Browsing Posts published in June, 2012

Yesterday, my friend emailed about a few things she was planning for the day, one of which was working on a summer book with her kids and I immediately thought, damn, why can’t I be a good Mom with good ideas like that and a pen?

She talked about a summer wish-list where the kids would place a sticker on those special events on the list once they had been achieved. Another blow to old Lizzy, I was totally going to steal that one.

Here are our top twenty….

  1. Canada’s Wonderland
  2. Marineland
  3. African Lion Safari
  4. Walk on stilts
  5. Eat cotton candy
  6. Eat ice cream from a cone (has it ever been done?)
  7. Eat Tic-Tacs (Chloe)
  8. Make my milk warmer. This milk is too cold. (spikes milk on floor, lid goes flying, milk spills everywhere)
  9. “Have a singing concert on our driveway”…wait for it……”for money”
  10. Ride on Jet Skis
  11. Have a camp-out in the basement
  12. Lose a tooth
  13. Have a lemonade stand for turtles (not to be served to turtles, to raise funds for endangered turtles)
  14. Have a water balloon fight (how could anything that ends in “fight” go wrong?)
  15. Roast marshmallows (see lose a tooth for a two for one opportunity)
  16. Go to the movies and get a treat
  17. Go boating
  18. Swim every day
  19. Have a pool party
  20. Change my diaper, I have toots

Yesterday was the last day of school. There were a few tearful goodbyes from friends who were moving onto new schools in the fall, a little sadness knowing it would be September before some of the friends were seen next but mostly, it was a beautiful, sunny day and a reason to celebrate another great school year.

When we arrived home, I unpacked the girls’ backpacks for the last time for a couple of months. I was so relieved to put away lunch bags not having to worry about creatively filling them with re-usable containers, most of which had cracks that would leak cantaloupe juice onto a soon-to-be-soggy sandwich wrap. I ran out of inventive ideas to prep and pack lunches around November so this shelving of bags was pure victory for me.

I shook Ellie’s backpack outside after I had emptied her collection of kindergarten crafts, art and cards from friends and a selection of photos taken of her throughout the school year with price tags affixed to the front.

I began to empty Hanna’s lunch bag knowing this would be the last time in a while I would hand her a container of carrots she had returned home with and force her to eat them before she could snack on anything else when I felt something sharp in her backpack.

“Mom, I brought home the jar of caramel sauce we used from our ice cream sundaes.”

You sure did Hanna. You sure did.

The glass shards from the container managed to find homes in every pocket, pencil crayon and spare sock in the bag.

I thought about scrubbing the sauce, carefully scraping the glass, piece by piece and salvaging what I could. (of the backpack, not of the sauce….although)

I reflected on the permission slips, the worn erasers, the grass-stained knees, the test days, the talent shows of another year as I happily tossed the deliciously sticky bag in the garbage.

To new beginnings!

Ten teacher thank-you cards I thought about sending…..but didn’t.

  1. Dear Mrs. Apple, Thank you for taking our grade two class to the Pioneer Village. My Mom said with the cost of admission she was excited to meet our tour guide—Robin Leach.
  2. Dear Professor Plum, Thank you for taking my picture on a monthly basis to prove whether I was wearing my sister’s shirt and if I combed my hair that day. My Mom says it must be nice to have a full-time photographer on staff.
  3. Dear Mr. Sharpie, Thank you for not embarrassing my Mom when she was volunteering and told the kids in my kindergarten class that a spider was an insect. She missed the day when we learned it can only be an insect if it has six legs.
  4. Dear Mrs. Ruler, Thank you for teaching me how to use scissors. My Mom came home from your parent-teacher interview after you told her I became frustrated when asked to cut something. She mumbled something to my Dad that sounded like, “Did you know you can give a four year old scissors?”
  5. Dear Mrs. Strict, Thank you for having me wear my winter cardigan over my new summer dress. I thought when you said the straps had to be two fingers thick, you meant my fingers and I’m in grade one so I have really small hands.
  6. Dear Ms. Gadget, Thank you for letting us learn all about computers on the SMART board. My Mom loves how we tap the screen on our home computer with our fingers the same way we do at school. She pretends she’s mad but she has a crazy sense of humour.
  7. Dear Mr. Pointer, Thank you for hosting the fundraiser meetings. My Mom must really love grapes because she said she watched the same tray circle the table for hours. They must have smelled nice because she said they were flagrant.
  8. Dear Mr. P. Tractor, Thank you for teaching us about geometry and algebra. My Mom says this is the only time in our lives we’ll use it so I’m glad it was such a big part of our term.
  9. Dear Mrs. Ball, Thank you for teaching us all about science and how things grow. We needed something to fill the days we weren’t at track & field meets.
  10. Dear Miss Painter, Thank you for saying my picture of the cat lounging on the big pillow was priceless, even though it was a picture of me and my Dad.

