Log in

No account? Create an account
July 2018   01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
3 kittens

All fractional landmarks by mileage and time

Posted on 2014.08.09 at 09:45
All kitchen renovations are unhappy for unique reasons, and there has never been a happy kitchen renovation. Ours is unhappy because no one has showed up to work on our kitchen for over a month. "I think we can get it done before you go on vacation" turned into "It will get done while you're out of town" which turned into "The week you get back, there will be people there the whole week" and no one has showed up.

Allegedly they will be here next week. MM-HMM.

I'm sure other people's reasons are frustrating to them, but at the moment I lack the creativity to think of anything more frustrating than nobody showing up for weeks and weeks on end. We've been in our New York Style apartment since June 3.

August 9, 2014 (4)

Montana, much more serene than my current opinion of our contractor.


Ace is done with pacifiers. What happened is that she started biting through them, which leaves a nickel-sized round of rubber to choke on. Sorry, sweetie.

It was a rather abrupt transition - we discovered the second pacifier, realized in hindsight what had happened to the last pacifier, and that was that. Whereas with Hawaii, we read online about some Binky Fairy who takes your pacifier and leaves a toy, and we prepped her in advance, and generally were model parents. (After that, we denied pacifiers altogether to Hokey Pokey, just to see how it would go. It went fine; he used his baby bottle as a pacifier; we had analogous trauma when it was time to be done with baby bottles.)

August 9, 2014 (3) August 9, 2014 (2)

Night-night, bug-boxes. Night-night. I wish I had a photo montage of all the inanimate objects that Ace patted to sleep, saying "Nigh-nigh. Nigh-nigh."


My friend who is 30 told me "You're a model for me on how to go gray, gracefully. I can't think of anyone else who doesn't dye their hair."  I was like "My gray hair is that obvious?"

It's depressing to be simultaneously pregnant and a model of aging gracefully. Truth be told, I feel conspicuously too old to still be having babies. (I am 36.) Here is the catch: Anyone in my cohort who will still have future babies is obviously not yet pregnant. So my status as "oldest ever of people my age" is an illusion, and only time will tell who will have more babies. But emotionally I feel like an outlier.


Hokey Pokey, font of wisdom:
"We're not in Montana yet because I see fences. There are no fences in Montana."
"Everything that's tall and has a light is a skyscraper. It doesn't have to be a building."
"When a soccer player takes a corner kick, how does the ball get into the goal?" (He came out after bedtime to ask that question. We were openly delighted that he was contemplating the logistics of such a thing, and readily chatted about putting spin on the ball or having a teammate head the ball in.)
"I'm just practicing running from danger." (On tearing back and forth on a sidewalk, and explaining to me that he was not going to run off.)
"Does the inside of a tank turn, when you turn the outside of a tank from the inside?" (What he means is: does the soldier's little room also turn, when he turns the gun mounted on top of the tank? That question did not arrive in the final form quoted above, but rather mangled.)


Tuesday morning, Amarillo, morning gas station stop for coffee. Another man approached and tapped on my window as I was getting in the car.  I froze, flooded with deja vu, and my heart raced.

"How do you get your knowledge?" he asked, after I rolled down the window. "My knowledge?" I stammered.

He handed me this pamphlet:

August 9, 2014 (8)

Hint: Not science or philosophy.

He scampered off rather meekly after giving me the pamphlet. His hair was a silver televangelist's helmet, swirled up something like this:

August 9, 2014 (1)

except a bit more Elvis-like. He wore a pearl snap shirt and light blue old man jeans, but the hair is what I wish I could reproduce for you.


Wyoming has a beautiful picnic area, just south of Cheyenne:

August 9, 2014 (5) August 9, 2014 (6)

We pretty much ignored the full-fledged playground in favor of this one tree.

August 9, 2014 (7)

That was Sunday, when we dropped Jammies and Ace off at the Denver airport, and I finished the rest of the drive with the big kids.


