For those of you who are new here let me be clear, I’m not exactly the world’s most doting mom.  I’ve never been one to whip out the pictures of the Wonderkids at the slightest provocation,  I’m just not that guy.  That being said let me tell you about my morning.

Actually, let me set the scene for you a little bit.

The Infantile Delinquent is 4, so this year he started pre-school.  We’re sending him to the same pre-school that we did the Princess and the Pea.  It’s run out of the local high school, it’s a class for the high school kids and because of that I figure the student to “teacher” ratio is better than most.  (There is a real adult teacher who supervises but mostly it’s the high school students who are hands on with the kids.)

I called and registered the InfaDel for preschool last spring, we didn’t hear much over the summer and we still hadn’t heard anything when school started.  I went by the school and they said they’d be in touch.  About three weeks ago we got a letter from the school giving us a start date for preschool.  The InfaDel was so excited to get that note and to be going to preschool, that he carried the letter around for the intervening two and a half weeks.  The date start date was the 28th, Tuesday.  I work on Tuesdays but Sean was home so he took him.  The InfaDel had a great time.  I called after he got home and he told me all about the bear hunt song that they sang and about the activities that they did, all that jazz.

This morning he had preschool again.  He didn’t want to go.

It required most of my powers of persuasion to get him into the car.  And then he wouldn’t get out.  Finally we got him out by telling him that we all, him, The (not so) Baby and I were going to go in and see what the other kids were doing.  So we did.  He wasn’t seduced to join them like I thought he’d be.  He did eventually join them but I had to stay.  And stay, and stay.

I watched him plant a seed, I watched him paste together a construction paper barn, I watched him do a puzzle.  My son is amazing.  He was shy and quiet (something he never is at home) which meant that most of the time the “teachers'” attention was turned to another kid so he quietly did it all on his own.

The InfaDel doesn’t talk very well, he has some speech problems and will probably send a fair amount of time in therapy, he’s hard to understand even for me (I find it especially difficult when I’m driving and I don’t know what he’s looking at so I have no context clues as to what he’s saying, not mention that I can’t concentrate on that when I’m trying to cncentrate on driving.)  But he is amazingly spatially talented.  He looked at the example barn picture, picked through the shapes he had been given and choose the correct one every time.  He then put some glue on it and put it just where it should have been.  He does puzzles all day.

I stayed in preschool with him through snack time and song time but when I disappeared, to take the (not so) Baby to the bathroom, he got spooked that I was just going to disappear and it wasn’t long before he insisted we all go home.  So we did.

I don’t understand how he went from being so excited about school that he carries a piece of paper that he can’t even read around with him for 2 weeks to refusing to go at all, which is what I’m anticipating will happen Monday.  I don’t have time to go to preschool with him whenever he has it but I do think that some sort of prep for kindergarten is in order, especially given today’s  turn of events.

It’s not that the Princess and the Pea never balked at school, they did, but I feel like this has a different quality to it, like the motivation is different or… something.

Whatever, we shall persevere, I’ll come up with some brilliant solution.

But I do have a question for you: Why do none of the teenage girls who are taking this high school class know the words to Old McDonald?  (Seriously, I had to make sure to sing it loud enough that they could follow me because they kept getting lost.)

This Morning

Over the Weekend I had a pretty good idea for a blog post but I just can’t make it work out today and I’m giving up trying.

Mostly I can’t make it work out because I have a lot of other stuff on my mind this morning, stuff that’s making it really difficult to focus.

So I thought I’d tell you a little bit about that stuff instead.

(In no particular order)

1. My boss is currently in the ICU at a local hospital.  He was in a motorcycle accident over the weekend and last I heard, was on a ventilator.  I believe that his prognosis is fairly good (as in they don’t expect him to die and he’ has the use of hands and legs) but still it’s a little … worrying.

2. I’ve been having trouble with one of my co-workers.  There’s a gal that I work with who I don’t particularly like.  I’ve been making a conscious effort to have a better attitude about her (not spend quite so much time finding fault etc…) but this weekend there was an incident that is causing trouble for another gal that I work with, one that I love to death, and it looks like I’m going to have to do better than I have been so that I can make work ok for my friend.  (That’s a little convoluted and confusing, I know but I’m trying to explain without getting specific).

3. My kids are off track.

4. I have a test on Wednesday.

5. I have a project due Wednesday.

6. The InfaDel is currently cutting the (not so) Baby’s hair.  I Gotta go…

Time (Well?) Wasted

I just spent 20 minutes trying to convince the InfaDel and the (not so) Baby to clean up the dirty laundry that they had emptied from the basket.

