Thursday, April 15 2021

faking it, spider talk, and fried shrimp

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. Just rounding the corner of a full work week - hang in there, the weekend is nigh.

Just look at me. I sound so alert and ready for the day. Hey, don't tell anyone this, but I'm totally faking it. In fact, both Marissa and I have made a secret pact to just pretend we're out of vacation mode. After putting the boys to bed, we commiserated about Thursday's return to a normal life of waking up early, working, cleaning, laundry, and home projects.

"I'm not ready to go back," I sighed. "I'm still in vacation mode."

"Me too," said Marissa. "I'm struggling to find the motivation."

I reminded her of the genius of my system. You always return to work in the middle of a work week. If you do well and kick butt, great! Enjoy the weekend. But if re-entry is a little bumpier than expected and you just can't find your bearings, don't sweat it. You have next week to try again.

"Tomorrow is just a practice run," I laughed. "Then we're already at Friday. Just fake it 'til you make it."

Even for a practice run, today is a busy day. I have a code screen. I have a few 1-on-1's. I have to catch up on the late happenings of the interns' project. Most urgently, my backlog of slack and email messages has swelled to the point of forcing my hand.

Sip. Forget about Thursday. I don't have to write about Thursday until tomorrow. Let's recap Wednesday, shall we? Hard to believe that only twelve hours ago my brain was suspended in a care-free Spring Break state of mind. Being the last day of our break, the name of the game was squeezing every bit of relaxation out of yesterday evening. We slept in. Rodney and I woke up at the same time, and he casually followed me downstairs while I made a pot of coffee.

"What do you want for breakfast, dude?" I asked tiredly. I expected him to say "lucky charms" or "a crappy bar", but Rodney caught me off guard when he said "a dutch baby".

"You want a Dutch baby?" I laughed.

"Yeah," Rodney nodded. "With bacon."

I scratched my head. I peeked into the fridge to check if we had enough eggs. "Well I guess I had better get started," I laughed.

That was a good call on Rodney's part. He got to spend the quiet part of the morning watching YouTube on the couch, and I got to drink coffee while watching bacon sizzle on the stove. Marissa, Miles, and the puppies would join us later. Our lazy morning rolled into a lazy afternoon. After lunch and some playtime, we put Miles and Rodney in their rooms. Marissa and I sprung on the opportunity to take a long nap. We slept for over an hour until my alarm rang.

"Let's order out for dinner," I suggested. From napping position, I flicked through restaurants on Eat Street. We landed on "Taste of India" - a first for us. I placed a food order.

Meanwhile, Rodney could be heard thumping around in his room. I hollered from our bedroom, "Want to come out dude?"

"Sure!" resounded Rodney's tiny voice. He came galloping across the hallway and into our room. He climbed up onto the bed, promptly showing me his toy rubber spider.

"This is spider," he said. "He's a nice spider. We're going to make him a house, and he can make all the little spiders in my walls come out and they can all be friends."

"That's a great idea, dude," I said. We had forty five minutes before our food would arrive, and I wasn't ready to get out of bed. It was high time for one of Rodney's bizarre rambling monologues. "What else do you know about spiders?" I prompted.

Rodney launched into a full blown spider seminar. He outlined his plans to use his toy spider as an ambassador to reach all the other spiders in the house, and once they were lured out of their hiding places he could throw a big spider party. He peppered in some fun facts too, like "did you know spiders live in your mouth? They come out of your mouth and your bones at night."

On the other side of the bed, Marissa's face wrung uncomfortably. But Rodney would not be dissuaded. He pressed on with Spider Talk 2021.

"And did you know that Spiders have ten legs," he asked?

"Wait a second, dude," I interrupted. "They have eight."

Rodney placed his rubber spider on my chest. "One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten," he said aloud touching each of the rubber appendages.

"See these front two leggies?" I asked. "These are mouth parts. You don't count the parapets."

"Para-pets?" Rodney repeated. As an side, while looking up the spelling of that word, I just learned it was the wrong term all together. A parapet is a building structure, and I meant to say pedipalps. So it appears that I am just as reliable as Rodney when it comes to spider facts.

I glanced at my phone again to check on the food. To my shock, a half hour had passed. Rodney had been talking about spiders for a half hour - a feat on its own.

"Dude, you've been spider talking for a whole half hour," I chuckled. Marissa, with her eyes still closed began to laugh. "That's like a whole Sunday morning sermon," I added. Rodney just smiled.

We made our way downstairs to the dinner table, collecting our Indian food from the front porch on the way. Rodney ordered fried shrimp. He was fascinated by the crusty tails at the end of each piece. We circled back on the subject while putting him to bed.

"So what did you try today?" I asked.

"Chicken!" said Rodney.

"Not quite," I corrected. "Dude, that was shrimp. You know what a shrimp looks like?"

I took out my phone. Rodney was grateful for the mid bedtime distraction. He reached over my shoulder, flicking through shrimp pictures on my phone.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Thursday, everyone. Remember - fake it 'til you make it.