Tired child

We went to Stanley Park last night to take the Christmas train and see the Bright lights. We had a blast, and we stopped for a slice of pizza on the way home. It was pretty late by the time we put the kids to bed: 8:30. Of course, they didn’t wake up any later than usual, quite the contrary. My son was up about half an hour earlier than usual, and the first thing I heard from him was a whiny complaint:

- My pants were clean and now they’re not there anymore.

Yup, I grabbed their laundry when I put them to bed last night and apparently I also grabbed his pants which he claims were still clean. I patiently explained that he had other pants he could wear. To which he responded, in tears:

- But there was my snot cloth in my pocket!

My son was upset because the washcloth he had been using as a handkerchief had been put in the laundry… You think he was tired?

You piece of…

I liked Justin Trudeau’s outbreak yesterday. Besides finding it deeply funny, I can totally understand how the extremely ironic situation led him to boil over. I’ve never been a big fan of Trudau, what with the hate for his father that was bred into me as a sovereignist Quebecer as well as the very annoying bilingual commentaries published on his Web sites during previous elections (if you’ve never seen them, they’re worth it… unless you are perfectly bilingual there is no way to understand anything because he starts a sentence in one language and ends it in another).

Anyway, I don’t like the guy that much because he seems too syrupy to me, too perfect to be real, the nice, cute, politically correct guy with the perfect wife, the perfect children and his father’s voice. But yesterday he made me laugh. The situation in itself is so exasperating – how many ways can Harper’s Government find to piss off about everybody else in Parliament and almost everywhere else? I am truly sick of these guys and their contempt for Parliament, for the population, for the values that Canadians are supposed to hold dear – like the environment. I am sick of their love of big business at the expense of the health of future generations.

So I feel like for once, Trudeau got it right. He expressed the feelings of a large portion of the people in Canada. I just wish I could have done it myself.

Yeah, he swore – but I say worse, although thankfully not when talking about my family. Yeah, I would prefer my son doesn’t start saying that to his friends, but he doesn’t watch Question Period. And between adults who know very well that he’s right? It might not help with the lack of decorum in Parliament. But I think we’re past that. We have lost so much trust in our government that I’m not sure this will make it worse.

And it made me laugh. That’s a start!

So fast

On Monday, I saw my friend’s child, the one who is dying of cancer… As I mentioned in my last update, it had been a while, but even compared to what I had been told of the state of the child by others, the situation was far worse than I could have imagined. In fact, the family left yesterday for Canuck Place, a pediatric palliative care hospice, and they don’t expect to come back with that child. It’s the place where terminally ill children go to die.

I had a chance to say goodbye and I will treasure that chance forever, even though I wish there had not been this 2-month period during which I didn’t see them at all. The child is now in bed, not able to see anymore, and we don’t know for sure what the awareness level is, but there is no obvious reaction to anything. It was really sad to see, but at the same time the child still looked “normal”, was not obviously emaciated, and I’m glad my son had a chance to say goodbye.

He went back yesterday and spent an hour and a half reading stories with his friend. The mom curled up with her child and fell asleep (much needed, I’m sure) while Zak read stories to the four kids (the sick child, the little brother and our two happy, healthy, LUCKY children). It sounds like it was a nice, peaceful moment that will help both father and son to come to terms with the situation.

We will try to go visit them at Canuck Place, but we don’t know how long they will be there for and we don’t know if it’s going to work. We don’t want to intrude. But we did want to have a chance to say goodbye, and to give that chance to our son. He refused to hold hands or kiss his friend (him who is usually all about showing affection), but it’s ok. It is a weird situation for him. At least, he wanted to go back and read to his friend. And I think seeing the child like that, at the end of life, will be good for him since the last time we had seen them the child was still walking and aware of everything. I didn’t want my son to think you can go from that to being dead all of a sudden.

I know, it does happen. But I don’t need him to worry about it just now.

So here we are, pondering how fast a child can go from running around (albeit in a less coordinated fashion than usual) just after a diagnosis four and a half months ago to being in bed, blind and unaware or at least unresponsive. We always knew that a short-term death was unavoidable, but being face-to-face with it is still hard.

???

My son, to his sister this morning:
- I’m gonna eat your butt!
No comment…

Knock-knock jokes

My 4-year-old son wanted to tell knock-knock jokes this morning. But he doesn’t quite get it yet. First, he asked me to say knock-knock. Not being English, I didn’t think twice:

- Knock! Knock!
- Who’s there?
- … Hem, isn’t it you who’s supposed to be telling the joke?

- Knock! Knock!
- Who’s there?
- Orange!
- Orange who?
- Orangen’t you glad I didn’t say banana?

That was his best one. The only one I remember because the other ones didn’t really make any sense. But then his little sister wanted to imitate him:

- Knock! Knock!
- Who’s there?
- Hello!, says the baby while making the gesture of picking up a phone.

She understands a lot more than we give her credit for!