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Hola Punta Cana

Forgive me readers, it’s been a while. One filled with ups, downs and – oddly – airline travel. That’s right, I’ve been on vacation!

Remember back at school you’d have to write essays about your summer vacation?

Anyone? Anyone? No? (Me neither. Once you were back, you were back. Party’s over) And yet, they always seem to in movies. So, without further ado, may I present:

Ten Things I Learned on my Winter Vacation. (Part I.)

1. I learned that Charter Flights blow. Bite. Suck. And not in a good way, pervs.
I always kind of knew this, but when travelling with small children, beware the cheap ‘n cheerful charter. Or beware of other people’s children (ie. mine) who, after being in transit for nearly 12 hours due to delays on their 4-hour flight might be somewhat, erm, antsy. They might lose interest in the massive bag of books, toys and personal DVDs. They might figure out how to open the tray table. And close it. And open it. And close it. And, well, you get the picture. They might be soothed by massive lollipops but, as everyone knows, the ramifications of the sugar highs can be brutal.

2. I learned that said Charters, despite having a planeload of cranky (irate) passengers, think that by giving out crappy earphones and cheap credit vouchers, all will be OK. It won’t. Not after handing out $15 “lunch vouchers” to be spent at night when all the restaurants close. Nor by keeping the overhead lights on during the all-night flight. Nor by pushing the bloody duty-free after we all spent countless hours in the airport browsing… in duty-free shops. Nor by handing out measly $100 credit vuchers for future travel on the same airine – non-transferable to boot. Oh – and another newsflash – staffing the plane with rude teenagers doesn’t help either. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sure they were tired too – but they were being paid time-and-a-half for their trouble. We certainly weren’t.

DEEP BREATH……

3. I learned that sometimes weather reports calling for daily showers in the Carribbean can be correct. Even if you surf every single travel site looking for good news. When they say torrential, they mean it.

3a. Thankfully, I also learned that those daily showers only last for 10 minutes.
3b. But can strike at any time, any place.
3c. But the really deep puddles they leave behind can be almost as fun as a swimming pool. For a few minutes at least.

4. I learned that the best ways to entertain your kids is by enlisting other people’s kids. Preferably older ones. And if they have accents, even better – endless amusement for everyone.

5. I learned that is really is possible to drown in a mater of minutes, in less than a foot of water. NOT THAT ANYONE DID (god forbid poo poo poo). But when you watch your 2 year old get pushed into a pool, leap out of your seat, jump into the water to find him floating motionless on the top step of a mini pool and fish him out, hysterical – well, let’s just say you have a new appreciation for vigilance, paranoia, and landsports.

6. You learn to navigate buffets. Somehow, after walking through day after day and complaining about the cuisine, you manage to fill up your plate. And refill it. And maybe add a little bit more. And then you suck it back. Day after day. And pound after pound.

7. You learn that bulky strollers are RV’s. And you love them. Portable beds, baggage handlers, detention centers – these babies really can do it all, not to mention how well they clear traffic. Think big, act big and everyone’s outta your space.

8. You learn that your children are vampires-in-reverse. By day, nothing beats the joy you feel as your angels frolic by the seaside. You’re all children again, building sandcastles, and playing in the pool. How romantic it all seems: long walks on the beach holding hands, sharing fruity drinks under the palms, posing for family snapshots…Even cheesy organized drinking competitions seem sweet when you watch ’em with your little ones. It’s all so wonderful, everyone is deliriously happy, even without their regular naps and routines. Bliss by day…

And then…

The sun sets. And you learn about a new kid in town. Sprung from your loins. Sharing your room. Darkness falls. The moon rises. And with it – El Diablo. Or, even worse, Los Diablos: your very own flesh and blood who, quick to turn on you, remind you of everything you needed a vacation from: them!!!

9. I learned about how quickly we forget. No sooner had we touched down after another, erm, antsy, flight than we started dreaming up the next family vacation. We looked at pictures, reminiscing about the good times….the daytimes…

10. I learned that some of us don’t really forget. Sure, for entertainment purposes I’ve tended to accentuate the negative – that’s what creative license is all about. Let’s face it, no one wants to read about perfect getaways and happy endings. We’re all ambulance chasers, looking for the dirty bits, riveted by the nightmares, thanking the universe or god or whoever that those problems are someone else’s, and that we get to hear all about them…. Fact is, it was a fantastic trip – angels and devils notwithstanding. A family love-in. OK, once we were home for a day or so it was back to normal.

