Monthly archive for February 2015

Divided attention

It's good to have a hobby.

It’s good to have a hobby.

Zach is currently obsessed with taking things out of things. (He has not yet developed a corresponding obsession with putting things back INTO things, so our house is always in a state that was once described by my friend Heather as, “If we suddenly disappeared, the police report would definitely say there were signs of a struggle.”) We have spent a lot of time this week in the bathroom, with me sitting on the floor, drinking tea and supervising the removal of all of the items from one of the cupboards, and him gleefully bringing me each item, one at a time, so I can identify them for him. “That’s lotion. That’s lotion. That’s … also lotion.” It appears as though I might have a lotion hoarding problem? If the end of the world comes in fire instead of ice, and everyone’s skin is a little dry, feel free to stop by our house. Zach will have all of the lotion lined up on the edge of the tub for you.

While we are in the bathroom, Ellie is often colouring, or watching unboxing videos on the iPad (do you know about those? they are … very weird, and very popular with kids Ellie’s age), or playing with her legos, or any number of things she is content to do alone. I feel like I was poorly prepared for this stage of parenthood, where one kid ends up getting the shaft, quality-time-wise, because the other kid is in a stage where he or she (he) needs more attention. If I don’t watch Zach every single second, he will destroy something or climb up and then fall off something or pour something out on the floor and then splash around in it. Often he manages to do those things even WHILE I am supervising him. (He is VERY FAST.) It’s hard to find the time to do the things with Ellie that I want to do, and I feel like my time is running out, because she starts school in September. I often feel guilty or sad about not being able to divide my attention more evenly. Possibly I will have to send him for a few bonus days at the sitter’s, so I can spend some quality time with her.

In spite of the insanely cold temperatures, it has been so sunny lately that I can almost believe that spring will come eventually. We are already two-thirds of the way through February, which is empirically just the WORST month there is, so there’s only, what, another six weeks or so before things start to melt? I am feeling very enthusiastic about that. It is only a matter of time before the tulips start to poke their way up around the tree in our front lawn, which is one of my very favourite things in the whole world. It makes me want to plant tulips everywhere.

Arachnaphobia-phobia

Just a gratuitous baby photo to counteract the gross subject matter of the second paragraph

Just a gratuitous baby photo to counteract the gross subject matter of the second paragraph

Like much of this part of the world, we had a snow storm last night. My conservative estimate would be that about fifty million feet of snow fell overnight and into this morning, but it is currently sunny and the kids are at daycare and I have already accomplished most of my to-do list with an hour and twenty minutes left of childcare, so I am feeling the temporary satisfaction of actually being on top of things for once. I am also feeling cozy because I haven’t yet left the house today (Mike dropped off the kids this morning) but that feeling will also be temporary. Perhaps I should use the next hour and eighteen minutes to figure out the final details (okay, ALL of the details) of my get-rich-quick scheme, which will allow us to move to Hawaii, where I can post casually smug Facebook statuses like “Just got back from a 5K run along the ocean! Smoothie for breakfast, made with mangoes from our own tree. So blessed!” while the rest of the world shovels and grumbles and shivers.

Do you ever have a memory of something that wasn’t particularly traumatic at the time, but scares the stuffing out of you in hindsight? As I was trying to fall asleep a few weeks ago, my semi-conscious mind reminded me of the movie Arachnaphobia (thanks, brain! very conducive to sleep) which I have a vague memory of watching with my cousins many years ago. The IMDB tells me that movie was released in 1990, and assuming we watched it right away when it came out on video the following year, we watched it when we were 10 years old. I don’t remember being overly frightened by it at the time, but as I was lying in bed on the night I was thinking of it, I recalled a scene where a man was watching TV in the dark, eating popcorn out of a big bucket. The scene ended with one of the giant horrifying spiders crawling into the bucket, and when the scene returned to this man’s living room, he was dead and the giant horrifying spider CRAWLED OUT OF HIS NOSE. Incidentally, the trivia section on the movie’s IMDB page introduced me to the term “bird-eating tarantula” which might just be the most terrible combination of three words I can think of. I am not sure I am going to recover from this trauma.