3.28.2004

Backflippy Weekend

Weekend of crazies and joy.

Firstly, yes I did that hike yesterday. Since I didn't bother to get proper maps (which made finding the expertly concealed trailhead signs extra-fun) we are not sure what the mileage was, but we think it was between eight and ten miles. Go me! Go Ambah!

I cannot properly describe the electrifying sensation of hiking from a distant mountain ridge (thank you, Seymour's Taxi Service) right into one's own back yard. I must do it again. Perhaps when I'm in better shape--now that the adrenaline has dissipated I feel as though someone spent the day vigorously clubbing my legs and buttocks. You know how kids walk when they've pooped their pants? I've been doing the unscented version of that gait all day long.

Ambah and I bellowed greetings at the redwoods. Chatted with salamanders. Reveled in the fantastic company. Took silly pictures of each other, critters, and the remarkably diverse assortment of flowering plants. She told me of her current attack plan, which is to take down one of the biggest players in committing the 85% of environmental offenses that go unprosecuted yearly in California. I told her about Seymour's mountain bike racing, Leelo's program and progress, and the Iz school dilemma (turns out Ambah was moved ahead a year, and has never regretted it). We hopped and skipped and shouted at the forest again.

As we crossed over into Edgewoood Park, and could finally see the hazy mountaintop from which we started, I became desperate to announce to someone--anyone--that we'd hiked from Skyline. Because I'm attention-seeking like that. The fates finally took pity on my pathetic person, positioned my neighbor Nora next to my driveway, and I was able to tell her. She made the proper Face of Awe, bless her generous soul.

We made it home in under four hours. But, alas, due to a late start, we missed Moomin's party. Sigh. Heard it was faboo.

However later that night I did successfully arrange for Ambah to have dinner with Murphy, Badger, and Rook--intensely passionate brilliant iconoclasts who, in my mind, simply had to meet each other. Although poor Badger was so wrecked from party hosting that she almost fell asleep face down in her sambar. They all seemed to get along well--no odd conversation lags. I am pleased.

Before Badger passed out, she told us that she'd never read Midnight's Children (one of my all-time favorites, and which Murphy was returning to me). After the shock of hearing Badger say "No, I haven't read that" about any work of literature had worn off, I started singing the book's praises as I so often overenthusiastically and off-puttingly do about anything I like. I said that the best way to describe this particular book is that it is what I though Tom Robbins was, when I was in college. Does that make sense? Whatever. If you haven't read MC, start now.

Seymour and I were both so wiped from our separate yet equally exhausting days that we went to sleep at 10:00.

Today I got to turn my attention back to the kids.

Iz, influenced by the excellent book The Good Little Girl, requested waffles for breakfast. No problem, I am all for anything that involves starch, melty butter, and high-sugar fruit suspensions (boysenberry syrup in this case). They were awesome.

The two of us also finished up The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. She then engaged me in a day-long debate about the proper ordering of the series, and would not fucking let it go. Finally we agreed that there is no right or wrong ordering, there is only the old (L, W, & W first) or new (The Magician's Nephew first) ordering. She still keeps bringing it up, though, because she can tell that I think the new ordering is sacrilege.

Leelo was extremely remote and nutty all day, so much so that it took a reserve tank of self-control to prevent myself from shaking him until he stopped speaking in tongues, until he responded to my voice. He got better as the afternoon wore on. (Why? Why? Why? Maybe it's becuse he's back on raspberries after a week without, or it's the new supplement regime as of three days ago, or he's got a runny nose...GAAAAAAH!!!!)

But I can't be entirely depressed, because he's been showing additional developmental leaps, such as spontaneously taking out and making different faces with his Mr. Potato Head, throwing balls and other objects down the stairs just to see what happens, building "houses" by putting a triangular block on top of a square one, and scribbling--however briefly--within the lines rather than randomly.

These are all behaviors you might expect from a child of 18 months or younger, but we so don't care. We know his development is delayed, and so are grateful for any strides. Especially this quartet, which demonstrates increasing cognitive and conceptual development, as well as awareness of his surroundings.

Finally: the little shit took ten years off my life this afternoon. He did this by rocketing out of our "fort" and onto the top of the adjoining monkey bars--eight feet in the air! I was so scared that I almost passed out. His daredevilness combined with my obvious terror scared Iz so badly that she peed her pants, right there on the playset ladder. Poor little bit.

I am short, and he got out there so quickly, that the only thing I could do was cajole him back into the fort. I then pounced on his little ass and tossed it back inside the house. A handyman was out in less than an hour later to take measurements for placing wooden bars between the fort and the monkey bars.

Little Shit.

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