Tag Archives: seven year olds

On and On, Around and Around

I almost wrote this blog post on my phone, using the free wi-fi available at the ball park, while Eli practiced baseball and Arlo practiced hockey with a tennis ball (ALL THE SPORTS AT ONCE PLEASE) but people talked to me so I listened to them and then it would have been awkward to pull out the phone again. Plus I have fat, fat thumbs that do not do well with today’s smart phones; my old phone had a little punchy-in keyboard and that was great but the touch screen, I am not used to it. It is not used to me. I watch teenagers text on public transit and their thumbs move like hummingbirds and their mistakes autocorrect — or don’t — and they don’t even stop to read over what they’re writing, they just hit send and apologize later.

On Saturday night SA and I went to see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra perform Mozart’s Requiem and on our way home on the skytrain we met up with a few hundred people who had been to see Def Leppard. A lot of them were very young. A significant number were older than me. I know from my high school facebook friends that many people my age also attended the Def Leppard show. Armageddonit.

The Symphony was splendid. I sat listening, thinking of better words to use than awesome. Fantastic. A delight. An older woman sat next to me. She was there with friends, but they had seats together and she was visiting from out of town so she bought a ticket on her own. She was from Montreal and she had never seen the Requiem performed. At the end she stood and applauded and shouted Bravo! and then leaned down to ask me what I’d thought. Wonderful, I said. It was. A symphony is one of those things that you take for granted until you are staring at it, bathing in it, wondering how on earth anyone ever thought of Music Composition or Symphony Orchestras. Seriously. It could be so, so horrible, but it isn’t, it’s amazing.

Three days earlier I saw Neko Case perform at the Vogue theatre and she was sublime. Her voice is like warm honey. Sometimes it turns and there is a knife blade, but before you can really process that you heard a knife blade, she’s back to honey. She has magnificient, red hair and she wore tights with skeleton bones printed on them. If I could switch places with her, Freaky Friday style, I totally would.

*closes eyes* *opens eyes*

Nope, still me.

Yesterday it was ALL THE CELEBRATIONS for Eli’s birthday, which is today. Today he is seven. But yesterday he was six and 90/100ths and we had a birthday party at the movie theatre. Three friends fell ill over the weekend with a mysterious feverish virus, and in retrospect that’s probably a good thing because six boys in a movie theatre was enough and nine might have killed me. The party was not Pokemon themed, although I did put Pokemon cards in the loot bags; there is a store at a mall that sells ‘grab bags’ — 20 cards for two dollars, and one of them might be rare. Eli also received a lot of Pokemon cards as gifts, and the sharp intakes of breath around the table when he opened the blah blah blah blah something or other E.X FULL ART! was something to behold. How to shut up a room of 6-7 year olds: put a giant shiny card in front of them. Magic.

Eli also received some money as a gift and when asked what he would do with the money he replied, I will buy more Pokemon. When asked what he would do if everyone he knew stopped playing with Pokemon, he shrugged in his inimitable way, and replied, I will put them away and wait until they’re popular again.

Smart for seven. Maybe too smart. Age of reason: achieved.


“One nice picture. Come on.”



I was on my feet all day. There had been a power outage overnight and all the computers were buggered. The printer drivers were uninstalled. People were panicking. The magic machine that works with a computer that still runs windows 2000 (!!) did not come back all right from its spontaneous reboot, unsurprisingly. It was kind of like a computer stroke. And now that machine slurs a bit on the left hand side, as it were.

I don’t fix the computers at work, don’t get me wrong. But I sure do use them.

There was also a lot of: people and talking and being in charge and being okay with that but by the end of the day starting to be kind of sick of it. Someone else be in charge, please.

Sidenote: I was thinking today about the special value that I bring to the workplace because I’m a parent: initiative. There are step-up people at work who are not parents, and there are hang-back people at work who are parents, to be sure, but speaking for me only I can say that I am definitely more step-up than hang-back since having kids. I spent six years in charge of children. Who’s going to clean that vomit? I am! Who’s going to make a plan for the day/week/month? *half-hearted-hoorah* I am! Who has to just hold her nose and do the thing because there are no other adults around and children can’t do this particular thing. I am! Why not. This translates well to an office environment. Well, this particular office environment.

