Tag Archives: awkward

Buddha

Every morning as V and I are driving to daycare, we pass a rather lovely Buddhist temple. And there is a huge sign at the entrance, one that always seems to be enticing me to just pull right in.

But, usually, it’s 7 am. And it’s closed.

And also, usually, my son is extremely sticky, which just doesn’t seem temple appropriate.

For the last few weeks, the sign has been advertising an upcoming festival and I felt that this was a sign (which it was) and also a ‘sign’. I should go! I should bring my three-year-old! Monks don’t mind kids, right? What could possibly go wrong!

Well, my memory for one. V and I showed up at the temple yesterday. And even though I saw the sign that said ‘Ceremony 5-15-2011’ and yesterday was clearly the 14th, I pulled my big girl pants up a little and drove in anyways.

I mean, so what, right? It’s open to the public. I can just go and check it out. Right? Jaw clenched, I drove into the parking lot and then for no reason at all, followed the car in front of me around the temple. All around the back, passed the pond, the basketball hoop and that random guy on his cell phone near what looked like monk quarters to me and parked. Right next to the car I was following.

He peered in my window as he walked past us. I pretended I was busy doing something and tried to avoid eye contact. I extracted V from the car, brushed him off in the parking lot and, holding hands, we bravely headed in.

I should note that I used to be extremely uncomfortable doing things like this. Edward used to joke that when we lived in Japan, he was surprised I went anywhere. But I am a big girl now, I can go where I want to. Really.

We were inside for about a minute. It smelled soothing. A lot of people were very, very busy doing things that looked rather important. On the other side of the main entrance, a hall extended filled with chairs ending with an enormous Buddha and a monk lovingly tending to the area surrounding him.

I know that sounds rather vague, but upon seeing Buddha, Vince promptly stated “I wanna go dere.” and attempted to drag me ‘dere’. So we left. Planning on coming back today

Which we did. All three of us. How lovely! It was a lovely morning full of chanting and praying. We wandered aimlessly amongst the shaved ice, mochi and assorted religious paraphernalia. We did not buy raffle tickets. We listened to the monks and with every step, V tried to drag us into the temple.

We finally were dragged up to the front of the temple by V, where some interesting things were going on. Several people were very busy putting the finishing touches on the most gorgeous fresh flowers surrounding numerous little buddha statues, which were standing in a beautiful fountain. Ceremonial ladles were next to each one, for the ‘washing the buddha’ ceremony.

V and washed Buddha. First we washed him the wrong way. “Not on the head, just on the shoulders…” Glad that we watched some other people who didn’t know what they were doing wash Buddha the wrong way too. Yikes!

Anyways, we washed him together, thought thoughtful things about cleansing, peace and love. Slipped a donation in a red envelope and gave it to a lovely woman who told Vince he was the cutest Gator fan ever. Even though he was wearing a Giants jersey.

It was, honestly, a lovely way to start the day… pictures to follow once I find my card-reader.

xoxo to all my sweet, peaceful and thoughtful readers.

a.m.

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Inappropriate English

Just yesterday, Edward and I had one of ‘those’ conversations. One that, I think, he was pretty sure was a HUGE lecture. Probably one that lots and lots of wives have had with their husbands. Or not. I mean, I am married to Edward and he is a huge pain in my ass.

But they all are, aren’t they?

Anyways, I came back from the March for Babies in downtown Orlando to a happy home. Vince was full of appetite and life. Edward was cheerful and non-sleep-deprived. The dog was walked. Everyone was terribly happy.

“Vincent, would you like another cup of booger poo-poo milk?” asked Edward, oh so politely.

“NOOOO! I no like booger poo-poo milk”, Vince responded in a manner that indicated that he had been asked this question before.

And why would I even be a little surprised by this. Edward teaches him all sorts of ridiculous things, things which usually result in ‘looks’ from me. ‘Looks’ that I am pretty sure that Edward has learned to ignore.

Because he still teaches him ridiculous things.

