Ms. Sylvie is one of E's teachers at school. She seems very nice, but for some reason E was convinced that she did not like Ms. Sylvie, for no reason in particular, although she was sure that she would like her when she was bigger. Who knows what's going on in that little brain...
Well, she must have had a growth spurt, because she came home from school the other day and announced:
"Ms. Sylvie had a pretty dress on today with flowers."
And when I asked if she liked Ms. Sylvie now, she said -
"I do like her. I changed my story on that."
Then today -
"I loooooove Ms. Sylvie! She has nice clothes."
So there you have it. The key to E's affections: patience and a killer wardrobe.
I'm sure every girl remembers raiding her mom's closet and finding all kinds of treasures to try on, while indulging in fantasies of being grown up and glamorous. What's equally awesome is becoming the mom in the scenario.
Perfection. That's how I would describe our day on Sunday. Well, missing one dada, but otherwise it was perfection.
A smiling, happy girl greeted me on Sunday morning, albeit one that I actually had to coax awake even though her clock had been yellow for a half hour. Normally I adhere with the utmost militance to the 11th Commandment - Thou shalt not wake a sleeping baby - but circumstances demanded that Thelma and Louise have wheels on Sunday, so dada had to be chauffered to work.
From there Mama and E went on a city-wide scavenger hunt, picking up all manner of curious paraphernalia, from cheesecake ingredients and elusive hair products to bike helmets and tennis balls, dropping off yet another bag of clothes to be donated and even sneaking in a visit to Playland. It was all very adventurous and cheerful, and I kept trying not to jinx myself by thinking about how diametrically opposed this day was turning out to be from yesterday.
When we got home we (mostly I) threw together a cheesecake and (mostly she) made grass soup in the backyard. Then, after naptime the real fun began. We hopped in the car with Ralph and drove out to the country for a visit to Holly. Holly has a horse, a big fluffy dog and a mischevious twinkle in her eye that E can't seem to resist. We're both big fans. We took the dogs into the forest and heckled their hunting skills as they continuously lost the balls they were chasing. When their pace began to slow considerably and their interest in fetching dropped off completely, we went back to Holly's for an absolutely divine supper of osso buco and cheesecake. E announced repeatedly how GOO-OOD her dinner was, while Holly and I tried, mostly unsuccessfully, not to talk with our mouths full.
As routines with the kid go, I tend to be fairly universally militant, so imagine my surprise when I then discover it to be past bedtime and there I am, glass of wine in hand, enjoying a scene unfolding before me in which my daughter teaches the woman with a Masters degree how to administer a needle and pluck your eyebrows.
This whole week my heart was repeatedly ripped to shreds as my daughter sobbed every night at bedtime, saying things like:
"I don't get to see you."
"I just want to play with you."
"I just want to stay with you."
"Please don't leave me alone."
To shreds, people. There have been a lot of tears shed. Hers, mine, it's all a blur of mascara and boogers. So I was especially looking forward to this weekend, knowing that we had absolutely nothing to do except soak each other up. Dada is on call all weekend, we have no obligations outside of dance class, it's nothing but Girls Girls Girls having Fun Fun Fun, right?
The whining started about 30 seconds after I entered her room, because I was sharing her pillow and she wanted it to herself. So I laid my head on the foot of her bed instead, which was no better because she didn't want me there. I curled up on her stuffed dog on the floor, at which point she wailed because she no longer had the opportunity to curl up on him if she so desired. Welcome to my day. 12 hours and counting of mama trying desperately to enjoy the day with her beloved daughter, and said daughter finding an endless number of ways to stomp all over her poor mother's fragile psyche.
While out for a walk one day last week, we walked by this statue and E was immediately drawn to it. What followed was one of the sweetest exchanges I've perhaps ever witnessed, in which not a word was spoken.
Before we continued on, E insisted on filling the statue's empty hands with wood chips. They were still there when we passed by today, one week later.
I finally figured it out. It has been driving me crazy for weeks.
I was so proud of myself earlier this month when I found myself ahead of the game and booking an apple picking day with my family at the peak of the season. I was then equally flummoxed to learn that the season was actually over, with only one orchard within an hour drive that still had any apples to speak of.
October 2nd. That's apple picking season, no? As it happens, the answer depends - quite logically, when you think about it - on your specific coordinates in this vast country of ours. Back in London, Ontario, October 2nd was most definitely apple picking season. Up here in Ottawa, you've missed the boat. Such a simple concept, but I've literally been scratching my head for the last week and a half, and it dawned on me yesterday. She's another year older folks, but we're still waiting on the wiser.
