Simon

One of my favourite features on Facebook is the “On This Day” app. There’s something wonderful about dipping into the minutiae of years gone by. It got me thinking that I now have enough years of content that I can look back and see in (occasionally painful and cringe-worthy) detail exactly what was happening in our lives ten years ago.

It was ten years ago this month, for example, that we were beginning the last of our infertility treatments, having “frostie”, our little frozen embryo left over from our IVF, thawed and inserted into my uterus. Also ten years ago this month, we had two-year-old Simon and four-year-old Tristan baptized: “Father John was kindly and patient didn’t seem to notice that Simon squirmed and wriggled incessantly and Tristan sang under his breath through most of the readings. Simon provided comic relief with his ongoing query of “We go now?” and by excitedly hopping up on the little stool in front of the baptismal font and declaring, “It’s my turn now!” after watching his brother being baptized.”

Ten years ago this month, also wrote this sweet tribute to Simon, my quirky two year old. I thought I’d share it in its entirety:

Simon is becoming more of a character every day. Inasmuch as ‘character’ means mostly adorable, occasionally insufferable, and often hilarious. He seems to develop a new peccadillo every week, and I’m writing this as much to capture them for posterity as for entertainment value.

For instance, he’s picked up a couple of phrases from the bigger kids at daycare, and I’m by turns mortified and amused every time they come out of his mouth.

The first is a very blasé ‘That’s BORing.’ Any time he doesn’t want to do something, wear something, eat something, it’s ‘BORing’. Imagine it uttered with all the disdain a teenage girl could muster, multiply it by three an infuse it with a world-weariness unprecendented in your average two-year-old.

The other is a very staccato ‘No way!’, as if whatever you’ve suggested is the most idiotic thing he’s ever heard.

“Simon, would you like a banana?”
“No way!”

Or:

“Simon, could you please let go of the dog’s lips?”
“No way!”

He’s also exhibiting vaguely alarming tendencies to hoard things, and to depend on rituals. Bedtime has become a complex series of arcane protocols – first books, then the story of his day, then soothers (three, always three, and he will cycle through them looking for just the right one. If one is not to his liking, he will pull it out with a very lispy “Too small,” and repeat until he finds just the right amount of suction and resistance. And yes, they are all the same size.) I’ll push play on the CD player to start the lullabies, place him into his crib, and start the blanket ritual. He must have at least three or four blankets. It can be February or July, but if he sees a blanket you haven’t put on him, he will hector you for it – he’s kind of like a reverse princess and the pea, except he’s the pea. And then there’s the de rigeur rounds of “Hey, you! Put your feet down” as you place the blankets. And he needs companionship as well. Just now, I put him to bed with three blankets (it’s 25C in his room), Gordon, Percy, Scoop, Wags the dog and Dorothy the dinosaur. There’s barely room for him in there.

I have this image of him, twenty years in the future, in a bingo hall somewhere. He’s about 6’5″, 300 lbs, and you’ll loose a finger if you touch the collection of treasures arrayed out in front of him with his bingo daubers. Either that, or he has to touch the doorknob five times before he leaves, tap the glass twice, turn around once, and walk to his car without touching any of the cracks in the sidewalk, with one eye closed and his finger resting against his right earlobe.

If only I could argue with any conviction whatsoever that he doesn’t get it from me.

IMG_3320

That quirky little toddler still sleeps in a bed so full of stuffies that there’s barely room for him, and he graduates from grade school this week.

Who, me? No, um, it’s nothing, I just have something in my eye…


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Photo of the day: Simon is 12

by DaniGirl on February 2, 2016 · 1 comment

in Photo of the Day, Simon

Simon is twelve! To celebrate, we had a birthday dinner at Lone Star:

Simon's birthday

While I’ve been making a lot of black and white photos lately because I’m interested in the expressive qualities of monochrome, in this case I just needed to overcome the nearly insurmountably wicked colour casts from the purple and orange neon lighting. This is what it looked like straight out of the camera:

Simon's birthday SOOC

(I love Granny and Papa Lou smiling off to the side!)

