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4 kittens

Thanks, sticker machine

Posted on 2015.05.30 at 14:54
Hokey Pokey attacked four kids on Wednesday. Or rather, three kids and a teacher. I sort of get now how parents can be in denial about their kids being that kid. He had a rough day.

His teacher, Ms. J, was not around for any of the incidents. She is the Pokey-whisperer, and defuses situations that would set him off before they come to a head. She has explained it to us. "When I see him getting tense, I get in there and get a fidget toy into his hands, and ask him if he needs some space. He knows I'll save his place in the activity. Then when he comes back, we talk about good ways to handle that situation. So it never actually erupts."

She sounds like one of those phony-baloney parenting books with the anecdotes that don't quite add up - "Using this technique, I winked at my son and he never whined again!" - except that when she winks, it really is magic.

Oh well, best of luck! Pokey, fingers crossed!

Ms. J also told me that Pokey sticks stuff in her pockets all the time, without her noticing. She'll pull some mysterious pebbles out, and he'll spot her across the room, run over and say, "I was saving those for later. They're my treasures."  When she empties out her pockets at night, there will be little beads or tiny toys that he tucked away for later.


This weekend Jammies drove the kids up to Kansas for another cousin's wedding. (The last wedding in our 12 month marathon of weddings. Finally. Total we had seven weddings.)

Hawaii's tooth fell out on the drive:

(I cannot find my childhood tooth pillow anywhere, and I'm pulling my hair out in frustration.)

I'm staying home with Rascal, because my mom is arriving in town on Saturday night. She is coming because I'm having my hysterectomy on Tuesday. Wheee!

There was a decision to be made - just the oophorectomy, or the whole hysterectomy? I went with the whole kit and caboodle, because apparently there are future hypothetical diseases which are easier to treat if you don't have to worry about uterine cancer. Most of the hypothetical treatments were for breast cancer, and those scenarios will be moot soon enough. In fact, they'll be moot this December, because you should cram all your medical expenses into a single calendar year, insurance-wise. I'll try to have every surgery I can think of, in 2015. whhhhhheeeeee.


There's a sticker vending machine at Hawaii's elementary school. That sure does teach them the value of money, or at least motivate them to nag us for quarters.  So now we are thinking up ways for them to earn quarters. Thanks, vending machine.


In my dream last night I had a dog named Bishop.  I needed protecting for paranormal reasons, and he was my protectorate.  In the dream, I became very fond of Bishop. He was some sort of big, furry, dark brown breed.

Generally I dislike dogs, but Bishop had a couple traits that made all the difference:
1. He was clean to touch. I could hug him and I didn't get that nasty dog smell on me.
2. He was very serious. He never, ever wagged his tail or licked my face or demonstrated happiness. At most he curled up next to me at night, but only if I invited him. None of that enthusiastic bounding into bed nonsense. I hate dogs' zest.

I think I could handle an preternaturally calm, serious, clean dog. Basically a really big cat.


FEMA is finally coming to town, after a full week of Governor Abbott dragging his feet about it. Clean up efforts have dominated everything this past week. I donated money to every single GoFundMe or GiveForward or any other plea for help that came across my way, to assuage my guilt for not actually putting on grubby clothes and showing up with rubber gloves and bleach, getting down on my hands and knees to sort salvagable belongings from ruined items. Apparently we're in the stage where the house walls are weeping and need to be wiped down with bleach regularly to keep the mold from setting in.

All that hands-and-knees scrubbing with the bleach and sorting had to take place inside, while we had more pouring rain. It will not stop raining.


Hawaii was reflecting on the fact that our friend Brad buys his kids lots of ice cream. "He has his own ice cream stand," she said, confusingly. But yes, the kids do eat ice cream regularly.

Then she switched into her miniature-40 year old voice and said, philosophically, "We only get dessert once a week, but we're still lucky. Many kids don't even get dessert that often." I'm glad she's being mature about it, but  I was amused by her un-american vision of hardscrabble poverty. I'm pretty sure all the poor kids get more desserts than you, sweetie.  She's picturing a Victorian "We shan't be able to afford our Christmas oranges for the stockings this year" sort of poverty.

