Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sex -- there, that got your attention

Ok, so serves me right for tooting the proverbial horn with the last post. Let that be yet another moral lesson to you, my LGO: Smugness never pays! After my intrepid explorer performed the magical feat of five solo steps last week, and no doubt saw just how excited this made mommy and daddy, he decided he didn't really feel like doing it anymore. In fact, whenever we try to 'practice stand' with him now, he often makes his legs go limp under him. Ah, careful what you wish for? Here my long-suffering back was hoping that a walking toddler would mean less lifting therefore less strain on the back. That a walking and soon-running toddler would mean a slimmer toddler therefore less strain on said back. Alas, my little heavyweight seems to be getting heavier still, despite the roughened crawler's knees and the advent of homo milk -- or gay milk as Mr Green likes to call it, if you'll indulge for a moment his childish brand of humour.

To boot, we have as of late seen the return of the blasted Grine, so whether it's more molars cutting or the frustration of not having the words to express himself (I've been working on specificity, i.e. 'up', 'more', and so on, with little result) is up for debate. But the grining really does get me down. I know it's a phase and like all phases, will inherently pass. And of course I love my little rascal, grining and all, but let's face it, toddlerdom has a bad rep for a reason. I will no doubt get through it only to, with my purple heart tacked to my breast, brag along with the scores of veteran parents out there. And you, lucky, lucky you, will get to suffer all the while through my stories of petty hardships and equally petty victories. After that, you'll deserve a medal of your own.

So all things considered, it's high time Mr Green and I got away for some you-and-me-without-the-baby time. Yes, that monumental first parting from our beloved grining son is scheduled for this weekend to commemorate ten years of (mostly) wedded bliss. So it's not a week in Aruba -- see, even good old St Nick's pinching nickels this year -- but three nights in a five-star hotel in picturesque Quebecois mountain country is nothing to grine about, either. We're not saying just where in Quebecois mountain country lest LGO tries to track us down... Suffice to say, we are ready. We are trying hard not to show so much teeth when we smile. Lest we look like Matt Damon. But we are sooo ready for this.

Did I mention the hot tub yet? Did I mention the sleeping in till at least five past seven in the morning and the eating our meals WHENEVER WE DAMN WELL PLEASE, and for that matter getting the Barry White On or having a nap WHENEVER WE DAMN WELL PLEASE? See, now you're smiling now, too. It's contagious, isn't it? Sure, we'll wonder how our baby is doing as we linger over crème brulee or a nice Irish coffee by the fireplace, over breakfast the next morning, and again throughout the three-course lunch that we have time to taste. We might even feel a tad guilty for deserting him with Nanny and Grampy with no concept whatsoever that we will return at all. We will no doubt pine to hear his squeals of delight at bath time and to see his chipmunk-at-the-height-of-autumn cheeks. At some point, being without him may feel physically painful, and we will make far too many 'just checking in' phone calls to my parents, who will chuckle to themselves right after we hang up.

Being away from Little Green One will be hard. But somehow we'll come through it. And when we come back, after four long days of sun and fresh mountain air, I feel sure we'll be better parents for being away. For remembering what it once was like when we were just two.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

These booties are made for walking

Well, well, well. Talk about tortoise and the hare... On the cusp of LGO's birthday (13 months tomorrow), he up and takes five steps solo with no prior warning at all. This from the guy who only started crawling less than a month ago, and prior to that was the baby equivalent of a couch potato. I'll be darned. So he's a late crawler and early-ish walker. Serves me right for being concerned all those weeks when he sat there, like a little turnip, on his mat. I should have known that he was plotting and waiting for just the right moment to dazzle mommy senseless.

No camera to hand to record the big event since we were at Gymboree at the time, and I kid you not, the contempt of the other moms sitting in the circle with their own little turnips was palpable. I wasn't smug; at least I don't think I came off that way. How could I be? I reminded one mom that there was a world of difference between a 9- and 13-month old and I should know. Not sure if she believed me (a few short months ago I wouldn't have believed me) or felt any less contemptuous. But at least I tried. And let's just say -- since I can afford to be a little smug here, in the safe confines of my own blog -- that it felt damn good to wear the other penny loafer for once. To be the mom of that incredibly busy babe, even if the others were weeks if not months his junior.

We pretend all this stuff doesn't matter, of course, we pretend that there is no competitive edge at sing-alongs, that we're all just proud as peas no matter what our Jimmy and Janey do or don't do by a certain age. But oh, let me burst that precious bubble right now. The edge is there alright. Just look at how some of these babies are dressed. I have never in my life worn such coordinated and fetching ensembles (I couldn't even afford the labels). This is a serious game, especially these days where it's career mom vs career mom. They're a fierce bunch, fresh from the boardroom to the playground and bloodthirsty beneath the Stepford veneer. I'm praying Little Green One grows up as klutzy as his madre, and plain sucks at hockey -- not to mention soccer, baseball, basketball, and... Otherwise I'm in for it. I'd be run down by a Land Rover long before the Zamboni came out in between periods. Here's hoping Little Green stays oxen-big and clinging to that 90th percentile throughout puberty so he can protect his little mother when the going gets ugly. He may not have to worry about bullies, but I will.

Not much else to report. We move house for the third time in under a year and as I stuff boxes, I'm worrying (me, worry?!) about how our lad will adapt to the new place. Previously he was so young that I knew, even though it was strange to consider, that he would have zilch recollection of his life in England. And that the transatlantic move and all the ensuing craziness would be all but obliterated from his long-term memory. I truly wish it was for me. But this time around he's showing signs of the dreaded separation anxiety and I wonder whether another uprooting will be more noticeable for him this time around. Obviously he will be surrounded by familiar 'things', albeit he still hasn't taken to a certain toy for comfort. And mommy and daddy will be on hand, as will nanny and grampy, to make the transition as smooth as possible. But I'm sure my own stress will leave a stench like that Coty perfume I bathed in when I was twelve.

At least Mr Green and I are determined -- I mean, the mortgage lenders are determined --that this will be the last stop for quite a while. If I have my way, at least until LGO finishes elementary school. Maybe even high school, whereupon we can kick him out and nab a fancy condo (just kidding, errr....). In the meantime, happy days, right? In the meantime, looks like I have yet more adapting to do. This time as a poor housewife in a rich(er) neighbourhood. Does that mean I can't shop at Walmart and Value Village anymore? Maybe it is a good time to practice looking smug after all, especially when I am the only one who knows how much I didn't pay for that 'new' sweater.