Saturday, May 24, 2014

Say "Cheese"

I'm not teaching Little Bro to say "cheese" when I take his picture. I've learned my lesson.

My older son is a gorgeous fella (if I do say so myself) with beautiful brown eyes and the longest eyelashes you've ever seen, but ever since he's been told to say "cheese" for the camera, all my pictures of him turn out like this:

Great. Instead of his handsome smile, I get Threatened Chimp. I won't have a souvenir of what his smile was like, but I will have a record of what all 20 of his teeth looked like.

I'll try, "Show me a happy face," but that just results in an enthusiastic, jaw-wagging "Cheeee-yay-yay-yay-yayse", which results in a big ol' wide open mouth, so I get teeth AND tonsils.

Never mind. The candid ones are better anyway.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"The Little Things"

 "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." 
-Robert Brault

Every Mother's Day in recent years, I've drawn my mom a cartoon card depicting a good childhood memory. Usually it involves my usual humour and self-deprication, but also with a little bit of sentimentality, because I've always been a big sap about these things. I appreciate all the more what my mom has done for me and my siblings now that I have kids, and I figure I'll tell her that now, since kids don't always say it at the time.

My best memories of growing up were always those "little things" that are actually BIG things upon reflection, which I think is true for most people. 

One of my very favourites is on those snow days (back when they existed-- remember snow days?) Mom would be just as excited that we didn't have to go to school as we were. She couldn't wait to tell us and spend the day with us. On such mornings, we'd all pile into my parents' bed with her to chat and joke around in our jammies for a good long time before getting up.

She remembers this too, but other times I'll remind Mom of these kinds of things, and she won't even recall that she'd done them. Just goes to show how certain things stand out to kids that you may not realize at the time.

I hope my kids will grow up and have good "little things" memories with me, too. Curious as to what they'll be. Maybe they'll share with me one day what stood out to them, if they're at all big saps like their mom.

Me, my sister and brother enjoying a "Snow Day" with Mom

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Can't Take Us Anywhere

Sometimes it feels, for us parents of young kids, that you can dress us up but you can't take us anywhere.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was set to present at the 2014 Blog Out Loud event last week, and realized I had food colouring-stained hands from doing science experiments on the front sidewalk with the kids. Great! Way to make a first impression (as this was to be my first--but hopefully not last--  kick at the can). I mean, I'm blogging about being a parent, but let's not look TOO much the part. Why don't I just show up in yoga pants while I'm at it.

Luckily, I got most of the colour off in time and only had to worry about a regular old bad hair day from the rainy weather.

But it got me thinking of how this was not the first time one of the adults in our house has tried to be professional out in the world, but ended up inadvertently wearing evidence of kids nonetheless.

click to enlarge

Ha ha. Those stickers seem to stick to anything! Except, of course, the original surface they were stuck to, which was usually the kids' faces. They fall off and lie in wait around the house, hitching a ride on unsuspecting adults' clothing like Disney-themed burrs.

Has anyone else inadvertently worn the "I have small kids" neon sign on their forehead (or the back of their pants, or wherever) when out and about? If so, when I see you at the store, should I tell you if you have paint on your ear or post-hug kid handprints on your behind?

I just know I'll be at a big, important interview or something one day, realizing too late that my short-sleeved dress shirt reveals the sleeve of stamp tattoos I let Big Bro give me the day before.
"Can I take your coat, Janet?"
"Ah, no, no. I'm a bit chilly. I think I'll keep it on, thanks."

I tell ya. Can't take us anywhere.


If you missed Blog Out Loud last week, here are the selections that were read. Really great variety of topics and perspectives! I was thrilled to be a part of the event. Check it out.

There's also a great review on the International Writers' Festival site here which mentions Cartoon-Coloured Glasses. "A pithy post of prose and pictures", it says (pithy is a good thing; I checked). Delighted!
It also likens the audience's experience of Blog Out Loud to being at Costco on a Saturday... which I assume means there were a lot of samples of great things to be had-- not that it was full of aggressive jerkfaces and you couldn't wait to get out of there (That's 'Costco on a Saturday' to me).