Friday, January 30, 2009

How to annoy me

I'm on maternity leave right now. In school. Two children. Ordinarily, I also work outside of the home at a job that I very much enjoy. I'll be returning to it in May. This dual income household concept is foreign to many. Why would both parents in a household choose to work outside of the home? Why wouldn't one of you stay at home with your children? What's wrong with you?!

Of course, there is nothing wrong with us. We're just fine. So why do both of us work outside of the home? And why might other couples make that same decision?

Well, there may be some fairly obvious financial considerations. And of course there are some developmental and social skills that a child can garner from early childhood development centres, which centres are reasonably unaffordable if you don't happen to have a dual income household. But perhaps the main reason to have two working parents is just plain sanity. 'Cause a full day at the office is vastly more relaxing than a morning at home with both my children. Quite frankly, it feels like a break. If you have children, you probably understand this. If not ... well, read on and you will very soon.


My child knows just exactly how to annoy me. Now, other people can get in there and really piss me off, too. But the 3-year old J has become quite the old hand at it. Bravo, J!

For those of you who aren't quite as adept, here is a quick reference guide on how to annoy me. And I venture to say that this list would transfer to pretty much anyone, so feel free to use it at your discretion. You can do all of these things in a short space of time. Just ask J, whose time management skills are so fabulous that he has done everything on this list today! (It's not even noon.)

Thanks, and have a lovely day.


After walking your father to the door to see him go off to work and promising not to cry, pitch a screaming fit with more tears than I've ever seen before.

Pace up and down the stairs, turning lights on and off and crying inconsollably.

Demand I call your father on his cell phone and tell him to return home at once so that he can pour you a glass of milk.

Insist that Daddy, and only Daddy, can give you milk; Mommy is not good enough.

When I theorize that you just miss your father and would like to talk to him, and so I phone him (at your insistence) so that you can talk, spend all your time on the phone shrieking at the top of your lungs that you need him to race home and pour you a glass of milk immediately.

Scream and cry for an hour about the fact that Daddy will not return home to pour you a glass of milk.

Unlock the front door, presumably to go searching for Daddy or to let Daddy back in so that he can pour you a glass of milk.

Do not tell me that you have unlocked the front door.

Insist on having both white and chocolate milk for breakfast, and demand to drink your chocolate milk with a spoon.

When I (very reluctantly) give you a spoon for your chocolate milk, insist that you want a different spoon.

Throw yourself on the kitchen floor, kick your feet, and scream incessantly about the fact that the spoon I gave you is inadequate, because it is not shiny and grey from top to bottom, did not originate from the cutlery drawer, and is not "breakable".

Continue to scream your demands for a spoon for the next 20 minutes.

When I hold up the spoon that I provided and ask you what it is, insist that it is a fork.

After the whole "milk" extravaganza ends, wait about ten minutes, and then rhythmically chant "I need a glass of water. I need a glass of water. I need a glass of water. ..." at me. Do not say "please".

Fill small containers with loose bits of paper and other items that are essentially just garbage.

Pitch a fit when I tell you that garbage goes in the garbage can. Respond by clutching the garbage to your chest as though it were your most treasured possession.

Grab a plastic egg you got for Easter two years ago. Stuff small blocks in it.

When I tell you that small stuff goes on the craft table, and not in an egg, ask "Whhhhhyyyyy?" in your most plaintive whiny voice.

While we're on that subject, ask "Whhhhhyyyyy?" in response to everything that is said, no matter how ridiculous the question may be at that juncture.

Try to trap your little brother under a baby gym by placing its legs on his throat.

Try (and fail) to look innocent and naive when I tell you to stop trying to murder your little brother with a baby gym.

Insist that you must sit on my lap and scream into the phone while I try to talk to the incompetent postal employees who lost the university application that I sent out on Wednesday by Express Post with guaranteed next day delivery. (Incidentally, the postal employee has refused to track the lost package and has told me to call back on Monday to check on its delivery status, at which time they will agree to track the package. Fat lot of good that will do, though, since it has to be received by Monday in order for me to get in; but thanks!)

Pour a bowl of Cheerios over the freshly swept floor. Put Cheerios back in bowl. Repeat, ad infinitum.

Nurse the same bowl of Cheerios for three hours.

When I tell you it's 2 hours to lunch and that breakfast is now officially over, flip out and run upstairs with your half-eaten bowl of Cheerios.

Make me chase you up the stairs as my bad knee throbs.

Stomp on the baby's "My First Reader" set and nearly break it.

Hunt through the house and find a non-washable ink pad. Hide it somewhere on your craft table. The next time I'm in the kitchen, grab that ink pad and make a wall mural in the living room.

Pour a bunch of choking hazards over the floor where the baby plays.

When I tell you to put those small items back on your craft table, respond by dumping all of them in a box that's sitting on the floor, in direct defiance of my instructions.

Run to the bathroom and ask me to pause Bugs Bunny, the show that is currently on TV.

When I tell you that this cannot be done (it's on TV, not on video), cry about it.

Inquire from the bathroom as to whether Bugs Bunny has ended. And when I tell you that it has, continue to check with me, just for clarification. Like so:

J: Is it over?!
T: Yes.
J: No! Bugs Bunny!
T: Yes.
J: No! Is Bugs Bunny over?!
T: Yes, it's over.
J: No! I mean Bugs Bunny! Is Bugs Bunny over?!
T: Yes. Bugs Bunny is over.
J: No! Bugs Bunny!! Is Bugs Bunny over?! Is it over?!

Ask to watch "The Tale of the Mighty Knights" repeatedly. When it's movie time, wait until I start "The Tale of the Mighty Knights". Then run over to the craft table and start playing with your play-doh.

Ask me to play play-doh with you. And no matter what I say, repeat. Like so:

J: Do you want to play play-doh with me?
T: I thought you wanted to watch The Tale of the Mighty Knights.
J: Do you want to play play-doh with me?
T: Don't you want to watch The Tale of the Mighty Knights?
J: Do you want to play play-doh with me?
T: It's movie time, though, isn't it?
J: Do you want to play play-doh with me?
T: J. You asked for The Tale of the Mighty Knights.
J: Do you want to play play-doh with me?
T: Don't you want to watch The Tale of the Mighty Knights anymore?
J: NO!!!
T: Awesome.

Rip the baby gym apart and insist that it is your "fire gun".

When I ask you to put the gym back together, refuse to do so and forcefully throw the pieces on the floor instead.

When I pick you up to place you in time out, hit me.

Spend the next several minutes screaming and throwing toys at your closed bedroom door as you continue to tantrum while in time out.

Intentionally pee on the carpet in your bedroom, just to vex me.

