Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Things around here

The ear infection did in fact go away on its own. Sunday night Will slept pretty well after a midnight shot of ibuprofen, and by Monday morning she said her ear was "yes." Which I take to mean fine.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for my tooth, except that it no longer seems to by trying to kill me. Dig an achingly slow tunnel to China from the back of my mouth, maybe, but this can be kept at bay for longer and longer periods with tylenol ones (bless that non-prescription codeine) and advil. Unless I think about the fact that we don't have dental coverage at the moment. But I'm trying not to do that.

Last night I took Will to an open house at one of our local montessori schools. We're considering preschool for her in another year or so, when she's over 3, but I thought it would be good to start checking out the options. There doesn't seem to be much here other than montessori (not counting your basic daycare) and I don't know enough about the program to evaluate whether it willl be a good option.

Based on first impressions, I'm sure it would be fine. (Obviously I won't be putting a "Montessori or Bust" sticker on the back of my car any time soon.) I like the idea of having kids of different ages in the classrooms. I'm sure Will would enjoy the activities and the socialization. But I'm still not sold on this idea of the kids working their way through these very structured modules. I really do need to do some more reading on the whole philosophy to understand it better. But as an option for preschool, it looks like it would be a positive experience.

The open house came at the end of a very tiring day, in which nap time became an epic battle and the screaming threatened to pull the house down. (I won, but barely.) In the interest of keeping everyone sane, today I opted for the mother-daughter lunch out, followed by the falling asleep in the car on the way home approach to napping.

Lunch with my daughter was a pleasure. Will coloured quietly, ate a tonne of beef filled tortellini and some french fries, and flirted with the wait staff. Now she's sleeping quietly upstairs and I'm about to have a coffee. And today it won't be shaking as I try to recuperate from the screaming. It will just be delicious.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It all comes back to ABBA

This weekend was going great until Will woke up screaming, 20 minutes into her Saturday afternoon nap. She was hysterical, so I was sure she had caught her foot in the bars of the crib (again) but instead she was clutching the right side of her head and crying, "Ear! Ear!"

I had no idea an ear infection could come on so fast.

I also, foolishly, thought I could avoid being sick with my daughter this time around. Ha. Tell that to my throbbing (oh my sweet god let it stop) aching impacted wisdom tooth.

Mother and daughter suffer together once again.

My pain meds have not yet brought real relief to my toothache (two Tramacet, here I come) but as long as Will's ibuprofen/tylenol combo is working she's as good as new. And her newest obsession is going down to the playroom for her "wah wah wah." As in "Wah wah wah wah Waterloo / Finally meeting my Waterloo."

Oh yes. The ABBA Gold VHS tape has been pulled out (for the record, this belongs to my husband) and Will happily dances to four (and only four) songs. You do not want to try to get her to listen to "Knowing Me, Knowing You" or "Lay All Your Love on Me." She only wants to hear "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia," "Take a Chance on Me" and "Waterloo."

If the ear infection turns out to be in the (apparently) 80-90% that spontaneously resolve on their own, I'll watch that damn "wah wah wah" all day tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Date night

If it is one of only a handful of date nights you and the father of your child have been on in the last two years, and the only one thus far to include a movie, for the love of god do not go and see "Slumdog Millionaire."

Don't get me wrong - this is an amazing movie. But within fifteen minutes I was weeping. I could not handle watching those children face horror after horror and continue to claw at survival. Between sobs I burst out: "I don't care if he wins a 'mill-on' rupees! I can't watch anymore!"

It was like stepping into a Rohinton Mistry novel. If you have ever read "A Fine Balance," you know what I mean. It's India. There is poverty and despair. Things are very bad. They get worse. They get even worse. There is a small glimmer of hope; the potential for happiness. Then things get unbelievably worse and then the book ends, teetering on devastation and hopelessness.

I read Rohinton for the writing, despite the inevitable ending. I stayed in the theatre because I could not stop watching, despite the horrors. And I knew the ending, at least, would have some redemption. But I can never watch that movie again.

(My father-in-law gave me a bootleg copy on the weekend, but I am trying to forget that I slipped it into a pocket of the diaper bag.)

So. Date night.

I highly recommend the Valentine's Day wedding of someone you don't know well (in my case, a husband's co-worker) but who has survived brain surgery and is taking this opportunity to celebrate both life and love.

