Tuesday, June 29

Why I Love My Children

I adore my girls. They are kind and sweet and brilliant and gorgeous. They are a joy to be around. But that seems rather vague. Hopefully, every parent loves their children for all the same reasons. Sometimes, my children drive me absolutely bonkers. You wouldn't believe how wicked my little cherubs can be! Sometimes, my heart swells and I love them soooo much that I have to catch my breath. This happens when the children don't know that I am watching. They are just "being", and they are wonderful. One of those times happened the other night.

Dan, Andre, and I were sitting on the deck after dinner. My girls and Sam were running around the backyard being noisy and doing all the things that kids do on lovely summer evenings. As the adults chatted about the price of houses and borrowing extension cords, I kept looking over at the children, ensuring that they were all behaving themselves.

I noticed Sam started playing with Sarah's ball. This is a very special ball. One day, Sarah and I had gone to Canadian Tire and she spotted a great big bin full of balls. They were only about $2. I told her she could pick one out and I would buy it for her. My baby was thrilled! That ball has been Sarah's pride and joy. And now Sam was playing with it.

Sarah noticed that Sam had the ball. She didn't say anthing, just hung back a little bit looking sad. Katie and Bethie noticed immediately. They asked Sam to return the ball to Sarah. He refused. Bethie ran and got him another ball that he could play with instead. That ball would not do, according to Sam. Katie asked Andre how to say "Give Sarah the ball" in French, and then repeated it back to Sam. But Sam would not budge. He wanted Sarah's ball. Andre stepped in and gave the ball to Sarah. Sarah grabbed it and ran to the safety of my legs. Sam cried, and Andre told him that if he cried then they would have to go home. Everything had gone to Hell.

I asked Sarah if Sam could share her ball. She said, "No share!". Dan pointed out to Sarah that Sam was crying. Sarah looked at her friend. Then she walked across the backyard to Sam and handed him her ball.

That is why I love my children. They look out for each other, and for other people. What more could I ask for?

Here's another (totally unrelated) reason I love my kids:

They are squishy and yummy!

PS I have photos of the twins taken at the same time, but they are not appropriate for the internet. They were equally squishy and yummy!

Monday, June 28

The Negligent Mother

I do my best. Some days, my "best" is better than others. Today was a less than super day. Not because I was tired (I wasn't). Not because I was angry (the children were being well-behaved). Mostly because I was lazy, and in a hurry, and couldn't be bothered to put in more than the required minimum of effort.

It was 8:45am when I decided to feed the children breakfast. They don't eat when they wake up. They seem to need to ease into the day. That works well for both me and Dan. I wanted to get breakfast over and done with because I had to run out and do some errands sans enfants before Dan left for his shift this afternoon. I decided that I would make the girls breakfast, and have a shower while they ate it. Normally, I supervise all meals. I strongly believe that people should have meals together. No one should eat alone. However, today was the exception. I served each child a peanut butter sandwich with grapes and blackberries. I gave them their juice and put them in front of the TV to watch Mermaid Barbie or whatever DVD they had put on. I gave the twins strict instructions: watch the baby and don't kill each other. Everybody was happy. Dan was sleeping. I went upstairs to have my shower.

While I was in the shower, Sarah (the two year old!) decided that she would prefer to have cereal for breakfast. Instead of asking her father who was now wide awake and in the kitchen (but on my computer and, therefore, oblivious to everything else in this world), Sarah went into the pantry, chose the Corn Flakes, and brought them into the living room. Then she went back into the kitchen and brought the jug of milk to the living room. In full view of the twins and Dan (!!!), Sarah poured the milk into the bowl of cereal that she had prepared. She poured and poured and poured. She didn't stop until all the milk empty. It wasn't until the twins screamed and yelled at Dan that he snapped out of his computer-induced haze and stopped the baby (see why I leave the twins in charge?!).

Things like this happen every time I leave the room. This is why:
  1. I can never, ever leave the children alone, and
  2. I have only a loose grasp on my sanity

Sunday, June 27

Little Bears Had a Lovely Time

Two years ago, Mum said that we should go to the Teddy Bears' Picnic. She said that the CHEO doctors would re-stuff Bethie's bear. It was a good idea, but we never went. As time passed, Bethie's bear slowly deflated until it was practically flat. This year, Dan and I decided that it was time to go to the Teddy Bears' Picnic and get poor Pink Bear inflated.

