Everyday is Family Day in the Boyhouse

Depending where you are, today is a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. Yesterday was Family Day in Alberta – thanks Ralph! – and I spent it nursing a cold. This is karma, because not two weeks ago I said – OUT LOUD – that we have been super lucky this winter, no one has had a cold since early October. Ten years into this parenting gig, you would think I would know better. The very next day Jake came home from school with the sniffles. Thankfully this seems to be a quick moving virus; one day of feeling like mediocre hell, then on the mend the next day. Today I’m feeling much better, although that may be the medication talking.

Other than becoming BFF’s with my neti pot, we had a very lovely and relaxed long weekend. It was a five-day weekend due to Teacher’s Conventions, and the boys spent a high percentage of that weekend in their pajamas. It’s nice to just be lazy once in a while, no? We did ditch the jammies for regular clothes on Saturday to see The Lego Movie. If you haven’t seen it, you should, even if you don’t have children. It’s so clever and original, and very, very funny.

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The kids playing Lego last summer.


Did you hear about the woman who wrote how she hates when her kids do chores, because they don’t do them correctly, or they do them slowly, or they have to be TAUGHT them? I feel like I should be outraged about this, but I’m actually a bit empathetic. My kids do lots of chores; they keep their rooms neat, they tidy up their thousands of Pokemon cards when they scatter them all over the downstairs rec room in some semblance of a “game”, they clear the table and help set the table and feed the dog. They help with yard work and snow shovelling when necessary, and they earn an allowance for these things. They get docked allowance for not doing chores OR for bad behaviour, although to be honest, we’ve never had to follow through on this. The threat of docking their allowance is enough for them to pull up their socks, the mercenary little darlings. It’s so important that kids learn chores, and cooking, and how to do laundry because let’s face it: we don’t really want our children living at home when they are thirty, or bringing their laundry to us, or being generally useless when they fly the nest, do we? I know I don’t, and so I give impromptu cooking lessons and show them how to turn on the washer and wipe down sinks.

And yet, I really understand where the author is coming from. My kids make their beds first thing every morning, and every morning I have to will myself not to remake them. Every morning I look at the lumpy beds that have stuffed animals in them or blankets askew, and I have to tell myself not to fix it. Is there anything more de-motivating than knowing that your work is always going to get redone by someone who does it better? NO, there is not. And so I think to myself, they are the ones that will have to sleep in the lumpy bed with the twisted blankets, they’ll figure it out. Om shanti. The fact that this bothers me is indicative of my own craziness.

Speaking of craziness, sometimes I wonder why I’m even allowed to leave the house. I wanted to go visit my new little niece, and I popped into the car equipped with only the vehicle GPS. MISTAKE NUMBER ONE. I should know that my sense of direction is so terrible I should have a map and written directions both to and from destinations, in addition to GPS. But no. I relied on technology and this is what happened: I ended up on a dirt road outside the city. In my (minor) defense the new infrastructure in that part of the city is not available on GPS so the chirpy little voice kept telling me to turn right when there was no road, and turn left off of an overpass. The GPS is trying to kill me! I ended up phoning my husband, sobbing hysterically. My husband is one of those people who could be dropped from a helicopter in the middle of nowhere and could navigate himself home using only the direction of the sun and his own inner directional instincts. I have no such instincts. My instinct, when lost, is to panic completely, pull over, and cry, and that is exactly what I did. I never did get to see my niece; ninety minutes of driving later I cautiously headed on a northbound road and, with my husband talking on my hands-free phone, made it home. My very sweet sister-in-law suggested that perhaps, next time we could just meet at the mall near my house.


  1. We had a 5-day weekend here, too. Two snow days + Presidents’ Day. J’s basketball practice and game were cancelled as well, because of the weather, so we were around the house and cabin-feverish, though B took J skating twice and I went swimming. N spent almost the entire weekend working on a documentary he’s making for National History Day. I should be buckling down to work today but I have apparently forgotten how to do that.

    I don’t make my kids make their beds at all. I only started making mine on a regular basis a couple years ago when I realized it’s low-effort way to make the whole bedroom look tidier.

  2. I am so directionally challenged that the number of hours I’ve spent in cars feeling sweaty, panicked, and upset attempting to drive to someplace I’ve never been before has to be in the triple digits. I rely totally on my phone when driving and if it was to let me down, I’d probably have to pull over, cry for a long time, and then call my husband and have a long, tense conversation as he tried to tell me how on earth to get home. Just thinking about it is raising my blood pressure.

    My mom has that kind of amazing sense of direction that allows her to almost always know where she is even in places she has never been before. She did not pass on those genes but instead kept them to herself along with her wonderfully thick hair and C cup boobs. Depressing.

  3. We went to the Lego Movie on Saturday, too, taking the youngest to the movies for the first time. 4th kid, 3 years old, 1st movie is PG, and now he is quoting the “We’re here to see your butt” line to everyone: grandparents, Sunday School teachers, etc. Boys.

  4. Do you remember the Friends episodes where they went to London, and Joey makes a 3D map of the city? And every time he wants to go somewhere, he puts the map on the ground and steps on it, so he can figure out which direction he needs to go?

    I’m like that. Even for driving on the other side of the city, I print step-by-step driving directions from Mapquest. When we take our vacations to Ontario, if I’m navigating, I have to hold the map so that the top is pointing in the direction we want to go. North / south / east / west have little to no meaning for me.

    I almost failed grade eight phys ed because of the orienteering unit.

    I think people who do geocaching are insane.

    In other words, I feel your pain, and we should probably never go exploring in a strange city, just the two of us.

  5. Not Inadequate says

    I also stop myself from re-making my kids’ beds when they aren’t looking, although I have been known to say “I think we can do a little better on the bed situation, dude.” I call my kids “dude” because I am a cool hep-cat like that.

    The Lego movie is awesome. I HATE kid’s movies, because they are boring and insipid and why should I spend two hours in a theater with a bunch of other people’s noisy, nose-picking kids, bored out of my mind?** So the Lego movie was my kids’ first theater experience and I am glad we saw such a winner. My husband told me the next day that he asked the guys at work if they had taken their kids to it and apparently they all simultaneously burst into song, “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!”

    ** Keep an eye out for my upcoming parenting book.

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