Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Post About Potty Training

Okay, I know potty training posts are only interesting to a very select group of people. If you are a parent or caregiver who is currently, or will soon be, potty-training a child, you might want to read and commiserate. If you are a parent or caregiver who has at any time in the past successfully potty-trained a child, then PLEASE read and give advice. If you aren't in either of these groups and/or don't want to read the terms "pee" and "poop" approximately 4,512 times, please go read something else today. For example, this or this or this.

Okay. The truth is, I need to write this post. I feel like we are getting nowhere with the process of potty training Gwen, and if I am honest? She is not the problem. We are. Chris and I cannot agree on how to proceed, and that means we are inconsistent and not leading her towards success.

Right off the bat, I have some questions I want to ask those of you who have been through, or are currently in, this process:

1. Do you know of a training pant or similar product on the market that will feel wet instantly against Gwen's skin, and yet not leak through to whatever furniture or carpet she happens to be sitting on?
2. Do you think it is possible to successfully potty train a child without using either naked time, or time in a theoretical "I know when I'm wet" training pant?
3. Do you believe that a parent who is NOT A STAY AT HOME PARENT can actually have any real control over when and how a child is potty-trained?

Now I'll tell you where we're at. Mid- to late August saw a huge jump in Gwen's potty readiness (and willingness). On one particular day, she didn't have a single wet or dirty diaper (except during naptime). On September 3rd, I wrote, "My original idea was to lock Gwen and I in a room for three solid days and Make It Happen. Because that is my personality and that is the way I understand things. Instead, Gwen picked a time when there is literally NO free time for us to do this - the month of August, when we were either travelling or having company every single weekend - and decided that she was Ready." We didn't know how to respond to it, and this means that a full month later, we haven't really moved forward. I'm going to play the Mama Card here and tell you that I think I know my daughter better than anyone else in the world (partially because she is a LOT like me), and I'm going to give you my best guess for what is going on in her head.

Gwen is perfectly happy to pee and poop on the potty, if she has nothing better to do. She gets dedicated attention while she's there; she gets to do grown-up things like flush the toilet; and she gets candy afterwards. We have successfully taught her that peeing and pooping on the potty are Good Things. However. If Gwen is playing, or colouring, or outside, or away from home, none of those things apply. Peeing or pooping in her diaper is convenient, it's easy, it's fast, and it doesn't interrupt what she's doing. Sure, she doesn't get a candy, but whatever. She'll just pee again later and get one then.

I think we have successfully taught Gwen that pee and poop can go in either place, depending on your mood. That is NOT good.

Chris and I recently agreed that instead of rewarding for an action - using the potty - we would reward for an inaction - keeping her Pull-Up clean and dry. This is a hell of a lot harder to do and doesn't seem to hold Gwen's interest very well. Plus, it's awfully vague. How long does she need to stay dry to earn a candy? Truth be told, I wish we'd never started with the damn candies anyway. When we did, I envisioned the Potty Boot Camp that would have us through this awful stage in a matter of two weeks, max. Gwen does not get candy as a rule. But thanks to this phase dragging on, she's getting several candies a day - sometimes, as previously mentioned, right before she's supposed to go to sleep. This does NOT work out well!

The main reason I'm finding this stage to be such a grind, in addition to my general Get-To-The-Goal way of looking at life, is that pottying is definitely interfering with her sleep. Even when candy is not involved. Every parent knows that children like to postpone bedtimes and naptimes, right? There are all kinds of ploys they will pull: "one more story", "one more snuggle", "one more song", etc. What if the ploy is: "I need to go potty"? What if you've already sat her on the potty three times in the past hour, and you're absolutely confident that there's nothing in her bladder? How do you respond: by invalidating her desire to sit on the potty? Or by rewarding her nap-delay tactics with positive attention? THIS MAKES ME CRAZY.

Thanks to recommendations and a kind gift from a friend, we are going to spend the weekend reading this and seeing if there is anything we can put into practice here before I tear my hair out. In the meantime, though, I'm very interested in other perspectives and in particular, your answers to the questions above.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Gwen: Month Twenty-Nine

Dear Gwen,
Today you are twenty-nine months and three days old.

