Archive for February, 2008

Hissy fit, no a juicy pop

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

In the car this morning, Aunt Karin asked Reid if she had had a “hissy fit” when she went to Cosmic Adventures with Aunt Lisa, Brock and Uncle Roger. Reid cocked her head, thought and then said that she had had a juicy pop (grape pop). When I asked if she had yelled and cried when it was time to go home, Reid agreed that she had.  We talked about how Uncle Roger was the boss when they were out places together and that she needed to mind him, even when she was frustrated that they were leaving before she was ready. I didn’t tell her the meaning of hissy fit. Maybe I will the next time she is having one ;+)

Endlessly harassing us

Friday, February 15th, 2008

We were eating supper the other night when the phone rang its long distance ring. There is a particular number that calls several times a day but never leaves a message. I’m sure it is a telemarketer who won’t give up until the pitch is made. We have call display in order that we won’t have to speak with telemarketers but every once in a while I answer so that they’ll stop calling. In the middle of supper as I said, I’d had enough and answered. It wasn’t the same number but I’d already left the table … and heard “please hold”. A couple of seconds later, the line disconnected. I love the nerve of telemarketing firms! First, they call during supper; then, they put me on hold; and, finally, they hang up on me. All this happened while Ken looked on disapprovingly and Reid told me to come back to the table. When I sat down she asked me why I’d answered the phone and I said because I’d had enough of people harassing me endlessly on the phone. Reid nodded and then said, “Like Grandma?” After Ken and I stopped laughing, I told Reid that she was entirely off base. She has no grandma that calls overly often but, man, it was funny and got me over my grumpiness at the telemarketing companies.

I didn’t agree with the Wired Magazine editor who posted the emails of people who had sent him pitches but I’m sorely tempted to post this number and encourage you to call it collect in your spare time. In the meantime, I’ll head over to the voluntary “Do not call” list that the Canadian Marketing Association maintains . There is supposed to be a mandatory list established by September 2008. Not that either list will keep organizations who I’ve dealt with the past – sadly the Optimists and a police charity are among the worst – or the banks which call not just about my accounts but to offer insurance and all manner of other “services”. From reading the fact sheet, I also see that the following people/organizations will be able to call even though I have registered:

  • registered charities;
  • political parties;
  • nomination contestants, leadership contestants or candidates of a political party;
  • opinion polling firms or market research firms conducting surveys when the call does not involve the sale of a product or service;
  • general circulation newspapers calling for the purpose of selling a subscription;
  • to a consumer who has an existing business relationship with the organization; and
  • to business consumers.

I don’t understand why I don’t have the right to simply block whomever I choose. There is always call screening – if I could just convince Bell Canada to tell my how to do it - but I’ll still have to deal with the “invaders” at least once.

Why Reid is my Valentine

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, of course I’m going to write about why I want Reid to be my Valentine. Reid is:
V – voracious reader
A – agile
L – loving
E – exuberant
N – “never say die” embodied – even when I might want her to give up
T – tough enough but not too tough
I – intrepid adventurer – if I can get us there, she will try it
N – noisy – with song, story and random sounds
E – energetic

Okay, I’m a two-timer because Ken is my Valentine, too, though for entirely different reasons.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Not necessarily half of what she says is true

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I wrote earlier about only believing half of what Reid tells you but I should say that on any giving topic the ratio or truth to imagination can be much, much lower. Reid told Ken on the way home that we are to be lifeguards at M’s party at the Splash Wave Pool. I’d been planning to attend for that very reason and so accepted this without questioning.

Ken pointed out that Reid also told him one night last week that she was supposed to build a bird house for homework. She did, in fact, tell us that. When I teased the head teacher about giving us more than an evening’s notice about such projects, she burst out laughing. As best we can figure, one of the preschool teachers (there are 5 between the senior and junior classes) must have pointed out the new bird feeder in the play yard. Someone might have even mentioned that the kids might be able to build one. In a hypothetical kind of way. Now Ken has another job on his “to do” list. Not that I wouldn’t be willing to try but I doubt Ken – or anyone who is familiar with my hand-eye coordination – wants me using a saw or hammer anywhere near Reid.

Ice sculpture at Winterlude – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008


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Believe only half of what she tells you

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

While we were snuggling in bed last Thursday morning, Reid told me that she didn’t want to go to Melissa’s for supper. We’re busy most nights and the weekend before had involved Kindermusik and a birthday party on Saturday and Winterlude activities on Sunday and it seemed reasonable to miss dinner. The fact that we had tickets to a concert on Saturday afternoon and to a play on Sunday afternoon figured in my decision. Now, sometimes I schedule too much but this time I thought better of it and agreed that I would call Melissa and say that we wouldn’t be able to come for supper.

When I picked Reid up from daycare that night, we didn’t discuss where we’d go at first. I told Reid that I was taking her to McDonald’s drive-thru for a hamburger on the way home. As I put her into her seat, though, Reid said that she wanted to go to Melissa’s and then she started to cry when I said that we were going home. I reminded her that she had told me she wanted to spend the evening at home but she wasn’t buying what I was selling. Now, it’s a bit rude to cancel a supper engagement on the day of the event but I had to draw the line at reinviting ourselves to supper at 5:00 on the very same night. We headed home and the McDonald’s hamburger wasn’t received as well as I’d expected. Reid was pretty tired and I’m glad we went home but I think another time I’ll take her to Melissa’s.

Happy birthday to Donald

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Since it’s Donald’s birthday today, I thought I’d share a few memories.

