Friday, February 27, 2009

Page 4

This is page 4 of the book I am working on.

The Shirley situation gets no better. In fact, as the day passed by her once slim figure gave way a little more to a slightly tell tale bulk around her middle. I was growing quite concerned.
“Did she miss her period?” my friend Ella asked. We were having coffee during our break between classes in the cafeteria.
“How the hell would I know if she missed her period?”
She shrugged in reply.
“It’s not like she uses supplies or anything, or keeps a little calendar marked with a big red X. She’s a cat.”
“Do cats get their periods?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so,” I replied.
“Well how can you be so sure she’s pregnant?”
“I’m not sure. That’s the point. I need to find out.”
“You’ll find out when you have a sock drawer full of kittens. That’s the way it is with cats.”
“I don’t want things to go that far. If she’s pregnant, she’s not having kittens. She’s too young to be a mother. She’s still a baby herself. She still plays with her mousy toy. She’s just not ready for this.”
“She’s a cat!” Ella said, exasperated.
“Barely. She’s only nine months old! Not old enough to handle this responsibility. She’ll have to give up all of her hobbies. Grow up too fast.”
Ella rolled her eyes. “Hobbies? For Gods sake,” she said with a sigh as she rummaged through her oversized bag. After a few minutes of furious digging around, she managed to produce a business card. “Here. Phone him. He’s an old family friend, mention my name. Maybe he’ll cut you a deal.”
I glance at the card. Dr. G. J Lange, DVM.
“Is he good?” I asked.
Ella replied with a shrug.
“Is he the best?” I asked with the intensity of an CIA interrogator.
She shrugged again.
“Ella! This is serious. I’m not taking Shirley to some back alley butcher shop cat abortionist with a rusty coat hanger. I want this thing done and I want it done right. I owe it to her. It’s my fault she’s gotten herself into this mess,” I said, blinking away the tears that were forming.
“I don’t know if he’s the best. He only ever dewormed my dog once, so it’s hard to know, really. I think he did a good job of it, though. Haven’t seen any worms in the dogs ass, but I don’t really look that closely at it.”
“That’s a pretty good endorsement. Good enough for me, anyways. I’ll think about it,” I said in reply, pocketing the card.

Three's Company

The other day I heard on the radio or something like that three is the new two- that more and more people are having three kids these days rather than two, which was the norm for quite a while. I reflected on that. Why are people opting for more children?
And what I thought of was this: the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts, which is perhaps not overly clear to you, but I'll try to make it more clear. The children bring more to the family than just their individual selves- it's the way they relate to each other, the way they relate to us, it adds a whole other dimension to the family. Like the way we put Payton to bed at night and tell her that she can't have any juice after she brushes her teeth, and she starts to cry. And then Gage will go in there and sneak her a drink of juice. Or the way when Alex is crying and I'm too busy to pick him up, Payton will go to him and do a silly dance until he starts laughing. Or the way Payton will advocate for Gage if I ground him from his DS. Basically, what I see is I see them nurturing one another. And that to me, is the most special thing to watch. To watch them interact with each other and care for each other is more special to me, in a way, than the children themselves.
Or so I thought at three pm when Alex was having his nap and Gage was at school and Payton was immersed in Dora. It all seemed so ideal then. And then Gage came home from school. Immediately, a huge fight broke out over Oreo cookies, Payton was crying and yelling, which woke the baby, and then they were all crying. And then I was like: what was I thinking? This is chaos, and tears and screaming and sometimes blood. This is not nurturing and caring and joy and bunnies and rainbows.
Oh well. I guess, all in all, I am glad that we have three children. Our family feels complete, if a little on the loud side from time to time.
Onto other news- first of all, I haven't come up with any wacky inventions yet.
Secondly, I think that the unthinkable might be happening and I am slowly turning into my mother. They say it's eventual- that it's a when rather than an if- but I never really believed it would happen to me. I thought I could fight the power. But yesterday, a rather disturbing development with a bread bag occurred. I had chicken meat, which I had portioned and was going to freeze, but then I realized we had no freezer bags. For a second I was panicked. And then I noticed a bread bag on the counter with only a crust or two of bread in it. And the wheels started to turn. But then I was like, no, that's exactly what my mother would do- recalling the many times she would use bread bags and an alternate to Tupperware. I was like 'don't give in. There's another way, surely.' But there wasn't. So I now have a bread bag full of chicken thighs in the freezer. I wonder what is happening to me and how long the transformation will take to complete until I am watching Young and the Restless and compulsively drinking Tim Horton's coffee.
Oh, well. I think that my mother is, all in all, pretty cool, and if I do end up turning into her I think I would be pretty lucky.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inadequate is the new Adequate