Wake the baby.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Me and my identity crisis

I don't understand how I reached this point. I'm a musician, for crying out loud. I have a piano, a synthesizer and amp, guitar, violin, two flutes, and a few random percussion instruments in various parts of my house. I'm a pianist, but I dabble a bit. I have grade 9 Royal Conservatory and a college music diploma with a focus on jazz styles. There's a Real Book in my closet, where I also keep my score paper. I've been playing for 35 years, and writing for 25. And you just wouldn't think this kind of thing would happen. Why would it?

Going through college, things were good. And then, they weren't. Thoracic outlet syndrome. Cervical ribs, one on each side, cutting off the circulation to both arms. The ribs had to be removed. Scar tissue. Couldn't play for awhile. Couldn't lift, so my waitressing sideline was over. Minor nerve issues in the left hand impeded my playing. I'm a pianist, but for quite some time I lacked the necessary speed and agility to play professionally. I lack the patience required of a teacher. And there's even less calling for a composer than there is for a performer. Retraining became inevitable.

I worked in a collection agency for awhile. Debtors would hide. My job was to find them, locate their assets, and find a way to get the debt paid. I was good at it. Attention to detail helps. Got promoted to the legal department, and decided to retrain in that field. So I went to night school for paralegal certification. Worked in law firms for awhile, and it was all good. Until the day a lawyer told me that I didn't command a higher salary than average because, while I was smarter than average, my brains weren't required for my job. (Note for the future: Belittling staff is totally not the way to go.) And I decided to retrain again, to get past the financial glass ceiling and to command a bit more respect. Some paralegals go on to law school, but not me. In my time at the law firms, I'd learned that I didn't want to be a lawyer. I generally didn't like them very much.

I evaluated, considered my options, and settled on accounting. Music and math are highly inter-related. And the linguistic and problem solving skills I'd acquired as a paralegal would be transferrable. The training options matched with my lifestyle, so I could work while I learned. And I figured I'd probably enjoy it.

And I do. But still ... from music, to law, to accounting? It's an odd road I travel. But I'm traveling it and doing my best. I'm just over halfway done my designation now. I've gotten one scholarship thus far. Halfway through Level 4, and I've submitted my application for the integrated degree. When I'm done, I'll have an H.B.Com and a prestigious accounting designation. Pretty impressive, really.

But I'm a musician.


This current class is in auditing. Dry as dirt in a summer drought. But it's required, so I plug along. Ten modules, five assignments, 12 weeks. As has become the norm of late, I am behind in my readings and playing catch up. I'm more behind than usual, however, and struggling to get through the past readings that I've missed. Not working out so well just yet. I'm sure I'll get there eventually. I always do.

Assignment #3 is due today. It includes a computer question, in which we're supposed to select a random sample of invoices using systematic dollar-unit sampling. (Yes, I now know what that is, much to my chagrin.) For systematic dollar-unit sampling, you take the cumulative population dollar total (P), divide it by the desired sample size (N), and set the interval (X). Then you select a random number (R) that's between the minimum (generally zero or one) and the maximum (usually P). And then you add X to R to find the next sample (R1), add X to R1 to find the next sample (R2), and so on until you've got N samples selected. No dollar value can exceed P, however, so interval X gets added until P is reached, and then it cycles back to the minimum number (generally zero or one) and starts over.

It's basically just really convoluted counting. See? Dry. Really, really dry. Drier than dry, actually. I need a beverage just thinking about it.

The computer question for Assignment #3 is to be completed in Excel, and both results and formulas are to be submitted for marking. The instructions say that random number R should be between zero and interval X. Takes a bit of time to set up, but then it all falls into place rather quickly. And no dollar value ever exceeds P, so there is no cycling back required.

Discussions in the student forum have revolved around whether or not a loopback provision should be built into the formula, even though no dollar value ever exceeds P. I say no; the dollar value never gets above the maximum, so we never have to start back at zero. Another student got all lofty on me and said that we should still provide the "correct" formula, even though in this case we never end up looping back. (The "correct" formula? You pretentious little snot ...) And I found myself actually typing this:

"In an audit, it is an inefficient use of time to build if-then loopback provisions into an Excel formula to deal with a situation that will never arise due to a mathematical impossibility. As long as R is set between zero and X, and as long as X is determined by dividing P by N, no number will ever be above P, even if R ends up being the maximum value of X.

Think about it:

The interval is P/N=X
R is a number between zero and X
N samples will be selected
Therefore, the maximum number that can ever be arrived at will be X*N=P

If it is mathematically impossible for a number to exceed P, no provisions will be required to deal with that non-existent contingency."


I don't get how I just typed that. And I'm not sure why it makes complete sense to me. Because ... I'm a musician!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

Every time this comes on the TV, J stops whatever he is doing and runs like a maniac towards the music, screaming "My favourite show!!" I mean, it's cute and all, but over time the music does get a little annoying. And it's not exactly a "show".

*shrug* At least it's short.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Updated: More Random Tuesday Thoughts

Update: It's 1:00 p.m., and marks have now been released. I got 90% in that course. Woohoo!!

Today is marks release day for my last course; the exam I wrote in early December. Marks aren't up yet. So I wait. Impatiently. And while I wait, I blog. Because N is awake, and making his usual noises, and so I can't work on my current course. In which I am ridiculously behind. I may have to defer the exam. Hopefully, I can at least qualify to write.

What to do ... What to do ...


Nothing is so surreal as going out for dinner with your husband and kids to a restaurant decorated for Valentine's Day and being seated at a table adorned with a big pink heart with the names of you and your ex-boyfriend prominently displayed thereon. Especially when neither of you have particularly common names. And then, to further enhance your dining experience, a member of the wait staff walks by and accidentally drops a big tub of salsa on your eldest child. And instead of offering to comp some part of the meal because of that little incident, they begrudgingly offer the child a free dessert, conveniently forgetting that the kids' meal he already ordered actually includes said dessert. The child, who is food adverse and hates all things tomato, is cleaned up to the best of your abilities. And then the child sits at the table with salsa tomato stains all over his favourite shirt refusing to eat, generally playing, and periodically pretend-crying about the salsa whenever he thinks about it. This, as much as anything, is why we don't eat out very often.

I watch Judge David Young. Not for entertainment value. I watch because I fully expect to see a bunch of people I used to know appear on that show eventually, complete with blackened teeth and over-exaggerated hillbilly accents, demanding DNA and polygraph tests from each other and screaming about how he's the daddy of her young'un, and she's an obsessive cheatin' filthy liar, and if he'd just stay outta prison fer longer'n a week he'd know his daughter, and his daughter's now 21 but she's never e'en let 'im seen 'er, and how she ain't never been with no other man (even though the polygraph and DNA tests clearly say otherwise), and how her mama's so ugly and she won't let 'im near the house, and ... There's a reason why I don't know these people anymore. And I feel pretty content to not know them.

