Monday, November 24, 2008

G'night, whacko

Norah #1 @ 3

Norah #2 @ 3

Tonight, I tucked everyone in – too late as usual – and settled down with a glass of wine & Facebook (I make lousy company). I was smack in the middle of some crafty begging for a ride for Norah from a birthday party (who has a party on a Saturday night? In Christmas Party Season?) when the door cracked open & nearly sent me out of my skin (I should have had some music on I guess).

Norah: “Mom, my toenails are too long. Can you cut them?” Classic stall tactic.

Me: “Where were you last night when I was cutting all the other fingers & toes in the house?”

Norah: “I didn’t know you were doing that” (right outside my bedroom. With the door open. with me looking right at you. Saying “eww! gross!”)

Me: “OK, let’s take a look” The reason why the classic stall tactic works: results.

Snip, snip, snip. “Ouch” (me)

Norah: “Are you ok, Mom?” For someone who has a medically diagnosed difficulty in sensing others' feelings, she is remarkably tuned into when I'm hurt or sick - or at least appear that way!

Me: “Oh yeah, one just pwinged (don’t think I used that word) into my hand (I hold my hand around the digit to try in vain to prevent the future shivs which only happen to me from jabbing into my feet, even though I wear slippers or even runners, they’ll find me) and it stings when they do that”

Norah:STINGS???!!” (she doesn’t care for the concept of pain)

Me: “Not like a bee. Sting means it hurts in a way that’s not all that bad, but sticks around for a bit”

Norah: “Oh. Is that the worst part about cutting toe nails?”

Me: (wtf??) “Um. There really isn’t any particularly bad or good part about toenail clipping, honey”

Norah: “Oh. Well, what’s the best part about toe nail clipping?”

Me: (smiling lovingly & shoving nudging her head back to her pillow, while everso briefly thinking “short toenails”) “You’re a whacko”

Norah: (giggling) “That’s the millionth time you’ve called me that, mom”

Me: “Rrrrreeeeally? Let’s figure this out shall we?” (OK, writing this out, I realize maybe it’s not all her) “You’re 8 years and (counting on my fingers) 9 months old.” (grabbing calculator – NOT in a holster!!! Just beside the computer – it’s there because Max requested it NOT ME!) “So that’s (quickly realizing there’s been 2 leap years in there, but not actually figuring out days in the year) about 3,194 days you’ve been on this planet”

Norah: “Uh, OK”

Me: “So” (typing – NOT furiously!) “That means I would have had to have called you a whacko 313 times per day since the day you were born! Have I called you a whacko 313 times today?”

Norah: “Yes” (see, here is her tactics in action – when confronted with facts, just change them)

Me: “and yesterday”

Norah: (giggling) “yes”

Me: “and on the very day you were born, I looked at you lovingly, kissed your nose and called you a whacko 313 times that day?”

Norah: (more giggling) “yes”

Me: “ok” (more typing) “so I have called you a whacko every two-and-a-half minutes of every day since the day you were born?”

Norah: “Mom… sometimes when I say ‘a million’ I just mean ‘a lot’”

And Max has the nerve to call ME pedantic

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Reasons I think child-rearing should be bonus points on your resume

My employer, quite a while back, adopted a series of "competencies". There are several that are Core, which means that all employees must exhibit these. I really wish I could list them, but I, uh, don't remember what they are... (One of the many reasons I will not discuss my employment - another being that it's just plain stupid. I like to think I'm not just plain stupid).

Specific jobs or classifications require specific additional competencies, and as I recall "composure" shows up in many of the higher-pressure, more exposed job functions. I guess some people believe that it's not a good idea to tell your customer to shove it up their bung-hole (I happen to be one of those, but I'm sure there are those who might disagree). I think it's in mine, but I'm not worried, because I certainly have it! (Shut up. I do. You have no idea how composed I am.)

Anyway, I'd like to provide some examples of how I maintain composure, should my employer ever go this far to track me down and find out what I'm doing "out there". I did not, have never and would never write this or any other post at work (I might think about it a little. Sorry).

Exhibit A:

I need to preface this with the fact that Norah sleeps in the bedroom downstairs by herself. Myself and Max are in one room and Pepper & Stewie are in the other upstairs. It is the "half" part of a one-and-a-half storey house, so the room sizes are OK, but there is a very cramped "hall", about, oh I don't know, 10 feet long, between the two. Neither upstairs room has a door. They never did & we never really got around to putting them in (seven years running!)

Not too long ago, Pepper announced that both rooms should have doors put on them. We have opted to believe that it is because she wants to conduct her evil plots in secret, and is bluffing by trying to appear fair to us. For this and for no other reason. She has seen and heard nothing. Nothing at all...

