Monday, 30 July 2012

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

A while back an acquaintance of mine was horrified that her daughter's first word was No.  She was sure it was from all of the No's that she and her husband had been doling out because their daughter was into EVERYTHING.  "What a horribly negative first word!" she lamented.  At the time, childless (and self-righteous) me thought, I'm going to make sure that I'm never that negative with my kids.*

Molly has learned to say "Jack", however we suspect the only reason she's learned to say her brother's name is because HE IS INTO EVERYTHING and we are sternly warning, "Jack, No!" what feels like hundreds of times a day. We are sure that she is just mere days away from yelling, "Jack, NO!" and redirecting him away from whatever mischief he's gotten himself into.

We have taken many baby proofing steps and given the minions access to lots of toys and a latch free kitchen cupboard that's full of plastic containers, mixing bowls and fun/safe stuff for them to play with.  That being said, we are still saying No! way too much and wanted a solution to make more positive exploration activities available to the minions.

Then, last week, I was catching up on my blog reading and I caught a great question and answer session on Offbeatmama to a reader's question about low-key things to do with an infant who can't leave the house.  One of the reader answers about creating a treasure basket was amazing and very applicable to creating Yes's for my kids in a very No world.

Basically the basket allows children to explore heuristic play (exploring their world via play with objects).** Take a minute and think about the toys that we provide for our infants, they are mostly plastic and feel/taste the same.  Boring!

The Treasure basket allows you to create a base basket full of 20-30 multi-textured, multifaceted, objects for your baby to explore daily for about half an hour to an hour.  Eventually the basket can contain up to 60-80 objects as you slowly build more items to keep the baby interested.***

Here's what I put in Molly & Jack's Treasure Basket so far:
-3 wooden spoons of various sizes
-leather cuff bracelet
-rubber dish gloves
-square of astroturf
-purple rubber textured dog bone
-fake fur miniature notebook
-cloth pencil case
-metal measuring spoons
-microfibre mop top
-miniature dust pan and broom
-dish scrubbing brush
-felt shoe insole
-foam duck shaped cut outs
-cork rounded hot pot stand
-metal whisk
-5 inch cloth fastener with velcro tie
-blue hard cardboard jewelry box
-pastry brush
-wooden ladybug shaped circular massager

What I'm still looking for:
-large pine cone (which I will wash with warm water and soap as per my germaphobic husband's instructions)
-unused feather duster
-sponges (I bought these and then realized that they were pre-treated for my car's benefit/ making them poisonous for Molly & Jack and unusable)
-shammy (I also bought one of these, unaware until I got home that it had been pre-treated with wax, also unusable)
-chalk brush
-wooden bristled hair brush
-large square of silk material

Here's what I'm not putting in and why:
-Seashells (Seashells smash, shards everywhere)
-Rocks (I couldn't figure what would be the appropriate sized rock - I needed something small enough that it couldn't be a weapon and large enough that it couldn't be swallowed or choked on).

For more information on creating a treasure basket here's the link that was provided that I used as a starting point/guideline:  My beginner basket cost me about $25 thanks to the dollar store and a little creativity around the house.  Stay tuned for reactions, successes and epic failures surrounding the basket.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Ha, 5 years ago Sara,  you are an ignorant idiot.
**For my kids this would be shoving said objects in their mouths, crushing them or smashing them.  All the same, it's comforting to know that the sword swallowing and Incredible Hulk routines are a normal part of development.
***Obviously you'll need to carefully supervise to avoid choking or in my case using the object to bludgeon a sibling. Disclaimer: I promise that I won't blame you for the stupid crap that my kids do, so please don't blame me for the stupid crap your kids do.  As alway with infants: EVERYTHING SHOULD BE DONE UNDER ADULT SUPERVISION, and should be checked regularly for wear and tear and choking hazards.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Lik My Trakter

Almost anyone who lives in Toronto has felt the, We need to cut everything that WE* feel isn't worthy of receiving city funding, this past year.  Particularly personal hits for me were threats to High Park's Animal Paddocks/Zoo, Riverdale Farm and any city library.  There are so many wonderful things that make Toronto so great and I really want to make sure that we get to share them with the minions.

When I received an invitation, as a mom blogger, from Farmers Feed Cities to attend an event at Riverdale Farm I was really excited.  Then I was a little hesitant because I remembered the Vancouver Aquarium Disaster where Molly decided that anything bigger than a human shouldn't exist in her world.  She coped by hysterically screaming and crying while Jack happily smiled at the dolphins and belugas.

