Thursday, June 30, 2011

Best follow-up story ever....

So, if you didn’t read my last post, take a moment to scroll down and read it, it’s okay, I’ll wait. Doobey doobey doo, doobey doo doo doobey doobey doo doobey doo doo (hum to Strangers in the Night)....see how easy it is for me to entertain myself while I wait? Okay, ready? Great.

So I pick up Edie from school yesterday and she told me that her friends’ mom told Edie that she saw a picture of Edie downtown on a wall. I probed Edie for more details, but that was all she had and she was ready to move on to a conversation with a butterfly – we know there is no stopping that dialogue. Well, this just drove me nuts. Where was the picture? Who took it? If it was a candid photo, was I in the background, with my gut hanging out, rib hanging from my mouth with one open one eye closed? To make matters worse, I have a bit of an imagination myself, particularly when Jo is out of town (which he had been all week) and I started going on a crazy tangent in my head of Edie and our family being stalked by some crazy person and photos of Edie were being posted downtown and someone was hunting us down and and and (note to self: Stop, just stop watching Criminal Minds).

The most rational thing I could do was call the Mom in question, leave a crazy ass message on her answering machine (during the dinner hour, nice timing Meanie) and chew my finger nails until she called back. She did call back, and this is what got lost in translation:

She had told her that she had seen picture of Edie/taken downtown/on my Facebook Wall.

Mystery solved. Stalkers kept at bay, for now........

Monday, June 27, 2011

Let me collect my thoughts....

This post will be a bit of a ramble, bear with me.

So Blog Out Loud Ottawa is coming up, July 7 to be precise, and reading about who will be, well, reading, makes me really want to go. Most of it is just plain old curiosity – what the hell do these people look like who I spend way too much of my time reading? I’m a very visual person and just so damn curious. I’m also in awe of them – I would love to have the cahones to get up and read something from my blog, but I fear my knocking knees would drown out my voice (oh and that I would look up to a sleeping audience). I think it is a fairly competitive process, to be chosen to read, and I don’t want to kid myself that I would be chosen, but it would be great to have that, confidence I guess? To get up there and out yourself on stage.

This brings me to my youngest daughter. Most of the members of my little family are pretty shy – until you get to know us. Jo, Grace and I all have pretty clear comfort zones of what we will do and won’t do in public, in front of strangers. And then there is Edie.

We went downtown for Ribfest on Saturday, with a strict agenda to get us some ribs and get out again, y’know, before the meat sweats kicked in. Well, after we polished off our meaty little treats, the sun came out, so we decided to walk around a bit and take in the glorious, glorious sun (which I’m sure caused the grease to reflect off my face and cause a car accident somewhere). Anyhoooo, we came upon a busker who was just setting up. He was pretty damn funny and engaging so we decided to stick around. Now, usually at these things I like to observe from afar and NEVER make eye contact to protect myself from being called from the audience to assist with something. (I’m a public service facilitator’s worst nightmare – I can’t stand those icebreaker activities and often find myself in the bathroom when they are going on). On this day though, we were front row centre. And he was looking for volunteers. The little hand I had been holding disengaged and shot into the air. Omg omg omg, Edie had violated the Meanie Family Code of Conduct and was voluntarily putting herself in a position to bring on attention! And of course she was chosen by the busker. And in front of a crowd that had swelled to about, oh, 50 or so, Edie assisted the busker with his performance. My heart was racing, scared she was going to burst out in tears at any moment, but she appeared to love every moment, confessing later that she was a little freaked out at one point, but wanted to see what was going to happen next. When it was over, she received a generous round of applause, skipped back over to us and couldn’t have looked more please with herself.

Way to go Edie, I wish I could be more like you.

Oh, and come check out Blog Out Loud Ottawa, it's a pretty cool night. I'll be the one lurking in the back of the room.

WHERE: The Prescott, 379 Preston Street, at Preston and Beech
WHEN: Thursday, July 7, 2011 from 7pm to 10pm
WHO: 20+ bloggers reading their favourite post from the past year; plus several photo bloggers displaying their art
WHO'S INVITED: Anyone who likes to hear good writing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Wanted a Kitty-Cat!

End of school year BBQ was this past Friday – it’s pretty much the social event of the year for the nine and under crowd. Grace and Edie quiver with excitement over this annual blow out, which in reality is just a dunk tank, a hotdog/hamburger stand, a face painting area and a dessert table. Oh, and approx 200kids (as if they stand still long enough to be counted) running around like banshees who have not tasted freedom in a hundred years. This year though there was an added attraction – a balloon shape shifting dude (or God in the eyes of Edie). Edie clamped her big ole blue eyes on this guy from the get go and decided that she was to be recipient of a balloon shape shifted into a.....kitty cat.

A little back ground story – I had a pep talk with the girls prior to the BBQ as I knew I would have to extrapolate them from the masses a little earlier than usual as we had another engagement to attend. They both nodded solemnly, convincing me of their earnest commitment to honour my request. Why oh why do I give them the benefit of the doubt?

