Monday, May 30, 2011

Bugaboo: why the new Donkey makes an ass out of you and me

When it comes to decadence and rampant commercialism, I’ll be the first to admit there are a lot of things I don’t get. I’m not a ‘bling’ sort of person. Naturally clumsy, I’ve never been one for heels. So the whole Sex in the City shoe fetish was lost on me. I would sooner spend what little disposable income I have on a family trip or a spa treatment. When it comes to pampering, that’s something I not only understand but wholeheartedly endorse. A timely massage or pedi can do wonders for a mother’s ravaged body and soul.

Needless to say, I’m mystified and more than a little ‘bugged’ by the latest Bugaboo craze. There are cars that go for cheaper than the new stroller, which is the ultimate status symbol of the urban mama and papa.

Click here to read the full article, as featured at A Mother World.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Rhesus monkey

So, being my progeny, LGO was always bound to be a little strange. But my son is weird in his own inimitable fashion.  Not only does he have a real love affair with numbers (he still recites house numbers all the way down the street -- Rain Man, much?), he becomes attached to the strangest things.  Despite much swaying, he's never been one to cuddle with a teddy bear, though he has many.  Ever wishful, I placed Frank the Frog in his crib, only to find him severely beaten by morning.  Then we moved on to George the Monkey.  No black eyes, yet clearly there is no soft spot for the monkey, either.  LGO never seemed to care one way or another who or what slept in his bed... 

Until recently.  It all started when he made the transition to his Big Boy Bed.  He insisted on reading Goodnight Moon as a prelude to nod land.  Books are fine.  Books are great.  Books are a boy's best friend...  Except he felt asleep clutching the hard cover.  Every night since, it's been the same old lang syne.  'Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere, shhhh...'  Progressively, the objects of his affection have grown weirder.  One night he curled up with a plastic block, #9 being a lucky number and all. Maybe he know more about numerology than his dear ole ma.  The other night, it was a calculator, and tonight: an old cordless phone.

In my day it was a knitted white rabbit called 'Rabbie' that ultimately went gray with age and lovin' abuse.  There was also the satiny rim of a favourite blanket.  Soft, secure.  This is what you want in an attachment object, right?  After all, even the Rhesus monkey had the sense to go for the surrogate made of cloth, not wire.  But nope, this just doesn't fly with my LGO.  What does his choice say about him?  Or more worryingly, what does it say about me as his mother?  Am I as comfy as plastic or as soothing as cardboard?  I must remember to ask him in the morning...

What about you?  Is your kid especially clingy with a strange item?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sleep, interrupted

LGO recently made the dreaded transition to the Big Boy Bed.  I'd been putting it off for months due to my don't-fix-it-if-it-ain't-broken mentality.  Further, my son had made no attempt to climb out of his crib-prison, so I wasn't worried for his safety as much as I was for my own sleep! 

As it goes, I was right to be worried.  We'd just returned from a trip to see The Grandparents, which invariably involves a major blip in his routine.  Since his bedtime had already been disrupted beyond recognition, I figured it was as good a time as any to bring down the bars and convert his crib to a toddler bed.

While some tots admittedly make the transition easily, others, well, are -- shall we say -- more resistant to change.  I had been forewarned.  I knew the slightest adjustment in a little kid's world is a huge deal.  I knew it wouldn't be painless.  Still, I hadn't expected it to be quite so painful, either. 

Usually the trouble with the Big Bed is that it gives the inmate ultimate freedom to roam and wander out of bed at will.  In preparation, I made a few modifications; I removed all the toys from LGO's room, except for books.  Needless to say, he freaked out when bedtime rolled around, yet not once did he try to get out of bed.  Hubby and I scratched our Green heads, then banged them on the wall.  What was the problem?  After all, we reassured LGO, it was the exact same bed, minus the bars.

Keeping with the prisoner analogy for a moment, there is this weird phenomenon that occurs with longtime inmates:  when the bars finally come down, all he wants to do is crawl back inside.  Inside comes to represent security.  There is safety, comfort even, in the enclosure.  So with this in mind I switched on LGO's lullaby machine, armed him with a 'cellmate' (an oversized teddy named Pappadum) and his comfort book of the moment, Goodnight Moon.  I found a nightlight and plugged that in, too.

That night, for the first time in weeks, LGO slept through.  Hands down, it was the best Mother's Day gift I could have asked for.  After all, sleep doesn't make you fat, or wilt and die.  But it can make you a nicer person.  Or in my case, a nonviolent person. 

Sleep -- never, ever underrate it.  Never, ever take it for granted.  You never know when, and for how long, you'll lose it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Art attack: will my child be artistic?

I’m no Tiger Mom, but lately I’m beginning to think there is a little bit of Tiger in all of us… We all want the best for our kids. And most of us, whether we admit it or not, have a pretty firm idea of what that best comprises — usually to see some trait or talent from our youth revisited in our children. If you were the Paula Abdul of your heyday, then maybe you harbor secret hopes of raising your own Laker Girl. Or say, for the sake of Canadianism, you have fond memories of cheering from the chilly sidelines of the old Forum, you fantasize about your son being drafted to play for the Habs. 

Click here to read the full article, as featured at A Mother World.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Little Green dancing machine (or this is how we two-year-olds roll)

Most new parents will tell you their social lives died a sudden, tragic death the moment they had children. Not so for me. Ever since my son turned two, he’s been a regular party animal. The life and soul of every play date.

Once upon a time my social calendar looked bleak; I lamented the absence of dinner party invitations and the dearth of little black dress events. But these days I'm a veritable butterfly. And guess what? I have only my two-year-old son to thank.

Click here to read the full article, which won second place in the Voices of Motherhood contest run by Canadian Family and Yummy Mummy Club.