16 months: a belated roundup

January 30, 2017

Dear Baby,

I’m really on the ball these days so no surprise that I forgot your 16 month old blog post. Right? This feels like that time you start dating someone and you celebrate like, your 4 month anniversary except obviously more important. But still. Is it overkill? Maybe. 

So at 16 months I can safely say that you are fucking great. The way you have become and continue to become a real person is the best. We laugh so much together and I finally feel like when I speak to you in public we are actually speaking and not just me talking to a sitting blob of deliciousness. 

Today, a few days past your anniversary day you are in the bath with a tiny cold and I am sitting here waiting to put you to bed. You dad is giving you a bath, by the way. We don’t just let you chill in tubs of water alone. Not those kind of parents. Sorry. 

No one ever really takes pictures of room (unless they are ultra fancy magazine rooms which this isn’t) but your room is one of my favourite places in the world. One day we will either have redone it or moved and you won’t remember this room but you should know it is awesome. 

Here’s the overview. You have this amazing worked in wood floor with patches of discolouration that are charming to an old house. Your walls are white and the carpet is rose, blush and pale burnt orange Persian rug style but with animals on it. We got it at an antique market and it is one of my favourite things ever. Your furniture is white and your comfy chair where we it is pale grey. The art on your walls is currently one baby deer photograph and soon to be a cool animal print of different species that live in Canada and a paddle that we hope to engrave your name on. Your lights have bears and deer and you have tons of books on shelves. 

The best parts of your room though are the intangibles. The feeling of a room that is lovingly humidified every night. The way the sun sets through the window and the smell which is mostly you and a tiny bit of poo- which is also kind of you- coming from your diaper genie. 

You sleep with a stuffed koala, a giant stuffed sloth, a stuffed bear, an elephant lovey that is falling apart and most recently a stuffed Dracula. Sometimes a bunny too. Your nightlight is always on and you have recently learned that if you push a button, you can get stars to shine from it. Today we spent 20 minutes looking at said stars. Nightlight for the win. 

Beside your chair is a stack of you regular favourite books including; Night Night, Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In A Ball, Toot, Pyjama Time and Belly Button Book, as of late. Your also into Each Peach Oear Plum, Garbage Delight, The Boy Who Caught a Star and Hugs. 

At night you like to say goodnight to an owl toy that hangs on your doorhook, the giant stuffed giraffe that wears a Mickey Mouse hat and a tutu that lives in your room and a picture on your shelf of you holding a bunny. 

Anyways, I have nothing to teach today but when I think back to my own childhood room I can only remember bits and pieces so I hope this helps you remember a bit more. It’s the best room we have ever put together. Mainly because of its occupant. 

Love you. 

xo

Mom

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16 months: a belated roundup

Things that scare you

January 20, 2017

Dear Baby,

I think that one of the more surprising things about you is that in spite of your fearless determination and headstrong personality, you have a serious startle response and scare impulse that is slightly bewildering to see. I think you have had a big startle reflex from birth which, at the time of you being a newborn was just adorable. We use to just pick you up and put you down to watch you splay your arms and legs and laugh when your eyes bugged out of your head for every noise made.

They say it is good to have a baby who is exposed to loud noise which for us never mattered because every noise seemed to be a loud noise to you so there you go…

Anyways, flash forward to actually getting control of your reflexes and you still scare at really funny things. We can put you down without your body flinging itself and you can now sleep right through your dog barking at the mystery thing in the window (which, come to think about it scares me) but certain items elicit a reaction from you that we can’t help but laugh at behind your back.

Sorry.

Hopefully you will also find this funny one day.