Before we touch on the subject of my inadequacy (which will take a lot more than a mere touch, believe me you, and maybe even into the realm of groping) an aside:
Fortune cookies.
I love them. I so look forward to reading my fortune, believing somehow that the cookie actually knows my future, and is a pretty serious prognostication of what my future holds in store. In fact, I still have a fortune from a cookie that I got when I was pregnant with Alex- 'Welcome the change coming soon to your life" Proof. Irrefutable proof that fortune cookies are legit. Because some months later, Alex came kicking and screaming into our lives, and welcome him we did.
So last night when our dinner arrived with two fortune cookies, I couldn't help but tear them open before I even got to my Ginger Chicken, wondering what my fortune would be and hoping (knowing, really) that it was going to be BIG- a promotion, a drastic change just around the bend, the lottery, something.
I was very disapointed. My fortune was: You would make a good career off of wacky inventions.
Not very profound. And I know for a fact that I wouldn't make a fortune off of wacky inventions, because even after pondering the notion for several hours, not one single wacky invention is coming to mind- the hat with a drinking straw is already taken. Alas, the fortune let me down.
And then Geoff gets his fortune, and what does he get: You will soon recieve very pleasant news.
Jealousy surges through me. I want the pleasant news. And so then I convince myself that our fortunes got mixed up. That I was the pleasant news getter and he was the wacky inventor.
Anyways, I guess we will see if either of them has any merit. Somehow, I'm thinking probably not. There's even a disclaimer on the fortune saying 'for entertainment purposes only' and I wonder about that for a second- why they have to spell it out like that? Have there been fortune cookie related law suits?? I can almost see the headline: Man, suicidal, plunges to his death after bizarre fortune cookie coincidence" The article would go on to explain his fortune "Take the Plunge" and how he had, quite literally, taken the plunge, and now the whole fortune cookie industry is reeling and lawyering up, fearing an outpourin of class action lawsuits. It's a weird thing, really, like the disclaimers on shampoo bottles that say "for external use only." Makes me worry for my fellow mankind.

