Wow! Have I been so lazy that I haven’t written anything in almost 5 months?! To be fair, I have been working a little here and there, playing some shows, finishing up producing an EP for friends, and writing a bit over at TheLoop.ca. Oh, and raising a (now almost) 6-month-old baby.
Yep, 6 months. It flashes by, and then one day you remember you started a blog to chronicle it all, and were too busy to actually write anything. Well, busy is stretching it. There’s a lot of napping (mainly me), walking, carrying, and shushing. Plus there are two other kids to contend with, and as they get older, they need just as much attention.
One thing that we managed to pull off was travelling to California to play the Coachella festival. The older kids stayed in Toronto with their mother, but Laurel and I took little Frida with us, and stayed in a lovely gated community in Indian Wells. It was amazing, although I missed my other kids. Nevertheless, Frida was very well suited to California, and hopefully there will be more of that in the future.
As the summer gradually comes to a boil, I’ll have more to write about, as 6-month-olds are a lot more fun than baby lumps of pee and screaming. For now, here’s a piece I wrote a while ago that I didn’t publish anywhere:
9 THINGS MY KIDS DO THAT DRIVE ME CRAZY
-note: that is not a picture of any of my kids, they’re too angelic-
Unlike most people, I love my kids. That’s just who I am. They are the apple of my eye, the sunshine of my life, and yet often the bane of my existence. Sometimes the apple of my eye is actual apple juice in my eye, and no one really likes direct sunshine, it causes wrinkles from squinting, and eventually melanoma.
Raising children is not an exact science, especially since they seem to effortlessly throw curve ball after curve ball at you, completely oblivious to your scrambling to keep up. Here are 9 things that my kids do that drive me crazy.
1. Talking – Remember your kid’s first word? Me neither. Whether it’s talking too loud, or using an annoying fake voice, they don’t stop talking now. Try having a conversation with anyone about anything. My kids are all over it, often with no idea what the subject is, and therefore needing everything explained, despite the fact that what ever you’re talking to the other adult about is way over my kids’ heads, and of no interest to them. It’s either that, or they just erupt into conversation right through what you are already talking about.
2. Forgetting – Want to know what your kids did in school today? Well, you’re out of luck, because they don’t remember. After all, it was almost a half-an-hour ago. “How was school?” I ask. “Good,” is the usual answer. “What did you do today?” “I don’t remember.” It’s a mystery.
3. Remembering – Like forgetting, except the opposite, my kids always seem to remember things at the very last minute that they should have mentioned hours or even days before. They are parented over two households, so it’s an even bigger problem, because you assume that the other parent or step-parent is on top of things. Often none of us are, and you’re at the mercy of an 8-year-old’s memory, which seems to flash on and off like a faulty engine light. Is there a problem? Maybe, but because the light just flashes every so often, you don’t bother to look into it until it’s too late. Ergo the mad dash to get said kid to school as her fellow students are boarding the bus for that class trip she just mentioned a minute ago. And that includes running to an ATM to get the required fee that was due two weeks prior.
4. Clothing – Who looks great in sweat pants? Apparently every child, according to my 11-year-old son. That’s why he will never, ever wear anything else from the waist down. It’s a bigger struggle to get him to tie his shoes, because it adds “hours” of extra time to his day, such is the complexity of the double knot. And that winter jacket that he had to have because it was going to be soooo cold this winter, and this particular brand could survive sub-arctic temperatures with ease? Well, despite a polar vortex, now it’s way too hot. Hot enough, apparently, that my son is actually, physically “boiling” when he has to wear it zipped up. His words.
5. Sleeping – Or lack thereof. You know the phrase “early to bed, early to rise?” Well how about “late to bed, late to rise, unless it’s the weekend, then way too early to rise?” Every single night it’s a struggle to get both my kids into bed. It’s not like they’re forced to go to sleep before the sun is down. Bedtime is 8:30, which usually means 9, and we try to keep to that. But between wanting that one extra page of a story, to needing fresh water…which leads to needing to pee again, to the “I hate school…” meltdown just as I’m reaching for the light switch, they must think I’m desperate for them to leave me alone. And I kind of am. Of course, the next morning is a hassle trying to get them out of bed. Unless it’s the weekend, in which case they’re up and watching TV before the sun rises, gradually making more and more noise, until you finally have to drag yourself out of bed and tell them to keep it down, which means you’re now up, and annoyed already.
6. Suffering – If your child has a fever, they stay home from school. That’s a no-brainer. But what about those illnesses that don’t have any real symptoms: the sore tummy, or the headache? It would be so much easier if whatever body part was actually irritated would glow red. But they don’t, and so you have to take your kids’ word for it some times, and hope that keeping them home is the right thing to do. After all, you wouldn’t want to be the parent who sends their child to school, only to have them rushed to the hospital with a ruptured appendix. At the same time, it seems the moment the bell has rung all those blocks away at school, the tummy or headache are suddenly replaced by an overwhelming need to watch television and get the dog all worked up.
7. Needing – How many handheld gaming devices does one 11-year-old boy need? All of them. As soon as they are on the shelves, forever. The fact that he rarely gets any of these devices only seems to stoke the neediness all the brighter. Of course sometimes the whining pays off. Sometimes you give in. Usually around a birthday or Christmas, but then it’s too late. Another device has been updated, or introduced, and the campaign starts all over again. You can substitute anything for a gaming device, and the older they get, the higher the price tag will be.
8. Fighting – They’re either fighting with you or with each other, but make no mistake: not a day will go by without some sort of explosion. The older they get, the more vicious the arguing gets, as if they secretly research words and phrases that sting all the more when uttered in a calm, even tone. While my kids rarely lash out physically, the odd kick or punch has connected, and landed one or both of them in deep poop. But it’s the insults that hurt more, and trying to get them to think about being on the receiving end of these attacks is one of the toughest, yet important jobs of a parent.
9. Eating – You have to do it to survive, but if it were up to my kids, the world would subsist of BBQ chips and Coca Cola. Not that they get much of either of these as it is. Healthy eating is only on the table because they’re vegetarians, and so most fast food isn’t an option. But that doesn’t diminish the need for candy and other treats that rot teeth and spike blood sugar. And when they actually have proper food, they are always mysteriously full within the first few bites. Then, minutes after they’ve been discharged from the dinner table, they’re starving again. It’s the endless circle of life, played out to the beat of a soft drink commercial.