Browsing Posts published in September, 2010


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Ellie is having difficulty with some of the terms and definitions used for Grandma.

We have played at least fifty games of Uno this week and almost every time Ellie is down to her last card she excitedly exclaims, “Nona!”

Today, we were out for our bike ride and Ellie shouted from two chevrons back, “Why is Molly’s Grandma still at her house while Molly is at school?”

I waved to Molly’s Grandma who is actually Molly’s twenty something Filipino Nanny. I suspect there has been some crossover with the words Granny, Nanny and Nana making it difficult for Ellie to distinguish this young woman from Molly’s actual relatives and she’s clearly made no connection to age or choice in eyewear.

The school bus pulled up and our neighbour’s young son exited. He was greeted at the foot of his driveway by a woman with a clipboard, thankfully, not a pile of religious literature or I would have dutifully bolted to warn the others. She began asking him a series of questions about the whereabouts of his parents and who they think they might want to vote for in the next municipal election. He looked puzzled as he should, he is seven. Even more puzzling was Ellie telling Hanna to grab the skipping rope so they could show Malcolm and his Grandma the massive improvements in their skipping abilities. Again, not his Grandma, in fact, she is the anti-Grandma, a clipboard and a jacket that screamed local politics without a sticker book or bag of candy in sight.

We snacked on a couple of Granny Smith’s after school and Ellie asked me if it’s true I love my kids more than I love myself. I explained not only was it true but she would one day feel that way if she is ever lucky enough to be a mother.

Ellie: Mommy, when you say those things, my eyes fill up with hearts.

When she says those things, I almost pee my Granny panties.

Round two of Mommy and Me Water Aerobics was today and I had the added bonus of trekking through a rainstorm en route to the rec centre and also on my return to the van after class.

Parking within fifty metres of the front door makes things breezy on a warm, dry day but nearly impossible (Ellie and Hanna’s voices saying, “nothing’s impossible Mommy”) on a dreary wet one.

I exit the van, umbrella in hand, pop open umbrella, wind inverts it, remind myself to stop buying umbrellas from liquidation stores, open the trunk, wind pulls my umbrella-arm out of socket, umbrella windmills to the ground behind, wince, pull stroller out with one hand as other is now too sore to assist, close trunk, soaked through two layers as is the stroller, arm pops back into place, push stroller with chest, drag useless piece of crap umbrella upside down on the ground, approach side door, determine if parked too close to neighbour to accommodate open door as well as stroller, barely, slide side door open to disembark giggling, kicking baby enjoying my wet frustration, load her into stroller, close side door, open passenger door to retrieve backpack, water no longer absorbing, just running off my head, sweatshirt, watch, continue pushing stroller with chest while swinging backpack wildly onto back, forgot quarter for locker, a good start. Continue reading “Dumbrella….” »

Car-seat baby has a habit of putting everything in her mouth; pegs from the Guess Who game, bits of paper, stickers from the coveted sticker book collection, the convertor, rogue Cheerios that have rolled into the family room off of her highchair tray and Polly Pocket has been complaining several of her fanciest shoes have gone missing. Chloe.

Thankfully, Hanna and Ellie’s eclectic dressing style has rubbed off on Polly so she’s never concerned with whether or not her shoes match, if she’s wearing a zucchini top (Ellie-ism for bikini) with a wedding veil there are no complaints and her shoes never match, perhaps because Chloe has eaten half the pair.

This weekend while visiting my parents, Chloe crawled into the kitchen and was spotted throwing the magnets from the fridge. My Mom wandered in to see what kind of trouble she was getting into and noted that one of her magnets, something resembling a nesting doll used to have a small wooden ladybug glued to it and it was now missing. Chloe.

My Mom explained the wooden ladybug was about the size of half a lentil. Obviously she wasn’t aware of Chloe’s affinity for lentils or halvsies, what do you expect when you dress one up like a cute little ladybug? This girl eats plastic shoes for sport, she’s not turning her nose up at half a legume in a top-hat.

