Oh (dear) Canada

Mama Kat has asked us to share a time when we laughed at an inappropriate moment.
It was hard to narrow it down to one, but here goes….

The summer had ended. School beginning. We were gathered in the classroom, stories of vacations and camps, parties and ‘romance’.
The teacher was new. She entered the classroom amongst the hurried whispers. She was an older lady, her expression one of a weathered teacher. She had seen her share of teenagers and preteens, not much surprised her anymore.
She took her job very seriously.
Catholic school, after all, was serious business… to everyone but a student. Morning prayers over the loudspeaker, general announcements, then Oh Canada. The majority of us mouthing the words, leaving the actual singing to the teacher’s pets and the teachers themselves.

Today was no different.

As the music began, we shuffled ourselves to our feet, shuffling and shifting weight, already annoyed that this was taking so long.

Then she began to sing.

It was painful. Even looking back on it, I can’t pretend that it was ok and I was just looking at it through preteen glasses.

It was bad. Shrill soprano and thick with vibrato. It was an opera singer who has had her day and doesn’t know the time has passed. It was twenty-some kids, head tilted to one side, eyebrows drawn close together, jaws agape.

Sideways glances passed.

I felt it begin at my toes. The waves of laughter washing over my body. My belly hurt. I stared at the floor. please…please don’t…

The moment the giggle escaped my lips the music stopped.

And she was starting in my direction.

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Thanks for the advice…

1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.

Mama’s Losin’ It

I love when people try and offer me advise on child-rearing. I especially love it from people who haven’t actually HAD children in their house since the 1960’s.

Sarcasm people.

Anyone who knows ANYONE who knows me will tell you that I am always open to advice. I love hearing people’s opinions on what worked for them, how I could do it better, blah blah blah.

I have, however, very rarely used any of the advice I have been given.

I prefer to learn on my own. The only advice I have ever stringently followed is my Grandmother’s “everything in their own time”… and even that took a few tries on her part.

What is it about a woman toting a newborn that makes perfect strangers turn into Dr Spock?

Thinking back on some of the “tips & tricks” I was given, I realize that some of them were a bit over the top… and probably would have resulted in child services knocking on my door.

“Give him an ice cube to chew on when he’s teething”

> When I questioned putting something small in my child’s mouth, the response was “it’s too big for them to choke on”. And in my brain, I was screaming “ICE MELTS YOU MORON…IT’S EVENTUALLY GOING TO BE SMALL ENOUGH FOR THEM TO CHOKE ON”

yes I realize it would melt enough that it would eventually pass, but seriously?

“I wouldn’t let my child use a soother. At least the thumb doesn’t get lost in the middle of the night”

> Right. BUT. I can throw the soother out. Addiction stopped. YOU on the other hand, got to pay for expensive orthodontic surgery to repair your child’s misaligned jaw.. what’s that? FROM SUCKING HIS THUMB.

“Giving them rice cereal too early will only increase their appetite.”

> Seriously? The only reason I’m considering rice cereal at 3 months is because my child already HAS a huge appetite. Moving on….

“Don’t mix bottle and breast…it confuses the child.”

> Let me tell you something. The child will be even more confused if I go insane from lack of sleep/adult time/ability to get ANYTHING done.

Don’t get me wrong…advice can be really great… and I learned a lot by watching other mothers, but I had to bite my tongue a few times when my boys were small…

And if you’re reading this and you recognize that YOU were one of the people that gave me this advice?

Sorry 😉

highschool bullies and their lifelong effects…

Last week, Mama Kat challenged us to describe a time in our life in only 6 words.

This week, we’ve been asked to expand on those 6 words.

Sadly, the 6 words I chose, I’ve said a few times. I don’t care to expand on the who, what or when’s of it, but I will tell you a bit about why I’m so damn proud of it.

Chubby? You’re ugly. I can diet.

When I went to highschool, I was skinny.  I distinctly remember in grade 9 one of the senior football players made a joke at my expense as I walked by, yapping to his friends that “I’ve got bigger tits than her!”

Like I give a shit you meatheaded half-wit.

