Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Show me the pumpkins

So it's pumpkin pics you want, huh, Melissa? How about this?

Friday, October 27, 2006

A call to action

People, it is that time of year, and I demand pictures of children with pumpkins. Preferably the children should have pumpkin-like cheeks. Bonus points if the child is wearing some kind of pumpkin-like garb.

Oh, wait, I just happen to have an example here for you:

You have your assignment. Now get cracking!

(They have pumpkin patches in Canada, right?)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Honey, I shrunk the baby


Editor: Come on, people. We need story ideas! Stories directed at anxious parents! Those are so hot right now!

Writer #1: What about a series of pieces from middle-class moms where they complain about their nanny problems? Those always get readers up in arms.

Editor: Nah, Salon's cornered the market on those. And besides, they're so 2004.

Writer #2: How about an alarmist piece that tenuously connects an ailment or disorder that parents worry about with a common household object?

Writer #3: Yeah! Like, um, ADD and antibacterial soap!

Writer #2: Or influenza and, uh, cats!

Writer #1: What about autism and TV?

Editor: Brilliant! Run with it! But we need another story. These alarmist pieces tend to be seven-day wonders. We want to pack a one-two punch with a follow-up story that makes the autism/TV story look like actual science.

Writer #2: How about a story about kids who see shrinks?

Writer #3: How about a story about BABIES who see shrinks?

Editor: Genius! Magnificent! Raises all around! Except for you, #2. You're fired.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Children's television troubles me

Despite the not-at-all-inflammatory and certainly-not-trying-to-cause-a-panic "findings" of this Slate article that speculates TV might cause autism, we watch a fair bit of kids' programming in our house. Commercial-free programming, yes, but television nonetheless.

For one thing, Sam insists on having the TV on at all times (I think this may be genetic, and I'm not talking about the genes on his maternal side), even when he's playing in the other room, so it's easier just to humour him. And for another thing, man oh man, it sure is easier to make a coffee/go to the bathroom/prepare dinner ever since Sam discovered the boob tube.

In total, though, he really doesn't watch that much actual programming. He's generally too busy trying to ride his Thomas train through the wall to pay attention. No, I'm the one who ends up helplessly absorbing all this kiddie TV. And it troubles me. It's insipid, of course, but I'm not staking new territory in pointing that out. I'm just wondering about the weird messages that some of Sam's favourite programs might be sending him, creating questions I'm not in a position to answer, such as:
  • What kind of turtle IS Franklin that his legs are so freaking long?
  • Why do all the bears in Little Bear's family talk as if they've just been dosed with ether?
  • How come the dumber machines on Mighty Machines speak with southern accents?
  • Do the makers of Rolie Polie Olie know that Olie's mother sounds just like Cartman's mom on South Park? I keep expecting her to start explaining what a rim job is.
  • What's the deal with Miss Spider and Mr. Spider? Are they co-habitating out of wedlock while they raise their insect foster children? Are they fattening the kids up for future consumption? What about when the embarrassing questions start to emerge, such as what happened to the kids' parents? Will they be shown a secret web of horror full of parental exoskeletal husks? I'm not saying this isn't a darkly compelling story that needs to be told, but are children really the right audience for it?
Has children's programming always lent itself to such cognitive dissonance? I fear that, as I get older, I'm becoming more and more literal minded. Someday I'm going to be watching Sesame Street with Sam and finding myself sniffing, "A green monster who lives in a garbage can? And he has a pool AND a grand piano in there? As if!"

Am I the only one having this problem? I might be overthinking this a bit, but it never hurts to check.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


For years, I've been volunteering in various capacities at a Vancouver children's hospice that's well known in North America for the kind of work it does. I started out as a Kitchen volunteer, cooking and cleaning, then was accepted to train as a Family Volunteer - where I helped children with life-limiting illnesses and their families enjoy whatever amount of time they had left together. And through it all, I was so strong - I thrived on helping them, on being there and part of a wonderful community of caring and strong people.

And then, I had Sam. I tried going back for a few shifts but just couldn't get past the fact that these were someone's kids. Someone's Sam. And so, I've given it up. I'm still a part of the community, but in a different role; assisting at large fundraisers for the hospice. Last Friday, I had the pleasure of volunteering at a black tie event where Jann Arden sang an absolute beautiful set for the 400 special guests. She was hilarious and charming and that voice was crystal clear and in typical Jann fashion, oh so sad.

In the middle of the evening, they showed a video shot at the hospice where families and siblings and staff explained what it was all about and what it meant to them. I lost it - I stood in the back, tears flowing down my face just so fucking thankful that my Sam was happy and healthy.

It's times like these that I realize what it's like, really really like, to be a mom.

the baby has left the building...

A few days ago, we got a flyer from Toys R Us in the mail, advertising a fantastic sale on all great things that kids want. I thought that Sam, being only 17 months, was still at that oblivious age of not knowing what was going on around him and still living in la-la babyland. Boy, was I wrong! Thinking I was just making conversation with myself, I pointed to the Thomas the Tank engine that was advertised as being on sale in the flyer and said "look Sam, it's Thomas like at Family Place'. His eyes lite up and he started blabbering on and on about what I can only assume is the very same train that's at Family Place! Really though, you have to see this - we go downstairs for breakfast, he find the flyer, brings it over, pointing only to the Thomas, yabbering on and on, as if to say "see mom, this is Thomas and I don't have one and I really really like it and so if you could buy it for me, I would be really really happy!.

It blows my mind that this little kid understands what we say - I was on the phone explaining to my mom what had happened, when Sam takes off and once again, brings me the flyer to make sure I haven't forgotten about Thomas!!!

Do they ever get any cuter than they are at 17 months?