I was supposed to have a cast clinic appointment today. But N is all out of sorts, and I just can't take him to the hospital like that and make him wait with me, while we sit there in chairs along with everyone else for most of the morning, and then go for the x-rays, and the consult, and all that. Can't happen. So I had to rebook. The knee is healing; just takes time. Physio will start in February.

N won't sleep. I don't know why. He used to be a pretty good sleeper, but now, he doesn't want to sleep. He just screams. Plus, he eats constantly! At times like these, I really wish I was back at the office, and I question my plan to return on a part-time basis. Maybe being away from the kids at a full-time job would be better for my sanity!

J gets hyper when he's tired. Yesterday was bad, because he and N both got up at 5:00 a.m. Hyper J and screamy N made for grumpy T. I'm feeling a bit better today. J is at school, so I only have screamy N to deal with. I'm over-tired and over-busy, though. But J has learned to pee standing up now, and did so for the first time yesterday. I am pleased with his accomplishment, and think it makes up for a lot. How pathetic am I?

H's sister is coming up for the weekend. She hasn't met N yet. It will be good to have a bit of a visit with her, even if it's short.

Behind in school. More behind than I have ever been before. I see no way to catch up. So I just keep plugging away, trying to get the "qualified to write" status for the class, and then I look at an exam deferral option. I think it's got to be that way. I've become seriously derailed of late, and I don't know how I'll ever fix the problem within the time constraints.

Marks still have not been released. I just checked.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Spin Cycle: You know what I haven't done in a long time?

I was going to write this anyway. But it fits, so I'm totally using it as this week's submission for The Spin Cycle.


I haven't written a song in a really long time. Looking for coping mechanisms yesterday, I was reminded by my friend Liz that there are many possible outlets. I'm just not using them. Not surprisingly, my usual coping mechanism has always been music, but I'd temporarily benched it. Not sure why. And so my piano has sat in my living room for some time, untouched and gathering dust. This just won't do.

There's my baby. Isn't she pretty? She's a refinished early 20th century Heintzman, with original ivory keys and a nice rich sound.

She is not the piano I learned on, which was a family heirloom piece from the late 19th century that had belonged to my grandfather. A beautiful instrument in its day, Grandpa's piano was much worse for wear by the end of its life. It lived in my parents' basement. Originally purchased at a fire sale, Grandpa's piano had survived the fire, excessive moisture, childhood vandalism, and many DIY refinishing attempts. The ivories had burnt off and been replaced with plastic keys. Many original parts were missing. Pieces no longer fit together. The soundboard had been replaced with mahogany plywood, which was warping. The veneering was peeling off. Finally, when the sewers backed up in the basement and flood waters warped her beyond reason, she was pronounced unplayable. The expense to restore her would have been vast, and her inner workings were deemed unworthy. So she needed to be replaced. And that's how I came to have my Heintzman. Newer than Grandpa's piano and lacking the curved sides, she is nonetheless more playable. I'm pretty happy with her, though I miss the sentimentality of my old girl.

I'd be happier, though, if I could ever find time to play.

Between school, hubby, and the kids, days get pretty full pretty fast. The basement isn't finished yet, though that is in the works; until it's done, though, TV and piano are in the same room, which isn't conducive to music making. And N is a light sleeper, so I can't play unless he's awake; don't wake the baby, or he'll scream like pure evil. Have you ever tried sitting down for a musical interlude and/or to get some work done when the baby's awake? You see my dilemma, then!

But yesterday, I finally got some time in. I dusted her off, pulled J's toys out from under the bench (sigh), and sat down to play. Nothing got written down, but I managed to work out a general chord progression, basic melody, pounded out a few riffs, and just generally noodled around a lot. Form and structure are not in place yet. But I'm liking where it's going thus far. Seems I've developed a taste for resolved dissonance, where I used to lean toward mundanely melodic. Now, I like switching up timing, key, and tossing in avoid notes to spice things up; whatever I can get away with. Improvising around my instrument and getting all of my emotions out through my hands onto the keys was a really good feeling. I've missed it too much.

Still more work to do. But in time, I think a new song will likely be formed from the basic progression of yesterday's work. I wish I knew what it would be about. Lyrics are always a surprise for me; music comes first, and then the words follow when the time is right.

Today, I resolve to spend more time with my piano. She deserves to be played. And I deserve to play her. If I don't play, I get burnt out, and then I'm no good for anything. Bad musician!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fun with Dick and J

J got a small stuffed puppy dog toy with a happy meal a couple of weeks ago. He likes his puppy. Yesterday, J was drinking milk with a straw. He held his puppy up to the straw, and ...

J: Daddy, can you ask if my puppy is drinking my milk?
H: Ok. J, is your puppy drinking your milk?
J: No.
H: ...

Magic, I tell you! J is clearly destined for improv greatness.


N, if you get so ticked off when your swing stops moving, perhaps you should stop grabbing its frame and manually stopping it. I do not enjoy being serenaded by the screams of rage that follow.


In unrelated news, I find that I've lost another follower. That's two in the last couple of months. The first was after I'd posted a political diatribe, and I concluded I'd maybe caused some offense. I didn't mean to, but ... happens, I guess. (shrug)

Anyway, I'm not sure what happened this time. I'm pretty sure my last post wasn't offensive. Maybe our musical tastes differ? I'm just going to conclude that people use their readers for different purposes, and this isn't really that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. Even still, de-following a blog is a rather unfriendly gesture. I've never done it. But I figure, if it's done to me, I'll have to return the favour. Passive aggressive? Perhaps. But it seems fair and reasonable, so I'm going with it. ;)

'Kay. I'm over it. As we all know, I'm too busy to be terribly upset about this kind of thing. But I do like it when people choose to follow the blog. And I try to respond in kind. 'Cause that's how I roll. **

BTW - If you're following my blog and I haven't yet added you to my reader, it's probably just because you don't have the easy-click widget thingy displayed on your blog, and I have absolutely no idea how else to add you. Pathetic, I know, but still true. Add the easy-click widget thingy. You know you want to.

Updated to add:
I'm really not upset at all about the whole de-following thing. I know everybody's got their reasons for doing these things, and I'm mostly pretty laid-back about it. I just noted that I'm the third person in my little circle to have lost a follower in the last week, so I'm not quite sure what's up. That's why it feels unfriendly right now. We can't possibly follow everyone in bloggy land; must be selective in our reading. So ... no real issues here. :)


** I try, but make no guarantees. Busy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

Is it just me, or should these guys all be suing each other?

