Category Archives: Parenthood

PBS must really hate kids

As I rang in 2016 listening to the dulcet tones of my husband snoring on the couch next to me and Carrie Mathieson saved America on Netflix yet again, little did I know that life as I knew it was about to end. I logged out of Netflix not knowing that the following day, the first day of 2017 (That beacon of hope! That clean slate!), would dawn with doom and gloom on the horizon.

2017-cat

By the end of each day my house looks like a tornado has passed through it. I’m pregnant and tired, sick of asking the four year old to pick up his toys, and just done with the day. Cleaning and tidying are for the morning, before I’ve been asked a dozen times for candy for breakfast (and called the meanest mom in the world at least a dozen times for denying the request), before I’ve caved and given my kid Cheetos for breakfast (because cheese is full of calcium and is therefore healthy), before life has generally beaten me down for the day. The day still holds a lot of hope at 5am, so that’s the best time for tidying. After coffee, of course. But sometimes the house is just so destroyed that I’m still cleaning when Hurricane H emerges from his room, and I count on Netflix for entertainment while I finish up. On the days when I haven’t even started yet I count on Netflix to allow me to enjoy at least one beverage while its still hot.

me-i-want-a-magical-unicorn-for-christmas-santa-be

And so, on the first day of 2017 I turned to Netflix to save my morning (and let’s face it, that morning was going to set the tone for my year – I had a lot riding on that morning). “Mom, put on Neckflix while I eat my cheesies,” H requested. I obliged with , “What would you like to watch?”

“Curious George.”

curious-george

The books are so much better, anyway

All 9 seasons of Curious George had been on Netflix as of Dec 31st, 2016. On Jan 1st, 2017, every episode vanished. It’s usually right there at the top of the screen, under suggested shows, recently watched, continue watching… I scrolled through each list, panic mounting. I finally searched ‘Curious George’, staring at the screen in horror as ‘Titles related to Curious George’ popped up – the equivalent of a Netflix death sentence. A quick Google search revealed that PBS has signed an exclusive deal with Hulu this year and pulled all programming from Netflix. This means that our backup show, Caillou (which most parents hate but I have grown to love because, whiny bald bastard aside, HOT COFFEE), is also gone.

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I’m sure all you other non-Pinteresty, average moms feel my pain too. My kid is acting like the world has ended and after many tears is now reluctantly lost in a Mighty Machines YouTube loop of despair. I fear he may never find his way out.

MY COFFEE IS COLD.

PBS:

pbs-sucks

Bonus – further proof that PBS hates kids:

Bonus The 2nd – I confess that by ‘clean the house’ I really just mean ‘clean the kitchen’. The rest of the house I’ll get to when I get to it… I blame PBS.

The Other Other White Meat

Yup. I’m still alive and well. The alive part is for sure, the well part is debatable. For one, I have a horrible head cold that I caught from my offspring. While I am incredibly grateful that his immune system seems kick ass and he usually only gets a wee bit stuffy, I am not grateful for my own immune system that treats the common cold like it’s THE END OF THE FRIGGEN WORLD!!!!…!

I haven’t been able to write pretty much for the same reason that I look like a sheep dog (bangs in desperate need of trimming), most of the time can’t be bothered to get out of my sweats and drink almost the same amount of caffeine that I consumed when I was a Starbucks employee but this time it’s not freed and soon I might have to sell my kid in order to keep up the habit… but then I wouldn’t have a kid and I wouldn’t need all that caffeine. It’s a tough decision.

First Baby H was going through a “Muahahahah Mom. I’m NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN” phase. That sucked and certainly kicked the caffeine consumption up a notch, but I would take the no sleep thing over this “Muahahahaha Mom. You must hold me AT ALL TIMES or else I will SCREAM BLOODY MURDER, or at least scream until your ears bleed” phase. It’s hard to type with a kid in your arms. It’s also hard to do basic things like brush your teeth, hair, go to the bathroom etc. So, it’s either have a baby attached to my person at all times, or listen to a constant whine/scream-fest.

To those people who think the Reasons My Son Is Crying blog is cruel, I say get a grip. You either:

a. Have no children, in which case I hate you a little bit

or

b. Have perfect children that never cry, in which case you are basically the worst kind of person, and oh yeah, I hate you a lot

(I’m sorry, did that sound bitter?)

