Thursday, April 29, 2010

Random Marriage

I thought I was taking the week off, but I just got shit from an anonymous commenter who really wants to hear from me. Ok creepy stalker, I'll try to come up with something just for you.

This week in Pumpkin, she was working out the idea that my mom and dad used to actually be married to each other. She found this somewhat odd. It's not that she has a clear idea of what marriage is, but is quite certain that it does not apply my parents who don't live in the same city or spend any time together. I joked that I found their union odd too, not elaborating on my perception of two people who were nothing alike by the time that I was old enough to remember living with both of them at the same time.

Pumpkin then came up with a theory. "Maybe there was this wedding, and they needed a boy, and Grandpa was there, so they asked him to be in the wedding, and so they got married."

Wouldn't that be great for singles who are looking to get married for the sake of it? Just plan your wedding, and let the organizers pick your bride or groom while you're standing there at the altar.

I bet the existing 50% divorce rate would still hold steady.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not a Good Sign

This morning Chichi and I went to her usual Thursday morning gym class. One of the activities in this class involves lining all the children up at the 'air log', where they proceed to bang on it with maracas in tune to music. This air log is a giant, colourful, inflated tube, about 10 children long, and about 2-1/2' in diameter.

The children who have been in this class before are quite familiar with the routine, and obediently line up to receive their maracas, and then line up along the air log where they wait for the stragglers. While I was leaning over, helping Chichi, who was waiting to receive her maracas, there was a little boy behind me who had already received his.

The little bugger started banging on my ass with them!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Alternative Therapy

The other day, my friend's mom and I were discussing the all important topic of pistachio nuts. I was focusing on the insanely high calorie count per nut (don't ask), but she had information about the supposed therapeutic aspect of pistachio nut consumption. Apparently the whole fiddly process of cracking open each nut, shell disposal, and actual eating offers focus, stress relief, and of course, an edible reward. I though that this was a nice, but unlikely theory until a memory of my childhood was triggered.

Every summer, my brother and I would spend a week in small town Quebec at my dad's trailer. We amused ourselves there somewhat with swimming, biking, and goofing around in a rubber dinghy, but much of that week was spent at the patio table, listening to top 40 tunes, while working our way through a bag of sunflower seeds.

The mindless task of sucking off the salt, cracking open the shell, eating the seed, then spitting out the shell made for what I would consider a nice outdoor activity. It sounds silly, but the memory of munching through a bag, waiting for the radio to play the latest release by Huey Lewis, soaking up the sun, and feeding the occasional chipmunk really does give me a warm fuzzy. Those were quality afternoons.

Calories smalories! Whaddya say we all trade in our anti-depressants for a sunny afternoon and a bag of unshelled nuts?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bad Cop / Good Cop

It has occurred to me that a huge chunk of the behaviour of 4yo Pumpkin is designed to test my ability to not cause her any physical harm. It's hard, but I figured out long ago that I could cause her a fair bit of grief by taking away her favourite toy of the moment. Combined with a time-out, toy removal seems to cause her enough pain to gain her begrudging compliance.

This morning was no different than any other. Pumpkin refused to put on her own shoes, insisting that she needed my help, which she didn't. Sometimes I robotically put her shoes on just for the sake of getting her out the door, but today, I was a hard-ass. I really REALLY hate babyish behaviour when it's being performed by someone who isn't a baby, and I guess that my fuse is exceptionally short today.

"That's it! I'm taking away Mousey!" It's hard to believe that uttering such a stupid phrase gives me such a feeling of power, but hey, if Mousey works, then Mousey it is! Crying, Pumpkin had to put on her shoes and also didn't have her most important toy to take to school.

Those tears didn't affect me! I knew that I was ultimately being an effective parent, as I patted myself on the back after loading Pumpkin onto the bus.

A while later I noticed some scribble on the calendar. Pumpkin has her only show-and-tell for the whole month today, and today was now the only day this month where she didn't have some prized possession with her to show her classmates.

This will be the perfect punishment for her, I thought for half a second, before guilt took over my entire being. Grabbing my purse, Mousey, and some other toy option, I raced my butt over to the school, arriving just in time to catch the JK class lining up to go into the school.

Walking back to my car as I replayed the overjoyed, most beautiful smile that Pumpkin gave me when I showed up with her toy, I thought, 'Gee I'm a nice yet ineffective mom!'

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Little Miss Literal

my mom, hearing The Wiggles playing a disco song from the '70s: You know, Pumpkin, I used to dance to that song!

Pumpkin: And now you don't anymore because you're old?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I Don't Think that Pavlov had This in Mind

The TV in our bedroom is on the fritz. This has created somewhat of a problem for my marriage. The thing that draws the huz and I together in bedroom every evening is late night television. Without the common goal of not really enjoying Jay Leno, we're having to make a bit of a conscious effort to plan a little 'alone time'.

To make matters weirder, when we do happen to find ourselves in that room at the same time, it's too damn quiet! Last night while we tried to cozy up with one another, I kept hearing things. The dog was snoring. The heating vent was causing the vertical blinds to clang together. I heard shuffling around via the baby monitor. The rain was hitting the windows. A minor power outage caused a flurry of gadgets in the house to start beeping. I need to focus people! Just one focus though. Maybe Monday Night Headlines or Jaywalking?

Is there a support group for people who can only be romantic when there's a talk show on in the background?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Carjacking on the Playground

Every Wednesday I take Chichi to a play group where a portion of the class takes place in a gym where the kids play with various toys, balls, and ride-on cars. Chichi always climbs into one of the plastic cars and spend her time opening and closing the doors. This seems odd, but it amuses her, and allows me to spend time in the kitchen with the other mothers who are doing their best to avoid their own kids in favour of a sip or two of coffee.

Today, Chichi was sitting in one of the plastic cars doing her usual: Door opens... door closes. Door opens... door closes. I must have looked away for a minute because the next time I glanced over at her, she was not alone in the car. A little boy with the sweetest smile on his face had pushed his way into the car with Chichi, and was trying to crowd her out. I was watching this scene with the other mothers, who encouraged me to let things play out unless there were any tears.

Now Chichi's general facial expression is that of bewilderment. Her wide-open, grey/blue eyes seem to take up half of her face, and her mouth often rests agape, as if she is completely shocked. In the context of this carjacking, it was both appropriate, and really funny.

The next thing Chichi knew, she was squeezed out the door on the other side of the car, and was left standing there, still looking bewildered, watching this little boy drive off with her car as she helplessly looked on. The entire kitchen full of moms agreed that this scene was hilariously sad.

Then Chichi happily ran over to some other toy without skipping a beat.

Monday, April 05, 2010

No Wonder I Hate Hide n' Seek

According to a statistic that I came across recently, the average North American spends approximately 12 weeks per year looking for things that they own but cannot find.

Pumpkin is terrible at trying to find things. She loses everything she owns at least once a day, and can't find whatever she is looking for despite it's obvious location within the house.

Stereotypical is my exasperation with Pumpkin when I find myself running around the house just one minute prior to her bus pick up, looking for her shoes, backpack, random toy that she can't leave the house without, or some other item.

"Pumpkin! Why are you so bad at taking care of and finding your things???", I shouted in futility last Thursday.

She replied, "I know I'm bad at finding my things, but I'm really good at finding the stuff that Grandma can't find!"

I think that my family may be above average at something!