Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Numerology of the Dog Days

Summer numbers at the half-way point:
Fish Lake afternoons: 2
The Flying Unaccompanied Minors
Days at the Pool: 3
Number of days at swim lessons: 10
Moose in the garden: 1 (but really, one is BIG enough!)
Cups of Peas, shelled, blanched, frozen: 12
Jars of cherries, cherry salsa, cherry jam: innumerable
Jars of strawberry jam: 16
Floats down Little Spokane River: 1 (illegally in innertubes, the officer informed us!)
fun scientific experiments: 2
Bike rides on Fish Lake Trail: 2
Batches of frozen paletas: 3
Novels read, mom: 3 + a memoir and some Buddhist stuff (The Financial Lives of the Poets was awesome!  As was Riding the Bus with My Sister)
Novels read, Blue: 10+ (lost count)
Novels read, Coyote: 4-5 halves of various comic books
Day Lily Taco
Fist fights for children: 31?  So this one day, they were fighting in the backseat over rules regarding a game they made up and who was right and what was the correct pronunciation of a made-up word, etc.  I'd been asking them to stop for a while, cranked the stereo in hopes of shutting "conversation" down, I whispered and murmured trying to evoke a silent curiosity, I tried to yell over them, nothing was working and I was going insane.  To demonstrate this loosing of the marbles, I said to them in what I thought was a sufficiently sarcastic tone, "You know what, Kids?  You're right.  fighting is awesome.  Fighting is absolutely the best possible way to solve all our problems.  In fact, lets just solve them once and for all RIGHT NOW!  Why don't you guys just beat eachother up and who ever comes out alive wins!"  I think I was thinkin': they will never take me seriously, they are restrained in seatbelts so they can't possible get that close to eachother, and they -much like Palestine and Israel- will see the obvious folly in turning all disagreements into armed conflict and will realize that life is much funner when we can talk out our problems and move forward, or in this case, just DROP IT.  Unfortunately, like the real Palestine and Isreal, they chose to annihilate each other.  I had to pull over.  Get out of the car.  Open a door to the back seat.  And get in their faces.  And then I used the F-word!  As in "WHAT THE F ARE YOU THINKING!?!?!?"  They were stunned into complete silence.  And then I had to ask myself, "What the F were YOU thinking?  'Have it out'?  'Beat eachother up'?  They could discern sarcasm?"  And we might have driven home in silence, but for my lecturing what kind of family would we all prefer to live in.  Probably not one where mom first tells you to beat each other to death and then up and changes her mind all-of-a-sudden-like. 
Parenting Fail #? (they're hard to count and some of them require decades of analysis).

But my mother says they're getting along great in Oregon.  She said some man just gave them $20 for being the best behaved kids he'd seen in a very long time.  So -- they just save their siblingcidal inclinations for lucky lucky me. But when you think about it, who could you spend 24/7 with for six weeks and NOT fight?  I can't think of anyone either.

Unusually content mom: 1
typical fights and blown tops aside, the summer has been mostly awesome.  They are of the ages where I can read a little while they swim, instead of hoovering in the suspiciously warm, milfoil-y lake shallows watching vigilantly for the silent signs of drowning children.  And I've learned to transition from the morning chore-nazi to the afternoon chill-mom, who plays and drinks and enjoys life.  That's not always an easy trick to turn (Huck tells me this phrase in inappropriate. I imagine a magician flipping a coin, but apparently it brings to mind other activities for some people).

Chickens dead: 1
A new chicken disappeared. Vanished.  No pile of feathers.  No trail of turds. gone.  And that's chickens for you.  Two days later, I finally moved the poop tray that had fallen from the base of the coop and beneath it was Luna, the missing Leg Horn.  She'd been under there for two 100 degree days.  She seemed dazed, but immediately got up, like nap time was just now over, and teetered around the pen.  But the other chickens, already having forgotten their flock sister, and sensing weakness, pecked at her. I kicked them away, but they kept coming back. 
So I set her up in the barn, hand syringed her some vitamins, and there she was for two days.  But chickens are very social and I wondered if her continued weakness was due to the chicken-esc "depression" of isolation.  And so, she must have, in the end, decided that she'd rather be with other chickens or die trying.  She jumped in with the big girls and they pecked her to death. I didn't see it, just the aftermath. It was gross and I kind of felt sorry for her.  But I consoled myself with these facts 1) she was a chicken 2) if roles were reversed, she'd have pecked any one of the others to death herself.  She survived! Only to die. So strange is life, but that's the story of us all.

Summer vacation hours without the kids (up until Saturday): 6 (3 for a Board meeting + 3 to have tacos with elderly women (?!)
Days without the kids (until Saturday): 7

In the meantime, I've finally painted the living room a color I like (dark chocolate milk with turquoise archway).  Huck and I have eaten and not eaten anything we please. I ate a box of cookies for lunch one day, and a tub of icecream on another.  But also, the kids weren't around to whine about beet saute daylily tacos.  We've been out to eat at 8pm.  We've been for a bike ride down the Fish Lake trail after Huck came home from work.  This ride took 3 hours with the kids and 1 with just us!    We've lounged on the back porch and watched the mated pair of local ravens leisurely re-mate.  It's been such a year that the trees have all put on second growth and the animals are all mating a second time.

But boy, am I lonely for those kids!
Rest easy, I'm no Luna Leg Horn.  I'm just going to ride out the rest of the week, rather that die of socialization.
Day Lily Ice cream cone

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog. Great stuff. Having only one child I was largely spared such homicidal inclinations except for the occasional play date that just lasted too long. - Rocci



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