Friday, 21 September 2018

Painting: Pre Kid vs Post Kid

I mentioned long, long ago that I wanted to paint the living/dinning area of our house. Not only has more than a year gone by since I shared this information, but when I wrote that post it had already been about ten months since I’d made the decision. I wanted to paint from the moment we moved in. The multiple shades of beige just weren’t cutting it for me. Still, I continued to live with them for what turned out to be close to two years. 

What’s worse, I’ve also gone two years without hanging pictures on the walls. After all, I was going to paint ‘soon’ and didn’t want to put the pictures up only to take them down again. Yeah, I should’ve just hung the pictures.

Why so long from decision to execution? Because pre-kid painting looked like this:

- Two days after moving into new house: “Hmm, I won’t hang pictures yet. I think I’d like to paint first.”

- Two days after that: Look at colours, pick one, buy paint and supplies.

- The next Friday: Move furniture, put up painter’s tape.

- Saturday: Start painting in the morning, keep going until finished, taking breaks to eat, pee, and sleep as needed.

- Two weeks after moving in: Hang pictures.

However, post-kid painting (at least for me) is more like this:

- Two days after moving into new house: “Hmm, I won’t hang pictures yet. I think I’d like to paint first.”

- Eight months later: Trip over a box in my den. The one full of all the pictures I haven’t hung up yet.

- Two months after that: Look at paint colours (and procrastinate further by writing a blog post about it). Take three weeks to pick one…and another three to take the bristle board sheets painted various sample shades of grey off the walls. Around this same time, realise the entryway that must also be painted, as it seamlessly connects to the living room, has a ceiling much higher than our tallest ladder.

- One month later: Order new ladder on Amazon.

- Three months later: Ladder arrives.

- Six months after that: Buy paint and supplies.

- Let the paint sit in my den for another month or two because…just because.

- Finally work up the gumption to tackle the intimidating entryway wall.

- Wait for the next Tuesday when Kiddo goes to daycare: Almost kill myself getting the ten-foot ladder out of the garage and into the entryway by myself. Paint one coat on one wall.

- Thursday (Kiddo only goes to daycare twice a week): Second coat on wall one, first coat on wall two.

- Later that day: Explain to Kiddo when he gets home that yes, Mommy painted the wall. And no, he can’t paint the wall too. Console Kiddo.

- The following Tuesday and Thursday: Progress continues. About one third of the entry/living/dinning area is painted.

- Leave for a family visit to New Brunswick, fully intending to pick up where I left off in two weeks time.

Six weeks later…

- Back to painting. Manage to make good progress both Tuesday and Thursday. But one wall is still untouched.

- Daycare provider goes on vacation for one week.

This brings us to today. My front wall is currently a different colour than the rest of the living room, and the wall behind the couch needs a second coat. I fully intend to finish this job next week when Kiddo goes back to daycare…probably.

Any bets on how long it will take me to hang pictures??

Monday, 17 September 2018

Well That Was Interesting: Grocery Store Showdown

Kiddo has reached an age where it's fun to bring him to the grocery store, as long as the list is short. He pushes the tiny red cart and, mostly, follows directions. He wants the bananas in his cart and likes to put items up on the conveyor belt when it's time to pay. He pets the plastic dog—a coin donation receptacle—on our way out. If we include a visit to the lobster tank at the fish market next door, it can totally count as our outing for the day.

On my most recent trip for groceries, however, I was really glad Kiddo wasn’t with me.

As my order was being scanned, a customer at another cash began to ask, loudly, to see the manager. Not an unusual request, except it was more of an aggressive demand than a request. The manager came. Things escalated from there.

I didn’t catch what the beef was. Something the old store owner allowed that the new owner doesn't. Whatever the new rule is, the manager held firm. Before long, this customer was full-on flipping out. I'm glad to say, I don't see true grown-up temper tantrums often. That's what this was.

The tantrum peaked with a scream at the manager to, “Eat shit and die!”

I’ll interject here with a little word on conflict resolution. You probably know this already. If you don’t, me saying it isn't likely to change anything. But I’m going to say it anyway: Even if the manager (at a store, the bank, at work, wherever) is genuinely screwing you over, telling him or her to eat shit and die will probably not bring about the capitulation you’re looking for.

