Miscellany with a side of stabbiness

Everyday, I update the little Christmas countdown board. When I forget, my 10 year-old is very good at making sure that a) I know it and b) I fix it. So, that’s covered.

The shopping is coming along. There’s already WAY TOO MUCH stuff in this house and Christmas isn’t going to lighten the load any. I quest to declutter is a losing battle right now. I’m feeling quite defeated, I must admit. But, on the upside, I have enough Lego now to build myself a new minivan when mine gives up the ghost.

My weight and my stress level are creeping back up, so I know that it’s time to do something about both those things. Likely tending to one will resolve the other, so really, I just knocked that list down by half. Go me!

Airmiles announced this week that Airmiles will no longer expire. Well, that’s just fucking great. Now that I redeemed almost all of them because I’d rather have shit I didn’t want or need that lose TEN YEARS of collecting effort. Not impressed. Less than a month before they are all set to expire, Airmiles ‘changes its’ mind.’ Um. fuck you very much, Airmiles, you asshole.

And, in more amusing news, last week, I was accused of English being my second language, by someone who, by my estimation, (based on her online writing) is functionally illiterate in English. Are you eff’ing kidding me? To be fair, her exact comment was: “Thanks for the long comment but you may not fluent in English? Read my post again.” Her badly written original question was looking for ways that she could improve her son’s French (“Can anyone give advice if I want my 11 year old son improves his French ?”). I gave her a few suggestions and at the end threw it out there that immersion isn’t for everyone, so not to stress too much if English is a better program for him. Vowed not to help stupid people again. Well, I will, because I can’t say no, but only the polite ones from now on.

Also, if Spellcheck tries, just one more time, to auto-correct “stabby” to “shabby” I am going to get all kinds of cranky. I am NOT shabby. Nor am I “stubby.” But I most definitely AM stabby.

if-the-next-words-out-of

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~A.

Confirmed. We are going to Hell in a hand basket for this one.

I’m a bit pensive today. Feeling a bit older than my years, and much older than my usual 17 year-old maturity level. And for the first time, it occurs to me that somehow, over the years, bit by bit, we’ve taken Christmas from this:

The Nativity Scene at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, NY

The Nativity Scene at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, NY

and this:

A Charlie Brown Christmas scene.

A Charlie Brown Christmas scene.

and turned it into this:

and even worse (if that’s possible), this:

And the result is THIS. WE have turned Christmas into THIS for our children.

And then we wonder why society is shot to shit, why we are faced with one crisis after another, why people are so rude, angry and aggressive now, why Britain is leaving the EU, why Donald Trump is the POTUS-elect, why a man can receive three months for brutally raping an unconscious woman, why more and more places are legalizing marijuana use and why the middle class and women represent a higher percentage of heroin use and related-deaths than ever before.

Are we using twerking Santa’s and Frosty’s as a salve for our scared and wounded souls and bruised psyches? Or have we just given up trying to regain any semblance of innocence, joy and citizenship, even during the season of peace, joy, love and giving?

31 days and counting until Christmas. Is there still time to undo ANY of this damage?

Reflectively yours,
~A.

The problem is not kids these days. It’s us.

one-bookone-penone-childand-one

As much as we want to blame the internet, the kids, the teachers, the schools, the media, none of those things are the problem. This is not a fun message to send or receive. The problem with kids these days is us. Children watch the adults around them (and their parents more specifically) and what they observe shapes the foundation for their views on the world. These observations help to develop how they, themselves react and behave towards others over the course of their day. And let’s face it, the majority of their day is spent at school.

Many parents and adults are polite, considerate, lovely people. They are not the problem (clearly). Many other parents and adults are loud, rude, angry, confrontational and reactive. They are the problem (clearly).

Today, the common thought by professionals in the education and helping professions is that children need to learn how to “self-regulate” and that being a successful “self-regulator” will resolve much of the behaviour and acting out that many schools are forced to deal with everyday, all day, with a greater number of students than ever (at least so it appears based on anecdotal evidence). Behaviours that are often serving as a barrier to accessing a solid education by all students, not merely the ones acting out.

