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4 kittens

Lagging skills; the benefits of wearing a bathing suit

Posted on 2017.08.20 at 22:00
Jammies is home! but he might turn around and leave again. His job won't confirm. He may have to leave on Tuesday, but we'll wait until Monday to determine it. That drives me batty.  Anyway, Jammies went to a wedding in Michigan and I had what was probably my best stint of single-parenting ever.  I positively enjoyed almost all of it.

We got Pokey's psych eval results and I felt sad about the whole thing. He's lagging in a couple areas of emotional development, and he's also experiencing some minor-to-moderate depression. He is apparently emotionally constrained, especially around negative emotions, and is lagging in his ability to communicate that kind of stuff. Which sounds totally fixable - kids develop different skills at different times and lagging doesn't mean never. Mostly I still think everything will sort itself out in the end, and I'm not having any critical distress about his longterm mental health, but I still feel sad that he feels sad. Also we have to stay on top of our parenting game, which is tiring.

I idly wonder what my psych eval at age 6 would have turned up. Or at age 10. Would I have shown any of this? Was I depressed as a child? Did I lag in maturity? Do I still?

The night after we got Pokey's eval, I had a dream that he was 18 months old and it was suffused with the grief for the loss of our former selves. I'll never get to hold 18 month old Pokey again. It's so casually tragic.

The events in Charlottesville last year also felt like an emotional hangover all week long. Fucking Nazis brazenly marching in full militia gear. Are we ever going to be able to make sense of this year? Are things going to become reasonable and calm in five years, enough that we can talk about how disorienting this year was, as every political code of conduct was systematically broken and dismantled? How we all were tied to the mast through this storm that was a perfectly predictible horrorshow and yet we were powerless to prevent it? Our collective ordeal. Are we all going to have a Breakfast Club kind of bond on the far side of this for weathering this ordeal together? (Cue the predictable response that if I think any of this is new, I wasn't paying attention before. YES I know the racism et al is not new.  I'm also growing battle-weary of all the factions on my team.)

But also: maybe this isn't that different than it felt when Nixon came to power by sabotaging the resolution of the Vietnam war.  At some point, a shithead president is a shithead president, and we've weathered them before. Certainly there will be another one that ties my stomach in knots.  That's when I end up just saying, "Fuck humanity" which is where I end up lately.

On Friday, we attended the kids' theater camp production. They put on Mulan, except all the names are slightly un-disney-fied, although they use the actual Mulan Disney logo. I don't quite understand all the copyright rules.

Anyway: With 6-10 year olds, you want all the kids to have enough lines but not too many lines.  So if there are a lot of small parts, perhaps you have one kid play several parts. And if there is a major part - say Mulan herself - you split it up among many kids. Fine. What I find absolutely unforgivable is this: having a kid who is in multiple parts and part of a split up role. WHAT THE FUCK. The play just becomes incoherent with all the part-switching. Hawaii actually had a scene where she left as one character, came on as another, and then came back as the first character.

Last year, I just couldn't follow the play whatsoever. The costumes amounted to a prop someone was holding, so you couldn't tell if the prop was being passed, or if the identity of the character was being assumed by a new actor.

This year, in the opening number, all four Mulans came out together, and sang the song each as if they were the only Mulan, and since I was aware of the role-switching-mumbo-jumbo, I keyed into it and was more prepared. The costumes were a bit more substantial, the kids spoke a bit louder: it all seemed to work a bit better.

In that photo above, Hawaii looks like she's delivering a mighty speech, but she's actually doing the heart-thumping dance move while singing.

Today I was informed by a 9 year old,  quite seriously: "I really like wearing a bathing suit, because, first, it's festive. Second, it's cooler. And third, it's like moisturizer."

I really enjoyed that analysis. The 9 year old belonged to my new bloggy friend Echoes. We got the kids together for a generally haphazard, leisurely, thoroughly enjoyable playdate.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-08-21 11:10 (UTC) (Link)


"I'm also growing battle-weary of all the factions on my team."

heebie_geebie at 2017-08-28 04:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Factions

Seriously It's actually multifaceted and there are lots of ways to be right and some conflict and we're all on the same side! Can we stop squabbling already?
pfgechoes at 2017-08-21 14:02 (UTC) (Link)
I think we are powerless, but the trick is to keep modeling kind, inclusive behavior.

Besides observing Heebie and the litter of Geeblets in the wild (Holy shit, Heebie is a master juggler of joyfully unruly children! Awesome to observe!), my favorite funny from yesterday came from Ace...we were sitting across the table from one another...

Ace: "I am going to do magic and disappear." [Ducks down under the table]
Me: "Whoa! She's gone! Holy moly, I don't see Ace anywhere!"
Ace: [Pops back up] "I went to a doughnut store and I ate all the doughnuts and then I came back!"
Me: "Wow, that's a neat trick!"
Ace: "I'm going to do it again." [Ducks under table, comes back up] "I went to another doughnut shop, but Mommy was there. She said 'No more doughnuts.'"
heebie_geebie at 2017-08-28 04:22 (UTC) (Link)
My mom is fond of saying, "You just hatch them, and they are whoever they are." It's true. There's a lot of "it is what it is" and resigned acceptance and let them be their own little squirts. Still.

I'm glad you wrote out the dialogue for me and posterity! Thank you.
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