Baby, Stairs Are Dangerous

I haven’t completely trusted my husband with Bean.  I’ve left them alone together (they look after each other on Saturday and Sunday) but there’s always this little nag in the back of my mind.  What if, what if, what if…it chants, spinning my anxieties and having me imagine the worst possible scenario.  Hubby is easily distracted.  He has a tendency to get sucked into the computer for hours on end.  Doing impersonal things when he’s supposed to be looking after the boy.  While I know much of this worry and mistrust is my anxiety, that logical conclusion does nothing to quell my fears.

Yesterday one of those fears came true.

At his grandparent’s house (Hubby’s side) Bean often goes up and down the stairs with our help.

This time he wormed his way past his father and attempted it on his own, tumbling headfirst down the flight of carpeted stairs.

Lightening quick, hubby dove headfirst after him, catching Bean’s shirt halfway down and preventing a full tumble.  Bean finished his fall gentler than he would have without his father’s quick grab and after a bit of scared tears and crying Bean was back to his normal self, wandering around and being silly.  He doesn’t even have a bruise or a red mark from this scary fall!

Hubby, on the other hand, has ended up with a scraped knee that would make any schoolyard boy jealous and multiple bruises on his shoulder and leg.  His knee puffed up and he’s been hobbling around since.

We took Bean to the doctor after I got home from work just to be sure everything was fine.

Someone was certainly looking after Bean yesterday and that someone was his father, my hero.


Struggling To Keep Up – PPD, Anxiety and Back To Work Blues

I knew going back to work would be hard, but I didn’t think It would hurt this damn much.

Thursdays and Fridays are the worst days for me.

Every Thursday I wake up and cram as much “special time” in to the two hours before we leave that I can, in between getting clean and dressed.  I’ll feed Bean his favorite breakfast of grapes and crackers and turn on a bit of Pocoyo so he’ll sit in my lap and munch happily away.

He’s so excited when we get ready to go out the door.  He holds my hand and laughs as he half walks/half jumps down the stairs to the car.

He’s content and happy and silly and everything I love until that fateful right turn.

The right turn down the street towards his caretaker.

I try not to look in the mirror.  I try to ignore his little whines and cries as his face scrunches up in anxiety and sadness.

By the time I get him out of the car he’s sobbing, his body shaking.  I make it as painless as I can.  I hand him off, dig out his current lovie from his bag, give him a hug, tell him I love him, then head out the door.

I can hear his cries until I’ve pulled out of the driveway and driven away.

The last image I have of Bean as I head into work is a look of total…well…betrayal.  I’ve betrayed his trust.  I’ve made my child cry.

I hate it.  Most of the time I spend the drive to work near tears and coiled in taut anxiety.

I don’t even get to pick him up as my shifts are long.  I don’t see him again until the next morning, repeating the same from yesterday only I’m more beaten down and bone-tired from the previous day’s 10 hour shift.

I get three days with him a week and one of those days I spend wound up in extreme anxiety over the Thursday morning that will inevitably come.  That look on his face, those tears in his eyes.

It breaks my fucking heart.

Before I went back to work I was told by a woman at the local drop in that “You could stay at home if you tried.”  What a damaging comment for me to hear.  She has no idea what kind of anxiety and sadness and guilt her flippant remark caused.

See, my husband’s in school.  It’s his last year and he needs to concentrate.  I’m making just enough that we are scraping by.  Of course the childcare subsidy hasn’t kicked in either (thanks ultra slow government) and I am working two of my four days just to pay for childcare.  Seems stupid to me.

And it’s not, as people keep complaining, that childcare is “too expensive”.  It’s not.  In fact it’s downright underpaid.  If I could give the woman who takes care of the most precious thing in the world to me the money she deserved I would.  The problem is that those of us needing childcare the most – the ones who don’t have a “choice” – the ones who have to work to eat and put a roof over our heads – don’t get paid enough.  We scrape and save and get by on minimum wage while people who don’t understand turn their nose up and say we have a “choice”.

Right now the stress in our household is at an all-time high.  Hubby’s got some anxiety and depression issues coupled with some hard-core schooling (it’s hard going back after so much time away) so I try my best to give him some slack.

I’ve got some post-partum anxiety that kicked into high gear a few months ago (remember when I disappeared from the blogosphere and then wrote a cryptic message of sadness?  Yeah, then.) and has only started to get better the last two weeks (and by better I mean I can function day-to-day without weird and scary bouts of anger and panic attacks).  We are getting buried underneath a mountain of unorganized stuff that we had to throw as high as possible when Bean hit all his crazy growth spurts and began to walk.  And climb.  And grab.