If I weren’t able to laugh at the situation I’d go stark raving mad. My kid is an absolute delight as long as he’s being held/played with. When he has to do anything on his own (and by this I mean sit and play while I clean the kitchen, not feed himself or pay the bills) he’s miserable. And his sad face is just as cute as his happy one, so you better bet I’m gonna take a picture.

Without further ado, I give you some reasons Baby H has been crying:

Kitchen Cry

We told him about the other other white meat

We told him about the rising cost of university education

We told him about the rising cost of university education

He wanted to be picked up

He wanted to be picked up

I picked him up

I picked him up

I put him in this baby cage

I put him in this baby cage

He was having too much fun

He was having too much fun

I wrote this blog post

I wrote this blog post

Powers of Invisibility

Funny-good-or-evil-image-quote-295x300

I might be invisible. I walk in a door and everyone beelines for the kid, which is fine, because I totally don’t need them to validate their love for me as an individual. I know how awesome I am. I think… but anyway, last night we had a big family dinner because the Jews escaped from slavery in Egypt a bajillion years ago. Also, according to my father, something about string theory (I call shenanigans on that one).

Slavery and string theory aside, no one wants to see me anymore, they just want to play with my baby. My own grandmother told me he’s my only claim to fame. Two seconds later she asked if I minded that she said that. I said no, of course not, look how cute the baby is. But secretly I died inside and longed for the days when I could drown my sorrows in a bottle of Bailey’s (because alcohol that tastes like alcohol is yucky). Ok, just kidding. I never really drank. I used to look forward to holidays because I loved spending time with my family, trying to get drunk. I inevitably failed and all my brothers made fun of me, but that was cool. It was just what we did. Now we play pass the baby. The baby doesn’t even have to pretend to get drunk to get their attention. What is that about?

Family and friends: Don't tell grandma there is a picture of her on the Internet. She may not understand the Internet, but that doesn't mean she'd approve of me using her image... but look how cute they are!

Family and friends: Don’t tell grandma there is a picture of her on the Internet. She may not understand the Internet, but that doesn’t mean she’d approve of me using her image… but look how cute they are!

I also noticed that I spent the whole evening obsessing over the baby’s sleep training and fretting that being up past his bedtime would screw it all up. It didn’t help that I tried to put him down to sleep, but then 20 minutes later I found my dad at his bedside trying to explain string theory and the greater meaning of life to him. Ok, just kidding. It was because my dad turned on the music and even though it wasn’t loud it woke up the baby anyway.

When we packed up to leave at the very late hour of 9pm my cousin hugged me and said, “I feel like I didn’t get to talk to you at all.” Um, that would be because she came straight in the door and grabbed the baby and then spent the next half hour holding him on her lap. He bit her finger and drooled all over her leg. If she had been holding me in her lap I wouldn’t have drooled all over her nice pants (can’t say I wouldn’t have bit her finger, though), but pfffftttt, whatever. I considered spilling my red wine all over her sweater and then blaming it on the baby somehow (i.e. putting my powers of invisibility to use for evil), but decided against it. I’m not that desperate. The baby’s cute and I’m not. I get it.

Proof of the alleged finger biting

Proof of the alleged finger biting

I think next Passover I will bundle up the baby in a basket and leave him in a pile of reeds on the doorstep. The story kinda started with a baby in a basket, right? (Right?) My alter ego is very religious, but I’m not, so I’m iffy on the whole story. I may have to pile bricks on top of him though, because by that point he’ll be mobile and probably won’t have the patience to sit in a basket on a doorstep.

Next weekend is Easter and I get to be ignored by a whole other family and religion. Wahoo!

I think it’s absolutely beautiful the way a new baby brings a family together. I guess my powers of invisibility are being used for good after all!

And I’m okay with this cuteness being my claim to fame.

How to (Sleep) Train Your Dragon(s)

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Image from deubellzebub’s Etsy store. Go buy something so that I don’t get sued for stealing this image.

