Good morning, Mr. Chinery. This is your 2 AM wake-up call.

Kids are funny. Sometimes they’re ha-ha funny, like when they laugh uncontrollably, or when they delightfully skew a request for Corn Pops so that it becomes “Porn Cops.” Sometimes they’re ha-ha funny. Sometimes they’re not ha-ha funny. Sometimes they’re why-are-you-doing-this-to-me funny; they’re what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you-and-why-can’t-I-figure-you-out funny; you know, that kind of funny.

I had already had problems getting my son to bed; well, more like problems getting him to stay in bed. He actually went to bed fine, round 7:00 PM. However, by 11:00 PM he was awake and unhappy, and the game of 20 thousand questions began:

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“No.”

Do you want to sleep on the couch?”

“No.”

“Would you like something to drink?”

“Ye-ah.”

“Do you want some milk?”

“No.”

“Do you want some water?”

“Ye-ah.”

“Okay. Here’s your water. Now it’s time for bed.”

“No!”

“Do you want to sleep on the couch?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep in your bed?”

“No!”

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“Ye-ah.”

[Sometimes you have to offer something once, have him refuse it, offer something that is less desirable, have him refuse it, and then go back to the previous selection to have him accept it.]

Graeme’s now sleeping in our [Mommy’s] bed while I’m on the couch finishing up the Carrie/Carrie 2 double bill. It’s now 12:00 AM and it should be safe to move Graeme back into his bed without him waking up and putting us through this production again. Time for Daddy to get to bed.

2:00 AM. Graeme’s awake and crying. Shit.

I open his door and find him standing in the middle of his room, crying. I do a quick check of his diaper and find it to be on the verge of bursting, as usual. This presents a further problem as changing out of a wet diaper is high on Graeme’s least favourite things to do.

“Can we change you?”

“No!”

“I think we should change you.”

“No!”

“Do you want to go on the couch?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“No.”

“Do you want a drink?” I ask with a marked tone of self-defeat as this is exactly how we came about to the 20 pound diaper which I have yet to resolve.

“Ye-ah.”

Of course. We move into the kitchen and I get a small drink of water whilst planning my next move.

“Here, Graeme. Let’s just change you like this,” as I move to perform the diapering-of-a-standing-child maneuver; it never really works.

“No!”

Too late, my boy, I’ve already got your bottoms down; let’s just get this over with. Graeme suddenly seems resigned to his fate, if such a term can be used to describe the exchange of a soppingly soiled diaper for a fresh, clean one. Alright, clean diaper: check. Something to drink: check. Something to drink for Daddy: negative, but tempting.

“Time for bed, Graeme?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep on the couch?”

“No. A bowl?”

“You want something to eat?”

“Ye-ah.”

“Fine.”

I get a little bit of Cheerios in a bowl for Graeme with him chanting all the while, “A-molk, a-molk, a-molk.”

“Yes, Graeme. I’ll put some milk in it.”

We move into the living room, “Would you like to sit on the couch?”

“No.”

“Okay, I’ll just put the bowl here,” as I set down on the coffee table, right before I drop onto the couch myself, massaging my temples as a massive headache is forming. Graeme in response just stands there.

“Go ahead; eat.”

“No.”

“Are you done?” (This sometimes works to prompt him to either start or continue eating)

“No,” he responds, and yet makes no move to eat. What the hell?

“Look, Graeme. Just eat your cereal so we can get back to bed.”

“No!”

“Fine! Whatever! I’m going to sleep!” I lie down on the couch as my head continues to throb.

Predictably, this sets him off and he starts to cry. Perfect. All I need is for him to wake his sister and my early morning will be complete. My head is killing me, I’m tired, and I’ve reached a seeming impasse with a two-and-half-year-old who is keeping me hostage in the wee hours of the morning. This isn’t working, obviously. I sit down on the floor and bring Graeme into my lap. Not only does he allow this, he snuggles into me. This is different; my son does not snuggle. I take the moment for all it is and rock back and forth as Graeme settles down. My head is still hurting, but I don’t dare give in, not when I’m so close.

