Posted by: Hannah | 11/28/2011

cop out list post

My favourite internet girl-crush, NotMaryP at Daycare Daze, wrote an absolutely fantastic post today about balance. As a service to the community at large and parents of young children in particular, I shared it on Facebook. Where others on my friends list have shared it, and others  have quoted from it, and today we are all trying a little harder to gain perspective on this whole parenting gig.

If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and go read it. Really.

My problem is I read it first thing this morning, and now I can’t come up with anything to write myself.

So go have a look.


In case anyone is just dying to know how The Deal turned out, an update. Hubs is nearly finished Gone With the Wind. Although he still detests Scarlett, he admits that many of the characters are quite interesting. In particular he’s very fond of Melanie. As an adult I can concede that in many ways Melanie is the real hero of the story, although as a kid and then a teenager her perfection just irritated me. It takes years of life experience to recognize the difference between playing a role and actually being sincere in everything you do. As for me, well, Anathem is picking up. The made-up words have been used enough that I am familiar with them now, which helps. There is now a mystery that will need solving, so that’s OK. I still think the author uses too many words for everything – and in one memorable case, there are honest-to-god diagrams to illustrate something, which is something I really don’t like when I’m reading fiction. But it’s feeling less like penance now.


Mondays are the worst day for child care providers, I’m willing to bet. Ask any of them (any that will be honest, anyway) and they’ll tell you. Mondays are horrific. Children are overtired because they don’t nap on weekends, or they nap at off-schedule times. They have spent the weekend visiting relatives or something and are still worn out. They’ve been eating at off-schedule times too, so their eating patterns are all messed up. And in the case of only children, they’ve had two whole days of not-sharing and they’ve developed a taste for it.

I’ve seen all of these behaviours today, and more besides. Add in that Harry is home from school AGAIN because the teachers are having yet another professional development / inservice / marking & evaluation / bullshit reason for a long weekend day and I’m pretty sure the stabbing pains in my stomach are from incipient ulcer and nothing else.


Arthur is a big brother! His baby sister came into the world on Saturday at suppertime. He’s… cautiously optimistic, I’d say. Although he wants his damn routine back, thanks very much. It’s going to be a while though – his mom ended up having a c-section and so her recovery will be a challenge.

Today at craft time I encouraged the kids to make cards for the new baby. I offered Arthur the opportunity to make one and he said “no, I don’t need to. She already HAS a card”. Which made me giggle. “One card?” I said. “Yes,” he replied, “and I think that’s plenty”.


Still no minivan – maybe tomorrow is now the estimate. We had our accident on October 21st. So FIVE FREAKIN’ WEEKS to fix it. I’m trying not to be a vindictive person but I really, really want the guy that hit us to have very high insurance premiums forever. And also canker sores.


Final thought – a lot of my Twitter friends were putting up their Christmas trees over the weekend. I recognize taking a Tree Trimming Position can be controversial, but here are my own personal tree rules:

  1. The tree must always be a real live honest-to-god dead balsam fir tree. I grew up in the Christmas Tree Capital of the World and I can’t forgo my early training. It’s a real industry that affects many folks I know, and besides, if the tree doesn’t have that fragrance it doesn’t feel right to me.
  2. It can’t go into the house until December. I prefer the second weekend of, if possible, because I like to leave it up until New Year’s.
  3. I have LED lights because they are safer for young children. But if I had no children, I would have good old-fashioned skin-burning covers-your-floor-in-microscopic-pieces-of-glass-when-the-break incandescent bulbs. The glow of LEDs looks too industrial for me.
  4. Aspirin and sugar in the tree water makes it last longer. That’s all.
  5. Tree skirts annoy me because they become catch traps for needles.
  6. Sparkly plastic tinsel is from the devil. And once you’ve pulled a long strand gently out of a cat’s ass you’ll never feel festive about it again.

How about you? Tell me something random. Only two more days of NaBloPoMo to go! 



