Hair Hat has been chosen as one of five books for Canada Reads 2010: Independently!!!! (If you want a copy to read along, contact me.)
Today’s “Cabin Fever” column is on best picture books for the holidays. This was a fun one to research and write. Like giving me candy. Hand this mama a book, and she’s practically drooling.
Newsflash: Cabin Fever (aka me) live on Parentdish. The first installment: The Art of Writing Santa Letters.
Snow overnight. Turning to damp snow by dawn. And by the time I headed up the hill, pushing laden stroller, to meet and steer the walking school bus … well, the substance falling upon us was debatable. One child suggested it was “slush.” Yup, pretty much.
Pushing up the hill through thick unmoving ice-slush? Pretty good work-out. Yet I never seemed to achieve the endorphin rush one achieves following a work-out uninhibited by wailing toddlers trapped in their wet mittens and strapped into a slow-moving stroller for close to an hour. The children were essentially soaked to the bone by the time we reached our destination.
Came home and shovelled the sidewalk. My mitts were wring-able.
Thankfully, babysitter arrived and I got some desperately needed writing time. The new site I’m writing for was supposed to launch on Monday; now it’s scheduled to launch Dec. 17th.
Wrote another book review, this time of A Coyote Solstice by Tom King, with pictures by Gary Clement.
Kevin came home for lunch. Promised that next Wednesday, he’d stay home with CJ in order to spare him the misery of the slow moving bus.
More writing during naptime. Wrote a short piece on baking with children.
Re-read the last story I’ve added to my basically-completed and much-expanded collection. Made some quick edits. I’ve got one more story to write, and then I’m sending the MS to my agent, who has agreed to read it and make a gut judgement–does she think she can sell it, or not.
Decided to drive to school. CJ kept crying “cold, cold,” despite snow suit, mittens, and hat. The wind was sharp. Discovered vehicle was on empty. Dragged pile of children (extra friend included) to gas station for fill-up. Of course, there was a traffic jam. The howls from hungry sad exhausted children were deafening. Hm, this sucks, thought I. Inspiration: send the two big boys into the gas station to buy a snack. Cookies, I suggested, since CJ and chips are a combo that equal choking hazard. They ran in, and by the time I’d filled up, returned, beaming, thrilled, a bag of chips each, and three bags of M&M candies for the others. SIGH. Well. “There weren’t any cookies, so we thought this was a good alternative!” And, really, it was. Everyone was cheered and chocolated, and quieted.
Next up: an evening out with Kevin. Which seems almost unimaginable at this stage of the day, with supper still to make, and children underfoot, and my hair … oh my hair. The soddenness of the morning has taken its toll.
The itch to write exists. But our week is dull and commonplace. No, that’s not being fair to this fine and worthy week among many. In fact, when I think about it, lots is happening that is good and blog-worthy.
I have not been a good blogger this week and there’s a reason. The reason is that I have started writing a parenting column twice a week for a new website that will launch in December. I’ll invite you there, when it goes live. Meantime, though there’s no direct poaching of subject matter (well, not in the columns I worked on this week), there is a general overlap between the genres. The columns are polished, obviously, and much more topically focused. But are blog-like in that I’m talking about real things that are really happening.
But I need to continue this blog, and push to find a few minutes here and there (like right now–while CJ “washes” every plastic dish in the house in our kitchen sink while standing precariously under-supervised upon a stool with a revolving seat while juggling lit matches … um, just kidding about that last thing. Please stay calm. And, yes, aren’t I eminently qualified to write a Parenting Column? I find myself muttering that on occasion since landing the gig. Hey, this is a great Parenting Column moment. Parenting Expert over here! Please, nobody look!).
Because I haven’t blogged most of the week, I’ve got an overload of topics on the brain. Such as, how has this return-to-school experiment gone? I’ll tell you. I’m not a student anymore. It’s not part of my identity. It would suck to go back to school for real. It would take some humbling. And a genuine desire to acquire the skills contained within the degree–and to get to the end. That’s the only reason I’d go back. If it felt imperative. I’ve enjoyed stretching my brain, and it’s awfully pleasant to spend a couple of hours away from home every Thursday evening, but, hey, I could accomplish that by going for a walk with a girlfriend, and get some exercise to boot. Also, though he hasn’t explicitly expressed this, I’m pretty sure Kevin is terrified that I might go back to school. This experiment (ONE CLASS THIS TERM!) has proven how hard it would be on the whole family to launch this mother into a new career. It would be a full-family project, and I wouldn’t be the only one making sacrifices. Interesting. Trot over to my Moms Are Feminists Too blog which is where I really should be venting about this subject and discovering creative solutions.
If only I weren’t so tired. Topic four. So Tired. I felt so tired this afternoon it was like being extremely hungry, except insert sleep for hunger. And CJ declined to nap. This took me way back, when, after a night spent up with two kids under two, I’d be so exhausted by mid-morning that I’d try for a brief nap on the living-room floor with Apple-Apple crawling on my head and Albus pulling open my eyelids. Good times.
Well. I have managed to rouse myself in order to cook up a delicious-smelling hamburger curry which simmers on the stove behind me now while light-as-air rice is steaming inside a clay pot in the oven while CJ tries out surfing in a giant wok on the kitchen floor (having safely descended). Some of the things mentioned in the last over-long sentence feel like achievements. Actually, they all do, even the surfing undersupervised (and entirely content) toddler. No one’s going to grade me on these accomplishments, or, likely, even say thanks, but nevertheless … the best moment yesterday was walking onto campus and remembering the warmth of the scene I’d left behind: bean/sausage/endive soup and fresh-baked bread upon the table, which one of the children had set without (major) complaint, my family sitting down to eat. (Though apparently both soup and bread struck out with the two youngest, who dined on cereal instead). Nevertheless. It’s a scene that takes constant vigilance and effort to conjure, day after day; my life. Ours.