March 16, 2008
she's got ants in her pants and she's going to dance

When we last spoke, I was in full-on rant mode about the Boy's stuff. By the time he came by to pick it up on Monday, my attitude had softened considerably, and I tried to apologize for being a bitch. No response. So I went to hang out with Blake while the Boy loaded his crap into the car. Since I was feeling reckless and light-hearted, I mentioned that Blake had ratted him out*, and I knew about his special friend. (This is what I didn't want to share a few weeks ago.) Instant aloofness. I even tried to kiss him, which he dodged neatly. I walked into the house with a smile on my face, waiting until the door was locked before dissolving into sobs.

There is just something about sending the degree and the R2D2 Phone that betokens a finality. The kiss was my last desperate stab at denial, and I myself was denied. I called Scherezade, and choked through the sobbing: "Can you tell me that part about how it's inevitable that I'll be loved again?" She did. Eventually I was even able to stop crying.

* I was towelling him off after an unfortunate soiling incident, and he looked up brightly.

"Daddy has a new friend."
"What's her name?"
"Does she sleep over?"

Egged on by the ladies at work, I looked her up at the Boy's school. I'm being supplanted by a kindergarten teacher. I should have known those nasty primary-coloured sluts would be at the bottom of this.

True to form, when my life starts sizzling, I get too busy to write about it. Good thing I have these long periods of boredom contemplation to sift it all into words. It's been a good March Break, despite my house-bound frustration of the first weekend.

On Monday I kicked around the house, deeply into my kid-less fester. (Who knew that it would take separation to catapult me back into Ferg Life?) I was so bored I even marked a set of papers. But since I had a date, I wasn't prey to the same restlessness as the day before. At the stroke of eight, I changed into my dancing pants and drove down to the Bloor Theatre to meet my favourite Stacy. First there was No Country for Old Men and a lot of good popcorn; then there was Shannon at the Dance Cave. Stacy was celebrating her last freelance week, and was more than happy to dance with me till the wee hours. The only hitch came when we got there and I was shedding layers, only to discover that I'd never bothered to put on a bra. I guess I really was committing to partying like it was 1998, what with the PVC pants and the lack of supportive undergarments. On the spot, I resolved to avoid Prince songs, having found out the hard way what happens when I dance to Prince without benefit of a bra. Some guy did eventually try to pick me up (during Gloria Gaynor, of all weird moments), but he wasn't too impressed when I told him that I wouldn't be available till the summer. Well, it's true.

There was much beer and much soul-deep girl talk and lots of dancing (I am too sexy for this shirt, you know.) When they kicked us out we hugged Shannon goodbye and walked off into the cold night. I drove Stacy home and went home myself, and by the time I went to bed on the first day, it was 3:30. Rock and roll.

The next day I got up at 10:30, the absolute last time I could get up and expect to shower off the dirt before meeting Scherezade at the mall. I was almost on time, too. We met at a big Toronto mall with the idea of getting sassy jeans for me. Boy, Yorkdale was happy to see me; between the H&M binge (3 dresses, 2 blouses, 1 blazer, 1 pack of underwear), 3 shirts at Jacob Connexion and 3 pairs of jeans, I dropped a tonne of money in that place. Even Scherezade was taken aback, as our traditional model consists of talking our way through many many stores while she buys the occasional item and I look on cautiously. My new model is entirely driven by the consciousness that I will not get back to a store twice in a season, so I'd better buy it now. I got back home at 6, ate my take out bbq pork in front of the teevee, and passed out cold. And the night and the morning were the second day.

On the third day I got up rather late and looked around to fully grasp the mess I had made in nearly a week of neglect. I was barely able to make a start on it when the doorbell rang with my the Blake. He nibbled his way through lunch while I figured out where the dirty dishes could go for a few days without stinking up the kitchen, then we packed up, got in the car, and went to K8rs' house for a sleepover. It was pretty much the perfect time for him: a lot of new toys to play with, a lot of climbing and rolling around in the gorgeous snow, Kraft Dinner for supper, and then a sleepover with K8rs. (Marc tells me that when he went in the following morning, Blake was leaning on K8's bed like the Fonz, Miles the dog was sleeping in Blake's place, and K8 wasn't wearing pants. Good times.)

It was also the perfect time for me, as Andrea & I were able to discuss all aspects of everything in the universe while following the kids around, then go to knitting in the evening. This was my third night of cathartic girltalk, and I was feeling pretty comfortable in my skin as we rolled into Lettuce. I've discovered that there's nothing quite like indignant girlfriends when a man has done you wrong. I know, I know: I'm a little long in the tooth to have this revelation, but in my defence, the last break up I had was clearly my fault and Scherezade (my only girl at the time) is not about lying to me to make me feel better.

I fell asleep in Andrea's basement, confident that Blake would wake me up in the morning. And this restless night of strange rockstar dreams was the beginning of the third day.