When we finally arrived at home, the house opened up like a grand cathedral at twilight. It was clean. Dust sparkled in the sunlight. It was calm, aside from the fact that we had just showed up. The headspace, oh the headspace, and how not-clausterphobic I felt anymore.

Let me describe the last day: we drove 530 miles from Amarillo to our house. According to my phone, it was projected to take nine hours.

I got dizzy with fractions: I mapped out all fractional landmarks by mileage and time, ie landmarks are when we are 1/10th of the way home, 3/5th of the way home, etc. Then I'd compute: By how much am I beating the projected travel time of nine hours? If I finished the rest of the drive at exactly 60 mph, how much earlier than nine hours would I arrive? Then I'd do it the other direction - if we're coming up to a nice fraction of nine hours, how much are we beating the corresponding percentage of mileage?

It was very dull, but I'd thought about everything else possible by that point. (The kids' TV does have headphones.But the headphones are adult-sized, and the kids complain. In theory we've solved this problem in theory - use stuffed baseball hats or something to make the headphones fit. We haven't actually implemented any of the solutions. So their movies play over the main speaker system, and I drift in fraction hell.)


The most delirious moment came between when I past 3/5ths of the way home (at 318 miles) and I thought that there were no more landmarks until 3/4ths of the way home (at 397.5 miles) and that stretched very far away.

All of a sudden I jumped and silently screamed "I forgot about 2/3rds! How could I forget about 2/3rds!" And 353 1/3 miles was fast approaching! Oh god look at this war chest of fractions flooding me right this minute! (How could I? 2/3rds, how could I forget about you? and how delightfully thrilling that I did.)

I secretly ate three large bags of jelly beans and three small bags of M&Ms (to stay awake) and the kids never realized. Like an asshole, I offered them rice cakes and fruit and sandwiches, while I silently retched from my sugar overload.  I felt totally sick and nauseated, but it kept me wakeful and safe to drive, so who's zooming who.


(Anonymous) at 2014-08-09 16:49 (UTC) (Link)
I feel terrible about trying to keep the kids off the sauce. But I shudder to think of how much harder my life is now due to my sweet-tooth. You're doing god's work, though I bet it won't take (fallen world, and all).

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-10 02:18 (UTC) (Link)
It's completely worthless - my mom was heavy-duty on Sugar Patrol, and I always had a mega-sweet-tooth, and still do. I think I mostly enforce out of a sense of guilt, and in order to perpetuate the guilt for another generation.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-10 17:26 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I don't really know, either. They will or they won't. I'm sure we'd do better to just keep modeling active lifestyle and lots of different reasonable foods and tooth-brushing.

I suspect mine won't have such bad teeth as I do, mainly because we live where fluoridation takes place.
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-13 14:14 (UTC) (Link)
I basically agree. Everything in moderation, brush your teeth afterwards. It's amazing how much of parenting is just wrestling with yourself.
parodie at 2014-08-09 18:56 (UTC) (Link)
If 36 is old for being pregnant, my ideal family size is unlikely to come to fruition...
(I wonder how affected this is by location - the US seems to have large pockets of people who have children very young, as evidenced by one of Dooce's recent posts - a 22yr old Mormon girl who was sure she'd waited too long to have kids.)
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-09 21:31 (UTC) (Link)
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-13 17:30 (UTC) (Link)
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-10 02:15 (UTC) (Link)
Boy, I feel rather tactless for the particular complaint about aging.

And in fact, I feel right in the middle-of-the-pack for my online crew of friends. It's funny: when I was pregnant with Ace, I briefly was working with a therapist for mostly practical-life-juggling sorts of issues. At times I fretted that if being pregnant with two kids was this tough, why on earth should we go for four? At one point, he raised the question of whether I was worried about birth defects because of my advanced maternal age, and I was completely shocked. This was in the middle of the Unfogged Babysplosion, and in that headspace, having a kid at 36 seemed incredibly ordinary - and yet from his position representing Heebie Town, it was clearly startingly old.

