Friday, June 29, 2007

Quote Me

The day encapsulated.
"Cheese toast crusts are my biscotti"


Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

George is 30!

I have a good friend who told me early: even if you don't have one, you have to admit you have a toy problem.

We have one (but you should see his. Talk about problems!)

We are showing the signs of a house with too many toys. That is to say, in our house, toys are everywhere you can see. They are also in the invisible place, between the joists, and under the foundation. This is the house that toys built.

It wasn't always the case. I was all wicked witch with my daughter and gave her nothing her first Christmas, because I'm like that. I let her play with wax paper, balpeen hammers, and tupperware almost exclusively till we got sucked in on the daycare track and we discovered all the great plastic horrors. The granmpother with the dollar store addiction. Never mind the endless streams of fuzzy germ factories our friends and other relatives have made as certain as death and taxes...

My son turns one next month and I am seriously thinking about not having a party for him for fear of the stuff.

There must be a solution, beyond rejecting any new stuff, which addresses the old. I have heard some good ideas but I am always on the look out for more. I want to teach the kids to let go of their stuff early. I have tried to prime my daughter to give things away but it isn't going too well.

Must I suffer these beasts forever? I write moments after tucking the girl in with George the Giraffe, a stitched and restitched stuffy from 1977, hmmm where did he come from?

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Monday, June 25, 2007

V-Man Arriveth

Mo's post about leaving baby-making-hood is lovely, isn't it? I think Mo captures a sense of the impermanence I sometimes feel in this parenting gig.

I will 'always' be the father of these two kids. That is immutable. But I and they will not be the same we as today. We aren't the same now as we were at 6:30. I will slowly decay (or not slowly) as these kids develop rapidly into whoever and whatever they will be for a day, a moment, as they forge their own identities, and so on. Then I'll be dead but I will still be their dad. When they are feeding the worms, I will still have been their dad. When the space people the foilhat-wearers are telling you about come on down for the harvest none of that will have changed. It's really quite a tiresome subject, actually, but I've got tonnes of time to reflect on these weighty matters as I recline at home with a bag of frozen peas on my gonads.

Mo's post is rather timely from a practical perspective. I am off the hook. My phone has been disconnected. We cannot have any more kids together unless we use the frozen material which is, I suspect, on account of the miserable porn available at the clinic (Field & Stream... are you getting hard? I thought not) and in no way a reflection of my, um, material. I have reconciled with this new state of affairs.

The much-anticipated, ballyhooed event has at last taken place, hence the peas, the elevated feet, the increased rate of media consumption, and the application of frigid pulses to my genital area. I will say little about the procedure. Most disconcerting moment: smelling something burning and realizing it was me. Most enjoyable moment: oh, hahaha. At least mine wasn't like this guy's chop job. Local anaesthetic and a scalpel... nooo! I live in a secular nation where men are not punished for taking this anti-procreative step, I guess. In any event this task is much simpler to face than the whole gestation through to forcing a human out of your privates-thing which is, of course, what I am trying to avoid.

Mo has been lovely enough to give me some time to take off some weight. As a result I have had the opportunity to watch some movies, read some books, and read some blogs during the convalescing parts of my recuperation. I viewed the intensely lowbrow (Smokin' Aces) the pompously meaningful (Babel). I am reading two books. One is serviceable: (Devil in the White City) and the other amazing: (The Yiddish Policeman's Union). The capper: the zenith of tennis on tv. The downer: a former finalist engaged in tawdry "realistic" romance with cougars and cubs. (Oh, Mark... what the fuck?)

I read somewhere that Eddie Murphy fathered a child with "Mel B." My first thought: not another transvestite, say it isn't so! Perhaps I am a little out of touch.

V-man out.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Don't even joke about it

The moments to myself are measured in seconds not minutes these days. I am beyond edgy.

I confess in hushed tones to my husband my need to 'take a break'. I am physically, mentally and emotionally drained as a primary caregiver for three weeks. You can bet I don't know how the hell many other parents pull the weight I am labouring under.

Don't count me one to ever say chirpish-ly "I'm a single mother for a few days"... That is such crapola. I know single mothers and you don't joke about that sort of stuff. I have one friend who tossed the useless father with a 9 month old baby in her arms. Often imitated, never duplicated. Single parents I remain in awe.

ps.. I really like it when life gives me the chance to say crapola. It is such a happy word.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cry me a River

It is a soft sunny afternoon and I am more than weary, nearly tearful. My husband has been working late and I am not up to the challenge. But we are getting by.

I just finished putting down my now 11 month old son for his nap and his sister is 'off to dreamland' ?? maybe... I do enjoy these waning moments of babyhood. It presses on me of late 'the end'. For it is the end for us. Two children was sort of off-hand thing anyway. Three is a no-go. I say often, "I would love another baby. We just can't have another child."

They are fathomless depths, she say endeavouring to avoid the word bottomless for its negative connotations, these children. There is more than everything we can do for them. I don't see the upsides yet you tell me of AlphaDogma. I miss babying. I miss their gaping maws stilled at the breast. The laughable aspresso and the even more laughable streams of assvice. The simplicity of physical needs and the acceleration of being those first twelve months hold.

It's over in many ways. Man we had a good run.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday, Sunday

It is father's day and I am at the office trying to express new arguments which will restate the ones I typed earlier in new and groundbreaking ways. It is not going well. I will admit to no love for father's day or any other fake holiday-type event. That said, I would much rather be with Mo and the kids than here at the orifice on a Sunday. This is the third in sequence which I have spent here and I miss my brood.

This is not to say I am suffering. Not like this little guy's brethren. I am not clear on the details of this amnesty. I guess the lamb laid down on Broadway.


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Friday, June 15, 2007

What's Up Doc

I read Sweet Juniper. If I say nothing else about it that blog is a wicked intersection of what I like to think is the wry-est, cleverest and yet most impecably kind gang of parent bloggers. Sure we're sarcastic, I mean we put the what's up doc into the game of child rearing in a way few can resist.

But the intersection offered a turn of late. A five-car pile up really.

Last month I caught the link from Sweet Juniper to sweet|salty and began reading the diary of an amazing mother. A mother navigating something beyond sleep wars and job shares and schoolyard tears. I was in awe of what she told us and grew in a way a little sick of my own blog. Her tale so heavy, her words so true.

I know her only in words... as words. I wonder at times about how she told us. It is not an isolated thing really. There are others. Those brilliant mothers who explode the caustic myth that mothers might be authors of their children's lives. Those who faced the unfaceable and told us about it. I came late to their experiences and my respect is something, I reluctantly admit, I frame in distance.

Instead it was in this collecting of the memory for the small boy Liam that I most fully met the process(ing) of a mother. A blog is such a precribed recollection. Prescient almost. At the juncture today just after Liam's passing I need not scramble for words to share the experience with my husband or the many other readers swimming in some mist of abstraction. The words are there. They are her words. I hope the power to publish them helps Kate.

There are questions (and answers) swirling about whether blogging can empower. I don't have any answers to this question merely suspicion. Suspicion it does. That as we work behind our glowing screens we can say more here than elsewhere. That in a venue so potent for abuse and mistruths the opposite might prevail. And, that this is a route to power. Not conventional butt-kicking manly power but something else. Something precious.

The word I keep coming to is truth. I mean there is no making this up (and yes I know that's an understatement beyond all belief). Kate laid plain a wall of truth that blows me away, as I've said. Truth so sheer as to make me want to look away. But I am unable to abandon the stream of words that invite understanding. A sacrifice of privacy to gain nothing and yet something is created. Care, and that insufficient word, support. I wake today to read the words and question. I question that which seemed inalienable. That which told me yesterday that I was working to love my children as much as I could.

Then I see her words. I feel her words and know I have not loved mine as ultimately as she. I pray today and always that I never face, as she has with such eloquence, the love of mother to transcend even being. Tomorrow I face another day to love my children more than ever. In some part because of words in this machine. Bizarre.

In memorium. God Bless Liam.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


There was a somewhat interesting discussion CBC radio yesterday about celebrity news reporting. I was intrigued and somewhat swayed by Vanessa Richmond asking us to suppose that people like celebrity gossip because it is a conduit to discussing values.

Ms. Richmond goes on to suggest that our society is rife with the need to discuss our values. To clarify and discern where we stand on issues of gender, and law, and parenting and meritorious power.

Do you agree? Do you think we live in a society that needs to discuss values?


As one recently distanced from the purely secular experience of young-urban-professionaling I am scared shitless of all the value-steeped challenges child-rearing engenders. I am intimitated and dismayed to face the concrete need to enact values. I suddenly, it seems, must deal with a small human who, not so plaintively, looks at me as if there is some 'system' of values and, you know, I don't always have any of the relevant material. I suppose talking about it might help me? I suppose that is a little what this blogging is. (more to come on that one..)

But supposition is sort of a waste, don't you think?

There was a time when values were rigid and prescribed. Sometimes I want to get back there, just a little... I imagine that it was easier... but hardly better as things often are.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Take the Cake

I have, at least once, claimed what I like about this blog, among other things, is its role as a communication channel with my spouse. Here I go again. On the occasion of your thirty-some birthday today p-man I wanted to say a few things. Things I imagine you do not know.

I knew you were the one when you asked for directions that afternoon in Wales. Was that the same day you cut down that racist bitch in the country store? You just did the right thing and well that's important.

I thank you for all the things you have said to make me treat myself better than I would if you were not at my side. Despite how bad that has proved to be for you at times. (emoticon implied)

I enjoy so much that you are the best father I know. Because face it I know how hard you are trying and that's the measure of a Dad.

The worst part of your trial right now is that you can't take my calls. Seriously. I had completely underestimated what it would do to my day, to the children.. not to have you at the end of the line. Horrors.

I hope these thoughts can be my gift. Let the speakers be from the kids. I want to tell you I love you. I don't say it enough... cause, you know, I'm shy.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

State of the Onion

"What are you blogging about?" asks Mo.

"I am venting," says I.

"Is it about work?" she asks, to which I reply "Yep."

"Oh. Hmm."

Granted, the business of lawyering is not very interesting at times. These times are legion. For civilians I imagine the tribulations of lawyers are as compelling a subject as Himmler's blackheads problem in high school. My tribulation is a trial.

This correspondent is now, after a dog's age at the bar, finally running a mid length trial at the supreme court level. Am I old enough, chronologically, and professionally, to have done this many times before? Yes! Am I excited? Yes! Am I concerned I will be found wanting in experience and knowledge? Yes! Am I leaving small puddles of urine behind the lectern after standing there in objectionville, trying to take the judge through the layers of the evidence as I see them? No! Thank you, adult undergarment manufacturers!

Keep on peeling, I think, as I stand up to make another futile objection. The trier of fact, the renderer of justice, dispassionate and (much to my disadvantage) knowledgeable, doesn't care. None of it registers. "That position is not founded in law and accordingly..." Still I continue to peel the onion, peelpeelpeel, in an obscure court, on an obscure matter, in a small but liveable city, and I am happy. This is the life. What is lost amidst the constant whinging about the purported failures of the judicial system is the fact that we have a system. The point of the exercise is not the result but the process. (This is not to say I am serene regarding the outcome of this trial. I seek a rough and brutal victory, the head of my opponent raised on a ballpoint pen, and so on.)

As an aside I will now tout Wilco's latest release to those of you who have yet to spend your hard-earned disposable income on this product. You may have noticed, if you've been here before, I dislike shills. Bloggers who shill leave me cold. I don't want to ask you for anything (except creepy unconditional love and pictures of your underpants, ladies. Hooray!), or suggest I have a higher degree of insight to matters commercial, spiritual, or parental, as I do not. I would rather not discuss my purchasing habits because, well, who cares what kind of crap I buy? At some point the discussion becomes about quantity of purchases and not merely the quality of the said product. I feel self-conscious enough without adding layers of ostentation. The manufacturers can pay some other whore to advertise their crap. Not me, baby, I'm pure! (And largely anonymous. OK, that's the real reason.)

That painful disclosure aside, I like this album, and as importantly, so does my boy. One crabby mealtime I located the free online sample and we sat, munching, for an hour, while Wilco soothed our heads. Simple magic. Buy it now or your babies won't eat! Please, feel free to consider me a shill.


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Thursday, June 07, 2007


I get stuck.

I have all these thoughts. My post options run from trivial to less trivial. About the my son's coming birthday and the end of family's babyhood time, about the boob deflation, about the creepiness of preschool selection and the distateful work of plain old school selection. I am once again in touch with work though I will not be returning next month as my six month extension on mat leave has been approved.

There is a lot inside of me torn between a life, nay an identity, that is somehow to me more fulfilling but less meaningful...

Mostly I get stuck because there is this blog. Kate does me in. I get stuck writing over and over for I am silent in the brave, urgent, wise, feral nature of her blog. I mean this here; my blog. This is just a blog. But that is a BLOG. I cannot really write in the face of it. I think about the power of her words and the role of her blog in the torrents of ... of... words fail.. I think about how these things we write are like a planet constructed entirely of words somehow apart. How precious it must be to her to have the place to say it. To throw away the words that represent the feelings she can't necessarily say in some days at the hospital where her delicate premature boys grow or home with her little guy. To throw the words out to us readers who barely exist must do something? Each time I read I am wishing I can carry away a measure of the tension and make a day or a moment less.. less.. something for them. Sharing some sense of helplessness over tangible fate through the tenuous connection represented in a glowing pane of glass here at my machine.

Sorry to be so purple tonight. But it is largely true.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Roots of Empathy Report

I think most of you know that my son is a Roots of Empathy teacher. Meaning as a growing baby he goes to school once a month as a facilitator of kids, in our case 9 year olds, trying to connect empathy to their lives. It is practical program making a real difference in schools around Vancouver, and elsewhere.

Yesterday's class was not just powerful but fun. The topic was identity and the kids had composed about a dozen questions for Baby A. I was to channel his answers; you know, because I "know him best". (I scoffed a bit at that part. So would his sister.. I mean isn't this about individual identity... Ok enough from me -- Yes, G. I do think about stuff way tooooo much)

Here are a few of the really good questions I had to 'answer'
Do you like coming here?
What is your favorite thing to do?
What is it like when you can't talk? (pretty philosophical, huh?)
What was it like to be born?

I told them A. likes coming yes. And that his favorite thing to do right now is drum. I had trouble with the question about talking because he is just getting going with language and as his Mom it is hard to think of him as not 'talking' cause he makes a lot of noise to express himself, or words to that effect.

As for being born? Hmmmm. Since Baby A. was overdue and since his last couple inches before the rattle of bones which signal his expulsion from my body involved a quick hand hauling him out by his shoulder I had little story for them. I told them that for A. the experience of birth was also tied to someone giving him some help. It might have rushed him a little and as such he came out quiet. Like he had to think about that help for a moment before he really got connected to being here with all of us. "You know how that is?" I asked them. When someone goes to give you some help and then you sort of have to take a moment and think about it. That might be something like what it was like for A. being born.

That was a toughie but I think I did ok.

This month is sign-up time for September Roots of Empathy sessions. If you know an expectant mother delivering in June/July/August (or so) I highly recommend the Roots program. They can email me anytime at motherwoman zero four at with questions. Or visit the Roots website. The program reaches children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 across Canada, in English and French, in rural, urban, remote and Aboriginal communities and is being piloted internationally in Australia and New Zealand.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bad Blogger Confessional

As a titular blog contributor to the fabulously rhetorical BlogRhet... I got tagged for the reflective blogging post going around. Hmmmmm.....

I think I answer all the questions? Oh, fuck this ain't an interview. I can just talk, right? Here is what I say in response.

1. Early Posting
In late 2005 I was pretty traumatized by the turns my new parenthood had taken. Namely, life as a working mom and suddenly a working pregnant mom. Make that a pregnant working mom with a job share arrangement that just fell apart and childcare in total flux. I was, as the cliche goes, overwhelmed.

I found blogging a help with fears and uncertainties these things gave rise to in me. I started this blog 1.) to have a clear identity when commenting on what I considered to be 'the real blogs' and 2.) as a writing exercise to reason out(?) my inner tensions.

I have never meant this blog to be for my kids. It is really about me, me, me! I was my own audience. Myself and my husband. This blog was certainly a useful device for us to say things to the world and each other. I really liked those early posts when we were inmate and visitor, in turn, talking through the glass. I still like that about, what is now, our blog.

2. Your first
I mean you always remember your first, right? My first comment was a thrill. It was a luxurious bit of attention. I had asked the Sarcastic Journalist for a bit of coaching before I started the blog and she was nice enough to write me back. I guess she was curious after and she did look me up.

SJ was my first comment and she said a picture of my daughter and I was beautiful.

I was delighted. Am delighted. (Later I used the pic again and my beloved L. said I had nice shoulders. You should expect me to use this photo every year from now on. I need the feather stroking.

3. Conversations
In March 2006 our Who do you blog for? Quiz managed to get Dutch to publicly announce that an unexamined life is not worth living. Shocking. With that I believe he stopped reading our blog, phew.

Then on the upswing the post caught a bit of stardust off MommyBlogger heavy, Kristen, at Motherhood Uncensored. She even dubbed me a fabulous mom, heh those were the days. This event turned us to a broad range of bleaders and changed our blogging. Sure.

Oh that and the impending birth of our second child some four months hence.

4. The final question.. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?

As I have said I was initially my own audience. I would say that my experience and interaction with the ineffable community out there has changed things. I am, to use a dainty hyperbole, overwrought at times that I cannot serve the community adequately. (There are whaa-hey-ya toooo many good blogs to read these days. I might have a breakdown with all I know now.) I have to admit at times to publishing just to feed the beast. To meet that subtle Thursday deadline when really it's easier for me to write on Fridays. But who reads blogs on Saturday? I have to confess that the very persistence of this blog is the affect on my writing because I am not a liar when I need to say 'twice the children, half the blog'. I enjoy writing this meme if for no other reason as an opportunity to confess (and come to terms with) the lesser bloggedness where I am of late.

Not to say that we don't have some gems at times. Thanks a million, Mad. You're the best.

*** And now to tag. You know I hate tagging but I am a conformist so what BlogRhet wants, BlogRhet gets. I am pretty curious about what the answers to these questions would be for Mrs. Fortune she tends to cut the crap. And, what about you Liz Mom-101? Do 400 comment getters remember their first? (hey I know you're busy but it might double as presention prep?). Plus, as a tribute to our bygone blogging days I'll tag Heather back from that post that got us exposed.

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