Monday, September 28, 2009

New Tap Shoes

The Monkey loves to walk the aisles of the Salvation Army as much as I do.

Check out what she found a few weeks ago.

There was no way she was leaving the store without those shoes.

$4.99. I bought my child's happiness that day.

She didn't realize that they were tap shoes. She kept calling them her dance shoes. We got home and she got ready to dance. Fortunately for me, I videotaped her first moments in the shoes (again....with my crappy cell phone. Husband. I'm begging you. A new camera for Christmas. Pretty please!). She discovered that they made some pretty awesome noise.

Dancing makes her happy.

She wants to be just like her big sister, who of course promptly started teaching her dance steps. And that makes The Princess happy. Being bossy.

Some days I just love being a mom.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spot Cleaning

As I was wiping down the kitchen counters this afternoon, I looked up across the island and saw two perfect hand prints on the wall.

Definitely Monkey hand prints.

I rinsed the cloth I was using and walked over to the wall. I wiped off those Monkey marks and walked back to the sink.

I turned around. The Monkey was finger painting in the wet spot on the wall.

The Husband and I just looked at each other and shook our heads.

We stood and watched The Monkey draw with her fingers in that wet spot on the wall. Then she made two distinct hand prints on the wall.

She smiled. Then walked out of the room.

I left the Monkey prints on the wall.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Have A Problem

I am flummoxed.

I have this feeling about a variety of things in my life.



Why I shop at Stupidstore.

But this latest flummoxation (yes, I'm using that word even though just laughed at me) is sending me over the deep end because it has to do with children. My children. I usually have some sort of an educated answer for child related issues, but I'm finding myself in the middle of a quagmire here.

The Princess has found some new friends. This friendship started last year but for whatever reason, it quickly blew off. I'll be honest. I was relieved. It's not a good friendship for her for a variety of reasons and it was a friendship I did not encourage.

The beginning of this summer changed all that. The doorbell started ringing, and despite my gut feelings, I allowed The Princess to play outside with this sister and brother. Supervised. I sometimes make up excuses as to why The Princess can't play but the doorbell ringing is constant. If we walk past their house, they run out and ask if The Princess can play. When we drive up and are getting out of the minivan, they're calling out from their window asking if The Princess can play. They've discovered each other at school and I'm getting reports that they are playing together at recess and lunch. Plus, The Princess doesn't want me outside supervising her all the time. She's 7 and a half. She wants some independence and I can't blame her for that. But it means I'm not out there supervising all the time.

But, I spent a good portion of my summer and this month of September sitting outside watching children. And telling children who weren't mine to please stop walking all over the neighbour's garden. Please go get the The Monkey's soccer ball that you just kicked down the road. I don't think the neighbour wants you kicking the ball repeatedly against their house. Please put on a helmet if you're going to take our scooters and ride them. Sorry, I can't supervise your friend's little sister as well. You're going to break The Monkey's trike if you keep doing that. Please don't do this, please do that instead.

And I'm the one that's called when the friend has fallen and scraped her knee.

I never see their parents.

There's more I could say about their family life, but what does it really matter?

Except it does. The Husband and I have been going back and forth about what to do with this situation. We don't want her playing with these two children, but at the same time wonder about our obligation to possibly be a positive influence with these kids. It's not like we think we're saints or anything, but these children need some help.

I find myself feeling like an idiot for being all uppity and looking down my nose at another family. I'm pretty sure there are many families on our block that look down their noses at me and my backyard and my old minivan parked outside. And I've worked with children who have had such a hard time making and keeping friendships....who am I to turn and say these neighbours can't play with my children?

But what about The Princess? In the middle of writing this, she's come into the house sobbing because of how the girl has treated her. I took her back outside to help solve the problem but all that was left was paint all over my walkway, paintings, toys strewn all over the lawn. And none of it was The Princess'.

We cleaned up the mess and brought all the toys and paints back to the neighbour's house. The Princess is confused and I don't know what to tell her except it's time to have a break from playing with her new friends.

Help. Am I being a paranoid self centred parent?

How have you balanced your own child's needs with the needs of another?

What would you do? What have you done?

I'd love to hear from all you other moms and dads out there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Want To Be What??

This past weekend, The Husband suggested we take the girls to Canadian Tire.

Despite me shouting, "No. That sounds like a crappy idea are you INSANE you can't make me go," I found myself walking down the aisles of automotive parts and Debbie Travis home decor. It's not that I dislike the store. It's super awesome and all. It's just that The Princess was on a tangent about Halloween costume decision making. It's hard to find the right plastic bolts for a car door panel when you're being forced to converse about the need to buy blood red lipstick and agree 18,542 times that her costume will be the awesomest.

