14 January 2009

Counting blue cars

Get up. Run.

The son has had finals this weeks, so his schedule has been a bit whacked, and he's home around 1 every day. I'm using it to my advantage, however, to get him into various doctor's appointments (pediatrician, eye, oral surgeon...time for those wisdom teeth to go). Today was the pediatrician and by the time we were finished, we were up to three vaccinations, and three bits of scrip for medication (allergy, skin rash, acne).

CVS bought out my old drugstore across the street, and the pediatrician told me it was closing on Friday. Fortunately, a brand new pharmacy opened just a block away, so when we were done, the son and I walked over there to get all the prescriptions filled. After getting through all the nonsense with the insurance, the pharmacist told me it would 20 minutes before they were ready.

I offered to take the son to Peet's Coffee for his customary afternoon snack while we were waiting, and he countered that I should take him to the microbrewery for a plate of buffalo wings. I considered for a moment, and then agreed, which I think surprised him.

After we were seated, I checked my cell phone. The daughter had her first basketball game today, an away game, and she was somewhat annoyed with me that I wasn't going to be there. I pointed out that the son's doctor's appointment had been set up long before I ever got a basketball schedule. There were no frantic messages from her, so I let the boy enjoy his wings in peace, then we picked up all his various medications, and another knee brace for the other knee, and went home.

I started dinner preparations, assuming the daughter would be back at school after the game around 6 pm. The son was feeling chatty, so he watched while I shredded the pot roast for tacos, and chatted. A little before 6, I decided to head over to the school, although we hadn't yet heard from the daughter. We waited only a few moments before the school bus arrived and the junior varsity boys and girls basketball teams streamed off.

"Did you win?" I asked the daughter.

"YES!" and she punctuated her response with a little jump in the air. I gave her high five.

"Did you score any baskets?" I asked.

"YES!" she answered, and we high fived again.

Then she sighed. "The Geography Bee was today," she told me.

"You didn't tell me that!" I exclaimed.

"I didn't know," she said prissily.

"So you came in 42nd?" I teased her.

"Well," she said, sighing again. "Only first, second, and third really mattered..."

I saw her trying to hide a little smile.

"You came in first?" I exclaimed.

"YES!" she grinned.

"Was it Canada again?"

"No," she pouted a little. "I missed the Canada question. Manitobo. Wherever that is."

"Manitoba," I corrected, thinking back to a long-ago conversation carried on between lanes on the freeway with a carload of guys whose vehicle bore the license plate frame "Friendly Manitoba." "Was Mr. H. (the geography teacher) happy?"

She grinned again. "He looked all happy. He said this is first time a sixth grader ever won first place."

"Cool," I told her.

"And you'll never believe who I beat."


And she named the eighth grader, really a very nice girl, who is generally expected to be valedictorian this year.

"Really?" I asked.

She just grinned.

Next stop...

You guessed it.


Go listen to some music: "Counting Blue Cars" from the album Pet Your Friends by Dishwalla.

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