Tonight I finished making enough orange juice carton wallets for C to give one to everybody in his class. That, coupled with finishing Harry Potter, might just be my crowing achievements for 2010. On a less stellar note, I screwed up making chocolate pudding. Imagine my surprise, having fished the cardboard box out of the recycling when the pudding failed to set after two hours in the fridge, when I read that the pudding must be cooked "over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full bubbling boil." Who ever heard of heating up pudding? You don't heat pudding. You just mix in the milk and stick it in the fridge. That's what makes pudding so superior to Jello. So I took my circa 1970s Tupperware pudding bowls out of the fridge, dumped my watery pudding back into the mixing bowl and stuck my poor excuse for pudding into the microwave, because I was dammed if I was going to waste two cups of milk or be made a fool of by a box pudding mix. At one point in the pouring a pudding bowl fell directly into the mixing bowl, splattering me with pudding which I guess I deserved for not having read the directions in the first place. For the record, I make spanakopita for dinner. Spanakopita!
"A boy loses his parents, discovers he has magical powers, goes to a school that teaches magic, makes a best friend and an arch enemy, and battles the forces of evil as he grows up." Sound familiar? It's the plot to the book Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin. Circa 1968.
song: You Took The Words Right Outta My Mouth • artist: Meatloaf
Now H tells me that the way to know if a leprechaun has been using your bathroom is to look in the toilet bowl and see if the water is green. Apparently leprechauns, like four year olds, can't remember to flush. That doesn't explain who's been using the bathroom at the little library. I was there yesterday and the water was blue.
H is having a real Moby Dick kind of week. In front of the library on Saturday he saw a white van and exclaimed: "Look Mommy, that white car looks just like Moby Dick!" For my part, I barely made it through my 15 minutes of Melville yesterday, while C read his bit and coerced Ken into taking him back down to the library at midnight to have another listen. Moby Dick is a bit like Harry Potter in that in HP book 4 it takes the opening 100 pages just for Ron, Harry, and Hermoine to get back to Hogwarts. One hundred pages into Moby Dick and the Pequod still hasn't left the dock. What the heck are they doing? Attending the Whaling World Cup? I for one was glad to get back to my less-challenging reads. Call me ignoramus.
Forget everything you know about "my very excellent mother just sent us nine pizzas." C's latest library book about space informs us that there are two new planets in our solar system. This is in addition to the hundreds that have been identified outside our solar system. The new planets are Ceres and Eris. Eris is located somewhere out beyond Pluto and Ceres looks to be somewhere in the middle of the astroid belt. You do remember the astroid belt don't you? I was much better when learning that Pluto had been demoted. Forgetting a planet is easy. Remembering two new ones? – next to impossible. Wrap your aged, over-forty, brain around that.
This year's What's Falmouth Reading pick has resulted in a new game for H & C to play. One in which they climb to the top of the tallest rock in our backyard, someone yells "there's Moby Dick!" and they commence throwing their bamboo "harpoons." H has also made this observation: "The difference between Moby Dick and Baby Beluga is that Baby Beluga is nice and Moby Dick is mean." Of course no one is pitching harpoons at Baby Beluga. At least not in any of the verses we sing.
In the paper's recent pet supplement we ran answers from local elementary school children to the statement: "my pet is special because..." The answers ranged from the adorable (my turtle is smart and has good eye sight) to the super adorable (he's the one I tell all my secrets to) to the super duper adorable (this is the pet that helped make my life complete ... knowing that she's there makes me feel safe). If this sampling is accurate, the number one reason kids think their pet is adorable is because the pet is either cute or cuddly. There are a lot of cute and cuddly pets out there. If you can believe it, some are both cute and cuddly. There are also many pets that are special because they are: "lovable," "nice," "awesome," "cool," "very, very cute," "very cuddly," "really cuddly," "really, really cuddly," "smart," "fun," "gentle," "small," "hyper," "friendly," "brave," "strong," "soft," "fluffy," "adorable," "protective," "mellow," and even because they are "still around." I was surprised to see that in addition to cute and cuddly, one of the most popular reasons for a pet being special to a child is because "she is mine." Ownership of a pet is important to children: "I've always wanted my own personal pet," "he is my first dog," "they are mine and I love them." Interesting revelation. As an adult, I own a lot of stuff. If you were to pick up some object in my house and ask me what was special about it I might answer that it was a gift and therefore reminds me of the giver or that it was made by one of my children or painted by a friend. I can't imagine any item to which I would respond, "because it's mine." And yet there it is, the difference between why things are important to children verses why they are important to adults. We may like things because they remind us of other things, kids like things because they simply are.