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


  1. 3 hours naps are possible? Never had one here, dream of it though. Even when sick, Ian and Laurel don’t nap that long.

    Here’s hoping for a long nap time with time for yourself.

    Comment by mamacita tina | August 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. Oh god, I hear you. I am sick and slogging through what feels like an interminable work week because of it, too. people are asking me things and all I can do is sort of frown at them in an attempt to make sense of the words that just tumbled out of their mouths, but it’s not coming. I ask them to repeat, trying harder. Slower, please? ugh. Getting too cranky at the kids, too. Just want my bed. I totally know where you’re at, and I hope you feel better soon. (At least in time to enjoy your time off!)

    Comment by kittenpie | August 15, 2007 | Reply

  3. A library is never quiet especially around story times. Of course at my library the story times are held in a separate room so once story time begins the rest of the children’s section is usually dead. We also have computers for the children to use that play obnoxious music all day long. Hope you feel better soon.

    Comment by Erin | August 15, 2007 | Reply

  4. Like I said, it changes after the second and most especially after the third child. *lol*

    Incidentally, the lead singer for Midnight Oil is now the Shadow Minister for the Environment. At least the toddlers are listening to music with a social conscience.

    Comment by Kat | August 15, 2007 | Reply

  5. Mamacita Tina: Three-hour naps don’t happen around here, either. While there’s often one in the group who does routinely sleep that long, they never all sleep that long. So no, it was just a fantasy…

    Kittenpie: This morning, I’m doubly damned, because I had a bout of ill-timed insomnia last night, and am going on slightly over half my normal allotment of sleep. Now my eyes ache, as well as my eye-teeth. Urgh. I hope the weekend provides us both the rest we need to recover!

    Erin: There are computers at our library, too. (“Mary, can we play on the computer?” “No, love. You have a computer at home. Libraries are for reading.”) But they do NOT play music. Ever. Thank goodness. What is your library staff thinking??

    Kat: They listen to U2 and Sting, too. They have more vicarious social conscience than they know what to do with.

    Comment by MaryP | August 16, 2007 | Reply

  6. I hope you get a nap soon, Mary!

    (Maybe we both can! I never had insomnia with my other pregnancies but with this one–up at 3am most nights! 2:30 this morning…)

    Comment by LoryKC | August 16, 2007 | Reply

  7. awwww i wish you get more rest … hoping and wishing for the 3 hours nap time best of luck though

    Comment by maliha11 | August 16, 2007 | Reply

  8. sorry – didn’t read the post – my eyes are still bulging from the title.

    I guess it means something different across the atlantic, but here…..

    suffice to say, the day the dog humps your fathers leg is the most hilarious in your childhood:-)

    Comment by juggling mother | August 16, 2007 | Reply

  9. Lory: Thanks. It’s Friday now, and I’m feeling much better.

    Maliha: No, I didn’t get a three hour nap! But you muddle through, right? I’m feeling better today. Thank you!

    JM: Oh, it means that here, too, which is why I never use it seriously. Always conjures up inappropriate images…

    Comment by MaryP | August 17, 2007 | Reply

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