Wednesday, 29 November 2017

If you take a kid to an auction...

If there were blog police, I would undoubtedly be charged with neglect.  Apparently I have had nothing blog worthy in the past year, and as you know, I only write about deeply profound things.
However, after a completely uneventful year in which my children did nothing (because if it's not written here did it happen?), something happened.  And there were A LOT of witnesses.  Now I realize that two of my three readers were actually there, but this is not for those two (although feel free to add your recollections from the night).  No, this is so i can remember and embarrass her when she's older this is for that third reader who lives in Indonesia and can't always be present to witness the weirdness that is my child.
My brother-in-law works for Youth for Christ (YFC) which runs a wonderful drop-in center for our local teenagers.  They have an annual banquet with an auction as one of their fundraisers.  It was at this auction that the weirdness emerged.  There is no way I can do the story justice in my re-telling, but until I learn to record everything in case of moments like these, this will have to do.

Paige has been fascinated with auctions lately.  She loves watching storage wars, and other shows with shouting people auctions.  So she was very disappointed when we told her that we were not bidding on anything that night.  But she settled in to watch the action from our perfect front and center vantage point.

The first few items sold as expected.  And then there was a bit of a lull.  The auctioneer kept looking for bids, when the voice of my eight year old yelled to the auctioneer:  "You bid!"

I am no auction expert, but from everything that followed, I assume this is not normal auction protocol.

Auctioneer:  What?

Paige:  You're telling everyone else to bid, why don't you?

Auctioneer: Can you come home with me?  You can help my wife keep me in line.

Paige: I'm not allowed to go home with strangers!  But why don't you bid on stuff too?

This seemed to stump the auctioneer.  So he pulled out his wallet, turned his back to the audience, and started rooting around.  When he turned back, he had a $100 Bill in his hand, and was holding it out in Paige's direction.

Auctioneer: Here.

Paige: No!

Auctioneer: Take it.

After some convincing and a quick life lesson regarding if someone offers you cash with no strings attached, you take it, a blushing Paige accepted the cash and sat down.

The auctioneer, having never met Paige before may have assumed their interactions were done for the night.  But (spoiler alert), if you give a kid $100 at an auction, that money will be spent on the auction.  The auctioneer was determined to not let her spend it, but Paige is not the type to give up without a battle.  If we lived in the time of travelling bards, I'm sure the battle that followed would have been sung in kings courts across the land.  But, since we instead live in the land of blogs, this will have to do.

The very next item, she shot her hand in the air, trying to win a scarf and purse for Grandma.  Unfortunately, they shot over her limit quickly.

Jewellery was up, and those earrings looked so pretty (she does not have pierced ears).  The auctioneer started the bidding lower, but Paige yelled: "just jump to $100!"

After that, the auctioneer knew she was not giving up.  Her competition was informed that the item would cost them at least $105.  But he was kind enough to always acknowledge her $100 bid.  Her enthusiasm, and his resistance got him trying to convince people to pool their money, just to outbid her.  He was desperate to not let her win, and he did a great job of convincing others to outbid her.

But, finally, she won.  I don't know if no one wanted it, or if there was an unspoken agreement across the entire room to just let this kid go home with something.  But she won a custom photo canvas for $100.  So, if she has her way, every time we see the two foot long family photo of us and dinosaurs, we can remember to never take her to an auction ever again the wonderful night we had supporting our local teens.

So, the morals of this tale are threefold::
1.  Talking back gets you paid.
2.  A kid with $100 will not be stopped.
3.  The weirdness does not stop at eight years old.

Monday, 5 December 2016

A Long Drive Home

You know how once in a long time, you see, or hear something that just seems unreal?  I assure you, the following conversation (if it can be called that) really did happen.  I also assure you that I cannot do it justice, and since I failed to record it, I am doing my best to recreate it as I remember, and I am confident that my sister witness will respond in the comments if I have erred in any way.

One night, my two girls and niece were crammed in the back seat of my little car, and my sister (the one who told me to start this blog) and I were talking about something deeply important and profound.  During a break in the conversation, I heard quiet sobbing coming from the back. 

As sometimes happens with sobbing, a simple inquiry can open up the floodgates.

"I'll NEVER be able to go hunting or fishing because I talk too much and can't sit still and will scare all the animals away.  I'm not allowed to go until I can be quiet and I just can't stop talking!  All the animals will run away.  I'll never be able to go hunting with Daddy!

"I just can't stop talking!  I talk all the time, and just can't stop!  I wish I could stop talking.  I talk too much and I just can't stop.  I think there's something wrong with me.  I don't know why I have so many questions.  I wish I didn't have so many questions.  I'm just curious.  I wish I wasn't so curious.

"It's like there's something inside of me controlling me.  Like there's something in my head and it just makes me keep talking.  Maybe I'm a robot.  How do you know I'm not a robot?  Robots have metal, not bones. But I've never seen my bones, so maybe I AM a robot.  Have you ever seen my bones?  I might be a robot!  I look like a person, but I might be a robot.