And then another 10 minutes trying to console the (not so) Baby, who was upset because his brother cleaned up more than he did.

Dishwater Salad Dressing

I’m starting this post with the punchline because there’s no way around it. You’re going to know what it is before we get there anyway. But it’s still a story worth telling.

Friday was the HERA climb for life. The climb that you guys helped me raise money for with your very generous donations.  In fact, I raised more than my goal amount which makes you about the best readers anywhere and I think you should know it.  You’re awesome!

But that’s actually not the point, the point is that I spent the day climbing and freezing (the cliff we were climbing left us in the shade at the top of a mountain) and then I locked my keys in the car so by the time I got home I was pretty tired. And starving.

It was time for dinner but there was nothing ready so Sean started heating up leftovers and I made a green salad.  Then I went to the fridge to get the dressing.  Now, around here we eat the make it yourself salad dressing (you know, you buy the packet of seasonings and fill the cruet with vinegar up to the line with the v and then add water up to the line with the w and then oil up to the o line and then you shake whole thing up) but the cruet was almost empty.  I poured what little was left over the salad and took the cruet to the sink to wash it out.  I don’t always wash it out between uses, I’m just making more of the same stuff in there after all, but it had been a while since I had washed it out so I did this time.

I put some water in the cruet and set it on the counter with the dish scrub brush thing (the kind with the soap in the handle) sticking out of the top while I got the lid cleaned, which takes a little doing given all the cracks and crevices, and was just turning my attention to the cruet, when the Infantile Delinquent came in to let me know that the (not so) Baby had gotten into my swag bag from the climb, which I had (stupidly) said that he could play with, and made a mess.  I left the kitchen to go to the entryway to assess the damage.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been but the (not so) Baby had gotten into the one thing in the bag that one could possibly make a mess, the chalk (used on the hands to increase traction).  He had broken up the block of chalk and sprinkled it around the entryway and front room.

Did I mention that Sean had cleaned my house while I was climbing? Well he had.  (He really is the very best.)  And now the (not so) Baby was sprinkling chalk all over the place, and then the Pea and the InfaDel started running through the chalked up area and…. You know how it goes.  So I forgot about dinner, and turned my attention to preventing the spread of the chalk.  It didn’t take long but by the time I got back to the kitchen Sean was pouring the oil into the dressing and shaking it up.

I should mention here that Sean and I make the dressing differently.  I make it with cider vinegar and he uses white.  It’s a small difference, resulting in a slight difference in taste but it’s not a big deal.

We sat down to the table.

I wasn’t really that interested in any of the leftovers so I served myself a huge helping of salad, sprinkled some tuna, and some salt and pepper, over it and poured on the dressing.  I had a few bites but found that I couldn’t really taste the dressing.  I poured on some more.  My salad still wasn’t very good but I was really hungry so I ate it.

We had a slightly harder time than usual getting the kids to eat their salads but well, they’re kids and it was salad so we didn’t think too much of it.  The kids ran off to play and I sat at the table for a few more minutes trying to decide if I wanted to eat more.  I decided I was still hungry.  I served up the rest of the salad, doctored it up, poured on the dressing and took a bite.  It tasted almost sweet.

I dipped a finger into a drop of dressing n my plate and licked it off.  Nothing, it tasted like nothing.  I looked up at Sean, “what kind of vinegar did you use in this?”

He looked at me like I was crazy, “I didn’t put the vinegar in it, you did. I just put the oil in.”

After spending just a minute digesting that (and trying not to throw up my dinner) I said, “no wonder the dressing wasn’t good tonight, you used the soapy dishwater that I was cleaning the cruet out with as the vinegar.”

I spent the rest of the night with a greasy dishwater taste in the back of my mouth.

In his defense, apparently the dishwater had filled exactly up to the v line of the cruet and he had known that I was working on making dressing and… Well, these things happen.

So what’s your favorite kind of salad dressing?

I Don’t Like Pina Coladas Either

Last week I took the little boys on a walk (and by walk I mean that I walked and they rode their bikes) to the “duck place”. The duck place is part of a trail not to far from our house. It’s included in my ride home from work and part of most of my recreational rides.

It was a beautiful day and the kids had a great time (until I made then walk all the way around the circle and it was hot and they were tired and by the end there may have been some tears, but to begin with it was nothing but smiles) see:

So the next day The Infantile Delinquent wanted to go back to the duck place. Well, I’m in “attentive mom” mode these days (until school starts on Wednesday and then I’ll probably go back to ignoring the kids) so I said OK.

