Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Surefire cure for the blues...

Feeling down?  In a funk?   Is your life a great honking pile of crap?    In your circle of friends/family you must know one child in pre-ballet class.  It's spring.  It's the end of recreational classes.  Find a dance recital.  I can guarantee that upon viewing a pre-ballet recital, your mood will improve.

There will be raindrops skipping across the stage, probably with another raindrop carrying a lemon yellow umbrella.  Little ballerinas/ballerinos in tutus/shorts will pliĆ© from their positions on 'this is where you stand' cut out stars on the stage floor. There will be fairies and baby birds and kittens and flower pots and ladybugs and they will all have toddler pot-bellies covered in varying shades of sequins/flowers/stars/spandex/lace/tulle.  They won't know the dance, but they won't care.  (You won't care.)  They'll all be jumping up and down.  They'll laugh - (you'll laugh) - so thrilled to feel the heat of the stage lights - they'll look over at their little friends and see how those stage lights make sequined pot bellies sparkle.  Some will get tired and need to sit down on those cut out stars on the floor.  They will have to be wrangled by the dance teachers.  They will all leave the stage in a little train, holding onto each other's shoulders, waving with one hand to their relatives/friends.  Your chest will feel lighter, your cheeks will lift, happy freaking tears may come to your eyes.  (Unless you're soulless, and then, my friend, you've got bigger problems.)

Go ahead.  Test it out.  Dissolve that cynicism.  And then, when another day sucks, close your eyes and remember back to those kids - to the joy you felt - just watching their joy.  And next spring, when the memory of that has faded... find another recital.  Recharge that feeling.  Carry it around with you, like a picture in your wallet.  When the world throws you a crap sandwich - press "PLAY"...  We need more joy.  Come over to the light side... we have sequins.

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