A baby friendly space

July 11, 2016

Dear Baby,

Ever since you started being on the move we have been working towards making you a space to enjoy. My dream is to have a no “no” space where you can literally go anywhere and touch anything that you want to without worry. In reality, that’s a bit of a stretch since our house is basically a hazard zone for a baby but it is a work in progress. 

For example, we moved all of the furniture out of the way so that you might enjoy more space to crawl around. 

Of course, the areas you are most enamoured with include; the air duct I the floor, the stairs, the electrical outlets and the dog food/bowl. You also enjoy rubbing your hands on the unfinished raw wood table legs, pulling yourself up on an unsteady rocking chair toy and eating dirt off the floor. 

Areas you don’t want to stay in are; padded, safe, full of toys. 

Typical. 

And it’s hard to really make your house baby friendly because what does that even mean? Is it just locking up shit that you could eat and become poisoned from or is it sanding our gorgeous table legs to prevent the inevitable splinters to come?

Plus it’s your house. You need to learn how to live in it. You will hopefully be here for a long time. I think there is some value in letting you safely test the boundaries of certain things. 

Mostly, we just want you to be happy and love the space you are in. Since we never take our eyes off you we want you to enjoy all the areas of the house and explore to your hearts content. 

I want that to be a thing you take with you from here on: to explore and to be curious and to look around you with wonder and awe. Right now the ducts are the best thing you can think of but one day I hope you have a million ducts and that you are afforded the chance to be close to them. 

In the meantime, I might block you off from the stairs but you are always free to climb!

xo

Mom

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A baby friendly space

Baby Efforts

July 7, 2016

Dear Baby,

Right now as I type this I am sitting in your room on the chair watching you “try to fall asleep.” By that I mean pulling yourself up by the rails of your crib until you are standing and then peering over at me and laughing. Same same.

Up and down and up and down until you just basically exhaust yourself and pass out. 

And I can’t help but be in awe of your dedication and determination to just stand up and be adorable. Your tiny little arms shake with the big job of pulling yourself up and no matter how many times you fall down, you keep trying. 

Maybe the great reward is getting to bite on the crib- which you are doing right now or to be able to flash me a smile from over the top of the rails but I imagine the true reward is trying and succeeding to do something. 

You don’t yet know that you could give up. That you could employee someone else to do the job for you or the millions of excuses you could make to get out of doing it. All you know is that you want to stand up right now and you’ll be damned if it isn’t going to happen. 

And that right there is a thing we all begin to lose as we grow up. If I tried at anything the way you try to stand up, I would master it but “life” gets in the way of a lot of our tries. 

Watching you has actually been a huge inspiration and reminder that no task is too small or too hard if you just throw yourself into it and pull up as hard as you can. With a little strength you can accomplish anything. 

And that is a huge thing that I want you to know and remember. By the time you read this you will have long mastered standing and forgotten a time when you couldn’t but once upon a time you worked your butt off to make it happen. I hope you use that same drive to get everything you want out of life. 

In the meantime, let’s see you use that same drive to master putting yourself to sleep for your nap- mmmkay?

xo

Mom

Baby Efforts

Baby toys

July 5, 2016

Dear Baby,

As an adult there is nothing better than a box full of toys. I would say that the nature of a toy changes with age but even still, give me a tub of play dough and watch me make cool snakes like it’s my job.

One great perk of having a baby is that it is totally normal again to pay with Lego, to engage with sand and to build towers out of blocks. Let’s be honest. The toys you have aren’t really for you yet. 

And to really emphasize that point I give you an every day scenario: you sit on a mat surrounded by toys. There is Beatbo the light up talking robot, there is a light up activity station, a plush rattle and no less than 5 random wood figures surrounding you. You lunge for the best toy in the bunch, a piece of tree branch. 

A mini baby computer can take up all of .5 seconds of your time and attention but that branch… next level entertainment. It must be touched, bitten, examined and shaken. It must be thrown, poked, dropped and picked back up. 

