It’s Not All Mary Poppins

I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay…

Here we have a small boy.

tutu1

A small boy in his FIRE CHIEF shirt, who loves to do all manner of small boy things: running, jumping, climbing, shrieking, hugging soft toys, baking cookies (and eating the batter!!), picking his nose (and eating the… oh, never mind), building towers to knock them down — the louder the crash the better!! — driving trucks, throwing balls, shovelling snow, sliding down hills, bombing around the house on the skut bike, swinging sticks perilously close to other children’s eyes, discussing poo, making loud and meaningless sounds…

And of course, all these things are so much more fun if you do them…
tutu2

…while wearing your tutu.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | individuality, Mischief, the cuteness!, Timmy | , , , | 12 Comments

Knee-deep in Guts

We have in our skulls “two minds working semi-independently of each other”, one a thinker, one a reactor. System One and System Two, or, for convenience, “Head” and “Gut”.

So claims Dan Gardner in his book RISK: The Science and Politics of Fear, which I received for my birthday. Given how I feel about risk and risk-taking, I expect to thoroughly enjoy this book.

“Head” and “Gut” got me thinking — about my job, of course. We all start out 100% gut. Newborn infants have no Head yet; they are pre-rational. Everything they do is done by instinct and reaction. There is no considered response. This is as it should be, instinct (and that piercing wail!) helping this helpless little critter survive into the next hour, the next day.

Gut is essential for survival. It tells us what’s a danger, it tells us what to avoid, it drives us to seek out what we need. And it does this fast. When in the path of a speeding car, you don’t need to know the make, year, or its likely carbon footprint. You need to take instant action. Your Gut response to something is instantaneous. Reasoned? Not at all. Effective? Very. We all start out as completely Gut, and we never lose it, because we need it.

Eventually, however, Head starts to become a player, too. Head, however, is much slower than Gut, so it takes some experience and maturity to apply it. Eventually we learn (or should!) to take advantage of what Stephen Covey neatly calls that small space between stimulus and response, and respond rather than merely react.

Well. I hope we do. For my part, at its most basic, my profession comes down to the ongoing task of attempting to install some Head-response into the seething mass of little Gut-people who fill my home daily.

A toddler is frustrated. He shrieks. Or throws something. Or wallops someone. Because Gut is fast. Then I intervene, with Head admonitions to “use your words”, “hands are for hugging”, because what I am attempting to do is to have these children pause before reacting, to teach them how to respond out of Head instead of, or in addition to, Gut.

It’s an interesting perspective on my job. And now, I must go. There are raised voices, and I think some Gut is about to bust out over there. This Head needs to intervene.

February 17, 2009 Posted by | aggression, books, Canada, health and safety, power struggle, socializing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Family Day!

A couple of years ago, the provincial government here instituted a holiday — “Family Day“, to be celebrated on the third Monday in February.

This year, it is today. My birthday! Schools are closed, so my kids are home for the day, which is always nice.

And I am working. Boooo! I have no one to blame but myself, either. I intended to put it in the contracts for this year, and forgot. Though large segments do have the day off, it’s not yet universal for all employees throughout the province. I guess it has to be negotiated into labour contracts, too, as they come up for renewal.

However. A day off in February sure would be nice. It’s a long, cold, dreary haul from Christmas to March Break. It would have been doubly nice this year, it being my birthday and all. (Booooo. Oh, I already whined about said that already, didn’t I?)

My husband just came downstairs. “I just heard on the radio that all the daycare centres in the city are closed today.”

Well. That does it. I’m amending the contract template right now!

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Canada, holidays | , , | 12 Comments

The Baby Meme, Secondborn!

The original meme was for all you mothers out there about your firstborn. This one is for me, about my second.

1. WAS YOUR SECOND PREGNANCY PLANNED?
Very much.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
Yes.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
Unmitigated delight.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
No

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?
27

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
Home pregnancy test.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
My then-husband, father of the child

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?
No

9. DUE DATE?
April 8

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?
No, thank GOD. After my first pregnancy, with its 24-hour-a-day “morning” sickness for the first three months, this was something I greatly feared. I am quite sure this was because I did NOT take iron supplements in the first trimester with the second pregnancy. Phew.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
Nothing in particular.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
All those people who said, “Hoping for a BOY this time??”, as if the only reason I’d get pregnant a second time was because I was somehow dissatisfied with the results of my first.

13. WHAT WAS YOUR SECOND CHILD’S SEX?
Male

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
Absolutely not. I wanted a healthy child. Period.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN?
Oh, it was a long time ago… 35, I think.

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
No

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
No shower, no surprise. Or not.

18.DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
No.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Scarborough Grace, Ontario

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
87.
Minutes.
I kid you not.
From first contraction to them plopping the baby on my belly, EIGHTY-SEVEN MINUTES. That, my friends, is what is called a “precipitous birth”.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?
The father.

23. WAS IT VAGINAL OR C-SECTION?
Vaginal.

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
No.

