My Pet Peeve

As anyone with kids knows, every kid wants a pet. My eldest has been asking for a pet since he could say dog. I am allergic to cats and dogs, but that doesn’t bother him in the least. We gave him a goldfish when he was four and that appeased him for awhile. Until one morning a few months later, when he was found swimming sideways with just one slow moving fin. There my husband and I got a crash course in bereavement in children – they become inconsolable, wailing, flailing creatures that shed rivers of snot all over your new Lululemon hoodie. And we learned that this is definitely not the time to ask when he was last fed.

When it became clear that Fishy could not be resuscitated, we told CJ it was time to send Fishy off to Fish Heaven, but he started shrieking when we started to tip Fishy’s odorous bowl contents into the toilet. Pierced eardrums notwithstanding, we quickly agreed more decorum was needed to properly say good-bye to CJ’s beloved 2 month old pet fish. We drove to the beach, with CJ cradling Fishy’s bowl and floating remains on his lap, giant tears periodically plopping into the cloudy water. We parked and our little procession marched sombrely out to the pier. It was a suitably overcast day, Stan said a few lovely words about Fishy’s short but beautiful life and on CJ’s command, hurled him out to the sea (where he quickly became a snack for a Seagull but I digress). My normally stoic, rough and tumble boy lived on the edge of tears for the next week or so and most definitely did not want another fish to replace Fishy.

Now CJ’s two younger brothers have joined in on the fight – they are all begging/ demanding/ cajoling/ whining/ petitioning me for a dog. Or a cat. Something they can cuddle, which eliminates snakes, birds and all rodents (thank GOD!) from the running. They don’t care that CJ and I are allergic. It seems that every other day a different kid proudly struts around the schoolyard with the cutest puppy in his arms, while the other kids go green with envy. My kids want to strut like those kids. I want my kids to be those kids too, but I can’t be that mother. I can’t. My days of handling excrement are over. Plus those puppies get big in a matter of months and they really do get less cute. Every day I see hapless moms being dragged up and down these North Shore hills, yelling at their clearly hearing-impaired doggy to “stay.” I can see that dogs are just clumsy, rambunctious, adorable, loving toddlers that never grow up. So why would I voluntarily go back to sleepless nights, toilet training, having to hurry home to let the dog out, organizing dog-sitters and a daily crotch-sniff?

Call me selfish, call me mean (my kids do) but I’ve heard enough about Marley & Me to know that your giant, drooling, hairy toddler-esque dog shouldn’t predecease you. After Fishy, I know I just couldn’t handle it.

Love Lucie

Mothers Day Off

Are you the kind of mom who loves to spend Mother’s Day with her kids – eating cold lumpy eggs with a smile, getting bread crumbs lodged in your panties as the kids devour your breakfast in bed for you? Or do you take the opportunity (if offered) to run for the hills, or at least to the spa?

My kids usually make me breakfast in bed, juice and buttered toast as they’re not allowed to turn on the stove without an adult present. This meal “fit for a Mother” is delivered by 3 proud kids on a tray resplendent with hand-picked dandelions and homemade treasures they’ve made at school. I love this tradition except for the mucky butter knife left on the counter and puddles of juice spotting the floor from the kitchen to my bedroom. I nibble on the toast, trying not to wonder if they washed their hands before buttering my toast. My husband says I can suck the joy out of things sometimes, and sometimes I have to agree.

Mothers Day is kind of weird for us mothers with mothers, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers too. Who do we celebrate? Not many men can organize brunch for 20, remembering their moms, aunts, grandmothers and children, so it usually falls to us to take care of everyone but ourselves.

I envy my friends who organize family bike rides on Mothers Day, complete with elegant 3 course picnic dinners for all to enjoy. If I tried that I’m sure one of my sons would be wailing because his brother “accidentally” rode his bike into him and refused to say sorry, one kid would go on strike and refuse to pedal any further, my husband would gag at the sight of the egg salad even though its my favourite food and my picnic blanket would be overrun by hungry ants.

I’d love my Mothers day to be a sunny ski/golf/spa/beach day, my belly full of egg salad and bacon and mimosas, accompanied by my happy-to-be-with-me fresh smelling children and loving husband.

Every day is Mothers Day – we cook, clean, work, counsel, cajole, launder, kiss boo-boos, check homework, and shop for groceries. I propose we rebrand Mothers Day and call it Mother’s Day Off, because that’s really what we want (plus a little appreciation).

And remember it’s Mothers Day, not Mothers Brunch, so make sure you get your 24 hours worth! Feet up ladies!

Love Lucie