The Supers

The Supers
Our growing superfamily

Friday, December 17, 2010

Check. Your. Kid.

This may come across as catty, but I flat-out do not care. If you are sitting on your duff playing with your i-phone with your nicely manicured nails, taking a moment here and there to preen your chemically straightened hair while your child is CAUSING HAVOC all over the flipping place then YOU HAVE IT COMING TO YOU! Today’s parenting fail thankfully is not mine. Well, it is a little, but mostly not.

There’s this kid in Marcus’s gymnastics class that is a holy terror. He NEVER listens, he ALWAYS hits and he rarely does the things he is supposed to do. His mom sits on the bench and watches and sometimes threatens to take him home (although they’ve never left yet). So today Skyler had to use the bathroom which is just off of the gymnastics room. I’m sitting with Talia on an exercise ball outside of the bathroom beside a bucket of balls. Normally I wouldn’t mess with another person’s kid just randomly, but that little monster came up to the bucket of balls and started throwing them at me. Before I even realized that he was doing it intentionally he beaned Talia in the head. I looked up for his mom but she was TEXTING (parenting fail!). I looked him in the eye and said, firmly, “That is NOT okay.” He looked back at me, picked up another ball, and chucked it at me. I got down to his level and quietly informed him that SANTA did not bring presents to boys and girls that are NAUGHTY and he better be careful because SANTA is watching RIGHT NOW!!! (Have I mentioned how December is my favourite month?) He then proceeded to pick up every ball in the bin and toss them onto the floor, which was fine with me because thank goodness he was not my child. His mom was still texting. After he emptied out the balls he was going for the hula hoops but I decided that I didn’t want him chucking around things that were hard so I held them in the bin and stared him down. His mom FINALLY came over to collect him. She was about to walk away with him so I said, “He just emptied all those balls out there.” And pointed. So that she would know exactly which balls she would need to clean up. And she gave him heck and made him pick them up, threatened to take him home again, then sent him back to his class. After Skyler was done in the bathroom I saw the boy head-butt another boy. Mom was nowhere to be seen. As we walked through the lobby I saw her talking to another mom. I said, “He just head-butted another kid. You may want to go in there.” And she did eventually meander back to the room, after she finished her conversation. Lady, you want to be lazy and self-indulgent, that’s your problem. Your bad parenting is going to become society’s problem and that sucks. Parenting is easy. You just have to check in. React. Follow through.

My kids aren’t perfect. But they’re more imperfect in a funny and entertaining way. Their public displays are usually somewhat containable and if they're not then WE LEAVE. Because my kids are MY problem (not that I think of them as a problem), not anybody else's, and they should not be allowed to disrupt at random. When that little turkey runs away in gymnastics class seven other kids have to stand there waiting while the teacher goes to collect him. Don't even get me started about what happens in classrooms!

Breathe deep. Find your happy place.

Skyler is my funny girl. I think she’s going to grow into a funny woman, and goodness knows I like a funny woman.

When I put her in her bed she’s always wearing appropriate attire. She has many sets of lovely pyjamas; she chooses her own out and she puts them on willingly. But something happens to her in the night (or during the day if she’s napping). She undergoes a miraculous transformation. She never awakens in the same outfit she went to sleep in. One night I went in there and she was wearing her tiara and sleeping peacefully. The other day she woke up in her hockey jersey (that’s my girl!). One day I put her down for nap in my bed. I went in when she awoke and saw a hint of lime green sticking out of the waistband of her pants. “What’s this?” I asked. “I’m wearing your panties!” she smiled. Hmm, I don’t have any lime green panties. She was wearing my sports bra under her pants like a pair of panties.

Marcus has been using many of our words against us lately and he’s finding himself in his room more often than he cares for. Today he was chasing Skyler down trying to talk her into giving him a toy and she smacked him when he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He came to complain to me and I shrugged and told him he should have listened to her when she said no the first five times. Once he confirmed that I was unwilling to parent her he decided the right move would be to go parent her himself. “Skyler, it is never okay to hit. What could you have done instead?” My smart little cookie replied, “Barcus, I told you no and you didn’t LISTEN!”

He gets so crabby sometimes. I sent him off to school the other day crabby and I worried about him all day. That evening I asked him if he was crabby at school and he said no. I wanted to know why he was so crabby here and not at school. “We’re not allowed to be crabby at school,” he said. You’re allowed to be crabby here?! I had to know what the secret was. How do they enforce the non-crabby rule? What happens if you’re crabby at school? “You have to sit on the stairs and the teacher talks to you.” That’s it? Because I can do that! I DO do that! You’re still crabby when I do that!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MY you look SKINNY!

When I was in university we played this cool game called Ba-faa Ba-faa. It started out by separating our class into two groups in two separate classrooms. After the other group left we didn’t know what was going on with them. In our group we were taught a new language and given these little number cards that represented a sort of commerce. We were initiated into a new culture that valued commerce above all else and required aggressive trading practices to succeed in the society. After some time, after we’d perfected our aggressive trading skills and amassed a suitable amount of wealth, we were selected in small groups to visit the other culture. When we arrived, it was literally like a different planet. Nobody was interested in doing commerce with us. They were very huggy and got right in our personal space. What really struck me was the greeting ritual—they started each conversation with, “How’s your father? How is your brother? OH you have many men in your family, good for you.” It was disconcerting because it seemed like such an odd thing to value.

So what’s come into my mind lately is the bizarre greeting ritual us women partake in on a regular basis. If you run into a woman you haven’t seen in a while the greeting will sound something like this, “Oh hi! Wow, you look great. Oh my goodness, you’re so skinny!” I engage in this practice regularly. What really struck my attention is this: I went to visit an old friend recently. She is self-admittedly a lazy person. She doesn’t exercise at all and dislikes going outside. She eats whatever she fancies. She is not a person you would describe as healthy. Yet, when I saw her, the thing that I noticed and commented on was how GREAT she looked and how SKINNY she was.

I’ve been working like a mad woman to lose my pregnancy weight and I’ve succeeded—my weight is now below what it was before I got pregnant with my second child and is almost down to what it was before my first. In September when I started to watch what I ate I thought that when I reached my goal weight I’d feel good about that number and good about myself. I do feel good about myself physically, but the preoccupation with my weight hasn’t subsided. I still weigh in daily, I still watch what I eat, and I still feel guilty if I miss a day of exercise. Once you decide to start caring, it’s really hard to shut that off. Because being skinny is what we value. It’s the first thing we notice about each other. It’s the most common compliment we pay. In fact, whenever I get stressed out with life in general, the first outward sign is a complete preoccupation with my weight. I think that’s partially because I’m all about power and control and that is something I can exercise my power and control over, but it’s also about self image. If I could just look right then everything would go right.

