Friday, March 7, 2008

A long week compounded by 4-year old rhetoric

I've had better weeks.

First, PRAISE THE LORD, my step-brother Dave's guardian angel was with him this morning when he was in a terrible car accident. Some idiot pulled out in front of him on his way to school, and he nearly T-boned the dude. (This is the same wonderful "Uncle Dave" who got the boys to eat their peas when he was here visiting at Christmas)> From my step-mother:

"At the last second before impact Dave swerved and hit the left front quarter panel of the guys car – otherwise would have T-Boned him. The impact put the engine of Dave’s car in the passenger compartment and flooded his feet with anti-freeze. Dave turned his head also at the last second as he has an aversion to airbags going off in his face (this is #3) so his neck is wrenched also. There were 10 witnesses that told the cops it was not Dave’s fault. Dave’s car is totaled. Cop told Dave he “did a good job”. Dave takes that to mean that by swerving he didn’t kill the guy. Dave wouldn’t go look in the guy’s car as he believed the guy might be dead; he was bleeding from the nose & ears when the firemen finished cutting the guy out of his car with the “jaws of life”. They did update Dave in the hospital that they had taken the man off the ‘critical’ list and he’s in “serious” condition so he didn’t die."

Thankfully, Dave will be okay. He severely sprained his wrist and his bad knee hit something.

Picture of Dave's Car from the Newspaper

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Second, there's life on shiftwork...

As the midwatch guy, I've been going to work at 9 p.m. and coming home at 8 a.m. (except for yesterday when I had to go to the critique at 9 a.m., but luckily made it home by 10 a.m.). I'm thankful that shipyard things have been progressing very well, and I expect we will finish with shiftwork well before we had planned. (Knock on wood)

Basically, I come home in the morning a totally exhausted zombie. I grunt at my wife and the one son who isn't at school (or both sons on the weekend). I eat my cereal (my digestive system needs the fiber) and drag myself into bed. I've got black plastic trash bags tacked up over the windows to keep the light out. (LW complained that she overslept because it was SO dark in our room). I get up at dinner time in my normal morning-groggy state. After dinner, I would cajole ES into practicing his spelling, give the boys a bath, read bedtime stories, put the boys to bed, take my shower, get my coffee, and leave for work.

Meanwhile, poor LW has been suffering from a lack of adult conversation, and our children have been acting like heathen savages and driving her absolutely bonkers. To make matters worse, YB has had a fever and conjunctivitis all week. This means that not only did LW not get the break from YB she normally gets when I used to be home on the weekend, but also that she didn't get the break from YB going to pre-school on Tuesday and Thursday. Every little thing has become a major argument with YB. It's nearly impossible to get him to follow instructions.

Last night, I slept late because I went to bed late after the critique. I woke up to LW throwing the bedroom door open and declaring she couldn't take it anymore. I dragged my butt down to find the colossal mess that Hurricane YB had made in the family room. LW was tired and cranky and not in the mood to make dinner (not that I blame her in the least), so I asked the boys what they wanted for dinner. If you've either known us or read my blog for any period of time, you already know what YB's answer was... chicken nuggets. So I got in the car and went to the drive-through and brought home a highly nutritious fast-food dinner for us. We set the food out on the table and sit down to eat, and YB proceeds to pull his arms into his shirt. YB, what are you doing? He's cold. Okay, well eat your chicken nuggets and it'll warm you up. Nope. In spite of repeated requests by me and LW to sit down and eat his nuggets (which he asked for), he just meandered around the kitchen with his arms bundled up inside his shirt. So we go upstairs to take a bath, and by this time YB is wearing his shirt normally with his arms out. I tell YB to "get naked," and he makes feeble tugs at his arm sleeves and says he can't get his shirt off. Um... Didn't he JUST demonstrate the ability to pull his arms into his sleeves when he was "cold" and didn't want to eat the nuggets I had slaved so hard on shiftwork to earn the money to buy at Mickey-D's???

