Posted by: Hannah | 05/09/2013

Thursday randoms

I cannot keep a coherent thought in my head this week. I’ve been fighting with a persistent low-grade headache since last Friday, and it’s making me stupid.

I’m not sure what’s causing it, other than burnout (as if that weren’t enough). I’m drinking lots of water, getting more fresh air than I have in months, sleeping at least six hours a night, avoiding chocolate and red wine, stopping myself at two cups of coffee in the morning… all of my usual tricks aren’t working, and I’m loathe to pop ibuprofen every four hours for more than a couple of days.

So! Some random thoughts, hopefully not all too complainy-pants.

The Climb

The title of the most recent Game of Thrones episode, which OMGSOGOOD, and also what has been happening here all week, as the toddlers have learned how to climb up on the dining-table chairs. Up. Down. Up. Down. The last bastion of toddler-free real estate is now breached, which means Pixie & Louis have lost their one untouched area for playing with things like beads, puzzles, and Legos. Also it means my nerves are shot because I’m constantly listening for the telltale thump/crack/wail that means someone has fallen off a chair onto their face.

The Blackfly

Spring is finally here, bringing warm days, pleasant evenings, spring peepers, green grass… and blackflies. Little tiny blackflies, swarming in clouds around our heads every morning at the bus stop, crawling into thick curly preschooler hair and biting, making it basically impossible to play outside until late afternoon.

I know they’ll only be really bad for about three weeks, but it seems monstrously unfair to me that after fifty years of winter we had one nice week of outdoor time before we were driven back inside by stupid blackflies.

(Also, it would appear Louis has ‘skeeter syndrome‘, with flies. He has ONE bite on his ear today; it’s swollen to twice it’s normal size, and is painful to the touch.)

The Parent-Teacher Meeting

Last week was Harry’s last parent/teacher meeting. I don’t think I’ve talked about it on the blog much, but this has been a tough year for us. His teacher is uncommunicative to the point of absurdity, starts projects and never finishes them, and when she does communicate there is – I think – a French / English language barrier that causes confusion.

I almost didn’t go, because I’ve been so discouraged by my attempts to get through to her that Harry is very bright, and high energy, and needs lots of challenging work to keep him interested.

In the end, I went – mostly because I’d written a long email to the principal the week before expressing my concerns. I figured it would be hypocritical of me to drop that ball.

Turns out I probably should have complained sooner. She is going to refer him to the enrichment program assessment & development team for math (!!), because apparently he could do all the year’s curriculum requirements before Christmas (!!!). His reading level was re-tested and it’s off the assessment chart for elementary school. His verbal skills are likewise well above average.

Then she said “I’m not worried about him academically. Socially, I think we have a big problem.”

Um, what?

Back and forth, back and forth, and finally what came out was that he’d been in a bad mood for three weeks, and had told another kid to “fuck off” while playing basketball on the playground.

Um, what the what?

I made reassuring noises and told her I’d get to the bottom of it. I also told her that I’d have appreciated hearing about these issues at the time they happened, and not just because there was a scheduled and required parent-teacher meeting.

Anyway, got home, talked it over with Harry. Turns out that all of his bad feelings were as a direct result of sucking at the game Foursquare (with a basketball), which the kids had started playing once the snow melted. The kid he swore at had been occupying the number one square, undefeated, for three weeks. Which doesn’t make it right, but at least makes it understandable.

This week I got a note from the teacher saying that Harry was back to his usual happy-go-lucky self. So double win, because he’s managing his frustrations better AND she’s communicating with me.

The Big Leap

I took a deep breath and bought a ticket to Blissdom Canada for this fall. I’ll be sharing a room with Nicole, the Girl in a Boyhouse, and we will pluck our random chin hairs together and she can teach me how to wear scarves with panache. Naturally the minute I clicked “buy now” I was overcome with feelings of self-doubt and mild panic, but I’m still going to do it, because I’m here in the house with small demanding humans so much that I blink like a naked mole rat in the sun whenever I’m forced to interact with society at large.