Anyways. Inadequacy. The other day I was reading a parenting magazine, which as it turns out, is something I should not be doing. Until I picked up that magazine, I was actually feeling somewhat comfortable with my parenting ability. First off, the main article was on TV "How much is too much"- it was a pretty lengthy article that I mostly skimmed through trying to get to the part that said "experts now agree that television is educational and should not in any way be limited or restricted", but of course I didn't get to that part and in fact, the gist of the article seemed to be that any amount of TV watching was too much and that parents need to spend thier time frolicking in the pumpkin patches with thier children, bedazzling lamp shades and I guess otherwise engaging in activities that do not include watching Survivor. It kind of bothered me but then I was like 'well, you can't believe everything you read in magazines, right?" and I don't care what they say- it is educational, and besides- look at me- I was raised on TV and I turned out all right.
Sort of.
A few minor neuroses and some mild cholesterol issues.
So then I started to read this other article with "Sanity Saving parenting tips", and I thought, now this is something I need to read. Imagine my disapointment when this was one of the tips (paraphrased):
Vaccumming provides a nice escape from the noise of the children and allows you to focus on something mindless- it is a nice little getaway, and it will keep the dust bunnies at bay as well!!!
Honestly, I think I flipped to the front cover to see if this magazine was somehow originally printed in 1965 but was mistakenly delivered my door. But no. February 2009. I was like what part, exactly, of Stepford are these women from? I mean, vaccumming, as a getaway?? Oh My God. I thought that my ten minute nightly bubble bath was a bit pitiful as a diversion, but now I am thinking it's better than what some people get.
And then... they had this section of recession proofing your baby's wardrobe, with really inspired tips such as 'buy clothing that can be mixed and matched'- I mean, as though I need to read that in a magazine! But anyways, they had this picture of a onesie- the apparent epitome of recession proof clothing because it cost a mere $1.75 (Practically disposable at that price!! they proclaimed). And I realized, with a heavy heart, that there was something familiar about that onesie. It was one that Alex had in his very dresser. And not only that- but it was a shower gift no less!!!
I threw the magazine away. I have plenty to feel inadequate about as it is, thank you very much. My children watch TV. I have, on occasion, fed them Fruit By the Foot for breakfast, on the somewhat shaky (I'll admit) premise that it is (after all), 10% modified fruit juice. They have worn their pyjamas all day, sometimes for more than one day in a row, from time to time. Yes, many of their toys have come from McDonalds Happy Meals. They wear clothes that are, apparently, practically disposable!! In my house vaccumming would never constitute a break, and actually, I think, I might have burnt out the motor by somewhat accidentally/on purpose vaccuuming up a sock, and believe me you, I am not exactly going through vaccuum withdrawals. A getaway in my house usually involves either booze or chocolate- or, in some cases, both.
Anyways. I've said enough. Inadequate is the new adequate.
That's what I'll tell myself. And really, I think I can spin it. What makes us good parents is our readiness to admit to our flaws, our readiness to have flaws. Gone is the generation of 'father knows best' and here is the generation 'of let's just muddle through this'- a kind of noble humility, or I guess I shouldn't speak for an entire generation, but... the idea makes a certain kind of sense.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Break

So it was decided that Gage and Payton would go to the lake for the break. I was excited about the prospect of being a mostly kids free household. But then last night- and this always happens at night- I start to worry about things that I don't normally worry about, like the rising cost of electricity and if we should be clipping the dogs toe nails more often. I started to think 'what if the road conditions are bad" and "what if I miss the kids" and "should I really let them go?" I was having a lot of doubts.
And then, at 7:53 this morning when Payton came bouncing exuberantly into my bed, thereby waking up Alex, singing (or shouting) "GO CAPTAIN GO" along with her "MP3D" player (as she calls it) I began to worry a little less. And then Gage comes upstairs wearing a pair of stained, dirty jeans, so of course I tell him to change. He pitches a fit like as though I just asked him to self amputate his own arm. "I won't do it!" "You can't make me!" "It's my body- it's my choice - (I think this has to do with a recent health unit or something, THANK YOU public school system!) so FINALLY after about half an hour of fighting, he retreats to the basement with a heavy slam of the door. He comes upstairs, stands there, hunched over "you happy now?" he asks with an exaggerated gesture to his pants. I look at him. He now has on a pair of jeans that are a size too small, completely threadbare, with huge rips across the knees. I mean, where on Earth does he even find these clothes first of all- and secondly- the mere impracticality of wearing these jeans when it's minus forty four outside. Like, I just couldn't believe it. So again I ask him to change and again it's like trying to prod along an angry ox or something- nostrils flaring, barely intelligible grunts and groans, stomping of the feet. I mean, my expectations aren't that high. I just kind of don't really want him leaving the house looking one of the kids I saw on the Dateline special last night "Children of the Appalachia". God.
So after all this, I was like "You know what? To hell with the road conditions. They'll have their seat belts on, after all. And the way they build those vehicles these days- they can withstand a lot of impact. And besides, with the way emergency medicine is advancing- I'm sure that they can be patched up nicely in any event."
So they are gone. And maybe, as a mother, I should be feeling guilty or saddened or something, but right now I am feeling predominantly relieved that in the next five days I will not have to utter the sentence "but you can't even taste the mushrooms!" or "did you wipe your bum?"- well at least, hopefully- given the fact that the person at the other end of the conversation could only be Geoff. And the prospect of having just one kid- which at one point seemed such a huge ordeal- is suddenly very exciting and liberating.
You may note that today is Valentines Day. I guess most people would be planning a big night of romance, especially in light of the fact that we were able to dump- er, temporarily relocate, the older children of the clan. But alas, we are not most people. We are unfortunately I think I little too far down the marriage slump road to celebrate Valentines day, although Geoff and I did enjoy a slice of toasted Heart Smart bread in honor of the occasion. We are planning on staying in, actually doing a little aunty-nephew bonding, so I am looking forward to that.
And oh, I shouldn't post this on here at all, but I'm going to do it anyways because we all know that no one reads this blog anyways- and by 'we all' I mean you and I, Lorrie. So this is kind of a cute story--well cute, funny, degrading, however you want to spin it. Last night I was watching Supernanny. Geoff always mumbles and groans about that show and how he doesn't like it, but now I've found out why. Payton called me out of the room, so I went and dealt with her, and upon returning to the living room I found Geoff wiping his eyes rather vigorously. I asked him if he was crying, half expecting an enthusiastic denial, but he was all weepy like "well, I can't help it- the dad and the daughter, they're finally starting to communicate, they're breaking down the barriers, and the dad... he's so afraid of losing her."
I was like A)I don't watch Supernanny to get emotionally involved in the storyline, I watch it to be judgemental of other peoples parenting techniques and B)Maybe we need to look at getting you back at work. This staying at home thing is making you a little loopy.
Oh, he would kill me if he read this.
I'm almost feeling bad enough to press the delete button.
But not quite.

