Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This is your emergency menopause station

Does this make you weep uncontrollably at your keyboard? If so, proceed to your liquor cabinet and make yourself whatever seems best.

This is getting completely out of control. Yesterday I was blubbering at a McCain's fries commercial. "The . . . the . . .boy, he's so. . . . hungry and. . . and. . . his shirt is all stripey and. . . . and . . . . ADORABLE. . . . and her kitchen . . . IS SO CLEAN. WAAAAAAHHHH!"

And GOD, it's hot in here.

My life would certainly change...

...if I had more clothes like this:

Please give generously.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Car Snacks

When we used to head out to our Windermere cabin, back when Lake Windermere had something like 10 cabins on it in total and not ten condos per square meter, we observed certain niceties. Barfers at the window seats. Long-suffering but uncomplaining and very awesome sister in the middle even though as the eldest she should have punched someone in the head until the window seat was hers but ahem moving right along. Flatulent poodle (version 1.1 of which had three legs and was full of hate as well as noxious gasses) on the arm rest of the front seat--and wedged in somewhere would be Gramma with her tin tartan picnic basket. Which all comes back to the barfers, because MAN would they have something to work with.

We were allowed to commence dining once we reached the Cochrane turn-off. Something like 20 minutes into the 3-hour trip. And then the tin would open and inside would be egg salad sandwiches, tuna salad sandwiches, sweet pickle and butter sandwiches, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, Wink or Tahiti Treat, celery sticks with Cheez-Whiz, Bugles, ju-jubes, coconut marshmallow cookies, popcorn twists, salt and vinegar potato chips and red Twizzlers. That was when she didn't really have enough time to pack a "proper lunch." I remember rolling out of the car at the cabin, easily 5 pounds heavier, redolent of many chemicals and dyes and sugars and processed flours, having said very little to anyone else, all of whom were rubbing their jaws and bellies and looking like little bubbles were floating above their heads. We were well on the way to porkitude and ill health including, probably, significant brain damage, but damn it we were happy and we felt the love. The pink coconut marshmallow love.

These days, now that I am Queen, we go to Banff on the weekends. It's an hour-long drive, door to door. Last week, so that he would feel the love, Kid got pretzels, some juice, an apple, a banana, almonds, and two squares of organic dark chocolate.  I figured that would get him through the ordeal of being driven to a nice condo with a pool, something to help him concentrate on blasting battledroids and resisting pleas to for God's sake look at the scenery you are so lucky to live here. I imagined him thinking fondly back through the years to the thoughtful little snacks his mom would make for him on skiing weekends.

Look upon me, the standard bearer of exceptional parenting. Look upon me, you mothers in the McDonald's drive through lane, and WEEP!


Kid's babysitter has just informed me that he's pleaded with her to pack him a proper snack for this afternoon's excruciating drive. "You know Laur," he says, "She's not too great with the snacks. Mostly leftovers." He did not feel the pink coconut marshmallow love.

I'll be spending the next 45 minutes picking and choosing from our wide assortment of leftovers, which include cold green beans, a rind of Some Smelly Cheese, 2 inches of cranberry cocktail and what looks like tuna salad. I bet he'll be feeling the pink coconut marshmallow love next weekend, all righty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The dark side

Time for a confession here: when I was a kid, sharing a bunk bed with my younger sister, I used to hang down from the top bunk in the middle of the night and growl her name in a demon voice. Then she'd wake up yelling and I'd pretend that I was just sleeping along, minding my own business, when this stupid shrieking nightmare-ridden sister woke me from the dreams of innocence.

I've told this story to a couple of people over the years and their response has been the same: That Is So Awful.

Oh, the shame. Oh, the hand-wringing. Oh, the kind of sort of thinking about maybe kicking in for some of the therapy bills.

Tonight I'm sitting here in the kitchen trying not to put on the glow-in-the-dark monster makeup that Santa brought for Kid and scaring the bejeezus out of him.

I might not always be a good mother, but I bet I'll be a memorable one.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The mouth department

Periodically, in the midst of writing lies about software, sweeping foxhound hair out of every freaking nook in the voodoo bungalow, bandaging bleeding Lego-wounded toes, or chanting "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" some 300 times--I take a break from all the glamour and indulge in the Etsy Taste Test. You cannot find better free entertainment, people.

Today I got a poem AND an "embroidered patch long shirt":

That withering loneliness
Under the clear sky, it is turbulent Undercurrent
Lonely, pale,there has a litter smile In the mouth Department,
Evening, winding, or it may be some Indulge.
New style of clothing on autumn

If anyone gets an Etsy Taste of a litter smile better than this in the mouth department, I hope you'll let me know all about it. 
And there, yet again, is a sentence that has never before been written in the history of sentences. 
You're welcome. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free range chicken chicken

My darling TF recommended a farmer of chickens to me, a farmer who raises his birds ethically, treats them well, feeds them properly and charges a fair price for them. You go once a month or so and pick them up from his truck at a local shopping centre. It's enough to make you giddy, what with all the farm love going on. Locavores: REJOICE!

But I can't eat them.

They showed up last night courtesy of TF's DH, in their plastic bags. Their plastic bags of blood.

Their freshly killed, freshly plucked little bodies in their plastic bags of blood.

I contacted a farmer and he killed some chickens for me.

We cooked one--parts of one--this evening for dinner and I feel biblically guilty. Luke and Kid chowed down and declared it all delicious. I pushed a little piece of breast hither and thither on my plate and thought about responsibility. I thought about George Orwell, "Babe," and that episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where Les Nessman witnesses live turkeys bombing out of a helicopter onto an unsuspecting shopping mall. ("It should have worked.")

I think I might now be a Vegetarian For Real.

I know. I know.

The turkeys are mounting a counter-attack.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Informed consent

Received the second copy of a consent form from the school today. Apparently a Grade 6 wants to do a science fair project on how well Grade 2s recall music.

There's a consent form for it.

I didn't sign it the first time it came around, so it came back.


If the Grade 6 wanted to take Kid's blood or urine, or subject him to electric shocks, or deprive him of light and oxygen for several minutes at a time, then I would want to be informed and sign away my rights to complain later if I saw fit.

But -- REALLY?

DH, playing devil's advocate (I know, shocker) says that any time a Grade 6 wants to experiment on a GRade 2, parental consent must be obtained. And what of the results of this observation? What if kid is determined to be sub-par in his ability to retain musical memory? Will this lead to persecution, a failed grade, deportation to an ice gulag?

Honestly. We can really go overboard on these kinds of things. Think think think, what could go wrong? What, in a science fiction universe ruled by gelatinous meany-brain mutant creatures, could go wrong?

Then invent a consent form for that.

I wish kids could just go to the zoo with their class without moms having to sign that they recognize their kid could be eaten by a leopard, be killed in a bus crash, break a leg on an icy walkway, hear a grown-up using a cuss word, etc.

Not that I would want to swap places or anything like that, but children do grow up on the Gaza Strip. In Delhi. Sudan. Tchad. They grow up. They live. They are not eaten by caged tigers, nor exposed to the depravities of Grade 6 science projects gone horribly wrong. If those vulnerable children can live and survive, then my pampered, well-fed and privileged child shall certainly survive a trip to the zoo. Or a music recall experiment performed by an 11 year old.

Lighten up, for the love of all that is good in this world. Just relax, breathe, and take it easy. We will live through this leafy suburban fat and waxy hellhouse, and so will our kids.

Just sign here, will you?