Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beauty Is in the Bottom...I Mean the Eye...Well...

On the way home from the park this evening (the budding goalie begged me to take him someplace where he could practice his drop kicks for soccer), we passed a row of fairly new homes. I remarked on their cuteness, and my son asked me if I wanted to live in one of them someday. I told him maybe. "We can't move," he said, "because I would miss our house and our stuff too much!" I told him if we ever move someday, we'll take most of our stuff with us and get some new stuff, too -- like a new couch to replace our uncomfortable and ugly one that was left behind by the previous residents. "Well," he said, demonstrating his lower standards, "I am NOT going to abandon our beautiful couch!!"

I think I'm going to have to start taking his personal compliments with a grain of salt. ;^)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Green Genes

Recently a fellow soccer mom told me I looked much younger than my age. I've been told that in the past and although I'm not sure whether or not I believe it, depending on what the mirror tells me, I'm always happy to hear it. My son asked me about this, and I half-jokingly told him that many women (except the ones who are truly young and feel they're not taken seriously because of it) love to be told they look young. So yesterday when we were walking into the animal shelter for a visit, he took my hand and happily told me, "Mom, you look like you're about 20!" Next topic to cover: how to sound flattering and remotely realistic. ;-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Results Are In...

Hey! I just viewed my unofficial score online and...I passed the CBEST! The lowest passing score is 123, and my score was, well, considerably higher than that. ;-) I must admit that I felt a little bit nervous as I logged on to the site a little while ago, but I figured it was kind of like ripping off a bandage -- best to just get it done quickly. The official score will be mailed to me next week, but as of 5:00 p.m. today, I have passed. Hee-hee! I'm pretty tickled. :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cookies from Strangers

When hanging out with my boy, I never know when the next teaching opportunity will turn up. Last night, after my son's soccer practice, we stopped at the mall and were buying cookies on our way to the car. A young woman (older teenager?), who seemed a little drunk/high or otherwise "off" and was hanging onto her boyfriend, left him sitting on a bench and cut in front of us in line at the counter. She asked for a bag of cookies, stood at the counter and ate one, then studied my son for a moment and handed the bag to him. "Eat it!" she commanded (and I'm not exaggerating her tone). My son was confused and timidly accepted the bag (but didn't eat the cookies), and I took it away from him. The young woman was still standing there and watching us, so I gave her the bag and said, "He can't have these, but thank you anyway." She then shuffled back to her boyfriend on the bench, and we made our purchase. On our way back to our car, I told my son I'd given the cookies back because we don't take food from strangers -- just the people who work behind the counter(s) of the restaurants we visit. (Of course, the gal and her boyfriend happened to be walking a few yards behind us.) The incident wasn't extreme, and the gal was probably harmless, but the situation seemed strange enough that I felt a tad uncomfortable, and it was yet another chance to teach the kiddo about another aspect of dealing with strangers. I don't want to teach him to be terribly fearful, but I'd rather he err on the side of caution. What a fine line to walk.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Don't Wanna Iguana

Yesterday my son and I visited the animal shelter. I'd already checked out the place a few weeks ago when the kiddo was at his dad's house, and I wanted to show him what it was like. First we looked at the Humane Society facility adjacent to the shelter. The animals there are owner turn-ins; the accommodations are spacious and have been decorated by interior design students. It's like the Ritz for dogs and cats, and the bunnies have it pretty good there, too. Then we walked over to the shelter, across a courtyard containing a beautiful fountain bearing bronze statues of dogs and cats running. The shelter takes owner turn-ins as well as strays, and the animals live in large, cage-like "cells." It's not terrible, but it's not pretty like the Humane Society.

When we first entered the shelter, we were greeted by a volunteer. This is a great feature, and I'm sure it helps people feel more comfortable in the large, potentially intimidating facility. Since I already knew my way around, I took my son to the first wing, which houses small animals and exotics. We saw lots of rabbits, one bird, and a few hamsters. In a separate room, in a large aquarium, was a huge iguana. I called my son over to have a look; he stepped into the room and took a step back when he realized what was in there. The iguana was still shedding; the front portion of its body was a deep green, and the back portion was grayish and flaky. It seemed interested in us, and slowly scratched against the tank glass with its long, sharp, curved claws.

"We're never getting one of these," I told my son, "unless you want one someday and you're old enough to take care of it all by yourself." After college, I'd had a roommate who owned a much smaller iguana. It was kind of neat, but my roommate let it roam the apartment despite my requests that she keep it in her room. Once it climbed onto some freshly ironed drapes I'd left on the ironing board and pooped on them. Another time, when I was having a party and my roommate wasn't home, I got a little cocky and put the iguana on my shoulder; it immediately sought warmer ground, using my lower lip as a toehold on its way to the top of my head. I had a lovely, bloody scratch from my lip to the bottom of my chin for the rest of the party, and I felt like an idiot. Granted, both incidents weren't the iguana's fault, but it did occur to me that the pleasures of iguana ownership were small compared to the hassles.

We studied the huge reptile for a few minutes as it continued to scratch slowly at the glass. "Do iguanas bite?" my son asked. "Sure," I said. "They have very sharp teeth, actually." My roommate had had her finger sliced by the iguana at least once, and I'd seen the creature take very defined bites out of the tissues in the box on my roommate's bedroom floor. The kiddo thought about this, then took my hand as we left the room. "Are you ever going to make me get an iguana?" he asked a bit nervously. "Heck, no!" I told him, and laughed. He was embarrassed, and told me I should have respect for him and not laugh. "After all," he said indignantly, "I do have a brain, but I'm only six-and-a-half, so my brain is only six-and-a-half inches, or pounds, or something, and I was just asking a question!" I hugged him and told him I was just laughing because he was just a delightful little person, and he felt better.

I suspect he also felt better knowing I would never make him get an iguana. ;-)

To be continued.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

See? Best.

Well, I took the CBEST last weekend, and I have to admit...I think I did just fine. I felt great about the reading section, but I really wasn't sure what to expect regarding math. When I was in school, math wasn't really my thing, and I wasn't totally confident that I could relearn algebra and the like in time for the test. Nonetheless, I was resolute, and showed up at the test site with about a dozen sharpened #2 pencils, figuring if I choked I could go home and register for the next test in October.

But I didn't choke.

Now I'm kind of exhausted, but my son starts school tomorrow and we're getting on our fall schedule. He's got his next step, and I've got mine.

Things are looking good. :-)