Friday, February 29, 2008

Walk Like a Man

Friday morning, 6:15am. I hear a small hand knocking at the door. Snug in my bed but not yet asleep after an early morning feeding, I don't immediately register the sound. Once I do, I think it must be coming from the residents next door (they keep early hours and other people's kids). I close my eyes again. Next I hear a small voice calling my name:

"Mamma? ...Mamma? ...Mamma!"

I sigh and throw off the covers, sleep denied. I open the bedroom door. No one is there. The knocking starts again. It's coming from inside the Boy's room. I open the door. The Boy is standing just inside. I turn on the light.

"I had a wonderful sleep!" the Boy volunteers.

"Did you now?" I sigh again, required to start my day long before my wishes.

So much has happened in the last four months. We've come so far without really going anywhere that I forget, sometimes, that it has been a relatively short time since we've become a family of four. I forget, too, that while it has been a big adjustment for us all, the biggest strides have had to be made by the Boy. He was aware of the changes to come but completely unprepared for what they entailed. He has been, for many months now, very excited that he is a Big Boy. But it wasn't until the baby arrived that he really had to prove it. Test his mettle.

All at once, he's being asked to use the potty, learn to dress himself, stop sucking his thumb, walk instead of be carried, help with the baby, and on and on and on till I'm surprised that he doesn't retreat into his pre-brother world and hide away, a little fly stuck in amber. There he would be showcased in crystalline perfection, with no room for salty tears and banging fists. No one would see his disappointment when no pee comes out. Or hear his quiet query in the stroller: "Can I suck my thumb?" Or see him trip on a completely level floor.

What would they see? A Boy who has a sunny disposition and a heart of gold. A Boy who is envelopped in a four kid bear-hug before he can get his coat off at daycare. A Boy whose perceived faults only make him more perfect. If love were enough, he would know that he can only be wonderful in our eyes. He would know that exasperation and nagging, and yes, even involuntarily harsh words are simply a result of the circumstances, and no reflection on how we feel about him.

Because there is plenty of time to grow up. And if he can't figure out how to open his bedroom door, that only means we will get to love him that much closer, that much longer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Because I'm a lusty wench..

The List. We all have one (don't we?) - of people that we would be allowed to sleep with should they ever come a-knockin' at our door. I think it's a sign of a healthy marriage. The Husband knows that if Christina Ricci started wooing him, I would quickly and quietly bow out of the way. And if he brought Ashley Judd home, I just might join in the fun. In fact, the Husband simply loves to tell me about all the gorgeous stars he would leave me for. And hey, if they want to sleep with him - all the power to him. I would be disappointed in him if he said no.

What the Husband doesn't particularly like, is hearing about all the guys that I would leave HIM for. Suddenly, the conversation is not so fun...

Join me over at MBT to read about my not-so-secret TV crushes

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can you recycle a Sitz bath?

So what, exactly, is the statute of limitations on getting your shit together after having a baby? Because although it seems like all I do is sit around on my ever-lovin' butt all day long, alternately playing with or holding one kid or the other, I still don't seem to have any time to do anything of consequence.

My house is a mess and it's not getting any cleaner. I actually avoid inviting people over because it would entail an hour-long mad dash to make the place only mildly less embarrassing than it is now. I feel like a heel for not returning invites, and yet the prospect of cleaning is just too daunting to consider. There are piles of gifts from Christmas and birthdays with no place to put them. There are even larger piles of mail that I don't seem to have the time or the energy to open, much less do anything with them. Except the bills, of course. I open those, and invariably end up paying them late. And why does my hair, which I am losing at an alarmingly rapid rate, have the sentience to avoid every single attempt I make to wipe it up from the bathroom walls and floors? I swear, if anyone comes to our house, they would think that a woolly mammoth lives here, not a family of four average Canadians. Oh, and that Sitz bath? Still in the bathroom from November. You know, just in case I want to use it again, or something. I'm not entirely sure what to do with that.

Don't get me started on the garbage and recycling that has to live in our house because we keep getting so much snow that it takes a fully-outfitted winter trek to make it to the garbage bins...Or the neverending piles of laundry either, for that matter. Out damn laundry! Out I say!! Good day to you.

