The Lessons Our Children Teach Us

There is something so special about a child’s enthusiasm.
It is because of it’s purity.
There are no hidden agendas or reasons behind any of their decisions.
If a child meets another child they either like them or they don’t.
It isn’t based on their educational background, status of any sort or even appearance.

Take Nate for example.
He loves children.
All children.
Girls and boys.
Short and tall.
From babies to kids.
Watching him interact with other children brings me an immense amount of joy.
He wants to play with them and so he shares his toys.
He likes to show them around and babble away.
He shines brightest when in the company of his peers.
Once in awhile he doesn’t jive with a kid and that’s cool too.
He shows a high level of integrity at a very young age.

Sometimes I catch myself being envious at how much easier it is for young children to create bonds.
I wonder how I can reclaim that innocence.
That is why I try and stay in the moment with our kids.
They teach me some of life’s greatest lessons without even trying.

The lesson of resilience is something that I learn more everyday by simply watching them go about their business.
They can literally smash into something and simply get up and keep going.
As adults that changes.
We get affected by some of the smallest falls in the biggest ways.

The lesson of adaptation.
Children are so adaptable.
Nate got twenty-two months to himself with us until Benny arrived.
Initially, he wasn’t fully sold on the idea of having somebody to share our attention with but that quickly changed and he is absolutely in LOVE with Benny.
As adults we become competitive and territorial.
The idea of sharing attention or status becomes difficult to bear for many adults.

The lesson of pure joy.
Have you seen what a balloon does to a crowd of toddlers?
It is comparable to an adult winning the lotto!
They are so filled with joy at simply watching a balloon fly away or even more so when they get to hold one!
It’s magical.
As adults we have a far more difficult time truly enjoying the little things in life.
Somewhere along the way we have replaced pure joy with anxiety.
Rather than enjoying life we focus on overthinking everything.

I’m currently working on getting back my childlike enthusiasm.
It’s going to be hard work as I have a lifetime of jadedness to overcome.
Wish me luck!

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Socks and Sandals

Before I had children my opinions on fashion were very different.
I thought it to be awful when people left their house in sweatpants.
I couldn’t understand for the life of me why people wouldn’t be perfectly primped, all the time.
The combination of socks and sandals absolutely revolted me.
Let me tell ya that two young kids have a way of changing your point of view.

After having a baby it takes a couple of months to adjust to the way your body has changed.
Sweatpants have a way of alleviating that discomfort during this transitional time in a womans life.
They are easy to put on and are the epitome of comfort.
Nobody should have to feel guilty or less attractive in them as there is nothing more attractive than a person who is comfortable in their own skin.

Girl if your hair is in a bun or you have that hat on, I get you!
In all honesty I never did the whole “not showering” thing.
I’m a bit OCD and won’t get into bed without a shower.
It grosses me out.
So in my most exhausted states I managed to shower.
The thing is that I don’t wash my hair every other day anymore.
I may wash it once every three or four days.
Why you ask?
Well, the process of preparing my long hair after washing it is a pain in the butt.
So I would much rather put it up or hide it under a hat from time to time.
My makeup routine went from a full half hour to some mascara and blush once in awhile.
This obviously doesn’t apply to the times that I go out on the town.

The infamous socks and sandals.
Listen, I was not a fan of camp and the kids that went to camp for that matter.
I never understood Birkenstocks because simply put, they are fugly.
These opinions were formed through absolutely no knowledge of how functional and comfortable they are.
I am officially a convert!
Therefore I currently own TWO pairs of faux Birkenstocks.
They are magnificent and gloriously comfortable.
These days I rock them around the house and outside of the house with socks (shocker alert), weather permitting of course!

So I’m pretty much a big fat hypocrite but I am really comfortable doing it!

Toddler Love

Nate: En garde ima! (While pointing a ladle at me that he shouldn’t be holding as its in a drawer he shouldn’t be opening)

I have to think quick so I grab the first thing I see; the plastic spoon that I just fed Benny with seems like a legit “sword” at the moment.

