It’s Not All Mary Poppins


…is here. After hesitating throughout November, appearing in the forecasts, only to retreat coyly when the predicted time arrived, winter arrived with a bang. Fifteen to twenty centimeters, swept in on 45km/hr winds (gusts of 60 – 70 k). Overnight.


It’s WINTER out there.

The children, of course, are delighted! So excited, so ready to get out and play, in their new mittens and new boots and new snowpants and new coats…

And me?

I’m feeling inert. I know I should get them out. It’s beautiful out there. Mild and a bit melty, which is perfect snowman weather. Perfect. I could dig out the kid-sized shovels and take them for a flounder in the drive. I could get them into

their new snowpants
(with the zippers and the snaps and the velcro and the elastic)
and their new coats,
(with the zippers and the snaps and the velcro and the toggles)
(or their hand-me-down onesie-style snowsuits, as the case may be)
their new vests
(zippers, velcro)
and neck-warmers
and fleeces
(zips and/or velcro)
and hats
(velcro and/or ties)
and wooly socks
and scarves
and sweaters
(some with buttons)
and leggings
and boots
(with liners, velcro, elastics and/or toggles)
and leg-warmers…

But somehow? Somehow the very thought of a FUN!!! outing to PLAY IN THE SNOW!!! just fills me with ennui… (Though really, I know I should be shouting “THANK GOD FOR VELCRO!!!!”… but I’m not.)

The battle is on:
I know the sunlight will do me good
and the fresh air will do them good
and they’re so cute, floundering about in the snow,
and really,
they’ll last about 14 minutes before they’re
and want to go in, anyway…

and suddenly, there’s that ennui thing again.

Yup, it’s winter, all right…

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Canada | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!


Five of them, in fact. No real post today. I am in the throes of creating FIVE little super-hero capes, each made of red satin (40% off at FabricLand this week!). No pictures yet. Have yet to download photo-handling software onto my new laptop. Sorry.

Each cape will be emblazoned with the child’s initial on the back (in blue satin), shot through with a shiny gold lightning bolt. It’s the initial/bolt combination that makes me the most nervous: in order to avoid all that nit-picky edge-stitching, I’m glueing them in place with double-sided fusible interfacing. I’ve never used that stuff before, and I have moments of anxiety in which I imaging totally ruining an otherwise perfect cape in the very last step…


But for now, it’s a great idea! I can’t find the website where I got the initial-lightning bolt idea (though a quick google showed me this is far from an original idea). I got the pattern for the cape from The Little Red Hen, though mine won’t have hoods.

Now I need an idea for the baby, who, though nine months old, is not yet crawling. A cape would be cute, I guess, but pointless apart from the cute factor, and, when she starts crawling, it’d just be cruel. (Like dresses on crawling babies. Their little knees get as far up the inside of the skirt as the bodice, and then they’re trapped, poor mites. Who puts dresses on crawling babies, except for that adorable red velvet number for the requisite Santa picture? Which, if you’re sane, is whipped on seconds before the picture, and whipped off immediately after.)

Sorry. Tangent. Still seeking gift idea for non-crawling nine-month-old. But the capes? So far? AMAZING!!

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Christmas, crafts | , , , | 11 Comments

It’s my Christmas miracle

Nissa, as I’ve said before, is a busy baby.

And four-year-olds (as I know I have mentioned previously but can’t find the posts, dammit) have a fondness for the Rules which can make them a tad officious. Little police-men and tattlers of the daycare. Nigel, who is with us today, is very definitely four. He’s always been a bit anal, with a strong tendency to get anxious when things aren’t done PRECISELY as they have Always! Been! Done!!! Put anxiety-boy plonk in the middle of the RulesRUs stage, and you have a recipe for a day filled with tattling, power struggles, recrimination, finger-pointing, shouting, stomping..

I brace myself. Practice my deep breathing. Dust off my practiced anti-tattling sentences. (“Is anyone bleeding? Is it dangerous? No? Then you don’t need to tell me.”)


“No, Nissa, you can’t do that. Let’s colour.”
“That is too small to put in your mouth. You can have this crayon instead.”
“Nissa, I don’t think you’re allowed to stand on the couch.”
“Hey, Nissa. I can put your bib on for you.”
“If you spit out that playdough, I will make you a snake.”

Once in a while, you get that perfect, near-miraculous combination of the Rule-bound 4-year-old who can express the rules with sensitivity and respect (!!!) and a 19-month-old who has stars in her eyes and will do ANYTHING that Big Boy says.

And then, my friends? THEN you have achieved Nirvana. If only for the moment.

December 7, 2009 Posted by | manners, Nigel, Nissa, socializing | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Snow White was a wimp

I have in my home four little dwarves:

Sneezy, Coughy, Whiny and Grump.

And then there’s me, leaning far more to Evil Stepmother/Big Bad Witch than Pretty Princess today.


December 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

A day in the life

“We are going to be firemen!” William, in the way of four-year-olds, is organizing the play. Noah and Tyler are his enthusiastic fellow-firemen, each sporting a plastic red helmet. Noah’s and Tyler’s are, predictably, on in reverse, “FIRE CHIEF” emblazoned so that anyone behind them can see who they are.

Fire Chiefs in Mary’s house often wear their helmets backward. Shiny red baseball caps with a bold red bill out front. There are never any regular old firemen, either, only chiefs, though since none of the can read, this is less of a problem than it might otherwise be.

“We are going to be firemens, and this,” William waves the cardboard cylinder from an empty tube of wrapping paper in the air, “this is our hose.”

“Woo-woo!” Tyler hoots a siren noise. “Woo-woo, fire truck!”

“Yes, we will ride our fire truck to the fire, and we will put out the fire with this hose, and we will ride the fire truck back, and then we will all have a nap.”


Because we wouldn’t want our big, strong firefighters to miss their naps, now, would we?

December 2, 2009 Posted by | socializing | , , , , , | 3 Comments

It sounded good in theory

“You don’t hit me!” William’s voice is thick with indignation. “Hitting is bad! No hitting!”

Nissa watches his frothing with a mixture of curiosity and concern.

“All right, William. You’re using your words, and that’s good, but you don’t need to shout. Nissa, did you hit William?” Nissa is young enough that she doesn’t yet lie. Ask her a question and, if she understands it, you’ll get a straight answer. Or, in this case, you get silence, which amounts to the same thing. The girl, Canadian though she is, is pleading the fifth. So, yup, she hit him, and on purpose, too.

“Hitting is wrong, Nissa,” William continues. “Hands are for hugging, not for hitting. It doesn’t matter what happens, you don’t hit.” He’s being a bit pompous, but I let him. He’s saying all the right things, though the self-righteousness is a bit thick in the air.

“Even if you’re mad at me, you don’t hit. Even if I hit you first, you don’t hit!”


“William. Did you hit Nissa?”

“Yeah, but she shouldn’t hit, no matter what!” His righteous indignation surges like a wave, propelling the inadvertant confession past his lips. Oops.

“And what about you, mister?”

His eyes widen as he realizes his error.

You know, life would be so much easier if everyone ELSE followed the rules. You could get away with anything!

December 1, 2009 Posted by | aggression, Nissa | , , | 7 Comments