Late to the Party…again

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Why am I always late to the party? And by party I mean Mad Men.  I am currently binge watching this series. It fascinates me. As one of those kids who were born in the 60’s I watch this show and look at the mothers, fathers and society and think “wow, that sure explains my childhood”.

I am one of those moms who loves her children fiercely, wanted to be the one who raised them so made huge sacrifices to be a stay at home mom. At the time, I thought I was sacrificing things. Hindsight is an amazing thing. This is not true, We survived just fine without ‘things’. What I sacrificed in many ways was me. The intellectual me. The self-esteem me. The me who did things a certain way to get through the day and now it is an expectation of those around me to keep it up. HA…that’s not going so well. I created monsters and now am trying to undo all those things – like dinner ready at 5, like ultra planned events, like parties where details are lovely.

I pretty much have unzipped that persona and stepped into the new me where I am usually still studying at 5, food is fuel – you don’t see dinner? Make it yourself – you are capable because I taught you. Parties? How about we meet at a restaurant? That way I don’t have to care about what my house looks like. I have pretty much become a man of the 60’s. I would love a 60’s house wife…but who wouldn’t?

I had a grandmother who had 5 children. She did house work and cooked but always changed into a nice dress and but on makeup before my grandfather came home. She said he worked hard and it was the woman’s job to pamper the man and to put herself together and look nice for him. Dinner’s ready, wife is cute, children are sparkling… wow.

This is not something I ever did. Should I have? Would it have made a difference?

Did the man actually appreciate what the woman did? Not sure. It isn’t like that on Mad Men. It is an expectation. It was an expectation of my grandfather too. My father just expected food and quiet. At the end of his day, he needed 30 minutes of solitude before dinner. I soooooo understand that. He never cooked, actually, the time my mom was in the hospital, he did cook. Once. I then took over cooking duties. How can you expect someone to do something well if they had never been taught? Or had time to practice? You can’t…or shouldn’t…. just teach them. Now that dad is retired he is starting to learn, but mom still makes all the meals and looks after him that way. I suspect it has more to do with her feelings for him then it being an obligation because I learned about feminism from my mom. Besides, my mom really and truly loves to cook.

Not me.

I HATE COOKING. I hate being a restaurant. I detest cooking meat.

I fail as a housewife of the 60’s.

I am cool with that.

But what I didn’t anticipate is how I feel about the men of the 60’s.

I like their assertiveness. I like their vulnerability. They were the providers and it was stressful. That isn’t an expectation anymore, it is a shared burden. As difficult as it is for men now, I think it might have been harder for them in the 60’s. Aside from the condescending attitudes towards women, I really think bearing the brunt of all financial matters was a tough position to be in.

So I watch Mad Men with a keen sense of nostalgia and it has my childhood making perfect sense…the the 70’s came along and ruined everything from weird attitudes to fashion. The 70’s and 80’s were just wrong.

Do I wish I was an adult in the 60’s? No…I prefer the hierarchy of today.

However, the fashion was kick-ass…I miss that kind of swanky luxury.download

Dear Mom: I am now you. Not cool mom, not cool.

It has finally happened.

I have become my mother.

Every daughter has that fear and makes a pact with their sister/best friend/cousin/daughter to inform us of that moment so we can take stalk of our lives and figure out how to correct the anomaly from happening. Unfortunately for me, no one told me. I had to discover this for myself in public. So this is an open letter to my Sister and Daughter.

Dear Sister and ChatterBox,

You suck.

Love Robyn/Mom

Don’t get me wrong, my mom is awesome. She does things that we all tease about and accuse her of being crazy, but I know you do the same to your mom. That is how daughters roll. It is called evolution. Then one day it happens to us. We turn into our mothers. We hear her words in our words, we see her figure in our figure, we notice her OCD tendencies in our OCD tendencies and we realize we married our fathers.

Dear Mom,

Thanks (for nothing!) 

I love you

Love Skichucky

Yes, my parents call me Skichucky. Tease me, I dare you.

One day I was sitting in the car with my mom and sister and mom said something. I can’t recall what it was, but I said to her, “Mom, remember when you said we were to tell you when you started becoming Grandma? Well, it’s happening.”

