Friday, November 30, 2007
And big hugs and thank-yous to everybody for coming over and commenting - I know I'dve given it up if it weren't for you! See you in December!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
After dance I fed the kids in the car and drove to Vaughan Mills to get photos taken for Christmas. But first I had to buy matching white t-shirts for them to wear. (btw - Old Navy has lots of long sleeve t-shirts for babies and little kids, reg. $9.50 ea on sale 2 for $10) I changed them and did the Princess's hair in the middle of the mall. They looked very, very, cute. Just not in the resulting photos. The Princess jumped to be in front of every shot, and Badness kept crawling off the backdrop. After the photos we went to get a snack and 3 different places were out of chocolate milk. I was a wreck by the time we got back to the car.
Both kids fell asleep on the drive home, which meant I could listen to the radio and not Raffi, but they woke up UGLY. I went up and got changed into running gear, so I could exit the house the SECOND that Hubs arrived. I sat Princess in front of the tv while I cooked them dinner (KD -good mom, right?) with Badness on my hip. Hubs called, he was running late.
By the time Hubs got home it was 6:45, cold and pitch black out. Still, the second he'd changed I plunked the boy into his arms, leashed up the dog, and went out. I ran. For the first time in almost 2 years I ran. Not as fast, or as far as I would've liked, but still.....getting out of the house was half the battle. (I'd already decided to ease back into it slowly, because there will be no lolling between the sofa with an ice-pack and a nice hot bath if I over-do it and hurt myself.)
It felt great. I felt great. And I was a much nicer mom when I did get home. And today, I went out and bought myself new lipgloss.....I'm like a new woman already! Yay Me!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
On Good Friday, I had to explain to the Princess (then 3 1/2) why there wasn't any school. "Well today is the anniversary of the day Jesus died.....do you remember who Jesus was?"
"No Mommy." Shit. Mother of the Year slips my grasp again.
"Well, I'll have to get some stories about him to read to you."
"OH! MOMMY! I'll get my Dora book! It has sooo many stories! Maybe there's one about Dora and Jesus in there!"
Don't worry, I already feel the shame. How could this have happened? The backstory:
Hubs and I were both brought up nominally Christian. Hubs went to the Anglican church as a kid, and then went to a Christian boarding school. Which turned him off religion forever. The story of the school's closing was recently picked up in the Globe and Mail - search 'Grenville'....they'll explain better than I can. (to clarify - Hubs was miserable there, and feels religion was used as a weapon, but he didn't suffer or witness the abuse mentioned) I have less excuse. Hubs is happy for me to take the kids to church....he wants me to, he just won't come. I suspect that he wants me to take them so that he can be alone with the television for an hour. I haven't taken them, even though the church is literally across the street and down two houses, because I am tired and don't want to add to the time I spend alone with my children. I like hanging out with Hubs on Sunday. I like leaving the kids in his care and lounging on the sofa with coffee and a book.
And that brings us to the question:
After the Easter incident, I bought a few books to read to the Princess, a story about Noah, and a children's bible, but she really wasn't interested. The question got pushed to the back of my mind. Christmas is bringing it back to the forefront. How do I educate her about religion? To be clear, my worries are educational and for her soul. She has beautiful manners and morals, you have only to look in her eyes to see that her soul is pure. If there is a heaven, she will go there. My own beliefs are tentative, un-formed - I don't want my children to follow in my footsteps, but to make up their own minds. However, I want them to have a background, a basic knowledge, of the bible and its stories....so much of literature assumes this of its reader that it is vitally important. If I can impart the right background, they will have what they need to decipher the metaphors around them and make their own decision about God. But....how do I do that? Do I need to take them to church? Every Christmas Eve I let the kids open a present - and it is always new pyjamas and a storybook. This year one of the books is the Christmas story. It's a start. What else can I do? What do you do?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I haven't ran since I was a few weeks pregnant with Badness. I haven't run regularly since I was a few weeks pregnant with the Princess. It's funny how you get into and out of the groove. My favourite time to run is first thing in the morning. That's when I had the energy, the time, the motivation. By the end of the day, my motivation is for the sofa. During my pregnancy with the Princess I was violently ill every single morning (and afternoon, and evening) for 27 weeks. When it passed I walked, but I was too big and out of shape to run.
