Back in my day…

Today was cool, windy, and drizzly and so I decided we would have a lazy indoor day, as opposed to the playground afternoon I had planned. Jake wanted to show me something on the Wii and so I acquiesced, sitting down in the armchair to watch him. Apparently I promptly fell asleep and woke up a while later, drooly and disoriented. “Wow, Mom!” Jake said pleasantly. “You were sleeping for a long time!” He didn’t seem at all put out that I’d missed whatever it was that he wanted to show me.

Falling asleep during the day is so unusual for me that, when I related this to my husband, he immediately wondered if I was well and also which chair it was I fell asleep in, a detail that seemed irrelevant at the time but, upon further reflection, is actually quite important. Falling asleep in a comfortable armchair with the soothing tunes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars playing in the background is significantly different than, say, passing out at the table or computer desk.

It’s been a fairly uneventful week. I had planned to take the kids swimming but it was a bit chilly this week; instead we went to the library. I picked up a copy of The Tipping Point and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in socioeconomic phenomena and epidemiology, which I am. Lest you think this sounds terribly pretentious, I just finished reading the Anne of Green Gables box set, which was lovely, excessive ejaculating notwithstanding.

The boys wanted a book for me to read aloud, and so we chose a Beverly Cleary book; Henry Huggins and the Paper Route. I had to field some difficult questions: what is a paper route? I was a little startled, but realized that, other than at their grandparents, the children never see actual print newspapers. I had to explain that that was how kids primarily made money, back in my day, that and babysitting. It was also a little startling to realize that no kids ever would have a paper route now, because who gets the paper?

BACK IN MY DAY has been something I’ve been thinking a lot lately; there’s so much press lately about free-range parenting and people getting arrested for leaving their kids in the car or leaving them at the playground all day. So many sad stories and so many people pretending to be Good Samaritans when in reality, they are Bad Judgmental Unhelpful People. I mean, back in the 80s it was pretty common for elementary school-aged kids to run to the corner store to buy cigarettes for their parents, and now I feel like I cannot leave my almost-nine-and-ten year olds in the car while I run into the grocery to get a loaf of bread, lest someone be filming me as a negligent parent. When I was a kid all the adults in the neighbourhood knew what the kids were doing, but in a “keep you safe and be sure you’re not being an asshole” kind of way, not a “let’s arrest your mother” kind of way. It’s a different world; mostly that people seem to be less inclined to help out their neighbours.

Speaking of neighbours, one of the elderly men down the street was straining the decorative rocks beneath his fir tree, to rid them of the fir needles. It seemed like a massively arduous task, and made me imagine my husband twenty years hence. Would he be shovelling decorative rocks onto a gigantic homemade sieve? Maybe.

Yesterday we went to the zoo, and it was lovely as usual. What caught my eye was this adorable little topiary:



I am now trying to figure out how to get this into my own garden. I’m also trying to figure out what to do this lovely Friday night – I’m so rested, thanks to my impromptu nap. I’ve actually watched TWO movies in the past week – one was “I Give It A Year” which was a witty British comedy, and the other was “Despicable Me 2”. This exactly sums up my entire cinematic desires: either witty British humour or complete slapstick. All I know is that I’m not going to fall asleep before nine o’clock tonight, so I’m starting off the weekend with a bang.



  1. Favorite part: “…so many people pretending to be Good Samaritans when in reality, they are Bad Judgmental Unhelpful People.”

  2. Who gets the paper? I DO, I GET THE PAPER (she ejaculated). And there’s a great unholy pile of it in the basket beside my rocking chair right now because it’s summer, who has time to read the fucking paper? Sigh.

    I find that falling asleep in a chair, if i don’t bend my neck wrong and wake up sore, always makes me feel less crappy then napping in bed during the day. Is that weird?

    Sad that we weren’t at the zoo with you, but damn, our summer has been REALLY relaxing. 🙂

  3. I get the paper, too! My dad was a newspaper editor and I can’t imagine reading a print version of the paper every day.
    My kids have been more free range this summer, as 8 & 13 just struck me as a lot older than 7 & 12. He’s been taking her to camp and to the playground and generally being responsible for her when I need him to, with no complaints.

  4. I get the paper! But the task of delivering it is no longer delegated to children, but rather to some rather unreliable individuals who show up in cars at 5:00 am and chuck it vaguely in the direction of our door. Back when hubby’s job involved prosecuting drug-related crimes, he had occasion to become acquainted with several of these delivery people. On the other hand, I know some kids who do earn money delivering papers – mostly the free papers that get delivered once a week filled with lots of flyers.

  5. Our local paper keeps running “specials” during which they just give everyone the paper in our neighborhood for free for awhile. It’s aggravating as heck because I don’t have time to read it and it just creates a ton more recycling. Plus, it happens at random times, some of which are when we are on vacation, and, therefore, no one picks up the daily paper from our driveway. Terrific, let’s just post a giant message on our garage saying “hey we are out of town all week! Robbers feel free to help yourselves to our stuff” and have done with it. BAH!

    I love the free range kid idea. Everything was going great with it until Oldest got to be about 8 and suddenly there was no one to play with because sports began to consume every waking hour of all of the kids in the neighborhood. I was blindsided by this development and Oldest spent the next year scrambling to catch up sportswise mainly in order just to have something to do with kids his age after school and on weekends. Three years later we are the family I didn’t expect to be, running hither and yon for sports all year round. Sigh.

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