Wednesday, 29 April 2009


My hairdresser Sara has a four year old boy named Marshall. I've never met him but I know a lot about him. I love hearing stories about children through their parents' perspectives. They're usually funny tales laced with a bit of frustration.

But at my last appointment, the frustration was aimed somewhere else. Marshall goes to daycare one day a week, and spends the rest of the time his parents are working with his grandparents.

The daycare hasn't been too happy with Marshall lately and have made this very clear to Sara and her husband. Apparently Marshall likes to pretend he's a character from one of his Wii games named Timbok.

One morning after he was dropped off, when one of the educators said good morning, he replied:

"I'm not Marshall, I'm Timbok!"

The educator shook her head and said:

"No, while you're here, you are Marshall."

This upset Marshall and he argued it a bit. When he saw that she wasn't going to call him Timbok, he put his hand down his pants and comforted himself by holding his penis. The educator without hesitation got down to face level with the four year old and calmly but firmly said:

"We don't do that here Marshall, please take your hands out of your pants."

"Why?" he asked.

"We just don't."

Sara heard this story secondhand from her husband. He was the one whose turn it was to pick Marshall up from daycare. All this was reported to him by the educator without apology or even much affect. She wrapped up her account by asking him this question:

"Is there anything going on at home that we should know about?"

Sara's husband Jay being a man of very few words mumbled something like:

"Not that I can think of."

He then grabbed Marshall and his coat and drove home.

This daycare is a government funded operation - not a home daycare centre. I won't tell you the name of it but it's not much different than the question Marshall asked when he was told not to grab his penis.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Stations of the yard

Did you ever look forward to an event or a time in your life only to get there and wonder what you were so excited about?

This spring Deaglan is very mobile - something Shaune and I had discussed excitedly throughout the dreadfully long winter months. We said things like - "it'll be great when he can run around in the backyard!" - and - "won't it be fun to be able to play outside with him?!"

Well here we are and it couldn't be more work. Basically we now have another giant room to baby proof, only there aren't any doorways to secure baby gates between. We try to distract him with a ball but he wants to play with the rake or eat rocks or walk off of the edge of the deck.

In the house if he reaches under the couch, grabs something and sticks it in his mouth, I can be sure it is something remotely edible. In the backyard, not only am I afraid it probably isn't edible but I'm afraid to find out what it might be!

New hazards are popping up all the time. Potted plants can no longer be at ground level, the bikes need to be secured so that he can't pull them over onto himself, and if there was an old nail or stray piece of glass hidden in the grass, Deaglan has found it.

Gone are my fantasies about reading a book and watching him play.

So we've started to set up little playstations. Here we you see the sandbox station. This has been fairly successful at focusing his attention - and will be very successful when he stops eating the sand. There is also a basketball station. And he enjoys this as long as we are whooping it up every time he puts the ball in the net. We're also planning on putting up our pool and getting a swing for the tree in our front yard.

Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of fun to see your child grow from season to season and explore all the activities that go with that season. But I think the key is to manage my own expectations. All those lazy afternoons sitting with a book, sipping on an ice cold Corona and lime will have to be put on hold for now. I'll be on bug patrol:(

Monday, 27 April 2009

A Humble Thanks

I was having one of those mornings - an ugly morning. Every time I passed by a mirror, I cringed a little. Yikes! From my disobedient split-end filled hair, circles under my eyes, manly voice (I have some sort of a throat infection) to my looked-like-I-dressed-in-the-dark outfit, I was not very lovely to look at. Mondays are my extra day off with Deaglan so I wasn't completely miserable but the day ahead just seemed a bit daunting - you know? So much to do (laundry, vacuuming, going to the park, laundry!) and so little driving force.

Then I turned on the computer and started reading some blogs - when the baby was napping I swear! And there it was. The thing that made the day turn around. The little item that made me feel just the slightest bit pretty again.

