In which Lucas makes his preference clear

I was just settling into the comfy chair with Lucas, preparing for our regular bedtime routine. He’ll nurse for a few minutes and then I’ll cuddle him to sleep – the third child truly is spoiled rotten. I’d just pulled him in close when I realized I’d completely forgotten to give him his after-dinner bottle. (I blame Granny and Papa Lou for their scintillating after-dinner conversation.)

I looked down at him and said, “Oh no! We forgot to give you your bottle! I’m so sorry!” He looked up at me with his beautiful brown eyes and said, “Bottle.” Clear as day! He’s got a dozen or 20 words, but I hadn’t heard that one before. What really shocks me, though, is how much he understands of what we say to him. Unbiased as I am, I truly think he’s ahead of the curve in comprehension.

I laughed and started pulling up my shirt to offer him a boob, figuring even though he’d be down a couple of ounces of milk because we’d skipped the bottle he’d survive and it was too late to bother now. He looked at my breast, looked at me and pointed quite clearly to the shelf in the kitchen where I keep the baby bottles, which we could see from the chair, and said, “Bottle.”

“Okay,” I said, laughing again, “I’ll give you a bottle. But you have to drink a little bit of this first.” The nursing is staggering to a halt, but I’m doing what I can to prolong it. He took about four cursory slurps, popped off the nipple and pointed at the kitchen. “Bottle.”

This is the same child who last summer would pop off the boob randomly to suck on his own toes. It’s a good thing my ego is not fragile, I tell you. Apparently toes and cow’s milk are both preferable to whatever I’m brewing up.

So I brought him into the kitchen, where he giggled in delight as I poured the milk into a bottle. He pointed at the microwave and said, “Bottle!” while it warmed, and proceeded to snarf down all six ounces. For good measure, as I was finally settling in to cuddle him to sleep, he arched his back to look at the empty bottle on the end table where I had placed it.

“Bottle!” he announced, pointing to it and grinning at me with a look of self-satisfaction that clearly said, “I am the cleverest baby who ever lived, and aren’t I devilishly cute, too?”

Somehow, I think I’m going to spend a lot of this child’s lifetime thinking, “It’s a good thing you’re so darn cute…”

The end of an era; or, my breasts are not so evil after all

It’s been a good long time since I wrote about my breasts, hasn’t it? Vexatious things have been behaving themselves lately, but surely we’re overdue to complain about them. Ironically, I just glanced at the “one year ago today” widget down there in the sidebar, and one year ago today I was just finding out that my milk wasn’t enough to sustain Lucas on its own, and that we’d have to start supplementing. I wasn’t averse to supplementing, but I was worried that if there were problems with my milk to begin with that I wouldn’t be able to keep nursing for as long as I had wanted to. At the time, I really just wanted to make it to the twelve-month mark. I’d almost made it that far with Tristan, and went a little beyond it with Simon.

Guess what? One year later, and we’re still doing it! So I’m putting it out here on the interwebs for all future searchers to see: you can start supplementing your newborn with a bottle or two of formula and still keep nursing for a year or more! I so desperately wanted someone to reassure me of that a year ago. We started with one bottle of formula a day and that wasn’t enough so we moved to two when he was around six weeks old. I continued nursing Lucas three to four times a day in addition to the formula, dropping one feed in January and one in February. We switched the formula over to milk last month when he turned one year old, and I still nurse him just before he goes to bed.

I think, though, that it’s just about time for us to give that up. Sigh. He only nurses for a couple of minutes, usually not more than five. I’m sure he’s not getting much from it, but I’m so sad about ending this chapter in my life that I don’t want to stop. Poor Lucas, can’t even grow up without dealing with his mother’s emotional baggage!

Think maybe we can carry on this little five-minute interlude of babyness for another month or two? How did you know it was time to wean your wee one? Did circumstance dictate that you had to stop, or did you just drift slowly away from it? To be honest, I can’t even remember the final time I nursed either of the other boys, so it couldn’t have traumatized me too much. Tell me your weaning story, and pass the kleenex — he may be almost walking and have a vocabulary of six words already, but I’m just not ready to end this part of his babyness!

A love letter to Lucas, Age 1

My darling baby Lucas,

Has it only been a year you have been in our lives? Has it already been a year? How can both of those things seem so surprising at the same time?


