On a lighter note, let me re-state my First Law of Home Repair: "The job expands to accommodate the number of tools at your disposal." A simple task of setting up the baseboards for Bek's room (couldn't bear to try to recondition the old ones, in the end) and sanding a chamfer off the upper edge required me to drag the table saw up from the basement and into the garage (more room to maneuver 12 foot planks), and then I dug out: the board roller, the folding sawhorse, two quick clamps, wrenches for the table saw, the new belt sander, and the router. This is a job that, I assure you, could have been done handily with a sanding block had it been necessary. And I had tried it with the belt sander, but didn't like the results. So: out comes the router! All part of my evil plan . . . .
From the older one, anyway. One of the class bullies (a girl -- Margaret Atwood's "Cat's Eye" convinced me that girls are endlessly more vicious than boys in this regard. Boys just threaten to beat you up. Girls hurt your feelings. Anyway . . . ) . . . . As I was saying, one of the class bullies told Hannah she was going to be shot today. Even if you know it's not true, when you're ten, there's a part of you that isn't sure. But she didn't tell the teacher (which she should have), and held it together until after supper, when she fell apart over it. (Actually, what she fell apart over was that she had to have a bath and make up some violin practice, but one thing leads to another.) So we told her she should always report any threat like that, even if she knows it's not true, and we're going to have to send a note to the teacher tomorrow to let him know. This little bully needs an intervention. I told the girls to understand that if she needs to bully people, there must be something going on in her life that's a lot less pleasant than what's going on in our lives, and that people who are insecure often try to take it out on others this way, etc. etc. And maybe that's all true. But the plain fact that we know with a certainty when we're 10 and somehow "civilize" out of ourselves as we get older is that some kids are just plain bad. Evil, even. There may be a reason they got that way, or there may not, but there are some people you just need to give a wide swath to.