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.

Monday, 9 April 2018

A Moment in Parenting: Birthday Party

Kiddo attended his first for-real birthday party this weekend. Here are the highlights:

Pin the tail on the pony?
Kiddo: Don’t bring that blindfold anywhere near me.

Throw the bean-bag socks in the hole?
Kiddo: I’d much rather play with this police car and helicopter in the corner.

Sit at the table and eat your cupcake?
Kiddo: Yes, but only for thirty seconds. (Left the cupcake half eaten…whose child is this?)

Time for presents...
Kiddo: What do you mean I can’t help the birthday girl open her presents??

Play with play-doh?
Kiddo: No (again, whose child is this?) I want to go back downstairs and play with the helicopter (ok, he is ours after all).

Maybe 2 ½ is a bit young to appreciate the organized-party-games concept. He still had enough fun to protest when it was time to leave, though.

When Kiddo's birthday rolls around there will be a cake (probably Betty Crocker), a few Dollarama balloons, and one other kid (two tops) to keep us from eating an entire birthday cake by ourselves. Organized activities will include: eating cake, playing with balloons, and if I’m really ambitious…who am I kidding, I won’t be really ambitious.

Friday, 6 April 2018

How to Fight a Jem'Hadar

I got sucked into the trekkie black hole when I was twelve, around the time Star Trek Voyager started. I watched Deep Space Nine too, but it was already a few seasons in by the time I started watching and didn’t hook me in quite the same way.

Lately, however, I’ve been re-watching Star Trek DS9. (Thank you, Netflix. We can all relive the 90s.) Turns out there are some pretty great episodes of DS9 that I either missed (Remember how in the 90s if you weren’t home in time to watch a show, that was it? You just missed it and moved on. How did we cope?) or I didn’t fully appreciate them at the time.

This time around I don’t have to worry about missing episodes. I can follow the story arcs start to finish. I'm finding there are some interesting ones. Also some of the DS9 characters have just a smidge more grit than any other Star Trek series seems to allow. (The Borg are way cooler than the Founders, though. Sorry, DS9.)

So I'm loving my chance to re-experience this series. There is, however, something that has come up in a few DS9 episodes that’s driving me nuts.

Fights with the Jem’Hadar.

For those who are not up on their Trek trivia, the Jem’Hadar are genetically engineered soldiers. These bread-for-battle, live-to-serve-and-die warriors have a built in weakness. They are dependent on a drug, which allows their mastersthe Foundersto control them.

A reasonable concept. But, this drug is administered through a tube that sticks out of their necks. It kinda screams, “Hey, enemy, my weak spot is right here!” Seems like a poor design if you’re creating a race of blood-thirsty fighters.

This is a Jem’Hadar, note the protruding tube:

Even more frustrating than the existence of the protruding tube, no one who fights the Jem’Hadar goes for this obvious target. Tearing it out should be the only way any human stands a chance fighting hand-to-hand with an engineered fighting machine.

Don’t even get me started on how these expert warriors also fall for the old ‘double fist to the back of the neck’ move that has inexplicably survived since the original Star Trek series. Not only do the Jem’Hadar always get caught unaware long enough to be hit in the back of the head, it always drops them like a stone. I guess the armour-like skin and rows of horns are just for show.

There is no shortage of articles, podcasts, and how-to-write books out there discussing how to craft believable fight scenes for Sci Fi/Fantasy. Of course, in the 90s when DS9 was running the internet was not the plethora of information that it is today. Maybe that explains it.

Ok, I’ll go back to suspending my disbelief now. I did choose to watch this show knowing full well hand-to-hand combat was not among its strengths.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

A Moment in Parenting: Carrots

Day one:

What’s for dinner?
Beef stew with plenty of carrots. Kiddo has always liked carrots.

Kiddo’s reaction: “I don’t want carrots.”

Me: “You like carrots.”

Kiddo: “No carrots.”

Day two:

What’s for dinner?
Chicken with potatoes and carrots. Gotta use up the rest of the carrots before they turn rubbery. Besides, surely the sudden dislike of a previously-favourite vegetable was temporary.

Kiddo’s reaction: “Yucky carrots.”

Me: “Yummy carrots.”

Kiddo: “No.”

Day three:

What’s for dinner?
Pizza. Bread and cheese, what’s not to like?

Kiddo’s reaction: “I want carrots.”

Me: “Of course you do.”

Monday, 2 April 2018

The Good News Is...

The good news is: Kiddo can take off his own jacket, sweater, and pants.

The bad news is: Kiddo can take off his own jacket, sweater, and pants...while we're trying to get out the door on time in the morning.

The good news is: Kiddo can open doors.

The bad news is: Kiddo can open doors. Cue the purchase of a security bar for the patio door.

The good news is: Kiddo likes to watch Singin’ in the Rain.

The bad news is: Kiddo wants to tap dance on the table. Thanks, Gene Kelly.
(And my two year old is already more cultured than I am.)

The good news is: Kiddo can fill his own water cup from the cooler.

The bad news is: Kiddo can fill his own water cup from the cooler, and dump it down his front. Have I mentioned Kiddo doesn’t like getting wet?

The good news is: Kiddo is happy to play in his room by himself.

The bad news is: His favourite time to do this is apparently one o'clock in the morning. Last night This morning, I woke up to the sound of him running laps in there. When I opened his door he leapt into the bed and under the covers. I sense the development of a 'anything goes as long as I don't get caught' mentality.