Saturday, March 20, 2010


We went for our first bike ride of the season this morning. I strapped Eden into her seat in front of me on my bike and took off down the street. She began to laugh and called out:

"Da wind! I'm catching da wind in my mouf! Uh Oh, I swallowed it, now I'm eating all da wind."

Thank God for spring time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Price of Luxury

I have had an amazing stroke of luck. March break has coincided with the best phase ever. Skylar has taken a liking to playing restaurant. Specifically, she wants to bring me breakfast in bed. Every day. How cool is that? She made a menu, with options such as: cerel, toast, waffles, watr, milk and juos. Sure, improvements could be made. Perhaps the toast could be topped with something besides air, or the waffle could maybe not be floating in a bowl of syrup, but hey, if I get to stay in bed an extra half hour, it's all good.

Yesterday, Adam was off work so he was looking forward to partaking along with me. We lounged in bed, listening to the kids fight downstairs until Eden was banished from Skylar's kitchen and came upstairs to crawl into bed between us where things might have gone on being peaceful if only Adam wore a shirt to bed.

Eden: Daddy, what's dat?

Adam: Armpit hair.

Eden: I don't got armpit hair?

Adam: Nope.

Eden: Mommy got's armpit hair?

Me: Nope.

Adam: Liar.

Eden: Daddy, what's dat?

Adam: My nipple.

Eden: I got's nipples, too!

Adam: Yep, so does Mommy.

Eden: No, Mommy have boobies. You have boobies too Daddy!

Adam: No, I don't!

Eden: Ya, you do have boobies right d'ere. See? Biiig boobies!

*Adam rolls onto his stomach to discourage further remarks*

Eden: Daddy, you got spots on your back. See? I count dem for you. One...Two...Free...Seven...Eight...Nine...

Adam: Hey, hey, hey what are you doing?

Eden: I moving da blanket. I gotta count da spots on your bum too!

Adam: No, you don't!

Eden: D'ere are spots Daddy! Spots!

Adam: I don't need my spots counted!

Eden: What dat hair is d'ere for?

Me: It's not there for anything, it's just a big mutant hair on Daddy's back.

Eden: I get it off. *much pinching and pulling ensues* I can't geddit! Da hair is stuck! Mommy you get it!

Sorry, Adam. I should have warned you. You get either breakfast in bed OR personal boundaries. Not both.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making a Memory

In my earliest memory I waddle into an enormous kitchen, squatting on my heels. My grandma is washing dishes. She looks down at me and asks if I have a tummy ache. I nod.

In my next memory we are moving. The hallway is full of boxes and I am digging through them, looking for a doll named Brenda, scared that she will not get to the new house. We moved when I was three.

I remember being in the hospital to get tubes put in my ears and being offended when the doctor told me I was going in a "big girl crib" instead of a bed. There's no such thing as a big girl crib, stupid.

And then being in the hospital again, waking up suddenly to find my bed surrounded by strangers, rolling me down the hall. Screaming for my mom.

I have a lot of fantastic memories from later on in my childhood. I know I was loved and played with and spoiled. So why are the scary or painful memories the earliest ones my mind chose to keep? I guess trauma makes a big impression. Then I wonder about the things I don't remember, at least not in any concrete form, and what effects they may have had on me.

Just after my mother brought me home from the hospital when I was born she had to take me right back again. I had meningitis and I have been told that I owe my life to baby fat. Had I been a 6 or 7 pound baby I wouldn't have had a chance. As it was, I was nine pounds and might possibly survive, although I would definitely be brain damaged and probably blind and deaf as well. I was spinal tapped and had IV's in my head because my veins were too tiny anywhere else. I got better. I'm not blind or deaf and any brain damage I suffered didn't prevent me from getting on the Honour Roll. I don't remember this, but does it explain my hatred of needles?

