Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Death of the Hot Rod


Scene One - 3 weeks ago

(Aimee is driving in the car, noticing that the temperature gauge is rising steadily. She calls Eric.)

Aimee: Honey, there's something wrong with the car. The temperature gauge is really high. I've got the heat on full to help.
Eric: Good. Don't worry about it. You'll be fine. I'll take a look at it when you get home.

(Eric never really looks at the car, but says it's just a busted sensor.)

Scene Two - 2 days later

Aimee: Did you order a new sensor? The indicator says it's way too hot.
Eric: Yes. It should be here tomorrow. And the engine not's really overheating, the sensor just needs to be replaced.

Scene Three - 3 days later

Aimee: When's the car going to get fixed? I'm dying of heat exhaustion from having to drive with the heat full blast all the time to keep the engine from overheating.
Eric: It's not really overheating, the sensor is broken. I'm ordering the parts today. Should be here tomorrow.

Scene Four - 2 days later

Aimee: When's the car going to get fixed? The temperature keeps saying that it's overheating.
Eric: It's not actually overheating, the sensor is just broken. I'm ordering the parts today. Should be here tomorrow.

(This repeats over the next 2.5 weeks)


Scene 1 - Driving home from work yesterday

(Aimee hears a strange pop and feels the car jerk like it's stalling. She calls Eric.)

Aimee: Eri, something weird just happened. I just heard the car pop, and now I'm losing power.
Eric: You'll be fine. Don't worry.
Aimee: The temperature needle is now above High. It's way too hot!
Eric: It's not really overheating, the sensor is just broken.
Aimee: Hey, have those parts come in yet?
Eric: Should be here tomorrow.

(Another pop is heard, followed by a large black cloud out of the back of the car.)

Aimee: Crap, it just happened again! Am I going to die?!
Eric: Nah, you'll be fine. You probably just blew the headgasket.

(Aimee drives the rest of the highway route, and gets off at the exit for home. The car pops again, more smoke billows out of the rear of the car, and smoke begins to plume from the hood.)

Aimee: Eric, the car is done. It won't work at all. Come down the hill and get me.
Eric: What do you mean, the car is done? Just restart it, you'll be fine.
Aimee: No, there is smoke coming out of both ends. Come and get me!

(Aimee hangs up the phone and tries to back the car to the side of the road, using only the emergency brake. She grabs her cell phone and her jacket from the car and gets the hell outta there, just in case it blows up. Eric soon shows up with Maya in Clifford Truck.)

Eric: Did you take a look at it and see what's wrong?
Aimee: NO! I was afraid it was going to blow up with all that smoke, so I grabbed my coat and phone and booked it.

(Eric raises the hood and discovers the engine is covered in coolant and oil. Three of the four plug wires were blown apart and clear out of the plug bores of the cylinder head cover.)

Eric: Huh. That looks like a catastrophic engine failure due to overheating.


This theatrical presentation was brought to you by the letters ohshit and procrastination.

Monday, June 5, 2006

O Captain, my captain

Last Thursday I took the day off and Maya and I went into Vancouver. We forgot our camera at Gerrit's house the weekend before, so all I had was my phone. The pictures aren't great, but they do the trick.

We got a very early start to the day, up at the crack of 9am, leaving the house at about 11:30. Maya wanted to bring about 7 thousand of her "friends" with her, including the gigantic, winged, purple unicorn, which is sometimes named Pony, sometimes named Uncle Gerrit.

We drove in Clifford truck (which, incidentally, needs about $500 worth of work thanks to the tow-job we gave over Spring Break) into Burnaby and took the skytrain downtown. It's clear I'm no longer a city girl, as I was confused about the train lines and rode the Millennium Line in the wrong direction. We got off at Clark and ran down the stairs to catch the train going in the opposite direction. And that's when I had my graceful-like-a-hippo moment. I was running up the escalator with Maya in my arms, trying to catch the train before it left the station (because really, the 3 minutes it would take for another train to come would have been unbearable) when my flip flops caught on the step and I bailed. Hard. Luckily, the mother instincts kicked in quickly, and Maya didn't fall or bump into anything at all. My knees, shins, and elbow have beautiful scrapes and bruises, just the colour of Uncle Gerrit/Pony. The station was deserted, so I didn't think anyone would have seen my escalator incident, but there was a security guard at the top of the stairs who assured me that the train was going to be waiting there for another five minutes or so, and that I shouldn't hurry or the baby might fall. His nametag read "Captain Impeccable Timing".

We arrived at Canada Place about 40 minutes before the IMAX movie was going to start, so we wandered around, looking at the boats and the Port of Vancouver displays. They had an old boat wheel that Maya drove for a long time, only bumping her head on the handles about 16 times. Then we went to see the IMAX movie, a 3D ocean flick. It was really cool, but the 3D sharks and octopi freaked Maya out.

We took the seabus across to Londsdale Quay after the movie. Maya kept telling everyone on the seabus that the sharks were trying to eat her. Maya discovered some puddles at the Quay and gleefully jumped and splashed her feet. It was a nice warm day, so I paused to take some pictures of my happy girl, when I was interrupted by possibly the grumpiest old man ever. "HEY! SHE'S GETTING WET!" Thank you, Captain Obvious. He was very perplexed by my daughter jumping in the puddle. Perhaps he is taking this whole acid rain thing a little too seriously.

We rode the skytrain back to Brentwood and stopped at Starbucks for a frapaccino. At this point, Maya is exhausted, and is snuggled quietly in my arms with Curious George, who had, of course, just put out his pipe. A woman in line decided that she would break the universal "don't talk to strangers rule" and reach out and try to touch George and talk to Maya. Maya, being tired and two, pulled George behind her back and said "MY George!" to which Captain Smart-and-Mature grunts "well, SOMEONE is in a bad mood today!" I politely let her know that it's been a long day and she's tired, which Captain Smart-and-Mature understood as "try again, you'll get better results if you push a conversation with a tired toddler". So she made some awful baby talk noises at Maya. Can't blame Maya for grunting at her for that one. The Captain replied "well, I don't like YOU!" and walked away. We just laughed at the Captain. Because really, what else can you do?

Needless to say, we had a fantastic day. In 26 more sleeps, I'll be able to have days like that without having to prep for a TOC.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Mommy Milk

Stop reading here if you aren't comfortable with breastfeeding. In fact, if you are uncomfortable with breastfeeding, stop reading here and give your head a shake. That's what breasts are for.

In any case, we're done. All done the Mommy milk. Maya is weaned. I think.

The process has been slow and difficult, but I think we've got it. I've been so worried about how Maya was going to be so upset and hard she was going to cry and how I would explain weaning to her that I forgot to think about how this would be for me. Surprisingly, it's been really hard on me. We decided yesterday that she was done, so I nursed her one last time. And cried. Oh, how I cried. I can't really even put my finger on why I was crying. I'm looking forward to being able to claim my body back as my own, share the night-time parenting, and being able to wear shirts without Maya putting her hand down them.

But to all of you who have asked me "when are you going to wean her?" or "how long are you going to do THAT for?" The answer is yesterday, and 2.5 years. And no, I won't do it any differently with the next one (if there is a next one). I'll still give my baby what s/he will need for as long as needed.

And now that I'm done and don't have to worry about how what I injest will affect my daughter, I can finally get serious about developing that crack habit. Or maybe I'll just have a beer.