I was chosen for the second time this month as one of the posts of the day (for Dove and the Namesake) over at Authorblog. David McMahon is a Melbourne based journalist and internationally-published photographer! I mean this guy has a novel out called Vegemite Vindaloo!! I couldn't feel more honored and just wanted to say thanks David for making me feel a tinge more attractive today! Please check his blog out if you get a chance.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Taking a stand

What other people think or believe is none of my business. It took me a long time to realize that just because a person's opinion on a hot topic differs than mine doesn't mean that I need to cut them out of my life. Usually though, the people in our lives share our sensibilities toward most things.
Something has been bugging me for the last few days. I've received two disturbing emails from someone fairly close to me. I was a part of a group send. I feel that the emails are racist in nature. I replied to the sender and told them that I wasn't interested in receiving these types of emails.
The thing that is bothering me is that a few years ago I would have had a stronger reaction. I might have written a strongly worded email or called this person to let them know exactly how much I opposed the messages or even just stopped speaking to them. I know that those types of reactions are pointless and even futile. But did I react enough? I don't feel at peace with something but I don't know what.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Shameful thoughts

Today at the park, there was a lone man sitting on a bench watching the kids swing. Something about him irked me. The baby swing was free so this was my chance to get Deaglan on.

It’s a terrific park but there is only one baby swing which means there is usually an informal line-up. Parents with kids around Deaglan’s age keep an eye out from wherever they are in the park in wait for it to free up.

There were a lot of parents and kids out, thanks to the balmy weather. But this man sitting alone facing the swings had no children with him, he wasn’t holding anyone’s sippy cup or hat, and wasn't even dressed for the park on a gorgeous spring day.

While I pushed the swing, I periodically looked to the other parents of swinging kids. A few of them also kept glancing over at this man. I don’t know how long he had been sitting there prior to Deaglan and me pulling up, but it was obvious that people were steering their children to other parts of the park.

What kind of grown man sits at a children’s park alone on a busy Saturday? The giddy mindset I’d had all morning vanished and was replaced with suspicion and anger. Is this guy a pervert? Aren’t we supposed to be warned about the release of pedophiles into our community??

Yes, I went all the way there.

My swirling thoughts were now so malignant that I considered approaching some of the other parents to ask if they too were leery of this lone man.

Just then a woman walked toward him and they embraced. I overheard bits of their conversation and apparently he worked at one of the car dealerships across the street and had taken off early to enjoy a nice walk in the park with his wife.

I never felt so ashamed in my life.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Love letter


I wanted to write you a letter today to tell you some things that are on my mind. You were born sixteen months ago today and even though that's not a long time by most standards, I suddenly felt a sense of time slipping away from me. I can't remember when you weren't here.

When I was younger I used to dream about success. I thought that if I just found the right job - my dream job - I would be happy, someone to admire, liked, satisfied, purposeful, and contented. Happiness had been defined to me as what a person does for a living when they grow up. In fact happiness and success were interchangable in this delineation.

But Deaglan when you came into my life, purpose took on a new meaning. The landscape of my mind changed. You are the lense through which I see other children, other people, relationships, every situation, world issues. I really understand now why we have to clean up this earth, stop hating each other, work hard to love, do the right things, stop war and violence, feed the hungry, share our resources and practice kindness.

Happiness is so easy now.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Namesake

Natalie asked me where we found the name Deaglan. The truth is, Shaune found it on the internet. Shaune's first name is actually Patrick after his paternal grandfather. At first we toyed with the idea that should we have a boy we would keep up this tradition maybe name the baby after his paternal grandfather and father. So we were going to call him Patrick William, William being Shaune's dad's name.

A week before our ultrasound we lost our dog Judge. Although he had been living with insulin dependent diabetes for over a year, the loss was sudden and devastating. He was our first baby. I wrote about it here and here . So when we got to the hospital to see our unborn baby in my womb, we were craving some happy news, something that we could get excited about. I mean we were really thrilled about expecting a child but we wanted something immediate to distract us from the heartbreak we were experiencing.

