Monthly Archives: July 2014

I Get Knocked Down. But I Get Up Again.

This is my last week of work. Because I work part time, these are my last three days of work. Today is done, and now there will be two more.

This morning I was not especially excited to go to work. I mean, even less than usual. You see, last week it was very slow in the office. There was barely enough work for one person and guess what, there were two of us.

Maybe it makes sense they lay me off, I thought for several long, dreary hours last week. The only thing worse than having too much to do and not enough skills/confidence/time to do it is having nothing to do and an airless tomb of an office enclosing you with a silent, cranky co-worker at your back, while you try to look busy for SEVEN HOURS.

It tested me for two days last week and I was not looking forward to three more days of photocopying random pieces of paper in order to look like I had a task to complete.

But it was a nice morning; overcast and not too hot. I made good time to work. I had to stab at the radio a lot to find songs I didn’t hate, but that’s how it goes with the radio sometimes. Just as I pulled into the right lane that turns into a left turn that turns into the parking lot that is where I go to work, Tubthumping by Chumbawamba came on the radio.

Tubthumping is not a favourite song of mine. It was annoying, back in the day, and time has added a sheer gloss of nostalgia but under that sheer gloss is still some dry, cracked lips. If you follow. However, I was making a right then a left then a left so I couldn’t stab at the radio and all you can do if you can’t stab at the radio is sing along.

Right? Right.


(yeah you remember Tubthumping. And if not, it goes like that for about five more minutes)

It was an apt song to hear on the third to last day of work at a job where I was knocked down every single day and came back every single time. Like the MARY ELLEN CARTER. (“She went down last October in a pouring, driving rain”) Like one of those inflatable clowns. Like a dog that just fucking loves you even though you’re allergic. Like a child who doesn’t care that you’re angry. Like someone determined.

I have made it to the end of this story and I am so proud of myself.

I got out of my car with a smile on, and saw my boss/manager person, having a smoke outside the office. She was very glad to see me. It turns out my co-worker has been off all week with a family emergency and there was a two-day backlog of work that ONLY I could shuffle around until it more resembled an hour-long backlog of work.

So, not only was it my third to last day, ever, but I got to work alone, without the bad juju. I had lots to keep me busy so I wasn’t watching the clock tick all day. I get to leave a smiling impression of goodness and dedication. And any mistakes I make in the next three days? I will NEVER HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT. At 4:30 pm on Friday I will vanish into a vacuum of my own making and someday I will tell you all about it over a beer. A lager-drink, perhaps. Or a whisky-drink. Or a vodka-drink.*

*bad Chumbawamba joke. As if there is any other kind.


Arlo woke up at 4:00 this morning.

“It’s my birthday party and tomorrow is my birthday and I am just so excited!” he said. He didn’t stop talking all day. Allllll day.

Right now he is sleeping soundly, though there is still light in his room because the kids keep moving the blackout curtains aside so they can see outside. Kids! Outside will still be there tomorrow! Shut your damned eyes and slumber. I would.

(age: one day)

I don’t know anything about eight year olds. I didn’t buy the book this year. However, it’s the beginning of a new birth year and those always seem to go well (except for the first one, and the third) so right now I’m going to say: hooray for eight.

Arlo at eight is moderate and often seems very grown up. He sometimes gives in to his younger, more tetchy sibling and his unreasonable requests. (Arlo at eight also lost it and hit that sibling because he broke a promise. The promise in question? To “show [me] his coolest face.”)

(age: one year)

Arlo at eight craves mastery. He tried road hockey, is currently obsessed with basketball, can ride a bike and a scooter, can tie his shoes, finally, and is interested in all the sports. All of them. He wants to play football and soccer and baseball and lacrosse. We, his parents, are confused by this, as we are of the clan sit-around-and-think-too-much (except, ahem, when one of us is running for “fun”) and we don’t care much for sports, but he wants to be excellent at something, and having already mastered reading, writing, math, and being a fabulous guy, sports and surgery are the only things left.

I brag.

I get to.

(age: two years)

Also I don’t think surgery would be a good choice. He might sever his own toe. (when do children stop being clumsy if ever? Maybe I need the book after all.)

(age: four years)(we mysteriously have no photos from 2009)

He opened gifts at his friend-birthday-party today and after each one looked the friend in the eye and said, “I love this! I will use this A LOT.” His genuine appreciation for gifts — no matter how big or small — makes my heart glad.

img_0264 (Modified in GIMP Image Editor)
(age: five years)

He eats and analyses food (“this tastes sweet but creamy but not good somehow”) and sweats like a … relative of me.

(age: six years)

He is even-tempered, and forgiving. He understands things like mixed feelings and conflicting statements. He gets where you’re coming from. When people get hurt, he winces along with them. He laughs at my jokes. He allows me to sing along with the radio, sometimes, because he appreciates passionate singing and good drama.

(age: seven years)

He wanted an eight-layer rainbow cake for his birthday this year. I tired at the seventh layer (actually the fifth, but I couldn’t very well stop at yellow) so we agreed the pink layer could be the frosting. “My friends might wonder why my cake is pink,” he said, “but they’ll understand when they see the rainbow.”

(all becomes clear when you see the rainbow.)

Happy 8th, Arlo. Infinity year. Year of hatching dreams, chasing rainbows, and eating more vegetables.


You bet I’m serious. This is your mother speaking.