Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What's that?

Well, here we are almost two weeks after the Boy's surgery, and Mr Earth asked me last night if I thought that the Boy was hearing better or speaking more. Our immediate response was: "Uh, no, not really". (We're very in sync - you might say we're in love, or something..) But then I got to thinking..

He may be talking a bit more. It's hard to tell. I've mentioned before that he narrates his life like a running commentary exercise from Young Driver's of Canada. When he's quiet, I usually jump right into the mom-freak stance of What'swrong?Areyouok?Areyoutired?Areyousick?Areyouhungry?Whyaren'tyouspeaking?? Hot damn, life with me must be fun.. But then, it's true that when he's quiet, there is quite often something wrong. So if he talks more than, say, all the time would you be able to tell??

He seems to have more of a reaction to music. He'll start bopping in his seat when a song he hears a song he likes. He's inherited my unique dance ability. Man, it's funny to watch. I wish I had it on video. His chubby little arm will bounce up and down. If his hands were clasped when the music came on, then both arms will bounce. He's also started to sing in discernible notes, and tunes. But is this a result of the surgery, or is it simply a developmental thing?

I do think that he is hearing more of the sounds at low auditory levels. He's always been one to point out things and say "What's that, mummy, what's that?". Now, this happens all the time. To almost every sound. It even happens when I don't hear anything. That can be a little freaky - especially when we're home alone at night. Most of the time I think it's pretty funny, but sometimes it gets a bit much. Especially if I don't know what he's pointing to, or what he's heard. Sometimes I ask, in the nicest way possible, "What do you think it is?" or "What does it look like?" (Very Seinfeld-esque, for anyone who saw the episode where Kramer pretends to be the Moviephone voice: "Why don't you just tell me the name of the movie you want to see?"). Sometimes I think he knows very well and is simply testing me. It's most amusing, though, to see his little finger point straight up in the air like he's about to say "Eureka!" -- you know another "What's that, mummy?" is going to come at any second.

Strangely though, kids who have ear surgery are supposed to talk very loudly before the surgery, but the Boy speaks louder than ever now. I kind of feel like I'm living in an episode of Dora the Explorer. Why do they shout so on that program. Can anyone answer that?

All I can say, is that it's never boring at Casa Earth. And I've learned a lot. You don't spend your whole day naming things without learning a little something along the way.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

I was reading a post over at Metro Mama's and realized that she is absolutely right. We moms are all really good at sharing our angst and shortcomings, but it's not often - or, more importantly, not often enough - that we share the good things. She was talking specifically about laughs and poems in this instance, but since I'm fresh outta laughs, I thought the least that I could do is share with you some of the ways that I AM a good parent, despite all my protests to the contrary:

  1. When I'm with the Boy, I am WITH him. Present. I don't blog, watch tv, talk on the phone (except when absolutely unavoidable), or read. I may not be there all day, but the time I have with him is quality time.
  2. I stick to a firm-but-flexible schedule. The Boy knows what to expect of his day, and we avoid a lot of tantrums by keeping naps and bedtimes predictable.
  3. I always look for opportunities to give the Boy a choice. I keep it to choices he can make: a choice of two dinners, a choice of two shirts. I think it gives him a sense of independence.
  4. I rarely leave the house without everything we could ever need for every possible scenario. I'm an ultra-planner that way.
  5. The Boy's comfort and happiness is foremost in my thoughts. I actually sit at my desk at work and worry whether I've dressed him properly for the day, and plan days together to make sure that he gets a nice mix of indoor and outdoor time.
  6. I can make the Boy smile or laugh just by looking at him funny.
  7. I've managed to raise a generally sunny and upbeat Boy who narrates his life like a Young Driver's of Canada running commentary, but set to music. You'll often hear little songs floating around our house like: "I sitting on a chair now! I sitting on a chai-air!"

I think seven is a good number, so I'm going to stop there. What I would like to know, though, is how do you think you're a good mother?? I know you all are, or I wouldn't be reading your blogs every day. As with Metro, I like to surround myself by stronger players.

