Study in yellows

nbtb-study in yellows

I.

Jane: When I have my next mid-life crisis, I’m totally getting a Vespa scooter.

Flora: What did you do the last time you had a mid-life crisis?

Cinder: The less said about that the better.

I kind of agree, but I whack him on the head with my purse (not full of rocks) anyway.

Cinder: But you know, you won’t. You’ll do the math, and you’ll go on a trip instead.

Yeah. Probably. But on my trip—I’m gonna ride a Vespa scooter…

(In a garish, girly colour. Lime green. Hot pink. Sunshine yellow. Oh yeah.)

You: Not a Harley?

Me: Been her, over that.

II.

I’m working in a café, and there is a table of three women near me mapping out a strategy for their business. It will be immensely successful. Because of the youngest chica in the group, the most intense, most passionate, most dominant one.

Except… that youngest chica? The most intense, most talented one? I’m pretty sure she’s going to drop dead of a heart attack by 35. I want to prescribe meditation. Medication. Or a torrid love affair.

Maybe a Vespa. She looks like she’s due for an early mid-life crisis…

III.

Why, yes, I have decided that writing blog posts in very short Roman-numeral numbered verses is my new thing. I’m doing it for your ADD.

And perhaps, mine.

IV.

Ender: Mama-my-mama-mia-mama, FEED ME NOW!

Jane: Will! You! Stop! Yelling! At! Me!

Ender: I! Can’t! Help! It! When! I’m! Quiet! You! Don’t! Listen!

Fuck.

Busted.

V.

Sean: Does it count as date night if we’re both sitting next to each other at the kitchen table working on the same project on our two different laptops?

Jane: Yes. So long as we’re drinking wine, yes.

VI.

Have you ever noticed how, when you have so much work to do it’s overwhelming, paralyzing, and you’re pretty sure there is no way in hell you will ever get it done, instead of attacking it in small, manageable chunks, you kind of ignore the whole thing and decide THIS is the weekend to paint the kitchen?

No? Never mind then.

xoxo

“Jane”

Involving children in our odd 21st century work lives

Hmm, I wonder who's face that is?

One of the goals I have for my little bums is for them to grow up connected to the world of “adult” work: to be witness to the work, to participate in it, to understand it. You know. All that stuff that as paleolithic and neolithic kids they’d just absorb as a matter of course. But in the twenty-first century, if you’re engaged in intellectual, creative or professional work… well, it’s tough. You’re just at the computer. (Occasionally, somewhere else, naked, writing with marker on your leg…)

Every once in a while, though, an opportunity presents itself. We’re both more actively seeking them out for our Cinder now. Here’s one of the first ones, from February 19, 2008, with a questionable moral. Enjoy.

2008. There is currently a plate of doggie doo drying in my kitchen. Not REAL–thank the gods! But Sean is shooting a commercial for a new type of pooper scooper on Saturday. One of the challenges we’ve both seen in the recent while is letting Cinder into our work world—Flora’s still not really interested, “housework” and neglecting our garden is more than enough. My work, unfortunately–hunched over the computer or glued to the telephone, not an awful lot of room for help from a six year old (although he answers the phone very professionally now and doesn’t always manage to hang up on the people before passing them on to me 🙂 ) Sean’s work–the same, although Cinder loves to and does help load and unload the car when they’re off to a shoot, etc.

Anyway—the pooper scooper commercial requires fake doggie doo, and so yesterday afternoon, Sean, Cinder and Flora set up a poop factory. Ingredients: instant coffee, corn syrup, and wetted cardboard. Damn realistic stuff.

At the end of the production, Cinder looked at Sean with big eyes and said, “I didn’t realize being a filmmaker was so gross, Daddy.”

Back to 2013: So what does a 21st century boy who’s got a filmmaker for a father choose to pursue as his first career? Making Youtube videos, of course. I’m pretty much equal parts proud and appalled.

How do you include/inform your kids about the adult workworld?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

English: Paleontologist Matt Smith at work, Jo...

Flora turned 8 last week, and she’s seriously rethinking her career plans. It’s adorable. I am celebrating her life angst (Flora: “But can one be a veterinarian AND a paleontologist AND a museum curator AND an artist? AND maybe a horse-trainer?” Jane: “Yes. Possibly not all at the same time, but you know, life is long.”) by revisiting a conversation from the summer of 2008. Flora was 3.5 and Cinder just over 6, and they already had career plans they were happy to discuss with one of their aunties.

Auntie: So, Flora, what are you doing to be when you grow up?
Flora: I’m going to be a paleontologist, and dig up dinosaur bones.
A: Wow… well, you certainly live in the right area for that.
(We’re in Calgary, a stone’s throw away from Drumheller and the fossil rich badlands)
Flora: Yes, but I’m going to be a paleontologist in Patagonia.
A: Patagonia?

Patagonia. It’s where all the dino-digging action was in 2008.

Cinder enters the conversation: I already have a job. I do it every day, whenever I feel like it, for as long as I like.
A: Cool. What is it?
(Me–really curious. And really no idea as to what the answer would be?)
Cinder: Blowing up things.
A: Blowing up things? Cinder, you’re scaring me.
Cinder: Oh, nothing too dangerous. Mostly just baking soda and vinegar, you know. It’s so much fun, and I can do it over and over again, and try to make different kinds of explosions. And sometimes I add other stuff to it.
A: Maybe you’ll be a demolition man when you grow up.
Cinder: What’s a demolition man?
A: Someone who blows up stuff–like old buildings.
Cinder: Or blasts tunnels through mountains, or to make highways?
A: Yeah…

— conversation steers back to pinecones and what-not for a while, takes a side-detour to helicopter-flying–he has helicopters on his pajamas and she suggests perhaps that could be his job, but he’s not interested, although Flora pipes in that being an airplane pilot would be a pretty good job, and flying a plane, as well as riding a horse, are good skills for a paleontologist to have “because you never know.” After a prolonged interval, Cinder returns to the topic of his job.

Cinder: I also like setting fires.
A: What?
Cinder: Pretty safely, you know. My friend and I, we use magnifying glasses sometimes to use the power of the sun to burn things and make smoke. It’s pretty cool.
A: Cinder, you’re really scaring me. Blowing up things, setting fires…
Cinder: Oh, I like to do other experiments, where things don’t blow up, too. But sometimes I accidentally make noxious fumes.
A: So what are you going to be when you grow up?
Cinder: Oh, just me. And keep on doing stuff. [pause] But I’ll probably be taller.

And can I possibly add anything to that?

Photo: Paleontologist Matt Smith at work, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (NPS Photo;  Wikipedia)

More like this: Be the Fossil on UndogmaticUnschoolers.wordpress.com

And  big thank you to MomTimes4 for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award on her blog yesterday. I will pass on the love properly later in the week, but xoxoxo to a lovely lady in the meantime.