Of course we all draw the line at washing peoples’ dishes, you know that staple workplace sign “Your mother doesn’t work here: clean up your own dishes!” we have one of those at work. But if something not dishes or pest-control needs doing, I’ll do it. Even if I hate it. Because it’s probably better than vomit.

Then I hopped the train, then bus, then home, got the car, got the kids, bought them Wendy’s for dinner (best mom ever!) made them cry because no time to play Plants Vs. Zombies 2 (worst mom ever!) hustled us all off to baseball at 6*, sat on the field for 90 minutes while Arlo alternately did his homework, ran laps around the field, and hassled me about playing Plants Vs. Zombies 2, came home and hustled them into pyjamas, made Eli cry again because I refused to sleep with him (??) and Arlo started referring to himself as a bad kid because he keeps asking me the same thing over and over so I had to explain he’s not a bad kid, he just makes bad decisions sometimes, as do we all, and he said, with a cocked brow, well, I AM bad sometimes…and I realized he wants to be a little bit bad, so that’s fine I guess I can call him bad. Not a problem. My blond boy with blue eyes who resembles a 70s Wayne Gretsky right now. You so bad.


Go to bed, bad kid, I said, and now it’s 8:20 and I have some wine and my feet hurt from standing all day, and my butt hurts from sitting on the fake turf field for 90 minutes and you could be forgiven for thinking I’m never happy. Ah but I am.

I said to Arlo when he told me he was a bad kid, what we are doesn’t define who we are. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m mean, sometimes I’m irritating. Sometimes you’re bad, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. The only thing I can say with certainty about you is you’re human.

All of us mostly happy, a little bit mean, totally imperfect. Everything is okay.

* Working full time with kids in daycare and doing an organized sport that demands two evenings a week is as challenging as I thought it would be.

PS: Go Yankees.


“I’m Sure It SOUNDS Intimidating,” he said.

The local CBC was interviewing a brain surgeon who uses robotic lasers to operate on peoples’ brain tumours. According to him, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds, which is easy to say if you’re a person who operates on brain tumours. For me, the line in the sand for intimidating would be crossed in about the first year of medical school.


This evening I washed the heads of my children. Both children are growing their hair, to what end I do not know, so far it looks like 70s hockey player but things can change on a dime around here. Rather than torture them by forcing an entire body wash, I suggested I wash their hair using the time-honoured head-over-the-bathtub-handheld-showerhead-trick. It was imperative that their hair be washed; it’s been quite a few days now. You know how hair gets.

They squealed and shivered and complained but the hair got clean and then they combed it. They are big into combing right now. I hope that phase lasts. I came downstairs to put something away and when I went upstairs again, Arlo was combing Eli’s hair for him, a sweet moment as rare as a blue duck on a purple pond, so of course I snuck back down and grabbed a camera to snap a few sly pictures through the railing. Eventually they spotted me and were all annoyed I had filmed them secretly, which is totally fair. (In my defense, it is impossible to get candid shots of them anymore.) But Eli was really upset.

“I bet you filmed me when I looked HIDEOUS,” he wailed. “And then you’re going to show all your friends.”

So there are no photos with this post because doesn’t that seem a pretty clear request to not share images of His Hideousness on the Internet? Indeed. But trust me, it was a far cry from hideous.

Making Children Cry Since 2006

There isn’t much more frustrating than trying to help someone who’s too far gone to be helped.

“Stop chewing at your neck bandage,” one says to a cat. “Then the bleeding will heal and you will no longer need a neck bandage.” Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw, says the cat. It’s itchy, says the cat.

“Eat this sandwich,” one says to a child. “You will be less likely to kick me in the shins like a wildebeest* if you have food in your stomach.”
“I’m NOT HUNGRY AND I RESENT THE IMPLICATION!” replies the child as he winds up to kick you in the shins.

