Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Another First Not Happening

August 3, 2020

Well, yesterday was the end of something I had been looking forward to. My kid’s school had released plans for returning to class, both online and in-person.

I’m sure everyone involved in the process have been trying their best. I’m also sure that this is going to be an imperfect process for pretty much everyone.

At the same time, we had to make a decision Sunday with the school providing incomplete plans, schedules open to heavy revision, and counties around us having increasing rates of the coronavirus (C19 is how I’ll refer to it from here on).

So, my daughter isn’t getting on the bus this fall. She isn’t going to her first day of kindergarten. I’m not going to get to hear about all of the fun things she got to do, all of the other kids, her teachers, etc.

Instead, she’ll be logging into something here at home every day. She’ll have distance learning, video interactions through google hangouts.

she’s too young to really be crushed by this. She wants to go to school. She is an incredibly people oriented little girl. She thrives on the interaction and is sorely lacking it since things have went south. but she isn’t old enough to be crush by this.

I’m pretty crushed by it. She missed out on having her bridging ceramony from preK at Head Start because of this, and now she’s missing out on this moment. She lost out on having her first dance recital. We haven’t been able to take a vacation like we normally do. We haven’t been able to see family like we normally would. I’m just…I’m severely not happy about how much of this horror show my little girl is having to shoulder.

And I know there are all sorts of other little girls and boys out there shouldering it, too.

For all of the whining I’ve heard about people not wanting to wear masks, or not being able to go to their vacation homes, or whatever. Our decisions that have led to this thing being a prolonged hellfire in the states is really being shouldered by the moments taken from our children.

I’m really ready for a vaccine.

Progress is Slow

May 23, 2020

Finally started making progress on one of the (many) unfinished rooms of the house. Got the attic stairs out, patched the hole, and am almost done mudding the room before sanding everything down and painting.

It’s been…hard. I struggle with motivation. I guess my stick-to-it-tiveness isn’t that great. I also lack confidence.

I do the best I can. the end results usually aren’t terrible. but I can’t help feeling that whatever I am doing is a slow-motion car accident.

Very slow-motion.

the room I’m finishing is going to be my daughter’s new bedroom. She’s looking forward to it. I think we all are. she just lost her first tooth yesterday. She’s growing up so fast.

Which doesn’t help my motivation.


I just want things to slow down a bit. Which is maybe a little odd, considering we’ve been trapped at home for a few months now. Life seemingly taking out a go slow order.

We lost our dog awhile back, and it sort of opened the mental gate for her in regards to touching death for the first time.

It breaks me.

I think that as all of us grow older we come to grips with the idea of a world without us in it. Something I didn’t understand until I had kids was having to come to grips with the idea of a world without them.

But she’s growing up.

And I’m growing old.


She’s Only Five For So Long

March 16, 2020

Well, this is pretty damn lousy.

Like most folks out there, life has taken a turn for the surreal with the whole corona virus pandemic. Schools have been closed. The Wife is working from home. Restaurants have now been closed. Grocery stores have been hit by shoppers working like locusts.

I’m hit by the same worries I’m sure most have right now. I don’t want to get sick. I really don’t want my kids to get sick. I’m most concerned for my parents, who are in that big at-risk area, getting sick.

still, the whole self-quarantine, stay-at-home thing has seemed more  a nuisance than anything. Then my daughter’s dance classes were canceled.

I know that sounds trivial. A bunch of tiny girls with their hair up in buns running around in something vaguely resembling harmony. But she was looking forward to it. She thought the costumes were so pretty, and she’s been doing her shuffle step all around the house. It was going to be one of those moments as a parent and kid, with all of the pictures and memories.

A touch stone of experience.

And now it’s likely just gone.

Is it going to scar her for life? Of course not, but it still hurts. While all of us begin to acclimate to living a bit more constrained of a life, I think these are going to be the real sacrifices. Yeah, we can’t go to the bar or restaurant like normal. we can’t go to the hockey game. That sucks.

Other people are not going to have high school or college graduation ceremonies. Weddings and funerals may be more sparsely attended. Dance recitals will be canceled.

The corona virus isn’t just stealing our time or our convenience. It’s not just disrupting our lives.

It is stealing our memories.