In Ontario, the ultrasound technician is not permitted to tell you the gender of the baby. You have to wait until your next doctor's appointment to find out. However, we were fortunate that our technician was a young mother herself, expecting her second child and she just happened to know one of my sisters from highschool. So although she couldn't tell us whether the little monkey in there was a boy or a girl she gave us enough hints for us to figure it out. I know that there is a 50 per cent chance that you can have one sex or the other but I was completely surprised that I would be having a boy. My sister has had three beautiful girls, Shaune has three sisters and as you know from a past post, my biological siblings are all girls. I guess girls is all I know. We walked out of that hospital and kept saying to each other - can you believe we are having a boy? We must have sounded like fools but we didn't care. This news made the baby seem more real. We were really going to have a baby and he was going to be a he.

At home we discussed the name. Shaune suddenly had a change of heart.

"Do you think we should name him Patrick or go with something else?" he ask me nervously several times.

"It's up to you I like the name."

He went downstairs for a while and came back up with a piece of paper with something written on it.

"What do you think of this?"

On the paper it said DEAGLAN. Without hesitation I told him that I loved it.

"You pronounce it like Declan and it means full of goodness. It's a mix of Irish and English."

So our little he became Deaglan William. And that name has been a pain in the butt ever since. People have no idea how to pronounce it. Our doctor insists on calling him Deeglan (hard g) even though I am completely obnoxious in how many times I say his name within her earshot in one visit. People also call him Deglan (hard g again) and Dee-ag-lan. Because of this Shaune has insisted on more than one occassion that we change his name. Can you imagine?

Doctor: How is DEEGLAN doing?

Me: Uhhh actually it's Jack.

Seriously though I love the name and I think after several years of hating us for giving him this burden of explaining and enunciating he will someday thank us when the girls are ooohing and awwwing about what a cool name he has.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Making friends

There is a journal that gets passed back and forth between us and the daycare each day. They write a brief passage about what Deaglan was up to during his day and then we take it home and write down something about our evening. I had to share this entry with you from yesterday:

One of the educators wrote about Deaglan and his little friend Darius:

Deaglan and Darius gave each other a morning hug. It was not long before they were both rolling around on the mat giggling and laughing together.
Deaglan often holds a toy up in the air and babbles loudly. As soon as we look at him he breaks out in a huge smile full of mischief.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

First name basis

Deaglan still doesn't really say much - that we can understand. I mentioned a few weeks ago that he says "cheez". Recently he's added "teest” which means please. He also says “wrrashssss” which we know to mean Crash (0ur Cat). When he`s really proud of himself he exclaims this “I di ya!” which we strongly believe means I did it!

But I think the most entertaining linguistic development has gotta be that he has begun to call Shaune by first name. A few weeks ago I called to Shaune who was a floor below me. Deaglan echoed me yelling: Shau!! Then he looked at me to see my reaction. I stifled a giggle. I called Shaune again. And again he yelled Shau!! Shaune walked up the stairs, the look on his face, hurt, incredulous.

“Did he just call me Shau?”


“Well don’t let him. I don’t want my son referring to me by first name.”

“What do you want me to do? He is turning into a sponge. He’s gonna copy everything we do and say.”

“Well than start calling me Daddy.”

“Oh please! You’ve got to be kidding.”

A few days later, I forgot and yelled to Shaune again while holding Deaglan. Shau!! he echoed back. I`ve had a good laugh telling our friends and relatives this story.

But then tonight while I was transporting him from the tub to the change table, Deaglan craned his neck out of the warmth of his towel and yelled “Shau!!” Shaune wasn`t even home.

Am I getting the short end of the stick here I started to wonder. Not only had Deaglan been saying dada for a few months, now he was taking the trouble of learning Shaune’s given name. And then there was the Cat. . His first real attempt at communication was with the cat – I captured it on video back in November.

I felt a bit of resentment creeping in. I’m pretty sure the Cat didn’t carry him in his uterus for 41 weeks and three days, or shuffle to and from work when he could barely stand on his swollen extra large feet, listening to people exclaim things like: Are you sure you’re not having triplets, or WOW I’ve never seen boobs so big - you look like you’re gonna fall over!

Would it kill him to throw me a stray “ma-ma” here and there???

