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Friday, February 10, 2006

I worked so hard and with such intensity today that by 4:00 pm I’d done all I could do. I reached a satisfying stopping point at that time, and I was spent. There would have been no use in trying to start another part of the project, because I wouldn’t have got very far. So it was fortuitous that Tammy called a bit later and asked if I wanted to help Suzanne with the kids tonight. She was staying with them while Tammy and David took a drive and got some alone time.

Well, you know me. I never turn down an invitation like that. I was eager to see the kids, although D.J. and Dakota were very tired and pretty much took themselves off to bed less than an hour after I got there. Before that, though, I got some time with them.

D.J. wanted to test me at Ro-Sham-Bo, one game where we’re about evenly matched. Sometimes I can figure him out, and sometimes he can figure me out. Once you realize how much he likes being Rock, you tend to go with Paper a little more often, until the light dawns and he starts giving you the old Scissors hand. At least he agreed not to invent wild card configurations. Last time we played, he came up with the Shark hand, that beats (and eats) everything else. Before we even started tonight, I informed him that we wouldn’t be straying from Rock, Paper and Scissors.

“No Shark?” he asked. No, no Shark.

Meanwhile, as D.J. and I were chanting “Ro-Sham-Bo,” Dakota decided he had to modify the incantation with his own variation. “Tri-Cera-Tops,” he called, and then giggled. “Dot com,” he added, for no apparent reason other than to keep the merriment flowing freely. Dakota was really on his game tonight.

After the older boys went to bed, Aiden started winding down. He wanted to be held, and then he wanted to go to bed. But not really, because he was in and out of his bed a couple of times. He was in it when his parents got home, and suddenly it was as if his switch had been flipped. He was everywhere at the same time, marching around in circles saying, “Boing! Boing! Boing!” (Only in his case it came out “Going! Going! Going!”)

He turned faster and faster circles, racing around David, Suzanne and Kylie as they sat on the floor, ignoring obstacles (or shoving them out of his way). He used some more colorful language as well, some things he knew he shouldn’t say and we knew we shouldn’t laugh at. He’s very good at picking up every slip of the tongue, even when you think he didn’t hear what you said. (Hence: “Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!”)

Well, that’s about the time Suzanne and I decided it would be good to get hugs and say goodbye. I don’t know how much longer Aiden stayed in motion after we left, but he showed no signs of slowing down. And he had a late nap, so he could still be going right now.

9 February 2006

Sunlight hits the tops of the eucalyptus trees.

Meanwhile, Kylie had a kind of fussy night, but we (and by that I mean Suzanne) found a way to make her comfortable so that she would get the sleep she obviously needed and wanted. She didn’t want to have anything to do with me and would start crying whenever she saw me. So while Suzanne was in Aiden’s room helping his wind down, I was sitting behind Kylie, out of her line of vision, bouncing her gently in her seat until she fell asleep (and then for a long time afterward, because I was afraid she’d wake up if I stopped).

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It was a disco inferno at the Olympic Stadium in Torino tonight, as the athletes of the world marched in to the sounds of dance music. The U.S. team was greeted with a remix of Aretha’s “Think” (for whatever that’s worth), and I for one was appreciative of the warm reception the Italian crowd gave to all countries in the parade of nations, including Iran and Israel and poor, embattled Denmark, as well as the United States. It’s encouraging that the most nationalistic competition in all sports is the one event that brings the world together on as level a playing field as it’s possible to conceive of.

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