Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Great Potty Training Saga*: Part 1

*I assume it's going to be a saga; we've only just started.

A couple of months ago, we bought the monster a potty chair, just to get him used to the idea. Sitting on it with his clothes on, before baths, whatever.  He didn't hate it, but wasn't that into it, either. I hated it, because it has a closing lid which I always worried would pinch his fingers and it isn't very grippy on the bottom, so it slid around every time he got on or off.

A couple weeks ago, we bought him an insert (I was so excited that along with Dora and Paw Patrol, Walmart offered... plain white with green (Sesame Street green, but not a Sesame Street seat) handles.

He loves this thing, and asks to sit on the toilet multiple times per day.  He hasn't actually used the toilet yet, but there have been a couple of near misses.

The first, he asked to go on the toilet and I thought he just wanted to sit up there for (if you'll excuse the pun) shits and giggles.  He had food in his hand and I don't want him thinking he can use the toilet and eat at the same time (ew), so I didn't put him up.  Turns out he needed to poop.

The next time, he asked to go on the toilet, I put him on there (properly, with no pants or diapers) and (as per his demand) sat on the lid of his potty chair, while he babbled and kicked his feet.  He decided he was done, I helped him down and went to get a clean diaper.  I came back to him standing in a pile of poo (yay!)... it was also on the bath mat, his pants which I had removed and his socks.

Last night, he asked, I took to long getting his PJs and diaper off - he peed on my hand, my pants, his socks... and like 2 drops in the actual toilet. So... progress?

The thing is, he knows what the toilet is, and now he lets us know pretty much right away when his diaper is dirty.  He even says "diapuh" and will go and get one if he wants it changed.  He also will run to the bathroom to ask to sit on the toilet.  

I posted on my birth board and while a lot of people are training already (he's 15 months), I got my fair share of naysayers.  One person said she wants her kids to be potty trained, instead of herself becoming parent trained. I mean, I'm going to be taking him to the bathroom for the next five or six years when we're in public, and I'm trained to change his diaper every time he dirties it, so I'm pretty sure I'm already parent trained - and so is she - and so is anyone who has kids who are too young to use a public restroom alone.  The same woman had a lot to say about kids being emotionally ready, that they should feel remorse when they have an accident - which I think is a horrible way to try to avoid accidents which the kid may have literally no control over.

Another lady started talking about how in her house, kids aren't sitting naked on the potty chair in the living room, watching Barney.  Pretty sure she's projecting and that comment had nothing to do with me, since 1) The potty chair and all toilety stuff is in my bathroom, 2) I don't own a TV and the monster doesn't get screen time and 3) Didn't Barney go off the air like... 15+ years ago? I'm pretty sure no child is watching Barney whilst on the potty.

In terms of readiness, I don't want the monster to "hold it" (yet).  I want him to recognize the urge to go and communicate it to Mr. Wolfman or I, and it's our job to get him to the toilet on time. Honestly, I think he's getting it.  It'd be nice not to have to wipe poop off my bathroom floor, but hey, gotta start somewhere.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dear People Without Kids:

7pm is not a good time for dinner, when you're meeting a family who has a one year old (or when you're meeting two families with 3 kids 3 and under between them). That's an hour before bedtime. He should be in the bath.

Dear Mr. Wolfman: instead of agreeing to whatever time people suggest and then informing me after the fact, how about you take a second to remember when our kid's bedtime is, and consider the fact that I do the entire bedtime routine alone.

Le Sigh.


A disgruntled, queasy and very tired Mummy.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What is it with Boys and Sports?

...or, more accurately, boys' stuff and sports.

Probably about 75% of the monster's clothes and toys are 2nd hand. Which means that it's not always about style when I'm shopping for clothes; it's about what condition something is in, whether or not it will be comfortable, and how long it will fit.

I look everything over before I buy it, but I don't really look at it. I'm looking to see if there are stains, tears, worn patches, etc.

So I bought the monster a pair of fuzzy PJs.  A little pilling, but in otherwise good condition. Plus the nice guy was working at the thrift shop, so them, the other pair of PJs I bought, 9 pairs of socks, 1 pair of mittens, 2 decorative spoons and a book only cost me $4. The PJs are cookie monster - pretty cute.

And then I got them home and noticed... football helmets?

The fabric is seriously: baby cookie monster eating a cookie, baby cookie monster in a diaper eating a cookie, jugs of milk, cookies on their own... and random sports equipment. Helmets, sneakers and whistles.
They're sadly not footie pajamas, so I grab the monster one of his new pairs of socks.  Giant 9s on the side, in the same font you get on the back of football jerseys.

And this isn't even the first time it's happened. Not long ago, he outgrew some great quality PJs that were covered in various sports paraphernalia and had numbers and a baseball applique on them; when he was a newborn, I bought a set of hats on sale, only to get them home and find out that the cute little bulldogs were surrounded by footballs.

I could pay closer attention, if it bothered me that much.  But it's not so much that some of his clothes are sports-related, that gets to me.  It's more the insidious way that sports and construction themes get sneaked onto boys' clothes, and the glaringly obvious way they're omitted from girls'.

It's all the: this is for boys, this is for girls bullshit that's still going on, even though it's nearly 2016. You know what you never see on boys' clothes? Horses. Unless there are cowboys involved. You never just see a horse, on its own, on a boy's sweater.  Or a cat. And you're equally unlikely to see a dump truck on a girl's shirt.

It's like, at some point, there was a secret meeting, and not only did all the various activities, professions and interests get divided by genitals, the fucking animals did as well.

Dinosaurs? Obviously for boys. Dolphins? Girls. Cats and horses are for girls, too.  Lizards and sharks, boys. Dogs can go either way, but need accessories to gender things up.  A bow or a sparkly collar indicates a girl-appropriate dog, while a surfboard or suspenders make it for a boy. Nerdy glasses are a bit too ambiguous, so a second accessory is usually required.

Seriously, people, what the crap are we teaching our kids?

Friday, December 18, 2015

I should be sleeping.

The monster is sleeping.... and I am damn tired.  Instead I keep taking those annoyingly unhelpful early pregnancy quizzes online.

A bunch of symptoms that could be otherwise explained (including fatigue and tender breasts), 2 negative HPTs, nausea, lightheadedness, gas, constipation, lemonade cravings, brain fog, 3 weeks late. And a partridge in a pear tree.  My appointment (with some rando doctor, as Dr. Illegible is on vacation) is on Xmas eve.  It's so far away.

Except nowhere near far enough away, in another sense, because I have yet to finish making DH's present and I'm too queasy to work on it atm.  I also have to finish making my niece's present and make something for my nephew.  At least the monster is taken care of.

I should be sleeping.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


You may be thinking from my last post that I'm some sort of Christmas-hating Grinch.  Not so. I love Christmas.  In fact, my tree has been up since the middle of November.

In all that time, the monster has noticed the tree, kinda glanced at it, but not, surprisingly, tried to pull it down from the high dresser it sits on, or been particularly interested in general.

Today, I plugged in the lights, and he looked up, wide-eyed, with this huge smile and said, "Aaahhh!" He was just so amazed.  Then he looked at me, to make sure I was looking and did the open-palm gesture he reserves for pointing out really big or amazing things and said "Aaah" again.

And this is why I love Christmas.  That feeling of total wonder and awe, that pure, unsullied magic.

This year, all our gifts are either homemade or secondhand and we don't have money for much of anything - and I'm so damn excited, because my monster is noticing Christmas for the very first time, because he'll be able to eat Xmas dinner with us, maybe have a taste of pie, play outside in the snow. I'm so happy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mall Santas Suck and So Do You

Mall Santas. I effing hate mall Santas.

Perhaps not the individuals, who I suspect by and large are just looking to make some extra money and/or bring joy to children - but the whole concept of mall Santas in general is just... gross.

It's that time of year when my social media gets flooded with pictures of people's small children, crying their eyes out on the lap of a stranger - and every time I see it, it makes me want to puke.

And, of course, there are the captions. Not a fan of Santa, lol.  What? You mean to tell me your toddler didn't enjoy being thrust into the hands of a funny-smelling stranger in a cheap polyester suit while an artificially cheerful elf took pictures? How surprising (and sooooo funny)! Then there's: We were expecting him to cry but... But what? You're an asshole, so you didn't care?  The picture was worth more to you than your kid's comfort and ability to trust you? It may be time to face the fact that you're just not a very nice person.

I came across this gem today: It'll be a good memory.  FOR FUCKING WHOM?  Your one year old won't remember crying on Santa's knee (at least not this year) - and I'm guessing, if they somehow did remember, it wouldn't be something they'd look back on with fondness.  Ooooh, you mean it'll be a good memory for you.  I can just picture you, snuggled up by the fireplace* one Christmas many years from now, looking at old pictures.  "Hey Honey, remember this? This is from that time we gave Billy to a strange man and he didn't know why and thought we were going to leave him so he cried. What a great day that was." "Oh yes, Honey, it was the best."

