Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Fun Family Game Night

Fun Family Game Night, never have four little words hidden such a diabolical meaning.  Sid has been desperately asking for a family game night. She is too young to remember the game nights of old, the tears, the bloodshed and the carnage just a blur on her memory. Ever since the last Game night which stopped just short of a knock down drag out fight, Rob and I have been avoiding a recurrence. We dodged the bullet at Christmas, feigning sickness but Sid was not to be deterred.  A recent weekend was Family Day here in Ontario, what better day to hold a family game night reasoned Sid. That girl is nothing if not persistent. Whilst she spent the weekend choosing games, selecting snacks and creating a soundtrack on her IPod , Rob and I took a different view , something akin to bamboo shoots under the fingernails. An invitation was issued to Zach - I felt a little guilty about dragging him in to the drama, but we needed to round out the numbers.

Game Day dawned bright and sunny, no indication of the black clouds that were to later form under our roof. Grady starts the ball rolling by declaring he doesn't want to take part. Too bad, he is family and therefore must suffer alongside the rest of us. Zach arrives, full of youthful anticipation of a fun filled evening. Poor bugger doesn't have a clue. Grady continues to express his reluctance, only to be thoroughly scolded by his older sister. Round 1 to Lindsay.

We can't postpone the inevitable any longer and finally sit down to Dr. Who Monopoly. This is the game Grady bought a month ago and has been wanting to play ever since - except for this day of course. Rob is muttering under his breath,  and Lindsay has another go at her brother. Round 2 to Lindsay.  A few minutes in and we realise just how cutthroat our family is. Grady refuses to throw the dice and Lindsay smacks him upside the head. Game, Set & Match to Lindsay.

No matter how much we cajole, bribe or threaten, Grady refuses to take part. Rob removes him from the table to the sounds of Sid's sing song "Someone's in trouble". It is finally dawning on Zach what he has gotten himself into. We divide up Grady's spoils and continue the game. Ten minutes later, by mutual consent we declare Zach the winner and toss in the game. Throughout this Sid has been enjoying herself, so much so that she announces we are now going to play Moustache Smash. Will this torture never end ?.

With the latest game we all have to hold a moustache on the end of a stick and as the cards are overturned you smash the end of the stick down if the card matches the colour or shape of the moustache you are holding. There is a little suction cup on the end of the stick that allows you to grab the card. Person with the most cards, wins. Simple right ? Wrong. I am at the end of the table so I don't have a hope in hell of even reaching the card, which is probably just as well as 5 different sticks (Grady has relented and re-joined us) smash down on the card and any fingers that happen to be in the way. Everyone takes to this with the enthusiasm of Gladiators in a Roman arena and it isn't long before cards, moustaches, and sticks are flying through the air. Gone is the pretence of  collecting cards and it quickly becomes a free for all, as my children begin wailing on each other with the sticks.

Another game night bites the dust.  Norman Rockwell has nothing on our family.

Friday, 20 February 2015


Grady has badminton tryouts today (and I use that term loosely) so he asked if  he and Sid could practice in the hallway before school. He is patiently explaining the rules and technique to Sid, who continues to lob the birdie in every direction but at Grady as he dutifully runs to retrieve it. He truly thinks they are practicing badminton and that his sister just has bad aim, but it is obvious from the malevolent grin on her face she is playing "Fetch". 

Afterwards Grady confides in me "I don't think I have much chance at winning the game, so I have memorized the rules instead. That way if my opponent breaks the rules I can call them on it and win the point". Have to admire his ingenuity. 

P.S.  He lost . 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Blog Is Back

   Many apologies for my long absence, but I'm back, up and running again. I will be posting twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays!

    So this is how my week begins, woken up by Sid. "Mum, wake up quick your alarm didn't go off". I jump out of bed in a panic. Instant headache and then I hear "Oh, not to worry, you still have a few minutes left" so it would appear the alarm just hadn't gone off .... yet. 

     Still I'm up now and trek to the bathroom, yelling at Grady to get up on my way. Finish in the bathroom, trek back to bedroom, yell at Grady again, who hasn't moved. Get dressed, yell at Grady again, only now I have added dire consequences, an earlier bedtime. Now it is Lindsay's turn, "Mum can I use the printer ?"  I send Sid down to make sure there is nothing obstructing the printer, and then remember it doesn't have any paper. Send Lindsay down to refill it. "MUM!  Where's the paper?" comes the cry from the basement.  Same place it has always been and I holler back "UNDERNEATH". "Under where ?" She yells back. Snickers from Sid "Lindsay said underwear".  Grady still hasn't moved. 

     Lindsay comes galloping up the stairs wailing, "It's not printing". I head down to perform Printer Repair 101. Meanwhile, she throws everything in her bag, and heads out the door. Apparently she can print it out at school. Maybe that should have been the first option. Grady is still comatose. 

    Sid is moaning she has caught yet another cold, and starts sneezing. I deftly dodge a snot rocket which has the unerring aim of a Scud missile. Point taken. Grady's feet have finally touched down. I head to the kitchen whereupon I see the dishwasher has to be emptied - that is Grady's chore. I remind him of this, only to have him complain bitterly "Why didn't you get me up sooner?"  Seriously ?  Welcome back to my world.

Monday, 21 July 2014

My apologies, the blog will be for a week or so, returning on August 1st.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Boredom Busters

My apologies for no posting on Friday - I was read the riot act good and proper on the weekend ! I had technical difficulties, but here goes. 

I have to mention that my children have been extraordinarily well behaved so far this summer. It must mean my threats are finally beginning to pay off.  There ius a downside - good children means less material for my blog. Can't have it both ways. 