It helps immensely if your table is next to that of the groom's elderly mother and her best friends. You will hear conversations like, "So her daughters are Jodi and Joanna?" "No, Jodi is Joanna!" and "Her purse fell onto the floor. She's making sure she got everything from under the table."

It is a bonus if the deejay has put together a playlist that is basically all the mixed tapes you made from 1990 to 1993. That said, be prepared to be one of only 2 other people who jump up and begin dancing crazily to "Home For a Rest" (one being your husband, the other being a strange and mythical "lady in red" you actually didn't notice during the Chris de Burgh song).

And if you see the elderly mother of the bride doing a line dance to the only song you don't recognize, don't be alarmed when she answers the question, "how low can you go" with her feet slipping out from under her, a granddaughter hoisting her back up, and continuing to dance.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Isn't there some sort of diaper etiquette?

So this morning, Will and I were at gymnastics. We had just finished our warm-up and were at our first station, an obstacle course with a tunnel and a slide and a ladder with a bell at the top (which Will reached and rang for the first time today). I suddenly smell the distinct smell of a dirty diaper.

At almost the same moment this mother, who I already find annoying with her constant commentary on her child, announces, "As soon as we're done, we're going to have to change that diaper."

Okay. I guess. There is still another obstacle course, the pit filled with foam squares, and the trampoline. If you want to wait until we're ready to move on to the next station, that's not too terrible, even though the smell is getting worse by the minute.

But when we move over to the next obstacle course, she and her son come with us immediately. I make sure Will isn't right behind him on the balance beam, trying to avoid the odour trailing out from behind him like smoke from a steam engine.

It's in the pit that I start to get worried. I mean, it's one thing to make your poor child sit (stand, run, crawl, tumble) in a dirty diaper. It's another to allow the stench to permeate the air during a class with other toddlers. But it becomes an issue of sanitation when your son is rolling around in the foam pit with this diaper, that could leak or explode at any moment.

It gets worse on the trampoline. I can acutally see the diaper, weighted-down with poop that's at least 30 minutes old, sliding into the child's pant leg.

And I could hear the mother laughing: "Poor guy. Look at that diaper." Um, yes. Look at it. And do something about it.

I was disgusted. Of course, I didn't actually say anything. I just kept Will as far as possible from the line of fire. But under what circumstances could this be considered appropriate behaviour?

Just where do you think you are, lady? When you are participating in a class - especially one that involves a lot of movement and bouncing and shifting of clothing - take some responsibility and change your child's diaper. Immediately.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'd rather be blogging

I was hoping for a quiet afternoon to write, but nap time was preceded by a toddler's fall and a mouth full of blood from a gash in a tongue. Nasty.

And also: "That's why we don't want you climbing on that chest . . ." Apparently I am now that I told you so, there is a lesson in this somewhere, parent.

Does it count that she went right back for the chest, blood still dripping from her wound?

Now I'm faced with a kitchen overflowing with dirty dishes and groceries yet to be put away.

The valentines sitting on the dining room table need to be addressed and stamped so they can be mailed this afternoon. Of course, Will received what looks like a valentine in the mail this morning (we haven't opened it yet due to the aforementioned tongue-biting accident), so we have already been scooped in our card-sending plans.

There's also a chicken somewhere in the pile of groceries waiting to be turned into enchiladas, a task which would be much more easily accomplished without an almost-2-year-old trying to "help."

Not to mention the fact that I peeked into the litter box when I was putting the frozen stuff away and, well, let's just say I'm not a very good cat mother. Also, ewwww. And gag.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things

I know that bloggers have been doing these kinds of lists for years (and usually with 100 things). I blame my lack of a list on the fact that my blog is less than a year old, but when I saw this thread going around Facebook I thought it was time to give it a try. Of course, this list is quite different from the one that will end up on my Facebook profile.

1. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to travel to the big cities of Europe: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome. In 2006 I finally went on my journey, and I did it on my own. It was amazing.

2. I found out I was pregnant with Will while I was in Paris. Then I went to the Louvre.

3. I took ballet and modern dance classes from the time I was 4 years old until I was 14. There was a group of girls in my class who became progressively more mean to me, but I stuck it out until I finally got toe shoes and was able to dance "en pointe" for a year. Then I quit.

4. Because I wouldn't convert to Islam, my husband and I have a muta or temporary marriage that will be in effect for 99 years.

5. To make our marriage legal, we eloped and were married by an Humanitarian minister two months before our July wedding.

