Posted by: Hannah | 02/03/2017

in praise of naps

Naps are the best.

I say this as a person, a parent, and a professional childcare provider. Nothing – NOTHING – is a more effective tool in your arsenal than a nap. A nap for you will help you to be focused, patient, and productive. A nap for your kids is developmentally-necessary, plus it makes it easier for them to be pleasant and fun little people.

Ask a cat. Naps are the shit, yo.

It’s one thing I really miss about my pre-child years – the ability to just curl up on the couch with a blanket and have a nap. Last night, for example. I got off work a little early and the sun was shining, so we bundled the kids up and went sledding for an hour before dinner. We had a very simple meal (grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup) and afterwards I felt so sleepy and relaxed… I plopped down in the recliner and grabbed a fuzzy blanket. I could feel that lovely heaviness spreading through my limbs. My eyelids drooped. My breathing slowed…

… and George shoved a foam dinosaur in my face while he yelled MOM I MADE A QUETZALCOATLUS, THAT’S A KIND OF PTERANODON.

… and Harry and Ron started squabbling in the kitchen about the correct way to load the dishwasher.

… and the dog started to whimper because he needed to go to the bathroom.

… and the cats started play-fighting because it’s winter and Mad Max is getting shack-wacky.

… and I knew I had to go out in the cold over icy roads to take Ron to violin lessons.

And thus I shook off the blanket and got up, and in the end I was awake bloody late again, because at bedtime I can’t stop my brain from fretting about the tangerine shit-gibbon to the south of us and end up watching TV far too late.

This of course then means that come the afternoon I’m ready for a nap again.

It makes it that much more infuriating when the littles fight their naps, lemme tell you.




Posted by: Hannah | 01/23/2017

in which I feel really super-old

George has found a game in the xBox demos menu called “Rayman: Legends”. He loves it, and plays it whenever he’s given the chance. It’s fairly impressive to watch. He’s got much better hand-eye coordination than I did at five.

His favourite level, as he tells me, is a side-scroller. It’s timed. It forces you to keep moving or you die. Bad guys pop up and sing at you. There are cannons and sparkly yellow things in cages and honestly, it just gives me a headache to watch it go by.

Here’s the weird thing… the soundtrack of this level is Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” from 1977. It’s been re-recorded so there are no lyrics. The little guys just make phonetic sounds instead of words. And there’s a lot of pretty credible-sounding guitar.

It means I’ve been whisper-muttering whoa black Betty, bam-ba-LAM, whoa black Betty, bam-ba-LAM under my breath for three days now on a continuous loop because a) it’s one of the earwormiest earworms that ever earwormed and b) no one knows the actual words to that damn song, regardless of how many times we’ve all heard it in the past 40 years.

Finally today I was trying to Relate To The Young People And Also Seem Both Cool & Knowledgeable, so I said “hey buddy, did you know that music is a song that came out the year before I was born?”

He glanced at me for a second, jumped over a couple more enemies, and replied “oh, I don’t think so, mom. This is a video game. They weren’t invented yet the year before you were born. That was a very long time ago.”

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be sitting in a rocking chair at the nursing home, I guess.

Posted by: Hannah | 01/17/2017

in which I try try again

January always makes me feel like writing again.

It’s kind of a lonely time. I’m indoors a lot more than usual – even hardy me and my strict get the hell outside, it’s good for you, may I discuss Finland’s outdoor schools with you philosophy struggles when the temperatures drop below -10C. The kids’ extra-curricular schedule is lighter because I like any excuse to not be driving over messy roads night after night.

We’re in the doldrums. My sails hang droopy and crackly with ice. Add in that all my favourite people from Twitter are rarely there anymore, driven away by the constant and relentless barrage of PEOTUS-related garbage (PEEOTUS)? and suddenly I don’t have a place to interact with adults during my workday.

This space is neglected. It’s the first symptom of my total lack of self-care – leaving this space to gather cobwebs. If I can’t take the time to write, I am not taking the time to do anything that’s for me. And that’s a problem.

I need to stop writing for an audience, too. I’m pretty sure everyone’s left. Blogging is dead, long live blogging! Everyone’s gone to Instagram, they tell me. I tried that while we were in Florida (more on that in another post) and all that happened was a friend of a friend who I’ve never met, will never meet, and wouldn’t know from Adam followed my family vacation pictures. I’m sure I could lock the account down (or delete it altogether, which is more likely) but it just made me feel weird. Remember back when blogs were for the wider world and your social media accounts were more circumspect? I still don’t follow anyone I haven’t at least had one interaction with. Call me a curmudgeon but why would you follow the Instagram of someone you’re two steps removed from, unless they are actively promoting something?


Let’s see… what am I into now?

TV – The Crown, Jane the Virgin. We finally cut the cable altogether last week. We agonized over the decision probably more than we needed to, but after about 36 hours of feeling oddly unsettled it was fine. Of course less than a week later the telecom company called to ask if we didn’t want to add TV to our current bundle (no) at a special introductory rate (still no) and after me refusing with steadily-decreasing politeness three times I finally just hung up on her. You don’t get paid commission, sweetheart, so don’t push me. Seriously. Your call metrics look BAD if the customer hangs up.

Movies – Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. It’s turned out that being almost 39 means you completely run out of fucks to give on paying $12.99 to see Oscar-bait art pieces with tortured protagonists and probably an Affleck. I’m all about the big-budget splashouts these days. I would like to see La-La Land but as a lifelong fan of musicals that’s kind of a given. Probably going to John Wick 2 in February because the first one kicked all the ass.

Books – My Kindle left home. Seriously, it disappeared. I have NO IDEA where it went. It always lived by my bed and one day it just wasn’t there anymore, so I’m sort of flailing around lost, trying not to admit that I probably need to replace it because I must have left it somewhere. While we were on vacation I tried to read Lock In by John Scalzi but I was too tired and overstimulated to focus on it properly… neat premise, but there were too damn many characters and since a part of that premise means some characters are actually two people I was woefully confused. In the absence of my brain, I’m rereading the last four books of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.

Music – I am the only person on earth who isn’t familiar with the soundtrack to Hamilton.

Food – Soup. Hearty homemade soup. I’ve become that person.

Snack food – Triscuits, olives, and cheese. I’m also THAT person.

Video game – I don’t know, I miss video games. I’ve been contemplating tackling the one Zelda title I own but never finished.

Beauty product – Dry shampoo. Yes, I’m years behind the curve on this one but whatever, I always get there eventually, and this stuff is amazing for my busy life (and the decreasing availability of shower time now that I have a kid in junior high).

Tea – Twinings Christmas blend. We bought it at Epcot and I’m greedily parceling out the 20 bags, trying to make it last.

Well, George just noticed I was sitting peacefully and writing, so he’s decided nothing will satisfy him but getting my attention. God, that kid (also a story for another time). Hopefully it won’t be three months before I write again.

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