Thursday, 30 May 2013

Any Way You Want It

I am a believer of a parent having their birth experience, their own way, so long as the safety and welfare of all involved remains a high priority.*  I totally lost it when my anesthesiologist entertained the idea that I might not be conscious for the birth of Molly and Jack if my blood pressure tests came back too high, because I'd always envisioned myself awake (and semi-coherent) for the arrival of our double spawn.  But I knew that if it came to that I had no choice.  

Yesterday afternoon my friend sent me an article from the Toronto Star about a pair of deranged hippies who want to give birth to their first child, in water, with the assistance of dolphins.  I know what you're thinking, the dolphins will hardly know them.  Don't worry, the family plan on spending a great deal of time in the water forming a bond with the dolphin pod before delivering their child.**

Jack says, "Keep those dolphins away from me!"

As for you dolphin lovers, I hear you.  Dolphins like to play games and they're so smart.  They are the unicorns of the sea (or is that narwhals?).  They're awesome when they're on TV and at a distance from the safety of a boat or a shore line.  They're also wild animals.  I did a bit of research and found out that dolphins can be pretty big jerks (essentially they are horny, misogynistic, rapey, sexually transmitted disease filled creatures who "don't mind" having sex with humans and kill the offspring of their own and other species for poops and giggles).

Sometimes a midwife will recommend that you lock up your cat or dog during a home birth because the stress of labour can cause them to freak out and attack.  My husband and a mid-wife could probably fight off our 13lb cat.  Bottle-nosed dolphins can weigh up to 200KG.  What's Hippy Dad going to do when a pod of them decides that they're feeling randy?***  Get gang banged by a bunch of dolphins, that's what.

If you love dolphins so much, why not you name your kid Fin (instead of their name choice, Bodhi) and go on a trip to see dolphins instead of playing out Darwin's Selection Theory?  What happens if little Bodhi and mom survive?  Are they going to hire a pack of wolves as caregivers?  Select Gary Busey and Lindsay Lohan to act as poor little Bodhi's spiritual advisors?

Just because you did well on your knife skills course, it doesn't mean I'm going to let you perform my C-section for me.  I'll admit it, dolphins are pretty cool, just keep them away from my bajingo.  My birth plan will never involve acquiring an STI from a dolphin.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*If you want to eat your placenta in a milkshake, go ahead and do it, just don't do it in front of me or post a picture of it on Facebook because I might throw up a little bit.
** Doula, Dolphin, potato, po-tat-oh.  Maybe they're just really bad at reading and don't understand?
***I'm pretty sure you'd need to hire at least one, maybe two other people to help you fight off a pack of horny dolphins.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Waiting on a Friend

When I had the minions I found the task of heading out in public with them alone completely daunting and overwhelming.  After all, we were barely acquainted and I didn't know how they'd react in the great unknown.  I didn't want to exceed a 20 minute travel time from control centre should operation meltdown commence so our daily walks covered: grabbing a coffee to go, getting some groceries, hitting the local fruit market or book store. 
It wasn't until Molly and Jack were about eight months old that I really got comfortable with taking them anywhere unknown solo beyond our immediate local area.  I debated trying a baby exercise class, but because I had two infants it wouldn't work unless I could find a friend, available during the day, without their own child, who was also willing to strap a baby grenade to their chest so the four of us could participate.  In retrospect a lot of gyms offer child care while you work out, but I wanted activities that I could attend WITH my children.
Eventually I learned to suck it up and get out there to participate with the minions because they need interaction with other kids and I need interaction with other adults.
Below are some of my favourite resources for activities for parents with young children:     
Story Time Programs:
You can find these at a variety of places by doing a quick Internet search by typing in the name of your city and story time in conjunction with names of local libraries, Early Years Centres and community hubs.
In Toronto Try:
In my local community (The Junction) Kid Culture has started a French Story Time Program geared towards children ages 2-5, and English language sessions geared towards children ages 1-5 (who can't sit still).
Children Friendly Coffee Houses
When I was a kid, the only place my mom could take us to play while she enjoyed a cup of coffee was playland at McDonalds or the park with a thermos.  Today many businesses have begun to cater to parents who want something beyond the golden arches.  To search your local kid friendly coffee establishment, search Name of City, Children friendly coffee shops.
In Toronto my favourite location to have coffee with the minions is Playful Grounds on College Street.
Movie Times for Parents of Infants
I've never tried this one because I could never imagine managing both children in a dark theatre, but for parents of older kids or singletons this seems like a great way to break up the day without worrying about disturbing other movie goers.  I know this one is a sexist search, but look up Mommy and me Movies in your local city and you're set.
Meet-Up Programs
I was introduced to Meetup years ago when I joined a local wine tasting group.  It was a fun and inexpensive way to try new wines.  Now as a parent it's a great way to meet other local parents and attend any of the above mentioned programs, or to just go for a walk in your local park.
Where do you go to get out with your children so everyone can get some face-to-face time with their peers? 
Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