I actually find this topic depressing to think about because I have two daughters and I have no idea how to break the cycle for them. I can try to not self-scrutinize in front of them but I can’t protect them from the bombardment of images that have already begun to assault them. I don’t want them to be obsessed about their looks and preoccupied with their body image, but I have yet to meet a woman who isn’t. That’s a pretty sweeping statement, but I’ve had these weight conversations with women that you would assume couldn’t have a complaint about their bodies. They do. They pinch their skin and claim they need to lose five pounds. I wonder how much I will have to weigh to be satisfied with my weight. But YOU! YOU look wonderful! Have you lost weight?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Can I Get a Witness?!

Warning: The following blog post is about bathroom stuff. Enough said.

Our kids wake us up at night. I mentioned this already. Every night one of the kids gets up, and it is usually Marcus. So when I hear him screaming at me from his bed, I don’t usually rush to his side with frenetic helpfulness. I may even dawdle. Last night I looked at the clock to see what ungodly hour he was waking me in (it was actually morning—6am). Considered pretending to sleep through it. I would usually take this opportunity to elbow the husband and remind him of his parental duties, but sadly that guy was down in the basement with another man-cold. I finally took pity on his cries and left the bedroom to help him. He was in the bathroom. On the can.

There’s a chain of thought that goes through a parent’s mind when their child calls in a state of panic from the toilet. The first thought is, “PLEASE do not throw up,” followed by, “Oh no, what’s wrong?” Luckily, he did not throw up. But then I realized that Marcus was having one of those toilet episodes that causes your whole body to shake and get cold sweats. I felt so sorry for him that I sat down on the stool and let him put his arms around me and held his weight for him so he could focus on his business. That was a bad move. Because it turned out that this episode was going to repeat itself about eight more times, and now I had set a precedent. This boy no longer wanted sacred toilet privacy. He wanted me to hold him and console him every time. It went something like this:

Marcus: “Mom, I have to go again! I don’t have much time!”

Me: “Then GO! What are you waiting for?”

Marcus: “I need you to come with me! What if I have allergies again?!’

Me: “It’s called diarrhea, son.”

Marcus: “Let’s just call it allergy-diarrhea.”

Me: “GO!!!”

Marcus: “Okay, but I need you to come.”

Me: “Gelk baklkd fgfgfff.... fine. Let’s go.”

There I go, taking a bullet for the team again. Throwing myself in the face of danger to once again save the family. Maintaining my superhero status is no easy feat.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You Slept Through the Night Once. Honest.



I roll over and try to swat at David with an outstretched hand but to no avail. My arm flails at the empty spot where his head should be. “Wha the fuh? Where is he??? Arrgh Blegh bleeeggggh.” It may not be a fair deal, but it’s David’s job to get up with the big kids. The rationale behind it is that when I get up with the kids I am UP for at least an hour after trying to get back to sleep, whereas David manages to actually deal with them WHILE sleeping and returns to bed, rolls over, and resumes snoring. So if those two get up at night, he has to go and sort them up. UNLESS he is M.I.A. Like last night.

Oh right, inventory. He’s gone all weekend, working, and didn’t get in till after midnight so he opted to sleep in the spare bed to a. Not wake me, and b. Get a full night’s sleep. That meant that I would be on child patrol for the full squadron. Which is actually perfect because most of my best parenting occurs in the middle of the night.

I stumbled into the bedroom and said, “Wha? Wha? What are you yelling for? Just stop yelling and go to sleep!” I then stumbled back to my bed, satisfied with a job well done. Until about ten minutes later when I heard some frustrated grunting and whining that was again WAKING ME UP. So I go back to the bedroom and start whisper-yelling in the direction of Marcus’s bed, but when it didn’t elicit a response I realized the bed was child-free. I tried to re-focus and again heard the whining and the grunting. This time I could pinpoint the source—it was in the living room. Marcus was out there, trying to spread a blanket over himself, and every light was on. Now, hours later, by the light of day, I realize he must have had a nightmare and upon receiving no sympathy or support from his dear mommy he decided that the best thing he could do was to try to protect himself by leaving the scene of the bad dream. However, in the middle of the night, the best I could muster was, “It. Is. The. Middle. Of. The. Night. Get. Back. In. Your. Bed. IMMEDIATELY.” He went back to bed, I went back to bed. I checked the clock—just after 5:30. I wouldn’t be turning human for at least two hours. I settled back into the covers and closed my eyes... and approximately five minutes later Talia woke up.

Look, it’s all my fault. I tempted the fates. I had two glasses of wine last night. I stayed up well past my 10pm bedtime. I KNEW David wouldn’t be around to help out today. Don’t get me started about the disaster that was swimming lessons for Marcus, but let’s just say that when your children are very used to swimming in the fun pool after lessons, it is very hard to convince them that will not be happening. Even Talia was mad.

Now that I think about it, I’m beginning to realize that Marcus waking in the night happens almost every night. Either that or Skyler is YELLING outside our door, “I HAVE TO GO PEE! I HAVE TO GO PEE!” not because she needs help—it’s just an announcement. She then goes to the bathroom by herself and returns to bed. Talia sleeps through the night far more often than either of the older two. I think we’ve been hoodwinked.

How is it that Marcus got less sleep than I and will STILL not nap?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Living with Terrorists

Feeding children is difficult. Rather, feeding children WELL is difficult. It turns out those naughty little people do not tend to like foods that help them grow and be strong. I have (many) memories of sitting at the dinner table hours after everyone left, staring miserably at a plate completely cleaned off except for one unfortunate pile of peas. Or broccoli. Or string beans. As a parent I smugly predicted that if I didn’t force my children to eat they would just go ahead and eat those things. Because before I had kids I of course presumed I had some sort of magic child-rearing abilities that it turns out I do not happen to possess.

