Mama Bear is PISSED

In most situations, I tend to ride down a tempered path when it comes to my reaction to life as a mom.  I prefer to to see both sides of the story before I react, working to keep the peace and introduce calm when things get hairy.  Taking things with a grain of salt and compassion.  But today I’m mad and the Mama Bear in me is ready to roar.

Mama Bear is Pissed Off!

Mama Bear is Pissed Off!

Regular R&R Mom readers and those who live in our neck of the woods are aware of the fact that we’re in the midst of a teachers strike.  Its been a crazy couple of months as we parents sit helpless, watching events unfold with our kids’ education hanging in the balance.  Embattled educators are caught between a raging government that claims to put families first (but does the exact opposite) and a Union that is doing a terrible job of delivering their message.  Salary bumps and benefits aside, the teachers have some serious concerns about how our public education system runs and we have seen first hand how those shortcomings have effected our kid in the classroom.

Through this whole situation, I’ve felt helpless.  What can I do?  I’m just one person with one kid in a system of thousands.  So I wrote a letter to my MLA, the Premier and the Head of the Teachers’ Union.  But they don’t really care what I think and they made that abundantly clear in the form letter each of them sent in reply.  The Head of the Union told me that I need to stand beside the teachers and write to my MLA.  The MLA wrote about how its all the Premier’s fault and that her party were liars and cheats.  And the Premier, well of course, she never responded.

So now I feel helpless AND REALLY pissed off.

The common response around here when we discuss this situation is to put our kids in private school.  For many reasons, that’s not in the cards for us right now.  So we continue to sit and wait with our Shorty merely a pawn in the political posturing and rhetoric.  Helpless and now steaming mad.


Mercury in Retrograde? WTF?

Enough with all the "Retrograde" action.  Thanks Mercury, you're great.

Enough with all the “Retrograde” action. Thanks Mercury, you’re great.

Ok – is it just me, or is this whole “Mercury in Retrograde” something new?  Yeah, yeah, I know its not NEW NEW.  Maybe its just life in the era of social media that I just feel like I’m hearing about it all the time.  Seriously, up until like a year ago I never really knew what the deal was with Mercury – but now it seems like every 8-12 weeks we’re being warned to gird our loins in anticipation of some f&*ked up planetary alignment thingy that’s going to wreak total havoc on all the important stuff we have to do for the next month or so.

A friend wrote on Facebook recently “I wish I never knew about Mercury”  and I think she has a point.  Is it like a placebo effect.  Maybe I am programming things to go wrong during these dark times on the astrological calendar just because I am expecting that they will?   Or is the shit truly hitting the fan because of the stars.  Who’s right?  Hell, how am I supposed to know.  But I’ll tell you, the last 3 times I’ve known about Mercury being Retrograde, its been a bit of hairy ride.  All sorts of crazy things as simple as messed up paperwork at the office to collapsed real estate deals have gone down while Mercury has been Retrograding.

Truthfully – what the hell is retrograde anyways? Does it meant that Mercury is really into John Hughes movies and Duran Duran?  That would really suck to have a real estate deal collapse because of Duran Duran.  Stop living in the past Mercury so I can get my shit together NOW (and not in like 10 days from now).  I’m too busy for your shenanigans!

Perhaps ignorance can be bliss, don’t you think?



A Love Letter…

…to my iPhone.

I remember the day you came into my life...

I remember the day you came into my life…

Dear iPhone:

I feel compelled to tell you how much you mean to me.  You with your white shiny case.  Your warm touch against my cheek.  The way you glide from one screen to the next.  The way you beep and ping to tell me what’s new.  The way you steadfastly carry all of my most treasured apps.  The way you sit in the charger every night, waiting for the day to begin so we can be reunited again.

I love you iPhone and I would be lost without you.

Its true.  I would.  I have never been more attached to a thing in my whole life.  Almost daily I feel that panic when digging through my colossal handbag and I can’t find you.  Blood pressure slowly rising, sweat breaking on my brow, only to realize you’re in my back pocket.  Phew, a sigh of relief.  What would I do without you, my beloved?