But not completely. For within days of returning from our family holiday, I was off on a trip on my own. And I’ve learned that even sitting alone at a friend’s desk, blogging and reliving certain funny-from-far moments, can be a real vacation.

3 comments:

Anonymous said…
AAAAAAAAmen!

Laughed out loud!

Sitting anywhere alone is a vacation! A vacation for the brain!!!!!!

Thanx for the humour!

Love, jj

10:53 AM

Anonymous said…

LOL I love your blog ! so entertaining my vacation consist of me my laptop and portable beds !

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January 21, 2008   No Comments

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Great Leap Forward

Before I had kids, I vowed I’d never let them watch tv. Until they were old enough to appreciate it, that is.

TV=bad. TV=fat. TV=ADD.

Until I had a baby. And then another one. Suddenly, there was a new god in town, a new kind of salvation. We called it the television. No, not just because I was home with my pvr every night. No, the tube was a godsend. A babysitter. A drug.

Need a break? TV. A rest? TV. A potential punishment? No TV.

And just when we’d finally got a handle on the TV situation, my older son asked me for a Game Cube.

A game cube? Huh? He’s 4. he barely knows his own address. What does he know from Game Cubes?

No, no, no.

Video games=bad. Video games=fat. Video games=ADD.

Until my boys were old enough, there was no way I was going to succumb.

Erm, until I did.

No, we don’t have a Game Cube. Yet.

We got a Leappad. It was a gift, and I was able to justify it. My neices loved their Leappads when they were little and look how clever and well-behaved they are. Besides, it’s basically reading. But with a stylus. And sounds. So my son was hooked. It’s essentially an interactive book, not a dreaded video game. No harm done.

And then we got a LeapFrog Word Launch. I stared at my husband in terror: A VIDEO GAME. He rubbed his hands with glee. He is, after all, a computer geek and all-round tech-whore.

He ripped open the package and the world as I knew ended. the Word Launch launched us into the video age. Imagine the sheer joy of a kid as he learns this wasn’t just TV, wasn’t just a toy – this was a toy you played on the TV. A real, live video game.

The first day we plugged it in, I fumed. I stamped my feet. I was disgusted – with myself, my husband and of course my kids. It was the end of the innocence. So long 4-year old, hello rated-T-for-teen. It was probably a matter of months before he slunk off to the mall, pants below his crack. God help us all.

But then a funny thing happened – and by funny, I mean funny for us: we plugged the thing in and it asked us….I mean, my son…to spell a word. And the word was “hump”. For those who know my boy, they know he’ll stop, drop and roll on dime. Humping is his thang. Always has been. (Apparently normal…) So to learn to spell it was a highlight for him. And the fact that the first word was, ahem, hump, was a highlight for me.

And then, get this – the next word was “dump”. I SWEAR! Who needs primetime when we’ve got this? Fun for the whole family! Granted, the words that followed were less thrilling – for us – but I noticed a little something. My son wanted to spell. Not that he knew it. Poor soul thought he was rebelling with his video game. Sure we had some fun spelling out dirty words – look, if given the choice, it’s hard to resist. But for the most part, it was good, clean fun. And now the guy was coming home from school wanting to word launch! Who could argue with that? No annoying characters or songs (Diego tunes aside, o’course), no muss, no fuss, no guns. This game rocked.

And despite all media evidence to the contrary, he’s learning a lot. And listening. And being, well, a good boy. Especially now that I have another “privilege” to dangle over his head.

Thank you, Leap Frog…

Imagine the harmonious house I’ll have when he asks for a Wii!

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

good one – you are funny. I howled outloud. You don’thave to publsih this – just a comment.

2:50 PM

Anonymous said…

guess who programmed those words in… your “all around tech whore”.. next words are “snot” and “poo”

10:44 AM

Anonymous said…

LOVE your blog, and will be back time and time again.

www.milkandmanolos.co.uk

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November 27, 2007   No Comments

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Back to School Blues

Put away your whites, people, ‘cuz it’s Back to School time.

Yep, for all us North Americans, it’s the real deal new year. Doncha think? You get all sentimental about the summer. Then you reflect: too hot, too cold, too fast. Blah blah blah. Same time next year, right? All through August you lament the end of summer and now it’s here. The end, that is. But instead of looking back and waxing nostalgic, it’s really a time of looking ahead. To fall. And the rest of the year. As I said it’s Back to School time.

