Monthly archive for June 2014

Into the fray

Future post-midnight fireworks-exploder

Our little town has a Facebook group that is specifically for women, and for the most part it’s actually a great resource. I’ve gotten to know a few nice ladies through posting on there, and that is how we found Ellie’s lovely sitter, and it’s really good for things like getting recommendations for plumbers and finding out when free skate is taking place at the arena. Last week I was at the post office and one of the postal workers mentioned she had found a Blackberry (the phone, not the fruit) on our street near the mailboxes, so I posted about it on the Facebook group and the phone was reuinted with its owner.

Every once in a while things kind of … devolve, as they tend to do on the internet, and I rarely wade into the fray because I hate fighting with people in comments sections. Yesterday, though, someone posted what I thought was a very reasonable and gentle reminder that fireworks are supposed to be set off only on long weekends, as per the local bylaws. A couple of people commented that their dogs and/or children had been scared and/or woken up by the noise, and I chimed in with a jokey post about how I have a baby and a 3-year-old and am perhaps more protective of my sleep than people in other phases of life, and that I was not anti-firework but that they seemed to happen very late (often as late as midnight or even later) and that I found that a bit excessive. Another woman posted that it was probably teens setting off the fireworks, that those of us with little kids think we have parenting all figured out but we’re wrong, and that there was no point in even posting on Facebook at all about the issue because if it WAS teens, they’re not in this group and won’t see it. So. I don’t know. I think I am about to get into a fight with someone on Facebook, if a “fight” can be defined as “enthusiastic and friendly agreement with commenter’s point, followed by tentative reminder that I disagree just a TINY bit with one miniscule aspect of it, followed by smiley face emoticon, followed by obsessive refreshing of the page and anxious nail-biting for several hours in case of blow-back, followed by eventually deleting the comment because I remembered why I don’t tend to do this kind of stuff in the first place”. Hold my calls, I’ll be busy for the rest of the day!

It made me think of the kinds of things you swear you’ll never, EVER do as a parent that you reneg on pretty much at the first opportunity. I certainly do not for a second think my kids won’t occasionally (or even frequently) be obnoxious as pre-teens and teens, and I also don’t believe that I will always (or even frequently) be able to control their behaviour (inside or outside of our house) (okay, now I am panicking about having teenagers; what were we thinking having these adorable babies that will turn into adolescents?) but I feel reasonably confident that I will never, ever think it is okay for them to light fireworks whenever they want, nor will I defend them on Facebook if they do. I said to Mike at one point that I just want our kids to grow up to be kind people. If they are kind and compassionate and considerate of others, then I will feel like I’ve done a good job as a parent. I don’t really know how to get there, though. Parenting, man! There is so much to teach them, and even then there are no guarantees. It can be exhausting to contemplate.

Luckily you are about to be saved from several more paragraphs of commentary that is alternately despondent and optimistic, because I hear the sounds of my current baby (future adolescent!) stirring from his nap and engaging in his favourite pastime of raising his legs up in the air and slamming them down again on the side of his crib. It is surely a matter of minutes before one of his chubby legs inevitably gets wedged between the slats, speaking of things it is necessary to teach your children, so I should hit Publish on this and go rescue him.

Compliment awkwardness

Figure 1:1
Cute child in her natural habitat

I think generally I am not a very good accepter of compliments (I am one of those people who always wants to wave off a nice comment or explain why it’s untrue or unjustified or else respond with an inappropriate level of enthusiasm) (feel free to test this theory in the comments by telling me everything you love about me) (just kidding) (or am I?) but I am especially awkward when people compliment my children. It happens a lot when you are out and about with a baby, and even after three years of this I don’t know how to respond when someone says that my baby is cute. It feels like there should be some middle ground between, “Oh, this old thing? He’s okay, I guess!” and “I KNOW RIGHT? FUTURE BABY MODEL RIGHT HERE!” but I have yet to find it. I think the main issue is it feels sort of like saying “thank you” is tantamount to taking CREDIT for the cuteness, and while I was involved in the creation of these children (I spent a gruelling 18 months turning tortilla chips and lemonade into babies) it’s not like I gave them cute little button noses on PURPOSE. I am trying to teach Ellie how to say “thank you” when someone tells her she’s cute to take some of the pressure off me to figure out what to say. The cuteness of these children, it is a curse.

Two weeks ago when I was at the dentist I mentioned to my hygienist that I was pretty sure I had a cavity in a specific tooth. She looked and said she couldn’t see anything. The dentist came in and reviewed my x-rays and poked around a bit and said he couldn’t see anything either. Later in the appointment when my hygienist got to that tooth and started scraping around and I practically levitated out of the chair, she admitted that perhaps there actually WAS a cavity in that tooth, and then said, “You must be very aware of your teeth!” Which doesn’t sound exactly like a compliment, but she said it admiringly, so maybe it was? I was relieved my mouth was full of dental tools at that point, rendering a response impossible, because I probably would have said brightly, “Why yes I AM very aware of my teeth, thank you for noticing!” and then collapsed into a black hole of embarrassment.

Escape artist

“Booooorn freeeeee, as free as the wind blows, as free as the graaaass groooows …”

The way our house is set up is we have a walkout basement with a deck off our kitchen, which is about 10-12 feet above the yard if my estimation is any good, which it probably isn’t. Suffice it to say it’s a long way down. The way our CAT is set up is that he is an indoor-only cat that we sometimes let out on the deck because it’s enclosed on all sides and there are no stairs down to the yard below, so in theory it is a safe place for him to laze about in the sun as cats are wont to do. One day last week, I walked by one of our living room windows, saw him perched on the sill, and thought ha, that’s cute, what a little daredevil. I went out to get him and he tried to jump back over to the deck, teetered on the edge for a while, FELL OFF, and then started to hum the theme from “Born Free” while I raced downstairs to try and catch him before he escaped from the back yard. It was very invigorating! He seems no worse for wear but his deck privileges have since been revoked.

Zach’s reflux has been acting up off and on over the past month or so. I can’t seem to isolate the cause. There are too many variables when it comes to babies, and of course he can’t tell me what’s wrong. Is it the fact that he’s becoming more mobile and spends a lot of time folded in half? Is it the occasional milk or cream in my coffee? Is it the 3-4 cloves of garlic in my current favourite recipe? (Seriously. You’re going to want to click that link. Especially if you like avocados. If you don’t like avocados, please don’t tell me. I don’t think I could handle it.) Some days he hardly spits up at all and some days he and I go through six outfits each between breakfast and bedtime. Babies really should come with a status panel, or at least you should have the option of having one installed if necessary.

Elections & early mornings

Skeptical baby would like to know what you are posting about him on the internet

I picked up our voter cards from the mailbox this morning. Isn’t election season exciting? Constant phone calls from campaign offices! Signs everywhere! Finding out on Facebook that people you like and respect have political views you find reprehensible! Still, I love to vote. I get such a thrill from it. I expressed to Mike that I wished there was a way I could vote in the place of all of the people who couldn’t be bothered, and he said something about “voter fraud” so I guess that won’t be happening, but still! June 12th! I will see you at the polls!

Zach has started waking up for the day between 5:00-6:00 a.m., which is … early. I know some babies are just early risers, but we wanted to test that theory, so I went out on Friday to buy some blackout curtains for his room since we thought maybe he was just getting up when the sun got up. He’s still waking up early, but every time I walk into or past his room I think about how dark and inviting it looks and get a sudden powerful craving for a nap. So at least the blackout curtains are working on someone in our house.