Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grace's Future Plans

My four year old daughter Grace has just informed of her future...she will be having four kids, a pair of 12 year olds - a boy and a girl named Mac and Olivia and then another pair of three year olds a boy and a girl named Caroline and Kayla (Caroline I assume will be the boy).  The oldest set of twins will be able to play a little bit longer while the youngest set eat dinner and then Grace will shoo the youngest - Caroline and Kayla out once they are finished and then Mac, Olivia and Grace will be able to eat.  Grace's husband, a boy in her class, will eat after everyone else and then clean up the kitchen.  The oldest kids will look after the youngest, Mac will look after Caroline while Olivia will look after Kayla.  My daughter will stay home and I assume look after her three year olds while the 12 year olds are in school and her husband will work outside of the house.  Grace told me they will live close to us so that we can visit and eat with her and her oldest kids.  She will also have a dog.
My husband and I asked her why she will marry this particular boy and Grace said "because I know his last name and he is nice to me most of the time."  I should mention this boy accidentally hit Grace in the face one day...when we brought that to her attention she replied "oh I don't mind." Ummmmmm, ok?  I calmly told my oldest that it's never ok to be hit.  I am trying not to freak out about her casual feelings about domestic violence and I will hold off before talking about those stats...at least until she is maybe five or six.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What a week!

Has it really been a week since I last wrote?  Oh man, bad blogger, bad bad blogger!  Well my excuse is it's been a crazy busy week - sickness and my birthday!  Yes, this past Wednesday I turned....well I turned a year older - which surprisingly doesn't bum me out too much maybe it's because I don't feel as old as I actually am, I've always felt old, or maybe it's because I kind of forgot how old I am - weird isn't it, I completely blame mommy brain.
So, yes my birthday was this week and my husband spoiled me with tickets for the play Wizard of Oz in Toronto!  We took our oldest to see the play as well since she enjoys the movie and was excited.  We headed downtown Wednesday morning, took the subway to the theatre, enjoyed the amazing play (you must see it if you can!) and then headed back home for a super late dinner of pizza.  Out of the whole day, what did Grace enjoy?  Being in the city?  Nope.  Taking her first subway ride?  Nope.  Watching her first play?  Hardly!  Being with her mom on her birthday?  Not even close!  No, it was riding the escalator in the Eaton Centre.  I'm glad my daughter likes cheap thrills!
While it has been an exciting week, I've also had some challenges -with both daughters.  Leah has learned that screaming is a great and fun way to get what you want!  Especially if you let out a high pitched scream right in Mommy's ear!  I know I am encouraging this bad behaviour by just giving in and not asking what she wants but I am trying to stop it by telling her no, over and over again as if she understands it while I quietly hope she figures out something new, and quiet this week.
Grace has also been trying too by being stubborn when being asked to do anything - she has clearly jumped seven years and is now a pre-teen.  It's annoying and frustrating and when she does become a teenager I will be going on a long holiday!  I have lost my temper with her a number of times because I can only handle so much head butting until I snap and start to yell.  I hate it - her behaviour and how it makes me this ugly mommy.  I try to stay cool and just ignore it but I forget to breathe or walk away.  I was relieved when  at a friend's house last night I met this other mommy who feels the same way - we are terrible mommy's, we are always the bad guy, we can't do anything right etc.  And while it sounds bad to beat ourselves up or in a way compare ourselves to one another, in a way I always feel better afterwards.  Not because I am completely comparing my life to another mommy's but because I know for sure there is another mom out there who feels just like I do most days.  As my friend wishes she was, I realize I am not always Susie Sunshine whose voice doesn't change after the millionth time of asking my child to blow their nose - it changes after the fifth time and it gets louder.  Other mommy's out there - you are not alone and you are doing a great job!  I completely feel your pain and your guilt!  I read the quote in one of Grace's library books - "Today was a difficult day, tomorrow will be better."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's the deal with toilet paper?

