Sunday, March 29, 2009

identity crisis

This has been gnawing at me for days now. I can't believe I'm still undecided.

I'm very new to blogging, or writing to a public audience for that matter. Every day, I learn something new about blog etiquette and the various tools and platforms that power this wonderful social medium. In my quest for blogger-know-how, a few days ago, I posed this question at a mommy blog network forum as well as to individual bloggers: Why would you use an alias for your child?

A number of mothers worried about their child's lack of choice in having their life documented for all to read. An alias would protect their kids' identity and help prevent any embarrassment that the blog might bring in the future. This threw me a little. I started this blog under the assumption that it will be read by everyone I know, a few I don't know and some I have yet to know. I felt somewhat paranoid. I reread my blogs to see if I had written anything that would offend my sons and their future girlfriends, in-laws or employers. Nothing that I could tell but how can I be sure? Can I really see into the future psyche of my boys? I've been guilty of reacting negatively to something that my hubby thought was trivial. So to my boys who will be reading this in the future, this blog was intended to celebrate my life with you and includes the good and not-so-great times because that is stuff of life. I hope you like reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Here's another rationale that surprised me at first. One mommy confided that she uses pseudonyms for her kids mainly because it better suits her writing style. But the more of her posts I read, the more I understood her reasoning. I've soon discovered that there are some incredibly great writers out there in the mommy blogosphere. And, yes, the aliases they use 'fit' their writing style. But alas, I was a web techie in my pre-mommy life. I don't know what my writing style is or if I even have one. Using an alias for stylistic expression, though legitimate, did not prompt me to follow suit.

Safety concerns came up and, not surprisingly, is the number one reason for using pseudonyms for many moms. I have set up my blog account so that it does not tie back to my real name, address or phone number even though I don't personally believe there is a high risk in drawing a child predator out through my mommy stories. I'm very comfortable with the level of anonymity I've set up for myself. However, it would completely crush me if my blog ever put my family at risk. Adopting an alias doesn't demand a great deal of effort. Why not take the extra step and provide some level of anonymity for my kids, just in case?

And so, now I find myself searching for the right pseudonym for each of my boys. I've been wracking my brain for days now and am still without a 'ThingOne and ThingTwo' or 'Giggles and Dimples'. Nothing seems to fit. Coming up with their real names was a cinch compared to this. My indecision is killing me so I've resolved to give up the search ... for a little while anyway.

For now my boys, you will be called whatever flavour of the moment that strikes my fancy. Keep safe and be happy my Lil' Monkey and Bat Babe until mommy figures this one out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

bedside manners, please

I come from a family and culture full of nurses. I think they have one of the toughest jobs in the world and don't get due credit for their efforts. So it pains me to blog about Nurse X who works at my family doctor's office.

But, I mean, what was she thinking when she called my son "devil child" before putting a needle in his arm?! Did she assume I could not hear her while I was holding my 18-month-old's legs down while another nurse held his arms. Yes, my son was kicking and screaming. But justified or not, she MUST know that a mother NEVER wants to hear these words associated with her child, EVER.

Maybe she thought she was being funny. Well, you know what? She has not yet earned the freedom to be that familiar with us. We don't even know her name because she has not bothered to introduce herself at this visit nor three months ago when we first met her.

Yes, I understand that the doctor’s office is a busy workplace. I’m not asking her to be our friend. However, when a young child is crying and clearly full of fear, it is necessary to take a moment to try to give him some reassurance and a bit of time to calm down. Instead, she seemed only interested in getting her job done. I'm sure she remembers us well because, three months ago, my son (even after taking a very full diaper off him) became so upset that he peed all over the scale when she tried to weigh him.

To set the record straight, my son's profound fear of the mere sight of a doctor’s table is very real to him. He has had several traumatic experiences while lying on one, including having a lesion on his chest cut and drained without anesthetics and enduring a couple of failed attempts at having I.V. inserted in his hand.

Nurse X's apathy was both disturbing and puzzling to me. Why is she in this profession? And, the name-calling ... well, that was just rude and inexcusable.

Mind your bedside manners, Nurse X!

Friday, March 20, 2009

table manners

Little Dude, you've almost mastered table manners. Mommy only has a few important tips to bring you over to the side considered acceptable by most.

Last night, when you exclaimed "Thank you, mommy" before popping an edamame bean in your mouth, I said "You're welcome" out of habit but thought "Thank you for what?" Then, I realized you had taken the bean from my plate. Next time, love, please ask for permission before taking something that isn't yours. But good for you for remembering to say thank you.

"I need YOU to give me a drink, please!" The magic word was there. And, your sentence was definitely grammatically correct. But, somehow, your tone sounded a tad bit too imposing. Let's start all requests with a "May I" or "Can I have", please.

You make daddy and I laugh with your stories and singing at dinnertime. But baby, "Wanna take it out? I have a booger in me nose," though funny, is just plain gross and not appropriate dinner conversation material.

Lastly, we know how much you love having your sister over for Thursday dinners. Try not to make her feel uncomfortable the next time she comes over and refrain from exclaiming, "I can see your boobies!" Yes, honesty is the best policy but there are just some things that you should never say out loud, my love.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


You could not pay me enough to cut children's hair. It's one of those thankless, taxing jobs that ranks up there with being a dentist or a nurse, I think.

