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February 23, 2009

Indecision may or may not be my problem

Have you been by a Baby Gap lately? I spent a good half hour there the other day trying to pick a T-shirt for Mads. Who takes 30 minutes to pick ONE T-shirt for an (almost) 3-year-old? I don't know if labour burst a few brain cells or if the long gone anti-depressants should shoulder the blame, but I cannot make a decision to save my life anymore. If an earthquake struck I would be dead and buried long before I decided which doorway I should stand under.

Yhst-80808555514525_2038_14394609Anyways, there was the cutest T-shirt, it said something about little people doing big things or changing the world or something along those lines. I'm fuzzy on the details now, but at the moment it spoke to me. But I always worry about making her a walking billboard - which is why the pint-sized Che T-shirt hanging in her closet has sadly never seen the light of day. I'm being all kinds of crazy of course, because we're talking about Gap here. They're not exactly known for making bold political statements with their 5-pocket flat-front khakis. But after much long (loooong) reflection I opted for the shirt that says, "Run in the grass, play in the sun" instead. Still cute.

Ah, but I am a complete hypocrite because while I am hesitant to stamp my views on her wardrobe I apparently have no problem inflicting them on her delicate little psyche. Which leads me, sort of, to An Awesome Book. That's not my opinion, that's what it's called. Though I think I agree.

It's awesome for a few reasons: It's big, it's imaginative, it's online for your reading pleasure (cover to cover - isn't that great?). And it's right - I do spend too much time dreaming of telephones (looove my new Blackberry) and not enough time dreaming of magic watermelon boats. You too? Then click here to read An Awesome Book. It'll take 60 seconds, I promise.

Here's to the last week of a very long February - woo hoo!

February 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 17, 2009

Life's little luxuries

Big news: I went to the salon this weekend. A real, grown-up salon. Exciting, right?

Professional haircuts have sort of gone by the wayside since becoming a mom. I used to get my hair done 3 or 4 times a year: Cuts, colours, highlights, the works. The last time I stepped foot in a hairdressers outside of the local mall was shortly after Mads was born. It was a desperate attempt to gloss over the shambled chaos of my life with some wispy bangs and a semi-permanent dye.

Since then I’ve been dying my hair over the sink and making last-minute stops to various neighbourhood places that don’t get all hung up on hoity-toity things like reservations or cleanliness. But whatever. I pay $24 for a haircut and am out in about 12 minutes. It would be longer, but I skip the blow-dry because I’m cheap and just can’t stomach the idea of paying an additional $20 for something I could do just as well at home with my travel-sized Conair. But I don’t like to admit I’m cheap, so when I say no to the drying I feel the need to follow it up with some lame excuse. Last time I blathered on about how I was on the way to the pool for my daughter’s swimming lessons so it was just going to get wet again anyways. Who provides that much information to a hairdresser they met 12 minutes ago? I’m a horrible liar.

But this weekend marked my return to the land of the professional salon – and oh, it was lovely. When I got there the girl at the front desk took my jacket and brought me a cup of tea. Which is a marked departure from the last place I went to, where the girl at the front desk was the same girl who cut my hair. She also shot scalding water down my back as she attempted to wash my hair while talking on the phone. I came out of there looking like I’d just spent an hour in the splash zone at Sea World.

But this time I emerged two hours and 5 inches of hair later a new, relaxed, and completely dry woman. I arrived home to show off the new do but Mads – surprise, surprise – was less than impressed. Keep in mind she gets her hair cut at the local kids’ place, which sets an impossibly high standard. She sits in a Barbie Corvette, jet plane or Spiderman motorcycle, watches Diego on a flat screen TV while the lady coos over how beautiful she is, and then gets a balloon for her efforts.

Me: “So… what do you think of Mommy’s new haircut?”
Mads: “Where’s your balloon? Can I have your balloon? Peeease?”
Me: “Sorry baby, Mommy didn’t get a balloon. That’s just for Maddie.”
Mads: “Oh. What car did you pick?”
Me: “Mommy just has to sit in a regular chair, I don’t get a car.”
Mads: “Oh.”
Me: “But Mads, what do you think? Do you like my new hair?”
Mads (after giving me a good, long stare): “No.”

Ah well. She keeps me grounded.

February 17, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

February 12, 2009

The apple and the tree and all that jazz

When you’re expecting a baby – before you actually have it and get bogged down by all the screaming and spitting up – you have time to daydream about what the little cherub will be like. We pick and choose our favourite traits and assume the bundle of joy will emerge from the womb the best of us both, with her Daddy’s good hair and her Mommy’s immeasurable wit. Then just imagine the shock when out she comes with a bad comb over and a foul disposition.

N548797673_2638931_718The mood passed in time and thankfully the hair is f i n a l l y showing signs of growth. And the older she gets the more I see myself in her… I’m just not always so sure that’s a good thing.