So back to yesterday….

“Please, please. Can you teach him English?? Please?”, I asked, while most likely making a face, which means I was trying to not make a face. Which is another face entirely.

Response?

“I will teach him anything I want to!”, he proclaimed proud and firmly, “It’s my fatherly right.”

I rolled my eyes. Men. Whatever. This was just a pointless argument waiting to start. This was something I was going to leave alone for the time being.

Or, at least I thought I was going to…

Later that day, Vince and I hit up the grocery store. We were running low on Vincent snacks among other things. Needed some fruit, stuff for dinner, some milk.

We hit up the dairy section and I reached into the case to grab a couple of litres of milk.

“Mummy! Mummy Mummy Mummy! I no like booger poo-poo milk!”, Vince sing-songed while I was reaching.

“Booger Poo-poo! BOOGER! Poo! POO!!” he proclaimed, “BOOGER POO POO BOOGER BOOGER POO! POO! BOOGER! POO POO POO POO!”

And as we rolled through the aisles, he continued to shout this out at varying levels of loudness.

Finally I called Edward. “Thanks honey. Thanks”.

“What?!?!” he replied bewilderingly. But he knew. Oh, he knew. And then I made him listen. Listen as his son sang the most ridiculous song about boogers and poopoo at the top of his lungs while I pushed him around the grocery store.

That Bastard.

That Bastard who then apologized to me profusely. And then promised to be more conscientious of what he talked about with Vince. You honestly would think an English teacher would have better sense. Right?

Clearly I have married a crazy person.

xoxo a.m.

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Days like these…

5:00 am, alarm goes off.

5:30 the alarm goes off again.

And then, then no alarms. No alarms at all.

Yawning, I rummage under my duvet to where I have stashed my alarm clock so I can ignore it. In the dim light of the bedroom, I half open my right eye and peek at it.

6:29

Shit.

Shit shit shit.

M had to leave for work in 15 minutes and he was currently snoring. My left eye was still closed. V was still sleeping. So was the dog.

M, who was asleep, somehow managed to instantly manifest himself in the shower. Naked. Thank goodness he managed to take his clothes off.

I walked the dog, woke up V and traded places with M. It was a baby hand-off.

I had a 2 second shower. I forgot my breakfast on the kitchen counter. I did, however, manage to get myself dressed, get V dressed and drive my car.

Slightly out of breath, I managed to make it to daycare. We entered the classroom to the slightly apologetic smile of one of V’s teachers.

Unfortunately, she told us, DCF requires that students how have a documented fever not return to school for a 24 hour period. V was sent home yesterday at 4:10 with a fever of 100.8.

She reminded me that this was in the packet of papers that I filled out (I filled them out in September). Apparently I was expected to remember the fine print.

I was not pleased.

So Little Man went to work with Mummy this morning. And I called my Father-in-law, who happily came and picked him up and took him to Ikea for breakfast.

I swear I seethed about this all morning long. And I wonder how I will act around them this morning when I take him back. I haven’t quite made up my mind yet.

Later in the day I did receive an apologetic call from the school’s director, apologizing for the confusion with some blathering about how it was a ‘new policy’ (my ass) and how she was ‘sorry for the confusion’ (which she wasn’t). I knew she was only saying that as I had left the school saying that I ‘understood that there are rules, but I would have appreciated a reminder when I left with him the day before as I could have easily made arrangements’.

Regardless, I know the way it goes. When you work in one field, you automatically assume that everyone who employs your services understands the ins and outs. But the truth is, everyone knows very little.

So expecting me, as a mother of a young child, to automatically know the policies and procedures when a child has a fever is ridiculous. Perhaps if V was 3 or 4. But he isn’t even 2 yet and only  there for 3 months. So pardon me. Pardon freakin’ me for having not memorized all the paperwork that I signed and handed in in September and for, apparently, being a little ‘confused’ (as his young teacher explained to me with a wee frowny face) by everything.

