Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sunny Days

This summer is brought to you by friends, popsicles, bugs and swimming.

Letting Go - Thoughts from the Sidelines

Playing hooky

E and I are at a pretty magical place in our relationship. I read about the "sweet spot" the other day. The place in parenting where you're out of the daily slog of doing every single thing for your little one, constantly putting out fires and juggling eighty tasks at once, and yet where your status as Persona Numero Uno is still guaranteed in your child's eyes. There's lots of "I love you's", lots of snuggles, but not quite so much bargaining, heavy lifting or timing out. I think we're there. At least, almost.

She still wants to be with me, but she doesn't want me to be by her side every minute of the day. She doesn't need me to do everything for her, but she still needs me.

When to get in there and when to step back? When to offer help and when to offer a challenge? These are the questions that will continue to drive me crazy, even I as I remind myself that I shouldn't overthink this. I should listen to my gut. The problem is that I've been listening to so much parenting propaganda for the last five years - often conflicting and more often confounding - that I'm not sure I can hear my gut anymore. Guilt I can hear. Guilt is loud. Regret is deafening. But my gut? Apart from the odd grumble when I'm too close to a chocolate cake, it's pretty quiet.

She keeps coming back to me. I'm surprised by this. She has made a friend and they go off together, running and climbing out of my sight, acting out elaborate play scenarios with mind-numbing repetition. But every few minutes I see her little pigtails and her favourite twirly shirt scurrying towards me, smiling and confident, happy to have made a new friend, happy that mom is where she left her, with snacks. It'll take a little practice, but I think the day is coming when I won't picture her lost and bleeding from the head every time she vanishes from my field of vision. I think I'll be able to get to a place where I don't worry that I haven't spent enough quality time with her as she runs off with her friends. We'll get there. I figure I have about four years before my #1 standing is in serious jeopardy. And if I do it right, I won't slip farther than 2nd or 3rd. At least until the babies come, but I may be getting ahead of myself.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rock Star

Last week the theme at summer camp was Rhythm and Beats. They finished off the week on Friday with a "Rock Star Dance Party", and the kids were encouraged to dress up as a rock star, a concept that was quickly broadened to include princesses, pirates, superheroes, and really anything other than boring old clothes. E had initially requested a "rock star princess" motif, but by the time I dropped her off she was insisting that she was "just a regular person dressed up like a rock star princess -- with wings".

I think she nailed it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

This morning I woke up...

…an hour later than usual, with coffee and smoothie delivery. Just what I needed as my body tries to fight off whatever is causing this sore throat and horrible night cough. I scrambled into my yoga clothes and sat with J and E for a few minutes before hopping on my bike and heading to my free Sunday morning yoga class. It was a glorious morning, with a wonderfully energizing class that blew away my expectations, and on the ride home I soaked up the sun as the breeze dried the sweat I had worked up. I arrived home to smiles and "Hooray! Mama's home!", and thought how lovely it would be to reproduce this exact morning (minus the sore throat, perhaps) every Sunday for the rest of my life.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Use of Poisoning in Pretend Play

E (as Mom): Baby, it's time to go to sleep. Remember if you have to go pee you need to…
M (as Baby): Snore…
E (as Mom): WAKE UP BABY!!!!!
M: wakes up
E: So. It's bedtime baby. There's water by your…
M: Snore…
E: BABY!!!! WAKE UP!!!!
M: wakes up
E (as Mom): Baby, if you fall asleep one more time I'm going to poison you.


E (as herself): Mom, pretend you're a baby and you've been poisoned and you call me in the middle of the night.
M (as Baby): Waaaa! MAMA!!!!
E (as *annoyed* Mom): Baby. You keep calling and calling every night. WHAT. IS. IT??!!
M: I've been poisoned!
E: (under her breath) Oh, that's a good one. (aloud) Baby - always call me if you've been poisoned!


So we've learned the following lessons here today:

1. Don't EVER fall asleep while E is trying to put you to sleep. Ever.

2. Don't let her play the mom. She'll figure out a way to use it against you.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Uber-excited post-camp sweaty mess.

Who knew summer camp would be so much FUN??!!

Well, we did. You know, good ol' mom and dad. But someone I know tends to remain skeptical until she figures these things out for herself. **eyeroll**

Striking a half excited/half skeptical pose
on her first day of camp.

I won't keep you in suspense any longer…she LOVES it. Obviously. Although let's be clear - it's not ALL play, as her well-meaning parents had led her to believe. She is in fact expected to put her food containers back in her lunch bag after lunch AND snack, to change back into her clothes after swimming, and to put all of her belongings back in her basket after using them. Every. Damn. Day. **exaggerated sigh**

But when she isn't toiling away under the guise of "gaining independence", she is swimming, singing camp songs, making construction paper fish, playing "Duck Duck Goose" and "What time is it Mr. Shark?", playing with lego and toy food, painting her counselors with body paint and careening down a slip-n-slide to "wash the paint off". It sounds terrible. How terrible? So terrible that when I showed up half an hour early on the first day to pick her up, in case - you know - it was a long day and she missed me, she asked if I could wait in the hall until story time was over. Uh, okay. Don't mind me. I'll just be right here. Standing in the hallway.

This morning, it being Friday! Movie Day! Last day before the weekend! I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up a bit early as I would be finished work before pick-up time. She responded with "No. Regular time please." Hmph.

We did a similar version of this during frosh week 
when I was in university. I was immeasurably 
relieved that there were no accompanying 
"dance moves" in this version.