Saturday, 31 December 2011

funny things the boys are saying now...

In Italian:

"Devo gomitare!" in lieu of "Devo vomitare" (Sebastian & Lucas)

"Che buono questa cadrega!" (Lucas)

"Papaaaaa, voglio una Ferraaaaarrriiii" (Sebastian, in his long whiny voice)

"Uffffffaa" (Sebastian, in replacement of the F-word which he just stopped using!?!?!)

"Mommy, if you say the f-word, I'm going to call the policeman." (Lucas, after hearing me curse on the phone with a friend)

Using "why" instead of "because". Example: "Lucas, why did daddy pick you up from the pool today?" Answer: "Why when I big, I gonna be a fireman!"

They make me laugh at least a few times a day.

the dark side

I did it. Yes. I did the unthinkable. The blasphemous. The biggest no-no in current parenting theory. I forced the boys to eat their porridge.

By forcing I mean they sat at the kitchen table all morning, I took away all their toys, I put them on time-out, I even spanked Sebastian. Then, I served Sebastian the same porridge for lunch. Yup. I admit it. I committed the very worst crime in the eternal food control battles with a pre-schoolers. I knew as my anger escalated that it was a losing battle. That a parent never wins. That legions of traumatized adults with food issues trace the source of their woes to that infamous meal, day, week, where their parents did not let them leave the table until they ate all their disgusting meal.

Alas, once again, I am humbled by the gargantuan task of parenting with patience, reason, love, nurturing, and wherewithal. I humbly ask the greater universe for forgiveness: for the cruelty I subjected Sebastian to yesterday, for the judgment I have dished out to all other parents, ever, for the merciless criticism of my own mother who blamed her outbursts on my crazy-driving-antics of childhood.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

silver lining?

Hubby's brother has been married to a royal b**ch for the past 10 years. I won't even get into the details of why she is one. Suffice to say that I've seen her three times since moving here: once when I first arrived, once at my wedding, once at her son's baptism, then at father-in-law's funeral. Never again. Who the heck knows what she has against us...

Anyway, she sent a letter to my bro-in-law requesting a divorce. Out of the blue. Demanding he leave, give her money, and see his son only every 2 weeks. It's going to be messy, unfortunately, and their sweet son (who I've only seen 3 times as well!), is in the middle.

Bro-in-law is lucky to have her out of his life, but I am so sorry that he is at risk of losing his son and the house that he built with such love and dedication. The silver lining, however, is that MAYBE, we will be able to see Yannic now, since she can't control what bro-in-law does when he has their son. He can come visit and our kids can play more! Cousins! Family! Yeah!!

Crossing my fingers the war ends without too many casualties...

firemen help Santa Claus

Yesterday I had one of those precious mother/wife moments that I will never forget. Pride, love, sweetness, adoration, laughter...

Hubby was working at the fire station, and the asilo teachers asked him if he could stage a Santa-saving episode for the kids. At first we was annoyed, but he agreed. The kids had no idea what was in store. They were told that Santa Claus was coming to visit them at school. They walked out of the asilo, and saw that Santa was stuck on the roof! He couldn't get down the chimney! So Sonia, Sebastian's teacher suggested they call the firemen. Meanwhile, Tiziano and his crew were waiting down the street. When Sonia called them, the firetrucks put the sirens on and came racing down the street. Oh my god, you should have seen how excited the kids were, I cannot even begin to describe Lucas's excitement. He could barely move his face, he was in such rapture. I have actually never seen him this "emozionato"! He was happy, yet surprised, excited, but frozen with disbelief, Santa, firemen, the new firetruck, and his daddy all in one episode... It was the most beautiful moment I have experienced as a mother and wife so far. Every time I think of it, even now, I tear up. Sebastian was happy in a typical child way, smiling, happy, laughing, but Lucas was beside himself.

I brought mother-in-law with me to see it, and she too was touched and moved.

What a beautiful, beautiful day.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Italian doctors

So I call and call and call this doctor who is supposed to be an awesome pediatric allergologist (for Lucas's allergies).

No answer ever.

