Thursday, May 21, 2015

Shower Wall of the Beast...

"You're telling me this is normal?"  David asks.

"Pardon?"  I'm combing through my conditioned hair with my finger tips in the shower.  I glance over at him.  His face is the perfect combination of horror/disgust/concern.  He directs my gaze to the shower wall, where I have been depositing my 'extra' hair.

I shrug.  "Relatively," I say.  "Since I've had the cold, I probably haven't been brushing it as much - I haven't washed it in a couple of days..."  I shrug again.

"You're sure you're not secretly undergoing chemotherapy?"    This seems to be a real possibility for him.

"Yes, I'm sure.  I promise that I would let you know.  It's an ebb and flow thing.  I'm not bald, so hair must also be growing."

"Okay."  He doesn't look convinced.

"You can feel for yourself if you like..." I offer.

He looks even more horrified, the thought of handfuls of my hair left in his grasp makes his eyes go wide.

"Think of it this way... now we have a fun shower game: Translate the Hairoglyphics!!"

"You're not normal."

"Well no, but in fairness, you knew that when you married me."

symbol for Cancer - grass - ass?
P9 Gras-o-i-a-y-s?

In the sink after combing through again

What is NOT in my shower drain.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Good News! I'm IMMORTAL!!!

WARNING: Feminine issues discussed

"Are you FREAKING kidding me?"

"What? What is it?"  David looks into the bathroom from the hallway.  He finds me on the toilet, scowling downward.  I shoot him a look.

"Seriously?" he asks.  "Didn't you just...?"

"Yes.  Yes I DID just... It's been almost two full weeks - off and on."

"What's that phrase?  Never trust something that bleeds for 5 days but doesn't....?" He quickly changes tacks before I stab him with the cuticle scissors within my reach.  "Wait!   There's a bright side."

I glare at him.  "Pray, tell..."

"You've been bleeding this long and you haven't died...  I think...  Heather, I think you might be IMMORTAL!"


"No seriously.  This right here?  THIS is you achieving immortality."

Doubling over with another cramp, I manage a small, yet incredibly sarcastic "Hurray." 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sex Ed in the New Millennium


In 1979, my mother attended a parent council meeting in Kingston, Nova Scotia.  The topic: SEX EDUCATION.  (Gasp!)  The community was up in arms - what were they going to be teaching our kids??  If you teach kids about sex, all they'll want to do is try it for themselves!! Sex Education belongs in the home!!!

The classes at Kingston Elementary School were not mandatory. If you felt that teaching your child this information at home was better for said child, you had every right to do so.  Problem was... the kids who were being pulled from the Sex Ed classes weren't likely to be getting sex education at home.  They were given instructions to abstain and the rest was radio silence. 

Fast forward to Ontario 2015.  A new Sex Ed curriculum is in the pipeline for September of 2015.  At the beginning of May, panicky parents across Ontario were pulling their kids from school to protest the proposed fall Sex Ed curriculum.

Here's the kicker... the Sex Ed component of Ontario health classes is not mandatory.  Let me repeat that: THE SEX EDUCATION COMPONENT OF ONTARIO HEALTH CLASSES IS NOT MANDATORY.  So basically, if you don't want your kid to be educated about puberty, the concept of consent, safe sex, gender diversity, STIs, and masturbation - your kid doesn't have to.  You can opt them out.  Because why?  Because...


By all means, pull your kids out of the classes.  If Sexual Education goes against your belief system, makes you uncomfortable - pull your kids.  Go for it.  But that's all I'll let you have.  If you protest what MY child could be learning, if you protest that kids should know that a vagina is a vagina and a penis is a penis and that STIs are bad?  I'm going to have to smack you upside the head.  When you protest discussions about consent, safe-sex (for everyone on this planet, regardless of sexual orientation),  and the fact that mutual masturbation is a viable option in place of having intercourse?  It makes me want to parade uninformed 13 year old pregnant girls in front of you.  It makes me want to force you to look full on at the physical effects of gonorrhea.  It makes me want you to listen in extreme discomfort as  kindergartners tell stories about adults who touched them IN (not on) one of their private spots because they were never told that they could say "NO" to a grown up.