I want a Santa picture every year.  Why?  What are you going to do with those (let's be realistic) seven or eight Santa pictures? Especially if your kid is crying in the first three?  Hang them on the wall? No, I know: post them on Facebook so everyone can see them.  Of course.  (Hint: no one, except maybe your mom, cares about your shitty Santa picture.  They'd much rather see a picture of your kid that was well-taken by a professional, or a candid shot of your child happy or doing something cute.  The zoomed out photo of your red-eyed, snot-nosed child crying on some dude's knee is not something any of your friends care to see.  Trust me).

I haven't even gotten into the issues surrounding mall Santas and older kids. The teaching-kids-strangers-are-safe, the lying to kids about Santa in general, the issues that arise when the mall Santa is a fucking creep (not saying it happens often, but it happens) - I'll leave that for another day (and possibly another Christmas).  Right now, I just want to mention (in case you missed it) that giving your toddler to a weird stranger and taking pictures of their misery as if it's cute is plain messed up. Please consider starting your own, non-creepy tradition instead.

*You know what? No. You don't get a fireplace. You get an electric baseboard heater. Fuck you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I Brought on My Vacation, or: Travelling with a 1 Year Old.

A little over a week after the monster turned one, we went on a trip to visit Mr. Wolfman's parents.

I was majorly freaked out about travelling over five thousand miles for the Monster's first real trip (first flight, first car ride over 5 hours, first stay in a hotel, etc.), and put a lot of thought into planning and packing for him.

Stuff that helped:

We took his car seat.  Of course you need to check that the car seat meets the requirements of your destination and will fit in your rental car, but if you can, it's a great thing to have (bonus: if your car seat is approved for it, and you have the $$ to buy an seat for your baby, you can use it on the plane). I really believe having somewhere familiar to sit in our rental car made a huge difference.

We booked an overnight flight.  Even though he wasn't STTN, it totally worked and he slept most of the way there.

Breastfeeding for takeoff.

Stuff that we brought:

Something to draw with.  We brought a Fisher Price Doodle Pro in travel size(?).  It's still a bit bulky because there's a big frame on it.  I think he'll get a lot of use out of it for future trips, now that he knows how to use it, but it took him a while to work it out. I think an etch-a-sketch may have worked better, although the contrast isn't as good; the monster liked when the picture showed up, but got frustrated with things like holding the pen, the fact that the other end of the pen didn't write and the fact that the pen would only write on the board (which is the idea, after all).

Something to read: specifically, buggy books.  These are mini board books with holes in the corner,, so that they can clip to the stroller.  We had one with us and bought one in the airport after the first 9 hour leg of our journey.  A new book is a fantastic thing, especially when you're stuck in a boring airport for 5 hours.

Which reminds me: a stroller. We would have died without it.  Even though the monster's been walking for a while, holy crap, do you ever not want to try to navigate an airport without a stroller.  We bought the Chicco umbrella stroller, on sale for about half it's asking price.  It worked well, we used it for three weeks and it held up to being tossed around by airport staff (until the last leg of our homeward journey, when the pedal for opening it got broken off), but I wouldn't have been thrilled with it for $198, which is what we found it for before the half-off one popped up.  But I'm very glad we didn't go for the $30, super cheap one.  The monster being able to recline and sit comfortably made up for the difference in price.

New toys.  Doesn't matter what (nothing messy and nothing that made noise), just new stuff that the monster hadn't seen before.  A Taggies blanket was one of the things.  A sweater for his stuffed animal.  Just whatever that he could see and touch and be amazed by for a few minutes.

I think that's it. How the whole trip went will require a post down the line, but for now, this is all the important stuff I can think of.

***Oh, we didn't bring our pack'n'play and, even though I can't for the life of me imagine how we could have, I wish we did***

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sweet Potato & Apple Pancakes

I haven't been around for a bit (holiday to visit Mr. Wolfman's family - fun, but a whole other post), but I'm back.  I've been wanting to add recipes to this blog for a bit, so here goes my first:


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large apple or pear
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (at least)
  • Butter (a bit)

  1. Dice sweet potato and apple (/pear) and steam or boil until soft (if you boil, drain) and mash with a potato masher.  It doesn't need to be creamy, but there shouldn't be any big chunks.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir until blended, then add eggs and stir until there's no dry powder left.
  3. Stir in mashed stuff.
  4. Add milk.  At least 1.5 cups, but I don't measure it, I just keep adding milk until the mixture is liquidy enough to pour.
  5. Heat a pan on medium-high and add butter - swish it around until it melts.
  6. Pour pancake batter into pan, and cook like normal pancakes*
  7. Put onto a piece of paper towel on a plate.
*More or less.  They don't bubble like normal pancakes, so you'll need to slip a flipper under them to see when they're ready to flip.  It doesn't take very long.

Once they're cool enough, you can either serve them right away, or put them in the fridge (for 2-3 days) or the freezer (not sure for how long) and heat them up later.

The little monster loves these things, and I love them because they don't have any added sugar or salt and have fruit and veg.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Short Post About My One Year Old.

The monster is one! It really is hard to believe.  I spent much of the day before crying, saying he was going to grow up and hate me, how he won't like me when he's a teenager, how everything was terrible.  Clearly, in the last year, my hormones haven't balanced.

As for how he's doing - he's great. Right now he's sleeping horribly and still refusing most solids, but in the daylight hours, he's a happy, active baby.  He's recently worked out how to use his building blocks and loves toy cars and stuffed toys. He's also a fan of pillows.

He pretty much never crawls anymore and has a pretty decent vocabulary, spread over two languages. He's growing up too damn fast.

I could write endlessly about him, but I'll have to save it for another day because we're travelling soon and his first international flight promises to be an experience (which I'm sure will be worthy of its own post - especially because I'm eager to find out what works to keep a one year old calm on a 9 HOUR! flight and will definitely want to share my findings).  So, I'm off to finish packing and running around and losing my mind.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

No words

This couple lost their baby boy and are doing what they can to bring some joy to the world in his honor.  Today would have been his birthday.

Friday, September 4, 2015

12 Reasons Why Your Rant About Peanut Free Schools is a Whiny Load of Crap: an Open Letter

So, in my Internetting, I came across this:

Fair warning, I didn't actually go to the bother of writing out 12 counter points, because it just wasn't worth the time.

I actually had to stop reading the thing part way through, because, well, I actually like English, and reading it was like being stabbed in the soul with a rusty fork.  But I digress.

Dear Annoying Purveyor of Clickbait,

I'm assuming you have never experienced anaphylaxis.  I'm assuming this because anyone who has, and has offspring, would realize that having their child forgo peanuts for one meal a day is a tiny, infinitesimal bother, barely worth mentioning (let alone composing a badly written, rambling "article" about) when compared with the prospect of a child losing consciousness for the last time, unable even to gasp for breath. Imagine your tongue swollen to the size of a balloon in your mouth, and the edges of your vision turning grey. That ought to shut you up - not least because you can't actually talk with your tongue swollen like that. Can't talk, can't yell for help - believe me, I've tried.

Let me tell you something.  No, my child is not important than yours.  No, it is not your responsibility to look out for my child.  But you can be damn sure, even if your kid was the only one, I would happily have my kid miss out on something for one effing meal a day, rather than expose your child to something which could kill her horribly. Because your normal, healthy child actually is more important to me than my supposedly disabled child's need to eat something at every fucking meal.  Unless your kid is the Wicked Witch of the West, yes, I will make concessions to stop my child from accidentally killing yours.

You go on a lot about living in the real world and responsibility and learning to live with the hand you're dealt - and I agree, to an extent.  My own peanut allergy was discovered at a time before epipens and as a very young child, I carried a glass vile of epinephrine and a syringe.  I was taught to ask about the ingredients in *everything*.  But we're not talking about a situation where "live and learn" applies.  We're talking about one slip up could KILL A CHILD.  As in, that normal, healthy child you're so proud of, who shouldn't have to cater to a "peanut allergy kid"?  You would have to explain to her where people go when they die, and why little Billy won't be back to class.  "Well, you see, peanut protein is very important. And Billy didn't ask what was in the cookie you offered him (or you didn't know, or maybe you lied because you didn't comprehend the severity of the situation and thought it would be funny), so now he's dead.  Don't worry, though; not your responsibility."