Despite all the ads and plans and warnings, it doesn’t hit until Labour Day. And then, poof!- it’s here. New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

For the kiddies, it’s a new grade, new teachers, new friends. For the rest of us, it’s the memory of that back-to-school feeling. It’s makes even the die-hard drop out feel new-ish: new season ( not really, but it feels like it, right?) New job/attitude (even if you’ve worked all summer, there’s a different, fresher, more serious vibe, right?) New movies (Goodbye silly boy flicks, Mr Apatow and co notwithstanding. Hello Oscar Bait. Right?) New footwear (even if it’s boiling, you’re tempted to put on your boots, right?) And of course new outifts (September mags, right?)

Everything is new new new.

Labour Day (Labor Day for our American cousins) has a certain weight to it. It’s far more momentous than any January 1st has the right to be. So I say Labout Day is the new New Year. Why not? New year’s resolutions? Do ’em in Sept. Starting a diet? Post-summer’s the perfect time to start. Quitting smoking? Hell-ooo? What better day than the one after a long, hot, smokey summer?!

So what, you may wonder, are my resolutions? Hmmmmm….To tell would be giving away too much, don’t you think? ‘Cuz resolutions aren’t really that different from wishes and I’d hate to think that if I told they wouldn’t come true.

Let’s just say…well, I’m here, right?

Besides, I’m trying to keep my own resolutions at bay. My focus is on my oldest child. For this week, anyway. My almost-4-year-old starts school tomorrow. Real school. The kind that is no longer filed under optional. It’s Junior Kindergarten – not just another program in his overprogrammed world. This one is It. The Biggie. The school he starts tomorrow will be, (hopefully, please god, poo poo poo) the one he graduates from in 9 years. Or 10. Whatever. It’s the one that’ll teach him to read. To write. And god only knows what else. For better or worse.

Yes, this Labour Day is all about Back to School. The first of many for some. And yet another slew of hopeful new beginnings for others.

Healthy. Wealthy. Wise. And working. What more could a girl ask for – for herself, her kids, her people? Aside from a few more glorious weeks of open-toe shoe that is.

Happy New Year.

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

mmm… oscar bait. As one literally going back to school, I just wanna know if it’s still cool to carry a pencil-case.

12:06 AM

Anonymous said…

SO LONG IN COMING.. FANTASTIC.. WHAT A MIND.

1:01 AM

Anonymous said…

In case you have forgotten – it is the New Year – I believe some of us call is Rosh Hashana. And although I am more of an eating Jew than a religious one – I think our people have always had it spot on. September, post-summer, is a more organic time – the pagans knew it and the Jews stole their fabulous idea! It’s based on crops, farming, climate! What the hell is January 1st anyway – where did it come from? If it’s a Christian calendar – why not December 25th – or 26th? What is this 1st of Jan smack in the middle of a season with no growth!

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September 3, 2007   No Comments

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Out! Damn Blog Spot

I have been trying to blog for weeks. WEEKS!

About house hunting and toilet training and, of course, American Idol. Not the hopefuls but the guests: Diana Ross as Oprah! Who knew? Lulu as Olivia Newton John! Why? And that Noone fellow… creepy or what? That cringe-worthy dancing!!! Very pedophile-y.

But instead of going on about the Vanjina scandal (He’s a herm! He’s a girl! It’s all fixed!) or singing (ahem) the praises of my fave, Blake such a talent! Such good choices! When did he become attractive?!), I’ve been forced to sit back and wait. Wait until all these subjects, and more, fade out of the collective consciousness. Or at least mine. ‘Til tomorrow.

But I digress….

Which is the point.

Why the long wait, you ask? Why indeed!

Bloody blogspot, that’s why. Wouldn’t open one day. Wouldn’t let me blog the next. And, worst of all, wouldn’t let me publish AFTER I’d written, ranted and raved.

Melinda vs. Kiki? Check. Merits of boys being able to pee outside? (Little boys, not grown men) Check. Understanding your real estate competition? Check, check,check. I’ll give you a tip: the folks with the Prada shoes and shiny BMW will outbid you. Doesn’t matter how optimistic you are. They just will.

But alas, ’twasn’t to be. None of it. Maybe that’s why blogs are becoming so passe. Not only are you, dear readers, getting sick of certain voices (hopefully not mine – is work that busy?!), but no news is, well, no news.There’s nothin coming. Not on my computer(s) anyway.

