Today was also a long day, but it ended on a happy note.Â After many many hours of backing up data just in case the Isilon cluster decided to asplode when we upgraded the operating system, I finally shooed everyone out of the office and “pulled the trigger” on the upgrade process.
- Uploaded the upgrade to the cluster.
- Initiated the upgrade process.
- Selected the file from where it was on the cluster.
- Clicked Start.
- Watched as it started doing its thing.
- Watched while it started rebooting.
- Stared at the “The login screen will appear when the upgrade is complete.” screen.
- (That’s a very very long time when you’re waiting to find out whether or not your entire weekend is going to be completely toast and you have to spend all your time on the phone with some cheerily determined technical support folks from Seattle, just so you can *barely* scrape your way into Monday morning in time for people to show up and start work again).
- You know the Public Enemy song Fight the Power?Â Of course you do.Â Same length of time.Â Same amount of “Come on, come ON, YES!” energy was expired in that six minutes waiting for it to come back online.
So that was good.Â Copied a few files to/from it just to make sure all was well, and then packed up to go home.
Time to get back to some of the topics I promised on Monday:
Screaming at the Children
So, I’m a dad of two, eight and five, and I think
(Wait: if you’re a Firefox user, and are running a version that does Personas, go put this on.Â Very nice.)
and I think I’ve mostly got things figured out when it comes to parenting.Â I make mistakes, and I overreact some times when my eldest does something that I find particularly evil, but it’s because I want to show him quickly and surely that there’s bad things that happen when you use your crafty powers for evil.Â The other day was a pretty good example of this, and here’s why –
Tape gets used a LOT in this house.Â Both the kids love to do artsy things, and scotch tape becomes a part of just about anything.Â On Monday night though, youngest (5) comes downstairs and says to me in all seriousness
“Dad, don’t close my door upstairs, ’cause I-”
“You won’t be able to see ’cause it’ll be dark?Â There’s your Ikea swirly blue ligh-”
“…won’t be able to get out of my room, ’cause Eldest taped the door.”
I take youngest back upstairs, and put him back to bed, and then look, and sure enough, the door has about four layers of tape around the doorknob, rendering it damn near impossible to turn (for me, and I’ve got some pretty good pickle-jar-openers if I do say so m’self), and so I rip it off the door, and walk into Eldest’s room, and flip on the light.
“Eld, what’s this?”
(Eyes wide) “I just wanted to see if-”
“If what?Â If you could trap your brother in his room and cause him to be so scared he’s in there screaming and crying and banging on a door he can’t get open?Â What if there’s a fire?Â What if he needs to pee?Â What if he thinks there’s a monster in his closet, and he CAN’T GET OUT and I CAN’T GET IN and he’s stuck in there?Â HUH?”
(Tears in his eyes) “I didn’t think it wou-”
“WHAT IF IT’S 2 AM AND HE’S WAKING FROM A NIGHTMARE AND TERRIFIED OUT OF HIS MIND, AND THEN HE CAN’T EVEN SEE THE LIGHT FROM THE STAIRWELL?Â DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT KINDA DAMAGE THAT CAN DO TO YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU’RE ONLY FIVE, AND YOU THINK YOU’VE SEEN A GHOST YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM?”
(Crying) “You’re scaring me…”
“YOU’RE GODDAMN *RIGHT* I’M SCARING YO-…”
(Whimpering) “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Younger, I didn’t think it would be-…”
“Next time you do something like this, I’m making you eat the tape.Â Now good night.”
I walked back downstairs, and sat on the couch for a bit, and a felt bad.Â Also thought about a study I heard about once in which they concluded that people under high stress will often place themselves in a position of more stress so they can get to a point where they explode, and yell and gnash their teeth because there’s a spot in your brain that finds that endorphin/adrenaline rush to be FUN.Â Freaking the fuck out like that is ENJOYABLE, like going on a ride at the fair.Â Like “WHEEEE…”
And even while I was yelling at Eldest, I knew exactly what he meant.Â I’m that kid, too.Â I worked at a video store for about two hours before I took the time to figure out how to get tapes past the security gates.Â He was just going “Oh hey look, you can make the door not work by doing this.”Â My best friend when I was a kid and I used almost exactly the same trick to get ourselves into a empty/condemned/closed office building after hours back in Chilliwack.Â I remember we found a beer bottle that had something disgusting in it.Â I remember thinking it was a mouse, or something organic and dead.Â It was probably a paper towel from someone’s dinner.
But I look back at me then with my now-fatherly eyes and think “That wasn’t safe.Â That was stupid.Â That was dangerous.Â You were in there on the weekend. There could have been others in there.Â Others with drug habits, and make-shift weapons, and mental health issues.Â You could have been hurt, either/both of you, and nobody would have known where to even start looking for you.”
So when I lost it, I became the monster I felt my child should fear before messing with doors.Â With locks.Â With security.
Like we learn from monster/alien films: When creating the barrier, and locking the bad guys out, make sure you’re on the other side of the barrier from the aggressor.Â Make sure you lock the bad guys out, instead of locking them in with you.
‘Cause sometimes you think you’ve got it all under control, and you realize the monster is you.
Stache pics tomorrow, I think.Â Maybe after I go bike shopping.
After making pancakes for the kids, and letting Elder pour his own batter, even though the stove is hot.
2 thoughts on “NaBloPoMovember: Day 5”
Nup. (A new word I am trying out that is a combination of ‘No, you’re not wrong’ and ‘Yup, I get that’) That was the reaction I would have had. Eldest needed to see that things are different for Younger because five is so, so very far behind eight, and Eldest understands Drama.
Lots of us are that kid, the kid who wants to see what he can figure out and get away with, but we all have to learn that we can’t make others feel unsafe in order to carry out our experiments.
Ah geez. Yeah.
I appreciate your reference to the study about stress because that explains a *lot*. About me, and about the kids, too. It feels so gooooood to yell, until you stop. So – keep yelling forever? Or, just don’t? Or, like parents throughout time, yell and then apologize and hope for the best.
Or move to a nice, quiet island with a one-bedroom cabin and come back when they’re grown up?