Sorry Sunday – A Dedication to My Father

On Mother’s Day I wrote my mom a note “Happy Mother’s Day!  Confessions from Your Charming Brat!” It was about all the horrible things I did that she suspected but could never prove in our humble family kitchen court. Since it is Father’s Day I would like to do the same for my dad. Unfortunately, he is up in that card playing table in heaven and couldn’t be with us on this lovely day. So, I decided to dedicate this Sorry Sunday to him. It’s all about his silent suspicions  he had about me but always took the blame to ensure a calming weekend of peace from his teenage daughter and wife.

Shall we begin?

Dear Dad,

1. Remember when Mom always told me not take the car across the narrow bridge. Well I did anyway! It was only a few days later you noticed the paint scratched off the side of the car. I argued with you with such great vigor until you were convinced it was you who did it! Well! Now you know it wasn’t your forgetful age that made you hit the bridge, it was me!

2.Do you remember the morning a case of beer went missing and Mom blamed  you for it! You didn’t say a word or point the finger. You took the blame like a man. Well! Guess What? It was me! I  stole  the case the previous  night for a really fun beach party.  However, I suspected you knew. You alway picked your battles wisely,you realized taking the fall was the easy way out, ensuring your own peace and quiet on that lovely Sunday afternoon. But I still felt guilty. So sorry!

3. As a teenager I always scoffed at your advice about Mom and her alien ways. I secretly, listened, figured out how to talk to her, by the time I was twenty, I realized she was great! Thanks!

4.  I use to love to test your political will even when I agreed with you! Remember our argument over Paul Martin and the Gomery inquiries. I took Martin’s side. Your face went red and you told me off  with gusto and retorted “Go eat your fishing chips!” One of the best moments ever! And of course I agreed with you. I just wanted to see what you would say and it made my day!

5. Last but not least, remember the time I was four ,we were at Zellers, and I wanted a chocolate bar? I took too long to decide and ended up with nothing. I went home proclaiming “I was going to purchase a new dad!” I dug out the Sears catalogue to find the perfect replacement but not one held a candle to you. I’m relieved I never found that replacement because without you I would have never had the great adventures and family memories. Thank you for being the best dad in the world! 

 I wish you were with us on Father’s day, celebrating, eating, drinking and playing catch with your grand children. I just want you to know we love you and miss you! Your spirit will always be alive in our hearts and memories.

Happy Father’s Day! I don’t think the confessions were too  much of a surprise – the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!

Love,

Your  Brat

Channelling My Inner Rocky

It’s getting close to summer vacation and I’m dreading sliding my butt back into my bikini.  I will be truthful I’m not the most coordinated lady on the block and running to me is the black plague.  So, how do you solve a problem for the uncoordinated nerd? You solve it by forcing me  into boot camp!

Actually, I wasn’t forced I was recruited with by friend’s positive spirit to lose weight with the motto – no pain, no gain!  Monday night was my first class and surprisingly it was a fun version of my grade eight phys ed. I laughed through the pain for the whole hour.

My next class is tonight and my body still aches. I know!  Quit the whining! Suck it up!  So what I have decided to do is channel my inner Rocky! If he can beat those evil Russians! I can survive boot camp! So as I revel in my eighties rut – I have decided to share my own personal motivation.  The one song that will get me through class tonight!

It’s all about the Eye of the Tiger and the Thrill of the Fight!  Rock On!

My only hope is I can move tommorrow! Wish me luck!

Who Speaks for the Children?

Last night, we left the sweltering heat of the football stadium ready for the hike back to our car on 97th Street.  We took a shortcut, wandering down a nearby avenue, my heart deflated, a young girl, unsupervised with matted hair, filthy, in nothing but a day old pull up diaper.  She played in her front yard, crouched quietly playing with a little stick, ignoring the traffic of pedestrians that bustled by in the heat of the night.

I felt a pang of guilt in my heart, turning the other way pretending not to see this child of obvious neglect. My eight year old son looked at me wide-eyed, “Mom, you would never leave us outside this late, with all these people walking by. Especially, in nothing but a dirty diaper. That’s just wrong!”

It occurred to me if my eight year old son was aware enough to notice the implications of child neglect. Why were all of us walking past this house ignoring the poverty and neglect of this child? How do you separate yourself from this situation?

My husband saw that look in my eye and reminded me, “It’s not your problem.”

I took a deep breath, “So whose problem is it? Is it that child’s problem?  Is it her fault that she was born into this poverty? Is it her fault that there is no adult in her life with enough sense to bathe her, brush her hair, and ensure she wears clean pull-up’s?  It’s not the child’s problem! Whose problem is it?”

“Well what do you plan on doing? Knocking on their door and telling them that their child needs to be bathed, clothed, fed, and supervised?”

We both knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“I’ll take care of it in the morning and phone child services.”

 I felt this child had no voice and naively believed maybe if I took the time as concerned citizen to report this incident –maybe this one child would have the chance for a happy childhood and a brighter future.

My optimistic spirit for this child was crushed this morning.  I contacted the hotline and they told me next time to contact the police. I then received a barrage of excuses on why they wouldn’t investigate.  They suggested the house may have been an apartment – no real proof of address. It was also pointed out I didn’t know the victim. I received excuse after excuse why this household could not be investigated.

Perhaps, it’s not the wisest to have faith in an underfunded, over burdened system.  But I was acting as a concerned citizen. That child has no voice! When will it be time we wake-up to help those children who are neglected and in need of a good home.  If we constantly turn a blind eye to these children they will fall through the cracks only to reaffirm the cyclical system of child neglect and abuse.