Another mother behind me in line, whose kids were with her, spoke up. “Excuse me, I have kids here.”

This prompted the very mature reply, “I don’t fucking care!”

It was one of those moments where you calculate how far to let this thing go before calling the cops. At least, that’s what I was thinking.

Thankfully, moments later, the irate customer stormed out declaring, “I will never fucking shop here again!”

I can only imagine how disappointing the prospect of losing this person’s patronage was to the employees who by this time, along with most of the other customers, were staring at each other wide-eyed in a collective “What the hell was that?”

Friday, 14 September 2018

A Moment in Parenting: Family Dinner Conversation

The family is sitting around the dinner table. Kiddo is using utensils like the civilized human being he has the potential to become. 

Me: "Good job with your fork. You're so smart."

Kiddo: "Where the smarts go?"

Me: "Um...They're in your head."

Kiddo turns to Daddy: "Your smarts up in your head."

Daddy and Me: "Yes. Yes they are."

Kiddo turns to me: "Where your smarts go?"

Me: "Good question...I think you took them."

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

I Got Pantsed

There was some time to kill this evening before Kiddo's bath-bed routine. We decided to go outside with the sidewalk chalk. Two other boys Kiddo's age were playing across the street, and Kiddo was drawn over like a magnet. (He then proceeded to play near, but not actually with the other children.)

The three toddlers ran around the grass like maniacs. The other parents and I shared snippets of conversation between attending to parenting duties--checking the status of scraped knees, removing chalk from puddles before it could turn to goo, etc. Periodically, Kiddo came running up to tackle/hug me (or hide behind me if someone else was actually trying to carry on a conversation with him). No one was crying, so thumbs up all around.

The other two boys both have older sisters (who were playing calmly with face paint at the edge of the driveway). The inevitable question came up. The one that starts anytime after a first child's birth and continues to surface until, I don't know, they reach grade one?

"You guys planning on having another?"

I opened my mouth to give my usual non-committal, hedge-evade reply. (I don't mind the question. I just don't have a good answer, even after three years of thinking about it.)

A few syllables escaped my mouth. At the same moment, Kiddo came in for another tackle-hug. This time, he leaped into my arms and slid down my body like a fire pole, grabbing the waist of my jogging pants on the way down.

Thankfully I was wearing underwear, and it stayed up. At least, I'm pretty sure it did. I yanked my pants back up so fast I didn't have a chance to think about it. But did I mention one of the parents present was a dad? And, no, these are not close friends. Being the social recluse I am, I'm still (two years after moving to the neighbourhood) getting to know the families within a five-house radius. We talk about the kids, the weather, the kids...

Now they've seen my underwear. How was your day?

Friday, 3 August 2018

A Moment in Parenting: Sir, is that a bomb in your bag?

After a ten-day visit with the grandparents, Kiddo, Hubby, and I are killing time with Grammie (my mom) in the café at the Saint John Airport before saying our goodbyes and going through security--As is the case in many tiny airports, there is no reason to go through security in Saint John before they announce your flight over the intercom. There isn't much over there (except a mini fridge to store any carry-on seafood you might have with you).

Bags are checked. Kiddo is happily eating a tub of Froot Loops. I'm gnawing on granola/protein bar that was really not worth the $3. (Why do I keep trying these things? I should've just gone for the Kit Kat bar.)

A voice comes over the loud speakers calling us back to the check-in counter. Hubby and I exchange a curious look. He goes to see what they want. I stay put to make sure Kiddo remains focused on his Froot Loops instead of grabbing every stuffed lobster and miniature hockey stick in the souvenir display.

What did they want at the check-in counter? To know why our bag was beeping.

A bomb, perhaps??

Hubby hurries into the café hauling the giant suitcase that holds a week's worth of Kiddo's and my belongings, "Hey, Kate. Where did you pack the baby monitor?"

I opened the top pouch and found the monitor, low-battery light blinking in sync with the offending beep, beep, beep.  I hit the power button.

By the time we got home something had bumped the power button (note to self: don't pack electronics near the top) and the bag was beeping again. Thankfully, the guys loading the carousel in Ottawa either didn't notice or didn't care. This isn't even the first time travelling with Kiddo has triggered a second look from airport security. Who knew travelling with kids could arouse so much suspicion?

