Realization At The Park

I realized something today while taking Arthur out to the park.

Seeing as it was the nicest weather we’ve had yet the park was full of happy kids and parents.  I disentangled Arthur from the Ergo and set him on the ground.  Immediately I had a mini conversation with a mother about how cute my son’s jacket is.  Another young mom came over to coo over Arthur and her little girl gave him a pat on the head.

I took Arthur over to the swings and tried to get him in – a kind mom came over and helped me fit his legs through the hole.  She made a joke about “wait till he’s older and his boots get stuck” and it hit me.

I’m one of THEM.  A mom.  An ADULT.

I think my inside teenager laughed and screamed at the same time.

I mean, I know I’m a mother.  I routinely touch the scar across my belly to remind myself of the  beginning to this tale.  My most stimulating conversation recently involved the different consistencies of baby poop and I know all the words to “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes” by heart.

But I didn’t realize until today that I’m a mom.

That instead of being an awkward teenager enjoying the cuteness of any given child, I understand the amount of time and effort the parents put into letting this young life shine.

Instead of being a know it all twenty something judging the mom with the screaming kids in the mall, I’m sending her looks of understanding and empathy.

Instead of sitting on the park bleachers a jaded thirty year old having a cigarette and watching the mothers in the park, I’m pushing my own kid in the swing and haven’t smoked since before he was born.

I’m the mother in the park with her child.  I’m the lady on the bus with a stroller.  I’m the woman taking up the special parking for mothers with young children.  I’ve got a family and life has changed.

Swings are AWESOME

Swings are AWESOME

I’m navigating some new social waters by chatting with other mothers.  I don’t know what topics are taboo, what compliments to their children will be taken the wrong way, how much of my nerdy inner self can I reveal before they run away in horror.  I’m in unfamiliar territory here.  Thank goodness there are some other mothers out there willing to throw me a  life jacket.

Sick, sick GO AWAY!

I just don’t have the energy tonight, internet.  

It started innocent enough.  Arthur throwing up then continuing about his day like nothing had happened.  Then it hit me.  Then Fred.  For the last four days we have been fighting off this pukey plague.  Then today just as the adults of the house are feeling better my poor Bubbi wakes up all coughey and sneezey and grumpy and clingy.  He’s managed to get himself a nice case of baby bronchitis.  I am now working on little to no sleep having taken care of two babies for the last week.  

So, world.  If I’m tired and grumpy and down-in-the-dumps and just don’t have the energy to deal with anymore shit you’ll have to forgive me.

I have a baby to anxiously lie next to and stare at to make sure he keeps breathing.

Sleep is for the weak anyways.

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To cheer all of us up, here is this picture. Because YES.

Going Back To Work – Decisions, Decisions

I wish someone had told me that I would need to start looking into daycares so early.  Like before I even healed from the c-section early.  The waiting lists are 3 mths long at least, even more so for us (since we are applying for subsidy).

I don’t have a lot of time.  My maternity leave will be up in May (my apologies to my US readers for what will seem to you like a whiny-bitch rant from a lucky Canadian) and I need to figure out a source of income fast.  I would also like to give my previous awesome workplace an answer to “when/are you coming back?”.

Ideally I would be a SAHM.  I’d wear adorable aprons and back goodies while nurturing my growing boy with fun outings and nutritious homemade food.  Also the house would sparkle and the dog would be content and my lipstick would always be perfect.

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A cake made with love. Or poison. Or both.

Are you laughing at my delusions yet?  I am. I’ve had 8 months to perfect this but my house is SO not clean, Fred cooks many of his own meals, and I don’t even remember how to apply lipstick.  Arthur is happy and nurtured though and that’s the major hurdle, right?

Truthfully though the reason I can’t stay home has nothing to do with nurturing or the ability to make my bathroom sparkle.  It’s money.  Money to buy gas.  Food.  Pay for electricity and internet. House payments. What with hubby in school full time we’re walking on glass as it is.

Also ideally I’d be a WAHM.  I’d find a job I could do over the internet with my mad google-fu and facebooking prowess that would pay the bills with a little something left over for the occaisional cupcake treat.  Granted with this added responsibility my housekeeping would take an even worse nosedive but hey, that’s the price I’d pay for the chance to be with Arthur all the time.  And any other little ones we are planning for in the near future.  Which we are.

So if being a stay or work at home mom (or fantasy 50’s housewife) isn’t a reasonable option for me right now, what is?

Go back to work.  This option depends on many factors – me having the car, having very specific shifts, not working weekends, finding the right daycare, getting daycare subsidy (because if we don’t then i’d be working to pay for daycare with a take home of $20 a day).

Become my own daycare.  I could take a couple kids into my home through the week.  Arthur would have playmates and I wouldn’t have to leave him.  A few things hinder this plan but on the whole there are more positives than negatives to it.  I’d have to get an updated first aid and a police check.  And completely re-arrange and de-clutter the apartment.  But this option is more and more doable the more I think about it.  I would only take two children on top of Arthur – one infant, one older.  I live close to a park and library and early years center. Pretty ideal location actually.

