Culture, it’s a thing we do

February 28, 2017

Dear Baby,

This week has been full of arts and culture for you. Ok, fine. It’s been a lot of running around in spaces that have arts and culture. Ok, fine. We literally don’t even look at art or embrace the culture but still- if you are in a room with art, you must absorb some of it… somehow… right?

This weekend, despite you waking up in a foul mood, we took you to an art show downtown. We took you there last year and my oh my, what a year does. Last year you wore a big bow in your hair and we fought over who would get to hold you while we took our leisurely time walking around, checking out art and receiving lovely comments from passersby who were in awe of your cuteness. This year you barely let us dress you, pulled out whatever was in your hair, we fought to keep you seated in the stroller for 5 seconds so we could attempt to enjoy some art (didn’t happen) and mainly ran after you while you elbowed your way through the crowds of people. Thankfully, you are still cute enough to get away with it.

The bad news was you were a total snake when we tried to wrangle you up. Like a screaming, crying, hitting snake. So it was… well, fun- ish.

We didn’t leave discouraged, per say, but we did leave wondering aloud if it was these kind of events that would drive us to be parents who only take our kids to kid-friendly things- which, to be honest sounds so shitty. Like, play lands and kid gyms and all that stuff can be really fun. There’s nothing not to love about a giant space that has tons of padded stairs and stuff for kids to climb on and run around in BUT the idea of being relegated to said activities is pretty much awful. I want to reserve the right to go to art shows with you just as much as play lands. But after Saturday, was that wishful thinking?

So today when we had plans to go to the AGO, I was skeptical. Was I better off taking you to a gym? A class? Music? Would we have any fun at this gallery?

It turns out that Saturday was just a day and the exception to the rule that you are usually an awesome kid who I can take anywhere. Today you were sweet, curious and fun. You loved running around in the big spaces but you also occasionally stopped to actually look around at big paintings and installations that caught your interest. I can’t suppose that you will stand and mull over the consequences of using black vs. navy in a painting so this was pretty damn good for me.

Bonus: I saw a few things too and we didn’t spend any time in the kids section (although I’m sure it would actually be great.)

Double bonus: you could have fallen asleep standing up from the amount of running you did. Naptime was a breeze- huzzah!

The truth is twofold on the issue of taking you to “adult” things:

  1. I firmly believe in making you a part of my life in a fun way. I’m never going to make you sit and watch me draft a B2B copy deck but I DO want you to come with me/ us to things that are interesting- like, art galleries. There is so much to be seen in this big world that you live in and I want it to be more than colourful balls at a kidnasium.
  2. I still firmly believe in having “free” time. I don’t think you require a fucking program every damn day to be a happy, smart and thriving kid but I do know you need some stimulation so if we can find a way to merge cool shit with you getting what you need, I am ALL for it.

I also realize that people take their kids to the AGO all the time- this is more a point on taking you to things that are not directly geared towards entertaining you.

Anyways, I hope that you always enjoy spending time letting your mind soar and imagination wander and are not one of those people who needs a scheduled activity every second of every day to feel good. It’s so good to get out and explore and use our awesome city as the backdrop to your activities. Even if you are just running around a room filled with beautiful art (or chasing a kid around the same room), it is a great alternative to spending the day in a germ ball pit.

xo

Mom

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Culture, it’s a thing we do

Your rose ceremony

February 21, 2017

Dear Baby,

Ug, it’s so gross but I am fucking addicted to The Bachelor. In case that show doesn’t stand the rest of time- which it shouldn’t- it is a show where there is a bachelor (or bachelorette) who is “looking for love” (or fame) and they are met with like, 30 contestants who are all pretty hot, young single people. They go on a series of romantic dates- both in groups and one-on-one int he course of 8 weeks and then fall madly in love and get engaged.

To date only like, 2 couples have actually gotten married and been happy after the show. But anyways…

I LOVE this show. I don’t love TV, but this show just gets me. It’s love, scandal, betrayal and the dumbest people you will ever watch on a show ever.

But last night, it got me thinking.

So last night was the hometown dates- basically every week the bachelor kicks off a bunch of women until he is left with 2 one of whom he ultimately proposes to- aka. the winner. By hometown dates, there are only 4 contestants left and so he goes to each of their homes and meets their parents. Sometimes the parents are hilarious and add a bump of drama (pr scare the bachelor away) but more often than not they are all like “oh, you can totally marry my daughter, fucking stranger who met her on a reality TV series. No problem! We love you.”