So, last week was week three of the holidays and the kids are complaining they are bored. I thought I'd do something creative, so I showed them how to stuff the cat in the mailbox. That is always good for a laugh, and the cat already hates me, so what's the downside ? Of course, that may explain the reason why our neighbours ended up with our mail today.

By the time the kids have finished attempting to do that, they can spend the rest of the afternoon practicing their First Aid.  I highly doubt I will hear complaints of boredom after that exercise.

I told my husband what we had done, and he actually thought I had left the cat in the mailbox. I should mention for all my animal lover readers, that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

... And A Funeral

The second installment of the Wedding !  The funeral in the title was very nearly Grady's.

After the service, fortunately with no more incidents, we left for the luncheon. This wedding was 2 years in the planning and was amazing. Not one single detail was overlooked.  At this point the children were remarkably well behaved. A few well aimed kicks under the table made sure of that. Grady & Sid discovered there was an open bar - for them it was pop and juice - so it couldn't get better than that in their eyes.  They were too busy schlepping glasses of Coke and Iced Tea, to think about arguing.  I figured I would deal with the sugar rush later.

We were back to the hall a couple of hours later for the main reception. Again, we had gone over what was and was not acceptable behavior, only by now as evening drew near and the sugar high crashing, Sidney and Grady were becoming more argumentative. We found our table and got settled. Grady couldn't decide on a seat and moved from one, to another to another, carrying the carefully arranged place setting with him each time. Luckily we were at the far end of the hall, next to the bar. Coincidence ? I think not! So no one was around to witness my first meltdown of the evening, as I admonished Grady and hissed at him to pick a seat and stick to it. We thought it best if Sid and Grady were separated, sadly I didn't think it through, because I turned out to be the poor schmuck separating them. Sid at least stationed herself nearest to the bar so she was happy.  When she discovered the shrimp appetizer station she was even happier, while Grady went off exploring the other stations. The highlight of his evening was when he was given a small wooden "spork" with one of the appetizers. Go figure. 

I swear my children were tag teaming it as their table manners deteriorated with each successive sugar filled drink. Unfortunately I couldn't watch both at the same time and as I am hissing at Sid to take chopsticks out of her nostrils, Grady is stabbing his other sister with a plastic sword he got in a drink. At one desperate moment when I implored Grady to behave and asked him why they were acting out, he replied in an evil voice "We are out to get you". He wasn't lying. Little bastards. Rob at the other side of the table remained oblivious to my torment. The kids were determined to hang in until more food was brought out at 11:00 - sliders, pizza and poutine. It was all I could do not to strangle Grady when after someone kindly went in search of pizza for him, he used the flashlight app on his I-Pod to check for veggie toppings. 

Revenge was mine though, when the bride came over to grab Grady for a slow dance. Remember, this was his teacher for the past two years, only now she is in a strapless gown, and watching her show Grady where he was supposed to place his hands while they danced was priceless. The embarrassment on his face as he tried looking everywhere but eyes front, as he shuffled agonizingly across the dance floor was a sight to behold. 

So this goes out to Hanna and Adriano. Thank you for including us in your special day, and wishing you both love and much happiness for many, many years to come.

Monday, 7 July 2014

One Wedding .............

We as a family don't get out much. Oh yes, we get plenty of invitations from people we have just met, but rarely - unless close family - do we get invited anywhere twice, which considering my children shouldn't be surprising. So you can imagine our delight when we are invited to a wedding. Grady's teacher was getting married, and she knows us - all of us very well - so it was with some shock when we received an invitation. Of course there was a caveat or two - Grady had to behave himself, and Sid had to wear a dress !

The big day arrives and we are all excited. Rob and I must have read the kids the riot act a hundred times; No I-Pods in church, no fighting, no talking during the service, no cell phones, etc etc.  The day almost came off the rails even before we walked out the door, when Sid in the requisite dress suddenly remembered she hadn't donned underwear.  Why me ?

First crisis adverted, we arrive at the church, and shuffle into a pew. Interestingly enough, although all the pews around us quickly filled up, ours didn't. Co-incidence ? I think not. I should mention here, that although my husband was raised Catholic, we are not church goers. As a consequence, my children have a lamentable gap in their religious education. So it shouldn't come as any surprise when Grady sorting through the hymn books in front of us, discovers a children's book about Noah's Ark. Noah is on the front cover, sporting a long white flowing beard. Grady immediately pounces upon it and loudly exclaims "Look! a book about Santa Claus".  Again, why me ?

No sooner had the service started than our little friend Eliot - one of the ring bearers - decided he no longer wanted to be part of the ceremony. Rob scooped him up before the inevitable scene, and brought him back to our pew. Thank goodness for the book on "Santa", Eliot was happy to sit on Robb's lap and pour over the colourful pages. "What are you going to do when you get to the end of the book?" I whispered to Rob. " I don't know" he replied anxiously.  I nudge Grady and asked him if he had his I-Pod. For once I was thankful he hadn't listened to earlier directions and guiltily pulled it out of his pocket. "Great" I hissed, "Now mute it and give it to me". Once Eliot saw the I-Pod he quickly scrambled over us and sat next to Grady so he could play. Sid immediately has her knickers in a knot and starts glaring at me. "What's the matter ?" I mouthed. "It's not fair. I want to sit next to Eliot" she said huffily. Are you kidding me ? I get one child settled and now another one decides to throw a snit. I throw Sid a glare of my own, and she pointedly ignores me. I remind her that her teacher is sitting in front of us, and fortunately that was all that was needed.    

I hadn't initially planned on writing about the wedding, I didn't want to appear disrespectful and offend a close friend, however as Rob pointed out, it was our children I was dissing, not the wedding itself. That, and the fact at least three of the kid's teachers including the bride herself - told me they looked forward to reading about the event in my blog. So, stay tuned for the second installment.