*I don’t think wildebeest actually kick.

This evening, after a full week of school that included:

– a playdate on Monday (Arlo and Eli)
– a dress rehearsal for the Christmas concert on Tuesday afternoon (Arlo)
– me working on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (though only half a day friday because SNOW MY GOD [SNOMG])
– an afternoon and evening Christmas concert on Thursday (Arlo)
– staying up until nine o’ clock and getting up at 6:50 every morning (Arlo)
– waking up three to five times a night coughing for a week (Eli) (and me) (and SA)
– ice skating this morning (Arlo) including walking to the rink in the SNOMG
– Christmas party for Eli
– including cookies and singing and hot chocolate and finally a movie
– more playing in the snow
– a lot of candy canes
– and finally the last minutes of the last day of school…
– more playing in the snow
– being surprised by me coming home early from work and meeting them after school
– walking home, all cold and soggy

…the children were tired. So tired. Their eyes were melting and their brains smoking. WOULD THEY ADMIT IT? BOLLOCKS.

The first hint of trouble came at about 4 pm. They had been lying on the living room floor, staring at the Christmas tree with their melting eyes, and I took a moment to look at my computer which at 4 pm usually means twitter.

An open laptop is an invitation. (hey Dell, you can use that if you pay me for it, yeah?) The kids came running over. I let Eli tweet a tweet, then I let Arlo tweet a tweet and it was funny and good. And perfectly spelled. And then Arlo wanted to tweet a second tweet and it was rude so I said no and he insisted so I shut the laptop.


Eli also did weep because he had been anticipating a second turn at the tweeting. I apologized and shut down the tweeting machine.

Next up: Arlo crammed a peanut butter cup in his mouth and sprayed chocolate all over me while he asked if he could go play at the neighbour’s house. “Did you eat all your lunch?” I asked. He shook his head. I asked him to please eat some real food, having already heard about the cupcakes, hot chocolate, cookies and candy they had both feasted on all day.


Turned out his lunch had been finished. “Huh,” he said, blinking, “I don’t remember doing that.”

I decided to let it, and him, go. Sadly he was back in five minutes, tears streaming down his face anew because neighbour friend was eating dinner. I could not take any more weeping. No more weeping. I needed to make pizza so I could eat it. This was the plan. Time for big guns.

“Would you like to sit on the couch and watch a movie,” I asked.

Oh yes. Yes. He sat, remote controls in hand, shivering, eyes swollen.

“But it’s my turn to pick,” Eli pointed out. More tears. Another round of tears for all my children! Cheers to the tears!

“I will pick,” I said. I picked the Drake and Josh Christmas Special. They were both happy about this.

I made pizza and fed it to them on the couch. After the pizza and movie they had dessert, because you need dessert right? Wouldn’t want your sugar levels to dip.

“Now,” I said, “it is bedtime.” I began to move things around in preparation for bedtime.
“I am going to make a movie,” Arlo announced. He took the tripod from the stairs and started to pull the legs out.
“How can you make a movie when it’s bedtime?” I said with a very false joviality.
“I’m not going to bed right now,” he said. “I’m making my movie first.”

I won’t transcribe the rest. There was more crying, me sending them upstairs, them making horrible shrieking noises, me yelling from downstairs that they should stop, and then more crying because I yelled.

I mean. You guys.

If you’re crying this much, you’re exhausted. If you’re exhausted you should sleep. If I’m telling you this, it’s not to assert some kind of puppet asshole control over you, it’s just because if you sleep you’ll feel better.*

They sleep now, tears dry on their cheeks. Soon, I will too.

*If I added up all the hours I’ve spent thinking about sleep in the past seven years I could buy a hotel. If the hours were worth money, which they are not.

Santa, etc.