The picnic was held yesterday. We packed the kids up and were out the door by 9am (impressive, eh?!). We parked at the Aviation Museum (where we met Mum) and took the OC Transpo shuttle to the Governor General's residence where the picnic was held. All the girls loved the bus, but Sarah was the most impressed. She has a thing for buses.

It rained for the first little bit we were at the picnic. That did not slow us down (which reminds me, Lisa, may I have my umbrella back?). The girls watched the Highland dancers. They love Highland dancers. Then we went on the Merry-Go-Round. A photographer took our pictures and promised that they will be online soon. The girls hugged a huge bear, and watched the "magic" of a boisterous clown. Then we ushered the girls to the highlight: the B.A.S.H. tent.

The Bear Ambulatory Surgical Hospital was somethin' else. First, the twins' bears had to be triaged. The "nurse" asked the for the bears names. The twins proudly shouted out the names: Pink Bear, Blue Bear, and Brown Bear (guess what colour they are. Hint: we aren't the most creative family.). Then the nurses asked Katie and Bethie to what was wrong with their bears. The twins became upset. Apparently, there's not a damned thing wrong with their bears! How very boring of them. First of all, Pink Bear is as flat as a pancake. Secondly, I've seen other bears at the picnic with casts. Wouldn't that be fun?! Nope, our bears were just going to get a "check-up".

Turns out that the girls bears are soooo healthy that the "doctors" weren't allowed to give the bears the check-up. The girls only released the death-grip that they had on their bears when they were permitted to examine their own bears. Somehow, Dr. Megan was able to charm Pink Bear away from Bethie. By the end of our check-up, Pink Bear was nice and fat again. Thank you, Dr. Megan!

We then proceeded to the Dental Unit. Mouth stickers were put on each bear, and the "dentist" helped the girls to count their bears teeth. Then the girls, Sarah included despite having only a smelly blankie and no bear, were given a toothbrush.

We then headed back to the free rides. We had another go on the Merry-Go-Round, and then Mum, Dan and the children went on the Berry-Go-Round (Quirky "Me Fact": I do not "go 'round").

At this point, we realised that we had been at the picnic far longer than I had anticipated. The girls needed to eat. Mum to the rescue! She got ice creams for the girls, and Dan, too. Everybody was happy.

We went to check out the petting zoo. Despite being shy at first, Sarah ended up feeding the animals. Everything went sooooo well. However, when Sarah looks at the pictures I took at the petting zoo, she swears that an animal bit her. It didn't.

We took the Giant Tiger Train to the Governor General's residence. The girls danced in both the Ballroom and the Tent Room. Very cute. Again, they stole the show!

By now, the children were crawling and we were all starving. It was 2pm before we got back to our car. We all went to McDonald's to get a quick bite to eat. Bethie lay motionless on the booth bench. By the time we got home an hour later, Bethie had a fever. Poor thing. Dan and I joke about "Operation: Knock 'Em Out". But the Teddy Bears' Picnic turned into "Operation: Damn Near Kill 'Em".

If you're interested, you can check out the photos on my online album.

Saturday, June 26

The Group Shot

Today, I tried to get a photograph with all three of my girls looking cute. We lined them up in front of the fountain at the Governor General's house and asked them to smile nicely. At first, I said, "Say Cheese" and all the other usual things parents say to their children in order to get their attention. By the end, Mum, Dan, and I were reduced to yelling at and pleading with the children, hoping just to get one usable shot. It seems, the children are immune to my frustration.

At first glance, I thought "Here are 10 crappy pictures". When put together, I think "This is the story of us!".


And now you know why most of my pictures are only of one child at a time!

Friday, June 25

The Living Is Easy

I loved the summer when I was growing up. It seemed to last forever. I have no memory of rainy days or being bored. I just remember everything being wonderful. It didn't take much to make things wonderful, just a hose or a book or the smell of the grass. Just "being" seemed to be wonderful during the summer.

As an adult, I absolutely adore watching my girls enjoy the simplicity of the warm weather. From my kitchen window, I watched the twins hide a piece of chalk pretending it was an Easter egg. I watched them each devour ice cream cones (Sprinkle Party Cake ice cream for Katie, and Mint Chocolate Chip for Bethie). I watched them pick daisies from my garden and put them in each other's hair. Idyllic.

Then Katie went on the swing, and I grabbed my camera. A pretty little girl on a swing is the epitome of summer for me. She went back and forth, higher and higher. Then she did what every little girl does, she flung her shoes off.

