It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Tea and Pee and ME, first!

1021836___caffeine__I am at that “certain age”, and by and large I think I look pretty fine for all my years. The wrinkles I genuinely don’t mind — evidences of a life well lived — the gray hair I cover, and the various bodily creaks and groans I get seen to by my RMT daughter. (Hee!! Well worth paying her train fare to visit.)

However, the weight? The thickening of the body? That I don’t like so well, and the weight, she does creep on if you don’t pay attention. So I do the obvious — avoid the junk and put a little activity into every day. (Sadly, chasing toddlers doesn’t seem to be sufficient all by itself. I can’t think for the life of me why not. Booo.)

I also have a weight-maintenance strategy (shared, as I happens by Mir): “tea as food substitute.”

When I get that sudden “MUST EAT” urge, I indulge in a little self-talk: “You’re not hungry, you’re bored. Have some TEA!”

So I do. Cup after cup of the stuff. The first one or two in the morning are black and caffeinated, the rest are herbal. Mint, rooibos, raspberry, spice… So much choice — even though they all taste the same: water. Beautifully scented water, but water. I don’t care. What I’m after is HOT and calorie-free.

(I’m drinking even more this week, seeking some form of heat. Minus 28C with a windchill of -39C (-18F and -38F). Even inside, I need two layers and a sweater. Boooo.)

But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. With all that input, there has to be an output. And so there is. Lots and lots. Copious. Many trips up the 15 stairs. Many, many trips. 15 steps up, 15 steps down. (Which is another way in which lots of tea contributes to weight maintenance. And — I live in hope — semi-decent thighs??)

Problem is, I live in a home knee-deep in toddlers, many of whom are toilet trained. Toilet trained, thus also going up those 15 steps to the bathroom.

Going up them slowly. Sooooo slowly. One-step, one-step, sometimes stopping to check out a piece of lint or take a wee breather or simply stare blankly into space. I could harry them up the stairs, “Hurry UP! I have to pee, too!”

But that takes time, time I may or may not have, so I prefer just to pound on by them. Leap like an aging gazelle over their trundling bodies, whip into the bathroom, claim that premium space with my butt. “Ha! I got here first!” By the time they’re finished all that lint-picking and space-gazing, I’ll probably be done, anyway, and if I’m not?

There are two potties in this house, and one toilet. Let them figure it out…

January 16, 2009 Posted by | health and safety, Mid-Century Modern Moms, potty tales, power struggle | , , , , , | 10 Comments

The eternal quest

I’m not the most methodical of people. Well, in some respects I am: with children’s behaviours, I tend to have a pretty well-trodden path of responses and counter-responses charted out in my head. But my my own personal habits? I have general patterns, but nothing you could set a clock by.

I get up between 4:45 and 6:00. Between then, and when my first child arrives at 7:30, there are a bunch of things I tend to do: read for half an hour, plot out my day’s activities, maybe give a thought to dinner. I’ll throw in a load of laundry most days. Chat with my youngest as she gets ready for school. I always give the bathroom a quick wipedown and often put away the dishes that were washed the evening before, if they are still in the drying rack. Empty the blue boxes under the kitchen sink into the larger bins in the back porch.

And at the end of that, I always, always make myself a cup of tea, the idea being a quiet 15 minutes before the onslaught of the slavering hordes.

7:40. I sit down with my tea. It’s a little late, but the earliest-arrival doesn’t come on Mondays. I’ve probably got 15 minutes.

7:42 The first child arrives. We greet, chat, exchange information while peeling the snowsuit, boots, hat, scarf, and mitts off the child.

7:58 Take sip of tea. Ugh. Pop tea in microwave. Recover now steaming tea.

8:00 Greet second child, who has arrived with a book of nursery rhymes.

8:12 Sip. Ugh. Nuke tea.

8:14 Arrange self on the couch with two tots to read book.

8:18 Third child arrives, dropped by a dad this time, so deposit takes 93 seconds. Return to nursery rhyme book.

8:37 Sip. Ugh. Nuke.

8:41 We start our Spring Project, planting beans in clear plastic cups so we can watch them grow. We place the planted beans on a low window ledge and gaze with pride on our accomplishment. Well, some of us do:

“They’re not growing!”

9:03 Sip. Ugh. Nuke.

9:06 Settle tots down to free play: hobby horses, castle, blocks, cars, teddy bears …

9:10 Sip. Ah. Very nice. Second sip. “Mary! Anna grabbed my cheeks!” Conversation re: using words and hands being for hugging. Standard stuff. Then, since I’m right there in the construction zone, we have to see whether we can build a house big enough for the smallest teddy, right?

9:37 Sip. Ugh. Nuke.

9:40 Noting the time on the microwave, I set about preparing snack: fruit to be dipped in plain yoghurt. This will take about 4 minutes – the tea will be hot when I’m done, and I can sip while they snack!

Emily and Timmy decide they would like to “help”.

10:00 Snack is delivered to the table, ringed by famished, bibbed toddlers.

10:20 Sip. Ugh. Nu –no. It’s gone! No steaming cup of comfort for me. My caffeine comes in tepid dribs, little slurps of chalky bitterness, a dozen times a day. And for this, environmental me nuked the thing every time?

Oh, the shame.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | eeewww, the dark side | , , | 9 Comments