& Five things things you should know how to do by age 50.Coax a bat out of your bedroom; Identify chicken pox; Locate the smell of weed in your house; Tell your child’s teacher to #@!***
Max — my golden doodle or rescue dog — if you prefer — is the kind of no nighttime nonsense dog we all wish for. He stays in bed until I rise, thankfully.
The only real fear he developed was the time he thought the sky was falling. As it turned out, it was a reasonable fear for him. A couple of hot air balloons nearly landed on the roof of our Hartland Vermont abode. He was directly below them, and the colors were anything other than sky-like.
I get it. I would be anxious too if the sky were to fall.
Last night, Max was whining in the wee hours. I took him to the outside door. He didn’t want to go out.
Failing that, the only noticeable irritant was a fly — garden variety housefly — circling around the table lamp next to my bed.
Ok, age 50 is an arbitrary age, but knowing the workings of the world takes time. And to that same age is the George Orwell adage , “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves”. I love that.
This is by far the easiest treasure hunt ever created, but failing this knowledge, you will thank me when you find a nocturnal irritant in need of a remedy.
Determine where you want to trap the bugger — or if you are so inclined — to lead it outdoors to freedom. (You figure that one out).
Turn on a light in the space you wish the fly to go to. If you are at a loss at this step, use a flashlight. Turn off the light source from the bedroom lamp. This will kick the buzzer into instinct mode, forcing it to fly to the new light source you have created.
This is the only part that requires any skill, if you can call it that. Close the door — you on the outside — before the fly can escape to the space you hoped to clear.
If the bugger clears the door faster that your reflexes can act, well, repeat the scenario again. You will soon be proficient at the training of houseflies!
You can leave the fly to dally in the new space, or swat it, if so inclined. The risk with a cleaver fly is their ability to gain access to you — again — flying under the door.
Next, bats! You wake up to the ticking, wheezy sound of a bat circling over you — albeit — not the best way to wake up, but remember, you have made it to 50 years of age and you CAN handle this. Here are some of the options I have tried.
- You can scream and dive under the covers, only if — and this was my excuse, ONCE — you are nursing an infant. (And the scream wakes the living daylight out of a bedmate).
- Call the police and wait until some scared rookie shows up to propose opening a door — and then stands there waiting for you to volunteer. When he leaves and you open the other door too.
- Or you do the following, not unlike the fly, sort of.
Quickly, exit the bedroom crouched low. Find a shroud, some sheet or blanket to cover yourself with — head to toe. Enter the bat room again, quickly heading to an openable window. Open the window and exit room again, quickly. Bat’s respiration is not something you want to subject yourself to.
Crack the door until any sounds from the bat are sure to be gone. Beware of the bat who might have landed momentarily. They are blind and their sonar makes it likely that they will quickly find the open window.
Job accomplished…well done.
You throw an annual Fourth of July party. After the watermelon margaritas, the group walks down the street to the high school for the Fireworks display.
As you are gathering the bug spray, a lightening bug house, neon-ware items (bracelets, crowns, etc) you notice a rash on your daughter’s face. You suspect chicken pox and your response is:
- Feign ignorance and take her to the fireworks anyway.
- Insist that everyone stay home, if it happens to be chicken pox
- Stay at home with the daughter, with promises of something very special that you are sure she will love, while the group goes on to the fireworks.
A few days later the other two children are infected and you have a backyard water play party for kids who either want to get the chicken pox over or those already exposed. Stay in the shade and try not to scratch the lesions. The party was a big hit!
Your oldest daughter just bought her first car and has only driven it home from the car lot, so far. The household is in a hustle to get ready for school and your ex-spouse shows up for something. While passing the door to the basement, you detect the distinct pungent aroma of weed. You suggest to your ex that he come downstairs with you. He balks at the idea, and begrudgingly joins you. Your daughter and a friend are hustled in the outside doorways smoking weed.
You and your ex do the following:
- Call the police to teach the offenders a lesson they will remember.
- Do nothing, after all, you smoked ‘pot’ at their age.
- Levy a consequence for her actions on your daughter. She will not be able to drive her car for a month.
The school called, asking you to come in immediately regarding your son. You notice that the medicine for his ADHD — laid out on the counter — was not taken.
- You grab the medicine and head to the high school.
- You wait to see what the issue is before jumping to any conclusion.
When you arrive at the counselor’s office, your son is looking distinctly symptomatic — disheveled, hyperactive, unintelligible. The counsel asks you if he could be on drugs. You explain that he missed his medicine and would normalize soon (you gave him his medicine) and he can go back to class.
On a separate occasion, the school called regarding the same son. You, again, meet your son in the counselor’s office. The counselor hands you a drawing of a very realistic looking gun, a military rifle.
- Your reaction is shock and fear, due to the school violence of late.
- You assure the counselor that you will get the proper professional care he is needing.
- You compliment your son on the excellent detail in the drawing and retrieve the drawing from the counselor. As an artist, freedom of expression is his right and artistic development is encouraged.
- You tell the counselor that she is choosing the wrong parent to indict a child for a drawing of his hobby. Drawing a gun is not a precursor to being a mass murderer, as far as you know.
Perhaps you have learned a few life skills or at least found some amusement. Isn’t it better to learn by others’ quandaries? The solutions to the questions posed, well, they will remain questions, at least for now anyway.