Friday, April 25, 2008

Edison's mother

Iris' new haircut was quite the schoolyard sensation this morning. Kids, mothers and teachers alike were fascinated with her asymmetric wedge. They all professed astonishment that she did such a good job on her own. I heard from another mom how some girls in her class surrounded her as her teacher approached. When she arrived, the girls jumped aside and yelled, "Surprise!". Iris was so pleased with all the positive attention.

She was not so happy yesterday, when she walked to school by herself. We were simply too mad at each other for our usual morning walk. The school says that kids in K-3 should be accompanied by adults to campus, but I think she was safer walking alone than with me at that point. (Don't forget that Ramona Quimby was allowed to walk alone to Kindergarten--how quickly parenting ideas of safety change.)

I won't bore you with the details of how I was pushed over the edge so I will tell you another story.

I carry exactly one ergonomic pen and pencil in my purse. Why? If you knew how many germs are carried on publicly shared pens, you'd carry your own pen, too. I also need to limit the weight of my handbag because of arthritis so I don't carry spares.

The other evening, I reached into my bag to for a pen so I could sign something and what did I pull out of my bag?

Pen and pencil parts.

But not enough parts of either to put together one usable Frankenstein writing implement.

The ink cartridge was rolling loose in the purse.

With bite marks on the ink case indicating that this was no accident.

I looked at Iris.

She looked back with her big brown eyes.

"What happened here?"

"How am I going to be an inventor if I don't take things apart?"

Sigh. Mark and I do give her broken things to take apart, like an old clock. We figure, if they are already broken, it doesn't matter if she can't put them back together again. I guess we should set clearer limits on what she can and cannot take apart.

It is a good thing I carry a leopard print purse. No one can see the ink stains.

I am one of the 20% of middle-aged Americans with a disability. Through trial and error and word of mouth, I found some products that make my life easier. I have no connection with these companies, etc.
  • Active Forever offers a ton of stuff for those with limited mobility. I love my Smart-Clip Allview Mirror so much, I bought 2 more as gifts. Just like their website says, it gives a wide angle view for those with back and neck mobility impairments.
  • A secretary recommended the Pentel Ergotwist pen and it is the only one I can comfortably use. It's the cheapest of the "arthritis pens" recommended by It is also pretty heavy, which explains why I don't want to carry more than one. Now if only Mark and Iris would only carry their own pens and pencils and not keep borrowing mine (and not replacing it when they are done).


  1. I think the expanded rear view mirror is a great idea for anyone. Hmmm... Joe's birthday is two months away.

  2. Anonymous17:13

    I really like that mirror. I was driving George's car the other day, and although I have my car set so I can see most places, but in his car there are several angles that are impossible since I don't bend or turn well. I think I need to look into that for both cars.


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