Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What I wish I had said the other day... the otherwise very nice teacher at our daycare centre...

"Believe me, there is no one else - with the obvious exception of Mr Earth - who would like to see the Boy using the potty more than me. We have introduced the subject time and again, only to be met just shy of complete resistance. By complete resistance, I mean shouting 'NO I DON'T WANNA GO TO THE POTTY!' and other similar choice phrases. I fully support the daycare's attempt to get him interested in potty training. In fact, in the end, I believe it may be the only way to get him to use the potty - he has always been a child who wants to do what everyone else is doing. The reason(s) that I have not pushed the subject harder to date is because, in my qualified opinion, he has not shown any of the typical signs of potty readiness other than wanting to buy new underwear (and that, only because he likes presents, like his mum). He does not tell me when he has to 'go'. He is not at all uncomfortable wearing wet diapers, pull-ups, or even underwear. He doesn't show any resistance to wearing diapers or pull-ups. He has difficulty taking off his pants and underwear, and usually asks us for help in doing so on the few occasions that he actually tries. Need I go on? Also, we just had a new addition to our family a few months ago, and it's taking some time to adjust, however amiable and easy-going the Boy may happen to be. I RESENT the implication that I am not potty training our child because it "might be more work for me". It's more work for me to change two sets of diapers, instead of sending one child off to the potty. I may be exhausted from tending a newborn, but I CAN see the big picture. Plus, I don't have a lot of money and I am spending upwards of $60 a week to keep the shit from hitting the floor, to be crass. Because I respect you and your experience with children, I am going to try out your suggestion and spend a couple of days of having him just wear underwear, and see what happens. Frankly, I don't have much faith that it will make a difference. BUT, as I said before, I DO want him to be potty trained. I was just hoping that it would happen more agreeably, with support from the most important factor in the equation - the Boy.

Thank you for your input."

Monday, January 28, 2008

For Matilda Rose [MBT]

It is only fitting that this week's Musical Monday be a tribute to the sudden death of actor Heath Ledger. To tell the truth, I didn't believe the Husband when he told me the news. He's too young, I thought, you must mean someone else! And then, of course, my mind strayed to the inescapable conclusion that he was just another young star who fell by the wayside, into the path of drugs and destruction.

Admittedly, he's not an actor who fell under my radar. I had a mini-crush on him in the 2001 movie, A Knight's Tale, but I just thought he was an especially pretty young actor, not necessarily Someone of Particular Talent. The Husband and I both couldn't understand why his fans were touting him as the 'finest young actor of his generation'. We have yet to see Brokeback Mountain, though, so maybe we have missed out. It's on my must-see list, but the Husband has no interest, so it keeps getting pushed back.

Read more at MommyBlogsToronto.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So Soothe Me!

They say there's a sucker born every minute. I don't know about that, but there were certainly two born in our household.

When you've got a couple of suckers on your watch, what do you do? Well, you end up jumping into the fray of the ongoing Mommy-battle: The Thumb, or The Soother? In one corner, we have The Thumb. It's all natural, can't be lost (we hope), the first thing that babies explore and the go-to choice for sucking. In the other corner, we have The Soother. You lose them constantly, have to disinfect them repeatedly, babies have to learn how to keep them in their mouths, BUT they are theoretically easier to get rid of later on, and will supposedly cause less dental problems down the line.

The Boy was a finger-sucker from very early on. Ensconced in the blissful two-on-one days of new parenting, we allowed it. Encouraged it even. I (all too vividly) recall hours of sitting on a couch with a (clean) finger stuck in his mouth. You couldn't go anywhere or do anything, but whatever. He eventually found his own thumb, and hasn't looked back since. For me, it's not all the big a deal. I sucked my thumb until I was five. My parents tried to get me to stop, but the more they harassed me, the harder I sucked. I just did it behind their backs. I did stop, eventually, but it was on my own time. On my own terms.

You'd be surprised at how much flak we get from the public, though. Daycare teachers have made passing comments about it. Nothing offense, but still. The ladies who run the local fruit market chastise the Boy when he sucks his thumb. I let that go, but it's a struggle. Total strangers have actually reached into my stroller and pulled the still wet thumb from his mouth. That made me mad. Now that he's three, we're trying to gently discourage him from the thumb-sucking. From everything I've read though, it isn't a real problem dental-wise till they're four or five.

