It’s Not All Mary Poppins

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There have been snuffly noses in the daycare for the last two or three weeks. It goes round and round. We go through lots and lots and lots

and lots and lots

and lots

of kleenex.

Rather wasteful, but what can you do?

Well, it seems one of the daycare tots – Nigel heads my list of suspects – has decided that kleenex can be recycled! Not via the black box, oh, no. That’s too slow. (And I don’t think you’re supposed to put tissue in there, anyway…) No, our Mystery Tot does it in Real Time.

Now, when you reach into a kleenex box, you will likely find the first one is strangely… crumpled. In fact, you are probably going to have to burrow past two or three crumpled and crusted items to get to the clean ones beneath.

And by then ‘clean’ is a questionable concept. And you really, really want to wash your hands. (All those snot germs burrowing and breeding in there? Eeww.)

All kleenex boxes have now been relegated to spots at least two metres off the floor.

Snow on Monday, spit in the eye yesterday, crusty kleenex today. Oh, and two hours of sleep last night. (Not because of babies, nor even the teens. Insomnia.)

It’s becoming ‘one of those weeks’. Urgh.

April 18, 2007 Posted by | eeewww, health and safety, Mischief | 11 Comments

That’ll Learn Me to Bend the Rules…

“Anna has something that looks like pink-eye, and I was wondering if she could still come?”

I do appreciate when the parents phone in advance with something like this. It’s far easier to tell them “No” over the phone than it is to send them home from your doorstep. Doesn’t mean I can’t do it face-to-face. Certain (devious, manipulative) parents have brought very obviously contagious kids to my door, hoping that compassion and social awkwardness would force me to accept their tot. I’ve had to develop a spine of steel to deal with these types. No problem. Having dealt with their children all these years, I’ve got that.

So, “No” was the answer. That was yesterday. Today I get the call again.

This time I have some questions. When did she start her eye drops? Yesterday morning. Oh, Boo. Not long enough. I can hear the tension in mum’s voice – she’s worried about missing another day of work, and she was responsible and kind to me yesterday, so I’d like to cut her some slack.

“Normally I have parents wait for 48 hours after the drops. But… are her eyes still secreting? Is she rubbing her eyes?”

No, and no.

All right then. Bring her in.

“Are you sure? Maybe I’ll just bring her around so you can have a look at her, and then decide.” Now she could be doing this because she doesn’t want the responsibility if everyone else develops pink-eye, but I choose to see her as one of the Good Ones. The parents you love to have. The parents who share the responsibility and inconvenience of a contagious child. Unlike the parents who stress out and see me – not the child’s illness – as the cause of their dilemma. Yes, Anna’s mum is definitely one of the Good Ones.

Anna turns out to have very mild redness in the corner of one eye. No glop, no rubbing. Yes, she can stay.

She gives her mummy a hug and a kiss – well, she graciously receives her mother’s hug and kiss, in the way of many under-twos. Waves bye-bye.

I lift her onto my lap to give her a good-morning hug.

And she coughs.

And spews saliva.

Right into my eye.

RIGHT into my eye.

And the countdown begins…

April 17, 2007 Posted by | daycare, eeewww, health and safety, parents | 14 Comments


Yesterday, we were snow-free. It had been mild, so the streets, sidewalks, rooftops and lawns were clear. Today I opened my front door and…


I’m so happy I work from home! That’s my poor sweetie, trudging into his day…

April 16, 2007 Posted by | Canada, commemoration, Ottawa | 7 Comments

Escape is in the Eye of the Beholder

“Where we go, Mary?”

“We’re not going anywhere today, Malli.”

“Where we go?”

“It’s yukky out there, lovie. We’re not going anywhere.”

“Where we go, Mary?”

Obviously, she thinks I’m just not ‘getting’ it. Course, we know full well she’s the one who’s not getting it.

“Malli, love, come look out the window with me. See all that snow? The sidewalks haven’t been plowed yet. If I took you lot out there, you’d drown in the slush! And now it’s raining, so the snow is very wet and heavy. The little ones couldn’t walk in it, and I couldn’t push the stroller through it. Yuk! It’s APRIL SIXTEENTH, and it’s horrible out there.” (Bitter, some?)

