This weekend was some more standard cruising along the relatively calm waters of my life recently. The weather has been good, no major calamities, and some huge nagging problems that have been going on in my life and housework have started to ease. I am happy to feel better about everything, because for a while there, I was really being bummed out, and it's being kind.
Friday, we saw Matt and Anya again, where we talked over Chinese Buffet, and then we finished up at Starbucks. We learned more about each other, and found we have similar beliefs in ghosts and stuff. We also are finding out that we have some similar friends from the past, like an artist we knew a while back named Pie. I knew him from FanTek and his art, and Anya knew him from school. We also talked about creepy ex-friends in our lives, the cult of Amway sellers, and then they kicked us out of Starbucks because the one in Fox Mill closes at 9! On a Friday night? Not cool... I think I will have to introduce them to Amphora's in Vienna... (their motto should be, "We are Greek! We stay up ALL night!")
On Saturday, I thought I would have to watch the Heare kids again, but that turned out not to be until 7 or so. So I went to my friend Nate's LAN party, where we played various Gamecube games, and Star Wars: Battlefield. About 12 people were there, some I knew already, but most I didn't. CR was with me, and held his own against other competitors on the Gamecube. I was pretty proud of him.
Then all three of us took care of the Heare kids from about 7 until 11pm. I think I got a small taste of some of the "bad behavior" Sea and Lou had been hinting about all these years, but in all honesty, I didn't see anything that seemed abnormal for a family of 3 kids, all vying for attention. Chance bears the "eldest kid" burden as usual, and flipped out about it for a while. Everyone in my family is an only child: me, CR, and... well, Christine was so far removed from her siblings by age that by the time she was old enough to analyze her situation, they were already living away from home, and many never returned, really. I have an "accessory knowledge" of what it's like to have siblings by growing up with kids who had siblings. And over the years, I have collected bits of wisdom and recollections from older friends about their siblings. The burden of the eldest, the forgotten middle child, and the babied youngest are all tales common to the collected psyche of mankind. Sure, they don't always follow those patterns, but I have read enough about child psychology to know where a lot of problems can lie.
Chance is far different than her siblings in the fact she's very serious and high strung. She is also a bit of a control freak, and that's a bad position to be in when you live with small children or pets. "Why does Scarlet steal my things???" Well, because she's 6. And she likes you, looks up to you, and thinks that things that represent you have power. Also, she likes to annoy you because you pay more attention to her that way. If she truly hated you, she would avoid you, and be very quiet and non-confrontational unless pressured, and then she'd probably be violent. As it stands, she's also competing for love and attention in a family where that sort of thing is divided unequally because when you have both parents working (and one going to college), the family focus goes from "happy-bunny let's try and share" to "who is bleeding the most?" So those who have a flair for the dramatic will win out. Of course, I didn't say all of that to her, because Chance is only 10 and I didn't want to give her any smart-alec ideas, but I ache to heal her misery because she is so like me in many ways that I feel almost obligated to share what I have learned about life with her. I want to say, "Oh, I see what's wrong with your philosophy! No no, wait, I have something that is MUCH better." But that's like telling a depressed person to cheer the hell up. They have to want to improve, and I think Chance is so in the thick of things, she doesn't see the big picture. And again, she's only 10, which I have to remind myself of constantly because if you speak with her, you'd be convinced she was much older. She's still emotionally sorting everything out, and when I remember how I'd take that kind of advice when I was 10, I also know that I would have brushed it aside; I simply did not have the experience. Chance is also a bit of a tomboy, but I say "bit" because even though she fully proclaims her tomboyishness, she still wears feminine clothing, has both ears pierced, and while her hair is short, it is certainly not a boy's cut.
Scarlet is moving along as a middle child, but her odd role is that she's very protective of Keiran. If she's resentful from being the baby to losing that title to her younger brother, she doesn't show it. Yes, she DOES fight with him, but nothing abnormal for someone who just stole your book and called you "poopiehead!" I know when Roy stole the notebook I was taking notes in during the RHCE class in mid-lecture, I almost hit him, too. But if Keiran bangs his head or cries or something, Scarlet suddenly becomes a mother figure, and does her best to cheer him up. I forgot why Keiran burst into tears this one time (being 3, he does this frequently), but Scarlet stopped what she was doing and did a puppet show for him. Also, when she yells at him for something he did, she uses his full legal name, like a mother would. When I first got to know Scarlet, she was 2, and very shy and wouldn't say anything. I felt really badly that she didn't like me right away, but oddly enough, this may have been one of her ploys. Whereas Chance is a bit of a tomboy, Scarlet is just the opposite. She's a princess tea-party kind of girl. She'll happily wear a dress while her older sister will only wear one by force. I think as they grow up with each other, this gap will widen as each stakes their claim as a personalty role against one another for attention. Chance might become a truck driver that wins bar fights, and Scarlet will become Barbie. Okay, maybe not THAT extreme, but I worry about Chance when she hits puberty. Already she's dealing with crushes, and she's going to have to wrestle with her identity of being a girl physically. Scarlet will probably have a lot of boyfriends who will buy her things. But she's not dumb... no no no. I had a small conversation with her where she told me that you could still be angry with someone, and still love them. She even provided examples. Scarlet is becoming very articulate, and I think she may end up in some political role later in life.
Keiran is 3, but very chatty. Not jibber-jabber chatty; for a 3 year old, he has quite a lot to say. He can hold decent conversations with a premise and a conclusion. He's very contrary, however. But at 3, that's not unusual. I think he'll be kind of hyper and gregarious.
If Sean and Lou ever have another child, I think it would be interesting to see how everyone would react. Chance won't be happy, that's for sure. Scarlet may take on a protective role with another sibling below her, but then Keiran and child #4 may fight with each other for both their parents AND Scarlet's attention. The "losing sibling" might then align themselves with Chance, and Chance might finally have an ally, although she might be too grown up to take advantage of that.
I think Sean and Lou have done a good job with them as best they can. You can't be a perfect set of parents, of course, because no one ever is (and those who claim this are probably in denial). They don't spoil them, or play favorites that I can see, and I know they love their kids very very much. I like seeing how their kids are doing because it helps me normalize my opinions and feelings about parenthood and rearing children. I am learning a lot from that family. Books are one thing, but real-world examples are another.
Sunday was the Katsucon Anime Music Video Contest preliminary meeting. Only Keith and Mark showed up (booo to the rest of you!). We discussed what went right and what went wrong. I mentioned stuff I would be doing, and ideas were suggested back and forth. I think it's been decided that we're having a longer show, so we can pack in more clips that the audience wants. I am managing and being Emcee this time around, so expect to see me there.
On a final note, I think a lot of my entries will be spare for a bit while I sort out my new job. In my old job, I had a lot of free time because I did a lot of "program, install, run, wait, compare results" kind of work, and right now I am on a STEEP learning curve, and spending a lot of time learning new things. What made it more complicated is my boss was ... demoted, you might say. He wasn't fired, but he was not allowed to be a manager anymore (apparently, he was on probation, and failed). Now we all report to his former boss, who gave me a ton of new work to sort through. My boss is in some kind of limbo, but I suspect he'll be let go.
Yes, I vied for the position. I couldn't let that chance pass! But it was a long shot, and I didn't quite make it, but I don't think I jeopardized my current situation.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000639.html