Baby, let’s just be clear for a minute here: there is no fucking way in hell that I will ever”ok” you getting engaged to some shit who you meet on reality TV. What the fuck kind of people do this shit? Like, obviously all the girls are so ridiculous. You have to be a very specific (read: vain idiot) person to even come on the show but then for your supposed to be wiser-than you parents to be ok with it??? C’mon moms and dads. He “seems nice”???

The guy who sold me a lottery ticket at the corner Macs “seems nice”too.

This isn’t like, a new picture frame you are buying for a mantle, this is that person with whom your kid os going to spend the rest of their lives and while I am all for parents not meddling, I would suggest that a parent reserves the right to call into question a partner for their kid who has only been dating said kid for 8 weeks, not exclusively, on TV. Just saying.

So, the list of this is that you are kind of stuck with overprotective parents who are FOR SURE going to vet your future parters with a scrupulous eye and never let you be on reality TV- which hopefully will be a dead form of entertainment by your time- maybe?

Sorry in advance but if you bring home shitty people, your dad and I will casually greet them at the door in LARPING gear holding axes- just for fun.

K?

xo

Mom

Your rose ceremony

Timehop

February 20, 2017

Dear Baby,

I have this app on my phone called “Timehop” wherein you get to view any photos that were taken on the same day x-many years ago. Sure, it’s sometimes amusing to see my old slut-halloween costume pics or weird posts that I once made on other people’s Facebook walls but what I really love it for is to see what you were doing aa year ago today.

Well, today you were eating for the very first time ever. Your tiny little body was seated in your little booster chair- which you would now look gargantuan in- and you had on this tiny pink and white bib and a look of uncertainty.

We were SO excited to feed you. Mainly because it would be a good change from the regular day to day and also we were dying to see how you took to food. Baby, I wonder if it will come as a shock to you that you loved food from the first bite. Do you still? I hope so.

I unfortunately come from a world of dieting- myself and my peers talk about it, live it and do it and it is all pretty gross. I have a range of people in my life that live on restrictive diets (sometimes they call them “lifestyles”) and fad diets and all sorts of weird shit with food.

We know of a person who goes on “fast and feast” diets, one who never eats anything with oil and one who won’t touch carbs. I can’t even deal with that shit. If you never eat french fries, I just don’t like you.

Don’t get me wrong. I have shit with food too but if anything, my pregnancy with you and now this baby has really reinforced the notion of just eating what you want, staying reasonably healthy and not driving yourself crazy about it. Being pregnant, you just can’t diet- you can’t. it is harmful to the baby and harmful to you and just kind of fucked up so you are forced to listen to what your body needs and feed it when it asks you to.

Plus, the most important thing that food can do for you is really nourish- not just your baby (if pregnant) but your body and your mind. It is literally impossible to have nice skin or normalized thoughts when you are fucking starving or depriving yourself of essentials. Fat does not beget fat and an avocado a day can do fucking wonders for your state of mind and state of face.

Anyways, my point with all of this is that I really really really really really hope that you maintain a healthy and balanced relationship with food. It will help you grow big and strong and I can promise you these  things:

  1. No one EVER looks at girls who are too skinny and thinks they look good
  2. NO ONE’s body looks good after age 35- even if you are skinny so take care of your skin- it is the only thing you can keep looking young and fresh when your abs start to sag and look gross- and FAT helps with that…
  3. No brain can optimally function without some good fats and well balanced diet
  4. No one wants to hang out with someone on a constant diet- it’s lame
  5. No one ever died wishing that they didn’t enjoy food- like, no one ever

On that note, I snack.

xo

Mom

Timehop

My Funny Valentine

February 14, 2017

Dear Baby,

Valentines Day is upon us. Like I needed another excuse to shower you with love. Sorry about being a smothering mother but, you are stuck with me. On this day of love I am reminded of how much I love my little family but also of all the other love around us. You are kind of stuck with your family, more or less and for me- that’s great because they are great but there is also the family you chose, and that’s pretty great too.

The family we have chosen is fucking awesome and it makes those less awesome people around us seem pretty insignificant. The family we have chosen are a select group of people who love you and value you and make you a priority in their lives. Nothing is more apparent when you become a parent than how precious time is. Gone is my leisure time to be in touch with people that I only semi give a fuck about. Gone is the extra fucks to give about anyone who doesn’t brig something awesome to our table and gone is my guilt about any of it (most of the time.)