And, since it's against my nature to be a total Little-Miss-Sunshine without any clouds whatsoever, why don't you skip over to Mommy Blogs Toronto and read my latest post on a rather embarassing failure from my theatre school days? It's a doozy. Fun times.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Pictorial

As I type this, the air outside is redolent with the smell of sulphur from the fireworks. All night long - for the past three nights, actually - we've gone to bed with the intermittent popping noises of Victoria Day celebrations. The weekend was not all I hoped it would be. Mr Earth was in rehearsal two out of the three days - his show opens this week. Poor service at our anniversary dinner on Friday, coupled with a touch of food poisoning, cast a pall on the holiday. Between the tired and the sick, I am left with few words. We did have a few good moments though:

We played in the park.

We stopped and smelled the flowers.

We checked out the fountain.

We learned to catch a frisbee. (Ok, not really, but we did throw it around a bit.)

Back to my crackers and gingerale. Goodnight.

Friday, May 18, 2007

This is not a love song

This is not a love song because..

..most love songs are written by unhappy people on illegal drugs. I am most happy, and I have never used illegal drugs (except for that one time in BC - but I didn't inhale.)

..it doesn't contain "achy breaky" hearts or cheatin' men. I trust you completely - with my heart and my life

..love songs are rarely written by people in mismatched pyjamas that smell like Vicks VapoRub.

..it doesn't rhyme (I just didn't have time. Oops.)

..people just don't go around spontaneously singing about their feelings. At least, that's what the musical theatre haters would have us believe.

..most love songs don't get beyond the "happily ever after" part. We gone so much further. Since getting married 5 years ago, we've: bought a house, bought a car, had a baby, lost a dear family member and experienced countless comedies and tragedies that are too numerous to list here, but I haven't forgotten a single moment. And I can't wait for the moments still to come.

Nope, this is not a love song. It's a tribute to a wonderful man who met me when I thought it was cool to wear oversized t-shirts, stretch pants and Fluevog boots, and fell in love with me anyways. The grunge look of 1998 was not kind to me. I consider myself lucky to have found you.

Maybe this is a love song after all.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Second Guessing

It's ironic that the times that I feel most like a parent is when I am doing the worst job of it. At the best of times, I am a terrible decision-maker. That's the problem with seeing the world in shades of gray. Generally, it's a very inclusive world view, but it sucks when you are called on to have an opinion or make a decision.

Tomorrow, the Boy goes to the hospital to get ear tubes put in. In some ways, I am relieved. On one hand, it will (hopefully) be an end to the non-stop ear infections that render the Boy miserable. On the other hand, it's been some time since he's had an ear infection, so I'm starting to wonder if the whole ordeal is really necessary? Theoretically, the Boy would have more earaches in the winter, because they are caused by non-stop congestion that turn into infection. I would kick myself if I turned down the surgery and the poor Boy went through another winter like the one that we just had. If we had to "well days" in a row, I was jumping for joy. That's not a way to live life when you're two.

But after the surgery, he will have to wear earplugs every time he takes a bath, and a special ear band or cap whenever he goes swimming because he can't get water in his ears while he has the tubes in. That's no fun, either. Since the Boy won't wear sunglasses for longer than a second at a time (and he asks to wear them!) - I'm thinking that ear plugs will not go over very well. And I'm a little freaked out because just as things have finally started to get "easier" and "routine", they are suddenly complicated again.

I know it's not the end of the world, and that many people would think that there are far more serious things to worry about. I agree. What's causing this second-guessing is the simple fact that, in the end, the decision came down to us. I don't want to be doing this surgery for unnecessarily. It is our decision to do the surgery. But surely the specialist would not recommend the surgery if it was not needed..?

I belong to the camp of people who trust doctors (most of the time), and take their recommendations at face value. If a hearing specialist tells me that the Boy's hearing has been comprimised because he constantly has fluid in his ears that never drains completely, then what should I really say to that? I'm no hearing specialist, after all. I haven't noticed a hearing problem. He speaks well. He's got a great vocabulary, and 99% of his words are understood by people outside the family. Apparently, though, kids are supposed to have super-sonic hearing or something, and he doesn't hear things at super low levels. He hears like he's underwater. How could I not have noticed something like that? It makes me question my instincts. And I am already second-guessing them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I hate creaky floorboards..

