The Walrus in the Room

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–”

Of who will win tomorrow’s vote
And what the future brings.

And I, for one, am tired of
The choice of evil less
And Neither do I wish to win
For both would be a mess.

And so instead I vote to change
This system from the past,
For these two parties failing us
To come an end at last.

For if they get just five percent
Another could arise
To change the nation’s standards
Right before our eyes

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

The Walrus in the Room

only you, my friend

For when the going gets tough
The tough get going
And you are definitely tough,
My friend.
For not many
Can look Death in the eye
Unflinchingly
As He tries to catch them.
But instead you caught
Perseverance
You caught determination
And you caught yourself before your face hit the ground as the bike skid out from under you
Knocking only the wind from you
Instead of the information we so desperately desire
Because we are nosy
Or loving
Depending on who you ask.
And we wish we could catch you
But it’s tough,
Because our legs have only been trained to catch people who want to be caught
And you,
my friend,
are too stubborn for that.
And only you,
my friend,
Would help someone else
learn to run faster,
work harder
as your own body
is learning lessons
and waging battles
of its own.
And only you,
my friend,
would be riding a bike with no brakes
in the first place.

only you, my friend

Lessons Learned

+ the skin on my neck is not suitable to be used as a handhold for a baby learning to stand, nor as a teething apparatus

+ Bob is the stroller equivalent of Cadillac

+ Water and cardboard boxes never fail to be interesting

+ Laxatives: prunes, sweet potatoes, peaches

+ Outside > inside

+ Children + sugar = 😅😮😲

+ if they are hiding (out overly quiet) they are probably doing something they are not supposed to do or something they fear will get them in trouble (aka licking playdough)

+ If you pretend to lick sand, they may actually lick sand… and that gets problematic very quickly

+ Nannying sometimes means going home with another woman’s breast milk on my shirt.

+ There’s a fine art to interacting with others kids and their guardians at the playground. There’s a set of standard first questions (e.g. how old is he? what’s his name?) and a proper hovering distance maintained when there’s a possibility for necessary intervention (e.g. when one tries to hurt the other, when they don’t share/take turns).

+ I’m at the age where I am consistently assumed to be the parent (by women).
“Nope, just the nanny.”
Though better than when some (the men) think I’m in high school…

+ Terminology such as ‘ergo’ and ‘nuby’

+ All the words to “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?”

+ The basics of baby sign language

+ If you give a kid a cake, he’ll be bouncing off the walls. If you teach a kid to bake (with sand), he’ll be content doing that every day for who knows how long.

Lessons Learned

#nannylife

Life with kids around is never dull, lemme tell ya.  It is amazing to me to watch all of the learning and growing unfold.  I get to witness so many awesome big and small moments in the lives of these kiddos:

+  When she started rolling over. + When she started crawling.  +  When she started eating solids. +  When she started clapping.  +  When she started pulling up into a standing position.  +  When we discovered her first tooth poking through.

+  The first time he let me put on his clothes and shoes for the day without a meltdown.  +  The first time he followed directions without me having to trick him into it.  +  The first time he snuggled himself into my lap to read a book together.  +  The first time he was actually excited to see me when I walked in the door.

+  The first time he said goodbye to mommy and watched her leave without a massive tantrum. +  When he learned a new animal noise.  +  When he started walking.


Today I had a really special interaction during dinnertime, where I think her and I finally started to understand how to communicate with one another through something other than upset tears.  The baby sign language version of signing milk, which I have been using pretty consistently with her for the last couple months when I have given her bottles, is a hand closing into a fist.  Today while sitting in her high chair she made this sign every time she wanted more of something to eat.  Though the sign for milk is different than the sign for more, it was obvious (in a way that only can be explained through eye contact and facial expressions) that she had made a connection between filling her belly and the milk sign.  It was incredibly exciting to get to be able to respond to her attempts to communicate – to give her what she was asking for, to see her satisfaction at that! How frustrating it must be to see and need and understand, but not be able to verbalize those things! To want to communicate but physically be unable to….

Obviously I am becoming a huge fan of baby sign language. haha

SignBabies_Milk_P_new_1

#nannylife

Now – (Decade/2) = Then

So it is the start of another semester here in Blacksburg.  Today Virginia Tech classes began for Fall of 2016.  A new class of freshmen woke up this morning…and I am sure they were filled with a whole host of emotions as I was five years ago: anxiety, excitement, fear, insecurity, apprehension, happiness, loneliness.