So my kids don’t eat dinner. Well, about six nights out of seven they don’t eat dinner. Every once in a while they like to throw me for a curve and eat a meal I’ve prepared, but it’s always random what it’ll be. Like one day it was chicken, and Marcus was declaring, “This is the best food I’ve ever tasted!” but it was the same darn chicken I had made last week that he met with a full-fledged tantrum. I don’t try to make special meals for the kids because I’m pretty certain that the food is not the issue. I just don’t know what the issue is. Our rule is that as long as they try everything on their plate, they can listen to their own bodies (yeah right) and decide when they’ve had enough. That being said, we will not offer snacks in the evening. We do save their dinners so if they’re really hungry later they can eat those. After they go to bed, the dinners are cleared and we start fresh the next day.

Marcus has not had dinner in four days.

I generally make dinner for the family and then go exercise, eating my meal when I return. Skyler has taken to returning to the table while I’m eating and trying to beg off my plate, but when I put her plate in front of her she will eat. So at least 2/3 of my children are fed.

I tend to eat quite a bit of food, partly because I’m breastfeeding and partly because I’m super-active. So at some point after I’m done my dinner, I tend to get a little snacky. I want some frozen raspberries, or some tortilla chips, but I wouldn’t feel right hauling out a snack in front of my starving little children and munching away while they salivate all over themselves. Sometimes I’ll sneak into the kitchen and try to cram a few morsels in my mouth before I hear the little feet approaching, or I’ll try to get into the chips without crinkling the bag too loud, but invariably I hear, “Mommy, what are YOU having?” So now I have to wait until all the terrorists are sleeping before I can have my snack. Sometimes I’m so hungry I kiss them goodnight and head straight to the kitchen. Then Skyler gets up to go pee and she comes into the kitchen to tell me and looks up and sees me frozen, deer in the headlights, with a mouth crammed full of food, a bag of tortilla chips in one hand and a container of hummus in the other. It’s hard to say “Okay, go ahead honey,” with a mouth full of chips. Darn hard.

I think the hardest part about the dinner dilemma is if we have evening plans. If we don’t make sure the kids are fed we have to deal with terrorists, and nobody wants to deal with terrorists in public. They cannot be reasoned with. They utter threats. They explode in well-populated areas. Make no mistake, when Marcus does not eat dinner, he is not a peach. He turns into a full-on nutjob. And if I suggest he eat some food, he flips out. Because he is so obviously NOT HUNGRY. So then, if the kids don’t eat their dinners, they can’t go out. But see, that’s a problem too because we don’t want to feel like we’re “tricking them” or “blackmailing them” into eating. We would really like those kids to get it into their own heads to hop up to the table with smiling faces and EAT THE DARN FOOD I HAVE LOVINGLY PREPARED FOR THEM!!! And I will not make turkey dinner seven days a week just to see that happen.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Gift, or MY Preference: Not To Gift

This is going to sound kind of scroogey. Okay, a LOT scroogey. Let me preface this entry by saying I LOVE Christmas. It is one of my favourite times of year. I love almost everything about Christmas—the baking, buying gifts for my kids and other people’s kids, seeing family, all of it. Well, most of it. Every year we have the same dilemma, and every year we are left with no answer.

Those of you that know me know that I may have some issues about power and control. As in, I like to have power and control. Over everything. I don’t like things to change around me. I like to have a schedule. And I don’t. Like. Surprises. This may be why I absolutely abhor exchanging gifts for Christmas. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Well aren’t you just the Grinchiest McGrincherson around?!” But let me explain, there’s a weird and twisted logic that accompanies this most unfestive sentiment. You see, if I could send out a pre-Christmas memo with an itemized list of EXACTLY what I want/need and received only items from the list, I would probably enjoy receiving presents. Sometimes people do get me presents that were on my mental checklist, and I do enjoy those presents. But I do not like receiving things that I do not want. Because I am cheap. Not making the connection? When I receive a gift that I don’t want, I look at that gift and think, “Man, I could have used that money to buy something on the LIST.” I’m sad for the loss of the money I never actually had. The worst part is if somebody buys you a present that is close but not exactly what you wanted because then you are forced to settle for the thing and will NEVER be able to get the one you actually wanted because you are already in possession of the very near replica. This is so not in the spirit of Christmas. I’m almost ashamed to be telling you this. BUT because I’m such a nitwit at receiving presents, I do the honourable thing. I opt out. I let all adults know beforehand that I do not want to exchange gifts. I LOVE buying gifts for kids because I know what they want and I know that they’ll like what I get them. I do not have that confidence in picking out presents for grownups.

Now, you may wonder why this odd compulsion precludes me from GIVING presents. The answer is simple—I agonize at not having the other person’s pre-Christmas memo. I would be mortified to buy somebody something that IS NOT ON THEIR LIST. I will happily make little gifts with my kids so that they have something to exchange but I’m not going to go out and spend money on something that will end up in somebody’s junk drawer or worse.



I know, I tell myself the same things. It’s shameful.

So last year we let everybody know that we would not be exchanging presents. And then everybody bought us presents anyway. That’s fine, if that’s what you have to do to feel good at Christmas, I don’t want my grinchiness to kill your buzz. Just know that if you buy me a present at Christmas, it’s for you, it’s not for me. And it may end up going to charity.

This year if you would like to exchange presents with me you will need to send me your itemized pre-Christmas memo by November 15th. I will reciprocate the memo with makes, models, and the names of appropriate retailers. Either that, or we can just skip the entire gift-giving fiasco and enjoy a little Christmas nog together. Feel free to spoil the kids rotten however, because they apparently DIDN’T inherit my OCD. Yet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poor Sport

I was a poor sport when I was a little kid. I was the kind of kid that would pitch a big fit if I didn’t win a board game. My family had a choice: either let me win, don’t let me win and deal with the noisy consequences, or don’t play games with me at all. So they let me win. I think they did, for the most part. And I turned out okay—a bit competitive but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. Competition is healthy and fuels progress. Or something.

The problem is, I’m still competitive as a parent. If my kid is the best behaved kid, then I win, right? And if I don’t make a big deal of it, if I just demurely smile and accept the kudos, then I am a good sport and I’ve played the game fairly. So you can imagine my absolute horror in discovering that my son is a poor sport. Publicly. Like, as in, in front of everyone.