As a point of note: playing any one of these songs will transfix N and make him stop screaming. Kid's got taste. 'Cause even if they are basically all the same song, they're still pretty.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



J was such a good boy yesterday. It sure makes my life easier when he behaves himself, and I'm glad for those days. He helped me with cooking. He ate some meatloaf and carrots at supper. He didn't eat enough, but at least he ate something. And every time he voluntarily ingests food, we are grateful.

Conversely, N eats an unbelievable amount. I wish he was happy being held without being fed. But he is not. So whenever he awakens in the night and wants comfort, he gets a little snack. I wish he'd sleep through the night. But he won't. And so, neither do I. I'm always tired and unmotivated. I need to find my motivation, but I don't know how.

Caffeine is a good thing. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I have a Cola drink chilling. It's in the freezer, so it will get colder faster. Hopefully, when I pull it out of the freezer, it will be so cold that it will have yummy little ice crystals in it. Soooo good! Plus it will wake me up, and that will also be nice.

My friend, M, has the best pie crust recipe ever. Super flaky and delicious. She shares her recipe freely with others. Armed with recipes for M's crust and my mom's pie filling, I can now make the best apple pie ever. I have some left over in the fridge right now, calling me. I may cave and have some with my Cola. Healthy eating is not my forte.

My fridge needs cleaning. Old food must be disposed of. I hate cleaning the fridge. That and washing dishes. A skilled procrastinator, I'll do pretty well anything else before I take on either of those chores.

My living room irritates me just now. The basement is still not finished, and the main floor living room is packed full of stuff. The couch is in the middle of the room, the toys are piled in weird spots, the baby swing is inconveniently situated, there's still a single bed in here from when I busted my knee and couldn't make it up the stairs, and a friggin' jeep is parked in the corner! But at least the Christmas tree is gone. When the basement is finished, we'll have more space and be able to unclutter the living room. Just takes time. And, of course, cash. And I hate spending.

The cat has chewed through yet another blind cord, making it two blinds that now need to be repaired. I bet a fish would make a good pet. And they'd chew through fewer blind cords, which would also be a plus. Fewer repairs equals fewer things to pay for.

My mailbox continues to perplex me. Bills, bills, bills. I never get any regular mail; just bills. Finances still stress me out. The vehicle issues from the end of 2008 have carried over to create trouble in 2009, and that's totally crappy. I hope things even out here soon. Fortunately, I received an envelope in the mail the other day, and it appears I may already be a winner; that's something.

Financial stuff notwithstanding, I'm actually feeling quite positive today. Just need some caffeine and/or a nap. And maybe some focus on schoolwork. But cash would also be good just now, so I need to figure out how to get some. All things work themselves out in time, I know. Some days, I just forget.

I don't understand why some people are so determined to always be right in every single situation. I don't understand their obsession to prove others wrong. Sometimes, it just doesn't matter who's right and who's wrong. I'll probably post more about this later. But for now, just know that everyone has a democratic right to be wrong. If we disagree, even if you are certain that I am wrong, it really doesn't matter. If I wish to continue to be wrong, perhaps you should just leave me alone.

I'm behind in school again. I think this is becoming too much of a pattern. But I'm still feeling pretty positive about things. I've gotten my first two assignments in on time, even though I've not got a good handle on the readings. Once I finish this course, I'll only have one more class and a business case to complete to the end of Level 4. Can't wait. Once Level 4 is done, it's just university requirements and PACE, and then I'm designated. Still going to take a few years, though.

I've got to follow up on things now. My university application is due in two weeks. And the statute of limitations on that car accident thing is approaching, so I need to talk to the lawyer. J's eating isn't on track, so the nutritionists need to be contacted again. And I've got to arrange for physio on the knee. Too many things ... not enough time.

And I've just spent some of it blogging, so I'd best get back to work now.

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The incredibly mediocre pretender

J is growing up. I love it and hate it all at once. The boy who, a few short months ago, would always say "I were" is now not only saying "I was" but is actually correcting the poor grammar of random cartoon characters.

J: How come he says "I did saw a puddy tat" instead of "I did see ..."?

(My BAAAAAAABY!!!!! *sob*)

And N is getting bigger and bigger, too. Today, we packed up his old clothes. My last baby. This kind of thing makes me happy and sad all at once. I'm glad he's growing, but I miss my tiny baby. Is it good? Is it bad? It's a toss-up, really.


We took the kids to the ice festival. It was only slightly affected by the uncharacteristically warm weather. A chunk of one melty ice sculpture fell to the ground with a large clunk as we walked by. But J still got to go down the ice slides. And see the ice maze. And the dragon and dinosaur sculptures, and of course the big castle which they guarded, which was quite spectacular. So he had lots of fun. Hard to push a stroller through slush and crowds, but all told a good experience.

When we left, J decided that he was going to pretend to be the ice dragon. And H was to be the dinosaur.

H: And what's mommy? Is she the castle? Or the slide?
J: No. Mommy is the Ice Princess.
H: Oh!
J: And the dragon and the dinosaur will fight each other.
H: Really?
J: Yes. But the dragon will protect the Ice Princess.
H: Okay.
J: The dragon says "ROAR"! And the dinosaur says "ROAR"!
H: Okay. ROAR!
J: ROAR! And the dragon and the dinosaur fight.
H: And what does the Ice Princess do?
J: Nothing. She doesn't do anything. She just sits there in the chair.
H: She just sits there and does nothing while we try to kill each other?
J: Yes.
T: I was totally cut out for this job.


Clearly, J is really into imaginative play now. But he's not so good with improvisation. As a result, J's particular brand of imaginative play is a bit tough to take for any extended period. It goes something like this.

J: I'm going to be the Mommy Ghost. And you be the Baby Ghost.
T: Ok. I'm Baby Ghost.
J: Hi. I'm Mommy Ghost.
T: Hi Mommy.
J: No! Mommy Ghost!
T: Oh, sorry. Hi Mommy Ghost.
J: Hi Baby Ghost. (pause) Baby Ghost?
T: Yes, Mommy Ghost?
J: Can you say "Where's my Mommy Ghost"?
T: Where's my Mommy Ghost?
J: Now laugh at this!
T: Ha ha ha ha ha!!
J: Good Baby Ghost. Now you can go to preschool!

And it only gets worse from there.

J: Daddy. Can you pretend to be the wishing well with the big purple light?
H: Ok. I'm the wishing well with the big purple light.
J: No! Talk like the wishing well!
H: (in the standard very deep voice he uses for all things inanimate) I'm the wishing well with the big purple light.
J: Hi wishing well with the big purple light.
H: Hi J.
J: Wishing well with the big purple light?
H: Yes, J.
J: Why do you have a big purple light?
H: I don't know. I just do.
J: No! You say "Because I'm the wishing well"!
H: Oh. Ok. Because I'm the wishing well.
J: Oh! (pause) Wishing well with the big purple light?
H: J, can I please talk to Mommy for a minute?
J: No! Wishing well with the big purple light?

