Monday, September 20, 2010

RBOC, Reflective Late Summer Edition

I'm putting all my intellectual effort these days into course planning and harvesting articles from my dissertation, so all I have in me are random bullets:
  • Lucas and I were pulling dandelions from the lawn yesterday, and a bee or wasp stung me right in the middle of the palm of my right hand. Thank goodness the critter didn't get Lucas. If I recall correctly, this is only my fourth bee sting, but hoo boy is it by far the worst. My hand has been swelling over the past 24 hours, and I can't make a fist, plus--oversharing alert!--the hand just started breaking out in hives. I almost went to an urgent care clinic, but in light of our new high insurance deductible,* I'm going the Benadryl route instead.** The pharmacist said not to take Benadryl until the evening because it'll knock me out, so I'm waiting until Lucas goes to sleep, but meanwhile I can't use my right hand for anything but typing, and even that is a stretch. It's made me VERY grumpy, but it also means I haven't had to grade papers. :)
  • Someone who matters tremendously to me just let me know she's pregnant after trying for what seems to me to be a reasonable amount of time, but which I'm sure to her felt like for-ev-er. I'm very excited for her and her husband. As soon as she's told a few more people and is into her second trimester, I'll blog about it more openly.
  • Lucas's development is proceeding in leaps and bounds. His drawings are becoming more and more complex--check out Fang's blog if you're interested, as he's been posting several pieces of Luke's art--and his language, too. Today he wrote his last name flawlessly, without any prompting. We're also getting a bit more insight into how his mind works. For example, on Friday, Fang told Lucas they would watch an episode of a Batman cartoon at 5 p.m., and he showed Lucas a clock with hands on it. Fang reminded him when the small hand was on the 5, they would watch the show. Lucas pointed out there was a dial on the back of the clock, and they could turn it right away to make it point to 5 so that they could watch Batman immediately. Ha!
  • We had to administer a series of questions and exercises to Lucas for his preschool teachers. One of them required us to ask Lucas to "Draw a boy or a girl." Fang did this exercise with him while they sat across the desk from one another, and Lucas proceeded to draw a person, only he drew it upside down, so that it was right-side-up for Fang.
  • These latest developments, coupled with others, worry me--I fear we might have a gifted child on our hands. Oy. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, particularly in a state not known for funding quality public education.
  • This weekend I took Lucas to the local birds of prey center. The folks there don't rehabilitate birds, as do many raptor centers; rather, they breed, raise, and release endangered birds. They have a very intimate bird show--the hawk's feathers actually brushed repeatedly against my legs, and the crow took a dollar bill from Lucas (the bird can't have quarters because they're shiny and he hoards them)--and some raptors that can't be returned to the wild for various reasons, including a couple of California condors and some really neat eagles. Despite all the bigger birds, Lucas was really taken with the crow.
  • Jacob has finally noticed the five or six squirrels that frequent our backyard, but still has a pretty sedate reaction to them. He's recovering nicely from his neuter surgery, which he had last Thursday. He's tipping the scales at more than 85 pounds now.
  • Tomorrow afternoon Fang will take Lucas to observe a martial arts class to see if it's something Lucas might want to try. Meanwhile, I'm plotting to take the boy to Friends meetings and First Day school. Would having ninja-level martial arts skills disqualify 18-year-old Lucas from conscientious objector status with the Selective Service?
  • This conversation just transpired between Lucas and Fang:
Lucas: Daddy, will you do something with me? We can do something you like.

Fang: Sure. What do you want to do? (thinking he'll get out the guitars and play some music)

Lucas: (very sweetly) Well, you like to watch superheroes on the TV, right?

The boy knows how to work his dad, that's for sure.
  • Fang is trying hard to be more social, which he admits has always been a challenge for him, even though he's very good with people. He was waitlisted for a guitar class offered through the city's community education program, and he found out today they opened up an additional section of the class. He starts next Wednesday, and he's enthusiastic about meeting some like-minded people. He went to a Smashing Pumpkins concert with one of my colleagues last week, and they seemed to hit it off; they seem to have plenty in common to gripe about, if nothing else. (Waves to colleague, who sometimes reads this blog.)
  • Overall, I'd say what has most characterized our first two months in Idaho is resilience, and really, we're not a resilient people. (The phrase "highly sensitive" is a more apt descriptor.) I'm really happy about that, as these are the times that try a family's souls--a big move, a new job, pay cuts, new social circle, no support network to speak of, a new preschool, a Cliffordesque lab who thinks he's still the size of a shoebox. My colleagues and new friends here have been a huge help in easing our transition, and for that I am exceptionally grateful.
*Thank you, State of Idaho, for lengthening the new-employee health insurance waiting period from 30 days to 90. Much appreciated!

**I've never taken Benadryl, but I'm going to take my first pill in a few minutes. Fang is a little too excited about this prospect--he knows I can react strongly to new meds, and he's crossing his fingers for a good show. Will it include further crankiness, slurred speech, or giggles unbecoming a bee-sting victim? I'll keep you posted. (As if.)


L said...

I'm glad things are going so well and you're finding much resilience within your highly sensitive souls. As a fellow of the same breed, I have often felt surprised by the resilience that seems to come out of nowhere at times. I was just thinking today that having survived the past three years relatively unscathed was pretty great.

Anyway... thanks for your kind words at my place today. I sure am not looking forward to moving again (and sometimes I wish I didn't have to teach in the first semester & be promised a gig for a bit later so I could straighten out the house and help the boys adapt to a new school to make the transition easier, but... well, it would be nice to be able to work right away too. It was good to have six months "off" when we moved back in 2007 to the awful [but full of potential] fixer-upper we bought).

Sigh. We'll survive. And good luck with giftedness, I'm glad my boys are very smart, but not truly gifted (maybe Kelvin's borderline -- haha -- this word is often used negatively, not in a positive way, right?).

Fang Bastardson said...

Gifted shmifted! He's five years old. Zero symphonies. Mozart was gifted. This kid is precocious at best.

Perhaps I wasn't cruel and uncaring enough with him at some crucial point in his development. Perhaps I have denied the world its next Mozart or Van Gogh; if so, I will have gladly traded his squandered genius for a well-adjusted, contented life of relative anonymity.

"Gifted?" Come on. He's no Geddy Lee.

Colleague Who Sometimes Reads This Blog said...

It wasn't griping! It was hyper-idealistic banter of the highest order, as I recall.

Leslie M-B said...

@Fang There's a difference between gifted and genius. Look in the friggin' mirror. :)

Fang Bastardson said...

Madame, while I thank you for your compliment, I am no Geddy Lee, either!

Breena Ronan said...

Um, you guys weren't expecting "gifted"? If I had known that would come as a surprise, I would have mentioned it at his birth. ;) Miss you guys!