We went to Oliver Woods park for a soccer class today. Before class we played on the awesome playground and we were having a great time. Marcus made a little friend and I knew the mommy from StrongStart so her and I chatted a bit, and it was nice. When it was time for class I called Marcus and he came right away, because he was excited for soccer. The other mommy commented on what a good listener he was (Me: 1, Her: 0), and I told her, “Well, he’s just excited for soccer.” See: demure. That should get me bonus points. Her guy was having a fit about going inside, but I’ve seen so many of those fits that I didn’t think anything of it. She seemed stressed, managing with her baby and her angry little man, so I sidled up to her and told her that my four-year-old could be a terror. I told her about the stuffie down the toilet. And I told her about the testosterone thing. A dad there joined in and commented on what a terror HIS four-year-old girl could be. The mommy didn’t seem to be feeling much better, but at least she knew she wasn’t alone.

The kids were having a great time with the soccer lesson. But I sensed something coming. I’m kind of like one of those animals that senses the tornado approaching. I wanted to gather in my children and hunker down, but that’s not really protocol for soccer lessons. The teacher announced that we were going to play a game and I could see Marcus’s anxiety rising. He looked up at me, lower lip out just a trace, and said, “Mommy, I don’t want to play the game.” I told him to just watch the game for a minute, and if he wanted to join in, then he could. Hmm, not sure about it, but willing to comply. So the teacher explains that all the children will have a pinny on their belts, and the goal is to pull out each other’s pinnies. If your pinny gets pulled, you just pick it up and put it back in. Easy peasy. Marcus gives me the thumbs up, which temporarily lulls me into a false sense of security. Because sure enough, the moment his pinny gets pulled, he’s crying full throttle, “I WANT TO GO HOOOOOOOME!!!” Uhm. “Marcus, son, I see that you’re really—“ “I WANT TO GO HOOOOOOOME!!!” I got him over to the bench and explained that we would not be going home and I talked about winning not being important and being a good sport, etc. And then I let him sit there sobbing while I helped Skyler play the game. Of course I was horribly embarrassed that my son was the poor sport (Me: 0, Them: more than 0). Sigh. I would take comfort in the fact that at least the other mommy got to see that it was true, other four-year-olds were equally rotten, but then I would have had to acknowledge that she won. Which meant I lost. Double sigh. I wonder where this poor-sportsmanship could possibly have come from?

The fits continued outside the building (“I WANT TO PLAY ON THE PLAYGROUND!”), in the van (“I WANT A SNACK!), and when we got home (“I DON’T WANT TO TAKE A NAP!!!”). All of my children are asleep now. My ears hurt. And my throat, a little, from yelling. I’m not sure who wins this one, but I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

Monday, October 4, 2010



Things are weird right now. Things were so weird that I had to actually stop drinking coffee. My friends, I had worked myself into a frenzy. A hockey-playing, bootcamping, running frenzy that was fuelled with excessive amounts of caffeine and self interest. I knew something had to go, so I chose coffee.

THWAP! That is the sound the drunk robins make when they smash into my beautiful front window. THWAP! THWAP! That is the frequency with which they randomly hurtle themselves into said window. These nutty birds hang out in the tree in our front THWAP! yard and eat the fermented orange berries, which I suspect were poisonous in the first place, and then kamikaze themselves straight THWAP! into my house. THWAP! I can sit on my couch and watch them coming. I think, “Don’t do it man! There’s so much to live for!” but they can’t be dissuaded. Even with the blinds—THWAP!—closed, they persist.

David wants to cut the tree down.

So ya, the coffee thing. I think it’s been about a week now, and I have to say, the frenzy has definitely ebbed. The anxiety has petered down to a light fervour. I’m still massively over-scheduled but I’m so excited about all the things I’ve got going on right now that I’m not willing to cut anything. Bootcamp is awesome, hockey is absolutely amazing, and I like the occasional run on a Sunday afternoon.

Is anybody reading this?

Taking pictures doesn’t help you remember what your kids were like when they were little. I remember Marcus as a baby in theory, but I can’t remember what he felt like, or what he looked like, or what his chubby little hands felt like when they gripped my finger. Videos don’t help either. I only know him the way he is now. Even Skyler, I can’t imagine her any way besides how she is now. Everybody says this time goes by so fast, but this time really does go by so fast. I find it alarming.

I checked tonight. And I skated into another girl and she got a penalty, which was awesome. She skated up to a teammate of mine at the end of the game and said, “You know, I was just standing still!” and I responded, “Ya, I know! I was totally looking down! I ran right into you!” And then I started laughing. It was great. My teammate said, “You’re not supposed to admit that!” Whatever, I wanted full credit for that great play! J


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Get Yer Skates Out!

I married a hockey nut. I married a guy that played Junior A and a bit of semi-pro and coached and watched hockey and basically lived and breathed hockey when we met. Shortly after we started living together we moved to Port Alberni where he was coaching the Junior B team. I remember getting phone calls in the middle of the night from players or disgruntled parents, and I remember the seeds being planted. The “I Hate Hockey” seeds. Maybe it was even earlier; I still have recollections of my Mom, brother and I decorating the Christmas tree while Dad watched the game. I guess it doesn’t really matter when it started, but those seeds began to sprout. I started to revolt against hockey. I stopped going to watch the games he coached. I didn’t even really want to hear about them, but I listened patiently. I never liked watching it on TV in the first place, but I stopped letting it be ON the TV. When we got a second TV David and I wouldn’t see each other all season long. I was thankful when David stopped coaching. I was blissful when I cancelled cable and didn’t have to deal with the games anymore.

Which is why it is so surprising that now I am anxiously anticipating the start of hockey season so that I can watch some games. And even MORE surprising is the reason I want to watch some games is that I want to learn the rules. Because I have started playing hockey. On the ice. With skates on. So what happened in between last season’s cable-free stance and this season’s sudden fervour? I’m not really sure. I have a friend that plays and it sounded like a good idea at the time. Why do I do any of the things I do, really?! Because I don’t sit down and really think about them. I just do them.

So, after having never owned a pair of hockey skates, or even any skates that I can remember (I probably had figure skates as a kid, but I don’t remember them at all), I bought my first pair. I paid $50 at Sports Traders and also went on a spree at Sportmart and bought all of my gear. I was able to borrow some of David’s stinky old gear (romantic, I know). He wanted me to use his old jock but there I drew the line. If I’m going to play with ladies, I’m going to be wearing a Jill.