Mikey Likes It

July 18, 2018

My kids are picky eaters. One is three, the other 14. And they have opposite tastes. What one likes, the other doesn’t. It extends even to pizza, where the boy wants me to make the pizza myself and the girl will only eat it if it comes out of a box – either frozen or from Dominos. She’s three, so I just sort of roll with it. The boy, though, has been a work in progress for awhile and is the one who puts the most stress on meal planning.

Which made supper last night surprising. He actually liked it. He likes tuna melts and tuna casserole. I’m tired of tuna melts, but had everything for a casserole but the noodles, which is normally a problem. But what I did have was millet.

So, I made a tuna millet casserole. I didn’t soak/boil the millet long enough. It’s a been a problem for a few grains lately. I follow the cooking instructions and they just don’t turn out right.

But the casserole still turned out well.  That, in itself, surprised me. The kid not hating it out of principle surprised me more. So, it looks like millet is a winner.

Tuna Millet Casserole Recipe

  • 1.5 C Millet
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 2 cans tuna fish
  • frozen carrots&peas to taste
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 3 T milk
  • shredded cheese (optional)

Prepare the millet according to instructions. The recipe I had was roughly 2-to-1 water to millet, prepared similar to rice on the stove top but it didn’t turn out right. So, toy with it a bit to get the texture you want.

Combine mushroom soup, tuna, veggies, soy sauce, and milk to millet.

At this point you can either warm it on the stove or transfer to a baking dish and pop into the oven for approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve to bowls, and add shredded cheese if you prefer it (I don’t, but the rest of the family does).

So, this is what seven hours sitting in my car is like

February 23, 2018

My oldest kid’s high school doesn’t have bus service (though grades k-8 do, go fig) so I drive him to school every morning and pick him up in the afternoon. Same with his little sister and her head start program. These school shootings strip me of pretty much any imagination I have for how much control or power I can exert over their lives. I had just taken my little girl into her head start class. She doesn’t want me waiting around any more while she works at signing her name. She tells me to go. I still get a hug. So there’s that.

Then I’m sitting in my car in a mostly empty parking lot, looking at the woods that border the place. It’s a bucolic setting in a small town. I sit there with the car off and I don’t want to leave. I don’t have a gun. I don’t even have a stick. If someone showed up with an assault rifle the biggest obstacle I could be would probably just be a very heavy carcass the gunman would have to climb over. But I still don’t want to leave.

I saw parts of the CNN town hall. I’ve caught bits and pieces of the news. It’s pretty much the same inane crap from the right that we hear after every shooting. Anything to protect the profits made from selling high powered assault rifles and to keep mainlining fear and horror to white America, I guess. While goosing them with Rambo fantasies of taking down rows of poorly prepared and theatrically dying gunmen.

I hear about the deputy who stood outside of the school for four minutes rather than enter the building. I hate him but I also empathize with him. It’s his job, but he’s probably got a relatively small pistol and he’s expecting to turn a corner and face a crazy bastard slinging, well, what he was slinging and decked out in surplus body armor. He’s looking at his death sentence. If he has a family he’s looking at his widow. If he has kids he’s seeing his own now fatherless children. He’s seeing his own death. I hate him because I know I can’t count on my own police to walk into danger to protect my kids but I also frighteningly agree with him. I wouldn’t want to walk in there either.

I think of how it’s never mentioned that all of those years ago Columbine had a guard and it changed nothing.

I sit in my car and I don’t want to leave. One of the little things in my daughter’s cubby to take home is this flying heart they made the day before and the wings are cutouts of the imprints of her hands. Her little hands and I remember how it felt the first time her little fingers curled around one of mine, I think of how it feels when her hand now holds my hand instead of just a finger. I can’t imagine what the families of the 17 deceased are going through right now. I don’t want to imagine it. I don’t want to know it. I don’t want to leave the parking lot of my little girl’s school.

I think of an article about elementary schools practicing lock down drills and how three nine year olds have the job of pushing the teacher’s desk in front of the door while the teacher gathers the rest of the students at the back of the room. How three students have volunteered to stand at the front of the group, to shield their friends. We have nine year olds volunteering to die for their friends.

And the response I see is that we need more guns. We need teachers with guns. If only more people had guns. I think of the deputy with a gun who refused to go into the building. I think of the armed guard at Columbine who was busy investigating something in the parking lot while two kids massacred their classmates. I think of the nine year olds volunteering to stand in front of the horror. I think of the hands of my little girl and how they feel in mine.

