lmgtfy.*

One of the things I love most about The Who is his inquisitiveness. He asks questions all the time and although there is sometimes a string of mindless whys, usually his questions are probing, thoughtful, and complex. And now that he is older, at least half the time, I don’t have the answers.

I have never shied away from the “I don’t know; let’s look it up” response, but it has then always been on me to follow through. Several times, even pulling over to the side of the road while driving in order to google something on my phone. But now — with the addition of the laptop at his work/art table — he can start to find some of his own answers. Which is exactly what he did tonight. Baby’s First Google. Perhaps among the Gen X-er parent’s proudest moments.

He asked me, at dinner, which was taller: the Eiffel Tower or the Space Needle. I, needless to say, had no idea. Not even a hunch, frankly. And as soon as he was done eating, he strode right over to his desk, armed with the proper spelling of the search terms and set about finding out. I have http://www.safesearchkids.com bookmarked on his browser, which returns only kid-appropriate Google results (and uses a sister site — http://www.kidzsearch.com — for images) and within seconds, he had the information he was looking for.

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With some guidance, he brought up the calculator then, to figure out the difference in height and was ultimately so proud of his process that it was the first thing he told m* about when she walked in the door.

Say what you will about screens and kids, but I’m pretty satisfied with the way The Who is using this one these days. Technology for the win.

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*www.lmgtfy.com is one of my favorite sarcastic websites. It stands for “Let Me Google That For You” and it’s used for, well… you can see for yourself by clicking here.

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Four.

1. The bathroom, she is juuuuust nearly done. Waiting on the delivery and then installation of a cabinet and the procurement of some yellow towels and then I will exhale. In the meantime, we have a squeegee and yellow hand soap; things could be worse. Also, rainbows continue to stream in through the window. It’s one of my favorite things about the whole house: morning bathroom rainbows.

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2. Fall weather is in and out. I love the way the seasons fold into one another. It’s sort of like coloring a rainbow with crayons, overlapping the red into yellow and orange and then blending the wax on the page with a warm fingertip. Hard to see where one ends and the other begins. Yesterday was actually chilly. Today, warmer. Tomorrow, rain. It’s non-linear and it reminds me of New England with its April snowstorms.

3. We repurposed a piece of bathroom furniture (which was already a repurposed piece of The Who’s nursery furniture) and turned his art desk into more of a hybrid art/homework space. A MacBook (my old one) now lives there. Because it’s almost 2015 (what? How did it get to be the future?) and don’t all 6-year-olds have personal computers in their homework spots? That said, he is mostly using it for [child-safe] image searching so he can draw pictures of things. That’s my boy.
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4. The past month, though full of good things, has really been cramping my style. I understand that all things ebb and flow. I’m ready for some flow, please.

Golden.

Three things happened in sort of succession today. First, there was a little verbal tussle at the playground with a very good friend whom The Who really loves. But often, they miss the mark with each other and end up hurt and angry. In this case, I felt strongly that The Who had not been kind and empathetic–pretty much the two most important things. I believe that being kind to others and being kind to yourself are the keys to an entire life of contentment and success. And he wasn’t kind today. He was selfish. And then unforgiving. And, I get it. He’s five. But it doesn’t mean I don’t address it and encourage him to think about it and make it right.

So. Yeah. That happened. And we had a long talk about it in the car. And I explained the kind of response I expect from him and we talked about The Golden Rule and ultimately, I think he understood and took it to heart. And later, before bed, with some encouragement from me, but in entirely his own words, he wrote a letter of apology to his buddy.

Then, despite what should have been, by all accounts, an exhausting day, he had a very hard time falling asleep. He didn’t seem troubled or upset, but he was just — well — awake. He tried doing the Gratitude Alphabet (thinking of something for which he is grateful for every letter of the alphabet) and then he tried thinking of something in our house for every letter, but had no luck sleeping. In the end, I climbed into bed with him and swept my fingers across his temples the same way I did when he was an infant until his eyelids became too heavy to keep open, the same way they did when he was an infant and he drifted into sleep.

The third thing that happened was that I learned, during one of his insomniac visits downstairs, that he had misunderstood something a friend told him today. He has a play date with this new friend tomorrow and the friend is apparently going to the Monster Truck Jam with his dad tomorrow night. So, when the kid said, “we are going to the Monster Truck Jam tomorrow!” The Who naturally thought he meant during the play date. And he told me that he expected to be doing that at the play date since the kid told him so. I set him straight as gently as I could and although he admitted he was a little disappointed, he didn’t seem to be catastrophically so. I think maybe I am sadder at my own memories of disappointment and embarrassment due to misunderstandings than he actually is.

And now I’m down here in the quiet living room, wading through this sort of unidentifiable blue feeling. A combination of my disappointment with his behavior this afternoon, his misunderstanding of the play date events, and my empathy (or maybe projection) of his feelings about that. It’s complicated and simple all at the same time, but none of it is insurmountable.

Still, there it is: this general sense of hovering ennui on a Thursday night in early October. I think it’s time I put myself to bed.