Tag Archives: family

Perspective – Through the Eyes of a Two-Year-Old

Yesterday, with the threat of rain looming, we figured we should get some yard work done. The goal was to get all the leftover leaves cleaned up and fertilize and seed the lawn before it rained. I put the two older boys to work bagging the leaves I had raked a couple weeks ago and then took the rake to the other side of the lawn so I could rake and bag over there. Ian was on fertilizing duty and was trying to set everything up while watching the littlest one (now two).

Unfortunately, watching the little one wasn’t conducive to getting work done. Ian ended up taking him inside and feeding him watermelon and milk while we worked. While the boys bagged up the seventh bag from the front lawn, I ended up on watching the kiddo duty. I took him to the back yard to finish up the last bag from there (the fifth bag back there this spring) that I hadn’t gotten done before the birthday party earlier in the week.

He ran around and tossed leaves all over the place and tried helping by throwing leaves at the bag. He even managed to get some of those leaves in the bag. When the boys finished their bag off, I had them take him in to wash up and got a plate of watermelon for them to eat on the little table outside. Even then he ran around and played as he ate his watermelon.

Later in the day as I rested, exhausted from the day’s work, I asked C if he’d had fun today. His response? “Yes, I played with Mummy and Daddy.” It hit me then that even though we thought we were getting work done, he thought he was playing with us. It’s a little lesson that sometimes you just need to spend time doing things with your children as opposed to trying to keep them entertained.

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Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Forget an Appointment…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to forget an appointment, then at least live within walking distance.

I seem to be racking up a few “not the first time” experiences. The most recent one is the forgotten dentist appointment. Last year, when Callan was still tiny, we got a call from the dentist asking if we were going to show up for the boys’ appointment. We were already late! Thankfully, we live about a seven minute walk from the dentist. We dragged the boys out the door and got them there before our time was up.

Yesterday, I remembered the dentist appointment and I didn’t remember it. I knew that Liam had an appointment. In fact it was written on the calendar. Every time I walked by, I reminded myself that I had to get him there. I planned the day around it and made sure the boys had plenty of time for lunch before we had to leave. When Aiden asked if he had to go too, I said, “No, you can stay home. It’s just Liam’s appointment.”

I got the two little boys out the door and to the dentist with time to spare. When I got there, I found out that their usual dentist was no longer with them (she had found a full time position at another office and no longer had the time to pick up extra shifts). We waited for a little while and then someone came over to tell us it would be another five minutes before they’d be ready for us. When the hygienist came out for us, they asked which boy was going first: Liam or Aiden…

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Lesson of the Day: If You Really Wanted to Help…

Today’s lesson: If you really wanted to help, then you would have offered to get up with the crying baby instead of offering to stay in bed with him.

It’s summer and school just let out last week. That means that Grandma is back in town – or more specifically back in the guest room. I guess here is where I make a couple confessions: 1) I co-sleep with the baby. This comes from not wanting to spend hours sleeping in the rocking chair like I did with Liam. 2) We kicked Ian out of bed (and into the guest room) so that all three of us could get more sleep. We’ve had the occasional guest since Grandma left last year, but they all stayed for only one (weekend) night and we suffered through it. Grandma’s visit is different: it lasts about a month.

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Mother In Waiting

I have a friend – Cheryl – whom I’ve known for well over 20 years. The other day, I got a message from her asking for help. While many of the rest of people I went to school with have had at least one child (if they want any), she and her husband are struggling. Over the past few years, they’ve dealt with a variety of health problems and preexisting conditions. The result of these problems and conditions is that natural conception is not an option for them. She and her husband would love to have children and would be great parents to any children they manage to have. They have attempted In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) already which resulted in a pregnancy that, unfortunately, ended in the miscarriage of a much loved and wanted baby.

Cheryl and Colin would like to try IVF again, but the cost is prohibitive. It costs $14,000 per treatment. That’s $14,000 that our provincial health plans won’t cover. They’re asking for help because even with them both working (and Cheryl at two jobs), it’s difficult for them to pull together that $14,000 without going into debt. They’ve already raised 1/10th of the funds they need for the procedure but they still need another $12,600 .

