Friday, June 27, 2008

A natural beauty

T walks through the mall, past the kiosks. Young lady at cosmetics counter walks up to T and inquires: "Are you wearing make-up, or are you just a natural beauty?"

T is cautious. While not an ugly duckling, T is also not exceptionally beautiful. Particularly not at her current weight. Young lady is clearly trying to sell her something.

T replies: "I don't really wear make-up". And T then attempts a polite get-away. Young lady subtlely blocks T's path.

Young lady continues her pitch: "Well then, can I show you something?" She attempts to get T closer to kiosk.

Clearly, she thinks that she can get T to go over and sit in the kiosk's makeover chair. Clearly, she thinks that T can be persuaded to purchase make-up. Clearly, she is on commission.

Clearly, she is incorrect. Her powers of observation have failed her. She is looking at T's face, but she is not looking anywhere else. She does not know her audience.

T stands before her, holding the hand of a 3-year old who really wants to show T all of the wonders that he has seen in the mall. The happy and sad lady. The whale. The whale's tale. The fountains. And the games. Oooooh, the games. T's son is pulling on her hand. "Mommy, come!" he says forcefully, while mere inches away T's husband stands, slowly pushing an infant in a baby stroller.

T does not really wear make-up. It is not because she is a "natural beauty". She is simply too tired and busy to worry about make-up. So she does not wear it. T is a wife, mom, student, employee ... T wears a lot of hats and has to conserve time wherever possible. T has a clear complexion, and she doesn't really need a lot of make-up. So no make-up equals good time savings. It just makes sense.

But even if T wore make-up. Even if T loved make-up. Even if T had all the time in the world, and a poor complexion, and really needed to know how to apply make-up. Even if T really wanted to sit in young lady's kiosk chair and learn all the wonders that are proper make-up application. Even then. T is with her family. And she is obviously watching over a young child who may wander off if she takes her eyes off of him.

In short, T is busy with tasks far more important than learning all about make-up application, and there is nothing that young lady can do to change any of it.

T has neither the time nor the ability to sit in young lady's kiosk chair and accept a makeover at this point in time. And young lady really should have observed that.

T politely excuses herself and continues to walk with her family. And T's husband tells her that she does not need make-up anyway, since she is indeed a natural beauty.

T loves her husband, because he sincerely believes what he has said. He loves T. And he is not on commission.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What we have here is a failure to communicate

T: Which shirt do you want to wear?
J: Hippo Explorer!
T: Hippo Explorer is dirty. Pick a shirt from the drawer.
J: Hippo!


T: Which pants do you want to wear?
J: No!
T: You need pants. These ones?
J: No! No pants!
T: Ok. Do you want shorts instead?
J: Yes. Shorts.
T: Ok. These ones?
J: No.
T: Which ones?
J: Ummm ... I want these ones.
T: Those are pants.
J: Yeah. I want pants.


T: Don't bang the swing.
J: How come?
T: Because N is sleeping in the swing.
J: But I'm just hammering.
T: Don't hammer the swing!
J: How come?
T: Because N is sleeping there!!
J: But I need to hammer.
T: Not the swing!!
J: How come?


J: Look! Rocks!
T: Rocks are outdoor toys, J.
J: Oh.
T: Why are they inside, J?
J: I don't know.
T: Rocks are outdoor toys. Put them outside, J.
J: I'm gonna put them in my school bus.
T: Then your school bus will be an outdoor toy, too.
J: I'm gonna put them in my school bus.
T: They go outside, J.
J: I'm gonna put them in my school bus.
T: Put them outside, J.
J: I'm gonna put them in my school bus.
T: I told you to put them outside; now, put them outside!
J: I'm gonna put them in my school bus.
T: If you put them in your school bus, I'll put the whole bus outside.
J: There! They're in my school bus.
T: I'm putting your school bus outside.
J: How come?


J: I'm sick!
T: Yes, I know.
J: I got a runny nose.
T: Yes, you do. Let me wipe it for you.
J: Can I play outside?
T: No, J. You're sick.
J: But I'm not sick.


