Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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No 'Can't'

Jet and I were making a chocolate cake from a boxed mix. I had him do as much as was possible, I did the fine measuring and opening of the tough plastic bag inside. He dragged his ladder over and pre-heated the oven, greased the pan, washed his hands thoroughly, opened the box, dumped all the mix into the bowl, and dumped everything into the bowl as soon as I measured it. We did the water, flour (necessary at altitude), and oil. Then we came to the eggs.

I automatically broke the first one in. Jet said, "I can do that!"

And I reacted, "No you can't. It'll be too messy!"

Jet just looked at me.

He waited.

I blinked.


I got down a cereal bowl. "Okay, break it into this."

Following my model, he took an egg from the carton and hit the narrow end of the egg right on the counter, crack crack cr--

"Agh! Hold it over the bowl! Hold it over the bowl!" I cried.

Jet compiled quite calmly and then tightened his grip on the egg to smash the broken shell. I pulled the bulk of the shell from his hand before it ALL went into the bowl. "Okay. Good. Now fish out all the shell bits." I said.

Jet carefully combed through the yolks and whites with his fingertips and fished out three or four last bits of shell. "There." he said. And I asked him to tip the bowl into the mixing bowl. "There." I said.

"Now, this time, don't hit the tip of it, hit the side, and the egg can open up, instead of just breaking." I said.

Jet nodded and whacked the side a couple of very assured times, on the counter, as I had done. He didn't leave any egg on the counter, either, and got it over the bowl very quickly. He pulled open the egg and only one bit of shell went in with the egg. He poked around to get it while I put the rest of the shell in the compost, and when I came back, he was calmly poking the yolk as well, just to feel what it was like, I guess. But I let him be. He got the shell bit out eventually, and then poured the second egg in.

"See. I can do it." He said.

"You were right, Jet. You were right."

Jet ran the mixer, did the scraping down of the sides, and I did the pouring into the pan as he tried lifting the bowl and had some trouble with that. But he got the paddle and the scraper to lick afterwards and he was content with that as I put the pan into the big oven.

Last night, he was *very* proud of his cake and he served all of us a piece with his "Special Whipped Cream Soup", which he'd made by squirting a bunch of Reddi-Whip into his cereal bowl and mixing it until it was soup. As he said, "It's really tasty!" That was very cool. He really liked his cake and he ate it, too. :-)

Jet does test me whenever I say "Can't". He just waits me out and expects that I'll think of a way, which is very flattering and occasionally frustrating, but wow I'm glad when I can do it. He does not acquiesce to "can't", at all, other than his own, and then he wrinkles his nose at us when we just look at him and wait. "Okay... *please* would you do it for me? Aw... Moooom.... okay... I'll *do* it..."

We had a pretty terrible start to yesterday, I was exhausted, still, from work, and not in the mood to do much of anything, so when some of the neighbor kids came, I just turned on the TV. Bad Mom, bad mom... but heck, it worked, they watched it and left me and the house alone. And they were just here for half an hour, or one show, anyway. But then Jet as hooked and was crying and throwing a fit whenever I said it was time to turn it off. We finally duked it out for a good forty-five minutes, which ended up with him watching just 15 minutes more and then we turned it off for good.

Lunch, once we stopped fighting over it, helped immensely. He ate and was suddenly a completely different guy. So we worked out in the garden to turn everything One More Time, and then we planted his sunflower seeds. I was more... dictatorial than I wanted to be, but I made him stay within the lines of his plot and I kept enough room between the rows that the flowers would have some chance.

But he helped me dig up the whole thing. So when we went back into the house, he drank a whole pint of Kool-Aid while I drank nearly a quart of water. Colorado sunshine. It's something else.

We then packed up all our library stuff and went to the library. He put everything into the return slot, we got a bunch of his books and movies and given that I still have to finish "Why?" and "Eragon" and "Getting Things Done" and a few other books, I didn't even look for any more for me. I've finally recognized when I'm being a bit TOO ambitious.

I went through nearly 50 cards on Wednesday and Thursday at work. I was really happy with the whole work dynamic of working on a single task and if something tried to divert me to another book, another task, I could just grab a card, write it down, and Keep Going. I bought a long box for the cards and used write-on book tabs to do the categories, multiple projects, and reference areas. That worked out really well. As I do more and more with the system, the system grows easily. I liked that a lot. When I needed another category for my thinking, it was no overhead to just make it, see if it worked for a while, and then just as cheap to get rid of it if I found it was redundant.

From there we hit the grocery store for Egg Roll Stuff, and then went home. That's when Jet and I made cake, and then he played with other things while I made egg rolls. John came home, rode the bike, and showered before the food was done. Jet ran off and, finally, played at the neighbor kids' houses instead of ours. For the last month, he's been insisting that they play here, and it was good to have him finally change his mind a little and play there instead of here. So I had a quiet evening. It was very, very good.

Eragon was okay. Yes, it was a day's read for me once I actually got going. The first few chapters were tough going, and this is even after the author said that they'd gotten a very brutal rewriting. It's a pretty straighfoward fantasy novel. I'll admit that with all the dwarf bits that Pratchett's images have etched in my brain superceded the more... uhm... straight lines of the book. When I found out that it was written by a fifteen-year-old I was mildly more impressed. It's not a great book, but what is there is pretty solid, especially for a fifteen-year-old author. Straightforward plot with someone always saving the hero, rather than the other way around, but he's young, yet. :-) It's a good growing character, and I liked that, plus some touches of the real loss that have made other works really great. Enough of them to make this, at least, an interesting read for me.

Why is immensely drier than the review was. I'm just through the first three chapters but, oh my god, the terminology is dense, dry and academic. Aiee. It's really like Tilly dragged out his Big Words Dictionary and tried to use every single one. I read a paragraph to Jet and his eyebrows went up. "What do those words mean, Mommy?" It was frighteningly easy to translate into five-year-old English, and the result was more intereting. Jet asked, "Why didn't he write it that way?" "I have no idea, Jet."

Plus, I am not enamored of his clinging to 9/11 as his penultimate example of stories being told to make sense of things. But I'll slog on.
Tags: books, cooking, jet

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