Browsing Posts published in November, 2010

When a child tiptoes into your room at 3:30am and through your interrupted slumber you hear a whisper, “It’s too dark, I can’t see anything.” You’d be surprised how much it sounds like, “I see dead people.”

This morning while rinsing the conditioner out of my hair, two of our three children ran into the bathroom to inform me the baby had torn all of the toilet paper from the roll in the bathroom beside the kitchen.

Oh good, company. This is a rare treat.

Why haven’t we learned to remove the toilet paper from the roll upon entry into any bathroom? We know what she’s capable of it’s her motivation that’s baffling.

Off I went to fashion together some sort of hanging device for the toilet paper, not unlike the dangling meat hook to lure leaping children towards new foods rather than the heart shaped cookie cutters that so clearly deterred them before.

I could hang the paper from the ceiling but as I looked up to inspect my options, the soap still in my hair ran into my eyes and they started to sting.

We would have to revisit the engineering and installation of the new device later as we were heading out to purchase our Christmas tree, a 9 foot, pre-lit, faker that will hopefully last a lifetime because I believe we were on a self-imposed spending freeze minutes prior to loading it into the van.

We tried to decorate it when we returned home but it was nearly impossible to reach some of the top branches. The conversation about the hand crocheted nativity scene, placement of shepherds and whether the baby chick from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme wearing the bonnet and diaper was part of the original manger scene or was just one of baby Jesus’ friends distracted us all while the baby once again found her muse spun out on the bathroom floor in millions of tiny white pieces.

Perhaps we need to reconsider our approach. What if instead of hiding the paper from the baby, I serve it up to her so it’s no longer the mysterious stranger she sneaks away to visit? I could make a toilet paper crib sheet, toilet paper bride her or mummy wrap her in Cottonelle removing the forbidden fruit quality entirely.

We might even make some toilet paper ribbons for the new tree and have her decorate but at this point, we’re stumped.

Hanna and Ellie came running to us with a problem of their own. They were arguing over a cutting and pasting project involving all of our magazines.

Greg calmly asked Ellie, “Does Hanna cutting from your magazine bother you in any way, shape or form?”

Ellie: Form I guess.

Taking the kids to a restaurant for dinner is always a gamble. I remember as a kid eating out at restaurants with my family…wait a minute, no I don’t.

We worry about how the kids will behave, will they use their inside voices, will they say things like, “Daddy, if you’re full, just go and have a poop so you’ll have room for more food,” turning the other diners off of their meals entirely? The answer by the way is always, yes they will.

We typically avoid restaurants serving pasta, pizza and chicken fingers because the complaints about the food not tasting quite like it does at home is never worth it, so we opt for something more adventurous.

 We asked the neighbours to join us for sushi and heard a resounding “no way” so it was all-you-can-eat sushi for four (and a half).

Hanna and Ellie managed to scarf down twenty-four California rolls and begged for more. They questioned what the fish roe was around the outside of the rice and were content to continue feasting when told they were red sprinkles. Hanna folded her hands in prayer and said, “Please lord let us order more California rolls,” which made me laugh as we are not religious. Ellie begged, “Please Mom, if you order us more California rolls I’ll give you sixteen dollars of my own money.” That sounds more like it.

The baby ate an entire order of vegetable rice. What I mean by “ate” is she smeared grains of rice on her face, neck and hair as well as all articles of clothing. They are now swirling in the washing machine. I’m tempted to throw in some raisins and cinnamon and see if mixed with the hot water, in addition to clean clothes, we’ll score a couple of side orders of rice pudding.

As usual, Greg ate too much and planned his get-out-of-bathing-the-kids-attack early. His complaints of a phony testicle injury on the way home from the restaurant had me questioning the authenticity and origin of his wounds but scored him some sympathy pains from Ellie who limped down the hall toward the suds.

 The kids were so well behaved, it was a great balance to the comment I heard just hours earlier, “I’m going to sit on you and stab you with my sticker package.”

Does anyone really know the right way to discuss smoking with their kids?