Monday night was player evaluations. I still hadn’t thought things through at this point. I was just rolling with it, trying not to think about too much so I wouldn’t get nervous. Didn’t think about it right up to the point where I was about to step out on the slippery, freshly-zambonied ice. And then I thought, “Whoa.” And then I thought some more. It sounded like this: “What am I doing?! I don’t know how to skate!” But I chewed those thoughts back down and got out there. We started doing easy laps around the rink. I was in awe of the women skating around me and remember thinking that they skate “like men”. I was rickety and tippy and didn’t know how to stop, but I skated around and around.

Then we had to line up for drills. This was the point when I realized that I was going to have to learn how to stop, since the first drill was to skate as fast as you could for the side and then stop with your skates, not just by slamming into the boards which is how I’d usually get that job done. Luckily the coach running the practice knew I was new on skates and gave me some instruction. I swallowed my fear and I did it. I did every drill that night. I did not do them well, but I did them. I worked my butt off, and by the end of the practice I was able to stop, able to skate backwards, and able to stay on my feet most of the time. The best part was that I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I have never worked so hard and I have never been up against such a steep learning curve. I had sweat dripping off of the end of my nose.

I will no longer be a hockey widow. My husband and I will continue to know each other through the winter months. And I think he’s kind of getting a kick out of me gaining an appreciation for a sport that helped shape his life. Turns out I actually love hockey. Whoops! Sorry about those last ten years and the whole "hating hockey" thing. Better late than never!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Raising Boys

Well, I bought the book that had the testosterone theory but was thoroughly under-impressed. I did not like the author’s writing style, and found the book content underwhelming at best. The main gist of the book was a. Fathers are important, b. Boys are different to raise than girls, and c. A bunch of stuff about adolescence that I didn’t bother reading as I’m not at that stage yet. So anyhow, I already knew those first two things, but didn’t get any advice or info on HOW to raise my son differently than my daughters. The only thing reading the book really did for me was it got me thinking about the positives of having a little boy. Here’s what I came up with.

His imagination is so very different than mine. I can stretch my brain into new shapes playing superheroes and flying around the living room, or super spies sneaking around the house. I can watch him manipulate his toys into doing all sorts of boyish things and having all sorts of boyish conversations. He is my window into the world of all things men.

He appreciates a good fart joke, and I’ve discovered that I’ve got plenty to share.

He loves to be physically active. We can ride bikes in circles for hours, or play tag or hide n go seek. He has boundless amounts of energy that although at times can be exhausting, can also be exhilarating.

He is careful with his affection and only brings it out from time to time. I feel special when he chooses to hug and kiss me. I feel like magic when I can make him giggle with abandon.

He makes me brave. I have to touch bugs and worms and snakes when I'm with him so that I can help make him brave too.

He is a careful guardian of his two sisters. He can drive Skyler wild with fury, but he is also loving and kind with her, and if she falls down or gets hurt he comes and gets me right away with wide-eyed concern. He always lets me know if he hears Talia crying in her crib. When he gets himself a drink of water at dinner he always gets Skyler a cup as well. At times I marvel at his caring. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Even if at times Skyler’s cup has three drops of water in it and his is overflowing.

Boys are amazing little people. They are completely exhausting but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

See, I’ve completely let that whole “flushing the stuffie down the toilet” incident go. Well, for the most part.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

T is for Testosterone

Random Marcus (aka Random Dave Jr) has been at it again. I won’t get into the gory details, but let’s just say that the last straw was when he tried to flush a sizable stuffed animal down the toilet. He seems completely not in control of his behaviour. We had some people over for dinner the other night and he couldn’t contain himself—he was positively vibrating. I keep taking him outside to ride his bike up and down the street, but sooner or later we have to come inside. Somebody has got to fold the laundry and make dinner!

I was totally at my wits’ end and was complaining about his behaviour to a friend of mine, also with a four-year-old boy, who mentioned that she had heard that at this age the testosterone level in boys doubles. This causes some major erratic and aggressive behaviour. Now, Marcus has not been aggressive, but erratic? Oh yes! And then some! I was interested in the theory but haven’t been able to find much online about it. I ordered a book from the library that was referenced, so we’ll see when it comes.

In the meantime, it’s amazing how a plausible explanation makes the random behaviours so much easier to deal with. Now that I can imagine that there is some biological imperative that makes Marcus dissect my hand soap into hundreds of tiny little nubs, it makes the behaviour that much easier to fathom. I’m still pissed off that I have to squidge the soap back together into one knobbly ball, but at least I know that he’s not doing it on purpose. Also, it helps me explain to HIM why he’s getting into so much trouble these days, and how we can work on it together. Now when his head is spinning and he can’t control his facial expressions I can pin him down and look him in the face and say, “See? You’re acting crazy because of the HORMONES!!!”

Four-year-olds. Who’d have thunk it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

“SuperMommy” Strikes Again

Well, the only way to grow is to err. As I tell my kids OVER and OVER we make mistakes so we can learn from them. And then I make a mistake and beat myself up about it for days. So here we go, let’s have some blogtherapy. Internet, you won’t judge me, will you?

We had some friends over for a playdate and it was going swimmingly. Two boys, one a bit older than Marcus whom we’ll call Chuck, one a bit younger whom we’ll call Sam, and the guys were having a great time playing. Chuck and Marcus were instant buds and were running around together outside while Sam was very interested in checking out baby Talia. A couple of hours into the playdate, the boys all went downstairs into the basement to play.

Now, our basement is a multi-functional space, and there are a lot of things going on down there. There is a spare bed, a bunch of toys, a sitting area with a tv, and an open bit of space where I do my exercise videos, with mats and a few handweights. Sometimes when I exercise during nap one or both of the kids will get up a bit early and wander downstairs where they entertain themselves with arts and crafts while I finish my workout. I have a bunch of my scrapbooking supplies out on the coffee table (i.e., paper, glue, stickers, etc.) and they are welcome to help themselves and do a nice craft. They usually create some multi-layered masterpiece and proudly present it to me when I am sweating and grinning after my activity. But I digress.

