In recent weeks we've taken to keeping a box of Smarties on standby for Helena. Smarties (note: the Canadian link is even more boring than this one) were a childhood fetish of mine. (Remember when the boxes were real boxes, not glued and perforated? When empty, they made excellent kazoos. Remember when they introduced blue? It seemed so unnatural.) Helena and I were at the grocery store and she was itching for a treat, and deserving one, and thus a new generation of Smarties fetish was born. It's a reasonably smart treat too, as far as sugar-and-chemical-based treats go, because you don't have to eat the whole thing and it's made for sharing. And colour-sorting, and counting. I made the mistake once of singing the jingle — it's now a frequent request.
Last night, for I don't know what reason, I sniffed out Helena's stash and ate them all. I feel a little guilty. (Not for gobbling down Smarties, but because they were hers. Silly guilt, really. It's not like her name was actually on them.)
Thanksgiving came and went. J-F and his family have no tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving — just another long weekend. As my own family has dispersed and the logistics for gathering have become more complicated, and Thanksgiving being a "lesser" holiday, this weekend for me has also become just like any other. Sometimes that makes me a bit sad.
No turkey. No festive meals. But I still give thanks.
Helena had a pretty bad cold over the weekend, with a pretty rough cough and a pretty high fever. It seemed like a good weekend to curl up and watch movies.
Helena has a current fixation with The Secret Garden — it'd been sitting in a drawer for a very long time, till one day not so long ago she thought it looked interesting. I'm curious to reread the book now, tho' I never loved it the way I loved A Little Princess. I'll have to dig it out of my mother's basement when next I visit.
Last week when renting a movie not worth mentioning, Helena expressed interest in Shrek. She's smitten by the creature — at least the appearance of him. So Sunday, in search of Shrek we went. For some reason, it seemed like a good idea for all of us to bundle up and go, but of course it wasn't, cuz Helena threw up.
We did find a copy of Shrek 2. And I'd previously seen most of Shrek (1) on TV. I just don't see what the big deal is about it being clever and working on so many levels. Kind of cute, but leaves me cold.
Bath night. I always remind Helena in the morning, to warm her up to the idea. She protests, I insist, she asks whether we have to wash her hair, she makes me promise not to get water in her eyes, we get on with our day, periodically reminding each other of our evening bath commitment. Monday, she decides she wants a shower. While during the summer we would on occasion hose her down in the shower stall (by no means a thorough cleansing) and she's been rinsed off under the nozzles at the wading pool (more like running through a sprinkler), she's never had a shower per se. But Monday morning she got the idea in her head to take a shower and reminded me about it all day. OK.
We won't be doing that again any time soon.
I had to take the métro yesterday. I momentarily toyed with the idea of lugging Don Quixote with me for 7 minutes of quality reading time, but the prospect of having to carry both it and a toddler was too real and daunting, so I slipped a slim paperback in my bag instead and started reading it on my commute, and it's very good, and it'd almost be a shame not to continue reading it now. I've never been good at reading more than one book at a time.
Don Quixote is in fact a very entertaining and readable book. Gripping, even. I'm amazed more people don't rave about it. But I just can't get physically comfortable with this edition. At this point, my resolve and interest outweigh(!) the drawbacks, but I fear for all the lesser people who started the Grossman translation on the recommendation of pretty much everybody only to feel literally bogged down. Paperbacks! Cheap stock! Multiple-volume box sets! Do you hear me publishers?!
Last night was the annual general meeting of the daycare. Mostly very boring. And also French. And very poorly attended. But I feel involved. I almost want to join a committee. Except for that the feeling that I am constantly being scrutinized by other parents as well as staff holds me back a little, as if my parenting abilities, let alone any committee contributions, are only as competent as my French.
The highlight came in the report from the health and safety committee, regarding fire drills and evacuations — now completed in under 2 minutes! I know adults less competent than this. The report was punctuated with amusing anecdotes of children reacting to alarms during snacktime, and failing to react during naptime.
Helena and I were playing in her room, with the dollhouse I think. She asks me if I want to play naptime, something we do often, plotting out our spots on the floor, finding pillows, blankets, and teddybears for ourselves and whichever dolls are playing with us, tucking each other in, fake snoring. I say OK. She very seriously tells me I have to tidy up first. This stops me like a slap. Is this playing, or manipulating? We strike a deal to clean up together. The scamp isn't keeping up her end and has the audacity to order me to finish the job. (At which point I managed to turn the tables.)
FlyLady is starting to piss me off. While her tagline speaks to me — "You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are." — I could also use some serious catching up.
On the whole, the FlyLady concept is empowering (for me, for now, for maybe a little while longer), but then there are email messages I shake my head at:
Dirty dishes are a blessing, because when they are put away I am blessing my family. Laundry is the same way. I am no longer chained to a chore but I have been given a chance to show my sweet darling that I care for him. After all, nothing says I love you, like clean underwear. So when we have a change in our attitude from feeling martyred to finding joy in blessing our family, we will have time to do just a little.
For a sink-cleaning assignment: "use an OLD toothbrush not your husband's!"
What the fuck century is this?
Need a slogan?
(Thanks to Scribbling Woman for reminding me of all the linky goodness in the world.)
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