I learned to walk when I was nine months old. At that time my mother was working and I stayed with a babysitter. One day my mom got off work early and came to pick me up. When she pulled in to the sitter's house a little boy ran up to her and said:
"Oh good, you're here! She's been crying all day!"
My mom was worried and asked if I was hurt or sick as she headed into the house. The kid said:
"No, she wants out of her seat. Mom keeps her there so she doesn't fall down the step."
It turns out the woman had been keeping me strapped firmly in a stroller for hours every day, supposedly so that I wouldn't topple down the single, three inch, carpeted step between the kitchen and the living room. I never had another babysitter besides my Grandmother again.
I don't remember this, but does it explain why I cannot stand to be physically restrained in any way, for any reason, by anyone?

We try to protect our kids. But everyone gets hurt, or sick, or hurt by someone sick at some point in their childhood. We may not be conscious of the memories, but are they deep inside, shaping the people we will become?

Will Skylar remember me holding her down on an X-ray table as she screamed and tried to claw her way into my arms while a nurse pulled on her broken leg just before her first birthday? I know I'll never forget it.

Will Eden remember being bitten by that dog?

Are my children's first memories more likely to be of us laughing as we jumped over waves at the beach last summer or wrestled in the snow last week, or of us yelling at them for doing something bad?

I have been guilty of assuming my children are too young to remember, telling myself they are not quite real people yet. I have had bad days and told myself it wouldn't matter. I loose my patience and yell at my kids to CALMDOWNBEQUIETSTOP! and longed for the day when they will be old enough to talk to and enjoy being friends with, while telling them that no, I do not want to play hide and seek or Barbies or Snap! I have to quit this or they won't want anything to do with me when they are old enough to do the things I want to do. Skylar is six years old now and she has an awfully good memory. I have started asking myself 'Is this what I want them to remember?' when the urge to yell creeps up on me. I just hope I can put on a convincing enough act of being a happy, involved, playful mom to make up for the times when I am not, and that we can make more good memories than bad.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Don't Know Which Way To Go

A while ago Adam and I went to Toronto to visit a friend of mine, Erin (people who know how to work their Internet would make her name glowy and then you could click on it and be magically transported to her blog to read about her adventures as she lives my dream life, but seeing as how I barely know how to turn my computer on, all I can do is this: So, there ya go) who was passing through as she works her way around the world. We went to the hostel (yeah, hostel not hotel, she's that bad ass) where she was staying. It's called the Canadiana and holy shit is it ever Canadian up in here, y'all. You can tell by the stuffed animal heads on the walls and giant wooden Canadian figures and free pancakes for breakfast with real imitation maple syrup..erm, yeah. This is where they got all that shit for the Olympics closing ceremonies. Anyway, the guy at the desk presented me with an envelope marked "Top Secret" which contained the directions we were to follow in order to find Erin and the Band Camp reunion she had organized. (Band rules, tell your friends!)

Erin, like anyone who knows me at all, knew that these directions would have to be painfully detailed and clear, since I am quite capable of getting lost in my own kitchen. When I visited her in BC this past summer she had to write out step by step instructions to get me through bus/skytrain/ferry transfers that would otherwise have left me sobbing on the sidewalk or bound unwittingly for Yellowknife. Even with those instructions I failed to get off a bus at the right place and missed my ferry, then on the return trip I gave up after only the second of eight or nine steps and instead made friends with a nice young man on the ferry who took me on a bus right inside the boat that then took me all the way to the train station, where we parted ways... and I proceeded to get on a train going in the wrong direction. Yes, I'm that dumb. The point is; I require really good directions. Erin certainly delivered. I am going to share those directions with you now, just in case you ever need to get from the Canadiana Backpackers to the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto.

Step 1: Put your party pants on.

Step 2: Remember your room key. Trust me.

Step 3: Exit hostel. You are now standing on a wee step in front of the hostel, facing the street. Get the fuck out of the way, you're blocking the doorway! You're not the only guests here for chrissake...