I guess I am expected to sift through the gift-wrapped feces in every Huggies she soils but to be honest, I have no intention of returning the ladybug so does it really matter if I ever find it?

It’s a reflection of how our parenting style has shifted from one child to the third. If Hanna had so much as looked in the direction of the ladybug we’d be up at emerge for an x-ray and would have an order of antibiotics on hand as a precautionary measure. The ladybug would have been tested for known bacteria and frozen for further review.

Now, I find people gasping when Chloe drops her chew toy on the floor at Starbucks and I hand it back to her before boiling it clean.

I don’t have time to weed my garden, I certainly don’t have time to turn my child’s diapers into a real life game of Operation or boil the Starbucks off of toys.

I don’t always have the luxury of having a shower without an audience.

Sometimes Greg is already at a meeting or away camping with fifteen of his closest nearly forty year old friends so I’m the bathroom host for the lather, rinse, repeat show.

Car-seat baby is always a big question mark at shower time. Now that she’s mobile, there’s no telling how much sweat pea, cherry blossom bubble bath could be smeared on the floor if I’m not proactive.

I load two baskets with building blocks, stuffed toys, large, colourful bouncy balls, books, a wand that lights up, squeezy things, squeaky things and textural wonders. A toy xylophone, a juggling monkey, several clowns crammed into a small car, bouncy castle and we’re ready to lather up. Continue reading “Tastes Like Chicken…..” »

Car-seat baby and I started our first Diaper Fit class at the local pool.

The instructor told us to stand where the water was at nipple height to begin our work-out in order to receive the maximum benefit.

It hardly seemed fair I was the only one working out on the steps in the shallow end.

Chloe was sipping her formula peacefully in my lap this morning, making slow, predictable circles with her arm as she drifted off to sleep. Then as if by some half-nightmare, she jolted her arm and clocked me in the collar bone with the hard plastic lid of her cup.

While I must admit, I was shocked by the attack and also by the pain a ten month old baby could inflict on me, it certainly wasn’t my worst sippy cup thrashing.

Two days before I was scheduled to return to work from my second mat leave with Ellie, she was facing me on my lap drinking from her cup. She raised both arms above her head and we smiled in delight at whatever fun game she was dreaming up. From out of nowhere, she held the handle securely while bashing me on my upper cheek with the cup, giving me my first black eye. Good game Ellie.

How do I begin to try to cover this up?  Knowing my mascara celebrates its anniversary alongside my oldest brother’s wedding date, it probably wasn’t going to do much good. Chapstick was the only other make-up I owned, how would I begin to cover this up? Could I arrive my first day back at the office as a mime? It gets worse….

The following day, (the day before my return) I got out of the shower and just before turning to close the solid glass door, I was hit in the head and brought to my knees. The door had come off of the hinge and fallen on me, cutting my temple and pinning me to the ground.

I started calling Greg, first trying not to panic as I knew the girls would come running if I was at all upset and nobody needs their children to see them pinned naked under a glass shower door, unless you really are a mime. I’m sensing the irony.

I quickly realized by not panicking, Greg was in no rush to come and hulk the door off of his naked wife. I could hear him sliding his kitchen chair in probably thinking I wanted him to bring me a new towel or replace the toilet paper roll, or replace the felt chair leg cozies because I heard his chair scratch the floor, all of which could wait until he finished his yogurt.

I was blacking out and decided to just start yelling for help.

Greg sauntered down the hall and found me in a pool of water and blood with an unravelled hair turban on the ground next to me.

If my face didn’t scream bar fight with just the one black eye, two should remove any doubt.

We are gerbil sitting this week, a first for us.

Alexandra arrived a couple days ago and was quickly re-named Amanda-Miranda.

I asked if gerbils smelled and was told that if I’m dealing with dirty diapers every day, I will not be bothered by the smell of the gerbil. Interesting sales tactic, in other words, the smell may be so revolting, you’ll want to break a window but it’s not quite as rank as human feces.

