Posts Tagged ‘stubborn’

Stubborn Way

19 October 2011

Dear J-

Everyone always blames changes in the weather for the colds that they get but since our vacation, it’s been raiining, then hot, and now foggy again. Naturally we have been sick in some mild form or another but I’m chalking that up to having the kids in daycare and being able to freely swap viruses back and forth. Because of finances (or lack thereof) we’re pulling Calcifer out of daycare later: the double hit of another kid with the loss of the second income has meant that certain measures have to be adopted: belt-tightening is not unreasonable but I wonder about the social lessons so early on, already.

It’s interesting but not especially instructive to compare the two kids as they grow up as there are similarities — these two look remarkably like each other, as expected — and differences — how they deal with things. Calcifer has been unhappy with us lately which means either that he’s cutting more teeth or going through a growth spurt: you can tell by the way he hoovers up his food, and the frequency of his meals. He’s also very much more bonded to theVet, and calms down almost immediately once she picks him up, whereas he’ll rigidly arch away from me and, if necessary, twist as well. So having figgy in daycare has been good for her — she is a social rockstar in the way only four-year-olds can be, various classmates exclaiming her name excitedly as she shows up or when we run into them at stores and restaurants.

It’s a world that theVet and I don’t necessarily understand, as our first contacts with the outside world were preschool at four and I remember sitting around feeling lonely and hotly embarrassed at times by the attention that only “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” could bring, not precisely knowing or trusting what I did in front of the other kids.yesterday she came up to me and declared that we had forgotten a bouncy house and pinata for her last birthday party, and could we remember for next time, please. It’s hard to put a personality on Calcifer now because he’s mute and we don’t know what’s going on inside, necessarily, but I see signs of the same stubborn insistence already.

Mike

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Time Slot

23 June 2010

Dear J-

Time slides away in great, greasy chunks this morning; you wouldn’t suspect it of moving so fast — doubly fast when you’re trying hard to pin it down and keep it still — if it wasn’t for checking the clock every now and then to see another five minutes gone by. They say that time flies when you’re having fun; I say it accelerates when you’re on the run. Hurrying up and trying to finish something is a sure recipe for having time fly out of control — I like the feeling of a ticking clock on some of the work that I do, but not when it’s down to the final minutes and I’ve got nothing to show but rework and re-checking.

Anything else like time where the harder you try to control it, the less successful you are? Well, three-year-olds for one, I suspect; now that figgy has discovered she has an opinion and a right to express herself, there’s no way to induce her to do anything except through outright bribery (I’m finding that treats and stickers work well), though sometimes the (if … then) constructs don’t always follow. You can eventually force things, but all you’re left with for it is redoubled resistance for the next occasion; nuanced reason plays the same role as toilet paper to a tank.

I suppose it’s all about perception — like traffic, if you look for idiots, you’ll always find them (and occasionally for you, more often than not for me, I’ll definitely find one wearing my pants in my driver’s seat). If I’m always looking out for obstacles, that’s all I’ll ever see; I have trouble keeping my eye on the bigger picture while trying to take care of the day-to-day details, and that’s when time starts slipping away. It’s funny how small details shrink in the bigger picture or given a larger pool of data — I know, for instance, that it takes a good forty minutes to do all the simple chores in the morning, so I shouldn’t be surprised at my rush out the door if I get up late. Bigger picture. Brighter day.

Mike

Mountain Man

9 May 2010

Dear J-

Pretty mellow Sunday today, after some brief morning excitement (we continue to ignore the need for Mother’s Day reservations and trust restauranteurs who insist that so long as we get there at opening, we shouldn’t have any trouble getting seated: this is how you anger customers) we all came back home and had some cake (here I was set up by my niece, who asked if there was whip cream on it; upon replying affirmatively and enthusiastically, I was told that she didn’t like whip cream, thus the cake was a flop with at least one of us). I’m now aware of the power of peer pressure — figgy had happily eaten strawberries in cake before being told that strawberries were yucky, and now that’s it for that particular fruit for the moment, at least.

It’s hard enough to convince her that we’re not conducting cruel and unusual experiences when giving her something besides the usual meat and starches (and I suppose we’re relatively lucky as it is with the eating of meats), but I suppose the key is in making it fun and tasty — some things are easier than others, like corn versus broccoli. She’s already gotten some things engrained on her mind: curry rice, ramen noodles, coconut, mango, and chicken crackers are all reliable keys to the castle. Where we are is conducive to certain types of cuisine, and we do take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

At the end of this particular Mother’s Day we end up taking stock of where we are this year and how far we’ve come. Yet all the changes have been not at the pace we dictate, but the schedule she allows; it’s an object lesson in stubborn wills and immovable objects. And a year from now, who knows where we’ll be on the second Sunday in May? Is it worth worrying about? We shape, we guide, but we can’t push her on the tracks any more than we can move mountains overnight.

Mike