Hypothermia and Pumping Small Children Full Of Sugar- All Of My Best Parenting Decisions

Why are you reading this? Haven’t you heard of the Huffington Post? I swear that is more interesting than my family stories. Even Gwenyth’s Paltrow’s site that suggests women shove jade eggs up their hoo-has is a better read than this. Oh well, your funeral. For the record the coroner will state “Cause of death- boredom”. Here are some stories of our Christmas adventures.

Also for all those who are appalled by me writing about Christmas, first off, I already instructed you to STOP READING. Secondly, replace the word “Christmas” with “Easter” and you’ll be fine. Well not fine, bored to the point that you’re comatose, but breathing.

For our family, Christmas started the weekend that we left for Winnipeg. It was a big town weekend- free movies, free skating, free cookie decorating and crafts, all of this occurred the day of our town’s Santa Claus parade and the tree lighting.

Tex was of course working. Because he always is. But thankfully he wasn’t bothered about missing all the fun whereas I would have been devastated. So Mini-Tex and I headed out to the free movie. The theatre was showing “Smallfoot”.

Mini-Tex LOVES television. He also never gets to watch television. Weekday mornings he gets half an episode of Paw Patrol while my husband showers. It’s to the point that if he hears the shower turn on, no matter what time of the day, he rushes the bathroom like it’s the stage of a One Direction concert and he’s a teenage girl. Then he bangs on the cupboards with his mighty toddler fists and shouts “Paw Patrol PLEASE!” at the top of his lungs. So for Mini-Tex, watching an entire movie was a big deal.

“Smallfoot” was super cute. As always when we go to the theatre, I got him a kid’s combo which includes popcorn, candy and pop. Because I take pride in providing experiences that lack both nutrition and educational content. My favourite part of the movie was glancing over and watching my almost three year old dancing in his seat. He spent the next couple of weeks acting out various parts of the movie. Super adorable.

The Santa Claus parade was very, very cold. But not as cold as last year when icebergs formed in the culverts around town and people transformed into ice sculptures. Like an idiot, I ignored my husband’s suggestion that we drive to the parade because who drives a kilometers and a half? Even when I was five and thought my feet would fall off from being forced marched such a distance; my mother would still insist that we walk.

Consequently Mini-Tex was crying about his feet being chilly by the time we got home from the Santa Claus parade. To make up for it, I let him eat all the candy he got from the parade as dinner because I’m a stellar parent like that. Once he was finished, I then packed him in the car to see the “ig-aa-loooo”. (The igloo house is four kilometers across town and my son’s feet were already chilly, hence the bike was out.)

There is a house with twenty inflatable decorations and an equal number of other lit up, non-inflatable decorations. It’s incredible. They also constructed an ig-aa-looooo out of PVC piping and a white tarp. Gorgeous. And so fun. It’s my and Mini-Tex’s favourite house. For serious, I may take him there every single night that we are in town before Christmas.

A week before the parade, at the end of November, Tex and I realized that we were in a bit of a pickle. When the Halloween decorations went up around town, all our little boy wanted to do was hug them. Every time that he’d ask to make friends with the blow up decorations, we’d say “Not today buddy, you can hug them on Halloween.” Then the Halloween decorations were taken down and the Christmas ones went up. So we’re in the car, and Mini-Tex asks if we can stop to hug the Christmas decorations. I say “No” of course. Then from the back I hear him reassure himself “Not today buddy, you can hug them on Christmas.”

Well fudge.

Barring us going around the city caroling, an activity which our almost three year old would not have the patience for, we would not have a reason to go house to house on Christmas. What was I going to do?

There was only one answer- the cookie lady. When you drive into town there’s a giant billboard with a picture her smiling face on it and three hundred individually decorated cookies form a border.

Not actually, but there should be a billboard with the cookie lady’s face on it. For serious, this woman is a national treasure. I’d write to the Prime Minister about her but based on how our leader’s tenure is going, he’d just ask the cookie lady to put the Mary-Jane in her baking.