Another option has me looking after furry four-legged children.  Dogs.  I could dog sit or dog walk.  I have a friend who does this (both walks dogs and takes them into her home for a weekend or so) and would be fully capable of doing both.  I’m going to explore this option more as well.

Are you a stay at home mom?  Do you work from home?  Look after children?  I’d love to hear other stories – may give me a clue to make up my mind about what to do.  I hate having everything up in the air like this.  I’m open to suggestions to find my ideal solution!

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Everything I do, I do for him.

Cyber Bullying

I’m all cuddled up in a warm, soft bed with a warm, soft baby trying desperately to take a much needed nap.  On my computer sit two blog posts that I wanted to finish and post tonight – one about the International Day of the Girl yesterday.  Neither of those things are happening because I watched a video.

This video by Amanda Todd who was cyber bullied and committed suicide this week.  You have to watch it on the news story as You Tube took the original down.

This hit so close to home.  Having been bullied and taken advantage of from grade 7 onwards I know.  I know the fear.  The anxiety.  The guilt.    I understand the desire to just make it all go away.

I can’t believe that people are STILL trying to find fault with her actions.  She may have made a mistake.  That’s what teenagers do.  They make mistakes so that they can learn and become adults someday.  At least we hope they do.

Some are calling what she did a “cry for attention”.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Of COURSE it was a cry for attention.  It was a silent SCREAM for help.  When you are terrified of losing the love and respect of the only people still around you your actions become symbolic of your feelings.  She needed people to pay more attention.  She drank bleach for goodness’ sake.

I don’t blame her.  I can’t.  For many reasons but most of all because she could have been me.  Had the faceless internet been available to those who tormented me – would my life have been any different?  Would I still be here to type these words?  The internet has given rise to a type of bullying that the laws and schools and even parents are struggling to catch up to.

The school isn’t to blame.  I have seen many comments asking why the school didn’t step in.  Often the hands of the teachers are tied, if they even know there is a problem to begin with.  They ignore bullying because they lack the power to do anything about it.  Often the parents of the bullies cause a stink.

The parents – who’s to really say?  My parents only found out what was going on in one school because they came home to find me sobbing on the floor one day.  When they moved me into a new school which ended up being worse I found a way to hide it from them – I felt guilty for making them worry.  In my mind it was my fault and I didn’t want the last people who loved me to abandon me.

I hope they find that pervert who coerced a grade 7 girl to flash him, took a picture, stalked her, and spread the picture to all of her family and friends.  Twice.  I hope they lock him up and throw away the key.

From what I understand the group who beat her and left her in a ditch threw a party after her death to celebrate.  People who made fun of her are writing on her memorial wall saying they loved her and will miss her.  What bullshit!

One of the people who tormented me in grade 7 and 8 saw me in a mall when I was just over 20.  She came up and tried to chat me up as if nothing had ever happened.  I remember looking at her and all those fears and anxieties came rushing back.  I couldn’t believe she had forgotten.  I asked why she thought I would want to speak with her after they way I had been treated.  “We were just kids, right?” was her response.  Just kids.  These girls and boys knew EXACTLY what they were doing.  Amanda moved from the school where they were into a new school and they TRACKED HER DOWN and bullied her there.  The internet has given bullies the ability to find victims and continue the attacks long after the victims have physically gone.  How much more would I have endured if my bullies could have found me so easily?

Anyone saying that bullying has always been around and this is the same is on crack.  Adding cyber into the mix makes things easier for bullies and worse for the bullied.  There is no escape.

But what’s to be done about it?

Amanda’s death has triggered a heated dialogue across the country about bullying in schools, cyber-bullying and mental health.  It’s shone a light on the lack of protection kids have against cyber attacks.  It’s shown us that children are slipping through the cracks – some with deadly results.  It’s highlighted a need for Canada to get serious on mental health issues and make sure that the support is there for those who need it.

It’s made me cry.  For Amanda and her life spent in anxiety and fear.  For my lost childhood.  For all those suffering in silence right now.  For the future that my son might have.

Something needs to change.  What we have isn’t working.  New laws are being stopped in parliament because anti-bullying means against homophobia too (I’m looking at you Conservatives).

I, for one, will raise my children with empathy and strength.  The ability to stand up for themselves but also for others.  The knowledge that they can ALWAYS come to me and I will move heaven and earth to help them.

I hope you have finally found peace, Amanda, and someone to eat lunch with.

These Are a Few of His Favorite Things

I don’t have much time tonight but in the interest of not letting this blog rot again I’m going to do a quick post before Babybean wakes up and demands to feed.  Speaking of breastfeeding did I ever mention that when Bean was a squishy faced little newborn attached to my breast he resembled someone.

Awwww…2 days old and already captain of a starship.

