Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This makes me feel like everything will be okay.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My son has a girlfriend, as confessed to me multiple times while watching the season premier of Mad Men.

A bit of a digression regarding Mad Men: What happened to the baby? Did Sally hide baby Gene and with all the drinks flowing they haven't noticed yet? Or perhaps the baby is off playing with the drycleaning bags?

Because I was so focused on Mad Men, I'm a little sketchy on the details but I believe our one-sided conversation went something like this:

Mom, I was on the phone with my GIRLFRIEND. You know I have a GIRLFRIEND right? Anyway, what are the plans on Friday because I want to meet my GIRLFRIEND in the park. Because she's going away on the weekend and her birthday is on Saturday so I need to meet my GIRLFRIEND in the park after camp...

After the show ended, I was able to sit quietly and digest what was thrown my way. I came to the conclusion that I am not ready to have a dating teen and my only recourse is to keep him very busy for the rest of the summer.

But thank goodness for Mad Men because at least the show has given me excellent coping strategies: dress well, always have a cocktail in hand and one will survive.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jakob is a tortured soul...and through virtue of that, I am a tortured mother.

Quick side note: yesterday I was positive the gods were out to get me...but I survived. And as the saying goes: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

So why is Jakob so tortured?

One: Day camp. He hates it.
Two: Karate. He hates it - it's boring.
Three: Vegetables.
Four: Grapes.

I really don't get it. How can you hate grapes? They are little balls of sweetness - I described them as nature's candy to Jakob while he was making retching noises and spitting the chewed remains into the green bin.

Speaking of grapes - there is nothing nicer than a reasonably dry rose wine spritzer with the glass filled with sweet strawberries!

A little survival tip if you too are a tortured mother.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I think my brain is in summer-mode. I might have to create a sign that says "brain gone fishin'" because every time I sit down to write, I'm paralyzed. words.can't.form. thoughts.stuck.

And yet it's not like stuff hasn't been happening.

For example: the first day of summer vacation, the boys are home in the house, THE TEENAGER (that in itself is worth a year of postings) has a friend over and I have promised to take them to buy a paintball gun after I get home from work. I'm not in the house 5 minutes when Arthur the cat, hearing my voice, comes out to me in obvious distress, strokes, falls over and within minutes has died. I'm crying, Jakob is hysterical, and Satchel is trying really hard not to cry in front of his friend as I stroke Arthur's body in those final few minutes to try to provide some comfort, let him know I'm with him.

I am back home, preparing to have the "cycle of life" conversation with my still crying 8-year old, a mere 30 minutes after arriving from work, having taken Arthur's still-warm body to the vet's, sobbing while trying to get the words out to let her know he had just died and had been perfectly fine in the morning. He started his day like any other: yelling at me to get up already, eating his breakfast, going out for his morning walk around the house, inside again to continue yelling at me, eat more food, drink water, go have a nap...

A side note, my vet is really kookie. And while good with animals, a little awkward with people. But being kind while dealing with my obvious distress, she says that she will have a paw print in clay made for us as a reminder of Arthur. Because surprisingly my suggestion of having Old Artie Carkeys stuffed and put on wheels with a voicebox was turned down.


Nearly two weeks later I get a call from the vet to come collect the pawprint (and pay my final bill). I'm presented with a box, and as I look at what I did not expect, I'm handed a bill - for cremation and an added $30 for this little nugget of beauty.

I stared at it, picked it up, turned it over, tried not to giggle, said "wow, that's really something - but I was under the impression it was a gift?" and then declined the pawprint (they had already sent me two beautiful paw prints on paper, I'm not that cold hearted - just frugal!), the girl expressed surprise that I was being charged since it is normally a gift and handed it back to me.

The house is so quiet now, Arthur was a very bold and flamboyant personality and with us for nearly as long as we owned the house. It feels very different without him.

I can only hope that this is not an omen for how the rest of the summer is going to turn out because day 1 did not exactly start out on a high note.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You have probably guessed that Jakob feels very passionate about EVERYTHING. He has even been described, recently and not by me, as a tortured soul.

In an effort to convince Jakob that it is perfectly okay to be eight years old and to embrace and enjoy life as an eight year old, I have been letting him out of the basement err... taking him on trips around Toronto to spend quality time.

It has been interesting, and frankly I am surprised I'm not medicated. But having just typed that I really do enjoy one-on-one time with my boys, time that does not involve wrestling or x-box.

Here is a little photo diary of our first 10 days of summer:

Jakob deep in thought, pondering what he would like to do now that x-box has been removed from the equation. It was difficult, he broke a sweat.

Our first trip was to the ROM to see the baby dinosaur exhibit.

As we entered we were told that an extreme martial arts performance was about to begin in 5 minutes if we were interested. Interested - of course! Jakob was about to start karate camp so the timing could not be better. And they would be jumping and breaking things and wielding swords!

Jakob said "No. Sounds boring, not interested." Being the good mother that I am, I forced him.

Here's a shot of Jakob with an expert jumping over him and 5 other children about to break a board with his foot.

Then this past Sunday I decided to surprise him and take him to the top of the CN Tower, a trip he has obsessed about for nearly 2 years! We get to the top, he eyes the ice cream stand, he's now starving, and frankly he's bored. Ice cream would help.

I'm sure that Jakob is messing with me.