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Archive for December, 2007

J is off gallivanting around the world again for the next week. This morning, I got the kids to swimming lessons and snuck off to have a shower myself while they were supposedly being watched by their instructors. I say ‘supposedly’ because when I arrived at the end of Boo’s lesson to get her, she told me she didn’t learn much this time because she lost her instructor for a while, but eventually he found her. In the pool. I told the guy at the first lesson that without glasses my kid is blind, but it doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Either that, or he has the same problem. We’ll be chatting about it tomorrow.

Then we popped off to friends for brunch, where my kids were pretty well-behaved, I think. These friends only have one kid and she’s still wee, so the amount of noise and destruction she can cause compared to my kids is light years apart. I remember having people over with more than one kid when I just had sweet little Maya and watching in horror at the chaos. I hope we didn’t do that to them. Fortunately, my kids like to eat. After announcing he wasn’t hungry. Asher ate a pancake and four helpings of lasagna.

Then, it was off home to make Hanukkah cookies. I’d promised the day before. I was so bloody tired, but couldn’t see when else to do it, so soldiered on. The house is already a mess, of course. But we shoved aside crap in the kitchen and made the cookies. Dinner was order-in pizza, now that the non-gluten guy is out of the country. Afterwards, we decorated, adding icing sugar and many types of sprinkles to the chaos. These are some of the finished product:

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Here is poor Jasper watching us play and play with food and give him none, poor boy. He’s using a teddy for a pillow, so I had to take a picture.

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Asher knocked an entire container of thawed strawberries on the floor. Someone else knocked over thawing beef in the fridge, so now the fridge has been bled on. Maya dropped Jasper’s full bowl of food on the floor, and for one the damn dog decided that floor food did not interest him.

We realized after dinner but before decorating that Asher had not finished his Hebrew project for Tuesday. That wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the English project he hasn’t even considered beginning that is due Wednesday. There was no point in even trying to get any work on that. He can’t handle academic stuff at the very best of times in the evening, and having been promised cookie decorating is not the very best of times to suggest homework.

I have a point to all this. As I was singing Boo to sleep, I was reading yesterday’s Globe and Mail. I read Karen von Hahn’s column, in which she postulated that people who have children young are perceived as older, over-the-hill, compared to their peers who have small children. Her last line is this: “Who needs plastic surgery when you can be as young as you feel, thanks to artificial insemination.”

Is it just me, or is this woman completely insane? She has this idea that having kids when you are older makes you feel younger. Obviously, she is one of those women who had her kids when she was younger and, at 40-ish, is happily waving them off to university.

Gee, I wonder who feels younger – von Hahn, who is looking into the rest of her 40s having done the difficult work of childrearing and wondering what to do with her time – take a cruise with her husband? Throw herself further into her career? Train to run a marathon? After all, she clearly still fit and young enough to do whatever she wants. Or me, who is looking into the rest of my 40s filled with parent-teacher interviews and forgotten projects, kitchens with florescent yellow icing sugar dripping off the walls and the first child careening into adolescence like a runaway locomotive?

I wonder who looks younger – does the flour from the cookies dusting my shirt and the sprinkles in my hair age me? Or is it just the frazzled expression, the 40-year-old skin having gone unmoisturized and 40-year-old hair uncut for months because I’m too tired and don’t have the time.

I’m not really complaining, not really. I knew what I was getting into, although I never actually planned to have a kid at 36 years old. I am truly happy I had my children in my 30s rather than my 20s. But how can any woman who has actually raised children, as von Hahn has, be so utterly deluded as to think that raising small children in one’s 40s makes a person appear or feel younger? Those little shits age you, and they age you twice as fast when you are already older.

Anyway, I can see the dishes piled up in the kitchen from here, so I think I’ll just go downstairs, put on Family Guy and do some knitting. Maybe the dish fairies will come clean everything.

Jasper just discovered a kleenex box was in reach, and neatly hopped up to take one for himself. (He likes to snack on them.) Here is a picture, because he is the cutest dog ever, and don’t you forget it.

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and kitty badness.

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Doesn’t she look sweet? She is, mostly. She loves to cuddle up and smush her face into my hair. She likes to crawl under the blanket with me and snuggle under there on my chest.

She also loves to chew on string, cords, anything long and skinny. She’s chewed cords off blinds, neatly snipped apart my yarn as I’m knitting more times then I can count, and no necklace cord is safe. But she reached new heights of destruction today by efficiently scissoring right through the earbud cord for Maya’s new iPod. She didn’t even show the kindness of just hacking off one earbud so we could at least listen in one ear until we get new earphones.. Nope, she severed it right at the jack. Little shit.

I’d just discovered the world of podcasts, too, and had been working my way though the Savage Love archive, amusing myself listening to Dan call people up and talk them into dumping their boyfriends or coming out of the closet that minute.

On the other hand, Snowpuppy is being just delicious. He has lost none of his love of the snow and still likes to bury his whole face into it, then burst out and run madly around. I haven’t got any really good pictures yet, but I did take this one after he’d hung out for a while outside during the last snowstorm:

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He’s so freaking cute to watch that I have taken to letting him off leash more often as we walk around the block, because I like to see him bounce around on people’s lawns. He’s getting very good at staying on the last few feet of them, and while he does pop out onto the road occasionally, he does obey, “Side” and come back when I order.

I have to say, this whole dog-training thing paid off in a big way last night, beyond ensuring he doesn’t eat my dinner when I get up and the unbearable cuteness of seeing him poke a ball with his nose when I tell him to “touch ball.” When he lingers at some interesting smell too long, I just walk ahead because he can’t bear to let me get too far away from me and will come galloping after me in no time. Last night, though, in his snowy joy he galloped right past me just as we were reaching a turn in the road. Coming from the other direction was a car, also turning. In the dark, there was no way the driver could see Jasper racing down the road and in his exuberance, Jasper hadn’t noticed the car, either.

I saw in a flash that car and dog were on a collision course and instinctively yelled out, “Jasper, WAIT!” as he hit the edge of the road ahead of me (I have trained him to wait at the edge of the road, or anywhere ahead of me when I tell him to until I release him). I was hugely gratified and relieved when he skidded to the quickest stop I’ve ever seen, and then even came trotting back to ask what was up.

Disaster averted! Thanks to all that training work. Of course, someone sane might argue that it also would have been averted had I not been so stupid as to let him run around in the dark off-leash, but we won’t go there now, okay?

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