T: Do you need to pee?
J: No.
T: Tell me if you need to pee, so you can go in the potty.
J: Okay.
T: Are you sure you don't need to pee?
J: I don't need to.
T: You're sure?
J: I'm sure.
T: Ok. As long as you're sure.
J: I peed all over the couch!

(Note: At least it's the leather couch, so it just wipes right off.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You can't always get what you want - Part II

I've been trying to figure out N's fluctuating moods over the past couple of days. Sunday, he slept for most of the day and barely ate anything at all, which was somewhat uncharacteristic. Yesterday, he wouldn't sleep at all. He insisted on constant feedings and cuddles, and he screamed if he was ever put down, which was also uncharacteristic. Last night, it became apparent that N had come down with a bad cold. At least we know why he's been so testy lately.

Yesterday, J was very well-behaved, eating problems notwithstanding. Potty training went well. He watched cartoons and played happily. He napped for a while. Life was good in J's world.

It's a shame the two kids can't both have a good day at the same time. But hopefully, that will come in time.


Yesterday, at lunch:

T: What do you want for lunch?
J: I don't want lunch.
T: You have to have lunch. Do you want ham?
J: No.
T: Well, then what do you want?
J: Nothing.
T: You can have ham, peanut butter, jam, banana, or cheese. What do you want?
J: Ummmm ... peanut butter and jam.

So I make J a PB&J sandwich. I cut it into quarters, and I give him two pieces. He won't eat more than half a sandwich.

J: Can I have some milk?
T: Eat this piece of sandwich; then you can have some milk.

J goofs around a lot, not eating, and testing his boundaries. When Mommy says "Sit on your chair", does she really mean it? What if I stand beside the chair? What if I put one foot on the chair support? Ok, well then, what if I put both feet on the chair support and balance precariously? WHAM! J falls off the chair support and smacks his chin on the table, biting his tongue. J's tongue is bleeding. I crush some ice for him to suck on. J feels better.

J: Can I have more ice?
T: No. Eat some sandwich.

And in the background, N screams.

J continues to goof around. Can he sit in my lap? No. Can I feed him like a baby? No. Ordinarily, I might have done either of these. But N is still screaming, and my hands are full dealing with that issue.

I become desperate. I tell J that, if he finishes his lunch, has an afternoon nap, and sits on the potty before and after naptime, I will make him a snowcone for afternoon snack. J is excited about the snowcone. I tell J that he can pick a flavour. We have orange (orange), cherry (red), or blue raspberry lemonade (blue). J would like ... green!

T: We don't have green.
J: Brown?
T: We don't have brown, J. Orange, red, or blue?
J: Orange!

I agree. I even take the orange mix out of the pantry and put it on the counter, so that J can see it.

Finally, J begins to eat. He eats one quarter of sandwich. But it has taken him 45 minutes to do this. He is rewarded with a glass of milk. He drinks the milk. He will not touch the other quarter of sandwich.

N continues to scream.

I become frustrated. I set the oven-timer for 10 minutes. I tell J that he has 10 minutes to finish his other quarter of sandwich. When the oven-timer goes off, lunch is over. And I leave the kitchen to try and console N in the living room.

J follows. He periodically goes back to check on his sandwich, but he does not eat it. When instructed to do so, he sits back at the kitchen table. But he does not eat.

Once N is reasonably calm again, I return to the kitchen. There are 2.5 minutes left on the oven timer. The quarter sandwich is completely whole. With considerable prompting and pleading, J has four bites of his second piece of sandwich before the timer goes off. I decide that this is probably good enough; I just give up in despair. It's been an hour, for crying out loud!

I take J up for potty and naptime. The process takes time. J dawdles. N lies in his bassinet and screams. J does not care that his baby brother is in distress. He continues to dawdle. But eventually, he settles. Promises of an orange snowcone continue to be effective.

