Not my best day

It is one of those days where I just can’t get my shit together. I have both kids all day by myself, which is not the best when I am so scattered. Hubby is away on business, he left this morning at 6 a.m. and will be back sometime tonight after we are in bed, or at least by then I hope we will all be in bed, but the way things are going I might very well be asleep while Crazy is jumping on my bed beside me.

Nothing particularly bad happened, and in the great grand scheme of crappy-ass days, I fully recognize that this one doesn’t even register a blip on the radar, but still, this is not my favourite day. I am tired, which these days the last four years is the norm and doesn’t really add anything to the story, but it is always worth mentioning. I have also developed a cold, which again, is more of a mild inconvenience than a life altering event, but I have been in good health for so long now that I had forgotten how crappy it was to feel crappy. Thank you short memory, even though you are also the reason that I was contemplating a third pregnancy/child because you had helped me forget how ridiculously traumatic child birth is (sorry E, but you are going to find out soon enough), luckily I wrote that shit down last time.

Anyway, head cold, and in case it wasn’t perfectly clear, incapable of focusing on a single subject for more than ten seconds.

Crazy wandered into my room and woke me up a little after seven, and thus the day began. So far so good, just a little pressure behind the eyes and ears, a nose full of unpleasantness, and my whole body felt like my muscles had disintegrated over night, but at least the little ones slept in longer than the sun.

Around 9:30 a.m. I worked up the courage for outing number 1, Crazy was promised a treat for good behaviour, so we made our way to the toy store. I took advantage of the promised gift to stop for gas and shoes (two stops, I do not buy my shoes at the gas station). After all, my kids will behave like angels if they know a reward is just minutes away.

Once I had bought myself a new purse (there were no shoes I liked), we proceeded to spend an hour in the toy store while Crazy scrutinized every toy on every shelf in every aisle, and Squishy picked up toys at random and headed for the exit. Finally, Crazy picked a remote controlled train and Squishy narrowed it down to Barbapapa figurines.

Back at home, we got the toys out of their wrappings in a little under 45 minutes which was a new record for removing the unnecessary packaging found on children’s toys. We put new batteries in and surprise, the train didn’t work. Poor Crazy was so disappointed and so was I because I knew I would have to take them back to the freaking toy store.

I barely scraped together lunch and put Squishy down for a nap before falling onto the couch and trying to rest while Crazy was jumping, rolling, flipping, and just generally being crazy. Squishy normally sleeps three hours in the afternoon, which is just awesome, but today being today, she only slept 45 minutes.

Once everyone was awake and dressed again, back to the toy store we went. After yet another hour of scrutinizing and randomly grabbing and running, we came out with a non battery operated toy that was sure to work. All of this after the store manager “verified” that the toy really didn’t work.  I fully understand this is procedure, but it did make me feel a little bit like I was too stupid to put batteries in a plastic toy.

So once back at home, I decided what the kids really needed to tire themselves out and therefore ensure they would go to sleep at a decent time that night was some fresh air. Crazy wanted to ride his bike.  So I got it out of the garage, Squishy decided she wanted her scooter, so I got that out of the garage, then Crazy saw Squishy with her scooter and decided he no longer wanted his bike and wanted his scooter instead. I put the bike back and got his scooter, then I managed to find both helmets and chased down the kids to put them on their heads.  We were approximately 20 m from the front door when Squishy decided she was done with the scooter, so I carried hers for the last 500 m to the park.  The 500 m took a grand total of 20 minutes between the stops to look at rocks, the random deciding to sit down and play with garbage or whatever fun things may cross the mind of an almost 2 year old.

Once we got there, we headed for the slide, this is when disaster struck. Two little girls came to the park with of all things…their chihuahua. This would, of course, be no big deal for any other family, but Crazy, as crazy as he might be, has a pathological fear of dogs, and cats, and I discovered yesterday turtles as well, basically anything non human that moves.  So Crazy was frozen with fear at the sight of this rat-sized dog in a t-shirt (I think the attempt to dress it like a human also added to the inexplicable phobia).  I told him to play on the slide because there was no way this little ankle-biter could make it up there to get him, boy was I wrong. Crazy climbed up the ladder stairs to the slide, and little dog followed him right up, walked past him, and slid down the slide.  I was in hysterics laughing at the sight of this dog sliding down a slide, until I realized that my son was paralyzed with fear. I helped guide the poor dear back into my arms and we decided to leave about 7 minutes after we got there.

Of course neither child wanted to ride their scooters anymore or wear their helmets, so I clumsily picked up both scooters, both helmets, and the back pack full of snacks and changes of clothes and we started on our way to the empty tennis courts so that kids could run/roll around freely without the threat of cars or wild mini-animals.  So it was on our way that Hubby decided to call, here I was arms full, shins sore from the scooters banging into them and the phone ringing.  I barely made it to the tennis court before dropping everything and sitting on the ground to bitch and complain to my husband. Oddly enough, I totally broke down in that phone call, and sweet as he was, he burst out laughing, and somehow that made it all better.  In that ten minutes while the kids chased each other around the net–I am still not sure exactly who was chasing whom–I totally broke down, picked up the broken pieces, and for the first time all day I got my shit together.  Who knew that all I needed was for someone to laugh at me.

