November 30, 2009

Sugar and Spice

DSC01603 Version 1.0 has an unhealthy infatuation with my spice drawer/cupboard. I have to open it on the sly because she will invariably dive right in and wreak havoc. For awhile, she even chose favourites. The front runner was always the Greek seasoning for some unknown reason. She has even been known to rearrange all the bottles according to brand (I guess she can tell they look similar). OCD much?

I digress.

Last night I needed some chili pepper or cumin or some such thing and thought she was distracted enough, so I quickly opened the cupboard, turned to apply said flavouring and turned back. Whew! Made it. I trundled about, begrudgingly happily preparing dinner when I noticed her sneezing continuously from the living room.

Upon further investigation, I found her standing in front of the television, watching the devil’s incarnation a cute kid’s show about bunnies, covered head to toe in ground ginger. Not a word of a lie, yo. Not only was she covered, but there were piles of it all over the TV stand and her little couch, and my new carpet. She had opened and dumped a whole bottle of the stuff for some unknown reason.

At this point in time, she had started rubbing it in her eyes and was crying hysterically as it started to burn. I stripped her out of her Christmas-scented clothing and tried to rinse out her eyes. I think I just made it worse, or maybe there was arsenic in the cloth I used to clean her up with.

I had to vacuum all the friggin stuff up and Version 1.0 is petrified of the vacuum. So, picture this. Dinner burning on the stove, child screaming bloody murder, vacuum on full blast, stupid goddamn bunnies yammering away on the TV and stains everywhere. This. frigging. close. to losing my head.

The worst part of it is that I just KNOW when it comes time for this year’s marathon Christmas baking session, I’m going to be cursing the child’s name when I realize I have forgotten to replace the jar of ginger. Hope you like your currybread house this year, kid!

November 24, 2009

Brie-eating, coffee-drinking, back-sleeping badass mom.

haha-dork-i-bet-your-dogs-name-is-ipod In my country at least, scaring new and upcoming moms is a national passtime. Oh, the list of what you can and cannot do, should and should not take, see, hear and smell is perpetually growing and will eventually contain every substance, activity and piece of clothing known to woman.

When you are first pregnant, your fear factor is great. You do everything you are “supposed” to and nothing you are not, and you feel pure and clean in your confidence that you have done everything you are supposed to do (include resisting chocolate) to ensure a healthy outcome for your unborn child.

Then you deliver said child and spend countless hours reading parenting books about sleeping, behaviour, stimulation, intelligence, horror stories, and tear-jerking stories that help you become the #1 parent EVER and you just KNOW your kid is going to be a Rhodes scholar (and a well-behaved one at that) by the time you’re done with him/her.

Now, by the time you actually get to toddler phase and you’re knocked up again, you’ve seen it all and heard it all and you’re too tired or saturated or cynical to give a crap anymore, and you realise that all the hype is very much that, just hype. Some way, some how, someone benefits from being a conspiracy theorist. Now you don’t have the time to follow all the instructions, or the inclination to watch everything you eat when the odds are so low that anything will happen. And all that aside, you’re so sick of the pestering you decide to rebel.

Oh, people will tell you what bad choices you’re making, how many nitrates you are consuming in that deli meat and how that cup of coffee is going to make your kid grow an extra shoulder. You’ll be informed that your kid will need therapy in adulthood because you said “no” or that you’ll struggle with behavioural issues for years to come if you don’t start sleep training now.


I’m joining the Bad Mom’s Club. I`m going somewhere that I can get the support and camaraderie that I need and deserve, where we can celebrate our badness and eat caffeine-laden chocolate cookies after brie and blue cheese sandwiches. We`re going to let our kids stay up past their regimented bed time, put on a DVD for them and feed them cheezies for a night. We`re going to set boundaries without trying to logic, go out in the rain without the right boots, and read books about farting dogs.

It`s perfect. I feel so liberated. Screw you, Internet and do-gooders. I`ll raise my kids just fine without you.

Disclaimer: The author of this blog posting in no way condones irresponsible and reckless behaviour for pregnant women or mothers. Please refrain from doing anything that will truly harm your child, physically or emotionally. But don`t worry about the unmatching pajamas… I promise he`ll get over it.

