Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Its been awhile....lets update the score....

As mentioned before, when I was pregnant there were things I swore I would never submit to as a parent. As I watch what used to be my life fading in the distance like a pair of tiny red taillights, (that's a little dramatic, it wasn't that exciting, just different), I think its taken me awhile to really GET that this a whole new life, not a temporary situation. So, lets review.

The baby will sleep in his own crib.
I lost big time on this one for the first 2 years. We had a human starfish wedged between us, and to be honest, most of the time we didn't mind. In fact, we grew to like it, our little family all bundled together like a bunch of meerkats or kittens. But then he got bigger and started hogging more and more bed and his elbows got bony. So when we moved into the new house we set up the new big boy bunk beds and we're happy to report that aside from the occasional toddler nightmare (My no WANT da muffin. No. NO muffin) we are 'alone' in our bed again.

We will not succumb to Treehouse as our babysitter.
We held out on this one for a LONG time. Our kid barely watched any TV that was not just one of our shows on in the background. And he didn't pay attention. Then he was sick. Alot. And there is nothing that makes a sick whiney kid calm and relaxed like a Disney video. Which led to aquiring some videos. Then clicking on a show now and then when we wanted to get something done. Now he watches about an hour of TV a day, usually in the mornings while I get ready and while I get supper ready in the evening. He loves the worst shows. He dances to the theme songs. He talks back to them. He's hooked.

We will not rearrange our whole house to be a playground.
We're mostly sticking to this. We've modified a little so that we can all enjoy a space. We have not submitted to heaps of toys and full on trampolines and playhouses in our living room. Our house is smallish and you walk right into the living room. Its like how short people gain 5 lbs and it looks like 20. Our house is like that. One too many stuffed animals in our house and it looks like a McDonalds Playland.

We finally did lose the coffee table like everyone said we would. We swapped it for a leather storage ottoman. But mostly everything else is intact. The toys are contained to one big rubbermaid bin in the corner. The bath toys are contained to his Boon Frog. I know one thing, if we didn't have a leather sofa we would have had to burn our couch by now. I wipe that thing off twice a day, every day. I will never again sit on the couch of people with toddlers without a waterproof pad soaked in Purell. Note to expectant parents. Put your nice fabric things in storage or decide that you're ok with replacing them. Buy inexpensive leather, wood, vinyl and washable things.

We will not play crappy kid music for our kid, he will listen to regular music.
With the adoption of the kid shows, came kid music. He dances to it. But he's also equally happy to dance to other things. So we are sticking this one out. We almost caved and attempted to listen to some kids music in the car on the weekend and just couldn't do it. He sings along with CISS FM and Hot 89.9 with me every morning. And at daycare they listen to all kinds of crap so he gets his fill.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Since January we have been sick pretty much every two weeks. You name it. Fevers, seizures, barfing, diarehha, coughing, wheezing, lime green snotsicles, green poo. 3 sets of antibiotics, 2 different seizure medications and about 2 bottles of Costco sized Advil and a litre of Pedialyte a month. Just for Adam. 3 trips to CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario), 2 via ambulance. I've missed about 17 days of work. I am told this is totally 'normal' by health care professionals. I don't really know anyone else who is sick this much.

Every time my kid's cheeks are flushed, I start to have a panic attack. I feel the dread bubble and rise and overflow like a glass of beer poured too quickly. We are in for it. Every single time. This child who has defied every sliver of advice and every baby book and chart also has to outdo all the other kids when it comes to being sick. When my kid is sick I do not sleep. I am on guard day and night with a dropper full of Advil waiting and the timer set for the next dose to avoid a febrile seizure, which we've had about 8 of.

I also have to worry about whether or not it will rip through our house like a tornado and take down my husband and I. If we're both out of service at the same time and Adam is healthy, its like Lord of the Flies - Adam runs around free range and gets fed what doesn't make us gag to prepare. If only one of us is sick and Adam is either healthy or sick, we're exhausted and ready to scratch each other's eyes out after a few days without the other able to help.

Then there's the issue of missing work. You can only miss so much work before its a problem. Stuff doesn't get done, leaving in a panic to get to a feverish kid means things slip through cracks and forgotten. I try really hard on the good days to look perky and be productive. At a certain point I'm sure I will hear the line 'the unpredictability of your absences is a problem' - as other parents in my situation have run into. 1 month into the new fiscal year and I have burned through all of my "special leave" already.

This was not in the brochure. I look around and feel jealous of parents who seem to be happily out power walking with their strollers. People who have kids that get sick without seizures every time they even flirt with a fever. People who have family close by who can give them a break. People with kids who sleep through the night. These people don't know how lucky they are. I envy women who have the bandwidth to have 'date night' with their husband or work out and socialize with friends, not because of any magic mommy formula, simply because they are not either in sick kid mode or recovering from the exhaustion of having a sick kid, being sick themselves and then having a sick spouse.

I guess to quote my dad - "you can sleep when you're dead". In the meantime there is no way to go but forward.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The score so far....

When I was pregnant and my kid was neatly controlled by the womb, I had all kinds of opinions  about how things would work.  Ha.   Here's how the scoreboard looks so far.

