Sunday, January 04, 2009

Day 4 - Study Leave Catch Up

My mother is plotting against me. I came home from our brief foray into the Virginia woodlands to find an email from her essentially saying, "Blogging every day of your leave is stupid. Take a walk with us (my parents) instead."

There has always been something sweet about my mother's plotting. Leave out the stupid part and she is saying, "Dear brilliant daughter, I love your company and hope to see more of your ageless beauty in the coming days." I guess you have to know my mother to believe me, but really: she is saying that.

Discernment: Having parents who love you and show it in healthy ways is an easy key to happiness.

Today I made the study leave to do lists in between paraffin dips and cross stitch. Have I mentioned that a one month study leave is just enough time to get one's frustration up? Again - not complaining, just noting. I think the gist of this whole leave may be learning graceful ways of coming to terms with not living up to my own hopes and expectations. What I don't like about that gist is: it doubles as the thesis statement of the big cosmic term paper I call my life. Why must I fish that sandbar again?

Discernment: Stop chopping vegetables, you nitwit! It makes your hand hurt for 36 or more hours.

Where was I? Oh, yes. D'Angelo.

Do you know that D'Angelo is one of the most overlooked talents of the late twentieth century? How do I know this? He has been the breakfast boogie music of choice this week. Readers - go to iTunes and start downloading now. D'Angelo, I miss you and the kids adore you.

Ok, fine. Busted. I wasn't talking about D'Angelo before. But I should've been. And you should have been, too.

There have been requests to hear the latest installment in the night terrors saga at the house. First, I could have started a blog solely on night terrors with the voluminous response I got to the tale of my 3 year old plumbing the depths of her unconscious and the heights of her vocal range at 3 AM for about a week dreaming/seeing/feeling bugs.

So, in a nutshell... The Top 10 suggestions from readers, congregants, family and friends on night terrors:
10. leave the light on
9. no weird medicines
8. get a dreamcatcher and teach her how to use it
7. help her realize her own power over bugs or other bumps in the night
6. take the bugs' side ("poor little things with a great big girl like you screaming at them")
5. let her brother teach her bug destruction techniques
4. use aromatherapy as part of the bedtime routine
3. teach her science ("it is too cold for bugs. you were dreaming")
2. sleep with her
1. give her bug toys

We did almost all of these things to some degree. What seemed to win out? Bribery. "If you go back to sleep and softly tell those bugs to leave you alone you can have ... in the AM."

Am I a wee bit ashamed? Yes. But bribery was part of a larger program of reason, affection, discussion, and hypothetical bug mutilation with a light saber, so I can show my face at the Unitarian Universalist parenting circle again. (You call it parenting circle. We call it dinner at the burrito place.)

Discernment: Cookies can defeat spooky in a cage match.

As you may already know, I also spent some time today catching up on my "daily" (haha) study leave blog. Sorry, Mama. You walk too fast for this arthritic young'n of yours to keep up.

Reading: No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew it Cauze... (only six thousand pages to go!), Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das (a three time re-read), an Avengers comic book as bedtime story, and selected excerpts from today's paper as thoughtfully chosen by my hubby.


Sand Dollar Scholar said...

I enjoyed your post. My own UU minister is Reverend Liz at the Kitsap UU Fellowship in Bremerton WA. Just browsing other UU blogs.

Kim Hampton said...

Are you talking about D'Angelo of "Brown Sugar" fame? If so, you are truly right. His two albums have been a part of my mental playback since they came out.

Have a good rest of your break.