So the sickness continues around here. On the weekend my oldest son threw up on the couch. (Yeah, anyone have any ideas on how to make that a little easier to clean next time?) Last night I slept on that same couch because my husband rolled around our king-size bed and puked all night long. Usually, he stays home and texts me to bring him orange juice and freezies from his nice comfy position in our king-sized bed (notice the repetition? I hate sleeping on the couch), but today he actually went to work. That lasted until lunch time and then he came home and slept all day long. I felt bad for him. He was hunched over when he walked because his stomach hurt so bad from puking.
But, I kind of had an attitude problem.
See, whenever husband gets sick, he gets to take the day off and lay in bed all day and rest. He's sick, so it's not fun obviously, but he gets to sleep and watch movies. When I'm sick? I still cook meals, do the laundry etc and barf in the toilet in between. Heck, a couple of months ago I even started potty training while I was sick. This is not some Go-Go-Woman attitude. It's the truth. I'm a stay-at-home mom. There's no daycare to send the kids to while I stay home and sleep.
So yes, I had a bad attitude today. I pouted when he asked me to bring him something to drink because dang it! I have to crawl there when I'm sick and get one for three other people, too. Is it mean? Maybe. Should I go get him a blanket? Yes. Am I going to? Probably.
If I don't, he'll just keep calling for me. And then texting me. And then calling my cell phone...
So my kids have a penchant for swimming. If there is ever an opportunity to swim, they take it. Indoor water parks, outdoor splash parks, swimming pools, the beach, the melting ice rink in our backyard...
Yes. The melting ice rink in our backyard.
The skating rink currently has water laying on its base where it was once frozen. Because our yard has not been landscaped yet and we really want to avoid a flood in our basement, we are waiting until all the snow melts before letting the water out in to the ground. We have a very high water table (we had 2, almost 3, floods last summer from the rain) and water above ground currently runs straight into our basement because of the un-landscaped yard. We set the sump pump up to pump out into the "rink" so we don't have a vicious cycle of water coming in that was just pumped out. As it stands, the pump runs every hour, nearly. Of course, the water from the pump is simply ground water so it's not entirely harmful, like say grey water or something, but it was only 3C yesterday. A little chilly for a dip in the water.
Not so, says my children. 3C is balmy weather.
I was working nicely away in my office yesterday after having just checked on the kids when in walked my two-year-old son, buck-naked and covered in sand. His big sister walked in with her clothes on, but soaked and also covered in sand. I quickly ran to the window and spotted my SIX-year-old son attempting to pull his pants up over his cute little BARE bum.
After discussing the importance of wearing clothes (1. Nobody wants to see that when they look out the window. 2. It's 3C. 3. We swim with clothes ON. 4. Haven't we had this discussion before? Like back in 2010 when you and your sister did this in the sandbox?), we discussed the difference between a swimming pool and a large puddle.
For future reference, the melting ice rink is NOT a pool.
Monday, it was the dog (see here)
. Tuesday, it was my son. He spent the day barfing his brains out. (Maybe he caught something from the dog...) I felt so bad for him. He's only ever thrown up once before in his little life. He didn't know what was happening. He looked at me like "I'm supposed to put my head in there
? I don't think so"
and then he flopped on the floor. How do you teach a child, then, to hit the toilet when it's coming fast and furious from both ends? You just don't. You clean up the mess and then make your way to the toilet yourself.
That's what my husband did that morning. He caught the first barf. I heard him run with wee man to the toilet and a few seconds later I heard "Chhherrryyylll." This was 4:30 in the morning, so naturally I was annoyed. After stomping my way to the bathroom and grinding out a surly "what", I proceeded to yell at him because he was nearly fainting. I'm talking holding on to wee man with one arm and laying down on the floor panting like he'd just run 5km. I think my exact words were, "Oh, c'mon. Grow a pair."
This is a grown man who attempts to dig his truck out of a snowbank while he has carbon monoxide poisoning, but faints (or pukes) when someone else barfs. Go figure. Apparently though, he was light-headed.
Maybe he caught something from the dog, too.
So what does a person do in this instance? Well, send the fainting male adult to bed before there's two messes to clean up and look after wee man.
Talk about First World problems.
