Monday, February 09, 2009

fire and smoke

Fires are raging in Australia, after absurd heat and drought, drought and more drought. Healesville is burning, says the latest reports, home to our favorite non-zoo. This is, frankly, pretty unimaginable.

Is Bom's house burned? asked the Eldest, worried. I offered up the Grandmere as a voice of authority, and she assured him that no, Bom's house is safe. Later, she shared an email from a friend living in the danger zone: I heard one victim describe the fire travelling across his bare paddock as like water flowing and then his house burned totally in 6 minutes. Nonetheless, the advice is to stay home if you see flames: drivers are dying in smoke or the radiant heat.

When we were at Wilson's Prom, charcoaled tree trunks ranged along some of our paths. The dark, starkness of them was astonishing, but ferns grew knee high, birds were being orgasmic in the greenery around us, and tall spiking grasses grew so thick that the Eldest happily disappeared into them. There was some tragedy to be picked out of that landscape, but mostly there was a sort of harmony between fire and growth. The fire's aftermath was a quiet waiting as the landscape renewed itself. What's happening now, though, is almost cataclysmic.

Somewhere, someone is shouting things from Revelations.

With fire and worry dampening me, there's not much beyond the small to tell today. We are having another sick day here at chez Imperfect - the Eldest is home again with the latest tweak in what's either one virus with a sense of humor, or two. Either way, the Eldest himself is in reasonable shape, if a little testy. Loss of routine does not suit our lad, and he's not shy about demonstrating.

To my surprise, I recognized the pattern: he was having 5.30 pm meltdowns.

By 4pm, the Eldest is usually in the car and on his way home. He'll want some quiet time - just as the Toddles is chattering at him, excited to see his big brother. He'll want some talking with Mum time - just as I'm trying to make dinner. He'll want some playing time, and the Toddles does, too - but our tired Eldest will want a sense of control over the last of his fraying day, and heaps on rules. And instructions. And supervision that turns into oh, let me do that. I'm showing you how. Gimme. Hey! (grab) (wail) (wallop)


The Toddles, still delighted to have his brother home, will begin by playing along, trying to keep up with the rules and the changes in plan and the helpfully organizing and supervising brother. Right up to the moment when the poor kid realizes that he is THREE and his talents lie in directions other than the cooperative. And he's tired.

Moments later, (grab) (wail) (wallop) and the howling starts. Melody and descant - it's a lovely thing.

Thus we found the out-of-school Eldest, winding up for his descant. Except that the Toddles wasn't tired, and so there went the harmony....

Nonetheless, there was fun.

Of all the Eldest's endangered species, this one is perhaps uniquely so. So fragile that the brush of a hand could de-nostril it, we're proud to present the three-nosed elephant. The elephant's fragility was, alas, combined with a serious temptation to yank and run...a move not well recieved by the chair of the Endangered Species club. The chair has, apparently, a rather literal, Biblical respose to the loss of an elephant's nose. (The chair's mother seems to be more liberal in her sense of justice. And the miscreant was surprised to find a distinct lack of cities of refuge.)

Happily, while there were some attempts at bloodshed, there was humor.

Rarely seen, yet rightfully feared, here is the superbouncyball pirate, complete with treasure map. The pirates spent some hours with QG, sailing in their boat, sunnyyellowapple, in search of treasure.

(can anyone tell that the Eldest's found the Robert Louis Stevenson on the kids' bookcases?)

Coming Soon: allergies and statistics!


Anonymous said...

I'd been thinking of you and your extended family as I read about the horrible fires outside Melbourne. Incredible tragedy, and at least some of it human-made.

Refuah shlaimah to Eldest; may he get back to his usual routine quickly.

(And I thought you'd be interested: I used some of the apple-pickle juice with sauteed minced beets and rutabagas last night, which turned out nicely.)

Anonymous said...

Keep the folks in the Melbourne area in my prayers. I have a blogger buddy from down there. and she posted a news article on the fires.

Eldest is such a cutie pie! But then so is Toddles, too! (sigh) they grow so fast!

Jen said...

How on earth do you manage to run around photographing the kidlings with all that going on?

Somewhere, someone is shouting things from Revelations.

See Have a nice doomsday: why millions of Americans are looking forward to the end of the world. Um. Get yourself a good stiff drink first, though.

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

magid, I never would have thought of using the apple brin for that - oh, my.

Jen - at least the kids slow down long enough to mug for the camera...makes it useful as a traffic management technique. Sort of. But who could resist the kid with the socks on his ears? Or the eyepatch? That one's going to my grandmother in Melbourne...