It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Not What You Think – A Public Service Announcement

Late last week, Ki-woon had a diaper rash. The best cure for that, of course, is air and sunlight, so we were letting the boy run bare. (No carpets in this house!) Emma watched his retreating bare butt with a grin that suddenly turned to a worried frown. “Mum? Mum, look at his bum! I think they’ve been beating him!”

I hadn’t taken notice, because I knew what I was seeing. Emma’s only thirteen, however, and has seen mostly only Caucasian babies. She made me wonder how many innocent Oriental and Black families have been unjustly accused of abuse when a well-intentioned but sheltered Caucasian sees Mongolian Spots for the first time?

(If you’re unfamiliar with the term, check the link.)

© 2006, Mary P

July 30, 2006 Posted by | health and safety | 28 Comments

THAT’LL learn ya…

Seems this is a Bad, Bad Baby.

Or maybe Baby has been on a helluva bender. Is this the morning after the night before for Debauched Baby?

Either that, or she’s been getting some seriously – seriously! – misdirected potty training.

© 2006, Mary P

July 28, 2006 Posted by | random and odd | 13 Comments


Ki-woon loves to be fed. Loves, loves, loves it! Well, loves what he wants to eat. Not so enamoured of the peas and carrots we had with lunch yesterday. Today, though, he’s a-trembling with glee at the approach of the bowl full of melon chunks that is this morning’s snack. His chubby arms outstretched, his legs kicking against the footrest of the high chair. “Bring them on, Mary!!” If he weren’t strapped down, he’d surely vibrate right out of the high chair.

The first bowl vanishes, whoosh. Did he even chew? Don’t think so.

The second bowl is greeted with equal enthusiasm. Vanishes with equal dispatch. The third bowl approaches, the boy revs up yet again – arms, legs fluttering, child quivering in anticipation. It’s a shame the way we starve the boy. Third bowl is placed on the tray of the chair amid screeches of enthusiasm that rend the air. And the eardrums.

But wait. Seems that these melon chunks are defective. Either that or Ki-woon’s evil twin has suddenly possessed his body.

A grandiose swoop of two dimpled hands. “NO! No, no, NOOO!” Melons? How could you, Mary?? The bowl bounces across the room. Melon chunks scatter over the dining room floor. Think maybe he’s done now? It’s subtle, I know, but I am a professional, well able to pick up on a child’s indirect cues.

Mary instructs as she washes his hands and face. “If you’re done, say so. Food stays ON the tray. ON the tray.” Boy is set down to play while Mary tackles the high chair with the damp cloth. (Yes, the same cloth. I cleaned the boy with it first. Hush yourselves.)

High chair efficiently swabbed, I turn to get the broom and dustpan for the melon debris and trip over Ki-woon, who is half under the dining room table. Three guesses as to what he’s doing down there…

Babies. Contrary little critters.

© 2006, Mary P

July 27, 2006 Posted by | behavioural stuff, food, quirks and quirkiness | 17 Comments

Time is a Slippery Concept

“Look at that sky!” Haley stares up at the clouds, thick and oppressive, promising a thunderstorm early in the afternoon.

“I guess we’ll be staying in after lunch.” I scoop some broccoli into each bright plastic bowl as Haley flicks on the dining room lights.

“My daddy come soon.” Zach announces.

“Well, not soon, honey.” Dad will be here in about four hours. In toddler-speak, that is a long time. “First we will finish lunch, then we will read some stories, then it’s nap-time. After nap-time, daddy will come.” We measure time by tangibles around here.

Zach hears me out politely. “My daddy comin’ soon!”

“Nap-time first, sweets.”

Now Zach is puzzled. “I be at my house in my bed inna dark.”

“Well, yes, but night time isn’t for a while yet.”

His puzzlement deepens, enriched by a tinge of exasperation. “Is dark NOW! My daddy come NOW!”

Ahhhh! The penny drops. What does he know of the hands on the clock? It’s twilight! Daddy come NOW!!

© 2006, Mary P

July 26, 2006 Posted by | Developmental stuff, socializing, Zach | 16 Comments

In the Eye of the Beholder

Zach holds a scrap of paper proudly aloft. “Look what I made!”

I examine it. “Ooo, a little black scribble. I bet it’s an airplane!” Because this is Zach, after all.

“Yeah! A airp’ane!” His smile stretches past his ears, then he hops down from the table.

“I can’t wanna draw any more, Mary.”

Because when you’ve hit perfection, there is no need to strive further.

© 2006, Mary P

July 25, 2006 Posted by | the cuteness!, Zach | 7 Comments

My “Free” Book – updated

Like a few of you, I received an email from Simon and Schuster last month offering me a free book. Of course they were hoping that I’d review it on my blog, thus providing free, grassroots advertising for the price of a book. Not a bad marketing strategy.

“Sure,” I said. “Send me the book.”