It is at this point that H and I generally consider searching for a wishing well with a big purple light so we can jump in and just really wish for it to kill us quickly. But clearer heads prevail and we continue to play. If under protest.


J likes things of the same basic shape and colour to be together. Especially if they are different sizes. He groups these things together all the time. And if you try to put anything away, he will flip out about it. His logic is quite rational, really.

J: No! This is the mommy yellow ball, and this is the baby yellow ball! They have to stay together!!


A kid who constantly looks for the loophole, you really have to be specific when giving J directions. It is not sufficient to just say, for example, "Don't wake up your brother" ... he will plead ignorance when he does so. He needs detail. Such as:

T: J, please don't wake your brother. Don't scream his name. Or anything else. Or raise your voice. Or smack him on the head. Or pat him on the head. In fact, smacking or patting him at all is generally not okay right now. Don't pinch his cheeks. Or his hand. Or any other part of him. Or pull on his clothes. Or his feet. Or his hands. Or his head. Or anything else somehow attached to him. And don't push his swing. Or stop his swing. Or hammer, or saw, or screw his swing. Or jump up and down in front of him and shake his swing. Or throw your toys at his swing. Or at him. Or in his general direction. Or down the stairs. Or into that tree. Or any other tree. Maybe just don't throw things in general, okay? Just. Please. Don't. Wake. Your. Brother.

But he still finds a way. Oh yes, he does.


And so it goes. This is our life. It's a good life. Really.

And I guess the good thing about them growing up is that their quality of imaginative play and interpretation is bound to improve as they age. Right?



Thursday, January 15, 2009

T has a baby

T has a baby.
The baby has croup.
The baby coughs and coughs.
The coughing wakes T.
And the baby is held.

The baby is held.
Cuddled close.
The baby breathes in the cold night air.
His swollen air passages shrink a bit.
And the baby drifts back into fitful slumber.
Only to awaken at the next coughing fit.
Over and over.
This can't be good.
The croupy baby needs sleep.

The croupy baby needs sleep.
Rest will help.
If the baby will sleep, he will recover.
But the baby coughs and coughs.
And the baby wakes up.
Over and over again.
With a scary sounding barking cough.
And the baby needs a doctor.

The baby sees a doctor.
The doctor hears the croupy cough.
The doctor prescribes a steroid.
The steroid will help shrink the air passages.
But the steroid causes insomnia.
And the baby does not sleep.
So neither does anyone else.
Because the baby is sick.

The baby is sick.
The baby wants his mommy.
And if the baby cannot see his mommy, he cries.
So T cannot lie down.
Because the baby will not permit it.
The baby wants to lie down and gaze at T.
Who must be sitting up.
If T lies down, the baby cries.
If the baby is not lying down, then the baby wants to be held upright.
And T complies.
Because she loves the croupy baby.

T loves the croupy baby.
But she has a migraine.
And she is very very tired.
T has been up for the past two nights with croupy baby.
And croupy baby awoke today at 4:00 a.m.
And cried.
And cried.
And T held the baby.

T holds the baby.
Stares deeply into his eyes.
And tells the baby how much she loves him.
And the baby smiles and coos.
Stuffed up and sickly, but no longer struggling for breath.
And life is good.

Life is good.
For the baby.
But if T doesn't get some sleep soon, her head will explode.
Migraines are like that.
And a babysitter is not an option.
Because the baby is sick.

The baby is sick.
So T sits upright.
Where the baby may gaze at her.
And she tries to make him feel better.
As her head throbs.
Someday, the baby will sleep.
And then, T will sleep also.
But for now, sleep will wait.
Because T has a baby.

T has a baby.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who do you love?

Okay. I've linked up to other bloggers for about a week now, and I feel pretty good about that. There may well be more to come, 'cause many of my favourite blogs weren't showcased there. But for now, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and recommendations. What are your favourite blogs? Come on ... give me something to read! ('Cause God knows, I don't already spend more than enough time on the Internet.)

So, okay. You can tell me in the comments. Or you can post on your own site and just let me know about it here. But however you do it, I want to know all about your favourite reads. So tell me ... who do you love?

Gotta go. N is screaming again. One day, I'll try to record this sound for posterity. For now, just know that he sounds sort of like a cross between the attacking Velociraptors from the first Jurassic Park movie ... and Doris the Finkasaurus from The Flintstones' "Son of Rockzilla" episode. Only, you know, far louder and more annoying than either of those.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Everybody hurts. Everybody cries. Everybody spits on the windshield of a Ferrari. Sometimes.

Sometimes, I forget that life with children is abnormal to those without kids. Sometimes, I fail to notice that things are a bit odd in our household. But then my bloggy friend Mrs. Mouthy comes along and reminds me that this is just not normal. In fact, it's comical. (Thanks, Ma'am; I'd temporarily forgotten to look for the humour in the situation.)

Mrs. Mouthy is a lovely person, with a wealth of patience. She has her bad weeks too, but always looks for and generally finds the humour in her life. Honestly, she's so brilliant that I can't even link to individual posts. There are just too many of them. Yup, she's that good. Go read her, and you'll see.

Anyway ...


T has an assignment due this week.

T tries valiantly to get through her readings, or at least find the assignment answers and avoid a late fee. J and N work to see which can drive T crazier. N screams and refuses to have his morning nap. J insists that he is a Jack-in-the-Box ... trust me when I tell you that this sounds less disruptive than it really is. Every time N begins to nod off, J shrieks and wakes him again. H hollers at J to knock it off, which helps not in the least. J shrieks in delight. N screams, awake again. Finally, T has a mini-meltdown. She can't do this. Through tears, she tells H: "Either you guys go, or I go. I don't care which". And H goes out with the kids.

T works on her assignment. It is nearly 50% complete, when ...

H calls. He must return home. The van has a flat tire, and the winds have begun to gust. T needs to look after the kids while H changes the flat. They return. We eat. N is fed and put down for his nap. H goes out in the cold to change the flat.

J sobs because he can't help Daddy change the flat. Locks H out. Objects with violent screaming to the door being unlocked. Runs about like mad. Shrieks. Hits. Hollers "NNNNOOOOO!!" and continually awakens N. J receives a time out. And returns, not quite as subdued as one might hope.

