The Cottage- part 2

The problem with catching up on this kind of thing is that so much other stuff is going on while I’m trying to get caught up that I seem to be getting farther behind every time I write…

Where was I? I think it was the boathouse, right? We were throwing our luggage, coolers, and baby equipment into the boats as quickly as we could to avoid the rain. It’s a beautiful lake. Alright, technically the lake itself is pretty much just water- it’s what surrounds the lake that’s beautiful. Some of the shoreline is inhabited during the summer, and those parts are covered in every shape and size of cottage and cabin you can imagine; in just a few minutes you can travel from my grandparents’ cottage, which has no indoor bathroom facilities (really!) to places that are impossibly huge and, well, civilized. Some of these people actually fly in- directly to their cottages. It’s obscene. Most of the area around the lake is pretty wild, though. It’s just trees (cedar, various evergreens, birch), ferns, moss and rugged Canadian Shield rock. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the original settlers in the area, clearing the land… it must have been backbreaking work.

But back to the cottage. Grandma (affectionately known as “Grammar” for her her habit of perpetually correcting us) met us down at the dock, and Simon was out of the boat before the rest of us. He took his time checking things out: the big, screened-in side porch that went up several years ago, the open living room, dining room and kitchen, the loft with its 2 bedrooms, and my grandparents’ bedroom on the ground floor- not a bedroom door in sight. It’s possible to find privacy on the island, but it’s easier if everyone just gets used to hollering “ANYBODY HOME?” before going… well, anywhere. We dropped mom and dad’s stuff off at the main cottage, and took our suitcases and backpacks (mine and the boys’) out to the cabin- a separate building that was built just after my parents got married. Co-incidence? I doubt it. This would be one of those areas you can have some privacy, as long as you remember to shut the blinds. We slept out there so that we (and by “we” I mean Simon and Isaac) wouldn’t keep everyone awake at night. You know, with “our” crying.

Actually, the boys both settled in a lot more quickly than I had anticipated. Simon needed someone out in the cabin with him while he was falling asleep for the first week, so I was glad when Dad and Grampa both decided they were capable of singing and/or boring him to sleep. Isaac? Isaac will go to sleep anywhere there’s boob. Staying asleep… well, that’s another entry entirely.

What did we do at the cottage? Generally what we’ve always done. There’s a corner cupboard filled with the same toys and games my brother and I played with when we were kids, books, the island to explore, napping (which I rather missed this year!), boating and swimming. We watched the hummingbirds coming to the feeder and kept our eyes open to look for the loon family- two healthy babies this year, which is great news. There are years when none hatch, or when the babies don’t make it until August; the little floating islands people have built for them to nest on are helping with that. Simon was happy to stay close to the cottage at first, which suited me fine. I’m not generally a paranoid mom, but when there’s water around, I think it’s justified. Simon didn’t want to live in a big, puffy life jacket for two weeks (terribly unreasonable of him), so I had to be satisfied with trying to keep track of him every minute of every day. Having 5 adults on the island to help was good, but that didn’t stop visions of “Me? I thought YOU were watching him!” conversations from swirling though my mind. There are times when I wish Simon would be just a little less cautious… this wasn’t one of them.

(click on photo for larger image)

Oh- you still wondering about those bathroom facilities? Some people are surprised to hear that we still have an outhouse; others are disgusted. It’s not that bad, really! It’s private, but the side that faces away from the cottage is open at the top (but screened in, thank God), and the view’s nice. It doesn’t smell bad (OK, not THAT bad), and the only time it’s actually inconvenient is when it’s raining. Night time’s not great, either, but there are these white tin pots under the beds… Hand-washing and tooth-brushing happen at a sink in the cottage, but you have to get drinking water from the kitchen, and THAT comes from a well that you have to take a boat trip to get to so you can fetch that pail of water… It’s all good. Showers? Not so much. “Go jump in the lake” is more like it. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Oh, crap- Simon’s hurt. Gotta go.

The Cottage- part 1

I say “part 1” because, as much as I’d like to present y’all with a coherent narrative of our entire trip to the cottage (and my all-too-brief visit with AJ in Regina), the odds of me having enough time to do that are slim, at best. Simon is watching “Lilo and Stitch” and Ike’s asleep for now, but they both have this nasty habit of needing me just when I’m settling in to do something that doesn’t involve them. They’re so childish…

You wouldn’t expect a 5-hour long road trip with a 6-month old and an almost-3 year old to go well, would you? I certainly didn’t. The cottage (which belongs to my grandparents) is a great place to relax, and it’s on a beautiful lake, but it takes forever to get there. When I was little it seemed to take days. I was prepared for a lot of whining and crying, and for having to make a lot of stops along the way, so I was pleasantly surprised when Ike slept most of the way and Simon was content to look out the windows, do a little colouring and tell me about every piece of construction equipment we passed along the way. We stopped for lunch in Kaladar (which for some reason I keep calling Kandahar, but that would’ve been a bit of a detour), where Simon charmed a group of senior-type ladies with his smiles and his adorable little physique in his sleeveless t-shirt. Other than a pit-stop at Timmies, that was our only stop, and the guys were fine with that.

ready to go!

ready to go!

