It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Why I Love My Job, Reason # 493

Today is a holiday here. (Victoria Day, aka “Firecracker Day” or “the May long weekend”, in honour of birthday of the stern and tubby queen by that name. Victoria. Her name was Victoria, not Firecracker or May.) So, no kids for me today (except the five stepkids, but I’m not in charge of THEM, haha!), but I can’t neglect my loyal readers in their masses (snort), so here’s something fun:

A recipe for a laugh-a-minute walk to the coffee shop on the corner?

Put the seventeen-month-old in the umbrella stroller. Put the two-year-olds on each side, holding on. (Being outriggers, I call it.) Let the three- and the four-year-old walk ahead.

Tell the “big kids” that they can “run ahead” to the next telephone pole, except that they have to “be a… butterfly!” Off they go, flapping. Touch the pole. Then “a fire truck!” Off they go, sirens a-wailing. Touch the pole. “A bee” – they buzz. They bounce, they giggle, they flap and wail and buzz. Oh, the cuteness!

On the way back, on the last two very quiet blocks, the two-year-olds join them, and then, because I have to ratchet up the cute factor to unbearable levels, I have them be midget monsters, and dainty dragons, and teeny tigers, and they ROAR their way from pole to pole, mighty talons extended at the end of dimpled wrists.

Oooooh, the cuteness!

May 22, 2006 Posted by | the cuteness! | 10 Comments

Too Tired to Blog…

So off we go to brainless Blogthings…

Your Italian Name Is…

Majella Giordano
What’s Your Italian Name?

I love her hair!

Your Brain is 60% Female, 40% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve
What Gender Is Your Brain?

May 21, 2006 Posted by | memes and quizzes | 7 Comments

Spanking at MIM’s

If you want even more of Mary, you can check me out here. MiM invited me to weigh in as a guest expert on dealing with toddlers without spanking.

Anyway, if you’re interested, go check it out!

May 18, 2006 Posted by | controversy, parenting | 14 Comments

Houston, we have a Problem

The boys are inspecting the chimney. They had been getting themselves some books, but they got distracted.

“No, we can’t, or Mary will be mad.” George seems to be worrying a lot recently about making me mad. As far as I can tell, I haven’t done any serious amounts of frothing at the mouth these days, but it’s a frequent theme in his conversations. I think it’s more about the four-year-old who has figured out Rules than about ranting Mary.

“She won’t be mad. If we don’t move them, how will Santa get down?” The fact that it’s mid-May doesn’t seem to in any way dissuade Darcy from the urgency of his task.

“But this is where the books go! If we move them, how will we find them again?” I like the way this boy thinks. Is it true some children are just born neat?

(I need explain. Ours is, as I have said oft before, a small house. No space may go to waste, the neatly closed-off fireplace in the living room being no exception to this rule. Because it is, in essence, a painted box set into the wall, it is used to store the daycare books. Board books in the basket on the left, paper books in a pile on the right. So yes, there are books in my fireplace.)

“When Santa comes down the chimney, he will hurt himself on all those books.”

“No, it’s okay. Santa wears elbow and knee pads.”

“He does?”

“Uh-huh. My daddy told me. Because chimneys are scratchy inside there because of all the bricks.”

This satisfies. The boys return to their literary pursuits.

May 18, 2006 Posted by | books, Darcy, George, random and odd, the things they say! | 12 Comments

I’d Probably Make a Good Living as a Translator

…even without a second language.

Zach calls to me from the living room, as I am rinsing the lunch dishes. What with the two rooms between us, the noise of the water in the sink, and the chatter of the other children, and given that at two his diction isn’t all it could and will be, I hear something like this:

“Awiss…mrvigkdl…airp’ane… dkeibgymmble…dkeoppoel…yivvingwomb… mgirlbele…gone.”

To which I respond, “Did Alice take your airplane out of the livingroom?”


One word in ten is all you need, I’m telling you!

May 17, 2006 Posted by | Alice, random and odd, Zach | 15 Comments

Meet Timmy

I have a new little guy starting in the fall, and his mother and I are weaning him in by sending him for a couple of hours two days a week.

He’s a sweet little guy with big bright blue eyes and a beaming smile. I can’t show you any of that, but I CAN show you his other dominant feature:

Hey, everyone, meet Timmy, aka “Handles”.

May 17, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Hedging His Bets

Arthur holds up his drawing, a mass of bright scribbles, criss-crossed and brilliant.

“Wow. Look at all those colours, Arthur!”

“Yes. Does it look like a rainbow?”

“Is that what it’s supposed to be?”

“If it looks like one, I think maybe yes.”

May 16, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Gentlemen Don’t

A small boy stands in front of me, gazing up earnestly, fingers working the corduroy of his pants. “Mary? Mary, there’s a–”

I interrupt.