Deal Breaker- page2

This is the second page of the novel I am currenlty working on, The Deal Breaker.
The first page was posted somewhere quite a while back- basically what happens in the first chapter is she tries to get her cat's urine tested for pregnancy. So that brings us up to this:

I returned home and Shirley brushed herself against my leg. I gave her a scratch behind the ear, but frankly it wasn’t the same with us lately. She was such a good cat, so affectionate. We were inseparable. She slept beside me every night. And every morning when I had my coffee she would lick the cream off the top when she thought I wasn’t looking. She always ended up with a little spot of whipped cream on the tip of her nose. It was so cute. I could never get mad at her when she looked at me with those huge eyes of hers and that little spot of cream. But now there’s no more frolicking over a cup of Joe in the morning. Suddenly, a few months ago, everything changed. She started staying out all night, not returning home for days sometimes. And then when she would come home she would hide out in some closet somewhere and sleep steady for days. I feel betrayed by her. Have I not given her a good cat life? Oh, I know I buy the No Name cat food instead of the luxury stuff, but she’s never complained about it before. And now she’s out there, tramping around, turning her back on me completely just for some rumble in the alley with a greasy Tom Cat. Frankly, I was disappointed that she turned out to have such weak morals.
And then I think, I have only myself to blame for this. It’s a classic tale of teenage rebellion, looking for love in all the wrong places because of a perceived lack of it at home. But it wasn’t my fault that I’m been so busy with school, I argued to myself, trying to assuage the mounting guilt. A degree in molecular physics doesn’t just fall on your lap. You have to want it, to work for it.

All right. I’m not studying for molecular physics. I don’t even know if that’s a real thing. If it is, it sounds pretty brutal. It’s just that it sounds a lot more impressive than Roman Civilization. And lately some people had been giving me a hard time about my major, saying that it’s a complete waste of time to get a degree in Roman Civ. But the truth is, I can hardly help it if I have a passion for ancient civilizations.

Someone told me long ago to follow your heart when you choose your classes. Take the classes that appeal to you, and you’ll end up in a job that you genuinely enjoy. I guess that was pretty crap advice, though. Because now I’m six years into University and headed towards a degree in Roman Civilization, which people say won’t really translate into any kind of a job. And I guess that may be true. I have yet to see an ad in the paper for a Roman Civilizationist.