For a paltry, tiny sum, Lorna* the cookie lady will make stunning, delicious works of art. People have repeatedly told me that they feel guilty eating something so beautiful when I give the cookie lady’s wares as gifts. Their guilt is of course nothing compared to what I feel when I pay her. And I always include a tip.

So I’ve decided I am going to order some cookies from our resident cookie lady and one night, Mini-Tex and I will head out in the bike and distribute baked goods as a way of thanking people for decorating their homes, then while their doors are open and they’re marveling over the beautiful cookies, we will ask whether our toddler can hug their lawn ornaments. Judge me. Tex and I frequently talk about how I’m the good cop and have a backbone made of fluffed wool. Goodness help me when our son is a teenager.

Wish me luck with our winter blow up decoration adventure. Also send warm socks. We will need them to tromp all over town in the snow and assault our neighbours’ lawn ornaments with hugs and love.

*Obviously I didn’t use the cookie lady’s real name. First off, I don’t want the leader of our country calling her up, and secondly, then I’d have to place my orders months in advance because her phone would be ringing off the hook.

Merry Christmas, Here’s a Dead Baby

When I was ten years old my father quit his job at a chocolate company and started working as a marketing manager for a business which sold tea. This meant two things; our house would no longer be filled to the brim with delightful cocoa related goods- instead my father insisted on stocking our cupboards with old person drinks because what child guzzles Earl Grey? The second thing was that my tenuous grasp on any semblance of popularity from living in a house filled with candy bars was gone.

Life went on and before I knew it, Christmas was upon us. Previous years my sister and I had been packed in our snow suits and shuttled to the chocolate company’s Christmas party. The fete not only featured Santa Claus but the giant allergen that was the company’s mascot as well. Diana and I would take turns standing next to the costumed people for pictures. This would be followed by a draw in which every child was given a gift then we would leave with a loot bag as large as ourselves after being stuffed with candy, brownies and cake. In essence the chocolate company’s Christmas party was every child’s vision of heaven. I used to picture going there after I died.

This year of course there would be no company party, not for the children in my family at least. My mother and father dressed to the nines early in December and left my sister and me at home with a babysitter. The next night my mother presented Diana and I with a box. “It’s from the tea company’s Christmas party, your Dad said we should bring it home to open as a family.”

It wasn’t a garbage bag full of sugar but it was something. Furthermore after initially questioning the wisdom of his career move I had been buoyed up by a phone call my mother had made to me while on a business trip with my father two months previously.

“Guess where I am girls?” she cried ecstatically into the phone. Sitting at home with our grandparents Diana and I had a vague notion that our Mom and Dad were very far away but not exactly sure where.

“Scotland?” we said in unison.

“No! I’m in the bathroom!”

“Um” was our confused and faintly grossed out response.

“The bathroom in the hotel room is as large as our bedroom at home and there is a phone by the tub!” My mother’s excitement was contagious and I began to forgive my father for leaving his lucrative candy coated job.

As Diana and I unwrapped the small package I could tell we were both thinking of the enormous hotel bathroom with a telephone in it. If this new company had provided something as fabulous as that for the employee’s families on business what sort of wonders had they packed into this little box?

It was a dead baby. Or to be more specific; half a dead baby. The lower half of the infant was a ceramic bell while the upper half was dressed in what looked like a nubby, hooded ceramic jacket. Without a doubt, the gift was the creepiest, most homely Christmas ornament I had ever seen. The entire tchotchke was beige coloured except for the eyes which were painted blue, giving it the appearance that someone had dressed the baby crossed bell in a coat then thrown it in a snowbank to freeze to death. “Well, that’s um, nice.” said my mother looking at the ornament skeptically. The baby’s eyes stared back, sinister and unblinking.

20161223_135006

It likes to sing a song at night. It goes like this, “My cold, ghostly eyes are watching you”. (Photo Credit : The Great Unwashed)

Without looking at my sister, I knew what she was thinking “I would have preferred a bag of chocolate.”

