Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hark the Surly Angels Sing Thursdays

I'm not actually feeling surly today, or not much. I did take Eve to get a flu shot at a Rexall pharmacy where there was one pharmacist and one counter-person working, and then spend an hour or so in Loblaws, so the surliness opportunities were multiform, but I imagine I'm feeling like a lot of other people: happy and grateful about my life and sad and dispirited about some stuff that's happened to other people. Also, wishing that Nan hadn't told me about how doing NaBloPoMo killed her first blog, and, naturally, still pissed off about the cancellation of Firefly.

Still, I'd hate to disappoint anyone who came here in search of surliness, so let me just send out a pinch of snark to that woman on Twitter today who tweeted "Really? No one has experienced this?" I was concerned that someone needed help with a problem, and also curious because geez, if there's one thing the internet has done for all of us is to show us that there is almost NOTHING you can confess to - alcoholism, resenting our children, strange sexual practices, nun bashing - that won't elicit a perky piping up with 'me too, me too!' from a wealth of supportive friends and strangers; so I clicked the link. Turns out it was just that she had an article up on Yummy Mummy that no one had commented on. So naturally that must mean that no one else has experienced the thing she was talking about, not that, I don't know, a large number of us are busy baking pine-needle shortbread and making candy-cane wreaths and searching for the perfect violent video game and shit because of a fairly sizeable holiday which is occurring a few days from now.

Also, the people that haughtily sniff at businesses who say they will donate to causes based on retweets or mentions, because they should just donate money without tying it to self-promotion. Um? Capitalism? Businesses in the business of making a profit? Sure, it would be nice if they would just give money out of the goodness of their collective businessy hearts, but if they're willing to give away money which they're under no obligation to give, I'm okay with them getting a little advertising out of it. And for Christ's sake, how hard is it to click retweet anyway? Sure, take companies to task for unsafe working conditions, or even unreasonable returns policies. Saying they'll donate money if we will, literally, lift one finger? Maybe take a breath.

End surliness. One more day of school, unless this Epic Storm lives up to its billing. Christmas tree is decorated, all of our mailed packages have arrived at their destinations on time, and whoever I've forgotten to mail a Christmas card to at this point is getting it in January. We find out tomorrow if my nephew can get the pins out of his arm then or if they'll be here on the twenty-ninth instead of the twenty-eighth. Either way, it's Christmas and I'm not travelling, so I'm all good.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wordless Sunday

Because I'm feeling a little stuck for words, and I found this restorative today, I present: three-year-old Eve peeling a Christmas orange.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Communication Fail 2.0

Eve is fairly mature for an almost-ten-year-old. She expresses herself pretty well and has a reasonably extensive vocabulary. For this reason, I sometimes forget that she is, in fact, only nine years old and sometimes she doesn't catch all the nuances of a given situation. Usually it's not hard to figure out when she gets confused, because she huffs out "This is too confusing!" and flounces away, but sometimes she doesn't say anything and it's only much later that it becomes clear that she was completely in the dark.

Case in point: The final Harry Potter movie. Angus was going to the premiere with a friend and the friend's little brother was going so she begged us to take her too even though she hadn't read all the books or had them read to her. So we did. She said she liked it. Then later she was talking about the scene where Snape is watching his memories in the pensieve and he remembers finding Harry's mother dead after Voldemort kills her. It turns out that Eve thought that was Snape remembering KILLING Harry's mother.

Yesterday we were baking cookies and listening to Christmas music. Sarah McLachlan's version of River was on the playlist and we had listened to it a few times in the last few days (Eve can really belt out that high note thanks to the singing lessons but then she gasps theatrically and says "how does she hold her BREATH for that long?").

So the song starts playing again. She listens for a bit, playing with a bowl of flour, then says "I don't really understand this song, but it seems sad." Pause. "Did she kill her son?" I drop my rolling pin and say "NO! What the hell? No! It's not that kind of baby! Do you think Justin Bieber means a real baby when he sings baby baby baby?" She says "No, but", and Sarah sings "I made my baby cry". I say "okay, fair enough. But do you really think I would put a song about infanticide on our Christmas playlist?" Eve laughs. Sarah sings "I made my baby say good-bye." I say "SEE? How would he say good-bye if he was dead?" Eve says "Well I thought it meant goodbye in a different sense. As in, say goodbye to the world. Because I'm gonna kill you."

