I have an in-box full of email (again), a file full of posts-in-progress, and a head cluttered with a bunch more post ideas. I think I’ll declare today a cyber-decluttering day and just cram everything into one big messy post.
The Lucky Scrotum Matter, Revisited
I liked Monica Edinger’s post on the subject at educating alice. She told her class of fourth-graders about the controversy and read them the "offending" page.
When I reached the dreaded scrotum passage there was no reaction
whatsoever… no confusion, no giggles, no questioning. I kept going to
“….he killed that snake even though it bit him in the place where it
hurts the worst for a male…” (3) where there might have been a smile or
two, but no more. After a few more paragraphs I stopped. Eager hands
went up. “It is about the drinking, right?” Others nodded. Finally, one
said, “It’s about what happened to the dog?” The two who already knew
and I nodded. And the kids all said they didn’t get it. That they see
dogs with scrota every day after all. That it was no big deal.
She links to another Times piece on the book (this time an editorial) and some letters to the editor.
Chocolately Goodness for the Ears
I pulled into the library parking lot yesterday morning and put the minivan into park, only to be met with an aggrieved "Mommy, how COULD you???" from Rose—who was the child who begged me to take everyone to the library in the first place. My crime? Turning off the ignition, therefore cutting off Eric Idle in midsentence.
See, we are listening to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on CD, and Rose isn’t the only one captivated by Eric Idle’s performance. He makes a deliciously funny book even funnier. The voices, oh, the voices! It’s Monty Python on a serious sugar high. I had to play some for Scott, just to watch him weep. He yelled at me too when I turned it off.
We actually did bail on our library trip yesterday. At the girls’ impassioned request, I just drove around for a while so they could keep on listening to the story. We had about twenty minutes to kill before our next appointment, and it would have been tough to squeeze a library visit into that short span of time anyway.
Speaking of Appointments
Yesterday afternoon, Wonderboy had an appointement with a neurologist. Our new pediatrician wants him to make a new-patient visit to all the subspecialists he was seeing in Virginia. This, on top of his speech therapy and audiology appointments, makes for a dizzying amount of running around. I’m tired of it, and we have barely begun.
At least the children’s hospital (where most of these sub-specialties are located) isn’t too awfully far: it’s about a 20-minute drive on San Diego’s fabulous freeways. I adore the freeways here. Have I mentioned that? There are a million of them, more or less, all over the place, and unless you have the misfortune of needing to travel at rush hour like my poor hubby, driving on these highways is positively zippy. Zip, zip, everywhere. And the road signs say exotic things like "Los Angeles, right lane" or "Mexico, keep left." Zip!
But yesterday, it just so happened that I was running a teensy bit late. Not VERY late, just a little. I suppose I should count my blessings because it’s possible that if I’d been on time, I’d have wound up IN the accident that brought traffic to a standstill on the I-8 just minutes after we zipped onto it. Stand. Still.
I knew I was now going to be late to the neurology appointment. I made a frantic call to Scott to tell him to call the doctor’s office and explain that I was ON MY WAY. He was happy to oblige, except for the tiny complication of his not exactly being in the office at that exact moment. I’d caught him on his lunch break, in line at the grocery store. He promised to hurry back to work and make the call. I’d have done it myself but I didn’t know the number by heart, and digging through my bag for my Wonderboy Medical Records Notebook isn’t something I was in a position to do at that moment. Nor was dialing the phone. I can punch Scott’s speed-dial with my thumb, but more than that I dare not do while driving, even at non-zippy speeds.
I arrived at the neuro’s office 20 minutes late for our appointment. The waiting room was empty and I figured they’d taken the next patient already. No problem, right? Oh so wrong. The receptionist sort of jumped when I gave her Wonderboy’s name.
"You didn’t hear? We canceled your appointment."
"Oh no!" I cried. "My husband called to let you know we were going to be late! Accident on the 8!"
She hadn’t caught the details, just the "going to be late" part. Shrugging apologetically, she informed me that the doctor had already given our slot another patient, and after that he had a meeting, but he could see us at 9 a.m. Monday morning.
I could make this a very long story, but without a nice happy ending, I don’t have the heart. Here’s the nutshell version: the doctor wouldn’t see us. Even though the next patient wasn’t due for another 20 minutes. Even though Dr. Neurologist was sitting alone in his office on the other side of the wall. He needed forty minutes for a new patient app, he insisted, and he’d already moved the 3:40 patient to come in at 3:00 and then he had a meeting at 3:40. My pleas to just squeeze in a quick 20-minute app fell on deaf ears. Well, actually they fell on the receptionist’s fairly sympathetic ears, but I could hear her relaying them to the doctor and HE was certainly not responding in a manner indicative of having heard with compassion or understanding.
I turned down the Monday-at-nine appointment, much to their surprise; I told them I had no more openings in my schedule until April.
"Really?" blinked the receptionist.
"Yup," I said, loudly, assuming that if I could hear the doctor through the wall, he could hear me. I explained that my son sees a number of other subspecialists and has consults stacked up through the end of April. There’s always the possibility the doctor will realize he missed out on the chance to pick up an unusual case, and next time maybe he’ll be a little more open to making creative adjustments for unavoidable delays. Slim possibility, but I’m an optimist.
(Hmm, look at that, I did make it a long story anyway.)
A Much Pleasanter Subject
Wednesday’s mail brought a serendipitous conjunction of treasures: a pile of nice fat letters from our dear friend Keri, who is in the middle of a year-long wandering in the Far East, and a copy of Richard Halliburton’s The Royal Road to Romance. The latter is Halliburton’s engaging account of his own Far-East travels. We savored Keri’s letters over breakfast Thursday morning—they are gems, and I am sharing them over at Lilting House—delighting in the soft, petal-strewn, handpressed paper and the colorful descriptions of Thailand penned in Keri’s friendly handwriting. And then of course we had to dive right into the Halliburton book, skipping directly to his Bangkok chapter and comparing his route to Keri’s on the globe. We’ll go back and start at the beginning when I figure out how to make time for one more book in our daily-reading pile.
I’m in My Junior Year of Blogging Now
GottaBook’s Gregory K., inventor of the poetry form known as the Fib, shares a fib in honor of his blog’s one-year anniversary. This reminded me that I missed my own two-year blog anniversary in January. Here’s what I started with:
"You really have your hands full."
This is what I’m always hearing from people, variations on the
theme. Either I have too many balls in the air or too much food on my
plate, or maybe it’s PLATES I’m supposed to be juggling instead of
balls, and I guess in that case any amount of food would be too much.
And it’s true, I’ve had plenty of days when it seems like the
metaphorical spaghetti is raining down upon my head. Especially this
past year, since the baby was born.
But I’m of the mind that a little pasta in the hair can be a good thing, metaphorically speaking.
Full hands are a blessing. Juggling can be exciting. A plate heaped
with food is generally considered something to be thankful for.
And oh boy am I thankful. Sometimes I’m dizzy with thanks. Other
times I’m just dizzy—life whirls by so quickly. What’s on the spinning
plates is a blur. So I thought I’d write about what’s on each dish, the
whole savory smorgasbord.
Happy to say nothing has changed (despite everything having changed this year). I’m still dizzy, and thankful, and savoring the feast.
Three Books I Loved in November
Around These Parts
Picture Book Spotlight: Let’s Do Nothing
Where Is Strega Nona Hiding?