My father and I aren’t able to celebrate Christmas together this year, so all of my gifts arrived in a large Purolator box. In addition to the presents, my Dad also decided that I would enjoy this bizarre ornament from my childhood because he knows that there is nothing I love more in the world than a good story. So Merry Christmas my Unwashed public, may each and every one of you receive a dead baby of your own.

Travesty Tuesday – Tricycle Rides and Unfortunate Sleeping Arrangements

The Great Unwashed- “I’m putting up a Travesty Tuesday post.”

Roscoe- “But it’s Friday.”

The Great Unwashed- “You know that saying “It’s five o’clock somewhere?” Well it’s Tuesday somewhere. It’s a time zone thing.”

Roscoe- “That’s not how time zones work.”

Red onion slices

These account for approximately 60% of the New Zealand diet.** (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Unwashed – “It’s Tuesday in New Zealand. Honest. And it doesn’t even matter if it isn’t, New Zealanders do things backwards anyways, they call every second Wednesday “Girdle” and only eat raw onions.”

Roscoe walked out of the room after that. He does that sometimes.

Here is an email I sent to my youngest cousin Candy*. She came to visit me just before leaving to go to college. It’s my guess that she robbed multiple convenience stores and the judge gave her the option of going to Juvie for a month or spending time with me. I think Juvie was looking pretty sweet after she read this.

Oh well you can’t win ‘em all, right Candy?

 

 

Dear Candy,

 

SURPRISE! We’re going camping. Nothing big, just the local park and only for one night. To celebrate this momentous occasion my truck is in at the mechanics getting both the flap thingie on the front fixed and also the SCREEEEEEEE noise that it’s been making any time I turn it on.

The parking lot in front of the garage was packed full of broken-down cars. The mechanics seemed doubtful about when they would be able to return my truck to me.

English: A man is repairing a tri-cycle who se...

Candy, I think you over packed a little. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As such it’s my recommendation to you Candy, to practice core muscle exercises for the next few days. Not only will these assist with paddle boarding which we shall be trying at the park but it will also help in your transport to the house from the bus station. My current plan is to ride a tricycle over and have you ride on my shoulders the three kilometers home. You will have to carry your suitcase on your back obviously.

This is a hugely popular transportation method in India just so you know.

We will be sharing the giant self inflating mattress while camping because I can’t be bothered to bring and blow up two separate ones when I could punch and kick my way through a night next to someone who is obligated to be nice to me by virtue of sharing just over 12% of my genetic code and staying in my house.

I also suggest you bring a sweater, a bathing suit, sunscreen and a UV shirt*** if you own one. Otherwise I’ll make you wear one of my UV shirts which are so used and stretched out that they’d look more appropriate on a fashionable orangutan.

Or maybe not, I feel like a fashionable anything would refuse to wear a UV shirt.

I have all necessary other camping items although I suggest you remind me to bring pillows. I often forget this item and no matter how I arrange the pile, firewood never seems comfortable to sleep on.

Lovingly, awkwardly and always on three wheels, your cousin,

The Great Unwashed

 

*Candy is as sweet as her made up name. She would never burn down convenience stores. She is frequently forced to visit me, a severe penance for crimes she doesn’t commit. At least I don’t think she commits crimes. I was covered in highly flammable oil during her visit though.

 

** I wouldn’t necessarily trust my knowledge of the world. I garnered most of the facts I know about New Zealand from Wild Buttercup. However I only looked at the pictures so I don’t know how reliable my information is.

 

Also I’ve never been to India. However I would like someone to ride on my shoulders while I peddle a tricycle. As a young child I was prevented from attempting this, I can only assume that sort of fun is illegal in Canada. India seems like a fun loving place. I bet mothers allow that sort of thing there.