I miss it. I read Shay's post on Sunday and decided it was time to do it. (Flu be damned.) I ran upstairs to dig out some sweats and was immediately foiled - none of my long neglected sports bras were up to the task of supporting my still-nursing breasts. But I laced up my shoes anyway. I took the dog, took a begging Princess (in the stroller so she couldn't slow me down - this was for ME), and I walked. I walked with long, fast strides. I walked until my heart was beating loud and fast, walked until my muscles burned and my lungs were filling deep with cold, clean air. I walked until my mind cleared and my spirits lifted.
I'm going to walk again today after dropping the Princess at school and Badness at a sitter. And then I will go buy new gear. Tomorrow I will run. It has been a long time, and it won't be pretty. I will probably have to start with walking a minute, running a minute like at my first running clinic - but I will run.
This badass will be a fat ass no more. Thanks Shay.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Go check out Sarcastic Mom's rack. I need me some new clothes.
And go check out Teeny Manolo. I need me some new books.
Ok, universe, do your thing!
This morning he said his first word! Banana! Well, 'nana! 'nana! As I was holding one at the time and he was gesturing wildly for me to 'just give me the banana already woman!' I have chosen to view it as a real word and not a coincidence. The Princess maintains that he said "chair" a few weeks ago, but I have invoked my power as mommy and keeper of the baby books and declared that unless I see and hear it, it doesn't count.
I apologize for the excess of exclamation points in this post, but I am Just! So! Proud! and scared....but we'll save that for another post.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I commented somewhere that I was going to try to post photos this weekend, and Sarcastic Mom suggested I join in on her Weekly Winners meme, but I never did get the camera out. I promise that I will do it one day soon. In the meantime, go and have a look at what less lazy people did.
I'll leave you with just one more whiny complaint - Hubs wouldn't get up with the kids this morning, and I had to make my own sick tea......poor old me.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
How are you? How are your reindeer and Mrs. Claus? I know you must be very busy this time of year. Did you get your letter from Princess and Badness? Don't worry, I've got your back on that one.
This year, I need you to bring something for me. I know that it has been a long time, but I've been a really good girl this year. Well, pretty good. Ok - sometimes I'm naughty, but trust me, Hubs likes it that way. Can I please have a laptop? I'm not being greedy, I need it. When Hubs started his company he appropriated the family desktop.....he's on it all night, and all weekend. And in the day, when he goes out on sales calls, I've got all the kids' demands to deal with. Other than at nap-time on the two days a week Princess is at school, if I want to surf, I either have to shoo them off me or type and nurse. I've been posting at 6:00 am, when no one else is even awake! Well, except for Princess and Badness....those two would never let me get lonely. And there are lots of other things I should be doing at nap-time....
It wouldn't even be just for me Santa! See, I've started this little blog, and some really great people have been coming over to read it.....I bet they've all been good. I'm sure that if you got me a pretty little laptop, I could really improve the quality of the content for them....plus, I could write from bed, and have time to read and comment on more of their posts! It'd be like a gift for EVERYONE!
Come on, Santa.....you know Billy hasn't been all that good. He doesn't need that toy train. Leave it at the store and buy a little something for me.....
Love, Badness Jones
Friday, November 23, 2007
My French is really rusty, but I can still read it, and although it would have to be a very slow and stilted conversation, I can speak enough to get by. Hubs is terrible. He stopped studying it as soon as he was able, and his accent is....atrocious. The man thinks it's funny to say "Frapper la rue!" (Literally, hit the road - but the expression doesn't translate.) When we go to Quebec and he tries to converse, the locals all cringe and switch quickly to English.