I don't have much of a point, except to underline what you were proposing about location.
parodie at 2014-08-10 15:09 (UTC) (Link)
No need to feel bad for my sake - it was more of an observation. What I find interesting is the degree to which poor support for professional women who are mothers seems to correlate with people having kids younger - here in Switzerland, the land which feminism forgot, it seems, women have kids very young (early 20s). Or they're expats, and thus generally professional women, and they have kids much later. Very divided, interestingly so.
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-13 14:15 (UTC) (Link)
I had no idea that Switzerland isn't as topless and enlightened as the rest of the region. I just assumed otherwise. That's interesting.
parodie at 2014-08-14 08:09 (UTC) (Link)
Switzerland is quite conservative: as an (insane) example, consider that women got the right to vote federally in 1971, and the last canton to allow women to vote did so in 1990 (!!!!). Of course regions vary, but the Swiss did not become rich & neutral by picking up every new fad like maternity leave (3 months, now, by law, which is quite low for Europe - nothing for fathers) or by making friends with other countries. Conservative and stand-offish, and quite convinced they are better than everyone else. In that last one, of course, they are like most other European countries.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-10 17:53 (UTC) (Link)
I'll be 33 this year, and we'll probably have kids if I can have kids, which means I'll most definitely be pregnant past 36. So don't you worry! You will not be oldest mom! I've also had a noticeable grey streak since I was 21 ... even if I had started earlier I'd still look like an old mom if the conditions for that just equal grey hair.

The town I live in has an extremely high rate of teen pregnancy and, in general, a number of young mothers - the contrast that you describe is very real around here, as well. Most of my friends and general cohort from school/university/past jobs/acquaintance-sphere are still in their active child-bearing years while many of the people that I'm surrounded by might well be grandparents by the time I'm done having kids (if we have kids).

- Parenthetical
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-13 17:30 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, our town sounds similar. So far, our daycare is attached to the local land grant university, so the parents tend to be older and have university jobs. I'm very curious to get a more accurate picture when Hawaii starts kindergarten this fall. My impression is that it's much more like your town.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-10 14:49 (UTC) (Link)

36 is no age at all

My mother fell pregnant at 37 with my sister, twelve years after I was born. It was a complete accident, and she took some convincing that this was what underlay her symptoms. Apparently they'd given up taking precautions years before after trying and failing for another kid for some years before that. And then whammo. So you guys just carry on.
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-13 17:30 (UTC) (Link)

Re: 36 is no age at all

That would be the shock of a lifetime. Fortunately, twelve years from now I shall be pretty damn infertile.
redfox.typepad.com at 2014-08-17 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
My friend's advice about delinquent contractors is to accuse them of having no honor! (This is on the basis of having used the strategy recently to good effect.)
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-23 17:27 (UTC) (Link)
That is amazing advice. I actually think it would genuinely cut our Good Ol' Boy's country heart to the core.

We're still somehow on the same team as the contractor and not exactly adversarial? He's so apologetic and contrite, and progress finally occurred this week.
rebeccastob at 2014-08-20 21:40 (UTC) (Link)
I am without an identified cohort here in Seattle or San Francisco when I lived there. I was definitely on the young side for having babies (at 29 and 30) for my demographic (yuppie/techie). The majority of my friends are just now starting to have babies. I honestly can't picture the plan I once had of 4 more children - it seems crazy - I marvel at your ability to be pregnant 2+ (with miscarriages) more times than me. Maybe I will meet more parents with Persephone in school.
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-23 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
Well, thanks! I feel like there are a lot of non-standard privileges enabling me to handle all this children-induced chaos, ie summer vacations and sabbatical, for starters. Mostly as long as I've got time in isolation then I can handle anything.

You were a bit younger than me with the first two - I was 31 and 32. But still ages that seem basically normal.
Previous Entry  Next Entry