Self-regulation is an excellent idea. It is a great theory. It fails in practice. Why? Because until the PARENTS are able to self-regulate and behave in polite and civilized ways, children do not stand a chance. Until the PARENTS begin to support educators and the importance of being educated, their children will continue to act out.

Children’s behaviour is NOT a school board’s responsibility. Children’s behaviour is the parents’ responsibility and if the parents need support, then THAT is where to school board can provide assistance. Educators and school staff are not there to RAISE children. Schools exist to educate and support children and help to guide them toward successful and productive citizenship. Schools are NOT daycares, babysitters or nannies.

This goal of educating and guiding children cannot be met when parents abdicate their parental responsibilities once their child(ren) pass through the doors of their first school. I have had parents say to me ” meh, it’s their [the school’s] problem to deal with, he’s with them all day. He’s perfectly fine at home. What do they expect ME to do about it if he’s not listening to them (replace ‘listening’ with any of these: hitting, acting out, swearing, fighting, refusing to work, spitting, running away, bullying, etc)?”

My opinions on raising children, school, and parenting are not popular and I accept that. I did not become a mother in order to have a bunch of new friends, or create my own clique, or to be popular with tiny people. I became a mother to raise good humans and pass down some of the skills and knowledge that I had gathered in my lifetime (turns out some those skills were somewhat less developed than I thought!) and sometimes that means that I am about the most unpopular person in the house, possibly the planet (just ask my kids!).  I am the primary caregiver in our family, and as such it is one of my jobs to set and enforce the majority of the routines, rules and consequences. I do not make excuses for my children’s behaviour when they make poor choices. They must take responsibility for their choices and they are held to a higher standard than “I don’t know” or “well, everyone else…” I do not let things that are wrong slide. We talk it out and problem solve what they could do differently next time. They do not get away with blaming others for their choices. Because they always have more than one choice. We all do.

I am not writing this from a place of infallible, perfect parenting. I am not the perfect parent. My kids are not perfect. One thing that I am though, is constantly aware, constantly watching, listening and seeking better ways of doing things, handling situations, and guiding my children (and the children with whom I work) toward making conscious choices rather than following the crowd, acting on impulse or simply being reactive.

And you know what? Sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, great, when it doesn’t, we try again.

One thing that every parent needs to know (in my unpopular opinion), is that it is the PARENT’S job to parent, that as a parent that you, and you alone are your child’s first and most important teacher. With that responsibility comes the requirement to work WITH educators and other helping professionals to ensure that your child is giving and receiving all of the effort and cooperation possible to ensure a successful result. When parents are combative to or confrontational toward the very people they are depending on to raise their children, it only serves to escalate the problems the child, and therefore the school and the rest of the children, must deal with.

This quick post has grown slightly longer than I expected. In the end, here is my wish list for all of us:

  1. Demonstrate the behaviour we want our kids to copy;
  2. Instill a love of learning and a sincere belief in the importance of being educated in all areas of life (i.e. history is not pointless and French is not dumb);
  3. Bring back social etiquette and manners – across the board;
  4. Place the responsibility of parenting back on the parents and provide support where needed and when necessary;
  5. Allow children to be children and to make mistakes without rushing in to ‘rescue’ them from all natural consequences of their choices;
  6. Learn, teach and share problem solving and dispute resolution skills with children from a young age (but it’s never too late to start);
  7. Spend less time on ‘devices’ and more time interacting, in REAL LIFE with our families – no more technological babysitters and distractions;
  8. Realize that not everything is personal or requires your response. If I say that I don’t like the colour blue, and your shirt is blue, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like you, it means that I don’t like blue. Period.
  9. Stop jumping to conclusions or attributing the worst possible meaning to everything. Give people the benefit of the doubt first.
  10. If you’re talking, you’re not listening. If you’re not listening, you’re not learning. If you’re not learning, you are standing still (and possibly moving backwards). Talk less, listen more.

And that, my friends, is my (consistently) unpopular two-cents on the subject.

~A.

Are you in on the craze of the season? Just stop. Please.

69edaf97a73f4335e00cd8749dd356ab

Are you in on this Hatchimal craze?

I’m not. My kids are not. And if they were, I’m afraid that they would be sorely disappointed. Because Christmas is NOT about getting the latest fad or the most expensive doodad. It’s about sharing time with your family, giving gifts that hold true value to the recipient, not just over-advertised, over-hyped and over-priced poorly made and likely soon-to-be recalled pieces of garbage.