Katie's shoe is in the top right-hand corner of the photo

Shoes (and empty Popsicle moulds) are littered on the ground

Perfection! Does it ever get any better than this? We spend our adulthood trying to capture how Katie feels right at this moment. And it makes me happy that she was lucky enough to be born middle-class, and in this country, with access to health care and education. She has opportunities that 6 billion people on this planet can only dream of. None of this matters to her, because she is flying!

You may ask yourself where Bethie was. My accident-prone first born had fallen off the lawn chair. She was sitting on the deck, giving me an update on the status of her body. She said, "My toes are...okay. My ankle? Not broken! My bottom is...alright etc". Thank God, Bethie, I'm running out of My Little Pony band-aids because you have too many phantom injuries!

Thursday, June 24

Our Musical Ride

About 10 years ago, I wanted to go and see the Musical Ride (I probably haven't see it in 25 years). I wanted to see the show, but mostly, I wanted to see the Queen. She was in town and was going to be there. To make it more exciting, the Air Force was going to fly some WWII bombers overhead! I was desperate to go! And not a soul would go with me. Instead, I watch the show on TV, and then the bombers were good enough to buzz my apartment (seriously!) on their way to the airport. I never gave it anymore thought.

Until... I read about the RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremonies on a blog called Kids In The Capital. This blog suggests all sorts of things that Ottawa parents can do with their children. The Musical Ride seemed perfect. The best bit? Those that I wanted to go with me lack the authority to say "no" (and have that opinion respected!).

Last night, despite the threat of thunder showers, Dan and I packed up the children and headed to the RCMP stables. We were able to park close by. Close enough to walk. Good thing, because I forgot the stroller. As we walked to the show, older ladies and teenage girls would approach my children because they looked "so cute!". When the twins were born, I became a superstar. Everyone would approach me. It was nice at first, but I became annoyed because it took me twice as long to do my errands because we got stopped so frequently. Now, almost five years later, I expect it. You wouldn't believe how angry I get when no one points out how cute they look, or how polite/sweet they are. Anyway, the elderly never disappoint. I was pleased.

I would love to show you a picture of my children standing next to the RCMP mascot (a bear or something dressed in the Mountie uniform), but they refused. Mascots scare the twins and we have to actively avoid them. Dan try pleading with Katie to give the mascot a quick cuddle so I could have my picture. She said, "We didn't come to see the 'wild', we can to see the horses!". She walked away.

We positioned ourselves at the front of the audience. Again, my children confused "sitting up front" with "being the performers". All three danced about and entertained the masses for the 30 minutes until the Musical Ride started. Dan also got each girl the biggest lemonade that I have ever seen!

Katie and Bethie

Ready and waiting!

Sarah watching that "naughty horse" very carefully

It started to rain a bit. The three children are under the blanket. That lasted about a minute until they decided that they would rather be wet than to have to endure being under a blanket with the other two!

Checking out the horses after the show. That RCMP rider told my children that they have lovely dresses and were super cute. I confess, she was my favourite rider!

The three girls were exhausted and begging to go home. Everyone was so sweet, and so happy to be together. I wondered what had happened to my family! When we got in the car, Katie said, "Thank you, Mummy, for taking us to the Musical Ride. We had a lot of fun!". Bethie said, "Thank you for taking us, Daddy, we really appreciate it". Katie said, "Why are you repeating me?". Bethie said, "Why are you repeating me?". The magic never lasts, does it?

Monday, June 21

Hip Hop Twins

Yesterday was Katie and Bethie's last Hip Hop dancing class. The students put on a performance for the last 10 minutes of their class. Dan, Sarah, Mum, and I were very excited to watch the twins. But I have to admit, I was the most excited.

Before the parents were permitted into the room, I told Dan that he was to videotape the performance with one camera while I snapped stills with the other. Dan was slightly annoyed. He thought that he would simply "enjoy" the dancing, and not have to view it through the lens of a camera. Ummm...has he met me? Of course he has to video tape the dancing twins! When he protested, I reminded him that he saw all of  Europe through the lens of a camera. Surely he could record his children for all to enjoy later!

The parents were ushered into the room. All the children were already in position on the dance floor and were ready to go. Candace, the peppy Hip Hop instructor explained to us what was going to happen. The children would do their performance twice, allowing for parents to get all the photos they wanted. At this point Dan whispered, "I'll videotape the first dance, but then I will watch the second.". Fine! Candace then said that there would be "freeze dance" because the children loved it so much. The performance would end with the children getting stickers on their hands.

Before Candace could start the music, Katie said, "Excuse me, Candace! Sarah would really like a sticker, too" Candace said that Sarah could have a sticker after the class. Dan and I smiled at each other. Isn't it sweet that Katie thought of Baby Sarah?

