Saturday, November 7, 2009
Go with the Flow
Go with the flow. Yesterday despite at least 73 things that needed to get done turned into a go with the flow sort of situation. That meant sadly that I never found out what happened to the Roman woman who in 1652 lactated wine. She probably wont make it into my book but still I wanted to figure out how it all ended. As late as bus pick I still had the well oiled machine model in my head and had planned to write a letter of recommendation while Rebecca worked on art with Eli and Jonathan played with his knights. But while orchestrating this afternoon I failed to notice that a birthday party for the stuffed animals was in the works. The first grades bring your favorite stuffed animal to school day set the creative juices in motion. By the time Jonathan went off to soccer practice, tantruming the whole way, Rebecca had decided we needed to make birthday cupcakes for Leopard. And no “cake in a box” would not do she needed the “chocolate kind where you use the sifter, the mixer, the fractions cups, the microwave and a little bit of cappuccino” Leopard had more elaborate birthday cupcakes than most of my friends and family get. Rather than worry about getting them in bed on time and doing everyone’s practicing I just went with it. Manuel took a while to warm up to this plan, which is a role reversal since usually I’m the one trying to rush things along and he’s the one trying to get me to take a chill pill. This going with the flow involved waiting to start Shabbat until each animal had been elaborately clothed in paper costumes including sir blue bear of Charlottesville with a blue crown and green cape, the toga wearing giraffe with a happy birthday neck wrap, and other festive outfits. There was also ohming as Eli set the table with EVERY SINGLE spoon we own and took a swig of my wine. All animals sat at a hand made table with plates of grated cheese, pretzels and sausage because animals eat meat. After dinner Jonathan explained to his siblings that sir blue bear of Charlottesville had risked his life by slaying a penguin without a helmet. The animals also performed some ritual involving cutting of the leg of something or other “to see if he really had a curse because in ancient Rome if they had a dead ox a priest would slice open it’s let to see if it had a disease and if it did they knew that bad luck was coming” Rebecca announced very seriously that “This is a matter of life and not of power” Bedtime slowed down as well. The actual cupcakes were the bribe for taking a bath which meant everyone had to truck downstairs and we had to sing before desert. And then the animals had to be tucked into their slumber party and set up perfectly. The reality is that on most school nights we don’t have an extra hour in our schedule to accommodate birthday festivities for a stuffed Leopard but when it’s possible to simply slow down life to the pace of the children’s bizarre minds it’s much more pleasant. The wine that Manuel and I consumed of course helped the situation. But this marked a nice contrast to the night before when Eli was so mad about bed time that I actually said to him “what’s up your butt” prompting him to say “poop you need to change my diaper” Today I’ll write that letter of recommendation and find out what happened to the lactating lady—my sense is it probably didn’t end well for her. This whole spectacle might also explain why my research has moved more and more towards bizarre and ephemeral events.