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4 kittens

The VOMIT bench

Posted on 2015.03.08 at 10:22
We hosted our annual calculus high school competition yesterday, and it was a comedy of clusterfuckiness.  Worse than forgetting to order the shirts, worse than forgetting to ask student government for money, worse than discovering epic lines at the usually-vacant cafeteria, worse than everything being left till the last minute and riddled with errors, was the lightning round.

The lightning round went like this: Every team got every question right. They use clickers, and the right and wrong answers are displayed on the screen. "100% of you entered choice D...let's see what the right answer was!" I was emceeing this round, and found it absolutely excruciatingly awkward. "Everyone gets two points, again!"

The problem with the lightning round is that the top high school math students are much stronger than the typical Heebie U math club members, and the Heebie U students are slow to realize that they're writing an exam for someone better at math than themselves.

Basically the rest of the problems were: stuff did not get done while I was on sabbatical, and when I came back I was lackadaisacal about turning into dictator and didn't realize exactly how casually the interim faculty member had been handling things.  (For the record, the other faculty member was the one that proofread the lightning round.)

March 8, 2015 (1)

I want to make VOMIT my cover photo on facebook, but the melding of worldspheres is too much for me. I think VOMIT is great fun but I really do not want to get into a conversation with a work colleague about whether or not I'm depressed. So I'll settle for using VOMIT to illustrate the calculus competition.

The VOMIT bench was outside Jason's Deli.
Hawaii said, "I miss Drake."
"Your babysitter?" I asked.
"No, Drake from my class. He changed schools."
"Mmm," I said, maybe compassionately.
"Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to someone you love," she said casually, wistfully, glancing briefly into the parking lot with a faraway look. She absolutely nailed the delivery.

I was exactly Hawaii's age when I discovered I could deliver sentences in an adultlike way - withering, or sarcastic, or exhausted or dramatic - all suddenly within my reach for dramatic purposes. It was super fun. It is indeed hard to say goodbye to someone you love with exactly the right amount of angst in your voice, eyes on the horizon, but without over-doing it. Part of the delivery is shaking it off and pulling yourself back into the moment. Chores to be done, Jason's Deli to be eaten, mom is done snapping her VOMIT photo.

March 8, 2015 (1)

In Jason's Deli, the counter guy came down the aisle towards us, hands out and cheering for high fives. Hawaii high-fived him. Hokey Pokey grabbed his hand and kissed his palm, with gusto.

Pokey had so much flair that the counter guy was momentarily jerked out of character. He stopped short and said, "Oh my god, that was the cutest thing ever," and feigned melting a little, with his hands clutched over his heart. Then he resumed and gave Ace a high five, and even Rascal a token poke.

During dinner, I sat next to Ace. The whole time I wanted to run far, far away. I cannot handle the 20-month I DO EVERYTHING MYSELF stage. She was swimming in a pool of macaroni and ice cream when we left. We left $5 on the table, even though Jason's Deli has counter service and is not really a tipping place, more as an apology than a tip.  So gross.

This is what I have to say about Ace feeding herself macaroni and cheese and ice cream:

March 8, 2015 (1).

I got my genetic test results back: I am positive for a deleterious mutation or suspected deleterious, BRCA1 (538insC) gene.

I felt relief. I had a vague fear over the past two weeks that it would come back negative, and that I'd have been getting all this extra attention and medical care under false pretenses. Egg on my face, averted, we can carry on as scheduled.

This one loves his big siblings. Boy does he:

March 8, 2015 (3) March 8, 2015 (2)


Ace wakes up each morning singing Happy Birthday, and her current favorite animal is called Daddy Bear. It's all unbelievably cute. This one has amazing comic timing.

She walks around with her belly in perfect equipoise to her butt, belly pointing left-right-left-right as she walks, elbows out for speed. If you put 2T clothes on her, the shirt will spontaneously roll up like a cartoon window blind. So she's in 3T clothes, more or less the same girth as Hokey Pokey. It's so goddamn cute.

March 8, 2015 (15) March 8, 2015 (16)

March 8, 2015 (17)

Things Hawaii said:
1. Do you want to hear a joke?
[yes, of course.]
What's sock plus S?
SOCKS! Get it? Because "sock" and an "S" makes "socks"?
[Good one, Hawaii.]

2. Oh my god! Your last name is Geebie, daddy's last name is Whammies, and our last name is Geebiewhammies!! My last name is your last name plus Daddy's last name!
[Yes it is!]

Great outfits that the big kids put together:

March 8, 2015 (8) March 8, 2015 (7)

Hokey Pokey is wearing tight Christmas pants.

Back when Mimi was in town, mid-February, we went out to eat with some other families. The kids ran around in the wide open dirt-space of the restaurant, while we sipped wine at a picnic table. I sat next to a local comedienne. I knew the comedienne - I've gone to her shows - but she didn't exactly know me.

She is very funny, and I found myself forced into the role of the straightman, which in this case was the properly appalled upright mom. I resented being type-cast. But it was also true: I can't hang anymore. The comedienne told the story of coming home stoned, having no food, and having her kid catch her scooping honey out of the jar with rolled up sliced ham.  It is right and proper that I play the straightman, because we dutifully plan our meals and go grocery shopping every Sunday and so I really can't relate anymore.

I remember relating! I want to be part of the life-is-a-mess club! I want to have my own story of being a drunken mess and hilarious things happened and life was riotous. But in fact, I quip "A British bank is run with precision. A British household requires nothing less," when someone asks us if we're organized, with all these kids. We joke that we're coming apart at the seams, but the reference point is a British bank, not the local comedienne.  Compared to the local comedienne, we are the Swiss clock at the center of the British bank. I'm jealous of her stories, but what can you do.

March 8, 2015 (13) March 8, 2015 (12)

The local comedienne is also a sex educator, and told a story of recieving a box of sex toys, and keeping the double pronged dildo to use with her boyfriend, and how they used it.

My mother-in-law was sitting right next to me. (Jammies was out of town, this story is old.) We self-conciously kept our eyes trained on our own plates of food, and I joked, "I'm a tad awkward!" red-faced, when asked directly if I cared that she was talking about double-penetration. "But you keep telling this great story!" I told the comedienne, "and I'll do my awkward thing."

I saw this:

March 8, 2015 (10) March 8, 2015 (9)

after putting his milk in the fridge at daycare, and turning around. "He sits in that?" I asked them, amazed. "Yes," they said, "we think he needs to work on his core strength."
"He is very, very floppy," I agreed.

I don't actually care if they work on his core strength - I imagine he lasted 30 seconds in that position before face-planting and bonking his forehead on the table.  I personally think they're silly for working on his core strength, but the picture was cute.

March 8, 2015 (6) March 8, 2015 (5)
March 8, 2015 (4)

"See, I made gears!" said my clever eldest, using the right knob to turn the left knob. This can be my private bragging moment.

March 8, 2015 (14)

This is what the clock said, when Jammies and I went to bed last night. It was 7:56 pm on March 7th, and we both fell asleep within thirty minutes.

Jammies is going out of town again, tomorrow. Woe.


(Anonymous) at 2015-03-09 02:56 (UTC) (Link)
Your children look just a little tiny bit like they might be related to each other!

heebie_geebie at 2015-03-15 16:11 (UTC) (Link)
It's a silly thing to take pleasure in, but I do! It's nice to have A Look.
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