So for those who’ve asked, and yes, there’ve been a few, thank you very much, that’s where I’ve been. Cursing blogger, yelling at my computer. And now, now that I’ve FINALLY managed to open, write, and hopefully post, what do I have to say for myself? Ermmm.

A whole lotta nothin’. That’s what.

Blogging. You gotta love it….

1 comments:

Kerry said…

I am so glad to hear I wasn’t the only one wondering where you were!! And by the way.. in my new experiences of house hunting in Toronto… I agree. Where are the days of offering 10k LESS than the offering price? What is with this “offer 20k MORE and hope for the best…”??????? Why dont people just ask what they want? Geez.

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March 26, 2007   No Comments

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Fight Club

Parental playground question : who’s got it worse – mother of the victim or mother of the perp?

Poor victim. No one wants to see their child hurt. You feel awful, wishing you could absorb your child’s pain. So the victim’s mom gets righteous indignation. Not the perp’s mom. Or Dad. Or Nanny. Or whatever Guardian has to cringe as their charge taunts, teases, or beats the crap out of another small fry. After all, there is only so much you can do to, erm, train your child. Despite your best efforts, at some point, your kid’s gonna be the bad guy.

And how will that make you feel?

Complicated answer.

I remember my older babe had these “friends” who liked to push him around after school. By day, they were all pals. In fact one of them constantly referred to my son as his Best Friend. Well! With friends like these…The second those tots were released into their parent’s charges, mayhem set in. Every afternoon, like clockwork, these two little f&ckers would torture my angel. Push him, poke him, yell, scream, hit. You name it. Oddly enough, they were tiny things compared to my strapping lad. Possibly half his size. Did Napoleonic complex set in at 3? Maybe, Cuz they were like ratty little terriers.

I’d watch, loathe to get involved, as my son would tell them it was enough. He didn’t like that (his emphasis). Part of me was proud. My son chose words. Brain over brawn. Another part of me wondered why the parents of these monsters didn’t remove them, rather than issuing half-hearted warnings amid discussions of Christmas presents. And then there was the other part of me. The one I silenced. The one that secretly wished my son would realize his own strength and just wallop his tormentors once and for all.

One afternoon, as the moms stood around pretending to be pals, I noticed the kids playing one the slide. Together. Nicely. What a relief. Maybe I could make friends with these people. Maybe those boys were my son’s best friends. Maybe….Suddenly a man started yelling about the kid in the red jacket. I pretended not to notice. There were lots of kids with red jackets, right? Then the waterworks started. And they weren’t our brand. I turned to see this Dad holding my son by the hood of his coat. The look of defiance on my son’s face was all I needed to know that he’d gone from victim to perp. He looked me in the eye and told me he hit —-. When I asked why, he said he had to. Before I could respond I was being berated on all sides. He didn’t just hit —-, he kicked him in the head.

Suddenly, my child was the devil. The enemy at the schoolyard gates. I tried consoling the hysterical bully-turned-victim. I tried forcing my child to apologize, but no chance, Lance. I grabbed his hand to take him home, my face blazing with anger. But inside, I was jumping for joy. Atta boy, son! You showed those twerps. At last, he stood up for himself. Granted, he took it a little further than the pushes he’d experienced, but still… His “best friends” never bugged him again.

Yeah, I felt bad. Ish. And my son was punished. Sort of. But the fact is, that kid kind of deserved a swift kick to the head. It’s a pity that my son had to be the one to give it to him. And, yes, it did make me feel guilty. Guilty that he got caught…

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February 7, 2007   1 Comment

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Halloween 101

Smash your pumpkins, ‘cuz everyone’s favourite pagan holiday has ended. Christmas Bargains have (already!) replaced Halloween Spooktaculars. I’d say it’s about time for….a Halloween post mortem! Just in case you weren’t sick and tired of all things black ‘n orange, here’s your last chance to sit back and reflect on Halloween’s gone by…Aaaah yes, the olde glance backwards to see what we can learn for – and forget about by – next Hallow’s Eve…

Grab some candy, then read on….

Things have definitely changed since I was a trick-or-treater. Where have all the caramels gone? And when did candy get so pricey? And so puny? Two Hershey’s kisses in a mini pack? That’s just rude. Even the-already tiny Rockets have shrunk into mini versions. It ain’t right.