She asked me to help spread the word. So this is for Cheryl – a mother-in-waiting: if you can spare a little bit, please go here to donate. If you can’t, please consider helping to spread the word so that those who can donate have the chance to help Cheryl and Colin start their family.

To all those who help even just a little bit, thank you.

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The Consequences of Bad Behavior

Ian and I have banned two children from our house. It may just be a temporary banning if they can prove that they know how to act in public and when they are guests, but if they continue to behave as they did on Sunday, they will not be allowed back.

One of them – I called him Trevor in my birthday party lesson – was a mini-misogynist on top of being extra loud and somewhat defiant. Now I understand being excited because you’re at a party and was totally willing to make allowances for that, but this went beyond that. He spent a great deal of time walking around point at or framing his crotch, cupping imaginary breasts, and talking about bottoms. He did this in front of all the other guests – two of whom were female – as well as Ian and the two little guys. I saw a bit of it, but I mostly heard about it second hand from Ian who eventually told him that it wasn’t cool or funny.

This didn’t stop him from making disgusting comments, tough. While they were eating, he went on an on about stealing all the poop from the toilets. I can understand how this can be funny to a group of 8-10 year olds…the first time. Unfortunately, he just wouldn’t let it die. Another time, he yelled at everyone to “Shut up” essentially because he wasn’t getting any attention. The worst (in my books) though, was after we handed out the treat bags. They all got a cap gun because spies need a gun. There was only one green one and Liam requested it the day before. Once the bags were all handed out, Trevor kept going on and on about how he wanted the green one. When I wouldn’t give him what he wanted, he took it…twice (I caught him the first time and made him give it back). The second time, he went so far as to wait until Liam had put it down and then tied it in his bag. I was not amused. Aiden even mentioned in the morning that he thinks that Trevor took the green gun.

The second little guy I referred to as Sam. Sam showed up with a broken nose. His mother asked me to make sure that he wasn’t around any rough elbows or anything else that could re-break his nose. I assured her that we’d make sure he was careful. When she was out of sight, he started moving and I swear he didn’t stop until I yelled at him to sit down after he almost knocked me over (this was near the end of the party). We caught him snooping in Ian’s office and in Liam’s bedroom. He had a habit of being in the opposite part of the house from the rest of the kids: if they were in Aiden’s room, he was in the dining room and if they came upstairs, he tried sneaking around downstairs.

Sam ran circles at top speed around the wall dividing the kitchen and living room and didn’t care who he bumped into…he also didn’t apologize. He ignored us when we asked him to stop. He didn’t listen to instructions (and consequently shot his grandmother during training…you don’t fire as soon as you turn the corner) and pushed his way to the front when they lined up to try not to trip the laser beam (streamer) alarm hallway – he also does not understand the meaning of one at a time.

Apparently, he jumped on Aiden’s bed as soon as he got in there. He mucked with Aiden’s Darth Vader bobble head and wound up ruining it. He opened the map of the Enterprise which had been given it Ian by the guy who designed it (that had been hiding in a closet). Over all, he respected nothing and no one.

Then there was the incident where he pushed me out of his way while I was holding Callan. I nearly fell over and he didn’t even have the decency to apologize. As it was, there was no need for him to go in that direction. The rest of the kids had come upstairs and turned left into the living room. He decided to go for another lap around the wall. I yelled. I yelled at some other mother’s son and I do not at all feel sorry for it. Granted, I should have just sent him home when he proved that he couldn’t behave, I didn’t want to do that to Aiden.

Those two are also the reason that the entire group didn’t get the invisible ink from the treat  bags. We figured if they were that horrible at listening to instructions then they’d probably burn their parents’ houses down trying to make a message appear.

When the dust had settled, Ian and I quickly came to the conclusion that neither of the two boys should be allowed back in our house until they settle down and can behave in modern polite society. We won’t, however tell Aiden that he can’t play with or be friends with them. That would only lead to defiance.

I broke the news to Aiden at breakfast and he seemed understanding. He was rather upset that Sam had broken one or two of his toys as it was. I imagine having his parents say that Sam is not allowed back saves him from the embarrassment of – at some point – having to say that he doesn’t want Sam to come back. When it comes to Trevor, Aiden said that he, “kept talking about yucky stuff,” and he didn’t like that.