Your kid DOESN'T HAVE TO TAKE THE COURSE.  But please, don't tell me that my kid shouldn't be educated because potential Sex Ed topics make you feel 'icky.'  Sex Education isn't for you.  It's for the kids who are rounding 2nd base on their way to 3rd while possibly being pressured to allow someone to slide home or having the urge to slide home themselves.  Just like you probably did.  My generation got a quick thrill from looking at a skin mag.  My daughter's?  They can find free porn on the Internet that shows six guys jerking off onto a woman's face.   And unless they're told differently, they think that this is something that 'all chicks dig.' 

Sex in 2015 ain't squeaky clean, it ain't easy and it sure as hell ain't simple.  Yes, it can be amazing when you're mature enough to deal with its emotional fall out, but without education - proper education - (not just what they hear from peers, or what they can Google on the Internet) - kids have to walk through a mine field.  I want the Sex Ed we talk about at home supported by the educational equivalent of a bomb squad to keep my daughter informed and sexually safe.  Knowing there are parents out there who don't want my daughter informed and sexually safe, scares the crap out of me.  Knowing there are parents who would rather have their children uninformed, flailing in the dark when it comes to the most basic functions of their bodies is freaking terrifying.

Sure, we might dream of a world where abstinence is choice number one, but it's 2015 - most kids with a cell phone will be sexting at some point.  The kids with the knowledge?  They generally aren't the ones who think that condoms alone will stop you from getting knocked up.  They aren't the ones who inadvertently spread chlamydia, because they don't know what it looks or feels like.   Sure, you go ahead and keep your kids out of Sex Ed, go for it... but don't you even think about telling me that my daughter shouldn't have access to that knowledge. One of my major priorities as the parent of a teenage girl is not to become a grandparent before my daughter graduates high school, so I'll take ALL the help I can get thanks.

Friday, May 1, 2015


"Who needs an eggroll??" I ask from upstairs.




"My bad."

"Speaking of eggrolls," says David.

"Nice segue..."

"Who's up for seeing a movie after school?"

"Age of Voltron?" I ask excitedly.

"ULTRON, Mummy!"

"Right ULTRON!"

"There was a Voltron, you know," says David.  "It was a cartoon I had to sneak to watch.* That and ThunderCats, and Transformers - they were all robot-type thingies... but ... BUT... WAIT!!   Wait, you know in that other movie, where all the ginormous robots had to wade into the sea to defeat the..."

"Pacific Rim?"

"Yeah, that one... Well, remember how in Pacific Rim, the robots all had to all join together to create one big... ?"

"I don't think..."

"Wait, no, they didn't come together - they were just massive - you're right!  They fought separately, but together... With VOLTRON all these different parts would connect if they had to battle something really evil.  Each one had a special robot, and they all had these lion heads, (he's very excited now) in Voltron, each individual robot - piloted by actual people - all had to come together to create a giant SWORD-WIELDING robot!!   Together they became... (he pauses for effect) VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE!"

 Voltron 1984

"Why couldn't I have been given a name like that?" asks Rissa.  "RISSA: MASTER OF LAMPS!"

"You know, when you're all full-grown," says David.  "You can legally change your name to almost anything you want."

"REALLY?!?  So I actually could change my name to Princess Consuela Bananahammock?"  (The kid is a big Friends fan.)

It is apparent that we have opened up a whole new universe of possibility for our child. BEST. PARENTS. EVER.

"Although... Being Master of Lamps I could perfect a kick-ass power stance when I used my eyeball power to control all lamps everywhere."

"Well, obviously," I agree.

David has been utterly distracted and is now watching the openings of all three shows on YouTube.  Rissa is practicing her power stance. 

*David was not allowed to watch cartoons - except for the Smurfs. His cartoonal education continues with me.

 ThunderCats, ThunderCats, ThunderCats... HO! 1984

Transformers 1984

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spongy Mc-Wipey

"Are you done with this?" asks David as he holds up the scrubby sponge.

"I am, thanks.  If you wouldn't mind putting it away."

He looks around all confuseled.

"You don't know where it lives, do you?" I ask.

"Sure I do," he says - gesticulating wildly - a vain attempt to distract from his ignorance.

"In the cupboard there," I vaguely point to the vanity.

He reaches for the drawer...

"No, the cupboard, hon..."  And then it hits me.

"What?"  he asks.

"How long have we lived in this house?"


