Les jours se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas

I don’t know how to express this French saying in English. It means something like “days follow each other but are always different”.

Last week, I was complaining that our son was refusing to nap and that he was still sleeping only 10 hours a night, which was definitely not enough for him (hence numerous meltdowns). Well this week, he has not only gone back to napping about 2 hours a day, he has also started sleeping a minimum of 11 hours a night (many times closer to 12). I have been ready to go to work in the morning and had to wait a few minutes for him to wake up before I left. Weird! And even weirder to get up and have a shower and everything and it doesn’t wake him up!

I shouldn’t talk about it. I’ll jinx it. I bet it’s a growth spurt or something like that. I’m sure it’s just a phase. It’s too good to be true!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, he still has meltdowns anyway. After all, he’s 2!

Summer is over!

We had a wonderful summer. I don’t care what the whiners will say: I don’t remember any rain stopping us from going hiking or swimming, playing outside in the evening or biking around town. But it could not last forever. And now it’s definitely over.

After what seemed like months of sun and warm weather, the sky opened up last night. And today, there is a torrential downpour with a mere 11 degrees. I know people will complain, but it is officially fall now, and there is only two days left in September. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the temperature will go down, and so will the rain. After all, the grass certainly needs a good watering, and if we want snow for the Winter Olympics, we have to start somewhere.

I’m still hoping for a break on Sunday so we can do the last Great Ride of the season. But if it’s not possible, then so be it. I’ll enjoy the warmth of our apartment and the roof over my head. I’ll dig my Gore-Tex pants out of the closet and our son will be glad to finally wear his rubber boots. There is always a silver lining!

MEC Great Rides

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and MEC organized 4 bike rides this summer to showcase the wonderful bike trails of Greater Vancouver. We heard about the Great Rides after the first one had already happened, and we were in Kelowna the weekend of the second one. But we were not going to miss the third one, which was yesterday in Port Coquitlam. The fact that it turned out warm and sunny, probably one of the last summer days of the year, only added to the excitement.

We had to book a car with a bike rack from the Car Co-op, and we found out that there are only 2 in the Co-op’s entire fleet, which is something we are planning on complaining about if we ever get around to it. But despite my skepticism, the rack actually worked, and we made it there at a reasonable time to tackle the 24 km ride. It was flat and easy, although mostly on gravel so I had to borrow Zak’s gloves because the vibrations were killing my hands in the beginning. Some of it was near the river, some more inland and some in forested trails. The landscape was beautiful, the signage was mostly good (although we did have to backtrack once after missing a turn that wasn’t indicated) and there were stations every 6km for water, snacks and mechanical help.

Zak had to stop, of course, to help a damsel in distress (well, ok, the lady with the flat was actually in her 50s, so I wasn’t really jealous) and we took the time to take some photos and have a picnic in a park, where our son enjoyed the playground. He then fell asleep for the last hour of the ride, which made it all the more enjoyable… It took us 4 hours to finish the loop, although only 2 of those were actual biking. We had a wonderful day and we definitely want to go back on that trail. It would be a great place to take some visitors, rent some bikes and enjoy an easy stroll (oui, Mireille, c’est à toi que je pense).

Next weekend is the Bikennale, the last of the 4 Great Rides, and we are planning on participating, although we will wait until the last minute to register because it is supposed to rain all week. This one is offered in two versions, a short one (13 km) or a long one (36 km). To Zak’s dismay, I am definitely aiming for the short route. My legs were fine after 24 km yesterday, but it was on flat ground and my bum was quite sore at the end. There is no way I could ride 36 km when it includes Vancouver’s hills…

But there should be a fun party at the Vanier Park, so let’s hope the rain stops on Saturday!

Is it over?

Our son hasn’t had an afternoon nap in the last three days… Well, he had one in the trailer when Zak went for a bike ride in the afternoon, but only 30 minutes. The problem is, he hasn’t been sleeping any longer at night, so although he’s still doing pretty good, I’m afraid the big “I haven’t slept enough” crisis is coming soon!

Of course, it also makes things harder for Zak, who relished that break in the afternoon. We’re hoping it’s just a fluke and he’ll start napping again next week, but we’re afraid he may be outgrowing the nap. And that’s scary. He’s getting older, but not THAT old!

Fatigué!

Zak a suivi un cours toute la fin de semaine et je me suis donc retrouvée seule avec mon fils. J’en ai profité pour écouter de la musique en français, et comme ma musicothèque est mal garnie, j’ai échoué sur YouTube à écouter tous les clips de Renaud que je pouvais trouver. J’ai eu un grand moment de nostalgie en écoutant la chanson Fatigué, qui m’a tellement marquée à l’adolescence. Avec le recul, c’est sûr que c’est pas mal naïf, mais c’est toujours d’actualité :

