Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poltergeists Explained

My 11yo middle child is in the throws of puberty, and the changes occurring in her body have turned her into a complete hypochondriac.  Since New Year's Day she's had a complaint about some ache or pain every few minutes from when she wakes up until she goes to sleep.  She's been known to wake us up in the middle of the night, or at dawn.  No amount of reassurance or scientific information has made a dent yet, although more books on puberty from a child's perspective are on the way.  Giving her a daily 10 minutes of uninterrupted "complaint time" when she has my undivided attention hasn't worked.  Debunk one complaint and show how that can't possibly happen, and she'll use the same complaint again in 10 minutes.  Exercise hasn't worked.  Sending her out to play with other children hasn't worked.  Mockery hasn't worked.  Nothing has worked. Her ability to drive us all bonkers has gone through the roof.

And suddenly I understood poltergeists, because this almost-pubescent child is so annoying as to make even dead people want to throw things at her.  Gah!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Reading Pratchett's The Bromeliad Trilogy, Fromm's The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, and Lakoff's Moral Politics at the same time makes for quite a word cocktail:

Most people are not especially sick in the head or especially healthy either.  Most people are just people translates as Most people are somewhat sick in the head but still functionalDeal with it.

New Neighbors

Earlier this spring the girls made bluebird houses, and we mounted them where they could be seen from the house.  Saturday morning bluebirds moved in, and we enjoyed watching them build their nests.

Saturday afternoon we realized we had another new neighbor -- a young copperhead snake that was trying to move into our yard.  It found a much less friendly welcome at the end of our shovel.

I don't mind new neighbors, unless they bite.