A lot of your points centre around other allergies that schools don't make allowances for, like soap, etc.  First of all, unscented soaps are a healthier option for everyone - second and more important - we're not talking about a rash or a reaction that can be easily avoided by a kid using their own supplies.  Some peanut allergies are severe enough that touching something that's been touched by another person with peanut butter on their hand could be deadly.  I hope your normal, healthy child is good at washing her hands after lunch - oh wait, my bad, it doesn't matter, because the "peanut allergy kids" should be at home wrapped in cellophane anyway, where they won't bother your normal, healthy, athletic child with their inconvenient habit of having a potentially deadly allergy.

Not a single other student should be accommodating for another child’s inability to meet basic expectations and requirements of being in a public, social environment.
Ok, what the Hell? Really? So, your magical, normal, healthy, athletic, second-coming-of-Christ with a cherry on top sees a blind child walking toward them and you teach them, what, exactly? To say Fuck you, blind kid! I'm not moving out of your way; if you can't get around me, you should be home schooled?  Or, a deaf child asks to swap seats with your perfect specimen of health and normalcy, so that they can see the teacher (or, the horror!, the ASL interpreter)? I assume your kid has been well trained to sneer and thumb her nose?

Your whole argument is basically that you shouldn't be mildly inconvenienced in order to help avoid a potentially life-threatening situation for someone else's child.  Well, maybe you shouldn't. But what can I say? Life is. Schools shouldn't have to change the rules to accommodate your inability to adapt. And if your kids' health is so frail that they can't make it through the day without that healthy peanut protein, maybe you should consider home schooling.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Genius Baby Part 7: Det? & a rant

So the monster has started to use "Det?" / "Dat?" with pointing and upward intonation to ask what things are.  He smiles or laughs delightedly when I answer.

I thought this was a bit soon, so I looked it up, apparently it usually starts around 21 months, so that's kinda cool. I know it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but I always feel proud about these things - proud of him, of course, but also a little proud of Mr. Wolfman and myself, for making his environment one that's conducive to learning.

My parents came for a short visit with my brother last night.  Of course a lot of the visit was them saying to my brother, "You were doing _____ at his age," and similar.  When I pointed out the monster's new question, my mom just kinda shrugged and said, "Yeah," not in an intentionally mean way, but in a all babies do that kind of way.

No mention of what I was doing at the monster's age.  No questions for Mr. Wolfman about what he was doing or what milestones he'd reached.  Before, the only things that mattered were the made up similarities between my monster and my brother, but now it seems like those aren't enough* and we're in some sort of fucked up competition.

Newsflash, guys: I don't care if my brother was more advanced at the same age. I give literally no shits. Since the ages at which he first did various things change with every retelling of the story, I kind of suspect he wasn't.  But maybe he was.  WHO THE FUCK CARES?

My monster is a baby now.  My brother is an adult with his own shit going on - and while I understand the desire to wax nostalgic, my son is not - and never will be - in competition with yours. For anything.  Likewise, I am not in competition with you over who the better parent is.  That's not a question I need answered.  Mr. Wolfman and I do the best we can, we give 100% and we have a happy, healthy, intelligent and active baby to show for it. That is what matters to us.

*perhaps because they were tenuous at best when the monster was fresh, and now that he's a monstrous bear child who basically only shares his ethnicity with my brother, they're downright laughable.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Genius Baby Part 6: Sentences

So far, the little monster has used two sentences.

The first, a few nights ago, was "Mum, no!" (Mum being in English and No in his other language) when I tried to put him back in his crib after a night feed.

The second, today, I told him we needed to change his diaper and he responded with "[his name] dai dai?"

Yeah, not going to lie, I'm a little freaked out.  Mostly delighted, but eep.  He's only 11 months.

While The Monster Sleeps

Damn.  It's already evening, and I have done nothing today.  Yesterday was supposed to be my getting stuff done day, but I barely slept and then I was all-caps ILL.  I ended up throwing up, and then when I went back to the bathroom to throw up again, had time to call out to Mr. Wolfman that I was going to pass out, before falling on the floor and doing just that.  The last thing I remember is the door hitting me in the head as he burst in to rescue me.  Had a small seizure, Mr. Wolfman said it only lasted a minute (it was the first of mine he's ever seen).  He handled it like a champ (cold water on my face, so nice.  Who knew?) though he was pretty alarmed by the colour I turned. Woke up punching the bathroom scale, causing the monster to cry.

So now Mr. Wolfman is on his 16 hour days from Hell and I'm already massively stressed and still feeling pretty assy.

I was going to go to the dollar store for supplies for a sparkly water bottle thing, and a doorstop so that I can use the building's laundry room without worrying that someone is going to open the heavy metal door into LO's head.  But I'm pretty sure they're closed.  So, yeah. Tomorrow, I guess.

Other than being a clingy fuss face, the little monster is doing so great.  He's walking most of the time now, pointing at stuff, playing jokes on us (his favourite, to stick his finger in his mouth, then try to stick it in mine and laugh evilly at my reaction) and just being generally wonderful.

I'm looking forward to my parents coming, and I'll admit that a huge part of that is to show off how great my son is. I am a little nervous about possible confrontations, because anything that comes up will likely be something I've been mulling over for a while, but to them, it's going to seem like it's coming out of left field.  IE: if my father uses the term milk wagon to refer to me, he'll get one warning and if it happens again, he'll be asked to leave.  If he accuses me of being crazy for not wanting him flashing a camera in my sleeping baby's face, same thing.  Grabby hands, and hand the kid over will be shut down. It's not likely to come up, but forced affection, discipline of any kind, feeding without asking first, sharing food, same thing.  

All that, I know is reasonable.  But I am going to have to keep myself in check, because after their last visit, I'm pretty sure that them even looking at my monster wrong is going to set me off.  So I'll probably have to replay things in my head and possibly be liberal in dispensing benefit of the doubt. The nice thing, though, is that he doesn't need to be held, so they can't act like they're doing me a favour by taking him. He can play in his play area (aka the entire living room) and they can sit and watch or play with him, but they don't need to (and he probably won't let them) hold him all the time.

Also, since Mr. Wolfman decided to take on the extra hours, and then, despite my telling him I 100% NEEDED to be driving before my parents' visit, did not get the license necessary to teach me to drive our standard car (which we've now had for a year and a half), so I have no transportation for my parents' visit, which means either relying on them (not thrilled as they're not good drivers and never have a reliable car) or not going anywhere outside of walking distance. So, yeah, there's that.

Ugh, wasn't intending to turn this into a whiny post.  I've had enough of those lately, and will likely have more in the nearish future (got some terrible news recently that I need to work through) and my aim for this one was not that.

Ok, enough for now.


I finally set up an appointment to see my therapist.  It's not until the 26th (thankfully, that's the day before my parents arrive, so I won't need to have that conversation.  I'm realizing, slowly, that it would be a conversation, since "I have an appointment" would, at the very least, be met by expectant stares).

I really, really need that appointment, especially with Mr. Wolfman going back into the insane work schedule for another 5 weeks, as of today.

And now I need to cut this short. I'm getting irrationally mad at my toddler (he toddles, officially a toddler) for pushing boundaries, specifically, pulling on the power cord and opening the DVD drive repeatedly.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I Guess I'm Just a Bad Mom.

I haaate when people say this.  It's right up there with we can't all be perfect.

Seriously, people who say this sound like whiny teenagers with bruised egos.

It doesn't help that it often follows the admission of doing something stupid/dangerous/ill-advised with their babies.  Like, I let my 10 month old watch Frozen ten times back to back. I guess I'm just a bad mom.  Uh, yeah. Barring extreme circumstances, you kinda are. But even if whatever it is you're "admitting" to is something totally normal, that in no way makes you a bad parent, the sullen-stompy footing discredits you hugely.

Anyway, that's my little rant for the day.  The monster is teething and fussy, but otherwise wonderful, and I'm calling 1st thing Monday to set up a therapy appointment.  More to follow on the cuteness of a singing 10.5 month old.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Bit of a Whine

I'm having a shit day.

Not even an impressively shit day.  Just a general shit day.

I won't get into all of it.  It's nothing earth-shattering.  Just nothing seems to be going my way and I've already had two anxiety attacks.

So, at the end of this shit day, I Skype with my parents. I was a bit excited because my Dad would be there and we usually don't talk much, due to distance and him being technologically inept to a spectacular degree.

I had a handyman type question to ask him (which he couldn't really help with) and we chatted a little bit.  I asked if he had seen a project I've been working my ass off on (I'd sent it to my mum to get her opinion). Just curious, really; I'm pretty proud of it.

He said yes - and then, as he's done with any artwork I've done since I was a little kid, started to suggest improvements. Actually, no. He more just told me what he didn't like about it.