My 13 month old enjoys playing with toilet paper.  She loves to sit in front of the roll and pull some off and then rip that piece into a zillion little pieces.  She's quiet about it and I honestly don't mind.  Sure it makes a mess and it's a waste of toilet paper but if it keeps her out of playing in the toilet or getting into the garbage pail or playing with the toilet brush or plunger or trying to open the cupboard under the sink or trying to pull down the blinds or trying to break her fingers in the door or trying to pull up the floor register or trying to scare the crap out of me while I am trying to have a shower- then go for it!  Rip that soft white tissue until your heart is content, do it Leah, mommy really doesn't mind.
Now, saying that my four year old has suddenly found a new interest in playing with toilet paper.  She was never really into it when she was her younger sister's age, alright I found her once, maybe twice spinning it off the roll but that was about it.  Except for now.  Grace would rather play with it while doing her bathroom stuff which of course makes me nutty.  I've had to explain a number of times (sometimes in the same day) how you shouldn't be playing with toilet paper which makes me a hypocrite because I allow Leah to have a free for all with it (I do try to discipline her but like I listed before it keeps her out of trouble as I shave my legs).  I completely get why Grace is into it, it looks like fun and her sister is allowed to play with it and honestly who doesn't really want to play with it?  So instead of trying to fight it because Leah would win I have come up with a genius plan and no it doesn't mean a toilet paper ban in the house.  I have told Grace that one day we will play with toilet paper, we can go nuts with it.  She's agreed and hopefully this will put an end to the toilet paper war in the bathroom.  I wonder if Grace will forget about my genius idea......

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Change of Life

I was thinking today about how much my life has changed since I was 20.  I figure it's because I have started watching the show "Girls" (which is about four ladies in their 20's) and maybe because my birthday is coming up.  Remember being in your 20's? Or even life before kids?  Way back then my husband and I were just starting to date each other.  Our life consisted of working and then just having fun.  We usually would go out with friends or to the movies or go for long walks and talk about anything really.
Life now, as parents and urgh having to be responsible is very much different and yet the same.  We still work (my husband outside the house me inside) and we still have fun but with our daughter's interests in mind first.  Sure we hang out with friends - better if they have friends, we very rarely go to the movies now - can't really afford it nor can we stay awake past 10pm (besides my husband and I still have to finish watching 'Cool Hand Luke' which we started watching before Christmas.)  We still go on long walks- as long as the weather is ok and it's not during nap time or bedtime.  And we still talk about anything - as long as the girl's are in bed and actually now that I think about it 'anything' really means diapers (and what's in them), the girl's diets, the plots of Junie B Jones books, when Leah will walk, the weather but only for determining if hats and scarves are needed or if snow people creating will happen and of course when we will get around to watching the rest of 'Cool Hand Luke'.  Ahh how times have changed but I don't think I would ever want to be 20 again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ahhh Maaaan!

Grace loves school - she couldn't wait to go back after Christmas (she wasn't the only one in the house either, but I won't name names).  I love that she enjoys school, I loved it when I was her age but then again who didn't love their kindergarten years?  But there is a downside.  Yea Grace is learning how to print, how to read, how to get along with others - yadda, yadda, yadda but she is also learning a new attitude.  It's almost as if Grace has started acting like a pre-pre-pre teen.  Her latest and I guess favourite saying so far is "Ah maaaan!"  You need to say it with an annoyed voice.  This reply normally comes after she has been asked to do something such as to get ready for dinner, to clean up her toys, to get dressed- pretty much anything that isn't fun or what she currently wants to do.  When Grace started her latest reply, I asked her where did she hear that response from,
"I don't know.  I can't remember."  I then asked who talks like that in school,
"I don't know.  I can't remember." I should say her convenient memory loss is also new.  (Grace remembered a few days later where she heard "ah maaaaaan" - from Dora, a show that she once watched at her grandparents.  This kid remembers every thing!)
 The "Ah maaaan!" isn't the only drawn out response, I also get "allllllright" or "oooh kay", (this also has to be said in a sad, annoyed voice).  My husband and I talked about if we should just start talking to Grace as she is talking to us to maybe speed past this latest phase-but  we haven't made up our minds yet. 
This isn't the first nor do I think the last some what annoying phase that my oldest will go through.  Some of Grace's phases were too much - insisting on being called Cinderella, only wanting to play Mickey and Minnie, informing my husband and I on everything she did and if it was ok (that was the last one).  During her phases I would wonder on how long will this last, how do I deal with this, what does this all mean?  But now, either because I finally have figured something about four year olds or I am getting a little busy with Leah, but I just go with it even sort of ignore her phases because I know it won't last long and then she will be on to something else.
Leah on the other hand is starting to talk, she can sort of say a few words or what sounds like actual words, hopefully when she really starts talking she doesn't say "Ah maaaaaan!"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fortunate Ones