Then I send an sms. (already, you must be thinking WTF? an sms to a doctor???) I get an answer saying, "If you want, I can see him on Monday at 10am." I sms saying that's not a good time, if she has any other time. Silence. I sms again questioning whether she had a chance to look at her agenda. Silence. Hubby tells me that she must have been offended that I didn't bow down and be ever so grateful that she tried to squeeze me in, bla, bla, f**king bla.

WTF????? First of all, she's private, and she doesn't have a friggin secretary. Second of all, I have to send her a goddamn text message. Third of all, if I don't immediately rearrange all my life around her random appointment, then she ignores me? WTF?? WTF?? What is wrong with this goddamn country, this goddamn system? With people in general??? With Italians in particular????

So, because she is apparently so difficult to get a hold of, I am going to have to rearrange my whole f***king life to see her, pay her too much, under the table. If she prescribes f***king antihistamines/cortisone or tells me it's f**king dust or tomatoes, I swear, I am going to explode.

ARGH!!!!!! I am HATING this country right now!!!

Italian marriages?

I just can't stand Italian marriages. Italian couples. Italian marriage dynamics. It's such b*llsh*t. I am considered lucky. And apparently my hubby makes an effort compared to most Italian men, even to his father. But wtf, why can't men and women have normal conversations? Why the stereotype of female moodiness and nagging, when it's the men who are grumpier when tired, who don't want to talk about anything when they get home from work, who bust chops about how well the house is kept or not. My hubby is considered one of the better ones, but holy f*** do I get frustrated when finally I've put the kids to bed, and can sit on the couch with hubby, can talk without interruptions, can spend some *quality* time, that hubby goes mute. First computer and windsurfing BS. Then the TV goes on. And I can't even talk during commercials! WTF???? WTF????? Every goddamn evening. What kind of f**king marriage is this? And I am one of the lucky ones? We are two adults, we share the same bed, we live together, our lives are completely intertwined, and we can't have a f**king conversation.

I'm sick of this. And I am one of the lucky ones. F***.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

daddy is bigger, daddy is stronger


Tonight, Sebastian called to me to say that his coloring book at school was ripped. I told him I would look at it tomorrow. Lucas said, "Mommy can't fix things. Ask daddy." They subsequently started fighting about who was better, stronger, could fix things. Sebastian vigorously defending my fix-it skills. Lucas vigorously saying daddy is a man, daddy is bigger, daddy is stronger.

Lucas is painfully obsessed with hubby. Often it's funny, usually it's convenient, occasionally it hurts, and sometimes, rarely, it fills me with self-pity. What's the point of motherhood if not even in the toddler/pre-school years, I get that adoring unconditional love that is reserved for mothers?! Isn't that supposed to be the just recompense for pregnancy, childbirth, nursing and years of sacrifice? The feeling, and eventually the memory of that unconditional need for mother's nurturing, cuddles, love, care?

Hopefully, number 3 will take after Sebastian. I just have to resign myself to the fact that Lucas will be pretty much a write-off. No future relationship there... :(

a woman's work is never done

DISCLAIMER: I have a husband who helps more in every way than any other husband I have ever seen, anywhere.

The injustice - or the sheer power - of it all.

A woman will always do more, even when she does less. Case in point: I used to work full-time. When I came home (mind you, to a home-cooked meal and all the laundry done), hubby clocked out. Weekends, hubby clocked out to go windsurfing. The logic being I wanted to spend any spare time I could with my kids, who I didn't get a chance to see during the week, AND that all the extra time hubby had taking care of the house made him tired of being around the kids, therefore deservedly off duty.

However, now that I work part-time, when hubby works the full day, the logic then is that I should do everything at home, because he's worked the whole day. He clocks out when he gets home at 5:30 (did I mention that when I worked full-time I would wake up at 6am, get home at 6:30pm). And on top of that, he's grumpy, and I can't ask him to do anything, because he's tired.

Then there's the injustice that these days, his work is physical. Mine is mental. In other words, physical work is harder than mental work. Always. He hasn't read the stats on stress. Or the physical work of creating another human being inside me. Nah, that's nothing.

