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3 kittens

The kids still can't swim worth shit

Posted on 2014.07.20 at 10:40
I would be so anxiety-riddled if I were going back to work in August, like usual. How pathetic is that? "If I had to function like a regular employed adult, what a mess I'd be." Thank god for sabbaticals!  I'm miserably low-energy, but sure, I can sit around the house and think about math.

Right now I am also taking a driver's safety online course because I was naughty and got a ticket. (I feel genuine shame: I sped in a school zone. It's very hard to say that without listing extenuating reasons: there are no blinking lights or markers on this school zone, and it was a few minutes past 6 am, and I usually pass through before 6 am, and uh, I sped.  I mean, I sped with respect to the school zone speed. I didn't blow through there at 60 mph.)

I'm learning:
1. you should tap your brakes to let the driver behind you know you're about to brake.

2. If your engine fails, you are not supposed to shift to neutral and try to restart the car in motion, which I swear is what I was told twenty years ago.  Which I used, extensively, with the defunct Volvo. Now you're supposed to get off the road first.

3. Steering: 10:00 and 2:00 are no longer the recommended hand positions. Now it is 8:00 and 4:00. You can turn the wheel further without your arms crossing. Also it's better for the air bag to deploy.

"For most drivers, when properly seated, an 8 and 4 hand position allows a smooth rotation of the steering wheel of nearly 90 to 160 degrees in either direction without crossing your arms. With the push/pull or push/pull/slide method, while one hand pushes or pulls the steering wheel up or down in the direction of the turn, the other hand slides up or down to make fine adjustments as necessary." I like cumbersome descriptions that boil down to "pretend you are an ordinary person who gets what a steering wheel is."

The section on vehicular emergencies - a blowout, loss of power steering, etc - is my favorite and I'm finding it actually helpful. Evasive action! What to do if you are forced re-enter the roadway before you've come to a stop: hold the wheel tightly. Steer and immediately counter-steer. "The two turns should be made as a single "steer, counter-steer" move."  Evasive acceleration!

The section on drugs and alcohol was my least favorite, complete with gory videos to make you cry about people killed by drunk drivers. (To identify drivers who might be on drugs, be aware of drivers who cannot seem to stay in one lane, who are not using their headlights, and who are sitting in unusual positions.)

"Remember, skids are usually caused by driver error."

On Wednesday evening, I will load Hokey Pokey and Hawaiian Punch into the minivan and we will drive to Denver. Jammies and Ace are flying in, and we will pick them up in Denver on Friday night. Then we will all drive to Montana. A week later, we'll do this in reverse. It's a 16 hour drive to Denver, and another 16 hours to Mimi's house in Montana. (Jammies and Ace are flying to and from Denver so that Jammies doesn't have to take so many days off work.)

I am planning like a madwoman for the stretches when I am solo-parenting and -driving. I'm concerned about my stamina and lack thereof. I'm concerned about my patience and lack thereof.

We are doing this because flights to Montana are super expensive. This year we'd only need four tickets, but soon we'll need six. With the big kids well potty-trained and Ace still flying for free, it seemed like a good year to get a test run under our belt.

Patience and lack thereof

Hawaiian Punch is fantastic at coloring things in:

July 20, 2014 (2) July 20, 2014 (1)

Jammies and I quietly mutter to ourselves that neither of us had any sort of drawing dexterity close to that degree of coloring.

Exactly nothing has happened in the front half of the house in two weeks. Some prep work, but nothing exciting.

The kids still can't swim worth shit, but this summer's swim lessons has gotten them bold and comfortable in the water - going underwater, trying as hard as they can to swim back to the wall even if they flounder and sink, etc. I count it as a win.

When we enter the swimming pool area in the gym, Hawaii takes a deep breath and exclaims "CHLORINE! I love chlorine!" She hams it up: "My old friend, chlorine! I love you!" The swim instructor is named Karina, and the kids adore her, but it's possible they think her name is Chlorina.

After swim lessons, Pokey suffers a regularly-scheduled existential crisis over his wet, wrinkly hands. "My food will get soggy!" he wails. "We can dry them off," I tell him. He dries them on the towel, sees that they are still wrinkly and white-palmed, and melts down. "My flip flops will get soggy," he sobs as he puts them on.

My old friend, Chlorina

As I am somewhat obsessed with death, it occurs to me that my I contemplate my own, it's very closely tied to the existence of this blog, and how at least a detailed narrative of my interior life exists. In other words, I blog to stave off death.

Stave, stave

Oddly, I can still go to Crossfit and exercise like a crazy person for an hour. Something about the context is so consistent that I just automatically go through the class like always. But afterwards I am zapped to my core and generally must nap. Later on, in the heat of the day, if I walk Hawaii to the library to pick out biographies about Pocahontas, I get stupidly drained and must nap.  (On the plus side, I know a lot about Pocahontas and the establishment of Jamestown now. Or should I say née Matoaka, née Rebecca Rolfe.)

Energy-wise, it's genuinely as though I am not a full-functioning adult, and it's kind of awful. On the other hand, I've got the luxury of Jammies' work ethic and parenting, and this job situation, allowing me to live as a partially-functioning adult until this baby is born and I'm never ever pregnant again. Gratitude, etc., thank you magical ether for the dappled sunlight and cush job, and I should probably rave about Jammies more here, but on Facebook if someone raves excessively about their spouse, I often suspect they're having marital problems.

Also I've now learned how to query a literary agent and get quickly rejected. Skillz.


(Anonymous) at 2014-07-20 23:47 (UTC) (Link)

Fingers Crossed

that it doesn't get all smoky for your visit to MT. Last Friday was eye-stinging, throat scratching, thick and I think it was as bad up north. But yesterday and today it's been windy enough to send it somewhere else. (The fires are on the east slope of the Cascades. In the path of our upcoming vacation.)

heebie_geebie at 2014-07-21 12:53 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Fingers Crossed

Oh, boo. As much as it's mostly important for the wildfires to be contained for those immediately affected, I sure would prefer to have nice clear skies next week. Good luck for your vacation as well!
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