Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas notes

1) I'd been feeling fairly benevolent toward Paul McCartney lately; he's always struck me as a decent guy, and it's sad to watch a decent guy go through such an ugly divorce from a psycho. But then the other day when I was wrangling Clara through the Eaton Centre, I heard his song "Wonderful Christmastime."

I try not to be a violent person, so I don't wish him harm, exactly... oh, what the hell. Yes I do. Augh. Nothing life-threatening or permanently disfiguring, just enough to convince him to pull all copies everywhere of that song and destroy them. He's a rich man, isn't he? He can do that, right?

(And if I've earwormed you, sorry. No, wait. No I'm not. Misery loves company.)

2) I still hate shopping malls, and evidently Clara does too. There was a huge (HUGE) screaming meltdown in the washroom of the Indigo Books and Music because she was simultaneously hungry and dirty-diapered. One thing about parenthood is that it often leaves you doing things you've sworn not to do, like feeding your child in a bathroom. There I was standing there with my tit in my daughter's mouth, shopping bags all over the floor, diaper bag open and spilling its contents everywhere, while the cleaning lady worked around us.

I'm learning to tell who has kids and who doesn't: the parents look upon screaming infants kindly and sympathetically. The non-parents give dirty looks. I was a non-parent for so long that I often find their reactions in me as well. Shut up shut up shut UP you're bothering everyone everyone is going to think I'm a bad mother. But then the experienced parents say soothing things, and I think, Oh. Oh yeah. She's a baby. Babies cry. She'll stop soon. And sure enough, she does.

So, thank you nice cleaning lady in the Indigo washroom, and nice security guard gentleman at the Sunrise Records at Yonge and Dundas. You helped a lot. I bet you have good kids.

3) I've seen more movies in the theatre since October than I think I had in the previous five years combined. Thank you, thank you Movies for Mommies. I've seen Hollywoodland, The Queen, Casino Royale, Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Prestige, and today K. and I are off to see The Pursuit of Happyness. I've liked all of them, especially Little Miss Sunshine, which had me laughing so loudly I was a little embarrassed.

The theatre where we're going today is walking distance from here. I love living in the city.

3) The yap dog across the hall is still going. You'd think he'd get tired. Sigh. Perhaps the Christmas gift to the neighbours can be a giant Milk Bone soaked in Valium.

4) We're going to Mr. K's parents' house for the holiday. His sister will be there too -- she came home from Japan last summer after living there for ten years -- and this is Clara's first Christmas, so Mr. K's mother should by all rights be happy as a clam to have her clan around her. I love the in-laws dearly and they're very, very good to us; I'm afraid the differences in childrearing philosophies will continue to make for some tension. (Yes, I am going to feed her now, even though she just finished eating half an hour ago. Last time we checked, she was in the 95th percentile for height and the 3rd for weight. She's a skinny little thing. Damn straight she eats whenever she wants. And no, we never just let her cry. Sigh.)

5) Huge congrats to Esquiver, who's coming home. E: what are you doing for St. Patrick's Day?


H. Wren said...

I must be the only person in the world who likes that song. It's so mindlessly catchy.

(hangs head in shame)

Anonymous said...

Now, now, let's not stereotype about non-parents!

Esquiver said...

Thanks! Er...St. Patrick's Day? March 17th or so? Um, dunno, I guess that's three days before my housing allowance for training runs out and two days before my job starts, so a giant Milk Bone soaked in Valium sounds pretty darn good to me. Why do you ask?

Doug said...

Personally, I would never give dirty looks to the parent of a newborn. Once the kid is old enough to be taught civilized public behavior, but the parents are either too stupid or too indulgent to do so -- that's when the dirty looks come out.

And as insipid as "Wonderful Christmastime" is, it still can't beat "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" as Worst Christmas Song Ever.

Emily said...

h. wren: okay, you can keep one copy, as long as you never, ever let it out of your house.

Anon: you're right, of course; I spent yesterday afternoon with a dear non-parent friend who is very sympathetic when Clara fusses in public, and I know there are lots of other non-parents out there who react similarly. I should've said that the people who give the hairy eyeball are usually non-parents, not that non-parents give the hairy eyeball.

(Hairy eyeball. I love that.)

E: our friend Ed (of the many faces) thinks we should come down to see Brave Combo at Blob's Park again. I think an evening dubbed "Erin Go Bratwurst" would be a great way to reacclimatize yourself to the US. And anyway, I haven't seen you in what, nearly 20 years?

(20 years. Oy.)

Doug: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" is okay if you hear it once a decade or so. Dave points out that anyone doing a parody of "Twelve Days of Christmas" is up against the wall next to the filkers when the revolution comes.

Esquiver said...

Yeah, sounds great!
But wait, I'm confused. Does this mean no Valium?

(I mean, I'd take just the Milk Bones, too. A quick check of the craigslist DC listings has convinced me I'll be able to afford an apartment or groceries, but not both.)

Amber said...

Let me know when you're in DC and I'll try to come visit, too!

Emily said...

E: I think Blob's Park is BYOV.

Amber: yay!

debi said...

Hi Emily! I just checked Amanda's height and weight charts and Clara's right on track with her cousin. Just feed her and love her. She knows what she needs better than anyone else -- including a well meaning grandmother. Trust your mommy intuition, it will never let you down. It's replaced those brain cells you used to have before Clara arrived.

BTW -- ANY Christmas carol sung by The Chipmunks trumps the Wonderful Christmastime song on the should be banned list.

Hugs and kisses from Colorado

Doug said...

Dave points out that anyone doing a parody of "Twelve Days of Christmas" is up against the wall next to the filkers when the revolution comes.

Even Bob and Doug Mackenzie?

David said...

OK, how about parody versions of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer?

Bob and Doug get a pass because they aren't really doing the song as a song. It's a McGuffin that gives them something to build their schtick around. So they end up arguing with each other rather than singing the verses, and they have the good sense to jump from the eighth day straight to the twelfth.

fedward said...

Ahh, Bob and Doug. I remember a discussion in high school about what the heck a tuque was. In those heady pre-internet days we had to settle for what Mirriam-Webster had to say about it, which wasn't much. We weren't even sure how to spell it, as "tuque" wasn't in any available references. The teacher who somehow got involved in this digression found the alternate spelling "tuc" in his own personal time, and "tuc: a type of hat" became a running joke well into spring that year.

plinth said...

Isn't it toque? You know - the French word for a chef's hat?

And if you're going to crucify Sir Paul, let him have it for "Let 'Em In." I still get twitches when I hear that song. Doubly so when I recall the awful year that, and I swear I'm not making this up, Bert Parks sang it for the Miss America pageant. Brrrr.

I don't think I ever gave parents of fussing babies the stink eye pre-kids. Post kids, they definitely get a sympathetic look. As for tantrum management - depends on the circumstances. I'm thrilled that my daughter correctly uses 'please', 'thank you', 'sorry', and 'excuse me' with only a small amount of prompting.