Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

Out of the mouths of babes

J just came from putting Boo to bed and told me that as he was reading bedtime stories to her, she reached over to his naked chest and slapped him solidly. “This,” she told him, “is a great example of man-boobs.”

For the record, he actually has a very weak example of man-boobs, but it is damn funny anyway. We had no idea where she got the concept of man-boobs. The thing about having a kid who is the youngest of 6 cousins by over 3 years means we have gotten used to hearing many strange things coming out of her mouth. Before this, there was, “Let’s get naked and smoke.”

She’s getting pretty good at Texas hold ’em too.


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We’re all just hanging out and I could hear Boo in her room, singing. Couldn’t hear what she was singing, though. Still, I thought it was sweet. Until I walked past her room on her way downstairs and heard, “I know what you want and I got what you need!”

On the positive side, I’m pretty sure those aren’t original lyrics.

I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything else from a kid whose favourite song is Nelly Furtado’s Maneater.

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Asher has a great deal of difficulty writing; it’s a learning disability, actually. He also has ADD, and works very hard in school to concentrate. By the time school is over he’s had it, and so frequently I ‘scribe’ his homework. He bounces around the room dictating to me what he wants to write.

His class is reading the book Sarah Plain and Tall, which I have not read, but know something about because Maya did it a few years ago too. Today, he came home and told me that he is to write a letter from Sarah to William, the child who is to be her stepson. Sarah writes letters in the book, Asher told me. But he knew nothing else – not what she wrote, not what he was supposed to write. He got as far as “Dear William,” and had nothing further to say. So I wrote this:

Dear William,

I hope you are good at paying attention in school so you will know what your homework is and not drive me nuts when I become your mother. I hope you don’t use, “The teacher told me I had to read the book, but she never said I had to remember it,” as an excuse.

Love, Sarah.

I am thankful that Asher’s teacher has a sense of humour.

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yay me

I’m feeling better today, thanks for asking. I even took Jasper for a decent walk. We went to the dog park and I marched right into the deep woods, most because I wanted to stick to the shade. It is actually hot today. I discovered that the mosquitoes are out in force already. When I stopped to talk to another doodle owner, we were immediately surrounded in a cloud of mosquitoes. I exaggerate not one bit. Hundreds of them. But when I walked fast enough, they left me alone.

The thing that was so great was that I could walk fast enough. I actually walked fast through the woods. It wasn’t even my heavy-footed fast for me but slow for everyone else kind of walk – I passed a couple of people. Now, those people were at least 150 lbs overweight each, but still!

Up until recently, I had this weird sort of stomp to my walk, like my shoes were made of cement. But I noticed, as I beetled through the woods, that I have managed to shed that. I still trip a lot, but I look like I’m walking normally.

So I’m kind of thrilled. It wasn’t long ago that I just couldn’t even imagine walking in the woods at all. Now, granted, my zippy walk was only about half an hour long, but it is still amazing.

I wonder when these accomplishments will become old hat to me? How long before I start taking for granted that I can walk up stairs? Because I swear, every single time I make it to the top of a staircase, I am impressed, like a little kid. Look what I did!


The other thing I did was get a new pair of shoes for Boo. This is more impressive than it sounds. One of my first outings, after I was freed from the hospital, was for sandals for Maya. It took many shoe stores and much pain, spread out over days to accommodate for my lack of energy. (There is nothing new about Maya and parental shoe torture.) In one of the stores, we found adorable shoes that didn’t fit Maya, but would fit Boo. They were sandal-like in lightness and really, very cute. See? –

Now, truth be told, I do have a perfectly good pair of hand-me-down sandals that will probably fit her, but they are black. Basic and black. Asher hardly wore them, with the speed his feet grow. I knew she’d hate those sandals and love these ones and I couldn’t really blame her. They were more expensive than I like to pay but there was Maya, like the devil on my shoulder, saying, “You have to buy them. She’ll love them.”

So I did. And she did. She has worn no other shoe since. Until yesterday, when one strap snapped.

