Monday, July 18, 2005

I Love the Nightlife.

As I write this, it is 9:52 PM. The dog is asleep. The cat is asleep. I wish to be asleep. Daughter is agitating to play Animal Habitat Bingo. She has been out of school and off a schedule for only three weeks, and yet she has effortlessly developed the sleeping hours of a club promoter. I’m surprised she hasn’t asked for blackout curtains for her room.

Her schedule has never gone to Hell so thoroughly before. On the other hand, she has never had a schedule as densely packed as she had this past school year, so maybe that’s how it goes. Perhaps, after her first year at medical school, Daughter will spend the entire summer hooked up to a feeding tube watching The Facts of Life re-runs. We’ll move her regularly to keep her from getting bedsores.

Her room is wall-to-wall unfinished projects right now, but I’ve given up the pleasure of a clean bedroom for two months so she can have the pleasure of working on things over days. Not demanding an end-of-day cleanup is a first for me; clutter brings up welts on my arms and I have a real talent for cramming things into our dollhouse-sized closets. [I once wondered aloud why people in 1920 didn’t have more closet space. Consort looked at me pityingly and said, “Because they didn’t have so much stuff”. Only, he didn’t use the word “stuff”.]

As for her meals, better I should walk you through today. It was slightly worse than usual, but not much.

8:30 am: Woke up, went to the kitchen and got herself a yogurt.

9:30 am: When I came home from an appointment, she and Consort were having breakfast cereal. She was also eating a lollipop, which Consort couldn’t adequately explain.

12:00pm: Started agitating for lunch; had a grilled-cheese sandwich.

1:00 pm: Agitated for lunch and suggested a grilled-cheese sandwich. Reminded that she had, in fact, eaten lunch she agitated for exactly the same food only now called it a snack. Was given carrots.

3:00pm: Found eating another container of yogurt.

4:30pm: While at the grocery store with me, she suggested that unless she ate some of the dried blueberries I had just bought, she might possibly faint before reaching the car. I paid for them first, and gave her the bag, which she consumed in its entirety.

6:00pm-9:00pm: She consumed, in no particular order, a bag of frozen soy beans (still frozen), baked broccoli nuggets, graham crackers, more dried blueberries, tabouli, and mango slices. Just now, reading what she ate, I realize this is a meal to thrill a bonobo monkey.

I’m not sure cutlery was ever involved in today’s rations. It’s getting a little feral around here. If the summer vacation lasted a month longer we’d probably be handing her a slingshot, sending her outside and wishing her luck.

Of course, on the other side of the whole Wendy And The Lost Boys summer theme is Quinn The Highly Organized. With Daughter out of school, I am trying to get all the routine check-ups out of the way so I’m not obliged to pull her out of school for half a day in October just to find out her eyesight is perfect. We had a routine check-up today, in fact. As I was supervising seat belt buckling, I tried to look at my daughter as a stranger would. She’s been experimenting with mixing patterns lately, which is why she was sporting leaf-patterned shorts, a plaid shirt and butterfly anklets: this outfit would have triggered an epileptic seizure in one susceptible to such things if it wasn’t covered in dust, food and poster paint. Her hairdo was five small ponytails of varying heights and thicknesses scattered over her head like deranged oil derricks. It’s a look which says “Crop Circles” to all but the most inner circle of her family. Thanks to a run-in with a friends’ scooter last night, she is also sporting a very noticeable black eye. Stick-on sparkly earrings from a princess-party goody-bag completed the look.

Yeah, I took her to the doctor’s office looking like that. I figured that by the time anybody from Social Services answered the call from a concerned nurse, Daughter and I would be long gone.

So, the question is, are we having fun? Well, yeah. I mean, it’s not all smiles and squalor. I still thwart her at least once a day when she wants to do something completely reasonable like back the car out of the garage, and she can walk around in the same shorts for three days, but I need teeth to be brushed, please. Having her home, and not at camp, means I haven’t seen the gym very often: turns out, walking on the treadmill is part of what keeps me pleasant. Who knew? At least once a day I say in increasingly plangent tones “Please stop braiding my hair, I need five minutes to myself and you need to find something to do in your room

But, all in all, if I had to send a postcard from this summer, it would read:

Having a great time.

Glad I’m here.

Quinn

p.s. Send dried blueberries.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Melissa said...

That's the healthiest diet I've heard of for a 5 year old (or most adults, come to think of it). I'd advise cutlery for the yogurt, but otherwise, it sounds like a nice, relaxing summer.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Quinn Cummings said...

She sort of tips the cup into her mouth. She is a trained professional-please don't try this at home.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"which Consort couldn’t adequately explain." Oh my God man! You have got to be kidding me.

1:24 AM  

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