When I was eight I had something happen to me that was akin to the first ten minutes, or the infamous warning sign section of an after school special.  An authority figure yelled at me and then pinched me really hard in an inappropriate place because I wasn't finishing up a project fast enough.*  There were no witnesses and because I had been yelled at and "got in trouble" I was embarrassed and ashamed.  I did, however, cry to my classmate and friend A that day and she, thankfully, told her mom who immediately called my parents who immediately took action.

I still remember the conversation, in the coat room of an OV's restaurant for my eighth birthday where my parents tried to explain to me that I had done nothing wrong and why I needed to tell them when an adult acted in a way that made me uncomfortable.  They also reiterated that while respecting adults is important that, my body belonged to me and that no one should yell at me, bully or ever touch me without my permission.  In retrospect I feel sorry for them, trying to explain difficult concepts in the black and white world of a third grader.    I can only imagine what would have happened today where tolerance for bad behaviour is much lower.

This weekend I asked my mom about the situation, whether or not she was horrified that I hadn't gone to them.  As a parent I have a new level of concern over the terrible behaviour of the person and the way that I was isolated when they pinched me.  My mom told me that she was more relieved that I had told someone and that person had done the right thing and that was what was important.  Also that I had learned something really valuable before things had gone further. 

How do we arm our kids to deal with something like this?  One of our first steps towards protecting the minions is knowledge.  We have been teaching them the correct names for their body parts.  One of our favourite tools for this is Kathy Stinson's The Bare Naked Book.  It's a perfect story for one of us to read while we get bath time babies ready for bed and teach them the correct names for everything from hair on their heads to the tips of their toes.**

Last week I came across a great article on Bunch Family about teaching your Toddlers about Sex Education.  It boasted China's excellent sex education for young children, including the use of anatomically correct puppets and gives great tips on empowering your kids with education.

Djh picture.jpg
Image via Wikipedia
In a The Wonder Years kind of way I learned something important from my mom this week.  Sometimes bad things happen, it's the way we deal with these situations that really teaches our children about life.  A few years after the pinching incident I explored dealing with unpleasant situations through school enforced guidance class sessions where we watched and evaluated episodes of Degrassi Junior High.  I wonder when I can start teaching my kids about life via the kids of Degrassi street?    

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Not that there is a appropriate place to pinch anyone, other than on the cheeks, if you're over 80 years old.
**It also helps negate the fact that my darling husband thought it was funny when Molly proclaimed that my breasts were "Balls" and that every now and then she yells "BALL" and smacks me in the chest.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Situation Critical

When I was about 12 or 13 I started babysitting.  At first I inherited families to sit for from my older sister, who was going out on dates at Lime Ricky's (or wherever 17 year olds went on dates in 1990).  I also secured some jobs from my next door neighbour after she moved away to go to university, friends when they were busy and referrals from families who passed my name along to their friends.  This is a great way to find a sitter, word of mouth and through current relationships.  When securing a teenage sitter it's best to go through people you know, family, neighbours and friends.  I contacted a few Canadian Babysitting training services to ask some questions about finding sitters and was tactfully told, "You don't want to be that creeper hanging out at the high school asking strangers to look after your children."*