The Princess was going to be a spider. I was thrilled with that. If I'm going to have to make a costume, then that would be doable. I've made a number of costumes in this sojourn of, ghost, bear, mummy....they were all great. Well. Not the mummy. That one sucked big time and The Boy ended up trailing it all over a four block radius. But the other costumes were good. Made without the aide of a pattern or directions. Just a trip to assorted Salvation Armies and stuff from the house. My mother trained me well.

But something about Canadian Tire made The Princess feel that a spider costume was not 'it'. She wasn't feeling it.

All of a sudden my 7 year old said, "What about a corpse bride? That would be so awesome!"

"A what?"

"A corpse bride! Jaclyn was a corpse bride last year and she looked so awesome. Her costume was the best. It was so awesome."

"You want to be a corpse bride??"

"Yes! Oh Mom. It will be awesome. Oh my gosh. It will be so awesome!" *squeal!*

All the while that she was blabbering on and on and on and on about it, all I could think of was, "Will I lose my mothering licence if I let my 7 year old dress up like a dead woman on the day of her nuptials? What will my mother say? What will her grandparents think of me?"

I was also thinking, "How can she talk so fast and exactly how many times is she going to say awesome?"

15 minutes of walking through the store, listening to The Princess go on about all the different things we need to do for her costume, she stopped in her tracks.



"What's a corpse bride?"

Aw. My 7 year old isn't as old as I feared. She may think she's too old to dress up in fairy wings and carry a magic wand, but she's still pretty innocent.

I explained what a corpse bride was.

She's thinking about it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Griswold Invention

The Husband loves music.

The Husband loves gadgets.

The Husband loves to run and work out with a music gadget strapped to one of his finely toned arms.

The Husband's 4GB iPod Nano is full of music.

After you've done the math, you know exactly what comes next.

The Husband says he needs a bigger iPod.

Me: "I don't get it. Why do you need to buy a new iPod? We have The Eldest's old iPod Nano kicking around. Why can't you just use that?"

The Husband: "It's the same as mine. It only holds 4 GB of music. Mine's full."

Me: "So start putting new music on her's. They're pretty small. Can't you just carry both of them around?"

The Husband: "How am I suppose to work out with two iPods? You want me to strap one to each arm?"

No. No I don't. You'd look like an idiot like that. We may be Griswolds but a person's got to have some standards.

But every problem has a solution. This is mine.

I call it Mork.

It's a Nanonano.

4GB iPod + 4GB iPod = 8GB iPod.

I like math.

You're welcome Husband. I love you, too.

(You can thank me by buying me a new camera so I don't have to keep taking crappy photos with my cellphone.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Haven't Blogged

It's the one month anniversary since my last blog entry.

If you could see me, you would notice a pronounced droop in my chin. My eyes hang low and you could could get some serious air time wake boarding across the wrinkles on my forehead.

I don't look that way from shame. I'm just trying to figure out the logic in the fact that not writing for a month has gained 3 readers to my blog during that time.

People like it when I don't write.

Ah. There's my motivation.

On with it then, right?

Top Ten Reasons I Haven't Blogged

10. Getting 3 children ready for school is taxing. And there's nothing remotely entertaining about it unless you're talking about the beer I drank afterwards.

9. My dryer died and I was spending copious amounts of time thinking about wringing out the wet laundry that was sitting in the broken dryer.

8. Twitter is ruining me. Why spend 30 minutes writing 300 words when you can say it all in 30 seconds with 140 characters?

7. I seem to be spending copious amounts of time sitting on the floor doing puzzles, playing Barbies and Polly Pocket, and building massive castles out of Lego. Then I can't get up off the floor because my joints have seized up.

6. I couldn't find the tape.

5. The Princess has discovered a new friend two doors down from us. When the new friend stated that the baby doll they were doctoring needed medicine called "mood swings", I've felt the need to closely supervise this new friendship.

4. The Boy needs feeding on an hourly basis.

3. It was The Husband's birthday. I'm not sure why that's a reason not to blog but I'm pulling excuses out of the air at this point.

2. The fridge needed cleaning out. Oh. Wait. That's why I'm blogging right now. To avoid the fridge. Whatever works.

....and the #1 reason I haven't blogged in a month.....

1. My PVR was 90% full and I needed to watch 300 hours of TV so I could free up some room. Hey. I have to be able to record So You Think You Can Dance.

So that's it. 10 excuses. But I've set myself some goals this week. I am going to blog every day. Tune in tomorrow when I will unveil my new invention.

It's brilliant. And luckily, I found the tape.