Me: En garde Nati!

Nate: No ima, not that spoon. Use this!
He passes me the remote control

All I can think of at this point is how Adam would give me stink face at the fact that I damage pretty much every electronic device in the house.
I grab it anyway.

Me: En garde Nati!

Nate gets his game face on and we have a sword fight for the next ten minutes.

Then I start pretending to get hit and dramatically drop to the floor.
He laughs hysterically.

I pretend to be unconcious while realizing that I am really out of shape as this is a fake sword fight with my two year old and I am totally losing; legitimately.

Then he proceeds to use me as a trampoline for the next little while and I hear this:

Nati: I love you ima.

He could literally be kicking me in the face while saying these words and I will still be the happiest person on earth.

Me: I love you too Nati (with the voice of a love struck teenager)

Ah toddler love.

Daycare Rant

It has come to my attention over and over again that our decision to enroll Nate into daycare is a bad decision to some that are daycare nay Sayers.    Here is a list of things in response to that opinion:

1. The kind of person I am is probably very different than who YOU are. This means that our parenting styles will most likely differ as well.

2. If I choose to send my child to daycare, it does NOT mean I am being neglectful. 

3. I don’t give a rats ass what you do with your children. Unless you notice that MY children are malnourished or abused, please mind your own business.

4. The kind of daycare that my child attends has a well planned out curriculum that I am incapable of providing at home. Not to mention that I don’t have 16 other kids to contribute at the moment. It’s called social interaction. This planet is need of this said thing as we are raising armies of anti-social people. Daycare/Preschool has it.

5. If you are a stay at home parent who home schools your kids, GOOD FOR YOU!

If you are a stay at home parent who doesn’t, GOOD FOR YOU!

If you work an eighty hour week and have a nanny, GOOD FOR YOU!

If you work, have a nanny and send your kids to daycare, GOOD FOR YOU!

If you are a stay at home parent, with a nanny, who’s kids go to daycare, GOOD FOR YOU!

*See how that works

6. If my children behave like sociopaths please voice your opinion as to how we are raising them. Until then, please refrain from any conversation relating to our decisions as parents, as it is NONE of YOUR business.

7. I understand that everyone has a different point of view. You need to start getting with that same outlook, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.

8. Daycare does NOT breed neglected children. It is an environment for children to learn and grow while forging friendships with kids that they may otherwise have never met. Besides, we literally spend ALL of our available time with our children. We disconnect from this overly connected world and connect to our children. We hug them, kiss them, talk to them, play with them and are ALWAYS available to them.

9. Please stop comparing parenting styles. It is getting obnoxious. 

10. Parenting is hard enough as it is. It is like a rat maze with the lightest scented cheese at the end so the course is extremely hard to navigate. It doesn’t make it any easier when people start putting in their two cents in relation to our parenting choices. Especially the CHOICE to send our son to daycare.   

This list is not made to offend anybody. It is an informative reference tool. If you ever feel the need to start judging other parents, please refer back to this list for a reality check. Don’t be fooled. Nobody has perfect children, not even you, and there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Let’s start supporting one another more and maybe we’ll raise a generation of children that are tolerant, empathetic, social and kind. 

The Things That Nobody Tells You

When I was pregnant people loved giving me advice.
I would always hear about getting my sleep now because later I’ll never get the chance to sleep.
I heard about how difficult the first six weeks are.
I even heard about different breastfeeding techniques, more regularly than I wanted to hear.
Here is a list of things that nobody told me:

1. The mess is constant.
You can literally spend a full day
cleaning every nook and cranny of your
house and within minutes it is messy
again.

2. The laundry is piled up like Mount
Everest.
Gone are the days where you did two loads
of laundry a week.
A baby spits up, pees and poops on things
which include: all of your clothing,
towels, sheets, socks, and any other item
that gets laundered.