Lately, the Boy's bedtime routine has taken a rather um, interesting turn. Normally, after bath and story, we cuddle him, put him in the crib, rub his back, say goodnight and walk away. Now, we do exactly the same thing, but within a couple minutes of walking away, the Boy is up, tears running down his face, and screaming at the the top of his lungs "I want my mommy and daddy! AAHHHH!!" The only thing that calms him down is if I sit in the rocking chair while he falls deeply asleep. This can take some time.

The first night, I tried to leave too early, stepped on a creaky floorboard, and the Boy was up screaming in an instant. I had to lie him down and sit in the chair again. This has made bedtime rather challenging, to say the least. And drawn out. I've stared at the alphabet cards bordering his room for much longer than I care to. Several are falling off the wall from the humidity, and it annoys me to no end that I just have to sit and watch them fall slowly off the wall, instead of fixing them. Now I just sit in the chair, think about how hungry I am, and hope that the Boy will turn his head and face the wall. That's the only way to escape without him waking up. I feel a little bit like I'm trying to exit a room that is laced with deadly laser beams. If I wasn't so tired, it would seem like an adventure.

Nothing has changed in the Boy's routine lately, so I can't imagine what has prompted this turn of events. I love that he needs me, I do, but I would like my evenings back please.

If you want to check out how Nomo is defeated by book, hop on over to Mommy Blogs Toronto for my latest post. I'm going to have a nap now.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Careers I've Considered

In the hopes of finding something that I love to do as much as acting, I've spent a lot of time (mainly at work) thinking up careers that I might find fun and fulfilling. I thought it would be neat to share them with you, so that you don't think that I spend all my time whining about how much I dislike my job. Look! I think, too!!

Also, since these are creative ideas, I thought publishing them on my site would have the same effect as copywriting, so nobody could claim that they had the idea first (Did you read about the whole "Muggle" fiasco that JK Rowling had a few years back? No fun.) So, without the benefit of any law experience, I am declaring these ideas/images below to be the sole property of the author of this blog, and any use of these ideas/images without my knowledge or consent is prohibited by law. (Fancy words, those - n'est-ce pas? Not that anyone would really want to steal MY ideas.) Here goes.


This is Henrietta. She's a little horse who is always in a hurry. Things are never done fast enough to suit her. And when things aren't done quickly enough, she is most displeased.

I was going to call the book Hold on, Henrietta!, and dedicate it to the Boy - who always wants things done right away, or not at all. Unfortunately, I can't seem to develop the story more than this. I don't consider myself an author, and I'm a little daunted by the task.


This was actually my original "career choice" back in Grade 9. I was going to be an art teacher who did portraits on the side. I eventually decided against it because although I love to draw, it's really a very solitary career. You spend ages alone in a studio, and rarely become famous until you're dead. I kind of like hanging out with people. Also, I don't really know anyone who wants portraits done anymore. It's really a dying art. Who needs a portrait when you can just take a picture? I should have been born in the 1800's. I would have rocked the world.

Please keep in mind that I haven't done any portraits in years. I did this sketch on a 10-minute break at work. I used a mechanical pencil, instead of my preferred medium of chalk pastels, or acrylic paints. All told, though, it doesn't look unlike the Boy. I could do better if I spent more time on it.


This is still a possibility. I love working with kids, especially doing art and drama. I'm just plum scared at opening my own business. Plus, I'm really not sure how much interest there is for this kind of thing. People don't have that much money for extras, and when they do, they generally spend it on name brand classes like Gymboree. Still here's my company name, and a quick rendering of the type of logo that I would use. I love designing logos. I even reserved a website address for this name, just in case. Who knows what could happen in the future, right?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Tree Falls in the Forest

Here's the question of the week: If a post is written in the blogosphere, and nobody reads it, was it written? Was it worth it to write it in the first place? The immediate answer to this question is most enthusiastically - yes! Writing can be many things to different people: cathartic, soothing, creative. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. But when you sit down and really think about it, the blogosphere is a public forum. If people really wanted to write just for the sake of writing, they would keep a personal journal. Blogging initiates interaction with the outside world. It asks for feedback. That is part of it's very nature. If you have a blog, and nobody reads it, is it actually a journal that just happens to be online?

