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February 28, 2008

Breaking the mommy commandments

Febgi1_2 We're only 10 minutes into tonight's episode of Lost and we're already completely... well, lost. Honestly, what the hell is going on?

Anyways. I've been thinking about all those little things we do as moms, things we really know we shouldn't do. I think it is time to absolve myself of my mommy sins. In the spirit of solidarity, your confessions are of course welcome!

Thou shalt not play dumb

I feel bad about this one, but I do it. Like when she wants to watch The Wiggles for the 3rd time that day. I have a strict 2-Wiggle limit, it's all I can take before I start having unhealthy dreams about hijacking the Big Red Car and running down Captain Feathersword. So she'll stand pointing at the tv pleading, "Iggo? Pees Iggo? Pees!" and I'll act like I just fell off the turnip truck and have suffered a massive concussion. "What, hon? I'm not sure what you want. That's a Teee Veee. Isn't that a nice TV? Can you say TV?" She looks at me like I am insane. Sometimes, if I am feeling really motivated, I can outlast her. She gives up in disgust and moves on to something else.

Thou shalt not lie to your child

I really think this one should be revised to read, "Thou shalt not lie to your child unless lying is going to save your sanity. Then it's okay." Who among us hasn't fibbed that a particularly irritating toy is broken or that the last bag of chips in the cupboard is "all gone?" A friend of mine, her kids must think every single thing at Toys R Us is busted by now. "Mom, can I have that?" "Oooh, sorry hon, it's broken."

Thou shalt not hide from your child

Um, guilty on this one too. Please tell me I'm not the only one. Mads can play on her own, she is happy as a clam... as long as I stay out of her direct line of vision. And so I lurk around corners, shimmy past open doors, army crawl my way down the hall to the bathroom. I'm 007, mommy-style.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's child

You know, the one who inhales his veggies and sleeps like an angel and doesn't make poo art on the walls with the contents of his diapers. For me, it's the one who sleeps in the stroller while his mommy shops. That has always been the Holy Grail. Just think of the possibilities. For one, you could actually try on clothes instead of hurriedly holding them up in front of the mirror. Nothing fits me anymore because I tend to overestimate the size of my chest and underestimate the size of my ass. A girl can dream, right?

Thou shalt not, upon detecting a particularly foul smelling diaper, pretend that you didn't smell it and then suddenly find something really urgent to do and then on your way out of the room sweetly mention to your husband that you think your kid might need to be changed

Come on, admit it. We all do this one.

(ps - Just look at that munchkin of mine, bed head and all... Could she be any cuter? :) )

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February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mommy needs a margarita

Feb_play_1_2This time last week I was all caught up in a glorious mommy moment. Today I'm looking for the nearest bridge. Motherhood, in a nutshell.

Mads is killing me. I wonder if she has come down with a personality disorder. I hear those are going around. But no, I suspect it is just your typical case of toddleritis. Vibrating with happiness one moment, sinking into a tragic puddle of sadness the next. As a friend of mine would say, she flips the switch pretty fast. Her inconsolable, gasping, tear-streaked face would be enough to break your heart, if it was in response to something other than her Baby Einstein movie ending, or the fact that her mean mommy only gave her two cookies instead of six. Truth be told, a lot of the time I have absolutely no idea what it's about, and it doesn't take long for my cluelessness to royally piss her off. Is she hungry? Is she bored? Is she worried about the Texas primary? All are equally possible. Your guess is as good as mine.

She has also instituted a rule whereby anybody within a 1-block radius must have 100% of their attention focussed on her at all times. Friends have stopped calling because they know they'll have to shout over Maddie's cries of "No! Mommy! Noooooooo!!!!" in the background. And don't think you can trick her. God forbid you think about your tax return while she is stacking plastic beer cups for the 14th time that day. She has some sort of psychic sixth sense; even if you are staring attentively she knows the instant your mind has wandered. And she'll let you know that she knows. Loudly.

Life has become like that episode of The Family Guy. This one. That the same little word I spent months desperately waiting for is now making me lose my mind. The irony doesn't escape me. The best - and by best, I of course mean worst - is in the car, where there are no distractions and no way out. She spends our drives singing, but demands her captive audience.