Last night when I was washing dishes, I overheard the Princess ask her Dad to teach her something in French. I was horrified to hear him start singing, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir!"
Gah! I ran into the living-room. "What's wrong with you! Don't teach her that!"
Hubs looked completely non-plussed. "What? It just means kiss me."
"No, babe, it doesn't!"
"But I thought....well, what does it mean, then?"
"Well, literally, coucher is 'to lie down' but it means...."
"Mommy, I want Daddy to sing me the song!"
"Daddy is a terrible singer, and he forgets the words. Let's sing Alouette...."
Oh! Shit....sorry! indeed.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I managed to get her to school without any tantrums, but it took some very gentle and indulgent parenting. There's piles of new snow, so I pulled her to school on her sled to avoid the whining and tears that she's prone to when tired. She got off the sled, kissed me, walked through the gate, said "hi" to her teacher and put her backpack against the wall.
"Can you put your bag by our door Regan? Or are you going to be in Miss Clark's class today?"
"WAAAAHHHHH!" she cried and sat down. "Mommy I need you to come in. I can't walk that far! I need you to help me!"
Literally, she needed to go 10 more feet to get to her classroom door, but I went in, moved her backpack and hugged her again until she calmed down. As I passed Miss Thompson I muttered under my breath "Am I ever glad she's with you and not me today. She was up REALLY late."
The teacher looked up and laughed, "That's evil!"
Yes, Miss Thompson, I am. And while I feel bad saying it, today, it sucks to be you.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
So - when I am made Supreme Ruler of the Universe you can expect the following:
1. To expound on the carpet theme, carpeting in bathrooms will be banned outright. Because, ewww! Extra task-forces will be sent to England immediately....come ON people, you built an EMPIRE, what are you thinking?!
2. All people working in retail or customer service will be required to actually HELP their customers. Without sighing. Anyone caught glaring at a customer for daring to want to make a purchase, therefore interrupting an oh-so-important phone call about what you did on Saturday night, will immediately be fired and made to work shovelling poop at a farm or zoo.
3. The home phone numbers of all telemarketers will be made public. So we can phone THEM during dinner.
4. Babies will sleep through the night. 'nuff said.
5. Chocolate will be declared a food group.
6. That lady at my daughter's dance class, the one who is always telling me how exhausted I look, and how I look so much better and full of life on the days I manage to wear make-up, will have her vile tongue removed and be given a job scrubbing out public bathrooms everywhere.
7. All Mommies will be granted a hot cup of coffee and a shower before entering into each day of servitude to their children - the REAL Supreme Rulers of the Universe.
In the meantime, go read what Margaret did with this, that girl is talented and funny. She'd make a great Supreme Ruler - plus she said some lovely things about ME, further proof of her superior insight and intellect.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Now, the lovely and talented Jen at No Place Like It has tagged me for the 7 things meme. Not sure I'm all that interesting, but here goes:
1. I had my nose pierced back when that still had the power to shock. The night I met Hubs for the first time he told me I looked "like a freak". He still asked around to get my number... Once suburban kids everywhere started piercing all of their various facial protuberances I stopped wearing mine. The hole has long since filled in.
2. I have to eat burgers and sandwiches around in a circle, so that the yummiest centre bit is saved for last. I will lay the smack down on anyone who tries to steal a bite of my middles....I mean it, Hubs, I'm not taking any more of that crap from you!
3. Except for my kids. I will give them my middles and eat their crusts.
4. I am crazy scared of mice. Even the princess thinks it's ridiculous. We had a mouse last winter and while we were trying to catch it Hubs had to go away for a week....he asked me what I would do if I saw it or caught it while he was gone and to his horror I told him that I'd pack the kids in the car and take them to the Marriott for a week. I would've too.
5. I can roll my eyes back in my head so that you can only see the whites, and then make them quiver. Boys of all ages love this trick. I can also bend the top joint by itself in all of my fingers. Try it, not everyone can do this.
