Fig. 1.1, baby with fabulous bedhead
At Zach’s 12-month appointment last week, the med student who was measuring his head paused and said in an awed tone of voice, “Wow! He has a really great head of hair.” Forget all the other milestones, this baby has medically-recognized fantastic hair! (DIAGNOSIS: FABULOUS.) The other good head-related news from the appointment was that his enormous noggin is back on the growth charts, which I suppose means it won’t continue to grow disproportionately to the rest of his body until he is a 15-year-old real-life Humpty Dumpty, teased by other kids but recruited by top-tier universities to play as an offensive lineman on a football team while majoring in some sort of social science that won’t really help him get a job later on. The Boy With the Golden Head, the sports magazines will call him, referring to both his battering-ram skull and his flowy, shampoo-commercial hair. (The bad news from the appointment — bad for measles and for his wee chubby limbs — was that he received four shots, each of which he was very! unhappy! about. He will thank me for it later.)
We are having our living room painted in November. We had to hire a professional painter for this, because our living room has very high ceilings, but this has some additional benefits, namely that she can use her scaffolding to change the burned-out lightbulb in the ceiling fan that otherwise would likely be burned out forever, because … what exactly are we supposed to do about it? How did the house designer see this playing out? The ceiling is far higher than our tallest step ladder and the fan is right in the middle of the room, making it inaccessible with an extension ladder. Anyway, we also get a free consultation with a colour consultant, which will hopefully prevent some of my usual Endless Paint Colour Dithering, wherein I continue to second-guess our choice up to and including the time when the person at Home Depot is actually mixing our paint. It won’t eliminate it entirely, however, because it is currently painted a) easily-marked-up-and-always-dirty-looking-as-a-result builder-grade white paint, and b) dark chocolate brown, which is a colour I very much like in chocolate but don’t much care for on the wall, so at this point we don’t have any ideas, other than “not terrible white paint” and “not chocolate brown”. Most of the accessories in that room are green, red, and brown, but other than the brown furniture, we’re not married to any of it, and even the brown furniture could be replaced, because it is old and stained due to kids and pets and the fact that I myself am a notorious spiller. Internet, I turn to you for your advice: if you didn’t have to deal with a) the cost, b) my indecisiveness, and c) potential post-painting regret, what colour would you paint our living room?
Princess Norton of Arendelle
We live in a little town that is in Mennonite country, so we often have horse-and-buggies go down our street, since it’s a wide street that bypasses the traffic (okay, “traffic” with air-quotes, because it’s a tiny town that I think is technically considered a “village”) of the “downtown” (more air-quotes). I think it is something that might strike others as kind of odd, to see a horse cloppity-clopping (sound of coconuts banging together) its way down a street in the suburbs, but I barely even notice it anymore, except when the horse happens to poop in front of our house. Ellie noticed it one day and announced to me, “Mommy! A horse POOPED on the ROAD!” It was still there several days later, at which point she demanded indignantly, “Shouldn’t SOMEONE clean that UP?” Then, as I was loading the kids into the car at Walmart the other day, she pointed at an abandoned cart a few spaces over and said in a rather appalled tone of voice, “Mommy, LOOK! Someone just LEFT their cart RIGHT THERE.” Her righteous indignation is coming along nicely. For our next lesson, we will talk about when people get in the express line with 15 items in flagrant disregard of the “10 items or less” sign. (Advanced class: whether 15 cans of soup count as one item. No, no they do not.) (Super advanced class: why the sign should actually say “10 items or fewer”.)
Speaking of groceries (segue!) Mike thinks I am a product marketer’s dream, due to the level of enthusiasm I am able to summon for slightly updated versions of products I already like. He might have come to that conclusion after hearing my shriek of joy upon discovering Vanilla Rice Krispies. (Delicious, by the way. Enthusiasm totally warranted.) While browsing in the dairy section at Walmart, I stumbled across chocolate yogurt, which I bought, because what they say about not grocery shopping while hungry is indeed true. Do you know what chocolate yogurt is? Pudding. It is pudding. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I feel like I’ve been had.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
The kids are at daycare today and I have a little bit of extra time, so I was going to spend a while cleaning up the house, but that thought made me want to weep with the futility of it all, because the satisfaction of a clean house lasts approximately 90 seconds before it descends into chaos once again, and the satisfaction of a blog post will last at least twice as long as that. The thing is, Zach is incredibly destructive. Not in a way that I think is abnormal for a toddler, but in a way I think I was ill-prepared for, because it turns out — by comparison, at least — that Ellie was an incredibly quiet, tidy baby. Zach is a one-man wrecking crew, and also he is hell-bent on maiming himself in some sort of spectacular way. Child-proofing, it turns out (shocking absolutely no one with more than one child) is way harder the second time around. All of Ellie’s favourite toys have little pieces, or are magnetic, or are made of flimsy cardboard not designed to withstand ravenous chewing by a teething sibling! I’m sure I thrash around at night, mumbling sleepily, “Zach, NO! Stop pulling on the phone cord! Who left the baby gate open? Where did you FIND that? WHAT IS IN YOUR MOUTH?” I’m not prepared yet to say this is a girls vs. boys thing, but. Well. This is a new experience for me.
On Wednesday mornings, Ellie has gymnastics, and I think I get more of a workout than the little gymnasts because I spend an hour chasing him around the parent viewing area, which is filled with chairs and purses and plugs and vacuum cleaners and a steep set of stairs he is determined to climb even though he doesn’t really know how, plus a water bottle owned by one of the other parents he is determined to play with even though I would really prefer he not, a preference I make known every week by sighing dramatically every time he approaches it in the hopes that the other mom will stop leaving it temptingly on the floor (the first week I asked her to move it, which she did for a couple of minutes before putting it back on the floor). This has thus far been unsuccessful, although I am optimistic that next week might be better, because this week while tending to an Ellie with a sore foot (I’m not sure how she hurt it — I was too busy chasing him away from the water bottle to see what happened) he managed to crawl over to the water bottle, flip it over, and crawl through the lake it created on the floor TWICE before I got most of it cleaned up. (Water bottle mom: “He sure is QUICK, isn’t he?” Yes, he sure is. Now please move your feet so I can mop around them.) All of the other parents watched this happen, and no one offered to help, which made me feel a little sad about people. I left gymnastics this week all sweaty and frazzled and dishevelled and so worn out I actually ended up falling asleep while the kids napped that afternoon. I think I am going to join one of those calorie-counting websites so I can see if “keeping one-year-old alive at sister’s gymnastics lesson, 60 minutes” is in the list of activities.