Thursday, March 31, 2011

Productive an unproductive way.

     I have a million things to do tonight. I'm not being facetious either; I literally have a million things on my extensive "To Do" list. I am only 1/3 (I'm being slightly generous here) finished my spring cleaning; my husband would love it if I finished scrap booking the billions of pictures that I've accumulated over the last decade and finally clear off our enormous dining room table that I've taken over with adorable 3D stickers, multicolored ribbons, buttons, and do-dads. I have all the blankets and bed linens from the house and cottage to wash and dry and fold; unfortunately our floors will not sweep and wash themselves and the dishes are screaming at me from the depths of their stainless steel dungeon.

     Soon after I rationed out hugs and kissed and whispered my last "I love you" for the evening, I studied my "To Do" list and surveyed the house. I had visions of my long night ahead of me and it looked decidedly unfun. It took me 3.781 seconds to grant myself a night off. I've just finished giving myself a mani/pedi (I've been hoarding my Avon Foot Works lotions and potions as I was without an Avon rep...Ali, expect an order for these things in the next few weeks lol.) I'm also in need of some current and trendy colors for my nails- I get bored of french manicures after a few weeks and need some color periodically - but I am out of the loop fashion wise and have no idea if chartreuse is in or is greige still cute? I am about to take a pause (insert a Time Out!) to go apply a chocolate scented mud mask {Saku is sitting as close to me as possible right now and he's sniffing the air like crazy} and I have a thouroughly chilled Pepsi Max on the ready to my right. I am looking forward to answering some FB messages and composing some emails; I have a letter to write to a much loved former roommate, and Oooo! I just saw that a show on the Bermuda Triangle starts in an hour, followed by one about Atlantis (my nerdiness can only be contained for so long before it seeps out in floods of embarrassment. Its most evident in my lust for fantasy and sci-fi movies and documentaries about aliens and ancient civilizations. Nick hates watching TV with me lol.) I'm even willing to stay up late tonight in order to fit in a bubble bath and finishing off a borrowed book that has proven to be riveting and worthy of forgoing sleep in favour of turning page after page.

     Here's to nights off and the simple things that keep me sane and pleasant.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Breakfast Club

     Nick and I are try to develop rituals and memorable occasions that will remain with our kids for a lifetime. The kind of moments that we, now as adults, look back on our childhood and realize that our parents did purposefully. For example, Nick remembers every Sunday morning going to church and then being rewarded with going out for breakfast with his family. I remember for holidays helping prepare two plates overflowing with all the traditional food my mom spent all day making and going next door to deliver them to our two elderly neighbours and visiting with them. We remember the ritual of picking out and cutting down the perfect Christmas tree; we remember family vacations (while not elaborate and expensive, they were more about family time and having fun together); we remember Canada day celebrations at the park; Nick tells stories about snowmobile trips, and I secretly yearn for large family parties back at my grandparents' farm. The point is that we realize now that the memories of these quaint pleasures did not simply occur- our parents went out of their way to make them happen. So the question for us becomes: what kind of things would we like our children to remember as our family rituals and special every day simplicities?
     We love the idea of weekly mass on Sunday followed by breakfast with family. The problem, however, lies within our sleeping patterns. Sunday mass is at 9 am. Mommy finds that a tad too early (I do not have time to chug 2 cups of coffee before a 9 am mass. Jesus should know this!) As well, Noelle has a weird quirk due to her syndrome- she doesn't sleep the whole night through. Ever. She gets up in the middle of the night to play and only falls back to sleep at around 5-6 am. So she sleeps in almost every day. {We are lucky though, some kids like Noelle don't play quietly by themselves when they wake up at night- they yell and scream and no one in their families sleeps straight through the night. I count my blessings daily, as I am fully aware that this blog could easily be called "Sleep Deprived and Permanently Bitchy Mommy"} I think I will have to change our approach- mass on Saturday night at 5:30 and breakfast Sunday once everyone gets up- and I am fully caffeined. So this week we missed mass again but we were determined to go to breakfast. We called friends up and asked them to meet us. We wrangled the kids into their car seats and headed out. As soon as we sat down in our booth we knew it was not going to go as smoothly as hoped. Noelle was in terrible humour, not wanting to sit on her own, whining, making a fuss, getting mad at Nick who was trying to entertain her. Now this breakfast could have degenerated into a totally crappy experience but for three things:
1- We were there with good friends who know Noelle well and were very nonchalant about her behaviour.
2- The restaurant was filled with a high ratio of elderly people who just smiled at Noelle and gave us encouraging winks and made eyes and faces at Dryden to keep him happy.
3- The staff at Mary's are kind hearted people. They brought out toys and different seats and asked what they could do to help. Obviously not their first tantrum...   
     Turns out she was just tired- on the ride home, her head bobbed lower and lower in her car seat until it was resting on her buckle and her soft snores drifted up from the back seat. Our Sunday has been salvaged and we'll try mass and breakfast again next week, because really, our kids deserve the effort and the memories aren't just for them either; when I'm old and teetering on the edge of life, and can only remember one thing- I would choose to remember a lifetime's worth of Sunday mornings.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What I love