J heads toward the door and turns on a light, as it is getting dark in the living room. Nervous that he is about to lock the door again:

T: What are you doing over there, J?
J: (turns light off) But I want it to be bright.
T: Oh. Then turn the light back on.
J: NO!
T: Just turn on the light and it will be bright.
J: NOOOO! Not the big one!!!
T: Fine. (reaches over and turns on the small light)
J: Turn the light off!
T: No. I need the light now.
J: But it's hurting my eyes!!
T: It is not.
T: No, it's not.
T: (in a horrible, hissing whisper) Stop screaming! If you wake up N again, I will be forced to strangle you slowly, with a hairbrush or something!

And then my head spun completely around. I swear it. My chiropractor will have his work cut out for him when next I have time to see him. At this rate, I expect that will be in about 23,867,978 years.

A few moments pass:

T: Please put N's carseat back where you found it.
J: Okay. (climbing into carseat box) But first, I have to pretend to be a mail carrier.

Because all mail carriers live inside a carseat box. Didn't you know? Me neither!


The light is still on. N is sleeping again. H has headed to Canadian Tire to try and get the flat repaired. J is very much alive and, as I type this, he is sitting beside me, licking the windshield of his remote controlled Ferrari like some kind of deranged cat and pretending his spit is wiper fluid as he forces the wiper back and forth and nearly breaks the thing right off. (Once when his attention was distracted, I removed the Ferrari from the couch and hid it. But when he pitched a fit, I decided one little Ferrari wiper just wasn't worth it. Seriously. It's not.)

All's right with the world. But there may well be a late assignment fee in my future.


Update: Five minutes after his Ferrari was returned to the couch, at his insistence:

J: Mommy, can you please take the Ferrari off the couch?

I'm going to throw something. Possibly the Ferrari. Which J is licking again. And scrubbing. With a hairbrush. I'm not even kidding.

Send vodka.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hamster Rap

So, I posted a comment on another site a few days ago, and my word verification popped up as "hangstr". I speculate that this is supposed to be some rare breed of gangster-hamster. Only, you know, it's missing the "e", which I think is a sign that spelling words with missing vowels is all the rage these days. And also, that a silent "e" is really kind of an optional vowel anyway. Silent letters only complicate the world and ultimately, they lead to civil unrest. Really, we should spell all words phonetically and avoid all the heartache. And you know what word is totally not spelt phonetically? That's right: "phonetically", which, using my new and improved English, should be spelt more like "funnetiklee". But that just looks stupid and unrefined, so you just know it will never catch on even though it totally should.

And then I thought: You know who I bet could totally get behind this phonetic spelling idea? That's right ... Jenny, the Bloggess. And I'm pretty sure she could make use of a few gangster-hamsters, too. She could send them out to do her bidding. I bet a gangster-hamster could be pretty intimidating in the right circumstances. I mean, if it had an appropriate wardrobe and weaponry and such. Or maybe if it was hyped up on speed and infested with rabies or something. It could probably get some real results then.

Think about it. It could kill any snake that dares to come within 25 feet of her car. Make her many minions behave themselves appropriately. I bet it could off the Comics Curmudgeon for her and put her higher up in the running for Best Humour Blogger. At the very least, she could use its warmth to help operate her iPhone. Enough well-placed gangster-hamsters, and Jenny could rule the world!

Of course, her new puppy would probably just eat them. And then poor Mr. Pickles would die of rabies, or a speed overdose, or some such thing. And naturally, she'd sue me for giving her the idea. Yeah; she'd probably win too, given that she's wildly popular and totally influential ... I mean, she's like the world's 3,500th greatest grampa. And also, from what I understand, she's not above bribery or blackmail. Plus she can kill kittens using just her words. I like kittens. I really shouldn't get on her bad side. (Please don't kill any kittens, Jenny?)

So maybe we should just forget the whole thing. Leave the gangster-hamsters alone. In the lab. Being subjected to all those experiments. The animal testing, and all those injections of rabies and speed. Of course, that will totally be on Jenny's head and I don't know how she'll be able to live with herself. But that's the cross she'll have to bear.

Okay. Enough of this. Go visit Jenny, the Bloggess. (Just like everyone else!) 'Cause she's all kinds of awesome! *

* Fact: No kittens are killed when I say "awesome". That sort of thing is exclusive to Jenny. I don't know why.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's in his kiss

Last night, I had a dream that I flunked my first assignment in the current class. Apparently, my efforts were so abysmal that they didn't even bother to grade it. They were actually insulted by my low quality project and just wanted me to redo it in its entirety. (This is actually unheard of; in these courses, there are no do-overs ... if you fail, you fail.) Assignment marks should be released some time today.

Now, on to business ...


Today's inspiration comes from Heinous over at Irregularly Periodic Ruminations, another fabulous writer with a most excellent imagination. Heinous works hard, but still takes time out of his busy schedule to periodically answer readership questions from the male perspective. He's a good samaritan and, in his spare time, enjoys visiting with his eccentric neighbours and helping them out with their gardening problems.

See? Saintly.

The other day, Heinous posted about, among other things, his first kiss. Which of course only served to make me think. And that kind of thing can be dangerous; I don't recommend it. (I know you like humour in your posts, Heinous. Hope you aren't too upset that you inspired this little diddy.)


When I was a kid, I went to bible camp every summer. A true tomboy, I marched to the beat of a different drummer, and I really didn't fit in (not that I tried too hard). But the summer I turned 12, camp was different for two reasons. Firstly, there weren't enough junior or senior highs to make up two camps, so they combined the groups into one and held a junior/senior high camp. The second change? More boys. You see, normally the camp had three cabins of girls and three of boys. But this year, there were only enough girls to make up two cabins, while the boys filled up four. In years past, the camp was divided in half, with boys' quarters on one side and girls' on the other. But in the current year, one cabin on the girls' side was relegated to the boys, and we all got to hang out in closer proximity. As you might imagine, this would work out rather well for my 12-year old tomboy self. More comfortable with the new arrangement, I became a bit more outgoing and sociable than had been the case in other years. So I got noticed a bit more.

That summer, there were at least three new boys in attendance. Tyler, Gary, and Andy all hung out together. They were great guys, but they also didn't quite fit in at church camp, and they seemed to want to hang out with me. I was reclusive and had trust issues, so that took some work on their part. Persistent little buggers that they were, they really put themselves out there trying to get to know me.

Andy was shy and quiet; we didn't get to know each other well. Tyler and Gary were both hilariously competitive and a laugh riot to be around together. Gary was hyped up and unobservant; he never seemed to pick up on my cues, couldn't tell when I was serious or joking, and he'd keep picking until Tyler reined him in. That didn't go over well with me. So Andy, Gary, and I were chummy, but we never really became friends.

But Tyler and I hit it off. We were both quiet, sensitive, dreamy kids, and I liked him a lot. He was an intuitive sort, and he understood me. No easy feat, I assure you. So he and I spent a lot of time together that week, hunting for frogs in the swamp and hanging out in the back of the group at campfire. He was a really sweet boy, known for his red-brown hair that flopped in front of his face and the fact that he wore the same orange football jersey for the entire week.

