Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pet Sematary

Today's lesson in How Things Work is brought to you by our dead goldfish, Rascal, aka Rasky, aka Rasco de Gama. Two days of searing heat in the desert killed the little fella (I'm assuming; reasonable cause and effect there, but it could very well have been conjunctivitis or an airborne pathogen), who was a happy and healthy member of our home for nearly seven weeks, or six weeks longer than I told AJ he might live when he acquired him via precision ping ping ball tossing.

There were tears. Sure. And a proper burial in the toilet where I asked AJ to say a few words.

"You were a good pet, Rascal, and I'll miss you."

Which smacked me much harder than the tears. As did his repeated sad face as he broached the subject numerous times, including this morning. Then, there was this:

"Rascal is living in the sewer."

"He's not living, AJ."

"But he's in the sewer."

"Yes, and soon he'll be dumped in the sea."


"Yep, that's where everything we flush eventually goes."

"Like pee?"


"And poo? Gross!"

"Yes, but first it goes to a water treatment plant where they separate it and clean it with chemicals."

"What about diarrhea?"

"Same place."

"What about when I pee on the toilet seat?"

"Daddy wipes that up. Or it evaporates and leaves a yellow stain that Daddy has to clean later."

At which point, he'd forgotten about Rascal.


Appreciate the comments from y'all last week about AJ's behavior. Many are right on. He does get easily bored. He will, however, bend and commit to a task he finds interesting. Like on Saturday night, when he spent nearly three hours putting together his new LEGO kit (Star Wars tank vehicle somethingorother) without pause or diverted attention. More than 400 pieces and I only helped him once.

It used to be that I spent three hours putting these things together. Er...okay...usually more. I was pretty impressed with his effort. Those directions aren't the easiest to "read." I was also humored by his repeatedly referring to "Master Yoda," instead of just "Yoda." Wish I merited the same respect.

Anyways...I'm skeptical about putting him in "gifted" classes (he's taken the test; results expected any day now). My own parents refrained from placing me in similar environments on the advice of the tester. Back then, the exam was an oral one (and we wrote our answers on the walls of caves) and the instructor suggested it would be a crime to force me into a socially homogeneous and awkward environment because I was "charming."

Swear. Unless my Mom's lying, which she probably isn't. And yeah...I don't know what happened to that charm, either.

AJ is definitely charming in his own way. There's an underlying sweetness behind his shenanigans. There has to be, or he'd spend all his time in the principal's office. His teachers stress how much they like him and how much he brings to the class when he's on good behavior. It's just the other times. And both X and I like how he's exposed to all manner of kids, socially.


One of his duties at school is to go fetch Jack. Jack is developmentally disabled and AJ chaperons him when he moves into the regular classroom for a couple hours a day. His teachers say AJ is not only very patient with Jack, but that when he goes into Jack's classroom, he talks to all the other kids, asks what they're working on, etc.

I can't explain how that makes me feel, though it mitigates nearly every concern I have about my child's behavior. He may act up WAY more than I did ("You had respect for authority," Mom says), but he's a good boy.

He deserves another pet.


At 7:09 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

AJ sounds a lot like me when I was a kid. I'm betting it's a combination of boredom and a lack of interest for certain subjects (like math, I bet). AJ sounds like a "people person" and his helping Jack seems to prove that possibility.

I'd suggest researching games that teach or encourage the stuff that he's not interested in learning. Are worksheets are a complete turn-off for AJ? They are if he's a kinesthetic learner (i.e. he "learns with his hands" or "learns by doing things"), so that might be a good option.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Beer pong skillz will earn you another pet.

As for AJ, find the subject he likes and challenge him. Wyatt seemed like a hands-on type learner so we got him into a Science/Math magnet school that stress those subjects.

If he's a people person and needs to interact with something/someone new, I'd suggest a charity/nursing home of some sort.

Or take him bar hopping every weekend.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Todd said...

Cute kids are chick magnets.

And I didn't mean to crack on the "gifted" label. Schools sometimes use "gifted" classes to make sure the smarter kids are properly challenged in school because they are too often bored, and consequently act up. In my kids' elementary/middle school, they call them GATE (gifted and talented education) classes. In high school, they call them "honors" classes.

Frogs or snakes make good pets. Feeding them bugs and/or mice adds to the entertainment factor. Plus, you don't have to potty train.


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