Wednesday, October 22, 2003

House Arrest

I have been under house arrest for two days with a sick four year old. He's way too sick for school or the playground. He hasn't even felt able to manage the walk up and down the four flights of stairs, so we're confined to the 1,000 sq. feet of Apt. 11D.

I tried to find things to amuse us. Art projects. Educational computer games. Trains and more trains. But then the kids started fighting over who got to play with the tunnel, so I just popped in a long video in the afternoon. I'm going to parent hell for sure.

My only outings these past two days were a trip to the coffee shop this morning and the meeting of hysterical parents last night. I'm still all in knots over that experience.

"How many school tours have you arranged? I've done 19." (none)

"My child can't go to the local school. I've had her tested and she's special. She needs to attend a gifted and talented program. But your child will do fine at the local school, I'm sure."

"You really must interview the testers first before your child's IQ test done."

"The deadlines are coming up! What you haven't had the Stanford-Binet V test yet? You better hurry."


From Instapundit I found this great article in Salon about Generation X parenting styles.

The article has good links to parenting blogs and magazines, and fits in well with my world view. It also talks about how Gen Xers are writing memoirs about being a parent, including the author of the article.

She mentions Anne Lamott -- a bit too old to be Gen X, but we won't hold it against her. Anne wrote one of my favorite parenting memoirs, Operating Instructions. I still get a chuckle about her description of her son's poop as a meatball. Lamott is now a writer for Salon.

Another excellent truly Gen-X parenting book is Dave Eggers's, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Eggers's book isn't supposed to be a parenting book, but it is. His memoir describes how both of parents died of cancer when he was 21, and he dropped out of college to raise his 8 year old brother.

I read Staggering Genius right after Jonah was born. I was stuck inside a lot that summer recovering from a horrendous birth, so I read a ton of stuff. I liked this book because at 34, I was just as clueless about raising a kid as a 21 year old. And Eggers is such a cool parent. When his brother has nightmares, Eggers paints a mural of a superhero over the kid's bed. I have a huge literary crush on him.

I'm hoping that with a good night's sleep, house arrest will end tomorrow. I want out for good behavior.

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