Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Out of bed with a spring in her step

Clara, that is.  Not me.  Not Her Father. 
All of us (including a surprised, but optimistic, Winton) woken at five by Clara:
"I need to get up and wear my red dress with the dog on it."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Grand-Parental Indulgences

For Winton: a plastic birthday cake ("cupcake!") with five candles that light up and two buttons which, when pushed, release a varied and unending stream of children's music.

For Clara: FOUR new dresses, two of which feature rhinestones (one in combination with fuschia love hearts and a black and white geometric print), one with purple plaid,  one with bows.  All feature sparkles.

American Thanksgiving: so many ways to acquire a headache and an upset stomach . . .

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Clara and Winton: Bodily News

Clara: Look at my toes!  They are beautiful and dangerous.

Winton [on pooping]: Pee pee!  Pee pee! Owww.
Me: Do you want to go get a clean diaper?
Winton: No!
Me: But didn't you just pee?
Winton: No!
Me: Did you poop? [sniffing diaper] Yup, you pooped.  Let's go.
Winton: No!
Me: But your butt gets sore if we don't change you right away.
Winton: No!
Me: C'mon.  Say "ciao" to your muffin and let's go get a clean bum.
Winton: [heading off at a run] Oh!  [and then]: Pee pee!  Pee pee! Owww.

Coda/ Repeat

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Claraism du jour

Clara: "Daddy, when I'm seven, can I say 'dammit' and 'jesus'?"
Daddy: "Uh, no, Clara."
Clara: "How about when I'm eight?  Then can I say 'dammit' and 'jesus'?"
Daddy: "Maybe when you're eight you can say 'cheeses'."
Clara: "What about when I'm eight thirty?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mea Ex-culpa, please

Hello, Blog.  Please make me feel better about the many small misjudgements that cumulatively make me feel like a worthless bag of sh*t. 

This morning, for instance, which involved the usual protracted herding of children upstairs (bathroom/ diaper change) and then back downstairs for a vigorous round of "quit hitting each other and put your coats on" while I marshalled lunches etc..

Following: overlapping demands in the car.  Winton [while cranking open window with his foot]: "Mummy, Look! Mummy, Look!"  and Clara [Yelling ]  "Clara Musica!  I want CLARA Musica!" all while I'm trying to do a u-turn in the middle of a busy street in rush hour traffic.

And then,  arrival at Clara's preschool just at the moment they are making the transition from the early care room (in one building) to the carriage house (a separate building).  Trying to hand Clara off to a teacher outside results in: her clinging to my ankle (in the wet mulch) and crying vehemently, Winton (freed from my attention) stealing a cardboard paper towel spool from the teacher's bag and letting it blow into the parking lot (so depriving someone of a good art project later today), and the teacher groaning "Oh, god.  And today I have a pinched nerve in my neck."  Whoo.

Well, and I'm off to teach now.  I expect small, cumulative problems there as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Give us a kiss then

In Winton speak, conveying the right lips for kissing, if not the right vocabulary:
"Mmf me!  Daddy, daddy!  Mmf me!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quarterly Evaluations

I recently did the mandatory mid-semester evaluations of my Freshmen and, last year, went through tenure review.  Odd that parenting is a completely unreviewed endeavour. 
I imagine a bureaucrat-heavy panel of bespectacled parenting critics interviewing parents quarterly to assess progress. . . .
[insert brief swirl of harp music and add misted edges to the scene below]

Panelist [pushing glasses up nose]: So, Dr. R, how do you enrich your son's life?
Me: Well, we go to the public library a lot.  And I make him eat butternut squash.
Panelist: Does he enjoy these activities?
Me [shifting uncomfortably]: Urh.  No.  Not really.  I mean, maybe the squash sometimes.
Panelist [sternly]: Do you do anything with him that he enjoys?
Me [relieved]: Yes!  I take him to that gas station on the corner, the only one in the world where you still have to go inside to pay even if you're using a debit card, and let the nice Indian man (he is Indian, I asked) give him a lollipop.
Panelist [more sternly]:  At 8 in the morning?  Are you aware the lollipops at the gas station are full of corn syrup and red dye?  Are you trying to ruin his teeth?  Have you nothing better you could do with him?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Doubt

So, if you read yesterday's post you'll have discovered (in the midst of my whining about my injuries etc.) that Winton calls the big bed a "couch" and pronounces "couch" "doubt."  Following?  Good.

