Friday, August 26, 2011

about being out...

          (Note: if you want to hold kids attention on an outing, do NOT have them facing into the sun!)

Stay at home mothers volunteer for all kinds of shit.  Even if you’re a work-from-home-stay-at-home kind of mother, you still volunteer for all kinds of shit, mistakenly believing you can be in two places at once.  And so it was that I found myself giving lifts to a whole bunch of kids who were going on a school outing. 

This is my idea of hell.  Herding snails is easier than herding kids. Fortunately, I herded a car full of boys (no high pitched, screechy girls)  who are at the age when they try to make their voice sound deeper. There was mostly just a low murmur of dude this and dude that. 

What I discovered in the car ride, is that kids are a bit like old people.  They are able to have four completely independent conversations with four completely different topics.  It would seem that they’re not too bothered with appropriate responses or even giving the illusion that they are even listening to the other person. I want to be 10 again.

While we’re speaking of listening, it occurred to me that in order to get kids  to listen to you on an outing, you should ideally be, well, a bit entertaining.  The very nice gentleman from National Parks had a dry sense of humour, which sadly went right over all the kids’ heads.  He also had a little bit of what I call “outdoorsy snobbery”.  You know, like when he asked the group what kind of bird makes that ‘ka kaaa ka kaaa” noise and some poor child said ‘a dove’.  You just wait for that small snorting noise that the outdoorsy person does through their nose, which in outdoorsy speak means “As iiiffff”. 

I also had some insight as to why my kids keep saying that school is boring.  It is.  And quite frankly, the Cape Dune System can’t really compete in the interest stakes when compared with skateboarding or big wave surfing. It’s just the way it is. I realized that for kids, listening at school is like being stuck at a dinner party with the most boring person sitting next to you and demanding that you not only listen to them, but you also LOOK AT THEM while they’re talking.

The worst part is that the boring person doesn’t even realize that they’ve lost your attention.  They ignore the fidgeting and the whispering (if necessary, only to yourself) and pretty much carry on regardless.  Obviously, I hear you say, school isn’t entertainment, its education.  But so is the National Geographic channel and they manage to make the self-mating ritual of  and earthworm sound quite exciting.

Of course, Mr. Outdoorsy Pants didn’t really care if the kids were listening or not.  He passed grade 4 a long time ago.  He just wants to get through the outing unscathed and with his dunes intact. Not much hope of that I’m afraid, what with children unintentionally shedding things – jerseys, juice bottles, shoes. How can they not know that they have one shoe missing? Do you know how many one shoes I found? 

All I’m saying is that where kids and outings are concerned, you’d better have a plan of how you’re going to sound more exciting than what is in their lunchbox.

 Some parents went all healthy and packed liquid sustenance only...

Even though he was outdoorsy, the moms felt the french exchange student made the outing worthwhile...

Friday, August 19, 2011

I do...naaat...

This past week had lots of highlights.  I should start with our Neighbourhood Watch update.

“… there is a very strong chance that the toads will be on the move tomorrow evening.  
A contingent of over 20 males moved (what kind of moves?  Hip hop? Jazz?) in the rain last Thursday, ….  Some males have been heard calling (yo baby, kssk ksssk, you lookin’ for a good time?) from the ponds on the Clovelly Country club.  It is highly likely that the females will be on the march (hup two three four, keep it up two three four?) tomorrow … in search of partners and ponds (you call that a pond?  I call it a puddle!)….If you see a Toad on the Road please stop (I was gonna do it while my vehicle was moving? )and move it to the grass verge in the direction in which it was going (what if it’s facing the road?). If you see a lot of Toad activity (Activity? Toad tennis? Toad skating? Toad jogging?) please call… “

We did actually find one in our road.  He looked very cocky.  I’ll bet he got lucky…

Another highlight was the discovery that someone has published a book that is close to my heart…

Irreverent parenting, you godda to love it!
Then yesterday, I was lucky enough to be told I had nice buns. By a very old, homeless man who was most certainly drunk.  I know I should take it as a compliment, but I’m just not sure what kind of standards a drunk, homeless person has. At least he didn’t say that I had a nice bakery. Ouch.

Speaking of buns, I heard on Gareth Cliff’s show that Kim Kardashian is getting married this weekend. Apparently the wedding is costing around $10 million. That’s not shameful in the least, right? What with the horn of Africa starving and all. Perhaps they’re flying all their guests there. One person per jet? E! Channel will be airing the wedding (which Kim says will be bigger than Will and Kate’s) in a two part series.  Dear God, I can only hope it’s more interesting than their TV show because I know patches of lawn that live more entertaining lives than the Kardashians.

Which brings me to when Best-kisser and I surfed onto to E! Chanel (supposedly to entertain us), while we waited for our on-demand movie to load (blessed is the clever person who invented that). There was a True Hollywood Story on  - an oxymoron if ever there was. 

This particular THS was all about The Girls of the Playboy Mansion. HUH?!? A True Story about a reality show? I know, right.  Which one is lying? I thought the point behind a reality show was that it was real. Clearly not. 

After a whole 3 minutes of “true” story interviews, E! airs adverts of all the other reality shows that you can view there – sometimes INCLUDING the show that you are currently watching.  I have to wonder, is this for very stupid people who may have forgotten, in all of 5 seconds, which show they were watching? 

But hey, I’m all for some reality shows. Like Flying Wild Alaska.  Or the Deadliest Catch. Or Mark & Olly Living with the Tribes. You know, real people doing something useful with their lives.  Still, folk like Kimora Lee and the Kardashians do sometimes make us laugh.  Like when they say ‘I work really hard’. Um, at what exactly?

Shame on me, I shouldn’t mock the Kardashians. It’s hard to sound intelligent when you have a silver spoon dangling out of your mouth.