So the other Mommy and I were upstairs having a coffee when we hear Chuck on the stairs. “Mommmmm...” he calls, “Sam is putting glue EVERYWHERE.” Oh. My. Goodness. Inside my eyelids a series of images flash by. FLASH: The white glue! FLASH: Scraps of paper! FLASH: My beautiful couch! I don’t remember actually thinking so much as flying down the stairs into the rec room. “SAM!” I call. I don’t see him anywhere, but what I DO see is a whole lot of glue on a whole lot of surfaces. “SAM!!!” Still no answer. I’m flying around the basement searching for the presumed culprit and I CAN NOT FIND HIM. Boy with glue. Lost. In my house. So anyway, the part that really shames me is I actually had this thought, as I was searching the house for this kid. Now, don’t get all judgy on me here, you are WAY too deep in this to deny you’ve ever had this thought. If you have kids and haven’t had this thought yet, you will one day. I thought to myself, “Self, those art supplies have been out there for over a month. (wait for it, here it comes...) MY kid would NEVER have done something like that.” BOOM! And with that, a bolt of lightning came from the sky, through the first story, into my basement, and struck me dead, just like that. I am a TEACHER! I have HEARD that line from parents and thought, “YA RIGHT! Have you not MET your kid?!” Shame on me. But just wait, it gets better. That in itself is not nearly shameful enough to blog about. I had to take it one step further.

“I found him!” called Marcus from the rec room. Sam was hiding under a table clutching the bottle of glue. I can’t remember if he came out willingly or if his mom pulled him out by the ankle. He tried to run past me with the glue and I yoinked it out of his hand. I then got down to his level, looked him in his eye, and proceeded to PARENT him with his MOTHER right there!!! Because I am obviously SUCH an amazing parent that parenting my own three kids isn’t enough, I have to go around parenting other people’s kids too. I said, in the best teacher voice I could muster, “SAM! I am VERY frustrated right now! You need to help clean this up immediately!” Okay, that’s not the best part. It’s pretty impressive, but still not the best part. The best part came later, after the glue was cleaned up, after the toys were put away, after the friends had gone home. The best part was when I talked to Marcus and asked him what had happened downstairs.

And he said to me...

“Well, I was putting glue everywhere and...”

That’s when the other bolt of lightning struck.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh Ya, The Funny Stuff

1. We’ve taken to calling my husband “Random Dave” because of the random stuff he sometimes does. If you knew him, you’d understand. So he has his own theme song where we say “Ran-dom Daaaaave” in a DUH DUH DUHHHHHH kind of tune. Kind of hard to describe, but I’m sure you get the picture. So Marcus and Skyler are enjoying calling everybody random. “Ran-dom Marcuuuuusss. Strikes A-gaaaaain.”

2. Tonight at dinner:

Marcus: MM this is good chicken!

Me: It’s pork

Marcus: This is so good, what kind of chicken is this?


I don’t know why I found this so hilarious, but I really did.

3. Skyler at dinner (also tonight, but Marcus had already left the table)

Skyler: I’m s’gusting.

David: Are you a disgusting girl?

Skyler: Ya, Marcus says I’m s’gusting girl. I’m s’gusting. Marcus says I’m s’gusting girl because he’s my friend. I said thank you Marcus.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Let’s Leave the Parenting to the Parents

Well, the men in white coats have struck again. I’m certain my husband is just trying to get me all riled up and angry before I go to bed so he can have the bed to himself while I blog in the middle of the night. At about ten o’clock tonight he had me read this article from the Globe and Mail about what those righteous parenting experts are up to now, in their infinite wisdom and knowledge.

This article was basically saying that parents that let their children cry it out at night are emotionally unavailable to their children (aka ROTTEN PARENTS, aka Sucky Mommies). Don’t EVEN get me started. Okay, I’ve already started, so I better finish.

As you already know, I have a huge problem with the harbingers of guilt when it comes to parenting. So my problem with this article, and more specifically with the research behind this article, is that its sole effect will be to guilt parents into avoiding sleep training. They say the sleep training will damage the parent/child relationship. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure if I were getting up three or four times a night and NEVER having a full night’s sleep EVER, my relationship with my kids would not be spectacular. Because I’d be TIRED. I’m not saying that all parents should sleep train their children, but I am saying if your child is up all night partying like a rock star and you’re pretty sure that if he keeps you up one more night you’re going to SHAKE that BABY like a RATTLE, you should probably consider sleep training. And I’m not fussy about the method. There are so many to choose from.

What it comes down to is this: babies call us in the middle of the night to nurse and that is fine, they’re hungry, so feed them. But after a while, babies get pretty happy going to sleep on the breast. And then they forget how to go to sleep without the breast. Not a big deal at 8pm, but at 1am (and 3am and 5am) when they’re waking up as part of the natural sleep cycle and need Mommy’s breast again to get back to sleep, not so great. Babies need to learn (or re-learn) their natural self-soothing techniques so that they can be good sleepers at night. Kids need their sleep! It’s not selfish of parents to help their kids be good sleepers, it’s good parenting. That being said, I also think it’s fine to get up with your kids in the night if that’s what you want to do and you can handle the night-time wake-ups and still be a good mommy during the day. At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for your family and your parenting ideals. The men in white coats work in a world of theory, not reality, and I think often this research can be really damaging and actually counter-productive to the work that many health professionals are dedicating to reducing the amount of Shaken Baby Syndrome cases.

Also, the article mentioned the detrimental effects of cortisol (stress hormone) to a baby’s developing brain. Right, so if our goal is to avoid infant stress, and if it stresses baby out to be away from Mommy, Mommy should just NEVER GO OUT. Are they just trying to drum up business for post-partum psychologists? Because Mommy is going to be off-the-wall looney tunes if she doesn’t get away from her baby every once in a while. I can’t even say that in a perfect world all babies would be raised without stress because I don’t believe that is what is best for babies. The best thing we can do for our children is to expose them to difficult situations and teach them coping strategies. If baby is crying in the crib at 4am on a full tummy, help her find her fingers and say SH SH SH and hopefully she’ll learn how to help herself get back to sleep. But, if you really want to pick her up and cuddle her, then do it. Because you’re the Mommy, and YOU know how to raise your baby. Nobody else. That’s why you got the one you got. You were meant for this job.

The Rottenest Kids in the Neighbourhood

Oh lordie.

I have an amazing neighbourhood. One of those neighbourhoods of long ago, where people sit on their front porches and wave as people pass by, and check in if your son happens to be standing by the road unsupervised at 8:30 in the morning. (Yes, that happened, but I can explain. I just choose not to.) One of the best parts of our neighbourhood is the neighbourhood block party. There was one yesterday, a lovely barbecue up at the end of our street. Tons of people turned up, everyone brought a plate of food for sharing, and there were burgers and dogs supplied by the neighbourhood patriarch Bill. He’s been here the longest, and the houses next to his and across the street from his belong to his offspring. It’s pretty much their neighbourhood, and they invite the rest of us in.