On top of all this, or perhaps at the root of it, all is my barely concealed guilt every time that I send the Boy off to daycare. I know he loves it there, so that is not the problem, but I feel somehow like I've failed as a parent because I can't handle the two of them on my own. I've had them both home on the many (many!) snow days that we've had lately, and I swear that by the end of the day, I am literally swaying on my feet from exhaustion. I think if I had them both home all day every day, I would be a mere shell of the person that I once was. You would be able to talk to me if you like, but I would just stare blankly at all the pretty shapes and colours. Seriously, how do all you full-time moms handle it? Can you really do it all on your own without help?? Kudos to you if you can. Please enlighten me on how to be a better mother. Because right now? I feel like a big fat failure. I'm going to have to take "multi-tasking" off my resume, that's for sure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008


The snowstorms started January 1st, and have placed a heavy weight on my heart. More and more each day, I just want to pick up stakes and move somewhere with blue sky, green grass and leaves gently swaying in the balmy air. I'm tired, so tired. Tired of cancelled plans, delays, shovelling. Tired of people bustling by without saying hello. Tired of feeling trapped in a house I love, but can't stand to look at anymore. Tired. And sad. And tired of feeling tired and sad. Because I know I am blessed. I have two beautiful children that make my heart smile, a husband who is the person you can't wait to grow old with, lovely friends and loving family. So here is my Friday resolution:

To find amazement in the weather, not disappointment.
To find challenge in the snowbanks, not despair.
To find generosity on the roads, not anger.

To find playfulness in the attempt to get two children out the door in winter, not automaton precision.
To find health in the exploding diapers, not mountains of laundry.
To find growth in the tantrums, not annoyance.

To find music in the screams, not dischord.
To find peace and solitude in the day, not loneliness and isolation.
To find joy in the everyday, not tedium.
To find a happy family in the mess, not more to clean.
To find togetherness in the demands of parenting, not separation.
To find a mother in the haggard looks, not ugliness.
Because I am as beautiful as I feel.

Thanks, Carole.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Heart Motherbumper!

Have you seen the new widget on my sidebar?? It's wicked awesome. Motherbumper made it for me to have a cool way to update readers on any new post of mine over at MBT. It's also pretty frakin' amazing that she made in the midst of sleep deprivation. She rocks. I wish I had half her talent.

Yes, in case you're wondering, it is February 14th and I'm posting about my lovin' for a fellow bloggy friend. Valentine's Day has been kind of sucky so far. After making 20 pretty neat (even if I do say so myself) Valentine's presents for the Boy's daycare friends, I got to the daycare Monday morning, only to find a note in his cubby stating that I need 36 presents, not 20 (due to the part-timers). Half the crafty stuff for the presents had been bought weeks ago, and were now sold out. So I spent the better part of this winter-forsaken-wonderland running around town trying to find substitutes.

As I was making these 16 extra Valentines last night, Mr Earth turns to me and asks "Do you want me to buy you something for Valentine's Day?" Ah, can you feel the love? Ten years in and we still have the spark.

Have I mentioned how much I hate winter yet? The car got stuck this morning - half in traffic and half out. Thank god my neighbour was there to help dig me out. It also got stuck as I was trying to park it again. More digging. More fun! Between that, being trapped in the house more days than I would like due to the snowy snow and the windy wind, almost having a car accident eventhough I was driving 20km per hour, and people who don't shovel their sidewalks, I'm pretty much done with winter. It can go now, thank you.

But just to prove that I do still believe in happy endings, check out the Boy's love story below:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What kind of mom are you?

So, you're alone in the house with two kids. Your three-year-old is, thank god, asleep. Your three-month-old just had the largest poo on the face of the planet and is leaking everywhere. You're downstairs in the playroom with a cream-coloured carpet. Your leftover pizza is reheating under the grill, and is going to start burning in about a minute. You decide to change the smelly bum, so you put a change pad down on the carpet and take off the diaper quickly, knowing the baby will undoubtedly poo again in short order. You smell something charred coming from the kitchen, and as you do, you notice a ginormous centipede making it's way across the carpet towards you and the baby. What do you do first? Do you:

A) Kill the bug.

B) Rescue the pizza from the oven.

C) Change the diaper.

