Lynn's Comments: Shopping with my kids at Christmas always reminded me of Christmases at home with my parents. Dad made $47.00 a week and if we had something left over by the end of the month, we could go into Vancouver from the north shore for dinner and a movie. For the four of us, this was a $12.00 expense and difficult to afford. Christmas therefore was sparse, and yet my parents made it as festive as any, with homemade gifts, hand sewn clothing and a turkey dinner to rival any feast in a grand hotel. It's good to have lived in a home where every dollar was hard earned and accounted for. As I walked about the shops with Aaron and Katie, I was as overwhelmed by the toys and the abundance as they were. It was hard to believe that I could afford these luxuries and difficult to keep from buying more than was necessary. Santa was indeed generous to my children...but the gifts I was given when I was their age probably meant more. They came from the heart more often than they came from the store!
Lynn's Comments: When I did this, Katie was well into the language learning curve and her baby talk was a lot of fun. For years, well after her move into adult vocabulary, we used her words ourselves, not wanting to lose the charm and the memory. "Blaffoon" was "bathroom", "puffermink" was "peppermint" and "bleffus" was "breakfast". These were all part of our vocabulary until she went to university! It was hard not to perpetuate the errors. Talking baby talk to our offspring was not our style, and yet we loved the sounds and the new words they invented as they learned how to communicate. It was interesting to see how a newfound ability with language made for nonstop talking. You can't wait for them to be able to tell you what they're thinking ... and, later - you're wishing they'd be QUIET!!! The dialogue in this strip went exactly as written, except that I kept the punch line to myself!
Lynn's Comments: Good dialogue makes a comic strip work. It has to flow like poetry. If you're lucky, someone will come up with a smart remark and this becomes the punch line. Here was an opportunity to think like a kid who wanted summer to last forever and still be his mom who was thinking in real time. Michael was able to counter her argument with something that worked, and I thanked the muse - again - for helping me come up with another daily.
Lynn's Comments: It was interesting to go to the Hudson's Bay store with my friend, Jane. Everyone knew everyone else in town and we felt it was necessary to comment on the weather, folks' health and their families. People she hardly knew would come up to her and feel her swollen tummy and I laughed when she remarked "Why do they do that to pregnant women? Nobody goes up to a guy, grabs his nether parts and says 'Hey, Jake! How's the ol' hernia??'" You've gotta have a sense of humor. You just do.
Lynn's Comments: I loved my children, but talking to toddlers all day fried my mind. I so desperately needed the company of grown ups, I'd go shopping just so I could exchange a few sentences that didn't contain "Poo-poo" or "Don't wanna!!" If Elly had a chance to work- even for free a couple of times a week, I figured she'd take it, even if it meant paying someone else to take Elizabeth. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.
Lynn's Comments: As a teenager, I often worked at Woodwards - a big department store in Vancouver. Every Christmas, at the last possible moment, anxious men would come into the store, desperately looking for "the right thing" for wives and girlfriends. Because my dad was a jeweller, I was most comfortable in the watch and jewellery department- which was the first place these crazed gents would go. Being a "shopper", I always looked around the store to see what perfect gifts I could find- for a mom or a girlfriend. I could always suggest something better than the fast "OK, that gew-gah looks good- I'll take it!" I was often given "time out" to take people to other departments where I'd point out a beautiful purse, glove and scarf set or unique linens or cookware. So many times, these men would return after Christmas and thank me for the ideas and it made me feel great! Who knew that in a few more decades, "professional shopper" would become a career!