  1. Our tree must be real honest-to-god fir as well. Fresh cut from the U-cut just down the road from us. Tied percariously to the roof of the truck. The longest it has ever taken us to pick out a tree was probably 20 mins. Fastest: 2 mins. The speed is affected by the temperature outdoors. The speed however, has not affected the quality of the tree. I still love the 2 min tree.
    The tree doesn’t go up until the 17th, as the 16th is Reiley’s birthday. It is about the only thing we can do to separate his birthday from Christmas hoopla. It’s up until somewhere between Christmas and New Year’s. With a dog tail wagging constantly, it gets old pretty quick.

    • Misty: I’m just itching to do the U-cut thing with the boys. But it’s a long drive for us to the nearest place – 45 minutes there, 45 minutes back – not to mention the fun & merriment of then driving along the Trans-Canada with a tree on the roof. Good times! Whereas a neighbour just up the road gets trees fresh from New Ross.

      Nan: I always wish for people to get canker sores. It’s the most-annoying least-lethal thing I can think of.

      MaryP: That’s a great idea! I may scoot out tonight and see if I can locate a plain t-shirt or ball cap to decorate.

      Nicole: My outdoor lights are up because of Advent. And once December 1st hits I can put up the inside decorations without driving my reformed-Grinch hubby around the holly jolly bend. And your husband is right – the afternoon of December 25th IS grinchy. I’d rather have things up for longer afterwards, to make the season last a bit. It’s so much anticipation and buildup – if it’s all over by Boxing Day I feel cheated.

  2. I heartily endorse your list of Tree Trimming protocols. Except for the bit about it being a balsam because they’re very rare where I live. But fir trees really are superior to pine or spruce.

    I love LEDS! They’re so “glowy.”

    Wishing canker sores on someone really is awesome — they’re like a hairshirt for the modern era.

    What’s with that new baby hoarding all the cards? Greedy baby. One card is more than enough.

  3. One card, “and I think that’s plenty” made me grin. Have you made him his “I’m the big brother” commemorative item? Sometimes I make them t-shirts, sometimes it’s just a headband, but I usually make something to celebrate the Big Sibling. Because, you know, that damned baby does get a lot of stuff…

  4. One card is lots!

    We put our tree up over the weekend. It’s not December but it IS Advent – although I’m a seriously lapsed Lutheran, I am still going for this. But we have a fake tree as my husband and oldest son have allergies. Sad panda. Since I always put the tree up early, I end up taking it down violently on Boxing Day, when I cannot stand bumping into things any more. I would take it down on the afternoon of the 25th, but my husband says that’s Grinchy.

  5. I miss real trees SO FREAKING MUCH! I tried to resist the fake tree thing, but when you’re an apartment dweller who loves having a Christmas tree, you eventually break down and get a fake one. Mine has old-style minilights. They’re warm and pretty, but, damn, I’m having a hard time finding a matching tree topper that isn’t hideous.

    I considered putting mine up this weekend, but decided to hold off. I always leave decorations up until after my birthday (first week of Jan).

    Also, my one big hang-up when it comes to trees is that I could never have a matchy-matchy tree. They’re gorgeous, but I’m so not Martha Stewart. I like eclectic and I love all the handmade ornaments I’ve collected over the years.

  6. This is my first year EVER with only a fake tree. *sob* I picked it up at a second hand shop for $15, which is significantly cheaper than the $50-$60 the real ones have been going for these past few years. Part of me died a little putting it up this past weekend, but another part of me was happy about being able to have a tree earlier than a week or two before Christmas without having to worry about it turning brown.


    Gone with the Wind changed my life because in reading it for the first time as a 21yo I realised that I was acting like Scarlett – focused on relationships I didn’t have while failing to appreciate the fabulous people already in my life. It helped me to really begin to fully appreciate how great my friends are, although the downside was that it resulted in me staying with a boyfriend that I really would’ve been better off without earlier. But I figured out eventually that he was no Rhett. 😉

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