     It occurred to me today while playing with the little ones that there will come a day when I am finished having babies...and my babies will not be babies anymore. I realize that I often bitch and complain about my kids and the always crazy, often mundane lifestyle of the modern stay-at-home-mom but I don't always mention the highly enjoyable, hilarious aspects of my life that have been enriched by the presence of our little ones. I wondered today if I would remember what I loved and cherished about my babies and what made them so funny and exasperating when they were toddlers. I might need a reminder of how much I loved being around my kids once they've morphed into alien beings also known as teenagers so I've started to compile a list that will either highlight how similar all our kids are...or demonstrate how ridiculous our brood is.

What I love about Babies and Toddlers:

1-The moment I fell in love with each of my kids and realized how much my parents must have loved me. (Nick: "Wow, do you think my dad loved me as much as I love Dryden right now?"
                   Me: "No. I think that's impossible.")
2- They smile in their sleep.
3- They fart unabashedly in situations that would be socially awkward for adults.
4- How pissed off they get when they have the hiccups (seriously, chill out, they're just hiccups).
5- The adorable and all encompassing stretch they do after one of their many naps- I would sell my left foot to feel that satisfied and refreshed after a nap.
6- They laugh at the dumbest things: the dog sneezing, a spoon falling off the table, the sound a bag of chips makes when it openings. And I'm just as dumb because I spend the rest of the day trying to recreate that sounds to hear him/her laugh again.
7- The first time they really looked at me and I know they recognized me.
8- How much they love their feet. No creature in the history of the Earth has ever been so entertained by, and loved their own feet like my children- and I must admit, their fat little toes are pretty fantastic.
9- The first time they reached up and held their bottle of milk...and I thought, "Thank goodness, one less job for me to do."
10- When they were very young and they nestled into the hallow of my neck and shoulder.
11- How the fit perfectly on my hip- making vacuuming that much easier.
12- The random positions that they fall asleep in: upside down, sitting up against the wall, on top of a music box (with the music blaring), under the dog's head, half on the bed, half off...actually, do they ever sleep normally?
13- The crazy language they spin before they know how to really speak. What's even better is when you have two of them together and they're both speaking gibberish. I often wonder if they're speaking the same gibberish or is it different dialects? Like, is one speaking German gibberish and the other is speaking Mongolian gibberish? Can they understand each other? Its hilarious either way.
14- How exaggerated their movements are when they first learn to feed themselves. They bring the spoon to their face super slow and open their mouth as wide as they can...and then at the last minute they turn the spoon upside down and the apple sauce lands on their lap. Now rrepeat 27 times...
15- How Dryden pretends to talk on the phone: "!" all the while talking with his hands like the true little french man he is.
16- When they learn a new word- and reuse it all the time, even when it is clearly out of context or they don't pronounce it properly. These little gems include "ka ka", "truck", "sit " (which almost always sounds like "shit" when Noelle says it. Kinda uncomfortable when she says it to my 95 year old Nana.)
17- When they finally get sleepy and rub their eyes and tug their ears. They've developed their own form of sign language that even their thick headed mom can understand.
18- The rare and random occasion when they climb up onto my lap and snuggle, sitting quiet and just enjoying my company before jumping down and continuing their rampage.
19- When they share their snacks with the dog. To be honest, anything they do with the dog is super cute.
20- How excited they get when Nick gets home. Its a mini freak out every time- their enthusiasm is contagious...they make me more excited for Nick to get home. My husband is slightly baffled by the three of us waiting by the door, fighting to be first to hug him.