Mads: "Mommy? Mommeeee? MOM-"
Me: "Yes, hon?"
Mads: "Wee woe wa woe weee!"
Me: "Oh, Ring around the rosy! Good girl!"
Mads: "Mommy? Mommeeee? MOM-"
Me: "Yes, Maddie?"
Mads: "Wee woe wa woe weee!"
Repeat, ad nauseum

I admit, it is the cutest thing you've ever heard the first 54 times. By 55 it starts to wear a bit thin. The girl needs some new material.

But that's just today. Talk to me tomorrow and I'll be serenely floating on a sea of maternal bliss, I'm sure. Maybe I'm the one with the personality disorder.

(I wanted to thank you girls for your sweet sentiments on the last post, and the MOMformation one, too. Whatever the reason you keep coming back here, I'm glad you do.)

February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 27, 2008

Today's time-out...

I'm running around like a madwoman today - what else is new? - but wanted to give you a dose of mommy gossip.

Did anyone else catch the Oscars? I just love me some Jon Stewart! And if you haven't yet seen Once, the film that won for Best Song, I urge you - no, I beg you - to see it. It is wonderful!

I promise a regular post tomorrow. Happy hump day!

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February 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 25, 2008

How not to lose the baby weight

Well, I spilled my guts over at MOMformation this morning, so if it's all right with you I will just send you over there today.

It's a topic that is near and dear to my heart - a little too near and dear for my liking - and while it hovers at the edge of everything I write as a mom, I haven't felt ready to really pick it apart until now. So there it is.

In other news, Maddie has a black eye brewing today after taking a tumble from the chair onto the kitchen tile. I think her ego took the brunt of the bruising, despite the shiner. But more on our weekend tomorrow.

Click here for the MOMformation post, and thanks for reading!

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February 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 23, 2008

Abandoning the great outdoors

February_beach_1_2 I really should be folding laundry or doing last night's dishes. Or the ones from the night before that. But something's been bothering me and I have to get it out. Having a kid tends to make you think a bit more about the fate of the world. I recycle. I bought a travel mug. I read the newspaper. Well, at least the front page of it, while I wait in line at Starbucks. I have to say, there are things that make me worry for our collective future. Things like global warming, and the revolting popularity of Paris Hilton. And things like this, which I saw on sale while grocery shopping the other day.

Something about seeing a 4-year-old in a stretch velour track suit on a treadmill made me incredibly sad. As did the toddler on the elliptical, and the stationary bike, which were also available. Oh, and an exercise ball, for that killer toddler six-pack. Just the pictures on the box made me depressed. Later that night, while still trying to erase the image from my mind, I saw a bit on the news about a video game intended to teach kids the importance of healthy eating habits and active living. Acting living? Via Nintendo? Is that not the very definition of an oxymoron?

It made me wonder: When did kids stop going outside? I live in a neighbourhood chock full of schools and parks, but I rarely see kids out on their own. When did they stop riding bikes until dusk and coming home for dinner when the streetlights came on? When did they stop building secret forts among the trees and sitting crouched over heaps of unearthed worms?  I didn't grow up on an episode of Leave It to Beaver, but I distinctly remember spending a large chunk of my childhood outdoors. Not in organized playgroups or on chaperoned outings, but on our own, with our friends, with only our imaginations and Mother Nature to entertain us. Do kids still do those things, or are toddler treadmills and video games today's playgrounds?

I like to think it's more than just being lazy, that part of the problem is that we're afraid, us parents. Afraid of perverts and drug dealers and all the other bogymen lurking out there in the big world. I'm scared of those things, too. But I hope I'm not so scared that I let it stop her from enjoying the best parts of childhood.

Now don't get me wrong, I am definitely no saint. Mads loves her alphabet computer game and watches more than her fair share of TV. She wakes up each morning asking for The Wiggles and given the choice would pick Dora or over me in a heartbeat, I'm sure. But I draw the line at treadmills.

Okay, the soapbox is groaning beneath my weight, and Maddie is declaring breakfast over by threatening to toss her yogurt overboard. I think we'll go out and enjoy the sunshine.

(By the way, there is a good book on this topic - a parenting book minus all the stress of those damn milestone chapters! Here it is.)

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February 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 21, 2008

Today's time-out

I got into a battle royal last night with Maddie over which one of us was going to put the lid back on the dog food container. "Pick your battles" is a motto I try to live by, but sometimes I find myself so far entrenched into these stand-offs that by the time I realize how totally ridiculous they are it's too late to back down. It lasted a good half hour, with me cajoling and her falling on the floor yelling "NO!" and then laughing and running away. It's slightly depressing to lose out on a battle of wills to a not-quite-two-year-old.