To all you out there in this place called College Freshmen, just know that it keeps getting better.  If it’s hard now, it’ll improve.  And if it’s awesome now, there is still a ton more awesomeness yet to come.  If you’re bored, seek out one of the bazillion clubs and organizations on campus.  If you’re lonely, I promise, you’ll make friends. (Everyone is looking for them.  But trust me on this too: you have to GO OUTSIDE to find them.  As much as you may want to huddle in your dorm room and text high school friends and obsess over instagram… don’t do it!  Also, it’s syllabus week: don’t even pretend you have homework. Even you, engineers. haha)

Andddd if you are required to start a blog, DO IT.  That was part of my requirement freshmen and sophmore years when I lived in the Honors Residential College (HRC).  At the time, I had pretty mixed emotions towards it.  I began with a pretty killer first post:

blog2

Clearly I didn’t have many ideas at the time. But I am so happy that it was a requirement! In a way, it became a record of my first years at Tech.  It became a journal, a place for ideas  and rambling, a place for remembering, a place for processing (as well as a place to get my required honors involvement checked off).  We were told during our visit during the summer that it was going to be a requirement, so as the nervous overachiever that I was, I began before classes started:

 

start of the journey1Bstart of the journey2B

And then I became so immersed in college life – adjusting to a new home, trying to find new friends, discovering all the new food options, grasping at this weird freedom where I could stay up as late as I wanted and do laundry at 2 in the morning and walk barefoot – that I forgot about blogging for at least 11 days….

12 days of collegeB12 days of college2B

 

(If you want more of an explanation of these days… I wrote more here. And the rest of this blog, in its preserved, original form can be found here. Don’t judge me. haha)

And then the last one I will share today had to do with goals that I set because of an assignment in my Freshmen Honors Seminar class.  It was interesting to read through these five years after the fact, and to evaluate my success in achieving them.

freshmen goalsBfreshmen goals2B

And I happen to still be in the midst of trying to achieve that final goal.  (Finding something that I love.  Not raising a unicorn on a ranch in Canada.  Duh.)  Therefore, I spent my day with a wonderful little seven month old exploring the ideas of object permanence, working on communication through baby sign language, watching her learn how to balance on her little chubby legs, wiping up mushed bananas and peas…  Honestly I am loving this season of life.  I love being a nanny, getting to meet the needs of little ones, being creative, being goofy.  I love the freedom of knowing this is what I am doing for now, and that is all it has to be.  Day by day, moment by moment, it is teaching me how to find joy in the little successes and beauty all around me.

And speaking of beauty… Tré and I got to watch an amazing sunset tonight.  We had planned on going on a walk anyway, but when I looked out the window and saw the fringes of the sunset, we dashed out, walked to the parking garage, sprinted to the top level, and got (what I believe to be) the best view in Blacksburg. The spontaneity was so fun. :) Then, while we were on this walk we wound through campus and ended up passing by Cowgill and Burchard… the architecture and design buildings.  I didn’t think this would phase me, but I found myself tearing up as we walked home.  So many memories were flashing through my mind.  So many amazing people who I met in those buildings, so many sleepless nights, so much blood, sweat, and tears (quite literally).

And I think in that moment it finally hit me:  I graduated.  College is over for me.  Those people have moved away and those years are just memories now.  There is a whole new class of first years trying to figure out what the heck their professors are talking about.  Those who were first years last year are now feeling like pros…until they realize they have no idea how to design actual buildings.  Third years are b.s.ing their way through new software and fourth years are studying abroad or probably bored as hell. There is a new batch of thesis students, faced with one of the most challenging tasks of their educational career.  And then there’s all of us who remember those days, but no longer belong in those days.  And as much as I am enjoying this season of life, I can’t help but mourn that change. I am missing the creative atmosphere.  I am missing those people who were with me in some of the highest and lowest moments of my college years. People in design, people in my dorm, people from Deet’s, people from Cru…

It’s always the people, isn’t it…?

Thank you to everyone who made my five years all that they were.  I hope I never forget you.

sunset
Now – (Decade/2) = Then