So, in no particular order here are the things that freak you out:

  1. This gorgeous hand made felt puppet that looks like a funny human/muppet. Literally, we cannot say the word “puppet” without making you cry. Mind you, you have no problem playing with the fucking creepy ass marionette toy that looks like it will come alive and murder people in their sleep but the funny, adorable puppet is now safely stashed way out of your toy chest (because even having it in the toy chest scared you.)
  2. Any toy made of rubber that blows air. You know those like, bath toys that have a tiny air hole to make sure water can get out so that they float? Well, you like those toys- a lot- UNLESS we use it to spray you with air or water. Turns out that you do not like having a gust of air blown at you and you forever reject poor starfish toy for doing it one too many times. Whoops.
  3. Bubble bath. Who knew? I have never met a kid so obsessed with bubbles and you like the bath so we figured combining the two would be your dream scenario. You peed on the floor the first time you saw a bubble bath with tears streaming down your cheeks. It was, coincidentally, also the last time for a bubble bath.
  4. Giant plush toys with eyes- except for the fucking life sized giraffe you have in your room that you kiss every night (although refuse to sit on despite my dreams of a photo op.)
  5. Dogs- the smaller, the scarier. Most people would be timid around your 65 pound black dog with hidden eyes but you seem to fear a 6 pound toy poodle the most. When we FaceTime your cousin and that little dog barks, it’s time to hang up. You ran over to pet a husky in a mall last weekend but those 6 pounds of poofiness really do it for you.
  6. Bugs. Is it genetic? I swore to not be creeped out by bugs around you so that you don’t grow up a fucking nut job like I am who runs at the speed of light at the suggestion of a bee but we saw an ant in the house (which, also is so fucking weird because it’s the middle of winter so where are you coming from, ant?) and you were really terrified. I even got close down to point out the ant and try and make it a fun learning for you but you were having none of it. Sorry if that is something you inherited from me. It’s so weird and annoying. Good luck at camp.

Baby, you are full of interesting and surprising features. You always think that your baby will be all your and your partner but there you go having this whole part of you that is just… well… you.

I guess a lesson could be learned here so let’s get to it. Fears are ok, normal and totally a part of who we all are but it is also cool that you can always try to overcome them- like obstacles in your life. I truly hope that you are not a puppet and bath toy fearing, bubble bath averse, bug-a-phobic by the time you read this but it is likely you will be afraid of something and all you can ever do is keep trying to face your fears and show them that you are boss. Except wasps- those things will fuck you up for no good reason. Kidding. Not kidding.

xo

Mom

Things that scare you

Making music with strangers

January 17, 2016

Dear Baby,

So I did this thing last week where I signed up for a class for you and I where I know no one. I don’t usually do stuff like that mostly because we have had such a rich social life with friends of mine and new friends of yours all year. But as the year passes, there are only a handful of people left who did not go back to full time work and none of them live within walking distance from us- which is kind of a bummer on shitty afternoons when I don’t feel like driving but still feel like being social.

So, a friend in my book club who does live in the hood mentioned this class and I signed up. It is even a bit weirder of a thing for me to do because it is actually at someone’s house who I also don’t know but anyways…

The thing about not going back to full time work and not signing your kid up for full time daycare is that there are very few people that seem to be in the same situation. The idea of being lonely in this experience is not for me- thus my unusually friendly gesture…

Anyways. Class was as weird as I expected. I don’t think I really get nervous to meet new people anymore but I did feel like a huge fucking dork when the music teacher called us out in front of everyone to be all like “Do you know anyone in the class” so I could mumble no while hanging my head in embarrassment.

But also in the end, everyone was friendly, I met a bunch of other moms who also don’t have traditional 9-5 jobs or are around in the afternoons and you had the best time of all- which is really the reason I do anything these days.

And my point is this: sure, I will be the first to admit that I felt like a pretty big loser going into that class. Putting yourself out there is really hard and weird and scary BUT there is really nothing that weird about it at all. If the situation was reversed and some new chick came to one of my classes, I would think it was great. Plus, who really gives a shit? Ultimately, this will end with something gained- or not.

Baby, I want you to always put yourself out there if you want to. Don’t be scared what people will think- people don’t tend to care that much about anyone. It is a totally valuable lesson to be uncomfortable and to be vulnerable. Both stem growth.

