Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ask Little Ms. Science

I cannot take credit for putting it up, but this is the blog that I hope to post my musings (formerly updates) to. I won't just go on and on about the chemo, it will continue to have cute anecdotes about Ms. Sofie, her life is far more amusing than mine.

The last weekend of April, her recent caterpillar obsession came into play and she insisted on bringing one home from the Museum of Life and Science. I quickly fashioned a temporary caterpillar condo, (those gladware disposable things have many additional purposes). I was sure it would be dead by dark, or surely the next morning, but it is Monday night and the little critter is thriving so far, and Sofie has been cooing over it and playing with it and making sure it has leaves and water. So who knows. My mom is sending her a proper butterfly habitat via the Discovery Network, ASAP.

I said something yesterday about it making a cocoon soon and she corrected me, "not a cocoon, Mom, a chrysalis". I am not even sure I spelled that correctly. Evidently, cocoons are for moths, not butterflies. I have lived five decades and did not know this. She is so gentle with this little creature and so sweet. She played with it on her placemat so it would have enough exercise. Then she was singing to it last night before it went to sleep. Um, to bed. Whatever.

The Habitat did arrive and not a moment too soon! “Catty” her caterpillar had actually grown and was being quite responsive to Sofie’s attention. I put her in the habitat (essentially a webbed cylinder with a zipper top and butterfly designs for effect). The next morning, I went to do my early morning check on the critter and it was nowhere. Not in that habitat, not on the table. I almost panicked and then notice that it had indeed that very night, formed a chrysalis and was hanging from the top of the habitat. I think we have a week to ten days, and then it will be a butterfly. Then we plan to (don’t laugh) mail order five more caterpillars. We will set them free a day or two after they emerge when they are butterflies. This was a hard concept as she wanted to keep them all in her room, but I found myself saying something like "butterflies must be free" before I burst into giggles she did not understand.

So, here is the brief story of the photos. Please note the official babushka color of the kerchief is TEAL, but we improvised for now. Teal is not that easy to find, but I am on that.

When I decided I would get my head buzzed, my dear friend Alan offered to do something in solidarity. That turned out to be getting his dog, Kimo, buzzed (AKA, the “summer cut”). The babushka was a stroke of genius. Then Alan himself decided to get buzzed in solidarity. He also mentioned that after visiting his local Castro Street barber, he emerged to admiring glances on Castro Street. Is it any wonder? He looks fabulous.

Then Eileen got her hair cut shorter than she usually does and wrote about the issue of choice in this hair cutting. Then Lisa, who looks about as cute as any adorable little butch girl can, got her hair shorn to about an inch or less. And Lisa has beautiful thick hair. Her cap is what she refers to as “The Brooklyn Babushka”.

When I went to “Lovely Lady”, the wig place to get shorn by the owner, Darlene, Sofie came along and we played with all the hats there and the scarves before the big moment. Beth Wolfe took a ton of pictures, some of which I am sharing here. Sofie and I mugged for the camera, and Sofie took a photo of Beth and I and actually did pretty well.

One funny, ironic thing, is that Sofie’s homework book that night was called (I am not making this up) “The Wig”. We brought it to the place and read it there.

The faces I made during the process were not due to being upset about the shearing, the razor noise was *very* loud and also the hair kept falling into my eyes, my nose and my mouth…..yeeeech. The finished head was pretty startling, and I had not seen my natural color on my head in at least 15 years, possibly 20! You be the judge, but I think it was not as bad as I had feared. In all the excitement, however, I forgot to put on the babushka for the photo shoot. Rest assured, that will happen, I now own at least 8 of them in assorted colors.

I did not think I would do it, but that weekend, I went out in public with my short hair (making sure to wear a dramatic lipstick color as well) and nobody fainted.

Then those little hairs started falling out on Monday at a rapid rate. All over clothes, the pillow, all over everything. Like having five shedding cats. So on Saturday, I stopped by my regular hair place and asked that he buzz it pretty much all off. That night, when I passed a mirror in my home, I was startled, as I guess I forgot that I had done it for a minute there. But now, it is just easier. Dee Dee goes out in the day to work, the rest of the time, head scarf. The wig makes my head hurt after six hours.

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