Saturday, 25 September 2010


Even though I knew it was coming it still catches me off guard when it happens. Deaglan is 'becoming' his father. Like when we were on our way to the bookstore the other day he piped up from the backseat and asked Mommy can we listen to some tunes? And when I asked him what he wanted to listen to he requested The Crash crash dummies (The Crash Test Dummies is a favourite Canadian band of Shaune's from the early 90's)

I've read some on the father-son relationship and understand the specialness of that bond. I know that it's imperative for them to do the wrestling and rough and tumble play that comes so naturally between them even though sometimes I want peace and quiet.

Like a lot of people we have lots of pet names for each other in this family. I can't even remember all the silly little names I used to call Deaglan when he was an infant. The only one that's stuck is Puppy. Shaune almost never refers to him as Deaglan but calls him things like Sir and Word (what???), Doodley and Dude. And I can count on my hands the number of times I've ever called the baby Naveen. Mostly it's stinker, or stinkerbum, or bumsie (I honestly don't know why) or bumsen. Poor kid, if he knew what I was saying he'd surely have a complex.

And Shaune refers to the Cat not by his name Crash but other petnames like Sniggs, Sass and Mr. Cougie. Often when he walks by the cat he'll say something like Take it easy Snibs.

A few nights ago I had to shake my head and call Shaune at work. Deaglan asked me where Crash was. Then he said Mommy, where's Sniggs? Then with a smile creeping onto his lips Where's Sass? When he spotted the cat he said Take it easy Mr. Cougie.

Sheesh! I can't wait to see what quirks of Shaune's Naveen takes on.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The conversations I'm having

Deaglan: Mommy what's that?

Me: A street cleaner.

Deaglan: What's it doing?

Me: Cleaning the street.

Deaglan: Why?

Me: Because the street is dirty.

Deaglan: Why?

Me: Because the cars drive on it and make it dirty.

Deaglan: Why?

Me: Because they have dirt on their tires that fall on the road.

Deaglan: Why?

Me: Because it does.

Deaglan: But why Mommy?

Me: Oh Honey look there's a firetruck!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

An apology to my friends

Dear friends with no children or friends with children who are old-enough-so-that-you-don't- remember-this-stage,

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry you decided to call me and had to deal with all that it has entailed lately:
  • The threatening of time-outs

  • The counting to three

  • The non-stop talk of pee and poop

  • The screaming

  • The crying

  • The thinking that I was talking to you when I was actually talking to Deaglan or Naveen

  • The non-stop talking about Deaglan or Naveen

  • That I act as if I am the first woman to ever have two children

  • The repeating of stories I might have already told you - I can't keep it straight these days who I've told that Deaglan is doing really well on the potty and who I haven't - I'm sure it was riveting the first time I told you!

  • That I forgot to ask you how you are doing

  • That when you asked if you should let me go - I said No I'm good

  • That I talk so fast and cut you off because I'm DESPERATE for some good adult conversation

Please understand and promise we'll still be friends. I should be back to my adult self in a few years. Also, if you want to save yourself the headache then email or text me. I gotta go, Naveen will wake up if I don't keep walking.



Here's a picture I took of myself with the pc cam. Clearly I am not ashamed to show you what my stay-at-home mommy self looks like these days. I've been going between the Snuggli (gifted to me from Erin), the Moby (gifted to me from my wonderful team at work) and this back pack (gifted to us from Shaune's cousin) to get things done around here.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

What they said

I love reading novels especially when it's clear that the author has been profoundly affected by parenthood. Skilled writers just know how to say things we all feel in a way that when we read something their characters say or feel, we are left with that feeling of ahhhh, I'm not the only one or yeah, I've been there. Jodi Picoult and Thrity Umrigar have touched me in this way.

Without sounding like a broken record again, I think I've said a few times that Naveen is not a talented sleeper yet. I'm exhausted most days. I thought that I could stomach trying the crying-it-out method but I was wrong. So we're back to co-sleeping which really isn't working. He can never sleep for longer than a forty minute stretch. Yada, yada, yada.

Despite this I'm constantly amazed at how motherhood gifts us with this special perspective. Even without a full hour of sleep most nights, I fall deeper and deeper in love with Naveen every day. With almost no effort I can elicit the most wonderful toothless grins. Grins that leave me smiling to myself like a fool, grins that warm me from my toes all the way up. And I'm not sure who I will ever convince to watch the reels of video I've taken this past week of him almost rolling over but to this mother, these small feats are glorious accomplishments.