Mom replied with, “OMG (or something worse, I can’t remember) you are right! I do sound like my mother!!!!!”

She took immediate action to alter her behaviour pattern, every now and then it comes back. I like to think of it as a birthright. It makes me feel better calling it a birthright so stop hassling me already. Your turn is coming, I promise you.

I use to work in the family business. One day my mom came into the office and she was limping.

Me: Mom? OMG Mom what happened???

Mom: What are you talking about?

Me: Mom! You are limping!!

Mom: What???

We looked at her feet and noticed she was wearing two completely different shoes. One Navy and one Black. The Navy shoe had a heel and the Black shoe was a ballerina flat.

Of course she was limping. You try walking in two different heel sizes and see what happens!!

In my infinite wisdom of 34, I said “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM How could you leave the house like that???? I am clearing you appointments and you are staying in the office today unless you are going home to change! GEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE MOM!!!”

Dear Mom,

I am sorry I criticized you and judged you.

Please forgive me.

Love Skichucky

Yesterday I went for a run. I have two different pairs of running shoes. Both are Adidas Gel 4, both have the same lacing configuration, yet each pair is a different colour. I rotate my shoes because I fear plantar fasciitis. I carefully monitor the mileage on my shoes and get new ones when they wear out. I rotate through the shoes (every run) to give each shoe the opportunity to gain the same mileage as the other. They wear out at the same rate and my feet are happy campers.

As of late, I have had a lot on my mind. I have a heavy course load because one of the projects is not pretend it is real life. I am focusing on it and think about it lots because detail will be paramount in the execution of this project. I am excited about it, but it is scary as well. I have not been sleeping well and I think the fatigue from driving home after the race in Calgary is still affecting me. I also have that tumour annoyance in my brain.

Okay…Okay…All of these are excuses.

If I turned on the light in the hallway to grab my shoes this wouldn’t have happened:

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I didn’t notice it until my 5th hill climb. Obviously I don’t look at my feet when I run.

This is what I learned from yesterday’s shoe episode:

  1. If you can’t dress yourself, hire a Lady’s Maid (Downton Abbey taught me that)
  2. If someone asks about the separate shoes, lie and say it is a training technique.
  3. Stay focused on the task at hand. Think about the project while running. That is when you do your best thinking.
  4. Start buying the same colour shoes and label them on the INSIDE
  5. Take a picture and brag about your forgetfulness before anyone can tease you first.

 Dear Mom,

Let’s get matching Lady’s Maids for us.

Then let’s go shoe shopping.

Love Skichucky

This is me and my parents in the good old days when we had it all going on and didn’t need Lady’s Maids

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15th Anniversary of the beginning of Harry? I suddenly feel very old and melancholy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 years ago the J.K. Rowling released the first of her epic series of Harry Potter Books. I know the first one as Harry and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Americans know it to be the Sorcerer’s Stone. Why? I don’t know, something to do with it being more marketable in the USA. I HATE it when they do that to books.Publishers did it with The Book of Negroes in the rest of the world and Someone knows my Name in the USA. Anyways…

I became a Harry Potter fan by accident. I needed to find a story book to engage my young son in so he would want to become a reader. Books that girls would like to read seemed easier to find. I picked up this book in the Scholastic Book Club Flyer and decided it would be the bed-time story for the next few weeks. By the time we had caught up on the series, we were waiting for The Goblet of Fire to come out. We dressed up and went to the book launch at the local book store, picked up the book and went home. I read the first chapter to him for bed-time as was our usual routine. I then took the book to MY room and finished reading by 4:00 AM. This became a trend for me. Taking the book and reading it in one go, then preceding to read it my son.

By the time we had reached the (near) end of the series, my son was reading novels on his own. He preferred adventure stories but would never read Harry Potter on his own, that was reserved for me. He would watch me read the book through with tears rolling down my face, or so caught up in adventure I couldn’t hear what was going on around me. The advantage to reading first was I knew when a good time to stop the book for the night. Chapters aren’t always a good break in the story.

