June 1, 2000
Herd Mentality

Summer keeps coming, faster and faster...
Cycle 8, Day 8
Temp: 97.1
Cervical Mucus: Nothing
Cervix: Low, closed, firm


Today is the first day of June, and the first day of the summer activities. Not the main ones, mind you, but the herd of two-year-olds who showed up this morning didn't seem to care much about that. They were loud. They were plentiful. And they all seemed to have brought at least one sibling, since the preschools have already turned out for the summer. There were at least twenty kids in the second storytime alone, when only eleven had registered before this morning.

It's been a day of cuteness. One little boy, proudly brought in his new baby sister and was showing her off to us - until another little girl approached, saying, "Baby?" The little boy jumped between the infant and the "trespasser," pushed the carriage away, and hissed, "Mine!" with his chin jutted aggressively. The little girl was more confused than hurt, so her mother was able to distract her easily, and the baby simply cooed at all of the surrounding activity.

One not-much-older sibling, Sven, was visibly disconcerted by all the decorations. He finally approached me about his concerns. Pointing at the cardboard birds which hung from one corner of the ceiling, he informed me, "Birds aren't in outer space. Airplanes aren't, either." He eyed the Styrofoam planes.

"Yes, but...they fly," I tried to explain. We decided to decorate with everything that flies."

"Planets don't fly. They just stay still." He wasn't convinced.

"I know. I guess you caught us, smart guy." Knowing that he was right and we were wrong, he felt satisfied and returned to his toys.

Another big attention-getter was the newest addition to our decor: a life-sized cardboard model of a battle droid from Star Wars, Episode I. It's a fragile thing, so we've got it sitting up on top of one of the bookshelves, aided in standing by a wire from the ceiling. It's huge, so there's no way we can store it after the summer is over; we've decided to have a drawing and give it away to some lucky child. His mother will, no doubt, be ever so grateful for our generosity.


In case you were wondering, Linda's baby is fine. The ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat, so it looks as if everything is settled. This is good news, I know, but what I did not need was for my mother-in-law to try to engage me in a long talk about Linda, the baby, and all the happiness contained therein. I'm happy for Linda, I just still need some time to get used to the fact that she got to the goal first, you know?

I felt rather ugly afterward. As Rita kept talking, I felt more and more twisted inside until I finally said, "Oh, Eric just walked in! Hold on," and threw the phone at my husband, who'd been reading at my side the entire time. I'm sure that she had no idea that the subject bothered me, and I would have felt funny about changing the subject. Letting her get it all out into somebody else's ear seemed the appropriate remedy; of course, the moment she had Eric's ear, she changed the subject herself and began to read ads for jobs in the local area which sounded "just perfect" for him.

In some ways, I'd love to move back to West Virginia and be nearer to our families. At the same time, I'm so glad to be so many hours away, so that I don't have to be treated to the latest news on the first Richmond grandchild on a daily basis. Selfish? Yes, but honest.


I have never in my life been so grateful to not be fifteen years old. There's a pack of teenagers in here, which seems to be roughly divided in half. One of the girls in one group is apparently smitten with one of the boys in the other group, and there are notes being written back and forth, carried by well-meaning, hyperactively giggling friends. Of course, none of the friends are inclined to let the notes' intended recipients be the first to read them. Each message is greeted with a flurry of grabs, squeals, and rips as each friend tries to be the first to read the scribbled lines.

I honestly don't remember ever engaging in this kind of activity. My friends and I giggled, to be sure, but I don't recall that we were ever such boy-crazy, love-lorn fiends. We wrote notes, yes, but none that looked so...well, juicy. Certainly, we never made spectacles of ourselves over said notes in a public building. At least, not to my recollection.

Perhaps I've conveniently blocked out any such embarrassing memories? I wouldn't be surprised; my husband currently draws a blank on the whole of his public school experience. In any case, if I did engage in any of this sort of behavior, I'm glad, glad, glad to have it wiped from my mind. I'm sure that in ten years or so, these girls will be grateful for similar selective amnesia.

The ripping and squealing couldn't continue; I tried to warn them gently, but finally Boss-Zilla became alert to the situation and gave them the usual ultimatum: find a book and a seat, or leave the library. They settled down a bit after that, but I can still hear whispers and gasps emanating from their corner. I hope it stays at that level, for their own good. Some of them have already been kicked out for eating candy.

Four more days of school left...

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