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August 19, 2003
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Pipe Down!

Jet told me off twice, today. First, it was already past 6, and we had an appointment at 7 with Wendy to talk over the pre-school contract with her. I was going crazy trying to get the last of dinner ready, including cooking a special chicken quesadilla for Jet (he calls it 'pizza') when John seemed to just be meandering around the house aimlessly. I was already frustrated by not having everything done sooner, and most of dinner was already cooked, but John was showing no interest in helping with the last bit, and Jet was running rampant.

So I started yelling at John to DO something to help us get finished with dinner on time. Jet took one look at me and then shook a finger at me and said, "Now, pipe down! You pipe down!"

Surprised me out of being so mad. I was afraid of missing the appointment, having someone tell me that I was going to be late, and here was Jet just telling me off for expressing my frustration and rage with a loud voice. I had to just blink at him and then hug him and relax a little.

It's been a hard day. Stressful, in many ways. Work was just a string of meetings, with very little time to talk to the people I knew that I needed to talk to. I did have one very enjoyable jam session with one of the engineers, and we talked through a lot of things that had been confusing him, and we did it in order. I wrote down what we'd talked through and agreed on and that seemed to work very well for both of us and we sent those thoughts off to the rest of the group to comment on or critique. That was good. The rest of it just felt so useless. It's really hard to work at what is, essentially, a dead-end job. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not going to make any advances at all in doing anything here because everyone knows that I'm leaving, so I'm simply not considered for any long-term tasks. Period.

It's kind of painful.

Anyway... dinner was good. Jerk chicken. I cut apart a chicken this morning, while Jet watched, and dumped it into a Zip-loc bag with a globs of the marinade that we'd bought on one of the Caribbean islands we'd stopped at during the cruise. It actually stung my hands as I worked it through all the pieces. Ooo. It sat in the fridge, all day, marinating, and when I got home I started up the grill. Hot to sear a start, all the dark meat pieces, first, then put them on medium low heat while I seared the breasts. Then I just turned all the fires to low and closed the lid. 8 minutes. A turn. Another 8 minute and everything was cooked through. And wow was it tasty. Spicy but not searingly hot, the way I was afraid it would be. Very juicy. Great with some grated zucchini and baked beans.

The meeting with Wendy was good, too. On the way out a big, black Jeep came barreling into our driveway and before I could get upset about how fast it was going, it turned out to be Ray!! He'd just bought his new toy, today and wanted to show it to us. The rest of the family was in the car and I could see Alex grinning at us and waving. Hee. We had to get to the meeting, but we promised we'd be by later.

When we got to Wendy's, there was a cat in the front yard, and I said, "Look, Jet, there's a kitty!"

Jet said, "No, that's a cat."

Both John and I blinked at each other and wondered where Jet had gotten that! I might guess that it was from the Cats musical, where there are no "kitties", but there are lots of cats. He really liked it.

The meeting with Wendy was very... interesting. There are a few biases showing, but not bad ones. She doesn't believe TV is good for kids. Period. And given that she's not likely to be showing him any TV during the classes, that makes a lot of sense. In some ways, I suspect that the no-TV and no-refined sugar biases will kind of balance Joan's approaches. She doesn't expect us to follow her beliefs, which is a good thing, and she's very gentle and very encouraging to Jet. So I think that's a good thing in and of itself. She likes the fact that he takes the toys he's given and does something unexpected with them.

Jet had a marble tower with no marble, and a basket of beads and string. After putting a couple of beads on the string, he got bored of that and took the string and threaded it through the marble 'maze', quite happily. He got a bit frustrated with the marble towers breaking on him, fairly frequently, but he would be happy, again, when I managed to push it back together again.

It's odd thinking about having Jet in a pre-school where he isn't going to learn about numbers of letters or things. He's just going to play, sing, dance, cook, climb, and help with cleaning up. If there are trips it'll probably be to farms, not the butterfly pavilion, museums, or aquariums or stuff, with the school at least. I imagine that John and I will do some of that, and we'll likely do a lot of the number and letter stuff just through every day living. Jet's already asking to count things... but it just feels a bit odd thinking through the question of, "What will Jet be *learning* while in 'school'?"

We visited with the Goodell's for a little bit and then went home. John fed Jet a whole slice of cantaloupe, which he ate the whole thing of, and one of the whole fruit popscicles. So Jet got a good dose of fruit.

Yay! I'm glad Jet likes fruit.

He went to sleep just fine. I, on the other hand, had lots of problems going to sleep. I saw Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and realized that about a third of what they do to make the houses so beautiful is just clean up all the clutter. That clutter, alone, of things that one accumulates for no good reason other than one once bought it, is the blight of most homes. I peered mildly at my bathroom and spent about half an hour cleaning things out or putting some thing away. There's a lot more of that to do around the house, if I wanted. But between thinking of all the possibilities, and feeling like a fashionless putz with no style of my own. Plus just feeling depressed about having to overhaul Jet's schedule so that he simply won't be playing all week, it kept me up until nearly 2 am.

Ugh.

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