Rowling isn’t the worlds greatest literary author, but who cares. She made children readers because they finally understood that a book can transport you away to another time and place and lets you spend time with characters who might resemble you and your friends. Better yet, they might show flaws that make you feel normal. I knew Harry had an impact on my son when, as a 16 year old, he came home from a School Trip to California sporting a wand, 11 inches long, made of holly and had a phoenix feather core. It made me smile. The movies were fine, but both of us agree the books had that extra detail that became important to the characters and their lives.

They were important to me, because it gave me some extra cuddle time past the age when your mom reading to you at bed-time was not so cool. Those books were important to him too and set the stage for the future us to discuss books, movies and other geeky things we both find so fascinating. Even now, both my kids like it when I read to them occasionally  I take advantage of every second because these times are growing few and far between. One day it will be me and my grandkids cuddling up to read new adventures.

I’ll leave Harry Potter for the future grandkid’s dad to share with them because that needs to be a special time between a parent and child to let the tradition continue.

My Backyard Adventure: Jasper National Park

A friend of mine tagged me in a post on facebook today because it reminded her of me.

“You could read in these pages about explorers who go to the deepest, coldest, highest places on Earth and beyond, but the truth is that exploration is as near as your backyard – and it can be profoundly life affirming.” (Chris Johns, Editor, National Geographic Magazine, in the 125th Anniversary Edition, January 2013).

I am one of those lucky girls who lives a couple of hours from a world class vacation destination. The kind of place where Europeans save up for their entire life to make a trip to. The kind of place Japanese tourists can’t wait to visit. Yet I don’t go very often. Why is that?

Sometime before Christmas, I had a feeling or desire to drive to the Rockies for the day. I live close enough that a day trip to Jasper is not unreasonable. Something in the back of my head always whispers to me “that is unreasonable, you need to stay home. Moms don’t up and leave their home town for a day.” Um… really? I bet lots of moms do. I told that voice to shut it and asked my kidlets if they wanted to go with with me. I was perfectly happy going by myself.

My son loves the Mountains as much as I do. There is something about the energy that is invigorating. I always feel re-charged when I go. My son feels the same way. My daughter on the other hand, prefers the flat lands of the prairies. However, Santa bought her a new camera and she knew she could get some beautiful shots in Jasper National Park. ChatterBox agreed to join us. They asked the night before how early they had to be up. I wanted to leave the house by 7:30. Hard for a couple of teenagers on vacation. They are use to sleeping in until noon-ish. They both were perfectly agreeable and were up long before I was.

We left early, not so bright because it is Canada on the prairies and its dark until 8:30. Filled the car with gas, snacks and water then proceeded to Starbucks. We needed coffee. We were out of the city by 8:00. By the time we were fully ensconced on Highway 16 West, the sky was pink with the beginnings of a sunrise. It was beautiful in spite of it being to our backs. By this point I turned on some podcasts to listen to. Stuart McLean and his tales of Dave’s family from the Vinyl Cafe were new to my kids. We laughed all the way to Edson. This is where the boy had a turn to choose what we listen to. On came theme music for road trips. His own personal sections of appropriate travel music. We sang along to Arrogant Worms, Portal 1 and 2 as well as had to guess what epic overture was playing. My kid has a thing for epic scores.

The Boy – “Which one is this?”

Me – “Clash of the Light Sabers? Escape from Cloud City?”

The Boy – “No, Dumbledore’s death theme.”

I was going to guess that next.

I decided he needed to hear some advanced Star Wars music, so I put on Darth Vader at the Beach. It is a real song! (You can listen to it here. It’s by Marc Beaudin a local artist who plays regularly at my favorite restaurant, Sabor Divino) He liked the arrangement and laughed because he recognized the Imperial March within the relaxing strains of music. He declared ‘awesome’ on that arrangement.  At that moment is when the Rocky Mountains unfolded before us for the first time that day.

We knew we were close!

Rockies on the horizon

Trust me they get much bigger.

Soon we were past Hinton and approaching Jasper National Park’s gate, Hello and Welcome!/Bonjour et Bienvenue!

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Then we discovered a couple of rebels on the road. They must be the family cats like I am. Marching to their own drummer because they did not heed the Wildlife Crossing signs. There they were out in the middle of the road ignoring everyone.

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This is when I discovered my son’s life long dream. It has been on his bucket list FOREVER (he is 16, how long has he had a bucket list?). His dream is to touch water from a glacier fed river in the winter. For those of you not in the know, our rivers here in Alberta come from head waters of glaciers in the Rocky Mountains. Glaciers are moving rivers of ice either retreating or flowing. The rivers will freeze if they are not moving fast enough, however they are still flowing under the ice and it would be stupid for any mother to let her son crawl out onto the ice just to touch the blow freezing water. I did not want to be that mom on the news whose son drowned in the Athabasca River. That river claims enough lives in the summer. So I agreed. Whaaat? I know…with a caveat. He could not walk on the ice or snow to reach the water. His sister was not to pleased I agreed. She is a trained lifeguard and just thought I was the stupidest person alive. True… but I knew there was no way we would find those conditions in January. Therefor I am not as stupid as she thinks, and my son is happy that I agreed.

We drove towards the town-site of Jasper without finding the perfect spot to stop and fulfill his dream. We did meet his other wish of eating Pizza. After dinner we walked around checking out the town. and we saw kitschy window stuff.

Canadian Evolution

Ice Sculptures at the Sawridge

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And Jasper’s answer to floral baskets

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Soon we were heading down the bitterly cold street shivering, but I wanted to see the new Haida Totem.

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That blue sky is why I put up with winter in Alberta.

We watched my boy do Cleese’s silly walk and then we headed back to the car to wrap ourselves in warm blankets, turn the heat on full and drive to Marmot Basin. The local Ski Hill – when I say hill – I mean Mountain. It looks small from the lodge but this is just the ski school and starter slopes. The chair takes you to slopes beyond amazing.

Marmot Basin

We looked over the edge to take a gander at the Tonquin Valley. It was surprising warm up there compared to the town-site. Perfect day for skiing!

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Then we headed for the Athabasca river where The Boy figured he could crawl out on his belly to reach his goal….um I don’t think so pal.

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I had been here plenty of times in the summer and called out to the rafters to watch for rocks, the bend in the river, bears and other weird things to tease them. I knew how deadly this river is. There was no way I was letting my kid crawl out there. So we just looked. The snow here was amazing it was giant crystals the size of my thumb nail. The sun shone on them and they sparkled like diamonds. It was so beautiful!

Next stop Maligne Canyon. Holy Frozen Face Batman! It was the coldest here.

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ChatterBox didn’t hike up to the falls with us. She was too cold, so after we climbed down to the canyon, she head back to the car for warmth. The funny thing about this canyon, the paths are steeper than the bunny hill at Marmot, the climb back up was was slick. Glad we had our all terrain boots on, yet snow still filled our knee high boots. It was deep at the canyon.

We were ready to head home. It was a long day and the mountain air makes you more tired than city air. This is a scenery we had to look at on the way out of the Rockies…I know, poor us.

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Around this corner I saw the open plains of the valley with beach and no snow. Weird. I pulled over and let my boy finally fulfill his destiny.

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As you can see, touching liquid ice is painful – but apparently worth it.

The Chain Smoking Angel is a Christmas Tradition in my house

I have spent considerable time reflecting and remembering on Christmas past. I decided to take on the Weekly Challenge at WordPress: Just Do It. My buddy over at Brown Road Chronicles inspired me and reminded me of the oddball assortment of Christmas decorations that adorn my tree. I am one of those Christmas Geeks who ‘theme’ out my tree. This year I have a Tiffany & Co tree,151071_10151349105206337_749003960_n

a Disney Tree,577823_10151359535226337_541165187_n

a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree404982_10151307316561337_1108099625_n019

and of course, the regular tree.

Decorating the tree was always a huge deal in my house. It was my mom’s favorite time of year. Now that her favorite little one’s (the grandkids) are all bigger than her, some of the magic sparkle has left the holidays. We cheer her up by sitting around after dinner/breakfast/lunch/dinner and reminisce about Christmas Past.  (Proof that I existed):73256_10151359512121337_124215547_n

That is me (pre-clown hair) in 1968 with my groovy cool dadeo.

When I was 4, we moved to row housing in Sherwood Park. This was my first Christmas memory. I remember getting Baby Tenderloin and 64 crayola crayons. All I remember of my brother was him in flannel pjs. I remember my mom hanging a box of angels on the tree. It was the 60’s, angel’s came in bulk. These fancy angels all were holding ‘so called’ candles. They never fooled me for one minute. These angels were chain smokers.

