"Evil, evil, evil child."

The social habits of infants are acquired from numerous sources, as in youth we are prone to influence.
A child of three years, who has a speech impediment and who appears to be very stupid and docile even for its age, is naturally not an annoyance to its carers should they provide a composite of appropriate gestures and behaviour.

Should this child one day approach a young adult with a new behaviour, it should be treated with joy and encouragement depending of course, on what that behaviour is.

For numerous years a child has visited my household every Saturday for an access visit. It is in my opinion a very strange child. It does not talk at all; it sits still, does not cry and will do as you ask of it without a verbal response.

My mother seems to have trained it to turn on the television, an activity that has been a bit of a joke for some time now.

A few months back this child began to talk at random intervals, shouting out words that were often garbled.

We assumed the child was a "late bloomer", but was finally learning to talk. It took it a month more before it began to ask for things, and began to develop a basic speech pattern.

Every person in my house could make this child laugh except me. It was as if it greeted me with a kind of silent contempt, as if it knew something about me.

I felt stupid questioning the motives of such a young child and so I went without complaint to my mother, remaining wary of something so trivial.

On one Saturday this child was acting like it used to, all quiet, not talking; just sitting. I was relieved, it no longer looked at me strangely and my family had given up encouraging it to talk. I forgot it was in the house, and I did my homework while it sat.

I was completely absorbed with my work when the child interrupted me by turning on the radio. I wasn't too annoyed, and ignored it.

The child then walked up to me standing unnaturally on it's tip-toes, began to twitch all over, bending forwards and backwards while its legs stamped furiously. All the while its head remained stationary, staring up at me with a satanic grimace plastered on its face. I was shocked!

It continued to do this for a period and grabbed on to my legs in the process, but I was frozen, and admittedly scared.

What could I do? I kicked it off, and ran out of the room to get my mother. I explained what the child had just done, and she went to investigate. I followed her back in the room, and the child was still acting the same. I recoiled again but my mother just laughed.

I still don't understand why the kid would do it. My mother thinks it was dancing, but I don't know how it learned to dance like that.

It genuinely scared me, and months later I treat this child with the contempt I suspect it gives me.

I guess I really was feeling in a rut. I’m still working as a lactation consultant but have added something new. The opportunity presented itself and I jumped at it. I am now training to become a sexual assault forensic examiner (S.A.F.E.) or as it will soon be called in Maryland, a forensic nurse examiner (F.N.E.). After 20 years of concentrating on childbirth and breastfeeding issues I now have to learn the anatomy of the woman who has not just recently given birth, plus children and males (who also, sadly, get sexually abused). The human body is amazing in its variety and to learn to recognize abnormal signs of abuse I must first learn to recognize normal variations in genitalia. I’ll be learning to do speculum exams in teen clinics and with a GYN who sees mostly menopausal women. I don’t have a clue where I will see normal children. I’m going to see if I can hook up with a pediatric urologist who does surgery. I can’t imagine subjecting an awake child to an intimate exam that isn’t for their benefit but rather for that of the learner. Perhaps some parents will give me permission to observe for training just before surgery commences but after the child is asleep. Luckily I am well known in my community, as a women and children’s advocate so won’t put people off thinking I’m a nut case.

I’m so excited to be doing this. It is something new (I love to study) and it is important work. I’ve learned that in Baltimore the addition of nurses as trained S.A.F.E.s in Emergency Rooms has dramatically increased the conviction rate of offenders. My training period will likely be 6 months or more. I just started last week. I have a job once the training is done, in the same hospital where I presently work. I’ll be on call in a rotation with others in the group to provide 24/7 coverage but only actually go to the ER if a sexual assault case is brought in.

My other big, big news is my oldest son is getting married Jan 4, 2003 to a WONDERFUL young lady who also has a wonderful fraternal twin sister and a super mom. I’m gaining 3 new women in my previously male dominated family and I love them all. The wedding will have a Renaissance theme. Both my other kids will be attendants. My little neighbor may be the flower girl. Her mother used to babysit the future groom. I’m taking on the botanicals so am busy harvesting and drying herbs for “strewing” and decorations. I’m also thinking about favors, maybe candles with pressed flowers glued/waxed on or homemade paper with imbedded flower petals. Then there is the bouquet! Meghan wants ivy and daisies, perhaps in the Tussie Mussy form. The girls will all have Renaissance style braids and I’m looking at beading interspersed with individual hyacinth blooms thingies to weave through their hair. (stolen straight from the “In Style Bride” summer 2002 magazine. The girl’s dresses are long with an empire waist and Juliet Sleeves. They are in jewel tones, amethyst, blue, green and burgundy plus one in black. “The girls” include 1 natural redhead (my future DIL), one strawberry blond (her twin), one blond, one brunettes and one with henna colored hair (my dear daughter). Meghan’s dress looks very much like the fairy queen in the Lord of the Rings movie.

Oh the girl in black is the “best man”. She is my son’s long-term best friend and the natural choice. Her dress will be the same cut as all the other girls but in black to match the tuxedos of the men. This is a fun bit of déjà vu for me as at my wedding we had a female usher who was a friend of then to be husband but someone I didn’t yet know. They were good friends, he wanted her in the wedding but it didn’t make sense to have her be a bridesmaid as we really didn’t know each other. Carol dressed in a long black, sequined dress and stood with all the other ushers who wore black tuxes. It was wonderful and we are all friends now although really, I don’t see her nearly often enough

1/19/03 The bride and groom are on their honeymoon in Wales. A picture of them can be seen on wertperch's gallery. The wedding was wonderful; small and what the kids wanted.