I would have no idea which Harry Potter character I was or what the weather forecast would be for tomorrow.  I would not be able to check how I did when I challenged J on that QuizUp game or if there was a new level to crack on Angry Birds.  How could I possibly know what Princess Kate wore yesterday or if Jimmy Fallon created something even more awesome, let alone be able to share these things.  My Instagram would remain fallow and without news of delicious food I had cooked myself or cute things the Shorties had done.  I wouldn’t be able to creep on Facebook to see how much cooler my old classmates are.  It would be a disaster.

Let alone, how would I check email?

Yes, dear sweet beloved iPhone.  You are my everything.  I really really love you.  A lot.  Do you love me as much as I love you?  Really?  Because I think you are so amazing and awesome and I really really hope you never leave me.  You won’t ever leave me, will you?  Right?  You won’t, right?  Promise me we will never be apart.  PROMISE!!!!!!!

Maybe this relationship is a little unbalanced.  Is it possible that this isn’t healthy?  Maybe its you that’s causing the carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrist and thoracic outlet syndrome in my shoulder.  Maybe its you thats keeping me up at night.  Maybe you’re the reason my eyesight is starting to fail.  Maybe you and all your “radioactive” airwaves are fogging my brain.  Maybe you’re the problem and not me.  I think maybe we should break up.  But I do love you, I really do, you’re just so bad for me.

We won’t ever break up.  That’s the truth.  I can’t quit you iPhone.  But maybe we should see other people.  Get some hobbies outside of our relationship.  Its not you iPhone, its me.


The R&R Mom



Dear Provincial Government Hacks

Oh hi. You don’t know me, but I voted for you. I gave you my vote and my trust that you would do the right thing for our community. That you would act in the best interest of my family and most importantly, my kids. Yeah, you’re not really doing that right now.

There are many aspects of government that are of vital importance – public safety, health care, infrastructure, etc. I get it – you’re busy. But just between us, one of the most important things on your agenda is (or should be) education. And right now, you’re kinda sucking on that big time.

Lets face it, you’re not very good at taking care of kids. We live in an expensive place so its pretty common that both parents need to work. When that happens, someone needs to look after the kids. Public daycares, preschools etc are super important to our society because second to the parents, these caregivers spend as much or sometimes more with our little ones. Helping them to grow, learn and shape their view of society. Right now, we are facing a shortage of excellent and affordable early childcare solutions for our kids. So that in and of itself is kinda bad.

Now, you’ve locked out our teachers, forcing a strike vote that will more than likely end up in a full blown strike ending the school year two weeks early. Yeah, that’s kinda bad too.

You don’t know my kid, but she’s 7. She’s really cute and funny and smart, but for various reasons she struggles with her reading. She is barely able to read at a Grade 1 level and needs extra care to help her so that she won’t be held back a grade.  She WANTS to go to school. She desperately WANTS to learn. So thanks, thanks for encouraging that in her when she needs it most of all. Locking out her teacher so that we can barely find a minute to catch up on her progress and possibly causing the cancelation of summer reading camp which would ensure her progress through the fallow summer months. We appreciate your support of her enthusiasm for education which as we all know with all kids lives on the edge of a sword. When you’re 7, even one bad experience can make a kid hate going to school. So thanks for that too. We really appreciate it.

I’m sorry to have taken your time up when you’re clearly busy fighting for pipelines and spending our tax money on fancy trips to “encourage trade”. But if you could see it within yourself to let our teachers go back to work so our kids can get busy learning, that would be awesome.

The Rock and Roll Mom

Wanna Hang Out?

We’re back on the dating scene.  Playdating that is.

Kids hanging out in this day and age is a totally different ballgame from when I was a kid.  We used to run around from neighbor to neighbor ringing doorbells to see who was home and wanted to play.  We played without adult supervision until the street lights came on and we knew it was time to go home.  Simple.  Easy.