6. My husband's family doesn't know about this secret wedding.

7. I was terrified of my sister's cat until I lived with her for a year. This changed my whole perspective on cats and I now have two of my own.

8. I was a little afraid of my sister until I lived with her for a year. She is six years younger than me.

9. I truly believe that my relationship with my first cat kept me from falling into a depression while I was living in Troy, New York for two years. I was only partially employed, but I was fully devoted to Pasha.

10. I am the oldest of six children, but I never got any of the respect or authority that (usually?) comes with this position. I was resented by my siblings instead.

11. Watching what my mom did as a stay-at-home mom made me never want to be one myself.

12. Will is almost 2 and I'm still at home with her.

13. I love it (except when I don't). This may have to do with the fact that I do not consider "keeping house" to be part of my role.

14. I worked for the Canadian National Exhibition for 9 years, first as a costumed character (Koala, Raccoon, Dog) and later as an office assistant in the Entertainment Department.

15. I once carried ten thousand dollars in U.S. cash from the CNE administrative buildings to the Bandshell to pay the Village People. I was wearing a neon halter top in preparation for the concert later that night. My brother, who was working as a stagehand, accompanied me across the grounds. All we had for defense were a couple of walkie-talkies.

16. My husband and I met at a HOBY youth leadership weekend in the tenth grade (although we don't remember meeting until we were Junior Counsellors together the next year). I am embarrassed to tell people this story.

17. My involvement with HOBY was out of character for me, as I am in no way a "joiner." Strangely, my favourite part of being a SAHM is the activities that Will and I sign up for every season. I am eagerly awaiting the Spring/Summer Leisure guide for our city.

18. I hate making small talk and mingling. If I have agreed to go to any function that requires this, I am certain to panic and regret it the whole day beforehand.

19. It is almost never as bad as I expect. I sometimes even have fun.

20. As a "tween," I was obsessed with Michael Jackson. I had a major discussion with my best friend in the fourth grade because she liked Duran Duran. This worried me. I then wrote Michael a letter after "Bad" came out because he seemed to have lost his "innocence." Must have been all that crotch grabbing.

21. I do not like to eat main dishes that are cold. I hate deli meats and things like tuna and egg salad. I also hate mayonnaise and most other spreads. I prefer to eat my (hot) sandwiches plain (or as my sister says: "so dry").

22. I prefer white wine over red, and my favourite is the semi-dry riesling from Vineland Estates.

23. I enjoy cooking if I know what I want to make and I have all the ingredients. I hate deciding what to make on the spur of the moment. You don't want to spend time with me when I'm hungry but don't know what I want to eat.

24. I am not a crafty person, but I find scrapbooking very relaxing - as long as I can do it on my own timetable. (I'm still working on the early stages of Will's first year, but it's going great!) My scrapbooks are not pretty; I cut up a lot of individual letters to create a "kidnapper/stalker" kind of style.

25. This blog has given me the chance to consider myself a writer for the first time in a long time.

A (laundry) room of my own

The phone rang - loudly - not fifteen minutes after Will had gone done for her nap. I grabbed the receiver before the call display even registered, and an old lady's voice crackled on the line.

"Hello. I'm a tenant upstairs and I need you to empty your things from the laundry tub upstairs. I believe they belong to you?"

I know we don't have any tenants, and I finally don't share a laundry room anymore, so it didn't take me long to figure out the confusion.

"Are you calling from [our old address]?"


"Because we actually moved out several months ago. We live in a house now." I have no idea why I added that last bit of irrelevant information, except to allude to the fact that I have my own washer and dryer in my own (private) laundry room.

"Did someone move into your apartment?"

"Yes. But I don't know their phone number. Sorry."

"Sorry to bother you."

Clearly, we are still on the "emergency contact list" the residents of our old building put together. The people who moved in must have violated the very specific laundry room schedule, not only by using the machine at an unauthorized time, but leaving their laundry there when it was long finished. And the elderly residents never wanted to just take someone's laundry out of the machine if it was finished and they needed the machine (something I have always considered universal laundry room etiquette).

I do not miss that at all. Thank you, L. Spencer, for reminding me of something else I am grateful for.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sweet lord

I seriously just completed one circuit of Jillian Michaels' workout of woe.

And I am done.

Forget about doing the workout every day. My goal now is to get through all three circuits of level one at one time. How do the Biggest Loser people even survive?