Same goes in the summer. In the summer, he works at the windsurf school. I am at home full-time. This means I must do everything: laundry, cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc.

And the most annoying part of this is that I am not allowed to complain. Most men do even less. Most women do even more. Backwards and with heels. I've got the best there is.

The injustice - or the sheer power - of it all.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

3rd boy!!

Woe is me, I am having a third boy!!! All I ever wanted was a daughter. Many daughters. Create a family of sisters! And I am surrounded by boys and men. Woe is me! Why? What did I do to deserve this? To be a mother of boys after a lifetime of girls!!

Everyone tells me how lucky I am, that boys are easier, that I will be the queen, that boys are more affectionate, attached to their mothers, blablablabla. Bullshit. Sebastian may love me and cuddle me more, but Lucas is O*B*S*E*S*S*E*D with his father. Morbidly obsessed. He will never prefer me. Ever. For anything.

And I live in Italy. Italians version of boys' attachments to their mothers is not one that I want for my boys. It's pathetic. And I will not raise mamma's boys. For their sake and for mine. I have yet to see a mature relationship between a son and mother in this godforsaken country. So my efforts will mean that my boys will not treat me like a pre-wife (i.e., I will not be doing their laundry, cooking, etc.), but there are no role models for an adult relationship between son and mother. You know, like friendly, interesting. Hubby doesn't have one with his mother. And that is really the only model, right?

So, I am going to spend a lifetime of efforts raising 3 boys, and then ultimately, my relationship with them will depend on the women they find. They could marry someone like Margaret (hubby's bitch of a sister-in-law), in which case, I lose my boys. And if they grow up like hubby, they will rebel so completely, that I won't hear from them at all.

As for being easier... why is that? What is it about girls that is so difficult? Adolescent moodiness? What, do boys not go through puberty? Moody silences, wet dreams, power-hungry adrenaline sports? And boys don't confide in their mothers. And when you lose a boy, the stakes are higher: drugs, motorcycles, dropping out of school, computer games, violence. When you lose a girl, okay, she experiments a little and get pregnant. So? A new baby in the family. Girls are closer to their families, listen more, are more "fearful" therefore in general listen more to their parents.

Besides, I know girls. I know them well. I don't know boys. Even playing with them. Hubby comes up with the most interesting games. He'll know a billion ways to make the same old firetruck rescue game interesting, by changing the protagonist, adding a ladder, removing a truck, etc. I just sit there thinking, 'Now what?' And when I try to copy his ideas, I get totally BORED. I was always a girly, girl.

It's karma. I spent too many years man-bashing and a feminist. Now this role of motherhood forces me to fight for men and boys. Woe is me, I say, woe is me!!!!!!!!

pregnancy sucks...

Or maybe just this pregnancy. But I'm "miserable." No one wants to hear a preggo woman complain, so I am just going to write about it instead.

I can't sleep. Or I sleep badly. Or I sleep, then wake up, then can't go back to sleep.

I'm always tired. Fatigued. Sleepy. Lethargic. Don't feel like doing anything. Ever.

I'm achy in my lower back. Or get random lower back cramps.

I'm always out of breath. I can't walk 10 meters without losing my breath.

I can't poop. I feel bloated. I get gassy. Indigestion. Reflux.

I'm always hungry. But I've gained too much weight. I feel fat. I am fat.

I have 3 and 1/2 more months to go. HELP!

already tired again

I went to pick up the kids yesterday after 3 days at my mother-in-law's place. It's been 24 hours, and I've already lost it again. They are yelling from the bedroom, it's almost 10pm, and all I want to do is yell at them at the top of my lungs and say mean things. I can barely take it anymore. And I am really worried. Where has my patience and my passion for being a good parent gone? And I am preggers with no. 3. I've lost all my desire and goodwill for parenting. Really. This sounds terrible, irrational, mean. But it's all I feel. I still love my kids. I look at them with awe. I love seeing the things they say and do, I am curious to know how they think, how they turn out, what they will like, love, be, as they grow. I just don't want to parent anymore. It's exhausting. I have no more patience. I want them to just grow up.