So, this morning I had girl child in the bathroom so she could pee before school and boy child ecstatically playing on the "doubt."

Playing until I came back into the bedroom in time to see him slide off the "doubt" backwards and land on the top of his head.

No more doubt.  There can be no more playing on doubts or we will all surely die, or at the very least maim ourselves. (Winton is, again, miraculously unharmed.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

On the nose

Wherein it becomes clear to me that I must be a hypochondriac:

Last weekend, after days of coughing bouts that would last for minutes at a time, a week of a low grade fever, eyes that crusted shut at night and a right eye that became as red a late fall tomato, I took myself to a walk-in health clinic.  The waiting room was full of robust young men with ice packs applied to their limbs, and snottery newborns.  And then me: not so sick as all THAT, and not clearly broken.  On consultation with a Dr., I was diagnosed with something "that's not pneumonia yet" and left, with my amoxicillin, feeling like I had underperformed in terms of illness.

This weekend just gone by, I was lying on the big bed upstairs with Winton (which he asks for, with love, as "Couch" except it comes out "Doubt" when he says it: "Doubt?  doubt?  doubt, Mummy?  Doubt?").  We were playing his favorite game: I lie still and he stands, topples over my prone body, and lands with a thud on his face.  Good times.  Except, the very last time we did this, he decides to turn and look at me as he falls, so that instead of toppling over me, he topples INTO me, his head landing on the bridge of my nose with a noise like a hammer hitting a cabbage.  There was some blood.  And then a lump on the left side of my nose giving the whole the appearance of a remarkable curve.  (Winton, incidentally, has no injury.)

This time I went to an ER.  With a book (except it turns out I had already read the book, but had forgotten I'd read it until I started reading it again: Grr!).  And, despite the squelch on impact, the blood, the lump, the new crookedness,  MY NOSE IS NOT BROKEN. 

Dammit.  If I am going to go to a health care facility every weekend, these ailments need to step up their game.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dagummit, child

So, yesterday I left school before the 3.30 faculty meeting so I could get my kids at the normal time (and because I DO have some kind of lung infection: a doctor said so, and gave me amoxicillin for it). 

The kids pick up/ faculty meeting schedule conflict gives me grief every month though.  I am usually healthy and so have to claim the following as an excuse instead of illness:

Yes, I know.  It's MY JOB to be at the faculty meeting.  Yes, I know, staying til 5 shouldn't cause the world to fall  down around me.  And yet.  The immense difference that hour and a half makes to the manageability of getting two young children home, fed, bathed, boobed (only Winton), read to and then put to bed.  A 3.30pm start has them both in bed  by 7 (good because they get up before 6 most days): 3.5 hours of hard work on my part.  A 5 pm start gets them in bed well, 3.5 hours later IF I can manage to keep them on track, but they are tireder by then as am I, so we lose the track quite easily.  Means I don't get to start cooking dinner for adults until 8.30.  And the kids still get up before 6 the next morning.  And everyone is exhausted.  It's a trainwreck that spans an evening AND the next day.

Does this look like an excessively defensive justification for skipping meetings? 

Anyway, I left school yesterday at 3.30.  On arriving to get Clara, work guilt tying my head in knots, she ran away from me, screaming over her shoulder, "Go back to work, Mummy!". 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Setting: A large coffee franchise I won't name here, but think MELVILLE

order: short, double, half caff, capuccino.

gripe: the barista going on at length to a loitering friend about a "bitch prof" at the University up the street (as opposed to my college, which is down the street) who won't give her an extension on an assignment "even though I TOLD her I've got to work today."  Urge to defend "bitch prof" greatly detracts from escapist pleasure of complicated coffee.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Best trick of the night

Clara (not yet four), when asked to perform a trick in order to receive the treat tantalizingly proffered on an elaboratedly be-pumpkined stranger's porch:
"Double Double, toil and trouble
Fire Bu-ur-urn and Cauldron Bubble!"