We weren't dumb, and we knew that the other kids considered us to be a couple. But we were a young, shy pair; a 12-year old girl and a 13-year old boy. We enjoyed each other's company, had a bit of a crush, and called it a day. Nothing more. He was my friend. About the nicest, sweetest, most respectful little rednecky farm boy I'd ever known. At the end of camp, we exchanged addresses and phone numbers and promised to stay in touch. We wrote back and forth a couple of times, and he sent me a school picture, signed "With all my love". It made me smile; mostly because I noticed he was no longer wearing the famed orange jersey. And then, as too often happens, we just lost touch.

One day, I was cleaning out an old drawer, and I came across his picture and address. I decided to write him, to see what he'd been up to. For all I knew, he'd moved. It had been a few years; I was now 15. But I still had fond memories of him and thought it would be nice to renew acquaintances. I mailed the letter, thinking nothing would likely come of it anyway.

A few days later, he called. Said he thought of me often but wasn't sure how to reach me these days, and thought maybe I didn't want contact with him any longer anyway. I was happy to hear from him. It had been far too long. After we hung up, Tyler decided he really wanted to see me again. I still lived in the city, and he still lived on the farm. So he hitched a ride to town, called when he arrived, and made his way over to my house. I was surprised; still a pretty reclusive sort, I didn't get many visitors.

We hung out and talked. He was still the same sweet, sensitive boy I remembered. We decided to go for a walk, down to the community league playground and tennis courts. He stopped me while we were walking through the tennis courts and said: "Can I do something I've been wanting to do for the last three years?" (Even then, I thought that was a pretty cheesy line, but it was kind of cute coming from a 16-year old boy.) And when I naively said "What?", he leaned in and kissed me for the first time.

He spent about a week in town, staying with family and hanging out with me. And then a family obligation arose and he had to leave in a hurry. Once again, we lost touch. I never saw him again.

There are some people who always hold a special place in your heart. Who you will always feel connected to, no matter how much time passes. Tyler is one of those people. The sweet, sensitive, oddly intuitive 13-year old boy who befriended me one summer. He will always be special.

Every so often, I think of him, and I wonder what he's doing these days. I hope he's happy. He deserves a life filled with good times and great possibilities. I tried searching Facebook a few times, but he wasn't there. I wasn't too surprised; social networking wouldn't really be his thing.

And then, I read that post, and I thought of him again. So I googled. I figured nothing would turn up, but I'd just like to see how he's doing these days. He should be a well-adjusted adult by now, thriving and enjoying life.

But it was not to be. I learned that Tyler passed away Halloween of 2003. Over five years ago. I kept searching, hoping it was some sick joke; hoping to see different results. Denial is a beautiful thing when it happens. He's gone. It's real. And so I mourn that amazingly cool 13-year old kid I once knew. My old friend, taken too soon.

Which is all to say that sometimes, life just ain't fair. But at least we have our memories to carry with us. Treasures we keep always. And for that, I am thankful.


Okay. So now, you probably need a good laugh. Go read Heinous and enjoy. You get a mixed bag of emotion over here, but Heinous is always hysterical!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

You're the inspiration

Yes, you are. All of you. You'll soon see why.

I'm glad I've got online bloggy friends. For when I get stuck for a topic, I can often find inspiration by reading others. And so it goes this week, when I have some writer's block issues. Check out the bloggers I link to for the next while, if you don't already. They're fabulous folk, I assure you!


Today's post is inspired by the very awesome Goodfather. You know Goodfather, don't you? Oh, I think you do! But in case you are unfamiliar with his work, you should know that he's an excellent writer. He never welches on a bet. And he has the best blogging costume ever, which knowledge I am sure helps to keep him cheery these days while he brushes up the old resume.

The thing is, whatever life throws his way, Goodfather always rises to the challenge in search of hilarity. Plus he's just a really nice guy. Husband, dad, blogger ... pirate. If only he lived in Saskatchewan ...

Yes, Goodfather is indeed The Last Saskatchewan Pirate ... except, you know, not in Saskatchewan, which may impede his progress somewhat. They have rivers where you live, right Goodfather? You can still pillage and plunder?

Join me in wishing Goodfather well in his job quest. I'm sure he'll get something very soon. Because even in today's tight economy, companies are still eager to hire great people like him. He's all kinds of awesome!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A word on trolls

Today, I am plugging The Redneck Mommy, who I love to pieces. I'd really like to call her "my friend Tanis", but she's really more like someone I passively stalk. She's very cool, though. And wildly popular. I mean, she probably gets thousands of visitors a day.

Tanis is a mommy blogger of the finest variety. She's truly hilarious, always looking for and writing about the humour in her life. She spins her stories beautifully, and she'll make you laugh (and sometimes cry) with her. Something you should know: Tanis lost her youngest son a few short years ago, and she misses him deeply. And so birthdays and anniversaries are marked as she works to handle her grief as best she can, writing through her pain in poignant posts. She's not always funny (though humour is her norm), but you'll always feel like you're right beside her on whatever ride she's on. Yeah. She's that good.

Anyway, she's up for some bloggy award. Best Canadian Blogger or some such thing. Head on over to her site. Read. Laugh. Love. And then go and vote for her, because (as I'm sure you'll agree) she totally deserves it.

But that isn't really the point of this post.


Some creep had the audacity to troll Tanis. Not only did the person post disagreeable, anonymous, unjustifiable criticisms on Tanis's blog, but she did so on a post that commemorated Tanis's deceased son's birthday. As usual, Tanis handled herself with grace and dignity, and I applaud her for it. I chose not to get involved in the flame war in her comments section, because quite frankly, that would lend credence to the troll. Instead, I will post my thoughts over here. On my own blog. Where my thoughts belong.

We all have a right to our opinions. And we certainly have the right to express those opinions. But not in any forum of our choosing. So if you have something awful to say about a fellow blogger, please, by all means, say it. Trot on over to your own blog, write your terrible, derogatory post, slam that blogger as hard as you can, hit publish, and walk away. No one is going to take away your right to do so. But hurtful, spiteful, ridiculous comments do not belong in someone else's blog. Disagree with her if you like, but be respectful about it. (Also, if you're so ashamed of yourself that you have to post your diatribe anonymously, you probably shouldn't post it. Consider your embarassment to be an indicator.)