 To my knowledge, there is no Kindergarten Graduation assembly where my daughter will wear a pint-sized cap & gown, stand alongside some of her friends (those who are not napping), wave to her parents anxiously and jump in the air (to reach the graduation freezies) as she is escorted down the rope line, hands on the rope at all times.

I think some schools celebrate this momentous occasion, perhaps it’s up to the teacher to decide and maybe our school doesn’t do it because it would somehow be viewed as bullying the JK students who would only be reminded they have one more year to stack blocks, learn about insects and visit the Pioneer Village a second time, the real test before anyone can be absolutely certain they’re ready for grade one.

I think maybe the thing I’ll remember most about Ellie’s kindergarten career will be the conversations we would have in the morning from the moment she would wake up until getting on the bus.

First, Ellie is a deep sleeper, often requiring a lot of poking and prodding to get her to budge in the morning. If you catch her in the right instant, she will carry her dream into the first part of our “Good Morning” conversation so it is those chats I will treasure.

Me: Ellie, wake up!

Ellie: Bricks and cats in the jello pool….fun, suckers, soapy colours…….is it a school day?

I’ll remember how she would drag herself down the hallway with me shushing her heavy footed stomp to the bathroom while I failed at trying to let her baby sister continue her sleep.

I would whisper hoping she would mirror my quiet demeanor and answer me in her softest speaking voice but more often than not she would reply, “What? What are you saying Mom!” And proceed to yell the next twelve minutes of dialogue.

We would talk about what she wanted to wear but she needed no help in that department. Dresses and skirts for kindergarten until the weather warmed up, then it was dresses and skirts with shorts underneath so she could hang upside down on the monkey bars.

It was just this morning when I asked her how she wanted her hair for school on this, her second last day of kindergarten, something hit me and I’ll remember her answer always.

Me: Ellie, how would you like to wear your hair today?

Her response was as if she’d been planning this second-from-the-last-day-of-kindergarten hair-do since the first day of school.

Ellie: Five braids……………………….or a wig.

Congratulations Graduates!

Never change.

Just for fun when I’m feeling completely out of my comfort zone, I pick up a fashion magazine and go straight to the “must haves” for whatever season (in this case, summer) and I chuckle at just how far off my nonsensical wardrobe is.

The must-have for women in this particular magazine, meaning, if you wear nothing else this year, make it this! Spoiler alert! I don’t have one! The leather motorcycle jacket.

This one item finishes any outfit.” Really? Really? Any outfit? That sounds like a challenge. As I looked down at my Columbia hiking sandals, my cargo Capri pants which were the must-have transition-wardrobe item from 1987, my tie-dyed t-shirt, crimped hair, I thought to myself, yep, a motorcycle jacket is exactly what would pull this whole thing together.

Previous years, the must-have-item has suggested “anything yellow” but I checked my folding chart from when I had “my colours” done and there wasn’t a hint of yellow. Okay, I never really had my colours done but I remember my Mom did and by genetic default, if she can’t wear yellow, what gives me the right? Oh and if talking about having colours done ages me? Think of how old my Mom must feel.

I checked the date on the magazine to be sure I wasn’t going to rush out and spend a fortune on last year’s must-have item which in the world of school parking-lot pick-up Moms ranks up there as being totally unforgiveable (again) but sure enough, it was current.

I think it would make more sense if I just bought the motorcycle helmet and had an “If the fashion-nightmare under this visor is found, please contact…” followed by an emergency number plastered across the beak.

The girls have hit an all-time high (or low?) in the exciting world of sisterly competition.