We used to go with pillow cases and come back with them overflowing. Sure there were a few duds, the odd, ahem, bad apple, but on the whole, score galore. My own kids didn’t do nearly as well. I don’t know if it’s the new punes, the rising price, or if the competition. My kids don’t care, and I should be grateful – the less they get, the less I steal from them.

I also think in certain ‘hoods (ie, mine), the overcorwding becomes an issue. People spend hundreds on dollars on the candies and then dole ’em out in single servings. The only supersizing going on was at the new infill houses. If you made it up the stairs you were rewarded – big time.

Around the corner is one of THOSE houses – ghouls on the roof, ghosts on the trees, corpses in the garden. The line up goes down the street as people come from miles around to see That Crazy House – or maybe they just want to try to get on tv. Yup, even the cameras are there – I should know, I pimped out my kids to try and make ’em stars. But they were too busy wiping the noses on my shoulder to bother screaming on cue.

That kind of place is a real draw, it is. But we’ve discovered that by going destination shallouting around there, you simply don’t cash in come sorting-out time. It’s the regular streets that are the winners. Even the quieter sides of the traffic-y ones kick candy butt. Choices, reach-ins, multiples. It’s confection porn -and not in a creepy way.

‘Cuz let’s face it, Halloween is kinda creepy. Forget the fact that all the marketing crap has worked.

(aside: North Americans spent almost as much on Halloween as Christmas. I chalk it up, in part, to the fact that all non-Christians can finally get over their Christmas envy by decorating their houses. I know mine subsided a bit when I strung up the fairy lights…I mean, lit up spider web…on my front porch.)

But back to the creep factor. Let’s discuss. Hologram skeletons on doors? Creepy. Grown women dressing up as schoolgirls? Creepy, creepy, creepy. Bunnies, kittens, curves-ahead road costumes? Whatev. I get it. Not for me, but I get it. That’s not creepy. But the schoolgirl fetish stuff? Sorry, it’s creepy. Giver-outters getting a bit wasted? Not so creepy. Trying to include us in their revelry? A little toooo welcoming. Creepy.

And the creepiest of all? The mask factor. I get chills just picturing them. Those who know me know I have mask issues. Big time. But come on people, who doesn’t?! They’re revolting. Those rubberized ones are the worst! I took my son (also mask-phobic) for a test drive of masks. He found most of them creepy, but titillating – the gorilla, the zombie, the werewolf. The scariest? The rubberized blond woman. What happened to makeup? Or that fun face-painting pray? Down with mak! Up with people!

But what have we learned from it all? That candy and costumes go on sale the day before Halloween, but that prices are halved the day after. That crowded streets make for lousy end-of-night paydays. That every girl under 6 dresses up as a Princess. They just do. And every one over 6 goes witch or goes home. That no one makes their own costume anymore.

And, finally, we learned that sometimes the parents get to fish their wish. And not just by eating all the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and pretending it’s for their children’s health. No, they get lucky by wishing for a shot of something to keep their energy up and then – poof! Finding a house with a couple of blokes dressed as Russian Sailors and handing out, yep, shots of Vodka. Cuz it really happened! Now that makes for a Happy Halloween!

BOO!

4 comments:

Anonymous said…

For the record and on behalf of your huge male crowd – grown women in school girl outfits is sexy as hell.. love live halloween!

submitted by: husband-of-the-mother-of-all-mavens.

2:50 PM

Anonymous said…

Love you MOAM– and you’re right on the money regarding the halloweens of yesteryear. And I know you don’t have a “real” job– i.e. one in the “corporate” world– but if you want some frights, try spending the day of All Hallow’s Eve at “Dunder-Mifflin”. My company planned to bring in pizza and award prizes for scariest, silliest, and most elaborate costumes. What? No “highest concept”? Sorry, then I shall not partake. Sadly, the city announced they were shutting off the water so the party was canceled. I left early so I never saw the email. Imagine if I was suddenly moved by the corporate spirit and threw on my Captain Canada costume? Thankfully I went high concept– I wore jeans and went as “that guy who thinks it’s casual Friday”. Better than the poor soul in telesales who apparently also didn’t see the email– and came to work in full witch regalia. I hope they gave her all the prizes! The corporate world is scary enough. No extra Halloween frights required…please!

3:22 PM

Mother of all Mavens said…

Pedophiles? Creepy

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November 3, 2006   No Comments

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Home Sweet Home

I’m ba-a-a-a-a-ck. Yep, after 10 days of enduring – I mean, enjoying – a vacation up at the family cottage I’m home….And now I’m ready for a real holiday.