 

***For those of you who don’t go red and shrivel up in the sun like a raisin a UV shirt blocks ninety to one hundred percent of UVA and UVB rays. For near albinos like Candy and I this type of clothing is a necessity for all outdoor activities. We combine it with 110 SPF sunscreen and then complain about feeling burnt. The Irish are fun to kiss but you probably shouldn’t procreate with them if you ever want to sit out on a beach.

Here’s a Can of WD 40 From Your Secret Santa

I was at work the other day and saw a bag of Epsom salts on a coworker’s desk. There was a small tag on the package that read “From Your Secret Santa”. Seeing as this particular coworker was pregnant and could benefit from relaxing in a tub full of warm but not too warm water- this was an excellent gift.

The moment hammered home to me why I am not buying gifts for any of my or Roscoe’s family this year. While an extremely thoughtful coworker thought to purchase this woman Epsom salts as a Secret Santa. I would have purchased salt. Just salt. Because it’s a requirement for most recipes and it makes everything taste better, ergo in my eyes a box of salt is not only a perfectly acceptable but practical gift.

Other things which I deem to be perfectly reasonable gifts are; windshield washer fluid- because this is Canada and it is winter after all. As well as toilet paper because everyone uses it. Personally I recommend the last item as a potential gift for everyone on your list because if a friend seems upset over this gift it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that they have questionable hygiene habits. Thus you probably shouldn’t be friends with them anymore and this gift giving act has saved you the trouble of an awkward friendship terminating discussion.

After receiving a fire extinguisher and three bags of milk for his birthday two years ago Roscoe took over the responsibility of buying gifts for his and my family. He also tells me explicitly what to purchase for him. Personally I feel this is a little unfair especially after I thoughtfully presented him with thirty 100W incandescent light bulbs for our last anniversary. They met the cheesy “You light up my life” criteria while being functional. I mean really, who doesn’t like light?

Regardless I’ve lost gift giving privileges and am prohibited from joining in on such practices at work due to Roscoe’s fear that I’ll be sacked immediately for giving what are truly awesome and sensible gifts.

A residential smoke detector is the most famil...

This is a great present too because everyone is supposed to have one in their basement but doesn’t. I’d include partially charged batteries to make their holiday more exciting when the “Low Battery” beeps goes off in the dead of night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa’s Making Honey After The End of The World

Every year Canada Post runs an incredible program that is manned and operated by volunteers. In the months leading up to Christmas children can send their letters to the North Pole and Santa will write back. Of course “Santa” is probably a fifty seven year old retired female accountant but it doesn’t matter. The whole thing is magical.

Occasionally I like to spice up my sister’s life by sending her ridiculous things in the mail. Sometimes it’s a drawing.

This hangs on the fridge next to a mosaic made by our five year old cousin. Those are my mother's abs by the way, not an homage to snakes on her stomach.

This hangs on the fridge next to a mosaic made by our five year old cousin. Those are my mother’s abs by the way, not an homage to snakes on her stomach. I’m in the middle.

Sometimes it’s an awkward valentine professing my love for her roommate. Recently, I’ve felt the need to step it up a notch. So I decided to write to Santa on her behalf. We’ll see whether Santa writes back.

 

Dear Santa,

Lookin’ hot. I’m loving the black belt that you wear. So trendy.  Last year you were awesome by the way. I loved how all of the clothes you brought me also fit my sister which was fabulous because when I gave them to her, she found them very wearable.

For this year I would like clothes again however as always I’m a little picky. I would like a very specific garment- a bee keeper hat. Just the hat. Not the outfit, and preferably in beige. Living in the downtown of a metropolis can get kind of boring so I’d like to spice things up by plopping the bee keeper mask and hat on my head and then wandering through the streets pretending I’m in the middle of a post apocalypse movie. Also if you could bring me a guy who looks like Will Smith to help me out with the whole charade I’d appreciate it too. Don’t get too stressed about bringing me the actual Will Smith, I know you’ve got a budget. I’d also like whoever you bring me to be able to juggle. There is never enough juggling in post apocalyptic alien war movies.

