Monday, July 22, 2013

Observations of All Kinds

Just a little pee on the sidewalk...
On children:
  • My children have smaller and/or weaker bladders in Madison than they do in Texas. I can't say for certain what brought on this "condition", but I've come up with two possibilities. First, increased distractions. Both kids are less likely to "remember" to visit the bathroom when otherwise occupied baking cookies with Grandma, swirling sparklers with Grandpa, or splashing in the water table with cousin Lily. Second, poor influence. Cousin Lily isn't yet fully potty trained - though she's improved tremendously since her last visit to College Station - and occasionally pees in the backyard, on her way to the bathroom, or you know, in the front seat of the car on my purse and my Zumba CD. And if Lily can mark her territory, why can't they? Because, I remind them, you're almost seven and almost four-and-a-half. Humph, they reply.
  • I absolutely love the ages my children are right now. Yes, we struggle. Will and I argue about what time he should go to bed and how many minutes of "screen" time he's allowed and the distance ahead of me he can safely ride on his bike. Hallie and I battle ("battle" is a step up from "argue" on the confrontation scale) over getting dressed and eating breakfast and brushing teeth and brushing hair and picking up toys and, and, and... But after spending the last two weeks with Will, Hallie, and a two-year-old and a five-month-old (both of whom I love very much, by the way), I realized how incredibly happy I am to no longer be the parent of a toddler and an infant. I also realized just how lucky I am to be the parent of my preschooler and first-grader - they may not be perfect, but they're perfectly fabulous.

On weather:
  • I love the rain. All kinds of rain, really, but especially the warm, summer rain that draws you outside with an umbrella and piece of balsa wood to float in the swirling streams of water running down the street.
  • Because of the humidity, 85 degrees in Wisconsin feels like 95 degrees in Texas. 
  • On the flip side, and I assume because of the humidity, 50 degrees in Texas feels like 40 degrees in Wisconsin.
  • I complain about the weather. A lot. I'm working on it.

On transportation:
  • I love Madison's commitment to and support of both recreational and commuter bicyclists. Laws to protect bikers; thoughtfully planned, well-designed, and well-kept bike paths and trails; established bike routes and lanes; bike racks on city buses; a city-wide community bike-sharing program; and free public-use bikes on campus make my home-town a biker's paradise. As it is, we ride our bikes quite a bit in College Station. But we'd ride much more frequently - for everything from exercise to grocery shopping to actually commuting to and from work and school - if College Station would do its part.
  • I hate (and I don't use that word lightly) Madison's commitment to and support of excessive pedestrian rights. I plan to pen more about my thoughts on these rights - and the accompanying laws drivers must follow with regard to pedestrians - in the near future, but for the time-being I'll simply share my opinion that we should expect pedestrians to take some responsibility for their own safety. I will never teach my children that they have the right to walk out in front of cars and that cars should stop to let them cross. Argh.
  • Wisconsin understands and establishes reasonable freeway speed limits, but their in-town speed limits are so slow that more often than not, Will could keep up with traffic on his bike. 
  • Texas understands and establishes reasonable in-town speed limits, but their freeway speed limits seem more appropriate for Lightening McQueen. 75 MPH on a two-lane highway? No thank you.
  • I complain about speed limits and traffic. A lot. I'm working on it.

On other topics:
  • In my book, "No Socks with Crocs" ranks as one of the top five fashion rules to which all people - but especially adults - should adhere. Not many Madisonians agree with me. 

Well, that's what's swirling around in my head today. Most of it is neither here nor there, but most of my Mondays are neither here nor there as well. Happy Monday, and have a great week!

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