Over Christmas break, I took Grace and Leah grocery shopping which Grace was excited to do - mostly because she wanted to ride in the race car shopping cart, ahh the little things in life.  While we were picking up our food for the week, I decided to get my oldest some new mitts since the ones she normally wears get wet easily.  So new mitts went into the cart.  Up and down the aisle we went, checking off what we needed on the list.  At one point I saw that Valentine's Day items were already being displayed and thought I should pick up some Valentine's for Grace's class before I forget.  Grace picked out a box that she wanted to hand out.  After that we were pretty much done.  But then it happened as I was unloading the cart, Grace asked if she could get a chocolate Kinder Egg, you know the ones with the tiny plastic toy surprise inside.  I calmly told her that she just got a new pair of mitts and a box of Valentine's plus in case she had forgotten she had been having chocolate pretty much since the middle of December.  Grace then started to cry.  Getting annoyed I calmly told her that if she don't stop, I would put back her mitts and Valentine's and she would get nothing - her choice.  My oldest stopped crying but was still upset.  I don't think I spoil my children, they do get treats every now and then - mostly in the home made food department but it's a rare thing that they would get something as a toy while we are out shopping.  A majourity of both my girl's clothes are hand me downs from older cousins but they do get the odd new thing every now and then.  On this day I was confused on how to feel about Grace acting this way.  I understand children (and some adults) want everything they see.  I get that's a good reason why there are rows of treats at the check out line.  But Grace hasn't really acted like this before.  I get that it could be because Christmas had just passed and it may have seemed to her it was two weeks of gifts and treats and well thats how it should be from now on. 
On the way home I explain to her that I was upset with how she acted and how lucky she was to have what she has in her life.  I explained to her, hopefully in a way that she can understand, that there are many children in our community and around the world that don't have what she does - they aren't healthy, they aren't warm in the winter, they don't have people in their life who love them and they don't often have a lot of food to eat.  I hated that I had to talk about that kind of life with my daughter who is only four.  I don't want to scare her or even have her think at this age that there are kids who aren't safe and are hungry.  That there are kids who live a very different life than she does.  At the time that was the only way I could think of to get her to  understand how lucky she is and to be satisfied with what she has instead of always wanting more.  Later on, after reading 'The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies" - when Brother and Sister Bear whine and have tantrums when they don't get the treat they want (sounds familiar), I felt better about the approach I took with Grace.  It may have seemed harsh and to the point but I'd rather teach my children empathy as well as about greed instead of just greed - two birds, one stone.  I think Grace got the lesson, she hasn't whined about not getting a treat - she hasn't gone shopping with me either but that's besides the point.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mommy Guilty (part 495821600.)

Back to reality today.  My oldest is back in school and life has returned to normal after the holiday's that for some reason went by really quick (does time speed up once you have kids?).  The last few days, thanks to all the snow we now have, sledding (as it is called in our house - because as I have been corrected by Grace we have sleds.) or tobogganing has been the main focus in our house as well as skating and snow people building.  As fun as it all that is, I have been feel really guilty because most of this fun wintery stuff happens when Leah is taking her nap.  It doesn't just happen that way either, I actually plan it to happen that way for good reason.  Do you know how much it sucks to try and take a 13 month old out to "play" in the snow?  It's not fun.  First of all, I have yet to find winter boots that actually fit her feet, that keep them warm or that she can't kick off - if actual winter boots that don't cost thousands of dollars does exsist please notify me ASAP!.  Also Leah can't walk yet so while it's cute to watch her try and crawl in the snow, this form of transportation causes mountains of snow to be moved in between where her mitts ends and her coat meet- the dreaded wrist area.  Once that tender spot gets hit with cold, it's all over.  Another reason it sucks is because Leah can't toboggan (or sled) yet.  Yes she does get pulled on her own toboggan (or sled) which amuses Grace but once Leah sees what her older sister is doing, she of course wants to do it as well.  I won't even get into how much "fun" it is to dress a toddler into winter gear.
But this brings me back to my mom guilt.  I feel guilty of having fun while Leah is napping even though I know one day we will all be able to enjoy the coldness together.  Right now I almost feel as Grace, my husband and I were cheating on Leah, and we don't even try to hide it either what with the whole leaving our soggy mitts and wet boots laying around as the youngest in our family has her after nap snack and I guess wonders what the heck went on while she was sleeping.  I also feel guilty of spending more one on one time with my oldest.  While Grace was home for winter break, Leah and I couldn't really spend the one on one time we normally spend together while Grace is at school.  I tried explaining to my oldest that I should spend on one on one time with Leah and for maybe five minutes I was able to until Grace had to ask me something or tried to show Leah how to do something or to answer a question I had asked Leah.  I'm sure as Leah gets older I will find the balance of spending quality one on one time with each of my daughters and one day Leah will know what happens when she is having her afternoon nap.