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November 26, 2009

Feeling thankful

4961_118112642673_548797673_3353662_7139568_n It was Remembrance Day a couple of weeks ago – or Veterans’ Day, for some of you – so we bundled up and headed downtown for the ceremonies, which is one of those things we’ve made a point of doing since Maddie was born. It was the first year in recent memory that it wasn’t pouring down buckets of rain, which was nice. It was pouring down buckets of bird poo, though. Well, maybe not buckets, but just enough to splatter strategically all over my jacket. Not so nice. Mads managed to avoid getting hit because, she later told me, “I saw them coming so just ran out of the way.” A heads-up would have been nice, kid.

Before the crap attack we and hundreds of others stood under the sun in 2 minutes of shared silence but for the roar of fighter planes overhead and the sound of Mads exaggeratedly whispering, ”Can we talk yet?”. I’m thankfully far removed from the realities of war, but I couldn’t help but think about the terrible moment that too many moms have lived through when they hear the dreaded news about kids who have gone off to fight. It would be hard to survive the death of a child, however it happens. I mean that literally, I imagine you’d need to force yourself to take a next breath or another step or to ever think another thought that didn’t have to do with the fact that you are living on this earth and your child is not. I don’t know how anybody manages it.

Today is Thanksgiving for some of you – we’ve already had ours up here – and my thoughts of gratitude are centred around my family. A healthy and happy daughter and this new baby too, a husband who loves me and plenty of wonderful people to share the ups and downs with along the way. Sometimes the day-to-day of life as a mom, the tiny stumbling blocks and rolling waves of doubt, distract me from the bigger picture. Today I can see it clearly, and it’s truly a lovely view.

November 26, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 10, 2009

My Halloween horror story

Scary_pumpkin I'm not really a Halloween person. Put another way: I hate it. If you're having a Halloween party, don't invite me because even if I really like you a lot, I won't want to come. I don't like dressing up, I don't like being chased down the street by the sound of screeching Cherry Bombs, I don't like eating my body weight in Smarties (I have no choice; when it comes to Smarties, if they're there, I have to eat them).

The holiday's big shot at redemption came when I had a kid. Even an avowed Halloween hater like myself has a hard time scowling at an adorable pint-sized trick-or-treater. Things started out okay: Her first Halloween she was 7 months and basically still immobile. She wore a yellow fuzzy suit with a duck bill hood and cried; I took her to the neighbour's house, she cried some more, we came home and called it a night. All things considered, not too bad. Fast forward a year. I sewed - let me repeat that, I sewed - her a costume only to have her go ballistic when I tried to put it on. We made a last minute change, went to a friend's house where she choked on a Tootsie Roll, vomited, and then bawled hysterically. Last year things got better. She was a haphazard sort of cat, we trick-or-treated, she had fun. I was one of the only adults in costume at the costume party, but other than that all was good.

Enter this year. Mads was flip-flopping between wanting to be a witch and a fairy, only to combine the two and decide - okay, demand - that I come up with a "fairy witch" costume. Which I did, and it was adorable. We then carved a jack-o-lantern, which the dog prompty ate (don't ask). But still, I was feeling pretty good about things. Until the night before Halloween, when I came down with swine flu. Freaking swine flu! What the... I've basically been drinking hand sanitizer and living in a bubble, so how I got swine flu I have no idea. But I did. So off she went trick-or-treating while I stayed home, watching Cape Fear and vomiting. But F, bless him, brought along the camera and documented the whole thing for me: The costume, the candy, even her hiking up stairs and knocking on doors. As soon as I was able to drag my sorry ass off the couch, I downloaded them to the computer so I could see what I'd missed out on. But the computer promptly crashed, taking the Halloween photos and everything else on the hard drive with it.

Nicely done, Halloween. I'll see you in hell.

November 10, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 09, 2009

Beauty & the beast

Funny-pictures-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-as-cats Maddie’s stressing me out these days. It feels as though my heartbreakingly sweet, semi-independent 3-year-old has suddenly morphed into a hyperactive, clingy, borderline obnoxious preteen. I can’t even go pee anymore without her throwing open the door and whining, “This is taking too looong, Mommy!”

The other night I was heading out to see some friends – keep in mind that at 4 months pregnant I just look like I’ve packed on a few pounds so picking out clothes is pretty torturous – when she pointed at me and said, “Ew, your shirt has dead flowers on it” and then started laughing her ass off. Hello? Ever see Season 4 of Sex and the City? Fake flower accessories are – okay, were, whatever – totally in.

Then there’s the angry faces, the foot stomping, the table slapping – she knows that if she actually throws something or hits someone she’ll have to suffer the wrath, so instead just shoots me death glares and smacks whatever hard surface is within reach. Most suggestions – even the super duper fun ones like going to a movie – are met with, “I don’t want to do that. I’m going to stay home. [Insert foot stomp.]” And when I tried to get her to help me pick out a Christmas storybook the other day she dismissed the entire idea by announcing, “I don’t want books. I only want toys.” Well, la di da.

The thing is, most of the time she is so sweet and lovely and I just want to inhale and memorize every tiny thing about her: Every question, every discovery, every time she smiles or wraps her little arms tightly around my neck at bedtime. Last week she traced the letters of her name with a wobbly purple crayon and I actually cried as I sat there watching her. Then, boom! She’s telling me she hates my wardrobe and declaring, “I’m never going to tell you!” when I dare ask what she did that day at preschool. Serenity now.

I remind myself that it’s all just part of her growing into whoever she’s going to become, and, of course, that this too shall pass. But it’s the back and forth of it all that makes it so… tiring. If this is what 3.5 is like, how am I ever going to survive 13??

November 9, 2009 | 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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