Wednesday, September 22 2021

covid test results, an altercation at school, and first steps

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Wednesday. We're kicking off the day on a good note after Marissa opened up some good news in her MyChart account last night. The COVID test came back negative. She's still miserably sick, but at least things aren't going to get more complicated than that. At the moment, we don't have to worry about pulling Rodney out of school, isolating the family, or God forbid missing the Blackhawks season opener next week.

I've got my mind on my birthday next week. I'll be going off call, taking some time off work, seeing a hockey game with Rod and Marissa, and in all likelihood impulse buying another spider.

"You can only have three spiders," Marissa reminds me whenever I broach the subject. But the coy smile that follows just makes me think she's trying to set the stage before she ratifies a new agreed upon upper spider limit in lieu of a Birthday present.

Next Wednesday is going to be fun and restful, and this Wednesday couldn't be any different. Appointments - responsibilities - speckle the calendar, spanning from the moment I finish writing all the way up until putting the boys to bed, and I'll even have a few chores to finish after that. Office hours, 1-on-1's, a team stand-up, a special project meeting, ice skating lessons, and a family duo call. On top of everything, I have yet to put my own laundry away. All gas, no breaks today. Thank God for coffee. I would be lost without you, my dark, swirling, peppy friend.

Sip. How is your week going so far? Are you holding everything down? How about a lunchbox napkin doodle to cheer you up?


I think Marissa hit it out of the park with today's doodle. I love when an artist can make a character look alive with so few pen strokes. It looks like something out of a Sunday paper comics section. And the little spots of pink she colored with a highlighter really elevate the piece. Marissa should consider becoming an artist or something - I bet she would be pretty good at it. Tonight is my turn for the napkin drawing, and if I want to maintain the same level of quality that Rodney has come to expect, I had better pull out all the stops.

With Marissa still on sick leave, yesterday I reprised my role as temporary school bus. Not wanting to deal with the Jason Mraz concert traffic jam that wraps around the block each day, I just left early and walked Rodney's green wagon on foot. He climbed into the back and the two of us began to steadily ramble down the sidewalk. Even while digging into an after school chocolate bar, something weighed heavily on his mind. He blurted out the whole story, drowned out by the rattling of the wagon wheels on the sidewalk. "Did you hear me, dad?" he asked. I stopped and knelt down by the wagon. Rodney began crying. "I got in trouble today," he said. "Juniper's friend starting beating on me, and I scratched her, and the teacher told me to sit down."

Marissa helped us piece together the story when we got home. Rodney and his buddy Archer were tagging along with Juniper and Juniper's friend during recess, but the girls wanted to be left alone. Juniper's friend shoved Archer to the ground and then swung at Rodney. Rodney, always eager to demonstrate his Spider-man like agility, may have dodged the first swing, but she connected on the next punching him squarely in the stomach. From there, we think Rodney tried to catch her fist and, in the process, accidentally scratched her. She ran off to tell the teacher, undoubtedly using the little trickle of blood on her arm as a smoking gun to pin the whole thing on Rodney.

"The teacher got mad and told me to sit down," said Rodney tearfully. I could imagine how guilty Rodney must have felt watching her get a Bandaid.

Rodney was pretty broken up about the altercation, but after a night to think it over, he was in a good place. Taking a swig of milk at the breakfast table, he announced "if Juniper's friend tries to knock me down, I'm going to say I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT.. Then I'll leave her alone."

In other news, Miles took his first steps last night. Miles has been flirting with the motion of walking for the past few weeks, and I was reluctant to get onto the floor with Marissa and celebrate - mostly because I was comfortable on the couch watching a really good tarantula video on YouTube. Marissa persisted, and I eventually got off my ass to record a video. Without further ado, here are Miles' first steps as a bipedal human being.

Isn't he spectacular? He wins extra credit for navigating the milestone while his helpful older brother pelts him with plastic balls.

First steps are one thing, but will Miles finally give up on his trademark one legged crawl? Is this walking thing for real, or was it just a "one and done"? Only time will tell.

Since I'm a little short on word count this morning, I have no choice but to pad the rest of this entry with a non sequitur moment of clown fish anemone snuggling. Enjoy it.


That's all I got for you today. Eat your lunch, attend all your Zoom meetings, and be careful around five year old girls. I hear they can have a nasty right hook. Thanks for stopping by today - have a great Wednesday everyone.