None of this conversation makes any fucking sense.

Commitment Issues to Nintendo

January 16, 2017

I’ve been fighting this blog post for a few days now, at least partially because I had been looking forward to this thing and that our U and Wii have seen better days and have gotten to the point where being replaced wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. We use our U to watch Netflix, occasionally surf the web, and to keep the kids out of trouble for stretches of time when we’re doing minor things like trying to clean the house or make dinner. Our game console gets a lot of wear and tear.

But there was something about this reveal that just let me down in a vague, unidentifiable way.  The price was a minor let down, especially for a system that is still clearly a step slower than its rivals. It hasn’t showcased much actual third party support yet. And it doesn’t have a lot of first party titles immediately out to make it a must buy. On top of that Nintendo is changing course and is going to start charging for online play. Which is essentially a Splatoon tax, considering how much their games have utilized online play.

I think what really hurts is that this is a company I grew up with. Yeah, my first system was an old Atari 2600, but I then had an NES and an SNES (and a Genesis, but we won’t tell anyone). They were worn out from my playing them. I loved them. I still remember games from them, and playing with the neighbor kid. Games like Gun.Smoke, DoubleDragon, Tecmo Bowl, Punch Out, and Mario Bros. are touchstones of my youth.

I am really unsure I’ll be getting the Switch, though. Part of it is cost, clearly. Part of it is that the ability to take the thing on the go, or to the john, just doesn’t sell itself for me. If I leave the house, I’m driving and I’m keeping an eye on a  two year old. I’m not playing video games.

At the same time, I have a two year old. Video games are something she is just a bit young for. My 13 yr old is an avid gamer, but he spends more time on his tablet lately than on a console. And if/when we can afford a new cell phone,he’ll probably be glued to that. So, there probably won’t be this hard push from the young ones for this system, either.

I hope the Switch does well. I like Nintendo, and I don’t mind the idea of it being around when my Little Girl is old enough to be interested in Mario Bros. and Kirby. But the longer I go w/o buying a system, the harder I think it will be to get me back in the loop.

Stand Next to Your Friends!

September 1, 2009

A hodge podge today.


I was looking forward to trying to get into Derrida but I’ve just hit a stonewall lately. This, along with seeing all of the blah crap g/f has had to do recently with her MFA program, has put a sizable dent in my enthusiasm for going back to school.  I’m not big on going for an MFA in creative writing but it’s what I would be most suited for. I would be slightly more interested in pursuing a PhD in culture studies but I think I’m far less suited for that.

As always, I’m hit with a big sense of doubt and lack of surity. It’s probably a character flaw. What I’m best at is just sitting in front of the computer and churning out lines. I excel at going over my own work. In the end, I’ll probably do it  just to do it and to keep moving forward in some way.

– –  –

This morning the kid was a hassle at the bus stop. Again. yesterday he pitched a fit because of a butterfly. One of the neighbors grew some butterflies over the summer after capturing some caterpillers. Last week, one hatched and they released it when all of the kids got off the bus from school last friday. Yesterday morning it was mentioned the other butterfly hatched over the weekend and they released it. And he pitched a fit because he didn’t get to see it.

This morninghe refused to stand with everyone. So the g/f went over and dragged him back to the group. First, because it was annoying that he was shunning everyone. Second, because it’s dangerous with him standing on the other side of a driveway by himself. He threw another fit. Screamed about how mean she was and she practically had to pitch him onto the bus so he didn’t get left behind while throwing this tantrum.

A wonderful way to start the day. And, of course, his teacher just raves about how well behaved he is. I think she’s full of shit.

– – –

I’m making good progress on some fill-in chapters for the novel I’m re-writing. While reading through the first draft, it became clear that there was a bit that wasn’t being mentioned that probably should be mentioned. Not to just flesh out the story but to also flesh out the characters and the world. Besides, if I don’t like it, I can always take them out again later.

But I like the bits I’m working on now and they are helping answer some questions I had in regards to how I was going to re-work some of the pre-existing chapters.

– – –

On the first draft of a novel I’m working on now, I’m pleased to say that it is going noticeably smoother than the first draft for the other novel. So for anyone that’s wondering, yes, I think it does get easier the more you do it.