Umrigar said through one of her characters about feeding her hungry child, it was as if you were being filled up yourself. I've felt this. On days when I can get a well balanced nutritious meal into Deaglan, it's as if I've been nourished myself. Those days are few with my picky eater.

And Picoult in one of her novels said that we spend much of our lives looking for our true loves in a partner only to realize that our real true loves are our children.

It's hard not to feel like I'm truly home when I look at my two boys.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Who's running this show anyways?

Isn't it amazing how life just happens anyway even when it isn't on your to-do list?

Here's what I mean.

My goal was to start taking the task of potty training Deaglan seriously in the last six months of my maternity leave. I figured that by then Naveen might be sleeping a bit through the night and I would have the energy to roll-up my sleeves and really focus on reaching this milestone.

But life had other plans for me.

Deaglan developed this crazy diaper rash a few weeks ago - the first one that wasn't related to teething. We went to the doctor twice about it, coming home with a different remedy each time. Both times we were instructed to let him go commando around the house as often as possible to let his skin breathe. Although we did instruct Deaglan to let us know if he had to go, planning to hustle him to the potty each time, we had no idea that within a few days he would potty train himself. Yesterday he ran into the living room and said Mommy come and see what I did. Gulp! I thought I was going to be lead to the kitchen with the entire contents of the fridge on the floor or something disastrous like that but instead he lead me to the potty where he had peed perfectly within the confines of the vessel.

I think you all know where I'm going with this. There may be sleep in my future!

Monday, 6 September 2010

No one cares what you look like - you're a parent!

That's what Shaune said to me when I hesitated before putting on sneakers and white socks with my jersey top and leggings. We were in Toronto on the weekend for a mini vacation and as you can see from this picture Shaune took from Centre Island, it was cold and wet, not conducive to barefeet in sandals.
We hadn't taken any time away yet this year, since we were busy preparing for and welcoming Naveen into our lives. Shaune had originally asked me if I wanted to go to Toronto several weeks ago but I just couldn't bring myself to go to that place where Matthew had been last.
But then I remembered that it was Matt who was excited last summer about Deaglan being old enough to take to Centre Island, an amusement park mostly for toddlers.

So we booked a room and created a kid-friendly itinerary and headed toward the big city with little thought to Hurricane Earl and how he might impact our trip. It was cold, windy and rainy but we stuck to our schedule.

Naveen slept throughout most of the two days. But Deaglan had a blast. We told him that we would be riding on a boat and trains and boy was he stoked. Here he is with Shaune on the ferry over to the Island.

The second day we bought a day pass for the subway and gave him a good dose of train riding. Every time we were ground level, he wanted to know where the trains went. Shaune and I took turns of honing our explanation skills about how the subway is under the ground - under the ground we were walking on right then.

In the morning while I was feeding and changing Naveen, Shaune and Deaglan went outside to explore downtown Toronto. Apparently a truck broke down in front of a streetcar and there was a bit of a kerfuffle. When they returned to the hotel room, Deaglan excitedly told me about the blue truck that was stuck in front of the choo-choo train (he wouldn't make the fine distinction between streetcars and trains despite our constant reminder). He continued to talk about this all day and when we were home last night and I asked him about his favourite part of the trip he again told me all about the blue truck being stuck in front of the choo-choo train.
No mention of the expensive hotel room we stayed in, or the meals, or even the trains we rode around for no reason other than his entertainment.

I thought about my brother almost every minute of our trip. I didn't know him at all in that environment, his environment. I looked out into the water where he had his final moments. It left me sad and lonely. And I passed by a constant stream of Starbucks wondering each time if it was the one he got his morning coffee before heading into work each morning. I let myself cry when we passed an open market downtown, not sure if I just wanted to imagine that he might have done some shopping there on a Saturday morning or if he might have told me he did.

I mourned that we would never take our boys there to visit their Uncle.

It was one of those trips that might be more fun to remember. Four people in a hotel room when one of them is an infant who only sleeps during the day, a toddler who suddenly developed a high fever, a mother who usually prides herself on being prepared for anything but not prepared for that and a father who was almost asleep when woken and told to go find a pharmacy to buy children's tylenol.
And on the drive home, I went back to what Shaune said about people seeing me only as a parent now. I couldn't decide if it upset me or not. I did the mental checklist:
  • Two kids
  • Snacks and kleenex in my purse
  • Raffi playing on cd player
  • Minivan
  • Getting excited to ride the subway just because your toddler son is crazy about trains

Of all the things people could see me as, well, it could be worse I guess.