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4 kittens

Life-long learnests.

Posted on 2017.04.30 at 22:31
Pokey had the worst week! He got sent to the principal's office twice in as many days. (His behavior has been deteriorating over the last month or two.)

The first referral was for stabbing another kid with a pencil. The kid had fallen into Pokey and made him sort of rock side to side. "My head went like this," Pokey recounted, and demonstrated his head bobbling from side to side. The next morning he saw the principal, who gave him in-school-suspension for two recesses, and called me. That afternoon, a kid had the audacity to throw away Pokey's trash after snack time, and so Pokey grabbed the kid by the privates. That was the part he got written up for, although after grabbing the other kid's junk and getting disciplined, Pokey proceeded to throw a holy tantrum - throwing books and yelling and screaming, etc. I got another phone call from the principal, more ISS was dealt.

We've all gently questioned what exactly is wrong, is there something that's using up his reserves of patience so that he's at a hair trigger again? If there is something, I don't think Pokey knows what it is.  I think he is D.O.N.E with the school year. Just bored and sick of everyone, and done.

They are starting a Dual Language program in Heebieville, the kind where the class is half English-only speakers and half Spanish-only speakers. They are opening a kindergarten and first grade cohort.  We signed Pokey up, but there are too many English speakers and not enough Spanish speakers, and so there will be a lottery.

How can there be not enough Spanish-only speakers? It's kind of a mystery. I'm told that the Spanish-only parents distrust that there is a benefit for their kids to participate in this novelty program, and may not sign up in sufficient numbers.  I'm sure there is a backstory underlying this lack of trust, but I sure do hope they sign up anyway.

So: we told Pokey about it, when we signed him up. He became desperately excited for it, and is very nervous awaiting the results of whether or not he gets in.  I don't know if this is contributing to his bad behavior, but it sure would be nice to bail him out into a fresh new school that he's excited to go to.


I got a new toy:

It's my arm-Delorean, ie a fitbit blaze.  I'm really into it. My heartrate at this exact moment is 58 bpm. My resting heartrate is 53 bpm. Last night I slept for 8 hours and 22 minutes, which breaks down into 4:24 light sleep, 1:38 deep sleep, and 2:20 REM. Also I was awake for a scattered 1:10 throughout.  I've taken 7,302 steps so far today. And the night is young!

The quantified life, here I come. I'm enjoying myself immensely.  (Have I made it to 10K steps in a day? nope!)


This weekend was Geebie Family Day Weekend.  The ratio of work:fun was a little bumpy. Thursday evening, it just seemed like a lot of work. "This is where the rubber meets the road," Jammies and I discussed. "If we don't do these weekends in the tough years, it won't be a permanent thing." We want the kids to be so invested in these that they come home for them, when they're old and grown. Maybe it works and maybe it won't, but that's the hope.

We arrived, ate steak and shrimp, opened some wine, and I became glad to be there.  (Nevertheless, we might try to tweak it next year, to make the work part of our routine a little less grueling.)

This was the house:

(I did not take that photo.)  It was not as horribly decorated as others have been. In fact, I downright loved this bentwood rocker:

with the tufted leather.  The pool was icy cold.

The house was up on top of large Hill Country hill.  It's fun to troll Jammies by getting the kids to call it a mountain. "IT'S NOT A MOUNTAIN," he thunders.
"Of course not," I chide, "Kids, by Texas standards, this is only a hill. Anywhere else, this would be a MEGA-MOUNTAIN."

Whatever it was, it had very pretty views:

that didn't photograph worth shit.

I can never quite wrap my head around the physics of why scenery gets so vertically compressed in photographs. Depth gets compressed in photos because our two eyes give us stereographic vision, but a single camera lense can't do that. But why does vertical imagery get compressed? It doesn't seem like our eyes have any advantage there, not being totem polemic.

I think it must be how your brain recreates images and knowledge from the basic sensory input, and that it enlarges and magnifies the interesting things, but somehow doesn't seem distorted. It imputes importance without distorting the Euclidean scale? I don't know. It's a hyperbolic metric! It must be that your brain is a hyperbolic manifold. Because of all those cabbage folds and wrinkles.