As I write this, we are saying goodbye to an amazing summer that was packed full of adventures. Just this past month, we have visited a great number of playgrounds , had visits from both your cousins and your grandparents, and attended a Highland dance class. It's been a really fun month, and both your dad and I are looking forward to a change of pace as autumn comes.

Last month, I talked a lot about your growing imagination and your desire to tell stories. You told me another excellent one just this past weekend. It went like this:

There was a little elephant and it was stuck. The little duck came along and pulled it out. The little dog jumped over the basket. The little dog said, "woof woof woof!" The little duck said, "quack quack quack!" And the little elephant said ... what did the little elephant say? The little elephant said ... "Help, I'm stuck!"

Now that the weather has turned icky, I'm happy to say I'm starting to find more inside stuff for us to do together. I recently got to introduce you to one of my great passions, crafting - in particular, stamping. You had not napped for a few days and were absolutely fractious, driving me and your dad completely crazy with your whininess, crabbiness, demands, and just general ability to get into EVERYTHING. I got out some of my stamps and some cheap paper and we sat down together to do some stamping. When I next looked up, forty minutes had passed and you had been completely happy and completely engaged the entire time. I was thrilled! Of course, now you want to stamp all. the. time. I get it - hobbies are addictive. Honestly, I am very impressed by your attention span, so we will keep up the stamping and see if we can find some more fun crafts to do together as well.

I can't write this newsletter without talking about your potty training. You started off really strong, but things seem to be at a bit of a standstill, and I think it's because you are too damn smart. We adopted the "one candy for a pee, two candies for a poop" rule from your caregiver, Denise, and it didn't take you long to realize that if you had a tiny little pee on the potty, you'd get a candy. And then if you did the same thing ten minutes later, you'd get another candy. And then if you did the same thing ten minutes later, you'd get another candy. And if you happened to do this all right before naptime? Well, now you've bumped your nap back thirty minutes AND eaten three candies, so what are the chances you're going to go to sleep? Gwen one, parents ZERO. Yeah, it feels pretty great to get outsmarted by a two-year-old, let me tell you!

Your sleep has been a pretty big challenge lately, in fact. Not just your naps, but your nighttime sleep, and more specifically your morning sleep, has been patchy. There have been mornings when you've gotten up two solid hours before our alarm goes off, and since you are now tall enough to turn on your light - yep, you are now THREE FEET TALL - once you're up, you're up. And that means at least one of your bitter and exhausted parents needs to get up with you, not only to prevent you from destroying your room, but also because you start knocking on your door so we will come let you out. A few times you've been unhappy to wake, and have asked to come snuggle in the big bed, but this never works out. Your definition of snuggling involves a lot more kicking and talking and a lot less lying still and sleeping than I am strictly comfortable with, unfortunately.

Anyway, as mentioned above, your naps have also been absent. Last week you even missed a nap AT DENISE'S HOUSE, which never happens! The next two days you were home with me, and you didn't nap on those days either. But on Sunday, as I once again pretended to be optimistic and put you through your pre-nap routine, inspiration struck. When you told me, again, that you wanted to sleep in Mama's bed, I spun a fantastic tale about the magical ballerina princess who had visited Mama and Dada before Gwen was born, and how she had given baby Gwen this wonderful, magical bed that would always give her good dreams and help her have such wonderful sleep. As I told this story, you settled back down into your bed, pulled the covers around yourself, and started to relax. As I finished, you told me in your very emphatic voice, "That was a GOOD story, Mama! I really like that story!" I promised that I would tell it to you every single day if you wanted. And then I walked out of your room. AND THEN YOU FELL ASLEEP for the first nap in FOUR DAYS.

And lo, my ability to lie to my child suddenly became the stuff of legend.

As you can see from the picture above, you continue to be incredibly physically active. You can climb very quickly and very well - you inspire me to be both shocked and proud of your skills. You are pretty much unstoppable and are also very aware of what your limitations are: when you see a playground structure that is beyond you, you say, "Nope, that too big. I try someping else." I have to remember to stand back and let you judge things for yourself, as there have been many instances where you have climbed up and/or scrambled across structures that I didn't think you were capable of mastering. You truly amaze me.

