Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

My Friday Night: It’s a party life.

Deep damp bone ache.
Tired. Wired. Thirsty. Cold.
Dishes: done.
Son: abed.
Work: still whirring away in the back of my mind.
Son sings, not yet asleep. The sound of sock feet thumping the wall is a very particular one, which I’ll likely be able to recognize until my last breath.
Hot hard buzzing ache.
Sitting hurts, walking hurts, standing hurts.
Next: hot bath, Bailey’s-laced tea, book.
This will last a collective fifteen minutes until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.
It’s 8:55pm on a Friday night.
Laundry hamper: overflowing.
Floor: crunchy and sticky.
Son has now been quiet for four minutes and counting. It is almost safe to start filling the tub.
Pulsing, stiff, creaking ache.
Grueling week: now over.
Grueling weekend: about to begin.


I Deserve a Brownie Badge For This.

“On top of spaaaaaghetti,
all covered in cheeeeese,
I lost my poor meatball,
when somebody sneezed.”
Stunned silence, rapt attention. Bonhomme is cuddled next to me, under the covers, not a twitch to be seen.
“It rolled off the taaaaable,
and onto the floor,
and then my poor meatball
rolled out of the door.
It rolled into the gaaaaarden,
and under the fence,
and then my poor meatbaaaaaall… uhhhh… rolled under a – ummmm… I forget. What rhymes with fence? I haven’t sung this in years. I forget what comes next. What do you think, Love? What happens next to the meatball?”
“I dunno! Tell me! Tell me, Mommy!”
“Well, let’s see. It rolled into the gaaaarden,
and under the fence,
and then my poor meatball
rolled into the… forest.
Where a family of deer
came trotting on by,
and stepped on that meatball,
and squished it into a soggy pile.
And then all of the critters
that lived there did come,
and they ate up that squishy meatball mess,
every last squishy crumb.”
I hear a suspicious sniff.
I peer over at Bonhomme, all curled up in my arms.
“Hey Baby, are you OK? You seem a little bit upset.”
“Yaaaahhhhh! Waaahaaaahaaaa….!”
“Honeybunny, why are you crying? What’s wrong? Did you not like the song?”
“Yah but, but, but the poor meatball! I’m so sad that it got squished! Waaaahaaaaahaaaa….!”
“Oh Love, I just didn’t remember the words, so I made some up. The meatball doesn’t have to get squished, we can change the song. Besides Hon – it’s a meatball. Do you normally feel quite so strongly about meatballs?”
“Yaaaaahhhh! I love them! And I don’t want them to be squished! And all alone and mucky in the forest on the ground! Waaaahaaaahaaaa…!”
“Oh. I didn’t know you love meatballs so much.”
“I do!”
“Yes, I can see that.”
“And you shouldn’t ever squish them! They mean so much to me!”
“OK, Love. We don’t have to squish any more meatballs. How about we fix the song, and resurrect that meatball, and give it a different fate?”
“Do you think that maybe you’re being a little bit dramatic and identifying a little strongly with this meatball, Love? That maybe you’re very tired and that’s why you’re overreacting?”
“Noooooooooo….! I’m not too tired! This is a very important meatball!”
“Now sing it again, Mommy. Properly, this time.”
“OK, but you have to promise to settle down, and cuddletime will be done as soon as the song is over.”
“OK Mumma. Now sing.”
“On top of spaghetti,
all covered in cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
when somebody sneezed.”
Happy wriggles.
“It rolled off the taaaaable,
and onto the floor,
and then my poor meatball
rolled out of the door.
It rolled into the gaaaaarden,
and under the fence,
and then my poor meatball
rolled into the forest.
Where a family of deer
came trotting on by,
and they kicked up that meatball
and through the air it did fly.”
I feel myself being very carefully scrutinized. Clearly, my next words are expected to meet a certain standard.
“It flew up through the branches,
and over the trees,
and into a raincloud,
where it was washed clean as you please.
Flying in the sky was exciting,
waving hello to the moon,
but soon the meatball felt cold
and sad to be all alone.
So it fell back to earth,
having had a lovely adventure,
and landed back on your spaghetti,
ready to be your delicious dinner.”
“Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Thanks Mummy! I love that song.”
“I’m glad, Love, because I don’t think I could recreate it quite the same ever again.”
“That’s OK, Mumma. Next time, the meatball could go somewhere else.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yah. Like it could go on a rocketship! And blast off! Like this!”
Much rustling and thumping and rocketshippy noises erupt from the one-moment-ago-sleepy-nest-of-a-bed.
“OK now Love, that’s enough. It’s bedtime. Settle down. One last hug.”
“Mmmmmmmmmm! I love you Momma. You’re my best friend!”
“I love you too, Sweetheart. Sweet meatbally dreams.”
“Sweet dreams, Momma.”

