Sunday, January 30, 2011

Positive Party #2

Ok all you mothers of toddlers and toddlers-to-be, throw the 'terrible twos' stereotype out the window and grab a party hat cause it's time for another Positive Party!

Reasons Why Two Year Olds Are Awesome

- They are old enough to understand "just hold on two seconds", but not old enough to go "ONE......TWO.....YOU'RE NOT HERE YET MOM"

- They develop long-term memory so anything major you do in this year might stick with them for life

- You hear them reciting poems or songs to their toys that you didn't think they knew all the words to until now.

- Imagination kicks in and they can make up stories with their toys without your help.

- They're not just repeating words anymore, they make their own adorable grammar-less sentences.

- Big words are funny. Doesn't mater what the word is, if it has a lot of syllables it's hilarious.

- They are 'big kids' but not so big that they can't still be contained in a sling or stroller.

- Kisses are cool

- Hugs come voluntarily

- There are no more dietary cautions (ie No cinnamon or mint until over 12 months, no peanuts or dairy until over 24 months)

- All the cool toys are for ages 2+

- You can begin to carry on a conversation without using a high pitched sing-song voice

- They take a keen interest in learning and begin to have the communication skills to regurgitate the information they take in.

- You don't have to pack a giant diaper bag everywhere you go.

- They are big enough to play on a play ground unassisted, but not big enough to climb to the top of the monkey bars and stand on top and give you a heart attack.

- They remember people's faces and names and get excited when you go somewhere they know.

- Chores and helping are still fun at this age. (Setting table, sweeping floor, making dinner, picking up toys, washing dishes)

- You finally feel like you're hanging out with someone and not just lugging a baby everywhere.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Dear Toby,
Please stop kneading my boobs when you are trying to fall asleep. It's enough that you nurse for 45 minutes to fall asleep, I don't need the added annoyance or pain, thank you very much. At least let me cut your nails so it doesn't feel like you're ripping holes through my nipple when you squeeze.
Sincerely, your over-tired mother.

deer mom,
Im not trying to hurt yew I just haf a reely hard time falling a sleep and need to do something with my hands. I no yew try to give me other things but its not the saem as yew. Im trying to get better at sleeping but i get woreed about yew leeving so i dont want to let go.
love Toby


Dear Toby,
I really don't enjoy being yelled at when I do exactly what you just asked me to do. Whining and being rude are not acceptable ways of talking to me. I'm trying to make you happy and I"m trying to help but I don't know what to do if you don't tell me what you need.
From, your non-mind-reader mother.

deer mom,
wen i yell its usually because i'm trying reely hard to come up with the right word but sometimes i forget what things are called, even if its something we do evry day. sometimes i will agree to things because i think its a good idea, but it doesnt meen i want to do it right now. sometimes i will ask for one food but be thinking of something else and i get confused when yew bring something difrent. i try to use my words and yew have helped me alot to lern them but i still dont know them all. there is alot going on in my hed.
love Toby


Dear Toby,
You need to learn to play by yourself so that I can get some work done. I don't need to sit and watch you play cars for two hours when you are just playing by yourself anyway. Me leaving the room doesn't mean I'm abandoning you. Just relax please.
From, your way-behind-her-work mother

deer mom,
i do like playing by myself and am getting more used to it but i like it when yew watch me play. i try to bring yew things to look at but its not the saem as when yew are sitting there. i don't get why you need to sew all the time. the sewing masheene is cool but not THAT cool. i just dont like when you leeve in the middle of me showing yew a good trik with the cars.
love Toby


Dear Toby,
Washing your hair will not kill you. Just let me do it quickly and then it will be done.
from your exasperated mother

deer mom,
i dont like the feeling of the water dripping on my hed. hair washing takes away from play time. cant you wash my hair wile i'm having a nap?
love Toby


Dear Toby,
Why do you choose the most miserable days to go outside? When it's sunny I want to go out. When there's a blizzard or a thunderstorm, I do not.
Sincerely, your vitamin D deficient mother

deer mom,
wen its sunny outside it means the upstairs living room is warm and id rather watch tv on a warm couch than go outside. wen it's raining there are puddles and when its snowing there is endless snow to dig. i remember it being reely cold out and how am i suposed to no if one day is warmer than the next?
love Toby

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time Off

It's amazing how just one hour away from Toby makes me love him more.
Maybe that sounds like I don't love him all the time....but sometimes I just get so frustrated and that frustration can last for days.
If we go shopping with my mom and they go into one store and I go into another, I actually find myself excited to see him again.
If I get some time in the evening to come downstairs and work and I dont see Toby till bedtime, I enjoy cuddling in bed with him more.
If I'm really lucky and get to actually leave him here for the evening while I go out for dinner, I can't stop smelling his hair and kissing him when I get back.

