Friday, November 29, 2013

I'll Take Good Care of You!

This morning, I woke up feeling bad. Kind of awful, really. Like sea creatures were staging an epic battle in my stomach.

As the owner of an iffy gut, I'm used to the randomness of digestive roulette. Most days are perfectly normal, and then some days, it would just be better to stay in bed. There's nothing to be done but wait it out.

Of course, I don't get days off from this gig, so I got up and made breakfast as usual. I got their clothes ready for them, made sure they had everything they needed for the day and packed their backpacks. I sorted out the jumbled winter gear in the hallway to make sure everyone had the right amount of mittens.

And then I lay down on the floor.

Within moments, Kee had brought me a bucket, covered me in her blanket, and drawn me a picture to cheer me up while she's at school. Beege offered me the use of her softies. They also worked out a schedule of who would look after me when (around school attendance and bedtimes), and agreed that maybe Beege should tuck Kee in tonight if mummy's not feeling better.

In the middle of all the fights about bedtime, and wearing socks, and clearing dishes, and homework, and too much TV, and why it's not a good idea to wear a sundress today, and why cookies are NOT supper... it's easy to get bogged down thinking that I'm doing a really, really crappy job as a mum.

Luckily, they always remind me I'm not. Every time one of them pats my hand when I'm not feeling well, or tells me all they want is hundreds of hugs for their birthday, or is delighted by someone else's happiness, they remind me.

Because as I see it, the most important job I have as a mum is to help them grow into good people. And I'm obviously doing something right. 

I'm feeling much better. The fresh air from the walk to school, and a cup of hot tea seem to have done wonders in settling the beasts.

So I guess the real question is this: If I milk it just a teeny bit, does that make me a terrible person?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grandma Wins Christmas.

Beege is a very practical girl. The first time I ever let her pick out her own winter boots, she picked out some "with thick treads for walking on ice, and a string I can tighten so the snow won't go in."
But, like every other kid at school, even she gets dragged into fads sometimes. Despite the complete ridiculousness of "Silly Bands", and the fact that they serve no purpose other than clogging the vacuum, she wanted them to trade with her friends because everyone else was.

So when Rainbow Looms came out, I figured it was only a matter of time, and sure enough...

Beege: Mummy?
Me: Yeah?
Beege: Remember when we talked about fads? And how sometimes, there's no real reason why people like something except that everyone else does, so you have to think about it and decide for yourself whether or not you should bother with it?
Me: Yeah?
Beege: Well, I've observed a new fad called Rainbow Looms.
Me: Okay.
Beege: I would like it even if no one else did.
Me: Sure.
Beege: I want one.
Me: Right.
Beege: For my birthday.
Me: Uh huh. 
And I'm totally for Rainbow Looms. I always like toys that you actually DO something with. They can even be said to be educational; patterning, following directions, grouping and sorting, small motor development, and the band refills can be used as incentives to help her get through her tedious OT work. I was planning on getting her one, actually.

You'd think this whole thing would make me pretty happy. An inexpensive birthday gift that I already know she wants? Something I was planning on getting her anyway? Sign me up!

Except... my mum beat me to it. She already got them for both girls for Christmas.

I'll probably get her some socks or something.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lowered Expectations.

This morning, we were late for school. Again. I know, I know, I've complained about it before, but honestly we live across the street! If anyone's going to be on time, it should be us!

Today, no one got up. Kee climbed into my bed for a snuggle and when the alarm went off, said "I don't want to get up yet. I need snuggles." For some reason, that sounded fine, and I hit snooze. Next thing I know, it's 8:00. Crap.

Then Beege just would not get up. At all. She claimed her nose was too snuffly to stand up. 8:15.

Then Kee wouldn't get dressed. Then she wanted to wear a sundress. Then she wouldn't wear socks. Then she had to wear specific socks. Then she put them on her hands instead of her feet. 8:36.

Beege thought it would be a good time to start a new book. 8:42.

I'm not sure what happened in the next few minutes because I realised that even though I had already done dishes, put in a load of laundry, made lunches and packed backpacks... I was still in my pajamas.

As Beege was putting her boots on, I was zipping up my coat, and Kee was doing a puppet show with her mismatched socks, we heard the bell ring. 8:55. Late. Dang.

So we jogged over to school and signed in at the office just as O' Canada started.

I can't help but feel like a bit of a failure when we get there late. We live across the street!!

But today, as I trudged down the long hallway to the exit, I saw something that made me feel a little bit better.

There are pants in the lost and found. And not just one pair, either.

We may be late, but at least we all know where our pants are.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Need a Minute.

10:32am. Usually at this time, I'd be scrambling to finish up whatever I was doing so that I could change back into my "real" clothes* and get ready to pick up Kee from school.

But today? Today, I have spent the morning surfing the web and am just now sitting down to write.

The best thing happened this morning. First of all, I got the kids to school on time with minimal yelling.  (A change from the past two days, I assure you.) As we got to Kee's lineup, her best friend appeared, and she went running over to her. I approached more slowly.

You see, I haven't had a shower in three days. Oh geez. No, it's four. The water temperature isn't stable here when the laundry is going, or the dishwasher is running, or someone's flushing the toilet, or someone's having a shower upstairs. And I don't like to have a shower when Husband's not home in the evenings, because inevitably one of the kids will interrupt me midway through with some kind of emergency, and I'll be reminded by the stiff mass of my hair the next morning that I never actually rinsed the soap out. And so, I had a favour to ask.

"Do you suppose you could pick Kee up for me today, and I'll meet you at your place a little later?" I asked hopefully.
"Oh, thanks so much! That would be great. I've got a couple of errands, and I'd really like to have a bath."
"You know what? Why don't you just meet us back at the school when it's time to pick up the big kids?"

And then I cried. Just a little. Which freaked me out a bit, so I'm writing off the errands, and just spending the day goofing off.

First, I changed back into my pajamas. Then I danced wildly around the living room while laughing my head off. When I'm done here, I will have that bath. Then I'm going to watch Tootsie, at the volume I prefer, while sprawled over the entire couch and hogging the blankets. And hopefully, I'll remember to go pick up the kids.

*Yes, Mum, I do change back into my pajamas when I get home from dropping the kids off at school. Don't look at me like that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

And Now We Are Old(er).

Last weekend was my birthday. As some of you know, I've been kind of down on birthdays for the past few years (my own, anyway). So this year, I decided not to leave it up to chance.

Contrary to my almost sloth-like demeanor, I used to be quite an  active person. I enjoyed hiking, camping, swimming... even some team sports. But since highschool, I haven't done any of that kind of stuff. And I've realised that it makes me kind of sad. So what I chose to do was this:

I think this one was about 30' up?
Treetop trekking in Horseshoe Valley*.

It's made up of a series of obstacles (they called them "games", but I'm sticking with obstacles), strung up at varying heights in the trees.

When you get there, they strap you into a harness, hand you a helmet, and give you a short training session on how to safely navigate the course. Then you're pretty much on your own to make your way through the trees. There were barrels to cross, things to crawl though, logs to balance on, and even some plain old fashioned tight ropes.

We spent a good three hours swinging, climbing, zipping through the trees. Despite the rain and the chill, it was AWESOME. The people who work there were unfailingly nice, and I had a truly amazing time.

I've already decided I'm going back next year.

But I'm thinking I'll wear gloves.

*The one we went to was near Barrie, but they've got several locations in Ontario and Quebec.