You, my third son, my beautiful baby boy, are one year old today. I don’t have the words to tell you how much you are loved, and how much love you have given to us in just one short year.

I'm your big brother!

Lucas, you are a delightful baby. You find new ways to charm me, and new ways to vex me, every single day. You are not quite walking yet, although I’m sure you could if you just let yourself try. You crawl at the speed of light, though, and you cruise the furniture while making delighted little caws of accomplishment. “Look at me go!” your bright face and happy chirps are clearly saying.

And go you do. We call you a menace, several times a day, because you do not miss a single opportunity to find mischief. With a hundred toys to choose from, you’ll find the one with the not-baby-safe parts and then refuse to give it up without a fight. With an entire house to play in, you have an impeccable sense of when a door is left open, a baby gate ajar, a cup of coffee momentarily abandoned within your reach.


Speaking of coffee, one of your cutest little “tricks” at this age has come very close to making me spew many mouthsful of coffee down my shirt, but I’ve finally come to anticipate it and not snort with laughter every time you do it. Some time in the last month, you took to letting out a satisfied, “Ahhhhh” every time you saw me take a deep drink from my cup of coffee. Given the amount of coffee I’ve drank lately, you’ve had plenty of time to hone this particular trick! Clever thing that you are, as soon as you realized it made us laugh, you took to smacking out the same satisfied “Ahhhh!” any time anybody takes a drink of anything in your presence. It’s such an odd little trick, but endlessly entertaining to your entire family!

You are an impressive mimic. For months now, you have delighted us with your babbling, which sound uncannily like real words. When we sing “your song”, which is a play on BNL’s “La la la Lemon” that goes “La la la Lukey-fish” you love to join in on the la-la-la chorus. You also happily sing along to your other song, Great Big Sea’s Lukey. We can often coerce you out of a foul mood with a few bellowed verses of either song, and when you sing along with us it simply melts my heart.


You have an impressive set of lungs, too, and have learned that nothing will get you what you want quicker than an ear-splitting screech. Your favourite time to employ this tactic, aside from when we are sitting down to dinner and there is the possibility that you may soon not have an adequate supply of food in front of you, is when we are in a public place that calls for a certain amount of vocal restraint. Passers-by still seem to find you uncommonly adorable, though, and you’ve had more than your share of cooing strangers everywhere we go.

Once upon a time, you slept like a dream at night. We’ve dropped that particular thread in the past few months, but you seem to have traded excellent nighttime sleep for more reasonable daytime naps. I’m still not sure I’m happy with this trade! In the last month or so you so completely wore me down that I’ve now capitulated entirely to your will, and it’s a rare night that you don’t spend at least a couple of hours sleeping in my bed with me. With you, my third child, I’ve finally realized that it’s okay for principles to melt run like spring runoff in the face of sleep deprivation.


At the age of one, you are easily delighted. Finding a brother taking a bath seems to be particularly delightful, based on your happy chirps. Having a brother pay any sort of playful attention to you at all is another daily delight, as is playing tickle and tumble with Daddy or me. You love the “One Baby” series of books, to make “vroom” noises while pushing toy trucks, and the mouse on the computer that you aren’t supposed to touch.

8:365 Lucas in the morning light

I could go on for hours, my sweet baby Lucas, listing the ways in which you bring love and laughter and joy into our lives. Not to mention a few more grey hairs and wrinkles than I had this time last year! But let me finish with this simple wish: may your whole life be filled with the same delightful charm and exhuberance that is you at the age of one. Happy Birthday, my love!

Oh good lord, has she been reduced to blogging about poop?

Hey, whaddya know, it was a dead tie between poop and sleep! Poop had the lead going into yesterday afternoon, so that’s the one I have ready for today, but we really gotta talk about sleep this week, too. Stand by!


I’m about to put Lucas down for a nap, and I catch a whiff of eau de rotted blueberries. Time for a diaper change. (Aside: my sniffer seems to be on the fritz. Either his shite don’t stink, or life in a house with four XY chromosomes has indelibly damaged my sense of smell. I think I’m okay with either option.)

