Happy Friday! Today is a day where Ellie and I didn’t have any plans, and I quite looked forward to that, as I always do until I remember that Ellie is never particularly keen on just laying around, reading magazines and watching episodes of Ellen I have saved on the DVR. I was going to comment that babies do not have a strong appreciation for the joys of relaxation, but at the time of writing she has been napping for almost three hours, so maybe she understands the appeal of mellow time more than I previously thought. If I had known she was going to take a nap of this impressive length, I would have started some sort of major project (like gardening or curing cancer) but instead I dyed my hair and then cleaned up the kitchen and then drank some coffee. The hair dyeing was a bit of a bust, as it so often is, because no matter which colour I choose my hair always ends up brown. This time it was “Caramel Kiss”, which was described on the box as a “dark iridescent blonde” but which is, in reality, BROWN.
All of this reminds me of a few years ago, when I was having my hair cut, and one of the other stylist in the salon went on at great length and impressive decibel about how one of her clients had brown hair, and it was terrible, it wasn’t light brown or dark brown, just BROWN, you know? And she wanted it to be a different colour, because of course she did — why would anyone want hair that was just BROWN? And my stylist gave her a pointed look, and gestured at my head, saying “Oh, you mean sort of like Lauren’s hair?” and rather than being properly embarrassed by her tirade, she laughed and said, “YES, exactly!” And so it is a good thing very little of my self esteem is wrapped up in the colour of my hair.
So I’ve had this cold for almost a week now, and for a few days it was pretty touch-and-go with regards to whether I was going to survive this or whether we were all going to perish under a deluge of cough syrup and whining. The thing that is most frustrating (for me) about getting sick with a run-of-the-mill cold is that I sleep terribly when I’m sick, which compounds the general yuckiness of being under the weather by making it impossible to really rest as one is supposed to when they are ill. I thrash around pretty violently all night long, caught in these cyclical half-awake half-asleep dreams that make up for in boringness what they lack in length. They are aggressively dull, and I do not exaggerate here. It’s the same monotonous dream, 5 minutes at a time, all night long. I go to sleep dreaming about how I saw someone on Twitter mention cooking scrambled eggs in ghee, and I wake up dreaming about how I saw someone on Twitter mention cooking scrambled eggs in ghee. Every time I wake up, I look at the clock and nearly weep with despair because I am so tired and so disoriented and there is still so much night left to get through.
On Friday night, I dreamed about having intense, passionately evangelistic conversations with various people about how they should watch the show Portlandia, because it is the funniest show on TV right now and they’re seriously missing out if they’re not watching it every week. The following night, I dreamed I was at a party and someone brought up the show Portlandia and I said to them, “Wow, that is SO WEIRD, I was just dreaming last night about telling everyone I know about that show!” I … don’t know what’s wrong with my fevered brain. Not only am I proselytizing about a show I HAVE NEVER EVEN WATCHED (seriously — not even a single episode) but the next night I really go for broke and incorporate a weirdly meta throwback to the previous night’s inexplicable topic, just to keep the world’s most boring narrative flowing in the right direction.
There is some new anti-bullying legislation being worked on in our province, and as part of it there are some potential curriculum changes afoot, mostly related to raising awareness of sexual orientation and sexual identity issues, visible and invisible differences, different types of families, etc. As you can expect, there is some discourse going on at our church about these issues, and as you can also expect, some of the discussion is reasoned and thoughtful, and some of it is inflammatory and/or seems to be based on misinformation or misconceptions about what these changes mean and how they will be implemented. This seems to be the way these things tend to go, and it makes me sad and frustrated, but an interesting side effect of this has been some further discussion in our house about how we’d proceed if Ellie was ever learning something at school that maybe didn’t align precisely with our household values (not that this is one of those issues, because I am completely comfortable with these curriculum changes and I hope they are implemented and are successful in reducing schoolyard bullying, as the educators and legislators hope). I know it’s hard to say now, having never really been tested in this area since Ellie is still so young, but we both feel really strongly that we alone are ultimately responsible for shaping Ellie into the kind of person we hope she will be, socially, morally, academically, and in every other way. We have no intention of avoiding issues that may come up, and in fact we both welcome the time when we can have an honest discussion with Ellie about what we care about as a family.
It’s possible that Ellie will come home from school one day and tells us in an awed tone of voice that she learned that there are some families out there that — for the sake of keeping this as lighthearted as possible, because I truly don’t see what the big deal is and have already expended a lot of energy this week feeling angsty about all the angst, and also because I have a terrible cold and can’t come up with a better metaphor here — don’t have orange cats. If that ever happens, our current plan for handling that is as follows: (more…)
I am having the sort of day where I’m going from place to place, crossing things off my to do list that have been there for a very long time, so I’m enjoying the satisfaction of completing tasks but also experiencing the bewilderment of wondering why I put them off for so long. One of those tasks was to go to Home Depot and get paint chips. We want to paint the playroom, as well as our bathroom, and Ellie is going to be staying with my parents for the long weekend in May and that provides the perfect opportunity to paint the playroom. (As an aside, my parents find it strange that we even HAVE a playroom. Maybe because we never had one when my siblings and I were kids? Anyway, I think it can’t be THAT strange. Or is it? Our basement isn’t finished, so it is cold and ugly and has a cement floor, so we bought a cheap couch and a cheap TV and turned one of our currently-empty bedrooms into a room for Ellie to play, until such a time as the basement gets finished. She also gets free-range time on the main floor of the house, but the upstairs room is where most of her toys are kept and also where we watch Sesame Street every morning. Well, it’s where SHE watches Sesame Street while I drink coffee and wish I was a morning person and also wish they would feature more Cookie Monster, because I feel like my life philosophy lines up rather nicely with his. If it is weird, you can tell me — I can take it! — but if it is not weird, I would also like to hear that too, because it is always bolstering to have someone agree with you, even over something so minor. You can also tell me my hair looks shiny, if you’d like. That would be nice to hear too.) Anyway. Paint colours. There is nothing on this planet I can dither over like I can over paint colours. Mike has empowered me to choose the colour for the playroom, which SOUNDS like a good thing, except I am paralyzed with indecision and we are on a clock here, people. The only furniture in there is a brown corduroy couch. I am thinking kind of a tangerine orange. Or a grass green. Or purple. Or something else entirely. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME CHOOSE. (more…)