Things I Learned This Week

-You can keep a five-year-old distracted indefinitely by suggesting that she play Rock Scissors Paper against herself. "Mommy! The left hand won again!"

-There are still places in California where you can see hills violently ablaze with poppies, in the original Golden State style.

-When vacationing with a small autistic child, you've got to have a designated family sanctuary for rest and retreat. If you're not staying in such a place, you must relocate to such a place.

-To my great surprise, my kids were not the only ones in the world on Spring Break this past week. So, I spaced on the concept that going to Sea World was a really bad idea. We ended up eating churros for lunch, because the lines at all other food concessions (hell, the lines for everything) were two hours long.

-Many of the I-5 highway overpasses in Kern County are colonized by swallows. Clouds of them.

-If you've got to go to an ER for something as minor as a tetanus shot, go to an ER in the suburbs. Do not go to the urban trauma center where they take all the gunshot wounds and car crash victims. Even if all of Phoenix looks like a suburb to you. You will wait at least seven hours and will miss both lunch and dinner.

-The drive from L.A. to Phoenix is not really that long, if you are the passenger and sleep the whole time.

-C-section newborns are really cute. No squishing or mashing, no cone heads. So says the proud new auntie.

-However if said newborn is the fifth or sixth grandchild, he will not spend much time in that hallowed New Baby limelight, surrounded by hushed voices and adoring relatives. He will get to hang out and nurse with his mom on the couch while his dad watches baseball and everyone else carries on and checks in occasionally to reconfirm his cuteness.

-Do not let your brother monitor what your children watch. Otherwise you will be subjected to unlimited variations on "But Uncle JD said I could watch The Sixth Sense!"

-Said brother JD the pilot is, however, a really good, mellow new dad.

-The Mexican food in So Cal so completely kicks ass over the same-named food here. I am already longing for rolled tacos and a B&C burrito (with no fucking rice--bleah!).

-I love my house. I love being home. I love my bed. I love my yard. Given a couple more days of decompression, I might even start loving non-inanimate objects again. I am not leaving for a damn good long time.

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