The dancing began. To see Dan's video (of the first dance only!) click here. Between performances, Katie reminded Candace that Sarah, too, would like a sticker. Again, Candace said that Sarah could have one after the class.

The second performance was equally sweet. Both Dan and I frantically snapped photographs. Unfortunately, the quality of our snaps suffered. But not the quantity!

After the second performance, Katie asked Candace again if Sarah could have a sticker. This time, Candace didn't have to respond. Dan and I were already begging Katie to be quiet. She was distracted by the Freeze Dance.

The Freeze Dance cracked me up. Most of the children ran around the room in circles. Not my babies! They danced up front and center. Every time the music stopped, Katie clasped her forehead because she had forgotten to Hip Hop dance! No worries, I got video of this, too. Click right here to see it!

Now it was time to hand out the stickers. You guess it! Katie mentioned again that Sarah would like one, too. All the children sat in a circle around Candace. Katie called Sarah over, and made Sarah sit next to her. Katie was the last child to be called up to get a sticker. She made sure that Sarah came up with her. And Sarah got her sticker. Sarah was delighted!

After the class, Katie gave Candace a High Five and then (very strangely) shook her hand. Sarah was right behind Katie. She, too, gave Candace a High Five and shook her hand. Dan, Mum, and I just laughed.

On the way to the car, Mum pointed out that Dan and I were the only parents who had yelled at their children during the performance (because Katie was obsessed with Sarah getting a sticker).  This happens to us quite a bit. I have four words for you: the church Christmas pageant. Our "angels" are exactly easy to keep quiet! Enough said.

Anyway, to see some of the snaps we took, check out my online album.

Sunday, June 20

Father's Day

Tea For Three

Bethie, Katie, Dad

The Renters

Have you been dying to know what is going on around the 'Hood? Here's an update, taken directly from my inbox.

To: Lisa
From: Me

Update from the 'hood:

The Murdered Lady, her live-in, and her live-in's 2 pre-teen sons have moved out. She put up a "For Rent" sign in her "garden" (is it a garden if there are no plants, just a mound of dirt?), and a week later, the sign came down.

The Renters have just arrived. From my hunched position on my couch, I have only spied the Female Renter. She's about 25. I think she's pregnant, or needs to buy a more flattering wardrobe. I'm gonna go with pregnant.

I am very relieved. Life became a bit ...awkward... when Nick and Tracy rented to The Wife Beater. Who wants to sit out front and watch that? Then they rented to the Shut-Ins. I suspect that they have children, but never let them outside.

When the Mail Order Bride moved out about 2 weeks ago, the new owners (sorry, no name yet) started having parties. Long parties. They were obviously friends with people who lived way down the street. I know this because I saw one guy walking down the street carrying a 24 pack of beer on his shoulder. Dan called me snobby and judgemental when I said, "Great. The neighbourhood is going to Hell. No one has any class". But, COME ON! I'm guessing that the No-Name New Owners lived down the street too. No need to hire a moving truck. They seemingly walked their treasures to their new home. Classy. Or economical, as Dan would say.

Anyway, back to The Renters. I am already annoyed with the Female Renter. I have to get Sarah up out of bed in 10 minutes and the Female Renter still hasn't opened the back of her truck! I want to have a look! All I can see is an unidentified arm hanging outside the passenger side of the U-Haul. I'm dying to see what will happen next!


PS I know, I know. I need a life.
PPS What I don't need is cable because this is freakin' awesome!
To: Me
From: Lisa
Would it have been better if he carried a box of wine? Seriously...rent the burbs ...you need to see this movie
To: Lisa
From: Me
No. It would have been better if he drove his car like a normal person. Is that too much to ask? I'm all for (other people) walking, but not hauling their booze as they do so!

I will rent The Burbs. Sometime. If I can pry myself away from the window!


Some new information has come up since Lisa and I exchanged emails: Female Renter isn't pregnant (oops!). The Shut-Ins went for a walk the other night and it was revelled that they have four(!) children, ranging from newborn to about 7 years old. Lastly, but the worse bit of news, The Boat People (not to be confused with Banana Boat Man) have put up a FOR SALE sign on their front lawn! This adds a lot of stress to my life. Now, I have to make sure I am available to scope out all the people who want to check out this house. Good thing I have nothing to do that would distract me from this mission!

