1. My brother and sister-in-law and their six-month-old baby are visiting this week, and my sister-in-law thought it would be fun to take the kids all swimming together. However, our baby cousin had been fighting a cold all day and had been pretty crabby about napping, so when she fell asleep five minutes before we were ready to leave, my sister-in-law had to stay home, even though whole thing had been her idea.
2. We got to the pool and had to park really far away because it was busy. As we piled out of our very crowded mini-van, we realized that we had forgotten our kids’ coats and one of them had no shoes on … and it was absolutely freezing outside. Also, and this is important: I was accidentally wearing my slippers. Continue reading
Sometime between the ages of 8 and 10 I got a beautiful, brand-new pink bicycle for Christmas. It was hiding in the basement, and my parents sent me down to take a peek after all of the other presents were gone, and there it was — shiny and new, a petal-pink bike with white wheels and pedal brakes. I loved it, and rode it all afternoon on that sunny Christmas day. My sister had a blue bike with white wheels, and was very happy that I wouldn’t be borrowing hers anymore, and so in the many days to come we’d ride around the neighbourhood with the neighbourhood kids from after school until dinnertime. Those were happy, happy days. I loved my pink bike. I loved the sense of freedom it gave me — I could just ride as fast as I could, feel the wind on my face and leave everything behind.
The year was 2006, and the place was Gallup, New Mexico, where Anton and I lived for a year after University. The event: someone found a litter of kittens, abandoned under a bush. We decided to take one.
The kitten was grey and white, and tiny and adorable. He was too young to be away from his mother, so we got a tiny dropper and fed him milk. We were united in our affection for this tiny thing, and also in our annoyance for how he kept whining all night. It was good practice for the children we had not yet even started to plan for.
The cat’s name was Jeter. Continue reading
Since Halloween, my treat-loving 5-year-old has had a pillowcase full of treats that occupy her thoughts every waking moment. Most of our conversations throughout the day involve her asking for a candy, or two, or four, from her halloween treat bag. Usually she’ll see if she can get her foot in the door with asking for just one, then it will migrate to her asking for either two “small candies” or one “big” one, and then it will end with her choosing two big candies. If I, heartless mother that I am, restrict her to just one candy, however, she will make a very noisy display of how difficult it is to choose which candy she wants. For example, she will have to choose between eating a Snickers or a Skittles. Something peanutty or something fruity? This choice, it seems, is quite torturous for her. She makes it clear that she feels like she is being asked to choose between two of her very best friends. So she usually tries another plea that she may eat BOTH of her best friends, and I say no. Out of options, then, she finally picks one, and hastily devours the chosen candy.
And then comes the regret. Continue reading
I try not to get too “preachy” on here, but when I figure out something amazing that changes my life dramatically I cannot help but want to shout it from whatever platforms I have to shout from. I know I have complained about school-day mornings many times before, but the other day I had the perfect morning. And since then I have been obsessed with figuring out exactly what went so right so I can replicate it every day for the rest of my children’s school careers. And of course I want you to benefit from my amazing (and as it turns out, kinda obvious) secrets, so please enjoy:
1. Make the lunches the day before. Doy, Juli. Doy. Continue reading
Some days, our kids do lots of fighting with each other. Here are five things they fought about today.
1. Who gets to open the door.
2. Who gets to turn on the TV. Continue reading
My oldest daughter was four years old the first time I took her to the dentist. We’d been pretty diligent about brushing her teeth, even flossing occasionally, and neither my husband nor I had had cavities as kids, so I was not expecting to have any problems. I was surprised to be told that she had several cavities in her molars that would have to be filled. We made her a follow-up appointment and she had the fillings put in — six fillings, I think it was. Afterward, she really loved her “silver teeth” and kept showing them off to her friends. It was hilarious to watch her as she tried to look at them in the mirror.
Then one day a few months later, she was watching a popular kids’ show, and it was an episode about taking care of your teeth. Then she heard it, the go-to line for dental health education: “You need to always brush and floss your teeth — if you don’t, you’ll get cavities!” G turned to me, wide-eyed, and said, “But Mommy, don’t I have cavities?” Continue reading
Every night after the kids go to bed, parents of small children are faced with a very big decision, one that we did not realize would be so important to us before we had children: what we are going to do with the few short short hours we get to ourselves before we fall into bed ourselves. Here are five of our nightly decisions.
1. Thing I should do: Fold the giant pile of laundry on the couch.
Thing I will do instead: Fold this giant donut so it will fit in my mouth while I lie on top of the pile of laundry on the couch. Continue reading
My husband is not good at taking pictures. He’s impatient with posing and with getting others to pose and he doesn’t think at all about lighting or composition or waiting for everyone to be ready. He doesn’t like having to keep track of a camera, or even a cell phone, and he doesn’t care that much about the end result anyway. It’s kind of admirable, really. It’s like he lives in the moment so much that he’s not worrying about remembering that particular moment later. But when it comes to taking pictures, he’s just terrible at it.
Later, though, we all enjoy looking at our family pictures together and those pictures act as windows into old memories and favourite stories, and I’m the one who realizes that if we want to keep enjoying pictures in the future, we actually have to take them in the present. Continue reading