Hiding behind anonymity makes you a coward. Anonymously insulting a blogger on her own blog, on an emotionally charged entry, on a day that is clearly difficult for her, makes you an insensitive bully. Indicating in your comment that you know you will be attacked for saying what you are saying makes you foolhardy. Continuing to visit the offending blog makes you a glutton for punishment. Repeatedly checking the comments section to see the rebuttals to your offending comment makes you a publicity hound. Continuing to post more and more offensive comments in response to those rebuttals makes you a troublemaker. And, if you don't back-pedal with might and main when the errors of your ways are pointed out to you, preferring instead to try to use your own life experiences as some kind of twisted justification for your bad behaviour, that just makes you pathetic and sad (loser). No one is infallible. If you somehow believe you are, it is indicative of a lack of intelligence.

And on the subject of "a lack of intelligence", I present a few direct quotes from your comments on Tanis's post. Your greatest hits, if you will. These are my favourites!

"You remind us of your youngest son’s death, and then pimp for an award that will profit you even more than before."
(Note the phrase "pimp for an award". Remember it well.)

"If you don’t think anyone has the right to disagree then live the rest of your life without complaint to anyone - the gas station attendant, the dry cleaners, etc. because then no one has a right to complain or voice their opinion."
(Disagree all you like. But be diplomatic in voicing your opinion. And choose your forum appropriately. The words "know your audience" spring to mind.)

"I never implied pimping ..."
(True. No implication. You out and out said it. See your first comment. Oops.)

"This stepford wife is gone."
(But evidently not, because ...)

"It is stunning that I am labeled a troll after ONE dissenting comment on the web in my entire life. Welcome to Russia."
(Don't like the label? Don't troll. And ... RUSSIA?!)

Dear Troll, you owe Tanis an apology. Not for your opinion, which you have every right to express. But for the manner in which it was expressed, and for the forum in which it was expressed, and perhaps most importantly for expressing your (truly ridiculous) opinion in a comment on a post about her deceased son's birthday. That you refuse to apologize or even to acknowledge that an apology is owed, despite the numerous people who have pointed this out, makes you rude, obnoxious, and kind of an asshat. And perhaps that is the proper definition of an Internet troll anyway. In which case, I guess you're doing a great job.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Not me! Monday: In a perfect world

Have you read My Charming Kids? If not, you really should. MckMama is a delight to read. And every week, she runs "Not Me! Monday". I wish to participate this week, 'cause ... well ...

Seriously. It's been a heckuva day.


Today, J, N, and I all lived in perfect harmony. There were no interruptions in the form of multiple phone calls to various parties discussing a number of vehicle issues. And there will not be a number of expensive repairs to the van. (But even if there were, we have enough money to deal with it, so no problems there. Isn't it great that the economy is thriving these days?) In any event, the van is, and has always been, in perfect working order; therefore, we have not required a rental vehicle for the past week and a bit.

The car that we own is actually the perfect size for a family of four and is also, as it has always been, in perfect working order. It has not been in the shop twice in recent months and is not currently in need of a bit more work. We do not need to upsize one vehicle, and then do some repairs to and sell our existing car.

Because we have had no vehicle issues of late, our finances are in perfect working order. (Especially since there have been no reductions to our income.) We certainly did not have to spend several hours poring over a bunch of papers, financial calculator working overtime, trying to figure out our best financing options. (And had we done so, I would have figured it out immediately with no false starts whatsoever, just as any good accountant would.)

The Christmas tree was taken down on the weekend, as we had planned. And because that was done, J did not fall headlong into its bottom branches this morning, where he lay on his back with his feet sticking up in the air shouting "I need help!" while I briefly considered whether to provide immediate assistance or really just grab the camera. (You will note the lack of pictures, so guess which option won out.) He also did not fall off the back of the couch. Or his kitchen stool. Nor did he find a stickpin under the couch this morning, because the floors were vacuumed today. And so, J didn't hurt his foot, or head, or leg, or hand, or neck, or knee, or elbow, or shin. Nope. Not even once. He ate all of his breakfast, and all of his lunch, without any coaxing whatsoever, and made no mess at all in the process. Therefore, there is not a half-eaten peanut butter and banana sandwich that I have all but forgotten about currently in the microwave. He put all of his toys away before having a nice long nap, from which he did not awaken over an hour early.

N too was angelic. He barely cried at all, and certainly did not spend the majority of his time today screaming frantically regardless of what I did to placate him. And because both my sons were calm and sweet and quiet today, I was very productive and got lots of work done on my course. I ate a balanced diet with no junkfood. I did not spend the 15 minutes of freedom I had stuffing my face with a bag of Doritos while I vaguely attempted to read my course notes and failed to absorb anything at all. Score!

Later this afternoon, J and I baked an apple pie for dessert tonight. N did not awaken partway through the process and, if he had, I would not have left him in his crib making vaguely dissatisfied noises until I was done chopping the apples for the pie. The pie is baked to a lovely golden brown and is sitting on the counter, cooling. It is not in a state of partial doneness, filling sitting in a bowl in the (very cool) oven while we wait for H to arrive with more flour so that we can make the pastry. Actually, we had plenty of flour in the house and, when I opened the new bag that was sitting on the pantry floor, I did not find bugs crawling around in it and have to put it outside for trash day. And you see, because that never happened, I did not spend a moment contemplating whether I could just kind of sift the bugs out and still use the flour. Nope. Not me.

I am presently making dinner for the family, so I did not ask H to please just pick up a pre-roasted chicken from the deli counter at the grocery. The living room is clean, and there are no toys on the floor. And I am now sitting in my perfectly clean and organized living room, waiting for H to come home from work, as I enjoy quiet time with my boys. (Incidentally, none of us are still in our pajamas.) N is playing happily in his swing, making no noises that may or may not indicate that he is displeased with being in his swing at present. J and I are sitting calmly together, cuddled up on the couch, watching the Backyardigans, his favourite age-appropriate educational program on TV. And so, we can safely say that there is not a rerun of Two and a Half Men entitled "A Kosher Slaughterhouse out in Fontana" playing in the background as I blog this entry while J stands on a chair forcefully throwing an assortment of craft supplies behind the couch. If he were doing that, though, I would certainly stop him, as I am not exhausted and I care deeply about these behaviours just at the moment.

Updated to add:
The pie turned out beautifully. I did not have trouble with the crust, for the first time since I got the no-fail recipe. I was able to roll out two beautiful 9-inch crusts with ease, and did not continually have to add more flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface, then more water to hold the dough together. Ultimately, I did not just give up and throw the ball of dough into the fridge to see if I might have better luck with chilled dough later. I also did not refer to the whole mess as "the freaking pie crust" in the hearing of my impressionable 3-year old; therefore, H did not reprimand me for using what he feels is an unacceptable term for our 3-year old to repeat at preschool.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony

'Cause as much as this makes me laugh, it also makes my ears bleed a tiny bit. (Listen to the entire recording, if you can take it ... it's well worth it, I assure you.)