6. I abhor carpets in any colour other than neutral shades from cream to taupe. My first act upon being made Supreme Ruler of the Universe would be to outlaw the manufacture of all coloured carpeting, and appoint task forces to knock on doors and rip out all existing coloured carpet. I would commission huge incinerators to be built to burn it all. Pink would be burnt first. I would do this before addressing hunger or world peace. (You can go wild with area rugs people, my vendetta is just against the wall-to-wall.)
7. I always break the chain when sent chain letters and e-mails etc. So why should a meme be any different? I think I'm supposed to tag 7 people, so I will, but I don't want to know seven things about you. Let's call this the mini-meme - I just want to know what YOU'D do first upon becoming Supreme Ruler of the Universe. So:
and anyone else reading this, if you want to play, you're it. And rules shmules. Tag someone else if you like!
Monday, November 19, 2007
My mom never liked having her photo taken either, and when we were kids she would refuse to be in pictures, or cut herself out of them later. We have next to no photos of my mom with us when we were little. No photos of her holding us as babies. No photos of her chasing us as toddlers. I have a picture of her in my mind - tall, beautiful, with long blonde hair, but her face is blurry. I would love to have a photo to refresh that memory. So I am trying to fight down my aversion to the camera for my kids' sake.
I have photos of myself pregnant with each of them. I have one photo of myself holding them in the delivery room, complete with puffy face, exhausted eyes and delirious, insane-asylum grins. I have photos of me giving them their first baths, my body still swollen and bloated. I have photos I like more - holding Princess on her first Christmas, at a friend's wedding. Days that I made the time to do my hair and make-up.
And photos I like less. Hubs took one yesterday at the parade, and when I loaded it onto the computer I called him into the room:
"Do I really look like that? Seriously, is that really what I look like!?"
"What do you mean? You look great....you're smiling, you're happy!"
"But I look so TIRED! My lips are pale....I need a haircut and highlights"
"Babe....you look great. We're not 20 anymore..."
I guess that's the problem. In my mind, I am 20. Which is why I get such a shock when I look in the mirror or see a photo of myself. And so, in the spirit of accepting who and what I am now, I offer you this -
Because it may not be beautiful to me, but, someday, this photo might hold memories that are beautiful and precious to them.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
And Veronica - I love your comments on all my posts but thank you especially for commenting about the snow. You reminded me of the year I was 19 and I spent a year living in London. I went to Edinburgh for Hogmanay (New Year's) with two friends, and when we woke up, painfully hungover, on New Year's Day there was snow! I was thrilled, because it reminded me of home and it doesn't take long for British weather to do you in, but my friend Vanessa was over the moon - she's from Perth and at 27 she'd NEVER seen snow. We couldn't drag Rachel out of bed but we raced outside and threw snowballs and made angels and basically acted like 8 year olds. Or idiots. When we'd had enough we gathered up great armfuls of snow, raced upstairs to our room in the B&B and banged on the door until Rachel opened it. Then we snowed her. We spent the rest of the day lounging in bed watching cheesy movies on telly. I seem to remember something about people going on holiday in a double decker bus.....does anyone know if that was real or just a result of too many pints? Anyway, I hadn't thought about Vanessa or that day in a long time, and I'm glad you reminded me. I hope you'll get to see Amy playing in the snow next winter too.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Obviously, I shouldn't be sitting here posting about the mess. I should be upstairs dealing with the situation, but Badness loves nothing more than to knock down piles of carefully folded clothes and, if I weren't so lazy, it would be a good time to re-organize everything - since there are more things out of the dressers than in them. I don't think I have enough time left this afternoon, because I need to do it while the Princess is at school. She never wants to get rid of anything. Ever. We still have her favourite sweater from when she was a year old. I used to have to hide it when it was dirty, because she would take it out of the hamper and put it back on over her jammies and insist on sleeping in it. Now she uses it for one of her guys.