Saturday, June 19

Labour of Love

Emilie and I spent four hours (each!) decorating cupcakes for Sam's pirate themed birthday party. Here are the results:

Our "boy" pirates - most have stubble

Our "girl" pirates - they have "hair"

A close-up of a "boy" pirate

I made a cupcake with a 4 because Sam is turning 4. Clever, eh?

My favourite.

Dan said no one would want this cupcake because it looked like the poison warning label, and because the bones lacked little nobbies at the ends. Betcha he's wrong!

We finished at 11pm Friday night. Saturday morning, Andre (Emilie's husband) came over to borrow the Bouncy Thing for the party. I asked him if he liked our cupcakes. He said, "They're nice, but really the children would prefer a McCain Deep 'n' Delicious cake with some candles stuck in it. And it wouldn't have taken 8 labour hours to do it.".

I was less than impressed with Andre for not appreciating the love that went into the cupcakes. I was confident that the children would see this pirates and know that Emilie must love and adore Sam. They would be super jealous and wish that they had such a wonderful mother!

Fast forward until after the party. I asked the twins about the cupcakes (remember, the parents were banned from the party. Yahoo!). They said that they were "good". Come on, Kiddies! I need more than that! I asked them if they liked the pirates noses. Bethie said that the pirates didn't have noses. Ummm...yes they did. I personally made sure every pirate had a nose. I asked if they were happy pirates. Katie said she couldn't tell because they didn't have mouths. Wrong again! I made those tiny, delicate mouths and shaped them into happy faces. Very tedious work, I might add!

The twins could tell that I was disappointed that they didn't appreciate the pirates more. In an attempt to please me, Katie said that she liked the pirates eyes. I asked, "The eyes or the eye patches?". They looked at me blankly.

A request was later made for me to make the twins Tinkerbell cupcakes for their birthday. Not bloody likely. I'm buying McCain Deep 'n' Delicious cakes!

Thursday, June 17

A Crack In The Armour

I am not alone. Actually, I feel like a am part of an underground sorority, similar to Skull and Bones. Except we don't have a secret handshake, or elaborate passwords. We identify each other by the scowls on our faces. We are all mothers who love our children. However, as the song goes, "Everything I love is killing me".

We tell everyone how wonderful our children are. And, truthfully, they can be. They have their moments. Typically, when they are asleep. Everyone else thinks that we are pretty good mothers, not perfect, but good enough. We don't say anything to the contrary, afraid that if we drop the charade we'll have nothing left to hold on to. Without having to create the illusion of being a good mother, we know that the whole family will go to Hell. So, we play on. Only once in a while do we see cracks in each others armour. We get these inside glimpses into each others lives, and we realise that we are kindred spirits. And we enjoy it!

Emilie is planning an elaborate 4th birthday party for Sam. She has asked that parents drop of their children and then pick them up four hours later. She didn't want any of the parents to hang around for the party. Perfect! That's the kind of birthday party the whole family will enjoy! Especially me! Emilie has asked for my help in the preparation. She thinks I'm "creative". Yeah, this cracks me up, too. But I have agreed to help because I have nothing better to do.

This morning, I was running my "daycare". Emilie came over to ask me a question before she popped out to the grocery store to buy the supplies she needed for the party. As she spoke, I took the shopping list out of her hand and had a look. She had ice cream, candles, and...wait for it... "liqueur".

I laughed until I thought I would die! Not quietly either. Loud enough to attract the attention of another neighbour who came over to see what was on Emilie's list. And, yes, I made fun of her as I gasped for air. You see, Emilie is damned near perfect. She runs a daycare out of her home. She loves kids. But if she's going to throw a 4 hour birthday party for her son, she anticipates the need to "self-medicate". I'm laughing as I type this!

Emilie whipped the list out of my hand, turned on her heel, and shouted back over her shoulder as she stomped away, "The French word for soda pop is liqueur". This was meant to shut me up. All I could manage to say through the increasingly violent howls of laughter was "Right!".

Okay, okay. So I am not the most supportive member of this sorority. I am also not the most advanced either. When I get to the end of my tether, I medicate the children. However, I am still left with residual anger and frustration. I need to take a page out of Emilie's book and medicate myself. Perhaps I would enjoy the children (and, let's be honest, Dan) more!


Sarah is in a lovely stage. She wants to do everything by herself. When I try to help her, she screams "Self!" and proceeds to meticulously try to figure things out on her own. She has to get in and out of the car by herself (this includes opening and closing the car door), she has to put her shoes on by herself,  and she insists on pouring the milk by herself.