Jamais une statue ne sera assez grande
pour dépasser la cime du moindre peuplier
et les arbres ont le coeur infiniment plus tendre
que celui des hommes qui les ont plantés
Pour toucher la sagesse qui ne viendra jamais
j'échangerais la sève du premier olivier
contre mon sang impur d'être civilisé
responsable anonyme de tout le sang versé
Fatigué, fatigué
fatigué du mensonge et de la vérité
que je croyais si belle, que je voulais aimer
et qui est si cruelle que je m'y suis brûlé
Fatigué, fatigué
Fatigué d'habiter sur la planète terre
sur ce grain de poussière, sur ce caillou minable
sur cette fausse étoile perdue dans l'univers
berceau de la bêtise et royaume du mal
où la plus évoluée parmi les créatures
a inventé la haine, le racisme et la guerre
et le pouvoir maudit qui corrompt les plus purs
et amène le sage à cracher sur son frère
Fatigué, fatigué
fatigué de parler, fatigué de me taire
quand on blesse un enfant, quand on viole sa mère
quand la moitié du monde en assassine un tiers
Fatigué, fatigué
Fatigué de ces hommes qui ont tué les indiens,
massacré les baleines et bâillonné la vie,
exterminé les loups, mis des colliers aux chiens
qui ont même réussi à pourrir la pluie
La liste est bien trop longue de tout ce qui m'écoeure
depuis l'horreur banale du moindre fait divers
il n'y a plus assez de place dans mon coeur
pour loger la révolte, le dégoût, la colère
Fatigué, fatigué
fatigué d'espérer et fatigué de croire
à ces idées brandies comme des étendards
et pour lesquelles tant d'hommes ont connu l'abattoir
Fatigué, fatigué
Je voudrais être un arbre, boire l'eau des orages
me nourrir de la terre, être ami des oiseaux,
et puis avoir la tête si haut dans les nuages
qu'aucun homme ne puisse y planter un drapeau
Je voudrais être un arbre et plonger mes racines
au coeur de cette terre que j'aime tellement
et que ce putain d'homme chaque jour assassine
je voudrais le silence enfin, et puis le vent...
Fatigué, fatigué
Fatigué de haïr et fatigué d'aimer
surtout ne plus rien dire, ne plus jamais crier
fatigué des discours, des paroles sacrées
Fatigué, fatigué
Fatigué, fatigué fatigué de sourire, fatigué de pleurer
fatigué de chercher quelques traces d'amour
dans l'océan de boue où sombre la pensée
Fatigué, fatigué

Poor baby!

Our son fell flat on his face at the playground yesterday morning. He cried in Zak’s arms for half an hour, then they went home, which is only 12 minutes away, but our son wouldn’t let go of his dad who had to carry him home while pushing the stroller with the other hand. I’ve been there, done that: it’s not fun, and my baby was much lighter back then! Zak was unable to make him eat, since his lip was all bloodied and swollen, and ended up putting him to sleep in his arms, on the couch. When he woke up (luckily, two hours later), he actually ate and drink a little and seemed better. I stopped at the store on my way home and bought some straws to help him drink more easily, and yogurt in case he wouldn’t be able to ingest any solids, but he actually ate pretty normally at supper. I was able to put him to bed at a decent time and he slept very well.

This morning, though, he looks like we beat him up… It’s horrible! He has scratches on his forehead, his upper lip and his chin, and his lower lip is so swollen he looks like he lost a boxing match. He tried to nurse, but couldn’t – it hurt. And when I said I was going to the doctor’s this morning (routine appointment, nothing important) he asked to come with me, saying: “I go with you, and I talk to the lady, and boo-boo go away!”. Every time I asked him if he wanted to eat or drink something, he kept coming back to the idea that the boo-boo would go away – I guess he was trying to say that he would wait until he felt better before he ate. I tried to explain that the boo-boo would go away, but that it would take some time and he would better eat in the meantime. And he did – a little. And he drank a whole bunch of milk with a straw. So he’s not about to starve.

But every time I look at him, especially when I see the inside of his lip – I guess he bit it quite hard when he fell – it hurts. I mean, seriously, I almost feel a physical pain. Even though I know that it’s no big deal and that he’ll be just fine in a few days, it looks so horrible that it provokes a physical reaction in me. I guess we’re wired that way, so we take care of our injured young instead of leaving them to die (I mean in caveman’s times, of course). But I just can’t imagine how hard it must be, as a mother, to watch you child really suffer, like when they have a cancer, a bad appendicitis, or something. I just hope I never find out!

Terry Fox and the firemen…

Last Sunday we participated in the Terry Fox run… Well, we didn’t run, of course. We walked. It’s our fourth time in a row, the last three with our son and the friends we met in prenatal classes. This year, our boy biked on his run bike for probably 2 of the 3 km of the walk – almost all the way around the lost lagoon in Stanley Park. I was impressed

But the main excitement was the firetruck that was parked on the site before the run. We were early so we went to see it. The firemen were simply doing a PR operation, letting the kids climb aboard, telling them (and the curious parents) about their equipment and distributing stickers and other goodies. Our boy was too shy and didn’t want to go inside the truck (or even talk to the firemen, for that matter), but he did sit at the front and get to play with the hose. Plus, he was given a play fireman helmet (which he calls his firetruck helmet, but that’s a start) and a cardboard fire truck. The truck is pretty much destroyed by now, as he always wants to open and close it (and it’s not made to open and close), and the helmet should follow suit shortly (it’s very cheap plastic). But for a few days he played with them almost non-stop.

We’ll have to visit the firehall one of these days!