The Extroverted Feeler’s haircut

My son was an Extroverted Feeler when he was little. Let’s call him EF.

We move in the middle of his first grade. From Colorado to the Olympic Peninsula, arriving on December 31, 1999. Y2K. The computers do not stop the next day and the world does not implode. My mother has recurrent cancer.

He starts school. He is in a three year class in public school with two teachers. It is a first, second, third grade mixed class. There are fifty kids and he is starting in January.

His mother is bananas because she is trying to learn a whole new set of patients, phone numbers, specialists and local medical slang. His father hates moving and lies on the couch. His grandmother is not doing well. He doesn’t have any friends yet. He misses his Colorado friends and his teacher. He is gloomy.

His father takes him to get his hair cut.

They return and I nearly swallow my tongue. The EF has a triple mohawk. A central spike of hair, shaved on both sides, and then another spike on each side. He and his dad thought it up. I tell myself: it’s just hair, it’s just hair, it will grow back! Horrors.

Two weeks later the EF is cheering up a bit and has a friend. Why? Apparently the haircut garnered attention. Within a week, not only does every kid in his class know his name, but most of the parents do too. “Who is that kid with the triple mohawk?” The EF is very pleased.

He gets a triple mohawk once more. By now I am ok with it.

After that he gets normal haircuts. His grandmother dies, but he has some friends now. His mother is less bananas over time and his father knows the name of every checker at the grocery store and all the coffee shops and the golf pros.

There was a cartoon where a mother is telling her son not to stare at a person with a mohawk. “But mom, don’t they get mohawks so that people will stare?” Uh, good point!

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For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: mohawk.

DIY FUD: more

I am Elwha, cat.

Day three of offerings. My Mother did not even take a picture of day two. I do not understand why she scorns my offerings. This is a precious mouse that I extracted from the Tower.

This was a difficult operation. I stood on the sheep that warms and carefully tried to remove the tangled mouse. Mother interfered a little, but at last I could jump down with it. And I have offered it in exchange for more food! This precious toy!

Many thanks to all who made suggestions the other day. I still do not understand how a sub would help, but I will watch for one. Perhaps if I continue to make offerings and observe, I will be able to communicate with Mother. She seems loving, even though she is also obtuse. I am still hungry and lose weight. I fear starvation. My sister laughs when I approach her, but she is smaller and does not have the same needs. Mother feeds us in separate rooms. It is frustrating.

hands together

These hands and the other hands that finished this difficult puzzle together on Christmas morning. We even found the missing piece, under my son’s pile of loot! We did start this one two days before Christmas. It’s a stinker.

These hands that make eggs benedict, and hug me, and hug each other. These are some of the things I adore, the owners of these hands.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: adore.

The extroverted feeler and “bad strangers”

My son is an extroverted feeler. I’m an introverted thinker. He’s a bit of an alien, but then we all are, really.

When he was four we flew to New Orleans. We were waiting in our herd. It was when you were assigned to herd A, B or C to load on the plane.

My son started talking to people. He went up to a stranger and held out his hand. The stranger shook it, slightly bemused.

“Hi,” said my son, “I’m (name). I live at (address). My phone number is (number). What’s your name? Where do you live? Would you like to come visit?”

The stranger answered in a rather bemused way and my son moved on to the next person and repeated the conversation. He worked his way through most of the herd by the time the plane loaded.

Even though I thought it was hilarious, I also thought we should have a talk about “bad strangers”. I waited until we were at the hotel in New Orleans. I said that it wasn’t always a good idea to tell strangers one’s name and address because some of them might be bad. He was quite enthralled by the idea that there might actually be a “bad stranger” that he might actually meet.

That night we ate dinner in a section of New Orleans that the hotel concierge sort of warned us about going in to after dark. Afterwards my husband went to meet a friend and listen to music.

My son had recently acquired a plastic bow and suction tip arrows. He had taken it seriously and had already gotten quite good at shooting them. He did not have them with him loading on to the plane, but of course brought them to dinner in New Orleans. Our understanding, I hoped, was that shooting them at people would result in immediate loss of bow and arrow privileges and result in confiscation.

So after dinner my husband had left and I was walking back to the hotel, a five foot two, 130 lb female, with a four year old who was holding a suction cup bow and arrow. Loaded and ready. I would describe my mood as alert, especially when my son started talking quite loudly. He was on the alert too.

“I hope we meet a bad stranger. I’m ready for them. I’ll shoot them with my arrow. I’m ready. No bad stranger will bother us.” He continued in this vein all the way back to the hotel.

As we walked through the fairly dark streets back to the hotel, I hoped that the “bad strangers” were too busy laughing in the alleys to bother us. No one did bother us.

And that’s how my extroverted feeler son learned about “bad strangers”.

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First published in 2009 on another website. For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: stranger. I took the photograph quite a few years ago.

Finch Face

YOU thought I said “Fish face.” Fish faces came up at the wedding.

When my son is a baby, he goes with my husband for a well child check. I am in residency and can’t get away. The doctor asks, “Can he play patty cake?”

“No,” says my husband, “but he can make a fish face.” My husband has a long narrow face. He pulls both ears out and purses his lips. He wiggles his ears.

My son promptly makes a fish face.