I find this whole thing deadly slow. Tedious. It's not like I have anywhere to go or something terribly important to do. It just drives me absolutely crazy to watch her struggle for about 5 minutes putting her shoe on the wrong foot! But she is a strong-willed little girl. And at least she's trying. The twins have bypassed this stage completely. I am their loyal, royal servant. Trust me, that's sooooo much worse than waiting an extra half an hour while Sarah puts her own sun block on!

After the bath last night, Sarah demanded to put on her own PJs. That was super fine with me. She did it perfectly. Then I turned to my two four (almost five) year olds and told them to put their own PJs on. They were shocked! How could they possibly do this on their own? I pointed out that the baby can do it, and so can they. When they continued to refuse to dress themselves, I said "That's fine. Go to bed naked. I don't care". Turns out, the twins can dress themselves, too. I wonder what else they can do...

Tuesday, June 15

It Happened!

I never thought this would happen to me. To my family. I should have been more vigilant. But you don't see it coming. You hear stories about it happening, but you never think it will happen to you. Surely, not without any warning signs. Maybe there were some. But I didn't notice any.

Everything started off okay. Dan worked the evening shift. I fed the children crap food. I chose crap on purpose. The girls eat crap. Happily. Nothing frustrates me more than preparing healthy food and having to throw it out. Or more accurately, having to pick it off the floor and then throwing it out. I save healthy for Dan.

Anyway, I fed the children and then rushed them upstairs for a bath. A bubble bath. Not the fancy Princess Bubbles 'N' Fun, I used Palmolive dish detergent. I told them to pretend that they were utensils and that they were in the dishwasher. They bought it (insert giggles here).

The bath went well. Afterwards, I drained the tub and rinsed the remaining bubbles off of the girls. They pretended that they were flowers growing, and I was the gardener who had to "water" them. Twice. It was the demand of a third time when it happened. I lost my everlovin' mind.

Here's what the children heard:

Get out of the bath, please. Get out of the bath. GET OUT OF THE BATH! Don't touch her. Where are you going? I have to dry your hair. No, I'm going to dry it, not God. Seriously! Why are you touching her? Just leave her alone. Sit up, please. I can't dry your hair when you are lying down. Who gave Sarah the toilet paper? Sarah! You can't wash toilet paper! Give it to me! Stop wiggling. I wish I could take your head off, dry your hair, and then put it back on. It would be soooo much easier. Stop crying, I'm not going to do that for real! Why are you still naked? Stop banging my head with the hairbrush. I mean it! Give me the hairbrush. Sarah! Stop hitting your sister! Sorry, Kate, I have little to no control over her. Bethie? Where did she go? Every night you have a bath, and every night you get your hair dried. Why do you seem so confused by the procedure? DON'T TOUCH HER. I don't care whose towel it is, use it.No, you can't wear Sarah's PJs. Because they're too small. Bad luck, you grew. Fine, wear your PJs backwards. I don't care. Why are you crying? Wee Willie Winkie is gonna get you! Run! Run! Run! GOODNIGHT.

It was then that I realised that it had happened. I have become a lunatic. Just like Mum. I always thought there was something wrong with her. Turns out there was, she had three children! The demise of my own mental health is not because of one bad night. It wasn't even that bad. It is a result of the repeated batterings that my sanity has had to endure.

One day, I tell you the rest of the story. Here's a little tease:

No talking! I've already said "goodnight", I'm not coming up again! I mean it! No, you can't have a sandwich. Well then, close your eyes and dream about one. You'll feel better.

Monday, June 14

My Discovery

I'm always trying to think of new things to do with the children. Things that won't exhaust me, and that will keep the kids entertained. I wanted to buy driveway paint, but that was super expensive. I decided to make my own (and it cost about $2). Ta da:

Bethie, Sarah, and Cory

Sarah and Katie



I know, I know. The girls are still in their PJs. That was intentional (sort of). I wanted to see if the colours would stain their clothing. It didn't.

After the driveway painting, I had a brilliant idea!


The tricky part was cleaning the inside of the van. Although the "big kids" wanted to vacuum, they lacked skill and thoroughness. No worries, I found the perfect person to assist me. Andre. He's on paternity leave, and I have taken it upon myself to fill his days.

Since my realization that Andre would benefit from my "direction", he has chopped down (and discarded) a tree for me, weeded my yard, and dealt with a hornets nest. I still need my lattice put up, my screen door fixed, my lawn cut, and my shed cleaned. Sorry, Andre, but Dan is only one man, and after 13 years of hearing "Later", I have set my eyes on a new target: you.