Your behaviour has been pretty challenging lately. With the sleep interruptions, it's hard to know if you are hitting a new developmental stage or just suffering the grumpies from being overtired. I sure hope it's the latter. In the past few days, you have run off with something that belongs to me, yelling "NO!" when I asked you to bring it back, and hit me across the face and then laughed with glee when I told you that was not okay. That is not my typical Gwen. Yes, you are spirited and active, but you are also friendly and eager to please. I've never seen that kind of defiance in you, let alone the violent behaviour. If this is what the rest of "two" is going to be like, I might have to bring in a whole lot of backup. And by "backup", I mean "ice cream". For me.

There are also some awesome moments that need remembering, though. Like yesterday evening when you had been in bed for about an hour, and suddenly I heard your footsteps across the floor. Sure enough, when your dad turned on the video monitor he saw that you had turned on your light. "Crap, one of us is going to have to go up there." Your dad nominated me, and I was about to head upstairs when he said, "Wait a minute. She ... she just turned the light back off." Sure enough, you had gone to your bookshelf to fetch a book, turned the light off again, and climbed back into bed with your book. You snuggled up (in your magical bed of good dreams!) and went to sleep, no intervention necessary. That was definitely a first. Well done, Gwen.

You are changing and growing so fast that it's hard for us to keep up, and I truly wouldn't want it any other way. You amaze me every single day with your abilities and your personality. Next month's newsletter will be a big one: you will officially be two and a half years old. I can't wait to celebrate that milestone with you, my girl!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Things I Never Knew I'd Have to Tell My Child

"It's not neccessary to hit Mama with your pants."

"Why did you just put your earwax in my mouth?"

"That's not cheese, it's a leaf. Please don't eat it."

"Gwen, we don't eat toes."

"That's not lip balm, it's cheese. Please eat it."

"Fine, so those noodles are your friends. Can you please eat some of your friends now?"

"We came up here to change your bum, not to climb on barbecues or vacuum cleaners."

"Please don't hit me with your food."

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A few comments I've heard from various sources in the past month.

A teenager who works as an instructor at a gymnastics-based summer day camp: You know what's really sad, though, is that for most of these kids, they're being dropped off by their nannies, not their parents.

A retired teacher: It's just a shame the way people leave their kids unsupervised. When I was working, people would drop their kids off at 7:30 or 8 in the morning, long before the school opened. I thought, "Who's watching those kids?"

A mother-to-be, in response to previous comment: I have a friend who's a teacher and she has started going to work early just to keep an eye on all the kids whose parents drop them off early. It's not really her job, though.

A mother of teenagers: You should really get Gwen into ballet lessons, Laura. She obviously has natural talent.

The aforementioned gymnastics instructor: Do you ever take Gwen to the drop-in gymnastics? She would love it!

My city's Leisure Guide, re "Mom and Me Music - 18 months to 3 years":
What fun it is to sing, clap, move, dance and
learn. Participants will learn new songs, rhymes,
finger plays and dances all in a relaxed and caring
environment. One adult per child required.
Thursday mornings, 11:30am - 12:15pm.

Same Leisure Guide:
Twinkletoes, 2.5-4 years: Thursdays, 3 - 3:30pm
Jolly Jumpers Gymnastics, 2-3 years: Wednesdays, 10:30 - 11:15am
Tumble Bumble, 2-4 years: Mondays, 3:30 - 4:30pm
Mother Goose, 12-24 months: Fridays, 10:15 - 11:15am

Attention world: WE HAVE JOBS. We have to work. We're terribly, terribly sorry, but we have to. It is incredibly rare in this day and age to be able to own a home and raise a family on only one income. The implication is that kids who are being dropped off at their high-priced daycamp by a high-priced nanny are being neglected - that their parents don't care about them. The truth is, someone has to pay for stuff like daycamps and nannies (not to mention mortgages, groceries, utilities, school clothes, video game systems ...). Chances are that thanks to traffic and employers who actually want their employees at work on time, that someone had to leave for work a good two hours before your daycamp opens. The implication is that parents who drop their kids off at school early don't care about supervising them. The truth is, those parents are on their way to work - most of us have employers who DO NOT set our working hours based on school schedules. So school doesn't start until 8:45am? Well, Mom and Dad still have to be at work at 8am. What are you going to do about it? If you're really lucky, maybe you can afford (not to mention FIND) a nanny who's willing to fill that gap. If you're like most of us, you're going to drop your kid off early and hope for the best.