It ended up being the perfect lead-in to how we expect the boys to behave when they’re in someone’s house as guests. It all boils down to, “better than you would at home.” I also laid out the consequences for him should he ever behave like Sam and Trevor did: he won’t be allowed to visit anyone until he proves to us that he knows how to behave.

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Filed under Kid Training, Rant, Stepping Up

Lesson of the Day: Birthday Parties Are Not For the Weak

Today’s Lesson: Birthday parties are not for the weak or next year they’re going bowling.

We now have two kids in the house who were born in January. This is unfortunate. Why? I’m sorry you thought that, now I’ll have to tell you.

For starters, our children are spoiled. Between us, my parents, Ian’s mother, his father, his Aunt and Uncle, and Aiden’s grandfather, the three of them come out of Christmas looking like bandits with all the presents and cash that they get. This leaves us with the problem of trying to figure out what to get for them immediately after they got everything they wanted and some things they didn’t realize that they wanted (I swear next year they get clothes…but then they’re spoiled and they don’t need clothes either).

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Lesson of the Day: Children and Refrigerators Don’t Mix

Today’s Lesson: Children and refrigerators don’t mix or why breaking your child of the bottle habit is a good idea.

The air balance turned way down

Almost a year ago, Liam got into the habit of opening the fridge just to see what was in there. I learned afterward, that he had also been playing with the temperature control dials. Who the heck places them in an easy to reach place in the first place – I recall many fridges where they were on the side near the back not right up at the front where any almost 3-year-old can touch them. I found it odd that everything in the fridge seemed overly cold so I had been adjusting the fridge temperature up. What I didn’t notice until I went to get something out of the freezer was that he had also increased the freezer temperature up causing all of the ice cream to melt and the frozen vegetables to thaw. I believe there was some meat in there too, which I ended up cooking over the next couple days.

After I fixed the settings for both the fridge and the freezer, I made extra sure to make sure that Liam wasn’t touching anything when he opened the fridge to get something out. I eventually got all of the caramel cleaned out of the freezer but I still haven’t replaced the ice cream…that can wait.

Control instructions

Now, Liam is three and a half. Liam is a huge three who looks like he’s five…but he’s not, he’s still just three. Despite our efforts, he still loves his bottle. We’ve been told for nearly two years now that he should not be using it any longer but we can’t break him of the habit. In fact, in September, when a doctor told us to take it away from him, he stopped drinking altogether and I had to give it back. This bottle is pretty much the bane of my days. Every time I get settled down nursing Callan, Liam wants more milk. I get him tucked into bed and he wants more milk. He refuses to drink milk from a glass because he wants it from his bottle.

Usually, we take his bottle away after he falls asleep (he wasn’t actually drinking from it anyway) and he’s none the wiser. Sometimes, he wakes up and cries because he can’t find it. Then he makes one of us get him a fresh bottle. Last night, I took the bottle away shortly after he fell asleep and put it in the fridge for morning (as opposed to wasting perfectly good milk…heh). I finally got Callan and I settled in bed around two and by that point he hadn’t woken up. This morning, when Ian woke up for work, he found the fridge door open about 6 inches…enough to keep the light on. The bottle was not in the fridge. It was, in fact, on Liam’s bed next to him with the lid still on it.

Our spoiled milk collection

There was a full 4L jug of 2% milk in there, a full 1L carton of 3.25% milk, about half a 2L carton of 1% and another 4L jug of 2% with less than a liter left. How fridge has this strange ability to freeze the items at the back while keeping at the front cool. I figured I’d try that full 4L jug since it had been at the back. If any of the milk was still good, that would be it. Sadly, Aiden informed me that it tasted a little funny (all milk tastes funny to me). So here I am with approximately 7L of sour milk all for the sake of a few ounces.

When he got up this morning, I informed him that he may no longer (not that he was allowed to in the first place) get his bottle out of the fridge during the night. He must get a parent to get it for him.

I hope we’re not in for another round of refrigerator wars. I also hope that Callan won’t cause as many problems with the fridge as Liam has. It’s not even a full day after I declared my intent to make sure that we’re not wasting very much food and now I’ve got to figure out a way to use all that milk so that it doesn’t go to waste.

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Filed under In the Kitchen, Lesson of the Day