In my life, I’ve worked on and kept a lot of relationships because of history, because of obligation, because of expectations and now- no more. When I have the time to connect, it has to be meaningful and important. This isn’t to say that every encounter must have deep conversation or life changing conclusions but more that we just connect. I’m sad to say how many people who are close to us know so little about you and I right now but delighted to tell you how many other people know so much about us- like, everything about us. The family you choose.

And I think along the way, you’ll start to see what matters when you connect with people. You will learn the pressures of obligatory relationships that you have to have and incredible ones that you want to have and how to navigate both. There will always be people around you who don’t bring a ton to your table but even a shitty dessert is something- not everyone can bring the winning pie- know what I mean?

But always remember that you get to choose how and who you love and if you are lucky, it will be reciprocal. Don’t worry if on Valentine’s Day you have a partner or a date- just thank cupid that you have love in your life- which I hope you always do, and a family you have chosen to support and love you.

And I will ALWAYS be your valentine- ug, lame Mom! Too bad, kiddo.

xo

Mom

 

My Funny Valentine

The Delivery

February 10, 2017

Dear Baby,

I wish I could culminate our IKEA saga with a fulfilling ending but alas, the delivery was as annoying as the rest of the process. The only saving grace is our awesome new closet system and the beginning of a huge and hopefully satisfying series of purges to happen in our house. I want to get rid of absolutely everything and bid adieu to the clutter.

It could be the baby brain “nesting” thing talking but I just want a home that is functional and organized and I feel like we have become so complacent in our disorder that we need a shake up to really get our shit together.

And it also brings me back to that podcast/ documentary I got into on minimalism ad how much clutter can make us unhappy. I’m not unhappy but I can see how fucking relieving it is to just get rid of things that no longer serve you.

So for example, this purge, I finally got rid of all my old jeans from pre-pregnancy. I had a whole stack of jeans that fit me before I had you that I was hanging on to assuming that I would fit into them one day. Now, they were pretty nice and expensive jeans but heres the thing; firstly, I may never fit into them again or want to wear them again. Second, when I want new jeans again, I can just go get new jeans again. I don’t need to cling to these pants that take up a whole shelf of my life for the possibility that in a year I can put them on if I even like them still or want to.

Plus, the added bonus to purging your shit is that you can give it to people who will want it. My clothes that I have outgrown (either physically or taste wise) get to be enjoyed with fresh eyes, our furniture goes to people who are just starting their new lives and need a comfy couch to sit on at the end of their day and our blender goes to a home where they have no blender but have been curious about blending. So everyone wins.

Anyways, I realize this is a pretty boring post but the point of it is to remind you that getting rid of your belongings in an appropriate way can be super liberating. Don’t cling to your past crap (unless it is super sentimental or important)- make space for space and make space for new.

Cool?

xo

Mom

The Delivery

The order

February 6, 2017

Dear Baby,

With your sibling coming and with us living in upper downtown Toronto- or the city aka. a small house with thoughtless layouts and NO CLOSETS, we have decided to do some work to make this space more spacious.

Something to consider one day is that babies take up so much damn room. Don’t get me wrong, I love your toys and crap everywhere- it makes me feel joy to see your stuff all over- like we are really living BUT your stuff is everywhere and honestly, it makes house feel even smaller. Throw in a 60 pound dog and 2 adults and we are a little tight.

So anyways, with a new person coming, we needed space. One thing for sure was that third bedroom would need some work. It currently holds our clothing and all my “beauty” crap and it is FULL. As we have no closet in the bedroom, this room has served as the closet but our time of having a closet room is running out and IKEA was having a sale on their huge closet unit things so I went to buy one for stage 1 of making room.

When I was younger, I found IKEA to be the most serene place I could imagine. Neat rooms with optimal storage and carefully curated accessories made my heart swoon and the thoughtful gadget and house decor was enough to make me think that IKEA was akin to paradise. WHAT IN THE FUCKS NAME WAS I THINKING. Yes, IKEA is thoughtful, well designed and priced right but serene it is not. Take away the 400 other people who are there with you at any given time and the persistent sickly and delicious smell of meatballs and you are left with long lines and heavy boxes. Ok.