In those days everyone smoked, so it never occurred to me that angels wouldn’t. This drove my my crazy, “THOSE ARE NOT CIGARETTES!!” The more she denied it the more my brother and I were convinced she was lying. Mom carefully bent the ‘candle’ perpendicular with the angel and my brother and I spent hundreds of hours bending the candles so the angel could smoke. Tell me what you think.

Non-smoking angel:photo 1 (2)

Smoking Angel:photo 2 (1)

She even had a groovy black filter and kind of looked like Phyllis Diller. See for yourself:Phyllis-Diller-post-new

This year the after dinner conversation will start with “mom, why did you hang Phyllis Diller on our tree every year?” This should generate some heated frustrated conversation from my mom. You can’t call it Christmas and not have the mom go a little crazy.

 

Merry Christmas to all my Edmonton Tourist readers. I appreciate you more than you can every really know. Happy Holidays :)

Edmonton Tourist :Super Genius

This year has certainly not gone as expected. You’d think by now I would be use to the idea that ultra planning never really goes as planned. Way back in January I had my crystal ball gazed at. She warned me it was going to be a difficult year, but she also said I would get a puppy. No puppy – but I want one. Especially now, the idea of a little ball of fluff sitting on my toes sounds like a good idea. Then I remember all the things that go with that pleasure…hmmm still not sure I want to go back to being a dog owner. I do miss Sparky and if the Universe would guarantee a dog like him, I would be in! But what if my new dog needs prozac? Or what if I have to choose between a trip and staying home because I cannot afford boarding. Too many “what ifs”. That is where I envy I brother.

He is a straight up guy who stays out of everyone’s business. Doesn’t worry about much and just rolls with the punches. He has ALWAYS been like that. If ever there was a guy who I expected to have a house full pf pets it was him. He use to send his allowance to the humane society when he was 8. He had grand plans of opening a pet shop. He had no less than 3 hamsters, 2 guinea pigs, 20 fish and a dog at any given time growing up. When he became an adult he had a saltwater aquarium. It was gorgeous! It interfered with family time and he could go very far because of the tank…or so he said. The saltwater fish were time consuming. He eventually stopped. He is now pet free.

My in-laws all have copious amounts of pets – lots of cats. I am severely allergic to cats – that is why I have a feral cat living under my step. The Ginge doesn’t come near us and I haven’t seen him in a while other than suspect the neighbors over the fence adopted him. I like the idea of cats, especially outdoor barn cats, but I could never live with one (literally) it would be the death of me.

While I am thinking about having a pup, I also think about being a restaurant. I know you are dazed and confused, but seriously – one more meal to fix? I can’t keep up with having a vegetarian AND and carnivore – my kids easily could share a plate and be satisfied. They boy only wants steak. The girl only wants salad. You’d think this would be easy but I worry too much about nutrition. The boy needs veg and the girl needs protein. Then the pup needs food too… This is where I wish I was my brother. “Who cares?” He’d say, “It’s not a big deal, they won’t die” True they won’t die. There are people who eat worse things than my kids.

So here is a solution I am tossing around in my head. If you steal it my mom senses will tingle and I will come after you. I am thinking about opening a restaurant drive through that serves food for vegetarians AND carnivores of both the animal persuasion and the people persuasion! I KNOW! Awesome right? I feel like a genius. Think about it…

Driving from work to practice/game/extra curricular child event, it is pushing towards 7pm and you have to feed son/daughter/pet. Everyone is hungry/cranky/tired and there is STILL homework/chores/downtime to consider. Having a drive-thru everything restaurant is perfect! Order your pet food, kid food and wine for you! Go home throw it on the table/floor/sofa and the rest of the evening is yours! This drive-thru could even get your breakfast ready for the next day, add soap or socks and you are set!

Seriously, tell me this isn’t a brilliant idea? I shall call this The Pantry Drive-Thru and as soon as you guys review it, I will call it The Famous Pantry Drive-Thru.

The Edmonton Tourist – Super Genius.

