Posted by: Hannah | 09/13/2013


I skipped Surly Thursday yesterday because the older kids were in preschool, the weather was summery and warm, and I wasn’t really feeling especially surly until the end of the day.

Then all of these things happened in the space of five minutes:

  1. Arthur climbed the tree in my front yard – like he often does – and his mom arrived to pick him up while he was still in the tree. She was clearly uncomfortable with him being up the tree and needed to be reassured that everything was OK (it was)… that he’s quite a good climber (he is)… and that she probably shouldn’t help him get down (he was yelling for mommy to look at him & to see how high he’d climbed).
  2. Louis’ mom arrived and wanted to have a serious talk – in my driveway – about Louis’ rapidly-deteriorating behaviour of late. It’s bad. It’s really bad. The whole time she was trying to talk to me, Louis was screaming in baby-talk and trying to climb her legs.
  3. Harry rode by on his bike, caught his leg on the kickstand, and fell, twisting his elbow under him. He didn’t just yell, he screamed. That scream that you know means your kid is badly hurt, not just startled or being dramatic.

Motherfucker, I say.

Got the extra kids out of the driveway. (Arthur got out of the tree safely, by the way.) Settled Harry on the couch with an ice pack and talked to Michael on the phone about whether or not x-rays were needed. Cooked a very impromptu dinner for all three boys. Administered bathtime, hair washing, pajamas.

Eventually Michael and I agreed that Harry’s elbow is likely sprained, not broken. Ron got moved to the top bunk for the night and we settled them both for sleep.

It being Thursday, Michael went to pick up our weekly Chinese take-out order. Which they lost, because the girl who took my order neglected to put it in to the kitchen before she went home at the end of her shift. So he was gone for close to an hour.


Woke up this morning. Water pump was running without stopping, a problem that’s already happened once this week. The well will need to be opened and the jet pump pulled out for repair / replacement. Halifax is currently being hit by post-tropical depression Gabrielle so we’re expecting torrential rain today, meaning no one will open up the well today. And it’s Friday! So yay, no repairs until Monday! At the earliest! Which means we have to keep turning the pump on and off as we need it so it doesn’t burn out.

Harry’s elbow was feeling better, so he decided to go to school. In a sling. The rain started right before bus stop time. Louis arrived in a football carry, no boots or raincoat, still munching on his breakfast. Apparently he refused to get dressed and kept stripping his clothes off and hiding in his bed nude. THAT BODES WELL. Pixie will be getting dropped off a half-hour earlier all next week. The dog suddenly has fleas and won’t. stop. scratching. Michael and I sniped at each other all morning.

Finally everyone was on the bus. The four littles were completely soaked. Herded them into the house, me bringing up the rear. As I was coming through the door, Daisy was overcome by an urge to be helpful and threw her sturdy toddler body against it to slam it shut. I got my hand up to stop it but misjudged and wham! slammed my right ring finger in the door.


I yelled. Inside my head, because I deserve a fucking medal for my restraint. Outwardly, I just carefully shut the door, gripped my throbbing finger, and rested my forehead against the cool glass for a few minutes.

Changed the wet clothes of four children with a definitely-sprained-and-maybe-broken finger.

I’ve had to try several different activities today until I finally found one that didn’t cause fights or tantrums. Right now they’re playing with a blanket tent. My poor finger is swollen to twice its normal size and my whole hand aches. The toy vacuum cleaner is in permanent time-out because Pixie won’t stop calling it the way pre-teens call shotgun: I wan’ dat bacuum keener. Dat’s MINE. I touched it FUST.

If the sun is over the yardarm where you are, let me know, OK? I could really, really use a drink.

Friday the 13th, I believe in you.



  1. I haven’t got any yard arms and I haven’t seen the sun in days but I start my midwifery degree on Monday which practically makes me a doctor and I prescibe you a large alcoholic drink of your choice.

    • AWESOME. *raises glass*

  2. Good lord. I’m not normally superstitious, but in your case…how many things can go wrong??? Don’t answer that, universe. Bah. Hope your finger is okay – when can you go see a doctor?

    • Right? I’m not normally superstitious either but yeesh.

  3. Your poor finger.

    • It’s not broken but it’s still all purple and oogy-looking.


    • Dammit, Daisy!

  5. OMG, what gods did you piss off!? I hope the weekend is a HUGE improvement.

    • I’d pour out a libation of wine and ask for divine forgiveness, except that would be wasting the wine.

  6. Oh man, the tree thing pisses me off. Sorry you had such a terrible Friday!

    • The tree thing pissed me off, too. I told her flat-out that I wouldn’t ban him from climbing, because my kids are allowed – nay, encouraged – to climb and that wouldn’t be fair to him. She hasn’t said another word about it, so – WIN. YOU GO, BUDDY.

      • What kind of childhood Doesn’t involve climbing trees?

  7. Jesus. Some days there are JUST not enough curse words.

    • I could feel a “cunt punt” trembling on my lips and you know I never, ever say that.

  8. 1. Mind-boggling that within a generation or so trees have become so incredibly dangerous. As if that tree were about to go all “Whomping Willow” on that kid’s ass any second.

    2. Hope she wasn’t blaming you for the behavioral problems, because knowing how much work you do to provide the best service possible, that would upset me.

    3. So hard to put into words that weird combination of nausea/helplessness/fight-and-flight response that kicks in whenever one of your offspring gets hurt or sick. I hope Harry’s OK.

    And you DO reserve the Medal of Restraint for holding back the completely understandable impulse to blurt profanity. I probably would have let the shitmotherfuckers fly in that situation (good thing none of kids’ friends would understand what I was saying anyway).

    Hope this week goes a lot more smoothly.

    • Whomping Willow? BWAH HA HA HA!!! Well-played.

      And no, she’s definitely not blaming me for the behavioural problems, quite the contrary… but what alarms me slightly is that she is looking to me for solutions / strategies, and I really do think he would benefit from testing for autism spectrum disorders. He’s very high-functioning but I’ve been reading up, as well as talking to moms I know with kids who have PPD-NOS or SPD, and he has too many of the key indicators to ignore it. His mom just isn’t ready to hear that yet, though, although we’re getting closer, I think.

      So far, this week is better. We’ll talk about the $800 to fix the well pump problem another time. :p

  9. Oh, man, I really recognize that “resting the forehead against the cool glass for a few minutes” sort of moment.

  10. […] ever met (myself included) are stubborn as the day is long. But Friday the 13th? Meh. My friend Hannah will probably disagree with me, but I have no adverse feelings about it. If someone chases after me […]

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