Or perhaps she is waxing sympathetic for the poor hippie kids with their lame artisanally hand-crafted carob and honey-yam treats. They probably really do get fewer treats than she does.


Rascal has tried some solids: carrots, sweet potatos. He has recieved his six month shots and cried and bled. He got kicked out of our bed because he can escape the little nest and bury himself in loose blankets, so now he is in a crib.

This marks something: all of our kids are now out of the horrible SIDS-risk age. What a monumental relief. I can trust that they won't spontaneously stop breathing for no reason.


puzzlement at 2015-06-04 02:51 (UTC) (Link)
I guess you must be post-op now. How it went well!
heebie_geebie at 2015-06-04 13:06 (UTC) (Link)
Home again! Not too bad, all things considered, but a bit sore obviously. :)
(Anonymous) at 2015-06-25 17:03 (UTC) (Link)

road trip aside

Hi Heebie! Long-time fan/reader, first-time commenter.

I was just thinking about how you guys take the kids on long road trips, and wondering if you have any tips for how to make these more bearable. Do you break the trip up? Do you barrel through and just try to go as far as possible between breaks? Do you drive in the evening while they sleep? Any distractions or games that help?

heebie_geebie at 2015-06-26 14:13 (UTC) (Link)

Re: road trip aside

Hiya Elsk!

No kidding, we actually spent the past two days on the road to Florida. For us, it's a balance between Jammies' vacation days and quality of life on the road. The three places we've driven are about 10 hours away, about 17 hours away, and about 30 hours away. For 10 hours away, we just barrel through and do it in one day. For 17 hours, we've done it both ways - either two medium days or one crazy long day. A single crazy long day isn't too bad, but I wouldn't want to do several in a row.

One thing I feel strongly about: if we're stopping overnight, either stop at 4 and have time for a pleasant dinner and give kids a chance to run around and go swimming or whatever, or stop at 10 pm, after they've conked out. But stopping at 8 or right at bedtime is a mess.

When we drive to Montana later this summer, the plan is to take camping gear and do a combination of camping and hotels. Hotels can be kind of awful, because you're cooped up in a tiny room after being cooped up in a tiny vehicle, and now you can bother other people. So I'm looking forward to trying the camping, where they can run around and go nuts a little more easily.

We haven't done overnight drives, although I did that pre-kids from time-to-time. I don't have enough stamina to do it on my own, and Jammies finds night driving unpleasant because of the headlight glare, so we haven't done that sort of thing.

What is a life-saver for us is having a TV in the minivan and just showing them movie after movie. Then we stop at rest stops if possible, which often have some green space for them to run around in. (The ones in Florida are amazing.) Yesterday we left the hotel around 8:30 am, drove straight until 1:30, stopped for lunch at a rest stop and the kids ran around, and then stopped for a quick gas/bathroom break around 4:30, and that would have been it except we had 2 diaper blowouts about 20 minutes out from our destination. (That sucked.)

I'll say more if I think of it...but that's the basic nuts and bolts of it. :)
(Anonymous) at 2015-07-14 16:24 (UTC) (Link)

Re: road trip aside

That is all super-helpful! Sorry for my delayed reply, but thank you so much. I am clearly a big wuss when it comes to long car trips. We just did a 10-hour drive with one 2-year-old and we broke that up into two 5-hour drives, doing the "arrive at our halfway point at 4pm, hang out and enjoy our evening" thing. It actually worked fine. Mostly we split it up because the kid tends to get carsick rather easily and we weren't sure what to expect. But in retrospect we probably could have done it all in one long day.

I just think parenting is funny. Like, I have a mom friend who just had her first baby six months ago and asked my group of friends a question like "do you guys split up the duties? Because right now we do everything as a couple, including giving baths." And it just made me feel like "Hoo boy, you are capable of managing so much more than you think." But then I think about parenting things I'm scared about (for example -- single-parenting 4 kids for a week at a time), and then you just go ahead and do them, and I'm like, "Wow! People survive!" Color me impressed.

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