and probably dangling. But, as the saying goes, if it’s comfortable out, leave it out.

Wait, what? That doesn’t sound so family-friendly? I thought this blog was all about the problems with raising an eight-year-old when the hill is in your rearview mirror! Gasps the (mostly theoretical) audience.

Chin up. It isn’t like that. “Unzepped” is the name of one of the musical pieces I’ve been working on, on and off. It bears a faint resemblance, in spots, to some of the Page/Plant “Unledded” stuff, which I’ve been listening to on and off lately, and maybe a passing bit of Peter Gabriel. Much more “world” stylistically than my usual things, and definitely unfinished. Has a sorta stab at a melody line in places and a kinda nice/kinda cheezy lead part that I’ll likely scrap when I have a chance to record a new one. I’d like to make it more “world” and less hard-rock, but at the same time it needs more electric guitar to make it spin. Feel free to let me know if the thing works for you, or to suggest changes.

You can listen to either of the two versions I have, on whatever sound equipment you like-here are the download links:
unzepped one

unzepped two


On the child front, herself was delivered yet another lecture today, followed by a brief question-and-answer period as I try to make things more conversational.

This followed a period, shortly after my wife went to take a nap, when the  kid got sent to the corner within ten minutes of dear spouse’s departure.

She’s supposed to tell an adult when she is leaving the room, and why, so that we can keep track of her comings and goings. Said notification isn’t supposed to take place in passing, over her shoulder, on the way up the stairs. There’s a reason for this…many reasons actually, but the chief one is that these little trips are often completely unnecessary.

Such was the case this afternoon…when her majesty opted to “go check on the bunnies”, which is a complete nonaction. Ideally this trip would consist of checking the things that make up the rabbits’ world, and seeing to it that bowls are filled when necessary, water bottles topped off, cages not too dirty, etc. This is after all the assignment that the youngun asked for personally. She also asked to be given a pet of her own.

My wife immediately told her that “Big Girl”, the indeterminately-sexed large and friendly rabbit, was her pet. I added that this was contingent upon evidencing personal responsibility for pet care.

A few days ago, I asked the child what she was doing that indicated that she was ready to have a pet, and to have the designation of “pet owner” added to her list of titles. When pressed for a reply, she answered that she “was thinking”, and indicated that I should wait for an answer.

Yesterday, when I filled the kibble dish for Dammit and Betty, I noticed that the water bottles were getting a bit lowish. Not empty, but lowish. During the day, the animals usually don’t consume much water unless it is very warm. Today was not so.

I made a mental note of this, and checked on it every so often, making sure that the bottles weren’t completely empty in the process.

Six or seven times during the day, the rabbits were “checked on”, and those bottles remained in exactly the same condition. The animals had water to drink, but the bottles hadn’t been topped off, and their dishes were overturned and empty, with nobody having been consulted as to when they needed filling.

Clearly, something else was going on. The child makes great show at times of stepping out to get “fresh air”, having at some times found this to be an incontrovertible excuse, an all-purpose vehicle, as it were.

Especially during the commercials.

So an eight-year-old has ants in her pants and happy feet. Woop-de-doo. Hard to have an issue with that.

But the notification becomes a formality quickly, and an afterthought almost as quickly, and we won’t have that. Not on my watch.

So today’s lesson became about personal responsibility-not the neocon version where it means you shouldn’t have healthcare unless you have enough money for someone to have a vested interest in keeping your ass alive, but the real-life version in which you are who you say you are and your word is your bond, Antiquated concepts, to be sure, but desirable in any day and age.

This is the general drift of my “teachings” anyway-think for yourself, have some sense of personal integrity, use your words properly, have some decorum.

Nobody’s asking for a model citizen or an android.

“But I’m still a kid,” she says. “Why should I have to learn to be an adult now?”

“All of your childhood is training for your adulthood,” she is told.

She is a self-possessed young lady, that’s for sure. Well-developed sense of self. The ego that comes with being bright sometimes, slightly twisted by esteem issues into a tendency to fact-spinning and self-aggrandizing behavior.

Definitely not used to something being expected of her. Common among her aunts and uncles also. Consequently they never expect much of themselves, and that is what they get-not much.

Realistic self-assessment, self-determination, those aren’t much in demand in some circles.

This isn’t one of them.

While I am not actually a harsh parent, I do expect things, and am rather strict about getting those things done.

The line between privilege and right should be respected. It should definitely be understood where that line lies.

Next week:Math Coursework. Bunny Cage Cleaning, and more music. Thanks for reading.

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