“Let go of your penis. Women don’t like it when men fondle their penises when they talk to them.”

Here at Mary’s house, it’s just one Important Life Lesson after another.

May 15, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 11 Comments

An Embarrassment of Riches, Even MORE!

Haley, my eldest, has her own blog. Here’s my Mother’s Day Post from Haley!

My youngest, Emma, made me a picture “for your blogg, mummy”, but my computer can’t open the attachment! Boo!, and Jerry salvaged it for me! Yay! (Thank you, Jerry!)

(I find the spelling mistake endearing…)

I have such great kids. 🙂

May 14, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Surprise Post!

Some while ago I suggested to my children that it would be fun if they were to write something for me that I could post on Mother’s Day. No pressure, no guilt.

No, really. None! In fact, there was so little that I totally forgot I’d suggested it. The children are with their dad right now, so they’re not around to jolt my memory. Then, in my inbox a few minutes ago, I find the following from my 17-year-old son – the child who displays his relation to me not so much our dark brown eyes and firm jawline, but by our shared Memory Deficit Disorder. Hey, he remembered! (And I didn’t!) Yay, Adam!!

Ok, so for mother’s day I was supposed to write something about Mum, who you all know as Mary P.

Well, I’ve done the typical, incredibly well-organized high school student thing when given a writing assignment, which is to promptly leave it for later, forget about it, misfile it, find it, lose it again, spill a mysterious beverage on it, and then remember it the day before. Now, by that reckoning, I’m sort of a little ahead. Sort of. See, when I started writing this, technically it was two days before. But now three minutes have passed, and that’s no longer the case. I would go to bed and write this tomorrow, but tomorrow’s a busy day, what with errands to run and a wedding to go to, so now’s really the only time.

[Yes, this is indeed exactly how he talks! I’m smiling as I read, hearing his voice in my head.]

Well, that basically boils down to an excuse as to why my grammar and spelling may be iffy. Oh, midnight writing. Would that I could see less of you, and yet sometimes it is indeed unavoidable…

Now then. Mother’s day. Things I remember about Mum. Let me see, I should probably start with a more serious story, so I figured this one would work. It’s about the first (and only) time I ever stole anything, such as it was. Here’s the scene. Little Adam is three or four (I don’t really remember the age, it’s just the memory that stands out). Now, at that age, I was expected to come along for grocery shopping, which I didn’t particularly enjoy, a fact which I always made well known. In retrospect, it was probably pretty annoying. Sorry Mum!

[Nah. He grumbled quietly, but didn’t whine or fuss or drag his feet. He just just evidently bored. Can’t blame him – so was I.]

Anyways, we were taking longer than usual, and Adam was getting tired and hungry. The store wasn’t the right place to sleep, so I decided to solve one of the two problems, which I figured would be easy, since I was in a whole BUILDING full of food!

Now, I knew that I shouldn’t really be eating anything there until we’d paid for it, but I figured a few candies here and a couple green beans there wouldn’t go amiss. Things were going fine until we got to the beans, when Mum noticed what I was doing. Uh-oh. I was chastised, and even though Mum never raised her voice, I remember how I felt, and I felt bad.

I don’t remember whether I was told to admit my sins to one of the people who worked at the Loblaws or if I decided on my honest own, but either way I ended up telling what I’d done, apologizing profusely, and crying the whole time. The guy said it was ok, and passed me back to Mum, but I felt so bad afterwards that I’ve never even felt the slightest incentive to steal anything, or even ever put any amount of serious thought into it again. Funny how the little things count, isn’t it?

[He thinks it’s a “little thing”. I’m thinking you parental types might see it differently. Nice to know an event at three can have a permanent positive effect, isn’t it?]

Well, that was serious. Now for a less serious one. I don’t really remember this story, but I’ve heard it enough and with enough emotion that I’m mildly surprised that I lived through it.

Mum was sitting on the couch, reading, and Adam was one or two years old, standing on the other end. [He was 16 months, and had been walking for only a month.]Adam decided to walk to Mum, which turned out to be harder than he thought it would be on cushions, which move under your feet. He promptly lost his balance, and little arms and hands flailed frantically as he fell forwards, trying to stop himself. He succeeded in stopping himself, but he did so by ramming two little fingers up Mum’s nose. Hard. Eye-wateringly, burning, sneezing hard. Those little fingers didn’t just go in, they went all the way back.

I’m never really sure what to do when this story comes up, except maybe to grin ruefully and say “oops”. Not really much else I can do, I suppose…

‘bout that.

Hey, I tell this story because it’s hysterical. You’re supposed to laugh – and you do. Good man.

I think the moral of these anecdotes is that Adam is the fine young man he is today because of the Love of a Good Woman – me. Right, Adam? Or maybe it’s that Adam lived to tell these tales only because his mother loves him very, very much. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

May 14, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments