Friday, January 28

My Life Is A Cartoon

I was sick of my hair. It was long. Really, really long. So last night, while Dan was putting the children to bed, I went to have my haircut.

Before I left, I asked the twinnies how much hair I should cut off. Bethie suggested that I get my hair "buzzed". I said, "Do you think that would look good on me?". She replied it would.

I got my haircut, but I did not take Bethie's advice. I did, however, get an awful lot of hair chopped off. My hair hasn't been this short since I was about 12 years old. I also had my hair dyed. Brown. Because I'm fancy like that.

This morning, the twinnies wouldn't get out of bed. I said, "It's Pajama Day at school". That didn't work. I said, "It's Pizza Day, too!". No response. I said "I got my hair cut really short and I also dyed it". Both girls were out of bed and racing downstairs so they could see my hair in the proper light (ie not their dark bedroom).

Bethie said "Did you dye it orange?". No, Elizabeth, it's brown. "I think it looks orange!" she replies. Well, golly, I don't feel the least bit self-conscious now!

Katie said, "Mummy! It's wonderful! I love it! You look just like Dee Dee Doodle!". WHAT?!


Super.

That was totally the look I was going for.

I think I'm going to jump into my Big Red Car...


...so I can join my friends in their backyard.


Wednesday, January 26

Richer Than God

Monday at 4pm, I lost my mind. After 5 years of turning myself inside out to accommodate, please, and delight my family, I threw my hands in the air and shouted "Enough!". I sat down on the couch and watched TV. Dinner waited, the children waited, and Dan waited...while I watched Oprah.

But I didn't really watch it because I was angry. I was angry that Dan got a lovely week long vacation in the Bahamas and then come home and had a four hour nap. I was angry that the children wanted to throw a Welcome Home Party for the man who had been living it up on Paradise Island! I was angry that I had to go out and buy party decorations, as well as having to make home-made pizza and a multi-coloured cake. I was angry because the people that I love dearly refused  to help me. They were too busy telling me that I wasn't doing a good enough job.

Oprah was meant to distract me. She was going on about finding a sister she had never known. This sister was put up for adoption at birth but tracked her family down as an adult.

The twinnies decided to talk. Big, huge, exaggerated SIGH!

Katie wanted to know what "adoption" meant. I explained adoption was when parents give away their children, and other people love and take care of those children. Katie was horrified. I explained that most people who had to give up their children did so because they couldn't afford to take care of them, and that they loved their children so much that they found new parents who would give them an excellent life. Now BE QUIET!

Bethie thought the command for silence was meant solely for Katie. She asked "Do you have enough money to take care of us?". I reassured the child that her father and I could, in fact, take care of our children. We dropped the subject.

At one point, the long lost sister said something like "I just knew that God would help me find my mother. He would show me a sign.". Well, this caught Bethie's attention. She was glued to the TV. She couldn't wait to see what God was going to do!

While Bethie was waiting for God's debut on TV, she asked "Why is God poor?".

Huh? Where did this come from? I explained to the child that God is not "poor".

Bethie responded, "Then how come He gave us to you?".

I wanted to tell her that God gave me children because I must have been a very wicked child, and the children were (obviously) my punishment. But that wouldn't do. Also, it wouldn't have been true. I was a delightful child. Instead, I replied, "Ummm...because I'm richer than God". Because that was equally amusing to me, and far less upsetting to the children. Win, win.

After 45 minutes, I got tired of watching Oprah and felt compelled to make dinner. I changed the channel back to Treehouse. Bethie asked me if she could finish watching Oprah because she was "waiting for a sign from God". Because God communicates to the masses through...OPRAH! Turns out that it was both an "Ah ha" and a "ha ha" moment for me!

Monday, January 24

Mr. Photography Goes To The Bahamas

Dan just came back from a week in the Bahamas. He went there because his brother was getting married. I stayed home. In the cold. With three children. All by myself. All I asked was that Dan take lots of pictures.

Dan was quite pleased to take pictures. You see, he thinks that I'm not a very good photographer. Yeah, I am (honestly!) shocked, too. My pictures certainly aren't the same quality as professionals, but they are awfully good. But Dan was determined to show me "how it's done". I said nothing because I knew full well that this would end with me laughing.

I picked Dan up at the airport and immediately asked him how many pictures he took. He had taken 467. I said "On the first day?". No, no. He took 467 of the entire trip. Wow. I was shocked. I take 400 pictures when I take the children to the park. Dan responded that he didn't need to take so many because he only takes good photos. Can you guess where I am going with this? Brace yourself, there's some stellar photography coming your way!


One: A snap of my father-in-law (he's wearing plaid) at the airport. Apparently, he was being really funny - hence the picture. I have no idea what he was doing, but I certainly laughed!

Two: My mother-in-law. The shutter didn't quite open. Dan noticed this, but didn't feel the need to take another photo. Mr. Photography doesn't needs do-overs!

Three: Another snap of my mother-in-law. She's in there, keep looking!

Four: The wedding bands. Simply love the detail. Dan doesn't know why I find this funny. He said "It was on auto-focus". Yeah, but it didn't work!

Five: The bridal couple. I asked Dan why he didn't use a flash. I was told, "It was sunny out. I didn't need a flash". Quite right. Who wanted to see their faces anyway?

Six: Ummm...the bride was brushing a hair off of her face. Did Dan take another photo of her when she was prepared? Nope. Re-takes are for wusses.

Seven: The first dance. What?! They were moving!!!!

 Eight: Dan broke his own rule. Because it was his brother's wedding. Because he really wanted a nice shot of his brother dancing with his new bride. So he (gasp!) took another picture. Ta da:

And I laughed. And laughed. And emailed my mother about 80 photos so she could laugh with me. And she did!

Then I cropped, re-touched, and did a hundred things to improve just one photo. So you could see how beautiful the bride looked on her wedding day.

Now, only 466 photos to go!

Sunday, January 23

The Tired, Old Hag

A two-pronged attack on my sanity.

First: After school on Friday, the twinnies were telling me that they had a supply teacher that day, and he was a man! I asked the girls if the teacher was older or younger than I am. They assured me that he was younger. But the twinnies always get things muddled in their little heads. In need of clarification, I said "Is the same age as I am, or is he Daddy's age?". Bethie got annoyed and "He was younger than you, like Daddy!".

Umm...just to set the record straight, Dan is older than I am .And the age difference increases with every one of his birthdays. Each year, Dan ages and I remain 27. Those are the rules. In fact, I insist on celebrating the anniversary of my 27th birthday every year. So, yeah, I'm younger than Dan.

I said to the twinnies, "How old is Daddy?". They responded "37". The follow up question was, "How old do you think I am????". Katie quickly replied "76!". Wrong! You lose! No dessert for you!!!

Second: When Sarah woke up this morning, it was still dark outside. Sarah, bless her little heart, is an early riser. When I heard her calling for me, I got out of bed and went to get her. She said "I'm hungry and thirsty and I want to watch TV".

I carried Sarah downstairs and deposited her on the couch. I went into the kitchen and put some milk in a sippy cup and got her a bowl of dry Cheerios. I went back into the living room, gave her the food, and sat down on the couch. Sarah said "I want to watch TV!". So, I got up again and went to turn on the TV (our remote hasn't worked in about a year thanks to the children). That's when I saw the time... 2:30am!

So, there you have it. I'm old and tired. And cranky.

Saturday, January 22

It's Complicated

The City of Gatineau wants me to move. Not just to a different house. They want me to move back to Ottawa.

At first, the City of Gatineau just gave me little clues. Like sending me my tax bill in French. I called and asked to have it sent in English. They agreed, and sent it again. In French.

Then I had the "discussion" with a By-Law Officer. He objected to me watering my gardens with a sprinkler. He said that I could only use a sprinkler on odd numbered days. Fair enough, I thought. Then he added "Between the hours of 3 and 5...AM". What?! And never, ever, ever on Mondays. And not on days that are sunny and hot. Only when it rains, and it has been raining for several days. Sigh. Well, at least I was allowed to drink the water. "No, no" said the By-Law Officer, "there's a boil water advisory in effect." I have since learned that there's always a boil water advisory in effect.

The main road leading to my home is fatal. It's quite a fast road. The posted speed limit is 80km/hr...or is it 70km/hr? Whatever. I go about 90km/hr. Anyway, the road has buckled and has also been compromised by potholes. There is one spot where, if you're not familiar with the road, you will become airborne. What did the City do? They put up a BUMP sign, and they promised to fix it in...wait for it...2020. That was one councillor's campaign promise, and he WON!

Speaking of signs, in Quebec, they are unilingual. But the language they chose was French. I remember driving with Dan through a construction zone shouting, "What the Hell does LENTEMENT mean?!". Really, some signs need to be bilingual...especially when it comes to the safety of the men trying to put up the BUMP sign!

This wasn't enough to make me move. Really, the City has to do better than that if they want me to give up $7/day daycare. Dan and I would giggle, thinking we were tough enough to withstand all that the City could throw our way.

Last month, the laughing stopped.

The City of Gatineau, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to reduce garbage pick up to twice a month. I was livid. I immediately started googling the names of all the City counsellors so I could decided who would get the poopy diapers on the off weeks.

Then, I found out that the City intends to fine me if I don't compost. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for composting...yard waste.

Bethie, seeing that I was about to have an anxiety-induced heart attack, offered to help.  She has a thing for compost.

 

That was a super big help.

Dan says that we can't move. So I'm stuck constructing compost bags from newspaper origami (I got the instructions from the City of Ottawa website. Funny, eh?) and giving great thought and care to my garbage. I have a massive amount of recycling now that I recycle every little thing that can be recycled. Each week, I put out a bin full of compost.  My actual garbage has decreased significantly. And once I got into a rhythm, it isn't that bad. Keep in mind that it's -20C out. I'll be sure to update you when it's 35C!

Despite my new found "greenness", the City of Gatineau still wants me to move. They sent me a nasty letter saying that typically people pay school taxes to the same school board that their children attend. Not us. We send our children to an English school, but send our tax dollars to the French school board. Why? Because the City of Gatineau still can't seem to send me my tax info in English...just the nasty letter!!!

Friday, January 21

Just Like Mum

Sarah thinks I'm wonderful. I am the very best human being ever. She always wants to be with me, and she always wants to do what I'm doing. The child cracks me up!


P.S. Note the picture above the couch? Crooked and way too small for the space, right? Guess who hung it there and refuses to move it?!

Thursday, January 20

Mixed Media: My Family Is Killing Me

My children do not have low self-esteem. They think that they are pretty wonderful, and they are confident that you will, too. I'm glad that they think highly of themselves (because I think that they are the most exceptional human beings that have ever walked this planet), but they tend to get carried away. This may be my fault, as I tend to get carried away, too.
When I was a child, if I had painted a pretty picture, Mum would put that picture on the fridge for a couple of days. And I was proud of myself. So when my kids started scribbling, I stuck their "art" on the fridge. The fridge became too full because I was never allowed to take anything down. So I moved to the kitchen walls. I covered every square inch of wall space with their artwork. It was silly, but the twinnies loved it.

Last year, Dan and I painted the kitchen. This involved taking down all of the twinnies art. What a relief! I had grown tired of random crap stuck to my walls. Dan bought 3 bulletin boards, one for each child. Art was to be displayed on their bulletin boards only. Well, that was the theory...

Of course, I have no control over my children. They do what they like. Apparently, Bethie likes to take banana and orange peels and sticky tape them to my walls. I don't always find them right away. Sigh.

I wrote on Facebook, "Why, oh why does Bethie feel the need to sticky tape orange and banana peels to the walls? Is this her way of telling me that my efforts to compost are not appreciated? Or is this her way of saving me from bending over and picking discarded peels up off the floor? Can someone PLEASE explain my 5 year old to me?????".

Aunt Carol responded, "Praise her for her artistic abilities. That gal is an emerging artistic genius. It's called "mixed media". :-) Actually, despite her obvious talents, it must drive you nuts. Give her a particular piece of wall space within which she may make her art. That way she won't be responding to negative attention and the "art" (read..mess) is confined. HA"

Aunt Carol lives in Toronto. She hasn't been in my house for about 2 years or so. Here's a guided tour:


The kitchen. See the 3 bulletin boards (above the toy kitchen)? See how those bulletin boards have failed to confine the crap?


You may have missed this, so here's a close-up. Bethie couldn't find any paper, so she coloured on painter's tape and stuck that to the wall.


Another wall in my kitchen. See the big empty space below the clock? That's where the latest orange peels were found taped to the wall. Above the clock is the bottom half of a Gap box that has been coloured. Most of the time, the children tape things to the wall. This time, Dan must have thought that I would really enjoy having my RECYCLING on display because he was the one who put it up there.


Moving into the hallway...we have two signs. Bethie made the one on the top left. I have no idea what she is banning, but whatever it is, it was really pissing her off. Katie's sign banned Sarah from peeing on the floor.


Here's the close-up. There's Sarah (the chick without the torso, duh). The "a" is actually an inverted "p" (Katie knows how to make letters but she has "issues" with the alphabet and refuses to abide by society's rules so she makes the letters the way she would like them to look...sigh....a story for another time!). And then a big honking "X" through it. Katie carefully explained the meaning of the sign to Sarah. Sarah, too, has a repulsion for authority and peed on the floor just to spite Katie. And that was just great.

 

The other half of the Gap box . And in case you're wondering, Dan hung those paintings on the wall. When I wasn't home. As a "surprise". I told him to take them down and do it again properly. He was most offended because he thought he had done a good job. His only criteria was that they didn't fall down. I wanted them to be hung nicely, and not as though a child has come and sporadically nailed paintings to the wall. And so I've looked at it for years. And it drives me bat-shit crazy! But now that the top of the Gap box is sticky taped next to the paintings, I feel more peaceful about the whole thing.



The front door. The picture just above the light switch was coloured by DAN. I kid you not. I guess he thought that he had done such a wonderful job that every person who comes to our home should see it. And that's why he taped it right at the front down and at adult eye level. You don't understand what an ass I feel like when I have to say "Yup, that one was coloured by my husband. He really did a good job, don't you think?".


And then there's the sporadic graffiti. Everywhere. Where you least expect it.

So, Aunt Carol and all of you, please forgive me when I lose my ever loving mind about banana peels being taped to my walls. Every mother must draw a line somewhere...mine is freakin' compost on the walls. Sorry. I forgot. Mine is freakin' "mixed media" on the walls!!!

Tuesday, January 18

Product Denouncement

The twinnies don't like lotions. Or creams. Or sunblock. They don't like any ointments smeared all over their bodies. They object. Loudly.

My twins have a touch of eczema. Not too badly. But badly enough that my mother had 15 fits when she saw them one day after school. Their little faces were beet red, seemingly a reaction to the wicked cold wind. I had to reassure Mum that they didn't look that way when I sent them to school. I applied some eczema cream to their faces, which cured the eczema with one application, and that was the end of that...or so I thought.

Mum came across an article in the newspaper about eczema. It recommended various creams to reduce eczema. Mum thought that her precious granddaughters deserved the recommended cream, despite me saying that it was expensive. She rushed out to the store, and agonized over which cream would be the absolute best one for their delicate little skin. And she bought it. Because she loves them. Dearly.

Last night, after their bath, I put the eczema cream on the children. They were livid. They screamed and yelled and cried and demanded to know why I would buy cream for them. I was tired. So I said, "I didn't buy it, Granny did. Complain to her!".

Bethie took my words to heart. She ran downstairs, found the camera, and brought it to me. She said, "I want you to take my picture and email it to Granny.". Katie, not wanting to miss out on a photo opportunity, jumped in the picture.


