Category Archives: Children

Open Secrets, Vol. 8

– Cheese it (every time)!

– Actually, that is exactly who you care.

– Hot Take vs. Cold Open.

– Just bury it in the news cycle.

– The lesser of two evils is only the devil you know.

Kill it with: kindness, love, fire.

– Bad News vs. The Worst News.

– Few or not many makes little difference.

Hard times: ahead, behind us, now.

– Found Objects vs. Lost Causes.

– Butter makes it better; extra butter makes it extra butter.

– Mild Ambitions vs. Wild Aspirations.

– Your kids; my dog.

– Miserable Truths vs. Beautiful Lies.

Better to be: interesting(?), loved(?), present(?).

– Leader but not boss.

– Nice vs. Nice Enough.

– Skin deep is still just a little bit deep.

– Eat your cake, and have it too.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Children, Food, People, Philosophy

Direct Quotes, 1

Sometimes, the only thing to do is to get it down. Save it. Relish it. Keep it pure:

 

Unsolicited Opinion: “Books are dead.”

Conspiracy: “The Illuminati have Tupac because his music is too good.”

Religion & Science: “Cindy, that was over 2,000 years ago. Before science. Back then that shit [immaculate conception] was possible.”

Elderly Neighbour: “Dear, what is a ‘dingleberry?'”

Anatomy: “That’s my candy gettin’ arm!”

Life Advice: “If you don’t want to have a baby, just have one!”

12-Year-Old’s Prognosis: “I like it how my knee kills me and then it just doesn’t.”

Power Couple: “Babe, what’s glands?”

Term Paper Gem: [Margaret] Mead was a woman who wore capes, was flamboyant, and although maimed at one point, had a lesbian affair with Ruth Benedict.”

Hetero Idiot: “Gay guys hit on me all the time. I’m what’s known as a ‘bear.'”

PSA: “Basement floods are on the rise.”

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Body, Children, Friends, Mind and Body, People, Relationships, Science, Words

The Quick and the Dead

“Books are dead!” proclaimed my guest, who wasn’t really a guest as a surprise visitor who came in with one of my actual guests. He was just that type, just the sort of person to do just that, just to give you an idea.

It is my fault for letting him in, I know. Though I do not take responsibility for his behaviour. That would be asking too much, I think. It would be expecting the whole world.

Books are dead!” he cried out again, after I faltered in my response, not knowing exactly what he was getting at (but also noting all the books we have weighing down the shelves and invading the little free spaces of our tiny apartment).

I read for work,” he continued. Incredible. There was an aura of self-induced triumph about him.

And that’s what made me think of the boy.

It was a Saturday morning and the subway car was, as usual, overcrowded – Stephen and I and quite a few others were jammed up close, near a young boy and his mother, who were seated but nonetheless closed in with the rest of us.

The mother sat by the window, the boy sat towards the aisle.

“Eee-er-rect? Ee-rect-a?” said the boy.

His mother ruefully shook her head, but did not discourage him. She smiled to herself and then at us as her son struggled with the ad hanging tantalizingly above our heads, its message as yet a mystery to his young mind.

“Dis-disfunct. Dis-func-sia-in,” he enunciated, carefully, loudly, heedlessly.

We waited. Stephen and I, the boy’s mother and the boy, and the half dozen people to our immediate left and right in that moment became a coterie, a clique, an inner circle facing out. The world be damned.

The boy continued: “E-rect-tile. Erectile! Dis…dysfunct-dysfunction!”

There was so much laughter threatening in that moment to break through. The boy’s mother congratulated him – sincerely, proudly – on his having mastered two very difficult words. Who would dare laugh then, and spoil everything?

And then the boy asked, pointing to the ad: “What is it?”

His mother looked at him. She looked at us. She looked out the window. “Ask your father,” she deadpanned.

So much laughter then, the boy’s merging with ours and I think, not because he understood his mother’s exquisite joke or deft delivery, but because, together, they had elicited a moment of joy out of the drudgery of the everyday. His mother laughed as she pulled him to her, beaming.