I did manage to get rid of 5 big boxes of the girlie's baby clothes last week. One of the friends we had over last weekend is expecting in January, and as soon as we found out that she's having a girl Mark phoned her husband and told him to bring the van. We had everything piled in the hallway when they arrived. It makes me so happy to see this stuff leave my house. Making room in the closets so that I can go shopping.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The lie I tell most often though, is to my dog. Sorry Sally. It all started innocently enough. Sally doesn't like to come in from the back yard. She feigns deafness when I open up the door and call her. Sometimes I can lure her in with a cookie, but even that doesn't always work. So one day, I was cooking breakfast and I wanted Sally to come in and I opened up the door and called "Sally! Sally!" Nothing. "Sally! Cookie!" Nothing. "Sally! We're having BACON" Within 2 seconds I had 70 pounds of excited and obedient dog through the door, kissing my feet, and ready to do my bidding.
The next morning when I wanted her to come in before I took the Princess to school I called again. "Sally! Sally!" Nothing. "Sally! Cookie!" Nothing. "Sally! We've got.......BACON!" 70 pounds of excited and obedient dog, sitting at my feet. Hubs was scandalised. "Don't lie to my dog! That's mean! How can you do that?!"
"Well, it works. That's how" And as long as it continues to work, I will continue to lie to the dog. I mean, I don't have bacon, but I do give her the cookie. For some reason she falls for it, over and over again. Once in a while, I do give her bacon - just to keep her guessing.
Now dish - what lies do you tell?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Do you want to see some of my work? I have half an art degree, and a diploma in Interior Design. I love to draw and paint, but since I can't stand to be interrupted while creating, I haven't done much since the babes were born. (Bit of an understatement there, when interrupted I can make the Wicked Witch of the West look like Grandma!)
I did get a chance to teach art for a week this summer to a group of kids 5 - 14. The Princess's ballet teacher runs the camp and she mentioned to me that her Art teacher had quit. In a moment of either inspiration or insanity I volunteered. I had never taught before. The theme of the camp this year was Japan, something I know almost naught about. It was a challenge to do the research, and try some techniques I hadn't used. A real challenge. Japanese art is detailed and intricate and meticulous - I am more of a slapdash instant gratification type girl. I tend to destroy any project that requires patience!
The best part, for me, was designing and overseeing a huge mural that was used as the backdrop for the kids play and was eventually installed in the Kindergarten playground of a local elementary school. I had huge half scale mock-ups taped up all over my hallway and living room walls where I could sketch and scribble ideas as they came to me while holding Badness in my other arm. The challenge was that I wasn't painting it all myself - I had to find ways 35 kids could contribute. I had to use exterior latex paint so that it would withstand the elements and there wasn't a lot of time in the program allotted to the mural. I think it turned out amazing - the kids were fabulous. What do you think?
Monday, November 12, 2007
There was an old man selling poppies outside of the grocery store. Not pushy, not even asking anyone to purchase. Just standing proud and erect outside in the cold. Smiling. Whistling and singing old songs. A few words to anyone who stopped, helping them pin on their poppy. The princess wanted a 'flower'. We put the groceries in the car, pushed the cart away, and walked back to the entrance. I gave the Princess a toonie and lifted her up so that she could put the coin in the old man's box. He smiled and gave her a poppy. Took a second one and pinned it to Badness's vest. "I think this young man should wear one too."
How do you explain to a 4-year old the meaning of Remembrance Day? The significance of that poppy? We talked about freedom, about everyone being the same on the inside, no matter the colour of their skin. We talked about everyone deserving the same chances, the chance to hope and dream and work and have a family. About people who tried to take those chances away from others. About the men who went to fight and the boys who died.
