A Taste of Things To Come

At a robust and ready 6 months, I decided it was time to feed Dove something other than her mother’s milk. The kid’s all set, even if I’m not. She grabs at my food, weighs a whopping 19 lbs, sticks everything in her mouth and drools non-stop mimics us while we eat.

Idealistically I have not been in a rush to start her on solids because I do believe that I’m what’s best, and I’m not too worried about iron stores at this point. And I can’t believe that she’s 6 months old already, and we are about to end the very last stage of infancy I will ever nurture.

Realistically I have not been in a rush to start her on solids because, while I do love the food prep and introducing new, exciting things to my babies, it marks the beginning of the end of the ‘total portability’ period in my infant’s life. I’ll never see feeding my child as ‘just another job to do,’ but it does mean one more thing to think about besides remembering to put in new nursing pads each morning. (I’m a friggin’ geyser, yo.)

Nevertheless, Dove is ready for food. It has gotten so that we actually feel guilty putting her in the Bumbo with us at the table while we eat dinner. She wants some, she really does, and it’s kind of sad that she has to make do with a rattle or a shoe or something while we stuff our own gobs with organic chicken breast.

So I bought organic sweet potatoes. And have not yet been able to bless the end of her infancy by making any for her. So I bought some organic brown rice cereal, and decided that we should try a bit of that first, in order for her to get used to eating with a spoon.

Bee and I made some for her at lunch the other day, Bee cheerleading as I expressed milk straight into the powdery cereal in her little bowl. We stirred it into a thin, soupy delight, and I put a big bib around Dove’s neck. I let Bee give her the first taste.

Dove’s fists and tongue went wild, and she started literally buzzing. I gave her another little spoonful, and the buzzing got even more enthusiastic. If she hadn’t been wedged into the Bumbo with her fat little legs acting as anchors, I would have worried that she was about to launch herself across the table.

One more spoonful, and then something changed. Dove began to cry. Really cry. There were real tears, and she was stiffening up and I could tell that she was not only upset, but she was angry.

And then one more spoonful that she accepted like manna from heaven. And then I took the spoon back, and the angry, serious crying commenced as I reloaded. And then she realized that the spoon comes back full, and she relaxed. A few more happy spoonfuls later, Dove decided that she was done, and pretty much jumped into my arms, to thank me, I think.

She nuzzled her messy little face into me and practically purred as she had some milk to end her meal. Bee sat beside me, her arm linked in mine, and we talked about the event that had been Dove’s first meal. ‘She’s so crazy, Mama!’ Bee laughed, and I promised that she could help me again the next time we fed Dove.

So far, there hasn’t been a next time, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to feed her intended sweet potatoes to the rest of the family for dinner tonight. I’m glad we took the first step, and I know that this path leads to many other wonderful firsts, but I’m pretty happy to walk it slowly. After all, I’ve never been into fast food.




Late to the Potty

I picked Bee up from nursery school one morning, not too long after the session had begun, and, still concerned about her adjustment to time away from me, asked her teacher how the morning had been. ‘Oh, great!’ she replied, “But she didn’t go to the bathroom today.”

I blinked. Then I blinked again.
“Does she usually?” I asked, so stunned that even my participle was left dangling. Her teacher assured me that she always did, and wide-eyed, I gathered my kid, and left.

Whaddayaknow? Bee was toilet trained. Just not for me. I decided that I had better rectify that situation. Bee was two years, seven months, and halfway to being toiled trained. I was sure I could handle the other half of the job.

That was almost five months ago.

Today, Bee is toilet trained.

At school.

But not for me.

Evidently, that second half of the job, you know, the part that I, her mother, am in charge of, is the difficult half. I do not have the perceived authority and organizational skills of a preschool teacher, the lemming-like pressure of a gaggle of peeing preschoolers, or those awesome teeny-tiny toilets in my corner.

Partly my problem is that I have not just bit the bullet, and gotten right down into it. I know what it takes – I have to just throw away the pull-ups, stay close to home, stick her on the potty every half an hour and mop up whatever puddles appear along the way.

Not too hard in theory. In practice however, I might as well be learning to fly a plane. With no instruction manual. Or co-pilot. In the dark. On little to no sleep.

