Distance + coffee = home-amnesia

This is always how I imagine my morning coffee to look. It usually ends up in a travel mug with a leaky lid and then ultimately on whatever shirt, sweater, scarf or coat I am wearing

I sent my boyfriend the lyrics to “Monday, Monday” by The Mamas and The Papas early this morning because I was in such a crazy hurry to get all of the Monday morning stuff done—and got 10-year-old fed, dressed, washed and to school one minute late (only one!), Graydon’s friend to his house and me to my office on time. When I have a terrible night’s sleep (like last night) I bring far more positive energy to the table to make the day get off well. By the time I got to my office, I was patting myself on the back because despite a very cramped and emotionally stressful weekend, I felt kind of OK. Amazing how distance and coffee can cause home-amnesia. A simple exchange with a colleague brought it back:

“Hey, will this make you smile?”
9:00 AM
[forgive my techno-break from current WordPress reality, but I do not know if this video link will work, so like in the old, old, old days, I can only paste in the URL here, and suggest that you watch it before reading further, Because it really will take you back and make you smile!]

“Aw yes, that made me smile. And reminded me of a stellar component of this morning’s mad dash for school and work—toast in toaster, get butter—all gone! lazy-ass kids used it all up—grab stone-cold butter from fridge, cut in half and chuck in microwave. Punch 10-second button twice. Run to get pup in (barking fool head off). Get Luka’s school bag on the way back, pour milk on cereal. Get water for pup. Ping! Toast done. Open microwave, see hunk of butter is liquid all over turntable. Why is 10-second button so damn close to the one-minute button on this microwave???? That made the mummie very annoyed, but she just shut the microwave door and reached for the nutella! Yay Mum!
9:04 AM

“I used to be sent to my room to consider the impact and scope using the last of the margerine would have on each other family member and the family as a whole. I use buttter now.”

“That is good parental practice. Graydon was the guilty one, and he was unconscious in his room. Pick the battles…”

“Granted, that’s pretty much as “BAD” as bad I got.”
9:07 AM

“MWAHAHAHAHAHAA!  Virgo: Everyone is looking to you now because your pragmatic outlook is exactly what is needed today. It may seem like others are coming to you for assistance because they’re trying to make up for lost time. It doesn’t matter that you might be ready to slow down a bit; you’ll probably end up helping your friends, anyway. Don’t just do what’s expected of you because you think you should. Act from the heart or don’t do it at all.”

“What’s yours?”

“I am a Gemini. I used to think that was fun, now I think is is a step over the threshhold of MPD.”

“LOL! Oh, lord. You might expect the hectic pace of your life to settle down now, but instead you seem to face one problem after another. Even if your day runs smoothly, your curiosity drives you to search for answers to a whole list of questions. Instead of scattering your attention, get back to the basics and focus on the most practical issues in your life. Methodically tying up loose ends today will go a long way toward preventing them from unraveling later on. Sorry!”


9:12 AM

See ya!


Things I Love Thursday: personal flotation devices

tilt.jpgThis blog carnival is called Things I Love Thursday. The rules are simple: “pick an actual thing that you love. Feel free to do a product review, but make sure to let your readers know that you have been supplied with the product to review so we are keepin’ it honest.” No one sent me a life jacket. I borrowed my brothers’. For more excellent things that we cannot live without, check out The DiaperDiaries.net. And read about the blogger there that I spoke about in my post on Monday!

img_2742.jpgI have three kids. The ex swims like a fish, I float like a log. Tessa can swim lengths of a pool, Graydon refined his swimming skills at Camp Oochigeas and can swim out to the lighthouse and back (whatever that means, I’m not sure of the distance but he was bursting out of his skin when he first told us, so it must be a good distance). Luka refers to having a bath as “having a pool” and if that were up to him, that’d be the end of it. He hates swimming. With the aid of five noodles and a flotation device, he’ll play in a backyard pool. At a pool birthday party he once went up Continue reading

Kid safety and why I only bought $0.33 of gas

images-9.jpgBackground: I used to buy gas any place I could find it. I had my favourite little gas stops, run by nice older men who always asked if the oil needed checking. I hated self-serve unless I was dressed well, and if I was dressed well, did I want to smell like gasoline and motor oil? You get the picture. I was a brand mustang—no allegiance to any company.

New realization: Shell does Airmiles. Airmiles is how I give the kids gift cards at Christmas—GAP, SportChek, Chapters, Pier One. It’s the only form of painless Christmas spending I know (other that Shoppers Drugmart points).

New spending pattern: It’s Shell for us all the way.

On with the post: I pull into Shell with Graydon and Luka in the car. I’m modelling do-it-yourself behaviour, and leap from the car to fill up, check the oil myself and let Luka do the windows. I also let Luka swipe the credit card and the Airmiles card. I get a little rumble from the gas nozzle, then nothing. I push the gas selection button again and pump. Nothing. I look over to the guy at the cash desk, whose voice comes crackling WAY TOO LOUD over an intercom. “WAA-WAWA-NYAH-WAA-NYAHNHYAAA-WAA.” I waved, smiled, and tried again. No gas. “WAA-WAWA-NYAH-WAA-NYAHNHYAAA-WAA,” from the loudspeaker. I smile again, point to my ear, shake my head, and point to the pump. He lets a louder “WAA-WAWA-NYAH!” go and I cancel the transaction, do the cards thing again, Luka watching with great interest, Graydon too, as I press the gas selector and place the nozzle and no gas comes out. Luka does hand me the receipt for the $0.33 of gas I did get the first time.

Mummy is getting steamedimpatient. Mummy takes her receipt and marcheswalks to the cashier.

“Is there a problem?” I ask.

“Yes,” he says, “your kid.”

“My kid?”

“Yes. No kids can pump gas.”

“My son wasn’t pumping gas. In fact, no one was pumping gas—there is no gas.”

“Yes, there is gas, I know. I shut it off. Here,” and he indicates the controls.

I felt my love affair with Shell hitting a brick wall.

He then pushes a piece of corporate puffery at me and says, “No kids at the pumps. No gas.”

I was pretty steamed now. No kids! My seven-year-old lives for swiping the cards and cleaning all the windows with the squeegee thing. He has done so since he was four. If Shell thinks Airmiles will keep me from letting my son help Mum gas-up, it has another corporate think coming.

I left the pamphlet on the counter, kept my mouth shut, smiled (I’ll bet it looked real pretty) and wheeled out the door. I told Luka to get in his seat, shut the door and put up the windows. I put in $10.00 of gas and fumed all the way home.

Cooler head prevailed: The next day I went to a different Shell station, went inside and found the same brochure in a rack at the cash. It says “Shell’s policy is that people operating gas pumps should be old enough to be responsible: We take the minimum age allowed for driving learner’s permits as a reasonable guideline.”

I had a nice chat with the operator, who said kids can still clean windows, just not pump gas, which, I stress, I only let Graydon start doing at age 14, and I would never let a seven year old.

So I’m OK with Shell. Because nothing is sweeter than the smiling face of my little guy making the windows clean just because he likes to help.

Works for Me Wednesday is tomorrow. Hint: It’s all about the laundry.

See you!

Mom blog: GPS kids’ jacket—save me!

Mom Blogger Jacquelyn

I’m sure you heard about the wonder in child-tracking devices for those of us in the frozen north—the BladeRunner GPS children’s jacket. The U.K.-based company BladeRunner announced it was coming out with the jacket in late September, and released it October 20.

It looks like the typical GAP-style fluff-filled parka, but Continue reading