Apparently, the correct response to this is not to laugh hysterically. I, of course, acted very inappropriately. I'm sorry, but I find it really funny that my 5 year old twins decided that Granny needed to be taught a lesson. She needed to see the consequences of her actions. They believed that showing Granny their displeasure would be her punishment, and it would "correct" her behaviour. It's as though they are royal princesses from a time long, long ago. She's lucky that the twins didn't shout "Off with her head!".  And that made me laugh. Hmmm...I wonder if Mum will laugh?

Monday, January 17

The Postman Cometh

Bethie is a pensive child. She lies in her bed at night and sorts things out. Unfortunately, she's only five years old and things get muddled in her little head. Then I have to endure bizarre conversations with her.

I was driving in the car with the three girls. Bethie started talking about a girl in her class whose mother had died. Bethie was certain that the woman died in church. Not wanting Bethie to think that people walk through church doors and are actually struck down by God, I explained that the mother had probably died elsewhere and had her funeral in the church. After much debate, Bethie agreed that the scenario I presented is possible, but not necessarily what had happened. Sigh.

Then Bethie said to me, "Do people bump into each other a lot in Heaven?".

Me: No. Heaven is really big. There's enough room for people to move without bumping into each other.

Bethie: But they are walking around in cardboard boxes. They must bump into each other.

After further inquiry, I realised that Bethie thought that people were buried in cardboard boxes. I explained that people are buried in coffins. Made out of wood. Not the boxes that toilet paper is delivered in. Once dead people get to Heaven, God opens up the coffins and lets everyone out.

Bethie: How do the coffins get to Heaven?

Ummm...I didn't know what to say. I did my best. Okay, I didn't "do my best", I did the very minimum that was required of me (ie I answered her question).

Me: The postman delivers them to Heaven.

This made complete sense to Bethie. The postman delivers Christmas cards to our house and dead people to Heaven. I chuckled to myself, and I thought we were done. Not so much.

Bethie: Is everyone in Heaven super duper old?

Me: No. You get to pick what age you want to be. If you are super duper old when you die, you can chose to be younger.

Bethie: I'm going to chose to be 5.

Katie: I was going to chose to be 5, but what if 6 is better?

Bethie: If Jesus and Katie chose to be 5, I want to be 5, too. But if Katie is 6 and Jesus is 5 then I don't know how old I want to be. How old is Jesus in Heaven?

Me: Jesus chose to be 32.

Bethie: How do you know?

Ummm...again, I have nothing. I just want to end the conversation.

Me: Because the postman told me.

We arrived at our destination and the conversation ended. However, it lives on in Bethie's head. She told me that she wanted to ask my parents "How old are you going to be when you die?". AHHHH! That will not go over well...

Monday, January 10

For The Love of ... DAN?!

I carried them in my womb. Once, I even carried two babies at a time. I fed them, and cleaned them, and rocked them, and walked them. I drove them to appointments, and rushed them to the hospital. I sang to them all the time. They got Gilbert and Sullivan, Dean Martin, and Hits from the Blitz.

I bought them their first pairs of shoes (okay, Sarah's first were hand-me-downs but they were originally purchased by moi). I taught them how to walk. I taught them how to swing. I taught them how to shovel the snow. I taught them how to work the remote control on the TV.

I taught them the names of all the flowers in my garden. I taught them the names of all the instruments in the marching bands. I taught them to look at the world around them and see colour, and beauty, and joy.

I cried when they cried. I felt their disappointments more keenly than they did. I cuddled them when they were sick. I held their hair out of the face when they were throwing up. When all else failed, I climbed into bed with them knowing that everything is a little better when Mummy's arms are wrapped around you.

Because they are wonderful little girls, because they aim to please, and because they want to show their thanks and appreciation, they decided to make breakfast in bed...for their father!


The last laugh is on him. First of all, most of the food is plastic. Secondly, the only real food brought to him was 2 bowls full of mussel shells...left over from the lunch made on the previous day. Oh look. One bowl is on his pillow. Ha!

Saturday, January 8

New Uses For Old Toys

When the twins were about 18 months old, Dad was awed by their "musical genius". So, he bought them a toy piano.

