Monday, February 28, 2011

That Doesn't Sound Like Caillou...

My three year old daughter likes the Caillou shows.  It's about a four year old boy who is kind of whiny.  His parents, of course, never yell or do anything wrong.  An episode came on, and my son said that we had already seen it.

"We haven't seen 'Caillou Throws A Bazooka' though,"  he yelled laughingly.  Hmmmmm.  Notice he doesn't know exactly what a bazooka is, since you wouldn't normally throw one, so I guess I'm hanging on to my 'somewhat okay parenting' status by a thin thread.  Still.  It's a bit dicey.   Let's move on.

I wonder if the network would go for that episode, anyway?  Sounds pretty child-friendly and educational to me.  Those are the best ones, right?

But why stop there?  Let's forget reality shows, which are completely fake and scripted anyway, and go for some TRUE reality.  How about 'Strawberry Shortcake Throws a Temper Tantrum'?

Or better yet, 'Dora Refuses to Share...Yet Again'.  And 'The Care Bears Stop Caring and Start Hitting'.  We could get really realistic and go for 'Caillou Makes Inappropriate Comments at the Dinner Table'. 

Oh wait, that's MY life - I don't need to see it on TV, too.  Although maybe Caillou's parents could give me a few tips...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I read today that Brad and Angelina have six nannies - one for each child!  That's amazing, isn't it?  I would settle for a 12 year old to give me two hours a week so I could fold some laundry!

Angelina is always going on and on about how 'hands on' she and Brad are.  I see pictures of them shepherding their children through airports and so on all on their own.  Maybe the nannies are hiding in the baggage claim carousel.  I think they're 'hands on' a photo op!

I also read that Mariah Carey has spent one million dollars on a couch for her nursery.  Does she know what her babies are going to do to that couch?  They're going to poop all over it.  Then there will be the pee and the vomit and the spit-ups.  And that's just in the first week. 

Wait until they start teething on it.  We actually have little tiny teeth marks in our wooden kitchen table from one of our kids.  Those regular plastic teething toys just don't cut it - give them a slab of wood any day!  Those splinters will give them character.

Ah, well.  Kids will humble even the most arrogant of celebrity parents.  Wait until one of Angelina's children swear at her for the first time. I can hear her now.

"Brad!  Get the Nanny!  No, not that one - Nanny #6!" 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Three Year Old Rationality

Of course as a mother I think all my children are pretty great.  However, no one is perfect.  And we all know that children go through stages that can - how can I put this in a nice way - drive parents crazy. 

My daughter is three and a half.  She has started to get into some of the fun things that go with being three.  Like being completely unreasonable. 

One day she'll ask me to help her take off her coat, so I do.  The next day I will automatically unzip her coat, and she will totally freak out, because SHE wanted to unzip it.  And it's not enough to zip it back up for her; no.  That's not good enough.  The damage has been done.  You had the audacity to unzip her coat, darn it, and you are going to pay.

She is also in that stage where she thinks any kind of bump or bruise can only be healed with a band aid, even if there is no obvious blood.  Or even any mark at all.  We have princess band aids and Star Wars band aids.  We have all different shapes and colours of band aids.  What I want to know is if they come in 'overreaction'?

I think it sums it all up by her statement to me the other day.  She said she wanted princess pasta for lunch, so I was about to get it out of the cupboard.  Then she yelled, "No, Mama!  I want to do it ALL BY MYSELF!"  I stopped reaching for the pasta and waited. 

She looked up at the pasta, which she couldn't reach.  She paused and then said thoughtfully, "I want to do it ALL BY MYSELF, but first... I need your help."


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Muppet Movie - The Rainbow Connection

Missing: Memory

This morning I drove off to do the school run, leaving my daughter's purple and green Tinkerbell suitcase in the driveway.  I didn't even notice.  I wouldn't have noticed, either, except that after I had dropped the boys at school and I was driving Ella to her preschool, she asked for a drink and I tried to reach into the suitcase to get her water.  I finally realized I was patting empty air.  It's not like it's inconspicuous, either.  I mean, it's a Tinkerbell suitcase!

It may have been because both side doors of the van froze so I couldn't open either one.  I had to usher all three kids and their baggage through the driver's side door, yelling at them not to get too much snow on my seat, and not to knock over my coffee (which, I'll have you know, I remembered to put INTO the van instead of leaving it on the top and driving off - progress!).  I threw in my big briefcase for work as well.  I guess I missed one little bag.  Three out of four isn't so bad, right?  Although about a month ago I left my work briefcase in the parking lot and just drove off without it too.  I'm very professional, though, honestly.

I swear I didn't do these things before I had kids!  I had a mind.  And it was more or less intact.  And my memory was reliable!  Now my memory is completely shot.  What am I writing about, again?  I feel like my memory has decided to go on a little trip, because it's so overwhelmed with all the many details it has to remember.  It has put out a sign saying, 'back in five years, if things calm down a little around here'.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Soap...or The Difference Between Men and Women

I was just finishing up my shower, and Jerry was sitting on the bathroom counter as we chatted.  I realized that the bar of soap was almost gone, so I said, "We need a new bar of soap in here."