25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
4400 grams … NINE POUNDS, TEN OUNCES in EIGHTY-SEVEN MINUTES.
(And not a single rip or tear. “You have very elastic tissue” said my GP. “You get the damndest compliments in a hospital” I riposted.)

26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN?
April 13, five days late.

27. WHAT DID YOU NAME YOUR CHILD?
Adam.

28. HOW OLD IS YOUR SECOND-BORN TODAY?
19. He’ll be 20 in April!
Years, that is.

February 14, 2009 Posted by | memes and quizzes, my kids, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

MIA, that’s me

Sorry I’ve been absent this week. I did, however, blog here, so if you’re missing your fix, hop over and have a read.

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Mid-Century Modern Moms, my kids, peer pressure | Leave a comment

Perspective

From time to time I feel a smidge guilty about the amount of holiday time (paid!) I get, or the number of stats I take, or my late fees. Do I ask too much? Do I take advantage? Mostly I don’t think so, but I’d hate to think I was causing someone inconvenience or costing them money they can ill afford in hiring back-up care when they’re already paying for the space with me.

1120419_airplane_red_sunset

And then I think… last year, two of my tots went to Cuba for ten days. One of these same tots has also been to the west coast a couple of times, and England once. One family went to The Netherlands. This week, a different one of the tots is in Mexico, and over March break yet another family is going to Costa Rica. There have been trips to Disneyland, to the east coast, the west coast, spontaneous weekends away in balmy southern states…

Last year, I went to Portland for a long weekend. And it was lovely, really lovely, in a pretty, pastoral, mist-on-the-water, rosy-sunset way.

518487_relic

But it ain’t Mexico. Or Costa Rica. Or The Netherlands. Or England. (Or, thank GOD, Disneyland. Bleah.)

So. Guilt?

Not so much.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | holidays, the dark side | , | 2 Comments

The Baby Meme

This was taken from a Facebook friend, who, as far as I know, does not have a blog that I could link to. It’s about your firstborn, but you know what? I have three children, each equally precious to me. I’m going to to this on successive weeks about each of them.

This for all you mothers out there about your firstborn. Just copy/paste and write a new note.

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED?
Very much.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
Yes.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
Unmitigated delight.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
No

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?
24

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
Home pregnancy test.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
My then-husband, father of the child

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?
No

9. DUE DATE?
December 15

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?
Oh, god, did I have morning sickness. I went to bed feeling sick, I woke up feeling sick. If I woke in the night to pee, I felt sick. For four solid months. Bleah. I only actually threw up twice. Which is better than vomitting as often as I felt like it, but only marginally…

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
Anything acidic: grapefruit, lemons, HOT and sour soup, and, yes, dill pickles.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
My mother’s reaction to my happy news. First, she thought I was talking about my sister’s pregnancy (which I didn’t yet know about), and then, when she realized that BOTH her daughters would be giving birth to their first children within a month of each other: “I’m too young to be a grandmother”, followed by “Don’t expect me to babysit.” I’ve always gotten on well with my mother, but that was not one of the shining moments of our relationship.

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD’S SEX?
Female

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
Absolutely not. I wanted a healthy child. Period.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN?
Oh, it was a long time ago… 28, I think.

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
Yes.

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
I knew. It was the only way to make sure I showed up!

18.DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
No.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
New York state.

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
Sixteen.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?
The father.

23. WAS IT VAGINAL OR C-SECTION?
Vaginal.

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
No.

25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
7 lbs, 14 oz.

26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN?
December 7 eight days early, bless her little heart.

27. WHAT DID YOU NAME YOUR CHILD?
Haley Marie. Her dad had picked Jennifer, and I had ostensibly agreed, though not without some reluctance, knowing that his sister wanted that name for her second child. But when that child appeared and they asked me what we’d be naming her, me, high on endorphins and euphoria, blurted out “HALEY!!!!!” (She just looked like a ‘Haley’ to me.)

And Haley she is. 🙂

28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRSTBORN TODAY?
23.
Years, that is.

February 7, 2009 Posted by | memes and quizzes, my kids | 3 Comments

Clothes make the Man

… which is why it’s important to shop on the correct side of the store.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Mid-Century Modern Moms, my kids, Ottawa | , , , , | Leave a comment

Have dress, WILL wed

bride1“Let’s get married, Timmy!”
“I don’t want to get married, Anna.”
“I have my wedding dress, see?”
“Oh, it is white and it has flowers on it.”
“Yes, it is my wedding dress. Let’s get married!”
“I don’t want to get married.”
“Let’s have a dance, Timmy.”
“Okay.”
“We can have a dance, because we are gettiing married.”
“But I don’t want to get married!”
“Mary, we are getting married!”

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Anna, power struggle, Timmy | , , | 3 Comments

It’s a good thing, right?

“Anna. Don’t you jump on my couch, young lady!”

“Hey, Emily! I’m a young lady!!

She’s sincerely happy about that. She’s also still jumping on the couch…

February 5, 2009 Posted by | Anna, the cuteness! | 4 Comments