Archive for December, 2007

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by catharine on 25-04-2007

We passed our health inspection.  The man from the health department arrived, and my conviction that all would be well wavered only a little when he pulled out his light-saber like gun that he used to measure the temperature of the water in ever faucet in the house.  Apparently 110 degrees is good, but 125 degrees, that’s bad.  So, we stood at every faucet waiting for it to heat while he shot red lazer beams at the water and I looked on.  I followed behind as he peaked inside our fridge and cabinets and mumbled things like “excellent” and “very good.”  Inside I was thinking, “Damn straight! Those spices are organized, savory separate from sweet–what child wouldn’t thrive in an environment like that!”  I followed him through the garage, in which, for a moment, I thought our dreams of parenthood might be dashed by the haphazard placement of the lawn mower and ladder.  I was informed that a two year old wandering alone in the garage could be hurt by these things.  “Uh, huh?  Right..?”  I didn’t tell him what I thought would be the root of the problem in that situation, but I’ll tell you it wouldn’t be the fact that that ladder was left in the middle of the floor.  And, I followed him around our backyard where he praised our well-coiled hose.  “Is that good?” I asked.  “Yes, because of the dangers of entanglement.”  I tried to imagine Cliff or I trapped in the back yard, bound up by the garden hose in some freak lawn watering accident.  It was about this point in the inspection that I started to feel defensive of our theoretical kids–certainly we haven’t met them, but I’m pretty certain they’re going to be smart enough to evade the risks associated with a garden hose.

He also informed me that the tops of our fence should eventually be sanded down because of splinters–splinters are apparently a real danger.  He ran his hands up and down the boards of the fence and along our deck, which didn’t seem like a good idea to me because of splinters.  But, not being a health inspector myself, I didn’t say anything.  I guess I figured any kid we’d have would figure this out on his own, “Gee, when I rub my hands along the grain of wood, I get splinters…”  But, who am I to say.  I nodded gravely, “yes, yes, of course, sand down the tops of the fence line–first thing tomorrow.”  I told Cliff, but oddly, he’s at work today and not sanding our fence.  hmmm….

The inspection was concluded with me hastely slapping stickers on our back door, which is mostly glass, and since our nephew has recently run through a plate glass door, I will concede the need for this.  Once informed of this danger, however, Cliff, who takes all this a little more personally, calculated angles of entry and exit through the door, formulating complex equations taking speed and possible trajectory into account based on the placement of the kitchen table and informed me confidently that it would be nearly impossible for any child to go through our back door.   So there, state-health-inspector guy, we see your over-regulated beurocratic child well-fare standards, and raise you our over-priced and otherwise unused advanced education.

So, now we wait for the homestudy to be scheduled….

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by catharine on 25-04-2007

We have finally submitted the last of our application paperwork.  Neither Cliff nor I have Tuberculosis (yes, we join you in breathing a collective sigh of relief), and assuming all goes well on Monday during our home health inspection, and they find that, in fact, we do have indoor plumbing and, in fact, do not have evidence of rodents in the house (these are among the minimum standards I was given), we should be able to begin our Home Study this month–maybe.  It seems difficult to get a straight answer out of anyone, and since we did drag our feet this fall while I taught and finished my thesis, I feel no need to rush anyone along–not that I harbor any delusions of actual control anymore anyway. 

I rarely feel a need to rush at all these days as my five and ten year plans out of college are entirely shot to h#*@ at this point.  First there was a sense of urgency, then there was panic, and finally there was a numbing sense of calm; they say you feel the same way just before you freeze to death.  Why do they make us write those things?  It seems their only purpose is to cause one to have mini life crises at even intervals of five and ten years when it becomes apparent that one’s goals were utterly unrealistic, or at least did not take into account two and a half years of infertility treatment, the bureaucracies associated with Child Protective Services, or the actual amount of time it takes to pay back student loans.  Somehow those details were not calculated into the grand plan–somehow those all important milestones that have literally consumed years of my 20s did not even exist ten years ago.  Maybe the purpose of the five and ten year plan is to evenly space the crises, which would otherwise come at inconveniently unexpected intervals?  Now, I can simply pencil it onto my calendar–“May 15, 2013, begin mini life crisis because you have not built enough equity in your home, you still have not decided if/when to do a PhD, you can no longer recite the first 30 lines of the Iliad in dactylic hexameter.”  The last one probably won’t bother me that much, but you never know–at least I can forgo panic related to it now for a neatly scheduled panic attack five years from now.  very civilized.

 Well, all that being said, we hope to soon announce that the state deems us fit to parent.  My two-year-old nephew will be relieved to know it.  Last night he informed me and his mother that “mamma works, but Catcoo doesn’t work.”  “Catcoo” is my deliciously adorable nickname that I hope will survive my nephew’s toddler years.  Now, why he has concluded that I don’t work is not clear; it certainly feels like work whenever I’m running around after him, and by the time I’ve graded 40 Greek exams in one afternoon, I’m convinced that I work.  But, because he’s two, and primarily because he calls me Catcoo and cheers when he sees me, his conclusions about my professional shortcomings seem not only adorable but also somehow insightful.  Maybe I shouldn’t work!  Maybe all I want is to spend my days with two year olds who claim every object within reach is their’s and demand to eat fig newtons like appetizers before every meal?  I’m certainly considering it.

 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.”  Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. (James 4.12-16)