Sometimes I think the minions should be in the zoo, unfortunately this isn't ideal child care.
Here are some other sources for finding a sitter:
The Social Connection
Try contacting coworkers, friends, relatives and neighbours to see if they know any good sitters.  You may want to craft an email explaining what you're looking for in a sitter (pay rate, hours and age).**  When dealing with a sitter who is a minor, go through parents as they'll likely want to talk to you about your expectations of their child and set their own ground rules being parents themselves.  When contacting friends with children, don't push if they don't want to share their sitter or ask their sitter about working for you without their blessing.  If you only have one or two sitters in a shared social group of friends, it's going to make it very hard for you all to go out together without a serious game of rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock, or some competitive arm wrestling.
Think of Other Connections for your Children
Ask your local daycare workers if they know anyone who sits.  Your children are already familiar with them and they might do some babysitting part-time in addition to their day jobs.  Have a favourite worker at the Early Years Centre or Summer Camp? Try asking them if they can sit for you.  You can also ask other parents at your daycare or school if they can recommend anyone.
Local Colleges or Universities with Teaching, Nursing & Early Childhood Education Programs
Find out if schools offer job boards to their students.  People enrolled in educational programs to take care of children as their profession would probably welcome the opportunity to gain more experience through babysitting.
Babysitting/Nannying Job Boards
There are various on line services where you can post to find a nanny or a sitter for your kids.  There are also emergency services where you can get connected to a qualified sitter at the last minute, but I've never tried this.   Because we were looking for people with experience dealing with young infants/twins I went this route.  You often have to pay for a subscription, but in my opinion it was worth it.***  We used Canadian Nanny.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?
*That is not a direct quote, it's my interpretation of their response to my foot in the mouth question of, "how would parents contact your course graduates?"  The parents of teenagers probably aren't keen on strangers contacting their 14 year old about a potential "job".
**It's probably not the best idea to ask that co-worker who has a reckless teenager who they're always complaining about.
***If you are posting on a site I recommend going by email only and NEVER post your phone number.  A few eager candidates called my house, at 630AM about a job.  They were not hired.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Sit and Wonder

Less than a week after the minions were born their great grandmother Hazel* passed away.  At our one week doctors appointment we were told that it is quite common for one generation to leave very close to the arrival of the next generation.  Sadly this meant that Molly and Jack never got to meet their GG Hazel.  This also meant that we were knee deep in funeral arrangements, visitations and services a week after our double five pound bundles of joy arrived.
Yeah, that's right they're holding hands.
My close friend E and my brother watched Molly and Jack during the evening visitation and my parents looked after them for the funeral, burial and the family reception.**  We were thrust into having others take care of our children really early into parenthood.  I am thankful for the way this forced us to jump into the land of  baby-sitters.  I am also super happy with our three regular sitters who all care about Molly and Jack so much.

Chris and I are very lucky to have supportive family and friends who definitely do more than their fair share of minion child care support, but it's nice to have a couple of sitters available. Sometimes you need a date night, and sometimes you need to go out to dinner with friends and family to thank them for looking after your rug rats, AGAIN.
Here are some things to consider before you place an ad looking for a sitter:
  • Who do you envision as your ideal sitter? 
  • How old are they? (teenaged or adult) Mrs. Doubtfire vs. The Babysitter's Club
  • Do you already know them?  If they're younger and a neighbour, will their parents be home/available to help out if there is an emergency?
  • What training do you need them to have?  First aid?  Babysitting course? ECE worker?
  • What do you expect them to do?  Meal preparation? Light cleaning? Laundering or soaking of cloth diapers? Activities with your children?
  • How much can you afford/ are you willing to pay them?  I've heard anything from $8 an hour (this would likely be for a tween-teen sitter) to $17 for a licensed ECE worker with a ton of experience.  This can also be dependant on the number of children you have, their age, or the night (i.e. New Year's Eve is going to cost you more than a random Tuesday in June)
  • How will they get to your house?  Will you pick them up?  Or are they expected to come and go on their own?
  • Are you going to have a set date night or contact them on an as need basis?
  • Are you going to be home and use the sitter as an opportunity to complete chores or take a much needed nap?
  • When are you going to make the big leap? (I've been told that 9 months-12 months is one of the peak times for separation anxiety so you may want to start the sitter hunt and adjustment period a bit earlier than this).
In the next week I'll tackle some questions on where to find a sitter, interview and selection tips,  babysitter orientation and babysitter alternatives.

 Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*An eccentric lady with a penchant for Freixnet sparkling wine, show tunes, Hawaiian dancing, singing lobsters and Law and Order.
**I still remember tearing over to my folk's house between the burial and the reception to pump milk.  It felt like my boobs were going to explode.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


In the first year of parenthood dressing the minions was easy, I'd put them in a onsie and repeat.   Now that they're older it's a little more complicated: there are a lot more accessories now that they're walking and the girl child wants some say in what she wears. This weekend I realized that if the fashion police showed up at daycare randomly, I'd be getting some tickets for the way I've dressed my children.*   I have mocked other parents for years about the ridiculous garbs they make their children wear and now I know, sadly that I am guilty of at least three fashion sins when it comes to our kids, but knowing is half the battle, right?

Toddler Fashion Crimes

Big Fat Party Animal
During the winter Jack wears jeans or cargo pants with brightly coloured shirts and t-shirts.  It's adorable.  Now that it's warm outside I realized that not only does he have wildly coloured t-shirts he's also the proud owner of several loud (albeit awesome) shorts.  Separately his T-Rex shirt and luchador mask shorts are amazing, when paired together he looks like he's going to tap a keg to funnel some beer or that he's on vacation but lost his fanny pack. 

The Laura Ingalls
Sometimes you want to dress your daughter up like Holly Hobby and that's okay, I've been there myself, but there's a line you don't want to cross.  When people think that you're daughter is an actor at Pioneer Village it's time to stop.  I also think there is an age expiration on this look.  Over ten, think again.

The Disco Stu
This one is tough to judge because we don't have crystal balls.  Did my parents know that my 1970's Super Chicken Halloween Costume (complete with bright red bell bottoms) would become dated?  I just don't know.  Just be sure to take lots of pictures so you have material for the slide show you make any potential suitors watch before they go on a date with your teenage children.

Thing One, Thing Two
This isn't just a twin thing, it can be used as a parental torture device for non multiple siblings as well.  I rarely put the minions in matching clothes or coordinating theme clothes, but I'm guilty of it sometimes (like for birthdays, Halloween or when I'm bored).  My mother also did this for my sister and I, who are five years apart in age.  Not only did this mean that we were wearing matching outfits for photo day it also meant that I'd receive something I'd already owned as a hand-me-down five years later and that my twelve year old sister was wearing the same thing as a seven year old on the same day.**

In coordinating Christmas Theme Outfits

Little Lolita
My friend KM recently lamented that she couldn't find any summer shorts for her 10 year old daughter that weren't "club wear booty shorts" so they end up going to a grown up store to make sure that her daughter didn't look like a street walker.  I'm fairly certain if Chris had his way Molly would be wearing turtlenecks and long pants until she turns 40.

Gilligan's Island Vs. the Trucker
Sun protection is important, unfortunately this means that you need to put your children in hats which means you have a choice: The Baseball/Trucker hat vs. the Tilly/Fisherman hat.  We've chosen to go fishing hat and my parents recently bought the minions matching berets from Paris, so we may have to mix this look up with some hipster chick.

What fashion crimes are you guilty of pushing onto your children?

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Although the fuchsia kitten shirt is Molly's doing, not my own.
**The best three I can remember are: matching gingham dresses, Cosby sweaters with coordinating leg warmers and the coupe de gras red velvet capri pants with matching vests and bolo ties.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Toddler Creed

I recently saw this Toddler Creed and it made both Chris and I laugh because of its poignant truth.  When I tried looking it up on line I found various versions with similar wording, this one was posted on Circle of Moms.

Toddlers Creed
If it's mine, it's mine,
If it's yours, it's mine,
If I like it, it's mine,
If I can take it from you, it's mine,
If I am playing with something, ALL of the pieces are mine,
If I think it's mine, it's mine,
If I saw it first, it's mine,
If I had it then put it down, it's still mine,
If you had it then you put it down,  it's now mine,
If it looks like the one I have at home, it is mine,
If it is broken, it is yours!