Not surprisingly, it turns out that the Little Guy is a sucker too. If anything, he a bigger sucker than his brother. I've checked to make sure he's not hungry. He just wants to suck. A lot. And he gets mighty angry if he can't. Gone are the days, though, when we can leisurely sit and, well, give the Little Guy the finger. And you can't get anything done at all. Not. One. Thing. I'm not trying to be a Super Mom here, either. There are just some things that I have to do. Want to get the Boy dressed. SCREAM! Want to make the Boy some breakfast? SCREAM! Want to give the Boy a bath? SCREAM! Want to feed, dress or bathe myself? SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM! And then just to change things up a little, he will SCREAM A LITTLE LOUDER!!!

So this time around, we are trying to introduce the Soother. The Boy didn't take to it at all, but we only made half-hearted attempts really. This time, the Soother is a survival mechanism. I've always been slightly opposed to soothers though. I've seen some parents use it to shut their kids up, instead of the intended purpose of soothing a child who really doesn't want anything else than to suck. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and it stuck with me. It's all too easy to offer the kid the soother anytime he cries, rather than seeing what's actually wrong first. In fact, I'm already worried that I've fallen into that trap. But I simply don't know what else to do. It's impossible to function normally with an underscoring of SCREAMING every time you have to do necessary household tasks. So far, it's helped a bit, but the Little Guy is having difficulty keeping it in his mouth.

How do you feel about Soothers vs Thumbs? Is one better than the other? Is one wrong, and one right? And how in the heck do you get the kid to keep the pacifier in his mouth if sucking is what he truly wants to do?? I don't know if I'm doing the right/best/smart thing here, I'm just doing what I can to get through the day. I may regret it later. Let's just hope that the "later" is a long time coming.

And now I'm going to go and try to dry out my water-logged finger.

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Year, New Mama

Hey, have you gone over and checked out MommyBlogsToronto lately? It's a new year, and we're gettin' our groove on 2008-style. I'm trying out a new feature called Musical Mondays, where I pick one of my favourite Broadway tunes and discuss why I like it. It's my bid to open up people's eyes to just how good Broadway can be. (Although, I really want to do it because I just learnt how to post videos from YouTube and it's so fun...!)

Hop on over and check out a great song from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Oh, and there's other great writers there, yada, yada, yada...yeah, you should read them too. They write good and don't just post videos all the time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Kiss of Death

I've been accused in the past of being somewhat negative in my outlook. While it's not entirely untrue, I think this assessment gives you the wrong impression. I prefer the term "cautiously optimistic". But I can see how people could confuse the two.

For example, if you ask how my day is going, I will more than likely say "Not bad." or "Okay." I will never say "Fabulous!" or "This is the best day I've ever had!" (Unless, of course, something undeniably, life-changingly wonderful has actually occurred.) In part, because I find these Pollyanna answers to be somewhat annoying - like the people who smile all the time. I mean, I'm all for smiling when the occasion warrants it, but smiling 24/7? Not so much. It kind of creeps me out. But mostly it's because, in my experience, as soon as I say something is going well, it almost always starts to go downhill. I call it "the Kiss of Death".

Phrases you won't hear me say? "The Little Guy is a really good sleeper." Cause you know he won't be sleeping that night. "The Boy never misbehaves." Not unless I wan't him to throw his toys at me and scream "Mommy is a poo-poo head!" at the top of his lungs. "It's easy to manage two kids." Because total mayhem would ensue.

You also won't see me tattooing "Mr Earth - true love forever" anywhere on my personage. I don't really want to find my sorry husband-less self walking the streets. Or telling people that I'm smart and talented. They won't have to look hard for evidence to the contrary. Or buying clothes that are my pre-pregnancy size on the theory that I will fit into them soon enough. I invariably start eating all the chocolate in sight if I do.

But what do you do when someone asks you a question point-blank? At my post-partum appointment Monday, the doctor asked me if I had had any blocked milk ducts. Well, to be perfectly honest, I hadn't. So I was forced to answer no. And what do I have right now? A blocked milk duct. A painful, red, hard-as-a rock boob, and a baby who somehow manages to always hit or kick me in the chest. Thanks Doctor. Kiss of Death indeed.

Monday, January 14, 2008


You're 3 today! Has it been that long? There's so much I want to say, so much that should be said to mark this most important of occasions, but the truth is that I am dog tired. (Does this really apply? Is the modern dog's life truly so tiring?? I digress...). As I stare at the screen, the only coherent thoughts I can muster are these - 3 times 3:
Happy Birthday Boy!
I'm so proud.
I love you.

Monday, January 07, 2008

There are worse things I could do...

My 35th birthday so far:

2:30am Feed the Little Guy

3:30am Little Guy finally swaddled and asleep in bed. Answer emails (What? You don't answer emails in the wee smalls? Pshaw.)

3:50am Boy awakens from nightmare. Convince him that new stuffed puppy will protect him.

4:00am Go to bed.

4:30am Still awake.

5:00am Still awake.

