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Oct 23, 2005

The small philosopher

A week or two ago, we all got in the car for a short drive. Something about the car upset Russell -- I think maybe his car window was fogged up -- and he was fussing about it. I said my car window was fogged up too, and he wailed, "But David and Silas' windows aren't fogged up! It isn't FAIR!" to which I callously replied, "Life isn't fair," and changed the subject.

A mile down the road, we stopped at a stoplight near a newspaper box. The headline had something about numbers of emergency room visits, and David started telling me about how he had read that ER visits of people on Oregon Health Plan (roughly speaking, our state's Medicaid) had dropped, not because people were getting more preventative care, but because they had instituted a $50 copay and people were just not getting any care at all because they couldn't afford $50 to see a doctor. Russell heard that and asked some question, and I explained to him, "In our country, sometimes if a person is poor and can't pay a doctor or hospital, they don't have any way to go. David and I don't think that's right. We think our country is rich enough that everybody ought to be able to go to a doctor or hospital if they need to, even if they're poor."

From the back seat, Silas sighed in his tiny three-and-a-half-year-old voice, "Life is not fair."

In the front seat, his parents gaped at each other, as they so often do.

Oct 15, 2005

The Tooth Fairy is on the grid

Tonight at dinner, David, Silas, and I learned several things about the Tooth Fairy from the expert, Russell.

First, we learned that the Tooth Fairy gives a silver dollar for your first tooth. Proof: this is what Christopher told Russell happened to him, and then when Florian lost his tooth, he too got a silver dollar from the Tooth Fairy! (The fact that Florian's dad made a trip to the bank to get a Susan B. Anthony dollar after Florian reported Russell's information to him is strictly coincidental. So is the fact that I'll be rooting around our currency pile sometime soon...)

Second, we found out that the Tooth Fairy lives in a house filled with PILES OF MONEY.

Finally, Russell explained that the Tooth Fairy must have a computer with a listing of every kid who'd lost a tooth that night, since surely more than one kid might lose a tooth each night. She checks her computer, then goes to the closest kids' houses and drops off money, then comes back to check her computer listing again, and so on. I wondered aloud to David who writes the Tooth Fairy's software, and he muttered, "Not Microsoft!"

It all reminds me of the time from my insomniac childhood when, after a nighttime Tooth Fairy visit, my parents tried to convince me the Tooth Fairy was a medium-sized guy with a bushy mustache.

Oct 01, 2005

The Dual Nature of Republicans

Poor Russell. He tries so hard to make sense of the crazy world around him.

Conversation today at lunch:

[something about Democrats that I've now forgotten]

Russell: Are Democrats good?

Julie: Well, we usually agree with Democrats.

David: But they're stupid.

Julie: David, we're trying to work on not calling people stupid, and you're NOT helping.

Russell: What about Republicans? Are they stupid?

David: No, they're evil.

Metta: No, Russell, that's not quite right. Republicans can be very good, wonderful people.

Russell (in a just-checking-I've-got-this-down voice): But they're evil.

Julie: [uncontrollable hysterical laughter]

Stay clean, sober, and shod...

...or stay away from the yogurt maker!

We bought a yogurt maker today from Mirador, after calculating that we would break even on the cost after two months (if the kids actually eat the homemade yogurt). It looks fairly easy to use: heat up milk, strain and mix with starter, pour into little jars, and let sit in warm yogurt maker for a while. We haven't yet made the yogurt, but I did read the instructions tonight, and I learned a lot of things about using a yogurt maker, such as not to use it outside, or in a microwave or hot oven (phew, I can run it in a cold oven), or immersed in liquid. But my favorite Rules of Yogurt are rules #11 and #14, namely:

11. Do not operate this or any other appliance while under the influence of alcohol or other substances that affect your reaction time or perception. [Lady, put down the wine glass and back slowly away from the yogurt maker!]

14. Do not use the appliance while barefoot.

I'm surprised it doesn't warn people not to use it while pregnant. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD HAPPEN WITH A DANGEROUS APPLIANCE LIKE A YOGURT MAKER. BEWARE!