The implication is that my failure to register Gwen in any extra-curricular activities makes me cheap and/or uncaring. The truth is, my heart soars with excitement when I read class descriptions like the one above, and then is cruelly broken when I read that the class is held during working hours. After reading more than 50 enticing descriptions and an equivalent number of soul-crushing, impossible schedules, I feel like I've been beaten up. What's a working mom to do? Even if I could get two hours off work once a week, I'd have to take Gwen out of daycare in the middle of the day to attend the class, and that's disrespectful of Gwen's routine and of the caregiver/children who share that routine with her. (See previous post: I actually managed to find a solution to this, which is awesome. But I don't think my point is any less valid: a lot of people don't have the flexibility I have with understanding colleagues and a short commute.)

This is the kind of subtle abuse that working moms take, all the time. I'm sure none of the people listed above had any idea that their comments might be offensive or hurtful. I'm sure the organizers of our Leisure Guide didn't eagerly rub their hands together in anticipation of screwing over all the working parents and their poor, neglected kids. There is no malicious intent, but it hurts just the same. And what is the message to kids? If your parents work, you're not deserving of enrichment?

One more reason I'm in favour of government-subsidized preschool programs. Until we can offer all early learning activities to all children - whether their parents work or not - we're not serving them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Didn't Do For My Birthday

All day long on Friday I kept getting well wishes from friends and family and co-workers, who would then ask: Have you got any exciting birthday plans over the weekend?

After hearing myself repeat the same answer over and over ("No, not really. I was going to go to a cardmaking workshop but it got cancelled. It's going to be a quiet weekend: we're ordering some Chinese food, maybe watching a movie."), it seemed to get more and more pathetic with each repetition. What is wrong with me? Why aren't I partying it up? HOW LAME AM I?

Then it dawned on me why I wasn't feeling the need to go paint the town red.

Five weeks ago, I was watching Cirque du Soleil's Kooza in Vancouver.

Four weeks ago, I was attending Lady Gaga's sold-out Monster Ball, again in Vancouver.

Three weeks ago, I was hosting my sister and nephews for the Grand Playground Tour of 2010.

Two weeks ago, I was on an incredible trip with Chris, including the PNE, whitewater rafting, and many other adventures.

One week ago, I was hosting an uproariously amusing Zombie Survivor Party where I forced my friends to complete all kinds of ridiculous challenges for my amusement and the promise of shiny certificates.

So yeah. For my birthday weekend, I hung out, ordered some Chinese food, and watched a movie. Mostly while sitting on a very comfortable couch. And it was not lame at all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Today is my birthday! I am *mumble*mumble* years old today.

Here's what you can do today to grant my birthday wish:

Do something kind today, something that you might not normally do. Big or small, doesn't matter.

Then, leave me a comment to tell me about it.

That's all I really want for my birthday - to make the world a slightly better place. Who can't get behind that?

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My daughter is 2.5 years old and somehow I have been lured by the seductive call of ACTIVITIES.

In the past couple of weeks, I have signed Gwen up for three separate activities, totalling just over $200. She will be so damn enriched I won't know what to do with her. I should note, not all these activities happen at the same time, but you have to register and pay for them upfront or else you will lose your spot. Thus the giant outpouring of money, which I'm sure parents of older kids are very used to at this time of year.

I moan and groan, but actually I am pretty excited about all these activities. My only bugbear is that it's incredibly hard to find activities for kids that take place outside of working hours - which has the two-fold effect of making working parents feel both marginalized and guilty, and also ensures that any weekend/evening classes fill up within 12 hours of the Leisure Guide being published. More on that in another post.

So, here's what our well-rounded Gwen will be doing in the next few months:
Starting in October, she'll be attending a Saturday morning session of Music for Young Children. This is the most expensive program she's taking and also the one I am most excited about, as she adores music and will no doubt really enjoy this. I have to give a shoutout to my friend Robin T., who works for the City and thus must have some connections. When she saw that there were no MYC classes offered outside of working hours, she contacted the teacher to find out what the class minimums were, and then emailed a bunch of us working moms with a proposal: if we could get 6+ students together, the teacher would book a weekend class at our convenience. Voila! Saturday morning session of MYC. I AM STOKED.

