Before Shirley was born, we started a counselling fund for her. As I see it, all parents WILL eventually make some stupid mistake that their children would benefit from a bit of therapy about. But good parents not only try to make different stupid mistakes than their parents did, but they also try to not make so many mistakes (or such catastrophic ones) that they won't be able to afford the shrink's bill.
In my more cynical moments, I have serious doubts about my ability to do the former. However, I realized that thanks to the power of compound interest, we should be able to do the latter if we started saving early enough. So every time Brian or I say or do something that could conceivably result in a need for therapy, we put some money in the jar.
How much money we put in the jar is directly proportionate to the severity of the offense. Saying "That's Mommy's little nudist!" as she's squirming wildly and protesting getting dressed in the morning--fifty cents. Saying "You're so happy being naked I worry you'll be a Playboy bunny when you grow up!"--empty your entire wallet into the jar right now. And then write a check to the fund for twenty bucks.
We average about fifty dollars a month.
This week, Audrey sent me a ginormous box filled with all kinds of fibery goodness. Cotton, five different colors of wool, and pretty close to a pound of light tan alpaca. (It's hard to tell how much. The only scale we own in this house is used for our ancient coin collecting fetish and therefore refuses to weigh anything heavier than 100 grams.)
I washed up the alpaca yesterday. I've never washed alpaca locks before, so I was slightly concerned that I might have felted it. But I divvied it up into a pile of natural-colored fiber for Pop, and dyed the rest of it in the oven with food-coloring.
Tonight, Shirley was being a real Screaming Mimi. Brian had to deal with the worst of her, as I went down for a nap about 1300 and didn't emerge from my blanket cocoon for another five hours or so. After she failed our "polite society" test several times ("Coo, and the world coos with you. Scream incessantly for no apparent reason, and you scream in your crib alone.") I finally resorted to feeding her and doing her bedtime routine an hour early.
Since Brad and Billy were here this weekend for the annual brotherly computer game festival, I've had very limited floor space for drying fiber. So the alpaca has been drying on towels in the only unused floor space in the house--under the Mimi's crib.
She wasn't calm enough to get to sleep yet, and I wanted to "fluffet" the fiber and spread it out so it could dry faster. Thankfully, it didn't felt too badly, just a little bit around the edges. It turned out so amazingly soft and fluffy that I was sorely tempted to spin it right then--until I remembered that the smell of wet alpaca is akin to the smell of wet dog as far as scents I want permeating the living room go
So I told the Mimi some stories, as she's more likely to overlook the fact that no one is holding her as long as someone is talking to her. And being short on inspiration, I just started rambling with whatever stories wandered into my head. El Cid, how Odin made some questionable decisions, and the less salacious bits of
Wagner's Ring Cycle. It settled her down nicely, but now I need to go stuff a ten in the jar.