brains more easily than I can.

She spent the better part of the weekend copying the names of her books into a multipage document like so:

April 12, 2014 (1)

On the first day afterwards, Hawaii fetched "Unexpected Africa" for us at story time.  "Ok," we thought, "this is the game - she wants to read each of her books an equal number of times."  This is not unprecedented - she has a similar system for her closet.

The next night, she got "Unexpected Africa" out again, and we balked, because it is a terrible book. (It's central conceit: forty vignettes of savannah animals doing western activities. Lifeguard lions telling cheetahs and antelopes to WALK! because they're poolside. Animals getting hyper-caffeinated from coffee, getting stuck in traffic jams, rhinos in ballet shoes, etc. The captions are inevitably twice or thrice too long, littered with weak puns.)

Jammies and I said, "We read Unexpected Africa last night. What's next?" Hawaii said that she only crossed out the letter "U". We had to read it fifteen more times, you see, to get through all the letters.  I don't know why, but we did, for the next two weeks, read Tails of Unexpected Africa every goddamn night.

Now we are currently one week into a charming poem book about a girl-pirate. I think I have it memorized.

2. Yesterday, the kids said "We want to show you our science experiment."
They had eight assorted balls lined up on the couch, and this piece of paper:

April 12, 2014 (2)

Hawaii explained: Each ball corresponds to a line on the database, and each line shows the trajectory or behavior of the corresponding ball, when a force was applied to it. Possibly I'm paraphrasing.  (The real given explanation: "This ball goes like THIS!" [gesturing, pointing to the picture, acting it out, etc.])

Look at these kids, running trials and representing the data pictorially!  I felt pride and hubris.

Good things:

  • I'm sitting between two open windows on a beautiful day, and the whole house feels like a tree house because there is so much fresh air and visible foliage.

  • Jammies takes care of me. Every night I go to bed more or less at the same time as the kids. He does the dishes and the laundry and way more than his fair share, in general.

The bad:

  • I am so goddamn tired and awful feeling. I should have four more weeks of feeling this shitty. There are only three more weeks of classes, before finals.  I am seriously struggling to hang in there. There is nothing to do except do it.

Suck it up, Heebster

Hawaii and Hokey Pokey have abruptly reached the stampede stage of childhood.  When they are wound up, their rambunctiousness is now colossal. They wrestle like thrashing, whipping, ...I can't resolve this metaphor. Hornets nests? Bulls in china shops? Tasmanian devils? They would be illustrated with a blurry single ball of motion, with random legs sticking out akimbo and fists flailing.

I find it overwhelming, but maybe that's the first trimester talking.

It says Let Me Rest

Last summer, our friend said, "Use this swim instructor. She's absolutely magical. My daughter was swimming within two weeks."  Our experiences with group swimming lessons is that the kids have not learned how to swim whatsoever.

This summer, we contacted the sainted swim instructor. The swim instructor said that we should sign our kids up for ISR lessons. ISR stands for "Infant Safety Rescue". We dutifully checked out the website.

ISR lessons are:
a. ten minutes a day.
b. five days a week.
c. six weeks of hell.
d. $600 per child

I texted my friend, at the Old Settler's music festival, spending five days presumably stoned out of her gourd:
"Did you guys do the ISR program for [your daughter] last year with that swim instructor? Or just regular lessons?"
She wrote back, "That lady is magic!"
Me, "Did it cost $600? ISR is $600."
She wrote back, "Magic is expensive! but our girls are older and cheaper."
Me, "Hawaii is the same age! Did you do a class that was 10 minutes a day, five days a week?"
No answer. I felt a twinge of guilt for harassing my friend at Old Settler's.

Next day.
Me, "Ok for real: did you do a class that was 10 minutes a day, five days a week, for six weeks?"
She wrote, "Nope."
Me, "Oh thank fucking god."

I told the instructor that the logistics were not feasible for our family. Mostly I just cannot get over putting a bathing suit on your kid for ten goddamn minutes of rest, only to take the wet swimsuit off again, every single goddamn day. For $600.


panisdead at 2014-04-12 21:10 (UTC) (Link)
With the mood those logistics would put parents in, I bet the kids just learn to swim in self defense. Holy cow.
heebie_geebie at 2014-04-13 17:02 (UTC) (Link)
The weirdest thing to me is that in our back and forth, she seems to think I'm disputing that the method is effective, and just will not acknowledge that it places insane demands on the parents. Yes, CrazyLady, I believe that this method works very well. Can we talk about the crazyparts now?
(Anonymous) at 2014-04-18 04:57 (UTC) (Link)

Here, here

This is craziness
heebie_geebie at 2014-04-19 15:27 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Here, here

Thank you.
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