Parenting 2.0

Archive for August 2010


This year was Borys’ first Father’s Day. For a few weeks beforehand I was really trying to think of something special to commemorate it. I wanted to do something for him that would be memorable and meaningful. Not necessarily a material gift, but maybe. So I thought and thought and thought. I asked Niko: “What do you want to do for Daddy for Father’s Day”? But he only replied with silence and the occasional, “Da duu da daa”, not really giving me much to go with.

Finally, after much thought I came up with an idea that Borys had been mentioning for quite some time. He wanted to memorialize Niko’s hand prints and footprints. You know the ones you see for sale in the store, the Plaster of Paris versions, or clay versions, or paint versions? Anyway, by the time Father’s Day rolled around I loved the idea, but wasn’t sure about the medium I wanted to use. I really wanted it to look good and didn’t want to do a rush jobbie.

So, Father’s Day came and went, with just a card and a promise, that his “gift” was coming. At last, a mere two months after the actual day, I figured out how I wanted to do the project. Armed with a matted frame, some black lettered stickers, and a painted piece of blue paper, Niko and I were ready to take the next step. I painted Niko’s feet and hands black and away we went making the prints. But, somehow this was easier in my vision than in reality. Even though we practiced the prints on scrap paper a few times, it was difficult to get them to come out smudge free. Oh well, as Daddy said: “It looks alive!”, and he loved it. So I’ll just go with that philosophy: “Yes, our little monkey really made his painting come alive”! (Good Daddy.)


This year we celebrated my dad’s, Niko’s grandad’s, birthday with an air of zesty surprise. Surprise, in that he had no idea it was coming, seeing as we were celebrating nearly a month early. But when the whole family, and I mean the whole family, even the parts that live in Uganda, and the one that used to live in France and all the little monkeys from Southern Ontario happen to be at the cottage at the same time, it definitely calls for a celebration. And seeing as my dad’s birthday was falling in the same month that we were all together, a surprise birthday celebration it became.

Does it matter that the guest of honour was recovering from Singapore jet lag? Apparently not. It was on with the show, and the birthday boy put on a darn good birthday face and seemed to thoroughly enjoy all the festivities, which included a homemade play by all his grand-kids, and two other little pals that have a cottage right beside ours. Even Niko joined in the play: when JR came down with a bit of stage (or should I saw lawn?) fright, Niko was there as a quick understudy ready to take over and play the part of the cowboy.


What Canadian summer would be complete without at least one trip to the lake? (Or more if you’re lucky.) Cottage life seems to be a regular occurrence for Canadians in the hot summer heat, or even the summer rain. It’s not quite roughing it like camping, but still more rustic than home living and replete with a lakeside view, perhaps even an outhouse, some lazy dock fishing and the occasional swim to the island or across the lake, or whatever the challenge of the lake may be. (I think next summer, Eliot and I are planning to swim the perimeter of my parents’ lake. This year we did the length – which is a feet in itself seeing as we’d only ever done the width before. But, I digress…) Canadian summers seem to equal lakeside beers with friends and family, late nights roasting marshmallows by the campfire and the odd run in with the elusive wildlife that calls the surrounding area home.

This summer Niko had a lot of fun chillin’ at his pals’ cottage for a few days in August. And what cottage experience would be complete without the added company of two dogs and a cat? Yes, a dog seems to be the quintessential addition to any cottage: I mean how could you survive a lakeside summer without being sprinkled on an hourly basis by the wriggly shake of a wet poodle or some other mutt who has just come out of the water? And don’t they always seem to be drawn to the dry sunbathers when they seek release those thousands of water molecules? Anyway, Niko had a great time hanging with his older buds and even had a few quiet moments of hand holding with one of them. Though, as you can see by the ensuing pout of the girl who didn’t get his hand, two girls and one guy don’t always make for a happy mix. Better for them to learn this life lesson young though, right?

Click to support my blog


Niko’s in to everything these days.

I keep as watchful an eye as I can, but at some points I really just need to get things done, like brushing my teeth or changing out of my pajamas. You know, things that help you start the day off on the right foot. So, like I said, Niko’s into everything: drawers, toilet paper, cupboards, etc. He’s even taken to munching on wrapped bars of soap that he finds in the bathroom. Seriously, what’s the draw there? Isn’t that an old school punishment for tweens who prove to have a potty mouth? What’s the allure? I just don’t get it.

The other day, Niko discovered a whole new meaning for the term “toilet water”. Niko and I were in my bedroom, with him crawling aimlessly (or seamlessly, in many directions at once) underfoot. I was trying to figure out what to wear and thinking he was pretty safe: the bedroom door was closed, so he’s (relatively) safe right? But my bedroom also includes a tiny washroom and a walk-in closet. So as I’m “la dee daaing” and perusing my clothes, I hear the distinct sound of tiny splashes. What? I careen my way toward the sound only to find Little Niko, standing against the toilet and leaning over with both hands happily splashing in the toilet water. “Niko! Ewww! Get your hands out of there, you little monkey.”