And now, thursday morning, as I watch V eat breakfast and enjoy some morning Sesame Street, I am still thinking about how to handle the situation this morning. Humourously? Sternly? A combo of both?

One thing is for sure, there will be no apologizing on my part for anything. And since I am writing this down, I will be sure to remember to NOT apologize (it’s a bad habit of mine).

Wish me patience and a calm demeanor!

xoxo a.m.

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The Ladies

ladies-blog

I know she only has one arm... sometimes the Ladies room is just that dangerous...

Things I did today for the first time….

Got poop stuck under one of my fingernails. And no, it was not mine. In 17 months, this was the first time it has happened. How it hasn’t, no idea…. however, lately he has become extremely thrashy. Like his father, mid-90’s. So genetics. Ya. Thanks M, for passing that genetic gift on.

I also took V into the Ladies Room with me today. Why I thought this would be a brilliant idea? Not sure… But I had to go to the bathroom and we were about to hit up a long drive. Luckily no-one was in the room when we entered and it stayed that way the whole time we were in there.

The moment his feet hit the floor of the stall, he turned around and those little fingers went right for the latch. Oh the fast mind of a mother…. “Ooooh, look honey…. toilet paper! On a roll! Oooooooh! Look! We can keep pulling and pulling and pulling it…..”

And that’s how he kept himself occupied the whole time we were in there. And then we washed our hands. With soap. All wet, freshly washed hands go directly down the front of Mummy’s shirts and into her bras.

And then there was the first time I said ‘NO!!’ in a very strong manner to Little Man. And then he laughed at me. Actually, he laughed so much, that he fell down on the ground and proceeded to keep giggling.

I even pulled out all of the stops with a full-on first, middle and last name firm, warning-like tone.

He kept laughing at me.

And then he hit his head on  the exact thing that I was trying to steer him away from. Which was the TV stand, in case you were wondering. That stand and all of its wires are truly a beacon to all men.

And then he cried. A lot. And then I felt slightly smug…. I was all like “See?!?! SEE!!!! That’s why I was trying to keep you away from there!!!”.

But since we are not really at a communicating stage yet, he didn’t listen to my logic and kept crying.

And I can’t handle it. So I scooped him up, gave him a cuddle and that crying stopped in…oh…2 seconds….

FAKER!!

I don’t think he really bumped his head at all… I think he just smacked the console and made a sound that was the same as hitting your head…

Damn it! So screwed over here… need more skills to deal with toddlers.

PS… All of these lovely occurrences happened today… just an fyi…

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Breasts

breasts-blog

Recently V started something new.

Pointing at my chest, more like poking me in the breasts (gawd, I hate writing ‘breast’, makes me feel like I am a guidance counselor and have a group of teens giggling at me)…anyways, he pokes me in the ‘breasts’ and exclaims ‘Mumma!’. And then he pulls my shirt out and takes a peek down it. And after he’s done that, he looks up at me and grins in the hugest way…

My first reaction? Laughter… Because FOR REAL, how else do you react to something like that?!

That is followed by… ummm…not sure what…blank? Awkward grin? A wtf face?

One of those….

It WAS rather funny. And now it’s moved into a pattern of, say, all the time. Which I guess, in hindsight, is not really a pattern at all. More of a regular event. A daily event actually.

Hm.

As are the other things, and you parents of boys know exactly what I mean. And I can sum it all up with the phrase “It starts early and never ends”. And I mean it. And then, for you non-boy parents, I will throw in the phrase ‘bits’, ‘adjusting’ and ”touching’. Is it clear? Have you ever met a man? Talked with one? Perhaps lived with one?

Then it’s clear…

It is the beginning of man. With each day passing, I understand my husband of almost 5 years just a little bit more. Watching a baby grow into a toddler and into a boy and then into a man…. well it’s basically the evolution of ‘man’ itself.

The breast obsession/hype, followed by the penis obsession.

Oh son of mine, you will not read this for many, many a year. Thank you for the  inspiration…

(and stop poking my breasts like that!)

xoxo a.m.