The baby will sleep in its beautiful crib and not be allowed in the parental bed. 
Baby         | 230 nights
Mommy   |   20 nights

So, I never pegged myself as a co-sleeper.  I thought they were hippie parents who eat tofu and and headed for a kid who wedges themselves between mommy and daddy right up until the prom.  Turns out, some babies flip out really bad every time you attempt to place them on any surface that isn't a mommy or daddy.  So he slept with us.  Every night.  He slept on my chest until he got too heavy, then by my side.  Turns out you aren't doomed to 3 in the bed until he brings home his new girlfriend,  at 6 months we were rid of the bed bug, aside from the occasional bad night from teething or something like that.  

I will not submit to the cult of the Treehouse channel.
Mommy             |  Winner
Treehouse         | Loser!

My kid doesn't watch videos or TV.  He's seen kid tv before, and he's mildly interested in it, but not enough that I bother putting a DVD on for him or am willing to watch kid TV for his sake.

Maybe I'm just selfish because I don't want to watch it, but whatever it is, I'm just not opening the rat trap until I absolutely have to.  Right now he's WAY more interested in people doing everyday stuff, it could be flossing your teeth or folding laundry.  He'll sit and watch and study you like he's taking notes for the mothership.  He likes to sit on the porch and watch people walk by, especially the ones with kids or dogs.

The one thing he really liked to watch was Ultimate Fighting with Nanny in Cape Breton, which was on ALL of the time.  He came back beating his stuffed animals, which I'm pretty sure is not good, I feel bad for them.  The kid movies will come in time, he will ask for them and we will let him watch them.  In the meantime, he likes the fishy screen saver, watching Wipeout with me and he likes to watch Daddy play Q-bert on the PS3.

I will not rearrange my house, the kid will have to get used to it.
Baby       | 25
Mommy | 75

My kid started crawling last week and we are in a mad scramble to put plastic thingys in all the plugs and hide all the electrical cords pronto.  I also now lock the cabinet under the kitchen sink and looked for things he might pull himself up on and topple over.   He has a basket in the living room with his toys.  Now I'm at a far do I go?  

My current theory is don't want a clear runway for him to run around indoors.   I presently think its better to desensitize a kid so he doesn't go crazy the minute he's out of captivity.  I say current and present because who knows if I may still lose this battle later.  This may seem mean to anyone who has cleared their house of all hard surfaces so their toddler can stomp around the house freely, having loads of 'fun' dragging things out of cupboards and emptying shelves.  To that I say, Yay for you and your endless energy, I can barely get my regular housework done without adding to it, so I have no choice but to straightjacket my kid unless I want to live in a dump.  Plus, if he gets used to spreading out everywhere, what are a few cute Fisher Price people today will be his not so cute stinky socks and other items that should be in his room very soon.  Even as little as he is he knows what's his and what isn't his, because when I say 'NO' he won't waste any time grabbing it and shoving it in his mouth before I take away whatever juicy little tidbit he had in his jam hands, and he makes a run (crawl) for it and laughs.

I'll play cool music for him and not do all that nursery rhyme crap.
Baby         |  50
Parents    | 50

Kids pretty much gobble up anything that you read or sing to them, but when he was three months old, barely more than a blob, I took him to a 'playgroup' thing, just to get him weighed and he LOVED the stupid kid songs and all the actions.  Itsy Bitsy Spider,  Grand Old Duke of Kent, etc...  As all the other babies were being lovingly bounced and lifted into the air by their joiner mommies, he looked at me with his big baby eyeballs twinkling and was so into it that I felt like a big meanie, so I got down on the floor with all the other baby slaves and learned the stupid songs and all the actions and crap.   

Its come in handy because now if he is bored or being bad I can stop him in his tracks with a song.   I don't even have to yell "NO!".  I just belt out a little "Ba Ba Black Sheep" and I have his full attention - he loves it that much.   I have to admit its pretty cute when he goes to sleep practicing the Itsy Bitsy motions with his little muppet hands and babbling.   We 'balance it out' by exposing him to other music, like I play what I want in the car or and Andrew plays what he wants at home.  Daddy puts him to sleep with "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera, and I sing Out on the Mira or Hey Jude.  Kids love the Beatles.  Who doesn't?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A few of my favorite things, Part Deux

Now that we're a few months into the parenting scene, a few items have emerged as our clear favorites.  Many are different from the previous favorite list.

Blanket: Hudson's Bay Company Wool trapper blanket
Now.  This is an awesome blanket.  He's never too hot or cold in it, its super lightweight so I don't worry about him suffocating in it.  We got this one as a gift from Andrew's

I love it so much that I am anticipating the day when this one gets too small and everyone else wants one too,  so I have searched the globe to find a less costly alternative for when this one becomes too small.  MacAuslands Woolen Mills in PEI sells 'blanket ends', which are approximately crib sized, 36X60 unfinished wool strips that come in pretty much any color you can think of that you can add your own blanket stitch to.  From here on out this will be my standard baby gift to people.

Jogging Stroller cover:  Mountain buggy
Babies don't like sun in their eyes.  Or wind in their faces.  Or bugs.  This cover is basically a burka for your stroller.  Ain't nothin' gonna git your critter in this.  Sure it makes your stroller look like a geek and you look like a super obsessive over protective mother, but my kid will be bug / sunburn / windchap free.  And yours won't na nanana na.

Clothes: Baby Gap fits chunky kids best

Crib: Simplicity Ellis Natural Finish.
We spend alot of time leaning over the edge of the crib patting the baby and comforting him and thank goodness for the curved edge of this crib for that.  I am also forwarned by others that babies like to chew on cribs so nice white or dark stained ones look pretty beat up after they've been abused by a baby for a couple years. 

Oh shit. He's awake.