We took the “don’t do it, you will die” approach and it seems to have scared the kids and made them think cigarettes are disgusting.

For now, we’ve achieved our goal.

When they see someone smoking on the street, they are quick to point out in their loudest voices, “that person is smoking” always followed by, “are they going to die?”

The other day in the school parking lot, a little boy ran over to the girls, he seemed to be in distress. He moaned, “I just smoked my arm.”

Ellie looked at the boy and then at me. Her eyes wide, she began to tear up.

She reached out for my hand, hung her head down and quietly said, “He’s going to die isn’t he mom?”

After taking car-seat baby in for her one year check-up the other day, it occurred to me the Doctor didn’t have time to go over her growth chart. It occurred to me because inquiring minds seem to want to know where my one year old ranks in relation to their same age child.

I know this information was of the utmost importance seven years ago with our first. I shouted from the roof tops that she was off the charts for weight and height. Head circumference didn’t seem to have quite the same hip-hip-hooray effect one might expect so I often left that one out of my report. I created an excel spread-sheet documenting her growth, included hair and nail clippings, laminated the whole thing planning for a future shadow box. Continue reading “Measuring Up…..” »

There is no shortage of literature about how we can whip up easy kids meals that will make them run to the table, refrain from shouting obscenities or things like, “yuck”, “gross”, or “children’s aid, I’m ready to be picked up now,” but do we really know how to practically implement even one of these suggestions?

I saw something today at the grocery store I think would encourage us all to take out our clipboards, stand in front of the butcher’s glass display and observe. This may shock and amaze some of you.

A man behind the counter dangled a piece of mystery meat over the top of the glass from the tip of a latex glove. Children from all aisles of the store came running. They leapt in the air to be the first to shove that bologna sample down their gullets and chomped and high-fived each other before hopping back on the fronts of their carts and disappearing into thin air.

There it was. The answer to all of our feeding problems and it was so obvious.

We have been using cookie cutters shaped like hearts to encourage kids to eat banana pancakes and here it was, so simple, we’ve been going about this all wrong. What we should have been doing is thinking of the most unappealing approach to introducing new foods.

You will need the following supplies;

1)      A skinny stranger dressed in butcher’s whites

2)      A net strapped to both ears wrapped around your beard (for argument’s sake, a beard-net)

3)      Luncheon meat

I have tried many ways to introduce new foods to my children but never the lion in a cage meat dangler. I have been over-thinking this.

Me: Kids, I just made the most delicious carrot soup and fresh bread, would you like to try some?

Kids: It smells so gross it makes me want to puke!

New approach

Me: Kids, I’ve just shredded some processed meat from an animal of unknown descent. I am netted, hoisted high over the breakfast bar, with my rubber gloves and a pink piece of something gamey.

Kids: Commence leaping.

We were watching CSI the other night just before bed despite my resolution that forbids me from watching anything with an unsolved mystery, blood, needles, shark attacks or bat facts prior to trying to fall asleep.

This particular episode featured a hoarder and discussed a branch of the disease called clutter blindness.

I don’t know exactly what it is, nor have I taken the time to analyze or do an ounce of research on the subject, I just know I have it and can prove it in the following cupboards in my home; Continue reading “Clutter Blindness…..” »

I took car-seat baby in for her 1 year check-up along with my trusty four year old sidekick.

When the baby was nearly finished filling her pants, stinking up the very small waiting area and fouling the room for at least a 48 hour wait-it-out period or a full-on Febrezing and/or insecticiding, whichever came first, Ellie surprised me with a question for the Doctor.

Ellie: Um, could you also look at my brain?

Doctor: Sure Ellie. What do you think is wrong with your brain? (giggling)

Why is it when I ask the kids to make their beds they forget and blame it on being young and therefore lacking any short or long term memory, but in an attempt to brush off a silly health related question, I tell them “the next time we’re at the Doctor’s office we’ll ask her about that” and six months later it pops into her brain…a brain that may or may not require evaluation.

