Valentines and work

I haven’t blogged here in way too long because suddenly I have three jobs. Or maybe two. And then more people wanting me to work for them. It’s a heady feeling!

Meanwhile, for Valentine’s Day, Rook helped Moomin scan in the valentines from Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist: Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid.

Franny K. Stein is a young girl who happens to love genetic engineering, time machines, bats, zombies, and evil inventions. Her classmates are sweet, nice, and love to bake cookies and play soccer. Here is one of the valentines:

you caught my eye

In the middle of the night Rook was rethinking the idea. Was he going to get Moomin in trouble at school? Was it okay, or even remotely remotely okay, to give valentines with zombies sewing themselves up and eyeballs with dangling optic nerves… to 5 year olds? (Because Moomin’s class is K-2, so the kids are 5 to 8 years old.) We sent him with the valentines and the book to share with the class.

When I picked Moomin up, his teacher drew me aside. She said Moomin had come to her in the morning and said, “Ms. Hand? I want to tell you something. I’ve been questioning my decision to bring these particular valentines….” Ms. Hand encouraged him, explained the book to the class, and gave a lesson to everyone on wordplay, puns, and humor, gamely trying to explain “Suit yourself” vs. “Suture self” to kindergarten students. “He’s very sophisticated in his understanding of humor,” she told me.

This made me think of the first time he laughed, when he was around 4 months old. We were walking around the gardens in our apartment complex in Hellvine, with Rook and my parents, and Moomin in a stroller. I tripped and stumbled and barely stopped myself from falling over. This made him crack up. The connection was so definite, and he laughed so long, just the way he laughs helplessly now when something strikes him as hilarious. I even tested it a few minutes later by pretending to trip again, and it worked. He laughed himself sick.

Anyway, I’ve been working quite hard and long hours including when I’m in bed at night. I’m teaching, grading papers, and now working a full time job that I like a lot. Some of my blogs have been neglected. I haven’t been feeling like a very good mom in some ways, but I’m doing okay at it. A little preoccupied, a little tired, abstracted. Moomin will stay after school in the day care center 3 afternoons a week. The one day I’ll pick him up and the other, Rook will. I feel like the only nice mom-like thing I’ve been doing is continuing to read him Harry Potter out loud at night.

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