Thursday, July 21, 2011


Things were going pretty well around here. We're about to take a few days off.  It's been a busy couple of months, I will update some day on what I've been up to.  But this week was all about catching up on laundry and getting ready for some long -awaited family time.

Jackson, who by any reasonable standard, has for the most part been a solid citizen of late, quite amicable with his sister and at times even engaging.  Sydney too has been a little precocious at times, and acting too much like a tween, but otherwise, kinda of cute to have hanging around.

But this week, this week Jackson hit some invisible quota of reasonableness and he has been off his game.  He is bored, and nothing we suggest for him to do will satisfy.  This started a little last week but seemed to have been magnified by the promise of Pokemon Black, a new Nintendo DS game we promised him for the trip, ya know, so he won't drive us mental. 

So he is driving us mental in advance of the trip.  He is DESPERATE, in a take-no-prisoners-if-I-can't-play-my-game-I-will-make-everyone-else-miserable-too kind of way.  We've dusted off our old friends, threats/bribes/manipulation with little result.

Last night he rallied after dinner and I dared to wonder out loud to Husband whether he had turned the corner.  Jinx.

Jackson came into my room this morning announcing that he did not want to go to day camp today.  Nothing could be less enticing to me than a miserable and bored 9.5 year old underfoot while I make sure we have enough Tylenol and wine for this trip.

I took a not-even-entertaining-the-idea approach which doesn't always work. But he did grudging, though slowly put on his shoes and grumbled his way to the van.  I threw his backpack in after him and went back to grab his jacket. It was not there. I ran upstairs for a mad tear hoping to see the bright green perfect-for-all-seasons-in-Vancouver-jacket-except-the-three-snowdays-very-hard-to-find jacket and could not find it. I figured he left it at day camp yesterday. 

Photographic evidence of green jacket

We got to camp late (for the third day in a row) and I asked about the jacket as I dropped him off.  They said what I always wanted to hear "You could check the combatants' room". 

What are they running, cage matches for nine year olds??

Another kid said he had just looked up there and no stray jackets were to be found.  So I asked about a lost and found.  I was lead to a gigantic pile of clothes.  I looked through the top third, figuring it should be near the top, and found several green jackets but not the one I was looking for. I figured it must be at home.

Ninety minutes at home, alternating between cursing under my breath and at the top of my lungs, yielded no green jacket.

I checked and rechecked every nook and cranny the jacket would fit.  I figured that I would have to go through the entire lost and found at the community centre as it must be there.  I went early to pick up the kids was let back into the equipment room and the large lost and found receptacle was empty.  Like not one stinky sweat sock to be found.

A little checking yielded the clue "they brought it all upstairs".

"Can I go up and look?"

A little more checking and I was asked what colour the jacket was.

"There were no green jackets there."

This was a lie. That pile of stinky clothes had at least 5 green jackets. More checking.

I thought I would go and check Jackson's classroom to see if he had come across it during the day since this lost-and-found pile seemed to be a problem.  The classroom had no jackets, but Sydney's class was getting out early so I picked her up.

My girlfriend C picked up her girls who are in the same class as Sydney. Their teacher called after C as her daughter V had forgotten her jacket. At least I am not the only one with this problem.

We went to get Jackson so I could get the lost-and-found-search-and-rescue mission completed without having to track down more kids. Of course his class was out late.  We finally made it back to the nerve centre only to be told that someone had come to take me to the lost-and-found-inner-sanctum, but left.  And that person had now left for the day.

A replacement was eventually found and we were lead up the a storage room with six large garbage bags full of clothes, ready to be donated to charity.  Stinky bag by stinky bag I waded through with no success. We even checked the combatants room where no jackets were found.  The only other place to check was the lake across the street where canoeing had taken place. Jackson told me with as much certainty as he has ever had, that he did not leave it at the lake.

We went home with an excessive amount of griping on my part. I have literally spent well over 2 hours looking for the jacket and had come up empty handed.  I had also looked for a blue hoodie and it was also now missing in action. We needed a jacket for Jackson for this trip. 

Then I remembered that just last weekend we were given a heavy rain jacket from one of Jackson's friends.

"I guess you could wear that one you got from B" I ventured.  Really trying to spin myself out of this one.

"Yeah" Jackson said, relieved I could stop talking about the lost jacket and he could stop telling me it was not his fault.

We drove into the garage and my mind is spinning with the thousand things I still need to get done today.

"Sydney, you have your jacket, right?"

Long pause. Followed by shuffling as she checked her backpack.

"I am going to lose my lunch if you don't have yours."

"It's not here Mommy". She said it in the tiniest voice.

A drive back to community centre where I excessively harangued that the room would probably be locked and now I would have to spend the night looking for jackets and it is not easy finding the right kind of jackets you know we need them because it's going to rain next week and why can't you keep track of your things better.

Her jacket was there.  I don't know who heaved a greatest sigh of relief. Me because we at least had one jacket. Or them at the harangue stopping.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Husband and I have been looking for a pool.  While our climate is moderate by many standards, we ventured that the investment would be worth it. The kids have been steadily taking swimming lessons and we are happy with their progress. This is a reward of sorts.

Today, finally, I found the perfect pool.  It has the features I was looking for.  Sturdy. Safe. And for fun, a slide.

The first step?
Fill the pool.
Owing to our grass watering restrictions (4 am to 9 am three days a week) and Husband's distaste of 4 am alarms he bought a fancy timer to sort the early morning watering.
But I can't figure out how to get water out of the hose. He is in New Jersey.
So we went old school:
Jackson said "it's like being in Africa".
Finnegan is ambivalent about the pool.
On the one hand, world's largest water bowl:
On the other hand, why am I standing in water when I hate baths?
All in all, a bit hit.
Well worth the investment of $29.99.