Last year our neighbour, who was then 7, received an iPad from Santa, which totally fucking wrecks it for the rest of us. This year, Arlo has decided he wants an iPhone for Christmas, a black one, and I have, of course, decided to be logical at him, repeatedly. Thus, we have had the following conversation several times in the past weeks:

Arlo: I wonder if I really WILL get an iPhone 5 for Christmas. [smiles to himself]
Me: Hmmmm, do you think so?
Arlo: Well, it is pretty much the ONLY thing I want.
Me: Yeah..
Arlo: And Santa can do anything. And
Me: But expensive electronics are really not for kids.
Arlo: But NEIGHBOUR KID got an iPad last year from Santa
Me: I think his whole family got the iPad, actually..
Arlo: But mostly HE plays with it *
Me: Anyway, there are so many toys that are appropriate for children. There’s a whole Toys R Us store full of toys. I think those are the kinds of gifts Santa likes to give.
Arlo: I guess. But I really want an iPhone 5. A black one. [smiles dreamily]

*if most of your sentences start with “but” it’s probably not a productive conversation.

We have talked about what in god’s name he would do with a smart phone, how he’d have to pay for a data plan, which he could never afford on the one dollar per week he gets in allowance, especially since he always ends up spending his spending money on candy or to pay for things like the half a tube of toothpaste he squeezed out of the tube just to see what would happen, this last just the other day. (seriously dude wtf.) We have discussed how much they cost and how fragile they are (this child drops at least four things a day). We have even discussed the angle of proprietary software, thanks to Saint Aardvark’s personal bug up the ass, er, interests.

It isn’t the point. He doesn’t care about, or even hear, arguments against. Arlo thinks Santa is real. Arlo thinks Santa is magic. Arlo thinks Santa is going to give him what he most desires, because Santa wants Arlo to be happy and the iPhone 5 (in black) will make him happy.

Or possibly, Arlo knows Santa isn’t real and this is just a massive test.

Either way, this issue has been pushing my buttons, which of course makes it super fun for the kids. Push the buttons again! Again! iPhones for children are NOT part of our family value package. $500 gifts of any kind are not how we roll. You’ve been around enough Christmases and watched me shop, you should KNOW this. Want some damn Lego. You’re SEVEN. Ask for a pogo stick.

But you want what you want, because you want it. I’ve been so sensible for so long (about material things) I forgot what it is to just want something because you want it. Yes, because other people want it, because it’s a status symbol, because of what it represents. Still. Because you want it.

These examples of how my child is different from me sneak up on me. We all joke about stuff like “oh my kid is going to be an accountant because I’m a poet..but I’ll love him anyway,” but it’s sneakier than that. It’s a kid’s job to test his parent’s values, to assert his individuality. As soon as he can figure out a way to do it. So here I am, trucking along smug as a bug about my book-reading, music-loving kind-hearted child and then he says something that makes him sound like he’s a greedy, materialistic, value-less, status-seeking brat. Is he getting it, all the stuff I’m showing and telling? Is he going to join a frat someday? How will I handle it?

Except he’s a kid, just yacking on about stuff he doesn’t understand.

(For an entertaining/infuriating time, try talking to kids under 8 about gigabytes. Hilarious. Or precious metals. Everything that sparkles is a precious metal.)

It’s all part of separation. Letting go. I can’t make him value the things I value, and I don’t value the things he values, and all of this is as it should be. He can want an iPhone and he won’t get one, and the disappointment will be hard to watch, but he’ll take it and deal with it and it will help form him. He’s himself, not a clone of me. I spend so much time looking for the similarities between us I sometimes forget to appreciate and marvel at the differences.

Postscript, several days later.

Today the kids wanted to go shopping for Christmas presents. Arlo asked me for a list of things I wanted for Christmas yesterday and then he took it upstairs. I’m going to look at it and decide what to get you, he said.

This morning he wrote a list of stocking presents he would like, for Eli to peruse, and Eli wrote a list for him. Then Arlo came over and whispered in my ear:

Today can we go to a toy store, so I can look for something for Eli’s stocking?


He went upstairs and gathered his money. He had five dollars.

More whispering:

I want to get him a stuffed dog. Or maybe a Lego minifigure.

OK, I said. We can find those.