So anyways, we were really looking forward to getting the chance to chat with a lot of the people that we just wave at usually. We didn’t take into account the fact that we were bringing our children, who happen to be the Rottenest. Kids. In. The. Neighbourhood. I had envisioned a fun little barbecue with kids running around playing with each other, maybe running up to the snack table and grabbing some food, etc. What I got was a couple of sullen and unhappy whiners that would not eat.

The first problem was Skyler’s somewhat new paralyzing fear of dogs. So of course when I gave her a hotdog and sat her in a lawn chair, a friendly border collie ambled over to sniff at her toes. And Skyler started SCREAMING BLUE MURDER. “NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Hey, that’s not embarrassing at all, Sky-Pie! Way to set the mood!

Yesterday morning we had taken off Marcus’s training wheels so he could learn how to ride a two-wheeler. He had some good runs but needed a ton of assistance starting off. Let’s call him a pre-novice. When we got up to the barbecue we saw five-year-old Eva was proudly riding around on HER two-wheeler, which she had just learned to ride. Of course Marcus wanted to go get his bike, and seemed to have forgotten that he could barely ride it. He was so eager to show off his two-wheeler he didn’t stop to think that he could not actually RIDE it. We finally agreed that he could run down to the house to get his bike, but that we would NOT be helping him ride as we were visiting. Ya, that’ll go well.

Flash forward twenty minutes: BOTH kids are crying and screaming and being MISERABLE and NOT eating their dinners even though they’re starving. We scooped them up, brought them home and put them in their bedrooms for the longest. Timeout. EVER. Then, when they came out, I said, “Are you guys hungry now?” and they nodded and said, “Yes, we’re real hungry.” And I said, “Well, that was DINNER that we had up at the barbecue, and you chose not to eat it. “ So that at least evened up the score a little, even though right now we’re sitting at Kids: 1 048 083, Parents: 2. Actually, we’re at 1.5, because I caved a little before bed and gave them a snack. But not a big snack. So there.

Oh yeah, the dog thing. We’ve decided we’re going to start borrowing our neighbour’s dog to walk every once in a while to get them used to dogs, because this is ridiculous. Nothing like starting life with a crippling fear of something that is EVERYWHERE.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Problem with Parenting Experts

And I’m not talking about the ones in white coats that have gone to school to become experts. Well, I somewhat am, but not completely. In this day and age there are many people just itching to tell you how you’re doing it wrong, and they have so many opportunities to do it. I had a great conversation with my auntie yesterday who is a nurse practitioner on the mainland, and she was telling me about a great conversation she had with Ronald Barr, a doctor that produced the Purple Period of Crying video. He studied a tribal culture and their babies to examine what caused prolonged periods of inconsolable crying. His research revealed that all babies cry, and that there are “high criers” and “low criers” even in a culture that does “all the right things” when it comes to parenting. The babies he studied were nursed on demand, worn in slings, in the company of others for the majority of time, etc., and there were still high criers in the group. What he deduced was that some babies cry more than others, and it has nothing to do with environment. It got me thinking about the guilt we inadvertently put on new mothers without even realizing we are doing so. So mommies of new babies, tell me if you’ve ever held your wailing baby in a public place and heard any of these:

1. Maybe he’s hungry? The guilt factor: You are obviously ignoring your baby’s cues and starving him. You are a sucky mommy. This is probably the most unhelpful but most contributed comment when your baby cries. New mommies tend to not starve their babies, so chances are that feeding is one of the things that is rarely neglected. However, when somebody makes this seemingly innocuous comment, here is the New Mommy Thought Process: I just fed him! Hmm. Well, maybe he didn’t get enough? Was he really done nursing? Maybe I took him off too soon. I guess I could feed him again, it couldn’t hurt. Then all of a sudden, new mommy is unnecessarily nursing their baby again on the advice of somebody that hasn’t got a clue if the baby is hungry or not. Plus, the extra food in the tummy may just be too much, which can possibly cause a nice little case of acid reflux, making baby even crankier.

2. Maybe you’re overfeeding him? The guilt factor: You can’t find any other way to soothe your baby besides sticking your boob in his mouth. You are a sucky mommy. This one is not vocalized as much as it is talked about on the web. There are quite a few websites that claim that colic is caused by overfeeding. The baby’s tummy gets over-full then of course the overflow spills into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. This does make some sense and could happen if you overfeed, but unfortunately these websites also advocate a feeding schedule: nursing only every 3 to 4 hours. Dr Barr conducted research on the same tribe that I mentioned before but this time studied how well the infants learned. The research showed that the babies that were nursed on demand learned at a steady rate, but the babies that were fed on a feeding schedule had periods of time when they were not learning (probably due to low blood sugar). Like the hungry question, this question makes new mommies question their own maternal instinct which is wrong, wrong, wrong! My son would sometimes nurse again twenty minutes after finishing his last feed, and he gained weight like gangbusters. My first daughter was a once-every-three-hours kind of gal, and she’s wee. Talia is somewhere in the middle. All babies have different needs, and mommies have to trust that their babes will let them know when they want to nurse.

I’m going to continue this later, but for now, here is a link to Dr Barr’s PURPLE site. I liked it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You Know I’m Being Facetious When I Call Myself “SuperMommy”, Right?

I just wanted to clear that up. Just want to make sure that all you other mommies out there know that I am over ¾ mortal and fallible. My house is clean today, but only because I paid somebody to clean it. I’d go ahead and espouse my long list of parenting mistakes, but I’m sure that wouldn’t make either of us feel good. I haven’t fooled myself into thinking I’ve got this thing fully nailed. I do, however, really, really enjoy being a Mommy. I’m having a great time with my kids right now, and that’s half the battle.

