Tag Archives: TV

Kids and how they conspire against us. A lot.

Date nights are those moments when couples get to [re] connect…what’s that? You need a reminder? Back of the line. We all need a reminder.

Last night D and I had a date. It was the first time that we left our kids alone. With each other. Maybe now you’re thinking, “Oh non, this isn’t going to end well.” But it’s okay. When we returned the house was still where we had left it, the kids hadn’t dyed their hair blue, and the dog had all her limbs. That’s good, right?

Our son is 12 ½ and has taken a babysitting course so a few hours alone with his 7-year-old sister should be manageable. Sadly that would be stretching the bounds of feasibility in our home.

We had high hopes. And a destination. Dinner out at a restaurant we enjoy in the next town over. Not far and besides, my family lives close by so if there were a true emergency – not necessitating 911 – the kids could make a quick call and someone would come to the rescue within 5 minutes.

Our timeline ran like this:

6:45 – Leave the house and lock the doors. Don’t open the door and only answer calls from people we know. In bed by 10:00 pm sharp. Don’t kill each other. Feed the dog.

7:15 – Arrive at the restaurant and take a little walk before our reservation.

7:30 – We’re seated. The restaurant is animated and we are at a lovely, intimate table.

7:49 – D’s phone rings, but he doesn’t hear it. The phone is in his jacket hung on the coat rack across the room.

7:58 – D’s phone rings again. See above. The patrons sitting next to the coat rack are thrilled by the constant playing of D’s ringtone.

8:02 – My phone rings. I don’t hear it because we’re actually having a conversation.

8:04 – My phone rings again. Still talking.

8:05 – A supernatural mom sense takes over and I check if I’ve missed any calls. TWO!! Holy crap! What’s happening? Has the dog run away? Is the house surrounded by zombie racoons?

8:06 – I call home. Our son answers and I say, “Salut chéri, ça va?” S – “Oui maman. It’s N, she’s crying and misses you and wants you.”  I just left 75 minutes ago. Also our daughter is in the running for the Miss Independent 2012 award, so, huh?

I speak with her, assure her that we’ll be home later and that the first thing I’ll do is come upstairs and kiss her goodnight. Assuming she’ll be asleep.

8:12 – My phone rings. Again. This time I have it within earshot. Stupid on my part? “Allo. Hi maman – N now – I love you. I love you too now go play with your brother and behave.”

We make it through our sparkling water and bread with aioli and our waitress is just delivering the crab cakes when…dun dun dun…my phone rings. Maybe I should change my number.

8:27 – S this time, “Maman, N is still crying and wants to know where her iPod is.” Backstory – the kids had their iPods confiscated this week. I can’t remember why because it happens so often. Me, “They’re in my bookcase behind the Tolkien books.” – Him, “Okay thanks, bye.”

8:29 – D to me, “I think we just got played.” Crotte! And after that the phone didn’t ring at all.

We finished our meal without rushing, and then took a walk because that’s what you do in February in Canada. By the time we pulled into our driveway at 10:55 D and I assumed – that word again – that N would be asleep and S would be awake, but in bed reading.

What we found was this:

  1. Every light on in the house.
  2. Kids definitely not in bed or in pjs.
  3. The TV, my laptop, both iPods and the Wii going. We only have 2 kids remember?
  4. The family room converted into an obstacle course. They’re in training. For something apparently.
  5. And the dog outside barking at the world. Sorry neighbours.

And that’s why our house smells like a coffee cooperative today. We’ve had 2 bowls each so far and we’re brewing more. Also we need another date night.

Tales from the bedroom

Our bed sucks. Literally. As in sucks you right in if you venture too far to the sides. It’s difficult to sleep à deux squished into the middle third of a queen-sized bed. The only quasi-comfortable – I use the term loosely, as loose as a strumpet waiting on the docks for the ships to come in – spot is at the foot of the bed, but who wants to sleep there except for Sasha. She takes up way more space than her size would dictate. And she gets crabby if we try to move her or, heaven forbid, prevent her from using our body parts as a pillow. D bears the brunt of it. Somehow I am always the recipient of cat love and not cat claws.