Some random guy's dog jumped on my two-year-old today. The dog was small, one of those ankle-biters. It likely wasn't going to hurt my son, but I don't know or trust this dog, so I yelled at it. The dog's owner yelled at me. I yelled at the owner. He thought I was over-reacting because "yeah, she's definitely going to chew your leg off". I curtly informed him that if he thought I was over-reacting now, wait until I had the pound come and collect his nice little puppy.
I have a dog. An ankle-biter, actually. If something ever happened to her, I would cry. She's been around for years and she goes everywhere possible with us. But if she ever attacked me, my child, or someone else, she wouldn't be with us any longer. I believe animals and pets are wonderful for families. I think animals can teach children wonderful lessons of compassion and care. I do not believe in neglecting or mistreating animals, but I do believe in animal discipline and training. And if you stand back and let your pet jump on my child, or me, I believe you need to be disciplined, too. Maybe in the form of, say, a causual, or not so casual, fist to the face.
For dog-lovers of all kinds: I don't mean to offend you, but just because you love your dog, it doesn't mean that I or anyone else does. Be respectful. And, by the way, if I come to your house and the dog (or cat) is walking on the countertop or licking food off the table, I'm never coming back ever again. Ever.
Before we start, be warned that I'm talking about POOP on my blog. You heard me, poop. Why? Because it's a reality of motherhood.
This week two horrible things hit our house: the flu and potty training. And
they hit at the same time. Unfortunately, I was the one who got sick on the day we started potty training, which meant that it didn't go well since every time my son peed on the floor I wanted to barf. Later that night, my daughter started barfing. Yippee for us. It seems to have passed, cross my fingers.
Potty training is going SO well. I'm almost afraid to say it out loud, or type it, for the fear I'll be jinxed, but I think he's got it in the bag!! However, I have learned to prepare for the worst and expect the best. This way the experiences are not so bad! I'm telling you, potty training with my other two was a nightmare. I knew it was going to be bad. I mean, we're talking about poop in pants here (or on the floor, or in the bed, basically anywhere you can think of), but I really thought it was going to be a fairly simple task. Boy, was I wrong.My oldest just did not care about being dirty. He used to poop and then ride around on his bike with it mushed all up in there. I mean, seriously? I rewarded, and then resorted to yelling, that kid all day long and it didn't do a thing because he just did. not. care. It's hard to train a kid who doesn't actually mind having poop in his pants. And, I think I told you once about my daughter peeing on the Walmart till? She's four now and every once in a while we still have to go over the rules again. She took about 18 months to train, including starts and stops when it just wasn't working.
I'd think we had it down pat and then we'd venture out, and everywhere, and I mean everywhere
, we went she'd pee.This one? He cried when he peed on the floor. Day 2 and he's holding his pee so that he won't get his pants wet. He even started to poop in his pants and then stopped because he wasn't supposed to do that. Can I get a "Hallelujah"?
But I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Everyone, quickly knock on wood, throw some salt over your shoulder, cross your fingers, pray. Do what you do because I have a sneaky feeling I'm gonna need that extra luck!To all you mothers in the midst of it, keep going! It will happen. Remember, it's likely that they won't be wearing a diaper at their wedding.
Today I was marvelling at the things my kids say. Sometimes, sometimes, I could scream! I have a whole little blog devoted to their cute little sayings, and yet sometimes I just don't think it's cute. Sometimes it's just down right annoying. For example, while we're driving in a blizzard:
"Hey, Mom? I have something to tell you....There's snow on the windshield."
"Yes, darling and I'm trying really hard not to drive off the road right now, but I never noticed the snow on the windshield."
Or, while I'm trying on an outfit that I think looks fabulous:
"Hey, Mom. Nice dress. Are you having another baby? It looks like there's a baby in your tummy."
"Gee, baby, how perceptive of you. But for your information, I'm actually just fat."
Or as the disabled neighbour walks by:
"HEY, MOM! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT GUY?!" (with a pointing finger)
"Huh? What? Did you say "let's go inside"? No? Too bad. GET IN THE HOUSE!"
Sometimes I just want to say: "Hey, buddy. You think I've got a baby? Yeah, well that stretch limo Daddy says you have is really a little pink volkswagen with two flat tires. I know. I changed your diaper when you were little."
(It's a good thing I'm not a mean mom and love my kids too much to say that. It's also a good thing they're cute and say things like "Mom, you look boooootiful!" once in a while.)