Andrea and Marc did a full pancake and bacon breakfast the next morning, so my tossing and turning of the night before was mellowed by delicious bacon, hot tea and cloth napkins. (Don't ever think that I can't be soothed by good living, because I can.) Blake didn't want to go, of course, but we were due at our next social engagement. Opera Sarah & I had talked about the zoo, but the weather was hostile, so I figured that the best thing to do would be to go over and just hang out. Of course, then I parked in the wrong place, got stuck in the unplowed snow and had to call a towing service to yank me out. Fun fun fun. By the time that was sorted, I really wasn't going to the zoo. So I hung out in the apartment, proofread Leo's flyer, knit a bit, and watched Blake slowly succumb to the sleep he had missed whilst talking K8's ear off. Eventually I packed his resistant body into the car and took him to the Children's Storefront to meet Opera Sarah, Hestia & Persephone for the afternoon. I used to go there when Blake was wee because it's right close to the Midwives' Collective, and I've never forgotten how stimulating it is. Blake had a great time with the other kids, and we frittered away the afternoon until it was time to caravan back to my house for supper.

My parents had asked us over for supper so they could see Blake as soon as possible, but they were more than ready to bring supper to my house, and we all ate happily in the dining room. After my parents left for the night, Hestia and Blake played around while Sarah and I got progressively glassy-eyed, then we forced the kids into bed. My guests slept in my bed, Blake slept in his bed, and I slept in the basement. And the night on my old futon and the early morning were the fourth day.

Tossing and turning on the futon, I heard a little voice from upstairs. "Mommy?" "I'm down here, sweetie." "Mommy, Hestia didn't sleep in my bed with me." And he burst into messy tears. Aww.

We made oatmeal with many fixings for breakfast (walnuts, yum!) and festered while my dad took the car away to fix the part that had been ripped off by the towing (did I mention that towing is a damn good time?) Then it was a whirlwind of dressing and brushing and packing and we were all off to the sugarshack. First stop: pancakes. It was just the sensible thing to do. When we got outside, Hestia and Blake ran around the snowy paths while me, Sarah & my dad followed at a sedate pace. So much better than the zoo – cheaper admission, more room to roam, the possibility of many snowballs, and the smell of boiling sap. I heart the sugarbush, even though I was thoroughly worn out from my marathon of fun and sincerely regretting wearing my new jeans to slop around in the snow.

When we got home, Blake & my dad puttered around while I went to pick up some paperwork and a few more Flashman books in downtown B-ton. And then came the best part of my day: I got to lay down for an hour. Bliss.

Conversation in bed:

"Mommy, when I grow up, I want to have big breasts like you."
"Do you want to be a girl?"
"No, I want to be a boy with breasts."
"Well, they don't just happen when you're a boy."
"How do they happen?"
"Um. Hormones and drugs and surgery. It's a lot of work. Why do you want breasts, anyway?"
"I want to nurse babies."

All together, a la Scarface: First you get the breasts. Then you nurse the babies. Then you get the power.

At 4, my dad came back to pick us up, and after dropping them off at his house, I went on to my bellydance teacher Juuki's house to pick her up. She had expressed an interest in Drunken Knitting, and I am nothing if not a world-class enabler. So we travelled down, chatting away, and she got her first introduction to the high stakes world of pub knitting. You know the one I mean, the world of, um, girls who knit. And who talk about knitting? While they drink?

Ok. It's not a high stakes world. But it is a high-larious world, and we did it up. Between planning the Unemployed Girls Road Trip of July 08, accepting yarn from Laura (more swatches, mule!), and trying to chivvy Lisa into dating my brother, I barely had time to knit three different things. Somehow I managed.

On the way home, Juuki remarked that it's hard to feel at home with a large group, but she'd never felt like an outsider. Thanks, ladies, y'all did me proud. I collapsed into bed at 12:30 with a book of patterns, and the night and the morning were the fifth day.

Saturday was supposed to be my relaxing day, but somehow it wasn't. Blake was perfectly happy at Camp Grampa, so I took the opportunity to meet Opera Sarah and her neighbour Briar Rose at the annual Balfour Books sale. Hestia was also spending the day at Camp Grandma, so we ladies were free to book shop, eat crepes and drink martinis (Briar Rose, that is), and exchange money for church-lady-created Easter eggs. (I have a connection, yo. It's, um, my mom.)

I also hooked up with Ian three different times, starting with busting into his apartment as soon as I'd parked the car in order to use the bathroom. (And did I act like obese Homer trying to get a ride to the Power Station? Yes I did.) Ian coped well, considering he was in his pyjamas playing video games with the shades drawn when I frantically hunted him down. He even groomed himself to join us at the crepery before disappearing to find his wife. I found him for the third time when I went to the apartment, and I was able to spend the better part of an hour lying on the couch, watching other people play video games while I did sweet f-all. Only my cat allergies kept me from insinuating myself into their dinner plans. I visited two separate yarn stores for a few vital errands (it happens, shut up), double-parking at both. The lady at Romni not only remembered my weird project from the last time I went there, she even made a joke about the inevitability of double-parking when one requires double-pointed needles (only she didn't make it sound pretentious the way I just did). People always complain about Romni, but I've always received service that ranges from adequate to exceptional, so I'll remain an apologist for them. I do so love to be unconventional.

I came home in good time, then went to my parents for dinner. Blake came home with me, we put on pyjamas, and I made him go to bed. And the night and the morning were the sixth day.

Today has been tidying, church and marking. I didn't finish all of my Mark Break homework, but I've done a sizable chunk. I'm proud. Also freaking exhausted. Remind me that I don't get to complain about not having a life, would you? I'm going to lie down now.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*