Growing Up is Hard… For Parents!

Birthdays and the first day of school. They come every year and every year, they are a poignant reminder that our wee things are getting older and will one day become…

Wait for it…

Teenagers.

When Nikki had her first day of senior kindergarten at our local public school (junior had been spent at a Montessori school), I was scared. I think I sat on the porch and waited with bated breath until 3:10, when I could go back to collect her. To be honest, I don’t remember much about that day except being scared and crying. Me, not her.

Fast forward to this year and she walked into grade 3 like a pro. I’m calmer too—only a little, mind you—but part of the reason that I’m calmer is that I know she can handle herself. She can ask questions and figure things out and doesn’t need me to hold her hand for every little thing.

This is in sharp contrast to the mom I heard go by my house after drop off, this morning. I was in the backyard and heard her from yards away. The poor woman was sobbing into a cell phone, and I caught a few words between heaves and sobs:

THAT teacher told me that it was time for me to leave. And I’m like ‘but nobody is comforting my child!’

More sobbing… and she was gone.

Dropping off your kid on the first day of school, for the first time, is one of the hardest things we do as parents. I wanted to tell this mom that it gets easier. That kids adapt quickly and hers will be fine too. Not that she would have believed me.

Here’s to hoping that the first day of school at your house was smooth sailing. Cheers!

Child Plays Without Direct Supervision: World is Stunned 

What’s this world coming to? 

It was fucking anarchy. Kids coming to our cottage door at the resort we were staying at, seeing if my precious one was free to come out and play. 

I looked at my calendar on my phone : “Did we have something scheduled?”

“No…” they replied sheepishly, kicking the dirt at the base of my stairs with the tips of their well worn sneakers. 

“Well then…” I replied, almost gleeful in my righteousness. 

“But can she?” they persisted. 

“Well…” And just as I was about to start my finger wagging lecture on safety, a blur flew past me at the door, grabbing the kids by their hands and dragging them away. I didn’t see her again for three hours—though I heard her yells as they played capture the flag or tag. 

I sat in my little cottage, sick with worry, until she came strolling in, declaring that intense thirst and the need for marshmallows were now taking priority. 

Oh, what to do?

Okay, that’s not really what happened. What really happened was an experience like none other.

The resort was smallish and many of the cottages had families in them. By the second night, the kids were congregating on the main lawn after dinner to play whatever they felt like playing. We parents and grandparents hung out by the fire pit with plastic cups, containing our individual poisons. And it was bliss. 

Every once in a while, I saw her blonde hair streak by. I heard her not easy to miss voice. And until about 10 pm every night, this was the deal: don’t go near the road or on the docks. Other than that, have fun. 

She had so much of it. Fun, that is. No screens. No toys. Just imagination and mosquitoes. The freedom to run and play without having to check in every five seconds. 

I didn’t know the other families before we arrived; I met them all at the pool or by the side of the fire pit. 


Rightly or wrongly, I felt immediately comfortable knowing that this village was watching over all of our littles. 
In an era of scheduling and hovering—something I am as guilty of as most any other parent—this week of retro style freedom will be one we both cherish in our memories for a long time to come. 

No Smart Remarks

Someone asked me this morning why I haven’t commented on the attacks in Paris. After all, my blog is called “Send Me to Paris”.

I haven’t commented on here because there is no funny. I am trying to infuse my writing with snark, with witty, with sarcasm, with funny. But there is nothing funny about the deaths of over 130 innocent people. Nothing.

So I will only say this: 

je-suis-paris-i-am-paris-L-H_BSol

Schadenfreude Strikes Again

Ashley Madison – the dating site of choice for philandering spouses – was hacked!

Oh me-o! Oh my-o!

And the drums began sounding.

And the voices were crying ‘karma’.

A lot of chatter along the lines of ‘serves them right for having that account in the first place’.

But does it? Does being a philanderer mean you aren’t entitled to having your privacy protected, to say nothing of the fact that exposing the philanderers (or to be fair, the potential philanderers) would also harm their spouses and families?

What do you think?

