Dampened Enthusiasm

It has been raining a lot here this summer, as it has in many places across the country from what I gather. The rain makes it hard to get motivated to do anything. It’s dark, and overcast, and the gloomy light makes it very tempting to just curl up under the covers and go back to sleep for a day or ten.

But we can’t, because of That Baby over there. *points*

It’s not easy for her either. She’s used to going for walks outside and getting some fresh air and diversion in the course of a day. And recently, I have strained the muscles in my shoulder or neck, or pinched a nerve or something, which makes the use of my left arm a painful proposition — so where I would normally get up and dance around with her, or play ball with her, or just roughhouse around on the floor, I can’t do any of those things with her very much. So she’s been a bit of a couch potato, with endless DVDs on to entertain her.

And she’s bored.

I don’t know any other stay at home moms locally with whom I could arrange play dates or the like — at least if there were other kids to play with or other places to go, being inside would not be so bad. Stinkerbelle’s only just starting to get to the age where playing with other kids is interesting to her, but she likes to be around other kids. Mostly right now she just sits and shouts excitedly at them. Or gets WAY too far into their personal space. But it would be nice for her.

And me — well, I’m not the sort of person that does well with the whole neighbourhood chatty mom thing. Around here, it seems to be a lot of the “Oh, hi, aren’t little Kaitlyn/Katelyn/Katelynn/Caitlyn/Caitlin/Emma/Emily/Emmalee/Emmaleigh and Aiden/Caden/Brayden/Jaden/Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxxon ADORABLE! I LOVE your stroller! Is that a Chariot? It fits great in a Ford Subdivision, doesn’t it? Aren’t Ford Subdivisions GREAT? We have TWO!!” kind of thing. There’s some money, there’s conspicuous consumption, and there seems to be a lot of talk about it. And we have neither the money NOR the conspicuous consumption, which would make our chats run more along the lines of “Oh hai…” as I tried to shove our ratty Kijiji-bargain stroller — which, of course, does NOT fit into the trunk of my rusting 12-year-old beater car — behind my back.

(Note: If we had buckets of money, rest assured I would be THE QUEEN of conspicuous consumption. I mean, I would buy EVERYTHING. AND another one in BLUE. And then? I would talk about it ALL. THE. FRICKING. TIME. So, you know, if someone out there wants to give us lots of money, I would TOTALLY rock that. I’m just sayin’.)

Plus, our house is fairly tiny, and all vertical spaces instead of horizontal spacious rooms — so inviting a group of kids and parents over here to play is not going to happen. Our playroom, containing toys, a TV, and a chair, and our kitchen are both fairly small, and comfortably would hold maybe another mom and a couple of kids — provided we took shifts on the chair. So playgroups will not be happening at this house anytime soon.

So it’s just the two of us. And we’re getting tired of the rain.

The constant threat of rain in the forecast has really dampened my enthusiasm for going out. Right now, it’s bright and sunny, but the forecast is partly sunny, with increasing cloudiness and calls for the possibility of rain. So, does that mean if I start out on a walk with That Baby, the clouds will roll in as we’re walking, and we’ll get an hour from the house and suddenly get rained on? If it were 25 degrees out, the rain would at least be warm. But when it’s 16 degrees, the rain will be cool, and That Baby getting a chill is NOT my idea of a good time.

Because being stuck indoors with a baby with a cold is SO. MUCH. FUN. Um, I’m hedging my bets, thankyouverymuch.

And also, with the constant damp, I have to ask — Is there anyone else out there who is totally fricking paranoid about the mosquitoes and West Nile virus? No? It’s just me, then? Damn. Oh well.

There are things I actually quite like about the rain, though. For example, it’s not stiflingly hot and humid like it is most summers. It’s still humid, so we are still running our A/C bytimes, but we can set it much higher and save ourselves money compared to much summers. Also, I don’t have to water my garden. And if we were at a cottage, it would actually be quite restful.

But we are not. We are in our tiny house in the middle of Suburbiaville. And the rain is bumming me out.

17 thoughts on “Dampened Enthusiasm

  1. I have two words for you – cardboard box.

    Or, perhaps handing her some cookware and allowing her to do the banging pots thing?

  2. P.S. – I would totally kick your ass at conspicuous consumption.
    Just as soon as I win the lottery, dude, I will be buying EVERTHING…. and probably one for you too.

    I’m just sayin’.

  3. Oh I think NOT. I think we would have to have a consipcuous-consumption-off just to see who was the Queen Of All Stuff.

    And I am in a totally different weight class, dude. So my stuff? Would be BIGGER.

