Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Oh, Mom, how did you do it?


I am absolutely not ready for Christmas this year. We have nothing resembling a Christmas tree, I have done very little shopping, failed to send out a single Christmas card, and haven't even decided where we'll have Christmas dinner yet. There are three possibilities, and we'll have to take my father wherever we go. We haven't done the same thing on Christmas Day two years in a row for ages. I miss that.

Between now and Christmas, I have three concerts, three rehearsals, one evensong, a doctor's appointment, a day of teaching, a shopping date, a tentative baking date (Gill's cement shortbread! Yay!) and a bunch of cards to write. This is all well within the realm of normalcy, and I love it all, really I do. It's just that now we have this baby who slows me way, way down. I used to just hop in the car whenever I needed, and now I can't! He's so worth it, but I confess to pining a little bit for the freedom to do whatever, whenever.

I wonder how my mother managed when I was little and she had no car. She must have done a lot of weekend shopping, when Dad could mind me and she could use the car, in a day when the population of Toronto was about a quarter what it is today, and a trip to the mall three Saturdays before Christmas wasn't necessarily life-threatening. Oh, how I wish I could ask her about those times! But there would be no point. Toronto's changed too much; her Christmas Shopping When You Have A Baby Battle Plan circa 1973 would be useless to me now.

I remember going to the mall with mom on the bus when I was a little older. We traveled by bus all the time. No problem. The idea of taking Iain on the bus seems daunting to me now because all our public transit routes are so much more crowded than they were 25 years ago. I took the streetcar to a concert last night and was nearly crushed.

Hooray for online shopping! Mind you, it feels like cheating. And next week my sister-in-law and I will drive ourselves and our babies up to Vaughan Mills for a beautiful morning of weekday morning shopping in what my folks would have called "desecrated farmland". Living in Willowdale, we were suburbanites of sorts, but they still took every opportunity to criticize urban sprawl.

Iain is six months old today. Half a year has flown by, and I will write something suitably mushy in my Baby Livejournal later today. Or maybe I'll post it here. After all, his life is part most of my life, not a sidenote. I think I may begin reserving my baby journal for tales of sleep, poop, weight percentiles and so on. Sweet potato seems to have powerful laxative qualities, but y'all might not be too keen on the details, and I am sensitive to that fact. You're welcome.