What Words to Use?

This question recently plagued me when I reviewed in my head a conversation I had with Ben.

‘Daddy, what’s that?’

‘It’s a chimera.’

‘Oh.’

‘Do you know what a chimera is?’

‘No.’

‘Can you say chimera?’

‘Camira.’

‘Close enough, a chimera is an amalgam of two or more creatures.’

‘Oh. Why?’

‘Well sometimes you have to represent more than one facet. Do you know what amalgam is?’

‘No.’

‘It is a mix.’

‘Is it a mix creature?’

‘Yes.’

So part of my dilemma was should I have used the word mix creature to start with. But a small conversation with myself later and I realised a couple of things:

1. I was using terminology that he will benefit from knowing and understanding.

2. We drilled down to a meaningful state for him, which is deductive steps, another useful skill.

3. He created the term mix creature, I referred to the amalgam as a mix not the chimera.

So the word usage broadened a range of skills, and basically I worry too much and over-analyse everything. Still, advanced stuff mix creatures for a child under four.

Scheduling Life

So it has come to this, we finally have such a busy life now that Leigh and I regularly sit down and have to write down the proceeding weeks times and events to see where we can negotiate who is doing what, when, where and how we can fit a social life into a now hectic family and work regime, and most important how we make the time for each other.

We were always busy, we are people who fill our lives, when we are not working, with interesting hobbies and pursuits and if we can a fair number of social events, games, and holidays.

But in the past year this has taken an extra dimension or two.

The first of these was the birth of our first son, Ben, who we both want to spend as much time with as humanly possible. The next was Leigh returning to full time work after Maternity Leave, add in her return to university (part time) and my undertaking of projects and responsibilities as part of a growing responsibility in the Perl community as an organiser and helper, and you have administatioclasm.

There is also the diverse group of people who are our friends who unfortunately bear the brunt of our disappearing time as we juggle their exposure to us on a weird rotation basis with no rules, but plenty of traps, pitfalls and the occasional Gremlin.

Then of course you have to consider family, who we are almost pathologically meran to as we shuttle engagements and apportion them meagre moments of our now precious time.

It has become a juggling act. If we sit down to watch a programme (television) or film it is a rare event, almost to be treasured, and if it is one that doesn’t fully sap our attention we also read, discuss or use a computer at the same time.

This now sounds sad. I am missing all the fun times we take Ben out for walks, or to the park and generally when we sit on the floor playing with toys and reading books.

I have not mentioned the holidays we get with Grandmas in the motorhome and visiting far flung relatives and friends and loving how they put all their attention on our son and let us rest while they entertain him.

Or the fact that we feel so much like a family, that we do all that we can to further ourselves both morally and intellectually, that the efforts we make are to strengthen and support the varying groups we belong to (not to blow our own trumpet too much but we are super).

And, we still find time to write in Nanowrimo, scriptfrenzy, run and play roleplaying games, read books and fight the occasional horde of pixelated monsters.

We just don’t watch a lot of contemporary television, and we miss a lot of theatre, concerts and films, those are the elements of our lives we had to remove to do all of the other things we want.

These days we catch up on contemporary film/theatre/music life months later, and sometimes I catch up on films when traveling. I miss seeing them first, or at the cinema, but I wouldn’t swap what I have even if you offered me a lifetime free pass to see all the music, films and theatre first.

He Bangs the Drum

“Ye Gods No!” I cried when first i heard.

“How could they be so cruel?” I followed with as the realisation sank in.

Then…

“Well it isn’t all that bad, really, at least it is electronic,” as more information was forthcoming.

The reason for all this, well Linda and Steph have bought Ben a drum. I know, I wanted him to be a musician and they buy him a drum to thwart my dreams of a son who is a Rock-Star-Movie-Scientist-Author-Poet-Model-Samaritan-Hero, if he turns out a drummer it’ll totally Ringo him is my big worry “Peace and Love,” Ringo, “Peace and Love.”

Anyway, he seems to really like it, well it makes a noise and it lights up when he hits it, what’s not to like. And at least it isn’t a tin drum, I believe my brother once got one of those for Christmas and it had disappeared by Boxing Day, something about “loud noise” and “attic” is what my mum said.

Anyway, here is an obligatory video to amuse you.


(if the video doesn’t run in your browser then please use this link: He-Bangs-The-Drum download link)