Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
(...so what's Mr. IQ's excuse??....)
The problem with my shallow obsessions is that they are always very, very short-lived.
I have come to recognize the symptoms, or symptom as it were: I will suddenly notice something is awful, and frantically, obsessively try to make it perfect. Last October, it was, for whatever reason, this horrible house I live in. Every scuff, every torn section of linoleum, every damn thing that looked worn (i.e., basically the whole house) made my brain frantic. I obsessively cleaned and worried and despaired over this stupid styhole we call home. I calculated how much it would cost to put in tile and new kitchen cupboards and then fell into a quasi-depression over the fact that we could never afford to do it. To comfort myself, I bought an expensive, arty floor lamp, which we also couldn't afford, and put it in our decrepit TV room, where its soft, sophisticated lighting cleverly highlighted the crumbling paint on our walls, the stained carpet and the primitive crate furniture we have in there.
Then, just as quickly as it came, it left. The house collapsed into total ruin within seven minutes of "its" departure, and I reverted back to my slobby normal self, storing my daughter's underwear on bookcase shelves and wasting hours of my life looking for things lost in the crud.
In other words: Setback city, dude. This place looked worse after I was through, and keep in mind, I was miserable while it was happening.
So what's the point?
Last week, I felt the obsession mania creep up on me again, only this time, I wasn't focusing on my house. No, there was something much more urgent that needed attending to: Me.
I'm not sure what started it. Perhaps it was my four-year-old complimenting me on my nice moustache. Maybe it was catching a glimpse of myself in a mall mirror and recoiling in horror at the tired old hag staring back at me in her stale, second-hand clothes. Maybe it was my hair: Let's face it, it always comes down to the hair, doesn't it? Whatever it was, I knew this: Old Girl Whippersnap needed working on.
When the urge to do the make-over thing strikes (approximately once every year and a half) it means I have to subject myself to the two things I hate most: Hairdressers and clothes shops. But I did it. Highlights. New pants. Earrings. This lip thing I bought at The Body Shop that scrapes dead lip skin off. (What the hell??) Moustache bleach. Everything. And, unlike the house, I actually managed to get it all together to a point where I thought, "OK, now all I have to do is maintain status quo." And then the baby puked all over my new pants, and I lost one of the earrings, and, worst of all, I had to wash my hair and destroy the 45 minute hair ironing process my hairdresser had worked so painstakingly over. And now I look exactly the same as I did before, except my roots don't show anymore. Oh, and I gueeeees my lips are a little less scaly. (What the HELL??) Big freaking deal.
I'm not exactly sure where exactly I'm going with this. While I do consider myself to be suffering from some minor form of mental illness when these obsessions come over me, I must confess a small part of me rues the fact that I can't always be like this. I'm very jealous of people who have everything together all the time.
(Then again, it's very expensive. I won't even tell you how much my lip sander cost.)
(WHAT THE HELL possessed me???!!!!)
P.S.: They interrupted regular programming on CBC radio while I was writing this to tell us Saddam Hussein had been hanged. I blame all the rich food I've been eating this week for wreaking havoc with my system, because when they made the announcement, I burst into tears. Now what the hell is up with THAT??
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I don't know how other people react to their Christmas presents, but here in this family, how loud an exclamation you make is inversely proportional to how happy you actually are about what you get. In other words, if you hear someone in the corner ecstatically freaking out about the great pair of socks he just received, you know it's all just a big cover-up for his real feelings and he's actually rather wistful that the soft, mushy package did not miraculously end up being a 1 litre bottle of Jack Daniels.
My memory is a little foggy, and I'm not entirely sure whose shrieks of joy were louder two years ago when That Guy and I unwrapped the gift from his dad and step-mom and found the Deluxe 18 Quart Turkey Roaster. I think, in retrospect, probably his were louder... I mean, I was "happy", don't you doubt it for a second, but him? He was "totally overjoyed." He even managed to say something inane like "wow, just what I always wanted," in a voice so concentrated on trying to sound sincere it brought tears to the eyes, it really did. His words "always wanted" sounded so earnest in fact, that I've always wondered if, when they heard them, his parents' minds flashed back to his rebellious teenage angst years and thought, "he... he wanted a Turkey Roaster back then? Gee, if only we'd known..."
Needless to say, for the last two years, said Turkey Roaster has sat in its box unopened and lost in that scary, chaotic lair we call our basement. Then, yesterday afternoon, around 2:30 p.m., we did a (pretty exhausting and exasperating) excavation and dug it up.
"You figure out how to work the thing and I'll stuff the turkey," I told Mr. IQ, and got to work immediately. I unwrapped the bird, pulled out all the gibletty things and tossed them into the sink where they landed with a resounding clunk. "Weird," I thought, and, with great difficulty, wrenched the poor bird into a most indelicate position to commence stuffing procedure. I wasn't terribly successful with this, and managed to get only about three teaspoons in. Discouraged, I wandered into the living room, where Mr. IQ was sitting with furrowed brow, staring at the directions.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"It says you should run the thing empty the first time to (do something or another, blah blah blah, I always tune out when it comes to technical things.)"
"Well, we don't really have time to do that," I said, "I'll just give it a good scrub with soap and water, and that will be good enough, don't you think?"
"I guess...I don't know....sure..."
"By the way, this bird has got the smallest insides ever. I can hardly get any stuffing into it at all."
"Really?" he asked, perking up immediately. Always up for a challenge, he headed for the kitchen and came back nanoseconds later.
"It's totally frozen!!"
"No it isn't!" I said, instinctively hiding my frost-bitten hands behind my back. I mean, it truly had not occurred to me before that the damn thing was still frozen, but the second he said this everything suddenly made sense. The thunking giblets. The stubborn thighs. Crap, the freaking, bloody turkey was still frozen!!
A tense and heated discussion followed, and then suddenly something changed on the face of Mr. IQ. The brow smoothed. A calm look of cool determination came over him. What can I say? The realization that 21st Century Man dealing with a frozen turkey at three o'clock on Christmas afternoon is the modern equivalent of Stone Age Man hunting the Wild Wildebeest had dawned on him.
"I'll deal with this," he muttered, and disappeared back into the basement with the turkey. And returned about three minutes later with a miraculously defrosted bird.
"What did you do?" I asked, genuinely impressed. (Oooooh, he can defrost a turkey in SECONDS, he IS an Alpha Male after all!)
"Heat gun," he said, wiping the sweat off his face.
So the turkey went into roaster right on schedule, and all was good. The Christmas tree was beautiful. My children's laughter was beautiful. The sound of the beautiful Christmas music was beautiful. The smell of the gently roasting young turkey was... was.... (sniff, sniff)... um, Mr. IQ? What's up with the, uh, burning chemical smell?
That Guy investigated, then re-read the manual. "Oh," he said, "you're supposed to run it empty the first time to burn off something something blah blah toxic residue blah blah blah."
"What's that weird smell, mom?" High Intensity asked at one point during the afternoon.
"Dinner," I said grimly, and the look on my face told her she shouldn't ask any more questions.
But I'm happy to say, despite the smell, the turkey ended up tasting just fine. Our insides are probably coated with some kind of carcinogenic rat poison now, but it was Christmas day, so who cares? We ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. High Intensity wandered off at some point and passed out in the TV room. The rest of us continued to eat.
After we'd eaten, we ate a little more, and then retired to the living room with some light snacks. I sat on one sofa eagerly reading one of the books I had bought Mr. IQ, and he sat companionably on the other couch reading a book he had given me. We had a bit of squabble over the music-- I wanted to play the C.D. I'd given HIM, and he wanted to play one he'd given ME, but we compromised and played a Corny Christmas Album instead.
My mother-in-law sat over in the corner pretending she wasn't passing gas into the cushions of the overstuffed chair every two minutes and, in the true spirit of Christmas, we pretended we weren't noticing.
In other words, a truly wonderful Christmas was had by all!
Love to you all, and Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Due to technical difficulties beyond my control, my blog has been totally uncooperative with me over the last week. This has not stopped me, however, from writing drafts, which I have finally been able to post. (I hate computers.) If you want to read them in the right order (it will make more sense if you do, trust me) scroll down until you hit the AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH post.
There are four in total.
*sob* I've missed you guys.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Things are still pretty tense around here, but we bonded a bit yesterday as we did some late-night Wal-Mart shopping. I know, I know, I've seen the documentary, and I read Nickel and Dimed too, and I swear to you, I haven't been in a Wal-Mart for at least five years, but when someone gives you a $40 gift card for the place, I'm sorry, you're not going to take it and throw it away.