Intrigued? Read the rest of the post in my little corner of Mommy Blogs Toronto: Mama Drama. I plan to post here on a weekly basis - usually on Thursdays. Hope you'll join me!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

White Bread

I love this time of year because it promises so much. The hope of spring and rebirth is all around me. It's so wonderful to lose the mittens, scarves and hats. It's so rejuvenating to feel the sun on my face, and know that summer is coming soon. I like a lot of things about winter, but what I like best is leaving it behind. But this time of years also brings with it some old, bad feelings. It was around this time about thirteen years ago (omigod has it been that long? crap I'm old), when I was sitting in a small room in the theatre school across from my first year acting prof, being evaluated. It was actually my second year out of high school. I spent a year at another university, before deciding that I needed a program that was less academic and more studio-oriented, if I really wanted to become an actor. Anyways, for those that think acting is an easy program, try sitting in a room with a prof who tells you exactly what's wrong with you. You're not being judged on your writing skills, or how much you studied for exam, or whether you had original ideas - you are being judged on YOU. Whether or not you're interesting, talented, significant. According to my first year prof, I was not. I was "too pink" (WTF?), too "middle-of-the-road", too "white bread".

White bread. I can't tell you how this innocuous phrase has gotten stuck in my head and stayed there. Sure, lots of people eat white bread. Some kids will only eat white bread, in fact. But nobody loves it. If a prisoner had to choose their final meal on death row, I'm pretty sure it would not be white bread. If you could only have one food with you on a desert island, I'm guessing it's not going to be white bread. Even if you had to name your top five favourite foods, I doubt that white bread would make the cut. So this is what I'm compared with? A food that, while tasty enough, is completely forgettable?? Thanks. Way to break a girl's spirit. I had a rather "delicate" self-image up to that point, and that pretty much shattered it.

Most years I can just coast by and forget, but this year, as some of you know, I was actually back in school. April brought with it papers, exams and much stress. Along with it came the inevitable reminder that I am not an actor (or why would I be back in school), so maybe the prof was right after all. It's not news to me that the professional actor thing isn't going to happen, of course. I've accepted, albeit grudgingly, the fact for some time now. But the question is - what do I do now? I'm stuck in a job that I don't like, that doesn't challenge me, and where I am all but invisible. I would quit, but it just doesn't make sense financially to do that right now. Even if it did make sense to quit, though, it wouldn't make me happy.

The truth is, I like to work. I think that I've been a better mother since I've been back to work. That doesn't make sense to most people, but it does to me. But I look at my beautiful Boy's face every day that I leave him in the hands of others and think what have I done - what am I doing?? It must be the epitome of selfishness to leave him every day for a job that I don't love. How bad a person must I be to think that I wouldn't be satisfied staying home all the time with this amazing little man who is so very lovely (except when he's not). Then I think - do other people feel this way? Does every mom who goes back to work love her job? Does her job make a difference in the world?

So the solution, you might think, is to find another job - one that I do love. There the rub, no? For every job other than acting would be a Royal Gardner to my Gilbert Blythe. But what do you do when Gilbert Blythe is off the market, but you still want to get married? Would you settle for Royal? It seems that I have no choice, but it does make a decision - any kind of decision - difficult. What I have to do is find another job altogether, something out of the norm. Easier said than done. What I can't do anymore is remain invisible. I can't do a job where I'm not using all of myself, and making a definite contribution to something worthwhile. Even if I was a good employee right now (and I'm not, because I don't care), I wouldn't be doing something valuable. I'd still be white bread. And that's not good enough.