I didn't always used to feel like this. When he was small it took me a LONG time to admit that I loved him because of all the bitterness towards the situation that i felt. I looked after him because I HAD to... it was a possessive instinct... but I didnt feel the gooey-on-the-inside love that people say you're supposed to feel.
He was well over a year before I could say to myself... Yes, I love him.
I actually started writing a book about it... I might post some chapters here eventually... It's a lot of incredibly personal stuff, so I'll have to see... Things that i wouldn't mind strangers reading, but feel slightly uncomfortable with people I know reading it lol.
I also read the book The Second Nine Months by Vicki Glembocki. Excellent book that kind of made me feel not alone in how I was feeling... kind of how I wanted my book to be, but mine was over a larger period of time, and hers is like a 10 month journal.

I think that, like with anything, it can take a long time to fall in love and it takes some absences to really appreciate what you have.
Time off is needed for sanity.
A walk around the block without toting an increasingly heavy baby or a hot bath without a toddler peering over the side asking if they can put toys in with you, can be the difference between a good day and a moody day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Positive Party

I'm having a Positive Party on my blog because I feel in need of one.
Maybe I should make Positive Parties a regular thing??

Reasons Why Being A Single Mom is Awesome

- You make all the rules.
- You decide which of those rules are bendable or breakable.
- Guilt-free dining out: Spur of the moment mother/son lunch dates don't make me feel guilty that I'm not including someone else
- Guilt-free shopping: I am a responsible spender, but when i do splurge I don't have to justify the shirt or the magazine I just bought to anyone.
- You get all the hugs.
- You decide what food to buy and eat.
- Flexible meal times: When no one is really on a schedule you eat whenever it works without worrying about 'starving' a third person.
- Flexible meals: When I have time for lasagna or sushi, then we have that. When I have time for a pot of pasta, we have that. When I only have time for veggies and dip, we have that. When I only have time for two bowls of cereal at 9 pm, we have that.
- Impromptu outings: Why YES I'd love to go out for lunch... let me just throw Toby in the car. Why YES, Toby, it is a good day to go to the park, let me grab my keys. Why YES I want to go to Stratford for the weekend and NO I don't have to work around anyone else's schedule.
- You get final say in all toys and presents received by child: I don't have to make exceptions for annoying toys or fight about them because someone else insists they are
- 'Nights off' consist of long baths, Harry Potter movies with sister, or dinner dates with old friends.
- No relationship drama clouding parenting ability
- You decide which friends are worth your time and dont feel bad hanging out with them and their kids for extended periods of time instead of significant other.
-Guilt-free bed times: I dont feel bad staying up  late and watching TV or blogging about parenting instead of spending time with significant other


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Some People...

Today I was sent this online article

Mayim Bialik is an actress who is currently on the TV series The Big Bang Theory and once upon a time on the TV show Blossom.
She has a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old and she practices attachment parenting (AP).

I LOVED this article. Despite her busy schedule, she and her husband still bed share with their kids and her 2 year old still breastfeeds on demand.
Going through the same sort of thing, I felt so relieved to read that 'hollywood' types are speaking out for this natural type of parenting.

..but oh the comments....
There are 11 pages of comments following this article.
I scanned through a few and some of them seemed to be forming a debate about what was 'too much' parenting verses what was abuse and abandonment....
I scanned past it all, not wanting to get involved, and left a note saying that I had a son the same age who still needed to nurse to go to sleep and how encouraging it was to see that there were people out there doing the same thing. I said I loved Big Bang Theory and that she seemed to be doing a truly wonderful job in all aspects of her life.

I checked back a few hours later and this was the comment directly below mine :

"Breast feeding a child at 2 1/2 is just insane. They should be drinking from a cup. They have teeth so I assume they bite your Nipples? Your son can't sleep without breast feeding becuase you did not ween him off after one year. Is it a nutritional thing that you breast feed until almost 3 or is it that you can't let go of your child. Also at 2 1/2 they should not need a bottle either. Put the breast milk in a cup."

I don't even know what to say. I am shaking with rage and frusteration right now.
I want so badly to comment back, but anything I say will just generate more negativity about what a 'wrong' job I"m doing. I feel like I've become so jaded to the 'real' world by surrounding myself with like-minded people. Like i forgot that these anti-attachment people exist. And then I feel like a snob for pitying them because CLEARLY they're not doing as good a job with their kids.....
I read back a few pages and this person seemed to lash out at a lot of other people, but then also defend some with "So-and-so is allowed to share their own opinions and views!!""
Um yes.. so why are you attacking every Attached Parent who comments on AN ATTACHMENT PARENTING BLOG??