I will need to buy makeup, I’ll bet. And then learn how to apply it. This should be interesting.

All jokes aside, I actually am equal parts excited and terrified. I’ve never really supposed that my blog could be anything but an online diary of sorts, and I know that a lot of people at these conference have turned their blogs into leverage that lead to other writing gigs, sponsorships, etc. I’m awfully nervous that I’ll spend two days feeling like a country mouse. On the other hand, I’ll get to meet some people in real life for the first time, and that’s worked out so well for me in the past that I’m willing to swallow my terror and go for it.

George and the Bookie

George has added some words to his regular vocabulary. He can say:

  • doggie
  • mama
  • more-more
  • ban-ba (means ‘banana’)
  • go-go-go
  • da-da
  • Harry’s name
  • huggie
  • bum (means ‘I want to sit next to you on that piece of adult furniture’)
  • bankie (‘blankie’)
  • bookie

No, that last one doesn’t mean he’s developed a gambling habit. He’s got a book he loves, a painfully stupid book about a cat at Halloween, and he must have it read to him before every nap and at night. However, once it’s been read, he takes it to bed with him, without a whimper. I hear him in there whispering “doggie-doggie-doggie” to himself for a few minutes – all animals are ‘doggies’ – and then that’s it, he’s out until his painfully early but consistent 5:30AM wakeup.

He doesn’t even want me to sing to him anymore, which is kind of awesome because I was getting really, really tired of The Mockingbird Song.


What’s new with you? Tell me something interesting.



  1. Well I’m in limbo. In hotel now, just days away from moving back to ‘the island’ (insert Lost joke here). We’re all suffering from a cold and I’ve just watched Lucy eat Kraft peanut butter from a plastic packet with a butter knife, cause I couldn’t be bothered to stop her. Plus, it looked yummy. Looking forward to settling down again in my homeland. That’s me today!

    • It’s pretty exciting that you’re moving back east, I must say – your parents must be over the moon.

      And there is NOTHING wrong with peanut butter eaten right out of the package. That’s the best way. 🙂

  2. Every time I read about Harry’s teacher I feel sympathy anger. Oldest’s first grade teacher was total crap. Known for being total crap by the parents of every child who had ever had her. And nothing has ever been done about her. Three years of really great teachers later, we are FINALLY starting to see the light undoing oldest’s dislike of school that bloomed in first grade. Three years. If I have to lie, cheat, steal, or bribe, youngest will not have that same teacher. A bad teacher in elementary school just sucks 😦

    In good news, it’s been warm and sunny here for four entire days. Do not know what to do with myself, my kids, my yard, or anything else. Am obviously suffering from an overdose of Vitamin D. The rain will come back, but this weather will help me survive until Summer (hopefully).

    • Thank you. I appreciate the sympathy, I really do. I’m constantly second-guessing myself about whether or not I’m justified in my annoyance – I do have a bit of a Chicken Little thing going on sometimes – and I like the validation. It’s hard, being advocates for our children without being helicoptery nightmares, isn’t it?

  3. WE ARE GOING TO BLISSDOM! It’ll be so fun, but I might drive you a bit crazy (sorry in advance). So many hair and beauty products!

    George’s words sound so damn cute!!!

    • Will you give me a makeover? I’m being totally serious here. Because I honestly don’t have A Fucking Clue how to do anything with my hair or makeup.

      Then we can have a pillow fight in our lingerie, or something. Just so our husbands don’t mind that we are leaving them to solo parent for three days.

  4. So jealous that you have a good friend to go to Blissdom with! Maybe we can get together when you’re back and you can tell me all about it. You’re going to have so much fun. Without kids.

    Also, that’s amazing news about Harry. How’d you guys make such smart kids? What’s your secret? 🙂

    • Twitter is where I’ve made great connections online. Blogging is good too, but there is an immediacy to chatting on Twitter that helps a relationship develop.

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