Observations

Seasons Change

They tell me it’s spring, but the last few days have not seemed so. We spent most of Sunday inside except for necessities like doing laundry and driving to church. Instead of singing spring songs with the kids, I reverted back to some of our songs about snow and winter. Then last night we had a thunderstorm with hail and a power outage, followed by a light sprinkling of snow. Most of the snow has already melted.

On Sunday it snowed all day

On Sunday it snowed all day

But whether in defiance of the snow and cold winds, or simple spur-of-the-moment inspiration, I made this little spring picture to adorn our nature table. I copied it from a needle felting book I have, which I can’t remember the name of right now!

I guess this IS spring in southern Idaho — unsettled weather, still cold, still snowing every week or so, but brave daffodils nodding in the cold wind and the garden centers at various stores opened up once again.

And even if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with my expectations, the sun is still visibly higher in the sky, out longer each day, and did its best to melt all the hail off the roads today.

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Sneakiness

Both of my kids are sneaky little #@$(#*&s. I could swear that SillyBilly got into the jar of quarters for laundry that I keep on my dresser the other day. I even heard the sound the quarters make hitting the glass, but I didn’t see it happen. And the other day he mysteriously “found” enough quarters “on the floor of the laundry room” to get a water bottle out of the vending machine. Bless his little heart, he knew he’d never get away with soda.

Then today, at lunchtime, he came back to the table after going to the bathroom and announced, “Mama, you might smell chocolate on my breath because my friend E. at school brought chocolates for snack today instead of yogurt.” Uh huh, funny coincidence that last night Anthropapa brought home a bag of peanut butter chocolates for me, and I detected a strong whiff of peanut on the boy’s breath in addition to chocolate. And that it was about 2 hours after snack time at that point. And that he chose that moment to “warn” me about smelling something on his breath.

Then later in the day Napoleona was coming down the hall toward me and when she said hello, I could tell there was something in her mouth. I asked her what she had in there, and in her beautiful innocence she opened wide to display a big peppermint candy. The only place she could have found a peppermint candy would be on my desk, left there from a trip to some restaurant or another a few weeks ago.

I confiscated the candy right out of her mouth and asked her to follow me to the bathroom. (I had to go, you see, and I’m used to having guests in there with me, if you know what I mean.) She immediately started sobbing with remorse and apologized profusely. I hugged her and explained that I wasn’t mad, just disappointed that she did something she shouldn’t have.

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Pray for Me

I have a new editing project. It’s about the definition of evil, specifically regarding things like serial killing. I haven’t been presented with a book yet that I wouldn’t edit, but right now this one comes close. I’ll need to guard myself against getting to weirded out by reading about icky stuff for several hours a day. The book is really investigating what we call “evil” and why, which is interesting, but unfortunately it’s all in the context of murder and psychotic killers.

I used to be able to tolerate, if not enjoy, horrible things in books and movies. But my tolerance for that has decreased dramatically since having children. And after not watching TV for so long, my tolerance for anything disturbing is way down as well. I’m hoping for this project I can focus on the technical stuff and not get too focused on the content. Wish me luck.

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17 Comments

Filed under Books, Crafting, editing, Family, Napoleona, papa, Parenting, SillyBilly

17 responses to “Observations

  1. Good luck with that book. I’m with you in that my tolerance for that type of thing is near zero since having children. I don’t envy you this one!

    Don’t you love how kids try to cover up their “sins” by confessing them?! Funny stories.

  2. Joy

    That little needlefelted spring picture is adorable. Good luck with the editing. I have much less tolerance interacting with that stuff since having children as well so I don’t envy you that task.

  3. The needle felted duck picture is so cute. It sounds like you’re getting some crazy weather.
    Best wishes to you with the editing project. That does sound tough.

  4. Oh yes, my children have perfected the art of the sneak. Unfortunately though it’s not usually followed by remores, more likely by denials. Something to work on for sure!

    I recently had a conversation with Douglas Gerwin of the Center for Anthroposophy. He told me that Steiner said (and he couldn’t remember where) that marriage and evil are two mysteries that humans don’t yet have the capacities to fully understand. I thought that was very interesting.

    Not that it helps. Good luck with your project!

    Kirsten

  5. The book actually sounds fascinating and a worthwhile project – marriage and evil are two things it’s necessary to at least try to understand. Evil might be easier…

  6. Well, just wait until it isn’t chocolate you’re worried about smelling on his breath! Our three year old is getting sneaky, but he gives himself away. If you walk into a room and he’s suddenly giving an mischievous smile and slightly rolling his eyes, then something’s up.

    Not meaning to freak you out about your project, but when Romeo Dallaire wrote his book about the Rwandan Genocide (he was UN commander), a book that shows clearly that the world knew what was happening and did nothing, one of his editors who had been very involved with the project committed suicide. He didn’t go into detail, I assume there was more going on than just the book, but I can imagine that kind of stuff can consume you. It’s OK to say no! But in any event, I’ll try to send positive energy your way (same thing as praying, but in a more universalist spiritual sense).

    That Dallaire book, by the way, arrived one day when Ryan (who turns six in forty minutes) was three. In the early pages he tells the story of a three year old he finds on the street who is chewing on a UN ration. Dallaire follows the boy to his house, as the boy steps over his murdered father, and then goes and snuggles against his dead mother. We were on the deck and Ryan was playing as I read this, and I swear, I had tears running down my face, it was just too real. Ever since having kids I find any news story with a child tragedy becomes hard to take. It’s like it took my already emotional nature and turned up the volume 100 times. New reports, stories…I teach a course on “Children and War” with a professor who is a mom, and we both are the same way. In one class it was clear that we both were unable to fight back tears, and then the whole class started losing it. I had to joke about what someone would say to enter the class and find everyone crying.