After much negotiation — you really don’t want to know how much or the nature of, just be aware that in real life there were more than two line breaks between the previous paragraph and this one — Arlo and I ended up at Toys R Us while Eli and SA went to Value Village because Eli of course also wanted to get a present for Arlo for HIS stocking but only had one dollar to his name, plus of course we couldn’t be at the same store at the same time because SECRETS.

Arlo went right over to the stuffed animal department and picked up a stuffed golden retriever puppy.

This one, he said.
How much is it? I said.
Uh, I don’t know, he said.

It was eight dollars. I fronted him the extra three.

In case you haven’t seen it, this account of a 7 year old’s Christmas list is dead on and the annotations are everything I have been thinking for the past two months.

My Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Sundried Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

First the children’s servings of macaroni and cheese were left on their plates until they became cold. I told the children they should try the food hot, that even I prefer my food hot, but they weren’t going for it. When food is cold, you can really taste the flavours I guess. Or it tastes worse so you don’t have to lie about hating it.


Eli: Takes a small bite; gags; turns bright red; doesn’t vomit but sounds like he might. Is excused.


Arlo takes a small bite. Ponders.
SA: What do you think?
Arlo: Well. I don’t really like it.
SA: Try a second bite. See if you can taste the flavours.
Arlo takes a second bite. Ponders.
Arlo: Well. It’s creamy. And plain. And a bit chewy.
SA: Yes..
Arlo: And a bit bitter. And a tiny bit spicy.
SA: Hmmm
Arlo: Yeah.
SA: So what part don’t you like.
Arlo: I don’t like the creamy part and the chewy part together. And I don’t like the bitter part. And the spicy part, it’s not really that spicy, just a tiny bit spicy, but when you first taste it you think “Oh, here comes the spicy part. My mouth is going to set on fire!” But then it’s not that spicy after all.
SA: I see.


The macaroni and cheese contained no spices other than salt and garlic powder.


I had two servings. It was delicious.

One Hundred – Ways to Be Better

The past several days have been challenging. Eli was sick so he stayed home from school on Friday, which meant I stayed home from work with him. He rested and played video games and watched TV and I read the Internet, which made me angry and grumpy.

It’s actually good for me to work because at work there is no internet, only live people and live people as represented by their files, so I am not tempted to judge (mostly). It is so much easier to judge on the Internet. Sometimes it feels like that’s what it’s for. Pictures! LIKE OR NOT LIKE. Music! LIKE OR NOT LIKE. Blog posts, articles, opinions, dinosaur dioramas set up after dark while children are sleeping to make the children think the dinosaurs have come to life in the night. LIKE? NOT LIKE? Santa. Thanksgiving. American politics. Canadian politics. Feminism. Assholes. People being mean to assholes, making them also assholes. LIKE. NOT LIKE.

Picture the beginning of time. (Note: this is not the Genesis version of the beginning of time. This is the Time Before Assholes.) There is only one asshole in this world. People just move around him/her. One day another person treats the original asshole (OA) how he thinks OA should be treated, making him also an asshole (AAA). Now there are two assholes, which is not triple A at ALL. If you scale this and everyone tells two friends like the shampoo commercial, we are in a world overrun with assholes who just wanted to tell THAT asshole what an asshole he was being.

But if that guys had just walked around that first, original asshole, we’d all be fine right now. As it is, we’re all in danger of becoming the asshole. Not to say you can’t go back. We all do assholish things, but wouldn’t it be better just to avoid the whole thing.

Anyway, that was my plan by the end of the day Friday.

Yesterday was a comedy of errors sort of day, the summary of which is: I spent almost all day inside with two children who were bored of me, each other, and the inside of the house. It culminated in me sending them to separate rooms at 5 pm and instructing them not to come out until they heard their father come home from his many comedy-of-error-like errands.