Saturday, 10 December 2011


Today, when I told the boys I was going to call baby no. 3 Nicholas, Lucas was upset. He wants to call him "Fireman."


Wednesday, 7 December 2011


I have not been this happy to offload the kids at in-law's in a long, long, while. Not only has Seb continued behaving like a complete a**, but work has started on the house, which means hubby is never home, and all the home-making duties and responsibilities has fallen on my shoulders.

What a month!!

And it culminated in a trip to the emergency room and a weekend where the whole family had the stomach flu last week.

I know, I know, how do I do it, you ask.

By losing my s**t on average once a day for the past 4 weeks. Average means there are days where I lost it more than once. It is scary how easy it is to slide into this vicious circle of intolerance leading to/resulting from misbehaving and stress. Two mornings ago, I told Sebastian I wanted to throw him off the balcony. That I wanted to send him to a country where he would learn what hunger really is...


I slept through the night last night for the first time in months. I feel a whole other person. I am sitting here with my coffee, looking out at the lake and finally appreciating my life and my family. Sigh... It is so much easier to appreciate them when they're not around!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

immigrant rants

Today a German friend of mine came over, and after a few niceties, and our children starting their timid play, we started our usual rant against all things Italian.

Alas, we are the stereotypical immigrants, complaining about how the locals do things, and pining for the eden that is our respective homes.

She's got it worse than I do, because in Germany, one can get the calm of small towns with the amenities of a big city. In Canada, small town life is crap. Culture, amenities, diversity is only in the cities, but then you're living in a city, which sucks. Montreal is awesome, but then where would I live? Plus, those winters! And the language problem! And the work hours/schedule. Lucky to get 3 weeks off! Ugh.

Nope. It's got to be better here, despite Italians, and Italian food, and Italian children, and Italian schools, and ...

excuse me, little brats, but who let you in the house?

...was what I was thinking this morning, and yesterday, and few other times this week. WTF? Is this a phase, or have I gotten child-rearing all wrong? I certainly hope this is a phase, because I really don't know what to do to get Sebastian to behave like a sweet, normal 5-yr-old human being and not a mean, selfish, spoiled brat who throws things around when he doesn't get what he wants.

Holy wowza.

I get all confused with what is personality, what is developmental, what is a bad day, and what is behaviour that is a symptom of something bigger, something other that MUST be corrected. It's in moments like these that I lament the demise of the family and society. Once upon a time, in a healthier world, grandparents, the community, the elders would help guide parents in precisely these topics.

My mother often has good advice, but she made more mistakes than successes as a mother, so I have to be wary: her advice is either based on her own outdated ideas, or is overcompensation for what she couldn't do for me. Also, it is often accompanied by a frenzied almost fatalistic anxiety about the smallest of things. Mountains out of molehills, while what I need to make molehills out of my mountains.

I really, really, really, really hope this is a phase, and that I am doing things mostly right... Only time will tell... Right?

Nothing like parenting to make you humble.


I shamelessly turned the TV on this morning to get the kids to s**t up and calm down. Yes, and I feel completely guilt-free.

I would have preached the curses of TV culture on children to anyone who would listen, before I had kids, or even before I had kids who could be sedated by the TV. Not anymore, nope. Now I thank my karma to let me be born in the age of the TV and internet.

Besides, the TV is a lesser evil than a mother who is ready to throw the kids down the stairs for misbehaving the whole morning. Right?

Nothing like parenting to keep you humble.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

work blues advice

I've been so strong this year at work. Not caring, not losing my cool, not taking anything personally, not trying to make any new friends, enjoying what there is to enjoy, suffering what there is to suffer.

Until this week. A glitch from last month is coming back to haunt me, and I am losing it again. I slept terribly last night, as I have been for the past 15 weeks, but this time, the cause was work blues. Why for goodness' sake can't I just let it all go????

I tell myself, I need to get stronger so I can actually succeed in my next job, which I hope will be a much bigger career. I need to learn to manage people, and not give a s**t. Hubby reminded me that these moments are just episodes, not the whole job, and most importantly not my whole life.