After I solicited the support of my good friend, The Granken, I was confident that we could all attend, learn something and better deal with a THIS ANIMAL IS FREAKING ME OUT meltdown from Miss Molly.

Here's some of what we learned from Farmers Feed Cities:
  • 1 Ontario Farm produces enough food for 120 people.
  • Farming is Ontario's second largest industry.
  • 98% of Ontario Farms are family owned.
  • Hens lay over 320 eggs per year, almost one a day.**
  • If you're growing spinach in your garden, pick it with the roots and put it in water to keep it fresh longer.
  • A big part of the egg industry is breeding chicks so that other farms have healthy, properly raised hens that will produce eggs for them.

Here's what we learned from my children:
  • Jack liked the turkeys the best, and thought they were really funny.  He thought the information clipboard beside the turkeys was even better and he beat the crap out of it while he giggled.
  • Our reaction to laugh like jackals when a plastic plate blew up and slapped Molly in the face during lunch before checking to see if she was okay was not mom normal.
  • Molly can take a plastic plate in the face like a champ, without crying or fussing, as long as The Granken gives her a quarter full water bottle to shake and spill everywhere.
  • While aquatic mammals are not Molly's thing, horses are amazing and can induce a state of calm and awe.**

We had a great time, learned a lot and will definitely make a trip to the farm and donate annually.  We will also make a greater effort to get out to some farmers markets to ensure we buy locally and support Ontario's rural community.  If you are looking for a Toronto Farmers Market near you - try this link

I guess I need to find Molly a horse or unicorn for her first birthday.  That's really going to blow our fifty dollar per child budget.

*Ahem (Rob Ford), Gravy train....
**I thought this number would be much higher, like 2 or 3 eggs per day.  When I told Chris about this he gave me that Pshaw silly city girl look then made a comment about just because I produce multiple eggs in one cycle it doesn't mean that this applies to all other creatures and animals.
***After-all, they are just one horn away from being unicorns.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Rain on the Scarecrow

The minions, specifically the boy child, are into everything.  Thankfully Molly understands No and will generally obey even if it is combined with her crawling towards you with her eyes filled with tears of frustration, but will settle down after a short cuddle and praise for listening.  Jack is another story.  He pretends he doesn't hear you, even though it's obvious that he does as he looks around to see if you're coming to take him away from fun.

There are three main zones that we constantly need to be guarding:

Chris's Turntable
Apparently our son fancies himself a DJ.  Only less like DJ Jazzy Jeff and more like if Gwar had a DJ.*  Jack will make monster noises, turn on the record player, pounce on the record and eat the white record sleeve.  Then he'll fall down, Get back up, scratch the record, adjust all volume knobs and beat his sister with the cardboard album cover. When I tell him no and take him away, he'll cry, make a monster noise, or go right back and growl, "YEAHHHH!"

Cords and Plugs 
This kid is unstoppable, if there is a cord to be found** he will pull at it and yank it as hard as he can.  Molly removed the carbon monoxide alarm once***.  Jack removes it at least 2 or 3 times a week and has a full screaming melt down as the alarm goes off.  He'll attack standing lamps, knocked over our standing fan while we were folding laundry the other night and is generally (alarm aside) quite pleased by his reign of chaos.

Both minions discovered their passion for drawers in May when we went to BC to visit their Great Grandmother C.  In our bedroom we have a large dresser with several handles that make wonderful baby music when you clink them constantly like tiny accessible door knockers.  These are not the drawers that cause us issue and pain.  The kitchen ones are, and I haven't found out a great way to baby proof them yet. Hopefully a trip to Home Depot should solve the fact that Jack is pulling himself up using the drawer handles and then smacking himself in the face with the drawer and knocking himself onto the ground.

My problem is that once I baby proof these things, he'll find something else to terrorize and then something else, and something else - until our house is just one giant rubber room with no electricity or storage space.  Which is why I immediately thought about baby scarecrows.  I need to find some sort of baby deterrent to scare them, specifically Jack, away from trouble.  Redirection doesn't seem to be working.  Does anyone remember those hiding stuffed children that people used (in the 1990s) to decorate their country kitchens?  Apparently they're called Pouty Time Out Dolls and they still exist.  They scare me and would keep me out of the drawers, but sadly I believe they'd do nothing to stop Jack.  They're the My Buddy companion to the naughty chair.  Jack you were bad, now you have to hang out with the baby without a face for 5 minutes, have fun - Sucker. Unfortunately he'd probably just beat it senseless with a record cover like it was his sister.