It only takes a couple of minutes for Graeme to settle right down, and so I carry him off to his bed. As soon as I lay him down, he starts rolling his head from side to side; this is his signature move to signal that he’s ready to fall asleep. At 3:00 AM, after and hour of lunacy, I finally take some Tylenol and climb back into bed. At least I can salvage some sleep time before I have to get up to take the kids to their day home.  At 4:15 AM, the dog is scratching at the bedroom door to be let out.

Fuck you, Regal; you’re not funny.

[Note: I was planning to post this yesterday evening, but was, predictably, interrupted by my son waking up]

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Come again?

I had my shower interrupted this morning by my two-and-a-half-year-old son. I was hoping to get my shower in before he got up, but a repeated knocking at his door alerted me to Graeme’s wakened state. I opened his door and asked if he would like to wait in our bed whilst I showered. He responded, “Mommy? Mommy sweeping? Mommy? Mommy bed?” I explained that “Mommy’s not here” as she is currently visiting her uncle and aunt in Arizona. Well, this didn’t sit all that well with Graeme as he ran out of our room whining. I asked if he would, perhaps, like to sit on the couch instead. Graeme countered with, “Dee? Dee? Yabba?” I, of course, knew this to mean, “I will gladly sit on the couch if you would be so kind as to queue up an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, featuring my all-time favourite personality, DJ Lance Rock. Please.” I obliged.

With Graeme seemingly appeased, I went about the business of my shower. I was just about to put shampoo in my hair when I heard Graeme calling out something. I couldn’t make out what it was over the shower so I called out to him, “Graeme! I’m in here!” A few seconds later Graeme came into the bathroom and pulled back the shower curtain, “Hone! Hone!”

“I don’t know where the phone is.”

“Hone!”

“Look, I don’t know where your phone is. Can I finish my shower?”

“No! Hone!”

This carried on for some time with me trying desperately to keep the shower curtain closed while Graeme kept pulling it open. Suddenly, I heard the faint tones of a synthetic guitar strumming the same chords over and over. My mobile! I’ve been using my iPhone as my alarm clock in the mornings and although I thought I had shut it off this morning, I clearly had not. I had figured that Graeme was going on about my wife’s old mobile that the kids use as a toy, or the house phone that Graeme loves to monkey around with. Instead, my son had been trying to tell me that my mobile had been ringing incessantly, making it quite impossible for him to enjoy his programme. So I quickly grabbed a towel and turned off the alarm.

“There. Is that better?”

“Ye-ah.”

It was at this moment that I wondered if, at some point in the past when Graeme had been badgering me about something-or-other, maybe I should have asked if someone had fallen down a well. I also realized that, together, we did some pretty good problem solving for first thing in the morning.

Good boy, Graeme!

Meditations of a false yogi. Part 2, Back to the ma-AAAaaa-t!

Before I changed jobs I had been attending a lunch hour yoga class once a week. However, with the new job came a new schedule, and I found I was unable to attend. Well a new time slot has opened up and I am back at it! It has only been two classes, but already I am reveling in those special bits of wonderful that I had been missing all these months (/sarcasm):