As a side note, IKEA also has this child care centre with a room filled with balls. I have actual childhood memories of going there and now I think- what the fuck- I would literally never leave you in a random ball pit. It must have been nice to raise kids when lunatics didn’t put needles in ball pits at Chucky Cheese and you could leave your kid in peace.

So, there I am- it’s Monday am and there are 6 groups of people in line ahead of me to create and purchase a PAX closet unit on the last day of their sale. Great.

I get called and then have 1.5 hours with perhaps the dumbest of all sales professionals ever. And now I get to my point. I am stuck dealing with this total dick who is basically unwilling to help me do anything, the leaves me, then won’t help me again because he in on a break (um, then get off the sales floor, k??) and I have lost 1.5 hours of my life that I will never get back for a job that could have taken 1/3 of the time in capable hands.

Listen close Baby, being a floor person at IKEA is not a glamorous job, we can agree on that. And in fact, there are many such positions in life that are not really glamorous. I worked in fashion for a year and it was perhaps the least glamorous job I have ever had so…

I just feel like you should take pride in ANY job you have. Why not? What is so crap about working at IKEA that you would visibly not give a shit. There are so many people out there who would love to earn some money and would be happy to help people with their budget furniture needs that you should be fucking ashamed to have such a cavalier attitude about your job.

Anyways- the lesson here is that I hope you have a good work ethic and never have a shitty attitude about working. It’s really important to learnt he value of a job (whether you need one or not) and the value of hard work. People who don’t get this kind of lesson are less for it. Also, wear deodorant to work- a lesson that this man at IKEA reminded me of that should be standard at this point.

xo

Mom

 

The order

Super Sunday

February 5, 2017

Dear Baby,

Hi. You are fast asleep and I am here typing way on this, Super Bowl Sunday. We’ve just come off a fun weekend and I am actually pretty pleased to be home alone (your dad took his brisket and went to a dude party- I’m sure it smells super in that house’s basement tonight) with nothing to do but bingo watch Gilmore Girls and write you some letters.

This weekend was really nice and you had a lot of fun being out. Saturday we spent the whole day with different friends. First with friends and their kids at brunch, then with friends without kids at a dive bar, then out for dinner with friends who newly have a kid. It’s cool that you get this variety in seeing people that we know and I think/hope that it is valuable to you to both socialize with us and other little kids and then to be with us when no one is looking to really entertain you. I think bringing you around “adult” time is kind of neat- like we don’t need 4000 stickers and loud musical toys to have a good time and you get to watch us interact. Plus, there was a mirror on the wall that for sure has NEVER been cleaned  that you were super happy to spend some time licking so… who needs toys?

Because the day went kind of late and then diner went kind of late, we got to walk back tot he car in the dark. We don’t often have you out for extended times after dark because- bedtime so you don’t often get to FREAK OUT over the moon!!! It was the best. Who could possibly love the moon more than you that night?

We have since been relegated to reading books that contain pictures of the moon or just the word moon in it. You have a very keen knowledge of your library and what books fall into the “contains moon” category.

Today we had brunch with your great zaidy and spent the rest of the day hanging out together- well, I say that loosely because your dad was smoking a brisket which tends to be an all day/ all encompassing activity around here that I am sure you will come to know as you grow up.

I wanted to tell you how much I love going out with you and how happy I am to take you anywhere and everywhere. Your dad and I have really brought you along for a lot of non-traditionally baby friendly activities and you just shine. I read a lot about parenting and one thing I always wanted to do as a parent was try to incorporate aspects of contium parenting into our life. It follows that a baby/ kid should be included in an adults life- meaning  you can brig your baby into situations and places that are not geared to baby. That not everything revolves around baby and in fact, they get more from being exposed to situation that they can watch and learn from.

But the real truth is that I love being with you and so you come where I go. Period.

Whatever it may be for you Baby, don’t  be scared to defy the norm and do what you want. Does a bay belong in a dive bar? Why not? Make your own rules about what you think matters and march to your own beat. There are ways to do you with still being respectful to others- ie. having dinner at an awesome restaurant that you used to visit a lot pre-kids but doing it at 5:30 when you are not going to disturb every table there out to have a good Saturday night with a baby’s rendition of Bah Bah Black Sheep- knowwhatImean?

So, ya. Be respectful of others and do you. We always will.

xo

Mom

 

Super Sunday