Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Anecdotes’ Category


When Niko was just a wee babe, I made up a song and sang it to him daily. The words were something along the lines of “My sweet little angel boy and then basically just repeated over and over again to a particular tune that I cannot begin to describe in words. Then he grew up a little and that little ditty made it’s way to the back burner.

This morning as we were getting ready for daycare, Niko was in one of those delightful moods where nothing pleased him. Mind you, he is not feeling 100% (coughing, etc.), but still this mood isn’t the easiest to deal with. Now while I try to stay away from sarcasm, especially directed toward my dear angel boy, at times humour acts as my parental crutch and helps me cope in the moment.

So I’m bundling him up to go out the door. And even though there’s no snow the temperature is in the negatives, yet Niko is insisting he wears his sandals, while I am insisting on his winter boots. A no-win here. So after a full morning of such antics (not all sandal related, but on the same plane of ridiculousness) I look at Borys and say:

“Hmm…Maybe we should have topped the tree with this little darling the other day“! 

Borys: But doesn’t coal go in the stocking?

Hahahaha. Thank goodness for comic relief – even if it was at the expense of our little man. He didn’t seem to notice.

And no Niko, you are NOT wearing your sandals today!


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When all’s quiet in the kitchen it’s time for some parental investigation. Afterall, quiet in toddler terms is only a precursor to bedlam, right?

And all I see upon my arrival…

Yes! Those are toddler toes peeking out from under an open fridge door. Not a good sign…

PS – Niko was just in there quietly giggling to himself. Looks like I averted disaster in the nick of time!



Niko has an interesting way of telling us he’s done his supper.

Step 1) Push chair away from table as far as possible, using the fullest reach of hands and feet against the table to propel to the furthest distance.

Step 2) Grab sock and rip it off.

Step 3) Repeat on other side.

Step 4) Scatter socks on the floor below, while delighting in newfound foot freedom.

With such a show of respect, Niko can only be demonstrating me how much he likes my cooking, right?

And so it is that this habit has developed. As soon as I see that first table push-off with his hands, I pretty much know it’s game over. Unless of course, I tempt him with cookies or ice cream, but that’s not a daily occurrence. And over time this habit has evolved. He used to struggle with his socks, until he discovered that biting the toes really provided that extra torque needed to successfully de-sock himself independently. But that strategy wasn’t sitting too well with Mommy and Daddy, so after a few nights of encouragement he finally figured out how to get the pull he needed by using his hands alone, sans teeth! Phewf.

Anyway, for now it’s socks off to signal the end of dinner time. And we’re left with a barefoot toddler for the remainder of the evening while the spoils of his labour remain scattered on the floor, usually until the next morning.

Pull ‘Em

Typical: Post Supper


Her face was hardened. Deep crevices lined the canvas of her skin, illustrating all the scowls she’d doled out over time. Yes, she’d probably enjoyed a few laughs too, but judging (yes, I was judging!) by her behaviour yesterday morning, I think her life had been filled with more upset than happiness. I just couldn’t believe the way she was talking to the (I’m guessing) 18 month old that she was pushing around in the stroller. That’s pushing around, both literally and metaphorically.

“That’s it! Yer not gettin’ anything with that sort of behaviour! NO! That’s it! NO! Yer terrible the way yer behavin’!”, she drilled at the little pajama-clad guy who was taking it all in, while quietly sucking on his soother.

I may not even have noticed what she was saying, if it hadn’t been for the decibels to which her voice reached.

Now, I have a two year old son, who’s not much older than the little guy in her care. 18 months old wasn’t so long ago for me. I clearly remember what an 18 month old is like – they’re more interactive, more independent, more everything than the version of their baby-selves that has now ceased to exist. But the way this woman was talking to her son? Grandson? (It was hard to tell.) It was like he was 5 years old. Like he could understand the cause and affect of his behaviour. Like he could reason. And she just kept berating him. I wish I could remember the exact words she was using, because they really resonated with me. Disturbed me. And I know I’m not doing her nastiness justice here.

I’m not saying I don’t get frustrated with parenthood. It’s certainly not easy and I’m no expert. Like most parents I’m just trying my best. But was this this woman’s best? I just couldn’t help but wonder: if this is how she talks to the little guy in public, what goes on at home, when no one is watching?

It really just broke my heart. I wanted to take him home with me or something.

Maybe she was having a bad day (but it was only 10 in the morning), life. I don’t know. But it doesn’t excuse talking to the child in your care like that. But what could I do? Was it my place to step in? I don’t think so. Not unless the end result would be me rescuing the child and bringing him home with me, but I think in the eyes of the law that’s kidnapping and I’d probably be put in jail. So, here I am a day later still thinking about that woman’s face and the way she barked at that little boy. And wondering why?


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.



Baby’s got a new trick, and I happily discovered it before it led to disaster. It was just yesterday when Niko was lying on his back that I heard the slow sound of velcro coming undone. I looked down to see two baby eyes looking up at me with a grin, while one little baby hand was slowly undoing the velcro on his diaper! It’s been so hot in Ottawa these past few days that I’ve taken to dressing Niko in just a t-shirt and diaper when we’re in the house. But apparently this uniform is going to have to change now that I know he can undo the protective diaper cover.  Yikes! I don’t even want to imagine what would happen if he got that puppy off when I was unaware. Actually I don’t really have to imagine seeing as once, a long time ago, I did experience the repercussions of a baby who had discovered this trick, and left to his own devices it caused one huge mess…

Go back in time about 24 years and you’ll see my brother Greg as a baby. Seeing as I am eight years his senior, I was old enough for this memory to be clearly etched in time on my brain, never again to be forgotten and now forever memorialized on this blog! (Sorry, Greg!) So this is how it all went down. Picture a nine year old me with my friend Marie over to play and Baby Greg just “snoozing” away during nap time.

Marie: Want to go in and check on your baby brother?

Me: Sure, but we’ll have to be quiet to make sure we don’t wake him up.

We then proceed to gingerly open Little Greg’s bedroom door only to see him happily sitting up in his crib…

Baby Greg: Ga ga ga, goo goo goo.

Me: Why is there chocolate all over the place? (Oh the innocent mind of a nine year old…)

Marie: Umm, Alli I don’t think that’s chocolate!

Me: Well, what is it?! Look at it! It’s everywhere: on the walls, in the crib spokes, on the sheets, all over Little G (in his hair, on his hands, you get the picture…).

Me: Oh my gosh!!! MOM, get up here! QUICK!

Baby Greg: Ga ga ga, goo goo goo.

Needless to say, I don’t need a repeat of this particular antic under my parenting repertoire of experience. So Baby Niko, it looks like you’ll be wearing diaper shirts or shorts even on the really hot days!

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Laundry – something that can be done at any time of the day, but if you’ve forgotten to transfer the stuff to the dryer and need your clothes for work the next day it sort of becomes a late night chore. As of late my husband Borys has been finishing his with late night pizazz.

A few nights ago as we were getting ready for bed, I was brushing my teeth and he came to me holding a teensy tiny top and asked, “Can this go in the dryer?” This is a testament to the fact that on occasion both of us have put things (our own things and each others) in there that didn’t belong, resulting in smurf-like attire – not a good situation for anyone involved. “What happened to my favourite jeans?!” Actually, since having a baby I have made this mistake more frequently – perhaps a reflection of my mommy state of mind: multi-tasking on little sleep. Anyway, he came in holding up one of Niko’s cotton tops.  In the dryer? Yes. In my opinion all baby clothes fit the dryer category – but good on him for asking, wasn’t it?! 🙂


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