There. That should be suitably graphic.

“Where we go?”

Sigh. Okay, perhaps a different approach is called for. Let’s use a little imagination. Maybe we can turn it into a fun pretend game.

“When I see all that slush and mush out there, you know where I want to go? I want to go to someplace warm and sunny. Someplace with no snow. Maybe I could go on an airplane and go to a nice, sunny island. [Tahiti springs to mind. Turquoise ocean, tropical palms, handsome tanned Tahitian men in sarongs…] That’s what I’d like to do. Where would you like to go, if you could?”

“I go into the living room? And the kitchen?”

Mundane, but attainable. (And probably what she wanted all along, but Mary was being thick this morning.)

“All right, then! Let’s go to the living room!”


April 16, 2007 Posted by | Canada, outings, the things they say! | 1 Comment


BookMama participates in something called Fun Monday. I’m not sure if it’s her idea or someone else’s, but seems you are given a list of questions mid-week, and you’re to post the answers on Monday. I liked some of these questions, so I thought I’d tackle the meme. Even though I’m posting the answers today. (Oops.)

1. What is your favorite word?

I don’t know. I like words. I like all kinds of words. I like the way they fit together, I love finding just the write combination to say just what I want. But one specific word? Nope, don’t have one.

2. What is your least favorite word?

“Like.” As, like, it’s used by, like, teens? Or, like, by adults who should know better, but, like, want to prove that they’re still, like, young at heart and dead of brain?

3. What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Walks by the river.

4. What turns you off?

Being crowded. Physically – I’m claustrophobic; time-wise – I’m almost always ahead of schedule because I hate feeling rushed; Emotionally – mutuality or f*k off;

5. What is your favorite curse word?


I know, it’s an insult, not a curse, but I just find it funny. Wanker, wanker, wanker. Heh.

6. What sound or noise do you love?

Rain on water.
Baby giggles.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

Whining. In adults or children. Ugh.

8. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?


9. What profession would you not like to attempt?

Politics. NOT because “all politicians are corrupt”, but because if you were honestly trying to do your best by your consitutuents and your country, (which I think most politicians are), everybody would assume you were corrupt anyway, and wait like vultures in the wings, ready to leap all over your slightest mistake. What a thankless job.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Welcome. Come on in!

April 15, 2007 Posted by | memes and quizzes | 10 Comments

Motivation for the Inert

The children play in the living room. I sit in the loveseat and glower at the whitish glop falling from the sky. It’s not particularly cold out there, but it’s certainly not appealing.

“Think we should take them out?” I ask Emma, hoping that her inertia matches my own, and her refusal will allow me to stay in with a clear(er) conscience. My plot is slightly foiled, though, when Anna lifts her head. Emma and I may lack enthusiasm, but 18-month-old Anna has caught the magic word.

“Out! Out! Out! Out!”

Emma stares at the slop outside for a moment. “Welll… It’s a little cool, but it’s not bad.” Her tone is ambivalent. She’s having the same internal battle. Virtue – Fresh Air for the Children – arm-wrestles Vice (in the form of Sloth). And a disinclination for wet feet.

“Soo! Soo! Soo! Soo!” A slipper is slapped onto my left breast. And left there, while Anna toddles back to the front hall.

“Do they all have boots with them?” I peel the slipper off my chest. Lately, given the mild weather, some have been coming with running shoes.

“Butt! Butt! Butt! Butt!” Anna returns from the front hall with one cherry red and one pink boot. Neither of them hers.

“Anna has butts, at any rate.” Emma giggles as she peeks into the hall. “Yup. Five pairs of boots out here.”

“Butt! Butt! Out! Out!”

I stand up before the tot can hurl another piece of footware at my anatomy. I may be feeling lazy, but I have a job to do, and Anna is holding me to it.

“All right, baby, you’ve convinced me. Let’s get our butts out there.”

April 13, 2007 Posted by | daycare, individuality, outings | 9 Comments

I’m Dreaming of a…

White Christmas.


Because, frankly, right now it seems more likely.

