Thursday, November 15, 2012

Not easy times to be a Curmudgeon

Perhaps we will name the baby-to-be-named-later Screaming Mimi.

Regulars will recall that, not only have I not given Younger Daughter's child a name here on the blog, my real life family has not figured out what to call the kid. Yes, she's named after her grandmothers -- but my wife isn't comfortable yet calling someone else by her own name.

But we're both calling the child names now, and not friendly ones. The child sleeps through the day and screams all night. It's taking a heavy toll on Younger Daughter.

Long Suffering Spouse and I know what the problem is. (OK, Long Suffering Spouse knows, and she told me.) Younger Daughter is nursing. By midnight, after napping fitfully during the day when the baby allows it, Younger Daughter doesn't have -- er -- can't produce -- er -- well, the baby is hungry again an hour or two later.

And she lets everyone know it.

Long Suffering Spouse has begun gently suggesting replacing Nature's Own with a bottle of formula at night, possibly introducing cereal into the mix soon, in order to fill up the child for a good night's sleep... for everybody. The baby's doctor chimed in yesterday with a similar suggestion. Naturally, as a doctor, she feels compelled to prescribe some magic elixir besides, but that's OK. (The baby also has a gas problem and a prior, lower dosage of the same magic potion reduced the consequences of same. The baby's doctor also instructed Younger Daughter in some gas relief procedures that may also be helpful. They are certainly disgusting enough.) But the point is that the doctor has now chimed in, largely backing up Long Suffering Spouse's gentle (and increasingly desperate) suggestions.

But Younger Daughter is uncertain. She seems to feel that she's failing as a mommy by using even one bottle of formula a day. She's stressed that she's unable to satisfy her child's needs. The child, however, does not appear to be suffering. She's up over 140% of her birth weight in roughly seven weeks. Just this morning I tried to reassure Younger Daughter that she's doing the right things, that a bottle now and then or some cereal is not a betrayal of any motherly obligations. She looks so drawn these days, so wiped.

Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, Older Daughter is again trying IVF. The den of thieves, er, clinic where she and her husband are being treated entered into a contract with the kids providing three chances for a baby. The clinic is down in the count 0-2. They are on their third attempt.

Older Daughter sounds hopeful on the phone -- but she's always sounded hopeful at this stage, right after implantation. We can only hope that, this time, her hopes will prove well founded. We'll know if things go wrong. I am so worried for her, too.

And up in Wisconsin, Youngest Son is having his own problems. He wants to be a teacher. Teaching is a noble profession. My wife is a teacher. My mother was a teacher. But schools of education and education departments and so-called education professionals are swindlers, liars, thieves, bigots, scoundrels and idiots.

I used the pejorative "bigot" advisedly. Youngest Son is taking a course this semester in which he is learning that all the problems of the world are caused by white people. But that's not why I am calling the education department at South Janesville College (the fictitious name I've given to the very real school where Youngest Son attends) a bunch of bigots. I think it's probably OK to shake up Youngest Son's middle class complacency. But I resent that he's become a victim of discrimination in the education department. And, before any of you get all excited, some of Youngest Son's black classmates are also being discriminated against.

It's not a race thing -- heaven forfend that a bastion of liberal groupthink like South Janesville College would ever discriminate on the basis of race. But, ironically consistent with their preferred narrative that discriminatory behavior is instinctive in the human animal, the education department discriminates against athletes. Jocks. Football players. Or, in Youngest Son's case, baseball players.

He's received failing grades from education professors on tests or papers to which TA's in the department would have given grades of A or B (yes, I'm accepting as true what my son tells me).

I've told Youngest Son to protest against this discriminatory treatment of the "differently abled," but he has wisely rejected my counsel in this regard. Alternatively, I have suggested he kiss whatever butt he must kiss in order to get through. He chafes at this, but says he is doing it.

Still, yesterday, he called and said there's no way he can graduate in four years and student teach and play baseball. He needs to student teach in order to get certified. He can't student teach under the auspices of any education department besides South Janesville's. Nor will South Janesville's education department accept education credits from any other school. So he can't pick up any core courses or electives over the summer (at far lower cost). If you think a four year school should have a way to get their students through in four years, then you are probably old and out of touch like I am.

This is total horsehockey of course, but the so-called education professionals, for all their progressive posturing, are nothing more than reactionary guardians of a medieval guild.

I feel sorry for Youngest Son who wants to pursue an honorable career but must go through such distasteful, even hateful, gatekeepers.

Now consider. I feel bad for Younger Daughter. I am worried sick about Older Daughter. I am angry for, worried about, and sorry for Youngest Son. I am exercising sympathy muscles that -- as a serious Curmudgeon -- are strongly inclined to disuse. It's a bit of strain at the moment.

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