Friday, June 11

Wanted: My Life

I run a daycare. It's fully subsidized...by me (parents pay nothing). Legally, I can only have 6 children under five years old and a maximum of 2 children under 18 months, but I push the limits. I have been known to have up to 9 children, with me being the only adult.

My daycare opens at 7:30am and closes at 6pm. There is no need for parents to drop their children off, just send them over to my house on their own and I will care for them. Also, don't worry about picking your children. Trust me, I'll send them home.

I serve two snacks and a nutritious lunch everyday. Truth be told, I hand out homemade (and very colourful!) popsicles at least once a day. I provide an incredible amount of juice...until I get sick and tired of providing for all of the neighbourhood children and I tell them to drink from the hose. This thrills the children!

I hope that the parents enjoy their "time off". They have commented how lovely it is that they are free to clean their homes, prepare their dinners, and do errands without having to deal with pre-school children. Lucky them. They are able to mow their lawns, tend to their gardens, and read their books...in peace. I especially like that the parents are able to socialize with each other sans enfants, and even (gasp) have naps.

I know that the parents appreciate my efforts because they seem reluctant to leave. I have had dinner on the table with my family already eating, and the parents are literally (I'm not kidding, I swear!) standing at my kitchen door trying to talk to me. I have been loading my children into the car to leave, and the parents swarm the vehicle, hoping against hope that I am only joking about leaving. I'm not. I'm running away.

Most days, I have an enforced "quiet time" from 1pm until 2pm. At this time, I put Sarah and Cory to bed, and I let the twins watch TV. I use this time to clean and to do any work that is required of me. I also like to have a wee break. I realised just how valuable a service I provide when at 2pm, parents and children were lined up on the edge of my property waiting for us to come outside.

Running a daycare is absolutely exhausting. I haul out the Bouncy Thing, fill up the swimming pools, set up T-Ball games, and referee soccer tournaments. But at the end of the day, the other parents have had a break and I have had an awesome time with my kids. And, I have some amazing photographs to prove it! Lucky me!

Note: I feel so badly that the other parents don't have pictures of their children having the time of their lives that I've now starting emailing each neighbour pictures of their children.

Wednesday, June 9

Glorious Food

I had no food in the house when Dan came home from work yesterday. Not a thing to feed him or the children. I sat on the front step and debated what to do. My options were to either run out to the store, buy something, race home, cook the dinner, clean up the mess, and then bathe the children, or we could take them out for dinner.

We try to avoid taking the children out for dinner. Restaurants don't really want children to come. They tolerate children, hoping the parents will spend a lot of money on liquor. Really, they prefer you leave your kids at home. I, also, prefer people to leave their kids at home. I go out for dinner to get away from my children, not to be disturbed by your children. But my children had been so good throughout the day, and they looked super cut in their identical dresses. Watching my little cherubs dancing on the grass, holding hands and laughing softened me. I was happy, they were sweet. So, I agreed to take them out for dinner.

By the time we walked into the restaurant, Katie had lost a lens for her glasses and Dan had gone on his hands and knees to search our entire property for it, both twins had wiggled so much while getting their ponytails that their hair looked like it had been brushed by a blind person, we had stopped for gas because Dan had left my vehicle damn near empty (Bethie told Dan, "It's okay to have no gas in your car, but this car belongs to Mummy. It needs gas"), and Sarah had moaned the entire way to the restaurant driving me absolutely crazy. I was annoyed.

As soon as we sat down, I ordered dinner for the three girls and requested that it be brought as soon as it was ready. The girls were behaving, and I was starting to get over my frustration. Dinner was presented, and the twins were delighted. Sarah showed no interest in her meal. She walked around our table like a young Helen Keller, reaching up blindly searching for something more appealing than her own meal. Katie became upset. She wondered why Sarah was allowed to roam and she was not. I said, "Do you remember what I told you at lunch time? We have no control over Sarah and have given up!". This satisfied Katie.

Unfortunately, the demands of other patrons distracted our server. She never came back. My girls became restless. They tried playing under the table, standing up on the bench of the booth and peering over at all the other people in the restaurant, and pleading for ice cream. Finally, Dan flagged down our waitress and asked for ice cream and the bill. The waitress took our order, and then took the order of five more tables. A long  time went by, and still no ice cream. In an act of desperation, I begged the girls to forsake the ice cream. I would give them ice cream at home of we could just leave. Of course, they wanted the ice cream from the restaurant.