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Friday the 13th–The Week After

Ok, Friday the 13th was a normal day. In no way worthy of its reputation. The week following Friday the 13th, however…

Saturday: Kiddo broke out in mysterious hives. This is a first.

Saturday night: Kiddo woke up every forty minutes or so…all…night…long.

Sunday: We enjoyed a trip to the walk-in clinic. Poor Kiddo had a fever, ear infection, and swollen tonsils. Adding to the fun, our (slow) drive to and from the clinic was through a mess of sleet/freezing rain/snow.

Kiddo is now on a regimen of Amoxicillin, Tylenol, and Advil. Day six of ten and he’s resisting a little more each day. We have gone through a lot of Smarties this week, and ice cream too. If anyone out there can get a toddler to take that pink antibiotic goo without bribery, hats off to you.

The glorious snow/ice/rain combo persisted for three days. It’s weather like this that makes me wish I lived closer to the equator.

Thursday: I had an appointment scheduled for 11:00. I’m usually the person who plans an extra half an hour of fudge time, just in case, only to arrive super early for an appointment with a doctor who is running behind, and I end up spending an hour in the waiting room.

This time, I was the person who left the house with just enough time to drive the usual route, park in the usual place, and walk briskly from the car to the registration desk. So, of course, (for the first time ever in all the times I’ve wanted to park there) the parking garage was full and I had to drive in a circle looking for a spot on the car-packed street.

At 10:55, I was tripping over the snowbank next to my car. I narrowly missed a bystander before jogging down the street. Mercifully, there was no lineup at the registration desk. I made it to the doctor’s waiting area on the fifth floor at 11:05.

They didn’t call my name until 11:30. I guess I could have skipped the jog, but I needed the cardio anyway. Oh yeah, and it started snowing again.

I always have such high hopes for April, and April always sucks. Somehow, every year, I convince myself (usually around mid-February) that warm and sunny weather will come in April. And it usually does—for about a week. Then we get hammered by more winter.

This is not a new phenomenon. I can remember studying for university exams while outside in a t-shirt, then walking through snow three days later to write those exams. I have one, very clear, April exam-time memory of a friend cranking It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas through the dorm halls the day after a snow storm. Some people laughed, but most responses were more like: ɟµƆʞ^ɲ&*^%*ƨoɲɵɟaƂ*ƾ¢#*^@*$ƕµƾt#e ɟ*©ƙµp...which, if memory serves, only encouraged him to turn up the volume.

Still, I keep getting my hopes up and April keeps kicking my ass. Going through some pictures and videos from last year, I found one of Kiddo and me at the park around the end of April in t-shirts. Then I found another of him in his winter jacket with flurries in the air dated May 8th.

I'll never forget my first full summer in Kingston (many years ago). It was over 30℃ by May 2nd and it stayed that way through September. I wonder if that will ever happen again.

Four months of 30+ is a little too much heat for me, but I’d love to put the winter jackets away by May 1st with confidence they won’t be coming out again for five or six months. Is a month of sweater-only weather, after the snow and ice but before the searing heat sets in, too much to ask?

So, it wasn’t the best post-Friday-the-13th week ever, but luck is all in what you focus on. Thus, I'll leave this with a few notes on the bright side:

Kiddo made it past the 2 ½ year mark before needing antibiotics for the first time;

Despite avoiding it for a long time, I still remember how to parallel park (with moderate jockeying);

My mom texted me this nice flower picture around the time I was catching my breath in the waiting room:

And finally, the sleet, rain, and snow are gone. It’s 10℃ and sunny this weekend. Maybe Spring is here and planning to stay for the long haul? That’s what I’m telling myself for now.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Friday the 13th

So far on this Friday the 13th:

Kiddo bumped his head, dumped a cup of water on the floor, and destroyed a cardboard box;

I woke up with legs so sore I can barely walk; and

I lost my memory stick with most of my writing projects on it.

AHHHH! What they say is true, Friday the 13th really is unlucky!!


Kiddo bumps his head and spills water pretty much daily;

I helped him destroy the box. It was fun, actually;

My legs are sore because I went to the gym yesterday. Finding time to go to the gym is a good thing;

And I found my memory stick between the couch cushions.

I guess that makes Friday the 13th...a normal day.

Have a great weekend everybody.