18 June 2008

The Myth of the Long, Lazy Summer Day

Yes, the days are long, but they seem to be spent in a frenzy of Getting Stuff Done.

My main occupation this week seems to be ferrying kids back and forth to dance class. It's time for some intense dance practice as we're getting ready for Nationals. At this point we've amassed most of our accoutrements -- MAC lipliner in the appropriate shade, Boots Bronzer in the appropriate shade, the correct wig, the Hullachan shoes (oops, still need a dress bag; add that to the list). Now we come to the home practice, like Getting the Wig On So It Looks Halfway Decent and Applying Bronzer And Seeing If Child Gets a Rash From It. And, of course, the dance classes.

Thalia and I were in the grocery yesterday (sale on popsicles! add that to the list -- we still have freezer room!) and were talking to another adult. The adult asked Thalia how old she is. Thalia replied "12", and I thought to myself, "Why didn't she say 'Under 13?'" because that's the age she is according to the Irish Dance world. And I realized that I was losing my ability to have a normal conversation, since normal people answer age questions with simple numbers like "12". Of course, the adult in question would've understood what was meant by "Under 13" because that woman has a daughter who dances in Open Champion, which is the upper echelon of competition and translates into "we have spent several years and thousands of dollars on this".

So, not only have I lost my ability to have a normal conversation, but it doesn't matter since the people I usually talk to understand this weird "code" I'm using. Isn't this a sign of belonging to a cult?

We had this notion of doing some school over the summer. Thalia is working on Analytical Grammar and Life Of Fred Algebra. Sometimes she also works on Latin. AnnaBeth is working on First Language Lessons 3 and also RightStart C. She is less enthused about the summer school concept. It really doesn't take long, and if we have other obligations during the week (like, say, 10-15 hours of dance classes) we don't bother. We're also continuing our read alouds, which are drawn from Ambleside Online Year 2 plus our continuing slog through Every Little House Book Ever Written Including Prequels And Sequels. I was working on Henle Latin, but it doesn't get done if I'm always driving or messing with wigs, plus, honestly, I don't think there are direct translations into Latin for things like jig, reel, and hornpipe, AND DOES ANYTHING ELSE REALLY MATTER?.

Thalia is also learning how to clicker train a cat, specifically Demon Kitty. Thalia is good at working with animals -- it's really neat to watch her, as a matter of fact. The training has only been going on for a couple of days. We hope to eventually train Demon Kitty to be less demonic. I was reading Karen Pryor's book on clicker training in which she tells about teaching her dog to not attack her cat. And, of course, I was attracted to the notion of "not attack the cat", and decided to see if we could teach Demon Kitty to remain calm around Wimp Cat. Expect blog posts.

We have made it to the pool, and even taken a (non-dancing) friend along. And we've had neighborhood kids hanging around our house (nothing like a freezer full of popsicles to make your house attractive on a hot day). Kids have stayed out late chasing fireflies, and have run through sprinklers. Really, I think the kids are having a great summer. I'm the one who wandering in a daze. But I'm thinking that isn't season-specific behavior on my part.


km said...

I'm in that DAZE right now. I was reading posts...and that sort of clicked at the end of yours. Now I don't expect to have energy until it cools off a bit. I'm ready for a nap.

Tara said...

I just spent the last four nights making tribal hair ornaments and sewing cowry shells and fake bronze thingies on a halter top for tribal. Tonight I am starting on a belt make from various '80s disco belt pieces, a felted sweater and sari yarn to keep from having to spend $75 for one. The cuff bracelet I could not fabricate, even if I drew on every thrifty costume making secret power I have, so I had to plonk down $37 for that. Mandatory rehearsal is tomorrow night. Class on Saturday. Class on Sunday. Need to make the melodia pants but can't find the right fabric anywhere. Need to alter the sleeves on the purple cabaret costume. Need to write a check for the special seminar on isolations in August.... in short, I feel your pain, sister.
Someday, our kids will appreciate all this. Or we'll all end up in group therapy.