Thursday, August 20, 2009

Working Holiday 2009

I've been taking a bit of a break lately, partly because I was on vacation, and partly because I am still recovering from said vacation. With our crew of a 4yo, a 1yo, two dogs and a shortage of dog-sitters, the typical vacation choice for us is a week-long stay at a cottage rental. This was our first attempt since Chichi came along, and was also our first attempt on our own, as our usual cottage companions were unable to join us. Overall, I would have to say that this trip was a LOT of work. We knew that it would be, but we also know that it's important to do things together as a family, which we seldom do. Equally important is that our children have memories of such events so that they can reflect back on their happy family life at some point in the future and at least acknowledge that their parents made some sort of effort, be it half assed or otherwise.

As with the majority of my stay-at-home mom days, the week consisted of about 10% priceless moments, and 90% getmethefuckouttahere moments. Every morning I looked out at the chairs on the dock, wishing that while wearing pajamas and a hoodie, I could sit and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee while looking out over the lake. Instead, every morning I had to deal with the constant whining from Pumpkin, along with the intense, yet necessary helicopter mothering of Chichi, who only wanted to play with fireplace pokers and matches. It was also difficult to impress upon Pumpkin just how important it was to be outdoors instead of sulking on the couch in the cottage, demanding videos. I always gave her a video if she was cranky, in hopes that she would pass out on the couch, but that never happened. Chichi wasn't much of a napping superstar either. She was usually awake, tired, and wanting to disassemble whatever she could get her hands on. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't at least once a day say to myself in exasperation, 'this would be so much better without kids.' Yes, I love them, and they enhance my life, but dealing with a double tantrum during a rain storm at the cottage does not come close to comparing with the fun that hubby and I used to have in the wilderness during bad weather, even if we were confined to a leaky tent.

The neighbour was a single mom, had a 4yo girl and a dog, but was smart enough to bring a nanny. Her trip seemed a lot more enjoyable. A couple of times I saw her on the porch, feet up, reading a book. Oh the things that I have learned to envy! An extra pair of hands, or even just an extra pair of eyes would have made a huge difference. I'm still grateful for the family time that we had though.

The week was not without it's priceless moments. Pumpkin made great use of the lake, and enjoyed swimming with the neighbour's daughter. Chichi seemed taken by the scenery, and enjoyed her first go at eating sand, and loved splashing along the shore line. We got Pumpkin out in the canoe a few times, where the conversation wasn't always what I had hoped for, but was still a positive experience. I'm glad that they like the outdoors because if we can swing it one day, we plan to have a cottage of our very own. A cottage that doesn't have stray pieces of Risk and Sorry strewn about the place that Chichi seems to have a radar for. A place where we don't have to cringe every time a dog scratches a wall, or eats a table cloth. Yeah, we seldom get our security deposit back.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

...and we can spin our heads right around too!

Many, many years ago, I attended a party where I met a guy named Mike. It wasn't a hook-up or anything, but we had a conversation, although nothing particularly noteworthy. The next week, Mike inquired about me to our mutual friend. He couldn't remember my name, but using his most eerie voice, and wiggling his fingers in a spooky manner, he referred to me as "That girl with the EXORCIST EYES!"

I have to admit, my eyes are probably my most memorable feature, or so they were before my raccoon-esque dark circles decided to envelope most of my face. My eyes are blue, and my complexion is kind of olive, (dark circles notwithstanding), so people tend to notice them (the eyes, not the dark circles). I had always thought it was a positive thing, but that exorcist comment certainly put a new spin on it.

Chichi doesn't have a dark complexion like mine, but her heavy mop of black hair contrasts strongly with her light grey/blue eyes. In addition, her eyes are so large that she often appears to be a somewhat stunned. Based on the attention that this gets her, I naturally assumed this to be a good thing, without any parental bias, of course.

Yesterday, Hubby was out pushing Chichi in the stroller, when a small boy came running down the path towards them. When the boy got close enough, he stopped in his tracks, pointed at Chichi, and with a look of concern exclaimed, "That baby's eyes are SCAAAAARY!"

Glad to know that I've perpetuated my 'creepy' gene.