Ellie: One time Hanna and I were running and we bonked heads. My Mom said we could die or something, like hockey players.

False.

I did tell them after one too many seemingly coincidental head-butts while meeting each other in a race around the family room ottoman that head injuries were very serious and people can suffer life-long repercussions.

Also, I found it a little odd that after jamming Chloe’s arms like they were pin cushions, she started to bleed from her standard vaccines. Ellie was mortified, I kept my own arms elevated above my heart and tried to breathe through what I thought could have been a disastrous situation for a woozy Mommy.

Ellie asked the nurse to put band-aids on Chloe. She was very rushed, so much in fact, I worried she might have been feeding Chloe bat poison through the clear vial. She quickly told Ellie she would rather not put band-aids on a baby because (it would have meant leaving the room to get some) there was a huge risk if the baby were to remove the band-aid in the car on the way home and choke on it. I’m afraid of many things; shark attacks, bats, Dateline, but my 12 month old baby having the manual dexterity and strength to stretch through a snug, five point harness, her coat, sweater and shirt, tear a band-aid from her skin, fish it all back through the three sleeve obstacle course, insert it into her mouth, like the taste so much she wanted to swallow it leading her to gag and die isn’t one of them.

I simply don’t have room for another band-aid swallowing 5km run.

A bubble bath to break up the day gives me a rejuvenated sense that I can tackle anything. I’m relaxed, I’m calm, I’m surprisingly blotchy and pink from scalding myself. This is Sunday afternoon. Bring me your worst.

Something about the bath puts things into perspective. Life is good. I have all I need. I can break-up an argument between a four and seven year old, over which is the better chicken wing, the one boner or two boner without collapsing with laughter.

I can stand back allowing Greg to dirty the kitchen while defying the laws of gravity as he whips together his famous chicken wings. Famous I suppose because like a celebrity, a spotting of Daddy in the kitchen is in many respects as unique as running into Tomkat at the bus stop.

I can carefully choose my words when the kids ask if the wings came to us via a real chicken, a live animal, something with a mother, siblings, friends in addition to delicious body parts, a conversation that may have turned them to veganism sans bubbles.

The suds still crackling in my ears can drown out the tune of Ellie singing the ABC’s of Canada book and even help me to keep quiet (as per her request) as she struggles to sound out the words. On bath days, I make it as far as Y before I notice Hanna chewing on a toy phone, staring at the ceiling and Greg playing angry birds on his i-pod, when I blurt out “Y is for Yukon,” provoking, “I know that one Mommy! Y is for Ikom!” When she flips to V is for Vancouver she angrily recognizes the V and asks why I still haven’t signed her up for violin lessons which rolls right off the foam still coating my back.

I can handle a lengthier than necessary discussion about why the gingerbread house we built had gingerbread men guarding the premises when they were so clearly short, gingerbread boys.

I do wonder though in this falsely, jellowish, fuchsia-skinned state how long it will take to hear the baby waking from her nap through the cup of formula sitting next to my laptop that is not in fact the baby monitor, cradled on a charger far, far away thought the crazy lady.

Here I sit in front of a laptop screen with kid’s fingerprints all over it thanks to the Smartboard in Ellie’s classroom encouraging learning in the form of hand smears.

A few minutes ago, I found myself repeating a sentence I wish I didn’t have to.

Me: There are three necessities when it comes to hand washing;

1)      Water

2)      Soap

3)      Towel

Ever wonder what the most repeated sentence in the English language as uttered by a mother of three?

Did you wash your hands?

I guess I’m confused, deflated and completely dumbfounded as where to go from here.

Did you wash your hands? I can expect a myriad of responses. Sometimes a nod and a quick sprint in the other direction so I can’t actually check for peanut butter smears or banana string and signs of recently dampened skin. Sometimes, it’s a “yes” and jazz hands flashed in my direction, brimming with “go ahead, I dare you to ask me” confidence, which is really the only sign of a child who has actually washed their hands. Continue reading “Sanitize Me……” »

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