Truth be told, I was kind of excited to go. For sanity's sake, we all had to get out of the house last night anyway (as I said, the little horrors aren't sleeping these days) so we decided to use the gift card to buy H.I. a dress for her Christmas concert next week. After about five minutes in the store, That Guy wandered over and whispered in my ear, "is it just me, or are we the only ones in this place that aren't drunk?" And it was true, everyone we bumped into (and there were many because the place was totally crowded) had boozy breath. It was kind of like being in a seedy downtown bar, with lots of loaded, young people about, getting down to cheezy, canned Christmas music. Quite the atmosphere, and, in retrospect, probably the closest we'll get to a Christmas party this year.
Boo hoo hoo.
I'm still sulking over my blog. "Calm down," he said this morning, "it's not like I gave you herpes or impregnated my secretary or anything like that." (**see below)
"You don't even HAVE a stupid secretary!"
"Oh yeah," he said. Wistfully.
**Which of course begs the question: Has he been reading my blog drafts? Or been visiting the I Hate My Spouse Website like me? (And, more importantly: Do I want to know?)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I really cannot believe how upset I am over this. It's just a blog for crying out loud, I didn't even know what blogs were three months ago. On the good side, I stopped in at the "I Hate My Spouse Website" which basically is a place where you can vent about what a jerk your wife/husband is, and that has certainly helped put things into perspective. I mean, he hasn't given me herpes or impregnated his secretary or anything like that. A petulant little message saying, "the bastard ruined my blog " would most definitely have looked a little out of place there.
I am still totally crushed however.
LATER: Just to throw salt on my wounds, both Baby Fangs AND High Intensity have stopped sleeping. There is another %#&%&*#!!! mouse loose in the house, which, at this point, is making me want to move, AND I've just discovered something even worse than a hangover: a chocolate hangover. It's funny, I didn't even feel full yesterday, let alone sick, and now I'm aching like I've got the stomach flu. Baaaaaaaarf.
AND the Christmas tree keeps falling over.
I have to say, I'm not feeling very festive.
Friday, December 15, 2006
...I know, I know, emphasize the fun in dysfunctional, and if life gives you AIDS, make lemonaids... but sometimes it's just not that easy...
Don't even talk to me about my stupid Pandora music selection of the day, trying to highlight that damn site was apparently what caused all the trouble in the first place!!
Dysfunctional families all have a tradition of staging an Annual Christmas Meltdown of some form or another, and because mine is certainly no exception, last year, things fell apart between my parents and me. I will spare you the details, but I can assure you it was 100 --no, 200% THEIR fault. I know you don't believe me, so I will offer up some proof. For the last ten years, we have, under the tacit agreement that Christmas is pretty commercial, given each other the following presents:
1. A book.
2. A C.D.
3. And that's it.
But last year, because they felt guilty for being responsible for the Annual Christmas Meltdown, I got:
1. TWO books
2. TWO C.D.s
We're lucky in my family, the meltdown usually happens a week or two before the Big Day, enough time to sort things out and enjoy the turkey. It's like make up sex, only better, it's make up Christmas, with gifts. And my dad and brother are there. EW, EW, EW, change the subject.
Pleased that I've managed to get through a good chunk of December without things falling apart yet, I went over to my parents on Thursday to help them put up the tree. My dad, who has been on the hip replacement waiting list for approximately 8000 years, limped in and out of the house setting the thing up, cursing under his breath and denouncing the Germans for foisting their yuletide flora traditions upon the whole non-Teutonic world. "Never mind the war," he said at one point, "it's this damn tree business they should really feel guilty about!"
And keep in mind, he spent a good part of his formative years living in a Nazi-occupied country.
While he grumbled about the tree, I struggled with my own difficulties. Breastfeeding lately has become nip-rippingly awful, if you know what I mean. Since Baby Fangs McGuire there sprouted her two upper teeth, she's been chomping down on me like I'm a tasty slice of festive ham. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, and I can't get her to stop. One good thing about old High Intensity, she bit me once, I screamed like a wolf in heat once, and that was that. But Baby Fangs just doesn't get it. While I sob and clutch my nipple protectively she just stares up at me angelically with those killer blue eyes of hers, smiling her sweet, innocent baby smile and cooing adorably. The little bitch.
Meanwhile, my mom wasn't having too great of a time either, because H.I. had conned her into doing crafts for the tree, and if there is one thing my mom hates, it's making crafts. So in other words, we were all pretty miserable, except for the two kids, and they don't count. However, we made it through the afternoon without any actual fights, and when I left, although they were glad to see me go, and I, myself, was very pleased to be going, affectionate and pleasant good-byes were exchanged more or less sincerely.
And then I got home.
And checked my blog.
Which had been destroyed. By that (***censored***) (***more censoring***) (***ooh boy, you definitely don't want to see that***) who, while taking a break from his paper writing took it upon himself to "fix a few things up."
In retrospect, I cannot believe how much the sight of my desecrated blog made me want to weep. It was like looking at a much loved landscape that had been left to ruin and rot by a raping and ransacking army. Wow, what a sentence. I wonder if Lord Byron ever ran into alliteration problems when he was waxing rage and melancholy? Probably not, the articulate bastard. I hate him.
So anyway, I don't think I really have to tell you that my feelings towards Mr. IQ Not-as-High-As-He-likes-to-Think -It-Is-Especially-in-the-Field-of -Computers have been less than amorous since he did his damage. And I think that "Destroying a Person's Blog" is indeed grounds for divorce. In total despair, I sent out the AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH post--- and then everything REALLY got bad. Because the damn thing wouldn't let me post. I tried, easily fifty times, and the dashboard said it was published, but when I went to my site, it wasn't there. As I type this, it is 12:30 am, Saturday night/Sunday morning and while the paragraph/italics thing has cleared up, I still am unable to post. Perhaps this, too, will never get out there. I'm going crazy. What did he do??? Why did he do it? I never asked him to "improve" anything. Let's not mince words here: I'm MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.
So this year's Annual Christmas Meltdown has not involved the Aged P's, but instead, That Guy, a first in our lives together, and honestly, until the posting thing clears up, things will remain tense around here. I guess I shouldn't be so honest, and perhaps I should just take a pill and put things into perspective, but the reality is that when you've lived with someone for a long time, and a petty thing like the way a wine glass is held irritates you on a bad day, plunging uninvited into somebody's blog and screwing everything up is gonna cause some problems in a relationship. It just is.
P.S.: It's now Sunday afternoon, and I still can't get anything posted. Freaking out majorly now, really.
Argh!! Argh!! Argh!! In the process of "improving " my blog, Mr. IQ .00000000000000002 has destroyed everything!! The paragraphs are all gone! And everything is in italics!! Honestly, I feel like a child of mine has been disfigured! Can't chat for long, I've gotta go and try to undo all the damage, he wants to do it himself, but, so help me, he is never coming near this thing again!!
Grrrrrr, so this is how the residents of Dresden felt after the Allies bombed them back to the stoneage during WWII...
LATER: And now the damn thing won't post!! What's going on, what did he do, what did he do???
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
And Yet Another Post Posted to Get Rid of the Post I Posted to Get Rid of the Other Post. Hmmmmm. This is Getting Complicated.
Mr. Iq (that's pronounced "ick", in case you were wondering) took an actual I.Q. test yesterday on-line, perhaps inspired by this blog, and the fun I've been having at his (very good-natured) expense. I'll spare you the numerical findings of it all, but the written analysis of his intelligence described him as a "word warrior." So now he goes around, beating his chest with his fists Tarzan style and chanting, "IIIII AAAAMMMM AAAA WOOOOOORD WARRRIOOOOOOOOOOR!!!" Frankly, it's getting on my nerves, and I wish he'd stop it.
Incidently, he says he does NOT have a crush on Doctormama. He says he has a crush on me. Awwwwwww, isn't that sweet. (PUKE.)
I have a feeling he's just buttering me up for the Christmas gift-giving season. He doesn't have to worry, I already have purchased some reallly great presents for him (STOP READING THIS NOW, ICK), including this malleable rubber toy that I picked up at the thrift store yesterday for a nickel. When you squeeze it, all these gross looking eyeballs press up against the clear rubbery membrane, it's really neat. Ah, Christmas. It brings out the romantic in me, it really does.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Camera Obscura Radio (And if you don't know what to get that special someone in your life for Christmas, and they like music, I HIGHLY recommend their latest CD. I got it for my birthday and played it continuously for about three months.) (It's swell.)
