Wednesday, March 31, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

I could be a better mother

See, I could be a better mother, the kind of mother I want to be.

I could hang off their every word. Every word about Britney and Justin, about Barbie and dinosaurs and who holds the world�s record for the longest fingernails.

I could be enthusiastic about everything they do. Every art project, every experiment. I would happily wipe up paint from the kitchen floor, table, chairs, walls and windows, not saying a word. I would gladly wipe that gunk off the ceiling. I wouldn�t say a word about the latest game involving a dozen barbies, two dressers spaced a room apart, and lots of string. I would never make them do chores or homework.

I would let them use the computer whenever they wanted. I wouldn�t stand over them, reading the email they receive to make sure the sender isn�t a 44 year old married man from Pittsburg. I would let them safely browse all sorts of Internet sites without comment and without pushing them out of the way saying, �Oooo, click over here! That looks cool!�. I would let them play all sorts of computer games, never once insisting it was my turn, or never even thinking about beating their high score.

And speaking of computers, I would never, ever write email or journal entries or post comments or just plain read while the children fought behind me, or while the baby was pulling at my waist as I ignored her whines. I�d never do that.

I�d always cook a well-balanced meal. I�d never serve leftovers or preformed meat products. I would make all the baked goods from scratch, not scrounge the bargain bins for 50% off cookies and muffins. I would never serve holiday cakes after the holiday, or goods that expired yesterday.

I could speak loving, encouraging words to them all the time. I wouldn�t scream, yell, insult or cajole, even in jest. I�d never have to apologize for saying something like, if I was your age I wouldn�t want to be your friend either, if you�re going to be that mopey. I wouldn�t do that, no not me.

I would feed the baby all organic foods. Sugar would never pass her lips. She wouldn�t know what the tv remote is used for. She would never even cry, because I�d hold her every second of the day, tending to her every whim. I would know exactly what she wanted at all times. She would have a regular nap and never fall asleep at her high chair or in her foam Elmo seat. I would nurse her until she is really done, even if it takes all night, and not unlatch her as soon as I can get away with it, so I can get up and watch tv before coming back to bed.

I would know what I�m having or supper the day before, and not look in the cupboards at 4:59.

I would never hog the popcorn bowl at the movies.

I would get up before the kids and have a hot breakfast waiting for them. I would never stumble out of bed after they did, wander into the kitchen all bleary-eyed and warn them to leave me alone until I�ve done my tea and email reading.

I would never read a book, just for myself. I would never learn how to make a web page. I would never go to a girl�s night out. I would never go shopping without them and I�d always pay them allowance on time. I would never read the newspaper and have deep discussions with anyone about world events. I wouldn�t have a cause of the moment because I�d be too wrapped up in my kids.

See, I could be a better mother. I could do all those things. But I won�t because then I wouldn�t be me.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Sarah’s first winter

(Get something to drink, this is a long one.)

It seemed to me, even then, that when we finally moved into the shell of our house, our own house, that was when life truly began. Addison was running around in toddler boyhood and mostly in circles, yelling at the top of his lungs. Yes, this was a daily occurrence. I was good and pregnant, big as a house in fact, and Ron worked day and night. Twelve hours a day in an office, including commute, and however long at night, until it got too dark to see, on the house. He had less grey hair then.

We had our own space to breathe, a chunk of land 45 minutes away from anything resembling civilization, and more than 200 feet back from the road. The driveway snaked around, hugging a low downward slope, until it reached the clearing in the trees at the edge of the field.

The house, shaped like a large and imposing barn, rose up from the rocks themselves. Downstairs, two open gaping doorways meant for a garage. Off to the side, a porch and stairwell were tacked on, partly to get upstairs and partly to hold the wood stove. The heat drifted upwards into the living area. And what a living area it was! Undecided on where actual rooms should be, and not needing the framework yet, since the roof was held up, I had improvised with baler twine and sheets. Every so often, I got bored and switched some rooms around. It was like my own full-sized dollhouse.

Ron spent that summer and fall getting the outside of the house ready for winter. It took all of August to get the shingles on the roof. He made sure some wiring got done, installed the toilet and tub, and the outside had all the tarpaper securely fastened down. There just wasn’t time or money to get the wood siding and get it on before it got too cold. Some of the other things I did, lumbering around with my belly out front, was insulate some of the walls, which leaned up into the ceiling. Far too high for me to climb. I managed gingerly with the huge pink fiberglass bats and was proud because I did it myself. I’d take a break for a day or two before I stapled the plastic vapor barrier over top, cutting up strips of cardboard to help hold the plastic and staples on better, since it would be a while before we could get any drywall to make it a real wall.

Eventually Sarah came.
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

This time it worked.

Emma settled down into her own bed last night and went pretty much right off to sleep. She did wake up around 1a.m. looking for me, but I managed to convince her to lay back down.

Somehow, I still managed to sleep on my arms. My hands hurt.

We’ll be out this afternoon on a field trip, watching maple syrup boil in the woods.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Wild Boys

I missed it on tv last night, but the CBC did a special on B.C’s Wild Boys. Fascinating stuff.

I did find the interview irritating in the sense that the interviewer couldn’t make sense of the fact that the boys were articulate and smart. You know, even if they were reading books all day, looking at vidoetapes, interracting with their family and living off the land.

Makes total sense to me, and there were some things in the transcript I read that I totally got where the boys were coming from. Stupid interviewer. A lot of the questions they raised, such as how could their house not be spotted, seemed too pushy to me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

My husband is the best

Last night, just as I was finishing up that entry below, Ron came back in the house. He had left to get gas and go back to work for a couple of hours, and I saw him out the window.

He walked in with these.

Why? Because. And my anniversary irises he got me were well and truly dead, plus I love bi-coloured roses, and he didn’t want me to be flower-less until my birthday. My birthday is Sunday, you know, it’s a national holiday.

Let the celebrations begin!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Well.

That didn’t work. *yawn*