Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mmmmm.... Melted Barbie Sandwich....

...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 China. Of course, the Chinese are no slouches in the killing department either, heck, they're harvesting prisoners for their organs over there. Hmmmm. I hope none of the mice we kill are Falong Gong worshippers, religious intolerance is, like, so wrong. Anyway. I purchased 24 of these Chinese mousetraps and distributed them around all the dark corners of my house just like a bloody Easter egg hunt. Only it wasn't chocolate with creamy peanut butter insides I was hiding, it was traps with creamy peanut butter insides I was hiding. And I wanted to kill rodents, not bring pleasure to a young child's mouth. And there was a heavy snowstorm swirling about outside, no budding spring flowers and twittery birds in the trees. And ---- Whoa, where the HELL am I going with this?

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

I was a Barbieless Girl... in a Barbie World

...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

Everyday is Funday Here at the House o' Whippersnap

... in which my parenting skills are put to the test (again) and I flunk flunk flunk... AGAIN!...

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 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!


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

Are Rat Moms Single Parents?

...'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. I. remember one time last month on one of these excursions during a really cold day, she'd fallen behind, and so I stopped to look back at her. I wish I had it on film, she looked so sweet. Her fifteen layers of clothing made her look like a puffed-up, purple sausage, and she waddled side to side like a stoic little penguin. A small icicle had formed, and was hanging out of her left nostril. But she plunged on. "I am preparing her for the harsh realities of life!" I told myself, and tried not to feel guilty. I mean, when mom's happy, everyone's happy, right? Right? Right?

Actually, she didn't look very happy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Revenge of the Chucka-Chuck Monster which a harmless bath time story goes awry, at the expense of yours truly....

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.

The end.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lessons of the Ah-Goo

...and our tired and disgruntled blogger breaks down and confesses that the italics section of her blog is getting harder and harder to write...

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

I am pathetic 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.