I cannot believe I went on about how depressed I was about that prostitute (and I really, really was, believe me, no matter how glib I may have sounded) and then skipped over to "yay, I'm getting coffee in bed these days!!" without skipping a beat. This blog is serving lots of purposes in my life right now, but I never thought it would stand as a true testament to my fickle and shallow nature FOR THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD TO SEE AND BE APPALLED AT. Totally crumbed out at myself now. You see, I am a MORNING person, and the sunny bits of fluff, i.e. all the post scripts, were written just after I'd woken up (and been served coffee in bed.) It was a NEW DAY, and garsh, did I feel terrific. Whereas, when I wrote the first part, it was late, I was cranky, and sad, pretty, drug-addicted prostitute was working FIVE BLOCKS AWAY FROM MY HOME as I typed. My mood tends to take a dive as the day wears on, I don't know, maybe I should drink more coffee.
Just call me Little Miss Non Sequitur. (Ooooooh, now THAT'S a good blog name!)
I'm in a panic as I type this, because That Guy is writing a final exam right now, and when he gets home he's gonna totally usurp the computer for the next week or so because he has papers to write. He has no sympathy for me whatsoever when I whine about my blog addiction, which I find incredibly insensitive. And yet, he's addicted too. Oh yeah, he won't admit it, but I've seen him sneaking in on the sly, catching up on what Heather is up to and what's going on in the world of Flotsam. And I think he has a crush on Doctormama, I really do. She looks like a babe from her pictures.
Hey, before I go, I have a question: Are other families going through a box of Christmas oranges every two days? Is this normal? Just wondering.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
...and our blogger got depressed today. Christmas can be really depressing, you know?...
No Music. I'm Too Bloody Depressed.
Another daily stroll, only this time we go EAST, not west. The westerly walk we usually take leads us to Superstore, and I am mad at Superstore, for reasons discussed last week. Eventually, yeah, we're gonna have to return there, because, other than the Filipino grocery store that charges $3.99 for a can of tuna, it is the only place we can go within walking distance that sells food. But today... today I'm still mad at them, so we go east.
The west trek is, from a scenic point of view, a pretty dull walk. Cement pavement, lots of traffic, not many shops. Boring, but at the end lies the thrift store and the 1 sq km Superstore, so we do that walk a lot. Going east, although there's nothing really big at the end to walk towards, is much more interesting. There are bargain stores. There are bakeries. There are Portuguese restaurants and tattoo parlours. And there are prostitutes.
Now, walking past prostitutes is probably never easy, but the problems are compounded when you are trucking along two small children. I don't know how the average gal does it, but basically when I walk by my mind is doing acrobats. Do I make eye contact, don't I make contact, do I make eye contact, don't I make eye contact, oh crap, she's looking this way, don't make eye contact, oh jeez, too late, smile you jerk, smile!! And I brace myself, look her in the eyes and give the stupidest, fakest smile you can imagine. Then, feeling like the biggest dork in the world, I shove the stroller and drag the kid by thinking, gee... I wonder if she thinks I'm square?...
Today we walked by no less than three of these gals and each time it was horrible. The first two were really tough looking, and they seemed to know what they were doing. I used to work at a Salvation Army homeless shelter, and I've spent a lot of time talking to prostitutes, and believe me, I know, they don't all hate what they do. The third one, though, was different. It was pretty obvious she was strung out on drugs, she was kind of muttering to herself, and walking back and forth at a pretty frenetic pace. We got past her, and I was contemplating the logistics of rushing out, selling our home and giving her all our money when old High Intensity piped up and said, "She's pretty, mommy." And she was, she really was. Which made the whole thing all that much more crappy. Honestly, I don't think she could have said anything that would have made me feel any sadder, ugh, something about the way the snow was so dirty and slushy and it being so close to Christmas, and oh, H.I. was eating a cookie I had just bought from the bakery and really, is there anything more innocent than being four and eating a big cookie on the street with your mittens on? It's like someone said, OK, let's stage a scene which shows everything good and everything crappy all at once, in one shot. Someone should have taken a picture. I mean, really, what a great Christmas card that would make. "Christmas Time in the City." Wheeee. Ain't life grand?
P.S.: I just read this over, and I sound like Holden Freaking Caulfield. Too many "crappies." Blah. Just call me J.D. Whippersnapper.
P.P.S.: This is the next morning, and I'm going to totally change the subject to leave on a positive note/shock you with my shallowness: Mr. I.Q. Fifty Million has brought me coffee in bed TWO DAYS IN A ROW!! Gotta totally make note of my Christmas gift wish on this blog.
P.P.P.S.: I know. Talk about a total 180.
Friday, December 08, 2006
...ooooh, three days later and this girl STILL has the caffeine shakes....
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Twisted Sister Radio!
Rituals, they say, especially at Christmas time, are important for families, serving to strengthen bonds and create that warm fuzzy feeling so important at this time of year. Lucky for this family, I have a ritual that I perform, not just during the yuletide season, but all the fun-filled year round. It goes something like this:
1. Wake up. Wish I had a coffee.
2. Lie in bed in semi-comatose state and wish someone would bring me a coffee.
3. Lie in bed and try to radiate feelings of goodwill towards someone, anyone, anywhere, who will feel my love, realize how swell I am, and bring me a coffee.
3. Lie in bed and hate everyone who ever existed in the history of this planet, especially those who are currently enjoying coffee and not bringing me any.
4. Stagger out of bed.
5. Make coffee.
6. Drink it.
On Friday, as I staggered into the kitchen for my morning ritual, I noticed that Mr. IQ 3.000 was not only awake, but hunched over the computer and looking like he hadn't gotten any sleep the night before. And as it turned out, he hadn't. He had a paper due that day, and had been up all night writing it. Normally I am sympathetic towards that kind of thing, but, you know, I hadn't had my coffee yet, so I just made some grunt-like sound which, after so many years of living together he should be able to interpret as "oh honey, up all night!! That really sucks, let me bring you a nice warm caffeinated beverage and hopefully that will make you feel better!" and headed for the coffee pot. One can be sympathetic without being verbally articulate, especially at 6:30 in the morning.
I went to the kitchen counter and was generously getting together not one, but two cups of coffee when Mr. IQ 3.000 walked in and said, in a very amused, very superior tone, "you're a MIF!"
"A MIF. A middle-class pleb who puts their Milk In First."
Now, everybody judges people for some reasons, whether they like it or not. Some people are really terrible, and judge people for ridiculous, terrible things. Others are more quirky in their judgments. The fact is, you can't leave your house without subjecting yourself to the harsh criticisms of the world. As a teenager, this knowledge is crushing, and almost kills you. By the time you reach your thirties though, you think you're over worrying about what other people think of you. However, I never, ever expected to be judged on the basis of how I prepare my stupid coffee!
"That's ridiculous," I said. "Where'd you hear about that, anyway?"
"Martin Amis," he said.
"Martin Amis??!" I whimpered. I love Martin Amis. Ever read Night Train? It's great.
I was crushed, but I mustered my forces. "Yeah, well, Martin Amis is a big fat snob!!" I said, (lamely.)
"Yeah, well, obviously. Duh." And with that, the conversation was over, and he left the room.
Except the conversation was not over. I kind of worried about it all day. Which explains what happened when I met my mom downtown at the library. Now my mom, bless her heart, is not a racist bigot. She is not a snob. She is not an elitist. She does, however judge people on the coffee they drink. Weak coffee drinkers are, in her eyes, a little... well, you'd have to ask her exactly what her thoughts are, but she does, I know, think a little less of them. Even for me, her first-born child and only daughter, the sole genetic transmitter of her mitochondrial DNA, she carries a certain amount of disrespect for because I add milk to my java. She believes it should be drunk hot, black and strong strong, sprout hair on your taste buds strong and any way else is just not right. I like coffee strong too, but I'm a lukewarm girl, ya know, I need some milk in there to soften the blow a bit. I DO like it strong though. That is my saving grace.
Anyway, I met her in the library and an hour or so of hanging around with old High Intensity in a place where you're supposed to be quiet left us both with a pretty desperate need for a caffeine boost. Accordingly, I set off for the coffee place nearby. (I can't believe they let people drink coffee in the big downtown library! How civilized this world is becoming!) Just as I was leaving, my mom said, with a gleam in her eye, "and make mine a 'headbanger', OK? A double shot."
"Righhhht," I said, pretending to know what she was asking for. When I got to the coffee place I scanned the board for the word "headbanger" but didn't see it, so when it was my turn to order I said, no doubt sounding like an 8-year old idiot child, "my mom? Wants a headbanger? A double shot?"
"Okee dokee," the lady said, "and when your mom is flying off the wall an hour from now, it's gonna be all your fault."
"It usually is," I said grimly, and then, because of course I had to know, added, "what the heck IS a headbanger, anyway?"