In November, Gwen will be starting Tumble Bumble classes at one of the local rec centres. I'm pretty excited about this class, too: we've attended a drop-in session previously, and it was fantastic. Picture a giant gymnasium filled with all kinds of stuff that kids might want to play with: play tunnels, basketballs (with accompanying child-sized hoops), hockey sticks and nets, beanbags and traffic cones, wagons, hula hoops, those gigantic blue mats for bouncing on ... just everything. It's all set out for them to enjoy and there is very little structure to the program: it's just a 60-minute "have at 'er" for the kids' enjoyment. I had to work a little creatively to make this happen, as well: it IS scheduled during my work hours, but at least it's at the end of the day (3:30pm rather than 10:15am) so I just have to leave work a bit early, get Gwen from daycare, and head to the class. My new job often requires extra working hours, which they are only too happy to give back at my convenience, so I've worked this out without losing pay.

Then in January Gwen starts swimming lessons. This is not so much exciting as just a necessity. Nevertheless, this her third round of swimming lessons will be a "transitional level where preschooler is transferred from the care of the parent to the instructor" which kind of makes me tear up a bit. Soon - too soon, probably - she will be ready to attend the "unparented" class. I have no words to express how profound these transitions feel.

Speaking of enrichment, September's fresh start and the emphasis on the school/activity season really emphasizes to me that April is just around the corner. In April Gwen will be turning three and ready to start preschool. I have mixed feelings about this milestone. While I am so excited for her to be growing up, I also feel blindsided by how quickly time is going. Which is why I think it's that much more important for me to make time to attend classes with her while I'm still welcome to do so.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mama's Girl

Another week, another complete lack of posts. Bah. I'm working on it. The thing is, I am burning through my schoolwork faster than I thought, which is exciting and motivating, and I don't want to lose the momentum. So that's where my "free" (as in, not at work and not actively parenting) time is going.

I've been thinking about parental favouritism lately. I remember reading Linda's heart-wrenching posts about her son Riley, who would show his preference for his father in definitive and sometimes violent ways. Linda, naturally, was an emotional wreck in these instances. She also talked about how it wasn't any easier on her husband, who sometimes wanted a damn break, or was busy doing other things when Riley demanded his attention/interaction, shunning his entirely available mother. I remember feeling so sad for Linda, and being sure that the phase would pass - which, of course, it did.

When Gwen was an infant, a stage I remember with all the angst and blurriness of a trauma survivor, she was all about Mama. I was often the only one who could calm her screaming, and I remember how exhausting that was. I remember how hard it was on Chris to feel rejected all the time, and I remember telling him that it wasn't personal, that the bond would improve with time and that for now, we just had to do whatever we had to do to get some silence, some sleep.

We're going through the same thing again, now. Gwen often wants nothing to do with Chris, and will harshly tell him, "No, Dada, you GO AWAY!" When I am cooking dinner and ask her to go get her bib, she brings it back to me - walking right past her dad - and wants me to help her put it on. I tell her that Dada can help her, and she wails as if I've just taken away a toy: "No, MAMA help me!" Meanwhile I'm trying to stir dinner and slice veggies and pour her milk and whatever else, and Chris is sitting RIGHT THERE waiting to help her.

There are other incidents, too, not nearly so unpleasant (from my perspective). Gwen has just learned the phrase, "Want to play with me?" and she asks it every day. If I can possibly say yes, I do, and I let her set the activity and the pace of the play. Lots of times, "play with me," just means sitting down at her level, watching what she is doing and commenting on it. Or she will hand me one of what she is playing with - a block, for example, or a puzzle piece - and announce that it's "Mama's turn". These are very pleasant interludes, as you can imagine. It's fascinating to watch her imagination work and to feel included, even welcomed, in her world.

But then I started to notice that she doesn't extend that invitation to Chris nearly as often. When I gently encouraged her to do so, there was a bit of resistance - she did capitulate, but I don't think it was her first choice. And it started me wondering - how much responsibility do I, as the currently favoured parent, have to try and alter the dynamic?