Dad thought that the twins would enjoy being able to create "music" themselves. He envisioned them bopping around to the the grating lovely melodies that this toy emitted. And, for a while, Katie and Bethie, did.

Then the batteries died.

Then Sarah came along.

Then the twins got older and lost interest in their little piano.

Time passed, but I never got rid of the piano. The children found a new use for it.

They balance on the piano in order to turn the TV on or off. And it scares the Hell out of me! But I leave it there because if they lose the ability to control the TV, then I have to do it. I prefer that they learn self-sufficiency (I can't even type that using a straight face!). 
I should have seen it coming...

(Mum's piano. Spring 2009)

Friday, January 7

Winning The Lotto

I daydream about winning the lottery. I've decided that I need millions and millions of dollars in order to be happy. Actually, about $65 million should do it. This isn't an arbitrary number. I've given it a great deal of thought and realised that I am an expensive woman to maintain (in the style in which I would like to grow accustomed).

The first thing I would do if I won the lottery would be to buy a new house. A big one. Painted yellow. Not a soft pastel yellow. An OMG What The Hell Is THAT yellow (I believe that is actually the name of the paint colour I want). Because nothing pleases me more than shocking my parents. They never see it coming!

I would then go to the grocery store. I would buy whatever we needed. Not the cheapo stuff either. I would buy name brands. I would buy all the ingredients that I needed, not just most of them. I might even start looking at recipe books again. You know, the ones that are entitled "Healthy Eating" but if you buy everything needed for the recipes, you couldn't afford to pay the mortgage (yeah, I'm looking at you Jamie Oliver...my "local grocery shop" does not stock "fresh" and "affordable" truffles!!!).

Then, Dan and I would go to Costco. We would take two cars. I intend to stock up. I still wouldn't buy the massive bottles of salad dressing or ketchup, but I would be coming home with massive amounts of paper towel, meat, and laundry soap. This would thrill me!

Directly after Dan unloads the cars filled with all things Costco, I will be looking for a maid. She can deal with this:

(yup, that's Dan lying in the rubble. Guess he gave up!)

(Bethie's "25 Days of January". She said she would take one clothes pin off every day in January...is this a normal response to the "25 Days of Christmas"????)

While online, I would search for a full-time nanny. Her only qualifications would be that she is available immediately. She can deal with this:

(A little bit of "tough love" from Sarah...I warned Bethie that Sarah would get bigger!)

(Twinnies getting fancy the night before I took them to Mum's office so I could show off my beautiful babies. Sigh)

(Bethie decided that she needed to be in a cocoon. Nothing I would say convinced her that she was really stretching the Hell out of my pillow case - which she took off my bed!!!)

Once in our new home, I would retreat to my "office". Not so much an office as a "quiet place that no one who resides in my home is allowed to enter. EVER.". This room would be sound-proof. The door handle would contain an electric current that would give a mild (because I love my husband and children) electric shock should anyone try to open the door. When all Hell breaks loose, I will scurry off to my "office" to do my "work" (ie read my book) while the maid and nanny deal with the chaos.

In order to make my dreams a reality, all I have to do now is get a job with the Ontario Gaming and Lottery Corporation so I can fix the lottery in my favour (oh, come on, this happens all the time!!!).

Thursday, January 6

Broken Crayons

Yesterday was the last day of Christmas holidays. Katie was too sick to go out, but I wanted to do something fun with the children. Something that would cheer Katie up as well as entertain the other two. I decided that we should make our own crayons.

I announced this suggestion to the children and they were thrilled! I suggested that we all look for broken crayons together. No one moved. They told me to go and look for the crayons, and then I could let them know when we were ready to go. Like the idiot I am, I went off in search of crayons.

This search was harder than I thought it would be. Not because my little darlings treat their stuff with respect and, therefore, no crayon ever gets broken. It was because I got mad about a month ago and started throwing out any and all crayons that I came across. As a result, it was a difficult hunt.