Here is today's gossip-y time-out. Happy Thursday!

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February 21, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2008

Stuck in a mommy moment

I am such a sap these days. Maddie can barely hiccup without me just about bursting into tears, trying to drag her in for hugs and kisses while she fights and squirms to get away. If she could handle multiple syllables or sentence form I am sure she would say, "Mom, you are SO embarrassing." She doesn't need to say it, though, I swear I see that look in her eyes sometimes.

Decgranvilleisle_3Before you say it or even think it, I am definitely not pregnant. Bite your tongue! No, I think my sudden sentimentality can be blamed on her rapidly approaching birthday. Or maybe it's just an outburst of gratitude that we have (knock on wood) not yet succumbed to those terrible twos.

All I know is that I am pathetically, obsessively, and rather unexpectedly, completely in love with my daughter. She is at this miraculous age where everything impresses her: butterflies, bubbles, fig newtons, garbage bags. All of them are met with wide-eyed wonder and fits of glee. We walk to the mailbox and have to stop every two steps to marvel over a fallen leaf, a telephone pole, an abandoned Slurpee straw.

Funny thing is, even though we move through our days at her turtle pace it suddenly seems that time is passing at warp speed. I am torn between wanting to slow it down and wanting to find out where we're going, to see who she is becoming. What I really want is just to capture this time. I want to write it down, swallow it whole, press it between the pages of an old and heavy book. I want to have it somewhere so that days, months, years from now I can look back and remember every last detail. Her crooked, toothy smile, her diving bedtime hugs, her tragic, down-turned, pouty little mouth; the way she tugs at her ears when she's thinking hard, or how she falls to the floor in shrieks of laughter as her Daddy tries to find the funniest of all her funny bones. If only memories could be perfectly preserved; jarred up and stored away to be opened when we need them most.

Sorry for making you join me as I wade through my sentimental mush today. I guess every once in a while even I can see beyond the mounting diapers and debt, the mundane of the daily routine, and know how truly blessed I am.

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February 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 15, 2008

Help! I'm surrounded!

32litre_3 Even though we made our usual promise of no Valentine’s Day gifts or cards, Fernando did get me a really lovely photo box frame for my desk at work. I, of course, stuck to the agreement. Don’t you just hate that?

He also treated me to yet another lesson on how to properly load the dishwasher. It’s part of an ongoing series, I believe we’re on lesson 56 now. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind repeating this one while I grabbed a pen and paper. I didn’t want to miss the part about the proper distribution of glassware in the top rack. I love that part.

The two of us are very well suited in all the ways that count: we share similar values, we like the same TV shows, neither of us can tolerate spicy foods. Our stumbling block is cleanliness. He has a tendency toward OCD and I do not. He would probably tell you that I’m a slob, but he would be wrong – that’s just the OCD talking. For the record, I would like to state that I do not live a slovenly existence. I just take a more relaxed approach.

When it comes to keeping the house clean, F talks like I’m in kindergarten and it’s time for the “tidy-up game.” “Hey Care, you know what I was thinking? It would be cool to put our clothes away as soon as they’re washed! Do you think we should try it? Yeah, let’s try it!” He chooses to ignore me rolling my eyes and making fake puking noises. I can’t say I blame him.

We’ve been together for many, many, MANY years and we’ve reached a compromise of sorts: I try to be a little bit tidier and he tries to reign in the old OCD. It works for us. Enter Maddie. It seems she’s inherited this gene from him, because now she’s the one who’s always on my case. One of her favourite words is “Mess!” She walks around the place swatting away the dust, pointing out the floor that needs mopping (and my hair that apparently needs brushing!) all the while telling me “Mess! Mess! Mess!” Geez kid, give a mom a break!

So it seems I’m surrounded. I guess there is only one option left. I need to hire a maid.

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February 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 14, 2008

Today's time-out...

Happy Valentine's Day! We will be celebrating with an evening of taco salad, boxed wine, and tonight's episode of Lost. Who said romance is dead?

xoxo

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February 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 13, 2008

Today's time-out...

Blue skies this morning! And I am feeling much better, thanks either to the weather or a hefty dose of Advil gel caps.

We have been missing out on some good mama gossip, sorry! Here's today's time-out...

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February 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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