Worky worky work work.

My theme song as of late as I bust my arse at the office.

I worked 23 hours straight on Father’s Day. A welcome distraction from my fatherlessness.

A couple days went by where I barely saw Max at all.

Ah, the glamourous world of advertising – t’is not for the faint of heart, or the single parent.

Thankfully, I have a husband who picks up the slack with scarcely a complaint. (I said scarcely, not never.)

So this weekend, he’s cashing in on his earned time and taking a three-day canoe trip with two of his buddies. I like to joke that it’s a three-day circle jerk slash sausage fest – because I like to crack inappropriate jokes, and because I’m ever so slightly resentful that he earns leisure time in exchange for my overtime. WTF kind of system is this? Did I mention he’s a teacher with the whole summer off? KILL KILL KILL.

But, alas, it’s time for me to spend some quality time with the squirt.

So the moment Andrew left this morning, I switched into mommy mode. No work. All play. Just Mama and Max Murphy.

We started with a morning visit to Middle Cove Beach. We had heard that the capelin were rolling last night, bringing minke whales and laughing children. So we checked it out after breakfast. It was eight degrees and we could barely see the ocean for the fog. I pulled up as close as I could, pointed to the shoreline and said “Look Max – capelin!” And then we left.

Beach. Check.

Screw this climate to hell, let’s go swimming at Kim’s. Max had a blast splashing around in the warm indoor pool, practicing his leg kick and his blunt honesty. At one point he quietly confessed, “I’m peeing.” Hmmm, present tense. Oh well. C’est la pee. (Sorry, Kim.)

Next on the schedule – a gun fight with Ryan, Kim’s 8-year-old son. Apparently Ryan has a toy-box brimming with artillery, and I suspect a room full of Ninja swords, poisoned darts, and chains and sickles. Max was charging around the corner every three minutes with a different weapon, aiming some rubber dart or styrofoam arrow at my eye, cackling like a maniacal Jack Nicholson hybrid of the Joker and Jack Torrance.

Later, when I asked him what the best part of his day was, he replied – “guns.”


As I was gathering our stuff to leave, I realized Max was nowhere to be found. We walked out front to see him halfway down the driveway in Ryan’s red Lightning McQueen, pedal to the metal. I ran, barefoot, to stop him from crashing into the basketball net, or our car. It’s moments like these I’m thankful I’m fit. You can’t escape me, Turbo Ginger; Turbo Mommy got game.

Next stop? Movie theatre. Pixar’s new flick, Brave, about a feisty ginger. What it lacked in story it made up for in flowing red locks.

I was slightly disturbed by the protagonist’s three little brothers, however.

They bore an uncanny resemblance to the little dude sitting beside me, so I kept imagining having three of him. THREE. Triple Turbo Ginger Trouble. Hells no.

Max was a little tired by the end of the film, so for the last 15 minutes he lay his head on my shoulder and placed his hand in mine as our scarlet-haired sister on the big screen kicked some hairy ursine arse. A perfect end to a perfect day.

But darn it, why didn’t I take some photos of this perfect day to send to Andrew, so he could see what a perfect — okay, good — mother I am?

A couple days ago, while I was working late yet again, he sent me this pic. See what I’m competing with here? GAWD.

Kodak moments were over for today. As Max and I were leaving the theatre, he saw some insufferable shit-disturbing kid with candy. I didn’t see the kid, but he had to be a jerk, because Max saw the candy and the wailing ensued.




Then he took it to adjective level:



Do they still make Bonkers? I could use a giant ass bunch of grapes right about now to bonk a certain ungrateful little bugger out. Some candy.

Listen here kid – we did the beach, the pool, the western saloon, the popcorn overdose. What more do you want from me?

A pony?

A kidney?

A sibling? (Dream on, dingaling.)

Oh and by the way, thanks for tearing me a new one back in 2009. How’s that for big candy? Try squeezing an eight-pound candy apple out of your goodies.

He snot-n-bawled for candy all the way to the car. Nothing quite as special as dragging a sobbing, sugar-addicted toddler across the Avalon Mall parking lot. He cried halfway home. I cranked Bohemian Rhapsody to drown out his howls. I glanced in the rearview mirror and imagined him singing…

Mama, I just killed a man.
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, 
now he’s dead.
Mama… life had just begun,
but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away…

That’s what happens when you play with guns, son.

All of a sudden, his screeching came to a screeching halt and he exclaimed – “POCK-A-SO!” (That’s how he says popsicle. Everything resembling a sugary treat from the icebox is a pock-a-so.) He was referring to a big blue Mr. Freeze his dad had placed in the freezer yesterday, and Max had been waiting for it to freeze solid ever since. By now, it’d be ready. And he knew it. And he suddenly remembered it. Tears literally recoiled back up into his eyes.

I could have stood my ground and refused the Mr. Freeze, said “save the drama for your mama, mister.” And by “mama” I mean someone else’s mama. Tears don’t get you no thang, foo’.

But this was my day to be mother of the year. Or mother of the day, whatevs. I was not about to end this day with one of us in the naughty chair.

So when we got home, I sat Snotface down at the table without a word, fetched the Mr. Freeze from the freezer, sliced it in half, plunked down next to him, clinked our halves together like champagne, and said “let’s make our tongues blue.”