Sunday, June 27, 2010

Little Moments

I think the really good parts of life, the ones that make you smile, rarely happen in hugely, dramatic, sweeping occasions that you can look back on and say.."yes...that was a good day". Birthing my two babies are really the things that are easily brought up as the best days of my life, but it's been the little moments in between, the things that are almost nearly forgotten 10 minutes after they occur, that are the true sum of my life.

I remember the first smile Gabe gave me so clearly. He was propped in our old couch, on Dunnee St. It was a ratty old couch that I tried in vain to cover with all sorts of blankets (which I'm sure just made the thing look worse). I was trying to give him his soother but he kept spitting it out. On the third attempt of putting it back in his mouth, I saw that he truly had no interest in it, so I took it out quickly, and he smiled. I had been so tired from the night before but suddenly the world took on this whole new shine, my exhaustion melted away. All I wanted to do was make him smile again and again. And I have, almost everyday since. But its all those smiles in between, all those goofy grins, all the toothless, and tooth filled laughs that I no longer remember the precipitating events to - it's these times that are the ones that count. Those are the smiles I wake up for.

I remember when Edie said her first word. It was truly astonishing. I was videotaping her constant babbling (she was 5 months old at the time) and when I decided that the facebook world would probably be starting to bore of my high pitch baby talk, I asked her to say bye bye. She smiled and said "bye". I laughed out loud from sheer shock and Scott spun around to look at her, his jaw hanging open. I remember that like it was yesterday, but its all the words in between. All the mama's, and dada's, and mimicing of sounds that happen so often, I barely blink an eye at it anymore. It's all those words that count. Those are the ones I wake up for.

Now my children will begin to make memories together. Perhaps they are still too young to remember Gabe giving his sister raspberries until her laughter turned to hiccups. And maybe they are too young to recall hide and seek, which they play on a regular basis now. And perhaps they won't remember how mommy found Edie half way up the stairs, with Gabe at the very top encouraging her with gestures and kind words. But its these memories I will keep for them. Because these are the memories that count. These are the little moments that make a life...lived.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Every sleep deprived mother of an infant child inevitably goes through the same phase. I like to refer to it as the "why the F*CK wont this child (who clearly was switched at the hospital with MY baby) sleep?" stage. This stage is beyond frustrating because if your little changling baby isn't sleeping than neither are you. Now you know somewhere in the back of your mind that this stage will pass; but every hour of wired wakefulness makes that inherent knowledge seem less like a patient waiting game, and more of a bullshit lie that was told to you by other non sleeping moms. Eventually though, this stage does pass and so does the knowledge that your beautiful little baby ever had any sleep issues at all. (I swear mommy amnesia is the only reason why people have more than one child).

After the non sleeping stage comes the walking stage and the inevitable cries from your child as they bash their head off of almost every, single, conceivable object in your house. With standing upright comes easier access to things that were once too awkward or too high to reach. This inevitably births the baby proofing stage. This stage is irritating as all hell as you find yourself unable to open your own damn cupboards, or use your own wall sockets, or even reach things you have put up high to prevent injuries. You're grumbling has only begun because soon your child can open the doors in your house and you need the door knob covers to keep them out of rooms that aren't baby proofed (or to keep them in their own rooms so they cant escape at bedtimes.) Unfortunately (as with the cupboard locks, wall socket plugs, and unreachable objects in your house) you find you also don't have an easy time opening the doors, and eventually end up locked in your son's room while he laughs hysterically on the other side of the door.

After walking comes talking and the stage where every question or statement is answered with a no. Even if they mean yes, it's still no. 'No' is powerful, and rebellious. 'No' asserts their independence in ways never before known. 'No' makes me want to wire my child's jaw shut..."It's time for bed Gabe" - "no". "That's enough snacks Gabe, it's almost dinner" - "Ah..NO". "Do you want to go outside?" - "NO...AH YESH". "Okay put your clothes on then" - "No". "Time out, Mister" - "NOOO".

Of course with every stage you have to take the good with the bad. The no sleeping stage IS irritating but also means more cuddles from your baby. The baby proofing stage can create intense frustration but also causes you to be safer than you've ever been. The walking stage spells more elaborate outings and less clothes to launder; and the talking stage means easier communication and less misunderstandings...

"Right Gabe"? - "NO".

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mud Pies

I love having a boy and a girl because they are so vastly different while being so similar. I used to believe that girls were created inherently feminine and that boys were created to be rough and tumble, and perpetually dirty, but I was wrong. A lot of things we teach our children I think shapes them in ways unforeseen. For example we never bought our first born "girl" toys. We always bought him things like cars, and action figures, or genderless toys like Elmo or Iggle Piggle. It's only after having a girl (and letting her have Gabe's hand me downs- everything from toys to clothes) do I realize gender can and is shaped to a certain extent.

Gabriel, despite being a rough and tumble, little guy, also has a feminine side I refuse to squash or discourage. He is so affectionate to every living creature..except bugs - he hates bugs, and refuses to get near them- and is eager to hug, kiss, pet, play, feed, any dog or cat that strays into his path. He doesn't like to be dirty and thoroughly enjoys bath times. He plays more with his "dolls" (Woody and Buzz) than he does with his cars. He cuddles his blanket at night and can't sleep without it, and instead of sleeping with his blue glow worm, he has decided he likes the pink one best. When he's upset he cries "I want my mama" and can only be consoled by me or distracted by his sister (whose laughter can break any person into a grin). He is his sisters best friend and although there are times he gets annoyed with her constant attention; usually, he hugs, kisses and makes her laugh harder than anyone I have ever seen. My boy is a good balance of masculine and feminine and I hope he remains this way forever.

Eden, despite being a little princess, also has a masculine side I refuse to squash or discourage. Unlike her brother, she has a pretty intense fear of many animals, but loves bugs. She'll touch any sort of insect, just as long as its moving slow enough for her little hands to pick it up. While Gabe is screaming a high pitch wail, and shouting "don't", Edie is in the process of picking up a worm or eating a wood bug who had the unfortunate luck of squirming past her foot. She loves to be dirty and hates having her face washed. She screams bloody murder during bath times, and fights tooth and nail to avoid brushing her teeth or getting her diaper changed. Her best friend is her big brother and she loves to copy everything he does - from trying to climb the stairs to attempting to make "Woody" (gabe's toy story action figure) fight with Buzz. She think its hilarious for her brother to dive onto the ground in front of her, or to shake toys in her face, even if he accidentally ends up whacking her with it. She finds people most amusing when they are grimacing in pain, or falling down around her, and I'm pretty sure she will end up being a UFC fan..or fighter.

I know it's inevitable that their peers will shape their likes and dislikes at some stage in their life, I just hope they always manage to find their way back to the core of who they are...whether that be dolls or mud pies.