Wanted: New Gay Husband

My parents did an excellent job picking out my God Mother. My God Mum is me but older. We both are in university taking and studying leadership, we both have the same taste in shoes, we both shop the same way, we both have passion for the work we do, we both have amazing kids and we think the same way. We understand what it means to slip on a pair of fabulous boots and have the zipper go up the calf. We get the one size does not fit all. Thanks mom and dad, you did good!

My God Mum had a gay best friend who would go shopping with her. The kind that like to look at fabulous shoes and give commentary of purses and men. I also had a gay best friend who would do the same but both of these fabulous men are no longer in our lives.

I do enjoy men but mostly I think they are stupid. Not in a bad way stupid… but in the way that they just don’t get women, or events or things! They don’t see life the way women see life. I have a straight male friend who tells me about how happy he is and I hear about his relationship and life and I just blink. Fantastic that you are happy and fantastic that things are great for you but what you just said makes no sense to me. I need a Gay best friend who can tell me why he is thinking that way. I need a gay man who will blink with me and we would discuss why the straight friend thinks he is happy so I would understand. I need that bridge, the person who gets both sides. I miss my friend. He moved across the country and things have never made sense since.

When I was shopping with my God Mum, I picked up an adorable little black bag the size of my fist. It was  black, beaded and had a metal clasp that held the two sides shut, with a hinge at the bottom. My God Mum said, “my gay husband would call this a condom bag because that is all that fits in it.”

True, it is perfect for that one night stand. Throw in cab fare for the next morning and a lipstick and BAM, you are set for a night on the town.

I miss that. I miss commiserating over men with a man who thinks more like me but understands what make men tic. So I am putting out a wanted ad.

Wanted:

Gay Male, 40ish. Must love shopping, dining, style and laughing. Must be great at gossip but not the mean kind – just the newsy kind. Must have job and could finance own trips to great cities and split costs. Assets include, wicked sense of humor, great Cole Haans and smart. Must love animals and children or say they do but lying is okay. Wine drinker a must!

Competition open until found.

You want to WHAT?

 

Dear Mommy DaVinchy, Mommy Einstein, and MommyMythBusters,

I feel your pain.

English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle...

English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle engine following a repair during an engine test run November 10, 2010, at the Florida Air National Guard base in Jacksonville International Airport, Fla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just spent 30 minutes in discussion the 16 year old talking about strapping jet engines to his back and creating a series of controlled explosions to have him move 20km/hr with wheels strapped to his feet. He has created the plan, done the physics and discussed the “fun factor”. Before he sourced his materials he wanted approval for his project.

After listening to his argument for Pro Jet Packs – I said no. Listing the reasons as to how it would effect me.

  1.   Being a minor, I am responsible for his well being. I did mention once he turns 21, has a job and an engineering degree – I’m cool with it.
  2.  I do not currently have the time to to be engaged in regular meetings with a social worker from Family Support services due to my lack of judgement of letting my son play with rocket fuel.
  3. I have better things to do than sit in emergency waiting for details of fractures, comas, burns and lobotomies.
  4. Financial implications. Alberta Health does offer support for stupid acts of awesome, however they do not offer a pharmaceuticals plan. I would need Extra coverage from Blue Cross and I am currently not in the position to gain coverage for above and beyond the reasonable amount required by the average citizen.
  5. I have no desire to be on Dr. Phil explaining the reasoning behind not being a parent.

You see, I have a big opinion about parenting. I shall share this public service announcement with you:

If you choose to have children and KEEP them, then you must accept ownership. Part of this ownership is to be a PARENT not a friend, pal or buddy to your child. That is not to say it is not okay to enjoy them in a friend capacity, however – get your own PEER group for extensive sharing, exuberant activities and so forth. Being the parent requires the ADULT (you) to make JUDGEMENT CALLS on the activities the minor in your care wishes to make. This includes things that are life altering (wear a helmet when you ride your bike) and remember SAFETY FIRST. It is advisable and acceptable to say NO on occasion and you do not need to give an explanation. You are the PARENT. Do not worry if your offspring is going to hate you, THEY ALWAYS DO! They hate you because you are too strict, or they hate you because you are too lenient. You can’t win – so take my advice and do the right thing. JUST SAY NO! I do however, find it helpful to explain your reasoning as to how you came to this conclusion. It is important for emerging critical thinkers to understand all the steps involved in planning.