UPDATE: This is not an open invitation for you (and you know who you are) to kick me when I am down.

Average is okay

I have been having trouble finding inspiration to write anything, I have ideas such as a reply to the Forbes article that made me rageful or a commentary on the flagrant sexism that I and a few friends have been subject to in the last few days (one incident involved the word “spank” just to give you an idea of the insanity of the situation at the moment). I decided against writing about these points because they are serious, and I’m not sure I can pull off serious.

I have spent the last week reading–reading books, reading blogs, reading articles–in an attempt to find some inspiration, but instead of finding a way forward, I have discovered that I’m painfully average.  Luckily I have enough quirks and personality flaws that life is never boring. This past week, for example, I had a mini nervous breakdown when I came to the crushing realisation that I have no memories between 0 and 6 years of age. While most people would think, “Hmm, I guess I’m a little behind the rest of the world on that one,” that was not exactly my reaction.  My overactive imagination and my adamant refusal to be below the curve sent me into a downward spiral convinced that I had repressed memories following some childhood trauma.  I spent 2 days trying to remember pets I may have lost or painful memories (think tongue stuck to a frozen metal pole in the winter…in Canada, which is equal parts physically painful and totally humiliating), but with no luck. Once I slept decently for a full night (stupid night time toilet training),  I laughed at my own ridiculousness on this subject.

So anyway, this week I have read stories from activists, parents, athletes, business men (you got me, this is the article that made me rageful, it also made me realise that I am so not the target audience for Forbes). I have read stories of great heroism and triumph, as well as failure and defeat, and I have also read quite a bit about nothing in particular, but nothing that was so well written, it gave me hope that maybe there was a little bit of talent in all of us.

After all of this reading, I realised I have no great stories to share, no great moments to put on paper, my life is filled with average everyday events, go to work, come home, take care of small humans, and repeat.

I am average.

But that is okay, and even though I am average I still choose to write.

UNRELATED SIDE NOTE: This is the second time I have written this post because my freaking tablet decided to die on me last night when I tried to publish, losing all my work to that point.  Lesson learned: tablet != computer.

RELATED FOLLOW UP QUESTION: What do you like to write about? Read about? Photograph, um, about?

I can’t seem to finish a thought

I am going through one of those moments in my life when there are so many things on the go, to plan, to manage, to remember that I am unable to finish a single thought.

This week for example, I have to figure out how I am going to attend and remember to attend the first parent-teacher night at our school. This is something I refuse to miss because it is one of the few moments in the year when we get a sneak peak into our child’s everyday life. As Crazy is about as chatty as a caterpillar I have no input on what happens in his day.  I even joined the PTA last year just to have some privileged time with his teacher to find out what is really going on in his life.

Also, on Tuesday,  I have to give a speech, as it is not political, perhaps that is not the right way to say it, I guess it is more appropriate to say “I have been asked to speak.”  Now that El Jefe has moved to Boston, I am managing his speaking engagements.  I am not so much nervous for this as I am totally and completely excited.  I mean seriously, I love to be the centre of attention–I think this is a personality flaw due to the fact that I am a middle and therefore forgotten child–and how much more centre can I get than speaking to a room full of 150 colleagues.  Not only that but my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss will be there, so the next time promotion is being discussed, perhaps he might say “Hey, do you remember that girl that said that thing that one time, it was kind of funny, we should promote her.”

On top of that, I have a little over a month before we leave for a two week vacation to Canada, and nothing says vacation like a nine hour flight with two preschool age children. Regardless, there are only two weeks and a lot of very wonderful people to see, and that requires intense planning, something I have only just begun to start to think about.

And since tomorrow is Monday, I have started to think about the insurmountable to-do list at work that is filled with only “urgent” or “requires immediate attention” or “do it now or you will get fired” items.

I am also contemplating how exactly I will get my kids to school and day care tomorrow if it is raining. This is the south of France, have you ever heard anything as insane as rain here? I couldn’t believe it when I woke up to the sound of rain falling this morning. It was such a wonderful change or at least it was until I decided to take the kids out to play in the rain; I have yet to figure out where my head was at when I came up with this idea. I got them all dressed up in rain gear and rubber boots and went out to splash around in puddles. We came back about 30 minutes later soaked to the bone, cold, and miserable.  It took me nearly as long to get everyone dry and warmed up again. I can’t imagine how I will manage it tomorrow morning unless I bring everyone, including myself, an extra change of clothes.

So these are the thoughts I am able to focus on for more than 20 seconds.  The rest of the time my mind is jumping from one thing to the next, never able to fully digest the thought, the feeling, the moment before it skips on to the