Hubby has really got his s**t together. I am quite honored he chose me as his life partner. To have earned and maintained his respect is truly an honor. I don't want to lose it.

(but he's super lucky to have me too!!!!!!) :)


I'm tired.

I need a vacation.

I want to sleep well.

I want to have nothing to do.

How am I going to handle three?

I'm tired.

different pregnancy

This pregnancy is different than the other two, and this of course must mean I am having a girl. How could it be anything else?

I am 17 weeks + 4 days, and still suffer regular bouts of nausea; I have terrible indigestion; I have been sleeping terribly since conception, both because of insomnia and because of vivid dreams; I have difficulty doing no. 2; I am eating a tonne of eggs, and can't stand fish. I am going through things MUCH more rough than w Seb and Lucas.

Oh and I am barely showing. The bulge at my mid-riff (shh, don't tell anyone!) is mostly chub.

It must be a girl.

People say pregnancies with girls are more difficult than those with boys, more nausea, more discomfort, etc.

It must be a girl.

Twenty more days til I find out.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

number 3

Am back from the void. Now that it's out that I am preggers, I can write here again. I couldn't write anything real since I found out I was preggers, basically because I am mostly consumed with nausea. It affects everything I do, my moods, my mood swings, my interactions with people, my family, etc. How can I recount anything without referring back to this constant underlying grossness...

So, now I can complain in peace. I feel like s**t. Yup. In the past week, I've woken up feeling okay, which is nice. But every afternoon and evening, it comes back. From now on, actually, we can call it the Beast. Though I really do hope it will leave soon. It has been since August 9 that I have not had a single day where I felt okay. Today is October 20. This is bulls**t.

**Forewarning** All blogs will be EXPLICIT and R-rated until Beast dies.

End of March baby no. 3 arrives. It seems redundant to even mention that I want a girl. I have a feeling it's a girl. Then I have a feeling it's a boy. Then I wonder if I get these feelings as some kind of emotion/expectation-management coping mechanism. I had this terrible dream last week where I found out that Baby no. 3 was a boy and I was devastated, crying non-stop, etc. I woke up with a terrible feeling in my gut. In general, I don't feel like that - I will be fine if I have a 3rd boy. I mean, of course a tad disappointed, but I will be happy for Seb and Lucas that they will be 3 brothers. But this dream was terrible. And that is what makes me want not to get my hopes up - I don't want to feel like that. I want to love baby no. 3 as I do no. 1 and no. 2. And I will, I know, but I want to love him/her a priori, instantly.

5 more weeks until the next US. 5 very slow weeks...

Hopefully Beast will be gone by then. This is complete bulls**t.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

white noise

I need more ears, mouths, brains so I can hear everyone, talk to everyone, and process everyone's needs simultaneously.

By everyone I mean my two children, hubby and my mom, who each have a special relationship with me, and who demand my 100% attention as soon as they start to speak, usually simultaneously. The crazy thing is that none of them can hear the other talk. So, for example, hubby and Sebastian will talk to me at exactly the same time, in two different languages, and they are both completely oblivious that the other is also talking to me.

Same happens with my mom: she will even talk to me when Sebastian or Lucas have already started talking, without hearing them. Craziness. It drives me completely batty! I inevitably snap at the closest person to me, because it is so self-centered to not even HEAR others. I've actually started explaining to Sebastian not to interrupt. He is starting to understand. But how do I educate hubby and abuelita????

vacation priorities

Yes, I have sold out. No, I no longer seek newness, adventure, exotic, authenticity - give me my playparks, amenities, half-board and convenience. I am prey to all the cheesy money-making sellers of flashing junk. I am a tired mom of a toddler and a pre-schooler. Vacation means they need to be entertained, safe, and well fed.

Alas, I am in Rimini, beach destination for the Italian masses. Party town for the college-aged.

Absolute paradise for the tired mom.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

process vs. goal? developmental or personality-based?

When does a kid go from enjoying a game because it is simply fun to play, to enjoying a game, because he may win? Is it developmental? Or is it a personality thing?