Sound harsh? Yup. I probably am. But I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle to raise good humans, people who care more about other people and the world we live in than they do STUFF.

A lot of people pay lip service to raising kids with manners, a lot of people complain about the quality of education their children are receiving, a lot of people are so worried about keeping their children HAPPY, that they are not actually doing anything to prepare their children for reality.

The reality that people are not ALWAYS happy. That not everybody is going to give you what you want. That sometimes people say NO and you need to accept that and move forward, not throw a fit or fall apart. The reality is that you really can’t always get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, you just might find, you’ll get what you need.

And yes, I realize that I am quoting The Rolling Stones to try to get my point across, but hey, they had it right. So why fight it?

Can I take a 50% completion rate as a win? Pretty please?

I have a list. On that list there are 36 things that I MUST do this week. Please note, that today is THURSDAY. This means that I have, essentially, one day left to finish my list (and probably save the world, as yes, my list is that important).

As of this precise moment in time, I have completed 18 items on my list. Using my superior fourth grade math skills, that means that I have completed roughly 50% of my list. Or, in layman terms, for those of you not as math-savvy as I clearly am, by completing 18 items on my list of 36 means that I’m well and truly fecked and destined fail to reach my goal of completion.

ad36fa3ba2ba37be25a14ecb7bcd75cf

So, on that happy note, I’ll sign off for now, dry the tears that now stain my list, and see what I can pull off in the next 30’ish hours (I must admit though that cleaning the kitty litter will likely not make the cut, but meh, it’s not like I use it). Honestly, this week has been a bit of a write-off. Between Trump being elected and all that means for both sides of the border, and my own habitual failures at life, things are looking pretty bloody bleak at the moment.

There’s still time for me to save the world with my super hero-esque like list completion, but please don’t bet the farm it. I think I feel a migraine coming on.

~A.

Santa Claus Parades in the G.T.A. in 2016 – Updated

Updated – new, improved, and probably still completely riddled with errors and omissions. Meh.

2016 parades

Here’s my good deed for the year. I sure hope that Santa is paying attention because this actually took some WORK. But, of course, you should always check and confirm dates and times for yourself (all information is linked to an official page of one type or another) before bundling up your family and heading out. Because sometimes I tell lies.

Some of these parades include Christmas or Santa or Light Festivals. Make sure to check out the event page so that you don’t miss out on any of the fun. Listed (mostly) alphabetically, not by date.

Daytime/Earlier Start Parades:

Beach (Kingston Rd) – November 27, 2016 – 1:00pm

Bolton – December 3, 2016

Burlington – December 4, 2016 – 2:00pm

Cannington – November 26, 2016 – 11:00am

Etobicoke (Lakeshore) – December 3,  2016 – 1:00pm

Fenelon Falls – November 26, 2016 – 11:00am – 4:00pm

Keswick – November 19, 2016 – 1:30pm

Kitchener – November 19, 2016 – 10:30am

Lindsay – November 20, 2016 – 2:00pm

Maple – November 27, 2016 – 2:00pm

Markham – November 26, 2016 – 11:00am

Milton – November 20, 2016 – 1:30pm

Newmarket – November 19, 2016 – 11:00am – 1:30pm

Oakville – November 19, 2016 – 9:00am

Pickering – November 26, 2016 – 9:00am – 12:00pm

Sharon (East Gwillimbury) – November 13, 2016 – 2:00pm

Streetsville – November 26, 2016 – 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Toronto – November 20, 2016 – 12:30pm

Tottenham – November 26, 2016 – 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Weston Village – November 27, 2016 – 2:00pm

Whitby – December 3, 2016 – 10:00am – 12:00pm

Night Time/Later Start Parades:

Ajax – November 26, 2016 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Alliston – November 19, 2016 – 4:00pm – 9:00pm

Aurora – November 26, 2016 – 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Barrie – November 19, 2016 – 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Beaverton – November 18, 2016 – 7:00pm

Bradford – November 19, 2016 – 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Brampton – November 19, 2016 – 5:00pm