I have one photo of the Princess with her great-grandfather. (It predates my digital camera, and I don't have a scanner so I can't post it.) They were born 100 years apart. He was Hub's grand-dad. He was born in Hungary. He was Jewish. When he was about the same age as Hubs is now, with a wife and little children, he was taken from his home and put in a work camp. He never spoke about it. His wife once cut meat off a dead horse to feed her babies. She bribed guards to rescue her mother from the Jewish ghetto. She baptized her babies Catholic to give them a better chance to survive. And she never spoke about it. I can't imagine the horrors that they survived. I don't want the Princess to have to imagine them, but I do want her to grow up thankful that people fought so that she could live a better life.
I took the Princess to the hospital to say good-bye to her great-grandfather before he died. She was younger than Badness is now. She was born in the days following SARS and as I carried her to his room strangers hissed at me that I shouldn't have the baby in the hospital. But when we reached his room Grand-dad looked at her, reached out his hand and smiled. He struggled with dry lips that hadn't tried to speak in days to say her name. He loved her. He was glad she'd come. That was the last time he spoke. A child has the power to heal.
Our children and their precious childhood are our gift from those we remember. It is hard to talk about those horrors, to explain what this day is about. It was a long time ago. But it is important that they understand, and never take what we have for granted.
Thank-you. I won't forget.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Which means he won't be getting out of bed with the children, or even at anytime remotely approximating morning. I seethe with rage. I pop Badness off my nipple, plunk him in his crib to scream and march down the stairs to do a little screaming of my own. I give Hubs the 'Death Stare', and proceed to march around the room banging off the tv and all of the lights. "What the hell are you doing!! Do you know that you woke the Princess up?! Me up?! We have 5 people and a dog coming this afternoon for dinner and the night!! I have to wash all the sheets, make up beds, clean the kitchen, 3 bathrooms, vacuum the house and wash the floors. And if you think you're staying in bed while I do it then you've got another think coming Mister!!! I may not have said 'mister'.
I march back upstairs and go to the bathroom first. It won't kill Badness to cry a little, and sometimes there are things a girl has to do, and who knows when I'll get another chance tonight. Man, I'd give anything since having children to just change a tampon in peace.
Hubs came upstairs and lifted the boy out of Bed, but he didn't walk him, or cradle him. He went to bed and sat Badness on my pillow to await me. As soon as I got in bed, the boy stopped crying. But he wasn't asleep. And neither was the princess. It was 4:20 before I got them both asleep again. And where was Hubs during this heartfelt parenting interlude? Snoring happily all alone in the Queen-sized bed. (No King yet, but keep those fingers crossed.)
And snoring happily is where he is now. The kids are up and waiting for breakfast...but I'm not doing anything else until the coffee is brewed.
Friday, November 9, 2007
It was partly my fault, I went through a severe bout of depression, I was in denial about it and I let a lot of acquaintances slide. I did have a lot of true friends waiting for me at the other side of that tunnel though. Eunice was a very beautiful girl - but not the kind of beautiful that generally attracts high school boys. Or college boys. I think she was really worried that she'd never find anyone. I guess 22 seems old, when you're 22. Near the end of our friendship she started dating a rich older guy. We can call him Richard. Richie-Rich. Let's just go with Dick.
Dick kind of called the shots in their relationship - at least in the beginning, when I knew him. I tried to make an effort with Dick. Hubs and I invited them over for dinner, and they arrived over an hour and a half late. Eunice had the grace to be embarrassed. We re-heated the meal, and opened some wine. In the end Dick drank every bottle of wine we had in the house. While subtly insulting our house. The little bungalow we'd just bought off the Danforth - our first house, which we were very excited about. Hubs and I brushed it off. We were happy with our lives. We didn't even begrudge him the wine - whatever we have we share with guests. At least, we didn't mind until Eunice invited us to Dick's house for dinner and when Eunice went to open a second bottle of wine he took it out of her hand, put it back in his wine fridge, and brought out an old bottle of home brew that he'd been given for Christmas. Four years earlier, according to the label. It was off.