"A shot of espresso," she said, and, although I know it was just my paranoid senses working overtime, it seemed to be that she was mocking me a little. There's no way YOU could handle a headbanger, let alone a double shot you wussy MIFer you, she seemed to be saying. So of course I recklessly shot out, "um, make it TWO double shot headbangers!"
Glahhhh. Do I need to tell you what happened next? We both drank our huge, double shot espresso heroin coffee hell drinks. Our words got high pitched and erratic, our movements got shaky, and our conversation deteriorated to complaints about our palpitating hearts and sweating skin. We said good-bye and I headed home. Five hours later I still had the shakes and when That Guy returned home, I told him what had happened, and vowed I was never drinking coffee again.
"Sure," he said, "say, what's going on with the baby?"
I looked over. Her feet were pounding the pedals of an imaginary bicycle at a rate of eight thousand times a minute. She pedaled frantically 5,897,345 times in a row in a manner similar to that of a coke crazed hamster that gets into one of those wheels and runs until it dies. Then she lay on her back staring at me unhappily with glazed eyeballs the size of freaking honeydew melons, panting heavily.
Then she passed out.
Whoopsie, forgot about how that there caffeine has an inconvenient habit of wandering over to the breast milk area.
Oh guilty fever. Thy name is Mother.
P.S. No, I didn't give up coffee.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
...and our tres well-bred blogger apologizes in advance for using the word "prickhole" in the first paragraph of today's posting...
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: White Trash Beautiful Radio!
Yeah, I saw you today, driving your $75,000 SUVs at 100 km/hr as I struggled to push my ten-year old stroller down the sidewalk on snow encrusted pavement. I saw you smugly whiz by as I battled with the -20 C temperatures and -30 C wind chills and a screaming child with icicles hanging out her nose. You think you're so superior? Huh? Huh? Well let me tell you, Mr. Prickhole Moneybags: I am NOT white trash!!
It is true that we looked a little worse for wear today as we struggled along on our daily sojourn to the thrift shop. Did I say thrift shop? I meant, um, Frankie's House of Diamonds. And yes, I know I was wearing a pair of woolen socks on my hands instead of gloves. I couldn't find them, OK, my mittens have just vanished. NOT because this place has exploded into a rotting, disorganized sty. NEVER! It's... it's just these servants these days! Anything not nailed down, they steal! And the three inches of roots cropping out of the top of my head? Hey, baby, undyed roots are the new rock and roll, don't you know that? Get with the trends, buddy. Even Madonna's been photographed with them.
Huh? What was that? Why was I out on the street in weather like that? To get exercise, duh! My fitness room is currently being remodeled!
You may have noticed my eldest daughter over there in the corner stuffing her face with dirty, exhaust-coated snow and, alternately, feasting on the contents of her nostrils. She does this not, as I know you believe, because she lives on canned Alphagetti and Kraft Dinner and is craving those essential vitamins and minerals missing from her daily diet. No, she does this for more mysterious and complex gastrointestinal reasons that her father and I have yet to figure out. We've signed her up for wine-tasting classes next week. Really.
What's that? You still don't believe me? Well, come a little closer to the screen and lemme tell you a little secret. A little closer.....that's right, more close....*WHAM!!!!*
There. That'll help change your mind.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
....and this blogger is getting tired of feeling embarrassed all the time...
Pandora Music Selection of the Day:
Yes, so, speaking of embarrassing moments, I had another one, for much different reasons, the other day at Superstore. I was at one of those new, self-serve check-out aisles, both kids in tow, of course, when suddenly Salesgirl Jones was there, tapping my shoulder, asking if I "minded" if she went through the carrying section of my stroller.
Mind? Mind? What did she mean, did I mind? Did I mind the implication that I might be a shoplifter? Well, yes, actually, I found the notion rather mortifying, to be honest. Did I mind if she fumbled through five pounds of disorganized garbage, some of which hasn't been removed since old H.I. was a baby, i.e. the summer of 2003? Quite horrified by the thought, actually, how thoughtful to ask! I mean, really, was there any answer I could give other than a very hearty, confident sounding, "why, no, there... you go ahead!"?? Of course not! So she went through everything (it took a while... oh, jeez, why am I such a slob????) and I'll be honest: My heart was pounding and I was sweating like a drunken
They found nothing, of course, and I left feeling, oooooh, so dirty, like I'd been strip searched. The self-serve area is very open, and there were a lot of people standing around watching, hoping, no doubt, that an incriminating jar of pickles or something would be found hidden away in the depths of my stroller and I'd be led off in handcuffs. Schadenfreudean bastards!!
(Note: The spell check is going to reject the word "Schadenfreudean." This is because I have made it up. Had I used it the other day, the word "snackage", too, would have been rejected for similar reasons. I will make up a lot of words during the course of this blog, and, may I cordially add, you are most welcome to make use of them at any time you see fit. I am doing my part, much like Shakespeare did, to help expand and develop this beautiful language of ours, and people no doubt will be thanking me for my wonderful contributions for generations to come.)
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Crap, Pandora doesn't do classical. I need something light and tinkly, and no I DON"T MEAN THAT TOY XYLOPHONE!! PUT IT DOWN!! PUT IT DOWN!! ARGHGGH, SOMEONE GET THAT THING AWAY FROM HER!!!!!
Okay, and another weekend alone with the kids and this girl was ready to kill something, anything, many things. So I played a little game to help me stay calm when all was crazy. They did this last year in the Globe and Mail with a certain politician's weird statements. It was genius, I can't remember if it was Donald Rumsfeld or John Ashcroft, but they took his words and rearranged them into lovely Haiku poetry! The result? Instead of knocking your head against a wall and saying "holy crap, this guy is one of the leaders of the Free World??" you smiled and mellowed out to his words! Okay, mostly you laughed. But regardless, it certainly helped make you feel better about the craziness of it all!
So this weekend, I did it with old Ms High Intensity and some of her crazy rants. And it worked!! It worked!! We got through the weekend, and I didn't kill her!! No, she's alive and well as I type!! And it was SO easy, you could do it too, and not just with the words of small, irrational children!
Examples from this weekend:
(After she'd been asked to do a 3.2 second task)
You make me work and work and work and work and work and work and
I am not
My game worked just swell. Calling me "ugly" is just SOOO against the rules around here! But by magically transforming her words into beautiful poetry, I didn't quite want to kill her. I mean, don't get me wrong. She spent time in her room all right. But her room is certainly no morgue! No sirree! Do I sound a little shrill? Ha ha ha, that's crazy!! Read on!!
(After having, I don't know, looked at her the wrong way, or something)
Scream scream scream
scream scream scream
Hey, I''m hungry, make
make me a
Demanding snackage after 10 minutes of screaming is just, like, SOOOOO not on in this house! But did I run towards her in a blind fury and shove a sandwich down her throat?? No! The soothing poetry calmed me, lulled me into a gentle place and allowed me to deal with her in a MUCH more rational manner. That's right! Huh? Nervous tic? Nonsense! No! No! I'm just twitching, um, BOPPING along to the melodious sounds of that GLORIOUS xylophone music!!!
(And upon entering the bathroom recently vacated)
so weird in here
You can't come to my birthday party now,
Heh heh heh. Actually, I wasn't really too terribly put out by the last scenario. (Sing song voice:) But somebody else was!!
Signing off from Whippersnapper land,
I am, and have,
Totally and completely,
P.S. This is later. Little Ms. H.I. woke me up at six in the morning today and shoved a small chunk of chocolate into my mouth. She was sharing her Christmas calendar treat with me. How many four-year-olds share chocolate without being asked? Sometimes she is just so freaking sweet I feel guilty about what I write in here. Again, I must reiterate: I absolutely adore her, I really do!! She's just a little... intense sometimes, you know??
Thursday, November 30, 2006
...and the gentle reader will bear with our blogger as she continues her discussion of Barbie, as began in yesterday's blog...
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Actually, I'm listening to the news as I write this. And I ask at this time that we all get down on our knees and pray that Michael Ignatieff doesn't win the Liberal Leadership this weekend. Pompous prick!
I didn't mention this yesterday, but Little Miss H.I. was listening to that radio report on Barbies the other day too, and when it was over, announced that the next time she had a play date she was going to microwave hers.
"Why are you going to do this?" I asked. "Is it to express your resentment over the fact that Barbie possesses an unrealistic body, unattainable for the vast majority of women? Is it because she symbolizes the bondage women have felt with regards to their looks and figures since the dawn of time? Are you expressing your rage at your biological destiny and the fact that one day you too must say good-bye to the nice tidy body of childhood and sprout breasts and hips and things? What exactly is behind this mad desire to microwave your Barbie anyway?"