I already feel SO frusterated with Toby's sleep habits and CONSTANTLY feel like I've done the wrong thing by letting him nurse to sleep. But the alternative is watching him scream til he's blue and neither of us sleeping. SO what is better? Me being frustrated and having no social life, but having a sleeping baby? Or nobody in the house getting any sleep and having bad moods spill out into daily life?

My mom is what I call 'over-supportive'. She supports breastfeeding and supports co-sleeping, but when Toby was smaller and i toyed with wanting him to cry-it-out, she worked herself up into such a tizzy about it that I felt guilty for annoying everyone that i just continued to nurse him to keep everyone calm. She keeps insisting that she did the same thing with me and I weaned myself off by age 3 and WANTED my own room at age 4.
But she's also made quiet comments about how he does seem more clingy that I was.

I want to believe that everything I've chosen to do will create a confident, loving, sensitive, creative child and not the class cry-baby or the kid who screams his way to the bus stop every morning. But sometimes I just dont know.
I look at how far he's come in the last year alone and I gain a bit of hope for changes to come, but because I cant see past the Now I start to panic again.

I feel like if i was living in my own house with a partner then everything would be different.
But maybe it would be worse. Maybe there would be more crying, more fighting.... or maybe there would be more sleep.

Bottom line: I can't stand people who chirp about issues for the purpose of creating conflict. This is why I keep to myself. This is why AP gets pushed into society's oblivion - because the people who do it aren't the ones doing the yelling, we're the ones sitting on the side lines with a healthy snack and a box of baind-aids for when the bullies finally clear out.

I caved and this is what i wrote back... we'll see what happens.. i dont have high hopes.

"Yes, my two-year old has teeth, as does a 6-9 month old who cuts their first tooth. Nursing does not involve teeth, so no, I do not get bitten.

He drinks water from a cup regularly.
It is part nutrition, and part comfort for him. He has never been able to figure out how to use a soother and cuddling with me for 5 minutes usually avoid s a whole day's worth of moodiness. As for me, I don't feel as though i can't 'let him go'... I feel gloriously free when i get to go shopping or have dinner with a friend by myself. But I also don't feel the need to push my son away in order to feel those things.
Every child is different and mine seems to need more re-assurance than others. He's shy and has had a bit of separation anxiety from the time he was a few weeks old. My husband and I split when I was pregnant and so being single and living at my parents just means that my son sees a lot of me and I am his comfort and I'm glad to be there for him.
I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I think it's silly that under a valid article about attachment parenting there seems to be a lot of negative comments and attacks on people such as myself who just thought that leaving a positive comment would be a simple thing to do.
There are more long-term benefits to breast feeding that just nutritional needs. Please do some research before forming opinions and lashing out at other people's "insanity"."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow Day

Since the return of Snowmageddon dashed my plans to so some serious shopping today, this is what we did instead..

Some heavy duty constriction work

Washed dishes

Ate grapes with chopsticks since apparently that's the thing to do now...

Played Mr.Potato Head

This guy is going shopping so naturally he has a purse, and lips for a nose because he likes kisses...

We did a study on the collaboration of the artistic styles of Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock

Basil chili pasta for lunch

TV break with Dirtgirlworld

A history lesson on life in the mid 1800's

Popcorn break

And my favourite part.... nap time

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have a love-hate relationship with La Leche League meetings.

LLL, for those who don't know, is a breastfeeding support organization with a group that meets in Orillia once a month.
So there's a 'love'.

I first started attending when I was 7 months pregnant at my mom's convincing. Luke had left me a month prior to that and I think she just wanted me out of bed and talking to other moms. I didn't want to go. I didn't want to socialize. I didn't want to hear the joys and the horrors of child rearing when that was the last thing i wanted to think about at the time.
My mom went with me and was excited about the conversations and I just sat and listened and only really spoke if someone asked me something directly.
The textbook information was good to know, but when the conversation branched into people's personal problems I wanted to leave. I didn't want to hear about how so-and-so's husband complained about getting up to change a diaper, or how so-and-so's husband is ultra supportive and told off a family member who was turning up their nose at breastfeeding.
I had nothing in common with anyone here. I didn't feel comfortable despite their best efforts to welcome me. They all lived normal family lives, complaining about their routines or their husbands while I grumbled to myself that at least they still HAD a husband.

