Thursday, October 25, 2007


What a smart girl!

The EI folks left the Fire Direction Center yesterday full of good words for our Little Missy. They found her "right on track" for social interaction and even above average for physical skills. Their only question mark was her verbal abilities: they couldn't get a good handle on whether her Silence was the result of developmental delay or simple language transition. But they were pretty confident that she has the basic hearing and speaking skills to catch up quickly.

What's funny is that over the last couple of days we really have seen changes in her, both verbally and emotionally. She is babbling much more openly as well as being much more active and engaged. She starts playing with toys more quickly. She will pull you over to where she wants you, throws tantrums when she can't get what she wants. And she loves the cats.
This is not an especially good thing...for the cats. Let's just say that Little Missy believes in Tough Love, if toughness is expressed as the ability of the cat in question to take punishment. No matter how often Mojo, Peeper and I shout "NO!", take her hands and try to impress on her the proper cat-petting etiquette, what the wants to do is pull tails, slap heads and grab legs. I have been giving Miss Lily extra rations of the really stinkily loathsome cat food she adores for putting up with this behavior without slashing.
And I should add that although she doesn't have actual words yet she does have a sound - an ear-splitting shriek - that signifies "cat" although it might as well be translated as "mobile object that gives me pleasure to abuse". Last night she was toddling about, we heard "the shriek" and raced into the kitchen to find her with poor Lily in a osaekomi-waza, 押込技, a pinning hold, with the poor cat looking like a Gitmo detainee awaiting the arrival of Dick Cheney and his personal waterboarding assistant. We freed the poor cat, admonished the girl and carried both to the furthest parts of the house only to come running again within two minutes to find the torturer had the torturee by the tail and was swinging like an adorable Asian toddler pole dancer doing a frantic routine down at the Viewpoint.
I'm not sure if it's heroic or just stupid, but the cat (who flinches when Shaomei screams at her) refuses to run away. Her hope (generally unfulfilled) of cat food overcomes her sense (usually accurate) of self-preservation. Sigh. Foolish cat. Hope is not a plan. Miss Nitty has the right idea: when the daughter gets Tough, even the tough cat Beats Cheeks.
Speaking of foolish things, I ran across something strange but funny. I'll bet that at some point you've come across the sort of "motivational" posters like the one above. Some offices are nuts about them. some aren't, but they've become like those old "Baby On Board" signs used to be, a semi-permanent fixture of office culture.
I've always hated the things, as much for the implication that my job performance is malleable by something as ridiculous as one of these silly posters as by the fortune-cookie "wisdom" of the posters themselves.
Apparently I'm not the only one. The good people at "Despair, Inc." have assembled the reply: "anti-motivational" posters which typically contain a similarly brief but much more pointed aphorism that describes an alternate reality to the feel-good philosophy of the mainstream version.
And some of the images are the best part of the joke. Of the examples I've seen, I have to nominate the "Ambition" poster below as the very best. Admittedly hard to attribute emotions to a fish, but you can almost see the last little thought balloon of anguished surprise over the salmon's head...
"What The..!!??"



atomic mama said...

Congrats on the good news!

I love Despair, Inc. When I was in the office more, my fave was always "Apathy"

wzgirl said...

Great news about Lil' Miss. I am so happy to hear how she seems to be making herself at home over there in PTown.

Debra Sue said...

Good. Just... good.