Monthly archive for March 2014

Hmm yeah

Ellie is at the sitter’s today and Zach is napping, and when I reached a logical stopping point in the work I was doing, I figured I could maybe tidy up the house a bit. Then I remembered that it is futile to try to keep a house clean with two small children in it, so instead I’m going to tell you about how we have started car shopping and then segue into a critical reading of a terrible country song.

We currently have a Toyota RAV-4, which we love, but which is too small for two kids and a dog, and although our dog is terrified of riding in the car and is not expected to recover from her kidney disease, we will likely get another dog at some point, because we are Dog Owning People. Well, I am a Dog Owning Person. Mike is more of a Dog Owning Person by Marriage. Either way, we think we have outgrown our car and since the lease was up anyway, we are in search of something slightly bigger.

My parents babysat for us so we could go test drive a few vehicles, and our second-to-last stop was the Jeep dealership, where we had planned to test drive a Jeep Cherokee. Upon walking into the sales office, the sales guy wandered up to us and jerked his head to the back corner and said, without greeting us, “Minivans are over there.” Now, I certainly don’t want to offend anyone who drives a minivan because I am not ANTI-minivan, not at all, but I AM a terrible parker and an even worse backer-upper, and I think a minivan might prove more than I could comfortably handle. Even still, I think enough people ARE anti-minivan that assuming two people are minivan people before even saying hello might not be the best sales technique out there. Nor would responding to our statement that we were really there, at the Jeep dealership, to drive a Jeep with “We don’t have any of those!” and anyway, we did not buy a Jeep and I’m glad we have my mom’s car as a loaner while we figure this out because our plan to make a decision and lease a car all in one day might have been a bit optimistic.

Both of my parents are pretty dyed-in-the-wool classic rock fans, so I was a little surprised to get in the car my first time driving it and discover that the radio was set to a country music station. Apparently it was one of those all-Christmas-music-for-the-month-of-December stations and they had just been listening to a CD since January (a likely story) but I haven’t yet changed the channel because a) it is nice to listen to something other than the Tangled soundtrack, and b) country music is DELIGHTFUL. Did you know that? It is hilarious. Yesterday on my way to visit a friend, I got to listen to a song that was basically a love song to DIRT (sample lyrics: It was my first love / Good as gold / Heaven was a shovel and a two foot hole / Mama should have bought all my clothes in brown / Cause I’d turn ’em that color anyhow / Even between the car and the front steps of that church / Was dirt) plus a song called Honky-tonk Badonkadonk, which made up for in objectification what it lacked in poetry (sample lyrics: It’s so hard not to stare / At that honky tonk badonkadonk / Keepin’ perfect rhythm / Make ya wanna swing along / Got it goin’ on like Donkey Kong / And whoo-wee / Shut my mouth, slap your grandma / There outta be a law / Get the Sheriff on the phone / Lord have mercy, how’d she even get them britches on).

My personal favourite was one called Doin’ What She Likes, the highlights of which are as follows:

She likes it when I call in sick to work

Spend the whole day hanging with her

I might get fired but that’s alright

I’m doin’ what she likes

Hmmm. Well, I DO like spending time with Mike, but I DON’T like the idea of losing our house to the bank. I’m also not sure I find that kind of questionable work ethic to be any sort of real turn-on.

She likes it when I bring home fresh fajitas

And mix up a pitcher of margaritas

Catch a kind of buzz that lasts all night

Doin’ what she likes

Ooooh, fresh fajitas sounds good. We don’t really have any good Mexican food in our area. And I quite enjoy margaritas, although I am still a nursing mother so perhaps a whole pitcher would be overkill.

She likes hearin’ how good she looks in them blue jeans

Little kisses, sweeter than sweet tea

Things I whispered in her ear, oh my

I like doin’ what she likes

Any girl likes being told she looks good in them blue jeans. Country music is so universal.

Like running my fingers through her long hair

Lightin’ watermelon candles upstairs

Lettin’ them burn and holdin’ her all night

I like doin’ what she likes

Zach has started yanking on my hair, so I’ll pass on adding another set of fingers to the mix. And burning candles all night long sounds kind of like a fire hazard. Also watermelon-scented things always remind me of Hubba Bubba bubble gum, which isn’t the most romantic of home fragrances.