I'm tempted to put in little twos to indicate that this motto not only doubles when you're raising twin toddlers, the sentiment is squared.  Below is a version with my own parental commentary:

Toddlers Creed
If it's mine, it's mine, Especially if it's a remote control, dad's contact case, mom's glasses, the phone or that expensive chachki that we were sure you couldn't reach.
If it's yours, it's mine, This includes property stolen from daycare, the doctor's office or nana and grampa's.
If I like it, it's mine, Even if I don't like it, as long as my sibling likes it, it's still mine.
If I can take it from you, it's mine, And if I can't take it from you, I will scream and fight you for it with the strength and fury of a frat boy in a bar brawl.
If I am playing with something, ALL of the pieces are mine, Even if I have to eat them to keep them away from you.
If I think it's mine, it's mine, especially if it's boiling hot tea or mommy's "special juice" AKA wine.
If I saw it first, it's mine, If I saw it second it's mine, if I can't see it, but know it's there, it's still mine.
If I had it then put it down, it's still mine, Even if I have to hide that bottle, so it rots under the couch for five days before mom and dad find it.
If you had it then you put it down, it's now mine, Finders keepers, losers weepers, (I can't say that yet, but I mean it).
If it looks like the one I have at home, it is mine, And it's even better to play with if it makes you cry.
If it is broken, it is yours! Unless I can hit you with the shattered pieces, or eat them.

Have a great long weekend fellow Canadians!

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

What, You've never seen a baby in a Richard Simmons wig telling a dog to talk to the hand before?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Once Bitten Twice Shy

Last week daycare had to have "the talk" with us.  We were on the other side (the bad parent side..womp, womp) of those infamous incident reports because the boy has been biting, and pinching, and hitting, and clawing his classmates.  We asked for suggestions, and were told 1) Talk to him about it and explain why it's probably not the best idea to play slap face, bite face, or fingernail face with other children and 2) redirection.  At home he gets a three to four minute shift in the penalty box for unnecessary roughness along with a stern lecture- at daycare they don't play by hockey rules, apparently.  They also said that there isn't much you can do at this age because he's still so young that he doesn't fully understand.

This weekend he bit his oldest cousin.  Yesterday morning at daycare drop off he ran into the playhouse and immediately smacked a little girl right in the face.  Her older sister yelled, "Don't hit my sister!" and belted him back.  It was glorious.  Chris and I not so secretly cheered her on, because we're big fans of playground vigilante justice.  Then at pick-up last night  I found out that he bit and scratched his ECE worker.*  They asked me to trim his nails.  I'm beginning to feel like a giant A-hole every time I drop off and pick-up the minions.  I'm scanning the room to investigate whether or not Cujo has attacked that day and caging bets on who his next victim will be.**

Cujo Sr. & Jr. Together Again

When I was a child my brother was a biter.  He would sink his teeth into my sister and I like we were a steak dinner.  Being ten and five we knew that you shouldn't bite your little brother, even when he was being an ankle biting jerk.  Family legend has it that one afternoon my mother was talking to a friend about the problems she was having with my brother Cujo Sr. and the friend explained how her children had stopped their younger sibling from biting by taking an arm each and biting back the biter back really hard to "Learn Em, Real Good".***  Apparently that kid stopped biting.  So, my sister and I took notes that day and the next time our little brother bit us we rolled up his sleeves and bit him as hard as we could.  My mother discovered this tooth mark surprise at the doctor the following day while Cujo Sr. was getting his shots.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have tried biting him back (lightly) and saying, "See it hurts".  Unfortunately he thinks it's hysterical and I'm not willing to take the game to the next level.  Molly isn't old enough to do the job for me, so I've written a job ad for what I need.

Does anyone know any four-five year olds, who take instruction well who will want to bite my son and teach him an important lesson, preferably without scarring him for life (physically and emotionally)?****  Alternately I could employ my brother for a whole cycle of life themed lesson regimen.  Maybe I can further entice him if I play The Circle of Life on loop while he's babysitting.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Way to directly bite the hand that feeds you buddy.
**Likely whoever is playing with the train set.
***I am fairly certain that none of my mother's friends are Larry the Cable Guy, but I'm going to run with it.
****I fear that children under four won't take instruction well and those over five may be missing teeth which will rob Jack of the true biting experience.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Sweater Song

Saturday seemed like a bad omen that Mother's Day was destined for, well disaster.  One child started screaming hysterically about half an hour into their afternoon nap.  It turned out they had soiled themselves and attempted to solve the problem by shoving their hands down the back of their diaper and rubbing the contents over their face.  That very evening Chris and I went out for a date night.  Shortly after dinner, we'd retired to a local pub and were just about to "Cheers" a drink, when I got a call from our sitter A.  She never calls, so I knew this would be bad.  The other child had pulled an Exorcist level of vomiting all over their crib.  We finished our drinks and walked home*, cutting our night significantly short.  It turns out, thankfully, that the vomit was a one off, and we thanked A for her braveness, strong stomach and kindness in the face of our gross minions.