After bathtime, I was trying to get ES to practice his spelling, and YB kept jumping up and down on the couch in spite of repeated orders by both LW and myself to stop. All of a sudden... there was this new noise coming from the couch... LW and I simultaneously looked over at the couch, and YB was laying flat on his belly, eyes closed and SNORING louder than a chainsaw. ...It was 7:30 p.m.

After nightly battles with ES to practice his spelling, I finally got a reprieve, although unbeknownst to him. He took the spelling word list from me and took his dry-erase board in the other room giggling. He came back and handed me the spelling word list and said he was ready and giggled some more. I told him to spell "fly." He giggled, looked on the back side of his two-sided dry-erase board where he had copied all the words off his spelling list, then flipped it back over and wrote down the word on the side I could see. I suppose being the man of integrity that I am, I should be ashamed at him since he obviously THOUGHT he was cheating by copying the words on the back of the board first. In reality though, he just got MORE practice and wrote his spelling words TWICE instead of the ONCE I normally get out of him through a lot of bribery and threats.

Now, I'm rotating to the day-shift. The CO is going on a TAD trip, so I needed to be able to respond to whatever crises came up during the day. I finished my last midwatch this morning, and I have go to back to work tomorrow morning to start the day shift. I need to go to sleep tonight and get up for work tomorrow morning, but I was exhausted so I just took a nap for a couple of hours after I got home.

When I woke up, I got another lesson in 4-year old rhetoric. He asked for a cheese sandwich for lunch, so LW made him a cheese sandwich. Did he eat it? Of course not! He refuses to eat it. He says he's not hungry. Next thing we know, he's standing at the kitchen counter, reaching for the cookie jar.

Mean Parents: No, YB, you can't have a cookie.
YB: [insert high-pitched whining noise here] But whyyyyyyyyy?
MP: Because you didn't eat your sandwich, and you just said you weren't hungry.
YB: Huh??? [This clearly does not pass the 4-year old's logic circuitry.]
MP: If you're not hungry then you don't need to eat a cookie. If you're hungry, then eat your sandwich.
YB: [Resume high-pitched whining noise] But I don't like that kind of cheese.
MP: It's the SAME cheese Mommy used to make his cheese sandwich yesterday and he liked it. YB: No, it's not, I don't like it.
MP: Fine, whatever.

LW and I resume eating our lunch. YB proceeds to take all the cheese off his cheese sandwich and just start to eat the bread.

YB: Mmmm, cheese bread.
LW: No, it's just bread.
YB: No, it's cheesy bread, feel it.
LW: [touches the bread] No, it's just bread. You took the cheese off.
YB: But it's cold! [That is apparently what makes it "cheesy bread" accoring to 4-year old logic]
LW: It's... just... bread.

This is what the whole week has been like for LW.

In other news...

My cousin emailed me this article about MSG. OMG...

Since the 1970s, MSG has sidled back onto American supermarket shelves, under assumed names: hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, protein concentrates and other additives that are not labeled as MSG but, according to nutritionists and the United States Department of Agriculture, are essentially the same thing: synthetically produced glutamates.

The whey protein concentrate and liquid aminos that many Americans buy at health food stores are also, essentially, pure glutamate, Dr. Chaudhari said.

According to U.S.D.A. guidelines, “labeling is required when MSG is added as a direct ingredient.” But other glutamates — the hydrolyzed proteins, the autolyzed yeasts and the protein concentrates, which the U.S.D.A. acknowledges are related to MSG — must be identified under their own names.

I think I'm getting a headache just thinking about it...


bothenook said...

i feel your backshift pain. after getting out of the navy (following a refueling overhaul) i spent 9 of the next 15 years as either swing shift or graveyard working as a Shift Test Engineer or Engineering Dept. backshift rep.
you get real creative. one of the things i learned was to not disrupt the cycle too badly if there were days off. my kids used to joke their dad was a vampire.

E.P. said...

Man, a one-hour critique in the shipyard? You must be doing something right.

Sam said...

I'm getting dizzy and exhausted just reading!

I swear your account of the kid situations could be mimicking our household right now...sans the sick and midwatch part. Sass mouth is the battle we have.

Hope flip flop back to the day schedule with relative ease!

C said...

re: MSG article... Eww.