I remember the day we left, getting ready to pack up the car… My Man looked at me adoringly and asked, “Are you excited?”

I stared dumbly back.

He continued. “For our vacation?”

I stared some more.

“Vaycay my ass!!!” I yelled.

OK, I didn’t really. Didn’t even come close. But I thought it. And added many expletives to that thought. And then I gazed back and replied, “Can’t wait, lover”.

Don’t get me wrong, a good time was had by all. It was a special time. A precious time. A time of bonding. And, in many ways, a time of bondage. For me anyway. Y’see, when I think summer vacation, I think fun in the sun. And sure, we had that. Lots of it. But I also think relaxation. The only exertion being one of choice. Y’know, like an activity. Hike, bike, swim (or, in my case, sleep, eat, hang). It’s easy math: Summer + Holiday = lazy days. But throw the family into that equation and what do you get? Work.

Work work, work….doesn’t anybody, ahem, lounge anymore?

The answer is a whopping no. As an unemployed mother, being on a family vacation at the family cottage is basically exactly like being at home. Only there’s no daycare, no programs, no nanny. Just the whole gang, the parents of the gang, and the friends and relatives and neighbours of the gang. All rip roarin’ ready for a damn fine time.

That said, I’ve got it good. I know many a fool who plans every detail and then…SURPRISE! Their parents, their parents’ friends, their parents’ friends’ kids and all manner of hangers on descend upon them. In our case, we chose the revolving door method. In with one group, out with another, and so on. So while it was kind exhausting with lots of mouths to feed, we made ’em all sing for their supper. They came. They cooked. They cleaned. We were all comrades, slaving – I mean, caring – for each other’s kiddies as if they were our own. Hell, if we weren’t having a vacation, no one else was either.

In retrospect, it was great. I’m recovered now. And it’s easier said with the rose-coloured specs and all that. But maybe that’s the design for life when it comes to the vacance en famille. In the old days I’d go on vacation and come back refreshed but also a little depressed. Now, I’ve returned from time away with the brood and couldn’t be happier to be home…In my own space… Where I can plan a real holiday…

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

That is a lie…we didn’t cook anything! We were graciously spoiled by our hosts. Thanks for letting us in on the family vacance. Photos to come…

8:53 PM

JoJo said…

I’ll bet every cottager reading this would agree with you! Next time arrange for a Nanny to help you or as we used to call them during the summer” A Mother”s Helper” “L’ aide de la Mere” or “Au Paire” or “Oh Help!!!”
Ten Days? Try 2 months!!!! You get used to it. Going home after that was like a trip to Siberia!!!!!!
Then for the next 3 months after we returned the kids only wanted the “helper”…… would only listen to the helper… where was she? Why just for the summer?
Why not forever????? ” HELP SWEET HELP”

6:26 AM

Mother of all Mavens said…

We were lucky this time – everyone pitched in (whether they realized it or not). This ensures the repeat invite! As for the mother’s helpers, that’s how we put our guests to work!

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August 16, 2006   No Comments

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Crocs, Crocs and More Crocs

I’ve never been so popular. Never. Who knew a post about Crocs could cause such an uproar? Arouse such passions? Pull so many opinionated folks out of the woodwork? Not I.

Fair readers, you only get to see the comments the brave and the brazen post on the blogsite. But trust me, I’ve had other emails and calls too. There’s a war going on and the folks are up in arms. But not about the Middle East. About Crocs.

So here’s what we know: they start in kids’ size 8/9 in Canada, but you can find falsies that are smaller – now that’s not something you hear too often, is it?! There are knock offs on just about every corner and, rumour has it they even have Croc kiosks at airports popular with holidaymakers. Like, er, Boston. We also know it ain’t the shoe that’s stinky. Sorry kids, but my sources have found that it’s not the wear, it’s the wearer!

So yeah, every kid and their father seem to have Crocs. A friend of mine who swore she’d never succumb to peer pressure did just that – and her whole family’s Crocified. One of my candy mags even had a pic of my Man’s man Jack wearing them. Navy ones. The caption? “This trend must end”. I guess Mr. Nicholson is where fashion trends go to die. Tho’ it doesn’t seem so.

As y’all know I had trouble tracking them down. (And thanks to everyone with their tips, spottings and sightings. How ridiculous is this? For shoes? Hideous shoes?) When I finally tracked down a couple of pairs of honest-to-goodness eyesores I was shocked. Talk about a feeding frenzy! And it was all about the butchy navy Crocs. Everyone was after them. I snagged a couple of pairs – for boys big and small – and proudly made my way home. Triumphant.