     I will definitely add to this list later on. I missed my nap today so I'm kinda beat (as I rub my eyes and tug on my left ear....)

So this is how normal people live...

     I must say, the last few days have been blissfully uneventful. I've been purposefully slow to start rescheduling all of Noelle's weekly therapies since we've all recovered from our colds- and it feels fantastic not to have to be anywhere every day, or have to clean like a fiend before a home session and threaten the children to behave or else Mommy's head will explode. I'm not even remotely embarrassed by the fact that my kids have worn pyjamas, mismatched socks, and jogging suits all week. Eventually my selfish repose will have to come to an end and the daily jaunt to therapies will resume...but until then, we are languishing in leisurely bath times, extended breakfasts, and the crisp, fresh scent of spring cleaning (I'm a very slow spring cleaner. You will probably be hearing about this chore until Octoberish...December at the very latest. And then I'll be complaining about Christmas cleaning. Consider yourself forewarned.)
      My jog last night was similarly unremarkable- although I'll be grateful when the street sweeper comes by; all I could smell and taste was damp dirt, gravel particulates, and decomposing cardboard (?) It was refreshing not to trip on anything, not step in a giant pile of festering dog crap, and not humiliate myself in some highly unlikely, but predictably "Rachel" situation. I am, however, quite sore today. My body doesn't remember how to process so much physical activity is such a  short period- we curled in a tournament on the weekend, jogging Monday and Wednesday, and Zumba on Tuesday. I generously gave myself tonight off from walking- actually, I had a feeling that it was a bad idea. I feel like I am currently resting in the eye of a storm; that while I am happily enjoying my string of good luck (or rather, regular luck for normal people) it is inevitable that something is going to muck it up. And soon. So I'm sticking my head in the ground and avoiding it (actually, I'm eating peanut butter filled Easter eggs and watching "Life After People" while blogging....but you get the idea.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great, now I'm hungry for pickles too....

     I did it- I got off my butt and started jogging. I found a fantastic site,, (or as I affectionately call it) and it has a feature called the "Couch to 5k" program. It is a day-by-day running schedule that enables you to train yourself to be able to run a 5k marathon in 3 months. Every week the program adds time or distance to your jog. This week, I start with a 5 minute walk and then jog for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds and alternate these for 25 minutes and end the whole thing with a 5 minute cool down walk. I do this three times this week, and I'll just go for a walk on the alternate days. I am in love with this program! I like that it lays everything out for me...step by step. It tells me when to walk, when to jog, when to go fast, when to go slow, how to breath, how to invest my income tax return, how to make the perfect beef gravy...its brilliant. Monday night, after the little ones stretched and yawned for the last time, I suited up and went for my jog- in about 40 cms of slush. Apparently, no one in the township's office heard that I was going for a jog and the plows were not dispatched. I did much better than I thought I was capable of...although I will not shy away from the truth- the last few minutes of jogging were more of an enthoused shuffle, and the grande finale was me hawking up the remnants of my cold. Attractive? Yes.
     Tonight I went to Zumba with my sister (Yay! someone to make faces at!) and then I promptly came home and ate a bag of Cadbury mini cream eggs. I bought them to send to a friend from highschool who loves them, but I ate them instead. I have done this three weeks in a row now. I think I should alter my approach; I should just send her a card with $5 in it and tell her to buy her own eggs. It would be better for my health anyways. I don't think I've ever even eaten a Cadbury cream egg before I started buying them to send to Jane. The Easter spirit is sabatoging my diet! Thank goodness she doesn't like chocolate eclaires or deep fried pickles too....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tough Decisions...