Today, its a whole other thing.  Playdates are prebooked and marked into the calendar.  Parents are often present for the duration – at least for the under 6 set.  These things are SCHEDULED.  You text back and forth with the other parents, booking the event around swimming lessons and art classes, soccer practices and violin lessons.  They are capped at 2-3 hour window of time and recur only once a month or so.  Its like casual dating.

Shorty #2 just turned 3 but she’s already all about booking the playdate.  This morning she asked me to set up a play with a new neighborhood friend.  I promised I would reach out to the kid’s parents and # 2 says “Just text her Mom.” then shoots me the double guns.  When did my kid become a CAA agent asking me to arrange meetings for her.  I’m surprised she didn’t ask for the playdate to happen over lunch at the Four Seasons.

The other element to the playdate is the parent hang.  With really little Shorties, you have to stick around and make sure they are well behaved.  This means you’re on a double date with the parents of said kid.  Sometimes this is cool, but sometimes its a bit awkward.  Now you’re spending the next 2+ hours of your Saturday wrangling kids with another adult you don’t really know and may only have in common a toddler kid.  Sometimes its awkward.  Do you offer them tea?  Wine?  What?  And God forbid the Shorty wreaks havoc (Hello little biter – I’m looking at you), now you’re really on the spot.  Discipline with an audience.  Fearing judgement you need to find the right level of admonishment so you appear just firm enough according to the other parent’s standards.

Seriously, dating in my 20’s was easier than this.

Maybe that’s the answer.  We need Tinder for playdates.  “40-something mom and 3-year-old seeking same for fun times and laughs in the East Van neighborhood.  Our likes are finger-painting, applesauce and finger-painting with applesauce.”  Here’s our profile picture:


I miss the days of ringing doorbells and asking “Marky’s Mom” if Marky could come out to play.  It was easier.  If the parents were around it was because they were ordering pizza together and there was usually beer involved.  What’s happened to us that playing is such a production?


Hot for Teacher

The British Columbia Teacher’s Federation are on strike.  What does this mean?  I’m not totally sure.  The Union has begun rotating strikes  and in retaliation, the provincial government has locked them out.  School is still in session – for the most part – but it means that we have occasional school closure days (at least two so far) and that the teachers cannot be in the classroom outside of regular school hours.

This is a prickly issue – the teachers are looking for a pay raise, reasonable class sizes and other important things.  The cash strapped government continues to run school boards at a deficit each year further cutting back an already lean public school system.  So what next, who pays the price?  This generation of kids does.  The kids getting ready to write exams and graduate (although exams and graduation ceremonies are still on the books for now), the kids struggling with their education that need the extra care helping hand.  This issue has been dragging on forever it seems.  Just two years ago the teachers were forced to take job action for an entire school year.  That issue was resolved and the teachers came back so how could we possibly be back here again just two years later?

A very astute group of students in Surrey, BC have built a Facebook page calling for a province wide walk out of students on Wednesday to protest being caught in the middle.  Good for them for speaking up because the simple fact of the matter is that most kids are not actually applauding the school closures.  They want to be in school every day getting down to the business at hand – learning.

I wonder if the people handling the negotiations on this issue are listening.

We live in a city where childcare is a complete nightmare.  You can get it – if you’re willing to pay a lot.  If you’re not able to cough up the extra $1500 – 2000 (or more) a month to pay for daycare or a nanny, the options are marginal.  Kindergarten comes on as a great relief for many parents as we trust in the public school system to offer excellent education standards and care for our kids.  What is early childcare and education but a foundation for the future for our little ones.  Its clear that the government are not placing importance on this or are they considering the ramifications for the future.

So what do we do as parents?  Go to public hearings and try and be heard over the din of a very heated debate?  Write letters to the editor (or blogs) that no one who is handling this issue will never read?   I’m tired of government rhetoric and choices made with re-election in mind rather than the greater good.  All I know is that I don’t really want to see the Shorties caught in the middle on this one.

PS – if you like what you read here at The Rock and Roll Mom, please feel free to vote for this blog for the Top Vancouver Mom Blogger Award here: