The mouths of babes …

I’ve been on-deadline with my thesis for a few weeks now and the latest draft is due this weekend. This means I cut a few corners to try to scrounge extra writing time. A lot of corners. So here I am, no makeup, schlumpy clothes, unwashed hair scragged back into something resembling a braid and my sweet, soulful child exclaims: “Mama! You look just like Elsa!” Elsa, his favourite character, the one whose songs he sings and actions he mimicks. I have never really understood the phrase “love is blind” until today. Thank you, little one. Linking up with:

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5 tips to help little kids at the dentist

We brush, we floss, and we don’t have sugary drinks, but still my four-year old wound up needing two fillings. After an initial consult with my regular dentist who confirmed the squishy bits I’d noticed while brushing were indeed cavities, we were referred to a paediatric dentist. I can’t say enough good things about how kind and patient the staff were. For a small child in a new, environment with people asking him to do strange things can be quite terrifying, but he actually wanted to go back for his follow up! It took us two “happy visits” before […]

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Four year-old versus Spider-Man

Four is such a funny age. Four year-olds aren’t babies any longer (as they are very quick to let you know), but they are still such small children — at least developmentally — that they can be just as tricky to decipher as a newborn. Though they usually have the ability to communicate with actual words — as opposed to the vehement grunts and wild gesticulations favoured by my almost two year old–  it’s still hard to know just what they are thinking and feeling. Harder still to predict what they will like on any given day, or to know […]

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That awkward moment when you question your sanity

We’ve been on the look-out for a play centre for the boys for a while now. We’d been hoping to find one second-hand because these things are a) notoriously horrific to build and b) not cheap — as in, the better part of 2 grand kind of not cheap. But of course, so is every other parent out there also looking for a deal, so buying used (and still finding something safe) was like trying to find a needle in a stack of unicorns. With spring approaching and the boys practically bursting out of their socks with eagerness to […]

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Where can I return 2016?

Yes, hello. I would like to know where I can return 2016? Why? Because it is clearly defective. The kids, hubs and I have spent almost the entirety of the last 70 days being sick, getting each other sick, or recovering from being sick. First it was stomach ‘flu right after christmas. Then, that weird virus that saw us cut our holiday short. Then another cold that just. wouldn’t. go. away. And now… Now the littlest has been fighting strep throat with crazy high temperatures and a weird rash. It’s at the point where the four year old keeps […]

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Today you are four: I can do better, I promise.

Today you are four — no longer a baby, a toddler, or a “threenager” — officially a little boy.    You are funny and silly, determined and strong-willed. You love puzzles and stickers, superheroes and princesses, and anything with wheels or tracks.  I know you are growing up and testing limits because most of the time I seem to be telling you not to do things — don’t push your brother, take your hands out of your pants, stop picking your nose. But I also see how independent you are, how much you love to accomplish things on your […]

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An Open Letter to the Teacher Who Left My Child Behind: 

I have hesitated on posting this as I don’t want to make things more difficult for my child, for the school, or for the teachers, most of whom are fantastic — kind, dedicated and professional to a fault. As a former teacher myself, I also know how hard educators work, how stressful it can be, and just how easy it is, especially with the very young, to lose track of who’s where and with whom. Nor is this about looking for apologies or establishing blame. What it is about is awareness — for teachers, parents, and even children. Because […]

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A Night Out: Hair! Heels! Inhaler?

The hubs and I had a night out this weekend. This in itself is rare enough to be remarkable. We have a couple of trusted babysitters, but no family who can step in and take the kids when we could use some down time. So between the additional cost and the planning required, our outings are few and far between. Plus, we’ve been sick for the better part of two months (feels like longer …) and no-one has been able or willing to leave the house for anything beyond the necessities of school, work and grocery shopping. But this time, […]

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The Slow Race

We’re still getting over our month-long colds, so on Sunday, when no-one was feeling much like heading outside, we broke out the radio-controlled race-cars. The boys each received one as a present two Christmases ago, but they were too small to really understand how they worked: the eldest just drove his into a wall repeatedly while the hubs had way too much fun “helping” the baby play with his.   Now though, both boys are bigger, able to see the fun in a car you don’t have to push around with your hands, and able to ask for their turn […]