"When did we move?  Over a year ago, right?"

"Y.... es."

I raise my eybrows at him.  "You've never seen that sponge before, have you?  It's never been in your hand."


I let out a deep cackle.  "You have never cleaned this bathroom."

"Uhhhh...  Well...  No...  I guess that I haven't..."

"Wait!  Have you EVER cleaned a bathroom?"  I think back to our last house.  "Have you actually ever cleaned a toilet?"

"Of course I have cleaned a toilet.  I've even cleaned the tub once or twice, but usually what happens is that you re-clean it after me, so we decided..."

I look at him.

"...that it was probably better if you did the bathrooms..." he trails off.

"We decided?"

"Well you do tend to re-clean something if you think it hasn't been done right," he defends.

I raise my eyebrows again.

"To be fair," he backpedals.  "You might not feel the need to re-clean something if it had been properly cleaned in the first place."

I snort.  "Is this like when you were younger and if you and your brother waited long enough to finish a chore your Mom would just lose patience and do it herself?"

"NO!  Of course not.  I just have a different skill-set around the house.  See, I am the one who FIXES the toilets.  I vacuum like nobody's business.  I hook up all our new media players..."  He looks like he's waiting for a high-five.

"Dude.  You didn't know where the sponge LIVED."

"But I do know what it's used for.."  He gives a tentative grin.

A laugh escapes me.  "Other women would not react with laughter to this situation?'

"No they probably wouldn't."

I smile.  "Other women don't blog."

From New Girl

Friday, April 24, 2015

Squelchy in public...

I should have worn extra protection.   I didn't because it's Day 4 - my feminine mystique slacks off by Day 4.  Plus, my faithful Diva Cup holds a full ounce - I should be good.  And yet... the squelchiness.

I wince when I bend over to grab a paint brush... Oh, that does not feel right... I am decidedly squelchy... And apparently crampy... What the fuck?!?  DAY 4!  This is DAY 4!!  SQUELCH.  Oh dear God, please don't let me bleed out.

Well, there is no washroom - I've gotta let it run its... no... let's not put that out there.  Asking for a lift home, praying that the squelchy feeling is just that, a feeling.  Please don't let me bleed all over her mini van seats, please don't let me bleed all over her mini van seats... 

"I can get out at the light!" I suggest.

"You sure?"

"Oh yeah," I say, opening the door even before we come to the light.  "Thanks!"

No problem, just a block and I'll be home.  I jog a bit, you know, to get home that much faster...  Bad decision.  That is a bad decision. I now feel like I've peed my pants except that I know I haven't.  1/4 of a block to go.  I glance down.  Thank God I am wearing jeans - nothing looks like it has seeped completely through... I lift my arm in a celebratory fist pump... I have spoken too soon.  No worries, with the denim, it just looks like I have wet myself.  I saunter nonchalantly  - I can always take off my spring jacket and wrap it around my waist...  Nobody would notice anything because the entire jacket is already red.  Why are my upper thighs warm?!?  Oh COME ON!!!

By the time I get upstairs to the bathroom and take off my clothes, I look like I've been eviscerated.  Oh no, my cotton panties.  For the love of...  I like these panties!  They're hot pink with green and blue ribbon... These are good ass panties.  The jeans are even worse - how does one clean blood stains by the linear foot?  Now I have to Google whether cold or warm water is best for removing blood stains.  Which, if CSIS is monitoring internet questions, could be a red flag... HAH!  RED FLAG!  I start laughing - the cats give me a look when the laughter takes on a more maniacal edge.

After my impromptu sitz bath, I swaddle myself in a robe, eat popcorn, chocolate and two hotdogs while watching old clips of Britain's Got Talent.

Sniff.  Sniff.  Damn you Janey Cutler!  Damn you, you adorable octogenarian with your adorable Scottish accent, and Piaf-like pipes!!    Now I need a tissue along with the ice cream that I will have emergency delivered.   

Friday, April 17, 2015

Life with a perfectionist.

Rissa may look like me, but she gets her perfectionist streak from David.  David comes from a long line of perfectionists.  On his worst days, David will despair, "I'm not good at anything!!!"  David is on crack when he says this.

"I'm a Jack of all trades and master of none," he huffs.