As we loaded up into the car I noticed that the sky was a little overcast, and I asked the InfaDel if he was sure that he wanted to go.  He was.  As we drove the mile or so to the duck place a few small drops of rain hit the windshield, I again questioned the InfaDel.  He wanted to go on.  As I parked and got out of the van and went around to the back to unload the bikes I mentioned to the InfaDel that it was cold and windy.  He hopped out of the car, said”it’s not cold” and took off on his bike.

The (not so) baby and I followed.

There’s a small trail that leads to the duck place. The trail runs right along the back of a few houses that have horses (I suppose it would be more accurate to indicate that the people who own the houses have horses but let’s just move on ok?) and as we walked and/or rode by we said hello to the horses. And as we did that it started to rain. Not too hard really, big fat drops but there weren’t too many of them and the InfaDel insisted so we continued on.

Do I even need to finish this story?

As we got to the duck place what had been a few fat lazy drops of rain had turned into a steady, but still lightish drizzle.

And then the heavens opened.

Within about 2 minutes we were all soaked.  Now people often say that they were soaked when they were in fact not soaked, occasionally they say  it when they’re hardly even damp.  This is not one of those times.  We were really really wet.  We were drowned rat kind of wet.  We were turn on your shower full blast, step into it fully clothed and stand there for five minutes kind of wet.

The (not so) Baby was so freaked out by all the water that just poured from the sky that he abandoned his bike and ran to me (as if I could protect him from the rain.  I couldn’t.)  I picked him up with one arm, picked his bike up with the other and herded the InfaDel back in the direction of the car.

The whole walk back both boys cried and I laughed (hey, when it’s laugh or cry I’ve never seen the point of the latter).  We got back to the car to find that the spot where I had parked was lower than that surrounding asphalt.  Giggle.  And the Infadel was too scared by the whole thing to venture out of the relative safety of the trees (The trail along the horse property is semi-wooded (although I’m here to tell you that the trees were not offering much by way or protection).) so I put the (not so) baby in the car, put his bike in the car and then ran (slogged) back for the InfaDel.  I got us all into the car at which point I turned it on and turned up the heat, in an effort to alleviate all of our shivering, and then removed my shoes and poured water out of them.

With some difficulty I coxed the kids into their cars seats (“It will get wet.” “Yes, it will.  But we can’t dry off until we get home and we can’t get home until you get into your seat.  It’ll dry.  Get into your seat.”  “It will get wet.” …)

We were so ridiculously wet that when we got home I really wanted to take pictures but I couldn’t find the camera.  But the memory is pretty lasting, I asked the (not so) Baby yesterday if he wanted to go to the Duck place.  He told me, “no.  It’s raining at the duck place.”

I Have Got to Stop Doing This

The first problem is that I let myself go weeks without blogging.  That may not be a problem for any of you (in fact, I’m willing to bet that there are a few of you who are a little relieved when I don’t blog (you’re welcome for this summer BTW) ) but for me it’s a problem because my goal was to blog at least once a week and for those of you non math majors blogging every three (or four) weeks is not blogging once a week.

The second problem stems from the first.  Any time I’m not blogging pressure is building up.  When I’m blogging regularly I don’t notice so much, very little pressure builds up in the course of a day or two.  Even a week is not too big of a deal but by the end of three (or four) weeks there is considerable pressure.  What pressure you ask? (Yes, I’m aware that you don’t care) the pressure to write a really good post.  After three (or four) weeks I feel like I have to have something really good to blog about something that will, ideally, explain my absence but more importantly, explain why I’m back.

I feel like I have to have this post that’s great, that makes you laugh — or chuckle at least — or better yet, makes you cry.  A post that makes you realize that I’m a fantastic blogger and that you’ve missed my wit and wisdom terribly and that blah blah blah.  My returning post can not be about my workout today (which was really hard so hard in fact that I only did half of it which was a little sad because I have in the past done more than half of it (although I’ve never actually finished that particular work out) but today I did do it harder than I’ve ever done before (squatted lower, jumped higher, did all the push ups on my feet rather than dropping to my knees) so I’m actually not too disappointed.  Especially when I factor in the fact that I noticed today that the helper girl (you know the two people who stand behind the “instructor” and do the workout all with perky smiles on their faces) was totally phoning it in!  Her squats were not deep, she was hardly jumping at all (she did not drop to her knees but I’ll bet (I have to bet because I find it hard to watch the TV while I’m doing push ups) her form was not good) I don’t blame her.  It’s a stinking hard work out (as evidenced by the fact that I did not finish it) .  But I thought it was funny.)  See?  That’s not a good retuning post!