So, Edie wanted a kitty cat. And she wanted to eat and run and play and get dunked and get a face painting (a shooting starrrrrrr) AND get a kitty cat. I noted that the line up for the balloon animals was moving as fast as me on a Monday morning so I strongly she suggested that she get in line if she wanted one. She ignored my reasonable, logical suggestion. When Edie finally got in line, she camped out for about ½ an hour before I had to pull her to leave. She wasn’t even remotely close to getting her kitty.

Well, I should have put on some camouflage because apparently I just started a full on war. Edie waged a battle against me so intense, so horrific, I almost waved the white flag. But I couldn’t and dammit, I had to prove that I was the commander, not her, and to be damned with her if she couldn’t handle the truth. It escalated. As if in slow motion, surrounded by all of her little 6 year old friends and their parents, Edie raised the hostilities to the next level and....and.....she hit me. In her sassy little paisley-with-a-ruffle-off-one-shoulder bathing suit, she actually hit me. In front of everyone. So what does one do when this happens? Well, first I give the biggest stink eye to one of the moms who was watching the scene unfold with a look of judgy horror on her face (she actually covered her daughters ears to shield her from Edie’s cries), then I organized my lone supporting soldier (Grace) to collect our things. I marched my prisoner Edie through the school grounds, while she screamed her little pony-tailed head off. The poor balloon guy sensed the issue was a deficit of balloon animals in Edie’s greedy little arms, so he whipped up an odd looking balloon bug? bird? Still not sure what it was – to which Edie screamed “I wanted a cat!” Oh you little ungrateful shit. I could have died.

In the car, the ultimate outcome was:

a) I was the worst mother in the world;
b) The insect? Bird? Balloon was stupid;
c) This was the worst day ever;
d) Edie no longer felt love in her heart for me and her heart was turning black and
e) I removed Max and Ruby from her life for a solid 7 days (this may not sound like much a punishment to you, but for Edie this is akin to taking water/air away from the rest of us.

And of course she woke up sick two days later. This always happens but I never clue in at the time. When they are at their most monster-like, they are usually incubating something evil in their little bodies.

Feel better about your life now? And just what the hell do you think that balloon is meant to be?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Addendum to my post of yesterday, I found a picture! It's fuzzy but you can see the omnipresent Ronald....doesn't he look corrupted?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Room of One's Own.

Or a place of one's own.

One bit of advice I am definitely going to dole out to Grace and Edie when the time comes is for them to live on their own for awhile.

Last night I spent a lovely evening with the divine Lexie, a "younger" friend who is all kinds of hip and cool, and she just moved into her own apartment. The apartment is everything I would want in my own - second-hand furniture re-finished with a personal funky touch; art work that speaks volumes of the dwellers' taste, personal travels and experiences (just hers, no one else's); favourite books here and there and everywhere just begging to be read during a free moment and a small-ish kitchen that may or may not get used all that often (which really strikes a cord with me because pretty much from the moment I get home from work and get the girls off the bus I am in my own, roomy kitchen preparing snacks, dinner, washing dishes and prepping for the next days meals). Her new apartment is downtown, and with the summer heat the windows are perpetually propped open, letting in the sounds of conversations from neighbouring balconies, people talking on the street, cars going by, bike bells dinging and ringing. And then there's the breeze from being on a higher floor, with the occasional waft of cigarette smoke sneaking in, which I just love. There are PEOPLE out there.

I have never lived on my own. When I went away to university, I lived in a dorm, which was great for a shy gal like me because I'm pretty sure if I had lived off-campus I would never had made any friends, learned how to tap a keg or follow the trend of wearing construction boots with jean shorts (gah, that actually would have been a good thing). Sure I decorated my little dorm room with lots of angst-y posters and posted quotes from some pretttty deep poetry I had latched onto (gawd I must have been so annoying) but it was a tiny space, and my door was always open with people coming and going and I never really liked being there all that much.

The following year I moved in with my bestie, and we didn't really have time for aesthetics - we were to busy partying yo! I do remember an attempt at ambiance with candles stuck in wine bottles and granny throws over couches, but that was before shabby chic was en vogue so I suspect we were just covering up a vomit/wine/beer/poutine stain with those blankets.

The next year my bestie and I moved into a new a house......with 10 other boys. Yup, we were two girls with ten boys. I had to take my showers on campus at the gym because our bathroom was disgusting (one fella took pride in spelling his name out in pubic hair in our shower) and by the end of the year the hallway was dubbed "Hall of Porn" with the boys' favourite graphic images taped to the wall - weep with me (they weren't even hung straight). So you can imagine how much say I had in the decor of this house. The point of pride of this happy, bustling home was a Ronald McDonald statue the boys had knocked down and stolen from the fast food restaurant. Poor Ronald was placed in the corner of our living room with a cigarette crammed in his grinning mouth and a king-can of 50 taped to his hand.

After university, I moved back home, into my old room, still decorated in my mom's taste, bearing no indication of the theatre major, expert on the Classics turned radical feminist who was now occupying the room (you know I'm talking about me, right?) I didn't last long. But by then I had met Jo, and we decided to move in together, and since then we have lived in 5 different places of varying shapes and sizes. And while I have a pretty strong voice in how we decorate, it is not only my voice that gets the say, I have to let Jo have an opinion.

All this to say that if I have any regrets in life it is that I never been able to call a space my own.

Lexie said I could borrow her place when she goes out of town.