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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Powder Keg

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

We had a lot going on this week, as usual.

Among the highlights are that Hannah got her permit to drive a bus, I finished up my courses for Thanksgiving break, and Merritt managed to melt down in a Walmart parking lot.

Hannah has been going in for training each morning this week to learn all the rules and practices of driving a bus for the school district. Her instructor sounds like she's been very encouraging, and has really pushed Hannah to try to get her permit even though Hannah hasn't had much chance to study everything. Still, she went in to just take the four tests she needs to pass, and passed two of them the first time. She then went back a second time this week and passed the other two, so she's now got her learner's permit! She makes it seem like the hardest part is having the leg strength to continually operate the pedals, on top of checking all of the mirrors over and over. Her present job seems pretty nervous that she's going to leave them, despite assurances to the contrary, because they gave her another raise this week.

I am sort of on Thanksgiving break now as I taught my last course of the week on Thursday. I still have plenty to do to get ready for the end of the semester, and then I have lots of preparation for the Spring semester, but it's nice to have a little more time in which to do it. The kids still have two days of school this week, so maybe Kira and I can find something fun to do with just Merritt and Apollo at home.

My week was weird when I had an awkward meeting with a couple of students. I am the faculty advisor for the Psychology Honors Society, a student organization. Our student president is graduating in December, so I sent a note to all members that we'll need new leadership, and to please let me know if they are interested in a position. I heard from a few students, and everyone expressed their interest in a position, and none of the positions conflicted, so that was that. No need to hold an election if everyone runs unopposed. So I announce to the members who the new leadership will be next semester, and then get a very passive-aggressive email from the current vice president accusing me of not being clear that they needed to tell me about the election results. I explained that she can keep her current position in the coming semester, as no one else was interested in it. She then requested a meeting. The meeting was strange as she brought another officer who had also been retained into her position, and they immediately were accusatory as if I had somehow not informed them of the process. Apparently, the vice president wanted to be president next semester, but decided that there was no need to tell me or anyone else, even after I asked the entire membership. I had to have some pretty firm words with her, and I think we may have met an agreement when I told her she can still stay in her current position (I guess she doesn't read her emails from me?). I've heard from the current president that this particular VP doesn't follow through, and has been a problem for her also, so at least I'm not the only one.

In other news, the boys had their flu shots this week. Merritt was apparently the bravest, though he had a rough night that night, seeming like he felt feverish. That's not uncommon as the body reacts to the vaccine just like it would to the real thing, but of course it doesn't last long. Anyway, he got us up a couple of times, but after a little ibuprofen, he had a good rest of the night.

Merritt was a big terror yesterday, too. We needed to do a little shopping at Walmart, and Merritt nearly fell asleep in the car on the way there. Kira kept him awake, and then we paid for it later. He became increasingly belligerent at the checkout, wanting to do everything, but then wanting to do it his way. I offered to let him help me work my card to pay, which he refused, so then when I did it myself, he erupted. He does this sometimes, where he reaches a point of no return and boils over. It then lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes where nothing will calm him down, nothing will comfort him: he just has to kick and scream until he runs out of rage. He was in that place from the checkout to the parking lot, where he made his last stand, holding us hostage. When he threw his shoe and hit me in the head, I (gently) placed him in the car against his wishes, where he proceeded to scream and throw anything he could get his hands on for the rest of the drive home. He even got off as many clothes as he could manage being strapped into the car seat.

Apollo has had a hard time with the rainy and cold weather, as he's bored indoors more lately. Hannah arranged a play date for him with one of his buddies from the dog park who lives nearby. He came over Tuesday afternoon and they had a good time in our backyard, though it was reportedly a bit surreal for them to be in a different context.

I finally spent some time dealing with the leaves in the yards. It was a big help to have the leaf blower from last Christmas. I first put them in a big pile by the trampoline, because Hakan has been aching for some leaf pile fun. After leaving them for a couple of days, I finished spreading them into the forest area in our backyard. I also resealed a window in our bedroom that's been on my list since we moved in. Whoever installed the window just filled the gap with a few strips of wood and a lot of caulk. I took it all out and filled it with a solid strip of wood and filled the tiny gaps with caulk, so that looks much better and should help with insulation some.

We're all getting very excited for Thanksgiving, especially now that we have our meal planned out!

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