I think Baby Dragon is about to fall asleep for his early morning nap, but I can never be too sure. With babies you can think you have a good thing going and then blammo, your hell spawn is screaming in his crib and you’re cowering in the corner covered in various kinds of bodily fluids (His? Yours? Who the hell knows).

Yes, the time has come to kick sleep training into high gear. Baby Dragon, whose roar of choice is a wail so deep that instead of striking fear in its opponent (me), it penetrates to the very core of my soul/heart/being (reader’s choice!) and whittles away at my sense of reason by activating the self-doubt gene that every parent struggles their whole existence to overcome. But THAT is the challenge of the ‘cry it out’ (CIO) school of thought. When your baby dragon is wailing alone in his cage (crib), demonstrating his mad drama skillz (he is going to make it in Hollywood, I swear!), you will question your parenting choices. Is CIO really the way to go? What if he really NEEDS me?

Answers: Yes, it is the way to go. And if he really needs me, I will know it, and no book detailing a method is going to deter me from picking him up!

How do I know it’s the way to go? Because sleep in this house is on its way to being something that actually exists! CIO, contrary to popular believe, does not mean leaving your dragon to wail himself into a fury, hone his fire breathing abilities and burn your house down so that you wake up amongst the smouldering cinders (that exact scenario is the popular belief). It is actually a progressive waiting method. The idea is that you put your dragon in his cage awake, tuck him in, kiss him goodnight and leave. If he cries you set a timer and wait until it runs out before going back in. When you go back in you may adjust blankets, replace a soother, pat and kiss for reassurance, but for the love of God DO NOT PICK UP YOUR BABY DRAGON! If you do he will demonstrate the fire breathing skills he’s been working on and you will not only be homeless, you’ll also be hairless… and everyone knows that if you’re homeless in this winter climate you need lots of hair, so please, don’t be ridiculous. You then leave the room again after having spent no more than two minutes with your baby dragon. If he starts to cry again you reset the timer for a slightly longer period and wait it out once more. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat etc. The miracle is that we have never gone beyond two wait periods! This method works for this dragon!

Baby Dragon asleep in his cage

Baby Dragon asleep in his cage

And not only does it work, it has improved his sleep. When we were co-sleeping and Daddy Dragon was relegated to the spare room, Baby Dragon was waking up every 1.5-2 hours during the night. Since the CIO sleep training has begun the 5-6 wake ups/night has been reduced to 1. Yup, that’s right. 1. 1 measly little almost insignificant wake up! It’s a miracle. So, you’d think this mama would be getting some sleep now. Well, you’d be Wrong. That’s right. So wrong that the ‘W’ needs to be capitalized.

Let’s back up a bit.

The sleep training began not by choice. It began because Daddy Dragon reclaimed his rightful place in bed. He weaselled his way back in by engaging in our most romantic conversation to date. It went something like this:

J: The baby is sleeping in his crib tonight.
S: No! I’m not ready!
J: Don’t be a wimp.
S: I’m not a wimp! I’m just not ready! Neither is the baby!
J: You promised that at 4 months he’d go in the crib.
S: … (I got nothing… it’s true. I did promise).
J: So the baby is going in his crib tonight, end of story. (He tries to end the story quite often. He has yet to realize that is isn’t the sole author of this story. Hell, he’s not even the first author of this story! I’m pretty sure that’s the kid.)
S: Fine. If you want the bed back I guess I could sleep with the baby in the spare room.
J: What do I have to do to make you realize that I want you in my bed again? Tell you?
S: Um… yes?

D’awe. Aren’t we sweet?

Romance Fail

This is typical of J’s idea of romance, and is the reason why yes, he did need to tell me!
Image courtesy of mindskin.com

So, Baby Dragon went to his crib that night with no time for me to mentally prepare (probably a good thing cuz I would have just psyched myself out) and Daddy Dragon reclaimed the west side of the bed. At first I was happy that he had expressed a desire to sleep by my side again… but then reality set in and I was swiftly reminded of how difficult it was to learn to sleep by each other’s side comfortably in the first place. Daddy Dragon’s roar of choice is the snore roar, and let me tell you, it is loud and it is mighty. Mighty. Loud. He also likes to fight battles in his sleep which involves a lot of thrashing and grunting. These are the various forms he took last night:

Screen shot 2013-03-15 at 9.58.01 AM

Image courtesy of my real life experience

The pink ‘x’ represents where I fit into the picture. b. is the absolute worst case scenario because I have the least space and the weird neck angle results in the most tremendous snore roar. All scenarios result in blood pouring out of my ears and unhealthy homicidal thoughts. I’m not too sure if sharing the bed again is so good for our relationship… ok, that’s not true. I value the pre-sleeping cuddle time and we did manage to figure out bed-sharing once before. I just need to recommence the shoving and punching that beat him into shape last time around.