5:30am Still awake.

5:50am Fall asleep. Have nightmare about Mr Earth losing his job.

6:00am Boy wakes up and demands to watch "Bo on the Go" which is a terrible show that is not on till EIGHT O'CLOCK.

6:05am Consider PVRing Bo on the Go, but don't want anyone to think I actually like it.

6:15am Bring Boy into bedroom, turn on Treehouse and go back to sleep.

6:30am The Little Guy wakes up. Feed him.

7:00am Change and dress the Little Guy in Abominable Snowman outfit:

7:15am Come to terms with fact that Little Guy is going to hate me for this when he's older. Laugh maniacally.

7:30am Put Little Guy in bassinette so that he can scream while brush teeth and hair, and put on some clothes.

7:45am Dress and change the Boy. Tell him for the gazillionth time that it's TOO EARLY for Bo on the Go.

8:00am Watch dreaded Bo on the Go. This show stinks. Realize I never should have promised he could watch it.

8:30am Try on wonderful new chef hat from master sewer Sage. It fits like a dream and looks cute as hell. This girl has some mad sewing skillz:

8:35am Discover that somehow stupid Pull-up has leaked and the Boy is soaking wet. Change the Boy

8:40am Since said leak happened while Boy was lolling in my bed watching damned Bo on the Go, must now strip bed and do load of laundry.

8:40am Feed the Boy and the Little Guy at the same time. Think I should become honorary
Vishnu Goddess.

9:00am Load boys in car and drop the Boy off at daycare.

9:30am Come home and decide to clean out kitchen cupboard as the Little Guy is sleeping nicely in car seat and dread waking him. I rarely clean, but when I do, it must be done RIGHT NOW.

10:00am Go to put sheets in bed and realize I haven't folded the laundry from yesterday. Crap. Fold laundry and put it away.

10:15am The Little Guy is still sleeping in the car seat. I am a Bad Mother. Take Little Guy out of car seat and put him in comfy vibrating chair in the hopes that I can shower while he sleeps. He does. Hallelujah!

11:30am Feed Little Guy.

12:00pm Remake entire bed.

12:30pm Entertain Little Guy by reading him the last 5 pages of my novel out loud. (What?! He told me he likes it! And he gets to learn lots of fancy words..)

1:00pm Attempt to make and eat lunch one-handed while the Little Guy screams.

1:30pm Nap with the Little Guy. Thank the lord for small favours.

3:00pm Feed the Little Guy.

3:30pm Blog while holding increasingly heavy baby. (What?! He told me he likes it when I blog..)

4:09pm Try to fix spacing problems in HTML and give up. Too tired.

How's your day so far??

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Memories of 2007

Sounds like a President's Choice marinade, no? Although I'm 3 days late (No, I'm not pregnant. Ew! Way too soon for that..) to usher in the new year, I thought the passing of the old into new should be marked somehow. Many bloggers are posting their first sentences from each month of the last year, or linking to their best post or just giving a summary of what went on in 2007. Well, I don't want to bore you (any more than I already do), so that's out for me. Instead, I thought I would post a few samplings of the Boy's loquaciousness.

The Boy, when not given over to tantrums as is the norm these days, can be most charming and funny. Here are a few of my faves...

1. On seeing a Santa decoration on a porch or in a window...

Boy: "A Santa, Mummy! A Santa! Look, mama, a Santa!"

Nomo: Oh, hi Santa!

Boy: (with disdain) "Nooo, he can't talk, he's a decoration."

Apparently, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.

2. Just ask him what the Cracker Man (read: the Nutcracker) says...

"I broke my peanut!!"

Let me just say that it took us a long time to figure out he was saying peanut. We thought it was something entirely differently...and rather painful.

3. Heard at least once every morning, afternoon and evening...

"Can I paint now? I want to paint!! Can I draw now, please??"

He knows the way to my heart, that one.

4. When asked what his favourite show is..

"Sweeney Todd"

This pleased his father overmuch.

5. When put in the stroller over the holidays...

"Which coffee store we going to? Second Cup? Starbucks?? What are you going to have at the coffee store? Where's the coffee store? I can't see it, mummy."

Maybe we go for coffee too much.

6. When talking to anyone on the phone:

"Wanna come to my house?"

7. My favourite bedtime ritual...

Boy: This is our secret cave. No one can come in.

Nomo: Goodnight, Boy. I love you. I'll see you in the morning.

Boy: No, I'll see you in the morning!

Nomo: No, I'll see you in the morning!

Boy: No, I'll see you in the morning!!

This can go on forever..

8. To his father - without prompting...

"You are my best friend in the whole world."

Well, now we're sunk. How can we deny him anything??