Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I may be small, but you should see the size of my ego

For someone pint-sized, LGO sure is a diva.  The sole purpose of my existence as his mother is to meet his every need and, more aptly, demand. And if I fail to miss his not-so-subtle cues -- a grine or a pointed finger -- the boy throws his toys (often literally) and a hissy fit that would make Naomi Campbell blush.  The trigger could be anything, or nothing at all.  If he's standing, he wants to sit; if he's sitting, he wants to stand. You get the idea...   Even when he doesn't know what the hell he wants, he expects me to.

I don't know about you, but my crystal ball reading skills are a little rusty
Recently, after various meltdowns in various settings, I came up with a theory: that my son wasn't just a diva or a dictator of the grandest order (i.e. a toddler); perhaps, just perhaps, he has genuine proximity issues.  I came to this conclusion after noticing that most melting incidents occurred when other adults or kids invaded LGO's personal space.  I'm not claustrophobic, but I have never liked crowded spaces, either.  And London just about killed me.  Imagine half the population of Canada squeezed onto one teeny little section of one teeny little island, and such an aversion is not surprising, really. 

Could this latest quirk of LGO's be yet another derivative of mommy's personality? 
Lucky kid.  Here's how it goes down.  My son could be at the slide, happily going up and down, up and down, until some other kid decides he too wants to slide. How dare he?  Even if the kid isn't in my son's face and keeps a respectful distance, all hell breaks loose.  Or: some kid will accidentally 'brush' against mine (as in, colliding with a feather) and LGO will absolutely lose it, making out like the kid's given him a lip fatter than Angelina Jolie's. 

And the Oscar goes to...
Needless to say, life with a drama queen can be embarrassing, especially when he's not yet two years old.  When this happens, and the kid's guardian (and sometime the kid, too) fixes us with the most puzzled look, all I want to do is bury my head in the sandbox.  The kid's like: What did I do to upset your brat, lady?  And the guardian's like: Did I miss something here?  No lady/kid, nothing broken; nothing missed. Nothing. Actually. Happened. It's just my kid auditioning for the next reality train wreck. Where did this hypersensitivity come from?  Oh, yeah... 

As for the slide...
When he's on it, as far as LGO's concerned, it's HIS slide.  He may have just about got used to the idea of possessions. Mommy's cereal.  Mommy's cup.  Mommy's coffee, even.  Yet in all other respects, public ownership is all but lost on him as a concept.  If he wants it, then it's HIS.  There's no such thing as ours in his brain.  A toddler's world reveals capitalism at its ugliest. (You didn't, by any chance, have a toddler when you wrote the commie manifesto, Karl? Just curious.)  And yet there is no shortage of play dates here. No shortage of exposure to other children to teach him the fine art of taking turns. 

Share is a four-letter word
And for now, for my little one at least, it's a word that isn't gaining favour in this household. For all of you vets out there, how do I socialize LGO before there's no stadium on either coast big enough to contain his ego?  Is the selfish gene something he'll naturally outgrow?  Or are we doomed to raise an only child ogre to old age?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Top Ten Tips for Tightwad Mamas

Let’s face it, kids are expensive accessories – even more expensive than the 52-inch LCD TV and the Jimmy Choos you and hubs have respectively been lusting after. It’s estimated that within the first year of life alone your darling progeny will cost in the region of $10,000. If you’re anything like me, you’re all for a penny saved and a loonie stretched. After all, every bit adds up, right? And over time that ‘bit’ might just bank roll into a requisite Disney trip or college fund.

Click here to read the top ten penny-pinching tips.  Thanks again to Maria at A Mother World for featuring this article celebrating my chronic stinginess!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An oldie but goodie

Three cheers to Laffy Lady at LOL for featuring a little ditty from the Little Green archive.  If you haven't already done so, check it out here and be sure to check out LOL for your daily giggling needs.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To thrill a mockingbird

OUT! one step. two steps. FEET! go. car. red. colour. wheel. three steps. four. grass. green. LEAF! zoom. sky. plane. cloud. rock. hard. woof. DOG! five steps. six. go. go. go. legs. flower. yelloooo. neeenaaahhh. truck. fire. FENCE! tall. seven steps. eight. squirrel. run. TREE! park. nine steps. ten. go. go. feet. again. AGAIN!

It may not be the age of enlightenment
But it's the age of the exclamation mark, that's for sure.  If we discount for a moment the teething and tantruming and sheer bloody-mindedness, the months before a child's second birthday may just be a golden era. It's hard to remember a time when the world was quite so brand spanking new and wondrous. Yet that is exactly what we see if we care to look through a toddler's eyes.  Explosive colours, magical movement, glorious sound... 

Nothing is dull when you're three feet tall
Every day objects set off fireworks in the littlest pea brains. The world truly is an awesome place. (Take it from me, since the age of 16 or so I use of the term 'awesome' very judiciously.)  Every now and then, though, it's good for us jaded adults to be reminded of this golden fact. To be forced to s-l-o-w down and smell the falling jasmine blossom or the passing garbage truck, even.  No doubt we could all do with reserving the 3-D glasses -- not for Die Hard 14: Sequels Never Die, but for a walk around our own block every now and then.

LGO's enthusiasm for the world is as contagious as cooties
I love strolling alongside him and trying to see what he sees, watching his world grow with each new step, with each new word and concept he adds to his lexicon daily.  There are so many now, I've lost track.  Each word is a eureka moment, nothing short of a Nobel triumph for him.  He's like a miniature Wordsworth or Thoreau, madly in love with the natural world and all its minutiae.  Hearing him copycat the most random expressions -- like capisce, great job, comfy cosy, paddywack, and my new personal favourite: back off, bitches (Gee, I wonder who we have to thank for that one?) -- is as thrilling as it is hilarious. Hearing him connect the dots verbally, mentally -- pointing to cup and rug and fan, and beaming as if he himself patented the stuff -- is one of the great rewards of being a parent.  Rue the day when his lexicon plateaus and his eyes cease to really look, to really see what's out there. 

The day that happens is the day his world starts to shrink
And this shrinkage, to me at least, is one of the greatest tragedies of adulthood. For now, though, Little Green One is my guide and my braille, shining a torch on what's been dim for so long. And for that I'm grateful. His unblinkered 'sight' is one of the greatest gifts of childhood, and a great gift to me, his adoring fan and ever loving mama.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Revenge of the lima bean

There was a time not so long ago when my darling son ate what was put in front of him. With his pincers grip he would pinch whole chunks of spinach and gobble them up like Pop-Eye (minus the squint eye and sailor tattoo). But something changed. I swear there is a conspiracy at work among the under two set. Like little Harry surreptitiously nudged my son in the sandpit one day and whispered, 'Hey, don't you know you're not supposed to eat the green stuff, man?'

Feel free to read the full article and share your own tips for getting fussy eaters to tuck in. Big green thanks to Carrie Anne for featuring this piece in Everything Mom...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Leap of Faith

Thanks to the ever lovely Mama Ash at Everything Mom and Baby for letting me rant and rave about my love of LeapFrog on her fabulous blog. Keep up the good work, Mama A!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mommy brain down the drain

I have this theory about the phenomenon known as mommy brain.  It goes something like this. When my son was conceived, not only did he get half my genetic makeup (lucky, lucky boy), he also stole quite a few of my precious brain cells, too.  Just as Miss Mary Jane does when you spend too much time in the good lady's company.  Little did I know these cells would never replenish themselves. Ever. Again. 

Click here to read the full article, as featured at Oh Baby! Magazine.