Fuck.  DUDE. I DID NOT WANT YOUR SUGGESTIONS.  I didn't even really want your opinion.  I wanted you, for once in my life, just to say, "Yeah, it's nice." or maybe, if you really hate it and couldn't bare to suggest otherwise, to ask me how I achieved a certain effect (You know, the one that if I told you about, your eyes would glaze over, because, layers).  I suppose, to be fair, he did concede that the layout of the text was "fine."   Glad it meets your fucking standards.  So nice that you have standards for something you know nothing about, that you couldn't even do, if you wanted to.  You haven't picked up a paintbrush in years, but please, tell me how I'm doing it wrong.

The weird thing is, I didn't even see it coming.  I asked if he'd seen it, fully expecting him smile and say yes.

I mean, I'm all for honest feedback, if I'd asked.  But I didn't.  All I asked was if he'd seen it.  I need to learn to stop showing him things, or telling him about what I'm doing.  It always ends the same way.

There was a painting I'd done for my brother's 18th birthday (this would have been, *gulp* 14 years ago), which I had worked really hard on, and gotten just about how I wanted it.  I showed it to my Dad, and the only thing he said was that the eyes on the figure's face were too far apart. I tried to 'fix' it (even though I'd painted it like that on purpose, because she wasn't human and I wanted her to have an inhuman beauty), and ended up messing it up, time and time again, until the face was a thick blob of paint.

My brother got a gift certificate to a music store.  My painting stayed on a shelf above the dog food until it started to mold, then I threw it out because I got tired of looking at it decaying there.

The conclusion to all this is, I will never make my monster feel like I feel now. Not saying I'll tell him everything he does is wonderful and perfect and the best thing ever.  But I sure as shit am not going to be telling him how to improve something or criticizing something that's personal and subjective, unless he specifically asks me to.

I'm 28 and I feel like a little kid whose puppy has been kicked.  Like, just fucking pull my dreams out and stomp on them, why don't you?

It makes me question why the hell I feel like I need his approval.  And why I didn't say something in the moment - instead of telling him it was probably the screen he was viewing it on, or even weakly suggesting that I wanted my artwork the way it is.... why didn't I just outright say, "Um, I didn't ask for your opinion, I asked if you'd seen it."

I just choked up, and I feel like utter shit.  Especially because my Dad is usually a very nice guy, he taught me how to bake and draw and read to me and made up stories for me when I was a kid. I really don't think he's intentionally being hurtful, but damn.

Yeah, actually tearing up, still.  Can it be bedtime, please?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Waaah, Life is Hard

I'm sick.  The monster is sick.  Mr. Wolfman is sick.

I don't know what we've got, exactly, but it's an achy-jointed, sore-throated, fevery, sleepy, sweaty mucous-fest up in here.  Those sayings, death warmed over, feel like I got hit by a truck - they apply.

My sister and her family have the same.  Who caught it from whom is unknown and unknowable and unimportant.  We're all miserable.

Through it all, the monster is in good spirits. Mostly happy to play by himself or look at his books.  He did spend about three hours refusing to be put down yesterday.  Not easy for me, since he's 25ish pounds, but what can you do?

I ran into an acquaintance yesterday, on my grocery run for ginger ale and Halls (I forgot the Halls, goddamnit). She has a little one a couple of months older than the monster and we looked like we were going to be mummy friends, but I had to take a step back, because despite the fact that I was able to keep my mouth shut about her questionable parenting choices, she was not able to offer me the same courtesy.

So, she's chatty, and we're friendly.  She was out with her baby and I told her I don't want to get too close, because the monster and I are both hella sick.  Her response, "Oh, she had her vaccines."

WHAT?  Like, lady, I don't have rubella.  I really doubt your baby has been vaccinated against what I have.  WTAF?

So anyway, I move a few feet away to chat with her, because even if she doesn't care, I don't want her tiny little daughter to get sick.

So then we get talking about what I have, and I explain we have had fevers etc, and she recommends a home remedy against coughing and sore throat which sounds like it could work.  Honey and black pepper and stuff.  And then she tells me that I can give it to the monster, which I just kinda blink at because, no.

But it's fine, she tells me.  People say not to give honey to babies, but she's been giving her daughter honey since 5 months and she's ok.  OF COURSE SHE FUCKING IS. SHE WOULD BE DEAD IF THE HONEY HAD BEEN CONTAMINATED.  Babies don't have the ability to fight off botulism, or whatever kind of botulism bacteria that may be present in honey. It isn't always there. It isn't even usually there. If it is there, they will die. Fucking read a book, woman.

And yes, her kid is now at the one year mark they recommend waiting until - she's the size of a 5 month old, but she's technically old enough.  Now.

So yeah. That's my fever rant.  I wish I could say that I'm going to bed, but alas.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Extract Foot, Insert Humble Pie

This has been a long time coming.

I grew up with two parents who worked* and whether intentionally or not, they instilled in me a disdain for mothers who opted to stay at home.  When I was younger, I would use derogatory terms for them, like Suzy Homemaker and swear I'd never be one. I needed more from my life.

When my sister had her first, and became a stay at home mom, I was shocked by how messy her house always was, how she could spend days playing video games instead of doing fun activities with her daughter, how sometimes dinner didn't get on the table until 8:00pm.  Taking care of her house and child was all she had to do, after all.

Frankly, I didn't know what the fuck I was talking about - and neither does anyone else who's never been a stay at home parent.

It's hard to put into words the sheer emotional drain that's caused by being needed every second of every day, of waking up one morning and realizing that you're actually looking forward to taking a poo that afternoon, because it is the only time you'll get to yourself.  Of knowing that, no matter how drained you are, how little sleep you've had in the past week (or, let's be realistic, year), no matter how much you just want to curl into a ball and do nothing for, like, ten seconds, you need to buck up, suck it up and bring your A Game, Princess. Of knowing that this is your life, now and forever, no backsies.

Not that I want to take it back.  I love my son, and I'm so, so glad that I get to witness his milestones as they happen, and cherish those quiet moments that are completely insignificant to everyone outside of my family, rather than having them disappear into history unobserved.  Right now, my monster is asleep in my lap, 99% calm, 1% sensing my agitation, but comfortable, content, and loved.  My Dr. Pepper is getting flat and warm out of reach, and there's stuff I need to do around the house, but I'm the luckiest Mum alive, and I know it.

Today, Mr. Wolfman let me nap while he cleaned the kitchen.  A gold star moment, one would think. I got up and told him thank you for the glorious nap.  He told me he doesn't know what I'm doing all day, the baby was paying quietly and he managed to get the whole kitchen clean. He can't even understand where the mess on the counter came from**.  It felt like I got punched in the gut. May as well tattoo inadequate on my forehead right now.

Yes, I'm mad at him. Yes, I've told him.  But I can't work up the red hot ire that's become part of my day-to-day the past few months, for a couple of reasons. 1) I don't have the energy and 2) He doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Oh, the baby was good for you for a whole hour and you got the kitchen clean? La-dee-frickin'-da. Now try not having a full night's sleep in over a year, spending months not being able to walk properly, give up half-your caloric intake to someone else and while you're at it, scrape some teeth across your tender nipples like ten times a day, and then clean the fucking kitchen.

Pity partying and ranting aside, it got me to thinking about how judgmental and ridiculous I was before having the monster and how completely ignorant I was about stay at home parenting. So I'd like to take a moment to sincerely apologize to every stay-at-home parent who I secretly judged, thinking that they had it easy, thinking that I had it harder as a working singleton.  Please forgive me; I knew not what I did.

Honestly, I feel like being a working parent would be easier in a lot of ways, but in no way can you quote me on that; I'm done with making assumptions and talking out my ass.

*My mom was and has always been a huge workaholic, my dad has always worked long shifts to make ends meet.

**Um, that would be from cooking pasta sauce from scratch at your request, only to have you order takeout, decide to eat it later, then not eat it later, as well as cooking a separate batch for the monster without salt or onions, only to have him throw it all over the floor the second it was placed in front of him, thankyouverymuch.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Special Snowflakes

You ever notice that people who accuse other parents of viewing their kids as special snowflakes when it comes to milestones are actually the most conceited, special snowflakers out there regarding their own kids?

I mean, they're basically saying, MY kid didn't do that at that age; there's no way yours did.  Like their kid is the benchmark of the-most-advanced-a-child-could-possibly-be-ever.

I've been accused of lying about the monster rolling over at 5 days old. Why would a person lie about something like that? Is there some status that comes along with having your kid roll over that young that I don't know about? Because honestly, it was a pain in the ass.  We had to stop using his swaddle blankets. He was too small for his sleep sack, so we had to keep the temperature in the house uncomfortably warm at night.  Yay for my special snowflake, right?