Glamorous Disasters arrived a week or so later. I ended up paying almost ten dollars in an “administrative fee”, but that wasn’t Simon and Schuster’s fault. It’s a Canada Customs thing, so I paid up, with only minor annoyance.

Today! Today I receive in INVOICE from DHL Express, the company that brought the book to my door. An invoice for – brace yourselves – $73.39.

SEVENTY-THREE DOLLARS? With the nine and change previous fee, my “free” book is now costing me EIGHTY-THREE DOLLARS.

I sent a terse but pointed email to Simon and Schuster.

Eighty-three dollars and thirty-nine cents.
Eighty-three dollars and thirty-nine cents.

For a “free” book.


And Glamorous Disasters?

It’s a stupid book.

This just in: I received an email from S&S, asking me to fax the letter and invoice to a certain number, and they would take care of it. Apology offered — which of course I accepted!

© 2006, Mary P

July 24, 2006 Posted by | books | 19 Comments

Mary Wants… (annotated)

I’ve seen this meme here and there, and decided it was good for an “I don’t FEEL like posting” Friday. That’d be today. You Google your name plus “wants” and write down the first ten. Being the rebellious little rules-were-meant-to-be-broken woman I am, these are not my first ten. These are the ones I liked best. Here we go…

Mary wants…

…to know why she was sent there. (Don’t we all?)

…every woman to feel herself to be like a star!! (and every woman to know herself to spika the English.)

…Stefan to help her escape the living death she endures as Gahrtorie’s slave.

(My savvy 13-year-old daughter says, “Stefan to help her escape? Can’t she do it herself?”

HA! I have succeeded as a mother!

Can I quit now, and go to bed?



…two things at the same time: hunger and fulfilment. (Hand me that bag of Miss Vicki’s Salt and Vinegar potato chips, and we’ll kill both those birds with the one stone.)

…to play with me (This would be my job description, uh-huh.)

…to put him back in his box (I’m trying, I’m trying.)

…a teaching position (I have one. It’s what I do.)

…to go to Denmark and study journalism (I do? Why Denmark? Would I have to study in Danish? I am so screwed.)

…a career in business so she can make a lot of money (Oh, yeah! A lot of money! Ummm… Career in business? Oh. Never mind.)

…to buy some hair barrettes that cost $3 each (Nope. The Dollar Store, six for $1.50)

…to have him, be him, experience him (My Sweetie is a happy man. Wait. “BE” him? This woman is all about interdependent autonomy. Ick.)

…wants life to be easy and simple (Yes. Yes, I do. Is that too much to ask?)

…she wants to move on to her next romantic encounter (My Sweetie is a nervous man.)

© 2006, Mary P

July 21, 2006 Posted by | memes and quizzes | 11 Comments

The Plight of the 2-year-old

Ki-woon is not, in fact, two. Not even close, a mere sixteen months, but oh, the boy is verbal! When he’s not talking, he’s babbling. His vocabulary includes, “shzz”, “jiss”, “momma”, “dada”, “moe”, “dahn”, “ess”, “no”, “ta-ta”, and “caca”, among many others.

He is tremendously easy-going, preferring to laugh over any other response almost every time.

Yesterday, though, we saw what might be the dawning of toddler negativism. The children were at the coffee shop. Haley approached with a tray of drinks and muffins. Ki-woon, an enthusiastic eater, greeted the approach of the tray with evident delight. Hands started flapping, legs kicking, little grunts puffing from those oh-so-fat cheeks. “Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!”

Haley smiles down at him. “Heya, Ki-woon! Do you want a muffin?”

“Ah!AH!” Flap, kick, wiggle. “Ah! Ah! NO!”

It’s hard-wired in, I tell ya. The almost-two, the two, they say “no” because they must. Haley, knowing this, is unperturbed by the disconnect between verbal and physical communication. She knows which to believe.

“Oh, good. Here you go!” Hands him a piece of muffin.

It vanishes in seconds.

© 2006, Mary P

July 20, 2006 Posted by | behavioural stuff, Developmental stuff, my kids | 17 Comments

Choices, choices

Haley is here for the morning.

“Hey, Zach,” she consults with the boy. “What would you like to do today?”

Zach answers with a beaming smile.

“Would you like to… go to the park?”


“Would you like to.. go to the coffee shop and have a treat?”


“Would you like to… go to the museum on the bus?”


“Well, Zach. It seems you’re open to anything. But can you think of something you’d really like to do?”


“What’s that?”

“Go on an AIRPLANE RIDE!!!” Accompanied by much clapping and jumping up and down. Haley considers this carefully.

“How about the park, then?”


© 2006, Mary P

July 19, 2006 Posted by | outings, the cuteness!, the things they say!, Zach | 11 Comments

Remember When?

I figure these things would last maybe forty minutes out front today.
(The snow piles, not the kids. Kids in snowsuits would last even less!)

It hit 44C yesterday (110F). Phew.

© 2006, Mary P

July 18, 2006 Posted by | commemoration, Ottawa | 11 Comments