Piss or get off the pot. That’s what my dad so eloquently told me. If I don’t finish my degree this year, he’s not paying my tuition next year. Piss or get of the pot. Sheesh. I’ll tell him to piss or get off the pot. He’s the one that’s been working the same construction job for thirty years.

So what if he owns the company. That’s not the point.

Anyways, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like I can’t support myself. I have a perfectly good job working at Mr. Spiffy Wonder Wand Car Wash. True, it doesn’t pay that well. But money isn’t everything. There are plenty of other perks.
Well, actually, it’s pretty cruddy all around. But we do get free car washes.
Well, actually, we’re supposed to pay for our car washes. Our boss expects us to use ‘the honor system’. What this really translates to, though, is “I won’t tell on you if you don’t tell on me.” Thus, we get free car washes, which is a pretty good perk when you think about it, although in the winter I don’t really like to wash my car, because the locks freeze up and that.
But still…
It adds up.
Sort of.

News And Reviews

The biggest news around here by far is that the soothers have arrived!! We are so excited to have them. They are great!! Alex seems to enjoy them. So Yay!!
Other news: I'm over my fear of dentists. I don't know how it happened. I went to the dentist, and then I was sitting there, and then I realized- I'm not scared. I feel quite fine. I do not care what they do to me. So that was good. I got some cavities filled. So now I am a responsible dentist going adult. They didn't give me a sticker, though, which would have been nice.
Also, I have switched from Colgate toothpaste to Sensodyne, as I seem to have developed some sensitivity problems. So that has been going well. The children have a startling interest in toothpaste. I bought this new toothpaste and they're all excited to try it out, "I can't wait to brush my teeth tonight!! Can I be the first one to try it??" What strange behavior. You would have honestly thought that I'd bought a model airplane rather than a tube of toothpaste.

Now for the bad news. Well not bad, per se. Just not very good. In January I sent out some query letters for Having Grace, and yesterday I recieved my first rejection letter. The others should be soon to follow. It is a bit disheartening. According to one websites' Advice for Writers, I have done everything right:
1. An unhappy childhood: Apparently, most novelists are geeky children and adolescents that wear thick glasses eat thier bologne sandwiches alone at thier locker. And though I have to say that my vision was always pretty good and that I never really cared much for bologne, I was something of a loner throughout most of my school days. I have always found it hard to make friends. I was always the last one picked for the team, and that did hurt a bit. But it was worse when I would get picked first- because I knew that the teacher had probably asked the team captain to pick me first-on account of my low self esteem- probably in exchange for an extra ten percent on a science exam or something. Yes, the pity pick was worse than being picked last. Other team mates scowling at the captain, kicking the dirt angrily as I walked slowly across to thier team. Yes, I definately had the requisite unhappy childhood.
2. A Miserable Love Life: Check and check. Perhaps this isn't much of a surprise- but the girl who gets picked last for the team usually doesn't go to the school dance with the football captain on her arm. The girl that gets picked last basically doesnt' go to the school dance. She stays at home and watches Melrose Place and tells herself that dances probably aren't much fun and can you believe that Jake and Alison are together again??
3. A major in Liberal Arts: Yes, I went and got the requisite Liberal Arts degree. Which, so far as I can tell, has been an even bigger waste of money than the Debbie Travis Reed Diffussers I bought.
4. Get a job that takes you out of your comfort zone. Well, this isn't too hard. My comfort zone is at home wearing my slippers and flannel PJ's so, basically any job would do the trick. But my job is on skid row- so that definately qualifies for 'out of my comfort zone' since the first time I went there I locked my doors as I turned onto twentieth street and asked my boss when I got there if I was wearing any gang colors.
5.Write for yourself. I am always writing something. Letters, emails, my blog, my book, a short story- something. And I do it for the sheer sake of doing it.
6. Get a dog. Got it. It needs a bath.
And step 7,8 and 9 where I fail miserably: get published, get an agent, sign a contract.
Step 10: READ, well of course, here I am doing well. I will read anything- except for Golf Digest. Love to read.
So, according to the experts in the biz- I have done everything right. But, I guess, I shall just keep trying. And hey- at least I have those soothers!!
My new novel isn't coming together very good though, at the moment. I will post a page of it on here. I think maybe I just need to get over this hump that I'm at now. Tee hee. Hump is funny word. Anyways. And I finished my short story. I am now trying to decide which magazine to send it to.