Image courtesy of - you can also buy these dolls here if you would like them for your time-outs or country kitchens.

A Jack specific scare crow would involve loud noises, getting trapped in a confined space and would force feed him homo milk.  A Molly specific scare crow would pretend to pick her up and then laugh and say, "Just joking" and pick up and cuddle her brother instead.  I'm pretty confident that all child deterring scare crows would involve at least some level of child abuse.

The baby scare crow reminds me of a few years ago when a group of us began to discuss things that we hated and what would make up our own personal hell(s)**** while we tried to see how well we knew each other.   Okay maybe it's not exactly hell, it's just somewhere really annoying that encompasses your strong dislikes, some fears and pet peeves, I'm not going to lie - likely there was some alcohol consumed prior to these conversations.  Either way I'm pretty sure that creating a doll that embodies everything your child dislikes or is scared of isn't good parenting.  Funny parenting, mean parenting, but not good parenting.

*If you don't know who Gwar is, #1 I'm really disappointed because they are awesome, in theory.  I can't say I've ever really listened to Gwar, but I like the idea that they exist, and I can't believe they are still together almost 25 years later.
**In Jack's mind our cat's tail counts as a cord.
***And it scared her so much that she pooed her pants, cried and never touched it again.
****Chris's personal hell involves being in a cold room where he is force fed fried mushrooms off of a wooden spoon by the artist currently known as Prince while he soothes him by singing raspberry beret and pokes him in the belly button.   Mine involves snakes, Jon Favreau, biting wool or cotton balls, wearing leotards that fall down and having to spend time with a specific ex boyfriend who slightly resembles Jon Favreau. Shudder.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

This Little Piggy

This little piggy went to the market,  This little piggy stayed home (and sensibly saved for their university education).  This little piggy had some really cool extra-curricular activities to attend, This little piggy had none.  The parent little piggies argued about it all the way home.  Okay maybe not ALL the way home, but they definitely had a conversation that is unresolved.

When the minions were first born Chris and I decided that we would put all of our spare quarters into these lovely pastel pink and blue piggy banks that were given to Molly & Jack by our friend JB as a minimal start of savings towards their post-secondary education.  And we did, whenever we thought about it, because every bit counts.

Two Little Piggies!

Then a few months after Molly & Jack were born we realized that we hadn't budgeted for receiving the Universal Child Care benefit of $100 per month per child.*  This was like winning a tiny monthly lottery.  So, sensibly instead of spending the money on things we don't need we started an education savings plan that takes money out of our bank account each month so we don't actually see and spend said money.  This month instead of attending the John Fluevog Thinks You're Awesome Sale** and purchasing a really cute pair of shoes we'll focus on Molly and Jack's future.

That being said, I think we're ahead of the game now (education wise) and we'll probably add in another $100 a month or so when I'm back to work full time, the minions are in full day kindergarten and we're not spending over 25% of our income on child care.    It also works out that our mortgage will be paid off (hopefully) half way through Molly & Jack's anticipated university experience, so we can start filtering any additional money we need into their educations (and hopefully retirement), cause neither of us can even imagine how much schooling is going to cost by 2028.***  When they get older we'll make them contribute a little bit as well, just to ensure that they understand the value of savings, although Chris thinks they won't really appreciate getting out of school debt free, but it's really important to him for us to provide this.****

So, I think the quarters are a moot point now and should be used annually on something fun for the kids, like planning an awesome birthday party for both of them, or paying for extracurricular activities for them like weapon skills, roller derby or Scouts.  Chris thinks that it should be placed in a high interest savings account to diversify the educational savings.  This means significantly less knife skills lessons for Molly - BORING!

I couldn't sleep the other night, so I crept into the nursery and stole both banks to count their contents instead of sheep.  Molly's had a whopping $58.25 in quarters, Jack's $64.50.  This shows me that despite trying to disperse the money evenly we both favored Jack's piggy bank and that we're arguing about $122.50, essentially half of one month of education savings which is pretty dumb.

We still haven't agreed upon something to do with this year's quarters.  I am really hoping for a suggestion that can wow Chris into me getting my way.****  For next year's quarter accounts I am presenting Chris with a proposal.

