Tuesday, December 22 2020

playing dead, dude perfect, and what rodney's heart eats



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Hope you’re having a good Tuesday so far. Today is the 22nd, which puts us within striking distance to Christmas. I think it’s officially time to get excited about gifts, food, and most importantly time off from work. Tonight is the Recker family zoom-mas, and as we reminded Rodney last night, we’ll even get to open a few presents by the end of the day.

I’m ready for Christmas. Only three numbered links remain on our paper snowman Christmas countdown. I’ve got a splash of eggnog in my coffee this morning. I’m wearing the most festive sweater in my closet. The kitchen is already clean, and we’re ordering a pizza tonight. I have two work days left this week, but with a nearly empty remote office and only one other warm body inhabiting our team at the moment, it practically feels like a quiet study week. I think it’s time to get this Christmas show on the road.

Sip. Are you excited for Christmas? Before we jump into the week, how about a fish tank update.

After getting home from our big road trip this weekend, I hung around the tank while Marissa changed the water. As she siphoned liquid from the tank into a bucket on the floor, our clown fish Ibb and Obb darted around in a panic before parking in opposite corners of the tank and holding completely still.

“Isn’t this funny?” laughed Marissa. “Do you know what they’re doing? They’re playing dead.”

“Playing dead?” I laughed.

“Yep,” nodded Marissa. “They get stressed out when I take water out of the tank, and since they don’t have an anemone to hide in, they just have to settle for the corner of the tank.”

Marissa set the hose aside and leaned in for a closer look. “I can see you, stupid,” she taunted. “You’re in a transparent fish tank - there’s nowhere to hide.”

2020 12 22 play dead

A true master of disguise.

We had a small scare with our coral Champion. A few weeks ago Marissa moved his rock to clean around it, and Champion didn’t like that one bit. In fact he was so furious that he refused to open his fingers for several days at a time - a coral hunger strike. After lots of alone time and a few good water changes, he began opening up again and showing his happy green color. Since the incident, our catch phrase for champion is “DON’T TOUCH ME!”

From fish talk to poop talk. In other news, Rodney is finally pooping on the toilet. He’s learned how to tell us when he feels it happening, and he’s had so many successful transactions that as of yesterday he has bankrupted our bank of poop prizes. All six rubber dinosaurs are now in his possession. Marissa and I are ecstatic, and if we got nothing else for Christmas this year, light at the end of the dirty pull-up tunnel would make for a pretty good gift in itself.

But the poor guy is still having a tough time. Even though he can tell us he needs to go, he doesn’t like the sensation, and I think his bowel anxiety complicates things. As we were making the trip upstairs for our third transaction during dinner time, Rodney was explaining to me that his heart felt scared.

“Does pooping make you feel scared?” I asked, helping him grab a seat.

“No,” Rodney explained. “My heart feels scared. I think maybe my heart is scared of the poop and trying to get away.”

“Well, the good news is that you’re heart can’t get away,” I replied. “It’s stuck there, it’s not going anywhere.”

Rodney nodded. He scratched his chin, and stared past me trying to build on his own medical diagnosis.

“Do you think that your heart is just beating fast because you’re nervous?” I asked.

“Nervous?” asked Rodney. “No. My heart is scared of poop.”

It’s funny how when it comes to his own body, my opinion doesn’t carry any special weight. He doesn’t recognize my medical authority as an adult or even as someone who was only four credits away from a Biology minor. Rodney humors my opinions, then respectfully disregards them in favor of his own. His heart is scared of poop, and trying to get away.

“Maybe my heart wants to eat the poop,” said Rodney.

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Your heart doesn’t eat poop. It… uh, eats blood.”

“Blood?” squealed Rodney. “Noooooooo.” Rodney laughed, assuming I was just pulling his leg.

After dinner, we gathered on the couch as a family. This month, we’ve looked forward to new Dude Perfect videos every Monday. They’re not the trick shot videos they’re most famous for, but we’ve grown to like even their sillier videos and other filler content. Best of all, their Overtime videos are a half hour long, and that’s makes for a nice, long break on the couch without needing to hold Rodney’s attention.

Look, our family has been watching Dude Perfect for a while now. We’ve seen the characters grow and change. We have our own theories and alliances. Typically over dinner, especially on Monday night, we can be heard loudly discussing Dude Perfect theory at the table.

Without giving away too many spoilers, Cody got absolutely hosed in this past overtime, and our family’s consensus was that he kind of had it coming.

“Cody hasn’t been the same since that airsoft battle,” I said. “He went off and took the victory, and he’s been kind of cocky.”

“I agree,” said Marissa - Rodney’s eyes darted between us, trying to keep up. “Look, he just hasn’t been as care-free - he’s not the same Cody.”

“And I like Ty now!” I interrupted. “I’d have never thought that I would like him, he used to be my least favorite.”

It’s important to have distractions. Dude Perfect is a wonderful distraction. Thanks for stopping by today - hope you have a great Tuesday.