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Plots and subplots

Started: 2009-09-02 20:49:45

Submitted: 2009-09-02 21:59:59

Visibility: World-readable

The week after I climbed Mount Meeker, Calvin decided to get pink eye. Kiesa picked up the obligatory antibiotic eyedrops, which came with hilarious directions involving leaning back, pulling one's eyelid away, and dropping the eyedrop onto the eyelid. The pharmacist skipped the printed directions and basically said, "Do the best you can". This turned out to be a two-person job; I held Calvin while Kiesa tried to get the eyedrops in his eyes. As soon as he figured out we were going to be putting liquid in his eyes, Calvin started squirming and closed his eyes. Sometimes we had did better than others.

Daycare wouldn't take Calvin until the twice-daily eyedrops had twenty-four hours to take effect. This meant we needed to deploy our backup childcare plan, which is ... us. Kiesa watched Calvin in the morning (as is her usual protocol), and I came home in the afternoon to watch Calvin while I kept on top of my e-mail but generally ignored everything else work-related. Calvin was fairly well-behaved for the first part of the afternoon until he decided he needed to nap. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he doesn't nap easily; he gets fussy and needs a great deal of hands-on pacifying to get him to sleep. (Daycare tells us he naps easily there, which we don't understand.) The alternative is a walk or a drive; he likes the motion and vibration and noise and falls asleep immediately. (We haven't been able to replicate this on a swing at home.)

Having failed to get Calvin to sleep while holding him on the couch, I strapped him into his stroller and headed to the local nexus of commerce, where I acquired a chocolate-flavored iced coffee beverage from the nation's largest specialty coffee retailer and headed back home. Calvin fell asleep a few minutes into the walk and remained asleep for the duration. He was much happier upon returning home; I finished the afternoon without further incident, surviving four and a half whole hours with Calvin as my primary responsibility. This amazing feat is a record for me... and barely touches the days on end that Kiesa has taken care of Calvin for.

Sometime in early August, a colony of yellow jackets established themselves in a hole under the concrete walk leading up to my front porch. This would have proved annoying under any circumstances, but Kiesa had been taking Calvin out into the front yard to stare up at the maple tree in our front yard, mere feet from the hive opening. Kiesa picked up an appropriately-labeled can of Raid and let me deploy it on the poor insects. (I can't actually say "defenseless" in their case, since they did sting Kiesa in retaliation.) Not being able to see the nest, I did my best to spray into the hole, which sharply curtailed their activities for several days before they regrouped and resumed their combat air patrols of my front yard. (This included a combat sortie, culminating in a bombing run on Kiesa's leg.) I sprayed again, more thoroughly, and the yellow jackets still haven't returned a week later. I'm still trying to figure out whether I ought to try to plug up the hole with dirt (which I probably should do anyway, since there's a good cavity under the sidewalk) or call in a professional to remove the hive with some sort of fancy vacuum apparatus and suitable protective gear.

After banging my knee halfway down the Trough, I couldn't run for a week. I first tried running on the fifth day; after waking up early, I ran about five meters before I knew I wasn't going to make it any further. I abandoned the run and searched for other cross-training opportunities. The next day I went biking around the east side of Longmont on my longest running route; the steady rhythm and lack of impact felt much better than running.

I continued my cross-training on the weekend with a ride to Mead, just across the county line on paved county roads. I didn't start running until a full week and a half had passed after my fall, and I still haven't gotten up to anything resembling my post-first-injury training volume. I'm reconsidering my original plan to run a half-marathon in September. I'm confident I could finish at ten minutes per mile, and maybe that's good enough, but I had hoped I'd be able to race at a pace a minute or two faster per mile.

The day after I biked to Mead, Kiesa and I took Calvin up to Rocky Mountain National Park in hopes of taking Calvin hiking, despite our misgivings about whether it would end in tears. (Kiesa observed that if we avoided doing things that we didn't think Calvin could handle we'd never do anything ever again.) Calvin slept on the drive to Estes Park but woke on a brief stop at the visitor's center. Feeding him took half an hour, and by the time we made it to the Bear Lake shuttle parking and had eaten ourselves, another hour had elapsed. (I discovered I could park Motoko backwards in the parking space, giving enough room in back to set Calvin on a blanket on the ground to let him stretch his legs while Kiesa and I sat on the tailgate and ate lunch. I expect this ought to work with a pack-and-play as well, once he starts becoming mobile.) I put him in the Baby Bjorn baby carrier, hanging in front of me, and we boarded the shuttle bus to Bear Lake.

Calvin tailgates at Bear Lake shuttle parking
Calvin tailgates at Bear Lake shuttle parking

Calvin enjoyed the bright colors and motion on the bus ride. At Bear Lake, my plan had been to put Calvin in our Bob stroller for a walk around the lake, then carry him up to another lake or two, but the lack of parking at Bear Lake meant we tried only the second part. Calvin enjoyed the walk up to Nymph Lake, and we even managed a few pictures at the lake, but he started to get fussy when we missed his next naptime. He fussed on the way back to the trailhead and on the shuttle back to the car and finally managed to nap on our drive back home.

Calvin and Jaeger at Nymph Lake
Calvin and Jaeger at Nymph Lake

I can't really call the expedition an unqualified success, but we did get out of the house, so it's worth something. I'm sure there has to be some way to plan the trip around Calvin's schedule, so we take advantage of napping during the drives, but we clearly need to pay more attention to meal times -- both his and ours.