     Nick and I are planners: we come up with a plan, write it down, display it where we both can see it on a daily basis, and are almost always rewarded with a well executed plan and results. We do this whole process not because we are obnoxiously organized (everyone secretly hates those people), or obsessive compulsive, or annoying control freaks; quite the opposite actually - if we didn't do this ritual, we would never follow through with anything. We have a tendency to alter plans on a whim (Nick demoed our kitchen one afternoon, months before planned, because he hit his head on one of the overhanging cupboards), loose interest, or blow copious amounts of money just because we can. So when we really want something, we plan for it. This year, financially, we wanted to get married on New Years Eve (and finally shut everyone up with their "So when are you guys getting married?" once and for all), we wanted a trip down south with just the two of us, and we wanted a week long family trip in the summer. We worked out a budget, and stuck to it.
     We were married in the twilight of December 31st, followed by a reception celebrated with family and friends. We even stayed under our  $7500 budget (barely!)
     We've saved enough money, and arranged for family to watch our kids and dog for 8 glorious days in the beginning of April. We're practical people, and I am extremely budget conscious, so we planned to book a last minute trip. We didn't care where we were going down south, so long as it was warm, there was tons of activities to do, the booze was strong and abundant, and we were alone. By booking last minute, we knew we'd pay far less and stay under our (small) set budget. We were set!
     Two weeks ago, we had an unfortunate incident at our cottage near Mont Tremblant. Our washing machine is located next to an exterior wall which, apparently, is not adequately insulated. The draining pipe froze overnight. Unbeknownst to our renters that weekend, they started a load of washing and left, only to return to find that the machine had drained all the water into our bathroom, rec room, and games room. All the floors in our basement have lifted, and now need to be replaced. Our options were (a) put everything on our trusty VISA...or (b) cancel the trip down south and use that money instead. We try to live a lifestyle of 'if you don't have the money, you don't buy it' we canned the trip. Our kids are still going to stay with Nick's parents, and Saku is still going to hang out with Auntie Marie (bahaha Marie- sucker!) We'll spend our week at Tremblant, replacing our floors, laying tile on a focal fireplace wall, insulating a certain exterior wall, and installing a new washer and dryer. We'll take day trips to Tremblant to enjoy all the resort town has to offer. It'll be a much different trip then we had planned- but I'm looking forward to it. Nick and I do surprisingly well renovating long as we stick to the plan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I should have stayed in bed...

     Today was one of those days that just gets increasingly crappier and crappier. My day was kick started in the black hours of the morning- 4:17 am to be exact. I was jolted from a welcomed deep sleep by the insane barking of our dog downstairs. He was going ape shit crazy- barking and howling. Nick was at the cottage for the night- prepping it for renters for the March break, so it was up to me to defend the fort. I threw on my house coat and hideous pink crocs (clearly the proper attire for fighting burglars) and ran downstairs. I was ready for them. I rounded the corner, into the back den to face the intruder that Saku diligently alerted me to. Robbers? Rapist? Band of teenage junkies on the prowl in the metropolis of Moose Creek?! Nope. Some random dog had the audacity to trespass in our yard and piss on Saku's favorite tree. Are you friggin' kidding me. My heart was hammering so hard that it was reverberating in my ears. I gave the dog a swift kick in the arse...and then felt bad, so I put a handful of treats in his dish (no wonder he's so dense- I am the worst dog trainer. Ever.) I climbed the stairs back to bed...only to be greeted by the wails of Noelle and Dryden. Apparently Saku's fit scared the bejesus out of them too. 30 minutes of snuggles and a round of warm milk lulled everyone back to the sweet heaviness of sleep. Well, almost everyone. I was officially awake for the day. And so was my cold. Let me correct that- my second cold. I had a reprieve of an entire day of health before being slapped by another cold.
     I had to pretend that I was a pleasant human being, for the duration of the morning anyways, as we had a home visit from Noelle's Developmental Service worker. I scrambled to clean the house while the kids ate their breakfast...actually all they did was dump their apple sauce on their heads. Jerks- didn't they know that I didn't have time to give them a tubby!? So I had to resort to sticking their heads under the kitchen tap- which, obviously, would be the exact moment when the DSW showed up. Its hard to look casual after being caught trying to water board your kids...I'd love to read the note she took on this session lol. The appointment was a bust- Noelle was not in the mood to cooperate, choosing instead to practice her new found "ignoring skills" and Dryden kept sneaking up behind me and wiping his runny nose on my pants (by the end of the day, my clothes look like I was attacked by a rogue gang of snails. Gross.)
     Lunch was an exercise in extreme patience for me- both kids tossed their bowls of soup directly onto my dining room curtains. Mad Mommy was about to loose her cool. I needed some coffee (intravenously if necessary), some NyQuil, and a nap- in that order.
     My nap was cut short by the $&*#ing Jehovah Witnesses that harass me every second week. How is that fair? My husband is dumb enough to actually engage them in a chat that he was too polite to cut off...and I have to endure their constant visits for the next 2 and a half years!? Well my point was made today- I told them to piss off and I tossed their "Awake" pamphlet back at them. Jesus can ground me for that one later....
     My mercifully short afternoon was marred by re-twisting my ankle on an abandoned hot wheels dinky car (I think it was a plum colored el camino...I always hated those ugly cars/truck hybrids.) I was desperate- I even resorted to my back-up plan: I sold my soul for an "Time Out" for the rest of the day. The kids were good all night after supper (which they ate without me having to dive in slow motion to absorb a splash of stew meant for the curtains), they played nicely without fighting, and they were instantly sleepy at bedtime. I've since raided the Easter candy (Jesus can add an extra week to my punishment) and I fully intend to chug 1/3 of that bottle of NyQuil, take a bath, and forget that I ever got out of bed this morning. If Saku values his life, he'll munch on the treats I'll put in his dish before bed...and shut the hell up tonight!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friendly Revival