"People tell me I need to stop talking so much.  And I always put my hand up because I have lots of questions.  I don't know why I have so many questions.  Why am I so curious?  What's wrong with me?

A deer appears on the road, I hit the brakes.  Hysterical sobbing ensues.


"Do you have a headache Noa?  I'm sorry I'm giving you a headache.  See?  I talk so much that now I'm giving Noa a headache! 

"Is this the worst day of your life Noa?  Is it the best day of your life? 

"I'm so sorry. 

"Do you forgive me Noa? 

"Do you forgive me Noa? 

"Noa, do you forgive me?

"I'm sorry I gave you a headache.  Is this the worst day of your life? "

By this point, the monologue has woken up Elsie who begins crying loudly.

"Now I've woken up Elsie!  See?  I talk so much that Elsie can't sleep either.  I don't know how to stop talking so much.  I just have so many questions and want to know things.  What's wrong with me?  Why do I talk so much?  Why did Jesus make me this way?

"I'm sorry Elsie.

"I'm really sorry Elsie.

I suggest she close her eyes and try to sleep, because I suspect she might be tired.

"But I'm not tired!  I can't sleep.  I can never sleep, because I can't stop talking!  I talk so much I can't go to sleep, and even if I go to sleep, I still talk in my sleep.  See?  I talk too much!  I don't know why I talk so much.  There's something wrong with me.

"I'm really sorry I gave you a headache Noa.  Will you ever go anywhere with me again?  Do you still love me Noa?  I'm really sorry.

"Do you have a headache Auntie Alanna?  I'm sorry I gave you a headache."

This emotional rampage lasted at least 15 minutes, during which my sister and I were unsuccessful at controlling our laughter.

Disclaimer:  My child is actually a well adjusted kid, who is normally very confident in herself.  This whole self-doubt thing was due to walking around IKEA for miles, eating McDonalds for lunch, and driving home at bedtime.  She was back to her normal talkative, inquisitive, optimistic self in the morning.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Dear Dentist...

I know lots of people (myself included) don't like visiting you.  I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings.  But I thought you might like to know that my daughter thinks visits to you are one of the best events on the planet.

When I say I have a surprise for her, she'll often ask if she's going to see you.

Yes, she is weird.  And yes, I adore her weirdness.

So when her first permanent tooth showed up before her baby tooth was even loose, she was so excited that it meant she got to come see you!  She talked more about getting a tooth pulled than Halloween.

When we were on our way to see you today, she was so worried we would be late.  She wanted me to drive faster, and made sure I wasn't taking a "long cut", because only a "short cut" would do.

A friend at school kindly told her it would hurt, but that didn't put a damper on her enthusiasm.

She beamed in the waiting room as she gave me her last smile with all those tiny baby teeth.
The happiest person ever awaiting an extraction.

When it was her turn, she went in by herself, because she's a big girl, and because I've seen you enough to know you're not one of those horrible dentists they write news stories on. 

I could hear her asking question after question, and I enjoyed that it wasn't me that had to answer them for a minute.

When she came back out, she was still beaming, but short one baby tooth.  The freezing made her smile lopsided, and the gauze in her mouth made her speak funny, both of which I found quite amusing.

She was happy, and comfortable, and willing to come back to see you again.  I think maybe you deserve a prize for that.

She thought it was weird that her mouth felt like when her foot falls asleep.  And she didn't like that I wouldn't let her have candy when we got home.  And she especially didn't like drooling blood.

But as much as she loves you, you may now be overshadowed by the Tooth Fairy. 

You can't say you didn't bring it on yourself though.

We got home, and she cleaned her room (because the Tooth Fairy won't go in a messy room), she decorated a balloon (because the Tooth Fairy needs a present), and asked to go to bed early.

So, my dear dentist, I am sorry if you feel overshadowed, but please know, you will always have a special place in the heart of my seven year old.


A Mom with a really weird kid.

Friday, 6 May 2016

From Ashes

The phoenix is a fascinating mythical creature.  It ends it's life in flames, and is re-born from the ashes.  How beautiful is that?

I have been thinking of the Phoenix the last few days, as I watch the devastation in Fort McMurray.  People being forced to leave their homes, knowing full well that they may return to ash. 

I can't imagine leaving my husband behind, in danger, so he can help fight off the fire.
I can't imagine remaining calm for my children as we drive through our burning city.
I can't imagine losing every material thing I own, except what I hastily pack in my car.
I can't imagine relying on the generosity of strangers for everything.

Those generous strangers -
The ones who are using whatever resources and time they have to help. 
Those who are driving miles to bring families gas, and food, and water. 
Those who are donating money. 
Those who are opening their homes. 
Those who are donating basic necessities. 
And those who are praying.

None of those acts are extraordinary, but they are undeniably beautiful.

And I watch in amazement at the goodness of people.  It's these stories, of people helping people, that bring me close to tears.

These stranger are the sparks of new life - the hope - that's rising from the ashes.