Image courtesy of www.

November 23, 2009

The most precious thing…

I’m going to take a minute to get serious here. Just for a minute, although I am sure the subject will be sobering forever.

I’ve been lurking in the mommy blogging world for some time now, getting to know all the superstars, and getting many hours of entertainment from their savvy, brilliant and humorous writing. Eventually, you learn that a number of the main characters all know each other well, and have formed a little community of each other across the continent. These women are bright and witty but very often have tragic or life-altering back stories that definitely inform, but do not hamper their will to live.

Recently, one member of the close-knit community (who I have never met and never knew of until now) had a stroke. A terrible, debilitating incident that has left her in hospital in critical care as she tries to gain consciousness and her family fights for her. Tragic enough as it is, right? Well, here’s the rest of the story. Many of the mommies know this woman because she fought hard for her daughter to beat childhood cancer (leukemia) not long ago, and had another stroke a few years back when said daughter was only an infant. This woman has worked tirelessly for the cause, supported her daughter and kept her family together and even found it in herself to be a pillar of strength for the other mommies out there who needed her experience and insight.

Now, she lays in a hospital bed incapacitated, with her husband and family and close friends praying for her recovery. The prognosis is dire, but they all believe in her will to live.

As I think about the situation, I can’t help but cling tightly to my own little one, and be eternally thankful we are all in relatively good health and have so far been pretty fortunate. I realize my little one is a tremendous treasure that I am responsible for protecting and coveting. I can’t even fathom not having the ability to do that.

I’d encourage everyone to reach out and think of a way to help someone who is in need. Project yourself in their positions for even a minute, try to feel the heartbreak or the desperation that they feel all day, every day as they try to survive. Think of what it would mean to them to receive a little bit of help, whether it’s your time, or other resources, or just your presence. It’s too easy to forget when we are so consumed with daily survival.

November 22, 2009

Everything I need to know about parenting, I learned from Max and Ruby.

maxRuby Version 1.0 loves Max and Ruby. Really, like loves it. We watched maybe 8 episodes in a row today before I finally had enough (to justify myself, I’m on my death bed with a man-cold and therefore had a great excuse for being a sloppy parent). Personally, I can’t stand Ruby. Her voice is like sandpaper on my sensitive brain, and she’s the biggest bossy boots ever.

Maybe parents shouldn’t watch their kids’ shows. We know too much. However, I can’t resist pointing out a few anomalies about the show that really don’t add up. And then, as I think about these oddities, I realize I could maybe turn this around to my own personal gain. Watch.

Absentee parents aren’t a problem. Did you ever notice that neither parent seems to live in the same house as these two child bunnies? They are *never* around. But, look how well-adjusted and responsible Ruby has turned out to be. Max may be a bit young to verbally communicate the depth of his character but there are plenty of instances where we see his integrity and ability to logic shining through. Like when he wanted to give Ruby a birthday surprise and tricked her into thinking he was just a dumb toddler bunny, but really he was leading her to a surprise party he had orchestrated with Grandma Bunny? Clearly, even without any parents or guardians around, both bunnies have turned out to be stellar role models with excellent manners. Sweet! That means Hubby and I can go out and party most weeknights and don’t have to worry about coming home the next day! This is life changing.

All grandparents are closet cowboys (or girls). In the episode about Grandma Bunny’s birthday, we learn that Grandma Bunny used to be a crazy lasso-throwing, chaps-wearing rodeo queen. Once again, Max was the one with the intuition but that’s beside the point. This means that I can remain boring and career-focused and my parents and in-laws can be the inspiration for the crazy, giggly sleepover talk.

All that I need to keep a little boy happy is a loud toy. Max is obsessed with every product in the Ear-Splitter® (the actual brand name in the show) line of toys. So far, I have seen him spend hours being enthralled with the Green Alien Angry Gorilla, the Traffic Watcher Helicopter, the One-Eyed Chopping Parrot and a few others that I have now forgotten. They are all obnoxious. However, I now know that if Version 2.0 is a boy, all I need to do is stock up on some grating toys and we’re good for hours of play.