This morning I woke up with the best of intentions but something about the way Arlo accompanied me at the grocery store talking incessantly about iPhones and caramel popcorn and can we get Frutopia WHY NOT WHY DON”T YOU EVER BUY ME ANYTHING I WANT while I was trying to find vanilla yogurt that was in between 0-10% fat and didn’t have 30g of sugar per half cup and I don’t even LIKE yogurt but it’s the only thing Eli eats some days, something about that just made me get crankier and be the asshole in the room again. Yes, I was the jerk in the yogurt aisle tearing a strip off her kid because this basket is full of things you like and I don’t so don’t say I never buy you anything and also when’s the last time you ate a vegetable, that’s right, never, so just shut up about caramel popcorn. Eat a head of broccoli and I will buy caramel popcorn. I’M WAITING RIGHT HERE FOR YOU TO EAT BROCCOLI.


However, there was a truck parking over two spaces in the parking lot of the grocery store and I did not slash his tires or leave a passive-aggressive note on the windshield. I made attempts to give him/her the benefit of the doubt, plus there are lots of parking spots at Superstore, and walked away.

Sunday count:
Asshole brain: 4. Non-asshole brain: 1.

It’s hard not being an asshole. I am going to keep trying. Also I will never type the word asshole on this blog again, I promise.

Ninety-Two — The Day He Had Popcorn Chicken

Today is a Pro D day. No school for anybody. I arranged to have the day off. We stayed in our pyjamas, played some Minecraft (the kids) and wrote in our journals (me) and drank coffee (me again) and then we played Angry Birds the Physical Game where you make towers and then launch plastic birds via catapult. We listened to music and looked at books. We made a card for Arlo’s friend whose birthday party was today, and then we got ready and left the house. At TEN FIFTEEN AM. Sigh. So awesome.

The amount of time we have hasn’t changed. There are still 24 hours in a day, but something about the way the days are configured makes it feel like less. There are days when it feels like I’m hurrying all the time, days when the hours fly by. There hasn’t been a day in a long time where I looked at the clock and said, “Oh, is it ONLY X:OO?” Lately, it’s always later than I think, which leads to that sinking feeling, that “Where is it all going?” panic.

It’s all connected — seasons changing, fog rolling in, general malaise.

This week I was sick, too, so I spent three days feeling awful, two days working and feeling less awful, all those days feeling like I’d never get caught up on MY TIME MY TIME. I was sick enough that I couldn’t even make a convincing argument for doing anything. I just wanted to sit around, go to bed early, sleep longer. I still do, actually. My sinuses feel weird. I’m suspicious.

This morning, we dropped Arlo at the birthday party at a lazer tag place and then Eli and I went on to Superstore to buy Halloween candy and a few groceries. I offered to buy Eli lunch at the mall and he chose his favourite food court food: KFC popcorn chicken and fries. I had amazing fried rice and stir-fried vegetables and ginger pork. So salty. Salty enough that my eyes started to itch. Fast food, huh? Salty.

We did some walking around the mall, as I am on my annual fruitless quest for a jacket. We went into a store and the sales girl said, “Is there something in particular you are looking for?” Ordinarily I would say no thank you but the way she asked, it sounded like she really wanted to know, and since there is something in particular I am looking for, I said, “I want a jacket, but not a cropped denim jacket. And not a moto jacket. And not a parka. And I don’t need a fur-lined hood, even if it’s fake fur. And no belts. And no quilting.”

(She was very sorry she had asked. She will likely be revising her question to the standard, “Let me know if I can help you find something today.”)

Eli is super helpful as a shopper’s assistant because he knows I hate fake pockets. He went through all the jackets and tested them out.

“FAKE POCKETS,” he announced whenever he found some. “HOW LAME IS THAT.”

He got a few laughs and I could browse unmolested. Wins all over.

I realized as we walked that I hadn’t hung out with Eli at the mall (or anywhere, really) in a very long time. We used to go all the time, on the days he wasn’t in preschool, or on sick days. Just walking around like all the other people who need a place to walk around inside. Standing in the toy aisle, looking at toys. It’s been months since I hung out in a toy aisle.

(The toys haven’t changed much.)

As we made our way back to the car to go pick up Arlo, I noticed Eli still had the paper bag the popcorn chicken had been in.

“Should we look for a garbage can?” I asked.