You see how my mind works? Totally distracted, like a bird that sees a shiny object. I blame the caffeine, and the two glasses of Rhone Valley red I imbibed not five minutes ago.

Our bed…we’re finally buying a new mattress. Celebrate good times come on. It’s a celebration.

Now for all the decisions. I feel that we’re discussing the fiscal fate of a small European nation…maybe Luxembourg. The responsibility weighs heavily. Do we want plush-top, firm-top, allergen prevention, natural fibers, coil gauge – which is what anyway, foam or spring? Meanwhile the sales people greet us with pitying looks as if to say, “You poor dears. Your last mattress was purchased when stirrup pants were in style the first time and you only paid $350 for it.” Just as an example you know.

The one thing D and I are both pretty clear on; we don’t give a flying fig for extra long warranties. I have no intention of sleeping on a mattress for 25+ years and all the body debris that 25 years will generate. Now I’m itchy everywhere. Does the warranty govern the price? I really want to know, so if anybody has an answer…What is a reasonable price to pay for a great quality, comfortable mattress that won’t collapse in strange places within 5 years?

Actually we’re also pretty clear on something else, the Sleep Number bed, or as we affectionately call it, The Bed From Hell. We stayed at the Hilton in Kingston several years ago and one of their claims to fame, aside from the spectacular location downtown on the waterfront, was their Sleep Number bed. Which marketing genius thought that this would be a good idea? Make a glorified air mattress split in two that both parties can pump up to their preferred firmness and then see what happens. Let me tell you what happens. D pumped his side up more than I did because he preferred a firmer mattress. My side was mushier, by choice and necessity. This way when we were both lying down we were approximately at the same level. Sleep Number Inventor Dude forgot to factor in the I-have-to-get-up-and-pee-in-the-middle-of-the-night scenario. Needless to say, when I did get up D got a good view of the wall on his side of the bed as it flipped over.

So the research has begun. If we had more time and if we weren’t tired of tumbling into dangerously deep ruts we would volunteer for some Apartment Therapy, A year in bed. Barring them calling us to enlist our services these are the beds that we’ve short-listed, but nothing is written in stone, or clay:

  1. Posturepedic Natural Origins
  2. Simmons Beautyrest Black
  3. NaturaLatex Tranquil

Here goes another trip to the stores. I think we’ll stick with the two decent ones in town. The thought of driving all over creation to pretend-sleep on mattresses too many people have tried out kind of creeps me out. Maybe I’ll bring my own pillowcases. And then there’s the ultimate decision. If they give us the choice of a free gift do we go with the TV or espresso maker? I say espresso maker because can one truly have too much coffee?

Let’s make a list

Why jumping full-time into a new business, reorganizing a household, starting an online university course, volunteering, training for a half marathon, painting & renovating the house and blogging all at the same time is a good idea.

  1. I’m a woman and mother and, duh; it’s what we do.
  2. Logic dictates that with proper planning it’s achievable; and in my highly-caffeinated brain this is quite reasonable.
  3. The kids can never play the ‘I’m too busy’ card with me.
  4. It’s a good example for the kids. Let me work on this one some more…
  5. I’m keeping my brain challenged.
  6. My body too while we’re at it.
  7.  I will not have time to sit around eating candy and watching stupid reality TV.
  8. Chocolate I will always have time for, so hands off!
  9. Oh I have it! It’s a good example because they won’t see me being slothful. That’s deadly isn’t it?
  10. Stuff needs to get done.
  11. I like lists and am now sharing the joy by having them sprinkled everywhere: my phone, laptop, bulletin board, D’s email inbox, his night stand, his desk.

So using bullets was fun. But we’ll stop at 11 today. Who’s a list keeper? What’s the most memorable list you ever crafted? Anything goes!


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