Saturday, July 4, 2009

My 4th

I hope I can stay awake for the fireworks; my eyes are already heavy. I’ve snuck off to be alone while the kids and Michael watch a Scooby-Doo movie, killing time before the sun goes down and the pyrotechnics begin. It feels like it’s been a long day.

It’s so HOT. Somewhere around 100 degrees and it’s just kicking my butt. I feel completely sluggish. I think it might be a little different if we had a modern house with a state-of-the-art air conditioning system (or even a-few-decades-behind-the-art would be great). What we have is an old heat pump that freezes up after a few hours. It’s on the list of home improvements we plan to make but upgrading the electrical system is probably ahead of it. This sort of weather brings to mind the folks who first settled this area to farm along the Columbia, before the days of the Manhattan Project and their subsequent removal. Not even a hope of keeping cool on a summer night. I have little to complain about but, well, I am still HOT.

Finally, finally, Sam was able to see Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. In 3-D no less. It’s quite a racket; they charge an additional $3 per pair of spectacles ($21 for our family of 7) and then they collect them again as you leave. Too bad you can’t invest in your own pair and forgo the steep rental but that’ll never happen. It was a cute movie but I kept trying to figure out how an entire world, a hot, steamy world, could exist under a sheet of ice. Under the ice age. I always have had trouble with the whole voluntary suspension of disbelief thing. So anyway, aside from Josh wanting desperately to kick the seat of the man in front of me and his refusal to wear the $3 3-D glasses, it was enjoyable.

And still awfully hot. We’d already decided that it would be too crowded at the Pendleton or Hermiston aquatic centers but something had to be done so we took the kids to George Prout Pool here in town. We were surprised to see only a few cars in the parking lot and enjoyed a very uncrowded swimming session. Of course most people have plans on the 4th of July so we shouldn’t have been shocked. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I hate wearing a bathing suit. I did put on enough sunscreen to avoid a burn but returned home with the same white, white legs I came with. In the pool Sierra told me I looked like vampire. She and the boys have been blessed with their dad’s skin. Even Josh and Kenny, who are somewhat fair, can tan.

After dinner Michael, Sierra, Josh, and I ran over to Winco to pick up some milk and as these things predictably go, we came out with several more items. From the start Josh was mad because I said no to the gumball machine. Sierra kept trying to find ways to placate him but he was livid. I tried to explain that I don’t want her to do anything that will reinforce the behavior but she just wants him to be happy or at least to be quiet. He kept it up through the store and out to the car. On the way home after the requisite stop by a fireworks stand, Michael announced that Josh needs to be “Ferberized”. He’s probably right.

I’d just never heard the term used for anything aside from the process of getting a child to sleep on their own (it’s a term parents use to refer to the techniques described in the book “Solving Your Child’s Sleep Problems” by James Ferber). Essentially the child is allowed to “cry it out” while the parents check on them after incrementally longer periods. The bottom line is that Josh needs to stop getting his way every time he bursts into tears or throws a fit. We need to let him cry it out. Makes sense.

In an hour or so we’ll light some small fireworks and then head a few blocks down to the river to see what we can see. There are at least three major displays we can catch from there. That and maybe a breeze.
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