Baby Dragon has awakened from his nap and is letting out that frustrated cry that only creatures with underdeveloped wings can master, so off I go to rescue him.

Despite my whinging, I love my Dragons

Despite my whinging, I love my Dragons. Aren’t they beautiful?

P.S. I love that I have about five million drafts started, but this post is the one that made it to completion. Why? Because two of my favourite blogesses have also posted about sleep (or, to be more accurate, lack thereof) in the last two days. Sleep is so important and so scarce with wee ones around. I have to credit their misery for the actual completion of this post. Check them out:

Sanity Has Left the Building

A (mostly) Depressing Post

Bored Baby

This? Again? Really Mom?

This? Again? Really Mom?

...

… 2 minutes later

Every Mommy Needs a Daddy Sometimes

So after yet another night of four feedings I groggily and reluctantly woke up before the sunrise because Baby H said so. I went down, popped a T-Disc in the machine and cried to myself a little bit. I miss my friend Sleep so much, although I somehow don’t feel it so much during the day. I miss it in the throes of lacking it, when J is fast asleep and snoring.

I came back upstairs to where my little wiggle monster was, well, wiggling around in his bassinet. I flipped on the TV to find a familiar scene unfolding.

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As a pregnant lady watching this movie last summer I definitely related most to the Elizabeth Banks character. Despite people telling me that I had ‘that glow’, I did not have that glow. It was just sweat. Buckets and buckets of sweat. To be fair, it was the hottest summer on record and I had no air conditioning, but still. I spent the last months of my pregnancy flopping around on the couch feeling like I’d never be comfortable ever again.

So, given this information, and the fact that I have clearly forgotten it, why on earth do I feel twinges of envy as friend after friend announces their summer babies on the way and posts adorable belly bump pictures? They are still small enough that they really are glowing and lovely. Maybe that’s why. Maybe if they were posting pictures of themselves looking like beached whales or Violet Beauregarde post-blueberry incident I might not feel that little bit of envy.

Two days before the birth of H... see the resemblance?

Two days before the birth of H… see the resemblance?

Why on earth would I miss being pregnant? Besides being huge and uncomfortable, I was a sleep deprived hormonal nightmare. I haven’t slept since August! I have no sleep in the foreseeable future. And while I don’t begrudge J his sleep (ok, I do begrudge him just a smidgen of sleep), I have in fact, as Amy at Pregnant Chicken (<- Pregnant women, click that link. You’ll thank me later.) warned, stared at his sleeping, peaceful face at 2am and wondered what the hell the point of him is. In those sleepless 2am moments, especially post-baby, as I stumble around blearily trying to figure out if the baby needs to be changed, nursed, or both, I think of J simply as “the sperm donor” and feel like he couldn’t possibly be the father because he clearly abandons me in every 2am moment of need. If only the men had the boobs… (ok, no. I love breastfeeding and wouldn’t give it up for any amount of uninterrupted sleep, and that’s the truth!).

Sperm Donor

Ok, to the point. On those nights I don’t really feel abandoned. That’s the deal. He needs to get up at 5am to work every day, and he operates heavy machinery. I’d be a pretty horrible person if I expected him to share in the sleepless nights. However, despite my supermom status, I must admit that sometimes I need him. And so does the baby. The other night, I was having a moment (or several). For the life of me, I could not get little H to sleep. He’s normally really easy to put to bed! Nurse him or pop a soother in and he’s fast asleep in 5. This night, though, I felt like my baby had been replaced by a banshee. He screamed until he was purple in the face, tears streaming from his eyes. I tried everything but he could not be consoled. This is how J found us upon arriving home from work at 10pm (where he’d been since 6am). I fully anticipated that he’d disappear into the basement or to bed and leave me to deal with the shit show we’d created. Instead I was pleasantly surprised. He came into the room and started talking to the screaming, writhing mass that I suspected was the baby but was no longer sure. My head was throbbing and I couldn’t think clearly. All of a sudden there was silence as H listened to his daddy’s voice. There was still some pouting and gasping going on, so J picked up the baby and off they went to play in front of the mirror and have a little chat. An hour later a perfectly calm little angel child was returned to me and we fell asleep side by side, which is where J found us 6 hours later at 5am. It was a miracle.