Today, my 3-year-old got his yearly haircut at Cookie Cutters, a place that caters specifically to kids. His hairstylist and favourite seat (the fire engine) were occupied when we arrived. Little Dude was happy to wait it out, playing in their indoor slide, while I watched his stylist get wacked in the face by her tiny client. She didn't even blink when this happened and continued to trim the little fiend's hair. Later, she confided that it wasn't the worst thing to happen to her. I can only imagine what was worse than a slap on the face ... a kick, spit, puke ... I didn't ask.

It wasn't long before it was Little Dude's turn in the fire engine. He was happy to watch the video that the previous boy had been watching ... a cartoon about a tractor and other vehicles. He endured the haircut without a hint of a fight and didn't even seem to notice the screaming coming from the boy in the airplane seat behind him. Nope. The only complaint that came out of Little Dude was when it was time to leave. What a trooper : )

Nice fauxhawk, dude!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My little funny guy, in a few hours, you will wake up and you will be three. You've grown so much. You're clearly no longer a baby. You demand your right for independence often, yet you can be so needy. I would really love to rocket you through the trying-three's, if I could. Though at times, I find myself wishing time would stand still so I can savour my moments with you a little longer.

It seems just a short while ago that you started speaking. I think your first words were:
1. moon
2. miyat (cross btwn cat and meow)
3. juice

Now, you ramble endlessly about everything and nothing but still can't pronounce "L". No matter. Other letters or sounds are good stand-ins and I always know what you mean when you say:
1. Where's my baboon?
2. I had dots of munch
3. I dove you

Asking "why?" has not reached obsessive levels yet but you will repeatedly ask:
1. Where are we goning (going)?
2. Are you happy?
3. Do you have a peepee?

My favourite Little Dude-isms are:
1. I pooped on the job
2. That's dirty cake (referring to chocolate)
3. That's mommy dog, baby dog and 'Little Dude' dog

You do the quirkiest things:
1. Order, order! You like your trains, blocks, shoes, everything lined up or piled up perfectly
2. Boundless energy: you never get tired or dizzy of running in circles
3. Cocktail anyone? Whatever we happen to serve you to eat and drink often gets mixed together in your cup. At first, we tried to discourage your cocktail creations by asking you to drink your concoctions. You did. And, you liked it!

You have yet to achieve these important milestones:
1. potty training

2. dressing self
3. sleeping through the night, consistently

That's okay. You're an expert at so many other things. You will do these in due time. Besides, who's ever heard of a healthy 16-year-old who poops his pants willingly and wants his mommy to dress him in the morning and help him get back to sleep at night?

Happy Birthday my funny man. Don't grow up too fast. 'Dove' you 'dots'.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

chick magnet

My almost-18-moth-old was pursued by a cute 16-month-old blonde this morning at the mall. The little girl spotted him as he was walking past the food court. It might have been his adorable dimples that caught her eye. Or maybe she was only trying to track down the origin of the little squeaks (coming from his shoes). Who knows?

The scene played out like this. Her hands were outstretched trying to hug or simply just touch him. He remained always 3 steps ahead of her. She would stop, looking dejected. He would stop the second she stopped, turn around and smile at her. Encouraged, she began her pursuit again. The cycle of starts and stops went on 4-5 more times. Poor girl.

Making a mental note. Must teach my boys not to toy with little girls' hearts.

Friday, March 6, 2009

sahm critic

Anyone who really knows me will appreciate this confession: I am my worst critic. I have often asked myself, "Hey, Ms. Mom. What the heck happened to your day that you couldn't remember to call [insert friend or relative's name here] ... yet, you have time to facebook and blog?!" I laughed out loud when I read this Tell Me About It article:

Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group ...

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day?

>>You have to read the full article

Carolyn Hax's response is brilliant and has encouraged me to stop tormenting myself with feelings of guilt or shame when I choose to spend what little downtime I get in a day to be 'alone with my thoughts'. Thank you Ms. Hax for such an honest and funny retort to a misguided and very silly question. And, thank you facebook friend (you know who you are) for posting this article. It has reminded me not to be so hard on myself. And, neither should any stay at home parent, particularly first-time ones.

Now, can someone convince my kids that, after working five consecutive hours, I'm entitled to a 30-minute meal break free from work, according to our labour laws.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


My Littler Dude, at the tender age of 1 1/2, is a huge book fanatic. Get anywhere close to his vicinity while in the familyroom and he will shove a book in your hands, collapse into your lap and demand that you begin reading. Other times, I will look up and catch him flipping through a boardbook 'reading' quietly. His favourite books are well thumbed through, if not falling apart at the edges. I absolutely love this side of him. In this world of video games, computers and tv dominating many children's lives (as well as my husband's and mine), I hope that he will always maintain his love for books.

My favourite part of the day begins shortly after lunch when we settle into the little orange sofa with a big pile of books. I love feeling him sink deep in my arms and watching him slowly drift off as I'm reading. The last few days, Littler Dude has been sick and hasn't felt like reading much. I miss our naptime routine terribly and will grieve the day when he no longer wants to sit with mommy to read.