Friday, September 10 2021

kennel cough, bran, and rodney's teacher

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everybody. Happy Friday. I may not have any work today, but I can still cheer you on from the sidelines while you close out your week.

The house feels so quiet and classy this morning. Marissa silently moves around the dining room tidying things up. Miles jabs at a crumbled up breakfast bar with a single sticky index finger, and the dogs opportunistically camp around his high chair hoping to claim some of those crumbs for themselves. Just a typical scene around here.

I can't remember if I mentioned this, but we finally got Ziggy to the vet. It turns out she picked up some kennel cough in her last stay at day care. Marissa would have easily recognized the coughing, but Ziggy's vaccination made it much harder to detect the subtle congestion noises. The coughs were so small they just sounded like oinks.

Our Miss Piggy is getting medicine, but it makes her drowsy. She's spent all week sulking, feeling sorry for herself because she has to take a short break from her active life style. Until the cough clears up, no walks, no agility, and no beating the crap out of her sister.


When she is ready to beat the crap out of Minnie, at least she will be nearby.

Sip. Happy recharge Friday. After getting so fired up about my new idea for a beetle farm, I reached out to my teammate Vicente about taking my on-call shift. Thanks to him, Marissa and I are free to crawl around town looking for beetle farm supplies without worrying about getting paged.

Which reminds me - does anyone have a dozen pounds of raw bran taking up space in their house? I have my worms in raw oats, but filling a medium sized garbage can with raw oats from the grocery store might get a little expensive. If you got a lot of bran you don't know what to do with and you like the idea of making a hundred beetle larvae very happy, please reach out.

Meanwhile, Rodney is completing his first full week of school. We're really starting to hit a cadence now, especially in the little things. Marissa braves the neighborhood traffic jam twice a day for pick-up and drop-off. Rodney orders a milk. I make his lunch the night before. It finally dawned on me that all that time I spent writing a message on his napkin for nothing since Rodney can't read, so now we just draw a silly doodle on his napkin instead. Thursday was Chase from Paw Patrol. Today, Marissa drew a corgi eating a slice of pizza - undoubtedly a callback to our own family pizza date last night.

We finally got to meet Rodney's teacher, by the way. We met her on an afternoon zoom call earlier this week. She was warm, energetic, and friendly, and she had plenty to say about Rodney.

"Did Rodney and Archer know each other already?" she asked.

"No," laughed Marissa. "They met on the first day of school."

Rodney mentioned his new friend Archer a few times. But we learned from his teacher that the two boys are at each other's side most of the day. Rodney didn't even know his name. Until recently, he referred to Archer as the kid with the Batman mask.

We also learned how outgoing he is. Rodney's teacher said most Kindergarteners are timid when they first meet their teacher. Rodney showed now hesitation. He jumped right in to conversation. "I learned more about Spider-Man in the first ten minutes of meeting Rodney than I've ever known."

His teacher asked us about Rodney. "What does he like to do at home?" Marissa stared at each other blankly, each of us trying to find words that didn't make Rodney seem so bizarre. He strips down to his underwear the second he gets home. He invents his own indoor sports. He sleeps with forty stuffed animals and action figures.

"Rodney... always kind of has one foot in the imaginary realm," I laughed. "He'll make up stories, characters, and even his own facts."

"Yeah, has he said anything about Eddie yet?" asked Marissa.

His teacher leaned into her camera in interest. "Eddie hasn't come up. Is Eddie a friend?"

"He's a dinosaur. And sometimes he counters things with Eddie told me that's not true," continued Marissa. "That might come up if you're telling Rodney to do something."

So when he gets on his Eddie shit, just be ready to nip it in the butt, teacher, I thought to myself.

By all accounts, Rodney is doing well in school. We're not surprised. I feel like Rodney is Mr. School around those parts.

I think I'll cut things a little short today. We have a beetle farm to plan. I hope you have a great Friday, everybody. Thanks for stopping by today - I'll see ya when I see ya.