Neither is the one I was thinking about about the fact that the deadbolt on the back door broke –luckily when we were all inside so as to not be locking someone out (although now that I think about it I’m not sure how (or) why being locked in in so much better than being locked out) — and after pulling it apart and deciding that it could not be fixed, Shaun went to fairly great lengths to replace it (after having spent the day just using the front door) so that we can have a back door that looks like this: Let’s move past the dirtiness and the marks on the door left by the venetian blinds (yes, I know how to fix that I just don’t really care) and look at the fact that on this door, right next to the lock, I have not one but two broken window panes that have been expertly “repaired” with cardboard and duct tape.  Yeah, we’d better hurry and get a new deadbolt in there, we wouldn’t want to leave our house exposed.  (In our defense (pun intended) that is corrugated cardboard and there are two layers of it.  We’re totally safe.)  See?  Again, not a great blog post.

I also though about posting about the very nice guy on the Jordan River Parkway Trail that I was riding yesterday who helped me with my tire (I had a flat) and perhaps to mention that while what we tried (pumping it up) didn’t work,  (because the problem with my tire wasn’t something that could be repaired on the trail, or indeed at home, it can only be repaired by throwing that particular inner tube in the garbage) I appreciate the effort just the same.  And I got  a lot farther than a I would have if he hadn’t helped me out which was good because I still had to walk a fair bit.  Also that I really need to start carrying a cell phone with me when I ride.  And possibly that I got really lost on the trail but I love that I live in Utah so I always knew that I was going in (more or less) the right direction and that I would eventually end up some where that I could identify.   And I did.  I just have no idea how I got there.  (I’m very visual and I can’t find anything without a mental map.  Unfortunately I can’t get my ride yesterday to coincide with my current mental map.  Good thing I can map my ride it and see an actual map and then I’ll be fine.)

I really should blog about the Pea’s 8th birthday, which is today, but honestly I’m not really a fan of birthday posts (except for yours, I love yours) so I’ll probably just say Happy Birthday to the Pea and leave it at that.  (For that matter, I could blog about my 12th wedding anniversary which is tomorrow but I probably won’t, I hit the anniversary once –read it here, it’s good– and that will probably do it for the next few years.)

The third problem (I’ll bet you forgot that I was listing the problems I’m having with this blog) is the layout.  I’ve had numerous comments on the layout here in the Wonderland and they’ve all been positive (which I love) and honestly I really really like the layout, I like the colors, I like that it’s feminine without being overly feminine and I used to love that the text portion is wide.  Now… not so much.  See the wide text thing is great if you’re going to write really long posts, or if you’re going to, say, post chapters of your book as blog posts (which is the reason that I wanted the wide text thing in the first place.  And I’m sure you’ve noticed how often I’ve posted chapters of my books as blog posts…) but if you don’t have much to say it can be daunting.  I write what feels like a decent length post and then post it only to click over and see that it doesn’t even fill the screen.  (Right there, I can see the next (last) post peeking up at the bottom of the screen.  I can see its title, I can even see the first line or two.  Heck I’ve hardly written anything at all. *Hangs head in shame.*)  So I’m thinking about changing it but, that’s a lot (and by a lot I mean some) of work, I’m not sure I’m up to it.

So there you have it.  The reason that I’m not blogging, or that I haven’t been blogging or that… oh forget it.

Conversations with a Two Year-old

Mom: Ok sweetie, I love you.  Go right to sleep ok.

Two Year-old: I want the door open a little bit.

M: I’ll leave the door open a little bit as long as you’re quiet, but if you start making a lot of noise I’m going to have to close it.


M: Shhhh… Sweetheart, I won’t close the door if you can be quiet.  You have to stop crying or I’m going to have to close the door.


M: That’s fine love, just stop crying and I’ll leave the door open.


M: I know you do, and I will if you can just stop.  If you stop crying then I’ll leave the door open.


M: If you keep crying like this then I’m going to have to shut the door.


M: You can’t have dad and I’m leaving, now are you going to be quiet so that I can leave the door open?


M: I will if you can be quiet.


M: Can you be quiet?


M: All you have to do is be quiet.


M: Ok, just stop crying.


M: I Won’t close the door, if you’ll just … Oh forget it.

Mom closes the door and heads downstairs followed by the sounds of muffled screaming.

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