Major energy companies have announced their fueling stations will switch to corn-based ethanol only in 2016. However, only computer professionals are allowed to purchase Shell kernels.
As part of our homeschooling lessons we have both a map of the world on one wall and a map of the United States on another. It helps us to show the girls where things are happening now and where events happened in the past. Plus, maps are cool. (What can I say, I learned to read the Rand McNally Road Atlas on the john from my father.)
I’m particularly impressed with my toddler’s ability to identify states by pointing to them on the U.S. map. However, her 15-year-old sister has a little too much influence in her learning. You see, my eldest is a huge fan of the band R5, especially Ross Lynch. He also stars on Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally as well as both Teen Beach Movie specials. I don’t mind that she’s a fan, he seems to be an entertaining young man and the shows in question are innocent fun. But she can be a little obsessed and it’s rubbing off on her littlest sister, as evidenced by this exchange…
“Where does Ross live, sweetie?”
Toddler correctly points to California on the map.
“Where was Ross born?”
Toddler correctly points to Colorado on the map.
“Where we you born, sweetie?”
Toddler looks at map, looks back at sister and says, “What?”
As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I homeschool our kids. Although the brunt of the labor falls to my pregnant wife (pun intended), I help out whenever and wherever I can. I’m often assisting our high school kid with her math and both her and her 11-year-old sister with their book reports and writing assignments. When it comes to the little ones, I try to read to them when I can and find ways to explain what’s going on so they can learn about the world around them.
Take, for example, my 6-year-old. The other day she had a slight fever and an upset stomach. I took her sisters to visit their grandparents for the afternoon while she rested. As the afternoon went by she seemed to be feeling a little better, even though the fever remained low-grade. So, no visit to the doctor was necessary. After running some late afternoon errands and picking up her sisters I came home to find her napping. When she woke, she began to complain of abdominal pain. Usually she’s pretty quick to complain of a pain, but equally quick to shake it off. Not this time.
Abdominal pain coupled with a fever. Yeah, we’ve been through appendicitis before and had some concerns. So I took her to the ER as the pediatrician’s office was closed.
All discomfort, pain and fever aside, she was a brave little patient for the doctors, nurses and techs. When they came in to get an abdominal x-ray, she said, “Don’t you and daddy have to put aprons on?” The techs were impressed she knew that. (Let’s hear it for Curious George Goes to the Hospital.) And every time something new came up I tried to tell her what was going on, like the ultrasound they took. Whenever she asked me a question, I tried my best to answer her. Because when you’re fully committed to homeschooling, it’s a round-the-clock job.
Fortunately it was not appendicitis; just a minor viral infection causing some minor swelling of the lymph nodes in the abdomen on top of constipation. (Weird that our kid who eats the most fruits by a huge margin got constipated.) Of course, paying for an ER visit for constipation is a lot like the late Robert Schimmel paying for an ER visit for gas. (You can pay that on credit card, you know. But it’s embarrassing when you’re on a date and the waiter brings back your card and says, “I’m sorry we can’t except this for payment because…WHAT? YOU PAID $150 TO FART IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM!?”)
So, as per doctor’s orders, we gave her some Miralax to help get traffic moving, so to speak. That happened while I was out, but she continued to have some problems. It’s no fun to hear your 6-year-old say, “Daddy, I just farted and something came out.” It’s even less fun to hear that 4 times in the span of 90 minutes. That Miralax sure worked good. I’m glad I bought the extra jug of All the day before.
Of course, even this was a teaching opportunity. I got to teach my 6-year-old the word “shart.”
“What’s that mean, Daddy?”
“Um, it means shoot and fart put together. Because, um, you fart and something, um, shoots out with it. Yeah, that’s exactly what it means.”
Yeah, I’m quite the homeschooling dad! Always teaching the kids something practical.
-I’m starting the first anti-social media site. I’m calling it PalmBook!
-I am still thoroughly convinced King Kong would beat Indominus Rex.
-I don’t care about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner’s penis or lack thereof.
-Of all the animals I’ve seen outside of my house in the wee hours of the morning going to work, only the skunks make me stay inside a little longer.
–Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Deadpool. Yeah, I’m totally stoked about the movie line-up for 2016 even though I haven’t seen a single 2015 movie. (Or 2014, or 2013…)
-I saw an employee of the local Firehouse Subs wearing a shirt which read “STAND BACK 200 FEET” on the back. Sheesh, if it’s gonna give me that much gas perhaps I’ll settle for McDonald’s.
-A few years back I thought of opening a restaurant called Lion Burger. One of the sandwiches was going to be called the Cecil. Guess that’s not such a good idea now.
-Yes, that last one was probably too soon.
My wife and I have a pretty good system for getting ready to leave the house with the kids. We have our 15-year-old get the toddler’s socks and shoes on; we have the 11-year-old bring socks downstairs for the 6-year-old (who often forgets them); and I fill the diaper bag with diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes, just in case. Meanwhile, my wife makes sure the girls brush their teeth and hair.
We make sure we begin this process ten minutes before we have to leave.
Therefore, five minutes after we were supposed to leave I am pulling the toddler out of my eldest daughter’s arms and putting her shoes on; my wife is making a vain attempt to brush the 6-year-old’s hair while the latter curls into a ball in the corner with both arms over her head; the 11-year-old is still upstairs reading with her sister’s socks in her hand; and the 15-year-old is now glued to her iPod.
Five more minutes later we are all ready to leave except for my wife, who must rummage through the diaper bag to take out the spare outfit, replace it with a different one and recount all diapers, wipes and the changing pad.
This is how we make the most efficient use of our time in the jason’s household.