We clear the banks and each draw Molly or Jack's name from a hat.  Whomever's name you draw is responsible for putting quarters into that child's piggy bank for the year.  Next summer we count up the quarters in each bank and whoever has contributed the most gets to choose what happens with the money for that year.  When the kids get older they can join in.

Chris hasn't agreed to this yet, but I think I should be able to convince him.  Now we just need to figure out to do with this year's haul.  And splitting it in half wouldn't feel like winning to me, if there's one thing I know about marriage it's NEVER COMPROMISE, ALWAYS WIN!******

*The UCCB is a way to help families with children under 6 balance family and work lives as they raise their families.  Thank you Canada, thank you UCCB!
**Insert big pouty sigh here.  Sarcastic "Yay, for being responsible".  Okay I'm done bitching.
***Even after seeing the scary projections from the education savings guy we hired to manage their savings and apply for all the government incentives on our behalves.
****I think, but I'm not sure if this is Chris's backhanded way of saying that I'm spoiled.  By the way, mom and dad, have I thanked you lately for making sure I got out of school debt free lately?
*****I wonder if John Fluevog would be willing to sell me a single shoe, which I would pass onto the children, of course!
******I'm being sarcastic, mostly.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Take Me Home, Country Roads.

When we first booked our "trial" camping excursion with the minions we were blissfully oblivious to the fact that Chris had developed a hernia and I would be the official mover of the cooler all weekend long.  I'm assuming that this is some sort of payback for all of the stuff he did for me last year when I was expecting Molly and Jack, I'm happy to help even if I don't do things as quickly as he'd like me to, but too bad. Chris needs to keep his thoracic (abdominal/diaphragm) pressure to a minimum* and needs constant reminders to slow down - sounds vaguely familiar.

Molly "helping" set up camp.

About five or six years ago we went camping with a group of friends and two of them decided that because they were in "nature" they weren't going to use utensils all weekend and ate all of their food out of their hands or off of a Frisbee.  There is nothing quite like the image of a grown man and woman eating steak like it's finger food.  Something about camping with the babies reminded me of KS & E and their ban on tableware, except this time we weren't amused bystanders, we were very involved in tearing up their little pieces of steak, field tomatoes, sausages, buns, granola bars and grapes CONSTANTLY until Chris finally calculated that they had consumed more than him at supper on Sunday night.

It seems we'd forgotten that the minions, while fairly good with travel, go into Hansel and Gretel mode every time we take them somewhere new overnight.  Suddenly they are eating like they suspect that we are about to drop them deep in the forest so they can fight their way out.  Perhaps they understand the oddly creepy Fairy Tail book that Chris has been reading to them nightly a little better than we had originally suspected.**

When we first set up camp, a couple with a baby passed by and asked us if our children had trouble sleeping when the trains went by because their daughter kept waking up.  We explained that it was our first night, but smugly laughed that we'd have no problem because we live in The Junction, really close to trains.  We were wrong.  Our trains don't pass by two to three times an hour and honk their horns six (yeah six!) times whenever they pass.

This, in combination with a seven year old named Dylan from the camp site behind us made sleep challenging.  Dylan was constantly disciplined by his parents, loudly and late into the night.  In case you're wondering, yelling at Dylan can be heard over the roar of thunder.  We debated starting a drinking game where we'd drink each time Dylan was in trouble, but decided that it was ill advised because we didn't have enough beer and things would get messy fast.*** Perhaps Dylan would be better behaved if he went to bed before 1AM.

To top it off, the Beer Store in town was closed when we got there on Sunday.  "This place sucks, what is it the 1980s here?" I asked Chris.  He walked around the store to survey and came back to the car laughing.  "Just because we've been up for almost six hours doesn't mean it's noon yet."  We decided to go out to lunch before we returned to the Beer Store for much needed Dylan numbing supplies.

To summarize, the trip was a success and we may even go camping again later this summer.  We hiked, the babies swam, we cooked, we conquered.  Also, I'm never going to challenge Chris to a Tetris competition...the amount of stuff he fit into our tiny car was unreal****, even if the infant sunscreen exploded everywhere...That has to be Dylan's fault somehow.

Minions playing while we tear down camp.  We can still do it in under an hour!

