Never have I cursed a former self as much as I cursed the Self of Friday Night when I woke up early Saturday morning. Getting up EARLY on a SATURDAY to go watch ADOLESCENT DEBATERS? Madness! It didn't help that I'd felt it necessary to watch both the 10PM and 1AM showings of Battlestar Galactica (OMG the FINALE! JULY IS TOO FAR AWAY!).
It was heinous. But I got up, forced myself out into the rain, drove a half hour to the debate location, went inside, and spent four hours listening to 14-year-olds debate whether local or national laws better protected civil liberties. They were so adorable, the boys in awkward-looking suits, the girls wearing strappy sandals in spite of the monsoon outside. And they were so SMART! Holy crap! Discussing things like Northern Ireland and John Locke! The judge I was shadowing had two different colored pens and her sheet always looked organized and clean when she was done, full of arrows showing arguments carrying over through rounds and cross-examinations. Mine was full of things like, "nat. = [illegible scribbling]" and long blank spots where I got involved in what the kid was saying and forgot to write things down. At the second debate, I had to keep track of the time as well, which was extremely complicated! Really it was! It sounds easy, but plastic kitchen timers can be surprisingly incomprehensible to a person who bakes approximately twice a year! Not to mention the hand signals I had to give to signify the amounts of time remaining.
VERY COMPLICATED! I mean, the minute warnings were simple enough (just holding up the appropriate number of fingers), but sometimes the kid wouldn't look up while I had my hand up, and sometimes when he did, I'd already have had my hand up for like fifteen seconds, and when it's a three-minute timeframe, that's a big chunk of time! But there was no way to signify that difference! Maybe I should have negotiated something, like, when I'd had my hand up a while, I'd start wiggling my fingers or snapping them or something.
[Random Interjection: Is Blind Justice as bad as it looks from the ads? Is it possible for a show to be that bad? "You'd be safer with a man who can SEE!"]
Anyway, as far as I could tell, I didn't destroy anyone's performance, so I call it a success.
Saturday night I had to babysit, which started out great - air hockey, computer games, dancing. The usual. And then, just after my gourmet dinner (potato soup and scrambled eggs), I was in the kitchen getting things together to make brownies for dessert, when I heard the most awful, ungodly sound. It sounded like some cross between a retch and a cough, almost like the sound a cat makes when coughing up a hairball, except REALLY LOUD. Like The Exorcist! It sounded exactly like The Exorcist!
I whipped around and looked at Emma, who was still sitting at the kitchen table. "Was that –"
"I'm FINE," she said, very emphatically, and then opened her mouth wide and OUT CAME THE EXORCIST SOUND!
I was all "Oh my GOD," but when I ran over, she would have nothing to do with me, just waved me away and insisted that not only was she fine, she was great! And then more Exorcist Sound!
At this point I was convinced I'd poisoned her. Given her botulism from the potato soup, or not scrambled the eggs enough, or, I don't know. Poisoned her with my presence! Something!
I so miss the days when she was under four and I could just pick her up and haul her to the bathroom no matter what she said, even if, during one of those times, we didn't make it to the bathroom and she ended up vomiting all over my neck and shoulder. At least I could impose my will! She's seven now, almost eight, and while I can still pick her up when she wants to be picked up, picking her up while she's fighting me isn't as possible.
When I asked her to come with me to the bathroom for the fourth time, she jumped up and ran (naturally!). Right into the living room. Where she barfed on the middle cushion of my aunt's brand-new couch.
I grabbed a pan and paper towels and ran into the living room, where she was still making the Exorcist Noise and insisting she was FINE in spite of the pool of barf next to her. I held out the pan in front of her and, when it came time to barf again, she leaned in towards me and - now I can't prove this, but I swear she did this - deliberately turned her head to miss the pan and hit the rug.
Once her stomach was empty, the Exorcist Noise stopped but the tears started and the Garbo-esque "I just want to be ALONE!" continued. It was very stressful! I alternated between mopping up the barf with paper towels and trying to sneak a hand in to check her forehead for a fever. I finally got her to give in when I told her that she could feel my forehead while I felt hers and I would only touch it for ten seconds (we counted out loud together).
After this was done, I asked if she wanted some apple juice.
She said, loudly, "NO!" and then, rather calmly, "Frankie is eating the paper towels."
I assumed she meant the roll I'd left on the floor behind me, but when I turned around, Frankie the dog wasn't running off with the roll of new towels. HE WAS EATING THE VOMIT-COVERED PAPER TOWELS.
That was fun. I had to chase him through the house, yanking the towels away from him, all the while doing my best to stifle my own gag reflex.
Oh, such a glamorous life!
On Sunday I saw two movies, and liked both of them for different reasons. ( miss congeniality 2 )( the upside of anger )
I spent a good chunk of Monday watching coverage of the Pope's life and death. It's kind of terrible how little I knew about him; I always thought of him as a frail old man who refused to let us use birth control or ordain women. And, okay, he was that guy, but he was a lot of other things too, and it doesn't speak well of me that it took his death for me to find that out.
Ah, I'm such a crappy Catholic. I should go to mass. I should know important biographical details of my Pope. I shouldn't stand in church and say, "We believe in one God, the father, the Almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen...mumble mumble...suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again, in fulfillment of the scriptures. He will come again...mumble mumble mumble... one holy, catholic and apostolic church...mumble mumble...Amen."
I could go on and ON about my spiritual inner workings, but I will spare you. It's messy and confused and doesn't make much sense right now. Or, you know, ever.