Autonomous Source

« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

May 17, 2006

A Day in the Life, part VIII (cont'd)

Okay, okay. I know it's been a while. I should have concluded this a long time ago, but real life has kept me pretty busy.

Plus I've been kinda lazy.

I now have little memory of anything that happened on the day this is supposed to be describing -- what day was that anyhow? April 25th!!!?? Wow, I've really become a lazy slug! -- but hopefully I'll be able to make something up that sounds plausable.

11:00 We usually have a discussion on what treat they can get while we're shopping. Stores nowadays are crammed with junk and it would be cruel to deny them anything. We have little in the ways of sweets at home -- even juice is a special drink for them. But it's not a good idea to totally disconnect them from the world most other children live in. So they get one thing, and they have to agree on it. A Kinder Egg was their first thought as they entered the store, but along the way they found other goodies that they suddenly realized they couldn't live without. With each one I asked them to consider the loss of the Kinder egg, and after a little deliberation, the eggs alway won out.

11:40 At the check-out I take two Kinder eggs and delicately hand them to the cashier. Max and Talia are clamouring for them, but I tell them they're for after lunch and I put the precious treats in my coat pocket. Outside, it's starting to get very cold and windy. Quite miserable, actually. I had plans to work on a minor carpentry project this afternoon, but I guess that's out.

As I put the kids in the improbabus, I lean against the door and crush both eggs. Oh well.

12:15 We get home. I've got $180 dollars of groceries to put away and two hungry kids. I let them amuse themselves outside while I get the perishables put away and start lunch. Wieners and beans. Crap, I know, but I'll have little hassle from them and it's quick.

As I dash in and out of the house, I notice Max is joyfully playing with his favourite toy, the small snow shovel. He's such a cutie. Just as I've got everything finished and go outside to call them for lunch, I see what he's doing that's making him so happy: he's shovelling the gravel from my driveway into the ditch across the street. "MAAAAAAAXXXXXX!!"

12:35 I've already finished my share and am prodding them to:

  1. Scoop food with spoons
  2. Lift spoons to mouths
  3. Open mouths
  4. Insert spoons in mouths
  5. Chew
  6. Swallow
  7. Repeat
It sounds easy, and I've seen them do it many times before. But when they're both wound up and playing off each other, it can all go terribly wrong at any of those steps. Somehow we manage to finish.

12:50 They're eating their Kinder Eggs now. I get no complaints about the shattered shells; it's still chocolate and there's a toy inside! I'm feeling I might need some reinforcements this afternoon, so I call a friend and invite us over. But first I need my second coffee and have to assemble their soon-to-be-forgotten toys.

1:10 I've still been unable to have more than a sip of my coffee. I'm busy refereeing their battles over the Kinder toys and cleaning up lunch.

1:25 I finally finish my coffee just as I hear Max shout, "Talia's pinching me!" for the fifth time. We gotta get out of here. I herd them into the car...

1:35 Where they quickly fall asleep. I still think they need a nap in the afternoon, but it's impossible to get them to agree when they're at home. They just won't do it. But strap them in a moving car and their eyes start drooping and their heads start lolling. Just what I was counting on.

1:55 I leave them in the improbabus when I arrive at Judith's house. (She lives in the country, so they'll not be bothered.) They'll sleep for at least another half hour, giving me a brief opportunity to enjoy some adult conversation.

Judith is an artist, and I caught her painting in her studio. She was deep in reverie over a painting she was having problems with. I played the role of the visitor from Porlock and pulled her out of her trance.

After chatting for a bit, we decide to go inside to have some tea. I check on the kids and, unfortunately, they're starting to wake up. I take them inside too.

2:20 Her son Nelson is there to help entertain the kids. He tries engaging them with some of his toys, but eventually is forced to resort to my favourite tool, TV. He puts a Pingu tape on and they're happy.

2:50 Talia decides I've had enough relaxation and conversation and interrupts us by continually repeating, "I'm hung-ery!", over and over again. I tell her she should have eaten more of her lunch. Judith makes her some popcorn.