Monday, 20 April 2009

Happiness guru

Do you remember ever feeling this kind of happiness? We become so judgement oriented as grown-ups. Certain conditions need to be met; the right people must be there, we must look a certain way, weigh a certain amount, have an X amount of dollars in our bank accounts, and have our dream jobs.

This was Deaglan today when my wonderful friend Erin dropped by with some belated Christmas gifts. I know that he loved the toys she brought him but this look of pure ecstasy - I think that this was all about just lovin life.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Lazy Sunday

Saturday, 18 April 2009

No win

Shaune: What do you want for your birthday?

Me: I told you, I don't want anything.

Shaune: No, the last time you said that we got into a big fight.

Me: That's because you literally got me nothing for my birthday.

Shaune throws up his hands and walks away.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Friday shoot-out Eh?

Reggie at Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff has Friday shoot-outs and the theme today was your hometown eateries. We live in a medium sized city in Ontario and although it isn't our hometown, it's growing on us. We've lived here for about ten years. We miss the beautiful beachfront of where we grew up but this place is special because this is where we got married, and had our son. I had to include this - our national treasure. Tim Horton's or as as we Canadian folk refer to it - a Timmies or Tim's.

This is Joe Kool's and it is specific to the culture of our city. People come here just to have lunch or enjoy the nightclub atmosphere after the kids have gone to bed. We live in a college and university town which means this place is packed throughout the school year with students.

The Tasting Room is lovely restaurant with a wonderful wine list and great food. It's close to where I work and is one of the places workplace occassions are celebrated.

Our city has some really good places to eat but it also is over-run with roadhouse type chain restaurants. Having a resident chef and a baby who is in bed by 7pm, we rarely go out to eat anymore. Mostly you'll find us at home enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Church - part one

I went back to the church.

Well not exactly. I didn’t go back to the Catholic Church. Growing up Catholic I had all the same problems with Catholicism that many people do. The Church’s views on birth control, premarital sex, women as leaders of the church, divorce, gay and lesbian rights, were all opposite mine. After high school I very rarely thought about organized religion but never forgot God.

This changed when Deaglan came along. I started to think about baptism. I had been baptized but Shaune had not. I spoke to him about my growing desire to get the baby baptized. He completely surprised me by saying he would leave the decision to me.

Shaune has had some strong opinions about organized religion. When I listened to his arguments sometimes I wondered if he thought all religions were really cults in disguise. But mostly I could understand why he felt so strongly; you wouldn’t have to look much further than the nightly news to see all the insane things people will do in the name of religion.

We talked about it several times over a few months. We both agreed that it would be nice to get to know some of the people in our community and to be more involved in charitable work. We also thought it would give Deaglan a spiritual foundation which he could choose to carry on when he got older. But we felt it was important to set some boundaries. We were dead set against joining any church that might judge us or others, or tell us how to behave or ask us to impose our beliefs on others.

We found the United Church of Canada.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The shallow end

A colleague came by my work cube today and commented on the pictures of Deaglan.

"He looks just like you." she said.

My heart did a little leap.

It's funny how you take an opinion like this as a compliment. Both Shaune and I hear comments like these all the time. We've noticed that people think the baby looks like the person they know better. So if it is a friend or family member of mine they usually think Deaglan looks just like me and the same goes for Shaune if they know him better.

I'm surprised by this aspect of parenthood. I'm sort of embarrassed that I am absolutely thrilled when I hear that my son looks like me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Shaune whipped out the zoom lens tonight to get a close-up of this pregnant mama Robin. I've been trying to get Deaglan to notice the different birds that come into our yard. It paid off because he squealed with recognition when he saw her land on our deck.

There were also some doves in our small garden snacking on something - Shaune hopes not his garlic shoots which have started to make an appearance.

It made me think about my birth mother. Her name was Cobu. I don't remember her face all that well - it's been just over 30 years since I last saw it. It was the night that my sister and I had our very first ride in a car.

By that time, our mother, Cobu had been living in the streets with our two baby sisters surviving by cooking meals for people in exchange for scraps of food to feed her babies. Our father had kicked her out of the little mud hut telling her she had to take the babies and leave us two older girls with him to help out. She had allegedly been unfaithful to him. That's what he told all of the neighbours. That's what I believed for a long time.