For example:

OffSpring – it would be cool to put on a cape and jump off a 3 story building.

Mom – No it wouldn’t and here is why…

Do not be afraid of NO. Practice it in front of the mirror. Say it out loud. Get use to hearing yourself say it. Then practice it on others, not just your child. It is OKAY to say no.

If you cannot think of a good explanation as to WHY they should not do something, then one of two things is happening.

  1. Their request is reasonable
  2. You do not have the know-how to understand consequences. If this is the case, then by all means allow your offspring to attempt this outrageous request. Darwin called it survival of the fittest. Natural selection by elimination has been done by nature for years. This is how humans keep the gene pool strong and healthy.

My 16 year old ended the conversation with “Well, now I know where the line is”

Damn straight Offspring, but don’t get too comfortable, it is my prerogative to have that line be flexible and move as I as fit. After all, I AM THE PARENT!

 

What you SHOULD do for Mother’s Day, I double dog dare you.

Last week I gave you a list of things you should not do for mothers day. Mostly because in my past I was the giver of those types of offerings. Not cool I know, but I blame my dad.

Okay, maybe that isn’t fair either. I have no excuse, I was just thoughtless. Perhaps I wasn’t as thoughtful as I could have been.

I am now a changed woman! Motherhood did that for me. I am envious of those of you who already own the thoughtful gene. It has been work for me, but I am now considered in some circles as thoughtful. About time too, I am now middle aged. I am a slow learner.

To be fair, I often had my thoughtful moments, but my taste wasn’t always appropriate.

When I was 5 I was crafter extraordinaire. I recycled junk and made the most amazing things. I often would take empty tissue boxes and create stunningly hip and fabulous, not to mention groovy, Barbie furniture. Between you and me and the hundreds of people reading this, I never waited for the tissue box to be empty. I emptied it myself, then needed to find a way to dispose of the stack of 4″ tissues without being caught by my mother or grandmother, better known as the Tissue Gestapo.

Sometimes the tissues would be blankets for my Barbies. Sometimes I would use a hair elastic and make Barbie ball gowns with the tissue. I would juggle 3 pieces at a time (my brother taught me how – he can juggle anything). And sometimes I would make bouquets of flowers. Those were the days when tissues would come in UNenvironmentally friendly pretty colours such as pink or blue. The 70’s was bad for the environment but all about clashing colour! For a 5 year old, this was awesome! 5 year olds think all colour works together, and are willing to prove it to the world!

I knew Mother’s Day was approaching because I am thoughtful like that my Kindergarten Teacher told me. We had made cards in school with our handprints on them. I thought my mom should have a gift too because she was the best mom ever! When I caught a salmon, she buried it under our tree to make it grow. Okay, it wasn’t a salmon it was a jackfish – grandpa lied. When I brought home cases of artwork to show her, she placed it in a special spot in the attic for my kids. I learned years later the the “Attic” was a euphemism for “the farm where puppies for to die play”. She always had my hair cut short for ease of care. This required bows be sewn on my undershirts to PROOVE I was a girl. Very thoughtful of her to make sure I had bows on those shirts…my mom WAS THE BEST!

Now because she was the best, I thought long and hard about an appropriate gift. I looked at my stack of tissue, multi colour of course. and decided I would use the same technique I used previously in bouquet making and make a corsage for church! She would LOVE it!!!!

I would explain to you how to make it but it’s too confusing…google is your friend.

All I am going to say is MY flower was bigger and more… more… um… bigger! Than those flowers you can make via those websites. My flower came with a safety pin so my mom could pin it to her dress Sunday morning and show it off to all the other moms and prove to those moms that HER daughter loved her best!

I know you must be weeping with sentiment at this moment and possibly regret because you weren’t as thoughtful as me. It’s not too late. You can make your mom a beautiful tissue flower too. In fact, I double dog dare you.

The Edmonton Tourist contributes a weekly colum every Monday to the Scarecrow Festival in support of ABC Head Start. This mother’s day post was originally published here  at the Edmonton Scarecrow Festival.