     When I started this process of enriching my life and freeing myself from unsatisfying repetition, one of my main desires was to reconnect with good friends that I hadn't spoken to in many long years. This seemed like such a daunting task which filled me with anxiety and gave me pause; in most cases I couldn't even remember why, or when, we drifted apart. Would these women even be interested in putting in the time and effort to reconnect with me? Surely they had active lives, filled with cherished friends and wouldn't need my offering of friendship. Would they even remember me?! I had a sickening feeling that every phone call, every email, every letter would be met with confusion, bewilderment, and a polite decline for a invitation to get together. I convinced myself that I was worth it and didn't look back; I reached out and waited for replies- the snake pit of nerves in my stomach sent venom of uncertainty and doubt throughout my system. If our roles were reversed, would I make the effort for an old friend?

     I can say with all certainty that I was humbled and elated by the responses that I received. I was eagerly met with enthusiasm and immediate plans to meet and catch up. Detailed letters and long meandering Facebook messages were exchanged with long distance friends- detailing the growth of their relationships, the excitements in their lives, the life changing events they've navigated through over the years. I met with highschool girlfriends for supper- a lovely meal, copious amounts of wine and smokes, and hours of chatting as though no time stood between us. It was amazing and I relished every moment of it. I got together for drinks and supper with friends from university- we caught up and shared info on other friends we've heard from. It was an evening that ended far too soon (in a culmination of parking tickets and snow storms). In both cases, we made plans to commit to monthly dates that I will prioritize in my schedule.

     I wasn't disappointed in a single instance where I reached out to an old friend; they reaffirmed what I already knew: that these were relationships worthy fighting for, worth cultivating. Every girl was forgiving and understanding- acknowledging that life does indeed get in the way sometimes, and that a good friend, a life long friend, simply pushes it to the side when the right  time comes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Screw you Crayola

     Today was an educational day. Every day as a parent, I learn something new from my kids; today was no different. Today I discovered that:

1- It is unspeakably stupid to give a three year old and a 19 month old a package of crayons and paper and expect them to use said crayons on the paper once your back is turned.
2- A Magic Eraser takes crayon off walls and furniture amazingly fast.
3- Apparently wax crayons smell super fantastic and toddlers and dogs cannot resist the temptation to taste them.
4- Crayons are conveniently shaped with the perfect diameter to wedge deep into ear canals (to tickle one's brain?) and up noses...and not necessarily their own nose. The dog's nose is fair game if he is foolish enough to stay in the same room as crayon wielding kids.
5- Four or five crayons, side by side on the floor, act as a swiftly moving conveyor belt if stepped on...sending you crashing on (a) your ass or (b) your head
6- Regardless whether there are 100 crayons on the table, both my kids will fight over the Canary Yellow one. And they don't even know colors yet- they just know that the other kid was happy holding the Canary Yellow crayon, so therefor they will be happier if they steal it.
7- I hate craft time.
8- I will never introduce them to finger paints of any kind. Ever.
9- Saku may or may not poop a multi-colored rainbow for the next few days.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A new week, a new cold