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Slap it hard

slap-blog

Boys can be very exhausting.

Riding on the end of an influenza, ear infection, projectile vomiting, high fever, nebulizer, late night crying and screaming, wheezy, asthmatic, some-one-bit-my-child-at-school month of October, I have had enough.

Enough October!! Give it a rest! Bring on November in all of it’s sweet turkey finery. Mummy needs a break.

I will not get one though, such is the life of Mummy.

Little Man is going through a ‘Mummy’ phase. Everything is ‘Mumma’ and ‘No’. Mostly ‘no’ to people who aren’t Mumma. And also ‘no’ when it is Mumma as well. He is alternately extremely delighted by everything that involves me and clingy as well. He just can’t get enough of me.

Secretly I am delighted. And secretly I am a little scared of my reaction. And then publicly terrified that I will be one of ‘those’ mum’s. Since I have called his Doctor every week for about a month now (and am really restraining myself from calling this week), I feel like I am edging there. They might know who I am. Hopefully they think I am nice (nervous laughter) and not a total psychopath-slash-first time mother.

This is a hard line to tread for me. Especially for a person such as myself, who tends to be rather concerned with what people think of her.

On one hand, I don’t care at all. I will happily babble nonsense at V down the aisle of any store and say the most ridiculous things to him. Random stories about the fruits and vegetables we are passing by…promises to make him yummy dinners, more delicious than he has ever eaten. Descriptions of things we are going to do on the weekend.

Confronted with people actually paying attention to me, it’s another thing altogether. Suddenly I do care very much about what I am saying and how I am coming across to them.

Basically I will kiss Little Man’s chubby cheeks to the point of rawness, and then afterwords wonder if anyone thinks I am too doting of a mother. But at the same time, I don’t give a shit. Because he is the cutest, sweetest Little Man in the world, way cuter than yours, by the way… Just in case you wanted to hear that. WAY cuter. And most handsome. And best personality. See? See what I mean? (My personality makes this rather conflicting…)

And I will call the pediatrician non-stop and use that overly friendly voice that annoys me so much at the office that I work at. You know, that voice you use when you want a favor? Except, I am not a bitch, like so many of the mothers I speak to (except for that one time…. but it was perfectly excusable…)

So this whole ‘biting’ thing at daycare really, well, bites. And super sucks. And bites even more…

I am unsure how to proceed with this. I called the director of the school, informed her and the teacher and now (apart from tossing the mother of the biter out into the parking lot and having a proper slap-down) I am not too sure what the next step is…

No slapping, right? And I must be sure to teach V about the no slapping rule as well….

*sigh*

xoxo a.m.

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Pee

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Unflattering picture of me covered in pee. Thanks Mike!!

Just a quickie about a lovely incident that happened this weekend.

A post gym incident. One that might involve baby bodily fluid(s).

Home from the gym, I puttered around for a little while. V was down for a nap, always the best time to get things done, right? To get a lot of things done. As maybe things as possible, in fact. So still in my gym clothes, I manic-cleaned and organized things. And then sat down for 2 minutes.

Right on cue, V began wailing, as he often does on waking up from his nap. Sometimes it is just heart-wrenching to hear. Why is he so upset? No idea. But he is. Very. About 75% of the time post-nap. I opened his bedroom door to find him sitting in the middle of his crib eyes shut, crying, tears everywhere.

I scooped him up, cuddled and made some shooshing noises and off we went to the kitchen to get a bottle. The crying did not stop, however.

If anything it got progressively loudly. Now this was unusual.

Bottle was pushed away with extra force and the motion was punctuated by a louder (if possible) and more upset sounding wail.

Oh my.

And unfortunately this sort of thing kind of makes me laugh, so laughing a bit, we head over to an armchair with bottle held hidden behind back. Perhaps we need more of a cosy cuddle, I think. And settle down with him by the living-room window, in the armchair. His little legs are tucked around my waist (on either side) and his arms are hugging me. We are face to face, torso to torso and he is still crying.