So this evening, Pepper took me up to the hallway when I got home from work and very seriously and proudly showed me the new sign she posted outside her & her brother's bedroom. It reads (starting from the bottom, l to r, continuing up and sort of over toward the left):

"Knock please. I might be changing or reading or sleeping, so knock."

The sign has several, very detailed depictions of what she's referring to:

... the changing (note the depiction of no door, and someone peering around the corner):

... the reading (the sleeping can be seen in the whole sign above):

She was quick to point out that it was a representation of what she wanted and that none of the details were meant to be accurate:

  • she does not have the style of blanket indicated
  • they does not have a table and chair in their room
  • she does not own the book "I {heart} cats"
  • she does not have plain white underpants ("unless, of course you were to take my Sponge Bob underpants and turn them around backwards")

I took a course a long, long time ago where a trauma counsellor talked about kids drawing pictures from deep within their psyche (he showed some examples - it was really fascinating) when they aren't really equipped to express themselves. I think she might want a door. Or a stripy blanket. But dammit, she just got a new blanket and she told me she loved it!

To summarize: I saw this, heard the explanation, and was able to not fall down the stairs laughing. Not AT her by any means - that's freaking brilliant. Kids are freaking brilliant. Well, mine are ;-) How do you come UP with that? But I was able to continue an intelligent discussion on the subject. Or at least she humoured me into believing we were having an intelligent discussion... She didn't roll her eyes at my dumb, grown-up questions once. She has composure too.

I have more -much more - but HTML is pissing me off tonight and I have run out of (far exceeded, actually) my allotted time.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let's Do It Like They Do on the Discovery Channel!

With apologies to the Discovery Channel. No really: I'm really, really sorry.

I love Max Power
I love my kids, all three
I love my friendships
I love stationery [1]
I love my whole world
…it’s like it’s made for me!

Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada

I love the nerd-boys
I love photography
I love my red wine
I love xkcd
I love my whole world
…each day’s a mystery

Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada

I love rock music
I love to engineer
I love IKEA
I love things that are weird
I love my whole world
…how awesome is sushi?

Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada
Boom de yada[2]

I'm pretty sure I could have arranged for my kids to do a wonderful cherubim-choir-sounding chorus of the BDY's for background music (cripes, all I'd really have to do is follow one of them around with a microphone for a couple of hours), but that would most likely have ended up in an additional chorus of "Why? What are you doing? What's xkcd? Sushi? When are we having sushi? What's a nerd? Can we have sushi tonight? She poked me! MOOOOOOOMMM! He threw a basketball at me! I'm hungry, can I have a snack?" soooo... scrap that. It's not like it will stop. I just don't want it recorded for posterity.

[1] Bet that's one you didn't know!
[2] Here are a few that didn't make the cut for various reasons (some more obvious than others):
I love lengthy explanations with TMI
I love overcomplicating problems
I love Lee Valley
I love to eat things Max makes for me

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Friday, November 14, 2008

memememememememe - say it fast

So... my first "meme"! Thanks Nen. No really...

"Meme" is one of those words that:

  1. I'm pretty sure is a made-up word
  2. I've seen kicking around long enough and in enough contexts to (hopefully) comfortably use it without fear of coming off as an asshat (Ha! I finally get to use that word!)
  3. If you say it enough, stops sounding like a word (except that it never did, so there's an endless loop for you)
  4. I still have to use " " for.

The mission, should you chose to accept it:

  • Go to your Sixth Picture Folder (online or on your hard drive, wherever) then pick your Sixth Picture;
  • Either (a) hope that you remember the details; (b) make up something believable; (c) some hybrid of the two;
  • Tag 5 others. I don't know five others that wouldn't say "who the hell is this? goddam Internets... that's what I get for putting myself out there" (except Nen, who did this already. I'm pretty sure there's a "no tagbacks!" rule), so I'm just skipping that part for today.
I hate this picture because those pudgy little cheeks just make me want to have anotherSo here's mine.

Honest! I know it looks like I hand picked it, but no! OK, maybe. It seems that it's an impossible thing to give absolute rules for. I mean, is it *absolutely* the sixth folder? or the sixth that actually has photos in it (I have mine organized in sub-folders of sub-folders - it's complicated)? There are any number of ways this could have turned out.

So anyway, this one is of Norah & Pepper at nearly three-years, and five-months respectively. It's hard to believe they were ever that small. And that they ever sat together long enough to get a snap of without one in the other's headlock. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I was hovering pretty tight. That Pepper had a good right-jab from pretty early on. Got several in the eye, she did.

As I was "finding" this photo they both (all three actually) were annoyingly hovering around the computer (another in the long list of things that has made makes me nuts).

After establishing who was in the photo, and then a chorus of "awwww":

Pepper: "That was our old ratty couch"

Norah: "It wasn't ratty then."