Here’s a bit about me: I’m a perfectionist. I’m hate to fail. At anything. I hate for things to be not quite exactly the way they should be. I tend to over-worry, over-analyze, over-indulge in stale Cheese Pleesers. The last one actually isn’t a character flaw, I was just on a roll. Seriously, stale is the way to go when it comes to processed cheesy corn snacks. Anyways. Now that you’re all lining up to be my new bff – and lining up in an orderly fashion, I hope - I’ll make my way to the part about Mads.

While I was sweating and fretting away my pregnancy, I imagined one day having a little girl who was just like me. But now I worry (see? Always with the worrying) that she may be too much like me. I see her being cautious and sensitive - both good things in small doses, but after a while their weight can plant your feet too firmly to the ground. I don’t want her not to try things because she’s afraid of doing them wrong, or to be embarrassed by mistakes or missteps. I don't want her to be trapped in by fences she builds for herself. I am hoping that lurking in there somewhere is F's sense of adventure, and that she will one day be brave and confident enough to know that she can do anything and go anywhere.

While I'd like to shield her from inheriting a few of my less admirable traits, I guess you don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. (Where did that saying come from? I picture a slippery infant being tossed off the back porch in a splash of finger-paint-and-peanut-butter water. “Aaah! WTF Mom? I’m right here!”) Because not to brag or anything, but I’m not all awful. She loves books, for example. And the colour purple. Not the movie starring Oprah, but the actual colour. Loves it. I don’t actually love purple, but I do love green. Neither of us are too crazy about Oprah. So there’s that. She’s nice to people, once she gets to know them. She cares if someone is sad, or scared, or sick. And underneath all of her toddler complexity she just has a good heart.

Also, the first time she knowingly mocked her Daddy I felt a surge of pride like no other. Because that, my friends, that is all me.

February 12, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

February 06, 2009

When did preschool get so complicated?

N548797673_2608294_3583Sorry I’ve been a bit slow to post these days. Life has gotten in the way of blogging. So irritating.

One thing that’s been taking up a fair chunk of my time is Mads’ 16-page preschool registration package. No, that’s no typo. 16 pages. For preschool. Oh, and said preschool doesn’t start until September but it’s recommended we get the application in 8 months in advance as there is apparently a mad pack of toddlers just itching to kickstart their lifelong learning journey. So yeah, ours is already late.

I guess I’d naively envisioned just writing her name and address on the inside of her coat and depositing her on the preschool doorstep with a quick kiss then scooting off for a mani/pedi complete with complimentary wine and cheese platters and guys in boxer briefs (loincloths? Ew) waving palm leaf fans around… Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, preschool, right. Anyways, apparently it’s just a tad more involved than that.

So what all is covered in a 16-page preschool registration package? Well, I’m glad you asked…

  • What’s her temperament? Is she anxious? Moody? Stubborn? No, but wow, you've got me nailed.
  • Is she multilingual? Hm. Well, she can almost tell you how to get from Dora's house, through the Nutty Forest, past the Chocolate Tree to Abuela’s house in horrifically mangled Spanish. Does that count?
  • What are her interests? Seeing as she’s not even 3 years old, I’m not sure what kind of revelations are expected from this one… Fire-juggling? Needlepoint? I'm going with the more standard - yet no less impressive - finger painting and imitating barnyard animals.
  • Any special Parents’ skills? This one includes options like Bookkeeping (no), Baking (ha! Good one), Dance (not so much), Sewing (I did sew a pair of high-waisted, side-zip, severely tapered maroon pants with front pleats in home ec once… yeah, they were all kinds of hot). Sadly there was no category for Celebrity Gossip Tracking or Really Good Sandwich Making. Honestly, I make a mean sandwich. It's a vastly under-appreciated art-form. 

It’s a parent participation preschool, which is a nice way of saying they put us to work. So much for that mani/pedi. I actually love the idea of a PPP; getting to know the kids, the other parents. So we had to pick from a list of duties that included such glamorous titles as Play Dough Parent (um, no) and Laundry Parent (oh, hells no). I signed us up for Recycling Depot Duty and Newsletter Editor. I’ve always dreamed of being published, I figure this could be my best shot. Fingers crossed!

Anyways, once Mads’ health records and Grandma’s criminal record check come through (nope, I’m not kidding) we should be good to go.

If this is community preschool I can’t even imagine what a University entrance exam is like these days. I'm thinking I should probably start working on that one now...

February 6, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

February 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: So this is what organization looks like


A bin for Play-doh. A bin for Little People. A bin for the train tracks I trip over all day long, and for each and every last one of the millions of tiny pieces of Dora's Build-a-Block rancher. I could go on but I'm getting a bit emotional over here.

I think I hear angels singing in the distance. Hallelujah.

February 4, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (9) | 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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