Highschool wasn’t the fantastic place I thought it would be. I got picked on a lot and I just wanted it to be over with as quickly as possible. I wasn’t the type of person to stand up for myself, so it was open season on me when it came to insults and derogatory comments.  My hair was frizzy, my teeth were crooked and I wasn’t dressed in designer clothes because my parents preferred groceries to style.  Add to that the fact that I was a straight A student and it’s a perfect recipe for bully bait.

I played sports and tried to stay active, but my major outdoor activity was riding my horse, Chief.  He was my refuge at the end of the day. One of the only “people” I felt comfortable talking to about my problems.

Somewhere around grade 11, my metabolism came to a screeching halt. I had immersed myself in my grades and theatre, and, having shoved sports to the wayside, my weight started to creep up, but I paid it no mind. Size is just a number after all – right?

Fastforward a few years – I’ve had 2 children and weigh 205 lbs.  It wasn’t the number that hurt me. It was the way I felt. It was the fact that I never wanted to be in a picture – even with my children – because I hated the way I looked.

Hated my life.

Hated myself.

Depression, feelings of loneliness and the desire for another life all started to creep in.  I felt totally alone.  Distanced from my children. From my family.

I thought about everyone that had ever called me fat.  Chubby.  Solid.

I channelled my anger.

I made some changes. I joined some support groups.  I learned better eating habits.

I learned not to eat my feelings.

I indulged in a gym membership.  I started going to martial arts.

I had some excellent support from my best friends.

I don’t remember how or when I let the anger of all of it go, but I remember when I realized it was gone. I was watching my boys play on the deck of our apartment. I was laughing at them as they raced their remote control cars when suddenly Peanut, my gentle little boy, climbed up in my lap, wrapped his long arms around my neck and hugged me. And with his little boy breath warm on my ear, whispered “I love my happy mommy”.

I love your happy mommy too.

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p.s. – the ugly people? still ugly.

Maybe this doesn’t really follow the prompt quite like it should… but it’s my conscious stream of thought for the day.

And I feel better for having told it.

Mama’s Losin’ It

summer don’ts . please.

Enter summer.  I love this season. It’s the season of my birthday, my sons’ birthdays (and who doesn’t love a birthday party that isn’t in the middle of the school year)

I love the heat. I love sandals.  I hate socks.

I love swimming. I hate swimsuits (yeah, this causes some problems….)

And in response to the call for posts from Mama Kat, I have created my Top Ten list of Summer Don’ts.  Here goes.

10 )  Don’t bitch about how how it is. Yep, it’s hot. Get over it. You just spent the last 4 months complaining about how cold this Canadian winter is, then how wet this Canadian spring is, and now you’re going to bitch about heat?  Shhudddup.

9 ) Stemming from #10 – don’t don’t DON’T leave your pet in the car.  I will break your window and I will call the humane society and have you spayed or neutered.  It’s frackin hot. Leave your pet at home or take it out with you.

8 ) Don’t take the kids to the beach on the weekend. It’s just going to cause a huge argument with your spouse/significant other, and you’re going to end up wanting to punch someone in the face. But I wouldn’t recommend that you do that. No. Definitely not.

7 ) Tans are great. What you don’t want is this:

It just ain’t pretty.  Not to mention the leather look and feel isn’t conducive to sexiness….  just sayin’

6 ) Don’t wear socks with your sandals.  Even if it’s “chilly”.  Even if you have ugly feet.  Guys, I’m mostly talking to you, because you seem to be the major culprits.  There is no excuse for this.

5 ) Don’t cut your lawn early in the morning.  It pisses your neighbour(s) off. Seriously.  Lawn mowing before 7:30am (especially in the suburbs and especially on the weekends) has now been banned.  All pre-7:30am lawn mowers will be executed.  Kidding.  Not really.

4 ) Don’t pack up your family and travel to the Island to see the Windmills.  They look awesome from town and you’re taking up space on the ferry for actual Islanders.  Ramification of this are covered in #5.  Seriously.

3 ) Are you a professional athlete?  No?  Please don’t do spandex.  That is all.

2 ) Don’t forget to treat yourself to a pedicure…. because of COURSE you deserve it 🙂

1 )  Don’t make assumptions.   For example: Puh-lease don’t assume that you can/should wear short shorts.  You shouldn’t.  It’s official.
Also?
I just ate and your outfit is disrupting my digestive process.

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Mama’s Losin’ It