3:15 After everyone has snacked, I decide to act on a half-baked plan I hatched before we came over here. We'll fly a kite! I had bought a cheap Wal-Mart kite a couple of weeks before, but had consistently failed to demonstrate my kite mastery to my offspring. Today I could not fail -- there was a big field here and a lot of wind.

Except... there sure were a lot of power lines around here. And the wind was very variable, gusting then stopping, gusting then stopping. And the kite was pretty crappy too, it was obvious. And my helpers are not as big of a help as they think they are. And now it's starting to rain. After a few launches and crashes we gave up. Next time for sure.

4:05 We decide to hit the road. They don't sleep on this car ride, and instead keep up a steady chatter.

4:25 We're home. Max immediatly demands TV. I wearily agree, and they watch Go, Diego, Go, a Dora spinoff.

4:45 Reinforcements arrive. I let Michelle deal with our sweeties while I make supper. Tuna casserole. I'm not a great cook, okay?

She reads to them from the holy book of Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

5:15 The food's in the oven. I'm feeling like a zombie.

5:50 We finally sit down for supper. After Max's first words of, "Not this again!", I was a little worried how it would go, but they ate every bite. Talia initiated a strange game at the table. She said to Max, "Max, you're Talia, and I'm Max."

Max replied, "No, you're you and I'm me!"

"I'm me and you're me, Max!"

"No..." and so it continued...

6:15 After supper, I try to get them to clean up their toys, but they brazenly ignore my authority, giggling merrily. I use my most serious voice, but it has no effect. I send them up to their room to contemplate their terrible naughtiness.

6:25 Mama lets them out and for some reason Talia has put on her pajamas, even though she still needs to have a bath. Max is wearing his pajama bottoms on his head. But at least they get around to cleaning up.

6:40 Max tells me a knock-knock joke:

Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Tree!
Tree who?
Open the door and let me through!
And then he hit me with another one:
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Police car
Police car who?
Open the door and let me through!
Apparently this is the funniest thing ever; Max is laughing uproariously. Each generation has difficuly understanding the humour of the following one.

6:55 Mama takes them up for their bath. I did this job yesterday when Mama headed off to yoga, so it's only fair that she gets an opportunity. i hear a certain amount of yelling and splashing and crying, but no more than usual.

7:20 Mama takes the story-reading duty as well, and I come up to give them a good-night kiss. Unlike many recent nights, they go to sleep easily. No lame excuses to get up, and no fighting after the lights go down.

7:30 I spend the remaining scraps of my energy in trying to write this thing up.

May 10, 2006

Stuff & Things XXII

  • Apologies for not completing my last Day in the Life. It's still in the pipeline, but has been delayed due to the intense craziness that has buffeted this household in the past week or two. You have no idea.
  • Max has been growing into a bit of a TV-obsessed lunatic over the past months and I've been letting him. But it has to stop, so I've cut him (and her) off cold turkey for a while. This is almost as much of a punishment for me as it is for them, as I don't get a break from them. The whining for TV has at last died down now, but they have found new ways to drive me crazy. Right now Max is running around the house using the BBQ tongs to grab things. Books off the shelves, toys, pillows, the cats' tails. Talia has just discovered how to walk on her heels and needs me to continue to express amazement. (Lookit Papa! Lookit!) She thinks I should enter her in a talent show just like they had on Spongebob Squarepants.
  • Looks like that housing bubble has finally popped. I've been reading The Housing Bubble Blog for the past couple of weeks and it's been running all kinds of news about the complete turnaround in housing prices all across the States. I'm sure it's happening here too; my neighborhood looks like there's an election going on between the Century 21 and ReMax parties.
  • Hey! Gold is around $US700 now. I seem to recall advising my readers to buy a little more that a year ago. Just sayin'.
  • Okay, I intended this to be a bit longer, but I have no more time for chit-chat. There's a couple of things that require my immediate attention...