A, B, C, D, Twelve, F, G…

The subtitle of this post is “Why I Occasionally Stay Up Until 3:30 And Get Up At 6:00”.

The sub-sub title of the post is “January 2014 has been nothing but freaking snow days”.

At 9:15 p.m. Thursday night, I came back downstairs and flopped onto one of the chairs in front of the television.

“Guess how much work I managed to get done in the past three hours?” I asked @bhoneydew.  I’d spent the morning in a partner meeting where I’d picked up a writing assignment that was due Friday morning, which of course meant that my Thursday afternoon was eaten up by other issues, so I couldn’t sit down to write until after dinner.

Did I mention that January’s been nothing but snow days?  I believe I did.  On Thursday, Monster’d been out of school since the previous Friday.

@bhoneydew looked up from his work e-mail.  “You were interrupted every five minutes,” he guessed.

“Yeah. I was thoroughly schooled on the letter twelve.”

“And where does that come in the alphabet?  A, B, C, D … Twelve…”  He was still laughing when the Monster, after failing to get a response when he did his next five-minute verbal ping test, decided to join us downstairs.

When we lived in Pennsylvania, @bhoneydew and I converted our family room into a large home office, one we shared with the Monster.  We all had our computers, our brightly colored office chairs and our awesome IKEA Galant desks, and the arrangement worked very well, except when someone needed quiet to carry on a telephone conversation or think.  When we moved to Virginia, we bought a house that had enough space to allow us to split up into separate offices.  The arrangement works very well, except when we’re working in them while the Monster’s home.

When the Monster thinks he’s been stuck in the house too long, he starts checking on one or the other of us (usually me, because my office is more convenient to his office and bedroom) every five minutes.

Yes, his office is an office, not a playroom.  His computer lives there, so it’s an office.  While we’ve been able to get him to do homework or worksheets in there — though he’d rather do those at the dining room table — he won’t read or play with other things in that room.  If his bed was in there, we imagine he wouldn’t sleep!

This check consists of the Monster’s wandering into the room, saying some random thing, awaiting a fully attentive response, then disappearing for another five minutes.  The random things are most often letters, numbers, shapes, or colors, usually in English, but not always. He’s learning Mandarin Chinese in school, has picked up Spanish at some point along the way, and is teaching himself Russian1.  Every now and then he’ll ping test in some unrecognizable language, probably to see if we’re genuinely paying attention.

I think Monster’s picked up that @bhoneydew doesn’t understand French, because he pings him in that language more often than he uses it with me.  Zuul help us if he ever finds YouTube videos on Klingon language instruction2.

We got up, herded the Monster through a bath and book, then into bed,  I then swigged a Five Hour Energy and went back to work.

1 His Russian’s gotten good enough that it’s convinced me to enroll in Russian 101 this semester.  I didn’t finish my Russian homework this week, so I’ll be doing that after I post this — and hopefully before I go to tonight’s class.  I’m also taking Data Modeling locally for credit (that homework got done after Monday night’s class) and sitting in on a Stanford Online tech class that may see me break my habit of bailing on MOOCs.

2 Though if that would convince the Monster to talk to people who aren’t his parents or carefully curated outsiders, I’d be more than okay with that.

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