Sunday, July 31, 2011

Perfect day

I'm not a complicated person.  In fact, I prefer for my life to be simple.  Yesterday, is what I would consider to be a perfect day.  I spent the whole day with my favourite boy in the world.  We got up at our usual time, ate our usual breakfast together at a ridiculously early time given that we are on holidays.  Apparently 4 year olds don't quite grasp the concept of "sleeping in".  I long to sleep past sunrise someday, but until then, I will enjoy the early AM's with my buggy.  We got daddy up, he is an impossibly deep sleeper, he just struggles to get to sleep.  Something to do with a mild computer addiction.  Nothing life threatening, and most days works to my advantage. 

We scored a drop-off at the library where we played a bit with their toys, read a couple of stories, and found a good book for me to read, always a bonus.  Holiday reading material, nothing to heavy, just a good enjoyable read to keep me entertained over the next few days.  We meandered over to the park nearby where my guy made eyes (yep, those beautiful blues)  at a young teenage girl who was quite happy to play for a while with him.  In fact, she was great with him, she chased him around the structure, pushed him on the swings, and spun him on the tire.  I think he was slightly scared, but she was quick to notice and slow him down.  When it was time for her to go, we decided to grab some lunch, I was hoping the caf at the Walter Baker would be open, but when it wasn't, we settled for snacks from the machine.  We feasted on Sun chips and cookies (Which I made a profit on, yay for disfunctional snack machines!  I put in my $2.00 for the $1.50 cookies, and the machine returned all of my $2.00 in quarters!  Yes, the little things excite me.), and then we went to the pool for free swim.  My guy loves to swim.  We had races in the pool, played with the ball, and practiced floating, blowing bubbles, and all that fun stuff.  We had the ball stolen (well not stolen, we put it aside and someone grabbed it, no malice intended) from us and he just said "It's ok Mommy, there are more balls in the bucket".  An elderly Chinese man stole his pool noodle (this was weird cause it was right beside us, I think he was a little senile) to make himself a "floatie", he had his own rope to tie 3 noodles together then he put them over his head and wriggled until it was around his waist like his own noodle ring.  And my guy just said "It's ok Mommy, I don't need it, I can touch the bottom and just hop."  When we were done in the pool we headed home on the bus, the walk from the bus stop to the house is longer than the actual ride, but he loves to go on the bus.  We ran into his caregiver, chatted for a moment and then ended the afternoon with a rousing THREE HOUR NAP!  

Busy days make a sleepy boy.  When daddy got home we ate burgers for dinner, and J chose leftover spaghetti & meatballs.  We had brownies for dessert and then the boys played video games and I read my book and fell asleep before they came upstairs.  I have no idea what time they came to bed at, and don't think I will ask.  It's probably best I don't know and it was my own fault anyway because I fell asleep. :)

This is what I call, a perfect day. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Parenting, just my take

I've tried to stay away from this topic.  I don't want to give unsolicited advice, but it seems like one of the hottest topics to blog about.  I am in no way an expert, just wanting to share my experiences and thoughts on the matter.

People seem to really struggle with child rearing, and they should!  It is the hardest job we will ever have as young/midlife adults!  We all (well not all, I mean there are some people who have children that I would not refer to as parents, but that's a whole other topic altogether) want the same thing for our children, to be healthy, happy and well adjusted. 

My whole perspective on parenting is that firstly, you need to have patience.  Example:  When the two year old is in the middle of a meltdown, make attempts to re-direct them, if that fails, ensure they are safe ie. not banging their head on hard surfaces, or kicking hard objects; and then wait it out.  The conversation comes after.  Simple, clear, using words you know they understand.  When the communication has broken down do that point, there is nothing to do but wait.  

Secondly, consistency.  Your child should know what to expect from you.  Every misbehaviour is an opportunity to remind them of the rules, ask them to repeat them, make sure they are looking at you, and prompt an apology.  Children are impulsive and WILL break the rules, that is a fact.  They will test them too.  Over time, it sinks in, even if at first they don't seem to "get it".  The key is to use language you are sure they understand.  Short sentences, too much information and they will not be able to remember what you have said.  Each time you discipline should look very much like the last.  Whether you pick time out, rewarding appropriate/ignoring inappropriate, it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that it's consistent.  I will say this.  Please don't hit your children, I truly believe in my heart it is not necessary.  There are other, more effective ways.  Every good behaviour is an opportunity to reinforce, tell them "good job!  good listening!  good manners!" to tell them how proud you are of them, to give them hugs and kisses that they so desperately need. 