If you answered...

a) You're The INSECTOPHOBE: After all, poo can be cleaned up and you can always find something else to eat. Disgusting, vomitous, overly large bugs in the house, on the other hand, are not acceptable. No, not in the least. Die, bug, die!

b) You're The GOURMANDE: Healthy, edible meals are your priority. Poo isn't the end of the world, and the bug may get mired in the feces, thereby killing two birds with one stone. You need to feed the machine, if you're going to get through the rest of the evening alone.

c) You're The LAZOID: This baby is a poo machine, and your carpets are cream! Did I mention the carpets are CREAM? That may not have been your best idea, but cream they are, though, and unchangeable. You scoff at people who say that carpets can be cleaned, and claim they are leading a chimerical existence. Burnt pizza is a charming foible of yours, and bugs are God's creatures too. Besides, the bug is gone now. Out of sight, out of mind. Almost. And the burnt pizza? Yummy... Not.

***If you haven't guessed, I chose option C.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Report Card #3

It's always fun to see your kid from the viewpoint of others, so I love these little "Child Development Reviews" that they give from our daycare. I pretty much think the sun shines out of the Boy's arse (when he's not being a maniac), so I need some perspective. My comments are in italics:

Language Development

[The Boy] is a very verbal child and is not afraid to ask for help. He always has wonderful stories to tell and is an active participant during circle. [The Boy] enjoys singing songs with Rob, listening to stories during circle time and he is often heard singing his favourite songs throughout the day.

Yup, not afraid to ask for help, although "Mummy help" usually means "Mummy do." Lucky for him I'm a sucker for good manners. As long as he says please, I'm pretty much his puppet on a string. The Boy has just started to develop his own interests when it comes to music. This is really funny until he asks you repeatedly to sing a song that you've never heard of, or until you have to listen to Speed Turtle for the gazillionth time.

Cognitive Development

[The Boy] has a wonderful imagination. He is often found in the dramatic area with several other children role playing, or cooking lunch for babies and animals. [The Boy] is able to recognize some letters, especially those in his name, and count objects consecutively. He enjoys putting together puzzles alone or together with other children.

The question is - what are these babies and animals having for lunch? And why doesn't he make lunch for me?? I'm really busy sitting on my ass and eating bonbons, after all. I digress. I would disagree with recognizing "some" letters, I would say that he recognizes about 23 of the 26 letters in the alphabet. I would also disagree with the counting objects consecutively, unless you think "1 2, 3, 5, 9, 14, 15, 16" is consecutive, that is.

Motor Development (Fine/Gross)

[The Boy] has wonderful fine motor skills. He hold pencils with the pincer grasp when he is creating his many daily masterpieces. [The Boy] has been practicing very hard at independently taking off his slippers, as well as putting on his boots. Way to go, [The Boy]!! Outside, [The Boy] enjoys riding the bicycles, building sand castles, playing in the playhouse and playing soccer and hockey.

Other than the part about the pincer grasp and daily masterpieces, this comment is clearly meant for another child. We have a really cool bike that we got last Christmas that is gathering dust in the shed. We also have sports equipment that rarely gets touched. But we do have a LOT of artwork. I mean, a LOT. I'm thinking of selling it on Ebay. Didn't some guy make a film recently about his kid's artwork being indistinguishable from modern art?? I stand to make thousands. To support my bonbon habit, of course.

Food Consumption / Sleeping Behaviours

Most days [The Boy] is a great eater, often asking for second servings. [The Boy] sleeps at least an hour every day.

Sure, he's a great eater at our house, if I serve only pasta and crackers. I swear, he goes to daycare solely to avoid scurvy.

Social Interaction (Peers/Adults)

[The Boy] is very social. He is always playing with many friends in the dramatic area or working together to build castles and cars with the blocks. [The Boy] has no fears about expressing his emotions or concerns to peers and adults.

He must get this from his dad.

Inappropriate Behaviours to Monitor (if appl)


Ha! Obviously, he saves the tantrums for me.

Additional Comments

[The Boy] is a joy to have in the classroom. He always has a smile on his face and is always ready to joke around and have fun.

This is the Boy at his best. I know I'm biased, but I think he'spretty fantastic little man. We're very lucky.


In other news, check out the new bling on my sidebar, awarded by the lovely KC at Where's My Cape. I'm blushing.

I'd like to pass on the blingy goodness to another excellent one-handed blogger, Kgirl at The Kid's are Alright. Eventhough she only gets to post when the stars align and the kids are asleep (I hear ya, man), every post is gold.