No, no, no, I didn't say any of those things. But I DID ask, rather casually, "um, throw your Barbie into the microwave? Why?" And was shot a look of complete and total condescension.
"To melt it, mom," she explained patiently. Duh.
In other news, we have another mouse. Ugh. I saw it yesterday under our (now useless) television set. Highly grossed-out, I zipped over to RONA for mousetraps, armed with some sage advice from my mother: "Get the American traps," she told me, "they really know how to execute things down there!" Unfortunately, the only ones they had were made in
By the way, speaking of young childrens' mouths, I've found that keeping 'em well stuffed with a delicious assortment of various food items can help keep walks quieter and a helluva lot more enjoyable. I highly recommend it. Toffee is especially good, 'cause it glues the teeth together, don'cha know. ;)
Okay, this post is ridiculous. I've got to go.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
...and the blogger delves into her childhood, and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her feminist Mama....It has taken years, but I'm Ok... really...
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Aqua Radio! (And, oh boy, is it bad.)
That Guy is upset that it was his kidney I was going to sell to help fund placating package for Little Miss High Intensity the other day. He is also tired of being referred to as "That Guy."
"What do you want me to call you then?"
"How about.... Mr. IQ 3000?"
I just can't, can't bring myself to call him that in this blog, however to his face I have been making great use of it. As in: "Where's the milk? Why, in the fridge, Mr. 'IQ 3000!'"
(And I'll be honest with you, Dear Blog World. Sometimes he just doesn't have that good of a sense of humour.)
I have just had another terrible 24 hours. FIRST, they cut off my phone. THEN they cut off my internet connection. (We're terrible about paying bills on time around here.) THEN our television broke. And THEN, just to make sure I was REALLY miserable, the fuse blew up, leaving our radio silenced and half the house in total darkness. All of this happened, no word of a lie, within the space of two hours. I, as per usual, was alone with the kids, and, I'll be honest here, when my radio went off, my spirit kind of died a little. Take away my phone, take away the computer and the TV, fine, but DON"T TAKE AWAY MY CBC RADIO ONE!! Many days come and go, and it is, for all intents and purposes, my only adult company.
"Hard times, mom," Little Miss H.I. said after I'd stomped around for a while muttering Big Person's words to myself. I swear that's what she said: "Hard times." She must have learned that from T.V. And people say it's so bad for you! Those hundreds of thousands of millions of hours of her young life spent entranced and mesmerized by television have served to both expand her vocabulary AND develop her empathetic skills. I have proof.
Speaking of the CBC, they had another interesting thing on the other day, this time about Barbies. It was about how young girls routinely mutilate and abuse their Barbies, and they interviewed a lot of kids who gleefully recounted tales of destruction and downright sadism. It brought me back to my own childhood, and this one afternoon when my friends Tracy and Kristin each chewed off their Barbie Dolls' breasts. Ew. At the time, though, I remember not being disgusted at all, more like feeling totally left out, and wistfully wishing that I too had a Barbie Doll to gnaw on. Hmmmm. Note to Self. The gift giving season fast approacheth. Must remember to phone mom and lay on guilt, re: cruel deprivation of Barbie in childhood. It's pretty obvious that because of some silly feminist principles she had, I missed out on an important pre-pubescent ritual. Such shameful negligence, I feel, can only be made up for in the form of a large, expensive, beautifully wrapped present. Or presents.
Heh heh heh.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Doctor Hook Radio. (Shut up.)
We had a cranky day around here. That Guy was cranky because he's working too hard and hasn't had any proper veg time for over a month. Little Miss H.I. was cranky because it's kind of fundamental to her nature. Even the baby has turned on me, I don't know if it's because solid foods have entered her life or what but all day long she just sort of... nagged me. As for me, well, I'm NEVER cranky, (stop that laughing) but three whiny souls sharing the same space with you kind of drags you down after a while.
I guess it probably all started yesterday during our daily Stroll to Keep Mom Sane. I said old H.I. had gotten resigned to our walks, but she was just building up for the Big One. Our trip home from Superstore yesterday was about as miserable an experience as I've ever had. My attempts to silence her were pitiful at best, downright criminal at worst. She'd been bribed with promises of hot chocolate and cartoons for good behavior on the trek home. I thought I had her. But we only got maybe, MAYBE thirty seconds into our walk when it started.
"I'M ITCHY! MY NOSE IS SPICY! YOU ARE NOT NICE! I WANT A SNACK! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH!"
I was frantic, because I know her. If she was howling already, we were in for a VERY long walk. That Guy had the car, and there was no way of reaching him. What was I going to do? Plus, I was absolutely DESPERATE for her to watch cartoons when we got home. If I was lucky, the baby would go to sleep, and I could get some Me Time..... but I'd already told her if she did ANY howling AT ALL she couldn't watch any. Stupid stupid stupid!
"....AND I DON'T LIKE THIS AND YOU ARE NOT NICE AND THESE GLOVES ARE TOO BIG AND MY NOSE IS STILL SPICY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH......"
The thing is, you cannot talk to her when she gets this way. You can't say brightly "aw, well, that's a shame about your, er, ... spicy nose, there, honey," because anything you say just enrages her further. And I certainly can't help UNSPICE her nose or anything. I mean, what the heck is a spicy nose?
There we were, the four of us: me, baby, Crazy Girl with Spicy Nose, and the ONE KILOMETER TREK THAT LAY AHEAD OF US!!! There was nothing else for me to do. I started walking. It was agonizing. Three steps forward. Wait wait wait wait wait. Three more steps. Wait wait wait wait.
And it was cooooooooold out.
My parenting skills became downright ridiculous. Remember, I had to get her home and allow her to watch cartoons without losing face. I had said no cartoons, but she HAD to watch cartoons. She HAD to.
"OK, sweetie, we'll start fresh. If you can just stop screaming now, you can still watch cartoons..."
"OK, here's the plan love. You can only watch one cartoon now, but it will be a really good one!" (...and a really long one...)
"OK, well, the hot chocolate is DEFINITELY out now, but stop howling like a wolf and you can still see a cartoon. I've got a really good one, a new one you've NEVER SEEN BEFORE!" (I'm lying now... but surely I can find one she hasn't seen for a long time and has forgotten about?)
"OK, I've just about had it, if you don't stop screaming RIGHT NOW, so help me, you will NEVER WATCH CARTOONS EVER AGAIN IN YOUR LIFE!!!!! AND I MEAN IT!"
Total breakdown. "(***SOB***) Please... please... please just stop crying. Please. I'll do anything. Anything. Cartoons. Hot chocolate. We'll sell the house and go live in Disneyland. Daddy will sell one of his kidneys and buy you every single toy that has ever been made ever. Just.. please.. stop... crying."
Needless to say, we never made it home. Halfway there, we collapsed into the doorway of the local Malaysian restaurant, where I borrowed the phone and left a frantic message for That Guy. Old High Intensity immediately perked up when she realized we were in a restaurant, and since I had absolutely no idea if/when he would get my message, we ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, bacon and eggs. I didn't say much, but she had a grand time.
"Wow, bacon, I love bacon, can I have your bacon mom, yum, I'm going to use the ketchup as a dip, say, these eggs are scrambled, well, I like them sunny side up, but, OK, I'll eat them scrambled, how come you're not eating mom? Mom? Mom?"
My head was resting on the table when That Guy suddenly appeared in the doorway. He has never looked so handsome, and I told him that.
"You have never looked so handsome."
He packed them all up in the car for me, and we were home in two minutes. Old H.I. was banished to her room and I lay on the couch recuperating for a long, long time.
I really don't know how single parents do it.
Friday, November 24, 2006
...'cause if they are, maybe they aren't such yucky, vile creatures after all....
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Al Green Radio!
I heard another interesting thing on CBC radio the other day. This time it's about "epigenes", have you heard about them? They are the things your genes are wrapped up in, and while the genes you inherit from your parents are set in stone, and cannot be changed, it seems these epigene things, which control how and when the genes are expressed, are very much affected by environment. As an example, they explained how rat pups, when licked a lot by their mothers, are less stressed out and neurotic as adults. Their epigenes have been affected in some way by the licking so as to allow the genes to produce enough cortisol, a stress hormone.
In other words, our behavior is yes indeedy most heavily influenced by nurture.
I was listening to this while hanging out with Little Miss No Intensity, and I'm no dummy, I could hear the subtext of the plot loud and clear: Hug and kiss your kids a lot. So I picked her up and snuggled her, and then, when the bit about the rats was discussed, gave her a tentative little lick. That did not go over so great, her face kind of wrinkled up in disgust. Yuck mom, that was the most disgusting thing that's ever happened to me! her expression said.