Oh, it’s not all bad: my favourite weather site promises rain for the next few days, and temperatures higher than zero from here on in. This is probably winter’s last hurrah.

But, bleah!!

snowrain.gifThursday morning
snowrain.gifThursday afternoon
snowrain.gifThursday evening
snowrain.gifThursday overnight

And the red, red, robin, comes…schelpping along in his mukluks, is what the poor little wretch is doing!

But he is on his way!

April 12, 2007 Posted by | Canada, commemoration, Ottawa | 12 Comments

Lunchtime Conversations

The daycare days perk up a bit when my sweetie is around. He loves to interact with the kids, and, in typical dad fashion, enjoys a little frivolity with his lunchtime conversations.

Malli to Stephen: You are a man?
Stephen: Yes, I am. [Drops his tenor voice an octave and repeats, with strong, stern daddy-face.] YES, I am!
Malli: I am a man!
Stephen, look of astonishment on his face, and voice well back into the tenor, even beyond: You ARE!?!?!?!?
Malli: Yes. I am a girl, and a man.
Mary (the Mundane): You are a girl, and when you grow up, you will be a woman. Timmy is a boy, and when he grows up, he will be a man.
Stephen: And vive la difference!
Malli: And I have cute little breasts.
S: *snort*
Mary: You have non-existent breasts.
Malli: My mommy have cute breasts.
Mary and Stephen: SNORT
Malli: I go’ed up in a tree.
Stephen: You DID? Is it scary up in a tree?
M: Yes, because I seed a monster inna tree.
S: You did?
M: Yes! Did you you see the monster inna tree?
S: No, I didn’t. Did Nigel see the monster in the tree?
Nigel: I scared of monsters.
S: When I see a monster, I do this. [Slaps his palms with great fervour over his eyes.] And then it goes away.
N: I can do that.
M: I can do that!
S: And see? You’re not scared any more!
M: No! I not scared!
N: I can’t see…

April 11, 2007 Posted by | socializing, the things they say! | 8 Comments

Make it Stop!!



April 10, 2007 Posted by | Canada, Ottawa | 13 Comments

Just had to share

My book binging continues, and I’ve happily indulged in several hours of Inappropriate Men. (A book, people, a book.) It’d be firmly in the chick lit category, with a happy ending of a non-traditional variety.

The author, Stacey Ballis, has an breezy, chatty style. It reads quick and easy. She often pops in an italicized sidebar, in which she editorializes a bit about the action that is (or is about to) occur. As in this tidbit, when, after four months of frustration and patience and terrific emails and some passionate necking sessions, she is about to Do the Deed with a long-term crush.


Now, I am a smart girl, and all smart girls know that your first time, sometimes even your first couple times with a new lover, well, things are usually far from perfect. I mean, everyone is different, a new body to get acclimated to, different things which work for one or the other, none of the smart girls that I know expect fireworks first time out of the box…

After all, for a woman of 34, I have had a very respectable (or embarrassing, depending how you look at it) cadre of lovers…And with [one] notable exception…none of the first encounters with any of these lovers was exactly life-altering.

The point…is that a smart girl takes her new lover to the bedroom with romance in her heart, but realism on her mind. We expect to have fun. We expect to see some potential. We do not expect to achieve orgasm, nor do we plan to fake it unless our compatriot is of the single-minded-no-one-sleeps-until-everyone-comes-really-I-can-do-this sort, in which case we play Meg Ryan so that we can get some rest…

Having said that, when a smart girl takes on a new lover, particularly in her thirties, particularly with a man who has had his share of partners himself, we do expect basic competence. We expect him to know where everthing is and have a general idea what to do with it. We do expect that he will be attentive to whatever guidance we offer. We do expect that we will not feel extraneous. We have these expectations. We are sometimes disappointed.

With this as the introduction, there follows the single most hysterical sex-gone-wrong scene I have ever read. Ever. Tears-flowing-down-the-face, stomach-hurting, gasping-for-breath funny. It’s not great literature, it might even be termed fluff, but OH, my lord, this was funny.

And the heroine gets her happy ending, too. Though not with this fellow…

April 9, 2007 Posted by | books, sex | 8 Comments