Wednesday, May 25, 2005


"Mom, can we get another hamster?" Markus pleaded. "I have learned my lesson. I won't put any more duct tape on it."

Poor hamster. You can just imagine how it was as Markus peeled the tape off.

I love pets. But for now, they are a no-no in our house. For me, they are a potential aggravation and additional burden to my already overworked body. Unless my boys commit to take full responsibility for the proper care of these creatures, beyond Markus's promise never to use duct tape on them again, I will not even consider it.

The cost of maintaining pets is another consideration. It is like having another child without the tax exemption and monthly government subsidy. Once you have a pet, you are looking at food costs, vet costs, insurance costs, and so many other hidden costs. Lassie, time to take you to the groomer for your pedicure, er, paw-dicure.

Ever since we set foot on Canada, we have had a dog (a cross between a rottweiler and a bulldog), rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and cockatiels at different times but for the same reason -- we thought we were ready for pets. Whenever having pets had ceased to be fun, especially for me, we gave each one away except for the guinea pigs that killed each other. The dog was gone in two weeks, the cockatiels lasted several months. We gave a rabbit to the SPCA and 7 baby hamsters to a petshop. All for free. No, we had to pay SPCA to take in the rabbit, and in turn, we were scolded for not taking further care of it. Only Gabriel's hamster was lucky enough to die of old age.

I find it hard to appreciate rodents. They remind me of rats and mice that we mercilessly killed in the Philippines, poisoned or trapped with fly paper. This is why I cannot understand why petshops here sell mice for $3 a piece. Or why people buy them. Markus wants one. I refuse to give in. There will be no mouse in our house especially if I have to shell out $30 for a cage and other amenities to give it a comfortable life. Oh rats!

I would probably like to have a nice dog in the future on the following conditions:

it is free;
it has been neutered and given shots;
my boys will commit to taking it out every day -- winter, spring, summer and fall;
does not shed constantly,
does not bark persistently,
can eat leftover food
does not attack people
does not chew on shoes
is toilet trained.

By the looks of it, I'm not going to have a dog for a very long time.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

What I Got for Mother's Day

I got Mother's Day coupons, two each from Gabriel and Markus, a few days ago. From Gabriel, I got a coupon for one free hug and another for washing the dishes. Likewise, Markus gave me a coupon for one free hug and another for vacuuming.

Claiming the hugs was easy. The chores were a different story.

"Mom, it has expired," Gabriel said, referring to the dishwashing coupon.

"What?? It's not even Mother's Day. Expired already?"

At least he cooked breakfast yesterday as advanced Mother's Day gift. Sunny-side-up eggs and pancakes rolled like sausages.

Asked about the vacuuming, Markus replied, "Mom, that's good only for one day. You want to use it when the house is very dirty. I've seen it dirtier," Markus said.

Oh, okay. I hate to see the house dirtier but I guess you can help make that happen with very little effort.

Encouraged by Gabriel's cooking, Markus also fried eggs this morning.

"So Markus, how about the vacuuming?" I asked again.

"Oh, I really meant cooking but I accidentally put vacuuming and it expired May 7. So how do you spell vacuuming, Mom? Is it with two U's?"



He got the spelling, all right, but apparently that was not what he meant.

Aww shucks. I wasn't told these coupons could be revoked or altered without notice--and they had expiry dates!

Nevertheless, in addition to two cuddly stuffed toys which they bought with my money, and a lunch out at The Pantry, this lovely message from Markus's handmade card made my Mother's Day:

"Happy mothers day! Thank you for everything. Here are ten reasons why you are the best mom.

1. you help us with our homework
2. you cook delicious foods
3. your very kind.
4. you make cookies alot
5. you help me when I'm hurt
6. your very funny
7. your very smart
8. your always happy
9. you buy us toys
10. your always there for us

Thank you Markus, your a wonderful son. And thanks Mickey for paying half our lunch bill at The Pantry. And thanks Gabriel and Gino for sharing the fun.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Me - the blogger mother

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I was busily typing on the computer when Gabriel and Markus came up running, one after the other, to my room. By the sound of it, they had another squabble.

“Mom, Markus called me fat,” Gabriel complained.

“No, I didn’t,” Markus was defensive.

Gabriel didn’t look like he was joking, but I almost laughed.

“You are not fat,” I brushed aside his moaning. Because if you were so, I’d be grossly obese. I continued working, but the two just wouldn’t leave me alone.

“Mom,” Gabriel went on. “He called me fat with an h. FATH! That means dumb.”

I paused for a moment and turned to Markus. “Markus…” I said, in a firm tone that says you-cannot-get-away-with-that.

Just then Gabriel broke into a naughty smile and said, “Mom, fath is not even a word.” Then he and Markus started laughing, and poking fun at me.

Grr! They got me again with some nonexistent word. Perhaps for the third or fourth time. Hey, you two, don't you take me for a fath!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Sneeze it

Markus woke up today with puffy, reddish eyes that made his face look swollen. He had a cold, but to make sure it wasn't something else, I drove him to the clinic. On the way, he asked me, “Mom, can you make yourself sneeze at any time?”

“No,” I replied.

“Well, I can,” he said. “I just roll up paper and stick it up my nose,” which was what he was doing with a piece of Kleenex that I gave him.

“Oh, yeah. Didn’t I teach you that?” I remembered.

“No. I’ve been doing that.”

“I taught you that,” I insisted.

“No. What time did you teach me that?” Markus was very sure he learned it all by himself. And to prove his point, he was even going to establish a timeline.

“So what time did you teach me, Mom?” he asked again. “I learned it at 7.”

Who remembers the time she teaches someone how to trigger a sneeze with rolled up paper? But I had no doubt I taught him that a few months ago when his nose was all stuffy. (Ok, I didn't learn this from Dr. Spock.)

“I think it was 3 months ago,” I said, certain it was much earlier than 7 a.m.

“Mom, I learned it at 7. That was more than 2 years ago!!”

Oh, he beat me to it. I conceded.

To sort of redeem myself, I added, “Just don’t stick anything else in your nose.”

“So I can’t stick lead?”

“No, just paper.”

“And my finger.”

“Eww, that’s gross, Markus. Don’t do that in front of other people. It's dirty.”

After a short silence, Markus continued, “Why do people say Hachoo or Hatsing? You can just say Hackkhh…”

"Well, people like to do it differently." I know someone who says Whiiissskey.

Then he genuinely sneezed and spewed fluids on the dashboard.

“Yikes, Markus!!!” I need to teach him to cover his mouth while sneezing. Looks like he didn't learn this at 7.