Friday, February 21, 2014


So time is passing. Although the only way I know this is by looking at a calendar, because outside it looks exactly like it looked a month ago. It's a frozen wilderness out there, and we are currently enjoying 50mph winds. When they stop for a moment, you look around and wonder why it seems so quiet.

One minor difference between now and last month, is that courtesy of the rain we received yesterday, the driveway is now a sheet of 3 inch thick, rather bumpy, ice. Rob's been putting some sand down --I think he's really frightened I'm going to fall and damage my expensive hip. Or the other one. When it gets like this I use my cane to go from the house to the garage, but when it's pure ice I'm not sure it matters how many feet you have on the ground. Three can slip just as easily as two.

We might have missed a little lice crisis. I say might because I'm not going to count us out of it for a few weeks. 17 kids in the two upper classes at Emma's school were found to have lice yesterday --pretty much all girls with long thick hair. Emma was found to be clean lice-free (as were her three good friends from school), but I made her change her pillowcase and pjs after her shower last night, even though I know that really won't do any good. This morning while we were driving in, a friend texted her a photo of the couches from the classroom all bundled up in big plastic bags.

I got a call a few days ago from one of Emma's classroom teachers because another mom had overheard her talking about cutting with a friend. Of course I knew where that was coming from. The teacher had already talked with Emma, but was calling me to make sure I knew about it. I thanked her, and have told Emma that perhaps school is not a good place to discuss Katie's issue. I've also suggested that she might want to try to nudge Katie into getting help from someone who has the tools and proximity to effect change. A school counselor, perhaps, or a teacher. Emma doesn't know that much about her home life --there is an unwritten rule with these kids that you don't ask too much personal information, especially things like last names, real phone numbers, or addresses. That's because all of us parents have continually stressed the importance of protecting that kind of information. Unfortunately, that makes it difficult to take any steps that might actually be useful in helping someone. Emma wrote her a poem.

Last weekend Emma spent most of Saturday at her friend M's home, and while they were doing stuff they were Face-timing with Katie. M's mom overheard much of the various conversations and said Katie seemed like a normal teen --she was working on an art project and was surprised that Emma and M had never heard of dying paper with tea. That's all I know, but it was somewhat reassuring.

In general my kid still seems fairly well balanced, and good at keeping the lines of communication open. Here she is working on her math homework yesterday.

It always takes a long time when math homework occurs on a day when her dad is teaching (math to college students) in the evening, and she has to rely on me for help. I can usually do the math, but frequently I can't explain it very well.


  1. It looks like Emma and SnakeMaster are both in geometry(?). My youngest son has grown beyond my ability to assist him with his math homework; I have the memory of a collander. Luckily, he has an older brother still at home -- and that brother has been known to text message his oldest brother about chemistry homework.

    I'm glad you have teachers at E's school who will check in with you about such important matters.

  2. That is the exact same posture and location that my daughter uses for her history homework.

    AAAAAAH! Lice! My very first blog post was about lice. I shudder. Changing the pillow case and pjs is psychologically necessary. However, I do not recommend ironing the couch, as we did. Our couch material is made of something synthetic. When ironed, it just melts.

    I hope you have escaped the lice. It's not the worst thing that could happen, but it is just to creepy and tedious to deal with.

    Be careful with all all that ice. That does sound truly awful.

  3. My sons are both math whizzes so that was no problem. English essays on the other hand were sheer torture for my elder son....

    Such a burden this online friendship has placed on her.

  4. I've learned the hard way that checking visually is not enough, so now I check by doing a comb-through with the Licemeister and checking the tines of the comb every time I pull the comb through.

    Now I'm itchy.

  5. SO glad the lice skipped your house and Emma's head.
    It sounds like she has a wonderful school and caring teachers.
    We also have a bumpy and slick driveway--D wondered if we'd puncture a tire driving over that frozen slush--it's terrible. I found an old bag of fertilizer and dumped it on some slick spots for traction.

  6. Lice. Somehow I've managed to escape dealing with it as an adult, but I remember our family getting it multiple times growing up, perhaps in part because there were some parents who were evidently too grossed out to pick the nits out of their kids' hair, so they brought them to our house to have my mom do it. I always thought she was too nice to do it, but I guess it was also in part because if those parents sent their kids to school with lice, she'd just have to deal with it there.

    This whole texting with people you don't even know thing is seriously wigging me out. I'm almost afraid to go on and read your most recent post.