Recently, someone asked me my opinion on how to parent when spending time with friends and their kids, how to keep from insulting them and how to keep friendships good and healthy. I've compiled a list of lessons that I've had to learn through my own experiences. My kids are still quite young, so I know there are many, many, many more lessons coming my way that I'll probably end up learning the hard way too. I hope you can benefit from some of these things.
1. If you want to keep your friends, be respectful of their boundaries, rules, property, belief systems etc. This means that if you don't agree with something another parent is doing, keep your mouth shut. It's none of your business. However, this also means that if your child is beating the tar out of your friend's kid, or is destroying your friend's house or just being completely ape-sh*t crazy, do not sit back and do nothing. If you want to keep your friends, look after your kid. Respect your friend's property. Love their child, too, and don't allow such despicable behaviour from your own kid. If you don't do this, your friend has every right to go ape-sh*t crazy on you and your kid and you don't have a leg to stand on.
2. It's not okay to sit back and let other people parent your child. Get out of La La Land. PAY ATTENTION! When my son was maybe 18 months, we were visting my sister in Calgary. He was playing in the backyard while I was in the house. My husband was outside with him and then left to go to the store. I thought he would be fine outside because there were other people there to look after him. When he walked out in to the middle of a busy city street and was almost hit by a car, I realized that it was actually absolutely not fine. I am the parent. It is only my duty to look after my child, no one else's. Again, if you want to keep your friends, it is not fair to sit back and do nothing while other people (your friends) look after your kids. You are the parent. Get up off your lazy rear and check on your own kids, and refer to lesson number one. If they are doing something that will hurt your friend's kids, hurt your friend's property, or offend your friend at any point, then correct them.
Oh yeah, and don't pawn your kids off every chance you get. Other parents would like a break, too.
3. It's important to be on the same page as your friends. Back them up. If one friend asks their children not to do a certain activity or not to act a certain way, then the same should apply to your kids while you're together. Maybe you don't agree. Maybe you think it's not a big deal, but guess what? You can let your kids do it later. By backing your friend up, you're teaching your kids loyalty, you're teaching your kids to respect others and you're protecting and preserving a friendship. Most importantly, you're teaching your kids respect. I liken this to drinking in front of an alcoholic. If your friend was an alcoholic, would you get completely smashed in front of them? (If you answer yes to this question, you are a terrible friend). The correct answer would be no because it's just cruel and completely disrespectful. You're flaunting something in front of your friend and basically asking him to join you and fall off the wagon. By not backing up your friends and thus letting your kids continue with the behaviour/activity, you're setting up your friend's kids for discipline. You're creating a situation where you're essentially begging those kids to get in to trouble. Be considerate of your friends. Help them be good parents and teach your kids to help other kids be good and obedient. It's just a nice thing to do.
4. Don't be the idiot who sits back and laughs at her kids' bad behaviour. Nobody likes this person. It's not funny. Don't be an idiot. Deal with your kid. Or deal with your friend going ape-sh*t crazy on you.
5. Don't say stupid things like "Oh, they're just kids." Yeah, dummy. They are just kids. They need instruction. They need discipline. Do your job. Refer to number four. Don't be an idiot.
6. If you have a problem, tell your friend. Likely, your friend will get mad. You're attacking her parenting and that is deeply personal. Expect that, but don't be harsh. Be kind and gentle, but express your concerns. It's much better to have an honest conversation than to fly off the handle, attack your friend because you're so mad and ruin a friendship, or to never say anything and be a bitter, begrudging person who never wants to hang out with anyone. Your friend may never know it bothers you if you don't tell them. All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage to open up a conversation.
Having friends can be a really, really hard part of life. Parenting while having friends can also be hard, but it can also be very rewarding, and if you do it right, your kids and your friend's kids will be friends for life. Take a moment. Evaluate your parenting. Evaluate your friendships. Where do you stand? I hope not in the Idiot category.
So, I'm back. It felt like we were away for forever, but it was a wonderful, wonderful holiday. We drove all the way to Ontario. Oh. My. Gosh. Longest trip of my life! There were 6 of us plus a dog in a 7 seater van. We brought a car topper full of stuff for my big sissy and the entire van jammed full. On the way home, the topper was full of toys and the van was still stuffed. There wasn't much leg room.