I’ve always been aware, at least, of how dull it is to sit behind a desk all day. My mother works in this type of hell, and I never paid much attention to her complaints, always dismissed her headaches as one of those involuntary reactions to coming home, like how a sneeze is imminent for some upon walking outside from indoors.

And then there was “Office Space,” which just made fun of it all. And it is. It is funny. I'm not quite in a maze of cubicles, but still. I wish I could shrink my boss and put him in a vial, so I can tease the neighborhood stray.

I walk into the big black door with sleep in my eyes. The exciting part comes early in my day: finding the door unlocked so the key won’t need to hide from my fingers. The mat right inside the door never ceases to amaze me, though. Which direction will the fibers be crushed under my feet today? Will today be the day I lose my footing?

Oh God, I'm pathetic.

Then to the kitchen to stick my lunch in the refrigerator, which is probably older than me, by the looks of it. Grab a Pepsi, push in the chair left out by a negligent co-worker. Damn them. I could do it with my eyes closed, all four limbs tied behind my back.

Then in my office, with that couch that always looks so inviting but remains untouched lest I am caught enjoying myself by my manic depressive employer, I sit at my desk, in front of the computer and promptly zone out. I officially start work at 8 AM, but there’s so much to do before I even think about any of that. There’s mail to check, there’s a vast world of information that was updated while I was dreaming. How can I miss all that? I always keep the database up, though, in case someone decides to come in and be cordial.

Good morning? Sure, why not.

It’s time to do something so I don’t feel so bad about being paid. I play little games with myself. See how many new names I can input before I have to blink, before my eyes shrivel up and fall out. Then there are those days when I actually design things. Those are pretty much nothing days, since most of my time is consumed by being inspired. Inspiration is hard to come by in a prison operational between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday to Friday.

I pace myself, never letting my eyes get too watery or too dry. Meaning I never give in to the urge to sink to my knees and weep, cry out to the Father for mercy and deliverance, and I never play the games to the point of insanity.

I make a round in the office. Randomly popping my head in people's offices, leaving a trail of sticky notes, hoping to make someone, anyone laugh. Maybe it'll make this place bearable. Make sure the copy machine is fully operational. Nobody wants another episode like Xerox Crisis ’98. (A more frightening tale of despair, deception, and disillusionment, you’ll never hear.) El Niño had a role in it all, I’m certain. Lunch rolls around and I don’t eat with them. I don’t choose to participate in the lunch-hour activities because they’re too…medieval. A mutual gathering of minds around the kitchen table, swords unsheathed. Everyone’s equal at lunch, it’s the watering hole of the fucking circle of life. Lions eat organic pasta with the lambs. Either there is no age, or everyone’s pushing 50. I don’t wish to suck down overpriced salad from Eatzi’s. With capers, no less.

"Throw out fresh new ideas?" Ehh, no thanks.

I look out my window sometimes. Not too often, though. The day I see a joyous face, a rosy-cheeked child, or lovers locked in a passionate embrace, perhaps, will be the day I doff my shackles and join the living. Which will not be beneficial for my collegiate responsibility of earning money. So it’s best not to risk it.

I wonder if I have any mail.

I take pleasure, or delight, at the very least, in the little things in the office. The supply room serves as a source of boundless entertainment. Bright white, antique white, textured, smooth, oatmeal, heather. What’s this one? Maybe I can guess. And the stock room, with Architecture magazine piled to the ceiling. Ever wonder who designed that house in San Juan that took inspiration from the ancient rock cut tombs? I don’t.

The paper cutter. Imagine if we had to even attempt to cut straight. Riots would develop. Disgruntled fathers would throw their babies into the air because they can’t decipher the sender of that official notice, because “Social Services” appears as “cial rvices.”

The shadows have now moved to the other side of my office signaling the end of (insert weekday here). Data entry and/or design inspiration gathering is over. What’s left of the Pepsi is now tepid and undrinkable. I think to pour it out, but the can will be there tomorrow. It will be another reason for me not to test the stamina of my eyes.

At the end of the week, if it’s the right week, someone cuts a check with my name on it. I can tell that it was printed on an old printer. I can see every pixel in the text.

spending more time in here due to recent dev/debugging of crap that takes a long time to run. I would usually multitask, but I'm feeling lazy, so I just surf E2 while I'm waiting for my most recent attempt to run.

After being in this building for, um... seven months I finally got walls. I know. quit yur bitchin, right? After all, most people get a cube or less. Not in this building...so I felt a little strange not having one. But in any case, now I have nothing to complain about. Other than the fact that my left jaw has been hurting recently (3-4 days?). It has always clicked a little, so I'm not sure what's up with that. I sure hope it goes away.

Found out that I'm probably going to have a lot (for me) of travel soon. Atlanta, Phoenix, then Atlanta again, all during June/July. Plus, we have our company party, a friend of mine's band is playing...not to mention July 4th stuff. Should be a fun couple of months. My coworkers laugh when they see me carrying my low tech version of a handheld with all this stuff on it, but I just didn't have any luck keeping my visor up-to-date.

Maybe I should get a compaq one instead....

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