My Man wears his – but is very selfconscious about it. Not only because they’re the summer Ugg, but because duh, they’re the summer ugly. He’s no trendoid so he was a little tense. Until we went walking and it rained and they were so comfortable – wet AND dry blah blah blah. But my boy – he ain’t convinced. Like his mama, he knows the good from the bad and the ugly. And he refuses to put them on his feet. Not even 3 years old and already a shoe snob. That’s my baby!!

Ladies, please, trust me. Ditch the Crocs unless you’re gardening. DO try them at home – but not in public. If your teenage daughters want them, by all means, encourage it. Hell, buy ’em two pairs. They’re so unsexy, they’re prophylactic. Again, let’s remind ourselves: they’re cute and comfy and useful. FOR CHILDREN. AND MEN. No woman really wants a purely “useful” shoe. It’s like getting cleaning gear for Mother’s Day. And who the hell wants THAT?!

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

I love love your blogs,I hate the crocs but they seem not to make your feet smell, a very important issue as you age.

12:13 AM

Anonymous said…

As the person who succumed and bought her fam (not me) crocs, I just want to say that I think they suck. Having been througha tornadoa nd waltzing around debris, I decided to borrow my husband’s pair. Those little stupid wholes let every piece of crap in and never let them out. I was constantly stpeeing on little stones and twigs and had to keep removing my shoes. I decided to fuck it and put my flip-flops back on. At least the refuse has a way of getting out.

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August 1, 2006   No Comments

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Can You Repeat the Question?

I was getting cawfees with an out of town pal yesterday, when I bumped into a long lost cousin. One of those people you’ve known throughout your life and you know they’re kinda related but you don’t actually see them as cousins…That kind of cousin. Anyhoo, we started chatting and after covering the basics – how are you, where are you, what are you – we went our separate ways.

On no, wait. After a small prompt, he told me all that he was doing, ending the soliloquay with “single, no kids”. I said I was married, two kids. And then the conversation kinda stopped. In fact, it was less a convo than me asking the how’s, where’s and what’s. Is it just me? Answer, answer, answer…Doesn’t anybody ask anymore?

I started doing a bit of research. A teeny, tiny, bit. And it’s not just me at all. Apparently there are several factors to the non-question convo.

There’s the dud conversationalist. You all know ’em, you’ve all been ’em. For whatever reason, they – or you – have pas de interest. ’nuff said.

There’s the cover up. Either you really couldn’t give a rat’s ass (see above) or perhaps you’re kinda curious but cannot for the life of you remember who this person is or how you know them and so you refrain from asking. AFter all, you don’t want to bust yourself. In this case, one often overcompensates by rambling about oneself, convinced it’s a convo rather than a speech. Then one takes off. Fast. It happens. Or maybe one just wanted to boast. That happens too.

There’s the don’t-want-to-be-rude non-asker. You don’t want to pry. ‘Cuz you think it’s rude. Yep, there are folks out there who feel it’s rude to ask too many questions. They think they’re stepping over some imaginary line. Or they don’t want to potentially embarrass the unemployed. Actually, many underemployed cats I know would give their left arm to tell you about all the things they aren’t doing. Which is maybe why no one wants to ask. Fair enough to some extent, but you gotta ask something. Me, I think it’s rude not to. Show an interest, people. Or at least fake it. No one’s asking how much you’re earning or how much your bag costs (besides, if you have to ask…)

And then….there’s the mom thing. This is the worst. And, worryingly, it’s quite common. Once someone hears you’re a mom they kinda clam up. Have no interest in parenting? Who does unless it has to do with your own issues??!! Few are the ladies who will open up about their sleeping/feeding/toilet issues to someone who ain’t in the same boat (unless of course that’s the question being asked – then the floodgates have been opened. Open ’em at your own risk!) But come on – you can still ask about the rest of the life!

My friend yesterday is a mom. And a very successful book editor (the editrix, remember?!). And she lives abroad. And is totally glamorama. And she told me people often hear the mom part and clam right up. Another friend of mine is on the cusp of something huge – business-wise. She said people have only started asking her questions since she’s told them that yeah, she’s a mom, but also starting this business…Then they’re interested. Or maybe they want discounts. Whatever.

