Sunday, 24 August 2008

"Toronto, Toronto, I Love You Toronto...You're Only A Sea Awaaaaay"

Sitting here with a mini sugar donut in one hand and a skinny vanilla bean latte in the other, the irony is not lost on me. I'm attempting to jolt my nervous system into action by way of a sugar overload to the brain. Disgusting? Yes... Effective? Absolutely...
I blame my current zombie-like state on Dumps. Grandpa must have lifted him out of his cot this morning and at 5:30 a.m. he trundled in to where Egg and I were sharing a bed and unceremoniously whacked me over the head with a large round candle. When he figured out how to turn on the clock radio and brain-cell-destroyingly loud classical music piped through at random 17-30 second intervals, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my sleep-addled brain had momentarily rattled through the possibilities of various locations within the condo where I could lock him up in for the next few hours.

It was when Dumpie stuck the tiny end of an aerosol spray up a tenderly sleeping Egg's nose, about to unleash a stream of 'phyto hair spray' into his unsuspecting nostrils, that I jumped up and admitted defeat. It's one thing to be abused by your 21 month-old insomniac toddler, and another to allow child-on-child abuse just because you stayed up too late the night before watching the stupidest film known to man ("27 Dresses"...DON'T watch it if you know what's good for you...will melt your brain and have you considering suicide 20 minutes in).

Yesterday, a gloriously warm sunny day, we journeyed through a crazy traffic jam (caused by thousands of excited Canadian car owners eager to dispense with hard-earned cash in an effort to park as near as possible to the Canadian National Exhibition which is currently on). We were en route to High Park (a gloriously massive green area smack in the middle of West Toronto) where our Egyptian relatives had laid on a lip-smackingly delicious feast. It was a reunion of sorts, as the boys and I only get back to Toronto once a year in the summer, and it was great to finally meet my cousin's three little girls (1, 2, and 3...I kid you not) and loll about in the late afternoon sun catching up with everyone.

Dumps held various relatives ransom and would scream like a banshee if anyone tried to remove him from his beloved swing. Egg for his part was spreading the love among his newly-met 2nd/3rd(?) cousins and placing delicate little butterfly kisses on the little girls cheeks - except for when he was wrestling them to the ground in order to procure the only un-popped balloon remaining for little Dumps (who was probably behind the whole hijack if you ask me).

It felt really nice to be part of a large family gathering, and I marveled at how much things had changed. Years ago I would have preferred to listen to my walkman, slouched against a tree and smoking cigarettes. Now here I was playing at being a 'normal mom' and realizing that any passing observers would just see a typical family scene and not know all the complexities lurking behind the surface. Family secrets, family trauma's, family angst...every family has them I'm convinced, but I can't help but feel that ours has enough material lurking underneath the seams to fill an epic trilogy.

Anyway, our holiday back here in Toronto is flying by at a rate i'm not comfortable with. I look forward to coming back here all year and it proves a nice contrast to my 'other' life - which is a Stepford wives-ish existence in Clapham, London amongst all the middle-class aspirational 'mummie's who strut and waddle their way up and down the Northcote Road in search of cappuccino's, midwives and multi-grain baguettes.

I am rather dreading Egg's first day of proper 'big boy school' the day after we get back. Not only because it signifies the end of an era (and because I'll be left with sole care of Mr. Dumps and there will be no Egg to alert me bi-hourly to the latest disaster about to unfold), but because it means that I'll be entering the dreaded 'school run' territory and frankly, my wardrobe is not up to it...nor is my head.

For some reason I don't think my cut-off customised Levi's mini and slogan t-shirt is going to go down a treat. I'm also incredibly shy around other 'mums' and abhor kiddie small talk, and will have to paste an idiot grin on my face while mumbling nonsense about holidays, PTA and possible play dates...

Perhaps though they'll assume I'm a low-rent au pair from Prague and give me wide birth. With a suitably ridiculous pair of vintage shades perched on my nose, bed-head hair, and my ipod glued to my ears, I reckon I'll be able to repel even the most determined of networking mom's.

You know, I think it's in everyones best interest that Egg is going to Belleville School 4 streets away instead of Honeywell Infant School across the road. I mean, just how tempting would it be to roll out of bed the odd winters morning (ok fine, every morning), whip across the street in my Paul Frank jim-jams, a still-sleeping pajama clad Dumps under one arm like a football, and embarrass the hell out of my 4 year old - not to mention myself.

It's for the best, it really is.

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