Holding hands on our Mother's Day Morning Walk.  Mother's Day is the only day that Chris would ever let me put them in matching English bonnets and sweater coats.

My Mother's Day was great, Here's a list of my top 6 Mother's Day Moments this Year:

  1. This year not only did I avoid changing a single diaper, Chris upped the ante: I didn't prepare a single bottle, slice a single grape or have to administer any discipline (save for when Jack bit his cousin).  I was given the Mother's Day gift of being able to play with my children - All Day Long, without playing the role of caregiver or bad cop.
  2. Cinnabons for breakfast (even though Chris pretended he was going to serve me passion flakies which I hate)**
  3. Chris let me dress the twins up like little dolls in matching clothes that my mother knit them.  It was like playing dolly all over again and reminded me of one of the most important reasons why I had children: Dress-up!
  4. The number of hipsters at the local flea market who complimented Jack's amazing knitted attire and how dapper he looked in his nana knits.
  5. On Saturday Chris asked me how much weight I thought the children could lift.  I should have been suspicious.  I guesstimated 6-8lbs, and  I was wrong.  When Chris tried to secure the corners of a blanket for our indoor picnic/English picnic*** with 10lb weights we all  learned quickly that Jack can lift up a 10lb weight and swing it around quite easily.  Bam Bam smash picnic real good.
  6. They slept through the night.  On a Sunday.  Sunday night uninterrupted sleep is like a unicorn, beautiful precious and mythical.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Going home early, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for my children, wasting booze, come on, how else are we going to muster up the strength to tackle mount vomit?
**I have a serious issue with pastry of almost any kind.
***Held inside, or inside your car because it's raining.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Private Dancer

At daycare there is this clipboard for the toddler room.  In the morning when you sign your child in you write down what time you dropped them off, what time you plan to pick them up and any important notes on how they slept the night before, how they ate, sunscreen, the ridiculous blanket they won't part with etc.  At the end of the day you can see what your children ate for lunch, how long they napped for*, reminders to bring diapers and highlights of what your child was up to that day like toys they enjoyed playing with or a particular game they liked.

Any parent in the toddler room can see the notes for the other children.  I often use this clip board to creep on any potential illnesses about to descend upon the minions care of an infected classmate.  Yesterday when we picked up the minions there was a very explicit, technical note for us involving one of the minions and a diaper rash:
"Please Bring in diaper cream right away! X has a very sore X (technical name of private part here)!"

My first reaction was pure hilarity, Chris and I picked up a butt load** of Aveeno cream to bring into daycare and I left an equally explicit note about the specific usage of the cream.  This was my not so subtle way of showing the brashness of their messaging by creating an equally pointed message.

When I told a few friends the story about our daycare note I noticed most people were very firmly divided into two camps: 1) That's funny and you should steal or take a photo of that note to put in their baby book and embarrass them when they're older or 2) Wow, that was inappropriate, you may want to say something to them, they could have written "please ask us about X's diaper rash" because that evening they also explained to us in great detail verbally about our child's sore bad touch bathing suit area to make sure we took care of it.  In all fairness it's a pretty sore rash and X needed some extra TLC, so I appreciate their insistence on us taking care of business.

As someone who publicly shares the minutiae of my life with children, you may be thinking: who are you to complain?  You over-share all the time.  Probably true, but as a parent it's my job, my duty to say and do things to alienate and mess up my kids.***  However I have my limits. I wrote about how one of my children ate a diaper wipe last year, but never identified who, because who wants to be known publicly as the kid who ate their own poo?****

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*A good indication of how large of a tantrum they're going to have as you try to strap them into their car seat.
**Bad pun intended, sorry.
***Messaging for a Mother's Day card?
****The minions can thank their father for most of that particular mature level of discretion. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

All that Jazz

Last year for Mother's Day Chris got me a wonderful gift.  It was thoughtful, made me feel appreciated and didn't cost a thing.  I woke up on that Sunday in May and he proclaimed that I wouldn't have to change an entire diaper all day.  I was able to spend the day with my family with a little less obligation as a mom and loved it.