Anyway, we don't need to go through the whole sad tale to see how it turned out. I'm only bringing this up because a week or so ago as I was reading comments on a blog I follow, I saw an interesting one. I clicked on the URL and read through her last few posts. And I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach - because there was a photo of the blogger with Eunice, along with the caption "Does my haircut make my friend Eunice's boobs look big?".
I thought about commenting "Hey, tell Eunice I said hi!". Ok, I really thought about commenting, "Eunice has always wasted too much time worrying about the size of her boobs, when her real problem is the size of her ass." I might have done it, but I haven't managed to get my own ass into pre-preggo jeans yet.
It's a small world Eunice. If you come across this post I hope that you're happy somewhere with your Dick. And I hope that a girlfriend never gives up on you, like you did me. Because I don't think about you often but when I do it still hurts.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
"I don't know where that is...."
"Don't worry Daddy. Just follow me."
She led him to the Muddy Waters, the local tavern. I did indeed take her there this summer, they have a family dining room that is open on the weekend. But not on Wednesday evenings, so Hubs and Princess sat down at the bar with four old guys drinking beer. Apparently, she thought it was great - there were christmas lights hanging over the bar, and FOUR tvs.
So they had their dinner, and then the Princess wanted dessert - the Muddy doesn't do dessert. As Hubs related the tale later I could see the resulting meltdown in my mind. But, showing superior presence of mind, Hubs expertly averted disaster by promising a treat at the corner store on the way home instead.
The Princess walked up and down all the aisles of the store examining all her choices before finally selecting......a candy cane. Which she refused to eat.
"I have to hang it on the tree Daddy. I'll eat if AFTER Christmas."
God, I miss her.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
My dad, aka Grampa Pampa, is having surgery for Stage III colon cancer today. He had 5 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy this summer, and they've been waiting for the burns to heal before removing the tumour. The man is a trooper, and we haven't heard a word of complaint. All this torture is saving his life, but it will also change it irrevocably. I am scared. He must be terrified.
My earliest memory is of my dad. I was about three. He had taken me with him in the truck to pick up a bull from a neighbour. (I grew up on a small hobby farm - my dad is an engineer and he worked 4 days a week in the city, and ran the farm for a tax break.) Anyway, we drove into the pasture, and the bull broke down the high plywood sides Dad had put up in the truck bed and jumped out. Dad stopped the truck, and went off to chase the bull - forbidding me to open a window or door or to get out of the truck for ANY reason.
(A quick farm lesson for anyone who has only bought beef at the supermarket - most male calves are castrated while still young. Then they are called steers. They are then fattened up for you to eat. The odd outstanding (and lucky!) specimen is kept intact and put out to stud. Dad had to go after the bull, if anyone had come across it unexpectedly, it would have been extremely dangerous. Bulls are big. Bulls are mean.) This bull was black with a ring in his nose. His name was Satan.
I wasn't about to cross my dad. When my mom came to get me I flat out refused to get out of the truck. I remember clinging to the seats as my mom dragged me out and carried me back to the house.
Actually, I have a number of memories involving my dad and bulls. One bull, my mom's favourite, was named Atlas, and used to kick Dad whenever he went to feed him. One morning my dad decided to kick the bull first, and their feet collided. It broke Dad's big toe. He came hopping into the kitchen holding the ax, demanding that my mom chop his toe off for him. Without missing a beat she looked up at him and said "Just wait until tomorrow hon, I'll do it then if you still want."
This post is getting away from me....I just want to say that my dad is amazing. He's smarter, and knows more things about more subjects than anyone I've ever known. He is kind. He is funny. He loves his children and his grandchildren. He is strong and stubborn and quite often a giant pain in the butt. (You knew I had to have got it from somewhere!)
I'm going to Peterborough to sit with my mom through the surgery. Even though she told me and my sister, in all sincerity, that she didn't want to inconvenience us and she'd be fine sitting alone for 4 hours. Sigh. My parents should have been pioneers.
