Saturday, October 11, 2008

This and That


I think I may have misrepresented our experience with the psychologist just a little. I was trying to describe my emotional reaction to the visit, how unsettling it is to explain in detail the profoundly challenging and often upsetting experiences going on with my child. It was a fine visit, though. I like the guy well enough. He didn’t say, “Wow, you have one troubled little boy.” He basically just acknowledged that there are areas in our family life that are very challenging, and it has reached a point where we might benefit from someone helping us formulate a plan to deal with some of these difficulties.

* * *

When Henry and I were out walking the other day, he said, out of the blue, “When I am a teenager I am going to stay up all night watching horror movies and eating junk food.” Boy, I’m glad I have that to look forward to. I guess there are worse things he could do as a teenage boy.

* * *

Luke has brought a book home several times from his school library called Deadly Spiders and Scorpions. It is part of the Wild Predators! series, which is right up his ally. This is a kid, after all, who had the vast majority of a book called Animal Monsters memorized at age three. No wonder they didn’t seem to like him at his Waldorf preschool.

So the thing that I find a little disconcerting about this book is the fact that it goes into detail about the mating practices of each variety of spider and scorpion. I’m not a prude, and I will answer any questions that Luke or Henry asks me, but so far they just listen to the book. I guess what I find a little funny is cuddling down on the couch, sipping coffee, and reading aloud to my boys choice passages such as this:

As with giant trapdoor spiders, female funnel-web spiders rarely leave their burrows. But males, once they are fully-grown, abandon their burrows to look for a female. Males are attracted to a female’s burrow by the scent that she produces. When a male finds a female’s burrow he taps out a signal to the female. If she is ready to mate, she comes out and lifts up the front of her body, fangs ready to strike. If the male is not alert the female may make a meal of him. But he uses a pair of spurs (hooks) on his second pair of legs to hold on to the female’s fangs, stopping her from striking. He is then able to mate with the female.

2 comments:

Cary Milkweed said...

"Hmmm...I'm ready to mate...so let me assume the most agressive posture genetically available to my species and potential paramours can fight me to the death for my affections!!!"

Those spiders belong on Jerry Springer. Which might be something teenage Henry will watch in between bags of chips and B-movies. :')

Nancy said...

Actually, I think this way when he asks about humans, we'll seem really civilized. That could be a perfect result of the spider book.

I think counselors are terrifying. But the good ones help you feel like your skin fits a lot better when you're done talking - maybe not the first time, but within a couple of visits, in my experience.

Sounds like, at the very least, you are far more human than arachnid! :)