I know part of this is habit, too. I think it's a phase at this age (though, given my own OCD tendencies, there may be more long-term effects as well) to thrive on pattern and routine. Gwen is definitely showing signs of struggle around transitions, and can be incredibly emotional and volatile at those times, breaking into tears and tantrums quite easily. Last week over dinner, the three of us discussed Gwen's post-dinner bathing, and we agreed that Gwen and Mama would have a shower together. When Gwen was in the bathroom getting ready for her shower and Chris came in, Gwen responded very emotionally: "NO, Dada, YOU GO AWAY! Only MAMA!" While I'm sure Chris was very hurt by this, I attribute this outburst to the fact that Gwen interpreted his presence there as a change in the plan: we agreed one thing, and now we were (seemingly) doing another. Given her narrow understanding of the world and her limited communication, I can understand her outburst.

So if I've helped her with her bib the past three nights, and now I suggest that Dada helps her, I am altering her routine and she is thrown off by that. If I'm the one who usually greets her in the mornings and one day Chris goes in, he's not likely to get a warm welcome. If she views something as a pattern or routine, she does not easily adjust to changes within that. As I said - part of that is a developmental stage, part of it may be her personality. And again, I come back to: how much responsibility do we as parents have to alter that, to help her cope better with changes?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Five

This blog has been quiet lately because life has not been. I'm sorry if that sucks for you. On my own behalf I'm not really sorry at all because I've been having an amazing summer. I don't want to feel like I have to write when I have nothing to say, or no time to say it ... that's the sort of thing I only do when earning either school credits or actual dollars.

1. On Tuesday, August 31st, Gwen responded to a "Why" question with an actual answer. This is very exciting. Previously, she would respond to "Why" with a blank stare, and then about a week ago she started to reply "Because ..." and my heart nearly exploded with excitement and then she continued "...why?" GAHHH what a letdown. But on Tuesday, we were playing the "scare me" game (which is when she wants me to say BOO so she can shriek in delighted terror and say, "you scared me, Mom!") and she said, "I'm scared!" and I asked "Why are you scared?" and she answered, "Because ... I'm a ghost!" Further discussion with Chris revealed that there is an episode of Blue's Clues featuring a ghost who is afraid of pretty much everything, which is probably what she is imitating. But guess what? I don't care. She answered a "Why" question with a real and useful answer. The whole world is open now! Why are you crying? Why are you sad? Why did you make a mess? Why did you hit your friend? Why didn't you have a good day? Why won't you eat your dinner? THESE QUESTIONS MAY SOON HAVE ANSWERS. Although they may all be, "Because ... I'm a ghost!"

2. Yes, I am well aware that the next step is her asking us "Why?" approximately 2,793,481,015 times a day. I'm still proud, dammit. The why/because thing is a pretty hard concept to learn and I am excited that she's made the connection.

3. Potty training. My original idea was to lock Gwen and I in a room for three solid days and Make It Happen. Because that is my personality and that is the way I understand things. Instead, Gwen picked a time when there is literally NO free time for us to do this - the month of August, when we were either travelling or having company every single weekend - and decided that she was Ready. The lack of dedicated time means that this in an Ongoing Process rather than Potty Boot Camp, and while that is more challenging for me, I think it's working for Gwen. She is in charge and that's the way she likes it. She goes back and forth: last Friday, the only time she had a wet diaper was during her naptime; on Monday, she turned down every single offer of the potty. But we'll get there. The end of diapers is in sight. I can't even completely grasp how awesome that will be.

4. Gwen is now tall enough to turn off her bedroom light without assistance. She can also turn it back on again. She thinks this is the coolest thing in the world, and I can't help but agree. Mostly because (a) so far, she only does either of these things when prompted, and (b) she hasn't yet realized that she can reach all the other light switches in the house too.

5. As you read this, Chris and I are on our way to North Vancouver to enjoy a trip I won from the local radio station back in April. My parents have come over to take care of Gwen for the weekend, which is awesome in itself as they don't get to spend as much time with her as her other set of grandparents do. Chris and I will be going to the PNE, renting canoes, doing a Sea Safari tour, going whitewater rafting, and fingers-crossed-please-let-it-still-be-playing seeing a movie. Oh and staying at a fancy-schmancy hotel. Almost all of this for free. Stoked does not even BEGIN to cover it. (Also, I am trying to be extra stoked to try and hide from myself how much I will miss Gwen - three nights away from her is the longest time yet.) (Also, I am totally aware of how lame I sound when I say that.)

Have a great (potentially long) weekend!


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