It’s cute when little girls make themselves look cheap. Ruby and her little friend Louise are often engaged in imaginative play involving scads of makeup (not sure where they get it from as Mommy doesn’t seem to exist… probably swiped it from the local drug store, but that’s another plot line) and they end up looking like little night-walkers. Grandma Bunny thinks it’s hilarious and the girls are rather unapologetic. So the first time Version 1.0 comes downstairs dressed in a tube top and daisy dukes with a veritable brothel’s supply of war paint, I don’t need to be concerned. I just need to smile knowingly and get a little tear in my eye as I reach for the camera to document it for her grandparents. According to the points above, they will totally relate.

Every elder sibling is infinitely tolerant of his/her next of kin. Max gets up to all kinds of crap, usually with the distinct objective of screwing up Ruby’s day. He even has a look that he gets when he’s preparing for it. I mean, he seriously puts her out. But she’s always ready to forgive him, never loses her cool, and ends up indulging him in whatever game he is playing with her. Phew! I was so worried about Version 1.0 being OK with her new baby brother/sister, but I see now I have nothing to be concerned about. If Ruby’s that even-keeled without any parents around, we’re totally set.

I’m so glad we spent the day with the show. My whole philosophy and all the hours I spent worrying are, I realize, a thing of the past. I’m going to stock up on bonbons and put my feet up tomorrow without a care in the world. Thank you, Bunny Scouts.

PS. As I was doing some online research on the subject after writing this entry, I ran across this posting. Turns out I’m not alone on this!

November 20, 2009



We took Version 1.0 skating today for the first time ever. Let’s just say it was traumatic for all involved. I think even the zamboni driver was feeling a bit bad near the end.

However, it was about what I expected. Version 1.0 had been talking about “skeeting” all night since we tried on the skates last night, and was super excited until we actually got there. Then the waterworks began.

The nice lady who teaches the class (we’re just doing drop-in for now) had some markers and bubbles and that thankfully kept Version 1.0 happy while she got used to the ice. We did get her standing up and taking a few steps, and Daddy pulled her along in a chair for a few seconds. I’ll take it as progress.

In the end, she didn’t want to leave, as we were disrobing in the skate-taking-off area. She also liked the shiny sheep sticker she got as a prize for enduring the activity (as per usual, she thought all the stickers were for her and we had to humbly return a fistful to the nice lady).

We’re encouraged that the rest of the kids in the class have been skating only since September and are already ready for the pros. They all started out as a blubbering mess like Version 1.0 today. I’m betting that with a few more episodes on the ice, she’ll get tired of the spaz and want to zoom around like the other kids. So we’ll just keep on keeping on.

But why does every introduction to a new activity have to feel like we’re adding to the therapy bill in adulthood? I’m reading a book right now called The Science of Parenting (see? you just have to apply a formula… easy) and apparently our kiddies haven’t yet developed their higher thinking brain parts yet (something to do with synapses and wall sockets… or was that electrical currents?) so new stuff is immediately reverted to the ‘reptilian brain’ which manages the ‘fight or flight’ responses. According to the author, I just need to be more emotionally responsive in order to get her to think logically and reason her way through traumatic situations. I guess a smack on the bum and a “Go get ‘em, Tiger!” doesn’t qualify as emotionally responsive?

November 19, 2009

“Have you gained some weight?”

Last night I watched a program on TLC called “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. It’s a documentary-style show on women who mysteriously gave birth in toilets or restaurants or in the office copy room with apparently just a little indigestion and a popping sound.

What. The……?

So I’m thinking of my experiences being pregnant. I’m also thinking of the experiences of nearly every other woman I know who has been pregnant. I have no doubt that these women’s stories are true, but I just don’t get it. DSC02464

First, they all delivered full term babies over 7 lbs 5 oz. I direct you to the  picture on the right (32 weeks ish… still lots of protrusion to go). My child was 7 lbs 15 oz. Not much bigger. How does that NOT show?? I looked like a friggin hippo! And these were not women with alot of extra padding on them under which baby could be disguised. Many of them were my size, or maybe a couple of sizes bigger, tops. I just don’t get it.

And each of them just popped them out with a quick little push on the toilet. REALLY?? Because I quite distinctly remember 4.5 hours of blood-vessel-popping, full body effort to finally get my kid out with the help of a vacuum device.