This year I am a working mom, who has toddlers who require less frequent diapering, so I'm feeling a little less chained to the diaper genie than I was last year.

A couple of days ago Chris and I were out for a walk with the kids and he mentioned that he was hoping to have a pick up game of baseball with some friends next weekend and asked me which day worked best.  I said Saturday, not Sunday, for obvious reasons.  He asked why.  I forced myself to calmly explained that it was Mother's Day.*

He then said something, albeit jokingly, that made me want to explode with fiery rage.  "You know the kids aren't capable of doing something for you this year and you're not my mom so I really shouldn't be obligated to do anything for you."

Are you effin kidding me buddy?

My husband fancies himself a comedian.  One of his specialities is making me crazy.

Chris is a really great dad, an equal parent who gets offended when fathers talk about babysitting their own kids.  I in turn reciprocate by becoming morally outraged when I see the infant pain medication commercial on TV that only features women taking care of their ill children.  He does his fair share of diaper changes, chores and has gotten a lot better about feeding the children messy food (like yogurt) that I know makes him throw up in his mouth almost every time he feeds them.

Chris considers himself a romantic, however has never given me a card or a love note in the nearly ten years we have been together.  That I can handle.**  Regular email updates from work about our weekend plans doesn't count as an enchanting love letter and it isn't going to wow me into jazzing him that night.***

Mr. Husband, you did an amazing job for Mother's Day last year, in fact you set the standards quite high and then screwed yourself by saying something stupid this weekend just for the sake of poking the bear.  You've since asked me for some direction on Mother's day, so here's some suggestions for you and all the other dads out there.

This is what I don't want for Mother's Day:
  • Anything that I plan myself
  • Flowers
  • Brunch or dinner in an overcrowded restaurant
  • Anything affixed with cheesy phrases about being a great Mom****
Here's What I want:
  • Something that takes away some of my responsibility as a mom, but still lets me spend time with my family (this is why last year was perfect)

That's pretty vague, right?  Good Luck!

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Because he should have remembered.
**After years of enduring gifts from an ex boyfriend who would routinely give me greeting cards filled with coupons offering "Hot Action Cash" I'm good with living in a world with absolutely no romantic greeting cards for the rest of my life.
***My grandmother, Alice, used to call booty calls, celebrity hook ups or getting it on "jazzing".
****There's plenty of time for amazingly horrendous gifts in a couple of years when the children can pick them out themselves, here's some of the worst Mother's Day gifts I bestowed upon my own mother:

Monday, 6 May 2013

Ring of Fire

When I was eight months pregnant a mom friend of mine made me an elaborate diaper cake as a shower gift.  It was artistic, practical and filled with new mom treats like lotions, creams, baby shampoo and a ton of size one diapers.   First of all I have never been artistic enough to pull off something so picturesque, secondly she created this practical yet pleasing piece as a mother to a toddler.*

I was impressed, so I asked her how she managed to complete this project while minding the cataclysmic muscle that is a boy toddler.  She responded with something that I'm certain I have mentioned before, something that has become one of my inherent truths as a parent of toddlers: "I work late at night, quickly and quietly, like a raccoon rummaging through trash cans for garbage to eat and feed her family, it's the only way that I get anything done."

The making mischief smile

We have actively tried to complete whatever chores we can around the minions.  We want them to know that life isn't just about playgrounds, fun travel, snacks and naps and try to include them in day to day activities when we can. 

For the past three weeks Jack has been obsessed with the stove.  He loves the pots and pans drawer, he is curious about what is going in and out of the oven and clearly he wants to die.  He is just tall enough to grab at hot rings and pull wine glasses and knives off of counters onto his head.  He is a menace to our kitchen.  I had to roundhouse kick him onto the ground twice last week because of his interest in climbing into our hot oven as if he's reenacting a scene from Hansel and Gretal.

Last night we began my week long challenge: cook like a raccoon.  Sunday dinner was BBQ burgers that I prepared with a screen door barrier between myself and young Hansel. Once the minions retired to bed I stuffed a chicken full of garlic cloves, seasoned it and roasted it for our Monday dinner along with a summer salad.  Tonight at nine I'll season and cook the fish for Tuesday's fish tacos.