Or, and this one pisses me off to no end - when people say babies at 6/7 months old can't be saying Mum & Dad, they're just babbling and making sounds.  No.  Parents who take the time to get to know their babies know the difference.  So yeah, sometimes my monster babbled mumumumum, and sometimes, he clearly was referring to me. There is nothing wrong with a young baby who "just" babbles and there is nothing particularly impressive about the parents of one who says a couple of words.  But just because one baby only babbles, that doesn't mean all babies that age are only capable of babbling.

There are a few women on my birth board whose 10 month olds have been walking for a while, say more words than my monster, whatever.  I'll admit to feeling a... pang of something bordering on disappointment that my monster doesn't seem to be as hugely ahead of the curve as he was - but it wouldn't occur to me to accuse these women of lying about their babies.

Ok, that's my mini rant for today.  Not much else going on, except that I'm trying to put off housework.  Oh, and I'm pretty sure my snowflake can say his name.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Gender Marketing, Whee!

I recently started a Twitter account, and quickly started following @LetToysBeToys, which is a great campaign aimed at getting toy manufacturers to stop segregating the genders and make toys for kids as opposed to boys and girls.

We also recently found out some friends of ours are pregnant.  Don't know the gender, but I wanted to get knitting ASAP because I usually procrastinate, and then I agonized over whether I should go with gender neutral colours or wait until we find out.

It's got me to thinking, though, that the toy manufacturers aren't the problem.  At least they're not the whole problem, and I'm inclined to think that their part is smaller than we're often inclined to believe.

Maybe my perspective is coloured by the fact that we don't own a TV, so my family and I aren't bombarded with shows and marketing clearly aimed exclusively at boys or girls - maybe it's because, at 10 months, the little monster is too young to care who a toy is supposed to be for.  But this is what I think:

Toy (and movie and clothing and cereal and lunchbox) manufacturers are going to keep making things for boys and different things for girls.  Why? because it's in their best financial interest to convince us (and our children) that it's necessary to purchase multiple versions of essentially the same toy.  I don't think there are marketing teams sitting around saying "Let's do one in pink with flowers because we believe that girls are inherently pretty and delicate." They're saying, "Let's do one in pink and one in blue and people will feel compelled to buy both." Which isn't to say that gendered toys don't enforce stereotyping.  They do. But I think it's more a matter of toy companies using an outdated cultural narrative to their advantage than that they actually care about maintaining a dichotomy of gender on a societal scale.

But whether I'm right or wrong about their reasons, I'd say the chances of everyone realizing their mistakes and taking initiative to fix them are fairly low. It's up to parents to explain to our kids, in age appropriate terms, exactly how and why advertisers are trying to manipulate them, while at the same time letting them know that they can be whoever they are.

For example:

"Mum, that one's for girls."
"What makes you think it's for girls?"
"There box is pink and there's a girl on it."
"That's because the toy makers want to trick you into thinking is's just for girls."
"Because then people with a boy and a girl will feel like they have to buy two, so the toy company gets more money."

Depending on the age of this hypothetical child, I'd also ask why a pink box with girls on it means it's just for girls.  "That girl on the box has brown hair.  Does that mean it's only for brown-haired girls?"

I think a similar conversation would work fine for clothes.  Asking the kid questions like, what makes something for boys or for girls? Who decided what colours are for boys and girls? Also, referring to the boys' and girls' clothing section as "The kids' section".

Of course, my monster is still little, so none of this has come up for us yet.  He has a few "girl" things, a pink polka dot plush toy, a couple of butterfly toys, a pair of embroidered Capri pants*. As he gets older, he'll be allowed to play with and wear what he wants**. Right now, I dress him mostly in "boy" or gender neutral clothes because, while I really don't care whether strangers can easily identify his gender (which is the only real reason for gendered clothes, when you think about it), I'm trying to be careful not to make him into a walking(!) billboard for my philosophies and beliefs about gender politics.  So if I see an adorable dress, and think to myself that there's logically no reason why he can't have it, I ask myself if it would be for me or for him - and since he could happily leave the house naked and not care as long as it was warm enough, the answer is pretty clear.  That, and while I have free reign over his fashion choices, turning him into a little Dad clone is just too adorable to pass up.

What I'm getting at with all of this is, yes, absolutely keep hounding the toy companies to change their ways.  They will, if they get enough consumer pressure.  Actually financial pressure from consumers is likely the only thing that will make them change, so if you don't like the options a toy company is giving, don't settle, boycott.

But more than that, parents need to say fuck it and just buy our kids what they want regardless of which gender it's "supposed" to be for.  I think it's particularly incumbent on parents of boys to do this, because while it's now socially acceptable in many circles for girls to be tomboys (another useless label), boys who want to wear/play with/ do girl things are mocked, because our society still views boys and boy things as somehow better.

So this is getting long, and could easily get longer, but I think I'll call it a day for now.  I'll undoubtedly revisit this subject (over and over) as the monster gets older and has more exposure to advertising and the expectations of society.

*I actually nearly removed the candy embroidery from them, to, I don't know, de-girl them, until Mr. Wolfman asked me why, and then I realized that there was zero reason, other than that I've been brainwashed by society to think there's something wrong with my son having lollipops on his pants.

**Within reason; I'm not a huge fan of electronic toys and clothes that cost 10 x as much because they have a certain logo.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mr. Steps

So, the little monster has officially taken his first (proper) steps.  He can mostly walk across the living room now, which is amazing.  And, admittedly, terrifying.  He is growing up waaaay too fast, and it's kind of bumming be out.

I'm so excited for him to be walking and talking and everything, but I'm also wishing he could stay little just a little bit longer.  I imagine that all parents feel this way.

We've been trying to get a video to show the grandparents, but every time we get the camera out, he'd rather crawl.  Way of the world, I guess.

That's it for me for now.  I don't know if I mentioned in my last post that Crystal is away until August 4th. No idea what I'm going to do until then.  Nothing good on that front - PPD is eating my brain (there should be a PPRUA - postpartum raging un-explainable anger). Anyway.  Happy post.

Oh!  Also!  His first non-mum/dad word: Duh duh - which means Duck.

Monday, July 13, 2015

That about sums it up

So, I saw this yesterday evening, when I really needed to see it. It gives me hope, but it also drives home that I need help.  I can't get out of this on my own.

I don't believe I have chronic depression, but the way he describes the loud room, and all you can do is deal with how loud it is - that pretty much sums up how I've felt since getting back from the hospital. Actually, no.  How I've felt since my parents' visit.  I was tired as fuck, but I was coping pretty well before they came.*

There have definitely been moments of pure joy, but mostly I am just overwhelmed.  The monster is truly amazing, but I get hung up on his neediness and it's all I can do to just get through the day.

I don't know if I need medication, but I definitely need to go back to therapy.  I haven't been back since my last post - everything is just getting on top of me.  I was going to call today, and instead ended up scrubbing diarrhea out of my carpet.  So there's that.  Now I have to clean the kitchen and cook dinner and throw myself off the balcony.

OK, not that last part, but damn.  I need something.

Mr. Wolfman only has 1 more 16 hour day, then tomorrow is an 8 hour, then one day off.  But he's already said he's spending tomorrow afternoon sleeping, so I guess I don't get a break?

This was supposed to be a relatively upbeat post because of how much that video helped me last night, but now I'm just pissed off at the situation I'm in.  Mostly because I feel like I should just be able to snap out of it, but partially because I feel like I shouldn't have to.  I mean, if I had two jobs, but only needed one and Mr. Wolfman was telling me daily that he was struggling, not coping, drowning, needed help - I'd fucking quit one of my jobs. Or at the very least, call in sick for one day and try to work through it - or something.  I sure as shit wouldn't be signing up to take on extra hours in the fall.

I get that he just wants to provide for the family, and I get that with me not working, that must be a lot of stress on him.  But fuck.  I don't know how to get him to understand that I'm just not handling it well. I'm not cut out to be a stay at home mum generally and/or I have postpartum depression.  And, even though I know this likely isn't the case, I feel like a bath (alone, and without a crying baby on the other side of the door) and 8 hours of sleep could easily solve everything.

That's a pipe dream, of course.  It isn't going to happen.

Right.  Cooking and cleaning.  Time for myself is just a silly idea, and I should put it out of my head.

*Not saying my parents gave me PPD, but their visit was ill-timed and certainly didn't help matters. And I do think that all their baby-hogging and all of my Dad's weird, passive aggressive comments and shit did a number on my brain.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

And Now a Happy Post

The Little Monster just had his 9 month birthday.  He was actually in for 40+5, so he still hasn't quite been out in the world for as long as he was baking, but still.  Need to fill out his baby book for this month (have to add that to the long ass list on my fridge).

Anyway, where he is now.

