It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Hump Day

(Am I the only one who finds that term kinda borderline? First time I heard it, I had mental flashes that had nothing to do with Wednesday’s place in the week…)

Wednesday? Why is it only WEDNESDAY? I woke up this morning convinced that it was Thursday. Thursday! One more day! And then it’s the weekend – and, more importantly, the BEGINNING OF MY HOLIDAY.

But it’s not Thursday.

It’s Wednesday.


And I have a cold. For three days I thought it was hayfever producing the endless stream from my nose. I had a harder time explaining the cough. And this morning? I woke with what can only be a sinus headache. My eye teeth ache. Ugh.

“I’ll take them to the library,” I said to myself. “That’s easy, calm, the entertainment is built in. No creative effort on my part. Just what I’m up to today: calm and undemanding.”

Yeah, I know. I want calm and undemanding when surrounded by two-year-olds. All the gunk in my head must be backing up into my brain.

George and Nigel arrive first. They have a CD with them. Dad says, “Thought you might like a break from that pink disk. This one’s a favourite at home.”

It’s a home-burned disk, labelled “Toddler Nigel. Mi yoil.” ‘Mi yoil’?

“Midnight Oil.”

?? The explanation tells me nothing. Clearly my cultural awareness has its holes. So we put it in the player, and… Lead singer has all the auditory grace of that guy from The Clash (NOT Mr. Mellifluous); and the beat – a driving, relentless bambambambambambambam – kinda reminds me of Rock Lobster. So, a combination of The Clash and the B-52’s. JUST what I’m craving to start this “calm and undemanding” day.

The kids, of course, love it.

After the first adrenalie-revving bar, they are wild. Bouncing off the walls. Off each other. Shrieking. Screaming. Racing in circles. Bopping in the groove. A mini mosh-pit in my living room.


Mi yoil lasts about 12 bars. “Okay, guys! We’re going to the library!!” Libraries are peaceful places. Let’s burn off some of that energy making them walk the kilometre there, then sedate them with some books.

That’s the Plan.

We arrive. We are the first to arrive. The children’s section is calm and undemanding. Lots of pretty books in neat rows. Creative displays of books organized around various themes. A bright and welcoming rug for snuggling and reading. Perfect.

We commence to snuggle-and-reading. Aaaahhhh…

The door swings open. A father and his 4-year-old daughter come in. A mother and two little boys arrive. It’s a little less calm now, but reasonable. But it doesn’t stop. Seems I’m unreasonable to want reasonable… The door opens and closes a dozen more times in ten minutes, and the place is filled to the rafters with kindergarten-aged kids. No so calm anymore. At all.

Miss Sandy, the librarian, stands in the hub-bub. Claps her hands. “All right, everyone! Story-time is starting!” (Story-time? I thought that was on Tuesday. Oh, it is? And they’ve added a second, because it was so popular? Oh, how… nice.) And she commences to sing as the children stampede from every corner of the room to the story nook. One of the goldfish in the aquarium floats to the surface, victim of the depth-charge shock of all those pounding feet. Twenty-six four- and five-year-olds jockey for position, and commence to shriek along with her. Their enthusiasm is touching. And gratifying for Miss Sandy, I’m sure. It’s also very, very LOUD. Mary gathers her books and hustles her charges past the mayhem.

Several Earnest Mommy types give the deadbeat caregiver a scornful look. Clearly I don’t care like they do. Clearly I don’t love my little ones enough to want to take Every Opportunity to Enrich their little lives.

I don’t flip the Earnest Mommies the bird. I am a Professional. I smile kindly upon their Earnestnesses, and quietly meditate on the crash landing that awaits them. Sooner or later. Mwah-ha.

The air outside is cool, the breeze refreshing. We have ten pounds of books to peruse at our leisure.

And there are those lovely rocks in the lawn outside the library.

The children clamber, and Mary sits on the grass, perusing some of the books we chose. It’s calm, it’s undemanding. It’s soothing, even.

And then the mommy-baby exercise group converges, all the Bugaboos and the MacLarens and the lean and wannabe lean mommies, ready to do their warm-up and stretch before their run along the canal.

I don’t swear as we leave. I don’t even snarl.

I am doing more visualization, though. A three-hour naptime (please, please, please), a soothing cup of peppermint tea, and a book. Not “Are You My Mother?” or “Dog Breath” or “Trucks” or “The Bellybutton Book”, but a grownup book. Just.For.Me.

Either that, or a nap just for me…

Keep your fingers crossed.

August 15, 2007 Posted by | books, George, music, Nigel, outings, quirks and quirkiness | 9 Comments