Me: "Yes, I'm afraid it was always ratty." (we bought it used from someone in our apartment building to replace an even rattier one, with the intention of deferring a new one for a year or so. About eight years and a house later, Max & I simultaneously said "FUCK THIS IS UGLY" and I went shopping. Not that the replacement is Better Homes & Gardens quality or anything, but it's not that piece of stellar crap).

Norah: "well, it was less ratty than it is now."

Me: "Yes, I suppose, since now it's in the dump and has been there for nearly two years, that you are correct" (remind me sometime to post on the bizzare, designated-garbage-only, cleptos that will take anything - with the exception of these couches - around this neighbourhood)

One of the things that makes me bolt up in the middle of the night sweating (no, no. Not THAT. That's another post under a different alias, and one you'll never decipher), is the fear that our dear first-born will become a lawyer and/or politician. She has always (and I mean always) had the tendency to (a) not answer the question asked, but select a better, more answerable one; (b) need to be correct, even if history needs to be massaged ever so slightly to make it so. Her downfall will be her inability to outright lie.

That's what gets me back to sleep at night.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

I Heart Garbage Day

I know it's a horrible symptom of our throwaway society, but I love garbage day.

It's not that I like disposing of stuff. It's more the feeling of letting go. Even if it is garbage. I prefer giving my excess stuff to Canadian Diabetes, who comes and picks it up on pre-defined days. I have a personal policy of never saying no when they call, even if I can only cobble together one bag, so I am regularly purging in a good way.

But I have categories. Stacks and stacks of things "organized" (if you can call it that) into distributable piles: (1) Clothes from my #1 to my #2; (2) Clothes from my #2 to my #3 (the boy-appropriate stuff); (3) Stuff from my #2 to Nen's girl (that would be the girly stuff!); (4) Baby stuff that never made it to another baby, but my baby sisters & my own pack-rattedness (I get to make up words in Harmzieland) won't let me release to the rest of society - it's to go out to the farm; (5) Bigger stuff ("furniture" & small appliances, that they won't take on pick-up days) to go to Goodwill (6) Hazardous waste (paint, etc) - the depot's open when? I think last Saturday of the month... or is it the first? That is just the stuff on the move. There are many other categories & piles.All this stuff is on the way out and about and all requires one more (major) step to get it all the way out the door.

But Garbage Day comes every week.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008


I hate Halloween. It is yet another in a long line of yearly events where I over promise and under deliver. Fortunately for everyone (except me) the promises & deliverances are only internal and everyone else seems pleased, so I have to be happy with the results.

AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!This year Norah wanted to be a mummy. Seemed easy enough. But I decided to make it in such a way that it could be used again (and she could get out of it to pee - she had to wear it to school). So it ended up involving aOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO whole lot of hand stitching and two 2 am nights. I am now all to familiar with the Curse of the Mummy. But she loved it.

Pepper wanted to be a ghost. All she wanted was a sheet with holes cut in it, but I could not live with that! Well, being Safety-Mom, I couldn't allow the obscured vision (please ignore the mummy above). So I thought a spooky ghost would have a spooky forboding hood. and proceeded to create it accordingly.

Please try to ignore the potential ignition source at the bottom right... and, um: ribbitStewie wanted to be a frog. I was in a bit of a quandry since I did not expect to find a frog costume anywhere and didn't really have the time or energy to hunt all over the city to find one. Never mind actually make one with [gasp] a pattern. Then whilst pulling the other two costumes out of my ass, I found a horseshoe and located a "frog-prince" costume amongst the other mass-produced-by-slaves-in-a-third-world-country costumes. Lucky me!

Can I get you some candy?Then there was me. At the last minute, I thought it would be cool to hand out candy in complete bio-hazard outfitting, and giggled. Then I thought about some of the things I have around the house and over the phone from work got Max to pull them together for me. We mused that it would be cool to have some dry ice to complete the image. Then he started bugging me to find some (Googling it and finding locations to buy). Not feeling up to driving across town to acquire, I was hesitant. Then I found that a place actually within walking distance from my work (there is NOTHING actually within walking distance of my work, so this is significant - that and the fact that I drove) was a place that sells dry ice. Cool! (literally!)

Dad was working that night, but fortunately, my baby sister and her boyfriend have - since Norah (#1) was trick-or-treatable - had this strange attraction to the practice. They don't even offer, it's assumed! I love it, because (a) the kids love going out for a special night with Auntie (and OMG!!! It's Halloween!!!) but mostly (b) I don't have to go out on a (usually) freakin' cold night in pursuit of mounds of Halloween crack that I'm just going to have to battle over later (or break down and eat. You know, for the good of the children. Someone has to look out for the children.)

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