Now, you guys know how crunchy organic I am when it comes to parenting, but seriously, I’m beginning to feel like a chump. Every time I put another freakin pull up on Bee, (‘Three princesses, Mama! Only three princesses!’) I hear my own mother’s cry of old school expectation, ‘Two years, two months! Two years, two months!’ over and over again in my head.

My mother-in-law is way too gentle to ever admonish us over our lackadaisical attitude towards peeing in the toilet, but no doubt she too is beginning to think that we are, quite frankly, just lazy.

And we are. Kind of. I don’t know what I was expecting. It started out that we were waiting for the cues that she was ready – predictable wet diaper times, an intolerance for staying in a dirty diaper, interest in what happens in the bathroom – but she indicated those things ages ago. Am I simply daft enough to think that she’ll just toilet train herself? Just interrupt her play on her own accord and excuse herself to go pee, negating any need for guidance or encouragement (or insistence) from her parents?

Well, she did eventually sleep through the night on her own. Of course, that took two and a half years.

Time for mama to buckle down, take out the big girl underpants that have been sitting in her drawer for six months, and just shit or get off the pot already. Heh heh.

Cross your (legs) fingers for me. It’s gonna be a long, wet week.



Tomato Soup - It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

I am not a morning person. I grudgingly do what I have to, but I often succumb to what Chris calls ‘Morning Rage,’ wherein anybody with half a brain and a yen not to be decked with a flying bagel stays out of my way until I have drank at least half of my coffee.

Coming by it honestly, my children do not seem to be morning children. I wish this meant that they were happy to slumber until 9 am, but unfortunately, it does not. What it means is that my 6-month old likes to poop at about 7 am, setting off a chain of events that inevitably wakes me, the cat, my 3-year old and then Chris, in that order. Now, I admit that I often send Chris downstairs with the (grumpy) children and (annoying) cat while I catch a few more winks, but twice a week we all have to scramble out of bed to get ready to take Bee to nursery school.

Read more!


The Bitch Is Back

Recently (like last night), against my better judgment, I responded to a fellow blogger’s call for opinions on letting an infant cry it out.

My view (in a nutshell) is: I hate cry it out. I think it’s cruel. I think it’s wrong to expect a baby to sleep all night, and as a parent, it’s just not how I roll.

Agree or disagree; I don’t really care. All I know is that the choice not to parent that way totally jibs with all of the other parenting decisions that Chris and I have made. It’s who we are, it’s how we are, and we’re good, thanks.

So I was pretty perturbed when another commenter, a blogger I don’t read, and, as far as I know, doesn’t read me, insinuated that I am a martyr for being such a chump as to tend to my 5-month old when she’s hungry, or uncomfortable, or simply needs me at 3 a.m.

Wait, wait, wait… I forgot, first she called me out for ‘admitting’ that my 5-month old doesn’t sleep through the night, as though it were a crime. (Though I’m not sure who the criminal is, me or the baby.)

Ok, so on to the real point: Now, I’m not religious, but comforting my crying baby seems like pretty fucking low standards for martyrdom. I mean, if that’s all it takes, than what does a non-medicated homebirth get me? What does a c-section get me?

If I’m going to be considered for such a title, at least make me break a sacrificial sweat. A few ideas for your canonical consideration:

- I once gave away a ticket to a Grateful Dead show because I had been miracled, and my boyfriend had not. That night, Phil sang Unbroken Chain.

- When I was twelve, I was a junior bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding. I had to wear this:

- I was in Italy on my honeymoon 6 years ago, and I did not buy any shoes.

- A few nights ago, Chris asked me to make him tea, just as Survivor was starting. And not just a regular ol’ minty teabag, mind you – fancy stuff that had to be put in a tea ball and steeped. I still have no idea how the first immunity challenge was won.

- Oh yeah, hey, I once had to leave my family and the joy of being 8 months pregnant at home to go say goodbye to my father, who was dying of pancreatic cancer. That was a bit tougher than rolling over and feeding my baby at midnight.

So if I’m going to be called a martyr, at least make it for the right reasons, because trust me, doing any of the things I mention above was way more sacrificial than doing the things that I consider simply, mothering.