Eventually, the waitress showed up with the ice cream...but without spoons. The spoons were in the dishwasher, and she would get them as soon as they were ready. I'm not kidding! The girls looked at their ice cream for about 3 minutes and then ignored my demands to wait until they had utensils. They ate most of their ice cream with their fingers. The waitress did come back with spoons: a kiddie spoon, a regular spoon, and a soup spoon. Really!

Believe it or not, by this point I was super angry, but the best was yet to come! The twins announced that they had to use the washroom before leaving. There were two stalls in the tiny ladies washroom, one of which was empty. I ushered the twins into the empty one and told them to hurry up. Katie said quite loudly, "Do you hear that, Mummy? That's not me peeing. That's somebody else. Who is peeing? See, I'm standing up and I can still hear peeing!". I begged her to stop talking! We had to wait in line behind the other lady who was using the washroom in order to wash our hands. Katie went up to her and said, "You sure did a big pee!". Discretion is certainly not her middle name!

Driving home, I knew we were going to have to stop at the grocery store. My loving husband could tell from the look on my face that somebody (at this point, it didn't matter who) was going to get a beating. To make himself look good, and to try to protect the children from my wrath, he said, "When we are in the grocery store, there will be no running around, no yelling, no crying, no fighting, no acting like lunatics!". Bethie replied, "That's okay Daddy, we already did that at the restaurant!". Sure did, kiddo, and it will be a super, de-duper long time before you get the opportunity to do it again!

Monday, June 7

A Claritin Clear Moment

Bethie and Sarah played alone together upstairs. They seemed to be getting along, and being relatively good. After a while, both of them started screaming. They had jumped into the crib, and both claimed that they could not get out without my help.

Eventually, I made my way upstairs to help the girls out of the crib. I wasn't even on the top step before I saw what they had done. They had taken a massive box of Q-Tips and thrown them in every room upstairs. I flipped! As I hauled each child out of the crib, I explained in great detail who was going to have to clean up this mess. The list of cleaners did not include moi!

Bethie ran to Katie. She told Katie that she had made a mess and deperately hoped that Katie wouldn't be mad at her. Katie wasn't angry. Then Bethie asked, "Will you help me clean up?". Katie replied, "Sorry. I'm allergic to that!". No worries. I gave her a Claritin and sent her on her way.

Alone in the kitchen, I realised that I had made a terrible mistake. The Claritin was "non-drowsy"!

Sunday, June 6

She Loves Me NOT

I love my kids. All of them. Collectively. Individually. I love my kids.

I have tried so hard, for almost five years, to make time each day for each of my children. I have one-on-one time with each of them, just a moment that is all about us. I have made a point to tell each of my girls, every day of their lives, that I am soooo glad that they belong to me. I was quite confident that my children felt loved by me. How could they not?

Well, let me tell you! I was putting Bethie to bed the other night. Katie had already fallen asleep, so Bethie and I were having a "Secret Visit". I lay in her bed with her, and we whispered, and giggled, and cuddled. Suddenly, Bethie became very sad. I was shocked. Hadn't I provided yet another wonderful, action-packed day? Hadn't I done backflips to ensure that she was amused from the moment she woke up until the moment her eyes would close? Hadn't I littered the day with desserts? After all of the work I put into the day, I deserved a happy child.

I asked Bethie why she was so sad. My first born baby looked at me, with tears in her pretty blue eyes, and said, "I'm sad that you love Katie more than you love me!". I was shocked! Why on Earth would Bethie feel that way? When questioned, she refered to her "proof". Finally, she had some concrete evidence that she has been wronged! Here it is: Katie weighs four pounds more than Bethie.

Obviously, I have been sneaking treats to Katie. Bethie can't see any other reason why there would be a such a significant difference in their weights. I reassured Bethie that I do not give one twin more treats than another. I don't know if it's physically possible for them to consume more treats than they already do without having some sort of diabetic shock. I also came up with a couple of reasons that would explain the difference in weight. Together, Bethie and I agreed that if she ate more chicken and went to bed earlier, she would catch up to Katie's weight in no time!

Tuesday, June 1

Bike For Bella

I've started a new blog, Bike For Bella. Bella is the newborn baby girl of my best friend, Lisa. She's gorgeous, and wonderful, and sweet. She is a wonderful addition to Lisa's family. Bella's two brothers, Trystan and Grayson, are very proud of her. So am I.

Bella was born with a (treatable) heart condition. Dad is going to ride his bicycle 100km to help raise money to fight heart disease. Please, check out these sites. If you can, donate. Let's stand behind Lisa and Mauricio and our tiny Bella. Help me support my friend, my father, and the fight against heart disease.