We return from the wilds of Pennsylvania, having visited the parental units and my kid brother.

It’s often said that some parrots have the abstract reasoning capacity of small children. Fine and good, doesn’t sound too outrageous to me. However, what they fail to mention is that small children also share a number of traits with parrots–repeating inconvenient phrases, shrieking a great deal, seeming to be a terrible combination of destructive and fragile, and in some cases requiring large newspaper floored cages.

The repeating phrases thing trips me up every time. I am not comfortable with children. I bear them no ill will, but neither am I particularly enamored of them, for the same reasons I live in terror of aliens and religious zealots–they cannot be reasoned or debated with, they appear immune to logic, and I am rarely sure what they want.* So when one latches on to my leg, for example, I tend to say the first thing that pops into my head, without stopping to consider that my sister-in-law may not appreciate her daughter repeating the phrase “What’s up, spawn?” every thirty seconds for the next year. Two days with my six-year-old brother Max added significantly to his repetoire, including such gems as “I’m not your trained monkey,” which I apologized to Mom about fifty times for already. Oh, well.

Watching my stepfather sculpt stuff–he’s working on giant wooden fish at the moment–makes me want to do more 3-D stuff. (Part of it could be that I’m direly burnt on 2-D art at the moment, following all those Cons in rapid succession, mind you.) So I’ll probably take the next week or two semi-off, except for Digger, of course, and we’ll see what happens there. Probably nothing will–I’ll get a painting idea and forget all about it–but y’never know.

*Yes, yes, I could probably, with time and exposure, become reasonably adept at dealing with children. Given the right circumstances, I am confident I could also become quite an adequate chartered accountant. Some things just aren’t important to me.

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