Amazingly, the kids did sooo well. It might have helped that there was a steady stream of movies, drinks and food shovelled back to them. If there mouth wasn't hanging open while staring at the movie, it was stuffed with food and drink. There wasn't opportunity for yelling...
We made it home yesterday, so it has been nice to get back and do the laundry, get some groceries and get ready for work. The kids are ready for school and I'm pumped for my new courses! I have a million and one things I want to do this year. Number one on the list of practical things is getting the inside of my house finished! I've about had it with the constant waiting. I want to decorate! My list of practical goals is very, very long, but we've had some reminders in the past few weeks of the fragility of life that have forced me to re-evaulate.
First, it was my son's blue face. Second, it was visiting some sick family. Third, it was hearing of bad health news for a couple of different friends. I have felt a great urgency these days to get it right as well as to spend quality moments with family and with my own children. The new year always brings a rush of newly set goals and aspirations and this year has been no different. However, my viewpoint has changed. I still have the same financial, career and health goals, but my scope has experienced a shift in view. The things I really want do not pertain to money and weight. They pertain to family and God. And I want to get it right.
Today was a very eventful day. My plan was to chill with the kids and take them to their various programs and then spend some time cleaning, packing and writing. However, the day did not go as planned. At all.
I woke up this morning to my son being plunked in the bed beside me by my husband. He was worried about his cough, but had to go to work. I sat and listened for a minute and bolted upright in bed. The kid could hardly breathe. Every breath sounded like it was going through a fog horn as it exited his mouth. It was awful. He tried talking but had to take deep, noisy breaths between every [bbrreeaatthhee] word [bbrreeaatthhee]. I was expecting him to do this since he had started getting sick the night before and his siblings all had croup last week, however I wasn't expecting it to be so bad. I woke everybody up for a trip to the hospital and took him into his room to change him. I flipped his light on and immediately panicked. His skin around his lips was going blue! He wasn't getting enough air! Everything then turned into a huge screeching "HURRY UP!!! GET IN THE TRUCK! I DON'T CARE IF YOUR HAIR ISN'T COMBED. GET IN THE TRUCK!!!!"
We raced to town, got stuck behind two school buses and had to go around a train. By the time we got to the hospital, he was totally fine. The cold air had cleared his airways enough that he could breathe okay...until we got back inside and then it started again. The doctor wanted to admit him, but I wasn't sure I could get a sitter for my other two, so, with the doctor's permission, we spent the day driving back and forth to the hospital for medication instead. He got better really quickly and is doing fine now, but the moment of seeing the blue scared the crap out of me. He'd been blue once before as a baby and was on the same medications he was on today, but was hospitalized for 4 days, and everything came flooding back. I couldn't help but think about how fragile life is.
Today, our day was not that bad. We had a scary moment, but overall, my son is a healthy child and this was just a blip on the radar. It could have been much worse if we'd left it much longer, but thankfully it wasn't. Even so, I couldn't help thinking about a few I know that are very, very ill and are not far from death or have been close many times. Life is fragile. All we get are a few moments and those can be taken so quickly. The shooting we've all heard about in Newton, Connecticut is testament to that. It all can vanish so quickly, between breaths even. In the moments that we are permitted between breaths, how are we living? How am I living? Am I seizing the day, the hour, the moment? I know that I haven't always, but I am thankful today for a small reminder of what those moments mean and for more chances to live fully. I hope you learn to live fully, now.
Here's to the moment, right now!
Here's to my tiny son for being the best little patient ever!
Suzanne Collins, author of Hunger Games,
is expected to release a new picture book for children age 4 and up called "Year of the Jungle." Apparently, it's about a girl's father's service in the Vietnam war. It's supposed to be out in September 2013.
I'm not so sure I'm interested in reading this one. It seems like a tough subject to teach/read to children. Maybe I'm old-fashioned? I still think Hunger Games
shouldn't be available for young children. Violence is a major theme. The novels are rated for age 12 and up, but should children that young be able to read about violence and war and death? I don't know...Her new book is not specifically about war, per se, but a girl worrying about her father's safety as he fights in war. Will I read it to my 4-year-old? I doubt it. Harsh? Maybe, but I'm just not sure war is an appropriate subject for young gaffers nor one I'm really willing to explain. I'd like to keep them as innocent as I possibly can for a little while.
What do you think?
PS: Click here
for a look at the cover.