"Okay, first off, you're a David of all trades and master of most of them."  And then I shoot him an angry eyeball, warning him that he doesn't want me to itemize the myriad of ways he is much, much better than your average bear at almost anything he sets his mind to.  What he is not, is PERFECT at all of them.  But he comes pretty frickin' close.

Rissa, since she began to move, has had the highest of expectations for her performance.  I remember her wailing at Air Zone, at the top of the 30 foot inflatable slide saying, "I want to but I can't."  Which makes sense, because her 3.5 year old gaze was on the 30 foot downward slope of primary-coloured plasticized fabric that I, at the age of 35, would have had to work up my nerve to propel myself down.  I went up and carried her down, but she squared her shoulders and climbed up again and sat there, working herself up to it - all the while crying, as child after child went past her and down the 30 foot drop.  All the parents in Air Zone, looking at me like I had set this Herculean task upon her toddler shoulders, when it was ALL her.

"Rissa, honey, you don't have to do this!"

"I want to but I can't!!!"

Cut to 11 years later...  Dancing.  Rissa has always danced.  We have the obligatory naked baby dancing videos where she bounces to bagpipes and taiko drums from a Cirque du Soleil soundtrack.  Like her father, she understands music and tempo.  It's always served her well.  As she gets taller and taller, her physical centre has shifted and the dance turns she had accomplished so easily last year, are, in her mind, now causing her grief.  Lately, she comes home in near tears, having practiced her turns at the end of an already long day. David brings her home from the dance studio, throws me a sidelong, wide-eyed 'I don't know how to deal with this' look and shakes his head slightly in warning as he brings her into the house.

"I can't turn," says Rissa.  It is obvious that one mislaid comment could send her headlong into hysteria...

"Tonight," I reply.


"You can't turn tonight.  You're probably tired.  Go have a shower."

Her face crumples.

"Okay, let's head upstairs," I say.

We flop onto the bed together.  I smooth the tears off her face.  My heart aches for my perfectionist child.

"I'll never be able to turn!!"

"Well that's patently untrue."

"I won't!"

"You already have.  I've seen you do it.  You can't say that you'll never be able to do it, because you've already done it."

Her breath hitches in with fresh sobs.  We're on the precipice of of true irrationality here...  What I say next could make or break the situation.

"It's times like these," I say, "where you really need a shoulder gnome."

"A..." sniff, sniff...  "What?"

"Shoulder gnome.  It's a little gnome who sits on your shoulder and tells you when you should continue with something... or not."

Rissa's eyebrows meet in a scowl.

"So... you know... if you were... say, attempting to do something physically taxing at the end of a very long day, the shoulder gnome would grab you by the chin and say, 'Dude.  Now. Is. NOT. The. Time.'  And then if you try to ignore the shoulder gnome, it will slap you upside the face and say, 'Seriously.  I'm. NOT. Kidding. Around.  THIS. IS. A. BAD. IDEA.' "

The beginnings of smile touch the corners of her mouth.  Then she frowns again as she glances at the clock.

"It's SO late!  I still have to shower and I need to shave my legs."

"Why do you need to shave your legs tonight?"

"Because it's spring and I'm wearing capris now to school..."

"I can promise you that no one is going to notice your hairy ankles.  Besides, no one should be close enough to your ankles," I give her a pointed look, "to know that they're hairy.  Wait, unless they are the shoulder gnomes who have jumped down, then yes they will notice...They are notorious for noticing leg hair.   'Jerome - you won't believe the undergrowth this gal has on her stems!'  Then they'll come at you with their miniature scythes and cut down your crop of leg hair, carting it off for sale in the local shoulder gnome black market, where all things human go for ridiculous amounts of gold." 

And there it is, a real smile.

"Wait!  How is the shoulder gnome going to hold onto my chin?  They're just little."

I demonstrate with two of my fingers, indicating a shoulder gnome's arm length.  I move her chin from side to side.  "Do not underestimate the grasp of the shoulder gnome."

She laughs.  The tension in my chest eases.  She is back.   My pessimistic perfectionist has retreated.  I hug her, pressing my cheek to hers imparting through osmosis that our love is not dependent upon how well she turns, or whether she has an above 90 average or if her hair is straight  -  I can't say all that right now in case it sends her spiralling once more.  So instead I say,

"Love you hon."

"Love you too Mummy."