I was in Spain last week with a wonderful family with two 6-year-old twins. I let our hosts have a date-night and took care of the gang of four. When we were playing green-light/red-light, Lucas (2 and a half) was ecstatic even though he was clueless about what was going on, or what the point of the game was. He was just excited at being included, that mommy was there, etc. The 6-year-old on the other hand - who is by the way the best-behaved boy I have ever seen in my life - was really upset if he didn't win. He was rule-master and saw cheating and unfairess everywhere. Sebastian tried to win, but understood that he wasn't always fast enough. And that seemed to be okay.

So... developmental? Personality? Karma?

indispensable mothers

I have been bedridden and sick for 2 days. And the house is breaking down. Abuelita is starting her "No one ever takes care of me" guilt-tripping, daddy is feeling the symptoms and taking it on the kids and me (and this is compounded with a rough few weeks in his business).

I just need to get better, so I can get back to doing it all, withstanding it all, and catering to everyone's needs. It is both an honour and a calvary, this motherhood thing. What pride to know how strong we mothers can be. What a pain in the ass that no one really appreciates, understands, or cares. Motherhood is the oldest profession. The most under-appreciated. The most misunderstood. The most powerful because of this all.

I love antibiotics right now.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

masseur? gym? no need...

I've got two toddlers.

Indeed, why pay 100chf for a massage when I can get two toddlers to climb on my back and jump off it like a springboard?

And the gym? Ha! No need there either. I get one holding on tight to each thigh and play "seesaw."

Once I've stopped work, I can play catch, and and soccer, and soccerball (yes, Sebastian is convinced "soccer" and "soccerball" are two different games), and Ben10.

Speaking of Ben10, I am currently a witness to the insidious effects of peer pressure: Sebastian comes home chanting "vai Juve!", saying he doesn't want to nap at school because only the little ones nap, wanting a hair cut if he starts to look like a girl, and wanting to purchase Ben10 accessories for EVERYTHING. Wow.

i like you

That is the latest adorable little thing Sebastian is saying these days. He alternates between "I love you" and "I like you." When he's loving something I've done, or am doing, or is generally feeling the love, he cuddles up and says in a loveydovey voice that he likes me. Of course, Lucas follows suit...

Friday, 13 May 2011

to third, or not to third

I am utterly undecided about whether to have a 3rd or not. I feel like I need to just get it over and done with, because that is my dream, I want a "big" family, it's a worthwhile sacrifice because my two will get another sibling, etc. They get to grow up in a family of 3 kids. The weight of aging parents will be divided among 3 siblings, instead of two. Maybe I'll get a daughter.

But I don't want to be pregnant again. I don't want to give my body up for another 2 years. I don't want to have to go through nursing agony and baby-blues, and a c-section, and sleepless nights again. Baby food. Toilet training. Sleep training. Teething. Spit-up. Laundry. And that's all a walk in the park if I consider that I may be unlucky and have a colicky baby, or an unhealthy one, etc.

So which one is my heart? My hormones or my selfish desires? If I continue to wait, the desire will both increase and decrease, and the benefits to the kids will decrease, because the age difference increases.

And travelling with a family of 4 is easier (and cheaper) than travelling with a family of 5. Right?


So I used to give the kids a bath every day as part of their pre-bedtime ritual. And I used to think how gross it was that parents once upon a time would bathe their children once a week. Of course I understood that daily baths were unnecessary, but once a week? Yuck.

Well, nothing like becoming a parent to learn lessons in humility. We give our kids a bath once a week, very occasionally twice. We just don't have time otherwise. Sebastian is exhausted since starting school! And since I can't expect anything to really get done with regards to the kids until I get home, then dinner, stories, tooth-brushing and pyjamas all has to fit into between the 2 hours I have from getting home and putting the boys to sleep.

