Friday, May 30, 2014

Mothers and Teachers

From Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal (p.18):

"In my experience the most forceful and aggressive mothers are always the least inspired, the most unmusical of souls, all of them profoundly unsuccessful women who wear their daughters on their breast like a medal, like a bright deflection from their own unshining selves."


"We expect our teachers every year to start anew, to sever a year's worth of progress and forged connection, to unravel everything they've built and move back to begin work on another child."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mr. Big and in praise of B'More

Spring has sprung, and the cats are turning into hunters.

3.30 AM, Clara arrives at my bedside holding her caterpillar habitat (lid missing), in full spate of tears: "Mummy!  Pepita [the cat] knocked over my caterpillars and ate them all!"

Thankfully the morning light revealed that Mr. Big and Flash were not eaten, but had in fact turned into chrysalises.  Splash, however, remains awol.

In other news: The children went to a science fair at the public library on Saturday.  Baltimore is fantastic for free enrichment activities.  Really.  Between the Walters (free!  and there's a mummified Egyptian child) and other events like the science fair, it really is better than a bigger city (here all the stuff is accessible) and better than a small one (for the stuff Baltimore has is really quite impressive). 

At the fair they made objects to put in a wind tunnel out of cut up bits of pool noodle.
Yesterday, Winton wanted to take his into the bath with him.
"Sure," I said.  "It is just pool noodle after all."
"Yes," he said.  "It is only half a poodle."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Untogether now

 It's 11.30 AM and I am still in my pajamas.  I'm feeling the remnants of last week's (stomach flu?  food poisoning?): dopey-headed and amazed at the paradox of my legs (flaccid, scaly and skinny: interesting).

The new apartment is a sprawl of space, dusty (dirty) floors and rooms whose purpose remains unclear.

Clara and Winton have been here a few times now.  After the dramatic timing of my revelation of my old apartment's location to Clara (while it was burning down), it seems appropriate to be really up-front about this apartment even though the children don't overnight here yet.

The big draw of my new place is that the pet rats have also been revealed.  Rose and Turnip, in their pink-eyed whiteness, have become playthings for the 7 and unders.  I think this is a development which delights children and rats alike.

When your apartment burns down, people give you interesting things.  Really nice cutlery, but also old boxes of cleaning supplies which include organic fungicides for garden plants (there is no garden here).  Sometimes also kitchen utensils which are fabulous, and ones to which old fried eggs cling.  Some furniture too, which makes for olfactory diversity: everything here smells distinctive.  A grand bed smells like someone else, a stately doyenne of a couch smells dry and hot, a chair salvaged after the fire smells of campsites downdraft of the cooking.

It feels like a very long time since my life involved showing up for work, working, and then going to a predictable location ("home") to relax or exercise.

But I am also working.  I had a theory that DBC Pierre and I J Kay were one and the same author.  On the basis of vastly different habits regarding semi-colon usage, I have disproved my own theory.  And thus I am working, regardless of how this pajamaed time reading novels looks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Seven Signs of . . . (March 11 thru May 13, 2014)

1) Winton's broken elbow and surgery
2) Discovery of what "deductibles" actually mean under my new health insurance (Big Bills!).
3) Enormous tax bill
4) House burgled
5)  Apartment burns down
6) Car gets flat tire
7) Stomach flu