Four no more

For the last couple of months, the kids have been on a big “pretending they’re animals” kick.  The target critters are usually puppies (rowr rowr!) or bear cubs (groggle groggle!) or kittens (meow meow, obviously).

They’re all cute and, after 12 straight hours of it, So. Freaking. Annoying.

It finally got to the point this evening where I told Seve that I just wasn’t going to respond to him — at all — unless he was speaking like a human:  “You can be happy or sad or scared or whatever … I am NOT talking to you unless you knock off that meowing. 100%.”

He made a vaguely hissy sound and walked away.

Fast forward to an hour later, when I’m trying to corral the kids up to bed.  Seve had just finished drawing a cat.  I was mildly eye-rolly about it (because CAT) but it was a really sweet drawing:


I made a big deal about it, telling him that it was really great and had to go up on the fridge right away.  At which point he burst into tears.

“Nooooo … I need to do another picture … it’s a flip picture … I have to do another one …”

I was having none of it.

“Upstairs.  NOW.  I’m going to grab some jammies and you’d better be upstairs by the time I’m done.”

By the time I was done, though, he was back at the kitchen table, putting the finishing touches on the second doodle I’d just explicitly vetoed.

The thing is … tomorrow is his fifth birthday.  Tonight, I was telling him about how five years ago my stomach was starting to hurt, and then I felt a little bit sick, and about how that was my body telling me that he was ready to be born.  And about how happy I was knowing that I was going to get to meet him soon on the outside, and how I was a little bit sad knowing that he wouldn’t be inside my tummy anymore.

And this is what my boy drew for me, on his last night of being four:


Taking on the transit trolls

Check out my op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, Taking on the transit trolls.


You thought wrong

From the J&W archives, because I just Googled “fall cleaning” and it led back to my own website. HA HA HA HA HA.

If you’re on the internet as much as I am, you’ve doubtless encountered websites with end-of-article features like this:

This one is by Outbrain, which bills itself as “the leading content discovery solution.”  I used to do PR for technology clients, so let me apologize — once again — for ever having used language like that.

I thought about doing a HuffPo Spoilers-style post where I would, in their words, “give in to (the) click-bait so you don’t have to,” but I really don’t want to give in to the click-bait.  Instead, in the spirit of “how to dress for your shape,” I’m just going to go ahead and guess what these Teasy Teasersons — found on — might be all about:

10 Things Your Kid Should NOT Be for Halloween
1 through 9: Adolf Hitler.
10: Sexy nurse.

5 Fall Green Cleaning Tips
Oh, I am sorry, but are we cleaning TWICE a year now?  That is OPPRESSIVE.  And we’re supposed to be environmentally sensitive all at the same time?  What load of PATRIARCHAL BULLSHINE.

HowStuffWorks “Costumes 101 Pictures”
Ha ha ha … what?

How to Pick a Paint Color
Do you like it? YES / NO
If YES, pick it.

10 Hairstyles That Make You Look Thinner
1. Inflatable dreads.
2. The Skunk (black on sides, white up the middle).
3. Over-sized sombrero.
4. Over-sized sombrero that is made out of corn (optional: cheese dip in crown).
5. The van Goghtee.
6. Beehive (made with actual bees; everyone is thinner when viewed at a distance).
7. Pigtails (made with actual pigs).
8. The Tennessee Wall.
9. Asymmetrical blob.
10. Pielights.

Ultimate Guide to Recycled Milk Jug Crafts
You guys, do NOT read this article.  They ask you for your mailing address and two weeks later they mail you eight mimeographed pages of bedazzled bird feeders.

Ultimate Guide to Green Building
I asked my three-year-old what this might be about.   He said, “you do a Lego but you only use the green ones.”  Yeah, that sounds about right.

Painting Siding
This looks complicated.  I think I’m just going to hang up another bird feeder and play with Lego instead.

5 Tips for Cleaning Glass Without Streaks
Pretty sure this list consists of vinegar, vinegar, vinegar, vinegar, newspapers.

The play’s the thing

I don’t imagine that if one were to create a Venn diagram to illustrate this post, that the intersection between People Who Closely Follow Canadian Federal Politics and People Who Enjoy Amateur Theatre would serve up much more than a hair’s breadth of overlap. But surely there are a couple of people who can lay claim to both. So, Rodney MacDonald of Inverness and Katherine Sousa of Strathcona, this one’s for you.

There has been much debate about the level of civility and accountability in the Canadian House of Parliament. Some are suggesting that the solution lies in giving the Speaker of the House greater powers, others feel such a move “goes too far.”

But two things caught my ear during debate earlier today, and they pointed at the same thing.

First, Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, referred to the performance of some MPs as “bad high school theatre.” Not long after, MP Scott Simms (Liberal) described Question Period as “expensive dinner theatre … and not necessarily good theatre, either.”

My first impulse, after banging on my invisible desk (aka: my lap) and spilling my non-invisible beverage (aka: my coffee) was to wonder what kind of actual theatre one might be able to get away with in the House.

There are the Aristotelian standards: tragedy, comedy, melodrama, drama. I think those are fair game and already well represented, though perhaps unintentionally (comedy, I’m looking at you).

Then there are different theatrical styles, everything from classical (Shakespeare’s Hamlet) to postmodern (Müller’s Hamletmachine).  Theatre of the Absurd. So many options to choose from!

But I am limited by time (have to pick up my kid) and space (see earlier reference to lap desk) so I have decided to limit my suggested lineup to these three stagings:

Tony and Tina’s Wedding (dinner theatre)
A “festive celebration,” this show dispenses with the public gallery, and invites visiting groups to join in on the fun. Raise a toast to democracy! Amuse your bouche with Parliamentary procedure! Main course: Pizza. Don’t ask.

Phantom of the Opera (musical)
The spirit of accountability returns to haunt Members. Featuring the popular songs, “All I Ask Of You,” “Why So Silent?” and “Notes.”

Death of a Salesman (tragedy)
An older man struggles to accept that his services are no longer needed. Will his children face a brighter future, thanks to his sacrifice? (Spoiler: No.)

And … scene.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.