The other thing that I don't see reinforced enough is that you have to develop relationships with your kids.  Play with them.  Talk to them.  Read to them.  Let them tell you stories, listen to what they are saying even if they stutter with excitement and can hardly get the words out coherently.  Involve them in everyday activities.  Help mommy and daddy cook, help with chores, carry the empty laundry basket, put your folded socks away.  The chores take a little longer but help them learn the routines of the house, and spend TIME with their parents.  I know that people are busy and want to get things done, but there is always time for bonding and we should use every opportunity. 

If you want to read parenting book after parenting book, fine, but many of the principles are the same.  Even if your child has physical or developmental delays, the same strategies can be used, it just may take a little longer or need a little tweaking.  Only the parent can figure out what works best with their child.  Some respond well to rewards, some respond better to what I call "losing privileges".  My son knows that if he does not listen well, he could lose his tv time, or bike time, or game time.  He is motivated by having access to those things.  Some days he loses none, other days he loses all of them, but we always start the day with a clean slate.  I don't take away our cuddle times before nap and bed.  These are essential to both him and me.  Special time is non-negotiable in my house.  When we wake up we hug, kiss, and say good morning, no matter what.  At bedtime we have a story, song, I love you's and say we'll race to the morning.   

There is also professional help out there.  Behaviour consultants can teach parents the specific strategies for behaviour modification and give in-home support to model the strategies.  There are some behaviours (ie. self-injury, extreme agression, eating inedible objects (Pica)) that parents may not be equipped to deal with.  If you need help, it's important to ask.  Start with the doctor, when it comes to young children they need to be aware of any developmental issue, and move forward from there.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh the anticipation

Holidays are approaching....  TGIFH!!

Work is crazy, 3 people to do 4 jobs, the work is stressful and we are definitely scrambling.  I can't wait to kick back for 2 weeks + 1 day and just not make too many plans.  Inevitably, I do make plans, but I am planning to have a couple of days of just nothing.  Interesting to note, the Busker Festival begins next week down on Sparks St.  Definitely something I am hoping to check out.  J really enjoyed the performance at Chicken/Rib Fest and I think it would something fun to check out, inexpensive, toss a few coins in a few hats and enough money for lunch at a hot dog cart!  The joys of downtown!  Maybe I will introduce him to the Beavertail as well, we never did make it to Winterlude...  Tourism at home can be a very fun and rewarding way to go!  We'll also hit up cottage country, swim, boat, fish, all the stuff we've always enjoyed doing in my family.  It will probably go by too quickly and I'll be back at work in a flash.  OK, I am trying NOT to depress myself!  (not working so well)  Hope to spend some time with some friends as well.  Lives are busy, rush rush, go go, and so I really want to make time to hang with my girlz. 

Happy happy summer everyone!  This past week has been a hot one, take care and stay cool! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Defend the defenseless

What the hell kind of idiot parents leave a one month old baby in the car while they go shopping at Home Depot?  In the middle of f$#@*&! summer.  The "I forgot" excuse (sort of like that elderly man and his dog a couple of weeks ago) is NOT APPLICABLE.  How do you forget you have a baby in the car?  How could you be so stupid to think leaving a baby in essentially an oven for almost an hour wouldn't be harmful?  Infants, young children and pets have no defenses against something like that.  It's criminal.  Even if it was an honest mistake (which I seriously doubt), that kind of mistake is fatal and I really hope something is done to protect this babe from further harm.  Reports like this are what make me look in on my son an extra time during the night, and squish him extra hard whenever I get the chance.  I value his life more than my own and would die before letting anything hurt him.  Please be vigilant and never leave your children unattended.  It only takes an instant for something devastating to happen, whether it be choking, drowning, or running out in front of a car, accidents, but devastating nonetheless.  Leaving a child in the hot car while shopping is criminally negligent. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Nope, I have not turned into a bird.  I have decided to give Twitter a go.  Very interesting, never boring, can totally see how it becomes addictive.  Only on for a few hours and already have 14 followers many of whom I don't even know!  We shall see how it goes, for now it's an experiment.  I was very leery of joining Twitter since it's inception, but the masses seem to go for it, may as well make an educated decision.  It surprises me how many people would just add me at the mere mention of one my good friends who happens to be well connected in the social media realm.  I will doubtfully acquire as many followers as her, but it's interesting how it all works and how more and more in this day and age, we are all connected.  BB's, i-media, and even just a lowly laptop like my own can connect the whole world to each other.  20 years ago we could not have predicted this phenomenon, well maybe the technical visionaries, but how many of those are there on this planet anyway? 

Monday, July 11, 2011


J: "Mommy, you look beautiful!"

Sniffsniff. I'm such a sap.  It's not everyday I get called beautiful.  It was unprompted, unsolicited, and means so much to hear that from my baby who I think is so beautiful, inside and out.