With spring upon us, night time cooking will be a great way to keep the house cool during the day and hopefully prevent Jack from death by fire.  It will also stop the bad habit we have of filling Molly and Jack with snacks at six o'clock to distract them while we prepare supper, only to become shocked and annoyed when they won't eat their dinner.  The only drawbacks I can see so far is late night adult raccoon feeding inspired by tasty food cooking** and that our house is going to smell like fish come Tuesday morning.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*Mind blown.  I still throw most presents into recycled wedding and baby gift bags no matter what the occasion.  Let's just say I'm the DJ, Chris is the (w)rapper.
**As evident by Chris's late night roasted chicken snack yesterday.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Mamma Mia

Mother's Day is just over a week away.  This means that after yet another 12 months of parenthood I know that I have a lot more to apologize for.  Not only do I have my own infant/toddler antics to repent for, I have strife caused by my progeny to add to this list. 

The Third Member of our "Wolf Pack", she likes to play by her own rules

Dear Mom,

  • For all of the things I made you miss when I was sick, including that trip to Hawaii when I had the measles.
  • For throwing up on you, repeatedly.  I had weeks this year where the vomit on mom count broke double digits.
  • About anything that you ever had to throw out because I threw up on it and made it smell terrible permanently.
  • That Jack smashed the candle holder chachkie (that our family called a pookie) you've had in your living room since I was his age.
  • That after searching on line for a replacement "pookie" I made a point of letting you know what I found on line when I tried to buy a pookie*.
  • For any jewelry I forcibly tore off of you're body and in turn destroyed.
  • I pretended to be upset when you left me with a babysitter to get a reaction/guilt you and then immediately calmed down the moment you were out of sight.
  • For scratching, hitting, biting, and clawing you.
  • About any time I waited until I had a fresh diaper to take a dump.
  • If I had any fascination with grabbing at my feces while you attempted to change my diaper.**
  • For getting angry any time you didn't take my tantrums seriously.***
  • Sleepless nights
  • Getting you sick when I got sick.
  • My kids get you sick when you help me out, so I can keep a job and a life.
  • For crying, ranting and raving on the phone and in person about how insane my children are, even though I know that they're just like me.

P.S. I'm still not sorry for wearing black lipstick as a teenager.

To see last year's apology blog click here

*Urban definitions of a pookie: 1) Soaking tampons in alcohol and inserting them, either vaginally or rectally, in order to get drunk, 2) or a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine
**Bonus, additional apologies if you were just about to go out anywhere when I did this.
***Because come on, toddler tantrums are ridiculous and hilarious.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

This Used To Be My Playground

This is the first spring that we've really been able to embrace park play areas and playgrounds with the minions.  Last spring they were barely crawling around the grass, eating whatever dirt or rocks they could get their little hands on.  This year they're running around like maniacs, so we're always looking for fun new places for them to wear off a little bit of energy.* 

There is a certain etiquette surrounding parental and child behaviour at the playground that Chris and I haven't quite mastered because we're novices at toddlerhood and all of its nuances.  I get that we have two kids and that we shouldn't Bogart the baby swings for too long, but there are other things that we're just learning.  This is why I have created the following list:

  1. Arm your children with cookies, comment that they're chocked full of peanuts, shellfish and gluten.  Be sure to encourage your kids to share said cookies with their new friends at the park.**
  2. Don't stop your child from dunking their cookies into the sand/gravel/ground before sharing. 
  3. After your child has shared their shrimp nut cookies with random children, call them over to you because it's time for their worm medicine.
  4. Take tons of pictures of your children while encouraging other children to pose with them.  This type of friendly stranger behaviour makes other parents comfortable and puts them at ease.  Talk about how you're going to post these photos on every social media site known to man.  Ask random stranger children their names so you can tag them in your posts using GPS features.
  5. You know that random militant two year old with the empty ice cream bucket?  The one who keeps filling it with sand, climbing to the top of the slide and then dumping it over and over again, all while intimidating the other kids at the park?  The kid whose mother is yelling at someone on her cell phone while filing her nails on the park bench?  Let your daughter steal his bucket.  It will be epic.  I promise.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here?

*I'm already working on a piece on toddler friendly, local playgrounds, so if you have any suggestions in the GTA let me know.
**Have you read this article about allergies in the playground?  The reader responses and comments are Redonkulous and amazing.