Life has been a bit like the weather around here recently: a smattering of rain and clouds each day, but with bits of sunshine and bliss whenever and wherever you least expect them. Sydney’s gearing up for another conference presentation, this time in Ithaca at the end of the month, so he’s working hard to juggle school demands (Oxford is in term through the end of June) with writing. I’ve been compiling a teaching portfolio for the job market, a task that is both a nice break from normal research and a lot more work than I can afford to give right now, thus endangering the short paper I also need to write by the end of the month.
The kids have both succumbed to an eye infection that has had a number of trickle-down effects: a lot less sleep at night for everyone in the house, Nathaniel now howls when I approach him with a washcloth, neither child has enough energy to really enjoy a long outing so we have had few “big” adventures outside, and yesterday Katherine was so tired she fell off a chair and bit her tongue hard enough to make the doctor consider stitches. Needless to say, this has done a number on our morale! I do have to wonder what doctors make of a family like ours: two kids with terrible-looking eyes, both covered in bruises, one with a fairly serious mouth injury from the night before. Are all kids this crazy? Or am I unusually negligent?
But, despite the endless loop of lethargy and hyperactivity that inevitably comes with sick kids (yes, those things apply both to them and to me), we have made a few nice discoveries. Although I would have thought that we had the university parks “mastered,” since we walk around them every day, the kids have recently shown me new ways to play there. We’ve hidden under the giant weeping beech, had a picnic in the prairie grass, and run after bubbles in large expanses of green. Both kids are now very keen on getting out of the stroller at some point, and it’s always interesting to see how they play once they’re finally let loose. Some days they run like mad, in every direction and twice over, and other days they wander like lost sheep, trail after some amused jogger, or settle down to inspect flowers and blades of grass.