While J has his nap, I feed N a lot. N squawks and snuggles, and refuses to settle. Finally, N has a quiet moment. And this is when J awakes and wants to get up. I get J. J sits on the potty, but only because I remind him that he will have his snowcone when he is done.

We come downstairs, and I begin to make J his snowcone. I remind him of his flavour choices. J still wants orange. Is he sure? Yes.

I make J his orange snowcone. I make one for me too, so that we can have snack together. We sit down together with our snowcones. I begin to eat my snowcone. J does not eat his. He plays with it instead. And after a period of time:

J: I don't want it. Can I have a red one instead?

I will not make snowcones in a variety of flavours!! If you eat the orange one, I'll make you a red one later.

J does not eat his snowcone. Instead, he runs into the living room and wakes up N. N returns to screaming.


J asks for a hamburger for dinner. We make hamburgers. J eats his hamburger. (Score!) He won't eat the bun, but that is not unusual for J. We try, but we never really expect it.

J wants to go for a walk after dinner. We go for a walk with the boys. J wants to go and see the fountain and waterfall in the adjacent neighbourhood. So that is where we go. We return to the house.

J: Can we go to the playground?
H: It's too late to go to the playground.
J: Can we go to the playground?
H: No. It's too late.
J: Can we go to the playground?
H: Not tonight. When we go for our walk tomorrow night, we can go to the playground.
J: Can we go to the playground?
H: We can go tomorrow night!
J: No! Today!!
H: No! It's too late!!
J: I want a hotdog!!!


Some days, it takes a lot of effort to keep from uttering expletives in front of our impressionable toddler.


It was a rough night. N needed to be held upright and have his nose frequently suctioned. He is still sick and out of sorts. I got very little sleep. Fortunately, both H & J managed to sleep through it all. H has a sore throat this morning. I hope he manages to fight this off. J still appears okay. I have no symptoms yet. But I don't want to take a sick N out anywhere, for fear that he may get sicker. I have cancelled plans and appointments for today.

We will have a pleasant day in instead. I hope N feels better soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You can't always get what you want

Tonight, we got to listen to J whine "I want a hotdog" for 45 minutes.

We had no hotdogs. We were having leftover chicken pasta for dinner tonight. But J apparently really wanted a hotdog, and nothing else would do.

J is so tough to feed that we grab anything that he'll eat. After he'd eaten a predetermined amount of chicken pasta, we agreed that we would get him a hotdog. We loaded him into the car and headed to Dairy Queen, whines of "I want a hotdog" emanating from the backseat.

As we approached the DQ, the whines changed.

J: Can I have a cookie?
H: You wanted a hotdog.
J: Can I have a cookie?
H: Don't you want a hotdog?
J: No. I want a cookie.
H: Do you still want a hotdog?
J: No. I want a cookie.
H: But you've been asking for a hotdog for 45 minutes!
J: I don't want a hotdog. Cookie!

So I give J the monster cookie he is looking for. We continue on to the DQ, since we're halfway there anyway. We get J a glass of milk, and we continue on our way. J eats his cookie and drinks his milk.

About a quarter of the cookie is now gone, when we hear whining from the backseat:

J: I want a hotdog.
H: No. We've left the DQ. You have a cookie. Eat that.
J: I don't want my cookie. Can I have a hotdog?
H: No.

J breaks down in tears.


We return home. We ready J for bed. J likes to have a glass of milk in the kitchen before bed. It's part of his nighttime routine. J asks for his glass of milk. We oblige. But J does not finish his milk.

J gets his stories and lullabies, and he goes to bed. Within minutes:

J: I didn't finish my milk.
H: No, you didn't. Go to sleep, J.
J: Can I have my milk now?
H: No, J. I've dumped it down the drain.

J breaks down in tears.


We are not finding this stage to be endearing at all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I should have seen it coming ...

... but I didn't.

We went out and bought special "big boy" underwear for J. We bought Spiderman and Hot Wheels underwear. J loves Spiderman. So it stood to reason that J would not want to get his new Spiderman underwear wet. We thought it would help with potty training.