"Sorry," I mumbled, a little embarrassed, and tried to explain what I was doing. Her eyes shone with sorrowful, indignant resentment. I'm not a rat pup, mom, she vibed.
It was our first argument.
Actually, it was our second, if you count the slight difference of opinions we had last week over her first non-lactation meal ever. Six months means solid foods, and we celebrated by cracking open a box of yummy and delicious Organic Rice-and-Some-Other-Grain Brown Gooey Slop (I never ever added enough water to that stuff for Miss H.I. either) and although I insisted it was "da most delishiest ting you've eveh twied eveh!" she didn't buy it, was grossed out, and let it ooze from every corner of her mouth. I shouldn't have tossed out that stupid What to Expect book, because if my memory serves me correctly, they tell you the order in which to introduce new foods, and the only thing I remember from last time is that squash makes an early debut. I only remember this because last time I was bound and determined to Do Everything Perfect, and so I went out, bought the squash, cooked it, pureed it, managed to get maybe 1/4 of a teaspoon of the stuff down old Miss H. I.'s piehole, and, despite such a little amount being consumed, suffered the effects of this wonderful, wonderful vegetable on her beanhole end for many days following. Oh, and we had about 17 pounds of pureed squash that sat frozen in the freezer for about... actually, I think it's still in there, ha ha, I'd better, um, clean that old freezer out one of these days...
Did you ever read a Frederick Philip Grove book? I did in high school, and I remember my friends and I making fun of him a lot because he ended almost every sentence in dot dot dot...oh crap, I've turned into freaking Frederick Philip bloody Grove!...
I'm also currently going crazy, because That Guy has been out of house for, like, 16 hours at a time everyday for the last WEEK. How do single parents do it, I can't stand this. To keep sane, I force everyone out of the house for a long, two hour walk every afternoon, rain or shine. Before you accuse me of child abuse, I should add that our walks are punctuated by a lot of pit stops, like the bakery, the thrift store, etc., I did this even last month when there was snow on the ground and the winds were crazy. When I first started this ritual, basically half the walk involved Little Miss H.I. screaming and squealing like a small pig on fire, but she's become resigned to her fate.
Actually, she didn't look very happy.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
So, once upon a time, there was a little girl who liked to take baths. I mean, she REALLY liked baths. She could soak in them for hours, and, if there were bubbles in there, for days. Sometimes her mother would put her in there so she could finish the novel she was reading or make a quick trip to the hairdresser's. NO, no, nothing like that! Anyway. Sometimes, sometimes, her mother had some problems getting the kid out of there. In fact, anyone passing the house when this lovely, kind and patient mother was trying to end bath time would have thought a mass murder was being committed, so loud and terrible were the screams. So the mother (who was lovely, kind, patient AND clever) made up a story. She said, "OK, you can stay in if you want, but I'm gonna pull the plug. And once the plug is pulled, the door to the Chucka-Chuck Monster's dungeon is open. And he may just drag you down there. Mwa ha ha!" And yes, she did make that evil laugh. Because the Chucka-Chuck Monster's creator is evil.
At first the child was not frightened. She was worldly beyond her four years and would say, "yeah, whatever mom," in that kind of bored, teenage tone which she must have picked up from television. But slowly, slowly, the Chucka-Chuck monster's persona began to grow. He was green, slimy and an orphan. (He'd eaten both his parents one day in a burst of hungry outrage after being sent to bed without any supper.) He had long, slithery tentacles that were just skinny enough to slide through the drain and drag small children down. Sometimes he even went for big people, as he did one day when the little girl's mother was in the bath. The mother had cried and yelled, and her big toe had already been sucked down when the little girl came to the rescue and, screaming hysterically, helped pull her mom to safety. Yah, OK, the mom felt a little bad about that one, especially when she saw the tears on the girl's face and the terror in her eyes half an hour later. But hallelujah, it certainly wasn't an issue getting her out of the tub anymore! When that plug was pulled, that little girl was jumping out of there faster than a ham hock can say bacon!
I don't know what that means either.
Anyway, one night, the little girl had a dream. You guessed it, it was about the Chucka-Chuck Monster! Although the details were kept scarce, it was pretty obvious that it had scared the bejesus out of that young child. It sent her over the edge! She crawled into her parents' bed and clung to them for the rest of the night! And (this is the part that sucks) she refused to go to the bathroom by herself in the middle of the night ever, ever again! Which means the lovely mother of our story, the kind, patient STUPID IDIOT MORON mother of our tragic tale had to drag her sorry butt out of bed to accompany the little girl on her nightly two o' clock-in-the-morning throne visits every night for the REST OF HER LIFE!!!
In terrible despair, she lived unhappily ever after.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Pandora Music Selection of the Day: Tony Bennett Radio! Go baby go!
So according to the news on CBC last week, the results are in from a Montreal study, and it appears money does indeed buy happiness. This is a blow to me as I mark the six month mark of my year-long, paid maternity leave (I love you Jean Chretien, I don't care what everyone else says...) because I have for some time now seriously considered getting down on my hands and knees and begging my principal to allow me to go back only part time next year. (Actually, I'll probably have to do a full nose-to-floor grovelling, he's a very short man, but anyway.) There would be a number of disadvantages to me doing this, the four most obvious being:
1. We would be poor.
2. Holy crap, would we be poor.
3. Bean dinners every day of the week, except Sundays. On the Day of Rest, we just won't eat.
4. Bean dinners cause cracks in the relationship between That Guy and me for reasons that I hope are apparent and do not need to delve into. (I told him just this morning that if he were to ever write an autobiography it should be entitled The Contents of My Bowels... did I say CRACKS in the relationship, I meant whole scale RUPTURES....) (ahhahahahah, ruptures, get it?)
5. Oh my God.
The obvious advantage to me being home in the afternoons next year would be the time I'd spend with m'babies, time I will never, ever, ever get back again. Little Miss High Intensity was in Daycare twice a week from the time she was one year old, That Guy was with her twice a week, and my mom took care of her on the remaining weekday. I got the weekends and a sad little three hours a night, after which we would both pass out together at about seven o'clock. (I'm an Early Bird, not a Night Owl.) Next year she will be in Kindergarden, which means it's our last chance to spend at least part of each day together. And of course Little Miss No Intensity will be so cute next year, learning to talk, etc., etc., how can I miss that? And the reality is, you don't really need that much money to live pretty well when kids are young. Their clothes can come from thrift stores, and it's not like I would want to take expensive vacations with them right now anyway. Our mortgage is pretty modest, because, well, you know the old real estate adage "buy the crappiest house on the best street"? We did the opposite, and bought a real charmer on a street about five blocks away from where all the city's murders occur. Huzzah! My point is that it's not like we would starve or they would foreclose on our home or anything like that if I went part time. But our income would indeed be severely decreased, and according to that damn Montreal study that means our happiness would be compromised.
You know what? I don't believe it. Incidently, Little Miss H.I. just walked in and she wants to type a few words so here goes:
Wow, that should be a recipe title or something. I like it. Next year when I'm back at work and make one of those snappy-fab bean surprise dinners, that's what I'm gonna call it. And when everyone complains, I'll say, "look, it's gotta be good, it's got mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm in the title. So piss off." Ha! Problem solved.
We get old H.I.'s first report card ever tomorrow. I have no clue what the teacher will say about her. I would think at this age the report will concentrate on whether she is able to do everything four year olds are supposed to do. I remember being freaked out a bit when she was six months or so because that stupid What to Expect book said she should be saying "ah-goo" or something equally ridiculous and she wasn't. I thought "ohm'god she's not gonna learn to talk properly! She must be autistic or something!" In retrospect, I can see how incredibly dumb I was, but she was my first kid and so I was on hyper-alert for signs of her intelligence, or lack thereof. (Oh COME ON! You KNOW you did that too!) Now, of course, she never stops talking. Lesson learned? The experts are full of .... diaper material. So! I WILL go back to work part time next year, money be damned! Incidently, I have no clue where Miss No Intensity should be right now, developmentally speaking. I gave away the book and never think about it. She's cute and smiley and healthy and that's all I care about. Really. No, REALLY. Ok, ok, so she's not saying Ah-goo either....
Thursday, November 09, 2006
...in which our pathetic blogger reflects on how pathetic she is....
Pandora Music selection: Disco Radio!