SO GLAD I PAID 60 DOLLARS FOR A FUCKING TALKING ROBOT. 

No, the truth is that I totally love your inclination to interact with the world around you. To want to reach out and grab the things you see in nature (or lint, you know, whatever tickles your fancy.)

It would be silly to tell any new parent to not invest in all the toys that they inevitably will. It is the best!! Who gets to shop at Toys R Us as a 34 year old? This girl.

But what I will say, and let this be today’s lesson, is that sometimes the simple things are the best. We live in an age of digital wonder but often the most incredible thing we can see is the changing of leaves in the fall or the stillness of a lake in the morning. Toys and TV and computers are awesome but they can’t replace the beauty of the world around you.

So enjoy both and when in doubt, sand and mud are always a good idea. 

In the meantime, today you spent 20 plus minutes playing with a piece of paper towel so if you are looking for a way to entertain a baby, you are welcome. 

xo

Mom

Baby toys

Developing those baby muscles

July 4, 2016

Dear Baby,

We’ve gone through a lot of new things these past few weeks. New teeth, new skills and brand new sights. It’s been a whirlwind and I’m sure you little brain is just firing off like crazy with all the new things it is taking in. 

It’s really crazy to go back and watch your old videos (old- like all of 4 months ago) where you are just beginning to de-blob. We lost our fucking minds the first time you rolled over onto you stomach from your back and when you reached out to grab something I just about died. 

Now those days seem like distant memories left in the dust you rustle up from crawling at the speed of light across the floor. Just kidding. More like snail pace but still. 

I almost forget just how hard you worked to just be able to put your tiny foot into your mouth. 

Now here you are crawling away and standing up on everything you can grab onto. You’ve even begun to practice letting go and seem to give zero fucks about falling on your ass. 

I know one day when you are an adult and performing all these skills as though you were born with them I may get cloudy on the detail of when you first pulled yourself up to standing etc. But I think that warrants the following thought:

Don’t forget where you come from. People grow and change all the time. It is one of the best parts of being a human but it is important not to dismiss what brought you to any given point, what shaped you and what drove you. These re all the facets of you and they are important if not relevant. 

In the meantime, going to watch some videos of the first time you found your hands. The same ones you are currently using to scratch the shit out of my chest. Thanks for that. 

xo

Mom

Developing those baby muscles

Happy Canada Day, Baby

July 1, 2016

Dear Baby,

It’s a celebration of our great country and we plan to spend the weekend being pretty celebratory. We will be seeing family and friends and heading up to the cottage to enjoy Canada’s finest views by the lake.

I have been thinking how very fortunate we are to live in a country where we have so much privilege. Health care and social services only just begin the list of luxuries we are afforded just for having been born in the true north strong and free.

One thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is mat leave. As a self employed mama, I don’t have the looming (or relieving) back-to-work date that many of my fellow moms do. I am not furiously arranging your schedule and day care arrangements and I am not stressing over leaving you coming off a year long adventure together. My plans (which are a whole other story to tell) include working and being with you so while I have to work out that balance, I don’t have to work out anything else.

And the truth is that while I can understand how a lot of working moms either want or have to go back to work for a variety of reasons, I cannot imagine parting ways with you in just a few months. I would be sick.

And that is considering that here in our great country we get the opportunity for a full year of paid maternity leave. That is about 9 months more than most people in our neighbouring country.

Coming on to 10 months of this first year together I can safely say that I don’t judge or think badly of anyone who doesn’t or can’t take it but it is the most invaluable experience that I have ever had and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything.

So in recognition of the amazing services that our country affords us- I leave you with this: be grateful and thankful that you were born here in this great place where you will have great things just because you live here. This is never something to forget or take for granted.

Plus, as you will see this weekend, Summers here are the best things ever. Lake living is the shit!

xo

Mom

 

Happy Canada Day, Baby