How I know I’m ending up in Heaven

It was a grueling weekend. A trying weekend. A non-stop-whining, cajoling, tantruming, escalating, testing, shouting, arguing, disciplining, huffing and puffing weekend.
All members of my small family are still accounted for at the end of this weekend. For this, I should be sainted.
But, the chief reason why I am now fully qualified for a no-questions-asked pass through Heaven’s gates is that when my three-and-a-half-year-old asked me, while cataloguing various aches and pains that he’s encountered –
“Mummy, do you have a pain in your butt?”
– I held my tongue.

I’ve forgotten what quiet sounds like

The river breathes mist, exhaling delicately into the sun.
When’s the last time I charged my cell phone? Will it hold out until tonight?
The water beneath the billowing tendrils sparkles.
Bonhomme didn’t eat very many of his carrots last night at dinner. How many servings of fruits or vegetables did he have yesterday? Was that his only one? Does three carrot slices count as a serving?
The freshly fallen snow is still white on the curb, like pipings of carefully planned icing.
I should have given him less chicken fingers. Am I making a mistake in having him practice self-regulation, instead of more consciously monitoring his caloric intake? I can’t believe I stooped to chicken fingers.
Katherine Jenkins‘ voice soars in Ave Maria; heaven here in my car, surround sound.
He spilled the detergent again, godDAMNit! It’s just laundry! Why can’t I just do it on my own? Alone!
The road flows smoothly, my new winter tires on my new car vanquishing the snow. I grin fiercely.
Late. Again. Late, late, late. So late. Again.
The tree branches are stark and proud against the gemstone sky.
I’m so tired. Why am I so tired? I had my coffee. I slept OK – last year I would have considered last night’s sleep miraculous! I’m so freakin’ tired.
The wind cuts into the beauty of the day the moment I open the car door. I step into the cold, howling vastness.
I haven’t been writing very much. The words aren’t coming. Where did they go? What’s wrong with me? I can always write! What’s going on?
The crunch of my footsteps embellishes the symphony of cars and crows, wind and wilderness.
I can’t believe he got Grandmaman to play that Nerf gun shooting videogame with him.
My breathes steams up my glasses, making the world glow.
When’s the last time I got him to successfully nap? He stills needs it, he’s such a handful when he doesn’t get it. I know he’s that age, but still – there’s so much going on in that head of his. Isn’t it the ultimate parental mistake not to insist on what you know is good for your children? He watched three Dirty Jobs episodes for Quiettime, for Pete’s sake! What kind of mother am I?
The buildings loom up, hazy shadows in the brilliant aura that my glasses have become.
He wet his pants three times yesterday. Is he backsliding?  He has to be potty trained before September. I have to remember to enroll him this week – I can’t miss the deadline. Thank God Dearest has agreed to send Bonhomme to the French school. I haven’t been teaching him enough French on my own. At least he’s not telling me he’s flushing my French down the toilet anymore.
“Good morning!” I call to the guard as I swipe my pass. I’m even more blind behind my glasses now, in the warm indoor air. The world of branches and wingbeats and humming tires is replaced with beeps and clacking and chatter. Coffee wafts.
I could splurge on a second cup today. Yes.

Just your average on-the-way-to-our-friends’-house conversation

Author’s note: Economicus is my pet name for Best Friend’s beloved husband, because he is the very epitome of Homo Economicus, that elusive perfect rational actor that economists have held as the pinnacle of rational choice economic theory. This ideal human consistently and predictably makes rational and narrowly self-interested economic decisions, in order to always attempt to maximize their utility. This title contrasts that of Homo Reciprocans, an alternate economic theory arguing that human beings are primarily motivated by the desire to be cooperative in order to improve their collective environment. Those who know both him and me will understand my perverse sense of humour here, especially as the assumption underlying the Homo Economicus, and thus underlying the rational choice model as well as the majority of other prominent economic theories, continues to be a point of contention. Also note that my son does not, in fact, call him this.

“Mommy, Economicus is a genius. Yeah. He’s a genius, because he knows how to fix everything. And he knows all about electricity. And he can tell us what those boingy things are on the electricity towers, the ones that look like long springs with circle blades. AND, he’s a genius because he knows STUFF. Mommy, I love him.”

“That’s so sweet of you, Bonhomme. I think you should tell him all of that.”

“I will! And, I’ll ask him about the boingy things.”

“That’s a great idea, Love. And you know what else Economicus is good at? He’s really good at research. So if he doesn’t know about the boingy things on the electricity wires, he’ll know how to find out. Because you know, that’s what really makes a genius a genius – it’s not that they know everything, it’s that they know how to learn.”

“Yeah. When I grow up, I’m gonna be an INVENTOR, and I’m gonna be a genius just like him.”

“Sounds good. Just remember to patent.”

“OK Mommy, I will.”