Oh yes, I am pathetic. Not only because of my choice of music selection for today's post, but because I have not yet figured out how to use the spell check on this thing. This means that I am wholly and completely dependent on That Guy to help me. (I guess it could be worse: sixty years ago I would have been wholly and completely dependent on him for my entire livelihood, and I would have starved/frozen to death. But I digress.) The problem with enlisting him for computer help is that he is currently going to school full time as well as working forty million hours per week. He is also currently sick, as is everyone else in this household, except me. (Gotta love garlic, baby!) This means that when he staggers in late at night, he really has more important things to do than deal with my ridiculous little blog. So I haven't in good conscience been able to ask him to help me lately, and my latest blog, which I started writing over two weeks ago, has not yet been posted. Because of this, I haven't been blogging, because I've been waiting for my last blog to get out there. I know you're thinking I've written the word "blog" too many times for this paragraph to flow, but in celebration of the fact that I didn't even know what the word meant three months ago, I'm gonna keep everything the way it is and bask in the warm glow of my e'er expanding vocabulary.
Incidentally: Disco may not have sucked, but Pandora Disco Radio sure does.
In other pathetic news, I have, as is befitting for a gal on maternity leave and being paid to create and maintain domestic bliss and tranquility, become absolutely obsessed with my house. This is about as surprising to me, and everyone who knows me, as it would be to hear that George W. had gotten obsessed about bringing free, universal health care to the masses. In addition to my confusion over my Martha bug, I am also very bitter about it, for very good reasons.
Last year, while pregnant, I was working full time. Now, pregnancy does not come easily for me, in the sense that once that egg has been fertilized my body decides to throw me into a nauseous horrorshow that does not let up for at least four months and once the nausea ends, I get tired, oh God, so terribly, terribly tired. So getting through last year was an effort, and needless to say, housekeeping duties were absolutely the least of my worries. As a result, we lived in absolute squalor last year, which really compounded my misery, because there is nothing more depressing than coming home from a hard day in the salt mines to find a house that is cold, dirty and unwelcoming.
I am bitter about it because last year, for reasons I won't go into but can assure you were legit, That Guy was home most of the week. That's right, he was technically the housefrau, but hello, he failed miserably in the frauing department. He cooked, he entertained little Miss H.I., he shopped for groceries, but he never, never, never cleaned. No, when he had a spare moment, what did he do? He HAD FUN. He READ. He WATCHED GOOD MOVIES. He HAD A FUCKING GOOD TIME. Not once did it bother him that we were living in a sty hole, and as a result, he got a LOT more free time to himself than I am getting now that our roles have reversed. I have about 30 fabulous books I should and want to be reading now, but at the end of the day when both m'babies are in bed do I plop myself down on the couch and read them? No, you'll find me on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor tiles because I can't stand it if I don't.
So I am bitter, not necessarily at That Guy (although he would tell you otherwise), but because I was born a girl, and biologically programmed to care about how things look.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
...and the gentle reader will have noticed that our heroine has still not figured out how to keep the beginnings of her paragraphs indented! Nor can she use the spell check! But she doesn't care! 'Cause no-one is reading this damn thing anyway!
Arghhh! The bastard got his revenge by creating a Roger Whittaker radio station!
Last week at the Thrift Store I picked up another book about King Henry the Eighth and his six wives. Ya gotta love all that beheading that goes on. I don't know, I just can't get my head around (ahar har har, get it, pun so totally intended) all the violence that went on in those days. So last night at supper I asked That Guy how he thought he would deal with being led to the chopping block.
"Would you break down and weep like a baby?" I asked.
"Oh hell, yes," he said.
"Really?" I asked, maybe a little dismayed. This is the wimp I chose to be the father of my children? I mean, aren't I instinctively supposed to go for some sort of Alpha male model? Someone who laughs in the face of adversity?
"Oh yeah. If I was about to get my head whacked off? I'd be absolutely terrified."
"Would you hide, daddy? Under a blanket?" asked little Miss High Intensity, totally in earnest.
This totally cracked us up, and we laughed pretty hysterically for a couple of minutes or so. Then I said, " in thirty years when global warming has resulted in a total breakdown of society and the U.S. has invaded us for our water and you're sitting in your cell awaiting execution, do you think you'll recall this conversation fondly?"
"Yeah," he said, "unless you guys are already dead. Then remembering it would be terrible."
Cozy, happy family moment DESTROYED! Silently, we contemplated the end of the world as we know it. The baby was sitting in her high chair smiling her face off as usual, and Miss H. I. was sitting in her chair naked, except for one of those woolly winter caps with the strings down the sides that she often insists upon wearing at the dinner table. She looked like a precocious little smart-ass from some Swedish movie, VERY pleased with herself. The thought of them dead from some sort of global catastrophe was soul-rippingly depressing. So we changed the topic to something very bland and boring. I think we talked about the dinner I'd made. (Since that damn mouse made its first appearance in the spice drawer, meals around here have been, um, a little less perky than usual.)
Last night was Halloween. (Yes, I know the date above says it's the 29th. That's another thing I've got to bloody well figure out.) That Guy downloaded a template of George Dubya's face which I spent about an hour or so carving into our pumpkin. I kind of hacked up the sides of it a bit by accident, so it ended up looking like he had horns, which was great. Lit up he looked dead evil. I thought it would frighten the snot out of the kids, but no-one even MENTIONED it. Story of my life.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Yay! I got my first comment a couple of days ago! Boo! It was a piece of advice on how to edit my blog a little better!
Today did not get off to a promising start. Little Miss No Intensity (i.e., the baby) actually woke up in the middle of the night, and while this never really poses too much of a problem because she sleeps with us and feeding her just involves a reshuffling of positions and various bits of anatomy, for whatever reason, this time I couldn't doze off again once she had finished sucking. So I read for a bit, and then squandered an hour and a half or so of my precious short life lying in bed trying to fall back asleep. When the morning came and Little Miss High Intensity was shoving her face in mine demanding breakfast and cartoons, I felt like a dead old man. Explaining to That Guy why he would have to be the one to get her ready for nursery school despite the fact that it was My Turn required delicacy and tact, which I think I managed with only a minimum amount of shrillness and swearing. Oh sweet, sweet falling back asleep when you're really, really tired and you really, really should be getting up but have been given a really, really lovely break! I'm surprised there haven't been more songs written about it.
The sad fact is that I did NOT get to fall back asleep, though, because Little Miss H. I. and That Guy proceded to get into The Fight to End all Fights as he tried to get her dressed.
Her: NO! NO! NO! NO! NOT THAT SHIRT!!!! NOT THOSE PANTS!!!!! YOU ARE NOT A NICE PERSON!!!!YOU NEVER LISTEN!!!!!
Him: AUUUUUUUGHGHGHGHGH!!!! SHUT UP!!! JUST SHUT UP AND PUT ON YOUR PANTS!!!!!
(Sound of four-year-old buttocks being forcibly shoved into pair of pants.)
Him: $#@$!!! &*#*&$#@#$$%$###$$%%%%%$$#%$@#$%^%$!!!!!!!!
I am giving you, of course, a transcript of the fight at its climax, and have omitted the several pages of crap where That Guy was doing his best to be patient and quietly insistent, wise and firm, gentle and guiding, how else do those books say you should behave? In the end he gave in to the frustration and let her have it. Part of me was angry at him for telling her to shut up, and part of me was VERRRRRRRRRRRY sympathetic. So I lay in bed with a pillow over my head, and pretended the whole thing wasn't happening.
In other news, my friend alerted me to the existence of this Pandora site, where you type in the name of an artist or song and it creates a "radio station" that plays music of the same genre. It's FABULOUS!! That Guy and I have had lots of fun driving each other nuts with our choices, but I think I really got the best of him when I got the computer room chilling out to the smooth, mellow tones of Bread Radio. Heh heh heh. He got pretty cranky there for a while. Right now, I am rocking out to the soulful groove of Stevie Wonder Radio, and I'm typing my blog, and both m'babies are asleep and WOW! Could life get any better???!! I wrote the other day that I set up this site to complain about things, but after that false start this morning, I have to say, the day ended up being absolutely fabulous. The weather was perfect, and we took this nice long walk to the Thrift Store and I got an intact copy of The Jolly Postman's Christmas for $0.49 and then we went home and I made an absolutely fantastic vegetarian stew for supper and best of all, that damn mouse that has been tormenting my soul and my spice drawer for the last week is, as I type, rattling around in this big metal live trap we put out, awaiting his (her?) unceremonious dumping in yonder field that will occur later this evening.
No. Best of all, Little Miss H.I. just came down for her ten o'clock pee in a sleepy fog and gave me the sweetest little hug and kiss. She has this green nightgown and she looks like a cherub in it.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
.. in which our heroine looks on the bright side of winter, feels guilty, and uses the F word twice...
