Ok… Wait

I am starting to get some feedback on this blog and so far it’s pretty positive. If you are enjoying it – thank you. It’s been a lot of fun. My husband is now my official proofreader and he even said to me last night “this is good writing”. What!?! This guy barely talks. That’s like the pope calling you at home and saying “Hey, how’s it going? Listen, I’m not supposed to say anything but you’re totally getting into heaven. No, I’m not kidding,”

Thing is though I have no idea what I’m doing and I thought I hated writing. Seriously, I don’t even like making grocery lists. I used to pretend to have scurvy to get out of writing assignments in school.

Once when I was a kid I wanted to stay home from school and so I thought I’d pull the whole fake fever scam. I got out the thermometer and placed it directly on the lightbulb. Yup, right on there. I left it for, oh I don’t know, let’s say several minutes and then called my mom and jammed that sucker right in my mouth. Three things happened immediately 1) I burned my mouth 2) the glass broke and the mercury poured into my mouth and 3) I panicked and jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom and jumped in the shower. I thought I was going to be in so much trouble for breaking the thermometer and my 11 year old mind thought if you want to play it cool just take a random shower. So of course my mom was like “Why are you showering – I thought you had scurvy?” I broke down and told her the whole thing. I don’t remember the fall out other than having to replace the thermometer so I must not have swallowed the mercury and died. Isn’t that stuff really bad for you?

So I’m worried, what if I run out of ideas? Suppose in a few weeks I’ll have used up all my creative ideas and I’ll just be this empty shell who can’t think of anything to say. Or that mercury poisoning gets around to finally killing me? So stay tuned people because these ideas could dry up or I could literally die at any moment.

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Kids are weird

My kids are nuts but in a good way and so different from each other.

The girl is smart, strong and dramatic. She is wildly entertaining and can get almost anyone to do things for her. No joke – I’ve seen her get strangers to carry her up hills before.

The boy is rough, athletic, coordinated and pure. He spends a lot time figuring out how to do things and looking for a ball to throw at your head.

I think if a home alone scenario was to happen the girl would just lay down and wait for death. If you hand her something with a screw on lid she is baffled “well clearly this is impenetrable…” but she can understand concepts like photosynthesis or solar systems and feels bad for Pluto losing its status as a planet.

The boy on the other hand would find a way to make a pie or something. Yet he still thinks banging his head off the ground or growling at me is the best way of expressing he would have preferred water over milk to drink with dinner. Also he takes his shoes off outside and then cries because his socks are dirty and wet.

But one of my wildest dreams have come true – my kids like each other. Sure they fight and once in a while someone gets bit but they truly seem to like each other. The other night the girl ran full tilt into a glass wall at dance class and was very upset. She was sitting with me holding her ice pack and crying and the boy dug out the lip balm from the diaper bag and walked over to her and gently coated the bottom half of her face until she started laughing. Such love.

The Internet made me feel bad about myself

It was a quiz about life skills and you checked off all things you could do.

Do your own taxes – check.
Make pasta with out overcooking or undercooking – check.
Build a fire – ummm.
Long division without a calculator – straight up nope.

My score was like 31 out of 100. If there was a zombie apocalypse I would die from something like improperly placing the jack on a car and having my head crushed and/or trying to change a tire instead of just running during a zombie apocalypse.

Stupid internet.

I worry though, I see much of myself in my kids and my daughter definitely inherited my “uh you do it, that looks hard” gene. It’s way easier to assume you know everything and delegate than to try and fail. So now I have to convince my kids to do the hard things and have confidence. Sounds easy right? We’ll guess who’s going to have to learn all the hard things now – me! They already don’t listen when I talk but copy everything I do. So now I have to pretend to know at least 60% of those life skills. So if you are inclined to mock the chubby middle aged lady who is learning to water ski this summer maybe she’s just trying to teach her kids to be fearless, ok?

Wish you were here

Once in a while I am presented with these alternate realities that maybe could have been my life. You know: exotic travel, dream job, marriage that keeps it spark 24/7.

Why do I sometimes feel like I missed out or need something in order to be happy?

I know for me deciding to be happy has been tremendously helpful. I do my best not to watch life through my phone’s 3.5″ screen and take happy breaks and have dance parties or go outside or spend a few minutes getting to know the people in my life better.

I like doing things, really anything, so if you were interested in taking archery or bullfighting courses or dining in the dark (that’s a thing – look it up) I’m your girl.

But still I sometimes lack fulfillment and I used to think, oh poor me, I’ll feel better when the kids are older or when I’ll wear smaller pants or have more money.

But now I think that’s all bullshit. I feel bad because I’m not doing enough for myself or my family or the world. If you think big maybe the small problems won’t have a chance to creep in.