I just can’t seem to catch up.  It’s overwhelming everyday to say the least.  Often I walk into a room and just stand there.  My apartment is a jumbled mess of disorganized chaos – I guess it’s kind of a reflection of me these days.

Things will get better, logically I know this.  Just how I feel, right now, in the moment is somewhat hopeless.  Bean is my only ray of light during my day to day and not being around him very much four days a week weakens me.

I’m not even sure where this blog post is going.  It’s a bit of a jumbled mess, like me.  Guess I just needed to vent a bit.  Thanks for listening.

BabyBean’s List of Awesome Videos For Busy Toddlers (That Don’t Drive Mom Mad)

In order to keep my son entertained and my sanity intact I occasionally let him watch some television.  Aaaand by occasionally I mean at least once a day, for about half an hour.  Or more.  Let’s be honest here, I like daily showers.

A would like to share with you some of his favorite shows.  Now keep in mind we don’t actually have television and he watches things streamed from the internet.  Which is good, because we’ve managed to avoid these shows.  I’d rather he get into Ni Hao Kai-lan than Dora as I think Mandarin would be more useful than Spanish this close to Toronto but also because Dora drives me NUTS.  Why do cartoon kids have to have such high-pitched, squeaky voices?

So without further ado I give you BabyBean’s List of Awesome Videos For Busy Toddlers (That Don’t Drive Mom Mad)

#1)  Pocoyo – This show (originally in Spanish and then re-dubbed for British television) is adorable.  Pocoyo is a spastic toddler living in a world of imagination.  The backgrounds are white with only the characters and whatever they are interacting with on screen at any given time.  The show is seven minutes long and full of fun and lessons on friendship, sharing and learning.  There is little speaking from Pocoyo or the other characters (who are animals) and instead relies on a narrator to interact with the characters and tell the story.  A narrator named Stephen Fry.  Who is a brilliant British comedian with a lovely voice.

Bean loves this show.  He gets very excited when it comes on and if I want him to go to the living room I say “What’s Pocoyo doing?” and he’ll run to the television.  I managed to scrounge up some board books on Amazon and his favorite for bedtime is now about Pocoyo going to sleep.  He’s also started to get up and dance when Pocoyo does.  The only downside is because this is a British show it’s hard to find it here other than online, and “stuff” is even harder to find.  Or expensive because they have to import it.  But it’s free and official on youtube so look it up and you’ll laugh right along with Pocoyo and his friends.

#2)  Thomas – I tried to avoid this one.  I mean, the weirdly expressive faces on the trains creep me out.  But they have Thomas trains in Chapters and Toys R Us that he plays with – so I was doomed from his first toy train experience.  Now he sees Thomas on backpacks and other things and gleefully points at them saying “Vrboom Brboom”.  Needing a break from Pocoyo I decided to look up a few episodes on YouTube and found it to be a relaxing and pleasant show.  Bean gathers up his trains (he has two now) and runs them along a pretend track while the show plays.  He is still young for it but he likes the music and the voices are calming – not annoying.

I’ll also admit that I enjoyed an episode about Hiro, a Japanese train that had broken down and Thomas and his friends were trying to save from scrap by fixing him themselves.  I just…why do they have drivers? Are they actual people that ride around in these living trains or are they human-ish puppets psychically controlled by their train masters?  I also find it mildly disturbing that these sentient talking trains could be sent for “scrap” when they are deemed by sir toppemhat (obviously Sodor’s overlord) to be no longer really useful engines.  Sodor is a land full of mysteries that this mother cannot comprehend.  But it’s narrated by Ringo so there’s that.

#3)  Finding Nemo –  Bean loves fish.  He gets very excited by aquariums.  And since Finding Nemo is pretty much a one and a half hour animated aquarium with talking fish – this pleases my wee guy very much.  Also jelly fish are apparently HILARIOUS. I love Pixar and this movie in particular too.  Plus I love Dory.  Just keep swimming!

#4)  Adventure Time –  Admittedly this isn’t for everyone.  But I’m a huge nerd and I love this show so it’s on this list.  Bean is too young to “get” it but it’s full of brightly colored characters who prance around in a brightly colored world and say silly things.  Toddler heaven.  Also he loves the “Dah” (dog) Jake and has a doll of him which is his favorite stuffie.  He sucks on Jake’s arms when he’s upset.

So there you are.  That is the list of shows I will put on for Bean when I need to occupy him while I shower/make food/do laundry/feel sane.   Some honorable mentions are Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and Muppets but the ones above – those are the ones that get the adorable squeals, the jumps for joy and the spastic pointing and gesturing.

Someday it will probably be Dora, Toopy and Binoo or (shudder) Max and Ruby but for now I’m going to enjoy the fleeting time of shows that don’t make me want to stab my eyes out with a fork.