Plus, it’s hard to be super awkward when you are singing the Hokey Pokey- amiright?

xo

Mom

Making music with strangers

I’m baaaackkkkkk

January 11, 2017

Dear Baby,

Now here this. My contract is over and I am officially back to being your mom who works at home, never wears makeup on a weekday and has “fancy” sweatpants. It’s good to be back. Now also hear this. For a very long time I scoffed at a stay at home mom or homemaker. What would she do to fill her time? How would she feel valuable. “Not for me,” I said haughtily. Well, this is something I know for sure. It’s all fucking hard.

It’s hard to be away working trying to organize life from afar- coordinating schedules, daycares or caregivers, meals and life and it is hard to be at home all day entertaining a toddler while still coordinating all those things.

It’s all hard because… spoiler alert: being an adult is fucking hard.

Your dad often remarks that working from home is like having the best of everything. He is not wrong, totally. In a lot of ways, it is. I have the flexibility to be with you without putting aside a fulfilling career, I can be mom and lady boss all in one day- it’s just that sometimes I feel like something is always giving. A busy day with you often means little work gets done. A heavy work day means no time to get food and a day filled with errands that have to get done means no time for anything. It’s a constant juggling act.

But my point isn’t that my work/life situation is better or worse than anything else more that it is all hard. No matter what you do and no matter what you think about what you do and no matter how someone else’s life seems, we are all struggling, it is all a fine balancing act and adulting is hard work.

So I’m happy to be back because it gives me some great perspective on being even more non-judgmental to all the moms out there just making it work- whatever way it works.

And obvs happy to be back with you. We did a new class today and I almost ate your face from cuteness. Is it weird how much I always want to eat you up? Maybe.

xo

Mom

I’m baaaackkkkkk

Sorry, Baby

January 8, 2017

Dear Baby,

This morning, I was sitting at my desk and I caught sight of a shimmery thing on my arm. Baby, I hate to tell you this because it is a glimpse into your future but the shimmery thing on my arm was a super long, thin and white arm hair. Yup, an arm hair. A long ass fucking arm hair. Because, Baby, your mom is a hobbit.

It was to my shock that you came out of the womb relatively hairless. We expected to give birth to cousin It based on our collective hair so you have had a good start but I doubt very much that you will lead a life of hairlessness. Waxing, shaving, moustaches and extra-long, creepy arm hair is in your future.

Sorry.

I promise not to let you be a social leper because of your infliction.

Thank god you will have good eyebrows.

That’s all.

xo

Mom

 

 

Sorry, Baby

Sleep over

January 7, 2017

So with the caveat that I know I am a fucking psycho mom, I have to tell you that I really have a hard time when you sleep out of the house. That scares me because I wonder how the fuck I am ever going to have some extended child-free time. Like, I don’t want to be one of those parents who haven’t left their kids and the kids are like, 5 but at the same time, I usually spend your nights away lamenting at how much I miss you.

I for one, LOVE the sound of your waves sound machine that I can hear through the monitor that shines a light on my face all night long- I’m serious. I have never cared for silent, pitch black sleeps. I have always been the person who could sleep with the TV on all night long so the monitor is no bother. And waking up? Kind of a joke when your kid sleeps in.

I would say that the only thing that is really nice about you sleeping out is the morning when your dad and I can go for a leisurely walk with the dog to get coffee- we could do it with you just the same but it is a little more relaxed and free without a 400 pound stroller coming along for the ride.

At the same time, I keep thinking about spending some QT with your dad before we make our family a family of 4. Our time to get away for even a weekend is kind of limited by the impending arrival of your sibling and so I am fighting a battle in my mind of wanting to get away and wanting to just take you with so I don’t have to miss you the whole time.

Not that I am worried about us in particular, but I can totes see how couples begin to drift apart and lose their spark- it’s really fucking hard to have romance and intimacy when you would both rather be hanging with your kid a lot of the time. We have thankfully made the time- whether home or out- to be together without you or TV or anything but it is a true effort. Not an effort to spend the time, just an effort to really make the time. Time where you commit to being awake, alert, present, and excited.