A lot of back patting and rubbing commences, as does sweet shushing and some discussions about how maybe we might want some bottle now? (the answer was no, by the way… quite firmly too).

I love holding him like this, even if he is crying, so despite that I am enjoying myself immensely.

And then I feel something. Something warm. I takes me a minute to realize what it is.

While the answer may be clear to some of you (knowing my child and his escapades), it wasn’t to me immediately. Reason being that for about 5 seconds there, I swear I was peeing on my own armchair. Really.

Actually, what was happening is that with the position that V and I were in, he was peeing on me, but it was aimed pretty much right where I would be doing the same thing. He was peeing on me where I pee. Which made it feel like I was peeing.

WHICH I WAS NOT.

And then he stopped crying.

Oh, and he was wearing a diaper. A diaper put on by his father. Might as well have been naked.

Up I got. Slowly. I was trying to not let pee drip everywhere. Yelling for M the whole time. While I pidgeon-toed walked to V’s bedroom with him clutched in my arms and ‘not my own pee’ dripping down my thighs, M cleaned the chair and then ran after me with the camera taking pictures of the 2 of us and laughing uncontrollably.

Bastard.

I hope sometimes that I am not the only one having this bodily fluid experiences. Please? And also, I hope that someone else also has a ridiculous husband like mine. I can’t possibly be the only one…

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Glorious

The crazy Summer of 2002 and its Brazilian beach parties gradually ushered in one heck of a cold fall. Hamamatsu gets pretty windy.

Housing insulation…well…lets just say that it is not a priority. Thin walls, lack of central heat equals a very cold apartment.

With the cold fall, M’s Dad arrived and his visit was a highly anticipated one, both by M and by the school that we worked for. There were no end of eager students practically lining up to entertain him when he arrived. B, on the other hand, had his own ideas about what he would be doing… One day, I believe M woke up to find a note informing him that he (Dad) was heading to the train station (possibly on foot) to take the train up to Tokyo. And that he would call him later…

I peppered M with questions “Where’s he going? What’s he doing?” etc etc…. M replied “…not sure…” and that was the end of that conversation. A few days later he was back, it was the weekend and we all took a drive to see Momiji (or Japanese Maple trees in their gorgeous autumn splendor).

In case you haven’t ever witnessed their absolute glory, here is a picture from that afternoon hike that illustrates it…

Momiji 2002

Momiji 2002

It was pretty amazing. Can you see me on the side there? So we hiked all around this little mountain, up spider infested slopes and down them… under those fiery leaves and through their lightly less colourful brethren that were scattered on the ground…. We wound around and around the mini-mountainside until we came to the most interesting of bridges. Some type of suspension bridge, one of those that sways when you walk on them. I think they are awesome. M….. not so much. And B well, not at all. In fact he posed all cool and debonair and firmly on the ground, while I confidently strode out there and M followed behind… just slightly less excited than I was…

Jaime on the bridge, 2002

Jaime on the bridge, 2002

M on the bridge 2002... slightly less excited...

M on the bridge 2002... slightly less excited...

B not on the bridge and pretty happy about that....

B not on the bridge and pretty happy about that....

It was a pretty full afternoon. Momiji. Glorious. Spider infested temple. Not so much. But that was evened out by amazing bridge experience (for me anyways).

That evening M joined me in my apartment (next to his) for an epic evening of boot-leg Simpsons episodes. We stayed up far too late. There might have been longing glances cast (in a behind the back sort of way…..we weren’t dating yet).

Glorious.

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Bonding

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I washed my hands at this temple…..

I think it was in Kakegawa (correct me if I am wrong, please…it was 7 years ago)

I took this trip in January of 2002. M and I had known each other…. perhaps about 3 days? In the 8 weeks that I had taught at Alpha Language School, I bonded with one particular class. They turned into my parents…. and I think of them so fondly even now.

