Showing posts from September, 2009

Curdling the Milk of Human Kindness

Every year, on the first day of school, the big sheaf of memos comes home. Standard information gathering, standard field trip permission slips, standard careful requests about whether your kid has a mom and dad, one or two of each, or a freaky trio of open-minded interpretive millinerists. Somewhere in there is the standard no-nuts form (this refers to snacks and lunches, not parents, otherwise enrollment would be drastically reduced): several students have life-threatening peanut allergies, don't send peanut butter, read labels, blah blah blah, don't be a nasty killer lunch person. I have absolutely no issue with sending nut-free lunches. It's occasionally a bit of a pain in the butt, but really, compared to having a kid that can die from licking a peanut butter cookie? Not such a trial. Whenever I see letters in the paper belittling the seriousness of peanut allergies or complaining that it's an imposition having to work around them, I feel angry at the letter-writer

Oh yeah, advertising has NO effect on MY kids

Poor Eve. She has just been informed, to her horror and disgust, that the computer that she uses to play Webkinz, and look at pictures, and email Daddy when he's away............ is a PC. (" How uncool is this family anyway?")

Nana's Excellent Adventure

I love my husband's grandmother. My own grandparents lived far away and there were impediments to close relationships: my father's mother was older when he was born and she was confined to a wheelchair and quite frail by the time I met her; my father's father was mostly deaf, although I do have fond memories of him reading to me in a thick Scottish accent; my mother's parents were Polish, and despite years of living in Canada neither of them spoke much English -- they just beamed at us and plied us with chocolate and gum. Nana is the perfect old person. She's smart and witty and has a great appetite -- for food and learning and new experiences. She became an artist at the age of sixty. She reads everything I give her. She told me to hurry up and have a baby because they're very nice but also a huge pain in the ass and it was better to just get it over with. We once bought her a Twisted Sister cd for Christmas because she loves the song We're Not Gonna Ta

Big Plans

Eve started grade one last week, which means both of my kids are hereby in school for the full day. (Pause to start soundtrack -- slow, mournful dirge or the Hallelujah Chorus, it goes back and forth). I have big plans for the future. Eventually I'm planning to get my library technician diploma, put the pesky graduate school nonsense behind me and do what I've really wanted to do since I was four, which is work in a library, given that it seems I can't actually live in one. Yet. However, my husband has informed me that his travel schedule for the next six months or so is going to be miserable, so I'm holding off on starting courses. Instead, my 'job' is supposed to be a radical de-cluttering and re-organizing initiative as regards the house, and a radical whipping-into-shape regimen as regards my big fat ass. So far I've thrown a party for twenty-five of my closest friends, applied a liberal coating of sticky lime juice, refried bean and popcorn to the

Is Sarcasm a Heritable Trait?

So today, after a spirited Mexican party in honour of friends who are moving to Australia (not to be confused with an Australian party in honour of friends who are moving to Mexico, except I did keep confusing it, and wondering if I should buy them sombreros as farewell gifts or look up recipes for kangaroo meat, but that's a different post) I was wandering around sweeping up corn chips and popcorn and nerf darts (and the kids were really messy too) and throwing out empty margarita-mix containers. I went into the laundry room to put something in the freezer and there was a clean load of clothes in the dryer but no basket. So I gathered the clothes in my arms and went upstairs. I looked into the family room, where Eve was on the floor in her mermaid nightgown, playing with her barbies and her little barbie swimming pool. She looked around and saw me and got up, making little "I'm stiff from sitting for so long" noises. I didn't know what she was doing, but I was af

Blood is thicker, but who cares when there's alcohol?

We went to a wedding in New Hampshire this past week-end. Whenever anyone said "oh, whose wedding?", I'd have to take a breath and think for a moment, then say "my husband's aunt's second husband's daughter". Which might make you think it was one of those weddings where we hardly know anyone and we were really just going for a week-end in New Hampshire. But you'd be wrong (not that the New Hampshire part wasn't a big draw. I had lobster rolls for breakfast, lunch and dinner.) My husband has an aunt who is about ten years younger than his Mom, and he was born when his Mom was only twenty-one (I think) so Kate was more like a big sister than an aunt. She let him hang around with her and her boyfriends, she fed him junk food and took him to see Poltergeist when he was way too young and it scarred him for years. I met her quite early in our relationship and loved her -- she's a banker, so she's analytical and organized and A-type, which