Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Speaking of lessons learned ....

As a follow up to MY educational weekend, I thought I'd share what a fantastic day the girl spawn had yesterday. All summer I had been procrastinating and yesterday when I realised that it was the day before school, I thought I'd better pull my thumb out of my ass and do something. So I did.

Shoe shopping with Ash, we took the route directly to Beelzebub's next door neighbour and went to Walmart. Yeah. So shoot me. We needed shoes for her for school but surprise surprise, when you leave it to the last day of summer vacation it's pretty slim pickings in the velcro department. So I told her that she'd have to learn how to tie her laces.

Well wouldn't ya know it? She learned in about 2 minutes flat!

Off we went to the park in the afternoon to let the kids ride their bikes. The hitch here was that Hotty Hubby had removed the training wheels from Ash's bike. Ah well. "You'll have to learn to ride a two wheeler honey, you're 6 now. You can do it."

Yeah. She learned in about 2 minutes flat!

Before dinner we headed to the store to pick up some last minute stuff. For once the kids behaved all the way around the store and it looked like we were going to get away clean. First time in shopping history.

Then.......it all flipped on its head. Ash had been playing with a twist tie and put it down on the conveyor belt at the till. The belt moved, she reached for twist tie, but it kept going. And so did her hand. Unfortunately I was at the other end of the grocery cart, and not close enough. Next think I know, she's screaming, the cashier is yelling AT HER to "MOVE your hand" and Ash was screaming "I can't".

I started yelling at the cashier to "SHUT IT OFF!!" and all the cashier could do was scream "I can't!! It's automatic". Yes dear, I realise it's automatic....unless there's something in front of the sensors. "PUT something in FRONT of the SENSORS!!!!!"

She finally had the sense to put one of those divider bars in front of the sensors and we got it stopped. Sadly by this time, Ash's thumb was stuck between the belt and metal at the end. I was having flashes of a little boy who'd had his hand eaten up in an escalator and hoping she wasn't that badly hurt. I didn't see any blood yet, but that didn't mean anything.

I pulled her hand out, no blood. Phew. Not broken. Phew times two. But swelling in a big way.

Out of nowhere these two staff members came running from other departments. The first aid people. They had ice and a first aid kit and an incident report form. They were fantastic. Ash was still screaming and people were starting to look freaked out. I finally got her calmed down and thankfully it looks like just some bruised muscle in her thumb.

HOLY CRAP! If there was ever a way to get the adrenalin going in the evening it's that.

And through it all her little brother just sang to himself and asked the cashier for a balloon. Haha.

I asked her if she knew now that her hands should NOT be up on the belt. Her answer was a resounding "YES mom!"

She learned in about 20 seconds flat!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In which I get schooled

This weekend was the last of the summer, the last hurrah before the spawn return to school, the weekend that you can hear all the parents in town breath a collective sigh of relief. It was also the weekend that I have looked forward to the most every year since I had children.

The Saanich Agricultural Fair was on! Yippee!

This fair is on every Labour Day weekend here in Victoria and it's become a family tradition to attend. Somehow we never end up going into the midway and hopping on the rides. This, I think, has less to do with my inherent distrust of carnies and the claptrap rides that they haul with them, and more to do with the fact that I refuse to auction off my spawn sell my soul spend a fortune on ride tickets just to stand in line for an hour for a ride that only I will enjoy and that's only because it makes Hotty Hubby look like he's going to puke.

Instead we wander around the agricultural part of it. We look at the animals, we watch some of the shows and we check out the market. And I take pictures. Duh. It was a learning day for all of us yesterday, but for me especially. Allow me to share the lessons with you....

Lesson 1 - Those silly signs they put up in various places in the parking lot mean nothing if you're driving a big truck and think the world belongs to you. As a matter of interest, there was a sign just like it on the other side of the truck with an arrow pointing in. Just how blind WAS this guy?

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Lesson 2 - The spawn are sadly now at an age where I cannot fool them. When we saw these empty cages I acted all shocked and asked CJ "Where'd the chickens go?! Do you think they escaped?!". Now, I happen to KNOW that my acting skills are of the highest caliber, so I can only think that it is because he is growing up that he would answer "ooohh. No mommy, someone came and got them" and walk away from me shaking his head.

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Lesson 3 - Some turkeys are like some women I know. Ugly and bitchy. This old bird (ha. haha. funny eh?) has lovely feathers, but she was a nasty thing. Those fuzzy, half cut out of the picture folk behind her? One of them is a child....who had just been bitten by the turkey. Screamed. Bloody. Murder.

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Lesson 4 - Some turkeys are like most men I know. Horny. Relentless. Possibly scary? Meet "Tom". According to his handler (who took great pleasure in making the bird do his "gobble gobble gobble" thing to freak out the kids) "Tom" was looking for a girlfriend. Well let me tell you dear readers....my ego couldn't decide which way to go yesterday. UP....Ooohhh the turkey thinks I'm hot. I must look good today. Or DOWN....Oooohhh the turkey thinks I'm hot. Must lose this neck fat.

Damn turkeys. Remind me to get a 30 pounder for Christmas dinner.

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Lesson 5 - Things in the bird world are incredibly similar to things in the human world. Women like to shake their asses and men like to puff out their chests.

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Lesson 6 - When taking your 6 year old, who can now read, to the fair....avoid signs like these. They tend to make the spawnlet get teary and concerned as she waits for an answer to "But mommy! It says ROASTER....does that mean they're going to cook it? WHO EATS RABBIT?!!"

I can't very well look at her and say "Well actually honey, I eat rabbit". I'd be disowned on the spot and then who the hell would wipe my ass when I'm 90? Yeah. I knew you'd be on my side.

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Though, I have to say I'm not partial to stew, so the next sign didn't pose quite the same moral dilemma...

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Lesson 7 - We soooooo got the better end of the deal when it comes to childbirth! Oh shut up. I don't want to hear about your 30 hours of back labour. This poor goat is going to have FOUR (!!) hooves kicking their way out of her HooHa. And the rabbits? Holy crap man.....some of them squeeze out like 12 babies! I'm glad to be human and have the option of drug induced stupors where I can come out of the fog later to find myself holding a cute little sleeping bundle of (pooping) joy.

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Lesson 8 - Folks in the country need more to do. Live in the city? Go to a movie, out for dinner with a friend, concerts, shopping. Live out in the middle of nowhere on a farm? Three words my friends..... Poultry. Drag. Races.

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Lesson 9 - Never stand in between a pimp and his Hos. This duck, while temporarily enjoying the lavish attentions of the mini ones, kept an ever vigilant eye on his girls in the cage up behind my head. Then, he noticed that not only was I in his way, but I also made a darn good platform. So he came at me. Fun times, lemme tell ya!

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Lesson 10 - The final lesson. The absolute pinacle of the day. Where I learned that clearly I slept through too much of school and should return with the children tomorrow. We spotted this fine specimen of a (Foghorn)Leghorn and of course the children were ecstatic to see a "real" rooster. I'm not sure where they've been seeing fakes...but I digress.

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In the conversation that followed, I may as well have packed my snack for recess on the spot.

Ash - "Look Mommy! A REAL rooster! Do you think it's a girl or a boy rooster mommy?"

Me - "I dunno honey, it's kind of hard to tell in birds."

Brief pause. Sound of giggles behind me. I turn to see Hotty Hubby just killing himself laughing.

Me - "WHAT?!"

Hotty Hubby - "Meg. It's a ROOSTER"

Me - "Yeah. And?"

**CLICK**

Me - "ooooohhhhhhhh"

Clearly, I made the right decision when I chose NOT to homeschool my children.

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