J is protesting potty training with a vengeance. It is getting under my skin more than it probably should.

Today, I put J's new Spiderman underwear on him. I explained to him that he needed to tell me if he needed to go potty and that he couldn't just go. I told him that if he didn't go to the potty, he would get Spiderman wet or dirty. He didn't want to get Spiderman wet or dirty, did he?

J agreed that he did not want to get Spiderman wet or dirty.

J: "Spiderman would be sad if I peed on him?"

I agreed that Spiderman probably would be sad about that. J promised that he would tell me if he needed to go potty. He would not get Spiderman wet or dirty.

And then, he promptly and completely intentionally peed in his pants. Why did he do it, you may ask? Because he wanted to see if the Spiderman faces on his new underwear would change to sad faces if they got wet.

I should have seen it coming.


It was a bad day. N was grumpy and didn't sleep well last night. The kids were on conflicting schedules, so I couldn't function or rest. So I was exhausted and short on patience. J was incredibly rebellious and uncooperative.

J insisted on being treated like a baby. He flatly refused to cooperate with potty training. He wouldn't eat, and he made me feed him. He actually dissected a granola bar, put the different parts into different piles, and then ate only the nuts.

At one point, a phone solicitor received the brunt of my rage. He phoned just as I was getting a breather and bugged me, in order to ask me how often I vacation. He is fortunate that he was at the other end of a phone line, or I might have become physically violent.

As a topper, I received a call from the doc. The CT scan on my kidneys is back, and it reveals that both kidneys are peppered with a bunch of small stones. I see a urologist in October to get assessed. In the meantime, I wait for the stones to pass on their own. And I follow a prescribed regime to try and encourage this. Passing stones hurts just like labour, so this should be a lot of fun.


Friends came by tonight and brought us dinner. It's good to have good friends. I was ecstatic to be able to socialize with them. It was the highlight of my day.


J is in bed. N is sleeping. I'm going to grab the opportunity to catch a few minutes of sleep, before N awakens for his customary nighttime ritual of repeated feedings.

I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weight and Update

J loves his baby brother!

He gives him frequent hugs and kisses. He introduces him to people, and makes sure to use his full name. He tries to share all his toys with his baby brother. Our biggest challenge thus far has been to prevent J from killing N with kindness.

J will sit beside me as I hold N, and he will say "Mommy, can you say 'This is your big brother, J'?" He loves it when we make a point of introducing him and N.

J hasn't quite figured out that he shouldn't disturb a sleeping baby. We were over at my parents' place today. N was sleeping peacefully in his carseat. J kept hugging him, cuddling him, kissing him ... until Grandma said that if he didn't stop, she was just going to put N away. J misunderstood and thought that she meant she would keep baby N. J said "But I would be very sad". Once she realized the miscommunication, Grandma reassured J that she would not keep his baby brother ... he belongs with us.

J loves being at home more. He still enjoys Grandma and Grandpa's, and his playgroup at daycare. But he's always quite excited when he gets to spend time with Mommy. This is the result of Mommy having been on bedrest for so long ... she is a novelty now. This will wear off, I am sure. For now, though, he gets very excited that Mommy is home with him and that we can play together. Fun!


N had his first pediatrician's appointment today. No concerns. He is two weeks old today. N weighed 6 lbs 14 ozs and was 18.75 inches long at birth. He is now 7.5 lbs and 20.5 inches long. He appears to be nice and healthy. I am feeling good about things. But he does have a bit of an issue with feeding. Hopefully it will resolve in another week or so, else I will be referred to the breastfeeding clinic. Ow!


I'm getting some of the initial signs of PPD, despite myself. I am doing my best to combat it. But I can feel it, nonetheless. Hopefully, it will be a manageable condition. I managed with J, but it wasn't a lot of fun.

I need to remember that if I act better, I start to feel better. Focus on the actions first, and the feelings should fall into place. That's the theory, anyway. I know this works in general purpose terms. I wonder if it works with PPD too. I'll give it a shot.