Monday 27 July 2015

Me vs A Step Stool

Ever had one of those days where you're cleaning up after dinner and trip over your kid's step stool even though your kids aren't home and aren't using it but they didn't put it away when they were done with it?

And then while you were tripping over it, you smashed your toe into it really, really hard? Then you hopped around like an idiot for a few minutes waiting for the pain to subside but it didn't, so you ice it, take some pain killers and spend the rest of the evening hoping that you haven't ruined your vacation week by breaking your foot?

Then the next day when it still hurts you pretend that it's ok because you still want to go horse back riding, which you do anyway despite your now obvious limp, but then ride like a boss and don't fall off this time?

And finally, when you finally give up and go to the doctor to check to see if it's broken, because at this point it really hurts and is probably broken, and then they take x-rays and your poor little throbbing toe is actually fine but still hurts like a bitch for no reason other than it just does?

Yeah, didn't think so. 

I hate that stool.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Me vs A Swimming Update

I've posted a couple of times about swimming. This is mostly because it's the one actually active thing I'm currently doing, so it stands to reason that it makes for entertaining stories.

Besides my inability to kick, I've added to my resume a decided lack of coordination in relation to the butterfly stroke, and what I can only imagine are flip turns that present the audience with a good old fashion comedy routine (read: parents watching their kids are likely laughing at me).

The butterfly is a special kind of awful for me. Oddly, I love the kick (when I get to wear flippers). I get to live out every  little girl's fantasy of the late 1980's of being the Little Mermaid. I mermaid flipper kick my way down the pool in a wave of awesomness.

And then I add the arms.

When I try to coordinate the arm movements and lift myself out of the water (ostensibly to breath, but mostly to suck water into my face hole), I look more like a finless whale with a gross lack of motor control who's having seizures, than a graceful mermaid who wants to be part of your world.

To make matters worse, I'm picturing how ridiculous this must be to onlookers, so during the entire length, I laugh like an idiot. Even underwater. This does very little to help with my breathing. Mostly I just slowly drown the whole way down the pool.

Doing flip turns isn't much better. Again, while I look ridiculous doing them, I actually have a lot of fun trying.

Flip turns should, in theory, be pretty straight forward. Get to the end of the pool, do a somersault, swim in the other direction. The difficulty arrives when you can't use your arms to propel yourself around. Chin down, flip. That's it. Or, more accurately in my case, chin down, face plant into the water, get water up my nose.

After many attempts, I did eventually get something that could be passably recognized as a flip turn. Great. Now swim a length, flip at the end, swim back, but because I'd been practicing at the shallow end up until this point, I didn't really plan for what would happen when I couldn't touch the bottom.

I swam, I flipped, I pushed off the side of the pool, I jettisoned out to start my length back...I realized I was a lot deeper down than I'd intended. 

Like this, but less subtle
Rather than pushing off the side of the pool and straight going out, I had angled down and gone deeper than anticipated. This resulted in having to swim up a lot more than originally expected. I imagine that from the stands it resembled the surfacing of the Red October, though far less impressive, and with far more gasping for air than one usually sees with a submarine.

Well, today we move on to diving. I think I can dive....but then I also thought I could swim. Should be interesting. :-)

Monday 13 July 2015

Me vs Doll Craft

Once upon a time there was a mother who didn’t want to wait in line to get her daughter a Cabbage Patch doll. It was the 80’s and the peak of the Cabbage Patch doll hysteria. As a mother now I get it, but at the time, this refusal was the most inhumane thing a parent could do to a child.

For those of you not familiar with this point in time, it was similar to the stage in history where normally sane people showed ludicrous desire for the oddly disturbing Tickle Me Elmo. People were stupid for these things. They spent absurd amounts of money to own this toy. This toy that frightened my child, as well it should have (and no, I didn't buy one...someone else I knew did, and that was crazy). Nothing in nature laughs like that.

I digress.

Cabbage patch dolls. These things were pretty creepy if you really look at them. Immovable plastic faces, weird puckers for joints, butt stamps. But none were more creepy than mine.

My well meaning mother, who refused to cave to the vegetable-doll marketing machine, decided to go another route. She would make me a bloody Cabbage Patch doll. Like a boss.

What actually happened was that instead of being taken to a toy store to pick out the promised doll, Young Jamie was taken to a craft store.  Young Jamie didn’t understand why she was in a craft store. Craft stores did not have the doll adoption centres. Craft stores had crayons and paper.

Craft stores also had bins of heads.

Instead of getting to pick out my brand new baby Cabbage Patch doll, I got to pick out a disembodied head out of a tub of what I can only assume were off-brand Cabbage Patch doll heads (Kale Field Kids?). Not quite the same as the original.

As a child, picking out a head from a bucket is somewhat sinister. But the fun didn’t stop there….we also got hands. Arm-less, body-less hands. The FUN just kept on going!
You can't see it well, but there is a bald spot on the right of
her head, and she only has about a third of her bangs.  

Now credit where credit is due, my mother can sew. She took these amputated doll bits and turned them into a very serviceable doll, albeit one who’s head was obviously not originally attached to it’s body. Think Frankenstein.

I played with it, dressed it up, and I even had a soother for it.

Enter my dad. He was concerned that I would lose the soother. Frankly he was probably right to think this. And so, in a wave of handy-man brilliance, he attached the soother to a ribbon, and safety pinned the ribbon to the doll’s shoulder.

Now, as any good father knows, safety pins are a misnomer, and in no way actually safe.  The solution? Clamp the safety pin closed with enough force to virtually weld the metal together. That fucker is NEVER coming open and stabbing a child, so help me.

And it didn’t. It also didn’t keep me from losing the soother. The ribbon and soother separated themselves from the safety pin quickly enough, and became lost in the ether of kid toys laying around the house. The safety pin, however, has remained steadfastly welded into the shoulder of the doll for what I can only assume will be the rest of time.

I've always wanted elf shoes
permanently affixed to my feet!
Over the years, this well loved, yet slightly resented, doll lost much of its hair. Its weird little hands stretched out the fabric they were attached to, giving the doll multiple elbows. It had yellow elf booties, no real feet, and either one or two knees depending on how you counted. But the part that really gave the doll that special something was the attention paid to it by our cat.

Only 4 fingers on this hand. And something
about the length of this arm just
isn't right.
For whatever reason, our cat liked to eat plastic. Barbie feet were regularly chewed off, and their fingers were mangled. But this doll suffered the most. The cat, Kimba, tried to eat its face, and consumed one of the doll’s fingers, leaving a gaping hole in the hand.

The doll now appeared to have been attacked by a lion. Ironically Kimba was named after the TV show Kimba the White Lion, so I guess she lived up to her namesake.

After all this time I still have the doll. I’m sure it originally had a name, but I now refer to the doll as Frankenpatch. It’s the most appropriate name that’s ever been given to anything ever.