He's 29.5 inches tall, and despite our bathroom scale being a huge liar and saying he's 25lbs, he's actually only 21.  He's dropped to the 60th percentile for weight and Doc says that's great, as he was a little overweight while getting ready for his last growth spurt.  Still not really eating solids.  He has 8 or 9 (or maybe 10) teeth, and given that and his size, looks older than he is.

He's taken a few (I think a total of 7-8 in his whole life) completely unassisted steps, and I suspect the only thing really holding him back now is that he's not confident with walking yet.  He can crawl really fast. He also pulls up on everything, and can climb on top of stuff (he recently pushed his push-toy over to the baby gate so he could stand on it in an attempt to climb over).  He's also pointing, waving and playing peek-a-boo.

Mostly, this monster is a super bubbly, excitable little monkey.  He babbles constantly, laughs easily and has a ridiculous sense of humour, which is so delightful and I hope he will never lose (being hit in the face with a cushion accompanied by the word "Bleb" is hilarious; having his feet sniffed is hilarious; smacking the shit out of the computer keyboard while being told "no" in a stern voice is the funniest, best thing in the entire world; hitting people in the face with water bottles is also highly entertaining)

That's not everything, but I think it's enough of an update for now, without getting overly specific.  Anyway, I think I'm in love.

Ok, so she's a therapist...

... and I had to cancel my last appointment.

Mr. Wolfman has decided to work 2 jobs again this summer, despite the fact that I made it pretty clear I'd rather he didn't. Again.  I mean, he can obviously make his own decisions about what he does with his time, but, as I pointed out to him, he's also deciding what I'm going to do with my time, because now I'm 100% responsible for the monster, 100% of the time.

Plus 100% of the housework (although Mr. Wolfman did clean on his singular day off, so I just have to maintain the status quo).

This is a wonderful (not quite) paradox.  The more Mr. Wolfman works, the more stressed I get, the more moments of anger and anxiety I feel, the more I need therapy.  But, the more he works, the less time I have for therapy.  He only has one day off (not my regular appointment day) and everything non-work-related or that needs a car, needs to be done that day.  Woo fucking hoo. Still, I'm going to call and see if I can move my appointment to that day.

On top of missing out on therapy, the farmer's market which I've been looking forward to all winter is now a no-go, because even though Wolfman has that day off, it's (as above) his only day off.  And even if I wanted to be mean and tell him, too bad, you can spend 5 hours looking after the monster that day, I can't because I have no time to make anything to sell, no time to pump, no time for anything.

We'd also planned on being really outdoorsy this summer, going hiking and such. Yeah, no.  Looks like I just get to push the monster around town in the stroller and occasionally go to the park.

Ok, this is getting a little woe-is-me, so I'm going to cut myself off before I launch into the rant about not being able to drive anywhere... ugh.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Counselor? Therapist? Who Knows?

So, I'm not sure what the professional qualifications of the woman I saw are.  But she works out of the mental health office in the hospital, so I'm going to assume she knows what she's talking about.  I see her again this week, and then every two weeks going forward - although I'm already getting anxious about this cutting into family time.

She was exactly what you'd expect, down to the leggings and long, flowing shirt, necklace tied in a knot.  Like out of a movie.  The first thing she asked me was how do you feel about being here.

But, despite initially seeming like a caricature of a therapist, and the strong feeling that she was going to produce healing crystals at some point, on talking to her, she is actually pretty down to earth.  She started out very softly, but I think once she realized I'm not scared or overly fragile, she adjusted her approach and we just talked.

So it was all very good, and I think it will be good to see her again.  I've had a couple more angry spells, but (I think) I did a good job of not showing my anger to the monster.  I didn't yell or say anything mean.  Outwardly, it was more like frustration, even though inside, I was raging - though still not as bad as last time.

I still haven't set anything up with Dr. Illegible.  I think I'm going to wait until I get my bloodwork done.

Mr. Wolfman is great, but I don't really think he understands any of this.  And even though he does a tonne around the house, he seems to feel like I'm not doing enough. - and he really isn't getting it when I tell him I'm doing everything I can.  I was hoping that my going to see someone would make him realize how serious this is, but alas.

I think that's it.  the monster is back to waking up all the bloody time, and I am TIRED.  But, I'm going to walk into town, buy some household stuff, and if I feel like treating myself (I do) a pinwheel for the garden.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

PPD? & Online Support

My birth board isn't a support group - but boy do they know how to act like one.

I posted on there, because I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm probably suffering from PPD or PPA and I need help.

Yesterday, I got incredibly angry at the little monster for no reason.  Like, wanting to hit something, fists clenching into balls angry.  I shouted at him.  He didn't cry.  I would have broken down and sobbed if he had, but in a way it made it worse, him being all small and stoic.

This wasn't the first time I'd gotten so angry, and there have been more crying-for-no-reason spells than I can count.  A lot of the time I'm great.  Happy and in a good mood and loving being at home with the monster.  And a lot of the time, I'm this other person, who gets angry and snaps at her baby for no reason, the bitch I give dirty looks to when I see her in Walmart.

So, I posted on my birth board, and driven by their words of support and encouragement, I promised to call today to set up an appointment to deal with this.  And I did.  My appointment is on Thursday, and I'm hoping it'll be the start of getting me sorted out.

I need to set something up with Dr. Illegible as well, which I don't want to do, because I have this irrational feeling that he'll be disappointed in me and I don't want him to worry about the monster.  He seems to genuinely care about the monster, and is always remarking on how beautiful he is and telling me to enjoy him.  Small town and a fair number of Docs, so he may not have any other patients who are babies.  Anyway, there's a chance this could be related to my thyroid as well, so seeing Illegible is a must.

I think that's it for now. I'm in a pretty good place at the moment.  Going to fill up the splash pool for the monster, if the weather holds.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guess I didn't knock hard enough?

So, the monster is back to refusing solids.  He's not gagging on them, but he's not keen on eating them either.

The good news is, I saw Dr. Illegible yesterday for something unrelated and asked him about it, and he says it's totally fine.  We should, it seems, take the lead from him and let him eat what he wants and not worry about it.  So yay.

Also, we did finally get a pool for the monster, which he LOVES.  It's just one of the little inflatable ones, but he loves to splash around in it.  It's a whole event for him.  It has a little sunshade, and we put water that's a bit warm in it, so it's not like icy hose water, but not warm like bathwater either.  Of course, after one swim, the weather turned gross, but I think it's going to be a long summer.  In the winter, we might deflate it, or I might buy a bunch of ball pit balls and bring it into the living room.  I guess we'll see.

I'm in a pretty decent mood, so the post about how my mom decided to Skype me and then invite my cut-off cousin, who'd never seen my LO, to come upstairs and say hi to me - will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Genius Baby Part Eek: Pointing

The monster recently figured out how to point.  Mainly, he just points at everything, not as an indication of wanting it or showing it off, more just like, hey look, I can point at stuff.

Or so I thought.

My MIL sent the monster a bunch of books recently, most of which are in Mr. Wolfman's native language (we have an agreement that I don't speak to the monster in said language, so I don't eff up his accent, grammar, etc.) and one of which has no words, just pictures.  The monster loves this book.  Mr. Wolfman "reads" it to him in his native language, showing him all the pictures and talking about them, and I "read" it to him in English.

Yesterday, Mr. Wolfman starts asking the monster, Where is the whale? Where is the duck? and so on and the monster actually STARTED POINTING.  Maybe this is totally normal, but I reserve the right to be amazed.  So I started going through the book with him in English, asking him to point to different pictures, and HE BLOODY DID.  So, even still only saying 3 words, my little monster understands two languages and recognizes all the pictures in his little book.  I am thoroughly amazed.

Also, knocking some serious wood, but the monster is eating solids again!  I got it into my head to give him pears a couple days ago and he loved them, so yesterday I tried pears and carrots and he was a huge fan.  Since he's either refused or gagged on everything I've given him since Easter (cucumber even made him vomit :( ), I'm pretty excited about this.  Hopefully today we'll get him a little pool for the summer and all will be right as rain :D

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wooden Spoon

So I came across this ridiculous blog post this morning.  It seems to be a spin off from another ridiculous blog post, in which I can only gather that the author talked positively about being disciplined with a wooden spoon.

^ This particular little gem starts with the author laughing at someone for stating the obvious:

“If your parents had to use a wooden spoon on you, then they clearly didn’t know how to parent you.” 

I've posted the link, but you don't really need to read the article.  It's essentially the same as all such articles: Mlah, mlah, my parents taught me respect, mlah, mlah, no talking back, mlah, mlah, slaps-to-the-face and soap in the mouth, mlah, mlah, wooden spoon, mlah, mlah, well rounded, mlah, mlah, still get along great with my parents. It even includes the bonus, optionals: I raise my kids the same way. and this is why kids these days are so entitled.

Great.  Way to keep the cycle of violence going.  It, of course, blames a lack of discipline for society's entitled youth, lumping together irresponsible parenting, like not hitting your kids with things like participation trophies and never giving failing grades.  Time outs fall in there somewhere as well.  Hit your kids, damn it.  Because, you know, you do a disservice to your kids by not hitting them.

Here is my take (I know, first time mum of a baby, I can't possibly have opinions):  Kids and young adults these days are horribly entitled and annoying.  I think this does stem from parents being too permissive and society awarding mediocrity.  I also think this issue is wholly separate from physical discipline.

I also think that the type of people who spout this hit your kids nonsense (It's not abuse, it's discipline! Waaah) probably got hit themselves and to admit that there was something fucked up in that, is to admit that their parents are fucked up, and to realize that your parents and childhood weren't what they seemed can really shake someone up.  It's easier to keep up the fantasy that your parents were the best parents and that your childhood was great, with the minor caveat "My parents weren't perfect, but..."

The comments section of the article is especially telling.  From the writing style, a bunch of 50+ people, talking about how great their lives are because of their parents' discipline. Most of the comments have glaring grammar errors and none provide any evidence that physical discipline did anything positive for them - apart from their own declaration of being well-rounded.

My favourite:

I loved your comment that your neighbor was part of your “disciplining group”. In my home we knew to “mind” our neighbors too. I knew if Mr and Mrs Faulkner said, “mary,put that rock down and do not throw another one”, thatI had better not touch another one. The Faulkners were our neighbors and their daughter. Margie, was my good friend. The Faulkners were black and we were white. But I knew i knew my parents would skin me alive had i not done as the FAulkners told me. Their children would have minded my parents as well. To have sassed them would never have crossed my mind. Oh, that we could be like that today in our neighborhoods. 
Reasons why this person is old: Her friend's name is Margie.  She feels like we need to know her neighbours' name.  She uses "mind" instead of "listen to".  She uses the word "sassed".

Reasons why this person is ridiculous in her dotage: She feels like we need to know the ethnicity of her neighbours, followed by the word but.  They were black, but she still had to listen to them, even though she's white.  Yeeeeeah....

These are the type of people who always come out of the woodwork when an corporal punishment debate gets going.

So here's the thing.  I don't plan on giving my son participation trophies or yelling at his teachers if he does poorly in school.  I do plan on telling him no. I plan on teaching him that actions have consequences. I also plan on teaching him respect by being respectful - to him, to myself, to my husband.

I plan on teaching him that hitting is almost never appropriate, and having the ability to physically intimidate someone doesn't give you the right to - and that if anyone ever lays a hand on him, he has the right to defend himself, and if he needs me to, I'll step in and defend him too.  I plan on teaching him that reasonable adults don't hit - and that his Dad and I are reasonable adults.

And since these arguments always come down to anecdotal evidence (why would we want to listen to actual professionals, after all?), here's mine:

I was never hit as a child.  I was never physically disciplined in any way.  I never smoked, used drugs, got pregnant before I was ready, got in fights or got into any major trouble of any kind.  I only occasionally cut class, and I to this day am polite and respectful to everyone, unless they give me cause not to be.

I know a girl who had loving parents, but was spanked as a child.  She got heavily into booze and pot for a bit, got pregnant as a teen from a one night stand and ended up losing her 4 kids. And just as her story doesn't prove the negative effects of physical discipline, claiming that you're well rounded doesn't prove that it's harmless, either.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Soother Fairy

What the actual fuck?

For those of you who don't know, The Soother Fairy is like the Tooth Fairy, except instead of teeth, she collects all the soothers from kids too big for them, and gives them to little babies who need them.  Kind of unsanitary, when you think of it.

But really.  How many lies do we really have to tell our kids, to make their childhoods special? Shouldn't they be special because they have families who love them, fun traditions, the chance to use their imaginations and do the things they love?  I mean, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy? That's bad enough. But now, things like the creeptastic Elf on a Shelf, and the Soother Fairy?  Give me a fucking break.

Are people really so incompetent at parenting that they have to employ fictional characters to guilt and scare their children into good behaviour?  Or are their family lives really that mundane that there's no magic in them and it has to be invented?

I know, I know, I don't have to tell my son any of that crap.  And I won't.  But, despite the ridiculous, but commonly held misconception that you're not allowed to have any opinions at all about how other parents raise their kids, I actually do feel bad for the children who will one day learn that their parents were full of shit and lied to them for years. I won't interfere, but I have a right to my emotions, and I will exercise my right to pity.

But, more than that, from my own selfish perspective, I can already imagine the shit storm that will rain down when the monster goes to school at Christmas time and says that his presents come from Mum and Dad.  I will be expected to encourage my child to lie, so that people can continue to lie to their own children unchallenged.  And when he (as I think most children who don't believe in this stuff inevitably do) he exposes the secrets of Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, he will be made to feel guilt for telling the truth.  That's just fucked up.

My First Mother's Day

Well, fuck a duck.  I went to bed at 10 because I just wanted it over, if that's any indication.  The highlight of my day was a little girl in line for the bathroom telling me she liked my hair.

Mr. Wolfman had to work, which is fine. I'm glad he didn't do breakfast in bed or anything, because he would have had to wake me up ass early, which I wouldn't have liked.  I'd been on the couch with the little monster since about 2am anyway, so I'd been sleeping pretty poorly for most of the night.

He didn't say anything to me, which is less fine, but I figured, whatever.  I think mother's day is a different day in his country (although, come to think of it, his mother messaged me to wish me a happy mother's day, so maybe not).

I didn't have much planned.  It was a beautiful day, and I thought about taking the monster to the park, but I figured it would be crazy busy. I sent my mom a happy mother's day message and she responded a little while later, so I asked her to Skype, but she was still out with her mother (I can picture her just sitting at the table playing on facebook, instead of talking to my grandmother) and would be home in an hour.  I told her to enjoy the rest of lunch.  I did not tell her I'd be home in an hour, but she assumed I would be.

I decided to go to the store and get myself lunch. I spent forever getting the monster ready, because he's somehow hitting the terrible twos at 7.5 months, and was having a meltdown every 10 seconds, most notably because I made him wear socks. I didn't put sunscreen on him, so by the time I realized that just because my mother was expecting me to be online when she got back from lunch, it didn't mean I had to be, we were already half-way to the grocery store.  I didn't want to keep him out in the sun too long, so I ended up going straight home after shopping anyway.

I Skyped my mom, said hello to her and my gran, then heard my cousin's* voice from another room.  My mom informs me that said cousin has come to take her to tea, and my computer promptly dies.  I get my computer booted up less than five minutes later, and my mom has left.

Ok, whatever.  So I feed the monster and putter around the house, generally having an unproductive, stupid day, trying to figure out what I want to do when Mr. Wolfman gets home. Because I'm ridiculous and a glutton for punishment, I actually call my mom back and talk to her (she says hi to the monster before me, and ignores me in favour of him for most of the call) and I don't tell her that she's just blown me off, mid-call for the 3rd time in a week.  There was also a lot of her going on about how they couldn't afford to visit this month like they'd hoped and a lot of what I can only assume were hints that they should stay with us.  They were horrible house guests last time, so I just agreed that it sucked they can't come now, but maybe in the fall and blah, blah, blah.

Mr. Wolfman came home during the end of this convo. and told me that his boss had invited us for a BBQ.  I asked if he'd forgotten what day it was, and was surprised that he hadn't. I told him I didn't think we'd be spending mother's day with his boss.

Said goodbye to my mom, finally got to use the bathroom (the monster had been crazy most of the day, and didn't want to sit in his playpen for any length of time, unless I stayed in the room and stared at him) and by the time I came out, it had been decided that we were going to this BBQ.

I didn't want to let it ruin the day, so I said fine, the only thing I wanted for mother's day was a family picture, so we were going to do that first.

Again with getting ready taking 100 years. The food I'd gotten for lunch made me feel sick, so I wasn't hungry, but Mr. Wolfman was, so he got food and then we got dressed, got the monster dressed, etc.  So the beautiful day had turned into an overcast day by now.  Or partially cloudy, I guess.  The sun was getting lower, but we apparently needed to go to the grocery store for snacks.

We get to a beautiful spot for taking pictures, then sit in the car and watch the light disappear as Mr. Wolfman eats the icecream he'd bought.  So, of course, by the time we actually go to take the pics, I'm in a shitty mood and the sun is behind the clouds and it's cold.  When it was still sunny, I'd dressed the monster in a cute outfit with short sleeves and I was wearing a dress that I bought 2 years ago and had been waiting for a chance to wear.