“Good enough,” says the doctor.

My son has a small godson. They have mostly said hi on zoom. My son has taught his godson to make a fish face. When they visit in person, he makes the fish face and his godson’s face lights up. Oh, this is THAT person and they are REAL, not just on a screen!

The godson is the ring bearer at the wedding last Sunday. I tell him I am his godfather’s mother and make a fish face. Then I call my ex over. He makes a fish face and the godson is delighted. All of these talented people at the wedding! Who know about fish faces!

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: faces. Very Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, who is a mother, has a mother, is a grandmother, has a grandmother. I could go on.

FINIS!

Whew! I finished the AprilAtoZ blog challenge even with a wedding and not just a wedding but MY SON’S WEDDING on April 30th! Extra challenging. Two weeks before April 30th I started working on two posts a day, working backwards from the end of the alphabet and forwards from where I was. I set them to post on the appropriate days!

I have until May 7 to write a reflections post, but not today! I got home at 5 pm and it has been terribly exciting and rather complicated too. Weddings during covid turn out to be challenging, but my son and my new daughter are a delightful pair. I said that she has been a daughter for a long time now and she says that she felt like my daughter the first time that she got two pairs of wool socks in her stocking at Christmas….. That has become a family tradition.

Hooray for weddings in spite of pandemics! This one was postponed twice but is now complete! Blessings on everyone and thanks.

Dinosaur dreams

Dinosaur Dreams

The problem
With Intelligent Design
Is those old bones
Those dinosaurs

Also that of 10,000 dreams of creation
One would be right
And the followers of all the others
Consigned to hell
If so, I go gladly, clutching
Dinosaur bones to my chest
And will enjoy the diversity
Not the narrow heaven with a narrow
Small-minded deity

But is evolution right?

Well, I think it’s on the right track

But wholly done and all correct?

After all, think how often
Medicine has been wrong
Think of tobacco and vioxx
Think of Galen, over 2000 years ago
Thinking that evil humors built up in the uterus
Causing hysteria
External pelvic massage was the cure
For over 2000 years
For old maids, widows and nuns
Who had no male to cleave unto
Massage was a treatment into the early 1900s
And now we wonder about prozac too

Evolution is an evolving science

I think of when my son was four
And he watched “Jurassic Park”
Against my wishes
Because I thought it was too violent
He studied it carefully many times

One day he asked me, anxiously,
“Mom, is DNA real?”
To check that it wasn’t another of those Santa stories
I was able to reassure him
Yes, I think DNA is real
He was pleased

A few days later he announced
That when he grows up
He wants to be a plant and animal scientist
Extract DNA from amber
And grow those dinosaurs

A laudable ambition
For any four year old

If God left the dinosaur bones
Around to fool us
And they never lived
She has a nasty sense of humor
And my son and I will not forgive

I believe in evolution
And dream of dinosaurs

written in 2009

Covid-19: A tiny bit of good news

This: https://www.healio.com/news/primary-care/20211216/teen-drug-use-decreased-during-pandemic-survey-finds.

“Since 1975, the Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, has been tracking substance use among adolescent students in the U.S.”

The numbers are interesting, aren’t they? “There was a sharp decrease in reported use (of alcohol) among 10th graders, from 40.7% in 2020 to 28.5% in 2021, and a mild decrease among 12th graders, from 55.3% in 2020 to 46.5%.”

What do YOU think the cause is? More parental supervision or less in person time with peers or something else or both? The news yammers about increased behavioral health issues and “crisis, crisis, crisis” but hello, it’s normal to be stressed during this. Learning to handle stress is important and useful. My elderly patients who lived alone came in to clinic after the first couple months of Covid-19, because they needed human contact. Since I had a one doctor clinic with me and a receptionist, my clinic was safer than the grocery store. We screened everyone for Covid-19 symptoms before they came in and diverted them to the testing site if they had symptoms. Only two of my people got Covid-19 by the time I closed, and both had traveled out of state. Neither one came in to clinic. They went and got tested because of symptoms.

Anyhow, I think it’s both parental supervision and less peer time in person. There is still a significant amount of alcohol consumed. A previous study of well off and very well off households showed increased risk of addiction by age 22 and 25 because 1. money 2. opportunity 3. parents more inclined to be in denial. Parents would turn a blind eye if grades were good. The biggest correlations for NOT being addicted were 1. family dinners and 2. parents who yapped about drugs/alcohol/addiction quite a lot. Caring, I think. Not giving up as the child enters their teens, but staying present and opinionated. Not to mention setting an example of moderation. The households where the parents use methamphetamines or heroin locally are higher risk for the teens.

More here: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/monitoring-future

This fits the Ragtag Daily Prompt: enigma.

hat trick cat tree

I am not sure that the photograph really fits the prompt, the Ragtag Daily Prompt: sleekit. But maybe a yelling rubber chicken is appropriate. I start my tree this year with a bare stick with a fork in it.

I add lights to my stick.

I add ornaments to my stick.

The cats promptly knock it over and break some.

I remove delicate ornaments and get out the plastic and soft ones.

I finally add four branches from my cedar.

This is my adult children’s fault. They told me not to get a live tree. I figured that a dead one is legit, right?

Pretty sleekit, right?

But mom, what is for?