Category Archives: comedy

for the days where I feel like a fricken comedienne

Missing the point

I was reading to my son at bedtime tonight. The story was filled with jokes. The last joke in the book said “what kind of ship never sinks?” “Friendship.”
My son pondered this for a moment than decided that he could make up his own joke. He said “what kind of…” And looked around the room for inspiration. Settling on my face, he continued “eyes…” Uh oh, I think I know where this one is headed, (although he doesn’t yet…)
“What kind of eyes never open?” He thinks for a moment, then chuckles “DEAD EYES!”
Great job buddy. You nailed it.
The riddle part of it anyway.
The part about jokes having to be funny? Overrated.
I had to hide my face in a hug while I quietly burst into laughter, so maybe it was pretty funny after all.
For the right audience.
I apologize in advance to all my parent friends whose children might hear this gem first hand in the coming week.

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Why does my kid keep calling people fat?

When my son was three, on a trip to Seattle, we were at the Olive Garden for lunch. The tables were quite close to each other and he was sitting next to a larger lady.

He tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to her and said “BI-GARM, BI-GARM.” I couldn’t make out what he was saying as two separate words at this point, and asked him to repeat himself.

“Big Arm, Big Arm!”

Great.

I just asked my son to repeat that.

I avoided reacting to what he said and pretended that I still didn’t understand. I really hoped the lady next to us didn’t understand. Because nothing beats getting called fat by a three year old while gorging on carbs at the Olive Garden. Well, I suppose I’ve heard worse, but we’ll touch on that later.

When the couple beside us left, I took the quick moment of having a little personal space as an opportunity to explain why we don’t say things like that.

I said that it’s rude to point people out for things that they might be sensitive about. People are sensitive about the size and shape of their bodies. I understand you wanted to show me what was different about that lady, but people don’t particularly like to be recognized for certain kinds of differences.

I went on to explain that he’d be better off to point people out to me by mentioning the colour of shirt they are wearing, or their hair colour. Keep it simple, right? I was hoping to elaborate more about it later.

The next couple to be seated next to us arrived.

My son pointed and yelled “NO HAIR!”

Mommy fail.

So I’ve had several moments like such in my short parenting career. We once came around a corner and nearly bumped into a rather large gentleman (okay, no kidding, the guy must have been four hundred pounds at least.) I smiled and said hi, and noticed out of the corner of my eye that my son’s little finger was lifting into a point, and he was opening his mouth to tell me something. Fortunately I did learn one thing from the Olive Garden experience, and quickly shoved my hand right into his little mouth.

Yep, that’s right. Whatever fingers I could fit in that tiny mouth of his. I was NOT taking any chances. I literally put my hand in his mouth.

And thank goodness I did. When we got to the car, and I was buckling him in, I asked him what he was about to say.

Let’s just say, kids are explicitly honest.

We talked more about the whole body image thing, and it all blew over for a while.

Then my son turned four.

We were at the dinner table one night. My husband was helping himself to a big plate of SALAD. Yes, the healthiest, calorie-free thing you can eat.

My son said “Daddy, don’t eat so much salad or you’re going to get fat like ____!” (our guest.)

F***

Let’s just say our guest has a great sense of humour, and nearly peed their pants along with us.

We talked thoroughly about the inappropriate use of this type of language. Hurtful words. Calling people fat. Being an ass.

I thought maybe the long talk we had about using the word fat may have helped… I thought after this experience, maybe we’d turn a corner.

Nope.

I was tucking the little man into bed the other night, and he told me he was hungry.

I told him what I always tell him. “You need to eat more dinner, you say you’re hungry every night. When it’s dinner time, you have to fill your belly all the way up so it doesn’t grumble for more food until breakfast time.”

“But mommy, if I fill my tummy all the way up, I’m going to get fat like ladies do.”

To confirm my suspicion of who he meant, I asked “what ladies.”

He silently tapped my shoulder.

Great. Thanks pal.

 

Let’s just hope this gets better. Not worse.

Advice?

Grown-up Christmas lists

I just had a very funny conversation with my four-year-old neighbour. His bell for his bicycle was broken so I suggested he put a new one on his Christmas list.
He got into an elaborate story about what he really wants for Christmas, which included pretty much an entire city made out of remote controlled devices. Remote controlled car carriers, planes that really fly, etc.
I told him that sounded so awesome that I wanted to put that on my Christmas list too.
He said “you can’t do that. You’re a grown up.”
I said “oh. Well, what are grown-ups allowed to ask for for Christmas?”
He replied “maybe a toilet……… [pause] for Z” (my toilet training two year old.)

Great. The Christmas countdown is on! Can’t wait for a brand new potty under the tree!

But seriously, if you’re reading this honey, I still think my “stocking filled with art supplies” idea is pretty cool. Just saying.

Meet Little Miss Sassypants


She was an easy baby. Much easier than her brother. To the point where I distinctly remember telling myself that this was the calm before the storm. I knew I’d pay for it one day. Although, I thought it would be the teenaged years before payback started.

Well, I’ve learned in the past year that two is the new twelve. I thought I’d lived the terrible twos, but I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet! This girl is sassy! She is the most stubborn person I’ve ever met! Her phrase of choice since around 18 months: “ME DO IT!”

