Ya’ll come back, now. Ya hear?

My baby turned six today. Happy birthday, M.A. You bundle of energy, you ball of fire. You, my own little spitfire. I love you to the moon and back.

Who would’ve ever thought we would get this far, intact. Intact being the key word here, and don’t think I don’t mean it. Intact, with most of my sanity still hovering at even-keel. My gray roots still clinging to the scalp for dear life. Holding out for a brighter color wash tomorrow. If I am lucky.

Grey roots are so optimistic.

What I know for sure is this. What is going to happen tomorrow is NOT that color wash: instead, I am going to get up at the crack of…actually, make that get up in the dark. (darn time change) I am going to rush around like a chicken with its head cut off until it is time to load the Gard bus/mini-van. I am going to burst headlong into the school, second last to arrive. Yes, sadly arriving nearly last and only before the Grade1/2A teacher pulls in and parks beside me, at our usual spot… next to the ditch. (I can tease her…she’s not on Facebook. HA!)

Then, I will greet the various students who are gathered at the front doors, and eventually make my way to my classroom, which will be half-organized because I was at the school the night before past ten o’clock. Then, I will have first and second recess outside duty, I will have afternoon centers/mad mayhem, and I will help load the precious little students on the bus so they can go home to their families. If only for the better part of an hour. (more on that later)

And if I am lucky. I will have pulled out in my Gard bus/minivan with my own three children in tow before the school buses leave the school parking lot. And all this so that I can pick up Son up at his school for a three o’clock dentist appointment. After which, I will indeed head to the beauty parlor. But I will sadly, as I mentioned above, not have time to cover those blasted roots. Instead I will comfort myself with freshly plucked and shaped eyebrows. This is what I call a good time.

While I am lying horizontal on the esthetician’s bed, my darling children will be somewhere, talking to someone and doing something over which I will have no control. Because I will be lying prostrate in a very compromising position, and I will also be in no position to get up. That’s what getting my eyebrows shaped really does for me: it gives me the great satisfaction of thinking that I am totally off the hook for the well-being of my three girls for those five minutes.

“Que sera sera, my generous beauticians.”

“Don’t break anything, lovies.”

I will then leave at exactly 3:15 p.m. for Alberton where I will persuade the bank to entrust me with some American money which I will try not to spend the first five minutes I land in an American mall. I will leave the bank, and head back towards home. Only I will stop before the bend. And that stop will land me directly at the Alberton Baptist Church gym. And I will stop because I have invited 20 children and various adults, (seven children of whom have already spent six hours with me today), to bounce basketballs and scream very loudly in a very ‘sound-inefficient’ gymnasium. And this fun will carry on for, oh say, the next two hours.

In other words, I am planning on having a migraine.

After succoumbing to which, I will head then to the bowling alleys for my eventual and imminent demise. And if I am lucky, someone will roll me down the lane into the gutter. I will be able to take a nap behind the curtain.

And to cap it all off, this fun day ahead, I will come home and finish packing for a trip which I still have yet to finalize the details regarding my return trip back home. Which really means: I have been very interested in Florida real estate lately.

My crazy schedule combined with my sudden interest in the housing market in Florida…coincidence? I think not. I am already looking into a green card. I hear they give them out on St. Paddy’s Day.

(and of course y’all know that I’m kidding. I love that word…y’all. I hope I get to use it in Florida…)


The joy of summer vacations….or better titled…

How Not to Have the Vacay of your Dreams…

I have had this recurring dreaming for the past couple of weeks .  The dream goes mostly like this:  I am finished work and school is out for the summer.  In the shade a brightly colored beach umbrella, I am relaxing poolside with my favorite book of the hour and a cold refreshing drink.  The mid-day sky is a brilliant blue, and there are white, fluffy clouds that look like exploding marshmallows dotting the picturesque backdrop.  The summer sun is shining brightly, and song birds can be heard in the distance faintly chirping a tune.  I tilt my head back and allow my drooping eyes to gently close, as my weary bones and muscles ease into an afternoon siesta.

Ah, this is the life…

Through the haze of my dream, something jars me awake.  Far, far away, I can hear this sound.  Piercing the calm of moments ago.  It is an irritating, fingers-on-chalkboard kind of scratching sound.  I try to ignore it, but it won’t go away.  What could be possibly making such a commotion?

“Moooommmmmmm, so-and so won’t let me get on the computer and it’s my tuuuurrrnnn.”

“No, it isn’t!”

“Yes, it is…you were already on for, like, an hour!”

“Gimme the mouse….”

(scuffle, scuffle, scuffle….)



Reality check.  I am no longer sleeping, although I still find myself drooling on the couch while the right side of my face has permanent pillow marks implanted along my jawbone.  I have fallen asleep in the fetal position on the sofa while all heck breaks loose around me.  I can hardly move from the dreadful pain shooting up from my legs through to my neck and shoulders.

Someone please tell me that it is not really summer vacation already?

Alas, summer dream vacations are not all they are cracked up to be.  But, if there were such a thing as an ideal summer vacation or fantasy trip to an exotic location in the works for me, here is what I would deem essential to making that vacay the stuff dreams are made of.

If you were going on a dream vacation, you probably will not be bringing along four cranky, over-tired  children.  Unfortunately, I cannot make the same claim.  What can I say?  You are smrtR than I am.  Can it really be considered a vacation, dream or otherwise, when you take children along?  After all, nothing really changes.  Reality still follows you to the ends of the earth.  You still have to clothe, feed, groom, discipline, console, growl, cuddle, bathe, snuggle, growl some more and potentially sleep with your children when you are on vacation.

My hubby and I took a vacation with our four children to Dominican Republic, and my youngest daughter threw up five times on the plane before we even touched down on tropical soil.  The plane we were on was a party-plane, and the Spring-Breakers that shared our aisle were understandably less than thrilled to be sitting in a section with our sickly clan as we made trip after trip to the postage stamp-sized washroom at the rear of the plane.  Not to mention the smells.  As this all happened right in the middle of the evening meal.

As if this was not enough to dampen our spirits and discourage us from vacationing with kiddos, another daughter decided to follow suit mid-week, just when we were all starting to unwind.  This time around, she had three days of all-you-can-eat buffets to enhance the senses.  Thank goodness for daily room service and balconies with railings (and that little spot at the bottom of the stairs just the right size for storing dirty, stinky bed sheets.)

Let’s be serious.  If you are really going to consider a dream vacation, take a little advice from me.  Leave the kiddos with Gramps and Grandma. ‘Nuff said.

As well, try not to sandwich your dream vacation in between back-to-back work/extra-curricular commitments, as I have made the mistake of doing in the past. I have literally worked up to the minute before I have left on a trip and found myself collapsed on a seat somewhere in a vehicle or on a plane, of absolutely no good value to anyone including myself for about 24 hours into the trip.  And likewise, I would suggest avoiding at all costs the red-eye flight home, particularly when you have an 8:00 a.m. appointment the following morning followed by your first day of a new job.  Can anyone say, ‘pass me the java and prop my eyes open with a two-by-four?’

Finally, as this list could go on ad nauseum, I will end with this.   Try not to make the dream vacation too much fun.  When you plan on having fun, nine times out of ten, something goes wrong and you end up feeling gyped and bummed about your dream vacay.  Set the bar really low, and then everything you do and see will look and seem stellar.  There is nothing quite like low expectations to brighten up a trip.  Dream or not.

Happy Summer, everyone!