So you see girls, there is a point to him. If you’re tempted in those last days of pregnancy or early days of baby to stab him with a fork as he lies there sleeping like an angel (or snoring like at trucker), hold off. Think about it for a few days to make sure its what you really want to do. You might end up regretting it because even though it may not seem like it during those sleepless nights, every mommy needs a daddy sometimes.

S and J

Greetings from my Kitchen Dance Party (I suck at cleaning)

I have never been tidy. Most of my parent/child battles were over picking up after myself. It was typical to go for weeks without seeing my bedroom floor. Who needs carpet when you can make your own carpet out of My Little Ponies and a million discarded outfits? Pre-pregnancy my idea of a kitchen dance party was getting drunk in my best friend’s kitchen/living/dining/office room thing (hey, at least she owns a condo, ok?) and shouting the lyrics of Firework to each other across the room (which basically means in each others faces… have you seen what an affordable middle class condo in Toronto looks like these days? It’s ridiculous. I’ve been watching old episodes of Property Virgins and its ridiculous how far 300K went even just 10 years ago).

Drunk Ponies

S: “Do you ever feel”

R:”LIKE A PLASTIC BAG!”

Lately I have felt like a plastic bag… full of groceries, for everyone but me. Seriously. If I’m not looking after the kid I’m making dinner or cleaning something, and lets face it, time for that is scarce with a baby. I spend most of my day making funny faces and sounds in order to keep my spawn entertained (ok, it’s entertaining for me too). Right now he’s napping and I have so much housework to do. How the hell did I end up a stay at home mom? Sometimes I want to be like Jenna Marbles and just sit in front of my webcam, hold my Master’s Degree in my arms, and cry.

Except it should say "Before I clean my kitchen"

Except it should say “Before I clean my kitchen”

Who am I? Seriously. I SUCK at taking care of a house. It’s pathetic. If I had been the CEO of RIM (or Blackberry, as it is now called) I would have saved that sinking ship long before Wednesday’s announcement of the Blackberry 10 (jury’s still out, Blackberry). I could have built a Titanic that was structurally sound. I can move any kind of mountain… unless its made of laundry. In that case I’d be more inclined to lie on top of it and read a good book. Yeah…

So that's how the Blackberry 10 finally happened

So that’s how the Blackberry 10 finally happened

Hard to believe that I’ve been a stay at home mom for 3 months now. Yup. That’s right. Baby H is three months old today! That means he’s officially an infant and no longer a newborn (*sniff*). He’s getting so big! It’s like he changes before my eyes every day.

HBug

So, how can I make this new gig mine and stop this house from being condemned? Recreate the kitchen drunk dance party! Cuz baby I’m a firework! Or I could just set off some fireworks inside and get the house condemned so that I can move into a one bedroom condo. Crazy you say? I say there is much less to clean in a one bedroom shoebox than a three story three bedroom house!

Instead I listened to Firework on repeat because for some reason it reminds me that I’m still me (even if I’m alone and sober… and despite the fact that Katy Perry’s tits have never been kicked out of a Walmart) and baked cupcakes.

I let my colours burst all over these cupcakes, baby!

I let my colours burst all over these cupcakes, baby!

I might suck at cleaning, but I’m original, cannot be replaced. Also, I do own the night like… Canada Day Night… yeah.

P.S. For the record, I’m doing a pretty freaking good job for someone who might have failed home economics had it been offered at my school.

P.P.S. I was kidding about the whole drunk party thing. I haven’t been drunk since… last February. You do the math.

P.P.P.S. Cupcake?