     The last week has gone by in an opaque fog of neocitran induced, Nyquil-comatose state of disorientation and exhaustion. It has been a few years since I've been that ill; my first experience of being sick while tending to two little kids. It was a seemingly endless week in which I shamelessly did very little around the house. Everyone was forced to eat soup everyday for lunch and supper (that's all that I felt like making...and it wasn't home made either, let's not be delusional people, I'm talking about Lipton's Cup-A-Soup here.) Noelle and Dryden were permitted to do basically whatever they pleased; so long as nothing was broken, the dog wasn't terrified, and I didn't have to lift my head too far off my pillow to reprimand them. I surveyed our house this afternoon during nap time. What. A. Disaster. My husband shared a moment of rare, pure, truthful insight as he stood beside me and said: "trying to keep a house clean with young children is as futile as shoveling the driveway during a blizzard." Wow- I'm out of commission for a week and suddenly Nick is speaking like a Chinese proverb. Amazing.
     After all the lamenting (aka whining) I've done over this cold, I would gladly endure it ten times over if I could take it away from our three year old daughter right now. All of my obsessive efforts to prevent the spread of my germs were for nothing. Noelle is coughing from deep within her chest and her wet, half-opened eyes clearly look feverish. Any normal parent of any normal child who is sick, feels helpless and useless- being unable to make your child feel better is an awful state to find yourself in. Our situation, however, is slightly different. Our daughter Noelle is a special needs child; she was born with Isodicentric 15 Syndrome and is developmentally delayed. Although she is three years old chronologically, developmentally, she is more similar to our 19 month old son. This developmental delay has shaped and enriched our lives in countless ways- which I will save for another blog I'm certain. Today, I was frustrated and pained by her inability to understand. She doesn't know to cough up the gunk that is congesting her chest; she hates having her face touched so wiping her nose has lead to tantrums every single time; she hates medication of any sort (a fear born from traumatic hospital stays) so tricking her into taking it- and swallowing it- is mentally and physically tiring. Noelle, even on a normal day, needs extraordinary amounts of physical affection- so when she is sick...well, actually almost all of our day consists of holding and snuggling. Noelle only has a vocabulary of about 25 words (spoken and signed) so she can't communicate to us how she is feeling; Nicholas and I have adapted and were forced to become acomplished guessers.
     She is very obviously not feeling well, and I am struggling to to figure out how to make it better, how to make her better. I have no references or anyone to give me advice on what to do; I have no girlfriends with special children that I can cope with. There are weeks at a time where I feel like a new mom every day. Today was one of those days. I felt like I was simply stumbling through my day, hoping that what I was doing was effective. (Oddly enough, I often take that approach to electronics that I don't understand. I push as many buttons as I can, and then hope that it turns on and works on its own.) I need to pray for extra patience this week as its not her fault that she is sick and doesn't feel well. And its not my fault that I don't know what to do. I predict that Nick, Noelle, Dryden and I will get through this next week or so without (many) meltdowns and we will be smarter, and hopefully, healthier. Each new experience that we figure out together builds up our knowledge base and gives us the ability to get through the next impending challenge. I hope one day to be able to provide the information and real life experiences and solutions that we had to fight through, and seek out, to another parent of a child with Idic 15. I hope some day to make a difference in another family's every day life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another word for "Delicious?"

     Have you ever regretted doing something and had no means by which to reverse your actions?  I am fully contrite about what I have taught our kids; they have both learned a new word today. Normally this would be cause for jubilation- one more word for their repertoire, one step closer for them to move out, get a job, and pay for their own damn groceries (since when did pudding become more expensive then gold!?) However, I foolishly taught them to say "Ka Ka". Now, my intentions were bright, I had grand visions of them eventually being self aware of their bodily functions and being able to tell me when they had, or needed to, ka ka- thus being yet another step closer to toilet training and Independence. What I naively didn't realize is that they would abuse this new word, torture and embarrass me with it. Now every meal that I put in front of them is "ka ka" and that just hurts my feelings; I worked really hard on that tuna noodle casserole (ok, no I didn't...but still.) I need to warn my mother and mother-in-law about this new development before they try to feed my little ones and are offended by a head shake and a firm "No! Ka ka!"
     Actually, it might be more amusing if I don't warn them....