So we're standing around, in buggy air, horrible light, and cold.  It was too late when the sun did come out from behind the clouds, so the light was really harsh, and Mr. Wolfman seemed to think I should be shooting sunshine out my ass because we were getting to do what I wanted, so I said let's just forget it.

Mr. Wolfman was pissy because he said the pics we got were good and why wasn't I happy? I told him it didn't matter at this point whether the pics were good or not, because I'm just going to look at them in the future and be reminded how shitty my day was.  Wrong answer, I guess.  I told him let's just go to this stupid BBQ and then he didn't want to go with me like this.  But I told him we're going, and I'll pretend to smile and be nice to his work people.  As I see it, my day was already ruined, I wasn't going to let it be ruined for literally nothing. He said we would just go and say hi.  We were there for 2 hours.

The BBQ wasn't horrible.  It wasn't even remotely enjoyable, but I could have easily and happily withstood it on any other day.  The worst part was that the sun came back out, it got warm again and it turned into an absolutely perfect evening, weather-wise.  And I spent it listening to my husband's blowhard boss and his friends blather about nothing, try to give me food after I'd told them no thank you repeatedly and come up to me one-by-one to ask the same questions about the monster, over and over again.  Including what solids he's on, which is a major sore spot for me because, if you remember my Easter post, these are the same assholes who likely gave him the stomach bug which, a month ago, caused him to stop eating solids when he'd been eating really well. He still won't touch them.

We went for a short walk and went back to the car, whereupon Mr. Wolfman suddenly realized that I was upset (I told him I'd pretend to be happy for his work people and I had) and spent the rest of the night trying to cheer me up, and then being sad because I was sad.

That pisses me off. Like, I didn't give a shit about what you wanted to do today until the last minute.  Why are you so saaaaaad?  The worst thing is that he's genuinely upset that I'm upset, so now I feel guilty for being sad.  But fuck.

I don't even care about mother's day.  Not on the whole.  I think it's a dumb, made-up holiday.  I'm fairly certain that this was the only mother's day that will ever have mattered for me, because it was my first.  Because it was supposed to be some kind of... I don't know.  I don't even know. It wasn't supposed to be this.

*I don't talk to her at all.  She's never seen or met my son and never will.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Genius Baby - Part 4: The Plan

Now that he can pull himself up using furniture, the little monster only wants to stand.  Or look at the wires that hang from a ceiling socket.  Nothing else.  He just (and I do mean just) did his first furniture transfer by himself, going from using the coffee table to the couch for support.

Right now, he's in his playpen, which he actually likes and wanted to go in.  Which brings me to the plan.

Yesterday, he was standing against the coffee table, letting go with one hand and reaching for the couch.  He couldn't quite reach, so eventually he started growling and shouting "Mum, mum!" until I helped him to the couch.  Then he jumped up and down and looked meaningfully at me, then tried to climb the couch like stairs.  He's tall, but he's not that tall, so I helped him again.  He crawled along the couch to the arm (the playpen is against the couch), put his hands on the playpen and then screamed at me ("Mum!  Mum!  Mama!  Mum!"*) until I put him in the playpen.  Then he was super happy.

I just can't get over the fact that he decided he wanted to go in the playpen, came up with a 3 part plan and executed it.  

I'm always so torn at moments like this.  On the one hand, I'm so happy that he's smart and happy and developing so well, and on the other hand, I'm kind of thinking, stay a baby, damn it.  People warn you about how fast it all goes, but I don't think most of us really get it until we're there.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mr. Sicky Pants

I'm going to make this short, because I need to clean and do a better job of baby proofing. Most of the cleaning is laundry, because my monster puked everything yesterday.  He puked so much that puke became a transitive verb.

We were in the ER until after midnight, the second time we've visited in just over a week.  The poor little monkey turned into that creepy muppet from The Exorcist, and sprayed the couch, me and himself with vile puke water.  He had to get a suppository in the hospital, which he pooped out with vile sulphurous poop within a few minutes.  If he starts throwing up again today, I have to give him another one.

All in all, I think this is harder on me, than him.  We got home last night and he nursed and went to sleep, then I stayed up and cried, freaked out about everything.  But when he's not actively being sick, he's a happy, active baby.

Timeline-wise, I'm convinced that he caught this thing from Mr. Wolfman's bosses and their baby-grabbing grossness.  It was the day after the company dinner that he first refused solids, and he's been getting sicker since then.  I seriously want to injure whoever did this to my baby.

"Dad Dad"

All day long, my little monster asks for his Dad.  He bounces around and says "Dad, dad, dad!"  He bounces on the couch, saying "Dad, dad, dad" until I put a picture of him and Mr. Wolfman on the screen, then he smiles, laughs and bounces even more vigorously.  He lights up when he hears Mr. Wolfman's keys in the lock, like all his dreams are coming true.

I don't mind that I'm not the favourite.  Watching their relationship makes me feel like the luckiest person alive.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Excited over geeky things.

I found a bodysuit for the little monster that says (wait for it): "Little Monster" on it.  Mr. Wolfman thought it was cool before I even told him how I refer to the little monster on this blog.

Of course, the first time he wore it, he puked all over it within minutes.  This time, he had a blowout in it within minutes.  Ah, but such is life.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


The little monster just took his first unassisted step.  Just one, but whoa.

Someone please tell this kid he's only 6 months old; he seems to have missed the memo.

Yesterday was a terrible day.  Monster was fussy all night the night before and despite actually making a schedule and sticking to it, the day came unhinged pretty early.  10 was to be oatmeal AM, but he turned down solids for the 4th straight day, then got sick.  Like, vomitty sick.  After calling a hotline for help, he started puking up bile, then he went all limp and for a second, I really felt like I might lose him.

He perked up enough that I just took him to the ER instead of calling for an ambulance.  Luckily, Dr. Illegible was the ER doc, so he knows us and the monster put up with being examined.

Today, other than the occasional sicking up, you'd never know there was anything wrong with him. He's just a happy, amazing baby. He's going to be a (wonderful) handful when he's feeling 100%.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

This is Why I'm an Introvert

I went to a work dinner with Mr. Wolfman on Sunday.  The new owners of his business, a group of mostly-childless retirement-aged people, decided that Easter Sunday was a good day to get together with business partners and employees.  Since Mr. Wolfman and I aren't religious, and it meant I didn't have to cook, I figured whatever, so I went.
The little monster was asleep when we got there, so I parked his stroller in the corner, out of the way, and stood close by.  Probably ten times, various women either came up and asked if he was awake yet, or went and poked their head in the stroller.
When he did wake up, this woman, who I'd met when I came in maybe 20 mins before (and who I hadn't even spoken to beyond exchanging names) rushed over.  Then she held out her hands to take the monster from me.
I was so shocked, I just stared at her.
With her hands still stretched out, she said, "Oh, he looks so happy." and then, moving to take him from me, "Maybe he can come to me." 
I dodged her and said, "He's just waking up." Which was all I could think to say.
She stood there with her hands out until a colleague of my husband's, N* suggested maybe later.  Grabby Hands gave me one more pleading look, then got all butt hurt and wandered off.  
She was the worst, but everyone just kept coming up and touching his hands and looking longingly at him.  As a result, the people who I would have let hold him didn't get to, because I knew it would turn into a round of pass the baby.
The other weird thing that happened at the dinner was some weirdo trying to give the monster an egg to play with.  Like, an actual egg.  There were these loaves of bread as centre pieces with dyed hard-boiled eggs in them.  A new colleague of Mr. Wolfman's (not N*) who I hadn't met before pulled a bright orange egg, covered in bread bits out of the loaf and held it out to the monster from across the table.
I thought she was showing it to him, which I thought was weird, but whatever, I'm not going to police what someone shows my baby from a distance.  
Then she starts waving it around and going "Here, here" and leaning closer, so I told her, clearly, "He can't have that."
She kept holding it out to him, while N repeated that he couldn't have it, and said it was covered in stuff.  I probably repeated twice more that he couldn't have it, while she kept holding it out to him.
She got really indignant and said, "It's just bread!"
I said he can't have bread, or eggs, so she starts picking all the bits of bread off it, then tries to give it to him again.  My monster wasn't even remotely interested in it, or I would have said or done more.  But it was so weird, that even after I'd said no repeatedly, she just kept trying.  I learned in the course of dinner that she has a kid, so I guess that makes her an expert on what is/isn't safe to give to my 6 month old baby.
Eventually, N just took it from her, and put it on her own plate.
Chick got all sulky and muttered "Fine."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I hate people.  I seriously need to dig out my mama bear and get her claws shined up. The next person who doesn't listen when I say no is going to have Hell to pay.