Now for the reviews:
Firstly, the book Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner. That's right. Weiner. As in Oscar Meyer. Name aside, the book is great. It illicits tears and laughter as it chronicles the journey of four women to and through new motherhood. It is a very frank and honest look at motherhood, not the over glorified version you see and hear all the time. For me, I found that very refreshing. I mean, normally, ask anyone who has a baby how the baby is and it's all coming up roses. The baby is great. Everyone is great. There seems this retisence on the part of society in general to talk about the fact that having a baby is a major life change and that it can be very difficult. I mean, you expect your newborn to smell like Johnsons baby shampoo all the time, to sleep peacefully in the little bassinette beside your bed, that you will be happy all the time and that you will be that person who has a baby and bounces back the next day- trim figure, shiny hair and ample breast milk to feed your baby. You should all just go out and get a copy right now!!
Secondly, the movie Hotel for Dogs. I took the kids to see it last week and it was a really cute show. I think I enjoyed it as much as the kids did. So many cute puppies.
Thirdly, Sensodyne toothpaste. It works good. Reduces sensitivity and leaves your mouth nice and minty feeling. The children also like it.
Anyways, that is all for now.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Blues

I know that complaining about the weather is a little uninspired, but it has to be done. I get a little annoyed when other people complain about the weather to me. "Cold enough out there for ya?" is my absolute hands down favorite. Some day I just want to say "Hell no. I'd really like it to get a little bit colder. I'd like to see what minus sixty feels like." Like who the frick asks that?? It's minus forty out there. I should think that the answer should go without saying. Me, whenever the subject of weather comes up, the same words tumble out of my mouth...
It's supposed to warm up soon...
If I had a dollar for everytime I have used that sentence in the last month... those soothers would be bought and paid for right now let me tell you. Honestly. It seems I'm always telling myself that same sentence in some form or another... I think maybe trying to convince my own self more than anyone else...clinging to that faint hope... It's supposed to be plus four tomorrow, the weather channel says there's a warm front coming, it's supposed to be nice this weekend, they're expecting a break in this cold soon. It's getting damn pathetic already. I'm like some heartsick teenager with a wicked bad unrequitted crush waiting by the phone. "He said he'll call me on the weekend." "Maybe tomorrow he'll call." "Maybe next week" "I think he will call soon."
Just give it up already.
It's friggin cold and no matter what they say on the weather channel it's probably going to be like this for some time to come. I think that the people on the weather channel get their weather reports from some kind of a random weather lottery machine.
So, here I am. Wearing my flannel PJs and moccasins, sequestered indoors yet again, looking outside with loathing and longing, mulling over several things.
Firstly, lately I've noticed something about myself. Yesterday I put on a sweater. I was dissatisfied for a number of reasons- the fabric pulled a little too tightly across the expanse of my hips, there was a little bit of spillage over the top of my pants that seemed conspicous to my own eye. Exasperated, I went to pull the sweater off and continue on to the next one in my daily game of "Let's find something that doesn't make me look fat" in which I invariably come up a loser after spilling the entire contents of my closet on the floor in a heap (a very small heap- even at the best of times when I'm caught up with the laundry) and reluctantly resign myself to wearing something out of simple neccessity. Yesterday Geoff intercepted the game, though, telling me that the white sweater looked really great, to which I mumbled how frumpy I was getting and we argued about this but I wore the damn sweater anyways because I had to get going.
Anyways, the sweater worked out fine. In fact, people told me that I looked like I was losing weight, if anything. So you would think that I would be happy.
And yet.