  • The seizure of my upper abdominal muscles – This is something that I have found unique to yoga. No other physical activity I have done is able to target the upper abdominals on the left side of my body and cause them to seize up. It’s an interesting feeling that captures both my wonderment and my concern.
  • My thighs are burning – Holy shit my thighs are burning! It’s an odd thing, really. I’ve always considered my thigh muscles to be my most powerful attribute. I take a certain amount of pride in the size of my quads. regardless, as soon as I flow into any one of the warrior poses, my thighs instantly start to burn. Warrior poses are supposed to be grounded, powerful poses. Poses that instil a sence of strength and, well, warriorness. My warrior, conversely, trembles where he stands; his face twitching with discomfort; beads of sweat rolling down his temples, which throb with the strain of imagining the quad muscles crackling and igniting in a blaze of reds and oranges. Holy shit they burn!
  • Not as flexible as I thought I was – No matter how flexible I imagine myself to be, my groin and my hamstrings constantly duel to see who will the first to pass the point of no return. Mind you, this is not a battle that is fought out in the open; no this is more of a black ops sort of thing, where both sides exchange silent salvos, all the while maintaining a front of encouraging movement and flow. It isn’t until about 30 minutes later that the horrors of war are revealed and the victor gathers unto him the spoils, which manifest themselves in my walking like the Tin Woodsman. Of course, this is the least of my worries, for the worst is yet to come…
  • My heels – Ah, yes. No post about physical activity would be complete without mentioning my heels; my fucking heels. They had been doing fairly well, but as of late the pain seems to have, once again, flared up out of nowhere. This last session was particularly distressing as pose after pose I could visualize my plantar fascia tearing away from my heel, threatening to snap like a rubber band, one strand at a time. This visualization was made ridiculously easy given the amount of fucking pain coming from my fucking heel! Every so often I would get to a point where the stretch was just perfect, eliminating the pain for a brief moment until the point when the stretch was relaxed, and the floodgates of sharp, searing pain were once again opened, and any attempt to remain focused was dashed as my prana became syncopated with short, strained inhalations that resulted in a subtle, but audible hissing sound. Fuck my fucking heels.

With all this said, I am so very glad to be back at yoga. Seriously (no sarcasm tag). I find it to be a great workout and I get excited when I see and feel improvement in my form. I know that in time my strength, flexibility, and endurance will improve. With the exception of my heels; my fu– well, by this point you know how I feel about them; with the exception of my heels, I am certain that I will get back into the swing of things.

Besides, the whole point is to challenge yourself, right? Anyhow, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Talk about a deadline (addendum)

… or perhaps I should say, erratum, as I went and ended the year two thousand and eleven with a cock up.

This is my wife; my beautiful wife; my amazing wife; this is Allison; and I had neglected to mention her in my year-end post. Granted, I had done the post on the fly, but that does not excuse this omission, and here’s why. If you’ll look at this photo, you’ll see Allison using her iPhone to take a photo (in this case it’s a photo of my daughter after her Christmas concert). My wife uses her iPhone a lot. This is not a complaint; this is an admission of my incompetence. You see, she puts much effort and time keeping our family’s life in order. She is on her iPhone quite a bit marking dates, arranging programmes, searching for savings, and communicating with the many parties that effect our household; and while Allison uses her iPhone as her PDA, I in turn rely on her as my organizer, planner, and memory bank, in addition to being my best friend, mother of our children, and the love of my life.

Recently I have acquired my own iPhone, and I hope that this will aid in my ability to manage my life better. However, I am almost certain that I will continue to rely on my wife’s organizational skills and tireless effort to keep the family running.

I seemed to have ended the year as an arse. I hope not to start the new year as one as well.

Confessions of a reluctant runner, Part 11. Resolute running.

Ah, New Year’s Day. What better way to start off the new year than with a run. This morning I participated in my fourth annual Resolution Run. It was a brisk morning, more so than it has been for about a month. As we were preparing to start the announcement was repeated several times that the conditions on the roads were very icy, so we were encouraged not to try for a personal best. Just as well, I wasn’t planning to do that anyway. No, this was more about getting out and making the commitment to show up; it was New Year’s Day after all, even if it was 11:00 and 5 km. With this in mind I’d like to share the highlights of my run. First we sang O Canada at the start line. That was a classy touch. There was no musical accompaniment either, we just all sang; it was a moment. Then there was the run itself. It was pleasant, though slippery as forewarned. The runners I passed, indeed the ones who passed me seemed to be having a good time on the roads, despite the ice and the wind that had picked up. After I had finished the run I decided to stay around the finish line and cheer the rest of participants in. It was while I was doing this that I realized something important. Here was a large group of people of very different abilities; some seasoned runners, some maybe out for the first or second time ever; all out here on New Year’s Day because they had made a similar commitment. This was, for me, the best part of the event. Seeing individuals and groups crossing the finish line in the spirit of participation, or, as this is Canada, should I say Participaction (shout out to Hal and Joanne). Therefore, I once again start off the new year bolstered by my fellow resolution runners to renew a commitment I made. I invite you to do the same, whatever your commitment may be.