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The End of an Era

We had a good run, all things considered. The “baby” will be two in a few months but up until recently he would still take a bottle to go the sleep. It’s not good for his teeth, I know, but he protested this final stage of weening with all his thirty-pound might that we let it slide for a bit. But with a family vacation planned, and knowing that it was beyond time, we made a switch to cuddles and sips of water before bed. At first, he wriggled and complained, but after a few nights of the same […]

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A Misadventure

We probably should have turned around at the gate right after the baby vomited and started to seem oddly warm.  He’s just overheated and tired, we told ourselves, refusing to believe that after all the weeks of planning and preparing for our first family vacation it was all going to fall apart. So we boarded the plane and continued to hope for the best. The baby fussed a bit but eventually napped curled up with his daddy. Five hours later, we got to our rented condo and managed to set up the boys little campcots.  But just as the […]

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A Would-be Birthday

She was never one for big celebrations; a hand-made card and a school craft was usually all she wanted. There’s still a stack of them in the top drawer of her old chest of drawers. When I was grown, we’d usually mark the occasion with a nice lunch but not much more. But then my mum became sick, enduring rounds and rounds of chemo, and when that didn’t work to knock out the lymphoma, a stem-cell transplant that made her so thin and tired she could hardly walk. Suddenly, the occasion of a birthday didn’t mean being another year […]

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10 Things to Keep in Your “Sick Bucket”

For the last week or so, our house has been hit with gastroenteritis, aka “stomach ‘flu”. It started on the weekend with the little guy being fussy and tired … and quickly went downhill from there. I got sick on Monday and spent twenty-four hours in or near the bathroom (side note: someone should really invent a toilet-bowl headrest). Fortunately, the hubs was able to gamely step up to the plate … until he made a dash for the bathroom late Wednesday night and didn’t emerge until late the next morning (see, inventors of the world?). Thursday saw our […]

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A Dog for Christmas

   A few days before Christmas, my mum and dad left four year-old me with my Grandmother for a few hours because, they said, they needed to do a little shopping. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink. I’d been pining after a walkie-talkie doll for what seemed like forever, so I remember being excited at the implication that they would be picking one up for me. Besides, my gran kept a store of books and toys, all selected from the various second-hand stores and charity shops she frequented, in a secret cupboard , and was apt to let me have not one but […]

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10 things I learned looking after a kid with Hand, Foot and Mouth

On Sunday, we had a party for Chanukah and the hubs’ birthday. Our little guy was a little warm and grumpy, but we thought maybe he’d just eaten too many latkes (!) or was teething. Then on Monday, he woke up with a slight fever and spots around his mouth and legs. Uh-oh. We bundled him up still in his pajamas and took him to the doctor. As we undressed him in the exam room, there were suddenly more spots, popping up all across his stomach and behind his knees. The doctor arrived and we showed her the spots. […]

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Why the “perfect” photo isn’t my favourite 

Going through boxes of files and photos for the last couple of weeks, the hubs and I have found a  few items we each would rather forget. From the school photos with the atrocious at-home hair cuts, to the dorky outfits we once thought were so cool and even the pictures so blurred you can only make out a fuzzy smile, we spent a lot of time asking why on earth our parents would keep these mementos? We actually knew the answer, of course: as a parent, when you see pictures of your children you’re not actually looking for […]

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Art for art’s sake?

My three year old loves doing arts and crafts at play school. Given half a chance he will run to the activity table and grab his chubby paintbrush before he’s even removed his outdoor shoes. Once kitted out with smock and paints he really goes to town, covering every square inch of the paper with layer upon layer of paint, sparkles, stickers, glitter, whatever he has to hand. Sometimes he even goes right through the paper such is his zest for his creations. Now I’m normally pretty happy to go along with my kids’ various whims: the boys’ custom […]

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