I had completely mentally prepared myself for the first six weeks with the newborn to be the fifth dimension of hell. I’ve had numerous people say to me, with only the two kids, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” I didn’t consider that to be the case, but I thought, “Wow, I’m going to REALLY have my hands full with three!” I had a friend mention that she overheard a co-worker talking about how the transition from one to two kids was crazy, but the transition to three kids was just stupid. And I can see how that would be the case. Think about it: while Mommy is trapped nursing on the couch, there are not a lot of hyjinx just one kid can get up to. Sure, they may chase the cat, dump out a box of cereal, or throw a toy or two into the toilet, but there’s not much they can get up to that is irreparable or requires immediate attention. Now, picture nursing on the couch and hearing, “Just eat it. Mom won’t know,” or “Don’t worry, we can just ride it down the stairs,” or even just, “Just do it. C’mon, do it!” These are phrases that could strike terror in a mommy’s heart. With three kids, you could end up with one chasing the other around the living room with a belt, or talking the other into sliding down the stairs in a laundry hamper, all while you’re sitting helpless on the couch nursing.

Fortunately, that’s not what’s happening here. Now, these are still early days, but I honestly am feeling like the transition from two kids to three kids is not a lot of a transition at all. Talia is (bless her) a very easy baby so far and she mostly just sleeps. It does take me an extra hour to get out of the house in the morning, so don’t expect to see me before 10am, but other than that, things are surprisingly easy. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. Our first week and a half was rough. Talia had some feeding issues that took a few days to resolve—days in which I had to top her up after every feeding by pumping milk and then feeding it to her through a tube held against my finger. This required constant pumping, sterilizing, finger-feeding, sterilizing, breastfeeding, etc. Two solid days of constant “feeding the baby”. Then, as soon as that all got resolved, David came down with strep throat. I can’t even blog about it, it was so utterly terrible. He was sequestered in the basement and I was upstairs with my four-year-old, two-year-old, and one-week-old. I was still hurting from the birth and I was an emotional mess, but fortunately after a couple days of constant mini-breakdowns I wised up and phoned my mom, who came and rescued us. I can’t believe I was able to ask for help and I am so enormously grateful to have a mom that would drop her life with an hour’s notice, hop a ferry, and take total care of us for three days.

So now that life is back to “normal”, this all feels really easy. That, and since Talia is gaining weight like a champ now, I have no problem interrupting her mid-feed to stop the kids from giving each other haircuts. I sure hope I’m not eating these words in a week!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Day at the Lake

I should have been wiser. I know there will come a time in my life that I will begin to use the good sense I know I must have been born with. I should have been wiser.

It did not start out like any day. There were omens all around, and I didn’t heed them. When I woke up and realized that what started out with David in the bathtub at 3:30 in the morning had turned into him wrapped in blankets and shivering on the living room floor, I should have kyboshed the plans. I should have known then to cancel our plans to go to the lake and have a nice quiet day in the backyard instead. But I had this picture in my head, and sometimes those pictures become so enticing that a gentle push in that direction is all you need to be convinced. Everything will be okay.

I even tried to tell the kids that I didn’t think we’d be able to go to the lake, but my honey-tongued son ASSURED me that if we went to the lake, “You can just sit on the blanket and watch us play!” (picture him smiling divinely and batting his eyelashes). That sounded fantastic! I’d just sit on the blanket and watch the kids, nurse Talia, relax in the warmth.

Omen number two: Sweet Marcus, the aforementioned honey-tongued son, was leaning into Talia’s face to coo at her or kiss her or love her in some other gentle, brotherly way and she THREW UP IN HIS MOUTH. A look of shear horror and panic enveloped his face and he brought his hands up to his chin to cover his mouth but it was too late. Milk was dripping off his nose, out of his mouth, down his chin. She got him GOOD. He started scream-crying and ran to the bathroom and I swear I tried SO HARD not to laugh. I really, really, really tried. When he finally emerged from the bathroom he was still crying hysterically and he was looking at her and at me trying (unsuccessfully) not to laugh and he was GLARING at us both like we were the worst traitors in the world and EVEN THEN I did not call off the trip to the lake. Of course, how could I, now? But I should have known, because whenever there is a traitorous act, there needs to be a reciprocal act of revenge.

So we got to the lake, after Marcus ASSURED me that he would be my big helper. I let the two out of the van, and Marcus starts running for the water. Beelines. And I am standing at the van, with at least three loads of things to carry PLUS the car seat with baby Talia, and Marcus is hoofing it as fast as he can for the water. Then I am hollering at him in my best trailer-park mama voice, “MARCUS!!! You get back here IMMEDIATELY!!!” He stops, turns around, and yells back, “WHY?” The answer, my friends? Yes, of course, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!” After about ten minutes of back and forth, I convinced him to come back and wait for me, and even to carry something.

It actually turned out to be a pretty good time at the lake, besides Skyler's little temper tantrum getting back into the van, but holy smokes I need to be a better planner the next time I leave the house with all three. Like, always bring a picnic so that when you get home you will not have three kids all squawking at you for food at the same time. Insert panic attack here. The snacks just didn't cut it, those kids needed to have lunch on the road.

Talia enjoyed her first day at the lake by lounging in her car seat in the shade. It was HOT but she stayed pretty cool. I was grateful to have friends there so that I was free to feed her while the kids played in the water.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Welcome to the World

Talia Rose Davidson-Dumas, born 6:32am, Tuesday, June 29th, 2010. Weighing a tidy 7lbs 9oz and measuring 19.5”.

Her birth was uneventful. What a wonderful way to describe a birth! No induction, no panic, no hurry, no paediatrician hovering outside the door, no obstetrician taking over the show, and quiet nurses that came in at precisely the last moment and then just as quietly slipped back out of the room. For the most part, just David and I and a bathtub, with a midwife coming in every once in a while to poke at my belly with a heart rate monitor. I love an uneventful birth. My first one, and my last.

Now she is here, and she sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. Brother holds her, and she sleeps. Sister holds her, and she sleeps. Mommy tries to get some sleep, and she wakes up. Good morning! No rest, Mommy, need, need, need.

These first days are easier the third time around, but certainly not easy. I’m tired, and emotional, and have trouble dealing calmly and rationally with the other two. Their needs pile onto the new neediness and I lose my temper too quickly. I send David to the park with the other two so I can rest and recoup my sanity. I think it is easier the third time around because I don’t take it personally anymore. I don’t take the crying personally, or the nursing issues, or even the short fuse I have. I know it’s the hormones, the lack of sleep, and the new overwhelming sense of responsibility. I say I know, but more importantly, I KNOW, I’m not just saying the words.

I’d love to write more, but I should get my rest.