Step 4: Walk down the steps. At the bottom, you'll be standing on the sidewalk of Widmer street. Turn to your left and begin walking. Widmer dead-ends very quickly, with an Extreme Fitness on the right-hand corner and a parking lot ahead. The street you have dead-ended at is Richmond Street.

Step 5: Turn right. You will need to keep walking, passing Extreme Fitness, a cinema and Chapters on your right. Chapters is on the corner of Richmond & John Street.

Step 6: Look up to your right. Oooooh! CN tower! Like a freak accident between a Tim Hortons doughnut and a Juno award. The World's Ugliest free-standing structure!!

Step 7: Turn left and cross Richmond Street. Walk away from the CN tower! Flee the tower! Run, run away! You will now be walking North on John Street. Do this for ONE BLOCK ONLY. You will see a pub on your left called the Friar & Firkin. Ignore this pub. You do not want to stop for a drink. Resist the urge. You've barely begun your quest!

Step 8: After ONE BLOCK on John st. you will find yourself on the corner of Queen st. & John st. Looking to your right, you will see Much Music's famous studio. To your left will be a Second Cup and across the street is a Starbucks. Resist the urge for overpriced refreshment and walk to your right, past Much Music. You are now on Queen street.

Step 9: Pass the Condom Shack. Giggle. (*note: after exiting the shop, be sure to go RIGHT to keep yourself headed in the right direction).

Step 10: Walk, walk, walk, walk. You will pass Duncan st, Simcoe st, University Ave, The Sheraton Centre, Nathan Phillips Square, Bay street, James street and the Hudson Bay building. You will then find yourself at the corner of Queen & Yonge st. This is NOT your final destination. Do not sit on the curb and cry. You're almost there! Cross Yonge street.

Step 11: Turn left and walk North on Yonge street, AWAY from the monstrous tower. The Eaton Centre Mall will be on your left. You will be on the right side of the street.

Step 12: Walk, walk, walk. The Hard Rock Cafe is on the right-hand side of Yonge street, corner of Yonge and Dundas.

Step 13: Enter the Hard Rock Cafe. Ask hostess for the 'reunion table' if you are unable to spot me dancing on a table already.

Step 14: Get your party pants hitched up and join the fun!

Step 15: Get Erin very drunk!

Step 16: Read these instructions backwards to find the hostel again. Unless they've moved in the hours since you left. Then you're fucked.

Follow the pencil mark route, for optimal sight-seeing pleasure.

Then there was a hand drawn map, complete with route marker and Points of Interest.

I think Erin needs to work for GPS. I would never get lost again. The best part is that the directions would be delivered in the truly fucked up Scottish/Australian/Canadian West Coast accent she has cultivated over the course of her travels. Entertainment AND accuracy? Done.

I didn't get lost! Whoo! We found the place and a good time was had by all...all five people, including us and Erin, who showed up that is. But no matter, we ate, drank, and made merry all evening and walked back arm in arm singing horrendously offensive camp songs (and this was a military camp so the songs were truly filthy) Then sat around at the hostel drinking with interesting young people from around the world for a while, until Erin got sick (she claims it was food poisoning, not booze and I'm inclined to believe her) and Adam and I retired to our private room, because having sex on bunk-beds is embarrassing enough without six other people sharing your room.

P.S. all this happened over a month ago. I'm just writing about it now because I only just found those directions in my coat pocket last night and I was pleased to find I hadn't lost them.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Eden: Mommy, I have some apple pie, pleeeease?

Me: We don't have any apple pie, Baby.

Eden: Ya! D'ere's a apple pie in da fridge. Daddy put it d'ere. Come see!

Hmm, could this be correct? Maybe that nice grandmotherly lady Adam works with has been baking again. Those cookies he brought home last week were yummy! Mmm, pie. I could really go for some pie. I wonder if we have any ice cream...

Me: Eden, this is not an apple pie...this is a pineapple. I'm horribly disappointed. Get your boots, we're going to the store.