Yuck, right? Not really...

perpetual mother's day

So ever since last weekend, Sebastian has been wishing me Happy Mother's Day every day. What a brilliant child, I say! Of course mother's should be told "Happy Mother's Day" every day! And we mother's should learn to appreciate these special words every time they're expressed, instead of hope that only one day of the year we ought to be appreciated. In fact, I think I will ask Sebastian to give his father lessons in daily appreciation.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

woe is Sebastian

He had a rough weekend. He didn't want to eat, or wash his hands, or do what his mother told him. He wanted to play catch, and monster and lots of other things, which his brother didn't understand, or his mother didn't have time to do.

He wanted to go to the windsurf school, but it was raining.

He couldn't express all his desires because he gets his languages mixed up, and he can't pronounce the letters, S, R, TH, and sometimes L. His parents don't understand him most of the time.

He wanted to watch Vai Diego, but couldn't. Everytime the TV went on, it was in the wrong language, and his parents don't know instantly what program he wants in what language.

And the worst of it, is that his mother kept yelling at him every time he got angry about the above. She yelled so often, and so loud, and even said at one point, that she didn't want to be his mother any more. She banged the door and went onto the balcony because she was so angry. He could tell that she was close to doing hurtful things to him.

Thankfully, his mother got a grip, and decided to be more patient. That was on Monday when she went to work. Some of her colleagues told her that the sufferings of 4-yr-old boys exasperate mothers a lot. No one could give those words of compassion to Sebastian though.

Now he sleeps, and heals. Woe is Sebastian no longer.

fire-trucks, ad infinitum

Lucas has severe fire-truck fever.

He's more obsessed even than Sebastian was at the same age.

"Fire-truck" is one of the first things Lucas will say when we wakes up, and one of the last things he says before finally falling asleep. If he's not talking about fire-trucks, he is playing with them. He has about 25 fire-trucks, ranging in size, type, country of origin, siren, and state of disrepair. Every night, he needs to have one or more beside his pillow when he sleeps, and every night, it has to be a very specific fire-truck that could be in any box, drawer, room in the house, and there is no respite until I find it. It won't necessarily be the one he slept with the night before. When I tell a story at the dinner table, he wants it to be about fire-trucks. When he plays with play-dough, he wants me to sculpt one. When we are painting, drawing, playing pretend; he is always the fireman, and the fire-truck is always the first vehicle to arrive at the scene. When Sebastian wants to play monster, play catch, play "super heros," or whatever, Lucas never changes his strategy: he is always a fireman!

And if you are still not convinced of his malady, guess what he answered when I asked which of the animals in the animal book I was reading he liked best? Yup. It was the f-word indeed.

Monday, 21 March 2011

bilingualism at its best

Current expressions from 2-and-a-half-year-old Italo-Canadese boy:

No putti via!! (i.e., "don't put it away" & "non mettere via")

Anche me. (i.e., pronounced, "anche meeeee" - mix between "anch'io" & "me too")

Me drive camon pompeii. (i.e., "I drive firetruck" & "io guido camion di pompieri")


Oh what a wonderful topic! My favourite! I have so much experience and insight into this... Who better than a serial deconstructing hyper-self-aware busybody to delve into this oh-so-misunderstood phenomenon.

In fact, I am on library duty now. Schedule for the night? Master's coursework homework. Reality for the moment? Delaying schedule for the night...

So what was I saying?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

blue lips

Lucas decided to paint his cheeks marker blue. I got frustrated and scolded him. Once I'd washed his face, I realized I should have taken a picture and posted it. In a few years' time, I will laugh.

Moment missed.


Where does it come from? How do we recognize it?

Does it come from without or within?

Does it leave you once you've named it? Or does it stay once you've accepted it?

Do we all have it? Or blessed are the few who use it?

Voices or feelings? Ideas or emotions? Wakefulness or serenity? Memories or sensations?

Sunday, 13 March 2011

dreary sundays

So it took exactly one week to go from ecstatic (but exhausted) to miserable (and exhausted). Mind you, I had another rough week, my lungs are hurting, I am pms-ing, it rained all weekend, and the boys acted like cats & dogs all day.

I vowed when I got back from my 10 days away, that I would appreciate, appreciate, appreciate, appreciate, my boys, my time with them, their idiosyncracies, their time-consuming quirks. Today was a challenge. I could have appreciated them more.