  4. My life minus baby. The weather here is enough to convince me not to settle in Montreal. Double bleh. And I am totally with you about not wanting to go to that popular coffee shop or Baby Genius Play Space and yack with other mothers about designer baby carriers and Ford Subdivisions.

    I think over consumption is tacky. Luckily, living in a box in Manhattan after living in another box elsewhere and moving to a slightly bigger box here has trained us not to buy stuff, because there’s never been any place to put it. (There was also that having no money part, but let’s just forget about that.) So now being picky about what we buy is part of our life. And when we do have some extra cash, we spend it on edible treats and going places. We buy used stuff now for environmental reasons as well as economic. And I’m not kidding when I say making that mental shift has made me feel much better about the fact that we don’t have a lot of things that other people have. If only I could have developed this distaste for too much stuff when I was in high school.

    So basically, whatever the reasons, I admire that you don’t live in a too-big house and own a too-big car and fill it all with too much stuff that you don’t really need. There have got to be some like-minded folks there somewhere, but I’m not sure how you find them. If you figure it out, let me know.

  5. Okay, girl, you need a raincoat and a plastic cover for your stroller (let me know if you don’t have one and I will send my old one up). Walking in the rain is great and wait until she can out and run around in the rain, playing in mud, and splashing in puddles. Around here, that is what we do because otherwise we would never get outside there is so much darn rain. It hits you first then scoots across the country to hit us. You can keep it if you like.

  6. Does Kaitlyn/Katelyn/Katelynn/Caitlyn/Caitlin/Emma/Emily/Emmalee/Emmaleigh and Aiden/Caden/Brayden/Jaden/Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxxon live in your neighbourhood too??!!!!!

    Sorry to hear that the rain is bumming you out. One can only take so much of dark and gloomy days. I hope the sun comes out soon for you and That Baby.

  7. My strategy would be to look for some kind of city-run mom & kid drop in program. The Joneses won’t go to it because it’s cheap and run by the city, therefore beneath them, so you actually meet people more likely to be on your page. And if it’s a drop-in then you don’t feel you *have* to make it if other things come up.

  8. Hold on, rain was our first summer home last year. I hear ‘ya.

    I think there are actually some non-Ford Subdivision moms in your area. And they might even have Habesha kids too. Are you on the parents-at-home group? It’s at:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/canadianchildrenfromethiopia/

    Hal Gorger need not apply.

    I know your first post wouldn’t be, “Hey, can we hang on rainy days?” But you know, there are a few folks from your area who might just be non-consumptives.

    Also, on the group we talk about poop and fungus a lot.

    Chris

    P.S. Tafel’s back?? πŸ™‚

  9. Cinn, I get such a kick out of you. It’s tough when you’re trapped indoors with the baby. I personally, had a rough time at the baby and me group….everyone still talks about labour and delivery 24 hours of the 2 hourse we were actually there and snoor, boor it wasn’t really for us. I hope you have better options than our town of 1000.

  10. I was RIGHT. Yesterday afternoon, even though it was bright and sunny and I felt stupid staying in, I ended up not taking the baby for a walk because the forecast said it might rain.

    And sure enough, it went from sunshine to MONSOON in about 15 minutes. Batten down the hatches wind, horizontal pelting rain… and Stinkerbelle and I sat and watched it from the warm and dry of her playroom.

    I feel vindicated. *smiles smugly*

  11. Well aren’t you just like a visionary and crap? πŸ˜›

    Meanwhile, I called you yesterday. Apparently during the storm your internet went kerplunk?

    Anyways – got something most interesting and mildly exciting to share with you.

  12. Actually, is TRUE. The internets, they went buts yesterday in our storm. Also? We have abandoned our ass cordless phones in favour of a regular joe phone. But it is up there. *points* And I am generally not. But that is where it has to be because that? Is where the internets are.

    But the good news? If I am actually NEAR the phone, and am TALKING on the phone… You can actually HEAR what I am SAYING.

    I know. Crazy.

  13. I’m not sure how we’d have a conversation. What would we say in all that time that is usually devoted to, “What?” “HUH?” “A guilty squid gets loose?”

    Truthfully, some of our best laughs have come from the not understanding what is said.

    *sniff* Good times. They’ll be missed.

  14. O.K. I can’t let that go by without a comment. We in Nova Scotia are cheering for the new phones!!! I must admit that a lot of the time we were not sure what was said on that end of the line and one of us could not take the phone anymore. Three cheers for THAT new phone. There were times we didn’t know if we were still on speaking terms when we finished. (Sorry that was a sick statement) Dad is still saying how well he heard BDH the other day. I must admit he was getting a little sad not being able to make out what was said on the other end.

  15. We are also very happy for the new phone. Love it. I hate speaker phones and call waiting. Just sayin’.

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