Flamborough – November 26, 2016 – 6:30pm

Havelock – November 19, 2006 – 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Markham – November 25, 2016 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Orangeville – November 19, 2016 – 5:00pm

Oshawa – November 19, 2016 – 6:00pm

Peterborough – December 3, 2016 – 4:45pm – 6:30pm

Port Perry – December 3, 2016 – 5:00pm (website under construction)

Richmond Hill – November 19, 2016 – 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Schomberg (King City) – December 3, 2016- 4:00pm

Sunderland – December 10, 2016  – 6:30pm (scroll down the site, 4:30am is a mis-type)

Sutton – December 3, 2016 – 5:00pm

Unionville – December 2, 2016 – 7:00pm

So, there you have it. If you know of another parade that should be added to the list, send it to me, or leave a comment below and I’ll see that it’s added. (Unless my server deletes posts again. In that case, I’ll just start on the Easter Parade list and call it a day 😕).

Ho! Ho! Ho! Go forth and Christmas on, my friends!

There is curiosity and then there is this.

Every now and then, for giggles, I check out what search terms bring people to The Keswick Blog. It’s usually fairly entertaining mixed with a dash of terrifying. This time around is no different.

If you’re reading this, and you got here using any of the following search terms, I’m sorry. This ain’t that blog.

The ‘It Ain’t That Blog’ List

  1. women to f**k in keswick on – No. Go away.
  2. naked child – NO. Go far away.
  3. keswick jerk off – Nope.
  4. keswick cocaine – Negative.
  5. keswick slut – Don’t know any, anywhere.
  6. keswick naked girl selfie – NO. Are you still here?
  7. keswick slut video – NO. Please leave.
  8. sti infection on hand and nail – Um, what? You can get an STI on your hand and nails? Oh barf. Thank God for monogamous marriage.

BUT, if you’re reading this post and you got here using any of the following terms, welcome! Please stay, click around, leave some comments, share with  your friends and come back often. Because YES! It is that blog.

The “Yup! This is the Blog’ List

  1. chickens never wear shoes – Winner, winner, chicken dinner! You have arrived!
  2. bullshit messages – Um, yup. You want ’em, We serve ’em up.
  3. keswick splash pads – K-Rock has a ton of them. But Beaverton has a great one too.
  4. cutest baby monkey ever – Not sure, but now I need to Google that because I wanna see the cutest baby monkey ever, too!
  5. keswick mom blog – Accurate. I’m a mom. I’m in Keswick. I’m living the blogging life.
  6. banana with red core – This is an epidemic. Still haven’t purchased at Costco since that discovery.
  7. keswick blog – Accurate! Stick around and send me blog ideas (or snacks) (or books) (or cash) (or pictures of cute monkeys, whatever).
  8. failure as a mother – Well, this one is a bit judgy and mean sounding, and I’m not entirely sure that I’m okay that you landed here, but, I’ll own it. Welcome!

I love blogging. I get to hear the most interesting stories, talk to people I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk to and share the ridiculous minutia of my life with other people you just get it. Except for those fuckers from List One. They don’t get it at all.

Happy. Happy.

Fussy eater making you crazy? Try these and watch the magic happen.

Generally speaking, I won the kid lottery when it comes to eating. For the most part, my kids eat what I make and don’t complain too much. Notice the ‘too’ in that sentence. I mean, sure, Deacon may gag and dry heave at those chunks of tomato in the gorgeous sauce I serve with spaghetti and meatloaf may have the power to turn his sunny mood positively foul and Paxton may burst into tears if his food is so much as kissed by ketchup, but overall, they’re all good and will power through whatever I’m serving.

But, I am also well aware that not all parents are so lucky. So many, no, too many parents have a daily battle on their hand with a picky eater and by the sounds of it, kids today are taking being picky to Olympian heights.

And I’m a helper. And a bit of a foodie. But also kind of an asshole. So I took it upon myself to seek out alternatives that make WHATEVER you are serving suddenly become the best thing ever.

Without further ado, may I suggest:

1. Forget Roadkill cuisine. Try this instead.

Not just any possum in a can. Oh no. This is CREAMED possum in a delectable COON FAT gravy and delicately garnished with sweet potatoes. Yummy.

