Monthly Archives: October 2011

Saturday October 1, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

It amazes me still to think that after the hard work and “discomfort” of giving birth, we go back and do it again! My friends and I supported each other afterwards. We discussed episiotomies, backaches, lack of sleep, lactation, depression and so forth. One topic was brought up again and again: would there be more children in the world if the men produced the babies and the women puffed cigars?!

Sunday October 2, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

My method for writing strips was to stretch out on the couch with a lined pad of paper on my lap and imagine myself in the Patterson kitchen at suppertime. It didn’t take long for the characters to begin a conversation and I would listen in. Like a tape recorder, I could run the commentary back and forth, change or modify the answers, and if luck was with me, I’d get a funny line. I remember being particularly happy with this one and wondering again, where the idea had come from. It was too good (I thought) to have come from ME!

Monday October 3, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

In the 80’s there was still an “attitude” about women working. “The little lady” was a secretary or receptionist and the more responsible positions went to the “tough broads.” Even though attitudes had relaxed and most men accepted and encouraged women in the workforce it was not uncommon to find serious discrimination. We’re still fighting this. Despite a change in the “fibre of society”, we’re not out of the woods yet!

Tuesday October 4, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I have always welcomed question from my kids; It’s an opportunity to share knowledge and to show them that I value their intelligence. It’s just that they always seemed to ask me stuff when I had no time to answer. It didn’t matter what I was up to; they always wanted an answer NOW! Do kids do this because they want our undivided attention all of the time, or because they enjoy hearing the often ridiculous, spur of the moment responses that we come up with? Either way, it drove me crazy.

Thursday October 6, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Some of my childhood friends were only children. They often told me how lucky I was to have a brother. From my standpoint, I’d have gladly traded places with them – or exchanged my brother for something more practical, like a bike or a movie projector. The only time Alan and I really got along was in the face of a common enemy. We might have belted each other about, but we always came to each other’s defence.

Sunday October 9, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Any intimate partnership must pass the “sick” test before it can be called a serious relationship. Cohabitation requires us to accept, endure, and be considerate of our “significant other’s” health concerns.

Your partner’s audible woe is an opportunity: every sympathetic gesture, every coo of understanding, and every expression of concern that you offer, are bankable brownie points to be redeemed when it’s YOUR turn to be sick. And misery, as we all know, loves company!

Tuesday October 11, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

One of my childhood neighbours had a dog that was specifically trained to defend his owners. The result was that their young daughter would march down the road, dog in tow, and insult us all – knowing that we’d be unable to touch her. She was particularly mean and so was the dog. Eventually this family moved, but even with them gone, we kids were very nervous around large dogs for a long time to come.

Wednesday October 12, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

As a new single mother, with nobody around to give me advice, I often turned to the one instruction manual I was familiar with: “How to Train Your Puppy”. This booklet got us through much of Aaron’s toddlerhood and I don’t think it warped his psyche too much. He grew up to be a fairly normal adult… he still does, however, stop and point when he sees ducks.

Saturday October 15, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Katie learned how to press Aaron’s buttons long before she could speak. With subtle looks, sarcastic expressions and covert sabotage, she kept him on his toes. One thing she could do was cry on demand. This gave her a distinct advantage. Who could resist the tears of a sweet innocent when a fight broke out? Aaron’s friends were his greatest allies. Nobody can figure out little kids… like another little kid!

Sunday October 16, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Vancouverites always have an umbrella somewhere handy – ready to use at a moment’s notice. My folks had a stand in the front hall full of them. We used them as swords, canes, and crutches. We filled them with water and we let the wind blow them inside out. I was always surprised by how much abuse they could take and still do the job. Much like mothers, umbrellas are always there when you need them!

Monday October 17, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

When I had my first baby I was living in a close-knit neighbourhood where neighbours really took care of each other. I’ve been lucky that way! I came home with Aaron to a freezer full of home made meals prepared by the ladies around me. I didn’t know how much I’d appreciate having these dishes to fall back on when I was too tired to think, too frazzled to shop and too sore to work in the kitchen!

Tuesday October 18, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

When my second child came along, I was living a different life, enjoying the company of new friends and helpful neighbours. They all got together and filled my freezer with great meals which could be easily thawed and served. Even when you’re exhausted from pushing a kid out of your nether parts, sleep deprived, and sore enough to want serious drugs, you’re still expected to create in the kitchen.

Wednesday October 19, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

It’s true. I have no idea how to handle a newborn now. I have friends who automatically rip into the mother role; they know how to pick up, turn over, bathe, feed, and bundle a tiny baby, while I just sit by helplessly and watch. Strange… I had no problem handling my own children. I had no trouble changing them either. I guess when they’re yours, it’s different. At least it was for me!

Thursday October 20, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Even though you prepare your first child for months before a new baby comes by including them as much as possible and telling them that their status as “the oldest” makes them more important than ever, you still can’t avoid the pain of jealousy. The absolute dependency of baby unavoidably pushes the older child aside. This is when partnership in parenting matters so much. The more hands and hugs and “I love you”s, the better!

Sunday October 23, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Katie and Aaron made their own Monopoly rules when the ones that came with the game didn’t suit them. This is a shortened version of their game including “Va-Boogah!” which, was best shouted through a mouthful of Cheezies. These were the days before interactive video games and I often wonder if this was more fun.

Monday October 24, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Fall in northern Manitoba was short and the few deciduous trees we had shed their leaves into the wind and blew them away. We didn’t have to rake the yard in October, but we did need other things done. Our son was a big, healthy kid who could handle a rake or a broom, but putting such implements into willing hands was…challenging. Trying to convince Aaron that chores could be rewarding and fun was a chore in itself. No amount of coercion, reasoning or threat would move our boy into action. Money, however, talked. Each chore had a value. He would figure out how much he needed for a toy or game and accept the work that brought him closest to his goal. One Saturday morning when he was bored and looking for something to do, I suggested he vacuum the rug in the rec room. He thought for a minute, then said; “nah…I don’t need anything right now.” I had to admit; he might be lazy… but he was practical!

Tuesday October 25, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I bought a set of goggles and a flight helmet at a flea market in Winnipeg, thinking we might have a use for them some day. I bought a lot of crazy things like this which eventually filled a sizable trunk (which we still have to this day.) When Aaron discovered these two items, he wanted to be a flying ace for Hallowe’en and together, we made him a costume to remember.

Sunday October 30, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

The town of Lynn Lake was small enough that kids could be out on their own and you knew they wouldn’t be much more than a block away. Even so, one of us always accompanied the trick or treaters – as much for the social interaction as for their safety. Aaron resented having Kate along – he didn’t like to be slowed down. So this didn’t happen. This was another “what if” moment. What if Lizzie’s appearance resulted in more loot?

Monday October 31, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

When I was a little kid, I was deathly afraid of witches. At the time, there seemed to be no end to the movies and bedtime stories that featured the scariest of these. When I saw “Snow White” was terrified. “Hansel and Gretel” had me pulling the covers over my head for weeks. I was even chilled by Witch Hazel in “Little Lulu”. It was a long time before I overcame this fear of witches – and as I recall, it was about the same time, I began to stand up to my mother!