Our family was extremely poor, my father pulled a rickshaw for a living, and we were Muslim. After she left, we rarely saw our mother. I remember feeling angry at her for not coming back. I was so young. A few times one of her brothers would come and take us to her when our father wasn't around. I remember pleading with her to come home or at least take us with her. It must have been so hard for her to hear us cry.

Then one day she had us brought to her again. This time she took us to a place where a Canadian woman fed us. This woman was either a missionary or a social worker and she told my mother that there was a place she could take my sister and me. A place where we would be safe, clothed and fed. My mother knew that we had not been eating, she knew that we had been begging on the streets, and she knew that she had to do something. I don't think it happened that day but soon after we were again brought to that place. This time we were bathed and given clothes. There are so many details about this that I remember because the experience was so fresh and different from what we had been living...and it was the last time I ever saw Cobu.

My older sister and I were taken to an orphanage in Dhaka (a two day boat ride away). We never saw or heard from our mother again. Once in the orphanage we were adopted within several months and flown to Canada.

I never appreciated her life as much as when I had my own child. It's clear to me that the reason our father exiled her from our home was because she kept giving birth to daughters. The shame that it brought to him he put on her by telling everyone including us that she was unfaithful. I can't imagine the courage it took to find a way to save our lives, to give us up because it would give us a better life than the one we were living.

When I saw the pregnant mama Robin tonight and the snacking doves I thought about her. I thought about her while I fed my baby, while I read him a story, while I bathed him and rocked him to sleep. I thought about how her name Cobu means dove in Bengali.

Monday, 13 April 2009

I'd like to thank the academy...

My friend Kelly over at My Voice, My View surprised me with the Lemonade Award. I'm so thrilled - it's my very first blog recognition. I love visiting Kelly's blog - which I do on most days. We've become fast friends.

The rules for receiving this award are as follows:
1. Put it on your blog.
2. Nominate 7 blogs that show great gratitude/attitude.
3. Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they've received it by leaving a comment on their blog.

I would like to nominate:
-Reggie over at Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff whose blog raises money for her local animal shelter.
-Kate at Blogging is my only vice whose posts are honest, funny and thought provoking.
-Kari at I left my heart at preschool who just did a great birthday post
-Heather at And now I'm a grownup because she always makes me smile with her great observations of life
-Kat at My girls and me who has two adorable little girls
-Michelle over at Looming in Tucson who is pregnant with her second baby and still finds time to sew and post
And Syd at I'm just F.I.N.E. whose blog I go to for inspiration on a daily basis.

I'm appreciative of all the friends I've met in this kind of weird but fun community.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Gone baby...gone

Today I learned a few things. Like the fact that my baby is quickly entering into toddler-hood and that I need to stop wearing my low-rise jeans with my full figured granny briefs. Too much information? Please hear me out.

Before doing some grocery shopping, I decided to compete for the Greatest Mom Award and take Deaglan to the park, then to the toystore and then to the bookstore.
When we got to the park I was completely unprepared for the wind. Literally unprepared. I had Deaglan outfitted in a very light jacket and baseball hat. Earlier when I checked, the sun was shining and I was fooled into dressing for a warm spring day. So, realizing it was too late to turn back - he'd already spotted the swings - I decided to do a very shortened version of going to the park. We spent a few minutes on the swings, climbed up to the big tin symbol so he could bang it around like a crazed lunatic (you wouldn't believe the wild look he gets on his face while pounding on what looks like the top of a metal garbage can), and then finally, did two runs down the slide together. After this I let him know that it was time to go back to the car.

Fit number one and exhibit A of bad jeans/granny underwear combo: He dropped to his knees right there on the pavement and began screeching and crying at me. Only seconds earlier I was holding his hand so now it looked like I was dragging him along. I looked around to see if anyone was watching this amazing new ability he had developed. What was this? A tantrum? When did these start? Ever so carefully I bent down, pulling my t-shirt down over my now very visible enormous light-blue briefs, grabbed the kid, scanned the park to see if anyone was snickering or worse yet coming toward me with the fashion police to make an arrest.

Determined to at least be a runner-up in my make-believe parent-pageant I headed to Toys R Us where I plopped him down in front of the Thomas the Train display while I scrutinized the shelves trying to decide on an addition to our growing Thomas collection. Once decided, I went over, grabbed Deaglan and headed toward the check-out.

Fit number two and exhibit B of terrible jean-underwear combo: This time he arched his back and I had to decide whether to drop the diaper bag and train parts or drop him. Of course I chose the former but this meant I had to bend over again and show what seemed like every family within a 10 km radius my hideous fashion choices.

I hurriedly paid for the toy and lugged the package, diaper bag and wailing boy next door to the bookstore/Starbucks with the aim of quieting him down with a drink and snack. Wouldn't you know it that the only empty chairs were in front of their Thomas the train display. While I rifled through the diaper bag he walked right over to a little girl and grabbed the Percy engine she was holding. The little girl understandably started crying but instead of giving it back my little angel started screaming at her. Who was this and where was my sweet little baby??

I finally did get the grocery shopping done but not without a ton of bribary - I handed over the car keys, my cell phone, an empty raisin box, a pack of gum and even my wallet to keep the child from throwing another of these fits justifying this by telling myself that when I got home I would research some parenting sites and prepare myself for this new phase of mommy-hood. I also made a mental note to go underwear shopping.
I'm home now and I am spent!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Biker gang

We went for our first bike ride today. It isn't super warm here (only about 4 degrees celcius when we went) but we just couldn't wait any longer. Shaune and I treated ourselves to some brand new bikes and I had found this bike trailer on kijiji last fall.

Last year Deaglan was small enough to still nap in the stroller so I walked everywhere. It was great. Now that he's raring to go he hates the jogging stroller and it is more of an excercise in patience than just plain excercise to take him for a walk.

He loved the chariot (bike trailer) and he looked so cute sitting in there with his little helmet on. We kept stopping to make sure he was okay. A friend had told me that when she first took her daughter for a spin she had thrown up. As for Shaune and I it was a pretty good indicator of just how out of shape we let ourselves get over this long Canadian winter.

We're looking forward to a fun spring and summer on the bikes.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

38 Things

About me.

1. I love motherhood.
2. I spent $101.00 on my wedding dress.
3. I am deathly afraid of an insect (and it's not spiders).
4. My biological sister and I were adopted into the same family when we were 8 and 7 respectively.
5. I don't have much of a desire to travel.
6. I do want to someday take my husband and son to India.
7. I've been to Graceland.
8. I've been watching Law and Order since 1990.
9. I only wear eyeliner and mascara.
10. I loved living in Tucson Arizona when I was 12, 13 and 14.
11. I don't like when people make any sort of intolerant remarks (about race, sexual orientation, country of origin, physical appearance etc.)
12. My best friend is Shaune.
13. I have loved a dog with all my heart.
14. I try everyday to be peaceful, kind and loving.
15. I don't always succeed at #14.
16. I am reading a Course in Miracles right now.
17. I don't mind my job.
18. I would like to be able to write for a living.
19. I try to remember to be grateful most days.
20. I live within my means.
21. I liked college better than university.
22. I haven't slept more than six hours straight in more than two years.
23. My middle name is Rohima which was my first name until I was seven.
24. I wish I still remembered how to speak Bengali.
25. I have four brothers and two sisters in North America and I have two sisters somewhere in Asia.
26. I would never survive on Survivor.
27. I like my life.
28. I think I am a good friend.
29. I believe that forgiveness brings healing.
30. I love bargains!
31. I love red wine.
32. My favourite body parts (of me) are my feet and my nose.
33. I strive to listen more and talk less when in a conversation.
34. I really enjoy humour.
35. I like my thirties.
36. My favourite time of year is spring.
37. I wish we could all get along.
38. I will be 38 in a few weeks.

39. I feel like my greatest accomplishments so far are the birth of my two sons.
40. I wished I'd told Matthew that I loved him more often.

