Yesterday’s post was one of my shortest
ever. I’m sorry if you felt ripped off by it. Instead of the usual half a cup
of coffee you can drink while you read me, you probably just got down what,
maybe two sips? My bad. Truth be told, it was a rather yucko day, and I just
didn’t feel like writing. That’s rare, for me, but it happens.
If you want to laugh really hard, see Dave Barry's year-end review here.
The holidays are always stressful, for most folks anyway, and this year we were trying to have a very quiet, low-key holiday, and then they were stressful anyway. Mother and I have been so sad about my aunt and uncle’s deaths, and yet trying not to be too weepy and morose around the children. I got weepy and morose yesterday at work, and just hid in my cubicle, trying to work, and miserable. My cubicle is back in the corner and all my near neighbors were out yesterday. Sometimes one just needs to have a Pity Party. That’s not always possible at home, with Michael wanting to be my shadow.
Michael was at his friends’ house until 8:45 last night. I hate going home and not being able to be around the children. I want to spend time with them. I want them around. That’s why I adopted them. Unlike most parents, I suppose, I like hanging out with my kids and I miss them when they are out with friends or playing tennis or something. I don’t want to be one of those horrible mothers that clutch too tightly and are overprotective, but I want to enjoy the short time left before they grow up and go out on their own.
Alesia’s newest obsession is her Sims game, on the computer. She created her world, and runs everything in it, which is so unlike life. One of her school friends introduced her to this obsession.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, Sims is like a virtual dollhouse run by you and the computer. You set up a family and their home, the family members cook, eat, go to work, etc. Right after Alesia put it on the computer, I was walking by and happened to notice her onscreen house and yard featured a bathtub in the middle of the lawn. When I asked Alesia about that, she just shrugged and said “I couldn’t fit it in the house.” I didn’t say a word about public indecency or plumbing issues, which took some self-control. I was cooking dinner the other night and I heard her yell “Get out of bed and go on to WORK!” – needless to say, I was quite puzzled and disturbed, until I peeked around the corner and realized she was playing The Game. One of her Sims characters burned up in a fire the other day and I asked Alesia what happened and she just shrugged and said “I dunno. I kept typing in EXTINGUISH.” I thought for a minute. “Maybe you should have told them to simply GET OUT of THE HOUSE!!” Alesia looked annoyed. “Whatever.”
The computer has some control of the characters in the game, and it definitely has an attitude. After poor Amanda burned up, I happened to be standing there when a window appeared that said “Poor Amanda. Remember, her body is gone but her spirit is alive forever.” I thought yikes, very philosophical for a computer game. I happened to agree with that idea, but what ideas are there that I might not approve of?! Sorta scary to imagine. However, I try to look on the bright side. Alesia is learning that actions [or inactions] have consequences, even in a computer world. One of her characters lost her job because she didn’t wake up and go to work. She failed to wake up because Alesia commanded her to take “something to help her sleep.” I don’t know if the computer interpreted that as a Melatonin or a fifth of Scotch. I asked if later the virtual finance company came to repossess the virtual car, but Alesia was not amused by that. [I was thinking OK, let’s make it really realistic.]
Party preparations continue. Mother and I discuss the food constantly. The kids both had long chore lists today, things we don’t normally do too often, like dust the living room. We pay a little for particularly arduous chores - hey, it's cheaper than a maid. My kids earn their "allowances." Here are today’s lists:
Dustmop dining room and living room, and entrance hall
Re-fold and neaten towels in laundry room, generally straighten room
Mop laundry room floor, Granny supervising [this pays $10]
Dust living room [carefully]
Take small vacuum and clean out corner of family room where dirt is spilled [under plant]
Dust tabletops in family room
Straighten stuff underneath tables
Clean tile floors around the carpets in family room and in breakfast room
Scrub poop stains off living room rug [this pays $5] and put down plastic on the rug
Tomorrow we have a little more cleaning and food prep to do, plus I am taking Mother out to lunch, and giving her her birthday gifts early.
Michael is nervous about the party, and entertaining any children that might show, particularly his friend Clay. He voiced his anxieties when I was trying to get him tucked into bed. I suggested when Clay is here they hang out upstairs, play board games or watch a movie in my room. I told him he will have to not bother me when I am trying to entertain folks and take care of things downstairs, which didn’t set too well with him. We have not had a party since he has been home, not a real one anyway, just some informal evenings with friends over.
He seemed to brighten up when I pointed out that he always gets nervous before new things, and they always turn out to be fun. Lots of reassurances and hugs help, too.