Sunday, May 25, 2008

Canadian Idol - Here We Come?

I've long alluded to Girlchild's singing, um, prowess. Well here, ladies and gentlemen, is a sampling LIVE! from our house.

It's an exciting video that features a baby monitor. Indeed. And it's grainy. My favourite parts are:

a) when I blip to the left to focus on the "Little Princess" picture beside the monitor, which features the singer, only to discover it is blocked by a candle

b) when the camera shakes at the end and I snort because she is hopelessly, hopelessly stuck in an endless loop

The song is "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies," which is an old folk song I learned a million years ago when I worked as a student at Murphys Point Provincial Park and it's one of a repertoire of songs I have sung to the babies. Here is a version of the lyrics that is fairly close to what I know. Girlchild keeps messing up the last line of the verse she is singing, which is preventing her from moving on to her big finish. This is unfortunate because then you would be treated to her quavery voice thing and she holds the last note. Sometimes she follows up with "Thank you. Thank you. Good night. Thank you" because apparently there is an audience just outside the crib, you know.

Oh, yeah.

By the way, she was singing this song for a good five minutes before I took the video and continued for a good ten minutes after. Same loop. Then she sang a bunch of other songs. She was supposed to be sleeping, of course.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shrine to an Oily God

This is probably not an original thought, but it just occurred to me so let's roll with it.

I went for a brisk walk Friday night (yay me!) and as I neared the edge of town I raised my eyes to the tall, bright orange and yellow beacon glowing on a busy street corner and, lo, beneath the company logo there appeareth the price of gas.

It doesn't really matter for the purpose of this posting that the price was the freakin' highest I've ever seen it in my whole entire life. What suddenly occurred to me was that everywhere we go, particularly when we're driving, our eyes are drawn to these frequent bold beacons. Kind of like we're looking up in worship of some oily kind of god. A religion of driving cars. Temples on every corner. It's also interesting in an alarming sort of way to contemplate how many of our actions and decisions are influenced by these glowing beacons. Boy, there's a barrel of symbolism here to drill.

Makes me want to walk more and avert my gaze toward the starry sky instead.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Aw, Shuck.

Well I'll be a monkey's chicken butt. In my last post about my kids and their swearing I forgot to tell you one of the best ones.

Boychild, in all his gosh-golly six-year-old sweetness, has a habit of saying "shucks" when something doesn't work right or go well, except he says "shuck" instead of "shucks."

Nothing wrong with that, right? We've all shucked corn before, yum yum, and it's not nearly as foul - or even fowl - as poop or chicken butts.

Well, just don't try to correct this mispronunciation because there's a darned good chance your little family will be driving along in the van with the adults saying over and over "No, Boychild, it's shucks...shucks" and the boy saying over and over "shuck...shuck..." and, eventually, instead of adding an "s" on the end he will inadvertently replace the lead consonant with an entirely different letter and, well, that's a whole other kettle of fish, now isn't it?

I can't believe I forgot to tell you that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'll See Your "Stupid" and Raise You a "Chicken Butt"

My kids swear.

They say things like "poop" and "butt" and then laugh hysterically. I usually remind them to keep the potty talk in the bathroom, but since "poop" and "butt" have always been and forever will be part of our scatological vocabulary (well now don't that make it sure sound fancy), I haven't thus far had kittens over the issue.

Then along came "stupid." "Stupid" is another one of those mostly innocent words, but it rubs me the wrong way when used in certain contexts, such as, "Person X, you are STUPID." I don't like hearing kids calling people stupid, so I blacklisted the word and threatened to put the children in jail if they used it. Okay, not so much that last part.

This is problematic because, let's face it, some things are stupid. When you stub your toe on the chair leg, the chair leg is "stupid." When you feed your children chocolate cake 10 minutes before bedtime, it is a "stupid" idea. When you read about certain foreign countries in crisis not accepting much-needed international aid, one might be compelled to utter the word "stupid" (and a few other words, too).

It's hard, though, for kids to differentiate between calling a person "stupid" and calling a concept or an inanimate object "stupid." I tried having them replace "stupid" with "silly," but that didn't fly.

It was time to bring out the big guns. It was time to make up a new word.

I am good at making up new words, but all the things I suggested, such as "glabberfrommit" and "berdooly" just didn't stick. So that tendril brain of mine did some reaching and I remembered something I read somewhere: "donkey bellies." Thank you, Dooce.

The kids thought that was pretty funny and they added their own new word: "chicken butts."

