Monthly archive for July 2014

Cottage life is the life for me

Cottage life

You people are clearly my people! Fireworks haters! Toddler-talk lovers! Gather round, I would like to hug you. You might be pleased, as I am, to know that although the days of hilarious pronunciations are drawing slowly to a close, we have apparently entered the Kids Say the Darnedest Things stage. On our last trip to the library, the children’s librarian (whose name is Robin but who, Ellie regularly reminds me, is not a “robin birdie”) bid Ellie farewell with that old chestnut “see you later, alligator!” and as we walked away, I heard her mutter under her breath, “I’m not an ALLIGATOR. I’m ELLIE.”

We spent last week at a cottage up in the Muskokas, and it was quite a lovely time. A large part of the loveliness came simply from having another parent around for the whole week, and it was so restful for me (I read two books! and swam in the lake! and we went to the beach twice!) I have subsquently hatched a plan to hire a nanny. I just need to figure out some sort of scheme to get rich quickly in order to fund this initiative. Perhaps insider trading? Are any of you executives with publicly traded companies, and would be willing to trade secrets for cookies? Maybe I will have to invent something, although I have been told that my one good idea (nanoparticles that will clean your teeth so well you’ll never have to go to the dentist) (patent pending!) isn’t a) possible, and b) marketable, even though I’ve done the hardest part, which is think of the idea and come up with a clever name (“NanoDent Dental Bots”). Alas! I suppose I won’t quit my day job just yet. But I am already fantasizing about next year’s cottage vacation. There’s just something about being on the water that is incredibly soul-soothing, isn’t there?

You might recall (not that I would expect you to) that we have had some issues with a neighbour over the past couple of summers, specifically Loudness Issues resulting from the man of the house hanging out with his buddies in the garage, playing loud music and generally being disruptive to my beloved sleep until the wee hours of the morning. Throughout the spring they were suspiciously quiet, and I wondered if maybe they’d had an attack of Sudden Onset Neighbourliness, or maybe it had finally occurred to them they have both a back yard and a basement in which hanging out would be theoretically possible. Then one day Mike came back from a bike ride with Ellie and reported he had spotted a stroller in their garage, and then another day he reported he spotted an actual baby in their garage, and anyway: mystery solved! Congratulations on the baby, sir! I will try not to accidentally drive by your house at 5:00 in the morning with my windows down and stereo blasting.

Five things

Goose egg on my formerly mint condition baby

1) One of the things about parenting that I didn’t expect to be bittersweet is language development. I love to watch Ellie learn new things and the little language explosions that happen every few months are incredibly thrilling, but every time she loses one of her cute toddler mispronounciations, I get a wee bit sad. She currently pronounces “chipmunk” like “chunkmunk” and I will cut anyone who dares to correct her.

2) Twice in 24 hours we got to hear a rather sickening THUNK sound coming from part of one of our children coming into contact with the floor. While we were visiting Mike’s parents for Canada Day, Ellie fell out of bed for the first time and landed in a sobbing, disoriented heap on the hardwood floor. She was fine, but I can imagine that is a rather traumatic way to wake up from a deep sleep, especially a deep sleep in a strange room. The next day Zach tipped forward from a seated position on the rug in our living room and clunked his forehead onto the hardwood, and I sprung up as he straightened back up and somehow managed to catch him just before he over-corrected onto the other side of his head. (He is fairly stable when seated but is somewhat top-heavy due to being about 90% head.) I think we are going to replace all of the hard surfaces in our house with the memory foam.

3) Every time there is a discussion of fireworks and I express my displeasure at how people have little mini fireworks celebrations all around town all four nights of every long weekend, sometimes lasting until midnight or later, I always feel the need to add some sort of disclaimer about how I don’t DISLIKE fireworks, I just don’t like them so late at night, I am not a crackpot, etc. … but I am going to come clean once and for all: I actually do dislike them. I do not see the appeal. I think, with the exception of organized, extended displays put on by trained professionals, that they are just loudness for the sake of loudness, which is not something I can get really drum up any enthusiasm for. However, I understand that others quite enjoy them, and I do not begrudge them the opportunity to participate, and furthermore I understand that they simply don’t work if you blow them up while it’s still light out, so I can swallow my displeasure for it up to a certain point, because I am not Prime Minister of Canada and I do not make the rules. (Yet.) But! It gets dark around 9:20 these days and if you are still exploding fireworks two or three hours later, I will think you’re a jerk, because that is just selfish behaviour. All of that aside, I also feel icky about fireworks in general due to the fact that many of them are assembled by children working in unsafe conditions in factories in China. You can do with that information what you will.

4) We all had a nasty cold for a week, and then for most of the following week I had incredibly swollen, painful lymph nodes in my armpits. For the record, I do not recommend googling “swollen lymph nodes” because the top results for that are lymphoma, leukemia, mono, and a tooth abscess, all of which are unpleasant to contemplate.

5) I bought a special coffee press that can make large quantities of iced coffee, and tried the cold brew method for the first time, where you brew the coffee at a) overnight, and b) at double strength. I didn’t dilute it quite enough the first time I served it, and whooooooo! I felt like a hummingbird for most of the day. I got a lot done that day, if you consider “sitting on the couch all jittery” to be a thing that can be accomplished.