Parenting 101: Teaching the Proper Terminology

As I dragged my children to the Bay for the search for the perfect father’s day gift. We began to pass the lingerie department  filled with lacy frills and pink panties. My youngest son got that special glint in his eye and piped up, “Hey Robert! Do you need pink booby covers and panties?”

My oldest face turned scarlet red and exclaimed, “No! I don’t need pink booby covers! “

My youngest retorted, ” You were just singing Barbie girl and if you sing that you need pink booby covers!”

“You are so going to get it!”

My oldest then attempted to pummel Alex in the middle of the department store.  I glanced over my shoulder and noticed three blue haired ladies staring at us unamused by the  impropriety of my children. I wanted to run and hide! But instead being the dilligent parent that I am…I broke up the brawl with one vocal threat of no treats  for the rest of the afternoon.  

 I then sternly  corrected them, “The proper term is not booby covers. It is bra!”

I then walked ten feet ahead of pretending they were not my children. Ahhh! The silent joys of motherhood!

The Cure for Bitter Housewife Syndrome

It was one of those busy non-stop errand running and taxi service days. I had an hour to get to soccer and feed the kids. It is at those pivotal moments that fast food comes in handy and quick. So, we scurried off to Wendy’s digesting our greasy, non-organic hamburgers and fries. We hopped back in the car and away our merry caravan went off into the frenetic city streets.

My son was overjoyed with the CD he received from his kids meal, “Mom! Can we listen to this?”

I attempted to show enthusiasm, “Yay! A Mini-Pops CD! I can’t wait to listen to it!”

I was about to go into a spiel about the importance of good music “Back in my day…” sinking  back into my teenage memories of Sonic Youth, clutching the plastic wrapped tape in my hand, playing “Goo” and “Cool Thing” over and over again. Oh! How I loved my pink hair, combat boats, and Ramones t- shirts.

So, as I was about to say “Back in My day…”  I stopped and realized that if I finished this statement I was admitting I was getting older and my Peter Pan ways would have none of that….Instead, I bit my tongue and grimaced  prepared for  the inevitable Barbie Girl or Cotton Eyed Joe to invade my car space.

I slid the CD into the player and with gusto a whole other magical era of the mid-eighties appeared taking me back to my early youth. As soon as I heard the beat, the distinct voice, I knew it was “Somebody’s Watching Me!”  I remembered my grade three dance moves like it was yesterday, and didn’t miss a beat to the song.

So I began to drive with arms flailing, my body having some form of spastic attack, and the children looking at me like their mother had been possessed by some eighties pop god. However, this one song was relief from the monotony of the day and I let my freak flag shine!

 So, if you saw a mad woman in a little car, driving, belting out “Somebody’s Watching Me” to her heart’s content. At the same time exclaiming to her children, “Why aren’t you singing?” It was me!  I will not apologize for my smooth car moves !  It saved my day from bad food, tedious errands, and helped remove the grimace of bitter housewife syndrome.

This Connoisseur of Surf n’ Turf has Questions! Do you have the Answers?

As a beach loving, snorkelling, connoisseur of surf n’ turf I was shocked to read the UN’s report on depleting fish stocks and the prediction of fishless oceans by 2050.  It was at that moment I began to debate my questionable love for seafood.  Is my love of salmon, shrimp, and lobster killing our oceans?  

Now as we watch the effects of the BP catastrophe and oil begins to invade America’s coastlines. A new question emerges, how will this affect us and our oceans?  I am not a scientist nor an academic and I don’t have any of the answers.  But I believe as global citizens we are all interconnected by the ocean and depend on it for our lively hoods, transportation, and survival.  It is also our job as global citizens to work together to achieve sustainable environmental goals.  But in such a large-scale catastrophe such as BP Oil how do you help?  Is it small steps?  Big steps?  I have no idea what the answer is. Do you?

Bargain Shop Panties! Oh My!

Every once in a blue moon, we put on CBC radio on a Saturday night, and we go out for a late snack. I love Saturday night Blues on CBC.  On this particular outing Little Miss Higgins popped on the radio with Bargain Shop Panties. It’s a fun, innocent, infectious song, which you will be tapping your feet and singing for weeks.

For the full recorded version of the song check-out Little Miss Higgins on CBC Radio 3.

It was to my surprise the little ears in the backseat were listening and began to giggle hysterically.

Robert exclaimed, “Did she just say panties”

Alex face blushed, giggling, “I think she did.”

They giggled, laughed, and giggled some more.

Robert exclaimed, “I can’t wait to tell my friends about it at school!”

I paused for a moment, “It’s probably not a good idea – they might not get the jest of it!”

“They will mom!”

I imagined school yard conversation and cringed.

“I just don’t think it’s a wise idea! Your teacher might not approve.”

“Oh!”

The song ended and the boys pretty much laughed themselves to sleep that night.  However, The song is so infectious and catchy – my boys sing it all of the time even at the play park.  It’s at this time I know my mother has gotten retribution for my torment of her granny panty shopping ways.

“Alex could you not sing it here…”

“Why?”

“Some people just don’t like to hear about bargain shop panties?”

“But isn’t that what you wear?”

My face went three cringes of red, as I looked at the parents three feet away from  me(wondering if they were eavesdropping), and wanted to crawl under a hole.

“No it’s not! Why are we having this conversation?”

I walked away, back to the bench, resumed my book, and pretended it was not my child.  I thought to myself karma has a funny way of getting you back, and began to hum a little Bargain Shop Panties.