When Good Kids Go Bad

As a parent you like to think you know your children; their strengths; their weaknesses; what they’re most likely to be arrested for.

Or at least we did. Until last night when I received a text from Roxy saying “I have 2 grams for $40”. Closely followed by another that said “Oh shit! Sorry not for you! Ignore that!”.

No! There must be some mistake. She’s probably selling stage make-up by weight, or maybe italian herbs for a special pasta sauce. Yeah that’ll be it. So there then ensued a back and forth via text during which I invited her to explain, while she, for her part, became increasingly evasive.

I finally phoned, half expecting her not to answer the phone. If she doesn’t, I thought, I’m on the next plane to Vancouver; I’ll drag her home by the ear and get her a nice little job at the library. Why, oh why, did we allow her to go there in the first place, to be surrounded by drug addicts and – perhaps even worse – musical theatre kids? Is that where we went wrong?

The helpless giggles that reverberated down the line (am I showing my age using the term phone line? Do we still have those?), when she answered the phone definitely reassured me somewhat.

So … what the heck?

It turns out she was participating in a twitter prank to see how crazy you can make your parents. Apparently we passed some kind of test by not immediately disowning her, swearing at her or professing not to have wanted her in the first place. Yay for our awesome parenting skills!

Thanks Nathan Fielder. Ha bloody ha!

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The Dance Continues

Unbelieveable! I leave town for five minutes and everything goes all to hell.

On Friday it seemed like a good idea to go to the tree farm for the weekend, but now I’m not so sure I should have turned my back. We left Calgary basking in glorious autumnal sunshine; cool, but cheery as it reflected off the yellows, golds and reds of turning leaves. It really is a beautiful time of year. But overnight on Saturday, winter snuck in and stole about ten degrees from the thermometer, blanketing everything in 2″ of snow.

Larch in SnowIronically I was reading (re-reading, more accurately) Wintersmith at the time. It’s a book by Terry Pratchett (seriously – if you haven’t read any of his books and you like to laugh, read some) which deals, among other things, with the dance between Summer and Winter and the inevitable changing of the seasons. Personally I feel that, given how sluggish she was arriving this year, Summer could have held on a little longer. Just saying.

In another ironic twist, we had spent the weekend planning a family ski trip which I’m hoping might partly make up for the fact that we can’t go to England this Christmas.  Yes, we start talking about skiing, and hey presto, it snows! Very fitting you might think, except that, sadly, the trip’s not likely to happen if we don’t get in another few weeks of landscaping. So the more old man winter taunts us with the prospect of skiing, the less likely it is that we’ll go. Now that’s cold!

Psycho Puppy

I’ve written about Megs here before, but usually in the context of glorious trips to the dog park or the joys of canine company.

Sadly, our dog park days have come to an end with the advent of a new phase in her life. My sweet, slightly nervous and completely neurotic pooch has suddenly started wantonly attacking other dogs. It began quite suddenly, and for no apparent reason, and now we can’t go anywhere we might encounter another dog.

But wait … it’s even worse than that. She mostly only attacks black dogs. Yes, I’m harbouring a racist under my roof. I can’t imagine where it came from – she certainly didn’t learn it from me. I’ve sat her down and tried to talk it out, but she is neither forthcoming with an explanation nor remotely contrite.

This isn’t the first time she’s demonstrated a complete disregard for social courtesies  – when my neighbour put up a ‘please stay off the grass’ sign and then claimed it was primarily aimed at the neighbourhood dogs she comletely ignored it; acted like she couldn’t even read it. But that’s a whole other story.

So, what’s gone wrong? Hubby is determined she’s jealous of the cat, which we accidentally acquired this spring. Her loathsome previous owner was moving house and decided that, as she couldn’t take the cat, she would just take her out to the country and have someone shoot her. I voted for shooting the *!#@$*!’ing owner instead, but I was outvoted. The upshot is that of course we rescued the cat, but Hubby said she could only come home with us if she returned to Vancouver with Roxy at the beginning of term. Which was definitely the plan until we realized she would be lonely and miserable all on her own in an apartment all day. Hubby is now convinced that we duped him with a pre-meditated and despicable deception. He would love it if the cat was causing Megs’ psychotic episode.

In the meantime she’s clearly ticked at the lack of walkies, and follows me round exacting her revenge with an array of gastric emissions that are, I assume, usually vented at the park. Right now we could both use some fresh air.

Murderous Intent

It might be possible that I watch too many murder mysteries.

This morning hubby sent me out to tag some trees at a farm outside Calgary. He was to join me a little later with his crew who would be digging them up and bringing them back into town.

A reasonable request, I thought. Until I realized that if he had put a hit out on me this would be the perfect place for me to be ‘randomly’ accosted by some passer-by ruffians. Me alone at a terrifyingly remote location and hubby with a cast iron alibi. Okay, so he happens to be the sweetest person alive, but, well most people don’t expect to be liquidated by ruthless killers for hire, do they?

Ridiculous, you say? Well, obviously … but logic and reason don’t generally have a lot to do with what goes on in my mind. For instance, when I get into my car after dark I check the back for vampires, because if one popped up behind me while I was driving I wouldn’t see it in the rearview mirror, would I? You and I both know that vampires don’t exist, but that is no reason why one might not jump up and rip my throat out.

Then when I arrive home I’m forced to sprint up the front steps in case there’s a werewolf lurking behind the tree. Incidentally, we can blame Being Human for both these examples. I stopped watching it ages ago, when it got really scary, but the damage was already done. Do we really know for sure that werewolves don’t exist? Well, yes we do, but that doesn’t mean there might not be one behind the tree.

I’m not proud of any of this, but, sadly it’s the way it is. There is a tiny part of me that has both oars in the water, but there’s always that other part waiting for sea monster to come up and grab them.