*One of the only ways to stop him in his tracks is to yell, "Keep the Jurassic pressure down!" or "Don't let the raptors out!", which stops him from doing whatever hernia unfriendly thing he was doing, but also makes him laugh which I suspect must rile up the raptors just a little bit. Thankfully we were able to keep the raptors at bay.
**My grandmother bought my sister and I each a copy of this book when we were little, and although it has some classics like, The Emperor's New Clothes, it also has some horrifying stories.  Last week Chris read, The Red Shoes,  about a vain girl and her pair of red shoes that become possessed and have to be cut off her feet by the Town's executioner.  Thanks for the sweet dreams Grandma M.
***Like when my cousin decided that it would be a good idea to play a drinking game to the 1980's movie The Labyrinth.  You had to drink every time you saw David Bowie's cod piece and every time a puppet did something that made you feel uncomfortable.  They had to turn off the movie after 40 minutes.
****1 extra large tent, 1 kitchen tent, 2 camping chairs, 1 couples sleeping bag, 1 large cooler, 2 folding playpens, 2 large bags of groceries, 2 therma sleep mats, 2 yoga mats, cooking supplies, 2 life jackets, 1 hockey bag full of adult clothes, 1 backpack full of baby clothes, 2 pillows, 1 large washing basin, 1 camp blanket, 1 game of Yatzee, 1 cribbage board and cards, 2 jumbo jugs of water, 3 flashlights, 3 lanterns, 50 diapers, a giant bag of toiletries and 4 people.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Product Recall

I have one question for the designers who think it's a good idea to offer clothes for children who crawl in white or muted pastel colours: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?  Do you have a contract with a laundry detergent, floor cleaner, duster, vacuum or specialty mop company that no one outside of the industry knows about?  Every morning when I set the minions down on the floor to play it's like some sort of CSI test as to how dirty my floor is.  I have never spent so much time sweeping, Swiffering, vacuuming or mopping my floors yet have never been so very painfully aware exactly how disgusting they are.

It's like when you were a kid (in the 1980's) and an expert on dentistry came in to teach the benefits of brushing your teeth properly.  They took two volunteers and got one of them to half ass brush their teeth and the other one to do a really good job.  They then gave each kid this weird red tablet* that turns red where ever the kid missed and did a crummy job brushing their teeth.  My floors are like that poor kid who's stuck with red teeth all afternoon, only topped with the shame of an adult who must clean the disgusting off of their kids clothes at the end of the day.

This in combination with the fact that both babies treat the small plates where we put the cat's wet food down on the floor like props at a Greek wedding** and that my disgusting floor doubles as the cheapest and most dangerous all you can eat buffet in town is driving me insane.

However, I have developed two solutions for both of my problems.  Unfortunately Chris says that both of my solutions border on child abuse.***

Solution 1 - Baby Swiffer Suit- No patent pending
Sadly I wasn't the first one with this idea -  However, I really think it's time that the minions stopped slacking and started contributing to our household with chores.  The Swiffer Suit would be especially helpful for Jack who drags his entire body along the floor like he's been injured by a grenade in a bad war movie.

Solution 2 - The Cone of Shame - patent pending...
We purchased "The Cone of Shame" (as named by the clerk at the pet store) after our cat had a nervous breakdown because I was pregnant.  Essentially it freaked him out and he started obsessively licking and tearing off his hair to the point of needing antibiotics and earned himself the nickname Rogaine.****  Thankfully the instant the minions arrived Pan went back to his normal self and has been fantastic with the kids, even though they try to rip off his tail daily.  Why let that cone go to waste when it can prevent my children from eating disgusting things on the floor?  I thought it was a good idea, although it probably is child abuse, probably....but it might save a life some day...I'm just saying.

 Mad Monkey, you wouldn't be in the cone of shame if you hadn't of pulled magnets off the fridge and tried to swallow them whole.
Valentine Bear, you unplugged the floor lamp and then tried to lick and bite the prongs on the plug...Cone of Shamed!

No children were harmed in the production of this blog entry.

*Like in The Matrix.
**OPA!  Seriously dude I have 4 side plates left and they never break the dollar store ones.  And my old cat refuses to jump up onto tables and counters to eat, unless it's your food, not his.
***He has also insisted that if I have to call him or any of our friends to ask if something is child abuse than it probably is and I should stop immediately, no matter how funny I think it is.  Almost 9 years and I still don't think he quite knows whether or not I'm joking about some of my diabolical plans.
****I wish I was joking about this, but sadly I am not.  We spent nearly $400 on medication for issues that had to do with high intelligence and low self esteem in a cat who kept on peeing on me in bed because he was so angry at me for being pregnant.  Cat urine is terrible for pregnant women, so we had to further isolate a cat who was already quite depressed.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Spirit in the Sky

Today I worked on the most grown up thing I think I've ever done.*  I wrote filled in an online will that Chris had purchased for me using a WagJag coupon.**  For the most part it wasn't nearly as sad and depressing as I thought it would be.  It's just paperwork once you get over the idea that it's paperwork about you dying.

