Today is day six of ME PARENTING CHILDREN MOSTLY ALONE except for friends and family and preschool and my reliable automobile and my cat. Your cat helps you parent? you are saying.
How? you are asking.
By letting me know with insistent meowing that it’s time to get up in the morning. Get up. Get up. Why aren’t you up yet. That’s what my cat does in the morning. At 5 am. 5:30. Whatever. Whenever he thinks it’s a good time. If he hears the kids. If he doesn’t hear the kids. He is like an early warning system for any possible problem.
He just wants food, you are thinking. Why doesn’t she understand that. He is a cat.
No, that’s not it. He has food in his dish. We give him little servings of food all day because if we put a whole serving in his bowl he eats it all right away and throws up immediately. And then meows to let you know he has thrown up. Which is nice.
So how is that helpful to the parenting?
Oh, it isn’t? I see.
I just wanted to bitch about the cat. Usually I bitch about the cat to saint aardvark but he’s not here, you see, and if I bitch about the cat to the children, they will think it’s okay to bitch about the cat and they will use the word “bitch” and that just isn’t appropriate.
Yesterday I had to implement a time out policy w/r/t the word “bully.” You see, somewhere, from the ether I guess, Trombone learned the word bully. He likes it because it sounds like BULLET which is a word that means POWER to a 4 year old and they are power mad, I tell ya. Of course little myna birdie, I mean Fresco, says bully too and now we’ve got two kids who are calling each other, me, strangers at Safeway and random assholes in the park who really are bullies, well, bullies.
Yesterday: not my most shining of days and the rain it did piss down and we got up before the sun – damn you time change, damn you to hell – oh wait except there was no sun, moot point, and there was much angst in the house and so, at 7 am, I did say, There is no more BULLY in this house. NO ONE says bully. No one.
Trombone, being 4, remembered. I saw him. He said, “You’re just a bull a bull a BULLET!” which I guess I should mind, too, but is not as loaded a word, pardon the pun.
But Fresco, bless him, is young and has the attention span of a malnourished ladybug so he had 8 time outs over the course of the day over his use of the word BULLY. Which, then you’re thinking, is it working? And I’m thinking, yeah, maybe not but I just have to get through the day. At the end of each 2 minute time out, when the timer on the stove went, he would say, “Yay, I’m ALIVE!”
Maybe he thinks a time out is like death? Maybe death is the ultimate time out? And God has his finger on the kitchen timer, upping your time to ETERNITY and he’s like,”I WARNED YOU,” booming from the sky.
Today was a better day: we all slept in and the kids were in good moods and the sun was out. Trombone went to school and Fresco and I went to the Burnaby Library and then we played outside in the sunshine after school was out and then I lost Fresco.
Yeah, I lost him. Actually, he ran away. He wanted to play hide and seek. Except he didn’t tell anyone. He just left.
So I’m standing there, chatting with another preschool mom about what sweethearts my boys are and all the kids are running and playing, and all the moms are watching and we do this three times a week weather permitting so there is nothing unusual about the scene at all except wait a second I am missing one child. Fresco is gone.
Thankfully, the other moms are there and we fan out – one behind the school, one in the field, I take the path above the school. See there is an elementary school and it has a road and a huge field bordering it and then there’s the school itself, which is where he was, it turned out. Little bastard snuck into the gym, past a class of grade 6 kids, and was in the storage room where they keep the balls and chairs and stuff.
Skookum hiding spot! NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!
Seriously. I just lost a handful of hair. I guess I could weave a wig from all the cat hair in this house but I won’t. I have to go make some cheese cookies.
What? I didn’t tell you about the cheese cookies? Well, I told *facebook* about the cheese cookies.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about these little cheesy crackers that I used to buy at the Dutch store. And also I was looking for a savoury, pumpkinish-shaped treat for a halloween playdate. Yes, sometimes I do use my time very abstractly. So I googled cheese cookies to see what would happen and lo, behold, presto magnifico, cheese cookies. They are like shortbread. But with cheese and sundried tomatoes in them. I can not say this loud enough. WIN.
Funnily, last week I decided to make a double batch and use half the dough as a crust for a quiche. That worked all right but I forgot to put the cheese in the half that was going to be cookies. I forgot! The cheese! In the cheese cookies! I suck!
In sum: don’t forget the cheese. Don’t look away from your toddler for a minute. And don’t forget to feed your cat.