1 August, 2006

A year ago this week, I was packing my Chicago life. A year ago next week, I was starting my DC life. Not sure how to celebrate this yet. Since finishing my degree I’ve never been so busy, and there’s no end in sight. Oddly, realizing this — that I have no experience having this much responsibility — has made it easier to handle.

And that’s why no posts, these last two weeks have not given me the chance. And when I do I have little to say that seems of interest. Maybe it’s time to go more photoblog — I’ve been feeling good photo-wise lately, although it may all be because two weeks ago I took what instantly became my most popular picture ever. Someone actually managed to cheer me up from an 11-hour day of science and heat exhaustion simply by mentioning it.


Oh and in other obsession news, the Cubs totally kicked Cardinal ass this weekend. Another sweep, like the one I saw in April but better because it was a 4-game series and weirder because in the real world of baseball it’s the Cubs who suck and the Cardinals who are good. Hey, I will take the weekend of endorphins any ol’ way, thanks, and you’ll do well to not remind me that Maddux got traded to the Dodger.

How about some kid stuff? That’s for sure an obsession after a weekend with them. Here’s some advice from my nephew D. We went bowling yesterday (god, was it only yesterday? I was up at 5 today to fly back and am putting a full day in at the moment). D. and I were chatting in the car on the way over in that “I’m-almost-10-times-your-age” way that one chats with kids. I forget the topic. Whatever it was about it had nothing to do with bowling. “We’re here!” called his mom as we pulled into the parking lot. “Yay! We’re here!!” said D. Then, he pointed at me and said very sternly, “And DON’T EAT THE BOWLING BALLS!”

The extended form of the rule is: I cannot eat bowling balls, or I’ll turn into a, a, a, a bubble, er, a bubble gum man. No not a bubble gum WOMAN, bubble gum MAN, and and and I’ll *pop*! and be dead, so don’t do it. I might also turn into a bowling ball. As those of you who know 3 year olds know, in this are the seeds of a great way to drive them crazy all day, as you pretend to eat bowling balls in front of them, or to be a bubble and blow up, or ask if you can eat cars, or guitars, or the man from Mars. That answer was no, you can only eat food, but later that day we had Mexican for dinner, and I was told if I ate a tortilla, I will turn into a tortilla, and they will eat me and then I’ll be dead. Even though it’s food! What’s an aunt to do?!? “It’s OK, you can eat it,” says his older sister J. reassuringly. “You can just come back to life.”

A clinician labmate described psychosis to me recently, in minute detail. Talking to children can really be bizarrely similar.

(Not the funniest kid-ism ever, but it cracked me up. D. is very much the vehicle-obsessed type of little boy. Although he’s moving onto dinosaurs now, his first love, the ambiance, will always have his heart:

an ambiance!!!Anyway, last night as I was packing D. excitedly asked “Are you going on a AIRPORT??“)

We taught J. how to leave voicemail messages. I think it opened up a whole new world of phone fun to her. Right now at home I have waiting for me a message of her singing “twinkle twinkle” to my cats. I had to leave so early this AM I decided not to wake her up to say goodbye — mistake! She was … sad to have missed me. I understood the whole scene — the bursting into tears at the empty Aerobed, the incomprehensible sobs from which one can manage to pick out maybe “aunt” “bye” “left” between the gulps for breath, right down to Daddy making it all better (Mommy was taking me to the airport) — when I deplaned in Detroit and received this text message.

From: (J.’s Dad’s email addy)

Subject: Miss you already

Body: Hi (Techne), sorry I missed you this morning, I hope you have a safe trip. I really miss you already. There are a lot of itches on me, maybe they are from the sky. Maybe the bugs from the sky have itches like me. Maybe the trees have the itches too. I had a really fun time with you. Love J.

(I called in, the freak-out report was confirmed by Mommy who said she came home to J. sitting in her dad’s lap at the computer, gulping out “wan” “say” “bye” “one” “more” “time” “aunt” “techne”.)

I’m not so much with the biological clock (see above re responsibility; can barely feed MYSELF, yo) but being an aunt really suits me. It’s sad that all the kids I know are back in the Midwest. I have absolutely no kid outlet here (‘course I have a ton of things here I didn’t there, which we won’t get into.) At home, I am that friend who becomes honorary aunt to a slew of friend’s kids, and who at times prefers the kids’ company. Here, I take pictures of strangers’ kids on the bus to get a smile out of them. Sigh.

Exhibit 295 or so in “super-wide is the kid portrait lens” is below. D. is also showing us his tongue color, but has not yet realized that white popsicles don’t do fun things to your tongue.



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