A territorial dispute…and a philosophical quandary of sorts

The weather, in all its rainy glory, has encouraged J to occupy the family room.  He has brought reinforcements.  Any incursion on our part is repelled by Madeline and company, Bette Midler and Rosemary Clooney, Queen and J himself.  I know it sounds absurd, but once Barry Manilow starts accompanying Bette Midler in On A Slow Boat to China for the, oh, tenth time in a row…retreat is the only option.  (Surrender would imply being taken prisoner and no one wants to be stuck in the family room listening to that song for hours on end.)

I am not complaining about the rain.  The only thing that bothers me about all this is that J hasn’t had much outdoor time since last week.  We still walk to check the mail, and he’ll help me with the garden, but he hasn’t really sat outside and listened to his music since we had that horrible heat wave a while back.  With the rain, going to the pool has been impossible so here we are, listening to music and doing the usual housework.

We have put together an Animal Album with pictures we printed and clipped to size.  We are working on learning how to sign all these animals’ names…all fifty-one of them.  To reinforce this we have taken out a plastic tub full of plastic animal figures J has amassed over the years.  The combination of plastic animals and pictures sent me scrambling to google to find how to sign some of them.  Never in my wildest flights of fancy would I have imagined I’d learn how to sign OPOSSUM.  We see enough of them run over by cars on the side of the road (poor dears…looking every bit pathetic) to justify knowing this word and signing.  Of course, since most of the opossums we see are dead, I’ve learned to sign DEAD OPOSSUM for J.  I don’t know how well he understands the concept of DEAD, but I’m working on it…considering that one of our cats has obviously met her doom and is no longer around, you’d think he gets that she’s, well, dead, but I think he just assumes she’s not here and that’s that.  The sign for LOSS has failed to convey the cat’s situation…

Next week is the last week of summer program for J.  Wednesday is Water Play Day, and a change of clothes has to go with him to school.  They will also have a cooking-day for which I’ve been asked to provide a child-friendly recipe that is “typical” of our cuisine.  That they think our cuisine is Mexican or New Mexican is beside the point…I could try to explain that we’re really Puerto Rican, but I get the feeling it would be confusing to them…”well, you see, we are from Puerto Rico, but we learned about Mexican cuisine in California and New Mexico where we also learned about New Mexican cuisine which is inspired by Mexican cuisine but adapted to…and Puerto Rican cuisine differs from Mexican and New Mexican cuisine in this way…”  And cue the blank looks…we get them all the time.

I figured I’ll send J to school ready to make quesadillas, which are kid-friendly, easy and non-comittal in terms of which cuisine they belong to because, in essence, they are a grilled cheese sandwich with an alternate kind of bread.  (And I’m rolling my eyes…I know I’m taking the easy way out here.)

Next week I have to get ready for J’s real vacation…that time between end of summer program and the beginning of the school year.  I know that, to a degree, he’s ready for this break.  He hasn’t stopped enjoying going to school Monday through Thursday, but he sees on the calendar where I’ve written “end of ESY” and it doesn’t bother him.  I’ve told him there are things we’ll do starting next Friday, and I think he’s looking forward to them.

That TGG has been offered a daytime shift at work is good news.  We are now in a position where J will have to get used to another schedule for his brother, but it’s a small adjustment to make.  Instead of seeing TGG leave at 10 P.M. on nights he works, J will now see his brother spending more time awake during the daytime hours.  Perhaps we will even see him at the dinner table more frequently than we have been, and seeing TGG up early in the morning will not mean “crap, we’re going to the doctor!!!” to J.

Every forecast for tomorrow morning says we will be able to go to Market as we do on Saturday mornings.  I am hoping we can, but I am not holding my breath.  All we need, really, is one hour to go to town and then we’ll come home and work on different things with J.  Tomorrow I plan to take advantage of the rainy day to help him clean his room and figure out what, if anything, we can put out next weekend for the neighborhood’s garage sale.  So far we have very few items; so few, in fact, that it might not be worth it to participate, but we’ll see…

Ah…time to scoot…Freddie Mercury has been placed on “center stage” and I am pretty sure this means we’re going for a Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle Race or Fat Bottomed Girls marathon.  Since I forgot to buy Tylenol this week, I need to vacate the premises no later than the second round of whatever song J’s going for…otherwise I will have a splitting headache no matter how far from Queen I sit.

It’s a small price to pay…he’s pleased with the furniture layout and he’s not curled up on the couch looking at the rain while listening to Chopin (one of the saddest things you can listen to while watching it rain…)

Off to work on all the things I need to prepare for the coming days-at-home J has on the calendar…I still have to figure out how to explain DEAD to J.  I mean…shouldn’t everyone understand that type of finality?  Feel free to share your thoughts on that…


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