Or what if I had been born in a country or time ravaged by war or was born into a religion, colour or tribe that was persecuted just for existing. What if I was scared to be me? What if I lived in a place that was so scary I wouldn’t have to spend a small fortune going to amusement parks or spend a night hiding behind a pillow watching scary movies?

I live in a beautiful place and am so lucky and there is so much more I have to give so I’m not going to waste time feeling bad anymore.

P.s. This blog will return to being funny.

P.p.s this post was inspired by some of the books we’ve been reading in our book club such as The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver, Little Bee – Chris Cleave and many others also it was inspired by some Facebook friends who post lovely snapshots of their lives that are so different from mine.

P.p.s. I think my problems are bullshit, not your problems. I love Ash Beckham and fully support the Hard = Hard message.

I yam what I yam

There are a lot of things I don’t understand. For instance, I’m not sure exactly what it is that engineers do. Also I have a hard time telling when bacon is done cooking. I’m constantly looking things up and therefore have become that friend that says things like: “Did you know that polar bear’s fur is actually clear tubes filled with air which keeps them warm and helps them float?”. I am also never scared to admit I don’t know things. I wish everyone was like that. Several years ago I was told I “lacked political acuity”. At the time I was like “political whaaa…?” and then hurt because, well, no one likes criticism even if they don’t understand the words being used.

Now, I think it wasn’t meant so much as a criticism but more of an observation or note. He was not wrong though, not only do I lack it, at that point I almost didn’t know it was a thing. So I’m working on learning how to navigate situations where less is more and keeping your cards close to your chest is advantageous. But I kind of wish the rest of the world was working on being more open and honest. I never have a hidden agenda and I say what I mean and I sometimes get my feelings hurt when I don’t get the same in return.

The truth is though – I kind of like that about me.

Look mommy I got girl things!

Before I had kids I didn’t really spend any time thinking about child rearing or how I would parent. I did know I wasn’t crazy about gender stereotypes. I rejected the colour pink until well into my twenties and spent most of my time as a kid riding my bike and hanging out with both guys and girls in equal measure.

Then when I got pregnant and found out it was a girl I started to care about girly toys and a childhood brought to you by Disney princesses. I vowed to keep those things away from her as long as possible. Pink entered her life early on though as most of the clothes she wore were passed on to us through the vast underground network of baby clothes. Then every hair on her head fell out and stayed out till she was practically three so she wore pink so strangers would stop asking how old the little fella was.

Then around three she started getting gifts and they were *gasp* pink and Disney and … not evil. I watched her imagination blossom. She spends hours doing her “games”. There is a special kind of quiet when my kid is off in her own world doing imagination play that makes my heart burst with joy. Her princesses spend most of their time in a complex series of interpersonal conflicts and danger scenarios. I have never once overheard any of them need a prince’s help or wish for a husband. At one point she asked for a prince for her games and so a prince was procured and he spends a lot of time “at work” and sometimes the girls get together and help him out of a jam.

Now we have two kids, one girl and one boy. So naturally we buy two of most things and at first I tried to buy two the same but then they’d fight and that hurts my ears. So I bought the pink stuff for her and she is thrilled. I’ve decided that pink is not evil and does not have the power to change who or how she is. Now this morning she spent time counting how many girl (aka pink things) she got and I was momentarily confused on how to respond but then I did what I usually do and wing it. I told her her stuff is pink because she has decided that, for now it’s her favourite colour and since her brother is still only two he hasn’t told anyone what his favourite colour is yet so he gets red, yellow, orange, blue etc. There are no girl colours or boy colours there are just colours and if his favourite turns out to be pink as well, we’ll just have to start writing everyone’s name on everything.

My boy often plays hockey with a tiara on and loves tea parties and I’ve now decided that the danger might be that he won’t have pink (aka girly) things in his life out of peer pressure. So if you are coming to my house bring what you want and play with whatever you want and be who ever you are cause we are not so fragile that we will be changed by how the outside world works.

Real talk

I can’t wait to retire and move into a retirement residence. Seriously. It’s my life plan. I already tell my kids I’m only in it for the grand kids. I’m going to do bridge on Mondays, Aqua fit Tuesdays, volunteer Wednesdays, Zumba lite on Fridays (lite – so as not to throw my back out). All meals served. Surrounded by my peers. Sounds amazing. When I was a kid I used to go stay with my Meme (grandma) for a week in the summer and it was fun. We used to meet her friends at the IGA plaza and they would each take turns bitching and moaning for a bit then they’d rip on all the old biddies they didn’t like from their various lives then we’d go eat lunch at the diner then take a nap. Eat dinner after nap, drink iced tea and watch between 4 and seven hours of television at almost full volume. Also I love drama, real or imagined, so I can’t wait to sit around with my crew and throw some shade around at all the other blue hairs “Look at her, thinking her shit doesn’t stink cause she can still drive… Bitch” and “I don’t care that she might have dementia, I’m still not sitting at her table on euchre night. Cheating is cheating.”