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November 23, 2008

Intrepid Travelers

It's been hard to throw even a few pictures up in this space. The latest rotation of my residency is referred to informally as The Service. It's official name is Surgical Pathology, and it's the most important and demanding rotation of my training. Something like 80% of my future career will be concerned with Surgical Pathology- the processing, analyzing, and reporting of what I see under the microscope while looking at pieces of tissue. It's fascinating stuff, and I'm learning a ton, but the hours are very long. I'm always at work at 7:30, regardless of what rotation I'm on, but usually I'm out the door by 5 p.m. These days, finishing my day at 7 p.m. is early, and several days have lingered on past 10 p.m.

These long days have, of course, meant a shift of our parenting duties onto Aimee's shoulders, so everyone's feeling a little worn out. Except for Adelaide, she's used to our strange work schedule and, as far as I can tell, is her usual opinionated, obstreperous, cheerful, delightful self.

Anyhow, you didn't surf by this website to hear me comment on my schedule. A few weeks ago, my brother Joshua and my sister-in-law Stephanie added exotic Iowa City to their world tour. Itinerary: Mount Kilimanjaro, Paris, Chicago, Crater Lake, and Iowa City. Josh snagged a six month sabbatical from his job, so the Lallet-Mirons decided to add to their world travels, and we were honored to be included.

One of the best things about hanging out with them is Steph and her camera. She's a professional photographer, so we spent a lot of time trying to look both photogenic and natural while she clicked away. Here are some of my favorites (as it turns out, the first two photos were taken by Aimee):


November 5, 2008

Fangs and Her Worshipfulness

Halloween finally arrived. I pelted out of work at a dead sprint- my computer still logged on, a stack of slides un-filed, and my pen hanging in the air- biked over to Adelaide's school, threw her into the bike trailer, and pedaled furiously home. Arriving at home I warmed up some oatmeal for Adelaide's supper. She loudly requested Life cereal. I dumped some on a green plastic lunch tray with a dribble of milk in a separate compartment (per her request) and then pounded upstairs to put together my costume.

Adelaide had repeatedly asked me what I was going to be for Halloween, and I had steadfastly asserted that I would be a spooky vampire. However, up until 5:45 pm on October 31st, I had done nothing to actually put together a vampire costume. So, as Adelaide crunched her cereal, I hurriedly shaved, slicked my hair back, put on a white shirt and my black sport coat that is only ever worn ironically or as a costume, and daubed on some stage make up.

Teeth! What's a vampire without teeth? I remembered that Adelaide had won a set of fangs at the Iowa City Park n' Rec Halloween party last Friday. But where were they? I demolished Adelaide's room, but didn't find them. I ransacked the downstairs playroom- no dice. In a flash of inspiration I upended her diaper bag, and there they were, chomping down on a crumpled pair of Pampers. I was about to jam them in my mouth when Adelaide called out that she was done with her "supper", and where was I and what was I doing, anyway? (My costume required 40 minutes of prep and approximately $1.50 worth of makeup and hair gel. Just about right.)

I decided to give her one last chance to be something spooky for Halloween. She was interested in trying out the fangs:

But in the end elected to stick with her original costume plan:
(Yes, I know my camera has a timer setting that I could have used. I was in a big hurry, okay?)
It was now 6:30 pm, and we were starting to get Trick-or-Treaters. I put out a bowl of peanut butter cups and Smarties with a strongly worded note asking that everyone take just one piece, and we hit the neighborhood. Adelaide was pretty good, occasionally needing a prompt to say "Trick or Treat" at the right time, and occasionally needing to be reminded to say "Happy Halloween!" at the conclusion of the transaction. Blowing royal princess kisses to her humble subjects (much to their delight), however, was all her own inspiration.

We had a few houses that had their porch lights on and Halloween decorations out, but no one would come to the door, which frustrated me more than Adelaide. She'd push the doorbell, wait, look back at me, and then shrug and be ready to move on, but I'd push the doorbell again, and then maybe a few more times. What's the deal, people? Why go to the trouble of having a bunch of pumpkins, flashing lights, and a witch hanging from your tree and then not give out candy?! It made me want to play a trick on them, like TP their house, or maybe just smash their porch light to save other Trick-or-Treaters the bother. But I restrained myself. I am, after all, a role model.

Parents would occasionally try to give me candy. "After all," they'd say, "you are in costume." I would try and wave them off and say that we had plenty of candy, or that they could give my piece to Adelaide, but my fangs were very ill-fitting, and whenever I tried to talk great rivulets of drool would run down my face and streak my makeup. "Ishhokay," I would mumble. "I jushht 'ooking fhor shum blood."

And then there was our encounter with Flamingo Lady, who was actually quite pleasant, but definitely creeped Adelaide out.

Adelaide kept her cool, and, of course, received her candy, but afterward asked:

Adelaide: "Who was that?
Me: "I dunno. Some kind of Flamingo Lady."
Adelaide: "She was really scary."

So, if I was looking for a valuable parenting lesson, it could be that Flamingo Lady shows that you don't need to wear a traditionally scary costume to freak people out.