Then… the cottage. Hitting the dirt road is always exciting- you know you’re almost there. By the time you hit the boathouse (not literally, please), the road is down to one lane, and the trees are reaching out to scratch at the sides of your car. Then it’s into the boat for a trip down the lake to the cottage, which is on a private island (really!). I’m glad my grandparents bought a big boat a few years ago that has a cover on it, because it was raining when we got there. That hasn’t been uncommon this summer; it’s been so wet that they’ve been seeing unprecedented mushroom growth on the island. (Insert your own joke here about how it’s good to have a fungi around on vacation- I’m too tired to think).

Aaaaaand there’s Ike. Told you he’d wake up as soon as I got started on this.

The Twos Weren’t So Terrible. The Threes, However…

God save us all- he’s turning three next week.

I never understood why people talked about the “terrible twos”. I had a great year with Simon. He was usually happy, he was learning new things every day that he wanted to share with me, he was learning how to speak a language I could understand. Sure, he had his meltdowns and his cranky days, but don’t we all?

But the Threes, they are approaching. It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on my baby’s fourth year in this world. If the last few weeks have been any indication, we’ll be calling this year “the Tempestuous Threes”. “The Turbulent Threes”. “The TDKS$&^^HSHBF!!!!!! Threes”. (That last one was the sound of me pulling my hair out by the roots and screaming into a pillow). We’ve been having more meltdowns over smaller things than ever before, and in the last two weeks he’s had a few MAJOR tantrums- screaming, slamming doors, throwing stuff. A few days ago he was screaming and crying ALL DAY LONG… and then he was just fine, a perfect little sunbeam between supper and bedtime.

The poor little guy’s been through a lot in the past few months, and I’m trying to be understanding. After all, we left St. John’s and moved here at the end of April, when we knew AJ was probably going to be heading off to “the Depot” for RCMP training, and poor Simon hasn’t seen his Daddy since then*. He’s had to get used to a new home, new family, new bedroom, new routines. Before we moved, he had to deal with the stresses of a new baby brother and having Mommy and Daddy all stressed out about moving. He seemed to really enjoy our trip to the cottage that we took over the last two weeks, but that was another change of scenery- plus me leaving for 2 days to visit AJ. It’s a lot for the little feller to handle.

But Good LORD, if the child doesn’t stop screaming and just TELL ME WHAT HE WANTS, I’m going to put my head through a wall.

Next up: Potty training! Yeah, wish me luck on THAT one…

No, I said “‘Ello”, but that’s close enough!

WordPress, eh? All these free blogging* sites out there, and I’ve yet to find the one I like best. I’ve been on LiveJournal for over a year now, and before that it was Blogger. I’m exceedingly loyal to friends and faithful in my marriage, but I’m obviously not so concerned with consistency in my internet goings-on. So far, so good: setup was simple, and I like the look of the post page.

Why do I even do this? Why do any of us assume that anyone other than ourselves gives a rat’s ass what we think about anything? I find writing therapeutic- my journal (the paper one) sees a lot of action. I have to write things down. Otherwise, one day just runs into all of the others, and I can’t remember a damned thing that happened in the past month. My memory really is terrible; I write down everything about my kids because I’m so scared that some day I wn’t remember what it felt like to hold my squishy little baby, or even exactly how close my head felt to exploding from frustration with an almost-three year old who’s screaming but won’t tell me what he wants. Hey, it’s life, right?

I know why I like reading other people’s… writings. It’s great to read about people who are going through the same stuff I am- the same joys, the same frustrations, the same exhaustion. On the other hand, it’s also fun to read about people whose lives are completely different from mine. All I ask for is decent writing and grammar.

If you want to read any of my past stuff… I might transfer it over from livejournal. In the meantime, you’ll find the more recent stuff at http://allisonwonder.livejournal.com. Older stuff: http://mommyhoodconfidential.blogspot.com.  I’ll introduce myself later. Right now I have a cranky 6-month old who won’t go to sleep to deal with. Wish me luck!

 

*I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: I HATE the word “blog”. It sounds like the noise you make when you’re puking. BLAAAAARGH!