Sunday, 27 October 2013


Today, I got a preview of some of the anxiety and sleeplessness that surely awaits me in Nicolas's future. Not only is he rough-and-tumble, but he is defiant and loves to get me riled up.

It begins innocently enough, with some sensory exploration (banging metal cars on windows, tables, chairs, walls, etc.) and distance measurements (throwing metal cars - and food - down the stairs, across the room, at people's heads, etc.). He then takes a pause to see my expression: if I ignore him, he soon gets bored and moves on to some other seemingly random, but potentially intentional, act of home destruction. If, however, he sees my eyes widen, a gasp leave my mouth, or my body move to stop him, his eyes twinkle and he smiles. He then poses, yes POSES, as if to repeat the action!! Today, he was threatening to dive off the couch. I was on the floor, he was bouncing on the couch, and it's as if he noticed that I was a little worried he'd fall. So he started putting his hands up in the air, going towards the edge, and acting as if he were going to fall, ON PURPOSE, to see me worry. He thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

Of course, the stuff we learn in our Psych 101 class leads us to believe that he is just looking for attention, that if we give him positive reinforcement during other, safer pursuits, he will look to obtain attention that way.



I can already see that this will be the boy who initiates me into another dimension of worry. It seems that it wasn't enough to worry about Sebastian's sensitivity and fears, and Lucas not doing well in school: I had to spawn a boy who will dare-devil his way through life so that I could experience the full spectrum of motherhood angst.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

distance makes the heart forget

Nothing is stronger than a mother's bond, right? Well, I have my doubts.

I was away for work this past week, and when I finally got home yesterday, my dear, sweet baby Nic didn't want me. When I picked him up, he kept reaching out for daddy.

It was devastating.

And completely unfair.

Hubby said it's normal, that I was away for so long, of course it will take him awhile.


Five days can have that effect??


He's 18 months old, and I take care of him A LOT. Much more than his father, on a regular basis. I gave birth to him, nursed him for a year, and I am actually quite indulgent with him, yet, five days away, and I am already forgotten, no longer wanted.

I seriously question the concept that the mother-child bond is absolute, strong and undeniable, just because it's the mother. I continue to suspect that whomever takes care of the child is the one to receive the attachment and extra special love. And since it's been mothers who've done this for millennia, the belief is quite engrained. And that it is simply a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And then I wonder if I shouldn't have chosen to be a stay-at-home mom. But I know that an increase in open displays of love and affection is not a good enough reason. What, I should stay home so that my kids love me more? What kind of reason is that? THAT is selfish. People always try to imply that only selfish mothers work instead of stay home with their children; I know that my children would NOT be in better hands with me not working. I see it every summer when I am home for three months: by the end of every August, I become a grumpy, yelling freak always on the verge of hysteria.

Damned if I do, forgotten if I don't.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


After being MIA for the past long while, I've decided to return to my mommy blog. Still exhausted, stressed, and seemingly with no time to write, but, alas, a little is better than nothing, no?

I am hopelessly in love with baby no. 3. No, it's not favoritism, but I do feel more love for him than the other two. I would never say I love him more, no... But when I look at him, my whole body just fills with intense emotion. I want to touch him, squeeze him, look at him, marvel at all that he does, is. He is just super special, perfect. It's a miracle that he walks, breathes, runs, utters any sound at all. And he is growing, and he has his own personality. He learns things, and is playful. He'll banter and engage me, teasing me, and responding to my teasing him.


And to think that I felt this all before with the other two.

Did I appreciate them the way I appreciate him? I certainly hope so. Because if not, that means that I may very well be spoiling my baby, my third, the infamous last child. And, it also means that everyone is right: that it all passes too quickly and that I ought to appreciate every single second.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

note to pre-pregnant self

Brilliant posting: I always say, I never knew as much about child-rearing as when I didn't have kids.

Incredible how humbling becoming a parent is.

