I am grateful that we humans have been blessed with the ability to discern danger. All 5 senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste) can work in harmony or independently to signal the presence of potentially lethal situations, even when other indications show calm and tranquility. For instance, examine the picture below. Adelle is sleeping peacefully and soundly in her bed. What’s the harm in that? Sight: notice the position Adelle is sleeping in…rear-end up. This is a MAJOR sign to be cautious. Smell: if you throw caution to the wind or are still unsure concerning the real danger of the situation remain cautious. Using the technique taught in high school chemistry, waft fumes toward your nose and only inhale a SMALL amount of air. DON’T INHALE DEEPLY! I have made this mistake several times and have damaged the sensitive tissues of my nostrils. If the danger is confirmed, you do not need to wait for further indications from your senses…especially touch and taste! For men, this is an appropriate time to abort the mission of waking up the child from the nap and to call in back-up (i.e. the wife).
It is quite fun to watch Adelle learn and grow. The past month has brought the use of a new facial expression…the scowl. She started scowling a couple of weeks ago, and it really caught us by surprise when we first saw it! Since that time, we’ve come to realize that “the scowl” doesn’t mean she’s angry, but happens when she’s really trying to figure something out. For instance, when she meets anyone new, she will scowl at them for the first half hour or so whenever they try to talk to her. Or she will scowl at the hand puppet when I make it move. Or sometimes she’ll just scowl for the fun of it (we can’t help but laugh each time we see it).
In recent weeks, we’ve found Adelle working on two talents. We believe she has mastered those abilities which are just stepping stones to much greater future accomplishments.
Adelle’s first talent is in hide and seek. She will rummage through drawers to find specific objects that her parents use daily and will then proceed to hide them in other rooms. She usually manages to do this without her parents catching her. The picture below is a rare occasion of being caught. She is especially good at finding and hiding my toothpaste. It has taken many daily repetitions of opening the bathroom drawer and then searching in vain to realize that Adelle likes toying with me and has swiped my toothpaste again. Karen and I usually search for about 5 minutes before finally finding it in a random location. Sometimes its in her room or our room or just hiding in plain site. Its frustrating to find the toothpaste laying in the middle of the room when I have searched all of the good hiding places in the house, AGH!
As presented, Adelle’s first talent mainly affects me. Her second talent, however, effectively presses Karen’s button. Her crowning achievement to date is captured in the photo below. Adelle LOVES to destroy Karen’s night stand. She practiced many hours during the past month to hone various techniques into a sharp and effective tool. For instance, she learned how to and perfected her technique in pulling tissue and implemented that skill effectively as seen in the photo. Other identifiable objects are a lamp, battery charger, clock radio and book.
I was at work and talking with Karen on the phone for only a few minutes while Adelle did her work. It amazes me that a child can cause such a mess without making a sound…that’s how Karen knew Adelle was up to something. Like many children, Adelle becomes very quite when in the middle of a project…always a sign of trouble. I knew that Adelle had done something grand when Karen gave a sharp scream in terror. For what purpose Adelle did this, I know not. Karen suggests it is her way of exploring and being creative. I just hope Adelle doesn’t try to explore the limits of her abilities…
I did a quick calculation and found that I have spent approximately 23 years of my life in school. That’s 79% of my life (excluding vacations) that I have been training and learning so that I can live in this world. If my life expectancy is 77, I have just spent 30% of it in school. If I use my current age of 29, I am now 38% through with my life. Ugh…that’s kind of scary and depressing.
So, what does a person do to occupy time after 23 VERY long years in school? I have collected list and I compiled most of it during the recent 1029 days that spent working on my MBA and MSE degrees. Depending on which list I consult (some are more detailed than others), I have about 80 items to work on. That includes hobbies, goals, books to read, and the ever present “honey-do” list.
Now that I actually have time to work on my list and goals, I am becoming increasingly frustrated. Why? Because I want to do them all at the same time. I am actually having to manage my list now and I NEVER thought I would have to do that with my hobbies and interests. I first arranged it according to what I needed to do, then wanted to do, and then ought to do. Then, I rearranged it because I remembered another item to add (probably an item I forgot to write down while studying for an exam). That leads to me shuffling the list, again. I’m sure it will be shuffled MANY more times before I complete it (if that ever does happen).
Since school ended, the photo gallery and this blog are a few items I’ve been able to work on and get completed before the list shuffling began. I recommend checking out the photo gallery (click on the “Burnside Photo Gallery” link in the upper right hand corner for an embedded view of the gallery in this blog, click on the link to the “Burnside Family Photo Gallery” under the Blogroll in the right hand column, or just go to http://www.burnsides.org/gallery). Because of some errors from our web hosting site, I’ve had to redo most of the blog and gallery. I’ve put a lot of work into it and everything seems to be working perfectly. It is actually working smoothly and with more features than previous versions.
Two more item. First, click on any of the photos to the right and they will open up to a larger size inside of the browser. If you see a thumbnail with a filmstrip watermark on top of it (as seen below), that is a video and should be opened in a new window. Lastly, please update your RSS feed to this blog. Since I have switched to a new blog service, the RSS feed has also changed. A comments feed is also available for those interested.
Rich, Karen, Adelle, and Esther