Thursday, February 25, 2010

Repeating my Mother's Mistakes

Ah, the summer of 1980, how I remember it well...and shudder with horror whenever I do! You see, that summer was my very first summer at sleep-over camp. It was to be 2 full weeks of Fun! Fun! Fun! Instead it was 2 full weeks of absolute, non-stop misery, that will only ever be healed by a couple of years of therapy.
Why, you ask, was this such an awful summer camp experience, whose scars have stayed with me some 30 years later? You see, my mother (whom I love dearly and not a day goes by that I don't miss, wishing more than anything that she were still here to share in my life today--going on 6 years since her passing) filled out my enrollment form incorrectly. A very easy-to-make, simple little mistake.

As she was completing the form several months before camp was to begin, she innocently put my birthday down as it was on the date she completed the form, instead of as of the date the camp would start--as the form instructed. So instead of being with "High Point", I was grouped with "Rocky Road". Such a tiny little administrative error. No big deal, right?!

Well, at the meet-up centre I was grouped with "High Point" girls and within minutes, had made 5 instant BFF. We laughed, shared all our secrets and checked out all the cute boys and planned out the next 2 weeks to the minute. I was in heaven! Until, of course they were calling the kids to get on the busses and my name was never called. When I inquired, I was advised that I was on the "Rocky Road" bus. The counsellor smiled and pointed to a group of what appeared to be babies with absolutely no fashion sense...this could not be happening. I begged with the counsellor to look into the problem, explaining that in no way was I to spend the next two weeks with these little kids, when I was so much more worldly and was meant to be with the cool girls in bus #7. Sadly my complaints fell on deaf ears and for the next two weeks I was placed with the "little kids" and my dreams of a summer of fun came crashing to a bitter end.

So other than outing myself as "old" why am I sharing this, and is my life really that sad that I am still belabouring this dreadful experience? No, and in fact I haven't really thought about it in a number of years, until of course a few days ago. You see, Little Mister Man will be starting pre-school in April and the pre-school has been calling me to bring in the enrollment form in. Apologizing profusely for being 3 months late with them I told the secretary that I would have them to her the very next day, all I had to do was have my husband sign the forms. Well, that next day arrived, my husband dutifully asked me for said forms to sign, but I could not find them. They have vanished from my house. My cats ate them? The baby shredded them? I have NO IDEA, all I know is that these forms that I have been keeping in a very special place, so as not to forget, have just disappeared. And so, memories of my mother's own administrative misdoings came to mind.

Of course, mine is a minor one, as all the school needs to do is re-send me the forms and all's well. But I now realize how easy it is to make little mistakes. To forget to tick a box or mail in a form. Tiny, innocuous little mistakes or overlookings, that can in fact lead to weeks, if not years, of unhappiness. No pressure, eh?!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Maybe tomorrow I won't scream louder than a gaggle of 10 year old girls

OK, so I don't like reptiles. Any kind, whether they are harmful or not. It was only about 5 years ago that I could even say the word "sn*ke". Seeing it in print still gives me the chills.
So you can just imagine my despair when I walked into the house, after taking smelly nappy bags to the bins, to see a baby blue tongue lizard writhing on the floor of my front entrance. My black cat clawing it, tossing it, and flicking it.
OK, I admit that I screamed louder than a gaggle of 10 year old girls running into Hannah Montana. The scream was followed by 10 minutes of swearing and pacing wondering who the hell was going to get this thing out of my house. All this in front of Little Mr. Man & Little Miss and any neighbours who happened to be hanging around outside as we were standing as far away from my house as possible. I'm glad I got dressed before taking the garbage out.

My rantings were interrupted by Little Mr. Man who kept on asking me what was going on. "Why Momma?" "What's wrong Momma?" I tried to explain that his evil cat brought an "outside" friend inside and we had to get it out.
When I finally realized that I had to get the damn thing out of the house Little Mr. Man was going on how he liked the lizard, how it was nice, it was his friend. On the plus side my screams and goings on seemed not to have permanently scarred him into having reptile phobias. But now I had to explain to him that his nice, friendly lizard was most likely dead. That his nice and friendly cat had played a bit too rough with the lizard.
As I'm trying to explain the concept of death to my not-yet-three year old son, I realized that I should just change the subject. Fast. Is 9am too early to offer ice cream as a means of distraction?
So yeah, maybe tomorrow I'll be a better mother and not scare you by screaming at the sight of a baby blue tongue lizard or scar you by telling you how your pet cat just killed the cute little lizard with the blue tongue. And maybe, just maybe, tomorrow I'll be able to pick the damn lizard up from the front lawn so we don't have to see it every time we go in and out of the house. Maybe....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

to cook or not to cook

When Mr. Man started solids I was apprehensive to make my own 'baby food', especially when it came to meat & chicken. For some reason I was grossed out about pureeing steak, and there was no way I was going near fish. However, I slowly got over my disgust and started to make his meals. I even bought a cookbook for babies & toddlers, dutifully going through it, trying out different recipes and as soon as I found one he liked I would make 3 batches and load up my freezer; only to discover, the next time I went to feed it to him, his tastes had changed and he no longer liked it. This left my husband and I feasting on a variety of "gourmet" pureed and semi-pureed creations that would have been great had we been in our eighties, had no teeth and suffered from heart, liver & kidney illnesses that limited our salt, sugar and really any flavour from our diet. However, we're not. I slowly gave up on trying to make home made meals from scratch and began relying more and more on what the good 'ole supermarket had to offer.

Now that we're back at it again with Little Miss I have to admit that I've been very (perhaps a bit too much) relaxed in terms of what I feed her. In fact, unless it's been food from my plate I can count all of maybe 2 times that I have tried to make her a meal from scratch. And for good reason. Each time, she spat the food right back at me followed by the tightest lip pursing I have ever seen. She made it abundantly clear that she wanted NOTHING to do with the food on offer.

The strange thing is, I feel like I am the only mother out there that does this. That everyone else out there is madly boiling fruit, vegetables, meat and concocting all sorts of yummy options that their babies are gobbling up. Of course, reason tells me this is not true, if for no other reason the baby food section is almost always low on stock! Now if we're all in the same boat, why the facade? Why is it that when I mention Little Miss only likes store bought food, the room goes silent and all eyes turn on me like I just said I only feed my children McDonald's!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trying to stay sane

4 days into 12 days of solo parenting and I'm ready to pack it in. That or eat 3 chocolate bars and drink about 5 martinis. And then pack it in.
We have entered the WHY phase with gusto. So much so, that the other morning, when Mister Man woke up at 4:30 in the morning he was replete with them.
Me: Sweetheart, you've got to back to bed
MM: Why?
Me: Because it's the middle of the night
MM: Why?
Me: Because it's still night
MM: Why?
Me: Just because, now stop asking why and get to bed
MM: (you guessed it) Why????

How do you stay sane with the constant sound of WHY?

Monday, February 1, 2010

There's always someone worse off...or so you hope

In the last two days I have cleaned up more poop & pee off floors, carpets, shorts, underwear, toys and patio stones then I'd care to admit.
I've also had less sleep than most people nap.
My food intake has revolved around 1 food group, sugar, and my liquid intake has all been caffeinated.
My son told me that today he likes me, no in fact he loves me, but lots of weeks he doesn't really like me.
My babysitter called me 2 hours before she was supposed to be here telling me she couldn't make it, she was at a funeral.
I still have 11 days until my husband comes from his business trip.
So, yeah, I think I'm having a pretty lousy couple of days. But a quick Google "So you think you're having a bad day" and I am no longer feeling so bad.

Here are some of my favourite "having a bad day" pick me ups: