Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Competition Closed

Hey what happened to that curious nanny hiring post from last week? Well I pulled it. Since I hired a nanny and I felt those last anxious words be best expunged as I endeavour to forge a deeply trusting relationship with a total stranger. We went banjo. All the advice was spot on and helped, to boot!

Hey aren't you guys the best?

ps... Does my son have a serious serial stuffy addicition if he's smegging up and blowing through a rabbit a month now? More to come.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Full Up

I was explaining a little something about going back to work to p-man last night. I really do feel there is a certain stigma that I am going back to work full-time. That is a question I get a lot... "Are you going back 'full time'? Eye brow raised.

Yes. I reply, downward glance of shame.

I don't like that really but I do understand it. We live in such a frickin' literal culture. I know they are all thinking that if I give a full day at the office I won't have anything left for the kids. Hahahahaha.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Success

Hello all... I write to you today from the frumpiest pants imaginable. For you I have decided laundry can wait.

The topic today... Childcare-search + New Moms + Old Dads -Second-childing. Sounds scintilliting doesn't it.

I spoke with my husband's second cousin today. She sounded a bit harried and tired with a noisy 3 month old in the background. My heart went out to her as she apologized for having to run. My "no worries" rang a little hollow and she had sort of an audible blush of nervous motherhood. She is a real dear. When I first had my second child I got a lot of 'aren't you sorry' about my first parenting experiences. A lot of people will ask you if, comparably, you wished you'd appreciated how easy it was to have just one.


What I feel is that when I had just one I had a different 'handicap' than juggling two and it was acutally harder. When I had one I knew nothing. I mean at least with the second I knew how to breastfeed and swaddle and do elevator drops and dare I say it CIO a little. I knew how to serve my boobs in public and generally how to treasure little things. With my first I was always learning -- I still learn by the way thus this post -- with my first I had not yet experienced success and for me, at least, no success is akin to depression. Surprise, Mo-Wo is type A!

Do you know what I mean?... no success...

You worry they won't walk if they're a month late to it since you have not yet reared a 'walker'.. you fear they won't talk... or eat their vegetables. That these things simply won't happen. The sleeping recriminations can eat both of you alive. I was thinking about these dynamics as I hung up the phone. I recalled them as I read about the Juniper's latest sleep wars and Mad's daycare woes.

My thoughts lie in reference to a bygone hazy rosy mythical time when I was first back to work and my dear only child went to N's daycare. It was a time we weaned effortlessly and when she had really perfect manners (thanks N.!). It was the time she was ahead of the curve for every developmental milestone and before I realized how little that matters and, in fact, how I fear that parental pride can do some damage. In that time long ago I felt like a successful parent. Many mornings now when I try to juggle two little ones deadlines on my own I can thank that feeling for the depth of my self-flagelation. Sometimes I wish I'd never known that 'success'.

I have mentioned before my belief that the only thing new parents really need is unconditional support. As I am weaving my way back home to my desk in January. As I try to open our family up, warts and all, to a new childcare provider. As I urge myself to 'let go', as one wise soul puts it. I wobble and weep at times. I scramble to 'know' to find the right answer to choose the path of success for them and for me. Then I try to forgive myself a little bit, take the leap of faith and cannibalize a bit of that resilience my children ooze from every pore.

Let's face it new or not... we all need the unconditional support. All the better to deal with the fact that any success is fleeting, if real at all.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Occupational Therapy

My husband is many things. But industrious is not one of them. More counter-productive than productive. Hell for the first birthday present I had to buy him I chose the following.

As I struggled through the morning it was accompanied by the ready chirp of his demands. Slackass ways that make me question eliciting his help in even one hour after I got up with boy-o to clean up that scary scary 5:20 AM diaper.

My husband has never been one to volunteer for work. He's never been one to know what the hell he's doing around here without a script and a compass. As I near my return to work in January I wonder how we will survive. Then it hits me ... I'll be at work! I'll be off the hook for a few hours everyday. I wish I could be the sort of person to let this stuff slide without actual absence but I can't.

Just call me Mrs. Impossible I guess.

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The Parent trap

Sometimes I feel that my days as an ardent feminist are behind me. I hope a bit that I remain a feminist even with the edges worn down. I cop to the great mommy stereotype all martyred up and resentful for it and well let's be frank. I just want to kill myself.

It is the real parent trap. I mean I can be fair.. I know there are dad's out there in the same boat. I just can't really speak for them.

A long morning this morning for me. A choir at my lonely ear a lyric chorus... I suck. I suck. I suck. A day where I "secretly" contemplate the relief of returning to work. I cast myself as 'least valuable player' in the family team and a day where a few too many feelings of my own seep out in front of my children.

I did the work from 5:30 this morning but I sure didn't like it those first three hours. I handed out coffee first. I put out all the fresh food req'd and the kids were smiling after two short nights. Where I was tired was the constant stream of instruction that their father seems to need. Get them forks. He's in the Saran wrap again! Every chirp less chirpy and every time less welcome.

A ticking timebomb to dischord. Then it comes... From him: "You're saying I'm just the worst parent, ever." What when did I say that? And, what? You? You mean me, right? It's the nuclear weapon.

It began at 5:30 am with my early rising little guy. A passable night for two nearly over-it little sick kids. A late night for them since Mommy was solo on bedtime duties and ran overtime. I stuck it out myself in the blur for an hour. That's a bit past my husband's alarm clock call to get to work.

I'll get to the coffee and make the breakfast choices. Oh yes and the diaharrea in the diaper; that's my department, too. I work it. Was glad to find that pigeon feature on CNN to help me out at bit. I do all that and only when my son's eagerness for Daddy beckons do I help him upstairs and past the gate coffee cup in hand. Please come down I ask.

We endeavor breakfast for the fussbudgets. I of course will spend my breakfast time on my feet prepping constituent courses. Waffles and applesauce. Don't forget the beverages! And chop up that pineapple they need some fresh fruit. I am working hard. Grin pasted firmly in place but the burrs are there. My dear child drifts in to unroll all the foil and experiment with the metal tear edge on the saran wrap box. Hello, papa-man? What are you doing? ... Checking tennis scores??? You have got to be kidding me! I am asked to 'not be ridiculous'. I am informed that I have a propensity to 'fly off the handle'... It sucks. And blows... Or at least I blow. I am repaid for the sleep-in with this?

Blah-dee.. blah-dee.. you don't understand he crows and then this... "And,

With my apologies for advertising for Saran Wrap.

I'm impossible it seems.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

You Can Dance If You Want To

(You go ahead... I'll mind your purse.)

We returned from my friend's fundraising event. It was held in a hall I have driven by innumerable times wondering "what goes on in there?" I need wonder no longer. NDP fundraisers. Whoo!

We arrived after the speeches, the dinner, the live sex show. We missed almost all of the good stuff, except this. Prior to this evening I was unaware of my taste for the sounds of a youth marimba ensemble. Now I am more self-aware. Thanks, NDP!

In terms of Movember, I am pleased to announce my moustache has my face resembling the hind portion of a chihuahua. Thatk goodness for breath mints.


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Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm Not the Apolitical Blues (Anymore)

A friend of mine is going to run for office in the next federal election. He will square off against the least popular MP in the city and may, due to that reason alone, be victorious. I would then know an MP. My mind boggles at the thought of what this means for me! What power. What prestige. What horseshit! He will be sitting in a fancy office overlooking the Rideau Canal while I stare out of my New Westminster office at the apartment building across the parking lot. In spring the snow will recede and he will feast on the tulips, the beautiful Ottawa River, taxpayers paying taxes... if it's spring maybe I will see the shirtless colostomy bag guy sweeping his deck and his bag swinging, swinging in the sunlight. Where is my barrel of pork, my free tickets to a childrens concert?

In any event, Mo and I plan to attend my friend's fundraising dinner tomorrow night to, I don't know, give him my after tax dollars and eat chicken. Maybe tofu - it's an NDP fundraiser. Believing that I am apolitical my friend attempted to induce my attendance by promising a performance by a VERY SPECIAL duo from Amsterdam... he had me going. If any party would make the sex part of politics public (and thereby remove the fun) it would be the NDP.

My friend, however, is incorrect. I am not apolitical. I am heavily political. My underpants are made of our nation's flag.

I also assume my family's political habits are normal. Most of us vote some of the time. My grandparents and great grandparents, back when they were alive and in Winnipeg, held memberships to both of the federal parties. (And likely the CCF for all I know.) They went to all the meetings, dinners, bonspiels... I don't know who got their votes.

My dad, a lifelong Vancouverite and basically unilingual fellow, indicates he would like to become a BQ candidate in his riding. For those of you who do not know what the BQ is about, the BQ is a "federal" political party from Quebec. Its purpose is to aid in Quebe's secession from our fair dominion while making some serious member of parliament dough on the way to independence. Vive le Quebec livre! (I support him in his quest although I will not cough up a dime.)

So, I think I may run for parliament too. No party really speaks for me, howver, and I do not want to vote for the lesser of two evils. That would be like voting Democrat in 2006. A lot of good that did!

No, I need a party like the Rhinos. A party that addresses the things I care about. A party which, unlike the Rhinos, exists. Maybe this is it. I am behind at least 50% of their platform.

So much to consider.


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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Recommended Title: Grumblebunny

I shall, for want of the interest and time to post about my latest theory of government (our PM is, in fact, a crypto-Islamist), recommend the above title. The book is for your kids, because it is full of cute rabbits. It does not pander to your kids, because these rabbits inhabit a difficult and inhospitable world. That, and the titular character is clearly depressed. As opposed to normative kidlit, which tells the reader that danger does not exist, that actions are free of unpleasant consequences, or that a prince is waiting somewhere to sublimate your daughter, Grumblebunny appears to stand for the proposition that one must be an individual, and one must be conscious, in order to survive.

Or maybe I am reading to much into this book. Let me know... You can check for at copy at your library by clicking here.

P-man out.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Et Tu, MD?

Underneath the hard-baked, cynical exterior I attempt (Unconvincingly) to project to the not-real world of the blog there resides a naive, tender youth, a creature which resists the material lures of this world and resents the imposition of the corporate interest over the streets he walks, the movies, the air, the blogs... good grief, what a pussy! Seriously, I detest visiting blogs with any advertising on them. I cannot tolerate the clutter. Be it the a McDonald's banner on a blog which is very good and popular but I don't want the head guy to notice I am mentioning his blog because he can be a little touchy*, the pernicious google ads which appear to be tailored to an element of the blog content (Hot Victorian Ankle Porn at www.fibulafun.tv!), or the aggravating product placement within the text-type advertising, I detest it. Because I have a limited understanding of boundaries, I begin to question the authors, as in, what is going on with you? This is a job?

What I cannot comprehend are the actions of authors who have in the past discussed, in an interesting and detached manner, the practice of advertising on blogs, and conclude that it is not for them. Par example, MetroDad. You may recall his post which led to much foment, many teapots, many tempests. If not, here is the link. This is funny stuff, to be sure, particularly where many blog-people mustered all the self-seriousness they can and spewed into the comment thread in an exercise of self-justification or self-something.

Who cares? If you want to carry advertisements on your blog, go ahead. Some readers will swing with it and some won't. The reader may elect whether or not to read the blogs with ads and those writers are not forcing anyone to read their pages. (Except perhaps with the siren song of their prose. Resistance is futile.) What's the problem?

I take minor exception**, however, when an author appears to place himself in the "no advertising" camp and then, seemingly in contradiction of that stance, embeds a product in the text of a post about a positive experience had at a kids' concert which he attended at the pleasure of a corporation engaged in the manufacture and distribution of products which are (I believe) aimed at kids.

Granted, I may not understand the post correctly. That happens frequently when I encounter book-learning and real good grammar and such. Further, in terms of equity, I am guilty of recommending cds which I have purchased at a music shop somewhere in town. These cds are produeced by... fuck! Corporations! But the "We went to the show and it was terrific... and thanks to (product) for comping us the tickets does sound a wee bit like a product come-on, does it not? What is next for the author in question, a McDonald's banner?


* NOT Sweet Juniper. Definitely not.
** As in, just enough to type about it for 15 minutes.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Less is ... well... less : Luxuriant hair week!

So I had a shower yesterday. This is significant for a two of reasons. Firstly, I am now clean and have for the moment shed the mantle of itchness next to irritatedness. Second, I tested out the new shower. I am not entirely pleased.


By which I mean it and me.

The cleanliness achievement did not, alas, come with the rapidity nor the rigor of the water flow that was once there. We are not amused. I am hestitant of course to complain in any measure about our new bathroom but, really, why not? Ah, but a woman's words should exceed her reserve, or what's a blog for?

To explain you need to know that while I am cursed with an ancestral pot-belly... and I have a complexion that seems in constant dire need of brightening according to the aroma ninjas that criss-cross the cosmetics department aisles I navigate in the department store... While I have failed to rein in my thighs even after spending a staggering amount of money on a three story house that locates the baby's room entirely opposite of the laundry room... while I have these appearance defects I have -- only of late -- discovered I have good hair.

It is in the care of this good hair that I break my silence on the general quality of my coiffure, and make no mistake I have a stylist of considerable fortitude and wisdom as to upbraid my whole theory here. But, still it is not my coy pursuit of annoying my hardworking husband whose toil and industry bankrolls my own private splashy version of McCaig's Folly that makes me write but instead for the sake of the cuticle. That and the fact that I thought of all of you for a moment or two and wanted you to know when I was in the shower yesterday and deemed this postable.

Back at the ranch... You see I am descended of rather peasant-y stock, as opposed to, I suppose, patrician stock? What who says that? It's always PEASANT STOCK. But I digress... I have the genes of my mother's family, I think, to thank for not just my aforementioned paunch but also my dense, wavy, thick, luxuriant hair. Tresses that cause my stylists to ooh and ah and comment favorably about this attribute while squinting with one eye and blocking out my complete rejection of conventional beauty -- fuck the establishment! -- and makeup, and the virtues of "exfoliating cloths", etc. etc.

This hair smooth as a bar of dark chocolate, resplendent with curls and thick. Thick, as in, get the fuck out shampoo. Dense and wavy as to contribute to a serious visit to carpal tunnel land if I have not proper and environment-snubbing water pressure to rinse away the phthalates and formaldyhyde of the lather that is all I need to do my 'do'. It's true! I have only in the past few months come to the realization that I am blessed with hair of goodness that is exceptional for its overall willingness to be presentable with nothing but an occassional washing. No primping or perms here, no colours or curling irons, nay my follicle prep even eschews that old standby of any girl who came of age in the 80's, a blow dryer.

I have come to know that my hair is good in no small part thanks to motherhood. Thanks to the times I have over these last 3 years spent with women who erstwhile had a lovely turn out about them but now, as new moms too, appear to be constantly locked in a battle with frizz or limpness or some other such petty attack on their gorgeousness. In this process of observation I deduced that in fact they have previously done quite a lot of 'hairwork'. Man how bad would that suck? I think to myself. I am sooooo lucky. I thank my lucky stars for the wash and wearedness of my good fortune. Hell, in light of the Wo family demands for self-sacrifice I have tested the bonds of wash optional days, pray weeks even.

But I prefer to wash my hair. I, of course, was in a giddy state of delight as I entered -- queue the harps and angelic ah's -- the new shower. But as I stood in the slow flow of an earth-saving rinse device all I did was tap into my inner whiner cursing and spitting all the while, and it was a long while, for the suds to run down my scalp lazily oh so lazily into the shiny new drain. Imagining how well I should make the case that the low-flow units of today do nothing but make me use more water as I wait. For one brief moment I pined for the spine tingling and raunchy waterflow of that clunky and inelegant old shower head with its one setting and its chipping chrome... then, save this post, I moved on.

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Movember Redux

It is day 5 of the nonth of Movember. I am pleased to report I am on track with the mo for the month. Right now I sport a rather timeless facial growth apparatus which is reminiscent of Miroslav Mecir at his best. Before the injuries ruined his facial hair forever!

In truth I lack the courage to go for the solo mo. I lack the chin. My profile already resembles a bracket with a nose. A moustache will only increase that effect. Instead I am growing, in Mecirian fashion, the mangina.

That's it for this post. I just wanted a pretext to type "mangina" repeatedly. Mangina.



Sunday, November 04, 2007

I, Spambot

What a fine film is "I, Robot", starring the handsomely sculpted buttocks of Will Smith, the guy from "Babe", and a very busy green screen. I must watch it on the local station tonight so I will keep this brief. Where are the tissues?

Of late there has been a real comment upswing at this site. This would be gratifying except the text of the comments usually started "a href"... and ended "her pleasure guaranteed!" After much soul searching (because I really yearn for incoming mail of nearly any sort) I added word verification to the comment process. Of course, it is not "word" verification. It's "strangely organized string of letters" verification or "Klingon language" verification, in which case maybe there are words involved but if so I cannot verify that is the case because I do not have the "real language-fake fucking language" dictionary in my compendious collection of dictionaries. In any event now you (yes you) will have to undergo the rigours of typing the wiggly letters into the rectangle and if there are any Klingon word vers. please let me know so I can enhance my fake language vocabulary for the next convention of the unfortunates hits town.

Right now it feels like the kids have gone to bed early. Thank you Mr. Bush. I don't know how long they'll stay under - it sounds like Mo is beating steel plates with a 5-pound sledge hammer in our room. It's a good thing she does not read my posts or I'd pay for that. All I can say on this semi-annual one-hour mental exercise is the absence of daylight savings time is the solitary reason I would move to Fort Qu'appelle or Weyburn. That, or Will Smith.


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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Feeling Mighty Existential

It is a wet November day here in Vancouver. One in a series of wet November days which now stretch ahead of us until, say, December 1. Then the wet days of December shall begin. After that, well who knows what will come after, but I'll bet those days will have a high moisture content as well. It is haiku weather.

As I type I cast my mind back to one autumn I spent back east, driving through Eastern Canada and the US, watching miles off rolling red and golden hills unfold around me. (Yep. Rolling and unfolding. It makes no sense.) This is the apogee of the idealized autumn I have fabricated in my mind.* This in part is an abreaction to the typical Vancouver autumn. Here we have not four but two seasons: a. cold and wet; bisected by b. warm and wet. There are, to be truthful, episodes of cold and hot, but these are usually fleeting. These are as aberrant as a monk with the clap. Maybe more so.

Was that 17 syllables? Fuck me if it wasn't, but don't actually fuck me. That's just a saying. It's like I am saying "I don't care what you think, ha!" but meaning "I am painfully insecure, please let me play on your team. Pleeease?" Like that. Fuck me!

I asked two posts ago why anyone would bother posting daily for the month of November. The Cheesefairy replied. Fuck me if that wasn't a good answer. My next question about NoBloNoMo is, why not February? 30 days is way too many. I can see doing it for 28, but 30... that's sick.

I advertised a haiku, didn't I? Here it is, straight out of Hallmark's Guide to Cheesy Poems, vol 13:

the tang of dead leaves
rain battered, guttered refuse
summer's sodden end

Of course, there is a version wherein capital letters are employed.

All the leaves are brown. And
the sky's grey. California
dreaming, something, day.

I'm working on it, but I have time. You bet your wet ass it's fall! All right, where is my beret?


* Not true. We had a 5-day spell of gorgeous fall weather last week. The air was crisp and filled with the scent of dead leaves.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

The Hunt Intensifies

We are looking for a nanny. Many of the fibres which constitute the fibrous being that is me, which is to say, my cellular level, my phloem and xylem, damn it are railing against this eventuality which is, perversely, something which I wish to occur. I say "We cannot find a suitable candidate in the known universe," or "This is fucking expensive. I'm not MetroDad!"* We have advertised on Craigslist and employ an agency. The statement regarding suitability may not in fact be true. Based on the candidates we have encountered thus far, however, it feels too close to being true. Some of the resumes are, hmm, shitty. It is as if I were to apply for a job as a vascular surgeon. (Umm, I have veins... I know how to hold a knife... I love veins, they are, like, really great.)

As ever, as on any subject of import, I wish to suck and blow. (Google that!) So, I have to gut it up and stop being a pussy. I must allow some stranger to have exclusive and very personal care of the kids for a portion of each day. I will have to speak with this person and not alienate her with my innumerable anxieties. I must permit her and the kids to relate to one another. This person will work in my house. I will have to pay this person.

If you are out there in interwebland reading blogs, looking for a nanny gig (what is wrong with you?) you should know I do not want just any nanny. Our nanny has to have training and experience. Experience with kids the age of our kids and training in a field that is relevant to child care. Experience sitting your boyfriend's kids while he out does not count as nanny experience. Nor does living at your cousin's house, the cousin with kids, and a nanny. As for training, a background in auto mechanics is commendable but irrelevant. So is the electrical engineering degree you obtained in Lithuania.

To lay plain my outrageous needs, nanny applicant, I say you must have training, experience, and underpants. Yes! Underpants, that you shall wear to her interview and which may be visible when you crouch to interface with one of my offspring. It's not going to be enough to win me over with your considerable assets, commando nannies of the world, you still need to deal with my wife. Yes, you will need nanny skills, and nunchuk skills, underpants and enough sense to avoid making racial slurs during your interview. I may be a member of the oppressive male hegemony but I know when you make me uncomfortable. Also, you must not refer to me as a member of the said hegemony. Once you get to know me you will find I am amazingly weak.

I believe I am now describing my ideal nanny. O rapture, o heaven, oh nanny of my dreams: I lie in reverie of you with your experience and training, your ninja abilities, your reasonable underpants, your bility to conceal your inner ugliness, your pulse. You should have a pulse. You will also require some language skills. It is insufficient to tell me "I are having a pulse and I are also rilly gud with kidz too." That will not earn my trust.

Am I asking too much, oh nanny aplicants of the world? I think I are not.


* Do not misunderstand. It is a privilege for us to be in this type of situation. Very Victorian. We should also hire a wet nurse and purchase some hot ankle porn.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Chill Filled the Room

For many, the month of November is the month of daily blog postings. I cannot pretend to remember the clever quasi-acronym employed in le monde des geeks (in which I reside [although I expect a notice of revocation any day]) but it's something like NoBloMeMoMo, or something literate. In any event, if you are like me and the first question you ask is "why would anyone do that?", you are likely to have very few internet friends and will end up lonely and without internet friends. You will have to talk to your TI-30 calculator because that is the only equipment which will tolerate your sorry ass. Helllo, calculator, you look fine!

This all is to say that NoMoWriMoPleGo is no longer in the month of November. It is in the month of Movember. This is no jest - people are growin moustaches in an effort to fund doughnut research... damn, I mean, to fund research for the future health something in their asses which is neither a squirrel nor a squash. Although it goes without saying that any anally-contained squirrels would need some help on the health front. I do not mean to diminish their plight.

Grow yer mos, mates.