My old self would have been sad and annoyed at the expense and gone out and bought more sensible sandals this time. But I’m not like that any more. I am not sure exactly when it changed or what brought about the change. Possibly I have just become – dare I say it? – less WASPy over the years. Or maybe I just aged and decided it was time to stand up for myself.

I took the shoes back to the store and told the nice saleschild there that I yes I was having a good day, only I had this little problem I hoped she could help me with. I showed her the shoes and the bill I miraculously found, demonstrating the shoes to be 3 weeks old, and she gave me new ones, just like that.

Now, of course, I am risking these ones lasting 3 weeks too, and playing the shoe-exchange game all summer, but I think the problem actually stemmed from Boo’s extremely bad habit of not undoing and doing the shoes up again, preferring to just ram her feet in (so yes, technically the breakage was her fault, but 3 weeks? Come on). So I told her those were the very last ones in her size (small lie)  and if she wants to keep them, she’ll take her shoes off and put them on like a civilized human being. I think she will. She was so happy. Her sheer shoe delight made spending the money on those crappy shoes worth it. I’m getting soft.

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I was up reasonably bright and early this morning because Asher had a play at school I had to attend first thing. The play was happy thing #1.

(Asher with two co-stars who are ‘on a bus.’ If he looks way taller than they are, well, that is because he is.)

We, the audience, got to experience the play three times in a row, as there were not nearly enough roles to go around. It was okay because the play wasn’t that long and the children were uber-cute, even the ones I wasn’t directly related to. As 8-turning-9 years old, they are right on the cusp of being too old for this sort of thing and yet not quite. They are still into it, and yet you can see hints of the grown-up people they are becoming, which I found utterly charming.

Asher was the narrator in the third play, sharing his duties with another kid. In the first two plays, the narrator was not a shared role. In fact, in the first play, the kid who narrated not only knew all his lines but every single line in the entire play. It was very entertaining watching him stand off to the side, lips moving silently as the other kids spoke their lines. It was like he was the puppet master.

Despite sharing the narrating duties, Asher still had a lot of lines, way more than I expected him to have in a play, especially a French play. He had about 10 lines, which is 9 more than I thought I’d hear out of him. It was the second-biggest role in the play. Needless to say, I love his French teacher. I always liked her, but now I love her.

I don’t actually just love her for seeing the potential to memorize that many lines in my space cadet of a son, but because she actually seems to be teaching them some French. That’s more than I ever got in my 11 years of French classes in the Ontario school system.

(Asher with the Other Asher (whose name also isn’t, in fact, Asher). They are buds, despite being dissimilar in practically every respect. Other Asher is, for example, extremely good at all sports. Except basketball. Asher is mediocre at all sports. Except basketball. But that is just because he’s so much closer to the net than the rest of them.)

The bad is that as a result of all of us rushing out in the morning, Jasper did not get enough of a chance to relieve himself in an appropriate spot (outside) and therefore did so in an inappropriate one (inside) – inside Maya’s room in particular. Thank goodness she’s at shul school and I got a chance to clean it up before she got to experience it first-hand. Her siblings will make certain she gets to experience it second-hand. They can’t wait to tell her.

The happy thing #2 is that a book I pre-ordered showed up today. Number 4 in the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan, is being released in the US today, but not until the 13th in Canada. And yet, the moment I pre-ordered it at the end of last week, Chapters happily mailed it out to me. Too bad Riordan doesn’t have the fame he deserves so I could sell it on ebay like people did with the rare early copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

Of course, we would have had to read it first anyway. It’s kind of killing me not to just read it without the kids, but they will kill me if I do.


Here’s a bonus happy and bad, all in one. I have been on a waiting list for a pain clinic here that runs a 4-week intensive course to teach those of us afflicted with chronic pain to better deal with it. I had to fill out a form with pages and pages of questions about my condition and send it in, and the next step is to get an appointment with a doctor for assessment. I was led to understand it would be quite the wait for that appointment, but then I got a call yesterday telling me they had an opening this week. So yay for cancellations! But the appointment, at a hospital all the way across town, is at 8:15 am. AM! The 20 minute drive will be a good 40 minutes with the rush hour traffic and I have to be there at 8. 15. AM. I hurt just thinking about it.