She's now learning I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus in singing lessons. And she still believes in  Santa. Can just imagine where we're going to end up with that one.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What we have here is a failure to communicate

It's been a while since we had a good Esso episode around here. But last night I took Angus to the chiropractor and on the way home he asked what we were having for dinner. I had been out all day and I was feeling lazy, so I didn't actually want to make the pizza that I had bought the pizza toppings for, but I knew we had naan bread in the freezer that I could use for pizza crust. So I said "naan pizzas". He said "so what are we having?" I looked at him quizzically and said "what did I just say?" and he said "well if it's not pizza, what is it?" Then we picked up Eve at my Mom's and had the same conversation, until I finally spelled it out: "NOT n-o-n pizzas, n-a-a-n pizzas!"

They liked them. Eve now calls them anti-pizzas.

Then in the middle of the night, my husband having wandered his restless legs off somewhere else already, Angus came in and said he'd had a really bad nightmare and crawled in with me. Matt, having heard someone up and about, came in to check and I whispered "he had a bad dream". Matt said "oh, I'm sorry" and patted him on the shoulder and said "do you have your fuzzy?" We both looked at him oddly, but it was dark so he couldn't see us, and he said "do you want me to go get your fuzzy?" and I said "are you high? it's ANGUS." And Matt looked confused and patted the rest of Angus and shook his head and wandered away again.

This family is fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So much better than Dr. Phil

We had a weird Sunday. We were supposed to go get a Christmas tree, but it was raining so we put it off. Then Angus remembered he had a design and tech project and tried to call the boy whose house the table was being built at and couldn't get hold of him and there was a big freak-out over whether the project was being done without him and he was upset and we were upset and it was a whole big thing. Then we heard from the boy's Mom (who's my friend) and she said they thought Angus was busy with baseball on the week-end so two of the group were building the table and Angus and the fourth person were going to write up the project so it was all fine. Which was good, but obviously there was a lack of organization and clear communication that needed to be rectified, and there were leftover unsettled feelings.

We were coming off a month of Matt traveling a lot and Angus playing a crazy amount of sports and my fun-with-drugs experience. So at five o'clock I called an emergency family movie night with popcorn and ice cream for supper. We watched The Avengers. My lame-o kids demanded apples and carrots on the side. There was laughing and cringing and startling and hulk-smashing.

My son is growing up and out and away from us. That's okay. Generally he's pretty responsible and self-sufficient and doesn't need to be micro-managed. But sometimes we need to pull him back into our sphere for a while. Sometimes that's hard. But sometimes it's not.

I'm telling you - there's almost nothing Joss Whedon doesn't make better.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I believe that children are our future. Sorry, future.

I was driving Angus to school on Friday. It was -18 with the windchill. We stopped at a red light out around the corner, which put us right in front of two girls he knew waiting at the bus stop. I said "should we offer them a ride?" He said "NO!" I said "why the hell not? It's freezing out." He said "It would be too weird! Stop looking at them!" I said screw you and rolled down his window and asked them if they wanted a ride. They giggled and said no thank-you. I rolled up the window and said "Great. I'm an embarrassing mother all around. My work here is done."

A few days ago I found a sheet of paper on the dining room table with Angus's name on it. It looked like a sheet of questions that he was answering in order to describe himself. I asked him if we needed to do anything with it and he said I could just recycle it, but I put it on the kitchen table beside my computer so I could look at the rest of it when I had time because I was interested in seeing how he'd described himself.

Today I looked at it. One question asked Quelles sont tes possessions les plus importantes (what are your most important possessions). I don't know what I was expecting. I know 'locket with my mother's picture' or  'log book of my charitable projects' wasn't going to happen, but really? "Mon money et mon télévision"? He failed at French AND being a decent human being.

My friend was over for tea this morning and I told her about this. As consolation, she offered that her son had to do a project about an important person, and he started thinking he might do Barack Obama, but in the end settled on Luke from Modern Family.