The pitfall of inscrutability…

As I type this, J is sitting on the couch listening to Luis Bacalov’s soundtrack for Il Postino.  He is doing this while watching Babe.  I don’t know -because my son lacks the ability to explain the choice of music and movie- if this is a sign of sophistication or the equivalent of an autistic I-can-fart-with-my-armpit joke.  I can reason through this (I did, after all, earn a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from a college that relies heavily on discourse as opposed to lecture…ergo, I can b.s. with the best of them) and say that both Mario Ruoppolo and Babe the Pig are underdogs, intrinsically poetic beings with an outer shell that is quite pedestrian.

Yeah…that sounds about right…or it’s just that J likes Bacalov’s use of the bandoneón (similar to the concertina,) and Babe the Pig’s happy mien.  I don’t know…but he’s completely happy with this combination right now.

The day didn’t start off that well.  In fact, this morning I was dealing with J’s absolute lack of enthusiasm and his pitch-perfect imitation of a tuberculosis patient at a sanatorium circa the late 1900s.  The only thing missing was the intermittent coughing, but he had the Greta Garbo wan and pale look down pat.  I was almost 100% sure that he was going to be sick.  You may ask why, and the explanation might or might not ring a bell with you: J was on the couch, the full length of his not particularly compact body extended, head on pillows, legs covered with a blanket…you get the picture.  The last time J did something like this, he had such a nasty cold that he wouldn’t even eat…that was YEARS ago.  J sits on the couch.  J perches like The Caterpillar.  J only lies down when it’s time to sleep or when he’s sick…otherwise, he is sitting…perhaps with his legs stretched out casually in front of him, but he never lies down unless it’s one of those two instances I’ve mentioned before.

Imagine, then, my concern when I saw J (all nearly 5′ 10″ of him) stretched out on the couch with a blanket over his legs.  And because nothing says “you have every reason to be worried, Mother” like the appearance of nausea, J did his best to look like he was about to hurl.  Every house should have (and ours does) an item we refer to as the hurl-bucket, and the only reason I didn’t pull it out of where we keep it is because I suspected a lot of J’s emoting was because school is out.  If he’d turned one shade of green, I’d have had that thing lined up in front of him faster than you can say “bleh!”

So the morning went by with J acting like I should be worried, me being worried, Dada e-mailing and asking for updates on J’s condition and TGG blissfully unaware of the “drama” because he didn’t go to sleep until 3 in the morning and why bother waking up before noon?

J insisted on a walk at 10 a.m.; at 10:30 he insisted on doing his Wii; at 11:00 he sat back down looking like death warmed over, at 11:15 I told him he was going to take a bath.  At 11:45 he sat on the couch and, since he was clean and his socks were not yet on, I rubbed his feet.  The look on J’s face was akin to what Handel was trying to convey with the Hallelujah Chorus…and that was the end of the moping and prostration.  If I had known it sooner, I’d have rubbed his feet while he was still in bed.

Since then we’ve started rolls for dinner, re-arranged the family room furniture (you entertain your kids your way, I will entertain mine this way,) finished the laundry and observed the workers preparing the road behind our townhouse for paving.  We also watered all the plants, moved a praying mantis from the green beans to the yellow squash (because of aphids,) and gathered some peppers and herbs.  This morning’s slippery slope has been conquered…or, better yet, we’ve planted our feet solidly and have managed not to slide all the way down in an uncontrolled free-fall.

In other news, J’s iPod is full.  Eight giga-bytes aren’t what they used to be…sigh.  So I’ve told Dada that it will be best to get him his iPad before the end of the year.  That way he has his iPod for portability, and his iPad for everything else…  Since J won’t be using the iPad for much else other than the few apps that are useful to him, the iTunes and very little else, he should be able to carry a lot of music there.  What he has now, sadly, isn’t enough for him.  Partly my fault, of course, because he knows where our CD collection is and I let him go through it and listen to things that he’s never tried before.  He then falls in love with something that isn’t already in his iPod and we are in a quandary…

Another piece of news: after a mild winter and an unusual summer, our own little (ok, not so little) groundhog is announcing a harsher winter.  J has declared that outdoor season is all but officially over, he has put aside his shorts and sleeveless shirts (and wears them only when insistently enticed to do so by his mother,) and is keeping the blankets handier than he has since we moved here.  In light of his telegraphed announcement (because J’s inscrutability is something that we can sort of unravel at this time,) I have measured the space in my room to see if I can move the computer to the warmer levels of our residence.  This winter, thank goodness, TGG will be working during the day, so J will not have to be in the frozen tundra to allow his brother some peace and quiet for well-deserved rest.

Of course, who knows what Mr. Garbo will decide…but I’m ready to move things at a moment’s notice!!!  And I’ve also researched prices for down coats…one never knows if I’ll have to weather another winter in the basement with the fans going full blast!


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