This week alone, the girls have argued over whose braid was tighter, smoother, whose elastic at the end of the braid was twisted the greatest number of times, whose electric toothbrush while in the on position sounded more powerful, whose Triscuits had pointier corners, whose balloon had more air and who had more Cheerios in their bowls at breakfast. Correction, who had the most number of naturally connected Cheerios (not by using any human interference or outside products).

Last night however, things got just plain silly (as if they hadn’t already).

Hanna had lost her second tooth in as many weeks forcing Ellie to re-assess everything that was wrong with her approach to dental hygiene.

She’s heard me say, “If you don’t brush and floss your teeth really well after you eat treats, your teeth will fall out.”

Brilliant! When your teeth fall out you get money and Littlest Pet Shops under your pillow, how is that not a win-win? I don’t have to brush my teeth AND I am rewarded with cash and prizes.

I guess when I really think about it, it does put a damper on the whole brushing and flossing routine.

Ellie sobbed that Hanna would once again be rewarded for doing absolutely nothing while she anxiously awaited a loss of her own.

She became ruthless in her attacks on her sister and of the Tooth Fairy herself. Even suggesting the Tooth Fairy was someone’s parent (though, in her angry tirade, she was unable to specify whose parent exactly) leaving treats under kid’s pillows and maybe the Easter Bunny is just a person in a bunny costume because A REAL BUNNY WOULD JUST EAT ALL THE CANDY!!!! (I bet she heard that from the same kid who told her she was going to lay an egg out of her vagina).

Hanna rested, grinning in her bed while Ellie paced the halls with a pair of tweezers hoping to loosen things up.

“Hanna’s pillow is fluffier than mine!”

“Ellie’s tweezers are sharper!”

“Hanna’s tooth is sharper than my tweezers!”

Oh dear.

Hanna (age 8) was attempting to balance on a blue tube in the pool and was making quite the game of it. She would push off from the edge, straddling her surf board like she had seen in Florida and Soul Surfer (banned in three states and my house) and started talking herself into standing on the tube.

When she started to make some small signs of progress she would call to her sisters, “Hey Guys! Check it out! I’m riding on the ocean! I’m surfing on the ocean! I’m riding the big-O!”

“Hey Mommy? Do you know what the big O is?”

Umm. Do you?

This was only slightly more disturbing than Ellie coming out of the school the other day and announcing to all of the parents waiting to pick-up kids in the parking lot, while holding out the lid to her water bottle.

Me: Hi Sweetie, how was school today?

Ellie: Everything was great. Except my water broke.

Chloe and I played outside all morning. We dragged a few jugs of water to the apple tree, spilling most of it on the way but that was okay because, “the grass is thirsty too Mommy.”

I hate dragging Chloe out to run errands but if I wait until she goes to bed, I’ll have no time for my scotch and cigar so it must happen during daylight hours.

We headed over to pick up a blind at a store about twenty minutes away. This means packing; diapers, wipes, plastic bags in case there is some sort of explosion and I can’t find a garbage within catapulting distance, a tea for me, snacks and a drink for Chloe, paint by numbers, three knitting needles etc. etc.

All this for a blind.

When we arrived at the store the girl behind the counter looked at me and before asking, “How may I help you?” she said, “I just have to cut these two blinds and I’ll be right with you.”

Cut two sets of blinds and THEN she’ll ask how she can help me? What if I came in to tell her I just saw a bat fly into the store or their huge balloon display was being pecked at by rabid pigeons or that I witnessed a lollipop being stolen from a child in the parking lot. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask what I was doing in her store and then tell me she would help me after she cut two sets of blinds or better still, multi-task—cut and talk, cut and talk.

When I told her I was picking up a blind, just one blind, singular, one paid for blind, wrapped with my name on it. I got the call and I came right over after packing two days worth of stuff in the emergency kit, one blind.

Chloe was getting antsy. She didn’t like the way the saw sounded cutting the blind right there at the check-out. She didn’t like the hip I was balancing her on. She didn’t like that I told her to stop throwing the fuzzy, pink pillow on the display bed like it was a ball that she owned. She didn’t like being taken away from hopping in a puddle, feeding the grass/apple tree, drawing chalk outlines on the driveway, riding her trike to pick up a stupid blind. And quite frankly, neither did I.

