1. A few weeks ago while all of Atlanta was sliding around smashing into itself, I was safe at home having a lovely day which included a nice hot soak in the bath, a bit of homemade granola, baking of yummy-smelling root vegetable, and time spent with my three favoritemost people.
2. Not updating my blog or my facebook pages or the twitter thing or anything. Last year was a rough one for Nerdy Baby, even though we had a lot of good things happen (Natural History Museum! Boston Science Museum! And MORE.) things were feast or famine. Costs went up, sales went down, and I worked my absolute bottom to the ground trying to make everything GO. Survived the holiday season! Yay! And then fell down dead from exhaustion. That happens every year for a couple of weeks, but then I re-charge and jump back in. This year it’s been… um six weeks? I’m just now starting to feel ready to roll again.
In the meantime I’ve gone completely quiet except for a few bright spots on the internet where I got into fights. If I’m ever too frazzled to engage in internet fights that’s when you’ll know something is really wrong. I’ll internet fight anyone, any time. Not over any old topic but there are some that launch me into auto-duel mode every time. Can’t help it because I don’t want to. Everyone needs a hobby, according to… well I thought it was according to Oscar Wilde but I just googled and couldn’t find it. Everyone needs a vice according to Mark Twain and as a non-smoker who rarely even has a glass of wine, I have internet fights. I dare you to say something racist or sexist, or to judge other people for stuff that doesn’t affect you or to talk about how Obamacare is literally Hitler. I’ll fight you right now.
3. A friend moved away, and I’ve been pouting like a little child ever since. WTF? Normally in life *I’m* the one who moves away! Totally unacceptable.
4. “Want me to tell you about what I’m working on in Minecraft?”
“It’s really quick! It’s this (stream of words that I willfully do not comprehend). Isn’t that cool?”
“YES.” I say it confidently because I am desperate for that yes not to be followed up upon. I learned early on that there’s no faking paying attention to these conversations, but sometimes I can fake comprehension.
“I also built a game that works like Battleship.”
Oh hey, that’s a game I understand! We can completely have a conversation about this! This kid likes to invent board games, role-playing games, in-the-car-oh-god-mom-and-dad-are-boring word games. So yes, totally, tell me about your new game you made.
Until I realize that no, we are still talking about Minecraft and I am tragically still not at all interested. I get the appeal. It’s objectively a great game, and my kids are learning a lot from it. My brain just can’t care about creepers in the nether with the server doing /warp PVP and putting everything into a chest with a mule who is running around punching trees in its inventory.
When Nicolaus was a toddler he wanted to talk about tools. I listened even though most stuff in Home Depot has sort of a fog made of boring settled around it. I enjoyed those conversations though, because the person talking to me was so little and cute.
Then it was dinosaurs. Hey I like dinosaurs! Heck yes, let’s talk about dinosaurs for six months.
Then it was how things are made. Streets. Light bulbs. Refrigerators. I indulged, repeating the steps over and over.
Next he had a brief obsession with listing all the dog breeds we could think of. I was all over that one. Dogs are excellent.
After that his passion was… hm. I’m missing a few. I was really tired okay? But then it was his Naturalist Scouts Troop of One. After that we had the Titanic disaster. Then ancient Rome, then Greece, then history in general, then penguins, then medieval Europe, then weaponry through history, then dirigibles, then bats. Then metalsmithing, then chemistry. Chemistry lasted a long time. I want on record that for each of these obsessions I showed up, I read late into the night so I could answer his questions the next day, we talked and I listened. I let him make costumes, we pretended to be Titanic passengers — though I did eventually refuse to play if he couldn’t be bothered to reserve a spot in an imaginary lifeboat for his own mother.
I learned to like Greek mythology, history, and chemistry. Science and animals and crafts and things — I get those. But you can’t make me care about Minecraft. I don’t know why not.
So when he talks for an hour about Minecraft, I say noncommital things like: “It sounds like that was really hard to do!” or “Man! How frustrating was that?”
5. I also cannot care about Middle Earth. Sorry, kid. Yes there are podcasts and books about books about books about Middle Earth. There are whole segments of academia devoted to poring over Tolkein’s work and discussing it all in immense detail. Personally I felt that Tolkein’s work was plenty detailed on its own. Like seriously. Fricking PLENTY.
6. Floors. Dishes. Laundry. The fact that I can’t talk about putting a load of laundry on without saying something about Mondrian. I don’t really feel bad about old Piet Mondrian. He’s dead and probably wouldn’t have cared that much anyway. But the floors, dishes, and laundering must happen soon.
8. I bought a new vacuum cleaner. I know that for a lot of people, spending $80 on a vacuum cleaner sounds pathetic but let me tell you what: You go from a $28 vacuum cleaner to an $80 vacuum cleaner and all of a sudden you are at a whole new level of being a human being in modern society. Sweet LORD our floors were so much more disgusting than I ever imagined. You know that old vacuum salesman trick where they clean your floor first with the old vacuum and then with the new one and show you your hideous shame that lies within that canister?
Yeah you don’t have to get the $600 model to experience that. Especially if you have pets. Humans and animals are nasty, y’all. No one with carpet should have either living in their homes.
9. My kids are sort of unschooling lately. I like the concept, and I’ve seen families where it works really well, but have never been able to completely let go of the steering wheel like that. Well the last 2 months (three if you count their winter vacation) things have been pretty much as academically mellow as can be. So on the one hand, there’s merit to letting kids guide their own learning (see above previous obsessions). But on the other hand it’s hard to let go of the nagging feeling that education should look more like work. So this is my compromise: I’m unschooling them for a bit, but I’m also feeling guilty about it.
10. I haven’t been reading or following the news in Ukraine or Venezuela. This is a time of unplugging, simplifying, paring things down while I recharge and figure out the best way to move ahead. Normally I’m all about trying to connect to what’s going on in the world but right now I’m taking a break. Sorry, protestors. You picked an inconvenient time to overthrow your government. For me I mean.
11. I want another dog. It’s not a good idea, I’m not getting one, don’t need one, am maxed out in too many ways. But understanding that doesn’t stop my stupid childish brain from imagining what kind of dog Beezus might like to play with.