Anyhoo, fun was had at any rate as we found precisely 3 apples clinging desperately to their respective trees to satisfy the 3 children clinging desperately to the notion that we were there to pick apples, rather than simply purchase them by the basket. And they bore up well as we forced a few autumnal poses out of them before scurrying back to the warmth of our vehicles. All in all more time was spent in the car than on the farm, but we got the apples and we got the pictures...what more do you want?
On this day last year I was being spoiled with a trip to Tiffany's in NYC and a delicious Brooklyn pizza with mi familia.
Two years ago I was wined and dined at a shmancy Manhattan restaurant with my husband.
Three years ago I celebrated while preggers in paradise with the desperate housewives and some of the best roommates a girl could have.
Four years ago was my last pre-baby birthday, and those fantastic roommates and I did tapas and drinks in jolly old England.
Five years ago I turned thirty in Toronto, complete with dirty martinis and some truly wonderful friends.
And the list goes on. 35 years of birthday bliss.
When I heard a sleepy little voice croak "Happy Birthday Mama!" this morning, followed by a warm and squishy just-woke-up hug, I knew it would be a good day. This year I've had a homemade cake from mom, two birthday celebrations, loads of presents, a birthday brunch and that was all before I woke up this morning.
Happy birthday to me. And big birthday hugs to my parents, my in-laws, all of my friends and family, and especially that husband and daughter of mine. You have made this birthday week just delicious.
I've just had an epiphany. Maybe you ladies, and a few of you metrosexuals, have already been made privy to this phenomenon and I'm just late to the party, or maybe I'm a genius. You decide.
I used to scoff at them, having never worn them and staunchly refusing to pay upwards of $200 for denim. I mean seriously, what could they possibly know that Mr. Strauss didn't already figure out?
And then I tried them.
Living in New York in a fairly affluent area where people seriously - seriously - sell their immaculate $200 jeans for $10 at a stoop sale, I was fortunate enough to pick up four pairs of big name denim threads. And hot damn they look good. Skinnier thighs, smaller butt, longer legs...all of it. I'm still not paying full price, but hang them out on your stoop and I'll scoop them up faster than three scoops of chocolate ice cream.
Butt...there has been one issue that I've found with them. Although my healthy behind does look markedly better in designer jeans than your garden variety denim, there is definitely an issue with keeping its entirety fully contained, if you know what I mean. Can you "crack" the code? That's right - plumber's butt. Every single pair leaves me hitching and hiking all day, and god forbid I want to sit on the ground with my child without getting slapped with a fine for indecent exposure. It's out of control, really. At first I blamed it on the low rise. But all I wear is low rise and my other jeans aren't nearly as revealing in the tush-ular area. Then I thought maybe I was gaining weight. But again, the other jeans were fine.
Then it hit me. Designer jeans are designed for people without butts. Of course! Of course they make your butt look smaller - because the butt area is so small that it visually looks like your butt is smaller when the rest of your butt is just occupying other parts of the jeans and spilling out over the top! Of course your thighs look skinnier - because the thigh area is so small that your thighs are squished into a casing that is inches smaller than their natural size! Of course! And, ipso facto, smaller butt and smaller thighs - legs look longer!!! OF COURSE!!!
Now that I know this, I will continue to wear my designer jeans. After all, as uncomfortable as they may be, I like the way they look. However, I am confident that someone out there makes a designer jean that accounts for volume in the trunk - I mean, what do J-Lo and Kim Kardashian do?? So I will hunt for them. Or better yet, I will write a letter to J-Lo, asking her to let me know when she's finished with her pair.
Man, oh man. So much has been happening and I'm not documenting every second like I should be. It should be noted though that today E and I are having one heck of a stellar PD Day, successfully soaking up every enjoyable second together. A couple of months ago it would have just been another Friday, as unremarkable as any other day, but today is different. Today E should be at school, and mama should be at work, but for the gods of professional development who smile upon us all...except for the teachers of course.
It is currently 21oC. There is not a trace of a cloud in the blindingly sunny sky. We ate lunch in the park before building ogre cakes and donkey pies. We swung our hearts out (well, she swung, I pushed) and tried not to stare as other parents struggled through less than rosy mornings with their screaming progeny, and hugged a lot. Our friend Holly came over and we snacked on goodies, did some more hugging and painted a little. E said that she thought I looked beautiful, and I told her how much fun I was having hanging out with her. It's been a bit of a love-in over here.
It took her about 20 minutes to fall asleep at naptime, what with the several verses of the alphabet song to get through and a little chat with Donya the strawberry. But she seems to be sleeping peacefully now, and I am so smitten I can hardly stand it. This little person with her quirky little thought process and unabashed love for her mama has my heart aflutter today, and I want to tell everyone I meet about it. But that would just be obnoxious.