And this is what I've realized about myself: I just can't seem to take compliments at all whatsoever. I mean, if someone were to come up to me and tell me that I look like shit, I would be like "Thanks, ya, I know. I haven't been getting much sleep lately, it's really starting to show now, isn't it??" But if somone tells me that I look good, I feel distinctly uncomfortable, and not only that, I feel the need to try to convince that person that I do not, in fact, look good and that I have not, in fact, lost weight and that, in fact, my stomach feels slightly reminiscent of bread dough that needs a good kneading, and that the stretch marks are still pretty prominent. It's like I have an inferiority complex.
And when I started to think about it, I started to think about how I always try to 'one down' someone in conversation. Like you know those people who always try to 'one up' you?? OK. For example.
You're like:"My labour was sixteen hours long and really painful and the epidural didn't work and I ended up with second degree tears (this is not my casual conversation, by the way).
And then they're like "Sixteen hours!! I wish!! mine was forty three hours, and I lost so much blood that they had to give me CPR and a blood transfusion, and the baby was eleven-three, so you can imagine how badly I tore. And when they did the epidural they put it in wrong, and I've completely lost feeling in my left leg. I'll be in physio for a while. They don't know if it'll ever come back. And the babys diabetic, by the way. And I have to give her insulin."
Well, I seem to have the same condition, but in the reverse direction. For example, some one would say to me that they're house is a mess. And I'll be like "you should see my house!! I haven't seen my kitchen counter since 2005!! " Or someone will complain about their finances. And I'll be like "you should see my bank account!! It's completely overdrawn, and we have to make a car payment tomorrow, and our cable just got cut off." Or someone will complain about thier husband, and I'll be like "you should see my husband!! He literally does nothing around the house, and he only speaks three spoken words! And you should smell his BO!!"
Well, I guess you get the idea.
Anyways, I've always considered myself a modest person. And I do think that modesty is a really good virtue. I can not stand people who are boastful. "Oh, my husband I don't know what we're going to do with our time share!! We're going to Mexico in January, and then Hawaii in February. I'm not sure we can make it there at all this year!! Isn't that a shame?? Oh, well. It's not really big enough for us, anyways, only four thousand square feet!! Can you imagine!!"
Just makes me want to grab my fork and jam it in thier eye. Like, if your biggest problem is that you can't use your time share property, then you and I should not be in the same room together at all whatsoever. I just can't handle it. But anyways, as I was saying, modesty is a good virtue to have, but I think that maybe it might be OK to once in a while accept a compliment or admit that I have a nice life that I actually enjoy.
And I wonder sometimes if we're programmed by society to feel this kind of self depreciation?? Look at the magazines. "Lose ten pounds!!" "Upgrade your kitchen!!" "Make your husband happy in bed!!" Look at the TV shows. Even the geeky science detective types have glossy straight hair with expensive highlights and they walk around crime scenes in stilletto heels and low cut T Shirts displaying the kind of cleavage that I'll only ever have when Lex is overdue for a feeding.
It's amazing that we feel good about ourselves ever.
With my children, I use a strategy called "praise the good, ignore the bad" I think somewhere along the way, I've adopted the opposite strategy for myself "ignore the good, exaggerate the bad."
So I'm going to start being more gentle with myself.
Starting tomorrow. When it warms up outside.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oops I did it again.

Some months ago we got rid of all our credit cards. Truly, I was happy to see them go. That magical swipe seemed so easy, and it was just so tempting. If I see a nice pair of slacks or say, a cute little playful puppy, I could just pull it out the trusty old credit card and walk away with that new pair of slacks or new puppy. Instant gratification.

But then when the bills started coming in and the puppy started peeing on your carpet, I would wonder "what the hell was I thinking??" (Note to self: I think I could possibly have an impulse control disorder. Investigate.) So then we took all of our credit cards and paid them down and got rid of them.

Alas, we kept one.

"For emergencies".

Lately I have been really broadening the definition of 'emergency' quite a bit.