I prefer bellies to butts for the obvious potty-mouth reasons, however I'll take the ridiculous "chicken butts," which seems to be more popular (sorry, Dooce) than the "donkey bellies," over "stupid."

Now, what the heck was I talking about? Darned old forgetful chicken-butt brain....

I know, I know. Someday I will be looking back oh-so-fondly on the days when "stupid" was as bad as it got.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Here's What I'm Talking About

We went to one of those Proudly Canadian events today. The Rotary Club in our town hosted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride. It's in the contract: every Canadian has to see this show at least once or else they go to jail.

I'm kidding.

Anyway, here is a picture of Boychild and The Lad Formerly Known As Neighbourboy (TLFKAN) enjoying the show.

The next picture shows Girlchild, in pink (naturally), beside our very dear friend We Have No Idea Who She Is.

Girlchild went over to her - presumably because she is a girl and Girlchild is fascinated by g
irls - and plopped down on the blanket and made friends. They sat together for about 45 minutes before I finally lured Girlchild away.

I should have asked We Have No Idea Who She Is if she babysits.

No fear, that one. As Girlchild works the room or, in this case, the fairgrounds, I just tell people that she's very shy. Uh huh.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

For Whom the Bell Tolls

I probably shouldn't write this post. I'm not looking for any sort of remedy, just merely commenting on a minor irritation - something akin to a bit of sand getting in your shoe or a mosquito buzzing around your head while you're trying to sleep in a tent. Or something.

We live in a lovely neighbourhood near a church. Last year, out of the blue, said church started doing a New Thing(TM). Every day at lunchtime it starts up a carillon of bells. This lasts for an hour. Then again, near suppertime, another half hour of the bells.

For people who like bell music, this is a lovely thing. For me? I'm not so hip to the bells and I think it might be an evil plot to slowly drive me insane. And it's not as if there is some devoted musician banging away on the bells, risking his life to climb up high into a dimly lit, dusty, bat-infested tower - we're talking about a recording. I know this to be true because one day the recording got stuck and started skipping over the same few bars over and over and over and over. And over.

But I'm still here. I didn't go stark raving that day. It was a close one, though.

The tunes are lovely hymns, many of which I like. This is a good thing because I get to hear the same ones every day. Twice a day. And sometimes more often - because it seems to be a fairly short loop. Another bonus is that twice a day I know exactly what time it is.

The bell issue is not something I care to write a strongly worded letter about or anything, after all, it's a church and it's a carillon of hymns, for Pete's sake. I guess it's just that in a world that's already filled with noise - traffic, sirens, construction, my daughter screaming - having any sort of music blaring out over loudspeakers twice a day every day seems just a little, well...I should just shut up about this before I get smoted.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Where Have I Been? Nowhere Fast....

I haven't posted lately. I'd like to be able to tell you I have been off gallivanting somewhere exotic or hiking or camping or otherwise relaxing but, alas, I have merely been busy (in no particular order) writing, editing, being a mother, doing dishes, doing laundry, yadda yadda yadda. Apparently this is Crazynutsobusy Season. No one told me, so I did not have it marked in my day book and it has taken me a bit by surprise.

There's GOOD news, though. Girlchild's
Terrible Wound has healed - with much thanks going to the moon. And to my brain, if I do say so myself [insert back pats here]. Also, in the more-than-you-probably-wanted-to-know category, that little girl known as Vernette has had some decent diaper action of late, so there has been muuuuuuuch less screaming in her house. Phew. Meanwhile, back at our ranch (we don't really live on a ranch), her Diva-ness has been very very busy performing most of the songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on a daily basis. That would be all day, every day and on into the night. This spate of dramatic activity was brought about when we purchased the DVD shortly after seeing the musical at Boychild's school. I am happy to report the DVD only aired twice today. Not surprisingly, the Joseph soundtrack runs pretty much on an endless loop in my head now, and the only way I can make it stop is to play Metallica really really REALLY loud. Okay, not really. Fortunately, I like the musical. Unfortunately, that may change.

Speaking of unfortunately, the BAD news is Boychild's buddy, Neighbourboy, will be
moving away in a matter of days. This makes me sad when I think about it. Fortunately, I am in complete denial about this fact. Even though they're not going far (albeit too far to walk), it still means our people and their people can no longer easily congregate in the backyard. I will certainly miss chatting under the apple tree with Neighbourboy's Mom about mom-type things, like poop and screaming. If I ignore the fact that they are moving, it won't really happen, right? Right? I can't hear you....