It took a few months after Toby was born to want to go back. We were having problems with breastfeeding so I figured I should. I finally convinced my mom that I didn't need her to go with me and finally I loosened up a bit.
There were the 'regulars' every month as well as a few new people who came and went. I sat on the big caterpillar alphabet rug in the middle of the room with everyone else and nursed Toby and actually took part in the conversations. People had the same problems I was having. I was able to offer advice to some. I felt like I was finally part of something.

I spent the whole 'immobile Toby' phase wishing he was able to crawl around and play with the other kids while I sat and talked. But when he started crawling I had to keep crawling after him and taking bits of fluff and other people's toy out of his mouth. He got offended and cried when another kid bumped him by mistake or took a toy he was thinking about playing with. I didn't get to hear much of the conversation when my attention was being demanded.

When he started toddling he could go get a toy and bring it back and I'd help him play with it. He could drive little cars on the ground. He could roll a ball to me. He would sit on my lap and have a snack and then nurse. I felt like a real mom. I was having adult conversation while my darling little boy played beside me. One of the moms made a comment on how much he's grown and she could still remember when I was pregnant. Really? you remembered me? I was a 'regular' now too.

This most recent meeting, however, has me considering ending my La Leche League meeting streak.
Toby went off to find some toys and I made myself comfortable on the alphabet rug.
This phrase rings through our house 80 times a day. At least. I turned around to locate the voice.
"Bring it here and show me Toby!"
"Noooooo Mommy COME ON" Stomping of feet commenced.
So ok fine, he's not comfortable with the place yet. He just needs me to tell him he's ok. I went over and he wanted me to help him locate the pieces to the tractor he usually plays with. I brought it back to the circle and started playing with him there. That lasted about 10.3 seconds.
The sitting on my lap and snacking bribe didn't work. The nursing bribe didnt work because my mouth ended up with little fingers in it every time I tried to talk.
We went and ate a snack in the kitchen area. We went and looked at the train table. We went and looked at books. Every time he started playing with something I would wander back to the circle and only hear two words of the conversation before getting shouted at again.
Eventually it got to the point where he was just tired and being 'two' and asking to nurse but wanting to play and I finally said that we were going to leave.
"NOOOOOO Want to play!!"
"Ok that's fine you can play, but everyone else is going home soon too. So soon we have to think about putting our hats on."
All hell broke loose.
Tears. Tantrum. Evey time I picked up a toy to clean up he screamed at me that he was playing with it, even if it was one of the other kids who had gotten it out. I tried just shoving his hat on his head and leaving and he writhed out of my arms and ran back to the toy room. I tried calmly saying that we would nurse and have one more snack and then talk about what we'd do. He kicked and hit my face the whole time and kept crying so I got up to leave again. Screaming. Tears.
The whole way home he shouted "Play at Leche League again... Play at Leche League AGAIN.... PLAY AT LECHE LEAGUE AGAIN!"
Makes me not want to..

I had missed the entire conversation.
I have no idea what happened at the meeting.
I don't even remember the name of the new-comer.
I feel like I had wasted an evening driving 20 minutes to town to be yelled at the whole time, to just drive 20 minutes home again.
And maybe the answer is to go to MORE play groups so Toby get used to leaving? Maybe the answer is to NOT go to anything until he's over this phase?
My mom says he's exactly like me. She couldn't do anything until I hit 3. Was I really that clingy? Was I really that demanding? Did i really nurse that much?
I keep having these horrible visions of Toby being this monster of a child who doesnt know how to interact with other kids. But I had no trouble starting school and wasn't a terrible kid. And if I was just like Toby, maybe there's still hope?
I don't want to just shrug it off as 'terrible twos' because I actually had more trouble with him between 15 and 18 months... but maybe I just need to start telling myself that it's just an age thing and not his personality for life.
I've been blaming his insecurity on me being depressed during 80% of my pregnancy, and him not having another parent around. But maybe I just enjoy blaming everything on that...
Maybe all two year olds are like this.
Maybe when he hits age 3, like my mom says, things will magically get easier.
Maybe I'm the one who's insecure in my ability to handle everything on my own.

Good grief I type a lot.... I will end this one now!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bath Time

Bath time used to be easy.

I would cradle Toby in one hand and rinse his hair with the other before lowering him into his shallow baby tub. He would kick his legs to splash. I took him out when the water got cold.
Then he got to big too hold while I was washing his hair so it was just straight into the baby tub and he could now laugh at the splashes and play with a face cloth.