It’s the smell of urine on wood chips, a likely new label for the vineyard representing “Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush.” Not subtle, woody, with hints of stale pee, damp socks, pungent just shy of being headachy, with a seedy, whiskery finish.

Amanda-Miranda has actually been little to no work and provided she keeps to her empty toilet roll chewing schedule, we shouldn’t have a problem. She performs on command, racing on her wheel, sipping from her water bottle and falls asleep despite the pointing and giggling surrounding her.

The kids have enjoyed having a pet around and we realize the begging will likely commence the minute Amanda-Miranda wheels out next week.

Hornsour the cat who has never been cuddled, perhaps even touched, by any human but seemingly lives on our back deck does not technically count as a pet…..or so I’m told by the children.

Is it time to start down this road of flushing funerals and shoe-box burials?

An unmade bed sets the tone for my day.

When I wake up early enough, spritely enough, well-rested enough to actually make our bed, I feel alive, ready to take on the world, ready for a neighbour to knock on the door knowing I won’t have to hide should they spot the trail of toys and general disarray lurking behind the door chime.

Today was not one of those days. While I was out of bed at 5:50am, showered before 6:00 and had a steaming hot bowl of oatmeal ready for blueberries by 6:05am, something always seemed to take priority over making the bed and my mood is completely linked to that bed being made or left untouched. If it’s not made by noon, I really might as well wait to make it until moments before climbing back into it for the night.

It’s a reflection of who I am, who we are as a family and how the rest of the day will play out if I don’t get around to making the bed. If someone drops by unannounced and that bed is made, I’m giving the tour. If it’s not made, everything else seems to looks much worse and I find myself sheepishly closing doors and kicking rubber balls down the hall to create the illusion of some organization. Continue reading “It Was a Raspberry Display. The Kind You Find in a Second Hand Store…..” »

School has officially begun. Hot lunch orders are due, picture day reminders have been sent home, teams are actively looking for participants and oh, I almost forgot, we have received our first notice of lice in the classroom.

I will be preparing the “For Sale” sign on the house if those bugs find their way in here. I am simply not equipped to add, search for tiny, wingless bugs that hop from one head to the next causing extreme irritation to the scalp to my list of things to do. Sorry lice, you are not welcome here.

The public health notice we’ve received several years consecutively offers some helpful tips on how to control the spread of the wee beasties, signs and symptoms to look for and frequently asked questions, answered.

“Do I have to remove all the nits?”

Answer: There is conflicting information about the need to remove nits.

By conflicting, I’m assuming some say it’s necessary to remove nits, others say it isn’t? Just for fun, if we do get lice, I’ll probably opt to remove the nits. Those of you who choose not to will find yourselves engaged in conflict with me.

“Some schools and daycares have no nit policies.”

Please God, let our school be one of them. I could not find mention anywhere on the school website, the parent council outline or the student handbook under “Nit removal,” “Nit or No Nit,” “Good Bugs, Bad Nits,” but I’m hoping that page was torn out to shield my child’s head from someone chasing her with their hairbrush or computer headset. Whether the school agrees or not, I’m going to have to enforce the no tolerance for nits policy in this house. Do you hear that nits? You will not be tolerated.

“Many people also remove nits for aesthetic reasons.”

Good point. Nobody wants to be nicknamed “Nit” or “Nitty” for the remainder of the school year.

“They feed on your blood.”

Really, I thought we were done with vampires?

“Head lice feed from the scalp and need a certain temperature and humidity range to survive.”

I knew that humidex would come in handy. As long as it continues to suck every drop of moisture out of this house, we might have a fighting chance against Team Nit.

Perhaps I was a little uptight about the accessibility to porn on the internet.

Thankfully, my daughter’s grade two home reading material is a welcome distraction and doesn’t have any offensive, graphic images.

I’ve been so consumed by this nonsense I’m starting to think I see a penis on this man’s face.

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