Friday, April 29, 2011

I kissed a girl... and I liked it

In light of all the swooning going on over a certain Wedding -- and even though I personally couldn't give a rat's ass about the bride's dress -- I thought I'd inject some romance into your day, Little Green style... 
I was a mere bystander watching the scene unfold before me: how they stood so close together. Her eyes met his, and he held her there for a moment. Everyone else around them falling away, as if they were all alone in that vast gymnasium. His hands brushed hers, and held hers for a moment... She moved closer, dangerously close. She teased him with her proximity. He waited until he couldn't stand it any longer. 
Sensing what he had to do, what he had been wanting to do all along, he pushed closer. All at once his lips pressed against hers. All that feeling, and it was over in a fleeting second. 
She backed away swiftly, and stared at him. She wiped her mouth with her sleeve. In a fleeting second, his heart shattered. He'd been sloppy. A little heavy on the saliva, maybe.  He had disappointed her. He wasn't what she'd wanted, after all. Had he misunderstood? Or had she led him on? 
One thing was for sure. He was two-and-a-half-years-old, and from now on love would never be the same.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recharging the energizer mummy

I don’t know about you, and while I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I feel like my life post birth has changed much more radically than my husband’s has. And I’m not sure whether that’s because I carried my son in my body for nine-and-a-bit months, or because I never returned to the office after my maternity leave expired… Whatever the reason, there comes a time when the balance needs to be redressed.

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

Friday, April 22, 2011

From the archives...

I’ve never really thought of myself as green, per se. In high school I belonged to a local group called the ‘Green Team’ but only because a couple of my friends were in it, and at the time REM was all the rage.

My parents aren’t exactly eco warriors, although they ‘composted’ and ‘blue boxed’ long before either became a household term. During the brief interlude that is the Canadian Summer, they keep a decent veg patch — nothing posh, just some green and yellow beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers to rival any superstore produce, both in terms of aesthetics and taste. All of this is passé, of course. It was nothing they did consciously, or even conscientiously. It was just the way they lived. There was no sacrifice or smug labour involved.

But things on the green front have moved on considerably. And I fear, for my son’s sake, that I am getting left behind. Put simply: the Little Green Household is not doing enough. It occurred to me the other day as my toddler was helping ‘recycle’ a fistful of flyers. We — and here I also mean the collective me-and-you we — could really be doing more, couldn’t we? The question is, what?

Click here to read the rest of the article, as previously featured on A Mother World.  Happy Earth Day and Easter, everybunny!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Word to your mutha

My son is the unacknowledged king of the simile. He is a poet, and he don't know it. Like a lot of his compadres, he comes up with the most startlingly astute observations when I least expect it. For instance, the other day he was wearing a pair of undersized army pants. (Don't ask: I instantly regretted buying them, although, it has to be said, they do look unbearably cute on him.) He glances down, all thoughtful, points to the motif and says, 'It's like puzzle pieces'. And another time: pointing to a tag on his top. 'It's like a flag'. And so on.

But my ultimate favourite bit of toddler lyricism came earlier this week. Allow me to set the scene: for some reason I always let LGO jump on my bed in the morning. Don't know why -- possibly because I was never allowed to as a kid, and really, it seems like a fairly harmless release right now. Who knows, maybe I'll think differently when he's 12 and cracks the box spring... Anyway, this whole bed-jumping routine also serves one incredibly vital purpose: it allows me to get dressed and ready. So the other day he pauses mid-jump and spies a white, modestly padded bra on the bed. Without a moment's hesitation, he holds the cup and declares, 'It's like an igloo'. Why, yes, I thought, it is exactly like an igloo -- a very, very small igloo. Still, leaves me wondering whether it's too early to sign him up to his first creative writing workshop. Bet he'd blow away all those Emo undergrads.

On occasion, however, his powers of perception -- though right on the money -- aren't quite so welcome. The truth hurts. And trust me, no one does truth like a preschooler. Because preschoolers haven't yet got that inner censorship button. In other words, they don't yet know how to lie, or grasp the social function that lying sometimes serves. That particular talent comes with age and years of experience; just ask anyone in public office... And anyway, we've all heard the stories -- the kid in the mall who practically shouts, 'Hey, mommy, that lady over there is really fat!' or 'Hey, mommy, why doesn't that man have any hair on his head?' Well, I guess the honesty-at-all-costs game starts at home.
Recently, my son has discovered the art of playing pretend. Needless to say, we never know who's going to show up at the dinner table each night. Will it be a rooster, a cat, or a sheep? Or, as was the case the other evening, will the anthropomorphic target become yours truly? 'Mommy,' he declares upon seeing me wolf down a second helping, 'is being like a pig...' Errr, honesty? From where I'm sitting: not always the best policy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

S.O.S. S.V.P.

If you're anything like me, help is a four-letter word.  Don't worry, I'm here to... er, help.  What is it about today's moms, anyway?  Why is it that most of us would gladly undergo root canal than ask for a hand with our domestic load?  It seems to me the equivalent of male bravado to shoulder more than we can at any given time, to pretend we can cope when we clearly can't, and like the proud mare, to never, ever admit when we feel overburdened, even when we reach the point of collapse. 

Asking for help wasn't my strong suit when my son was first born.  And judging by last week, it's still something of a sore point.  First, understand that this past winter has kicked my butt like Chu Yer Own Fat, and then kicked me again while I was already down.  The other day, instead of saying mea culpa to my beaten body, I did what I do best:  ignored its cries and plodded on with the 101 tasks I had to do before shut-eye time.  I forced myself to engage in some face time with the laptop.  I drank (yet another) cup of coffee, drugging myself against reality. 

Then, just as my preschooler woke up from his nap, my body lashed out.  I literally couldn't muster the wherewithal to attend to him.  In desperation, I called my next-door neighbour, a busy but for the grace of God retired woman.  Luckily for me, she was at home and available to rescue me from the fruit of my own doing. She came over and duly sat with my son for an hour while I crawled into bed and closed my eyes.  Bliss.  See, I told myself, that wasn't so hard, was it?  Oh, but it was. Even as I lay there, inert and ughhhh, some remote part of me felt ashamed to have called her.  Ashamed to have got myself to the point where I needed to call her. 

Somehow I had become a helpless and pathetic damsel up in her tower.  Not at all the hyper organized, control-is-my-middle-name ubermom that usually gets projected to the rest of the world.  I felt weak, and yet at the time I was so conked out I couldn't stop myself from reaching out and begging for assistance.  No doubt I'll cringe (and blog) over the Lose Face episode later, I told myself, when I feel well enough to tend to my bruised pride.

How about you?  Have you ever 'cracked' and asked for help.  When and what drove you to such a ghastly act of dependency?