Much love,

Diana

 

I should probably add that Diana and Phillip are very happy together and to my knowledge Diana has never expressed an interest in Will Smith or Will Smith lookalikes. I merely was drawing from my meager well of post apocalyptic movies which consists of “Men in Black”. Also I once saw a poster for “I Am legend”. Generally I don’t watch movies because that would requires for sitting for a period greater than ten minutes.

*Names of Diana’s boyfriend’s have been changed to protect their anonymity because they never asked to be a part of a family with a weirdo writer.

Thanks for Joining Our Company, Here’s A Dead Baby

When I was ten years old my father quit his job at a chocolate company and started working as a marketing manager for a business which sold tea. This meant two things; our house would no longer be filled to the brim with delightful cocoa related goods- instead my father insisted on stocking our cupboards with old person drinks because what child guzzles Earl Grey? The second thing was that my tenuous grasp on any semblance of popularity from living in a house filled with candy bars was gone.

Life went on and before I knew it, Christmas was upon us. Previous years my sister and I had been packed in our snow suits and shuttled to the chocolate company’s Christmas party. The fete not only featured Santa Claus but the giant allergen that was the company’s mascot as well. Diana and I would take turns standing next to the costumed people for pictures. This would be followed by a draw in which every child was given a gift then we would leave with a loot bag as large as ourselves after being stuffed with candy, brownies and cake. In essence the chocolate company’s Christmas party was every child’s vision of heaven. I used to picture going there after I died.

This year of course there would be no company party, not for the children in my family at least. My mother and father dressed to the nines early in December and left my sister and me at home with a babysitter. The next night my mother presented Diana and I with a box. “It’s from the tea company’s Christmas party, your Dad said we should bring it home to open as a family.”

It wasn’t a garbage bag full of sugar but it was something. Furthermore after initially questioning the wisdom of his career move I had been buoyed up by a phone call my mother had made to me while on a business trip with my father two months previously.

“Guess where I am girls?” she cried ecstatically into the phone. Sitting at home with our grandparents Diana and I had a vague notion that our Mom and Dad were very far away but not exactly sure where.

“Scotland?” we said in unison.

“No! I’m in the bathroom!”

“Um” was our confused and faintly grossed out response.

“The bathroom in the hotel room is as large as our bedroom at home and there is a phone by the tub!” My mother’s excitement was contagious and I began to forgive my father for leaving his lucrative candy coated job.

As Diana and I unwrapped the small package I could tell we were both thinking of the enormous hotel bathroom with a telephone in it. If this new company had provided something as fabulous as that for the employee’s families on business what sort of wonders had they packed into this little box?

It was a dead baby. Or to be more specific; half a dead baby. The lower half of the infant was a ceramic bell while the upper half was dressed in what looked like a nubby, hooded ceramic jacket. Without a doubt the gift was the creepiest, most homely Christmas ornament I had ever seen. The entire tchotchke was beige coloured except for the eyes which were painted blue, giving it the appearance that someone had dressed the baby crossed bell in a coat then thrown it in a snowbank to freeze to death. “Well, that’s um, nice.” said my mother looking at the ornament skeptically. The baby’s eyes stared back, sinister and unblinking.

Without looking at my sister, I knew what she was thinking “I would have preferred a bag of chocolate.”

Ingredients For Seasonal Cheer: Jesus and Zebras in Party Hats

Last week I was confused for an eight year old. This happens on occasion. And by on occasion I mean a lot. Almost daily people ask me what I want to do after high school. My go to move of replying in a squeaky, high pitched voice “I’m a grown up DAMMIT!” is less effective than one might think.

So I’ve decided to do the most grown up thing I can think of. And to answer your question – no I’m not having a baby. Teenagers do that all the time consequently the act has lost it’s grown up status. No I’m going to do the other thing- next year I’m buying a house.