CONVERSATION = communication between two (or more) people. If you don’t want to chat, fine. Wave, smile, kiss, whatever… Move on. Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies. But ask me no questions and think I won’t notice? I will.

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

questions or not – where have the good convos gone? I personally, when working at home for my kids, hate the ‘what are you doing question’ – my own issues. But why is it always about what you do? Where’s the cocktail conversation of days gone by? Why oh why do we reduce everything to how we earn our keep? You make some excellent points, but I think thinsg go even further. And that further is cash. If you ain’t making it, you ain’t interesting. Cynical I know, but tried tested and true! Now PLEASE write something about the stupid losers that are SuperNova!!!! That’s something I want people to ask me about!!!

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July 20, 2006   No Comments

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Oops I Did It Again

I feel like a terrible mother. In recent days I have caused my child pain. Not you-don’t-get-to-watch-Dora pain. Nor was it too-much-hummous-you’re-paying-later pain. I caused my child pure, preventable pain. And I feel terrible.
The first strike was on Saturday. I went to securely fasten my 10-month old into his stroller and his shirt had ridden up and…..I caught his skin in the buckle. (insert collective cringe here) He went silent, then looked at me and burst into tears. It even left a mark. It kind of looked like a hickey, which isn’t something you want to see on your baby’s tummy.
The next strike was worse. Different day but, alas, same baby. He was on his change table (yup, this is going that way). I had my hand on his stomach – probably on the spot I had disfigured the day before. I bent over to toss out a diaper and I picked up my hand for one split second. And in that one split second, my babe was airborne. I watched him tumble. Down down down. I tried to grab him but only managed to scoop him up the second he landed. Too little, too late. Once again, we shared the moment of silence followed by crazy waterworks.
Luckily his memory isn’t as good as mine and he’s over it. But I of course am mortified. Not only because I caused my child pain, but because these little nasties happened on my watch!!!
It was the same with my first. Fall over and slam head into wooden box (on my watch)? Check. Roll right off the bed (on my watch)? Check. Fall down the babyproofed stairs (on my watch)? Check. The irony is not lost on my husband. Obviously my man would sooner cut off one of his limbs than hurt his children, but he’s somewhat amused by the fact that all these accidents happen – yep, on my watch.
I have gates and latches and locks. I’m peanut-free. I hover – in a good way. I’m not completely insane about the whole thing – babyproofing, feeding or whatever safety issue turns your crank. I’m definitely cautious, careful and common-sensical. Or so I thought. But it seems my own clutzy tendencies don’t end with ass-over-tit tumbles, wipe-outs on sidewalks or bloody falls up stairs. (Yeah bloody. In every sense of the word) . I’m passing this shit on to my kids.
If my man was the one who accidentally screwed up – and left marks no less – he’d rue the day. The guilt may only last a few minutes but he’d be tortured for weeks. Possibly longer. Yep, I’d never let him forget it. My child would probably grow up knowing the one about his dad buckling his belly. But luckily, I think my guy’s memory is even shorter than my kids’. Chalk it up to having a lot on his plate. Or maybe just having a life.
I console myself with the fact that I can only do my best. And that one day we’ll look back and laugh. And of course that no one would even know about these…slips…had I not opened my big yap. Britney – I feel your pain sister. At least my fuck ups happen off camera.
So far.

4 comments:

Anonymous said…

too much, I was thinking you were Britney and then you put it in your blog.

5:35 PM

smithcutler said…

welcome to the world of “normal person”
especially for busy people…. even bloggers!
you are brave to talk and write about it!! ask your readers to share their mishaps with you….. not many will admit …..or maybe they won’t remember them! we all keep moving.

7:40 AM

Anonymous said…

I know exactly what you mean. Mine rolled off the bed when he was about 7 months. It was like it happened in slow motion. He was fine after a 3 minute cry. Took me a few hours to get over it (I still shake my head at the memory of it). Luckily my husband wasn’t there to witness my negligence. One bonus (if there can be a bonus to letting your kid fall), is that the same slip ups don’t happen twice. Different slips yes, but you can bet I never left him alone on the bed again just because he really didn’t move. Murphy’s Law: Your child will have their first full roll over the minute you leave them unattended on a raised surface. Thanks for sharing.

4:50 PM

Anonymous said…

Loved the Brit shout out. Nice ending.

-Litha (I know I clicked anonymous but the use of my alias sort of honors that, right?)

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June 27, 2006   No Comments

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