Saturday, February 25, 2006

poem for spring

This is my favorite spring time poem. I'm putting it here in honor of the very first daffodil bud just about to pop open in my front yard. I'm afraid they'll get frozen, but considering my anti-winter feelings, it's always a good sign to me.

by A.A. Milne

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead."


Yeah, the house is the same mess it always is. I get so tired of having to dodge all the piles of toys, but I'm way too lazy to bother picking it up. Also, getting the boys to help clean is its own special hell, so I just end up ignoring it all.

The mess doesn't bother me so much in and of itself, but it grows like a child till it's just a horrid dangerous bunch of crap waiting to trip us all and take us down, kind of like my the kids again. And right now, The Boy is really loving the puzzles. So any cleaning currently involves sorting through all the scattered puzzles and pieces, putting them back together and putting them up. Within a half an hour though, he wants them back out. If I just leave them out, they get dumped out together and ignored.

Here's the honest moment of the day. Homeschooling isn't the easiest thing in the world if you want to do it well. You have to pay attention to your kids. You have to keep the messes picked up. You have to think about stuff. Sometimes, when you really want the messes picked up, you have to ignore them and be okay with messes.

My weakness is being somewhat okay with the messes. Okay, my real weakness is the lit up teat that is the computer. I know better, but I just sit here all day every day constantly opening up the bookmarks menu to check the same blogs, just in case there's something new somewhere.

So I'll publish this dumb thing and surf on over to someone elses site. I'll clean up the mess after I accidentally trip over something and finally freak out about it. Or maybe, and even better, I'll suddenly not be a lazy procrastinating slob.

freaky bedtime

I'll admit right now that this story isn't really that great, but it made my night a little nicer. If that title doesn't bring some soon to be disappointed readers, then fuck it, I'm a failure at something.

Anyway, The Boy watched his movie, ate some blueberries, didn't fall asleep, ate some Pez and thankfully didn't fall asleep. I was hoping I'd get his teeth brushed after all that before he went to sleep, but it was late, so I grew worried.

We did get his teeth brushed. We read some books first, then he wanted his last book in bed. After the book, he wanted me to lay with him. I don't actually bother, but I do kind of crouch on the floor with my head on his pillow. Momma actually gets in the bed and has fallen asleep before.

I made up and sang some songs as usual. One was about him and Big Brother stealing some melons and running from Old Mr. Goofball. The other was a really poorly cobbled together bunch about Thomas getting James' freight cars. Percy also shunted the express coaches to the station for Gordon. I always, always have a brain fart at "sing to me" time, and I never can think of the lyrics to an actual song. So I don't quite lay in his bed and don't quite sing songs to him, but he seems to not not like it.

I finally gave him his last smooch and achingly stretched myself back upright. I pulled his door closed and turned off the hall light. I remembered leaving my beer in the kitchen, so I grabbed that and headed back to the other end of the house.

I was curious what would come next. With Big Brother, it can be anything. He lost screen time today for standing on the arm of the sofa. He was actually running across the love seat, but as I entered the room he was mid-something on the arm, and he saw me and slowly sunk to the ground. So whatever he did pre-bedtime, it wouldn't involve video games or cartoons.

In the end it didn't matter. I saw him laying on the sofa and thought he was joking at first. I let him lay there and snore thinking I would outwait him. I knew he couldn't lay there and snore, looking so asleep for long. But he didn't move. I thought of tickling him, making him admit that he wasn't really asleep. But then I thought, if the sleep were real, I could easily ruin it if he wasn't very much asleep.

In the end, I ignored him for a minute. Then I got his covers neat on his bed and carried his big long ass back to bed. It's so early for him, and I have the whole night to myself. That isn't saying much considering the time and that tonight is Momma's really late night at work. I might not be up when she gets here. This is my special time. I'll use it to do write silliness! And probably check Myspace.

idiot has me stumped for a title

The following quote is from a letter to the Metro Pulse, our local alternative news weekly. It's a great little paper, if you live around here and need to know what bands are playing where. This letter though just really gave me a laugh, and not the good kind. This sample is the real clincher for me.

So here’s this little girl awash in this huge back seat. I say to her, “How old do you have to be before you can sit in the front seat?” She replies: “13.” “And how old are you?” “7.” So I say: “You’re relegated to the back seat for the next eight years?”

Never mind that his math is that far off. Never mind that he is ridiculing a law that is intended to protect children, those among us with often the least faculty to make the wisest of decisions. Also, never mind that he is taking the word of a child concerning the law and is misinformed.

  • Children age four (4) through age eight (8), and measuring less than five feet (5') in height, must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat system, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (Note: If the child is not between age four (4) and age eight (8), but is less than five feet (5') in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)
  • Children age nine (9) through age twelve (12), or any child through twelve (12) years of age, measuring five feet (5') or more in height, must be secured in a seat belt system. It is recommended that any such child be placed in the rear seat, if available. (Note: If the child is not between age nine (9) and age twelve (12), but is five feet (5') or more in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)

His problem with all of this is that liberals are ruining life by making laws that force safety measures on people. He apparently bonded with family while riding in the front seat as a child, and he's uses that sad old arguement that what didn't kill him is certainly okay for the next generation.

He chides us for using studies about safety and airbags in order to push these laws on us. I wonder if he's ever lost a loved one, a very young one who couldn't decide how safe they wanted to be.

I too grew up riding in the front seat. I grew up thinking of seatbelts as those things you had to pull out whenever you lost something down the back seat. Honestly, I only saw the seatbelts in the back when I pulled them out, creased from being jammed down into the seat where they would be out of the way. When I found my quarter or my pencil, I stuffed them right back down. I certainly want my children in the safest place that I can find for them, and I don't really need the force of the law. The facts and the studies are really quite enough for me.

I do disagree to some extent with some laws that I see as overzealously enforcing safety, helmet laws for instance. If you have a motorcycle and choose not to wear a helmet, you should certainly be old enough to take that chance. That is in no way similar to riding in someone's lap, in the front seat of a car. In addition to the child's safety, the entire car is safer knowing that the child is fixed and immovable. For all the control we feel when driving, few other venues offer such small margins of error with such great opportunities to do great damage.

All that to say this. To the jackass that wrote that letter, put the girl where she is safe, in the back seat. Next, to make especially sure she is safe, ask someone else to drive, jackass! Not that this guy will see this, but here are some facts.