If I wanted a bath my mom walked around the house holding him. We don't have a working shower at my parents place so hair gets washed in the tub, but the danger of the tub is the urge to relax. No quick in-and-out without feeling like a waste of a good bath. And yes, taking time to relax is good and whatnot,  but when you hear crying and know it's because you've vanished you feel the need to hurry up.
So we ha worked out a system, but it relied on my mom being home.
Then came the glorious realization that if I put Toby in his bouncy chair right beside the tub, he wouldn't freak out as long as i didn't leave the room.
Bath time freedom.

But then Toby got big enough to bounce himself out of the chair. But not big enough to sit on his own without falling on his face sporadically and crying until i picked him up.

Back to my baths being scheduled based on my mom being home.

Thankfully though, Toby still seemed to love his baths. He had a sitting ring in the tub so he could be up and move around and reach things a bit. I washed his hair and he didn't make a peep.

Then last summer when it was so hot we seemed to be having baths daily to cool off. Toby - now walking and talking- thew all of his toys in the tub and bounced up and down until I put him in. I would run a wash cloth through his hair but didn't always wash it so his skin wouldn't dry out.
The hot days ended and there came a point where I realized that Toby hadn't had a proper bath on almost a week.
But this time my bath suggestion was met with "No, NO!"...
I tried some more convincing and gave up. I didn't want bath time to be a negative thing.
The next day he readily had a bath, but whimpered when I washed his hair.

A month later those whimpers had turned into wails. I touched water to his head and he whipped around and shrank back from me and burst into tears. I had to use a wash cloth to wipe the soap from his hair (the little he had let me put in) so it took twice as long to get it all out.
I don't know what went wrong. I don't know what traumatizing event happened that made him hate baths suddenly. I never dumped water in his face. He never got soap in his eye. Was it because we had too many in the summer? Because he now realized bath time didn't have to involve a hair wash? Just because he now had formulated his own opinions?

I ended up taping pictures of tractors to the ceiling for him to look at and tell me about. I used the little bath toy people to wash his hair. I got him to wash their hair. It would work for a minute and then he'd be whimpering again... at least no shrieking anymore.

One day when my mom hadnt been home to watch him in a while and I was sporting desperately dirty hair I told Toby that I was having a bath and he didn't have to have one but he had to come in the bathroom with me and I needed his help to hand me the shampoo. His face lit up. He stood at the side of the tub with a grin on his face.
"Mommy habing bath!"
"Yep, Toby. Having a bath."
"In the nice warm water!" He poked one finger in but quickly took it out again.
"Yeah it's pretty hot water. But it's nice for mommy"
"Mommy's breast!"
"Yep, there it is"
"Toby nursing?"
"Maybe when I get out ok?"
"Toby hand me shampoo?"
"Yes you can hand me the shampoo Toby, that would be a big help"

This was the routine for about 4 hair washes. He always asked to have a bath after and so he did and i washed his hair saying that mommy did it first and now it's Toby's turn, and then i got time to dry my hair while he played in the tub.

This morning however, we woke up and I said we were going to have baths today. He burst into tears. Like full blown sobbing.
"Yeah... that's what i said.... Mommy needs to wash her hair and then Toby gets to play while i get dressed"
"NO NO!"
"Ok you can play with Gramma then while I wash my hair"
"YES... I said YES, Toby can have a bath... just mommy needs to wash her hair first"
Endless sobbing.
So ok fine, he can have a bath first. Dripped some water on his head and endless sobbing again.
Finally got hair washed and he left to wake up Gramma while I had a bath... Drive me mental.

I'm hoping it's just a phase. I'm hoping it's just because it's colder weather so he doesn't like being wet or something... except he seems to enjoy just playing in the water.
My parents keep telling me to enjoy every stage because in a month everything will be different... for better or for worse....
So through the tears and the struggle to keep a schedule, I won't get back the curly haired bath baby that I have now.
We just need to keep trying to improve the drama. One bath at a time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Entering the bloggosphere...

...Well, to be fair, I do have another blog but it is work related and acting as my website. So this blog is going to be my personal venting bubble. My public personal venting bubble, as the case may be.

One Plus One is about one parent and one kid.
It is certainly crappy at times... a lot of the time... but also we're learning to see the awesometasticness of it all.

I will probably brag a lot about how genius my son is (but what parent doesn't). I will probably complain a lot about the ongoing temper tantrums (terrible twos anyone?)... although I had more problems with him at 15 months than I do at 2 years. I will probably post some recipes of the yummy stuff that we make. I will probably forget to post here for long periods of time, followed by several days of posting.

Intrigued? Somewhat?

Stay Tuned!... I have stories to tell, but not at this hour....
Time for apple crisp and bed.