Monthly Archives: May 2014

Twisted

I made a huge mistake. I bought my children the game Twister for Christmas. In my defense, I was probably deep in the pre-Christmas haze when I bought it, where I’m sure it seemed like a really good idea. I can see myself standing there in the aisle of the toy store, envisioning my children playing Twister together for hours on end, laughing and getting exercise while their father and I lounge comfortably on the couch in front of the fire, wearing cashmere sweaters and drinking hot toddies in the gentle glow of the Christmas tree as we gaze upon our happy children with love and amusement. Of course I never pictured having to actually play it with my children, who are all elbows and hair and shrieks while playing Twister, and yet every time we have played in the months since, my full participation has been required—nay, demanded.

1966_Twister_Coversource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twister_(game)

 Just look at this old Twister ad. In what world would respectable adults ever want to play this game together, especially while dressed in such restrictive suits and ties? Without holding alcoholic beverages? Give me a break, Milton Bradley.

A few days ago S, my adorable, bossy-boots of a three year old, wanted to play Twister with me. Now, I’m in for any game that will allow me to lie on the couch for five minutes, so I decided that I would volunteer to be the spinner. However, she insisted on being the spinner. Once we had the mat laid out, she drove this point home even more by picking up the spinner and saying to me (and very formally, I might add), “Now get on the mat, my sir.”

So, for the next 10 minutes, I “twisted” for her amusement. She would tell me to put my foot on red. “Which foot?” I would ask, panting, hands firmly planted on green and blue, head hanging down so I couldn’t see the spinner, old bones and joints cricking and cracking under me. “That one.” She would say. So I would move a foot. “No, the other one.” I’d move the other foot. “No, the other one.”

Then later, when it was finally her turn (because, “Whoops, Mommy fell down! Ha ha ha—your turn!”), and I’d call out, “Left hand blue!” or, “Right foot green!” she would just stand there lazily, one hand on her hip, and say, “I can’t reach that, Mommy,” or, “I’m not going to do that, Mommy.” Say what?! I thought to myself. Funny, I didn’t know simply refusing to play was an option!

It’s become clear to me that the solution to my problem is simple: I just need a time machine, so I can go back in time, get my hands on every copy of Twister KNOWN TO MAN, and destroy them. This will protect myself, and many other parents, from being taken in so easily by its bright, cheerful circles and images of active, laughing children, and we can all choose a nice, relaxing game for our children, instead. Hungry, Hungry Hippos, for example . . . that seems like a nice, calm sort of game . . .

If you’re thinking, “Hey! I was planning on buying Twister for MY kids!” then to you I say: you’re welcome.

A Momversation: Introduction to a blog

Jac: Dude, we have got to start this thing. Any ideas for our first post?

Juli: “One night, Jacqueline had a dream. . . . She dreamed of writing a super amazing blog. And then a kid shrieked and awoke her from said dream, and so she decided to write this one instead.” We could start with that.

Jac: Actually, the real blog is better than the dream blog, because my friend Juli got involved and we decided to write it together. You know, half the work and twice the fun!

Juli: Would you call us friends? I mean we got along in high school, but we had never even been to each other’s houses until now.

Jac: We’re not not friends, right? I mean, you were pretty awesome in high school. And we’re friends now, I think.

Juli: I actually maybe would have even called us friends in high school—I feel like we were solidly going in that direction, anyway. If there had been a grade 13 we would have been fully established friends by that point.

Jac: True. So, why do you want to start this blog with me?

Juli: Well, it is fun to have kids, but it’s also really hard. And before we were fun moms, we were two fun girls, who became two fun women. Then we had kids and things got . . . different. More poop, less perfume. But still lots of fun. Anyways, I guess I wanted to speak out about the joys and miseries that make up my experience of mothering. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never have I had such a desire to write—partly because my children give me such great material, and partly so I can feel like a human adult again and use real words and phrases and form sentences and feel like I’m in a conversation with another adult, and have a connection with someone who might also have that need on a day-to-day basis. You?

Jac: Great answer. Ditto. That’s my answer: Ditto.

Juli: Nice. It also feels good to say, “This happened? Can you believe it? My child did this and said this to me! Are you kidding me?” That, I think, feels really good. Just to get it out there. Because I know other parents out there are like, “Is anyone else feeling this way?” The answer is yes. “Us! We are!”