But.... my lungs are hurting, I am very sleep-deprived, I am pms-ing, it rained all day today, and tomorrow I have a 16-hour day.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

youth + vitality

Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about my kids' exuberance, blablabla...

Today, I had a glimpse into the melancholy that accompanies aging. I wasn't sad, or feeling old, or depressed about my crow's feet or perpetual exhaustion. I was struck/mesmerized/attuned to the sheer beauty of the two musicians who played a concert at the school I work at.

At first glance, I thought they were cute (probably because I'm ovulating this week...). Then I was affected by the energy they exuded; the passion they put into their instruments; their agile-seeming bodies; and it was a direct reflection of their youth. It wasn't their talent, or their good looks, or their energy, it was simply their youth. And I realized that I am headed markedly and inexorably in a direction opposite. With this realization came the immediate urge to take advantage of my current, but every fading youth, to lose weight, flaunt it, engage life as fiercely as youth are known to do.

But... I already am doing just that.

The woman next to me, 55 years old, has already mentioned how she envies my youth, and has confided in me her pain being looked over by people everywhere she goes.

So how do I appreciate this youth + vitality + beauty?

Of course, by accepting that one day it will be no more.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

another try at friendship

When I first arrived in Italy, I was a determined immigrant, a proud expat, bent on integrating and making friends in my community. Reaching out and having a network of non-windsurfing female friends was primordial for extended success!

I failed miserably. Or perhaps, Italian women failed me miserably. It was one disappointment after another. How many times was I stood up, cancelled on, not called back, invested in only superficially? Too many to count. I stopped trying and delved into my workfriends (all expats) and my family.

After a recent disappointment from my seemingly charming neighbor, and then the mother of Sebastian's "girlfriend" from school, I'd just about given up. This manifested itself fully last week, when a man with two kids walked past our home on the trail that lines our property: he stopped to chat and we discovered a bunch of linking elements (his daughter and my son are at school together, he lives nearby, he likes to windsurf, he has a deaf son and therefore has dealt with life in a deeper way). And... I didn't bother really reaching out. He hinted at our yard, the sandbox, that he went frequently to Pino (where hubby has his windsurf school). And I kind of blew him off. 'Of course there's no point in inviting him in. He will refuse, and if not, he will pretend to be interested and then blow me off some other time.'

After he'd left, which was not such a short time afterwards considering he was Italian, I realized that he might have been trying to reach out. That he was nice. That maybe he was not like the others. That maybe I was just becoming Italian and not giving people the chance to bond. I told hubby that I couldn't be bothered to make any more efforts, and remarkably, he told me I shouldn't let past experiences harden me to potentially interesting and kind people. I should not close myself off.

I was ashamed.

And then the same weekend, I met another woman who I clicked with. Another expat, with a windsurfing hubby, and 10-month-old son. Learned, well-travelled, sociable, interesting. I again thought, 'Don't bother. It's too tiring to try again, get your hopes up, and then be disappointed.' But I remembered hubby's advice and figured, what the heck! If she blows me off, it doesn't matter, because there's nothing to lose, right? We exchanged numbers, and... out of the blue, she called me!!!! Not an sms, just a few days after meeting, for no other reason than to get together!!! WTF?

So I called her back today and we agreed to get together, not this weekend, not the one after, but the one after that (we both work and have children, of course it is almost impossible to find some free time!).

Here's to trying again.

how many me-s?

I just googled myself. Yes, it's lame. But it's been years. And there are a tonne of me. Where did they all come from? It is freaky to know that there are a few in England, a few in the USA. One in NYC studying at Columbia... They all seem more interesting and exceptional than me.

But it's all an illusion. And the illusions created by images, titles, awards and a presence on the web don't mean anything. I mean, I kick butt, right? I just don't flaunt it, right? Oh dear, the doubts are toxic.

I suppose I should be grateful: years ago I googled myself, and the only me's I found were convicted pet-abusers and random weirdos. At least now, if someone googles me, they might actually think I am better than I am! :)