3. Kids loooooovvvveee to use things in very
creative ways.
For instance, Nate enjoys taking his toy
cars and using them as balls.
He literally whips them onto the floor as
though they will bounce.
He knows that they won’t.
Nate also enjoys taking markers and
painting his whole hand in a dark blue,
seconds before a family outing.
This one is obvious considering that blue
is his favorite colour, duh mom!

4. Kids sleep.
They can even sleep a lot.
They just don’t particularly enjoy
sleeping at night all the time.
They would much prefer to sleep at noon,
right smack in the middle of the day.
So you technically can sleep.
You would just have to do nothing else
with your day.

5. Going grocery shopping becomes like a
mini staycay.
Roll your eyes all you want but I’m
telling you, it sounds
shocking but it’s true!
You put the kids to bed, kiss whoever’s
home goodbye and go on your shopping
mission.
I like to grab a tea and just take my
tiiiiimmmmme with it.
You get to be out of the house and spend
some time with your thoughts, your phone
and your tea or whatever it is you like.
It is a nice change of pace from the hustle
and bustle of the home.

This list can go on for days but the reality is that a huge part of growing into a parent is finding out for yourself.
Besides, life gets so busy that you forget about these things because you would rather focus on the little humans in your life after you washed, ironed and folded ALL of that laundry.

Holiday Survival Guide – The Momma Version

Let’s face it folks, we get excited for any holiday as it means time off of work and more time to spend with the famjam.
It’s all fun and games until this coveted long weekend arrives and you realize what that really means.
It means that you have to prepare the meals and activities.
You have to entertain your kids and your weird uncle who acts like a kid.
The worst part is, you are the one the has to clean up the mess!
Here are a few tips to help you survive and potentially enjoy this time with the fam:

1. For all of you environmentally conscious people I apologize in advance.
BUY PAPER EVERYTHING!
I’m talking about plates, cups, table covers and decorations.
Stock up on plastic cutlery and garbage bags.
This will ensure that you get to actually enjoy your meal instead of pouting over the fact that you have to wash ten thousand things after lunch is over.

2. Make an activities table for the kids.
Let them paint, draw, scribble and everything else related to crafts at that table.
Do exactly what you do when you give yourself a time out as the kids are running a muck and turn a blind eye to the mess they are creating at that table.
This will keep them occupied for long enough for you to be able to get in a mimosa or two.

3. Set the event right in between nap time and sleep time. This will help you get the best version of your kids and you’ll be able to kick everyone out at a reasonable hour due to the infamous bedtime routine.

Make sure to have a bottle of wine stashed away for a lovely glass once everyone has left and the kids are sleeping.
I’d say to go to bed early but we both know that that won’t be happening!

Happy Holidays Kids

Mini Rant Part Five

This week was a little tougher than my average week.
Nate has had a concoction of a cough, cold and ear infection.
To add to the fact that he hasn’t been in preschool all week, he has also been up all night, every night for the past five nights.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
That is the only way to describe how I’m feeling at the moment.
I’m totally exhausted but even more than that I feel awful for Nate as he’s been extremely uncomfortable.
That’s the strange part about being a parent.
No matter how bad things are for me, if my kids are even mildly uncomfortable I automatically find the strength to help them get to a more comfortable place before I can even begin to worry about trivial things like “lack of sleep”.
The long weekend has now arrived and we will be spending most of it indoors trying to get rid of this insane virus that has been plaguing our household throughout this miserable winter.
On a brighter note, Nate said the cutest thing today.
While I was battling him to go for a nap he turned to me, in my bed nonetheless, and said:
“Ima, can I please go get my monkey?” (He is referring to Curious George)
I said yes and he ran off to his room to bring his buddy for a nap.
This is the first time in three years that he has shown any attachment to a stuffed animal.
In actuality it is his favorite fictional character and I should know as I’ve fallen victim to reading five Curious George stories in a row many a time.
Happy all sorts of holidays to you all and please wish us luck with this weekend!