Not just any possum in a can. Oh no. This is CREAMED possum in a delectable COON FAT gravy and delicately garnished with sweet potatoes. Yummy.

2. He can count by twos and tie his shoes…

Not feeling the possum? Looking for lighter fare on a chilly fall evening? Well, step on over and grab your bowl of Ready-to-Serve REAL TURTLE SOUP. Mmmmm. Franklin. Double Yum!

Not feeling for possum tonight? Or maybe looking for lighter fare on a chilly fall evening? Well, step on up and grab your bowl of Ready-to-Serve REAL TURTLE SOUP. Mmmmm. Franklin. Double Yum!

3. Pasta with an identity crisis with a side of Oh God.

No? Resistant to the possum AND the turtle. Well, fine then. How about a wonderful plate of Tenderoni?

No again? Resistant to the possum AND the turtle? Well, fine then. How about a wonderful plate of Tenderoni and liverwurst? The kids will devour it, everybody loves it and hell, it saves work, worry, time and money. It’s a miracle in a box, really.

4. Chiquita’s outfit isn’t the only thing that’s slammin’ here.

The perfect storm is this. Right here. You've got your fruits, protein, and dairy groups all present and accounted for. That they look like little displaced penises will only make mealtime more jovial.

The perfect storm is this. Right here. Ham Banana Rolls. They give the ham top billing, but really, we all know that the bananas are the star of this show. You’ll be serving your little humans a full serving of fruit, protein, and dairy all in one convenient roll. For good measure, the Chiquita Banana sweetens the deal by adding some prepared mustard to the meal. That the end result looks like little displaced penises will only make mealtime more jovial. I mean, kids love bananas and anything to do with bums and burps. Really, this is a meal primed for hours of dining hilarity.

5. Only if I can follow it up with kidney pie and haggis, please.

I don't know about your house. But around here, we can't get enough of that organ soup. Mmmm. Mmmm. Good. Now, the Libby's isn't quite as good as the Campbell's, but in a pinch, the kids will suck this back like you've just passed them an ice cold beer on a hot summer day. Except, you wouldn't do that. Because that would be wrong. And we all know that. We also know that there is not a kid around who would touch this soup with his brother's mouth.

I don’t know what is a popular go-to meal at your house. But around here, we can’t get enough of animal organ soup. Mmmm, mmmm, sumptuous. Now, the Libby’s isn’t quite as good as the Campbell’s, but in a pinch, the kids will suck this one back like  an icy beer on a hot summer day. Except, we wouldn’t let them do that. Because that would be wrong. And we all know that. And while we’re busy be honest, we also all know that there is not a kid around who would touch this soup with her brother’s mouth and her sister’s stomach.

6. Bodacious breasts and a meal? Oh yes, please!

Now, this one wouldn't normally make any list I would make in relation to kids, except that right at the end of the product description, it saves itself from omission by adding these two little words: "Or Food."

Now, this one wouldn’t normally make any list I would make in relation to kids, except that right at the end of the product description, it saves itself from omission by adding these two little words: “Or Food.” So, I suppose that this is really just an all-around superfood. See, Mom rubs this cream on her chest to irritate the fuck out of her boobs, causing them to swell. This makes Dad happy (which once her boobs hurt, Mom could care less about and actually makes her feel quite stabby, thus leading her to suggest that Dad feck off and go rub some on himself – whether he accepts the challenge will vary from family to family). But the children? Well, the children, sweet and innocent that they are, still must eat. Having used the cream once and suffered the painful, swollen side effects, Mom decides to take Sears up on their claim and feeds it to the family for dinner, possibly spread on Ritz. Because after all, it is “Bust Cream or Food.” Nothing like a plate of trauma pie for dinner.

7. Potatoes? Yes. Fudge? Hell, Yes. This? Oh no.

Ah, feck it. Just bake them a potato (don't worry if they hate potatoes, we have a plan) then crack open your jar of Potato Fudge and drop a big 'ol spoonful all over it.

Ah, feck it. Just bake them a potato (don’t worry if they hate potatoes, we have a plan) then crack open your jar of Potato Fudge and drop a big ‘ol “swirl” all over it. Is it good for them? Who knows. Kraft brought out both chocolate or butterscotch flavours, and in true Kraft fashion, even provide you with a few recipes to choose from. Fudge Nugglets anyone?

8. Enough people enjoyed this enough that it needed to be canned and marketed?

Still crying because your delicious Lasagna casserole is yucky? NO PROBLEM! Just crank open a can of new and improved Buzzard Gizzards (in a cream sauce, of course), and watch the tears fade away. They won't be able to gobble this up fast enough!

Are they still crying because your delicious Lasagna casserole is icky? NO PROBLEM! Just crank open a can of new and improved Buzzard Gizzards (in a cream sauce, of course), and watch their tears fade away. They won’t be able to gobble this up fast enough!

9. Ugh. Oh, and for the record, fish don’t have fingers.

Fish sticks are yucky and make you hide under your chair? Gotcha covered, small human. Sit on up here and dig into your delicious SPAM Sticks. Because nothing says yummy like tinned meat fried up nice and rectangular.

Fish sticks are yucky and make you hide under your chair? Gotcha covered, small human. Sit on up here and dig into your delicious SPAM Sticks. Because nothing says yummy like tinned meat fried up nice and rectangular.

10. Time to lube up those arteries and veins, kids! Have at it!

You know what? Just forget it. Picky eaters are just more determined, have longer stamina and know our weak points. Just throw it all aside and let 'em eat butter. Lots and lots of butter. Because 'butter is slippery' just like these little con artists crying into their broccoli are slippery. They have no idea how good they have it with the meals you're offering up.

Yes. This. Finally. This should solve just about everything. Quit pushing all of those fruits, veggies and whole grains and just let ’em eat butter. Lots and lots of butter. Because ‘butter is slippery.’ Much like these little con artists who crying into their broccoli that they are ‘full and can’t eat anymore’ only to turn around five minutes later and ask for a cookie because they’re “sooooo hungry!”

So, go ahead. Offer up a few of these bad boys and watch your kids beg for your ‘noodle surprise casserole’ or extra cauliflower. Because once they understand that possum and liver soup are on deck, it makes what’s in front of them so much better!

#ParentingWins

A mish mash of our summer so far

This summer, like every summer before it, is flying by far too quickly for my liking. On the upside, we’ve been so busy enjoying it that I haven’t had time to breathe, let alone blog. But, this morning, I have carved out a bit of quiet time (thank you, Scooby-Doo DVD and card games!) so I’m hopping on here to share a quick peak into the first half of our summer through pictures with just a pinch of words on the side.

We hung around at home, jumping, swimming, going to the park
HomeJuly2016
We headed up to the cottage

Fire, fishing, and flowers. Not my usual 'F' words, but they get the job done in this case. ????????????

Fire, fishing, and flowers. Not my usual ‘F’ words, but they get the job done in this case. ????????????

The smalls went to Latvian Cultural Camp for a week
Tervete2016

Mr. K.B. and I checked out Vermont and Mont Tremblant (recommend both!)

The world's tallest filing cabinet? Yes, please! There were some other cool things about Vermont, but really, how do you top that one?

The world’s tallest filing cabinet? Yes, please! There were some other cool things about Vermont, but really, how do you top that one?

We hit the drive-in and a couple other movies
DriveInJuly2016

We said good-bye to toddler beds and hello to ‘big kid’ beds (don’t recommend)

Good bye race car bed ???? This is the first time in almost ten years that we are without a crib, toddler bed or any other baby-related paraphernalia ????

Good bye race car bed ???? This is the first time in almost ten years that we are without a crib, toddler bed or any other baby-related paraphernalia ????

We checked out Fenelon Falls car show and flea market
Fenelon2016We helped a fella win a bet with his girlfriend

We don't know what the bet was, but Mr. K.B. helped the fella win. But I'd say we were the real winners, wouldn't you? ???? When life hands you plastic flamingo wine glasses, you have choices to make, people. Choose wisely.

We don’t know what the bet was, but Mr. K.B. helped the fella win by taking the set of four home with him. We don’t know what the fella won, but I’d say we were the real winners, wouldn’t you? ???? When life hands you plastic flamingo wine glasses, you have choices to make, people. Choose wisely.

So, that covers July. I’m ready for the second half of our summer (and a nap!!) now, I just wish we could have a third and fourth half too. ????

Normal is a dirty word.

I was walking across the road to pick up a few of my kids from school last week when it dawned on me that I just may be a complete basket case. Or even worse, I could be completely, disappointingly, and soul-crushingly normal. My mind quickly compiled some of the evidence against the upsetting idea of normalcy and I was almost instantly comforted by the fact that upon examination of the facts, the only reasonable, logical and possible conclusions that one could draw is that I am either a complete dolt or a basket case. The idea of being a dolt does not please me any more than being normal does, and I do like baskets, so I’m going with the latter.

The Evidence:

  1. I live in, and have always lived in, a place where the air hurts my skin 10 out of 12 months. For six months, the air freezes my face and dehydrates my skin so that sandpaper looks soft and supple next to my legs. The other four months, it’s so hot and humid that the walls sweat and my face is in a state of perma-shine, made oh-so-much sexier by my albino-esque need to apply SPF50 with alarming regularity or else suffer the blistering consequences. Anyway you slice this, I spend almost 85% of my life battling various skin-related ailments. And why? Because Canada. That’s why.
  2. I have an unnatural obsession with and laser focus on salt and vinegar potato chips. I can wake up in the morning just fixated on them. No matter how long I resist and hold off, I know that I am going to give in and feed my addiction at some point before the day is done, so I cave and buy a bag. I then proceed to eat the entire bag. Followed by the next week spent dealing with the stupidly sexy sloughing skin inside my mouth and vowing to never touch another potato chip again. But that just means that I wait a month, rinse and repeat. The picture of instability? I’m right here, people.
  3. I derive an inordinate about of pleasure from seeing just how amazingly well my lettuce is doing in the garden and how many flowers are on my zucchini, cucumber and tomato plants. I mean, really? Who the hell brainwashed me and turned me into a freakin’ gardener? I’m the one who doesn’t like dirt. I’m the one who could happily stay inside her house 99% of the time. I’m the one who doesn’t even EAT tomatoes, never mind grow them. Is this a real-life FACE/OFF situation? I mean, when whoever owns this brain comes back, I’ll keep the kids, husband, house, and housework – I accept that those are all mine. But this gardening business, well, that is just not me. Except I really do effing love seeing all the seeds I plant turn into food and seeing said food gobbled up by all of the children that I water and grow daily. Ugh. I’m beginning to think that I may not be a teenager anymore. Feck. This is very disappointing news.
  4. I love makeup. And pretty clothes. And cute shoes. And leather purses. And I have quite a bit of all of it. So, having this information, you wouldn’t be crazy to think that I am probably one of those well put-together types. You wouldn’t be crazy to think that, but you would be wrong. Do you know what look I pull together most days? Eos lip balm, bleach-stained track pants paired with an oversized tee-shirt under a raggedy hoodie, $3 Walmart flip flops (from last year) and a pleather purse. Yup, that’s me. Homeless chic on the outside but really quite fancy-schmancy in my head. I wonder though, for when exactly am I saving that Dior eyeshadow and at which event will I actually attend wearing high heels (please God, don’t let it either be my bail hearing or my funeral), and what needs to happen to get me to stop saving my good leather purses and start using them again?
  5. I will do the same thing, over and over and over again and fully expect that I will achieve a different outcome merely because I want there to be a  different outcome and I think that I should get a different outcome. And then when I get the same undesirable outcome, I’m surprised and disappointed. Every. Single. Time (please refer to point number 3. and the potato chip debacle). And you know what? I will continue to beat my head against that wall because my belief that I should achieve my desired or intended result is just that strong. Now, this bit of information, some would say, tips the scales in favour for a finding of me being a dolt, but this is my blog and I have already said that the idea of being a dolt does not please me, so it shall be  treated as evidence supporting a basket case diagnosis.

Probably the biggest and best evidence I have available to prove my basket case-ediness is that I have actually just spent a not insignificant amount of time out of my life in order to write this post, sharing/trying to prove to you that I am, in fact, mostly unhinged. And I’m okay with that.

And with that final thought, I rest my case.

#OwnIt #EmbraceWhoAndWhatYouAre #NoShame

#OwnIt #EmbraceWhoAndWhatYouAre #NoShame #WordsCanHurt or #WordsCanHelp