Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ears and Breasts

Little Robin has an earache. It is not yet been revealed the source of his earache, and while I was researching home treatments for earaches I did find one website that said cigarette or cigar smoke does in fact irritate ears. Tomorrow’s strip mentioned the Kelpfroths even though today’s strip did not. I suspect that the way this is going to work is:

1. Mike and Dee are exhausted from dealing with Robin and they call up Elly for help.
2. Elly arrives and speaks with Lovey about the Kelpfroths
3. Somehow they are going to come to the conclusion that the Kelpfroth’s smoking is the source of Robin’s problems
4. This will set Elly into motion to move into the retirement home, so their house is freed up for Mike and Dee to move in, all for Robin’s health.
5. As a part of the move, Mike stops working at Portrait magazine, since that would tie him too tightly to Toronto.

Lynn moves plotlines at a glacial pace. She had Elly talk about retiring for a solid 3 years before actually doing it. She is holding off on showing Liz moving back to Milborough until the last possible minute. The reuniting and renaming of 4-Evah and the introduction of its full compliment of members will probably not occur until the school year is almost over. So, even though this strip sequence is likely to show Elly thinking, “Mike and Dee should move,” it will be months before anyone actually does anything about it.

The treatment I had Constable Paul Wright list for earache, a tea made from ëmuckigwatigí (literally swamp tree) or tamarack tree is accurate. The Ojibway use the bark of the Tamarack tree for a whole host of things.

I had Jeremy Jones introduce the idea that Becky’s boobs were put into a website and this ended up with Jeremy saying “great” to everything. I was going for an imitation of an old radio comedy routine called, “George and Martha” in which the male and female voices tell an entire love story using nothing but different inflections of their partner’s name. The entire script is nothing but “George: Martha” and “Martha: George.” I couldn’t do inflections, but I tried to rig it so that Jeremy could say “great” and he would still participate in the conversation.

I had Mike Patterson riff a little on bowl haircuts, since all the Patterson kids at one point or another had bowl haircuts. If the strip ran out long enough, we could see Merrie get her bowl haircut, I am sure.

I know aprilp_katje breast-fed/feeds her baby, so it was interesting to see April become a breast-feeding proponent in the face of Becky’s rejection of the matter to Howard. I had played up Howard as wanting children for awhile, so this Becky – Howard talking about kids thing has been very interesting to bring out Howard’s parental side. My wife did not have good boobs for breast-feeding (sunken nipples) and breast-feeding was a real struggle for us. Ultimately my wife ended up using a breast pump, because with sunken nipples it requires the baby to suck the nipple out before it can feed, and neither of my kids had the wherewithal to do that, despite the motivation of hunger and many, many attempts under the supervision of lactation experts. So when Howard speaks of Becky having good nipples and areolae, there is an element of personal truth to it.

Lastly, I can tell qnjones is chaffing underneath the weight of the Valhalla supper club. Howard’s post about not having any time when you are performer is quite correct. I know this from my own personal experience in operas and in choruses and I would expect it is even worse if you are a pop star performer on tour. I can’t imagine being a Broadway performer, having to do a show every single day and then 2 a day on weekends. That would wear me out.

Tomorrow’ strip: Robin goes to sleep. Mike gets aroused. It looks pretty difficult to snark.


Blogger April Patterson said...

I couldn't resist having April be a bit of a proponent--I'm justifying it in my head by imagining she did a big research paper on the topic at some point for school. :)

4:17 AM  
Blogger howard said...

I think it is fairly safe to say considering both Elly and Dee breastfed, that April would be in favour of it.

9:00 AM  
Blogger April Patterson said...

That, too! :)

4:18 PM  
Blogger howard said...

As I recollect Mira was adamantly against public breastfeeding, but I wasn't sure if that extended to breastfeeding in general or just the "public" part. Breastfeeding is one of those things that people get pretty militant about. I have known women who breastfed until their children were 5 years old, and other that simply stopped when the milk did, or others who forced a stop (which is what Dee did, when she went back to work, as I recollect). My wife was in the stop when the milk stops variety, but since she had to use a pump, it did not stimulate milk production like a baby would, so that did not last very long. If April follows in Dee's footsteps, then she would likely breastfeed until she decided she wanted to go back to work. In contrast, since Anthony took the paternity leave, I am guessing Therese probably stopped breast-feeding at the first opportunity. I don't know what Elly did. Do you recollect?

4:59 PM  
Blogger April Patterson said...

Mira tried to convince Dee that babies get more nutrition from formula, and Dee countered that this is not what the research shows. Also, there was a monthly letter--I think it must have been January 2003--where Dee writes that she'd been mortified to discover that her mother had bought bottles and formula for their Christmas visit. She was so upset over all this that she cried. That was one of the reasons that her casual weaning of both children at six months seemed to me out of character (but OTOH, it occurred in the letters).

I'm not sure about what Elly did, but LJ herself wrote in The Lives Behind the Lines that she's a bf advocate, but that when "it has teeth," she's done. I suspect she had Elly do the wean-when-teeth-appear thing. LJ also had a snide remark about mothers who allow their three-year-olds to lift Mama's shirt and help themselves while the mother is out at the mall having a latte.

Of course, she wouldn't understand that children who are still nursing at that age do not nurse like newborns (which is to say constantly). FWIW, my son hasn't weaned yet, but he's getting there. He's pretty much down to one nursing (at bedtime) and that's become largely symbolic. (Quick!) In our case, it's child-led weaning, aka the path of least resistance. ;)

I know exclusive pumping is not easy, and my hats go off to the moms who do it. They're definitely heroes. :)

6:23 PM  
Blogger howard said...

Given the way April is being pushed into veterinary medicine, she might not go for the "when it has teeth, she's done" method. I remember the Mira argument for formula now that you reminded me about it.

My wife would have loved to have heard your comment about people doing exclusive pumping being heroes. I remember very well how much she cried when we couldn't get our kids to nurse, no matter how many lactation experts we went to.

7:17 PM  

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