To the untrained eye, she appears to be a very content little girl. But that is simply part of the “arrangement.” As long as I don’t tell, suggest or force her to do anything, she’s a perfect little angel. So the arrangement is, when we are in public, I try REALLY hard to gently shepherd her in the right direction without telling her what to do, where to go, how to go about it, etc. Bribes are an essential part of any outing. (Although I steer away from the word “bribes” and often opt for “physical objects [or food] to encourage persuasion of difficult people.”)

Well, let’s just say that she sure knows how to tell ME where to go! (Not in so many words of course, more so in high-pitched screams, with head tilted back and fists clenched – and if she really wants to make a point, throwing herself onto the floor.)

As soon as she clues in that I would like things to go a certain way, she will go out of her way to steer things in the complete opposite direction. One minute she’ll be asking to leave the park, and as soon as we agree, she doesn’t want to leave. Or she’ll beg for a pair of socks to wear to bed when it’s over thirty degrees outside, only to scream at you that she doesn’t want them after all and she wants them placed back in the same drawer they came from one minute ago, immediately. These things, in writing, sound rather inconsequential. But what you must understand, it is a continuous stream of difficult behavior from this child from dawn until way past dusk. Every little thing is a battle.

Bedtime is the worst. I could probably get by just fine if it wasn’t for bedtime. We’ve tried routines, we’ve tried “crying it out”, we’ve tried to do things her way, our way, grandma’s way, and nothing works. If we do things her way, she tells you exactly how it’s going to go. She wants a book. Now another. And now the first one again. This loop could last for hours, but usually we have to put our foot down. [buzzer] First mistake: cutting off the books. You receive 5 minutes of screaming for your infraction. Now she wants her blankie. And another. And the one with the polka dots, can’t forget that one. And where’s the one with the stripes? Laundry? Uh oh! [buzzer] Second infraction: penalty is repeated whining “ I need my striped blankie”, followed by full-on sobbing on a broken-record repeat cycle until you finally cave and get the damn blankie, dirty from being dragged around the neighbourhood all afternoon, and let her have it. The bright side is, all this blankie drama has distracted her from her other 12 favourite blankies that she MUST have in her bed or she won’t go to sleep. Moving on now to “babies.” Stuffies, dollies, random troll dolls from the nineteen-sixties that she found in the basement at Grandma’s house, the baseball she stole from the neighbour girl that we keep meaning to give back (except that it’s made it’s way into the way-over-complicated bedtime routine and might take a few more days to slowly phase out.) Her water cup. Her back-up water cup. Really child! You’re going to bed, not on a cross-continental trip to Tibet! Although, perhaps you could use one of those. There’s probably a LOT you could learn there. Like how to go to BED!

The bedtime routine continues. She wants you to lie down. She wants to chat about the boy at daycare who hit her FOUR WEEKS AGO. She will repeat this story every night for the next six months I’m sure. (What she won’t tell you is what she did to have it coming! That part is conveniently forgotten.) She wants to hold hands. She wants you to sing “I want to hold your hand.” As adorable as the swaying interlocked hands and the two year old’s Beatle reference is, it is now an hour past bedtime. You don’t want to hold anyone’s hand. You want to hold a glass of wine, a good book, food you can binge-eat, the tv remote… anything else! But you cave, and sing about three rounds of the chorus and then finally give up.

Now, little too late, you try to regain control of the whole event. “Close your eyes, or I’m going to go.” After way too many warnings, you finally get up out of the bed. (Screaming picks up again.) Then the nightly bedtime threats: if you don’t stop crying I’m going to go. I’m going to close your door. I’m going to leave this house and never come baaaack!!! (The third one is reserved for extra special nights only.)

Well, you can see where this is going. Nowhere. It usually ends in both of us screaming, until she finally gives up and goes to sleep.

I don’t know how our neighbours live with us.

Please tell me it gets better for a couple years between now and the hormonal years!

In the meantime, I will live for the daytime, and the moment when the house goes silent at night. I will disregard the two hours of agony in between. The day always comes to an end, and bedtime always finds its place one way or another. Even if, at the end of the day, little Miss Sassypants happens to be wearing flip flops to bed (or clip-clops as she calls them.)

PS: You still want to trade RL?

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a round of applause would suit me just fine

Some days when I pull into my driveway, the neighbourhood kids come running, chanting my 4-year-old’s name. “Jacob! Jacob! Jacob!” They can’t wait for him to get out of the car so he can run and frolic and play with them.

I have yet to determine why I don’t have the same effect on them, but that’s beside the point.

My point is, why shouldn’t we all get this kind of treatment wherever we go? You know, the “Norm!” from “Cheers” phenomenon. In our usual places, I don’t see why it’s not the way we naturally greet those we’re excited to see. My usual places include the grocery store, work and my kid’s school… so is it really too much to ask?

Perhaps I should write my co-workers a memo:

“in lieu of the regular “good morning” banter, I would like the “how are you’s” and other such rhetoric to be replaced by lively chanting of my name.”

While on the subject, I can suggest that they replace “thank you’s” with rounds of applause. A gentle hand clap for a mundane task? What better morale-boosting camaraderie than a standing ovation for a job well done? Although at the end of the day, I suppose a paycheque will suffice.

So in the spirit of my friend Roxy’s “random acts of kindness,” perhaps mine will be to applaud my friends and co-workers just for being the awesome people they are. Ha ha, who am I kidding, I would be doing it 100% just to fuck with them!

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