Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Why Blogger?

About a year ago I heard about blogs while watching a show called “Screen Savers” on the Tech TV channel with my semi-tech-geekish hubby, Guy. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone want to put a journal online for who-knows-who to read?” A few months passed and I began to realize that for an illustrator (Guy), it could be a handy way to put a sketch or other art up in log-type fashion where people could look at it and make comments, etc, but I still figured it wasn’t for me.

Not too long ago, we started reading blogs of a couple of Guy’s young men. Boy are they clever! And then a strange thing happened. While reading these two boy’s blogs, we stumbled into a whole community of people we know. I’m still trying to work out why a few of our old high school friends know our neighbors the stunningly handsome Nate Perkins and Mat6t, but there was some connection somehow.

Anyway, these are a few things that finally convinced me I’d try blogging:

• One, lurking is rude. I figured if I was going to read other people’s stuff, I ought to be brave enough to be read. Mat6t gently reminded his readers of this.

• Two, if I blogged I could count that as a journal and then not feel guilty on family-history-is-the-topic Sundays. One more thing not to feel guilty about? Hook me up!

• Three, it could be fun. There are quite a few people in this little community I wouldn’t mind keeping up with.

• And four, I was inspired by teenagers.

I love teenagers. I loved being a teenager and I miss teaching teenagers in high school. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to re-live the glory days or anything—I don’t want to be a teenager again! There are things in the past that are best left there. But teenagers know some things that adults sometimes forget. I just had the chance to spend three whole wonderful days with teenagers and these kids reminded me how to do some things I sometimes forget when I’m busy being a grown-up. Like how to live in the moment and have a great time. And how to wrestle. How to jump around, yelling and singing rediculous things and dancing until 1 in the morning. How to tease and laugh (till your sides hurt—remember that?) and not take things too seriously. And how to notice and write about really funny things. I’ll never be the writer Mat6t is. But maybe I can remember a little bit how to see things in the novel way teenagers often do. And that’s fun.

Like asparagrus and chimleys. Maybe I’ll write about those next.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What Did You Stick In Your Nose?

My fourth child is one of those kind of kids I thought came from parents who don’t monitor their children. I think I was a bit smug when I had only one child. My oldest is pretty tame and easy going. My second is pretty even keeled, too. Numbers 3 and 4 are teaching me humility and tolerance for people who have kids who yell in church and run around the neighborhood naked. So far, I’ve been able to contain naked mostly to the backyard, but as far as I can tell, my family’s got the loudest bench in my aging church congregation.

I’ve known for quite a while that I’ve got my hands full with Number 4, sweet though he is. When he was about 16 months old I put him down to change his diaper. He opened his mouth and I saw a quarter rolling around back there. Rather than jam it down his throat by trying to grab it, I quickly turned him over to try and shake it out or something, and then I heard a big “gulp.” No more quarter. Had this been my first child, we would have gone straight to the doctor’s office. Instead I just called. A nurse told me to watch for it and it should come through in a while, but that it could take a few weeks. Now, what would you do? Well, if you were my husband’s family, you would get out the old metal detector, pin the child to the floor and push the metal detector around on his stomach to see if he really swallowed the quarter. Apparently a mother’s eyewitness account isn’t enough. If you were me, you’d just fish around in each diaper with a stick. Unfortunately, I forgot to mention this to the babysitter a week later, and the quarter may have gone out in the trash undetected. I didn’t retrieve the diaper to double check. At any rate, we never recovered the quarter.

Since then, he has managed to swallow turpentine (we got a visit from the ambulance and fire truck), suck on the Lime-Away bottle, and stuff a pearl, a wad of paper and a button up his nose (not all at the same time). The pearl was during church. My husband popped it out with the insides of a pen (I still wonder if using this technique was wise). I got the wad of paper (snot wad?) out—which I think had been in there over night—by holding his mouth and other nostril shut after he breathed in. He could only hold his breath so long, and the air had to come out somewhere. I know it sounds cruel, but he can’t blow his nose so well and it worked. I repeated this procedure with the button about a month ago and almost had time to grab the camera while it was still stuck halfway in his nostril.

He is 2 1/2 now and lately he spends a lot of time throwing, shooting and hitting stuff. The back door on our Tahoe now has a bunch of little dents where he whacked it with a metal hand-me-down popgun. I’m giving the popgun back to my brother-in-law. All the bedroom doors in the house have chipped paint where he has attempted to pound the doors in when the older sibs shut him out. I took away the toy hammer. Just 15 minutes ago he chucked a rock at my beautiful new laptop and marred two of my shiny new keys and scratched the screen. I threw away his rock. I guess I need to get some squishy toys for him to throw around and release some of his energy or something. But is throwing squishy stuff as rewarding as throwing hard things or breaking stuff? Probably not. I guess you just have to accept the fact that if you have four kids, some of your stuff is going to get beat up, and after all, it is only stuff.