They invited me (us) on a bus trip to a castle and a temple. Since I had done nothing in Japan at that point (except drink), this was pretty exciting. We were picked up at about 7 am. Shoved into a teeny car. Driven to some random parking lot, we exited and then lined up for a bus. And met the rest of the class who were coming with us.

It was a pretty luxurious bus. And to my surprise, all of the old ladies on it (pretty much it was M and 50 older women) simutaneously cracked open a beer. I kid you not. We were then offered one…. too early for us both.

So while the bus drank its face off, M and I giggled away and cemented our friendship in the ridiculousness of this journey. The only other man on the bus adventure cast glances back at him longingly… he was trapped in beer and morning pastry hell. Poor guy…

The day was spent on and off that bus.

Interlude: The most ridiculously gourmet meal I had ever had in my life (at that point) as just a random lunch time thing for the whole bus. On a private golf course that was used primarily by sumo wrestlers for a vacation hot spot or something like that. It was fancy. Maybe it was soccer pros that vacationed there…. regardless, it was fancy, delicious and well, super fancy. Oh, and awkward. Really really awkward.

Please, try to imagine 2 fluent english speakers plus 7 non-english speakers. PLUS alcohol. Plus overwhelming Japanese culture. Plus hand gestures.

I was 25. M was 26. They were the same age as our parents. And had been drinking. Awkward!

Regardless of the whole awkwardness thing, it still was the most amazing thing I had ever done.  We were all so unsure of each other it made it ok. I remember walking onto the grounds of the temple and just being astounded. I literally didn’t know how to react to what I was seeing. It was the complete opposite of the Canadian West Coast. Or of any coast at all.

It was the best weekend of my early twenties….

IMG_0229

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Change(ing)

koala-blog

I did not look like this (and neither did V) as we wrestled..... tres misleading...

Oh tonight you are in for a treat! It’s a double feature!

Part one to commence momentarily and part two to follow later…

The scene opens at Barnes and Noble with wee V scooting all over the children’s book section like some kind of speed racer and M and I frantically trying to keep him from destroying the room like he does his bedroom. One corner of the section had a raised platform, which I am assuming is for story time. V found it incredibly amusing to climb up the steps and then climb down them face-first.

In the middle of all of this action, there was a pause for some serious grunting. You know what that entails…. and if M and I had any doubts, those were quickly chased away on his next lap passed us.

Foul ball in play!

I grabbed the diaper bag and Little Man and headed off to the washroom, hoping that they had a baby changing station.

And oh thank god they did. One of those Koala ones which, I think, are considered the norm in terms of changing stations. What followed was not. Or not at least any norm that I have encountered. Which might mean that it has now become the norm. Which scared me. And still does.

That strap that you tie your child down with was broken. And I say ‘tie down’ as that is what I wished I could do.

Or maybe super glue him to the table. My changing pad and the changing table combined together created the slipperiest surface man has ever known. It was like I had oiled the whole thing (and him) down. I couldn’t keep him on his back. Or in one fixed place. He moved, the pad moved with him and he almost slid off the table about a dozen times and almost landed in the garbage can a few times too.

I. Could. Not. Keep. Him. Still.

And then he started screaming. It was one of those long tiled bathrooms, changing table at the end in the handicapped stall. It echoed.

M swore he didn’t hear a thing outside, but I caught a few looks on my way out. I saw you looking at me. Go ahead! You try it! See if you do a better job than I did!!

Approximately 15 minutes later I emerged sweating like a mother (oh, how this expression makes sense), with angelic-like V in my arms, poop-free and content now that he wasn’t on that awful table. I needed a shower. And a drink. It was 11 am.

Koala changing tables, I curse thee!! Please provide multiple straps so all of us mothers with our practical changing pads that your surface repels can strap our children down so they don’t end up in the garbage can with the dirty diapers (holy run-on sentence).

How I long for the practicality of the Vancouver Airport marble slab changing counter outside of customs, with that deep indentation, your child ain’t going anywhere……

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