One good thing, okay, the only good thing about winter arriving (and it has arrived, complete with many, many snowflakes and freaking 90 km/hr winds) is that our house really comes into its own during the dark days of the year. It is a Winter House, and if you don't know what I mean by that, you should come over some time in the middle of July for lemonade and chill out with me in the stygian gloom of my living room. Eggplant walls, maroon sofas and heavy wood furniture do not exactly serve to lighten the mood and make one's soul sing a happy spring tune if you know what I mean. I know home decorating magazines (Guilty Pleasure #1... you'll meet them all eventually) say that your rooms, like your wardrobes, should take on a new look for the changing seasons, but, well, sorry, carting my entire living room ensemble down to the basement each spring and decking the place out in light linens and wicker are just not gonna happen for numerous reasons, one being that, oh yeah, I'M NOT FUCKING INSANE.... but, um, anyway, as I was saying, this house is dark, man, and in the summer I basically hate being in here, because it's like spending time with 14 suicidal depressives, you know, just a wee bit of a downer. That's OK though, because in the summer you should be outside anyway, right? So I only go in if I absolutely have to: to use the bathroom, sleep, and toss High Intensity Child into her room for time-outs.
In the winter though, this place becomes wonderful. It's quite amazing: the walls transform from gloomy to glowing. The dark pall becomes cozy, the somber colours appealing. It's like my house suffers from reverse SAD, and every spring says, "oh fuck, here it comes again, damn bloody sunshine" and goes into a four month sulk. I can't explain. But it does make the coming of winter a little more tolerable. Thank goodness, because winter time in
Ah yes, the little ones. Old High Intensity is at nursery school right now, and the baby, Little Miss Register-Absolute-Nil-on-the-Richter-Scale Low Intensity, is upstairs sleeping. Wow, is she a good baby. You will not believe this, but since she was born (five months ago today!), except for one night at a party which I'm not going to count because something was obviously wrong, she has cried for maybe a grand total of 15 minutes. Truthfully, it's probably been even less than that. She doesn't cry. If she really needs something she gives out something that resembles the sound of a polite little cough. If her need is really, really urgent, the cough will sound a little less polite, but no crying. It certainly works in her favour. If she does cry, wow, does that get us running. Old Miss H. I. cried so much I sometimes just had to ignore it, for sanity's sake, which of course resulted in her almost being killed on at least two occasions that I can think of. My mom bought her the Peter and the Wolf soundtrack for her first birthday, and I've played it for her about 7000 times, but the subtle lesson of that tale has not been learned, and she still screeches over the most minor of things. I'm hoping this means she's destined for greatness, although why this would be so I'm not willing to think about.
I'm gonna be honest here, I started this blog so that I could complain about things, and because of this I really need to clarify one thing before I go any further: I absolutely adore my oldest kid. She's funny and smart and already she can draw better than me. I am the model of patience and kindness when dealing with her (HA HA HA), but she can, um, wear me out, and I need a place where I can vent about that. The reality is, when you're trying to deal with a kid who will not stop screaming for love or candy, and it happens, like, five thousand times a day over NOTHING, you start to feel, I don't know, like an absolute failure, like the worst parent in the world, like something is wrong with YOU. Sitting down at this computer and writing about it is like going to a curtain-drawn room and lying down with an ice-pack on my head. Sweet, sweet relief. Sweet, sweet escape.
Yesterday, That Guy Who Lives in the House and I were squawking at each other over something, and while we were in the middle of it, she drew a picture of a girl and boy standing beside each other with a circle around them and a slanted line running through the whole thing in the manner of a no-smoking sign. "That means no mommy and daddy," she told us in a really pissed off, slightly disgusted tone of voice. Guilt, guilt, guilt. Honestly, I really do try not to argue with him in front of her, but sometimes... sometimes... Anyway, I feel absolutely terrible about it, because of course the argument was about something trivial (well, not really... he WAS two hours late...) and so what am I teaching her about controlling emotions and putting things into perspective when I myself can't seem to keep things in check? Obviously her over-reactive personality is all my fault, and, oh, boy, do I feel bad. *sigh*. I will try harder, I will try harder.
Incidentally, I am an absolute Luddite, and am having a hard time figuring out how to keep the beginning of my paragraphs indented. I also seem unable to utilize the spell check, which has me absolutely terrified, as I am a terrible speller. In Grade Two, I won a chocolate bar for Best Speller, and then along came the word "sheep" and it was all downhill from there. (Damn those ee/ea words, damn them I say!) That Guy will have to guide me through all that when he gets home. There, I knew there was a reason why I kept him around here.
Baby's coughing. Gotta go.
Monday, October 09, 2006
...in which our heroine uncomfortably digests her Thanksgiving dinner, apologizes for yesterday's pithy debut and worries that she is turning her eldest child into a masochist...
Good day, and a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to everyone! Five pounds of turkey and three pieces of pie later, and I can say that I am truly blessed for all I did receive. The sweet potatoes didn't even make it to the table because I'd miscalculated their cooking time, and we forgot to put out the cranberry sauce and yet we still had enough food to feed the German Army and then some. Oh God, why do we do this to ourselves? I feel like a bloated piece of puff pastry right now. Hmmm... maybe that should have been my blog name....
Yesterday's posting was brief because I am lousy at introductions. Hey! My social awkwardness extends to the blog world as well! Yay! As a teacher, I can tell you that my first classes are always pretty straight to the point, with not much time wasted on explaining who I am and where I come from. I jump straight into the first lesson, which makes me REALLY popular, especially in my math classes. (There's always one kid who pipes up near the end of the first week of school and asks, "um, so like, what's your name anyway?")
So...my fuzzy little fat headed baby is asleep, and my cute, bulbous bum-cheeked four-year old is tucked into bed, and I get to snatch my half-hour of Me Time before I haul my own sorry-ass self to bed, for I am tired, tired, tired. She is cute, and she does have the sweetest little bulbous bum, but oh my, she does indeed wear me out. I've looked it up, and while she doesn't quite fit the profile of The Difficult Child, she scored five out of five for High Intensity, which basically means she doesn't just need a glass of water, she NNEEEEEEEDS A GLAAAAAASSSSS OF WAAAATERRRRRR!!!! NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW! When, for the one hundred and thirty fifth time in a day I hear myself saying brightly, in that fucking sing-song voice I use whenever I basically want to kill her, "what's the magic wo-ord?" I feel I've entered surreal hell world. Surely someone out there in the universe is watching all this and having a mighty good laugh at my expense. I mean, really, talk about nature's sick joke. You are handed this demanding, irrational, slightly sadistic creature who cannot listen to reason for love or money, and if you deal with her incorrectly, i.e., in any way that will do damage to her fragile little ego, she will turn 16, drop out of school, run away, join a cult, dye her pubes green, get pregnant, abort traumatically, marry some abusive freak, have his babies, get dumped, be penniless, look 50 when she's 30 and BLAME IT ALL ON MEEEEEEEEEE!
Truly, I have nightmares about it.
It is one of the reasons I've decided to set up this blog. All my family and friends:
1. Have sons
2. Have no kids
3. Have daughters but are too sensible/perfect/non-neurotic to worry about it
So who the hell am I going to talk to about this stuff, huh? You, oh lucky, gentle reader!
Here is the concern of the moment. I wrote above that Child #1 is slightly sadistic, and she is in the sense that if I let out an hysterical scream because she has accidentally pulled my hair or shoved a needle into my face, she seems rather satisfied with herself and, dare I say, slightly gleeful about my misery. Lately, however, we have been engaged in an activity that ends with HER sobbing inconsolably, and, let me hasten to add before you call the authorities on me, ENJOYING HERSELF THOROUGHLY! The game is called "Sing Me a Sad Song, Mama", and involves me singing softly (off key, monotone, thanks for asking) a melancholy tune of some sort. Some of the songs that have been known to send her howling include Leaving on a Jet Plane and All My Loving by the Beatles. The one that really gets her weeping is a little ditty I can modestly claim as my own composition. Its lyrics go something like this:
(Sung softly, with feeling)
Who will wipe your bum now?
I cannot say
It won't be mom or daddy....
They've gone away..
Wow, does that get her bawling. But if I think, OK, I've gone too far this time, I'd better stop, she'll look at me despairingly and choke out the words, "keep going Mama! Keep going!" And so I do. Because watching her sob is just about the funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. When she can't take it anymore, she runs over, arms outstretched, collapses into my arms and shrieks "I LOVE YOU MOMMMMYYYY!!! I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!" That part is sort of amusing too, (sorry, but there's nothing like a maudlin four year old to make the corners of your mouth twitch) but it's also really darn nice, and probably another reason why I keep singing her the songs.
But is the whole thing gonna turn her into a freak????