She likes it when I get past second gear

Sees gravel flying in the rearview mirror

Sometimes I’m pushing 95

Doin’ what she likes

That seems … dangerous as well. So what she likes is reckless behaviour?

And she likes it when I find a road that’s dark

Can we pull up somewhere and park?

Turn the radio on and turn off the lights

Keep doin’ what she likes

Okay, this I can get on board with. Sitting quietly in the dark with no kids around? Sounds peaceful. In fact, maybe I will leave Mike at home and just go sit quietly in the dark by myself. Actually, maybe I’ll rent a hotel room by myself and swim in the hotel pool by myself and order room service breakfast by myself. Perhaps I have gotten a bit off topic here.

Yeah, I like doin’ what she likes

Hmm, yeah

Hmm, yeah indeed, modern-day poet. You keep keepin’ on.

Night (wild) life

“In your eyes, the light the heat, in your eyes …”

Is there anything that is quite as all-consuming to you, yet boring to everyone else, as baby sleep? I feel like these days I am living and dying by the number of hours of sleep I get every night, and while the number might objectively seem not that bad (I don’t even want to SAY what sleep is or isn’t like in our house at any given time, because this issue is fraught with social landmines like almost no other, especially when you bring sleep training into it) I am finding it a bit difficult to cope. Frankly, I lack the grace and aplomb of the woman who wrote this blog post, which showed up repeatedly in my Facebook newsfeed last week and includes this idyllic description of getting up in the night with a baby:

So for now, I find beauty in the peaceful 4 a.m. feedings in our cozy little nursery. We are perched above the naked oak trees in our own lavender nest. We watch the silent snow fall and a bunny scampering across its perfect white canvas. It’s just me and my little baby, the neighborhood is dark and still. We alone are up to watch the pale moon rise and the shadows dance along the nursery wall. She and I are the only ones to hear the barn owl hooting in the distance. We snuggle together under a blanket and I rock her back to sleep.

I … uh. Well. I don’t want to say too much about this, because I know there are many women (including many dear friends of mine, based on the number of times I saw it shared last week) out there who found this quite profound and meaningful. I personally find it hard to be inspired by this sort of thing. I wonder often if these posts, which are becoming more and more common, do more harm than good. If you’re more inclined to slump miserably in the rocking chair, daydreaming of the giant cup of coffee you’ll be making immediately upon rising in the morning, than to scan the perfect snowy landscape for owls and bunnies while feeling blessed and privileged and grateful for the opportunity to be awake in the middle of the night … it can leave you feeling a little deflated. A lot of the moms who write online seem to be in a competition to see who can enjoy the crappy parts of parenting the most, and it feels a little disengenuous to me. I think it’s okay to call a spade a spade, when the spade is “seventeen loads of laundry a day” and what you’re calling it is “boring and repetitive”. Or maybe they really do enjoy doing laundry. I suppose anything is possible. It takes all kinds etc. Different strokes for different folks etc.

Although there is a total dearth of fuzzy scampering animals in our neighbourhood in the wee small hours of the morning (WHERE ARE OUR BUNNIES? seriously, this is the first opportunity I’ve had in AGES to use the word “scampering”) what I DID see on Saturday as I glanced out the window was the house across the street — the one that hosted loud parties most weekend nights last summer — completely dark and silent. This led me to contemplate two possible scenarios, in the event that history repeats itself once the weather gets warm enough to comfortably (although inexplicably) hang out in one’s garage (you have a whole house! a big one! why are you in the garage?) drinking beer with your buddies:

1) Storming across the street early on a Saturday morning after being kept up late into the night by the thumping bass coming out of the open garage doors, and repeatedly ringing the doorbell until such a time as they received the message or my personal safety was threatened, whichever came first, OR

2) Storming across the street early on a Saturday morning after being kept up late into the night by the thumping bass coming out of the open garage doors, and holding a boombox playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” above my head, until such a time as I had entertained myself sufficiently to dull the frustration of the night before

Nighttime feedings! The perfect time to formulate elaborate revenge fantasies! Cherish every moment!