When I had gathered all the broken crayons in the house (and broken some on purpose because I thought we should have some brighter colours in the mix), I peeled all of the paper off the crayons. This job sucked. But I did it. All by myself (I didn't say that to get a round of applause, I said that so you would envision my children lazing in front of the TV shouting "Are you done yet? Hurry up!").

I decided that I had enough crayons (which was after I sent Bethie across the street to beg for more broken crayons from Emilie).


Then I told the children to stop watching the TV and to help me. 2/3 of my offspring responded.



Then they got bored (after 2.5 seconds), and left me alone to finish it up.


I popped the crayons into the oven and waited. But the damn things just wouldn't melt fast enough. I turned up the heat...waited a moment...and then turned up the heat again. I did this until I had doubled the temperature of the oven. This was not a brilliant idea. The crayons started cooking. And they looked kind of disgusting.


I threw the muffin tin into the freezer. When I got a chance (hours later), I pulled them out.



Awful. Sarah certainly thought so. She tried to eat them! But they are super waxy, and completely ineffective as a colouring instrument. I am quite disappointed. I put a lot of work into doing these!

Lisa suggested that I should make candles. Maybe I will...

Wednesday, January 5

The End of Christmas Break

I had high hopes for the Christmas break. I had planned all sorts of fun activities for me and the children. We were going to have so much fun. Museums, tobogganing, skating. I had envisioned happy, healthy children playing outside. And, of course, I was going to take a million pictures of my rosy cheek girls so I would have proof that I am a super de-duper mother.

Then Dan got sick. Then I got sick. And all of my plans were cast aside.

Instead of fun and adventure, my children had days and days of looking at the four walls. Instead of healthy outdoor pursuits, my children have torn my house to pieces. Instead of harmonious laughter, my children have taken to beating up each other (and me!).

Tomorrow, the twins go back to school and Sarah goes to daycare. And I am soooo excited. My house needs to be scrubbed. My fridge needs to be stocked. My Christmas tree needs to be packed up and put away! And Mummy needs some peace and quiet.

Saturday, January 1

A Quest For Superdom: Super Mum 2011

Every year, I attempt to win the title of "Super Mum". Every year, I blow it. Usually at some point in January. Early January.

This year, I'm really going to try my best. I've given it a lot of thought, and I have come up with my Six Easy Steps to Achieving Super Mum Status. I'm quite confident that these guidelines will ensure success.

  1. When the children are hungry, feed them. Better yet, anticipate that they will need three meals a day, and two (preferably) healthy snacks. It is not sufficient to roll your eyes and say "Oh my God, you want to eat again?!", and then instruct them to go and get a piece of bread and try to convince them that it's a "Bread Sandwich".
  2. Stop referring to your children as "the animals", as in "I have to go and put the animals to bed". "Heathens" and "spawns" are also inappropriate. They are you beloved darlings. Try to remember that.
  3. Expand your vocabulary, Hot Shot. While the effort to curb your swearing has been appreciated and noted, you sound like you have a speech impediment when you are "disciplining" your children. For instance, this is what you sound like "Katie! Bethie! Sarah! Oh my G... (pause)...Who are you??? What the...(pause)...? How the...(pause)...? Are you..(pause)...KIDDING me????". You have a degree in English. Use it.
  4. Put you babies to bed by first reading them a story and then drowning them in hugs and kisses. Good mothers do not stand at the bottom of the stairs and shout "If you don't go to bed right now, then the Sand Man is going to get you!".
  5. Biting is not allowed. Regardless of how cute those naked bottoms look racing up the stairs, do not bite. First of all, your biting encourages the children to bite each other. Second, but far worse, the children will bite you back. Hard. It's not worth it. A little smacky smack is sufficient.
  6. When your children misbehave in public, discipline them firmly but gently. Do not pretend that they are not your children. Especially if your child has striped herself of all clothing and is running naked through a crowded park. Do not tell your children that you are going to drop them off at the fire department on the way home. And never turn to an elderly lady and say with such concern in your voice, "Where could this child's mother be?". It upsets others.
Wish me luck!