Nothing makes you sound more grown up (and boring!) than talking about interest rates. Adults are very, very interested in interest rates. They talk about them all the time while doing mature things like commuting. Ergo I’m going to start peppering my conversations with words like “prime” and “five year fixed term” so instead of being confused for a precocious teeny bopper, people shall recognize me for what I am; a small, irresponsible adult who has no idea what she is talking about

Buying a house means that one has to save and cut costs wherever possible. Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving which means that along with budgeting, I need to start writing Christmas cards. To save money, instead of buying and sending out traditional Christmas cards, I’ve decided to use my preexisting supply of stationary.

I feel this would work better if I hadn’t spent the past two years collecting the strangest card sets I could find in the Michael’s 90% off clearance bin.

Last year I inadvertently confused the conservative parents of a friend by sending them a Christmas card about midget slave labour. So I’m not sure how they’re going to react to the zebra birthday invitations I’m sending out in December this year.

img004

To : People who see me once a year and possibly think I should be institutionalized.

Date: December 25th 2013

Time : The whole day!

Location : Your choice.

Hosted by : Jesus! It’s his birthday and he wants you to bring gifts for everyone except him. He’s a seriously generous guy.

Merry Christmas and or Happy Birthday

Much love,

The Great Unwashed

 

I’m thinking that I may send these kinds of cards out every year for Christmas; I like that they practically write themselves. It would cut down on the amount of time I spend debating if writing about juggling dogs is appropriate to use with a seasonal greeting.

Merry New Car,You Slept With a Celebrity and Then Got a Frozen Treat Day

I would make terrible greeting cards. First off they’d be way too specific. I mean just look at that title. How many times a year do you have a friend buy a vehicle and then knock boots with stardom? Two, three times max. And often one only phones on such occasions.

Secondly I have very bizarre taste and not a lot of tact. The “Grieving and Other Life Events That Are Not Fun” section in my greeting card store would really struggle because I’d put a giant ostrich on the front of the card with a speech bubble saying “Wanna come live with me?”

The Ostrich Struthio camelus is now farmed, pr...

This ostrich looks friendly and like it enjoys giving piggy back rides. Oh wait that’s how we lost your Great Aunt Sue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then the inside would read “Grandma took up the ostrich’s offer. She’s gone to a big emu farm in the sky. Sorry.”

Even though I buy my Christmas cards somehow they never end up being the standard holiday greetings most people send out. Here is a message I sent to a dear friend of mine who duels with poltergeists in his spare time.

Dear Gordy*,

Merry Christmas. I discovered a stack of Christmas cards that I either failed to write or failed to send.

I am a very responsible adult. I should probably be made president. I thought the front of this card said “nice” as in the Fonz style “nice”. But then I saw a stack of cards next to it that said “naughty” in bold letters and I was bummed.

So we’ll pretend you got a new car and I’m congratulating you- nice.

Congrats on hitting that?

Congrats on hitting that? (Photo credit : billboard.com)

Or slept with Miley Cyrus- nice. Wait. I don’t know about that one.

Come to think of it getting a new car is kind of expensive. Let’s go with something simpler. We’re going to make believe you got a cookies and cream ice cream cone and I’m writing a card rather than texting or saying “Good call. Cookies and cream, always a winner.” like a normal person.

Nice.

So back to the initial purpose of the card. Merry Christmas. Or Happy Belated Arbor Day. Either way enjoy the pretend ice cream.

The Great Unwashed

Having finished all of the half written cards I’m now terrified to open up the prewritten, sealed and addressed envelopes. The majority of the time upon rereading words that I’ve penned to loved ones and friends I question who the weird person was who wrote said piece of mail. Tragically it’s always me. We’ll see if I get up the courage to open the envelopes in which cases they’ll appear next week for a Travesty Tuesday post or whether I’ll just send them out and figure out whether the contents were wildly inappropriate based on whether or not the recipients speak to me again.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of friends who receive nine months late Christmas cards from me that aren’t really Christmas cards.