Rituals cheerios were planted:

Magic words were said.

Cheerios were fished out of the dirt after the kids went to bed, and lo:

the donuts sprouteth.

We interviewed the kids. Ace answered every question with some variation of "Poop in your eyeball!" which reminded me that Pokey conducted an entire interview with variations on "My butt!" when he was four years old, as well.  Whatever, kids, it's your future wedding slide show, not mine.

The wind howled all night like it was delivered from a Victorian novel. It positively wailed. The kids were unglued. By morning time, all six of us were in the king bed in the master bedroom, both nights. (I slept 6 hours and 30 minutes on Friday night, supplemented with a lovely 1:12 pre-party nap on Saturday. Or so says my arm-Delorean.)

I was insanely paranoid that Rascal would decide in the middle of the night to go swimming, and would manage to breach the deadbolt locks, and wander out to the pool. So I slept on a couch where I would hear him come down the stairs.  Each night, when Rascal eventually made his way to the master bedroom, I also got up from the couch with relief and finished the night in bed.

Look, the jerkface-owners ziptied the utensil drainer inside the dishwasher!

It's the little things. Just for that, I'm blabbing their secret wifi password:

Checkmate, sourpusses.

A few weeks ago, Hawaii was complaining that her neck hurt.  We gave her some ibuprofen and sent her to school, and I emailed her teacher.

The teacher wrote back at lunch that Hawaii had been fine all day. When I picked up Hawaii, she was complaining again, and I started to suspect she was lying for attention or something.  She didn't want to go to dance class. I took her to dance class.

We got there, and the dance teacher offered her some more ibuprofen, and all of a sudden it clicked for me. "Hawaii," I asked, "When did your neck start hurting?"
"After lunch," she answered, "maybe when we were outside?"

She wasn't lying - it's just that the ibuprofen had actually worked that morning, and then wore off. I felt bad for doubting her.

The dance teacher said that she really wanted Hawaii to stay, because of the looming recital. So we accepted the ibuprofen - which was a pill.   Hawaii had never been given a pill before. I explained to Hawaii how to swallow a pill, and she knocked it back in one try. I was impressed!

Sprain a girl's neck, and she hurts for a day. Teach her to swallow a pill, and she'll hurt sometimes but maybe less intensely for a lifetime.


One more Hawaii story: always, always when I pick her up from school, she's in a viciously shitty mood. She'd growl and hit me when I greeted her with a side-hug.

Finally, it occurred to me to stop hugging her, and things have gotten halfway better. I don't think she's yet embarrassed of me exactly - I think it's a worlds-colliding moment where she's got one foot still with her friends, and it's somehow stressful to be embraced by me, standing on her other foot.

I'm capable of learning! Be a life-long learner!

Bedtime, in contrast, is the best time to hug Hawaii. She is silly and affectionate and sweet and tells me how much she loves me. 


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-05-01 12:24 (UTC) (Link)


I'm extremely impressed by your low pulse rate. Maybe I should start exercising more. (Or at all. :D)

heebie_geebie at 2017-05-08 03:59 (UTC) (Link)

Re: FitBit

They call it "resting heartrate" but they must mean literally sleeping. Anecdotally, I never see it quite that low throughout the day. I thought that when doctors mentioned it, they meant your heartrate when you're sitting around, watching TV.
pfgechoes at 2017-05-02 02:44 (UTC) (Link)
Hang in there, Pokey. It's the home stretch.

No, Ace, don't do it! Poop in your eyeball gives you pinkeye! Then you have to peel your eyelids open with your fingers when you wake up in the morning. Ouch.

Oh my god, I am totally going to rip off the let's-grow-doughnuts idea for my kids. That's going to be a hoot!

heebie_geebie at 2017-05-08 04:01 (UTC) (Link)
Pokey continues to be a mess! Today was exhausting. I think we're going to sign him up for some sort of martial arts so that he can kick the shit out of some boards while finding his inner chill. Hopefully.
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