He looks like Patrick Stewart, I often thought.  No, seriously.  I don’t know if it was the angle or his hairline or his wrinkly forehead or a combo of all three but my newborn baby often reminded me of Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek TNG.  I sometimes wondered if he was going to point at my nipple and say “Make it so.”

Anyways, I got distracted there.  Now that Bean is 3 months old he’s showing favoritism for things in his world.  Other than my bosom I mean.  So here it is, a top 10 list of Bean’s favorite things.

1.  Throwing up down Father’s back.  One time he even managed to get baby puke down both Father’s shirt that he was wearing AND the shirt on the chair behind them.  For some reason I seem pretty immune to the curdled shoulder shower.

2.  Baths.  At first he hated them but then we discovered the secret to peaceful baby baths.  Take the bath with them!  Fill the tub, hop on in, have your significant other pass you the baby and voila!  Make sure to always sing a rousing rendition of Ernie’s “Rubber Ducky” as well.  This will also help with cleaning up the mess from favorite thing #1.

3.  This toy.

I found it for sale in the soon-to-be defunct Zellers and showed it to him.  He smiled REALLY wide and didn’t stop laughing at the thing for at least an hour.  It had to be his.  In fact he loves it so much I’m thinking of buying up their stock so we always have one.

4.  This book.

Admittedly I bought it because it involved cupcakes and had an adorable pumpkin inside.  Turns out the kawaii cartoons are just Bean’s style and he loves the words.  Plus I get to pretend to eat him up at the end.

5.  Ghost Hunters.  You know that show where a couple plumbers hunt for ghosts in America’s weirdest places?  I do and I love them.  I own all the seasons.  Turns out the black and white IR camera recording style is ROCKIN for keeping babies entertained.  Who knew?  Or maybe he can see all the ghosts cause he’s a paranormal kid.  He does make an OOoooOOooo sound a lot.

Mooooom it’s moving again!

6.  The dog.  Well, perhaps love is the wrong word as she tends to lick him in the inner thighs and tickle him with her whiskers.  Sometimes he loves it other times he doesn’t.  However he thought it was great fun when she gave him a headlicking while I was in the bathroom and couldn’t do anything about it.  His own doggie hairdresser.  Too bad he’s pretty much bald.

7.  Father’s workplace.  It’s a home decor store and full of shiny and colorful things for him to look at.  It is also full of co-worker women who love to love Bean and give him mucho attention.

It’s just a lamp. It doesn’t have feelings.

8.  Lamps.  On or off.  Since we brought this child home he has had a fascination with lamps.  Tall lamps, small lamps it doesn’t matter.  They are a source of amusement and talkings at.

9.  Fingers.  That’s right, give my child the finger and he will shut up.

No fire until you’re 18 young man.

10.  Music.  He’s pretty attentive to sights AND sounds so he seems to enjoy music.  So far his favorites are “We Are Young” by Fun,  “Fly Me To The Moon” sung by me and “Come What May” sung by me.  🙂

Babybean you amaze me every day.  I can’t wait to discover more of your favorite things.  Other moms please leave me a comment and let me know what are YOUR child’s favorite things?

 

Pregnant Ponderings

So I’m pregnant. 28 weeks pregnant.  That’s more pregnant than I’ve ever been and gods willing I’ll be bringing this bean into the world in 2 1/2 months time. Probably earlier, I feel this will be an early birth. I’m not sure why I feel this way – perhaps it’s the way Arthurbean kicks me constantly as if he’s anxious to leave my belly and see the world. I think he knows the wonders that await him in this apartment (awesome dad, adorable dog, more animated movies, comics and video games than he could ever want). It’s fatherbean’s fault. He’s been reading a book on the Tardis from Doctor Who to Arthur before bed. Who wouldn’t want to learn more about the Doctor?

I’ve got sciatica, my hips constantly hurt, my back aches from simultaneously holding up a giant belly and ginormous boobs (did you know there is bigger than an H cup? I do now.), carpal tunnel is my constant friend at work, I forget things all the time but…but…but…look at my hair! It’s so thick and shiny and wavy – I touch it all the time. Fatherbean loves it as I have left it long and flowing instead of cutting it short for the oncoming summer.  So when the physical pain and inconvenience gets too much some days I just run my hands through my lustrous hair (I can use that word again hee hee hee).

Arthurbean you’ll have to stay inside a bit longer.  I have a nursery to set up, furniture to buy, a husband to prepare, classes to attend, and a baby blanket to finish knitting for you.  There’s currently a foster dog occupying your nursery (see picture) and he’ll be leaving for his new foster home in May.  Your nursery theme is puppies anyways, so he’s just been keeping it puppied for you.  We have so many useful things we need to buy you (a stroller, car seat, clothes, bottles, nibs, soothers etc etc etc) but your easily distracted mamabean keeps getting sidetracked by adorable baby plush that are in the shape of puppies.  I really hope you like puppies.

I love you already and above anything else that happens during my day I ponder the day I get to meet you, finally.

Then I remember that day comes with crazy pain and screaming (thanks prenatal classes!) and ponder something else.  Like puppies.