Note to self: no portrait sessions at Lone Star. Great food, terrible lights! Also, did you know you can bring your own cake and they’ll bring it out? Great service, and a very happy birthday dinner. :)


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Protected: A love letter to Simon, Age 12

by DaniGirl on February 1, 2016 · 0 comments

in Simon

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Simon’s piano recital

by DaniGirl on June 2, 2015 · 2 comments

in Simon

The boys have given us no shortage of reasons to be proud lately. Lucas has been adorable in his enthusiasm about soccer, and Tristan has turned into quite the track and field star. Today’s post, though, is all about Simon.

Simon took a year of piano lessons and then took a year off. Throughout the year off, though, he’d return to the electric keyboard that passes for a piano at our house (sidebar: I crave a piano with an almost physical sense of desire, but cannot for the life of me figure out where we’d put it!) and play idly with it often. We picked up his lessons at the Manotick School of Music earlier this year, and his teachers have been very positive about both his ability and his progress.

As I mentioned earlier, the Manotick School of Music is under new management this year, and nowhere was that new management’s touch more obvious than at the spring recital. I have to admit, I was a little grumbly when I found out it was not to be in the church basement around the corner, but waaaaay out in Kemptville at the municipal centre. (I spent a LOT of my week in Kemptville this week – it’s a lot more accessible than I expected, and closer than a lot of destinations in Ottawa or Kanata to Manotick!) I was delighted, though, when I saw the recital was in an actual hall, with theatre-style seats, and a stage – it was a big step up from the church basement and stacking chairs!

How fun is it that the kids played their spring recital on an actual stage, on a grand piano, no less? Here’s Simon’s 36 seconds of fame:

(Sorry about the aspect ratio. My mad videographer skills are somewhat underdeveloped, and I completely forgot to bring my camera and was using my iPhone in Instagram mode. Thank goodness YouTube now compensates for hapless moms-with-a-camera like me and at least rotates the footage to the proper orientation.)

Are you interested in music lessons in Manotick? I really can’t say enough good things about our experiences with the Manotick School of Music, and right now there’s an early-bird incentive to register before June 12 – they’ll waive the administration fee. More info on their website.

I love music lessons for a lot of reasons, none of them more than the huge smile of self-satisfaction on a little boy’s face as he walks off the stage after playing on a grand piano in front of a crowd. I may be a reluctant and late-blooming soccer mom, but music will always be first in my heart.

Lessons on a grand piano

Disclosure: the Manotick School of Music is a sponsor of this blog, but this post was not part of our agreement. I just wanted our friends and family to see how awesome Simon is!


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Protected: A love letter to Simon, age 11

by DaniGirl on February 1, 2015 · 1 comment

in Simon

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About a week or two into the World Cup, Simon came home asking for a soccer ball called a Brazuca. He and his friends played World Cup soccer each day at recess, rotating who would be each country, and he wanted to play at home, too. My suggestion that he play with one of the 47 other types of ball we have stashed around the house was met with disdain. He really, really wanted a Brazuca.

I had put it on the vague to-do list that always runs in the back of my mind. If the boy wanted to play soccer, and buying him a soccer ball got him outside and moving more, I figured an official ball was a small price to pay. Imagine my delight, then, when that very week my contact through the Rogers Mobile Ambassador program mentioned she had a few official Sony World Cup soccer balls to share – did anyone want one? I think I may have replied in all-caps, I was so excited. Me me me me me, please!

It arrived when we were in PEI, but the boys have made good use of it ever since.

World cup fever

Simon loves it, and has called his school mates several times this week to see who wants to play soccer up at the school. Thank you Rogers and Sony for making me the coolest mom on the block – for this week, at least!


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Protected: A love letter to Simon, age 10

1 February 2014 Simon

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In which the boys launch their movie careers at the Apple Store (alternate title: more free family fun this summer!)

17 July 2013 Fun for kiddies

This is a shameless but absolutely unsponsored plug for a great summer activity for kids aged 8 to 12. It was Beloved who noticed the ad for free kids’ camp on the Apple.ca website a few weeks ago. I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call it “camp” as the sessions are only […]

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Protected: A love letter to Simon, Age 9

1 February 2013 Simon

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Great moments in parenting – the birthday party fail edition

30 January 2013 Lucas

I thought I had it all under control. Clearly, I did not. Poor Lucas, poster boy for the third child, has reached the ripe old age of five and has never had a birthday party. Knowing this, we started making plans to ensure he actually got one this year in December, even though his birthday […]

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