Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘toddlers


Their grandparents are friends.

Their parents are friends.

And yes, this third generation are also friends.

Cool!

Pic: Kenzie, Lena, Stella and Niko.


1) Officially the most pregnant I’ve ever been in my life!

36 weeks, 2 days. (Niko was born at 36 on the nose.)

2) Instant Jello Chocolate Pudding

The foolproof recipe on the box provided a great “baking” experience for Niko and me. My little chef loved helping with the mixing and then licking the beaters and spoon.

3) Shaving my legs is proving difficult

Ok, a weird thing to smile at I know. But I consider this to be a direct reflection of the progression of my pregnancy – that big ol’ belly is just gettin’ in the way. And seeing as it’s so big, means my baby is growing and still safe inside me! Having had Niko a month early and my son Yuri at only 21 weeks, anything that shows me this pregnancy is doing well is good by me! Even if it means I only have the energy to shave one leg on any given day!

4) The prospect of going for a pedicure!

I want red holiday toes.

5) My library books came in!

I placed about 15 holds. First up?

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I had been lamenting the fact that getting my annual Christmas photo of Niko, decked out in his Santa hat was proving challenging! But then…

Turns out all it took to get Niko into the Christmas spirit (and into his Santa hat) was a little friendly peer pressure from his buddy Eli.

Merry Christmas Li’l Santa. Merry Christmas Festive Fireman.

Anyway…these good pics missed the boat, as I have already printed and mailed off my Christmas cards. But hey…they still make a nice memory for the photo album!


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?


Is parenthood life-changing? Most definitely.

Does it have its challenges? You betcha.

Is it all worth it? Wouldn’t change it for the world!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying my library pick: The Hand that First Held Mine, by Maggie O’Farrell. I found it via the UK Amazon site. I don’t know why I used the UK version as opposed to the Canadian one, but anyway, you can look up titles on the site and it recommends titles of other books that readers liked who liked that particular book. For example, I liked The Slap, so did a quick search of that book and found many recommendations. After a quick perusal of the suggested titles I settled on The Hand the First Held Mine and checked it out of the Ottawa library.

Unbeknown to me upon checking it out, this book ended up being partially about parenthood, and this one particular passage, about how life changes post-parenthood really stuck with me. Especially the part about carrying small tractors around in your purse. Because in the the pre-Niko days, that’s certainly not one of the goodies you would have found in there, but a welcomed site nowadays, nonetheless.

The following, albeit lengthy is the passage I’m referring to, now forever memorialized here on my blog! Thank you Maggie O’Farrell. Thank you.

The Women We Become After Children

(Excerpt from The Hand that First Held Mine)

We change shape, we buy low-healed shoes, we cut off our long hair. We begin to carry in our bags half-eaten rusks, a small tractor, a shred of beloved fabric, a plastic doll. We lose muscle tone, sleep, reason, perspective. Our hearts begin to live outside our bodies. They breath, they eat, they crawl and – look! – they walk, they begin to speak to us. We learn that we must sometimes walk an inch at a time, to stop and examine every stick, every stone, every squashed tin along the way. We get used to not getting where we were going. We learn to darn, perhaps to cook, to patch the knees of dungarees. We get used to living with a love that suffuses us, suffocates us, blinds us, controls us. We live. We contemplate our bodies, our stretched skin, those threads of silver around our brows, our strangely enlarged feet. We learn to look less in the mirror. We put our dry-clean-only clothes to the back of the wardrobe. Eventually, we throw them away. We school ourselves to stop saying “shit” and “damn” and learn to say “my goodness” and “heavens above”. We give up smoking, we colour our hair, we search the vistas of parks, swimming pools, libraries, cafes for others of our kind. We know each other by our pushchairs, our sleepless gazes, the beakers we carry. We learn how to cool a fever, ease a cough, the four indicators of meningitis, that one must sometimes push a swing for two hours. We buy biscuit cutters, washable paints, aprons, plastic bowls. We no longer tolerate delayed buses, fighting in the street, smoking in restaurants, sex after midnight, inconsistency, laziness, being cold. We contemplate younger women as they pass us in the street, with their cigarettes, their makeup, their tight-seamed dresses, their tiny handbags, their smooth, washed hair, and we turn away, we put down our heads, we keep on pushing the pram up the hill.

PS Note: I am not cutting off my long hair!

Why do moms do this?

Besides, a ponytail’s way easier than the hassle of trimming your hair every 3 weeks!


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Sharing. What is up with it? An easy concept to understand, yet a difficult one to put into action. At least for my two year old.

So Niko’s got about a thousand toys – some of which are his favourites, some which act as secondary favourites and some which fare better as dust collectors than their actual intentioned purpose. The abacus falls in the latter category. That was until Niko’s beloved cousin Ramona showed interest in this colourful toy. At which point Niko’s passion for the abacus was ignited and his hands were the sole ones allowed (at least in his mind) to touch its favoured counters.

I’m not sure what the best strategy is for teaching successful sharing. While we are persistent in our attempts to enforce this  concept, none seem to have sunken in too well just yet. So I’m open to suggestions! What’s your secret for getting your toddler to share his precious, semi-precious and not-so-precious toys?



Remember that craze in the 80s for Cabbage Patch Kids? Parents swarmed department stores, fanatically trying to get their hands on at least one of the beloved dolls for their deserving offspring (or “daughter” as the sexist retro-news caster terms it). Parents went crazy, snatching dolls from each others’ hands and lining up in herds to pay for the toy and then leave the store safely.

Well, I think I may be on to something here with Pumpkin Patch Kids. At least if I could package, market and sell some of the cuteness in these pictures, I could be on my way to succeeding with my own million dollar idea.

Note: These pics further show what fun can be had on an apple-picking excursion, sans the apple picking.


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