“Books are dead.” “I read for work.”

I guess what I’m saying is this:

I wish the boy and his mother had shown up at my house instead.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Children, City Life, People

The Kyd

 
Can you make memories, or do they just happen?

CNE

It would be nice to choose, but I wasn’t thinking that just yet, watching The Kyd.

He was being held way up high, against his father’s chest. They were waiting in line behind us. With them were The Kyd’s mother and grandmother. They were trying their best to placate The Kyd, who was screaming his head off.

It was a long line. A crowded line on a busy day, and both were just shy of being uncivil. It was the opening weekend of the Canadian National Exhibition – THE EX, with its rides and shows and games and fried coke and glow sticks and cronuts and sand sculptures and fireworks and giant-stuffed-unicorns and .99 cent spaghetti – and the subways and shuttle buses were running at full capacity, causing people to spew up from deep underground and spill out into meandering tendrils along the sidewalks, against the office towers and assorted businesses of the downtown.

"But it was 99 cents!"

“But it was 99 cents!”

“GOgoGOgoGOhafftagogogogo!!!”

On and on it went.

The screaming, the howling.

The fingers pulling at the inside of the cheek of his wide-open, half-toothless mouth.

The Kyd screwing up his face something foul and sour – an awful, pulpy mass of tears and snot and dripping, inconsolable wetness. The Kyd beating his father’s shoulder with his balled-up little hands. His mother on one side offering him a cookie, a toy, a candy. His grandmother on the other side sing-songing “soon, soon, we’ll be there/we’ll be there soon/just hold on, just hold on!” to the back of The Kyd’s mussed-up head.

The father telling him to just hold on.

“Just hold on.”

“NO! NO WANT DAT. WANNNA GO!!!GOGOgoGOgoGO!! HAFTTA GO NOW! NOWnowNOWnowNOOOOOOOW!!!”

“Soon, OK? We’ll be there soon, I promise!”

“PleaseIhafftago!PleaseIhafftago! PleaseIhafftago!PleaseIhafftago! PleaseIhafftago!PleaseIhafftago!IHAFFTAGO.PLEASE!!PLEASE!!PLLLLEASE!!!”

STOP IT NOW. JUST HOLD ON TILL WE GET THERE.”

I remember thinking, irritability, Why do people take children places? Why do they think they can go just anywhere?  

Oh my god.

“Oh my god. Stephen, I think he’s got to go the bathroom.”

“No…”

I’d like to say I remember noticing this too late, before the inevitable. That there was nothing I could have done even if I hadn’t noticed anything.

With time, when perhaps it matters less, perhaps I will.

Really cannot speak for The Kyd.

Who started kicking, really kicking hard, so his father held him tighter, big hands grabbing each other at the shoulders.

“Please.”

When The Kyd stopped wailing and crying, I knew it was over.

He started wetting his pants.

Soaking his father in his urine.

Causing the mother to cry and wail, dropping candies onto the sidewalk.

Making the grandmother hysterical, jumping up and down, stepping on the candies.

Gooey Swedish berries sticking to the ground all around them.

The family stepped out of line and ducked into a nearby office building.

The rest is conjecture.

That was months ago, August sometime. Mid August going into September. And now it’s almost Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Filed under Children, Family, Interruptions

Babies, Not Babies

I have a fondness for babies the way most people have a fondness for damp cabbage.

Don’t misunderstand me in a burst of self-indulgent judgement or transposed indignation.

It’s not that I don’t like babies.

My perception of babies is merely different from that of other people.

I was once on a 20+ hour flight full of these. It was so horrific, I'm sure there's a part of me that's still there.

In conclusion, M-E-H.

But I believe I have found the PERFECT solution.

I have begun associating “babies” with the most positive thing that comes to my mind when the thought of babies arises: “not babies”.

Logic therefore dictates that they only way for me to enjoy your baby is to transform it to not baby.  Ergo, not babies are babies are not babies babies.

I’m having my cake and eating it too.

And it’s your baby.

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Filed under Children