Jac: Ditto again! And I’ll elaborate on why I wanted to write this. I’ve wanted to write a blog for a while, because in college my favourite thing to write was personal essays about my life, which were kind of like blog entries before blogs were popular in my world. But when the main thing you have to write about is how tired and overwhelmed you are, it’s hard to find the time to write. I mean, it’s been three days since I’ve had time to shower, so writing is just kind of not happening.

Juli: Oh, I hear you.

Jac: I have written in a journal for years, with every entry being a note for my kids or myself in the future, so we can all remember the things that happen in these fuzzy years of their early lives.

Juli: That is amazing. I have not done that. At all. But I love that you have. I guess I should start making a baby book for one or both of my kids. . . . Maybe I’ll just make one for my favourite kid. Done. Less work for me!

Jac: I made baby books for my kids, too. They are awful. Like, with a pen and actual photographs that I had to develop. If my kids were born in 1991, these books would look the same. And the baby’s is so behind schedule. Oh, and my sister-in-law even did the pictures for me in two of them. But, yeah, you should probably feel inadequate about this.

Juli: Oh good. I feel better. Inadequate and guilty, always. But slightly better.

Jac: Anyway, the blog. Then you, Juli, my (facebook) friend, started updating your statuses (stati?) regularly, and they were well-written and hilarious, and I was like, “I should get her to write a blog with me.”

Juli: Yes! Then you suggested it to me, and I immediately thought, “I do.” And we were blog-married that very day.

Jac: Till no-one-reads-this do we part.

Juli: Amen.

Jac: So let’s tell our readers about our blog promises. If you read this blog and you are a parent of small humans, we will try our best to never:

Juli: What?

Jac: Make you feel guilty.

Juli: Good. We know you will feel guilty anyway, but you can’t blame it on us.

Jac: Share our recipes. Because we are not particularly good at cooking.

Juli: Yes. I promise to tell you to eat cookies to solve your problems, but will not tell you how to make them.

Jac: Plus, you can just buy cookies at the store. That’s allowed, as a parent.

Juli: We promise that we will keep it fun around here. If we talk about serious topics, it will be with a twinkle in our eyes.

Jac: We will avoid advice-giving. Sometimes accidental advice may slip out, but not intentionally. I mean, I think you should vaccinate your kids, but I’m not a scientist and I don’t like conflict, so I’m not going to tell you to do it. But if I’m at the health unit and something funny happens, I might tell you about it, and you’ll know how I feel about vaccines. It’s inevitable.

Juli: Exactly. Oh, brava. Well said.

Jac: Shoot, Juli, are your kids vaccinated?

Juli: They are most definitely vaccinated. They are vaccinated to the FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. To the point that I tried to sneak them in for extra vaccines, because, science.

Jac: Yes, self-vaccinations. Against the common cold. You put snot into a needle and vaccinate away.

Juli: Luckily, my daughter eats her own boogers ON THE REG. So, same thing.

Jac: Totally. They do really like to do that, don’t they? I have a two year old who is constantly sticking her fingers into things and then sucking it off. Her nose is the favourite, but she also enjoys her ears. The baby’s eyes. My nose. Yum! But anyway, where were we?

Juli: Promises. . . . How quickly the conversations turn to boogers, though, hey?

Jac: Always. And poop. See what I mean about poop and snot jokes being cheap? They’re easy. But we will occasionally resort to them because we also promise to be honest about this phase of life, so stories about poop are impossible to avoid. Plus, I mean, boogers are funny. Have you got any more promises to make? Or shall we wrap this sucker up? Blog post number one, into the eternal vault that is the internet?

Juli: We promise to make very few promises, so that we can actually keep the ones we make.

Jac: Excellent promise. I can keep that one.

Juli: Jac, I think I speak for everyone here, reading this first blog post, when I say that this blog is going to be amazing and they will read it regularly, and should it ever have readership in the millions, they will still feel special, as though it is being written directly to each and every one of them, which it is.

Jac: So kind of you to speak for them. And millions? Really? Those are some big dreams Juli. Big dreams.

Juli: Well, you know what they say: shoot for the moon, and if you miss it, your kids will pee their pants in the middle of the McDonald’s playplace and remind you that you never should have had dreams anyway.

Jac: I cannot promise great blog success, Juli, but I can promise pee in the playplace.

Juli: And that’s all I ask, Jac. That’s all I ask.

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