“No, I’m keeping it,” he said. “It’s my precious memory of the day I had popcorn chicken.”

(awwww, right? Awww.)

More to the point, it was evidence to show his brother.

“What? You had POPCORN CHICKEN?” Arlo sputtered.


“Well…I guess I did get to play lazer tag and eat pizza and cheezies and cake.”

I didn’t have to say a word. They are self-parenting. It feels like I’ve done enough work for now. I plan to drink tea and lounge on the couch resting my eyes and sinuses for the rest of the day.

Eighty-Nine — Help Yourself


I took this photo on Sunday in the covered area next to the playground of my own elementary school. We used to play there for recess and lunch when it rained.

The murals weren’t there when I went to school. One wall has a sports-themed mural, one a fantasy-theme with dragons and serpents, and this one had undersea creatures and the tiny, Sharpie’d cry for help.

I would have done such a thing when I was in elementary school. Grade six or seven. Hand to forehead, I will not make it through this year. Help me.

The other day Arlo told me he thought he’d be an author when he grew up. I couldn’t decide whether to be fiercely proud or jealous of his surety. (When I was seven I was going to be a veterinarian when I grew up.) I pictured a long race to publication; the fifty year old woman against her twenty year old son. The sting I’ll feel when he’s on a top thirty under thirty list and I’m still slogging away at a third draft of something old and tired. Maybe I’ll write that story instead of living it.

Eighty-Seven — The Other Side

Starting work hit like a hammer to the shoulderblades. The night before I was all excited like when you go on vacation and you pack your bag and then unpack it and repack it forty times and check where your passport is and keep moving it to different pockets in your bag and then freaking out because you check the first pocket and it’s not there! (WHY WOULD YOU MOVE IT? To stay one step ahead of pickpockets, I guess.)

I even slept crappily because that’s a thing I do now, I sleep crappily if there’s any stress in my life, especially if it’s the night before my period starts, so yay, now it’s 5:30 AM and I’m going to work for the first time in six years and I’m bleeding and I’m so tired. So tired. Send iron.

I am tired.

I am tired.

I went. Three days in a row. It was challenging, and good, and will be much harder than my last position, which is also good because at least I feel like I’m earning the money not stealing it.

Going out of the house for a few days and doing other stuff has made me appreciate my home and family even more. Magic. I walk in the house and I don’t even want to check my e-mail. I take off my shoes and roll around on the couch with my big, stinky kids.

He obliged me by for once keeping his tongue in his mouth.

He obliged me by for once keeping his tongue in his mouth.

Speaking of kids, they have reacted predictably; with aggression, random outbursts of tears, exhaustion, and in one child’s case, a throat-clearing tic that makes us feel all wall-climby. Ahem. Ahem. Ahem. Ahem. Ahem. Ahem. The first night we tried reasoning with him and telling him that really there was nothing in his throat that needed clearing and maybe he could dial it back a bit. He stared at us like we were the craziest ones yet. Then I googled “seven year old clearing throat” and discovered that it’s a thing people do when they’re anxious, and THEN I felt kind of like an asshole for saying anything. Over the weekend as we’ve all chilled back into our normal household routine, the throat-clearing has subsided. Kids are weird.

Hoist your pumpkins high, boys!

Hoist your pumpkins high, boys!

Speaking of assholes, this evening I had the following conversation with Eli:

E: Mommy do you know what the B WORD is?
Me: Baloney?
E: No, the BAD B word.
Me: Buh..buh..oh. Does it rhyme with witch?
E: Yeah.
Me: Yeah I know it. Do you know what it means?
E: No.
Me: It means two things. A female dog is called a bitch…
E: Huh
Me: ..and when someone is acting mean, sometimes people call them a bitch. Usually women. It’s really not a nice word.
E: Sometimes you act mean.
Me: Yes, it’s true.
E: Should I call you a bitch?
Me: No, you should not. It’s not nice. It would be like if I called you an asshole.
E: (gasp) You said the A WORD!
Me: Yes I did.

Now we all know where we stand.