Late night craving for Taco Time. Emergency. I could die!! I need that meat and that cheese- it's not a frivilous craving. It's sustenance. My body will surely perish without it. And not just that. The baby!! I can't let him starve. I must fuel up. If not for my own sake- then surely his. How can I deprive that cute little toothy smile??

Debbie Travis Reed Diffusers (Lemon mint scented!!). Emergency. I mean, just imagine how much more inviting my home will be with the light scent of lemon and mint mingling in the air. We can have dinner parties and soirees, and maybe host charity benefits. How much more house work can I accomplish with the invigorating scent of lemon stimulating my senses?? How much more relaxed will the children be?? And who knows where that will lead them?? Ivy League?? Who's to say. It's not just a reed diffuser, it's an entire lifestyle philosophy, really, and we will benefit untold amounts from it- both in the short term and in the long term.
Except that, as it turns out, you actually can't smell them at all unless you're standing about three inches away from them.
But still... they're nice.

And then I started to, and quite honestly I don't know what possessed me to do it, presicely, but I started surfing the net for interesting soothers. And I saw some that you could personalize with your babys name on it. And it turns out that Brad and Angelina have the very same one for their babies!!! And I just knew, knew in my heart that Alex absolutely had to have one. It was fate. Fate!! It brought me to this website in this first place. I began to wonder what kind of mother I was, buying plain old Playtex soothers from the Supermarket. They now seemed so shabby- they're pastel blues and greens- BLAH. How had I lived all this time with this mediocity??? I NEEDED those personalized soothers. And besides, the mere practicality of it!! They would never get mixed up with anyones elses!! So then I decided, well OK. If I'm going to buy one, I might as well buy three, because inevitably, these things can get lost and what a hassle it would be to have to order it again and wait for the shipping. And the poor baby- how will sleep without his favorite Sucky.


So then I started looking at these other soothers. And they had one that said Mammas Boy- and of course I had to have that one. And they had one that said McDrooley, and I knew I just had to have that one as well. And then they had one that said that "Boob Man" and my heart leapt with joy. I needed that Boob Man soother so badly. But then when I clicked on it, they were sold out!! Sold OUT. Of all the bloody nerve. They wave this soother in front of my face until I'm salivating over it. And then they just take it all away. I felt sickened and saddened. I had to find another way. So I found another website and ordered it up. Who cares if there's a twenty dollar shipping fee anyway for one soother?? Totally worth it, I think. I can just imagine how cool I'll be walking into a room with my baby in my arms, sucking on his boob man soother. Heads will turn. Everyone will want to know where I got my soother. Other babies will be jealous. Other moms will be jealous of me, my soother collection and my savy. Their babies will look stupid with their dumb, cheap, grocery store soothers plunked in their mouths and I'll have to stifle a laugh.

But then when I go to bed, I start to do the math. Six soothers. Fifty some dollars. An inkling of regret starts to sink in my stomach. I should not have done that. That's not an emergency. Those soothers won't keep us warm in the night if our furnace dies in the middle of the night and we need repairs.

But anyways. I'm sure it will all work out. Our furnace looks pretty trusty. And as far as Geoff is concerned- well I'm not going to tell you what he said about the whole thing because it was rather inappropriate, though it was along the lines of finding other, cheaper means of sating my oral fixation.
Anyways, things here at home are going well- other than the credit card use- which I will cut back on. Except for one thing. Tonight I actually had all the children asleep at seven p.m- my three and even the one I am babysitting. At first I was like "Wow this is great. They're all asleep. I have the whole evening to myself." And then I laid down to relax, feeling a bit sleepy myself all of a sudden. But then abruptly I sat up, panicked "Do we have carbon monoxide poisoning??" I started to wonder. We don't even have a carbon monoxide detector!!! What kind of a lousy excuse for a parent am I? Living in a house without a carbon monoxide detector. I might as well just feed my children asbestos for breakfast and shoot crack up my arm. Social services should be involved.
And I know- I just KNOW that I absolutely MUST have a carbon monoxide detector. ASAP.