Revenge is supposed to be sweet…

So why do I not feel pleasure? I guess because there’s no way revenge can ever feel satisfying, when the object (or would he be the subject? I suppose subject is more appropriate) of that vengeance is a 19-month-old child. Particularly when it’s your own child. Revenge taken against some anonymous airline or bus passenger toddler, while still cruel, and for the most part inexcusable, is at least less fraught with schadenfreude, than revenge carried out on one’s own genetic material.*

Some background: Daddy went on a business trip last weekend; the trip was fine, yadda yadda yadda, but it would have been a lot nicer if I hadn’t been taking decongestant and expectorant for days, as a result of Eric’s endearing habit of sharing his viruses with all and sundry, particularly those with whom he comes into close contact. Read me. And mommy.

About the only thing keeping me going on my late-night drive home from Miami** was the thought that, at long last when I got  to the end of the road, I’d have someone there to take care of me.

But Monday morning, guess who wakes up feeling miserable? (Besides me, I mean.) That’s right. Mrs. Amateur Naturalist. Turns out that after a long weekend alone closely closeted with the TCT (terribly cute toddler), one is apt to succumb to whatever bugs he’s dealing. And so, after spending Wednesday through Sunday alone with the lad, about the only thing keeping Mommy going was the idea that, at the end of his long road, Daddy would be coming home to take care of the family…

So yes, both Mommy and Daddy were taken down this week by our sweet little boy. But this morning we got some small measure of revenge, although, as mentioned above, it really isn’t satisfying to wreak vengeance on the little guy. We took him to the doctor’s office for his regularly scheduled MMR vaccination, and, as an added bonus, the seasonal flu shot as well.*** The H1N1 mist/shot either wasn’t available, or we opted not to get it at this time, or something. I forget. Nevertheless, one intramuscular and one subdermal injection. Take that, you little immunoterrorist!

There, there. Don’t cry. Please stop crying. Daddy’s here. Er, Mommy’s here. Well, we’re both here, in case you feel like stopping that crying. Did it really hurt that much? As usual, he was indignant at this violation of his human rights, but he recovered quickly after the needles were withdrawn. He’s really a trouper!

You can see below his twin badges of courage:

As a bonus to those of you who’ve read this far, here’s a movie clip of what it’s like living with Eric. Twirling, twirling. [Double-click the image to start and stop the movie; still trying to figure out how to get the controls to show with embedded QuickTime files…]

* Of course referring to one’s offspring as “genetic material” is dehumanizing. Haven’t you heard of humor?

**A double thank-you to American Airlines, by the way: thanks for not having a nonstop flight out of PBI or FLL, and thanks again for delaying my departure by 2.5 hours, which turned an evening arrival at home into a midnight arrival. Grr!

***And in case you’re wondering, we do not subscribe to the ridiculous belief that vaccinations are a danger to one’s health. The people who do are not just loopy, intellectually sloppy, or slow. They are endangering the lives of others with their scientifically indefensible brand of crazy. Like hypodermic needles, those yahoos really get under my skin. That this brand of ignorance has surfaced recently shows how far our society has come since polio and other common diseases have been eradicated from this hemisphere. Why don’t you come along with me next time I’m in India, and ask anyone there if they’d like to be free of polio? Grrrr. Take a public health class.

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I want to ride my…

Bicycle, of course!

It’s that wonderful time of year: school has started, autumn is (in most places) starting to cool things off, it’s past the equinox, but we haven’t yet fallen back from daylight saving time to standard time. In other words, the weather and the length of the day are just about perfect for coming home from work, rustling up a quick bite to eat, and then hitting the road on one’s very own velocipede.

Earlier this summer, we went out and got a bike seat for Eric. But since it installs behind the main seat, it’s hard to tell whether or not the boy is enjoying himself when he’s in it. He’s pretty quiet when we’re on the road, so there’s no way of knowing whether he’s happy, sad, or just plain bored. We know he’s not actively upset, because he’s not crying. But maybe he’s just humoring dear old dad; it’s pretty hard to tell.

Well, actually, it’s getting easier to tell. Tonight he was engrossed in a new favorite game of his: roll the toy car down the inclined air mattress. Over and over, the little die cast toy rolled down the hill. All giggles and smiles, I assure you. But when Daddy came in dressed in his bike helmet, that new game was over. And I mean over! He ran to the garage door, and just about had a fit when I carried him to the front door, until he saw the bicycle waiting there for him already.

Up like a bunny into the bike seat, put on the safety strap, on with the helmet with only a minimum of fuss, and off we go. It’s pretty hard to argue with rave reviews like that!

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Dog days=bug days

This evening, in a not-unsuccessful attempt to improve the mood of our little ‘un, I headed to the front lawn to “enjoy” the scorching heat of 6:30 p.m. in the southy-south. Eric had a grand old time running around on the grass, picking cocoplums off the branches, and generally getting sweaty and pink. After a while I got tired of chasing him around trying to get him in the shade of the parasol, so I gave up and grabbed my camera.

I was finally able to capture a pair of little flying creatures that have been bugging me for a while now: I see them frequently, but they’re so tiny I can never get a good look at them. Enter my D70 with 70-300mm zoom telephoto (which really wants to become a 70-300VR lens, but…), and voilà! Here they are, in all their (slightly fuzzy for the moth) glory:

I’ve posted mug shots of them on,where I hope someone will be able to tell me who they are. Stay tuned!

[UPDATE: The friendly folks at have indeed come through. The red-and-yellow moth is indeed a Pyralid moth, Pyrausta tyralis, the coffee-loving Pyrausta moth. I have tons of wild coffee in the yard, so that might be why I have this little guy. Still waiting to find out what the “bee fly” in the picture might be, though…]

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Monday afternoon at Yamato Scrub

We were pretty tired after our early morning walk on Monday. By early morning, I mean e-a-r-l-y m-o-r-n-i-n-g. We saw Venus blazing away low in the east, with Jupiter higher away in the southeast. We saw a couple of bats (I wonder what kind they could be? Have to check out our Marks & Marks to see what the candidates are). We heard at least one and probably two nighthawks, and we were back inside long before dawn.

But, as I said, we got tired early, and couldn’t muster up the energy to get to the Memorial Day observance around the corner from our house. To make up for it, though, in the afternoon we took a trip out to Yamato Scrub, just the boys, to see what we could see. Read more

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Saturday Stroll-with rain

This morning’s stroll, according to the radar, should have been safe. It had been raining off and on all night, but the radar images clearly showed that the rain bands that had been coming on shore all morning were petering out, and the last ones had already moved through our area.

Heh. So much for technology. If you want to know whether it’s going to rain: look outside! Unfortunately, I neglected to do that, so our morning stroll was quite a bit wetter than I’d expected. We spent most of the walk huddled under a palm tree at the new park up the street from us; our umbrella was able to cover Eric and about half of one of us… Read more

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