I have been planning the songs that will be played at my funeral for years now, even though I think this offends Chris as a music and Sarabeth lover.  It's likely a little distracting and annoying when I yell, "I want this song played at my funeral" every time Spirit in the Sky gets radio play.  I have even considered pressing my ashes into an LP featuring a few of my funeral tunes if I want. (  But none of that seems real until you put pen to paper and make things official.

We talked about the making of the will and approached Molly and Jack's guardian while I was still pregnant and worked out most of the details together verbally before I entered the coupon voucher online.  There was only section of the will that we both had a difficult time with.  If we both die before Molly and Jack grow up, how long do we keep their inheritance in trust?  I know that I made (and nearly made) a lot of stupid decisions in my late teens and in early adulthood.  Add two dead parents and a sizable inheritance*** into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.

This is me, New Year's Day (not New Year's Eve - this is the day after) when I was 20, Do you trust this person?  Cause I sure don't.  She makes terrible decisions!

Inheritance at 18
Jack purchases a giant blue van with a mural of a mermaid on the side of it.  He decides to drop out of university with nothing but a packet of seeds to grow pot and a road map taking him to Penticton British Columbia.  He returns just six months later with no money and thirty days that have been wiped from his memory.

Inheritance at 19
Molly decides to get a giant tramp stamp tattoo with her boyfriend's name on it and an anklet tattoo that will prevent her from ever wearing cute sandals with skirts or dresses to work on casual Friday when she gets older.  5 years later, when she and her high school sweetheart break up, she has to change her stamp to say something random like, "Dairy Queen Forever".

Inheritance at 20
Jack develops a gambling addiction because he thinks it's romantic in a beatnik Charles Bukowski kind of way.

Inheritance at 21
Molly decides to marry the boy from the tramp stamp and plans an elaborate and expensive first wedding.****

I don't think I need to go any further, because you get the picture.  We finally decided on 25, but explained to their guardian that they could release money, for things like education, a down payment on sensible place etc. and even suggested that our guardian insist that our children write up a business proposal before requesting any money before the age of 25 and yell things like, "No Deal" or "You're Fired" and other outdated pop culture references that Molly and Jack won't understand.

I know there is no magic age that will prevent you from making stupid choices, that's life, but we can still try to be good parents and protect the minions, even if it's from beyond the grave.  How grown-up is that?

*I don't consider the sheer act of having kids being an event that has indoctrinated me into the land of the grown-ups.  I've seen Teen Mom a few times. Being a good mom, maybe.
**My father wanted to get us a will as a gift for the birth of the minions, but my mom wouldn't let him.  We joked that the card would read, Congratulations on the birth of your children. You're going to die. Love Dad.
***I'm not saying that there is really a lot to inherit, I'm just assuming that if we're both dead before the children are adults that there was an accident with a considerable cash settlement.  Also when you're 18 years old 5K is a lot of money.
****That's right Molly, it's not going to last and I'm predicting this from beyond the grave...scary ghost noise, scary ghost noise.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Yes We Have No Bananas

The grandchildren in my family call my mom Nana or Nana Banana*.  I always assumed that she had selected the title of Nana because one of her grandmothers had also been a Nana, although she says that my oldest niece just started calling her Nana and it stuck.  It is also great because it differentiates her from the other grandparents because she has a unique name and Chris's mum can go by Grandma whereas the grandfathers are stuck following up Grandpa with their first names.**
Nana or more specifically NANANA! is one of Jack's favourite word/sounds right now.  At first I'd encourage him by saying, "Nana isn't here right now" or bringing him a picture of my mom and pointing to it, or when my mom is around agreeing and pointing directly at her.

Last Friday, I was at my friend C's house and we discovered what Jack really means when he screams NANANA!  I was enjoying a glass of white wine that Jack really wanted to get a hold of, no matter where we moved it to he would yell Nana and chase after it.  We had a good laugh testing the theory and had to slow down when it became apparent that tears were imminent.