Is Forever Enough?

How long do you want to be loved?

It’s Mother’s Day today. And one of the reasons I celebrate Mother’s Day turns three today.


My baby, my Bee, is three today.

It’s not hard to believe that she’s three. She’s clever and adorable and she knows her address, and she holds her baby doll while I hold her baby sister and says, ‘Look, Mama! We’re both taking really good care of our childs.’ and she wants to go to sleep on her own and she can climb up to the counter and get the crackers without my help.

What is hard to believe is that this person – this little person that follows me into the bathroom and then tells me how proud she is of me when I’m done, is mine.

She’s my child and I am her mother. I look at her sometimes – her with her silky hair and almond-shaped eyes and beautiful pouty lips, and I wonder, who are you? How did you get to be mine? And I look into those blue eyes and I hope she’s glad that I’m her mama, that one day she’ll maybe be contemplating the complete randomness of the universe and be as glad as I am that we somehow ended up with each other.

I’m not good at retaining the details of day-to-day life with Bee. I’m not sure how we got from that day, almost 4 years ago, when two pink lines finally showed up on a stick, to today, when she is downstairs, still shedding the previous day’s birthday party excitement with a Dora video on the couch, and I am up here, trying to figure it all out. There are tears, of course.

The tears are because I’m listening to Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks, and if you are a mother and you listen to that song, you will cry too. And because I just waded through literally 8000 pictures we’ve taken of you, and each one is more beautiful than the last. And because I am thinking about my dad and how I wish he could have seen you in your fairy princess finery yesterday. And because now you’re a big sister, and as you both grow, you’ll look to each other for things that I can’t give you, and I’m grateful for that.

And because you are mine, and I really don’t know how I got so lucky.

You are what I find when I search for something beautiful. You are my baby, and today you are three.



Wednesday Playdate

Hey dudes, it's Wednesday! Time for another whacky yet informative installment of Eat Me over at Better Than a Playdate.

This week I'm feeding my infant her first food (it's not what you think), and waxing poetic about mushed up veggies. Yum!

Come have a nibble.

p.s. Thanks for all the good advice offered on my last post. I absolutely would have said the same thing to a woman, a child or a man in a suit, so I do now feel ok with what happened. I believe I treated this man with as much respect as I would treat any, and I also think that next time I see him, I will buy him that coffee. You guys rock.




I’m having a bit of a moral quandry, and Chris suggested I put it out to you good people of the internets for support, backup, shame or whatever I deserve on this one, because I just don’t know.

Here’s the deal: I admonished a homeless (and possibly mentally unstable) man for littering.

Oh yes I did.

I couldn’t help it. There he was, on the corner in front of the church, like always, and he opened a pack of smokes and dropped the cello and the foil right onto the sidewalk. Well, I was walking by at that exact moment, and nobody likes a litterbug, and I have a big mouth, so I scooped up his garbage and said, ‘You don’t have to be a litterbug!’

And I walked away, and that’s when I started wondering if maybe I was being harsh. But, I don’t know – does being homeless give one a pass on littering? I mean, on one hand, what has this city ever done for him, right? But on the other hand, if he’s unfortunately living on the streets, you’d think he would not want to contribute to a garbage problem.

Ok, seriously, do I need my ass kicked, or is my instinct to be a decent citizen justifiable? Should I have the same expectation of him that I do any of my neighbours, or should I have just picked up the litter, bought him a coffee and kept my mouth shut (which I have a problem doing)?



Perfectly Pleased

One of the first blogs I started reading when I hopped onto this crazy parenting ride, was Something Baby Blue. With grace, humour and kick-ass taste in music (and hockey players, ahem), Jana was navigating the motherhood in a way I truly hoped that I could.

She writes about her adorable (SERIOUSLY) girls with great charm and honesty, and as I have told her before, she has become someone that I look to for cues on raising two daughters.

So when she told me that pretty much the first important thing I wrote about having two daughters had touched a chord with her, I was touched.

Thank you, Jana, for nominating 7lbs, 7oz for a Perfect Post award. I'm so very glad you liked it.

The Original Perfect Post Awards 04.08