Notes From Mother’s Journal: How We Spent A Rainy Summer Day

Yes, it’s another list-like post related to my children.

[standard disclaimer re: mommy blogging vs: ‘real’ blogging vs: writing vs: ‘real writing’]

[complaining about the weather]

[realizing that husband will be out after work and so I have 13 hrs alone with them until the kids go to bed]

1. I ask the children for input on what to do on this rainy day. Here is our list:

– go to Playland / Science World / Aquarium (all on one line because those things have an equal chance of happening, which is to say ZERO chance)
– take down recycling
– splash in puddles
– go to the Burnaby library
– go to a not-deep pool
– go to the farmers market
– play with Lego

2. We build a swimming pool out of Lego. It has a diving board, a lifeguard, and safety lights surrounding it. It has since been disassembled and thrown around the room or I would show you a picture. It was pretty cool. I like playing with Lego.

..but three year olds don’t. Not for very long. So I give Fresco some coins, fill the kitchen sink with soapy water and tell him to wash as much money as he can.

Yes! I am a genius. Best activity ever:

a) We have a lot of spare change. Enough to give some to every dude on Davie Street who ever asked me for spare change.
b) Children can practice their counting.
c) Children can figure out the value of money.
d) When they get bored of just washing, you clean out the OTHER SIDE of the sink (yes, we have a two-sided sink) and give them tongs.
e) And marbles!
f) Pick up the marbles with the tongs! Move them to the other sink! Repeat!
g) Fill this bottle with marbles! Fill it with coins! Dump it out! You are loving this game!
h) Now you are not.

3. Agree with Trombone that giving him all the quarters would be the best way for him to get a gumball a day and thus, fulfill his mandate of making me a better mother.

4. Deny him a quarter a day.

5. Decide, on reflection, to give him fifty cents a week; one quarter for a gumball and the other to save in his piggy bank.

6. Great, fifty cents for each child. A dollar a week.

7. Wait, did I just implement an allowance? Isn’t that something I should be doing, like, after hours of thought and discussion with my partner?

8. Fuck it; he’s not coming home till 9 pm.

9. Decide we will go to the Burnaby Library, then to the grocery store, then to the gumball machine outside the grocery store, then home.

10. Repeat this plan verbally more times than if it we were in The Italian Job, because the children keep re-jigging the order to put the gumball machine first.

11. Find cat poop on bathroom floor. Oh what fun! The cat has made a treasure hunt for us!

Cat poop treasure hunts are another great rainy day activity:

a) You have to use your eyes to tell what is poop and what is just thread, clumps of cat hair, or toast crusts on the carpet.
b) You have to use balance to step carefully around the cat poop.
c) You have to wash your hands several hundred times, with soap, which is great prep for cold and flu season. *

* no, I don’t make the children pick up the poop. But I do still make them wash their hands. Because I can.

12. Treasure hunt terminates on 3rd floor, in my bedroom, on SA’s side of the bed.

13. Decide to make a fantastic lasagna. An EPIC lasagna. Write grocery list. Realize I will spend roughly $20 on lasagna that only I will be eating. (and SA, if there’s any left) Decide I’m worth it!

14. It isn’t raining so we get shoes on and go outside and — now it’s raining.

15. Burnaby Library. I pay my fines using my new debit card. It works!

16. Grocery store! Two kids! Torrential rain! WTF is wrong with me!

17. Oh yeah. I have Gumball Bribery on my side.

18. Instruct children to “follow me” and “don’t touch anything” and “hold on to their quarters” and “follow me” 800 times.

19. Search in vain for “fennel seeds” that are no-name brand and cost less than $7. Decide to use rosemary. Meanwhile, another customer is laughing. Why is she laughing? Oh, because the spice isle is across from the marshmallows and my 3 year old has a bag of marshmallows in his mouth and is shaking it like a dog shakes a stuffed toy he is particularly fond of.

20. Using a gumball machine is a great activity for children too! Because:

a) Small motor skills used to put quarter in the slot and turn the knob.
b) Hand-eye coordination required to get gumball in your hand, not on the disgusting floor of the Safe — oh hell, just eat it.
c) Jaw coordination and strengthening.
d) Stress-relieving amusement for me, the parent, as I watch the kids try to blow bubbles with the gum. They have *no idea* what they’re doing.

21. Start preparing my Awesome Lasagna of Awesomeness. Prepare lunch for children, then attempt to enforce Quiet Time.

22. Have two telephone conversations in the locked bathroom while the children scream “TRICK OR TREAT” from outside it.

23. The rain has stopped. Kids find their friends in the courtyard. Will I be able to convince them to leave the fun frolic and come to the farmers market or should I just enjoy that they are not in the house.

24. Decisions decisions.

25. It’s so quiet. I like quiet. Maybe I will write a —

26. Someone’s crying.

27. Someone else hit someone with a stick.

28. It hasn’t rained for two hours so the children want to have a waterfight. I lock the door and hide inside.

a) This teaches them self-sufficiency!
b) And keeps the house dry!
c) Just kidding.

29. Collect recycling so I can cross three things off the list.

30. And now, a drink. Of alcohol.

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