* The. First. Boy. When I think of Donald’s birth, I have to admit that his maleness is what first comes to mind. No one would say there was anything lacking in any of the first 6 in the next generation in my family but they were all undeniably female. We were excited to have a little one with “outdoor plumbing” as it were.
* Donald has long been a proficient hand in the kitchen. He would make cookies and pancakes and the like for himself and his sisters and friends at first but his reperatoire expanded. I remember Grandma Joyce telling about a call from Donald with regard to how to mix some batter. She told him to mix it by hand and so he did. He used his hand to blend the ingredients. Reid is from this same school of cooking. She will stir dry ingredients with her hand but enjoys the wet ingredients more. Donald is more particular now, though.
* Donald was an usher for Ken’s and my wedding. He got everyone sat where they ought to be without fuss. He didn’t object to wearing Dundas tartan or make any other waves, important qualities in a member of your wedding party.
* Donald spent a few years at university in Ottawa and we were always happy when he could come over for a visit. University keeps one busy and for a young man, you might expect that visiting relatives wasn’t high on the list of priorities. Still, Donald made the trek across town now and again. He was always eager to help in the kitchen or play with Reid.
* Donald is a particular favourite of Reid’s. Since she was small he has talked to her and played with her and she has loved the attention.
* Donald never asked to use our washer and dryer although I’m pretty sure that I offered. I’m not sure whether he didn’t do his laundry or if it seemed too much effort to cart laundry around the city. I don’t need to know. There lies the reason that young men don’t visit their relatives.

Happy birthday, Donald. Please come by for dinner sometime.

Happy (belated) birthday to Zachary

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

I’ve sometimes wondered, as I write a birthday message, if someone who reads it thinks, “Thanks, Barbara, I’d forgotten that was today. I’ll call and say, ‘Happy birthday,’ myself.” I don’t write so that this will happen but I do wonder. I guess somewhere in my mind, I thought someone would give me a bit of a nudge when I missed someone’s birthday, say some like Zachary who had his very first birthday on the 5th.  But, nada, no one said anything. (And I know I missed Kathleen but since she doesn’t read these emails, I thought I’d send her a card but I haven’t yet and I know now I should have just written the email.)

This, then, is Zachary’s belated birthday wish. I hope he won’t think it any less sincere.

Happy birthday, Zach. Your family in Ottawa fell in love with you from the first moment we laid eyes on the photo that your daddy sent by email. Reid would sit on the couch, cuddling my laptop and stroking your fuzzy strawberry blond hair. It usually drives me a bit nutty when people touch my computer screen but I could understand the compulsion that made her do it. You were a cute little man and that was that.

We first met at Easter when you were about 3 months old. Reid stalked you a bit, looking for opportunities to kiss and/or hug you. You tolerated this affection with good grace. You even let me practice my baby holding skills after a long disuses. Perhaps Damien briefed you on me. Zachary, you were a patient fellow when I indulged my creative photographer side and took pictues of you lying in a basket filled with Easter grass, a few eggs thrown on for effect. You were a trooper through your baptism as well. I got some good pics of it since you probably won’t remember it. Someone said that the folks who watch the service on closed circuit tv might have seen my underwear when I was taking pictures but you’re worth the possible embarassment, besides it would have been worse if they hadn’t seen my underwear, if you know what I mean.

Reid and I were delighted to go camping with you, your mom and Dylan at the Wheatley Provincial Park in August. You were the quintessential happy camper and a pleasure to be around. Reid again offered you many kisses and took turns holding you (with help, of course). You are very tolerant of your fans.

Uncle Ken met you for the first time in December. You scored a hat trick in causing our family to be smitten by you. Of course you were nearly a boy instead of a baby by December, impressing us all with your determination to eat “real food” and putting your new teeth* to good use. You were very well-behaved for the Christmas photo shoot, too. In addition to be tolerant of your fans, you are unfailingly polite to the paparazzi.

Happy first birthday, Zachary. We’re looking forward to many more adventures with you.

*Correction: In Zachary’s birthday message above, I mention teeth in December since I couldn’t see how anyone could mangle green peppers with just gums but it turns out Zachary manages it just fine.  Poor kid – he gets a belated birthday wish that contains an inaccuracy. Melissa and Roy get an extra helping of sympathy from me because Zachary has been teething since the beginning of December at least and has yet to pop any teeth through. Those pearly whites mean a lot to a parent, kind of like a reward after the trial by teething.

Who taught the kid to count?

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Reid was working on Valentine’s Day cards Wednesday night just before we needed to go upstairs for a bath and bed. I told her that she could use 3 medium and 4 small hearts for each card to help limit the time involved. Reid decided that she needed to first take an inventory of the hearts available to her. “1, 2, 3, 4,” she counted and then she decided that wasn’t specific enough and restarted, “1 heart, 2 hearts, 3 hearts, …” I stopped listening at this point and asked Ken who, exactly, taught the kid to count. I didn’t add, “and why” but I was thinking it. Reid delights in counting things and not just at inconvenient times. I don’t know if things feel more real to once they’ve been counted or whether she gets a “counter’s high” like long-distance runners get a “runner’s high”. Maybe she’ll be a math geek (oh please, please, please!)

Date night for 3

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

I mentioned to Ken at breakfast that Karin said that in addition to his and my “date” the next time she visits, she would like to go on a date with me. Reid looked up from her Nutrios/Rice Krispies mix (bland but nutritious once the Nutrios are in the bowl) and said, “a date with Aunt Karin, and you, and me?” I told her that it would be just Aunt Karin and me. Dates for 3 just aren’t the same, eh? Well, Reid started to fuss because she “waa-anted to go” and I assured her that Aunt Karin, she and I would go somewhere. But I didn’t give up on the other, not that I pointed out the distinction. No sense hearing that fussing for days on end. Am I a tricky, deceptive mom?