the last day and the first day

As usual, the last day of 2013 and the first day of 2014 weren’t particularly eventful for us. Way back before Raspberry was born, Lucas and I used to watch movies on new year’s eve, often pausing partway through one of them to switch to a cable station showing the countdown at Times Square or Nathan Phillips Square or Niagara Falls just to ring in the new year. I’m not sure why we would do that, since we had a perfectly functional clock in our apartment, and it’s not like we really cared all that much for the televised festivities (we’d only watch barely five minutes of it anyway).

When I was in fourth year, we went over to a friend’s place and watched three rented movies. I don’t remember what they were, but I can definitely tell you that I fell asleep watching said movies in the darkened room and it was five o’clock by the time I crawled into my own bed. I think the new year’s eve we were in Ottawa, I microwaved some expired chocolate pudding and melted some marshmallows into it. If I remember correctly, I think we watched one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies that year.

But that was pre-Raspberry, back when we still got cable. This new year’s eve, we went out to get some groceries, thinking that most places would be closed on new year’s day, like they were on Christmas. That turned out to not be the case; I guess Christmas is a bigger deal for businesses to be closed than new year’s. I’d hoped to score some heavily reduced food at Marks and Spencer like the 10p pack of buns we got on Christmas Eve, but there wasn’t any. It would’ve been nice, but it wasn’t a big deal. Yeah, doing mundane, practical things on new year’s eve. Yay.

We’d asked Raspberry if she wanted to stay up until midnight (her first time ever) and that more than appealed to her, since she often dislikes going to bed and frequently asks to be up for longer. She’d seemed pretty tired while we were out in the afternoon, so I thought she might not make it until midnight, but once she got some dinner in her, she was a-rarin’ to go. While Lucas crashed on the couch due to a combination of fatigue and a headache, Raspberry busied herself cutting up paper to make biscuits for her shop; rolled around gleefully on the still-packaged duvet we’d gotten just the day before; and made floor pictures with wooden blocks. I really like the one she made above, in which a family of four (Dandy, Dandelion, Daffodil and Dollie [pronounced a bit like Dali — “Doll-eeee”]) is rushing to catch an impatient Virgin train. Awesome. I played a couple of games of Crazy Eights with her to pass the time too, especially when it became quite obvious that she was anything but tired. To be honest, I kinda wanted her to go to bed earlier, but only because I wanted some time to myself at night. As it turned out, she busied herself for the most part and I was generally able to do my own thing. We’d told her that at midnight, people just wish each other a happy new year and that it’s just the start of a new year, so it’s not anything major. I’d heard from Elo that in Spain, people try to cram twelve grapes into their mouths, one each time the clock chimes. That would’ve been fun to try and Raspberry wanted to do it, but we weren’t exactly prepared, so maybe next year we can incorporate some other cultures’ traditions into our new year’s eve. Raspberry unsurprisingly and surprisingly made it to midnight and the new year crept in with little fanfare in our apartment. Woohoo, hello 2014.

Our new year’s day was a rainy affair, so the day was spent inside, with all our circadian rhythms slightly out of whack. The late night meant sleeping in (it wasn’t late for me, but I slept in nonetheless), and our egg-potatoes-fruit-and-tea breakfast was really brunch so we more or less skipped lunch in favour of snacking. All of us got haircuts, something we’d planned for weeks ago and something I’d been really looking forward to. Raspberry’s and my last haircut was on May 1st (her first haircut ever!), and I’m amazed by how quickly our hair has grown since then. Lucas suggests maybe it’s our diet, but really, I’m a little skeptical that our vegetarian diet has allowed our bodies to devote so much resources to something as frivolous as hair growth. In any case, I’m glad to be rid of my long locks. Now Raspberry won’t roll onto my hair in the middle of the night and I won’t roll onto hers, eliciting semi-conscious moans of “owww, owww, oww, that hurts… a lot.” Lucas so graciously did the honours, as he did the last time around, and I wielded the camera because that’s what I do. I don’t remember the last time I got my hair professionally cut (I don’t count the time in 2006 when I went to hairdresser get bangs because she did a shitty job in literally thirty seconds and I felt obligated to pay and tip her, even though I pretty much went home and then re-cut them on my own). But it doesn’t really matter to me since my hair’s always up anyway. Raspberry’s hair is shorter than it was the last time and hopefully it’ll keep out of her face for a while. She generally prefers having her hair messy (and will deliberately mess it up if you try to neaten it) and it often falls into her food while she’s eating. With the shorter hair, she almost looks like a different kid, which definitely works when she doesn’t want people to recognize her, which she often does.

Well, life slowly returns back to normal tomorrow and I’m thankful for it, although it’s not really “normal” for us until Lucas goes back to school on Monday. It’s been really nice having him around and we eat so much better than when he’s away at school four days a week. He says that if he were home all the time, he’d cook so much that I’d get enormous. Ha! He’s been doing the four days a week thing for almost two months but I’m still not entirely used to it. Ah well, it just makes me appreciate his weekend and vacation presence that much more. There’s still another four days, so I’ll savour them while they last.

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