At this point I have to tell you that Jerry was sitting on the cupboard where we keep our soap.  He didn't even have to move to touch the soap.  He was BREATHING on the soap.  He was practically one with the soap.  But I guess I wasn't direct enough.

He looked at me blankly for a long moment, and then stretched and said, "Huh.  Well....I guess I'm going to get something to eat!"  He left the room and went downstairs to the kitchen.

I just stood there, laughing.  You have to laugh, don't you?

I mean, I didn't realize I needed to say, "Listen to me very closely, honey.  You don't even have to move from where you're sitting.  Please reach out your right hand, open the cupboard, and hand me a NEW BAR OF SOAP!  What I'm trying to say is that we need a new one.  The old bar of soap is almost gone; do you understand?  Are you following me?"

Sometimes I think it would be nice to live like a man does, and not have to worry about so many small where the soap fairy lives.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Parenting Perspectives

Parenting changes things.  Almost always for the good, of course.  But it is hard work.  My theory is that anything that is worthwhile is hard work.  But sometimes when you're working so hard...something has to go.

I remember the time I had gotten a new hair cut, and I wasn't sure if I liked it.  Finally I asked my husband what he thought of the new hairstyle.  He told me that he had no idea, and that he hadn't even looked at my hair.  There was a moment of silence.

"I got my hair cut TEN DAYS AGO!" I said in disbelief. 

I'm pretty sure he looked at me before we had children, but I'm not positive.

Of course it goes both ways.  I remember the day when our youngest was a baby, and the other two were under the age of 5.  (As I've said before, it was at this time of my life that I felt sure I was engaging in 'extreme parenting'.) 

Anyway, my husband had gone fishing all day, for seven and a half hours, not that I was counting every single minute he was gone or anything.  When he finally came home I bounded across the room and flung my arms around him.  "Thank GOD you're home!" I exclaimed happily.

He looked at me a bit suspiciously.  "Did you miss me for any reason other than childcare?" he asked hopefully.

I thought for a minute, and then shook my head regretfully.  "Sorry, no.  Love you!  Gotta go!"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Memorable Moments....Or Not

I work part-time, so often on the days I'm home with my children I try to get them out.  This one morning I woke up and I thought, I'm going to plan a special day for the kids today.  We'll just have lots of fun all day.  We needed to go grocery shopping but I decided to put it off in favour of a child-friendly day. 

In the morning I took them to the Royal Botanical Gardens.  We looked at all the plants and flowers.  There were stained glass items placed throughout the gardens, and we tried to find them all.  We watched the fish swim in the fish pond.  We noticed the different colours of the flowers and the shapes of the leaves.  Ryan and Ella ran up and down the ramp and played hide and seek.

Then we went and I bought Ryan some new winter boots.  The boots he had were too small and every time he wore them his socks would get wet, and there's nothing I hate more in the winter than wet and cold feet, so I bought him roomy and warm boots in his favourite colour blue.  I also ordered boots for myself.

Then we went to the Marble Slab Creamery, and I let them have whatever toppings they wanted mixed in with whatever flavour of ice cream they wanted.  Ryan had Kit Kat AND mint patties mixed into maple ice cream.  Ella had chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.  I got a no-fat frozen yogourt smoothie with fruit.  (See 'Wagon' post.)

Then we went to the second-hand store and I bought Ryan pants and they each got a new video and a puzzle.  I wanted them to get a book instead of a puzzle but they each wanted a video, and I thought, "Okay, it's their day.  Go ahead!"

I thought it was a great day!

That night at dinner, my husband asked Ryan what he did that day.  I looked up happily, an expectant smile on my face.  'Here we go,' I thought excitedly.  'Ryan is going to talk about how much fun he had today and how special it was!'

Ryan thought for a second, and then said nonchalantly, "Oh, mom ordered some boots."

That was it.  That was all he said.  He resumed eating his dinner.

I think my head dropping on the table face first may have made him pause.  He stopped with his fork in the air, eyeing me interestedly.  Then he thought again and said, "Oh, yeah....and we had ice cream."  He went back to his dinner unconcernedly.

I started stammering about the Royal Botanical Gardens, and new puzzles, and so on, but it was no use. 

I may as well have taken them to the spa and had a manicure and a pedicure! 

Oh yeah, and the other morning I was pulling out of the parking lot at the hockey arena, and a man ran over and knocked on my window to tell me that my coffee mug was on top of the van.  I mean, I don't know why I keep doing that!  I only had my hands full with my 3 year old daughter, and a huge stinky hockey bag, and a bag of snacks and water and toys to keep the children who are not playing hockey occupied, and a doll and a stroller that SEEMED like a good idea at the time (see keeping child occupied) but in fact was a horrible idea because I ended up pushing the stroller (not something I really felt like doing although the doll IS pretty cute) and I swore I would never, ever again bring it, and I forget my train of thought....but I guess that's also how I forget my mug....anyway, you see where I'm going with this.  That nice man also agrees that I could use a little time at the spa!