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I feel like I should post something, but don’t have anything interesting to write about. And I’m on my laptop, which makes showing you pretty pictures harder.

I’ve been spending this week slowly cleaning up my front garden, clearing away old leaves to discover what interesting plant is growing underneath. I frequently forget what I’ve planted, so I’m constantly being surprised by unexpected growing things.

I get tired easily, but I’ve given up on the back yard, so I have less to do.

I successfully took the kids swimming yesterday, in a very nice warm pool. Swimming was initially problematic for me, thanks to the colostomy. That makes for strange bulges in bathing suits, because I have a bag glued to my abdomen. Fortunately, swim shorts are in, so I bought a pair and wear it over my bathing suit. They don’t match at all, but it hides the bulges successfully.

I confess, used to think mildly negative thoughts about people who took their stuff and went into change rooms to change in locker rooms. How prudish, I thought. We all have bulges and floppy boobs. But we don’t all have colostomy bags and huge angry red scars running half way up our bellies and now I go into the change room to change, so as not to scare the other people there. And mentally apologize to all those of whom I thought ill.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, I’ll mention that as a family, we tend to be a fairly unconcerned about nakedness, but now when I walk out of my bathroom to get dressed, should a child be in my room, I get to hear, “Ugh!” before they make a run for it. The other day, I was still towelling off and as Maya hightailed it out of my room, I heard her say, “Note to self: never use that towel.”

My kids are not allowed to watch TV after school on a week day, but a few moments ago, Asher came up to tattle on his sister. I told him he could go down and tell her I was ordering her to turn it off. He disappeared and has not returned, so I fear he too has been caught in the seductive orbit of Hannah Montana. I must go rescue them both …

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I have been writing posts from my laptop, which don’t have my photos on it, so they’ve been rather visually-boring. Here’s a little more interesting post (visually, anyway).

Here’s Boo learning to ride a 2-wheeler. At 5 years old, she is accomplishing this task a good year ahead of her siblings. She can add this to the reading earlier, swimming earlier and surfing the web earlier. The only thing I can think of that she did later was walking.


The snow has finally completely melted from my garden and suddenly there are tulips and crocuses. Last year, a dastardly bunny ate them all, but this year they seem to be surviving.


We had our Passover seder here this year – catered, thanks to some very generous people. I sat like a queen and did no work, which is certainly not normal for Passover. Wait – I did make my favourite dessert, which is extremely easy, and got the kids colouring eggs. We had lots of hard boiled eggs for the seder and they are just so boring, all sitting there whitely. Since there is nothing inherently Christian about making eggs pretty colours, I have the kids colour eggs for Passover.

Since we didn’t have enough at first, J went and bought more, so I boiled them in two batches, then coloured them in two batches also. I failed to take pictures this year, but this is what last year’s looked like:

All pretty. We passed them around at the seder and my brother, who has been known to be obnoxious at times, said to me, “Are they supposed to be raw?” Oh, ha ha.

He wasn’t kidding, though. I looked around him to the family friend sitting on his other side and saw her holding a dripping egg over her plate. I had somehow mixed up the cooked and the uncooked in the second batch and about a third of the pretty eggs were raw. Good thing she had a sense of humor. I blamed it on the coma. Every time I screw up or do something weird, I just say, “Coma brain.” I don’t know how long I can use that excuse, though.


Passover means my children are home all week. Today, my in-laws kindly took them to a museum, since Camp Mom is closed this year. The moment they walked in the door, they were so bored they were just going to die. Maya soothed herself with TV but Asher wasn’t into it, so I set him up with a cool but simple experiment. You take a cookie sheet and pour in enough milk to cover the bottom. Then you pour a few drops of different-coloured food colouring in each corner. Then arm the kid with the dishwashing liquid and have him pour a drop here and there and see what happens. It is way cool. It amused Asher and Boo long enough for me to write this, and take a picture. The camera refused to focus properly, but you get the idea.

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