By the time the cutting was over, pink, fuzzy pillow on the counter waiting to be paid for as it was covered with sawdust, dust bunnies and probably bat guano, Chloe was done.

Just before I could respond to, “How may I help you?” I heard a royal trumpeting coming from the baby and a giggle for all the blind shoppers the world over, “Mommy, I farted in your purse!”

You sure did Chloe.

You sure did.

With the current temperatures soaring into feeling like the mid-forties (Celsius) and heat wave and hot weather warnings, pushing for this pool is making Greg look like a super-genius.

A couple of observations;

  1. I went from wearing cocktail gowns and feather boas to the school to pick up the girls to a soggy, wet-bun I like to call, “Swimmy-Mom-Chic.” It’s not a good look but if ever there was happiness in a damp elastic, this is it. I have considered short spikes for future hair-cuts so as not to announce to the world, I’ve been floating for most of the day but it’s not easy to pull off with chipmunk cheeks.
  2. Meal planning has got to become a priority. The girls often want to have a swimming buddy over after school which I have encouraged whole-heartedly. The problem is all buddies like to get the full value from their season’s pass so they stay until roughly 5pm at which time, I turn on the oven and we eat a frozen pizza because I haven’t done any meal prep of any kind.
  3. People who have pools and know how they work ask me questions I have no ability to answer. I know it’s refreshing and the water is blue. I know it’s a salt water pool so please refrain from asking me about chemical amounts, levels and balances. Someone asked about our Dermatitis Eradicator and when I looked scared and confused I just said, “Oh that, yeah we just refer to it as D.E.” and then I made a run for it. Cannon ball!
  4. There are towels all over the house. I didn’t even know we owned this many towels. We started the season (two glorious weeks ago) with the best of intentions. Every family member had a towel with their name stitched onto it (Thanks Mom!) so we would never mix up towels and they would be washed at a time of my choosing or, when Chloe soiled through one of the swimming diapers I wish I had bought stock in. I have been using the “Greg” and “Chloe” towels for about a week, Chloe has been using one of my good bath towels, Hanna and Ellie have wiped themselves on various plant life in the backyard and Greg drip dries while basking in the glory of what I think might be his best idea ever.

I have a confession to make. I haven’t had “the talk” with my kids yet.

Hanna is not quite nine and I fear having the talk might be a little too much for her to take in right now so after some research, I decided to order a book called “The Care & Keeping Of You,” the tracking number indicates it will arrive June 29th.

Unfortunately, I think some of Hanna’s friends might have already had the talk or come to some erroneous conclusions about where babies come from completely on their own and who are sharing some of their knowledge with their friend who I am trying to keep under quarantine until the UPS guy arrives with our brown, paper package.

I overheard a conversation with one of her friends where Hanna told the friend her Mom didn’t like it when kids walked around texting and that I was surprised they didn’t hurt themselves running into things because they weren’t paying attention. The friend responded, “Do you think they were texting something about sex?”

Tracking confirmation—still June 29th despite my efforts to rush the order.

The girls laughed and laughed but I wondered how much of what they were laughing at was the other person’s response or the fact that people might run into something while typing?

I have a million excuses as to why I haven’t broached the subject. 1. Not wanting to admit my first born is old enough to start understanding such mature subject matter. 2. Discomfort. 3. Knowing whatever I tell Hanna will be taught to her younger sister (but totally backwards in her own words) who will then tell all of her kindergarten friends, “Babies come from grown-ups hugging and smooching.”

Then Ellie (age 6) said to me the other night, “Mommy, babies come out of your tummy right?”

“Yep! G’night Sweetie!”

“Because my friend told me babies are an egg that grow in your uterus and then you lay the egg out of your vagina.”

Ouch, but when you think about it, makes more sense than coming out of your belly button.

Chloe then put her hands deep into the bowels of her diaper, held her fingers up to my face and said, “Smell Mommy!”

I realize this is in no way related to “the talk” but it’s another conversation I’d rather not have and also, is that normal?

I’m counting down the sleeps until the 29th. Just hoping nobody lays any eggs between now and then.

Powered by WordPress © 2014 Tea and Snippets