    But except in class sometimes, I don’t try to repress those reactions. I think it’s healthiest to just go through them, and realize that this is strong evidence of a natural emotional connection with children.

  7. LisaZ: As I mentioned on Facebook, it’s going OK so far, but the really icky stuff is yet to come, unfortunately.

    Joy: Funny how common that intolerance is with parents, huh?

    Dawn: This morning we had snow blowing horizontally. In the afternoon, it rained. I’m giving up on trying to get a sense of any sort of weather pattern until the summer!

    Kirsten: What an odd thing! Marriage and evil. I wonder why?

    URD: Well, the author is trying to pin down why we call certain violent acts “evil” and to elucidate the gradations of evil, at least in terms of murders. So yes, it could be useful, particularly from a psychological perspective. Just not very pleasant to read about.

    Scott: Gee, thanks! No really, I think I’ll be fine. I just have to be prepared. I’m not that psychologically fragile 🙂

    Parenting does seem to turn up the emotional sensitivity to eleven sometimes. But I think it’s appropriate to show that things bother you. Being a professor doesn’t mean you are not human! Similarly, when my pastor talks about when his mother died, he always chokes up. I respect him for that.

  8. Ooooh, the editing project sounds interesting.

  9. Mon

    Seems ike Spring across the N hemisphere has retreated.

    Hy,
    I didn’t know you did felty things? I suppose, waldorfy.

    That book sounds fascinating. I’m not sure how one doesn’t get involved. I suppose hard focus on the technical could work.

  10. Amelia used to hide behind the chair before going to Montessori preschool, only hoping that I would not see her wearing her highly impractical ruby slippers (with no treads, in the snow)- she really thought she was putting one over on me (she was three), we had a lot of battles over those shoes that year (grandma bought them after mama said no too many times)- I found them hidden under her dress, in her little backpack; finally those shoes moved permanently to grandma’s where they could be used for special times with her. Kids are funny.

    I will send you good vibes during your editing job, I know what you mean about not being able to tolerate any violence after having children. I was able to watch movies like Clockwork Orange when I was in college with out too many ill effects
    but now if I watch anything with violence I have terrible dreams for several days. If I even see a hint of a suggestion of violence towards children I leave the room- violence towards children as entertainment (?) or violence at all as entertainment…I guess it is different if it is a non-fiction book or documentary- we do need to be aware of what exists in the world.

  11. Nana

    well, if you are going to leave candy around the house within easy reach of my brilliant, beautiful grandchildren, please remember they may be too young to resist the temptation!

    as for the book you are editing: i couldn’t do it, just as i would never be able to sit on a jury where crimes against children are involved.

    on a lighter note: famous quote from Freud: “The one thing I have never been able to understand is what women want”. ah sweet mystery of life…

  12. David: Interesting…yes. In a peek-through-your-hands-covering-your-eyes kind of way.

    Mon: Yes, trying to focus on the technical side. Unfortunately I still need to read the content! I like felting, though don’t often get a chance to do it.

    Lisa Anne: I love the picture of Amelia hiding her shoes! So sweet, and so stubborn. Sounds very much like Napoleona.

    Nana: Well,”easy reach” for SillyBilly was in my room (verboten) in a drawer of my nightstand (verboten) in a box (verboten)!

  13. Pretty little needle felting…

    ROFLOL on the sneakiness…

    and ewwwwwww on the new work project.

    And this is Idaho…the weather will look different in 5 minutes. 😉

  14. Ahh, the sneakiness of children. I have two boys who are assured in their own minds of their sheer brilliance at subverting their way around their mother’s and mine’s rules.

    Unfortunately for them, my wife was quite a sneak growing up with 4 brothers, despite having an almost Gestapo like mother. And I myself have pulled off almost every trick imaginable, including being caught for being too precise when I stole mom’s lighter as a child to make a campfire in the ravine out back when I was 8. I put it back EXACTLY where I found it. unfortunately, she had looked for it there after coming out of the shower, only to assume she misplaced it, and then came back by and saw it magically appearing there again later. I’m pretty sure my butt is still misshapen from that incident!

  15. Tammy: Your girls are so sweet…but I bet even they have some sneaky stories 🙂

    Mike: Thanks for stopping by! Did you set the campfire after all? I was a very unsneaky child (Nana will correct me on that if I’m wrong). I did once take some of her cigarettes to try them. Didn’t like them, and got caught.

  16. Eve

    Heni, how have you fared during your editing project? Has reading this manuscript been as difficult as you thought it would be, spiritually and emotionally? How did you handle it?

    And I hope you tell more about the brain chemistry issue you mentioned on Third Eve.

    And I love the stories about your kids’ subterfuge. Aren’t they clever? :o)

    And, and, and… do you know that in WordPress you can now thread comments? Yup. It’s somewhere in your settings under discussions or comments or something like that. It’s kind of cool.

  17. Eve: It’s been unpleasant, but fine for the most part. The other day, however, I was sitting with my son in a cafe in our local grocery store, eating lunch. I started to get a little weirded out by the thought that any one of these more or less normal-looking people could be a sadistic murderer! Or even snap right then and there.

    But I pushed away those thoughts as useless. They might be true, but they do not serve me in any beneficial way. I’m down to the endnotes now, so the truly disturbing stuff is behind me.

    I didn’t know that about threaded comments, though I noticed they looked different on one of your posts. I’ll check that out!

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