Source: Via: quinn.anya On:

Later that evening I went over to my parents house and told my mom about the math equation Nana = Wine.  She was amused. Then Jack surprised us.  He started shouting Nana and rapidly army crawling towards something new***.  My mom loves dark chocolate and keeps a bowl of it in the corner of the living room.  As a fellow dark chocolate aficionado I love the smell of chocolate in that room, and apparently so does Jack.  Only he wants to shove his face in it, slap it and then throw it all over the floor rather than eat it.

My mom was fully on board with being associated with wine and chocolate - the finer things in life.  Then on Monday Jack started screaming Nana again.  This time at a lamp cord that he desperately wanted to explore and likely electrocute or hang himself on.  So we've determined that Nana doesn't mean wine or chocolate, it means, "Why won't you let me get what I want?" or "Forbidden Fruit" - AKA Nana Banana.

*As suggested (often) by my brother much to my mother's chagrin.
**They aren't nearly as original as my good friend E, who instead of Aunt E wants to be called Princess Unicorn or my (female) cousin K who wants to be called Uncle Jokes. Maybe letting people choose was a mistake.
***He still refuses to crawl like a normal baby and smacks the floor as hard as he can doing mini push-ups across the room to his intended destination.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Gone Fishing

For my tenth birthday I decided that I really wanted lobster.  I'd never tried it before, but it seemed really grown up, and after-all I was in the double-digits then and it was time to show everyone how mature and cultured I was - clearly.  My parents fulfilled my birthday wish and took us to a chain restaurant designed for, "the seafood lover in you".  I promptly ordered an entire lobster and was presented with a giant lobster, complete with buggy eyes and antenae.  I sheepishly took one bite of the giant alien bug from the sea, decided I hated it, but was old enough to understand that my parents were going to be spending a lot of money on my one bite experiment.   My father generously offered to trade the hamburger that he'd ordered for my lobster.   Gee, I wonder if he had suspected that this would happen?   As an adult I love lobster, surf and turf is one of my absolute favorite things, however I don't remember the moment when the change from hate to mouth watering love occurred.

This weekend a group of us went out to a beer tasting and dinner with a friend who is in town from the UK.  After beer, but before dinner, I sent a text to our sitter L asking her how things were going.  I didn't want, or expect the reply I'd get, something along the lines of.  L: I moved your Diaper Genie.  X decided that they wanted a mid-nap snack, pried open the Genie from their crib and secured themselves a dirty wipe to munch on.  They were quite smiley and pleased with themselves*  BTW where are your spare crib sheets - Poo everywhere!**

I can't honestly say that I wasn't guilty of similar grossness when I was a child, so maybe it runs in the family. As a toddler I routinely ate potted plants, dirt and sand from the sand box.***  As a young child Chris locked himself in a closet and ate all of his sister's Easy Bake Oven Cake mix raw.  His mother found him covered in white powder, looking like Pacino in the infamous Scarface coke scene, with a giant sh%t eating grin on his face - a funny story, but a little vanilla compared to some of my grosser antics.

This is me on Easter in 1979 (If that isn't obvious enough by my stylish shirt and bangs) enjoying a giant chocolate Mickey Mouse.

When I was a toddler my parents had a giant fish tank in the basement that was full of guppies.  One evening at a family get together my aunt sat down on a bench across from the fish tank.  She set her hand down beside her onto something cold, wet and slimy.  On the bench she discovered a dead, headless fish and upon further investigation my parents found several other headless guppies on the floor behind the tank. Apparently I'd developed a penchant for fishing and sushi, two things that I still love today. Completely unrelated two fish died in our tank this weekend****. 

Apparently this type of exploration, albeit gross is a normal part of development.  Does this mean that X will like mushrooms and other food that is grown in feces as they get older, just like I enjoy sushi?  I don't know. 

*Chris wants me to stop telling this story because it's gross and he thinks it's going to become really embarrassing for our children as they get older.  This is why I have taken off the name indicator, all anyone (who I haven't already told this story to) will ever know is that one of our children liked to eat poo when they were ten and a half months old.
**X is fine, thankfully.  L gets a gold star for being a good sport and taking care of sh$t - literally.  
***Because of these stories I was afraid that I would develop Pica during pregnancy, luckily I did not.  Definition of Pica:
****We suspect Ick, and no I did not bite their heads off.