Last week I mentioned in quick take #7 that I was feeling extremely stressed because of a lack of “introvert time.” I made that a high priority this week, and I feel so much better mentally! In fact, seeing what a drastic difference that made to both my mental and spiritual health is what inspired me to write the spiritual dry spells post. For some reason I’m still feeling unusually fatigued physically (no, I’m not expecting — for once!), but I feel much, much better other than that.
Also, y’all were right: Our Kidsave child Rita likes introvert time as much as I do, and seemed relieved to have some period in the day where we can all just do our own things.
My husband told me this story last night that had me laughing so hard I was crying, so I just had to share: A good friend of his frequently travels to our area, and every time he stays in the same hotel, often in the same room. This week he was in a room that was similar to his usual one except the configuration was switched around — e.g. the closet was on the opposite wall, bathroom door in a different place, etc.
“Bob” (NOT HIS REAL NAME, you’ll see why I emphasize that in a moment) had been taking a hard nap in this hotel room and decided to get up and take a shower. He turned on the TV and got sucked into a show, deciding that he wanted to quickly squeeze in the shower during commercials so he didn’t miss anything. Still bleary-eyed from sleep, he backed up to the bathroom door as the segment of the program wound to an end. The first commercial began and he darted backwards into the bathroom, stumbling a bit as he slid past the open door.
Only it wasn’t the bathroom. It was the hallway. In his sleepy state he grabbed at the closing door, but missed.
It was The Click Heard ‘Round the World when the hotel door shut behind him. And there he was, in a hotel hallway, without a stitch of clothing on — no towel, no nothing. He scanned the hall for mats, wall hangings, dirty napkins on room service trays, ANYTHING to use to cover himself, but couldn’t find anything. He desperately tried to think of what to do, the fact that he was completely naked in a public place serving as a slight distraction to his thought process.
He ducked into an empty stairwell and spotted a trash can on another floor. After waiting until the coast was clear he pulled out the trash bag to use as a sort of makeshift man-skirt, and then ran down to the front desk to ask the clerk for another key to his room. Evidently she immediately handed it over with no questions asked; I can’t decide if that makes sense or not.
Anyway, a little story to ponder next time you think you’re having a bad day.
If you’re looking for a birthday present for the child of someone on whom you’d like to exact some kind of revenge, I recommend a Yada Yada. (Well, as a Christian I can’t recommend that you buy annoying toys for children to get back at their parents, but I will just note that the toy would be perfect for such use, should an unscrupulous person choose to do so.)
I bought my son one of these at Target as a thank-you gift for acting less like a rabid monkey than his sisters while I was shopping, and I’ve rued that decision ever since. The toy allows you to record a five-second voice clip and then play it back, and this has become my son’s new primary mode of communication. He can no longer speak to us directly, only answering questions after recording them through the Yada Yada.
I don’t expect this toy will be in our house for much longer, however, since he’s now using it for backtalk. Yesterday afternoon I told him to stop throwing food at the table. He got down from his chair, ran off to the hallway, then came back and proudly held up the Yada Yada which announced in his voice, “I will NOT stop throwing food!” I yanked it from his hand, and when I put it down on a high shelf I accidentally hit the remix button so that it sounded like a trash-talking chipmunk said “IwillNOTstopthrowingfood!” That toy’s days are numbered.
Over the past few weeks I’ve fallen off my Saint Diet in a big way. It started because I often found myself at events where the only food available was junk food, but after the first couple days of “cheating” my cravings came back with a vengeance (I recounted my saga of simple carb addiction here). Back when I wasn’t eating any processed foods, I didn’t miss them; I could walk by plates of M&M-laden cookies or cups overflowing with milkshake and shrug. Now it’s at the point where I’m about to start lunging at bags of Cheetos in the grocery store, caressing them as I cry, “You…complete…me!”
A “mini new year” is coming up on August 15, so I’m going to recommit to my diet then, if not before.
Speaking of food, I am baffled by Colombian cuisine. Rita doesn’t like pizza! Or pasta! Or cheeseburgers! Or onion rings! Or PBJ’s! And she’d never seen shrimp! And had never heard of chicken nuggets!
The chicken nuggets story was kind of amusing: I presented her with a plate of dinosaur-shaped nuggets that the kids like, and she looked up at me with this hilariously innocent, baffled expression. Evidently in Colombia they have this odd cultural tradition where they eat food that is recognizable in its original form. “It’s chicken, ” I told her in Spanish as I motioned to the dino nugget. She poked at it skeptically as I tried to explain why here in the U.S. we like to take fresh food, pulverize it to death, add about 50 ingredients, shape it to look like something entirely different, throw in some sugar and MSG and call it a meal.
Some of you have asked how Rita gets along with the neighbor girls, who are about the same age. They were actually gone for the first few weeks she was here and only returned a few days ago. I wish I could tell you that they all bonded wonderfully and are all now BFF’s, but unfortunately it’s been a little tense because of the language barrier. The neighbor kids often end up chatting and playing by themselves while Rita withdraws to be by herself, and I’ve had to put a fair amount of effort into smoothing over those types of situations since the neighbor kids are back to being here four to eight hours per day.
(By the way, as I said on Twitter, with all of them and my kids and my babysitter and her daughter, we sometimes have more than 10 people just casually hanging out over here — doesn’t God know I’m an introvert?!)
Can you believe that it’s already time for Rita to leave?! She goes back to Colombia on Tuesday.
She leaves on the feast of St. John Vianney, and my husband and I have found a lot of comfort in doing a novena in Vianney’s honor to ask for his prayers and for God to give us the grace to emulate his character. It’s going to be hard without her, not just because I’ll miss her but because it’s made daily life easier in many ways to have her here. No word yet on a “forever family” for her. Please keep praying!
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