The computer programmer chronicles

8.10pm, Hazel and Martin are working together in the kitchen.

  • H: I need to go and get Joni in a couple of minutes. (He’s out at Friend’s house a couple of blocks away)
  • M: He should be here by now, I told him to be home by eight.
  • H: He’s probably forgotton, I’ll go and get him.

8.15pm, Hazel puts cake in the oven.

  • H: Right, I’m off to get Joni.

8.17pm, Hazel arrives at Friend’s house.

  • Friend’s Mother: But Joni’s not here, he left like maybe an hour ago and he said he was going home.

8.18pm, Hazel has minor fit, this is the first time Joni has ever not been where he was supposed to be, and he knows that he isn’t allowed to go anywhere else unless he comes home and checks in first.  Friend’s mother also has minor fit, she has no reason to imagine that Joni might have been going anywhere other than home.

8.20pm, Hazel goes home to make sure that Joni isn’t asleep in his bed or anywhere else that we hadn’t thought about, and to figure out who to start calling next.

8.22pm, Joni is found at home, alive and well and in the office playing computer games.

  • H (as relief turns to desire to kill someone):  Joni couldn’t you at least tell someone you were home, I went round to (Friend’s) house looking for you and when you weren’t there I didn’t know where to look for you, and now his mum is all worried about you too.  Next time can you make sure you tell someone that you’re in before you start playing computer games.
  • Joni.  But I did.  I saw Daddy.  I spoke to him and he spoke to me.  I found a cockroach in my room and the girls were both screaming and Daddy came to see what the noise was about.  He definitely knew I was home!

8.25pm, Joni and Martin despatch to Friend’s house to reassure Friend’s mother that everything is OK.  The one-way streets mean it’s five blocks to drive, but three to walk.  I have no idea why they took the car.

8.26 and a half pm, Friend’s mother arrives.  She walked so she missed Joni and Martin who were on their way to her house by car.  Hazel apologises for her inconvenience.  She’s fine, she leaves.

8.30 pm, Joni and Martin return complaining that there wasn’t anyone home at Friend’s house.  Hazel explains that this is because Friend’s parent was in our house.

9.15pm, Everyone’s finished showering and we’re sitting at the table over the evening meal.

  • Joni: Daddy I can’t believe that you didn’t remember that you’d seen me when I came in.
  • M: I know I saw you, but you didn’t tell me you were back. Next time you need to tell me that you’re back so I can tick it off on my mental check-list.

11.15pm,  Joni is going round the house repeating”I know I saw you but you didn’t tell me you were back” and bursting into peals of laughter.

When I next come up for air I’m going to start a survivors’ self-help group for computer programmers’ wives.  In the meantime I’m thinking about swopping some of the males in my life for something less high maintenance.  Possibly a rabbit.

When you go out into the world…

Electronic enemies are no fun.  When I walked away from my computer, the blog entry was three-quarters written.  Yes I should have saved it as draft, but even Microsoft Word manages to hold onto a recovery version for cases of emergency.  So I´m morosely chomping down a pot of dried fruit, and coming to terms with the fact that it matters not one jot whether this is  the fault of the computer or WordPress, since I´m never going to have the enjoyment of taking revenge on either of them.   Tis mine to avenge saith the Lord…

This week with my English students I´ve been doing discussions on giving and receiving advice, using this as a conversation starter;-

“All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”

― Robert Fulghum

Sometimes life in our house is fluffy and kindergarten.  Othertimes it´s sex, lies and videotape.  Or more likely whatsapp in this day and age.  We can´t write too much about sex, lies and whatsapp in fairness to the youth of the household.  It´s not always easy, we´re writing the script on the hoof.  So are they.

Here, on the other hand, is something of the former.  Really it´s for Granny.  Danny´s new best friend is a little mare called Flor (Spanish for flower) who arrived at the riding school a couple of weeks ago.  We are grateful we live in Argentina, because there´s no way we could afford for him to do this in England.

When he was last out of school the other day I went along to his classroom to see what was keeping him, and found him galloping around the furniture showing his teacher the things he´s learning at riding school.