Lesson learned: from now on, our house will be a “toilet-seat-cover-down” kind of place. At least when we remember to put it down, because already there’s been repeat incidents like the one described above.

Note to self: Must remember to put toilet cover down.



Is my son channeling Justin Bieber? It’s not Niko’s singing skills I’m talking about here, although they are stellar, but rather his hairstyle that’s making him Bieber-doppelganger-esque. So far we’ve just let Niko’s hair go au natural, and it seems to have naturally coiffed itself after the pop singing superstar. The only minor grooming he’s had is by me, and it was just to trim the wisps that had sort of grown out of control.

Anyway, Borys and I have been contemplating what to do with Niko’s hair. Last night B suggested a mullet for the little guy, so he can “get in touch with your (and by “your” he means “my”) hometown roots”. But for now, Niko’s safe from the mullet – although secretly I am sort of curious about how that would look. More seriously, even more serious than a mullet, I’m thinking about a mohawk. Currently his hair’s long enough, and it might be a cute do for a guy who’s almost one. Plus, sooner than later he’s going to need an identity apart from the Biebster, right?


There’s something to be said for planning ahead and preparing the night before. Thank goodness I’m a “live and learn” kind of gal, so when I didn’t plan ahead and didn’t prepare the night before I just thought to myself, “Well next time I’ll know”. I mean I had good intentions; I had planned to pack Niko’s daycare bag and prepare his lunch in the evening, but by the time I got around to having the time to do it, I was too tired and let’s just face it, watching TV was a much more appealing option.

Anyway, as I was scrambling around this morning and cursing myself for not preparing beforehand, I couldn’t help but take a moment between the coffee brewing, scooting the dog out to do his business, feeding Niko (thank goodness he’s getting more comfortable with finger foods these days), etc. etc., to reflect on how this was my little man’s first full day at daycare. Wow. A whole day without Mommy. A whole day without Daddy. Just him on his own with Sherri and his daycare buds. It was then, when I looked down at my pants and noticed a splotch of yogurt right on my crotch, that I burst out of my reverie and thought, “Oh yes, this is going to be a great day.” At that point I didn’t even have the mental capacity to contemplate another outfit, much less have time to go change into one. So it was off to the Board office with a yogurt stained attire. But I don’t think anyone even noticed, except for my colleagues who I had previously relayed the story to.

So, lesson learned: getting ready for work is now a whole new production. It’s not just little old me that needs to prepare herself, but I’ve also got to plan for, feed, dress and supply the little guy with enough goodies to get him through the day. One good thing is, I was so busy today that I barely had time to think about Niko. It was only at lunch when I checked my cell and had no messages that I took it as a good sign: things must be going at least OK. I mean if there was an emergency she would call, right? So, no messages. Yes, that’s a good thing.

By the time I got around to picking Niko up, after I’d faced my battle with the daily grind of rush hour, I was greeted with a smile that warmed my heart. He came right into my arms and I just loved that moment. When I got there, all the kids and Sherri were out back and Niko was swinging in a tiny swing, sporting his new shoes, with his chin and hands speckled with telltale signs of bits of sand. But who can blame the guy? I mean it’s just so tasty looking, right? Anyway, it was great to see him again. He survived. I survived. And ultimately this change is going to be good for both of us (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). And, tomorrow’s another day, and hopefully not one where I have to walk around with yogurt on my pants.


Yesterday was a night out in Mtl for Auntie H and Uncle G, and a slumber party at Chez Niko for Little Lena. You know, when I was pregnant I really hoped for twins (and I still do). However, once I had Little N I realized how challenging it would have been to look after two babies at the same time, especially when parenting was so new to me.

Anyway, last night and this morning, I got a taste of what twins might have been like. And let me tell you, two little monkeys really keep me on my toes. Even though Lena was a perfect house guest and overall maintained her usual jovial spirits, the challenging part was just orchestrating double feeding, double bathing, double diapering, etc. You get the picture.

Of course, I had to document Lena’s stay with just a few pictures. As I mentioned briefly in one of my previous posts, Niko has developed a bit of a fake smile for the camera, and apparently so has Lena. As soon as they realized it was picture time, they squinted their eyes and got this really cheesy smile on their faces. (However, maybe the squinty eyes just come from lessons learned in their short life: that the dang camera flash sure is bright.) In the pics below I caught Lena hamming it up in the first photo and Niko in the second. What a pair of monsters cuties.

Click to support my blog


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 355 other followers

Like this blog? Vote for it! Just click on the brown box below for one vote. Thanks!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Categories

Alli & Baby Niko

Top Rated