Jim, Jim, Jim...
Okay...did you watch The Office tonight?
Jim and Pam?
I hope you naysayers are happy.* This is how it's going to go down. It's starting.
* You know who you are. And no, I'm not mad at you, honest. :-)
Okay...did you watch The Office tonight?
Recently I gave the kiddo a one-day pass on swearing. He'd been asking questions about one or two words in particular: "ass" and "crap" (the latter of which I don't have a huge problem with, but I don't think it sounds especially nice coming out of my kid's mouth). I was never allowed to swear when I was a kid; although my mom had grown up in a family that used "hell" and "damn" fairly casually, my dad declared our house a no-swearing zone. As a result, swearing always held a certain mystique for me, and when I was in junior high and high school, I experimented, let's say, with a lot of naughty language. Despite the no-swearing rule at home, my folks did allow us little sips of alcohol on occasion, and drinking was never that interesting to me, so I figured if I let the kiddo swear under controlled circumstances, maybe he would lose interest in it eventually.
The Santa Ana winds are dying down a little, but the wildfires are still burning in our county and the smell of smoke is wafting through the house. Our town isn't endangered, although some of my family 95 miles away are skeptical; they're just not as familiar with the geography around here and to them the fire maps on the news broadcasts make it look like the fire is coming straight for us. Nonetheless, I've been checking the fire maps and the local fire blog online and I know we're not even close to having to evacuate. What's more, I ran into the father of one of the kiddo's schoolmates while we were at the bookstore this evening (we were bored silly after staying indoors all day -- no school all week due to the fires). It turns out he was a firefighter for 12 years and knows something about all this stuff; he said the wind direction was starting to change, the fire would likely start blowing back on itself, the firefighters would be better able to get control of it, and the fire would burn itself out in spots.
The phone rang not long ago, at about 4:30 a.m. I happened to have gotten up moments before to check on my son and shut the window upstairs; we're having wildfires in the county and had spent the day with the windows shut and the air purifiers on, but I had to cool the place down a little come nightfall. Anyway, when the phone suddenly rang, my first thought was that it would be a wrong number and I should ignore it. My second thought was that it could be a family member with bad news or a panic attack, so I answered it...and it was a new client calling from an aparently different time zone. We'd only dealt with each other via email until now, so I had no idea where she was based. I don't think she's on the east coast (it would've been 7:30 a.m. there), and I think she may be from another country. I would guess India, but I don't know the time difference between there and here, and I'm too tired to look it up. Anyway, I was so relieved that it wasn't a family member that I started laughing when the client identified herself. I finally told her it was 4:30 a.m. here; she apologized profusely and said she'd call back in about five hours. She did sound a tad puzzled about my laughter, though.
Last night as I dried yet another load of laundry, I noticed a sporadic clacking sound coming from the dryer, but I assumed it was caused by my son's cargo shorts. Imagine my surprise when I removed the clothes from the dryer and an arsenic ant stake clattered to the floor. (Our laundry area is adjacent to the kitchen, and I'd placed an ant stake near the wash after noticing ants there.) The arsenic gel was all gone, however, assumably having dissolved during the wash cycle. How I failed to notice an ant stake (about four inches long) while loading/unloading the washer and loading the dryer, I can't tell you. But I was squicked out enough at the thought of any possible traces of arsenic goo on our clothes that I ran them through the washer again -- sans ant stake. Yuck!
Well, I guess we had our first major experience with a scary show, but in all honesty, I had no idea a silly kid program would scare my son so much. He'd been dying to watch some stupid TV show that had been advertised on a kid channel, so I let him watch it and it turned out to be about a bunch of teenagers who encounter a ghost. I had no idea what the storyline would be; all I knew was that Spears gal's little sister was in it, so I figured it would be kind of dumb. Anyway, said ghost appeared as a mysterious green cloud and made things move around a room. The acting was predictably terrible and the special effects were oh-so-lame, but the kiddo was getting spooked halfway through and I had to turn on the baseball game to clear his mind. Lot of good that did. He kept asking me about the green cloud and begged me to keep some lights on. I tried telling him how lame the show was, described how the kid actors had to fake everything because the computer animated cloud had to be added later (he knows a little about how cartoons are made, so I thought he might get this) -- basically criticized the show for a few minutes, totally going against my intention of never criticizing a show he likes (after my dad killed one of my favorite shows many years ago with his negative comments). Then I started talking about the ballgame we were watching, asking lots of questions and getting him to talk about the players and the strategies. I finally thought he was fine, and thought he was falling asleep...and then he asked me again about the green cloud. Thankfully, though, he did fall asleep and hasn't woken up during the night so far. I can't imagine what would have happened if I'd let him watch something even scarier, like the movie that Flea's kids begged to see. (I think she wound up putting the kibosh on it.) I know there are a lot of kids who love scary movies and who don't suffer any negative effects afterwards, but I guess my son isn't one of them. It's just as well, and I definitely will be reading the descriptions of any new shows he wants to watch.
I'm hoping I'm not the only one who experiences this. Please tell me I'm not!
My son, the Top Chef fan, has taken to addressing me as "Chef," as in "Yes, Chef," and "Thank you, Chef," said in a quietly respectful tone.
The kiddo was plenty mad at me when, at 4:00 a.m., I dosed him with cough medicine and asked him to get out of bed to go potty before going back to sleep. "Why are you ruining my life? Don't you love me?" he wailed. He's six-and-a-half going on thirteen. (In all fairness, though, I'm not very delightful when awakened in the middle of the night, either!) But after having listened to him cough for most of the night, I finally decided that intervention was necessary...and now he's sleeping peacefully, so we both win.
My son occasionally talks a little like Garth from Wayne's World. I have no idea why this is, and I'm trying to stop it because it sounds...ridiculous. His swimming instructor told the kiddo he had an "accent," so now the kiddo thinks he does. It's driving me a teensy bit crazy.