Wednesday, September 17, 2008

taking a Chance

So I promise not to mention Sarah Palin (gawd, did you see Tina Fey on SNL last weekend?) (read the Mudflats blog about Palin) or the plummeting stock market, including my ever-more-measly 401K . . . read this article about what the press isn't doing and should be during this monumental election season, courtesty of David F.

Oh, okay, here's Tina Fey:

Mostly I am here to talk more about the lovely and mischievous Chance, and how hard Lily is working these days. And read this hilarious article from Smithsonian magazine by Megan Gambino, who may or may not be related to you-know-who.

We took Chance to the vet yesterday and everything checks out fine. She's a good weight -- and as an indoor cat we have to keep her at that -- and she seems very healthy. Her ears had some wax, which they cleaned. Her eye is weepy and it's not from a kitty cold, it's probably to do with her injury. She gets to see the opthamologist soon, lucky her, but it mostly seems okay.

She's certainly more lively now that she's making herself at home. Over the weekend we all woke up at 1 am to a crash! -- she was on the counter, which she never does when we're around, and knocked over a drinking glass. Two nights ago she pulled the log of firewood off the gerbil cage. What a clever cat! Now there are two there. She loves playing with the hippie beads hanging in Lily's doorway, and she goes for fingers and toes at a moment's notice.

But she also purrs up a storm and sprawls happily in your arms for a tummy rub pretty much every time we pick her up. And she's great for Lily, who has something to squish, and boss around, and take care of. She is learning to be around animals, and cats in particular, and doing a great job. She cleans out the litter box every day (or when reminded) and she does her share of feeding and brushing and changing her water.

And Lily is really growing up in lots of ways. Her year has started off very full but I think okay, although she came home from school two times this week in tears because some boys were teasing her. It's always about stupid stuff. She reminds me of me at that age: thin-skinned and no sense of humor about myself. She's also working like a dog in school and has hours of homework every night. She is taking flute lessons but has yet had a chance to practice, and I'm not pushing her, because of all the other requirements on her time.

I guess we are learning how to help her work this schedule. Aside from school shas choir on Tuesdays from 5 to 6:30, so that means she'll stay at school until 4:30, doing her homework. Or, like last night, she'll come home after choir, eat some food, and start working at 7:30 or 8pm. Actually yesterday was odd because we took her to the vet -- we wanted to make sure she came along too, at least for Chance's first time, so she could see how it all works, the exam and the questions and everything -- and then after choir we went by a party at the food co-op. She begged me to go and it was ending by the time we got there but we stayed a bit and she had some pizza for dinner. That's why homework was late.

I can see why these private school kids need such long vacations! They work so hard. School starts so early in the morning and they have so much homework every night. She has been quite emotional about it lately, especially as she gets back into the groove of it (math is a particular bear) and every now and then I say, you don't have to go to Bement. And she says emphatically that she wants to stay there. So, for now, she is there. It's a lot for a kid not yet 10, unlike most of her classmates.

I feel strongly that she needs to do the choir and the theater improv class because she really needs some friends, especially local ones. Plus she likes these classes a lot, duh, or we wouldn't do them. Oh, and she's taking swim lessons on Saturday mornings, which she is also very excited about all of it. The lesson for me is that I really need to be around home most of the time, and as present as I can be (which means I need to meditate regularly), especially on weekday evenings, so I can help get her going and stay organized and focused.

Tonight she had a particularly large amount of work, including a draft of an essay, so when she finished I tried to help with the little things, like get her clothes out for the morning, and pare down her notebook so it would fit in her backpack, and dig out her weekly K-BAR sheet (where she marks down how long she's read that day) after I remembered she forgot to ask me to sign it. (I'm psyched because she's finally reading the Little House books; she started By the Shores of Silver Lake tonight.) All stuff I would normally say, you do that. But this time I wanted her in bed before nine if possible. She almost made it but that's without bathing -- she's going to try a shower in the morning, in an effort to help her get to sleep sooner.

All this before Dave starts working full time. I guess this means no dog right now. We got too much to do. My goal is to stay calm and focused myself.

Does everyone's kid go nuts when they don't understand the math assignment, or they can't find the word in the dictionary? It doesn't help that the math sheets she brings home are incomprehensible at times. I'm not a huge fan of Chicago math.

OHHHHH !! PS !! one thing I forgot to mention: An angel came and answered our prayers: Two girls have moved in around the corner! Lily, age 9, and her sister Adeline, age 6 I think. They go to the Campus School downtown and their folks are divorced. This is their father's house, where during the school year they live two nights a week and every other weekend. They're great great great kids, love pretend and Broadway musicals. The father and I chatted and he went to college and grad school with half of my friends from high school -- small world. Turns out they went to the Y camp this summer together too, and the Lilies were in Grease together, even.

The girls had a great time playing all day Sunday afternoon, first at their house, then at ours. They can walk between the houses alone, which is kinda neat. It's just around the corner. Happy days!

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