Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Mar '10


I am terrified of deer.

Here’s why. Last week I was on my way to my 6 a.m. aerobics class, feeling proud of myself for actually running ahead of schedule (which is hard to do that early in the morning). I was driving along a four-lane highway with a 55 mph speed limit. There wasn’t much traffic, just one car a few lengths ahead of me and a second car beside it in the other lane.

Suddenly a full-sized deer emerged from the left side of the road and ran across the two empty lanes and into my own. The car in front of me slammed into it, sending pieces of shrapnel and debris flying everywhere.

I pulled over to the side of road, as did the second car. We both got out and checked on the lady who hit the deer. She was fine; her car was in bad shape. The deer was dead.

The lady didn’t have a phone, so I called 911 while the other bystander used her phone to call the lady’s family.

(I just have to say that my call to 911 did not instill a feeling of confidence in our emergency response system. We were still technically in the bounds of my hometown, but near the border of the larger next town over. My call went through to the next town over. I told them where we were, and they transferred me to my hometown dispatcher. When I told that person where we were she said that we should be talking to the next town over. As she started to transfer me back I told her that I had already been transferred to her by the next town over. Then both dispatchers were on the phone together arguing about who should respond. Meanwhile, I’m looking at my watch, watching the minutes tick by, recognizing that although I had before been running ahead of schedule I was now about to be late to a class that I was teaching–the blackest sin of aerobic instruction. I finally told both dispatchers that I have to go and could they please just send someone to help the poor lady.)

So I got to class (late) and taught it. On the way home all I could see everywhere were these imaginary deer jumping out at me. (I did see two actual deer a couple blocks from my house, off to the side of the road.) And now I’m totally paranoid about deer jumping out at me while driving. Like I needed a longer list of things to be paranoid about.

Mar '10

Kangaroo Kiddo

My friend invited Wes and me to an “Active Indoor Playground” place. Wes is two years old and I’ve been thinking for a while that he might be starting to get to the age where he’d like to run and jump and climb in a place like this. I THOUGHT he’d like it, but I wasn’t sure. So I’m glad I had other people to go with to enjoy the experience with (thanks, Angela!).

Picture a warehouse filled with inflatable slides and bounce houses with kids running around like they were just shot in the arm with a dose of pure sugar and you get a pretty good idea what the place is like.

At first Wes seemed a little overwhelmed by the other kids and all the commotion. He didn’t want to get onto any of the inflatable things, or if he got on, he got right back off again. After about half an hour I took him to the “2 & Under” area where he contentedly played with this toy for over twenty minutes. When Wes wants to, he has a really good attention span.

He also liked the tunnel.

What finally broke Wes out of his shell was this, which I call “The Leviathan Slide.” It was the biggest, baddest, scariest (in my opinion) slide to go down in all the joint. And, of course, it was Wesley’s favorite.

(That is NOT Wes standing there, by the way. That kid is much taller than Wes.)

I have to give props to my friend Angela because she willingly carried Wes to the top of this slide and went down with him the first time so he could experience it. And you should have seen the smile of joy on his face as he came down. When they hit the bottom, he instantly turned around and started trying to climb back up.

I took Wes up the next time. The stairs are too hard for him to climb on his own, so I had to carry him in one arm and cling to the side rope with the other to keep myself from falling backwards. This slide is about two stories tall! And steep! And OK, I’m in decent physical condition, even pregnant, but I was sweating by the time I got to the top.

And THEN I was sweating even more when I got to the top and looked down the slide. This slide is no joke! I’m scared of heights, and if Wes weren’t so keen on going down it, I may not have. I asked him if he wanted to go and he clapped and made the sign for “go”, so I sucked up my fear and we went.

Immediately he jumped up and signed “more” and said “moh!” and off we went again and again. I finally had to distract him someplace else because I was getting exhausted! Angela took photos of him and me coming down the slide that I can post later.

After that, Wes was a wild man in the warehouse. Nothing daunted him.

Here he is climbing up and going down a MUCH smaller slide, with only a little help from me and a push at the top.

PART 1: Climbing Up

PART 2: Going Down

After two hours I was totally spent. And Wes had fun. I think we’ll go back again sometime.


ET or Jedi?

Wes wanted to wear my Zumba jacket.

I thought he looked like ET when he’s wearing the kid’s sweatshirt.

John thought he looked more like a Jedi knight.

What do you think?

Mar '10

New skill!

Wes is learning how to use the garbage can. He used to think the big trash can was meant for him to empty out. Which is why for months our kitchen trash can sat on a countertop.

But recently I’d had enough of it sitting on the counter so I put it back in its place on the floor and determined to teach Wes how to leave it alone. He’s getting better. If he throws his food on the floor (something else we’re working on–with no progress yet) I ask him to put it in the garbage. He’ll walk over, lift the lid, throw the item away, then close the lid and pat it like a dog. I’m always really happy to see him use the trash can like a big boy.

Although today he was a little too much of a big boy when I caught him lifting the lid and throwing away a $2,200 check I need to take to the bank. Thankfully I grabbed it before it went the way of all the earth.