February 27, 2005
For a few hours last night, I allowed two twelve-year-olds, Sweet One and her best friend, to baby-sit four-year-old Wee One while I visited with friends, literally next door.
It was a test of twelve-year-old maturity and responsibility.
It was also a test of four-year-old self-control.
All yesterday afternoon, I had all three girls running around the house. The older girls often shared inside jokes at Wee One's expense. In turn, Wee One threw fits often and eventually resorted to hitting the older girls.
Now this hitting business has been a problem that has escalated over recent weeks. Conservative measures such as "time-out" have been tried, as well as not-so-conservative measures as spanking. All to no avail.
Yesterday evening, just before I left them, I decided to try a different approach when Wee One hit one of the big girls again. Both big girls knew they were not to hit back. However, with all three young ladies in attention, I told Wee One that she should not hit anyone, especially someone bigger than her.
She began to whine and cry at being admonished. Then I added: "Listen carefully, if you hit one of the big girls again, each of them has my permission to punch you right back. Do you understand?"
Wee One was aghast.
Big girls were gleeful.
I then turned to the big girls and told them just one hit and not to overdue it.
When I returned last night, Wee One had taken a bath without fit or complaint and gone to bed as scheduled. There had been no fights.
February 13, 2005
Well, I left Mississippi this morning and stopped off in Baton Rouge for a while today. I expect to make it back home sometime tomorrow.
After I had lunch at my very favorite restaurant (post to follow on that later in the week), I drove around the beautiful LSU campus.
LSU sits on more than 2000 acres in the southern part of Baton Rouge and is bordered on the west by the Mississippi river. The main campus houses more than 250 primary buildings and is located on approximately 650 acres with giant live oaks and magnolia trees, as well as azaleas, crepe myrtles, ligustrum, and camelias.
As I approached Tiger Stadium (aka "Death Valley" by our opponents) from Nicholson Drive, I had a flashback from my earlier days at LSU.
After my second week of law school I decided I hated it (law school), hated my life, and did not give much of a crap about anything. At twenty, I was in a damn foul mood and I was eaten up with the bad attitude.
On a Friday afternoon, I loaded my dog (Max, a 120-pound half-Lab, half-Rottweiler mix) in my mom's Caddy Coupe Deville and we were off. As I was driving along Nicholson at 60 or so mph (the speed limit was 35 mph), I ran a red light at East Stadium and cut-off what appeared to be a campus cop.
Of course, he immediately hit his lights and siren, but I thought his jurisdiction ended at the gates of LSU and simply gunned the V8. (It would be a scant week or so later that my Criminal Law professor covered the old "Hot Pursuit" doctrine.)
The second time I looked back at the rapidly approaching car, it occurred to me it kind of looked like a state trooper.
It WAS a state trooper and I immediately pulled over and stopped just inside the gates.
A rather nice looking state trooper got out of his vehicle and by his expression, I could see, he was none too happy with me.
While he was writing down my license plate, I attempted to exit my vehicle and he barked at me to get back in and remain seated.
When he approached my door, Max popped half-way out of the open moon roof on the top of the car with a low menacing growl and Mr. Trooper immediately quit barking at me.
In a quiet voice, he then asked me roll up the windows, close the roof, and step to the back of the vehicle.
I complied, begrudgingly.
With a petulant pout and bad attitude written all over me, I handed the man my license and proof of insurance. I distinctly remember thinking: "How bad can it be, it's just a ticket and dear old mom will take care of it and dad will never have to know. No big deal."
He seemed to study the license and asked if the address was correct. My license had my parents' home address on it because I was a student. He then asked if I and my family were from the place listed. After I said "yes," he then asked if my parents were Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So of my hometown and whether they owned such-and-such business.
With panic in my heart and terror running through my veins, I answered affirmatively and every ounce of attitude and bad assness promptly vanished.
He then advised that he knew both my parents and had done business with them because he grew up in the next town over, about fifteen miles away.
Mr. Trooper then asked how good old (my father's first name) would feel about his darling daughter speeding, running a red light, and attempting to evade the law.
At that point my mind was rendered to mush, my knees were jelly-like, and I was half-ready to seek his assistance in digging me a grave under the jail-house. I was unable to form a coherent thought other than these three words: SHIT, GODDAMN, FUCK. In that order.
Sensing my near hysteria, Mr. Trooper handed me my ticket and told me that if one of my parents signed the ticket and I returned it to him at headquarters by close of business on Monday, he would tear it up. He added that I needed to leave a number for him to contact my parents in the event he felt like verifying the signature, as well as my number there in Baton Rouge.
Dutifully, I had my mother sign the ticket and write the number at the bottom of it and returned it to Mr. Trooper first thing that Monday morning.
True to his word, Mr. Trooper tore up the ticket, then asked me out to dinner.
I did mention he was rather good looking, didn't I?
February 01, 2005
Sometime last summer the girls and I, with dogs in tow, visited my parents. Both of our dogs were male and both of my parents' dogs were male, as well.
Shortly after we arrived, there was much canine activity with sniffing, posturing, bristling, and growling. The smaller of my parents' dogs and our little Riley (the terrierist) ended up in a tussle.
Wee One was upset with the ferocity of the scuffle, but my father told her not to worry because they were just "holding an election."
Last night Wee One was watching a program in the living room when Sweet One came in and unceremoniously, without word or glance, changed the channel. Wee One started to protest when Sweet One told her: "You've been watching what you want all evening, it's my turn."
Wee One was not happy. She stood up, glared at Sweet One, and said: "You are not always going to be bigger than me."
Some twenty minutes later, Sweet One was still lying on the couch watching television. Wee One snuck up behind her sister then launched herself up, over the couch and onto Sweet One. With small hands, she latched onto the thick hair on Sweet One's very tender head.
At the sound of Sweet One's shrill screams for help, I came in and demanded: "WHAT IS GOING ON?!"
Still hanging onto her sister's hair as she sat on her stomach, Wee One looked up and merely said: "We are holding an election."