Sunday, December 23, 2007

"could you describe the ruckus, sir?"

Wow, who knew people had such strong feelings about Magna Doodle?

Anyway, so yesterday was kind of a slow news day, which is what usually happens when I decide to just post a video clip from our extensive home movie files. Incidentally, I was deciding between the "Learning to Read" clip and this other clip I have of Cal opening an early Christmas present, which happened to be a big box of Dum Dum lollipops. But then I thought, that would be two candy-eating videos in a row, thus inviting excoriation from people kindly and pityingly informing us DON'T YOU KNOW CANDY IS BAD? So the reading clip it was. And now you know...the rest of the story. 

It is pointless to note (though watch me try!) that Cal asks to "play numbers and letters" the same way he asks to play trains or puzzles, so really, it's not a big deal, and if he's having fun, we're going to let him guide us. But I'm sure that if I say that, somewhere in someone's mind is the voice of an overly mascaraed pageant mom explaining how little four year-old Kayleigh just LOVES dressing up in a midriff-exposing rodeo outfit and being judged while shimmying with a lasso to the music of Dolly Parton.

Well anyway, I think discussion is healthy, and all I have to say is that we're lucky that we all have the right to have our own children and screw them up as we please. Joe and I want to let Cal start to be comfortable with words if he's having fun with it, other people don't think it's appropriate, so they don't. Doesn't much matter to me--in fourteen years they'll all be locked in a library, Cal for bringing a flare gun to school, your kid for duct taping someone's buns together in the locker room, and they'll have a grand old time talking about life and love and how much they hate their parents.

* * *

Well now, that dispensed with, I'm going to move on to another topic. So surely you know by now that we will be moving to Atlanta in July, and as part of the adaptive maneuvers I have to make for this move, I have to learn how to drive. Yes yes, the sacrifices we all have to make. I really don't quite understand why it has taken me this long to learn. I've had my learner's permit for about ten years, and I've taken several courses with trained instructors and whatnot, so theoretically, I'm as prepared to drive as any numbskull teenager. However, the key difference is that they want to drive, whereas I really do not. I blame one failed road test my senior year of college (wherein this Massachussets DMV guy told me that I "could kill someone"--I which I think was probably excessive, I just didn't realize that a small side street was two-way and was driving in the middle of it instead of on the right) and subsequent scarring experiences in the name of my growth and driver's education, like that time Joe forced me to drive on the highway in Connecticut. I have PTSD from that one. So at this point, getting my driver's license is somewhere next to booking an appointment at the dentist for multiple extractions. At some point, it needs to be done, but this won't prevent me from pushing it off as long as possible.

My newest fantasy is this:

See, in the fantasy, I would still get my driver's license, but I would get to and from work on this. A scooter. It would be very Euro and also, I would not have to drive a car most of the time. It would be like riding a bicycle, only BETTER and COOLER. Additionally, scooters are more energy efficient and we would spend a lot less money on gas, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you that these were secondary concerns to the fact that I just hate cars and want to avoid driving one at all costs.

Obviously, I would have to drive sometimes. I would have to drive Cal around occasionally, and I don't think he could balance on the handlebars of the scooter very well. (I am kidding, of course--though I did see someone riding a bike down the streets of Manhattan with a helmet-less kid positioned just as described, and it was very scary.) But it would be a nice option for the day to day, and for running short errands, wouldn't it? And then I could take my baguette and copy of Le Monde out of the underseat storage smoke little brown cigarettes while commiserating with my Left Bank compatriots, "Oui, l'amour."

Of course, I could also end up under in a crumpled mess under a 12-wheel Kroger truck, but look, just let me dream a little bit. I'm moving to Georgia. Retreating into my rich fantasy life is how I'm coping with reality right now.