Category Archives: Holidays

Learning to live with our kids again

This coming weekend is Easter, the weekend we travel to pick up the two kids from university. The drive to Quebec will take us anywhere from nine hours to twelve depending on traffic. Once we arrive, middle child will immediately want to start moving the contents of her apartment into the trailer, we will have brought with us, hubby will want a beer and I will want to lay down since the drive is exceptionally hard on my body.

Now middle child has lived on her own for three years, so there is three years of her crap precious belongings to bring home. Once her stuff is loaded, we will then drive over to where the teenage boy lives in residence. More crap precious belongings will be loaded into the trailer. So in less than a week, are other two children plus one large dog will be home, again. This is when our life will once again be turned upside-down. Now middle child will only be home for a couple of weeks, since she is going back for spring school, leaving us with her dog, which is a whole other set of issues.

The first thing my husband will notice will be the leftovers – they will be non-existent, and hubby loves leftovers, great for work, and snacks for when he gets home from work. Next I will notice that the tank of gas we put in the van once a month, will now last about a week, and the van will rarely be in the driveway. I can’t complain about the laundry, since my girls do their own, but the teenage boy will remind me, he is on vacation again, and thus the laundry is all mine. I will give him credit for bringing it up and down the stairs for me.

Middle child has to leave her dog with us while she returns to university for six weeks, because of new living arrangements. Bear, a mixture of German Shepherd and Doberman, is a very well-behaved dog who adores our daughter. So for the first week, he will pine for her while he also gets used to living with us again. There will be mud everywhere. We have a large yard for him to run around in, but we also have a lot of mud in our yard in the spring, if of course spring ever gets here. So along with cleaning the paws of our own little beagle, we will now have to clean the paws of Bear. The worst though, is the amount of poo outside will double, and Bear’s business is not small, plus he prefers to go wherever, whereas our dog is trained to go in the same area.

So this Easter weekend, all seven of us (five adults, two dogs) will be together again, arguments will quickly ensue as people and dogs learn to put up with each other again love each other for all of our differences again.

Note:

The fact that our youngest is nineteen years old, mom sent him a text message last night:

  • Mom: “Does the Easter Bunny need to make a stop here, he/she was wondering. (mom’s have a direct line to the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus just for such questions)
  • Teenage boy: “Tell the Easter Bunny that if he has to ask, I’m going to skewer him and roast him in a stew”
  • Mom: “Oh dear, though rabbit for Easter may be good”
  • Teenage boy: “No”

Romance for Valentine’s Day

At the beginning of the week, the eldest decided to make a tiled table for her boyfriend as a Valentine’s day gift. She worked exceptionally hard each day, creating the letter “B” out of black tiles which would be surrounded by white tiles. Then the top would be attached to a stand with a felt bottom (wouldn’t want the hardwood to get scratched). Once the table was done, off she went on the bus to the neighbouring town, to surprise her boyfriend. His mother picked her up at the station with the table, then once at his house, she put her plan into action. The table would be wrapped with tissue paper, with words of endearment written on it (there were also little toy dinosaurs), and then she would wait. Once he arrived home from work, she hid in his closet. All went according to plan, he was surprised, but knew immediately it was her work, and then said, okay where is she? Out of the closet she jumped!

The finished table in our basement.

The wrapped table in boyfriend's room

Second view of the wrapped tiled table

Different views of the table

Note: Before the boyfriend came home from work, he made a stop at the restaurant he was taking my daughter to for dinner. When they arrived at the restaurant later, she saw the reason he had stopped there earlier, lovely flowers were waiting for her on the table they were dining at.

My memories of Valentine’s day are not positive ones, are yours?

My memories of Valentine’s day as a child are not positive ones. My mother always made sure that we had a card for everyone in our class and with four kids this was no easy task for her. She did this for a number of reasons, mainly though it was because of what had happened to my younger brother one year. In his class of around 25 to 30 children, he received one Valentine’s Day card. It not only broke my brother’s heart, but it broke my mother’s too.

My brother was born with a cleft palette so he looked different, looking different forty-five odd years ago was not a good thing and he was teased a lot. His cleft palette also added a lisp when he spoke thus requiring speech therapy (our other younger sibling copied the way our brother spoke, so he too ended up having speech therapy). The cleft palette needed numerous operations over the years, then he lost his hearing in one of his ears (due to an infection during one of his hospital stays) requiring more surgeries. So receiving one card at school in front of children who didn’t want to be your friend was at the time, the end of the world.

When my kids started elementary school I explained to them my reasons for always writing out cards to every single child in their class, friend or not. I would ask them how they would feel if they received only one card, because there were and sadly still teachers who allow this to happen. Of course you may ask how can they stop it? Well you could ban the practice of giving out Valentine’s Day cards, but I’m sure that would not go over well with some. Then there are parents who maybe can’t afford to buy cards for everyone and worse yet, there are parents who will say my child doesn’t like so and so, so I will not make him/her write a card out for that person. Whatever the reason is, we as adults should not allow it to happen.

When one of my children did not like someone in their class we would always talk about why? If they said that child was mean, we would try to figure out the reasons. Sometimes, I explained that a child may be a bully because they are unhappy at home, or their parents were bullies and they learned that behaviour from them. Now I am no saint nor are my children, who is for that matter, but I have always tried to let my children see the other side of the coin.

So when Valentine’s Day arrives this year, as adults let us try to make it a positive experience for every child in the classroom.