**Update** — Totally agree with Yummy Mummy Club’s Jeni Marinucci on this one…

A Lot of People in a Really Small House

As many of you know, my daughter Nikki and I live with my mother. In a tiny house. Not like the tiny houses you see on television on that show ‘Tiny Houses’ but pretty tiny. And it’s about to get tinier for the 4 weeks.

My uncle (Mom’s brother) is coming to visit from France. And suddenly I am hearing that song in my head: ” If you go into the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” Don’t ask me why.

We will be three generations, two cultures and two languages living in one tiny house.

So if you were us, what would you do for fun? Where would you take the French uncle? He hasn’t been to Canada in … well, I was 15 the last time so it was a long, long, long time ago! And don’t say Niagara Falls. We did that with him when I was 15 and once is enough 😉 

Any Given Night…

Out of curiosity a few months ago, I put on the channel channel. You know, the one that shows you what’s on? I’m sure you call it the TV guide but we call it the channel channel. Never mind.

ANYWAY, I decided to write down the names of the shows that I could watch that Monday night, at 8:30 pm – on regular Untitled designcable. I just found the list this afternoon. I had been using it as a bookmark in the book that I ran screaming to after writing this list (The Hobbit, in case you’re curious. Reading #564). Here’s the list:

  1. CSI: Crime Scene
  2. Wipeout Canada
  3. Gotham
  4. Mike & Molly
  5. Save us From our Home
  6. The Bachelor
  7. Celebrity Apprentice
  8. Cat in the Hat
  9. Property Brothers
  10. First 48
  11. My Weight is Killing Me
  12. Storage Wars
  13. Breaking Bad
  14. Criminal Minds
  15. Income Property
  16. House of Payne
  17. Castle
  18. Border Security
  19. Modern Family
  20. Columbo (really?!?)

There was more but I missed a few as they cycled through on the channel channel.

Is it any wonder that we have no clarity of thought at times?

Put the Phone Down. Please.

Last evening, I almost got hit by a truck.

I was crossing the road near my house, on my way to pick up Nikki from a play date. A man in a black pick up truck rolled right up to the stop sign, on my right hand side, and kept on rolling. For me, the whole thing happened in slow motion. He was looking down at his lap – either admiring his penis or looking at a phone: your guess is as good as mine.

He rolled by right in front of me, only inches from me, and thanks to the warm weather and the open window, he heard me perfectly as I yelled: “HELLO???”

He looked up in the side mirror then: “Sorry Miss… Sorry Miss…” he exclaimed.

“Sorry my ass!” I yelled at him. Not eloquent, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.

He kept on rolling. I have the licence plate number. At least I think I do. I know it starts with 882. I’m not convinced about the last three digits so the whole way along the route to pick up Nikki I started practicing memorizing licence plates with just one quick look because I don’t know if I’ll ever need that information one day.

If Nikki had been with me right then, if she had been walking just slightly ahead of me as she does sometimes, exerting her little six year old independent spirit, she would have been hit. He wasn’t going fast but if he didn’t see me, all of 5 foot 7 and too many pounds, there is no way he would have seen tiny little her.

It was a near miss that shouldn’t surprise me after all the times I’ve been sitting on my porch and watched other near misses happen, almost all due to distracted driving.

So, I beg you. Put your phone down. Put it in the trunk. Put it anywhere that you aren’t going to be tempted to touch it while you are driving. Please.

Right Brain is the Right Brain for Us

The other day, I had a meeting with my daughter’s special education teacher – Nikki was placed in the Reading Mastery program at the beginning of grade 1. Mrs. K wanted to let me know that my dearest had graduated! She no longer needed the program because she had essentially “caught up”.

But then Mrs. K. added: “She is the funniest kid. We were reading this story about a girl and there was a cactus in the picture. The kids are asked to describe the scene and Nikki said that the girl must be from the ‘wild, wild west’. ‘Why is that?’, I asked her and she replied: ‘because of the cactus’. I’ve been teaching this book for 7 years. Not one single other child has mentioned the cactus.”

“She’s weird that way.” I said.

Mrs. K. laughed and touched my arm: “I’m glad YOU said that and not me but that IS funny, isn’t it?”

So I think that Nikki, like me, is a little more right brain than left. And that’s okay with me. What’s your kid’s super power?