So here’s my deep thoughts for today. If and when you have a partner, make some time for them and for you as a couple. Life- kids or otherwise- can really interfere and take away the time. It can be especially hard when you live with someone and confuse the time you spend with spending time. I will say this time and again: relationships are hard work. It is a complete misnomer to assume that if you are in love, things will be easy. Communication and relationships success takes work- but the work is SO SO SO worth it. Plus, a bonus is that if you put in a little bit of work every day, it will never need the bog work that you don’t want to have.

So make the time for the people you love. Make the time for your partner, for yourself and for your relationships and if you have a kid, let them sleep out at a loving and trusted relatives home one night or two, it’s good for everyone and you can always turn on the sound machine and monitor just because once your partner falls asleep (and then claim ignorance in the morning when they ask you how it all turned on.)

In the meantime, glad you are home.

xo

Mom

 

 

Sleep over

Turn that frown upside-down.

January 5, 2017

Dear Baby,

This morning, after a super restless sleep, I awoke fucking grumpy. I have a cold (which I can’t take any medicine for) and I spent my sleep breathing through my mouth in the driest room north of the Sahara. I woke nose plugged and throat scratchy to my phone buzzing with text messages sent at WAY too early an hour.

I fucking hate being a slave to my phone (an inevitable thing but nonetheless…) and I especially hate when people don’t respect the rules of the road- so to speak. I think that unless agreed upon, messaging or calling someone before the hour of 8am (and even then, you are treading thin) and after 10pm is totally unacceptable. Like, why the fuck do I want to hear from you at 6:30am? I don’t give a shit what you are doing, I am sleeping. I feel like this should be a common courtesy not withstanding an emergency situation and yet…

10 pm I can be more slightly more lenient on but after about 10:30, I am in bed. Even if I am not yet sleeping, I definitely am at the point of my night where I am no longer interested in engaging and I don’t want to be anywhere near my phone. Not that it ever really works, but I still try to put my phone away for at least 30 minutes before bed to optimize my sleep. And if I choose to bypass my self-imposed rule, it will be on my own terms.

I digress plus it’s my own fucking fault for sleeping with my phone so close by- I just always worry that if I don’t have my phone and something emergency happened, I wouldn’t be able to know/help. To date, nothing emergency has ever required my overnight answering of the phone- poo poo poo.

So grumpy mood.

Woke up, it was dark, gloomy, you were coughing on the monitor, I was tired from such an annoying and restless sleep and it was grump-central station for this mama. I grumped my way through breakfast, coffee and the fact that my planned outfit had terrible static cling was just one cherry on my sundae. Barely saw you, had to elbow my way onto a bus (WHY ARE PEOPLE SO FUCKING RUDE ALL THE TIME), got to work, my new computer wasn’t working and I was locked out of the IT dept… EVERYTHING was just going wrong.

But then I took a deep fucking breath, got myself a tea, made it down to IT to fix my computer, blew some snot out of my nose and chilled the fuck out. Not only because I am a grown up and I can handle a bad morning but because I am going to always show you that anyone can handle a bad day.

One of the things I really connected in that Minimalist podcast was the way that kids mirror us. They discussed it in the context of, if we compulsively shop and identify our worth by our possessions , our kids are bound to do the same but I feel like it applies to a lot more. Like, if I succumb to bad moods and bad days and cant shake them off, how will you learn to? It made my hyper aware of what I project out and being unable to have control over my moods and emotional state is not something I am going to teach you willingly.

And the truth? There are times that call for a mood that isn’t good. You can be sad, you can be angry about something, you can be unsure- you have the right to feel anything that you feel but you also have the power to shift your own mood and refocus on the good. And there is always some good.

Maybe a deep breath and a tea will do it, maybe a good talk with a friend or a hug from your mom?

You will have to figure out your own ways of self soothing but I will be around to show you some tips and tricks and be there should you need me. Cheers to a day looking up from now on.

xo

Mom

 

 

 

Turn that frown upside-down.