I would love to know some things about you. Feel free to use your age as the number of things. If I've tagged you please comply only if you feel like it!


Monday, 6 April 2009

Fifteen month shots

Deaglan had to get his 15 month immunizations today. Because he was still developing his memory, in past appointments the drama didn't begin till after the first needle.

But not today.

As soon as we walked into the office his grip on me became stronger. Before I could get his coat off or slip into the mandatory slippers so as not to dirty the floor, Nurse Louise told me to bring him back. That's when he began to cry. His recognition of the examining room and memory of the events that took place within turned his crying into wailing. And because he's been so sick of late I needed the doctor to give him a quick check-up before the needles. And this meant looking into his throat.
He went crazy.

I assumed the position (while he sat facing outward on my lap, I used one of my arms to lock his two arms to his side and used my other to hold him steady across the forehead)while the doctor took her popsicle stick and pressed his tongue down. I'm sure it sounded like we were performing some sort of ancient bloodletting ritual to
anyone just walking in for their appointment.

Not soon enough after the check-up Nurse Louise came back in (a very sweet yet no nonsense grandmother type) and gave me the signal to assume the next position. While I held his body down with mine on the examining table, I used one of my hands to steady the leg in which the first needle would go and once done did the same to the other leg. All the while I forgot any trepidation I had about my singing voice and was belting out a very robust rendition of Raffi's* Robin in the Rain to try and distract my now hysterical boy.

The singing clearly wasn't taking it's intended effect even after the needles were dispensed and I needed to come up with something else to at least re-direct his attention.

Just then I remembered cheese.

His favourite food and his favourite word. I grabbed the ziploc I had filled with little cheese cubes and showed him. As if it was some magical antidote, the kid stopped crying. He smiled his 8-tooth grin and said "Cheez!" He gobbled down a piece and said "Cheez" again. I had him. I was able to hat, coat and shoe him and get the hell out of that doctor's office.

We go back at 18 months.

*Raffi is a wonderful Canadian children's musician that both Shaune and I grew up listening to. His music works minor miracles on long car rides.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

My heart

I still miss Deaglan when I'm at work. I have my work space covered with snapshots of him as you can probably guess. But there are moments each day when I feel a wave of separation that feels like a physical wound. Last night after work as we were all three playing in the living room, I felt such joy just watching him laugh at my husband's antics. I feel so grateful for the two of them in my life!

Friday, 3 April 2009

The apple and the tree

My friend Kelly over at My voice, my view tagged me to do a post on picky eating. My journey in this area has only begun and I'm already feeling defeated on a daily basis.

The surprising thing is that Deaglan is the offspring of two very enthusiastic eaters. Shaune and I spend a good portion of our time either planning what we're going to eat, preparing what we're going to eat, or eating. It's a love we share. Shaune is the best cook I've ever known. (Check out his recipes over at the Cook's table) When we were new, food was central to our falling for each other. We went through all sorts of phases - different restaurants had us hooked, Indian, Italian, diners, breakfast food, seafood, sushi, steak houses - you name it we would try it.
Shaune is a very generous cook. He gets pleasure from watching people enjoy what he has made. Often I've said to him - I don't know what you would've done if you ended up with a picky eater for a partner. It wouldn't have happened he always replies.

So it has been quite heartbreaking for him when our pint-sized dictator won't even taste the hand-breaded chicken fingers before throwing them on the floor or refuses to open his mouth to try the homemade butternut squash soup his dad has worked all afternoon to make.

I really hope this changes. For now there are a few things Deaglan won't say no to. I'm embarrassed and ashamed to tell you that a lot of them include sugar and deep frying. He loves the chicken nuggets that McDonald's makes and will gobble up chocolate chips if I offer them. He also loves cheese - in fact it's the one word he's been saying lately. Cheese! He also tolerates yogurt, pizza and bacon on most days. I'll tell you one thing. My idea of good parenting certainly has changed over the last year and a half. You won't find me judging other parents easily!

Just to continue this fun I would like to tag my friend Jenn over at Monkeyland.