Then, the symptoms. OK, so not everyone pukes their guts out every day for 4 months, and some are lucky enough to have few, if any symptoms, but don’t you notice … something? Anything? Of ALL the unpleasantries that can occur with this (fortunate or unfortunate) state, they happened to also notice NONE? They were all blessed with a no-show belly monster, very little weight gain, no morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, ligament stretching, bleeding, flutters in the stomach? When my kid got to be around 20 weeks, she started kicking the crap out of me on an hourly basis. None of that?? Really?

I just don’t get it. Maybe if I just try and ignore Version 2.0 I can will myself not to get any bigger and when the time comes, I will just plop it out in the gymnasium during playgroup, and we’ll be done with it.

Given that I figure I’ve got one more week in my normal pants, I somehow think I won’t be so fortunate.

November 18, 2009

Busy Bodies

Today, like every Wednesday, my daughter is off to a crafty-run around-sing-dance-games playgroup at the local community centre. It took me a few weeks to get the name right, all I could remember were “crafts'” and “tumbling” so for awhile I called it Running With Scissors.

The benefit of groups like these is that she gets out of the house for an hour or two, which is especially important when the weather sucks so badly and Mommy can’t stand anymore eternally joyful Spanish explorer characters on the DVD player.

However, the downside is that these groups tend to be germ incubation facilities and every freaking time she goes, she gets sick within a couple of days. This one, maybe a little less so, but the pure tumbly-run around-expend all energy group on Sundays is like a zombie infestation of germs.

Is it because parents let their sick kids go to playgroups, thinking they are on the mend or not quite sick enough to stay home? Or are germies transferrable long before we detect them? Is it better to protect my kid for her first 18 years and not let her out of the house, or to expose her to as much crap as possible in the hopes that she will develop wicked immunity?

I don’t know the answer to this, having never finished (or started) my doctorate of medicine or disease control or whatever you study to know that stuff. But I do know that I’d better stock up on the baby Tylenol for the winter season because the way it’s panning out, we’re going to be inside alot.

And she should probably stop licking the bathroom counters at the rec centre.

November 17, 2009

Here we go again...

Well, I got knocked up again.

And what better time to finally start a new blog?

I mean, here I was just sitting around on a typical day, nothing to do except everything I already hadn't achieved, and finally decided to take the plunge and start my mommy blog. Although I love my work, writing about brow-furrowing serious stuff made my eyes cross and, to be completely frank, my mental capacity (being greatly diminished by the conception and subsequent birth of Version 1.0) is barely enough to remember what I last posted about.

My hidden motivation is the ranks of awesomeness (see here, and here, and here) that I call the Mommy Blog World, and the visions of grandeur I harbour at participating alongside them (I know I am perhaps a little biased in this list and it is by no means exclusive, but these are among my favorite... and all Canadian).

As Version 1.0 is nearly 2, and Version 2.0 is due in May, I figure I've got some good material at the ready. Version 1.0 being the willful and oh-so-nearly-2 kind of girl she is, I may actually be looking for a little help and maybe even commisseration so I don't feel like such a whiner. Now that morning sickness is mostly over, and my gut doesn't yet feel like a bowling ball on steroids, I may have the energy to actually keep this up.

Lately, the Battle Royale is being waged against a particular animated children's series which involves lots of singing and dancing and Spanish. In small doses, it's great. When I go to bed at night with their songs in my head and I happen to know every word, it's bordering on prisoner-of-war torture. When Version 1.0 comes up with words I never knew she knew, I'm largely indebted to this well-crafted show, but I need some alternatives.

Last weekend, I staged a craft party for Version 1.0's little friends. The end result was a glorious mess of pipe cleaners, pompoms, sparkly glue and stickers but fun was had by all, in a largely unstructured way. Now, we are on to colouring books and magnetic doodly things that provide a smidgen of distraction. I am branding myself as the Worst Parent Ever for being so distracted with my work that I can't keep my kid focused on something less .... well, guilty, but we're trying. The recent monsoons in the area have prevented us from leaving the house, so no more parks for the time being.

Please save me from my child's obsession. How else can we have her entertain herself without turning her mind to mush, and allowing me to work? I've tried blunt scissors and scotch in her sippy but the end results were less than pretty.
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