I used to fight the clichés, refuse to even consider that I might become like my mother, that it's not REALLY the "toughest job in the world"; that there might be anything worth "wait and see" before making my blanket decisions and judgments on how I would act and react in all the various challenges of child-rearing. Now, I see what others see as the craziest acts of parenting, and I don't bat an eyelid. As a colleague says, when she sees a mom spanking her kid, she feels sorry for the MOM wondering what craziness was it that made her get to that point in PUBLIC.

I do think the article might need an addendum: the judgments return to older people whose children are grown. A curtain is drawn over their memories and they remember the good old days with a mixture of hubris and nostalgia, often with little empathy for the difficulties of the daily grind.

I hope my blog, and my near-incessant woe-recordings will help me remember just how tough it was, and help me be a kind "older" mom when the time comes.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

feeling the love

I am feeling with number 3 what I feel like I never felt with number 1 or 2. Is that possible? Or have I simply forgotten? Can motherhood be so potently in-the-moment that even a few months or years later, one cannot conjure up a "few seconds in the emotions of"?

Let me explain:

When Nicolas looks at me and his eyes follow me around the room, I feel like a real mother, the cliché, mommy-help-email-spam type mom. The kind that they talk about in poems and "what to expect" books. Like I am the single most important person in the world (well, to this little being, of course).

When I look at Nicolas, it feels like my body expands, like the love fills up the cells in my body and I physically grow.

When our gazes meet and lock, symbiosis basically is complete; he is me, I am him.

It's not that I love him more, not at all. In fact, I probably neglect him more than I ever did Sebastian and Lucas.

What I think is happening is that the anxious, mildly neurotic, desperate-to-do-the-right-thing side of me is gone. These aspects have floated away, and all that is left is the impatient, daily-grind, hormonal mother who feels little else besides exhaustion and pure love.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

a mom who drinks and swears

I make fun of the fact that I've come to understand alcoholism since becoming a mom.

It sounds like I am disdaining motherhood. But really, I am praising alcohol.

Really, though, wow. When consumed within reason, it is really a godsend. After a long day of keeping it together (or trying to), of attempting to satisfy multiple people's needs, of fulfilling a myriad of responsibilities, wearing "the professional mask," nothing is better than a beer or a glass of wine at dinner to just unwind, and let it all go: the pretense, the effort, the mind-race, the pressure.

And when I have a drink, I laugh more, I enjoy my kids more, I am a better mom because I am more relaxed.

I do see why it is a fine line between drinking for some peace, unwinding at the end of a stressful day, and drinking to escape reality. And if it weren't for hubby who is really anal about the latter, I think I might actually have to be careful. Thankfully, though (I think), I doubt it will ever get out of hand, because hubby will be there to keep me in check.

For the time being, cheers! :)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

teaching appreciation?

Is it possible?

My kids act like spoiled brats. They ARE spoiled brats.

And I don't know how that happened. Is it that slippery of a slope to spoildom? Most of what I put in front of them to eat, they whine.

Every night at bedtime, Sebastian has a meltdown.

If as a special treat, I get some ice cream popsicles, Sebastian complains because he wants another one.

When I re-arrange my whole day, bend over backwards to get them to a birthday party, with gift in hand, and ready to play, they come home and have meltdown after meltdown.


I do think that experience more than words is the methodology of choice when it comes to learning. But what am I supposed to do, starve them so they appreciate my meals? Throw away all their toys so that they appreciate the abundance in their life? Do nothing for them so they understand how much time and effort I expend to make them happy? Telling them that most children in the world don't have half of what they have is useless, they can't conceptualize things they've never seen. So what am I supposed to do?!

I can't wait until I can send them on a service-learning trip - send them do some hard labor in a poor country where people with a fraction of what they have are happier and more generous. But alas, they are 5 and 4 years old. It will be a few years yet.

The only thing that keeps me going is that when they are out and about, they are absolute angels - they are only spoiled brats with me. As they say, a true measure of whether a parents is doing a good job is the way they act and behave when they're out in the world.

So maybe I AM doing something right.

Crossing my fingers, that's for sure.