I know that you'll all miss me and my witty, insightful commentary on your blogs today - I'll miss you too! I mean it. What with Hubs answering the comment "I'm scared about Dad's surgery tomorrow...." with a surprised look and a "Really? Why?" (an offhand, I'm married to a pathetic, emotional, crazy-person why - not a concerned, come sit on my knee and tell me about it why) it's been lovely to escape to all of your lives this week.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Yesterday I had a rainbow day. Literally and figuratively. While driving with the kids I spotted a rainbow out the window. A big, fat, bright rainbow like I haven't seen in years. "Hey Princess, look out your window."
"I see it Mommy! I do see it! A magic rainbow!" She was clapping she was so excited. I'm surprised I didn't put the car in the ditch I spent so long looking at the joy on her face in my rearview mirror.
That may be my favourite thing about parenthood - the gift of seeing all the magic and wonder in the world again, through my children's eyes.
Have a rainbow day everyone.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I put him back down. He climbs a step and looks back at me, all smiles again. "Well come on! You can follow in my wake, and pepper my sweet tushie with your kisses and nips. I know you can't help yourself. Being irresistable to women like you is the cross I have to bear. And hike up my pants while you're back there, would you? They keep slipping off my delicious behind." He winked.
I'm pretty sure this is what Badness was saying when I pulled him off the stairs for the fifth time this morning. What are your babies saying?
Friday, November 2, 2007
5 years ago when we were newly married, Hubs and I bought a bed. I was lucky enough to be working in a chi-chi kids store that sold Marshall mattresses, and I could order what I wanted at a fabulous price. I begged and pleaded with Hubs to let me go ahead and order a king, but he argued, rightly, that it would almost fill our whole bedroom. I countered "but this isn't our 'forever house'.....and we'll never be able to get it this cheap again!"
It turns out that I was right. It wasn't our forever house. It was barely our house for another year. The Princess made her surprise appearance, and sleep in our lives was never taken for granted again. The ongoing game of Musical Beds had begun.
The house we live in now has three bedrooms. Huge bedrooms. Each one could easily fit two double beds, plus dressers and toys, and still have space to walk around and sit on the floor and play. Obviously, a king size bed no longer posed a problem. Except....for hubs. "We can't afford a king bed now. I like this bed, I don't want to just buy a cheap mattress." Hadn't I foreseen this?
It wasn't that big a deal, the Princess sleeps quite nicely all through the night in her own room, only coming in for morning cuddles.
For the first five months of his life, the boy slept only in my bed. This is not because I wanted to co-sleep, or because I believe it is better for bonding or child development. It was because I was physically incapable of making myself sit up to feed him. I couldn't have walked him in the middle of the night like I did the Princess. And if he stayed in my bed, he would nurse, and go right back to sleep. It was the only way that I could survive those first months.
As he got a little older, he started spending more time in his crib. But at a certain point I'm too tired to sit up, and he ends up back in my bed. Hubs will sometimes sleep in the bed in the boy's room, but it's a futon, and pretty uncomfortable; or sleep with the Princess. But most of the time he just clings to the edge of the mattress as his son takes up more and more of the bed.
Last night, as he crawled into bed past midnight, and found the warm sleeping body of the boy filling more space than you'd think a child his size could occupy, Hubs sighed and whispered "How much is a king-sized bed?"
Cross your fingers for me!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Well, they were definitely the hit of the neighborhood. And the Princess had a fabulous time and brought home more candy than I would have thought possible. As soon as she turned away from each door she would hold up her loot bag to show her dad and yell, "I got MORE candy!!"
I suppose it was inevitable that the excitement and sugar would get to her. After all the candy had been given out, and she finally started to wind down, her daddy wanted to wash her face and hands. She refused. He cajoled. She refused again. He threatened to pick her up and carry her to the sink. She crossed her little arms in front of her chest, gave him an icy glare and said "Don't even THINK about it, Daddy."
Well, I know I shouldn't have laughed, but that's totally me talking. And that's how I got stuck putting the monsters to bed on my own. Just between us? It was worth it.