Ahem, anyway – diaper change. I flip him onto his back on the change mat on the floor and try to keep him there. Lucas is hell bent on escape. I finally manage to divert him with a colourful block. My son, he is. “Oh, pretty shiny block… ”

Not only does he stink, but he’s leaked through onto his undershirt and his pants. Oh joy. I pull open the diaper and try to hold his feet with one hand and divert his flailing arms with the other, while using my third arm to keep him from flipping over and my fourth arm to actually change the diaper.

Missing at least two of the required arms, I don’t move fast enough to catch the block as it lands with an unsavoury splat in the middle of the poopy diaper. I try to hold his kicking legs by the ankle in one hand while doing at least a passing cleaning of the block with a diaper wipe. One foot wriggles free and stomps down, of course, into the poopy diaper.

I go into triage mode, deciding the block is clean enough for the time being but something must be done to prevent further spread of the poop. I yank the foul thing out from under him (why must raisins do that in a dirty diaper?) and put it aside. I peel off the poopy sock, which has brushed in two places up against his leg, and swipe him with half a box a few wipes. All of the wipes, in fact. The wipe box is empty, there is still poop to be cleaned, and the crate of backup wipes is upstairs. Sigh. I take a clean diaper from the basket and do my best to finish the job. (Aside: another excellent use for clean diapers? Sopping up spills on the carpet. My brother showed me this one when he splashed a full glass of red wine onto our carpet last year. Press the clean diaper into the carpet until all the excess liquid is absorbed, then scrub the stain with a diaper wipe. Works great on spilled coffee, too!)

Lucas, who has not stopped wriggling madly throughout this exercise, is still hell bent on escape. Every time he senses even a momentary diversion of my attention, he makes a break for it. Now stripped naked, in the instant it takes me to look up and put my hands on another clean diaper and bum cream he manages to flip over, get to his hands and knees and start crawling away. He is less than an inch away from getting his hands on the dirty diaper from which he has been recently relieved when I intervene. He howls indignantly as I wrestle him back into something resembling a prone position.

Eventually, I get him wrapped in a clean diaper and manage to get most of the diaper cream off his fingers (I’ll leave it to you to figure out how that happened) before he manages to get it into his mouth or eyes.

I set him free (and happily mostly naked) a careful distance from the mess behind me and turn just in time to see the cat walk without hesitation directly through the centre of the still-open dirty diaper, leaving a trail of poopy cat prints across the carpet…

Poor baby

Be thankful you aren’t Lucas this week. Poor guy, not even eleven months old, is having a hell of a week. One week ago, last Tuesday, I brought him into a walk-in clinic because he had a fever and had been sleeping poorly. Diagnosed with an ear infection, and his first dose of amoxicillin.

Saturday night, he got the stomach flu I’d been dealing with since the day before. In one twenty minute span I had to change him into three separate sleepers, and change my own pyjamas twice. Good times.

This morning, the rash that had been on the back of his hips for a couple of days had spread to his entire body, looking alarmingly like measles. I figured it for a reaction to the amoxicillin, but we’d finished the full course of that on Sunday, so I called the ped to be sure. He called us in for an appointment, and said it’s possible that it’s a late reaction to the antibiotics (Beloved is deathly allergic to penicillin) but looked more like a viral rash to him. He also said Lucas has a lot of redness in his throat and some serious mucus building up, further supporting the viral theory. Here comes the head cold.

Sheesh, no wonder we haven’t been getting any sleep lately!

The good news is, the stomach flu made it to the fourth member of the family around midnight last night, so we’re four down with one to go on that count. And I feel like myself for the first time in five days. Here’s hoping for more restful nights ahead!

I promise, blogging of topics other than bodily fluids will resume shortly…

He’s a goer

Uh oh. Cue REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

The baby? He’s mobile. We are so farked.

He’s not quite crawling yet, but he knows how to lean over from a sitting position and stretch himself prone. It’s only a matter of days before he pops up on his hands and knees and scoots away. In the interim, though, he’s turned the barrel roll and the 96-point turn into an art form. He also scooches over to the furniture and manages a little baby chin-up, hauling himself up on his knees.

Did I mention we’re farked?

And he’s in that intense stage of baby development where one not only acquires a new skill, but one must practice that new skill at every available opportunity, and during each and every waking moment. I can’t turn my back on him without him making a break for it.

So very farked.

Because there was less than two years between Tristan and Simon, we never really moved out of a state of general baby-proofedness between them. In the intervening four years, our house has become home to every possible choking hazard known to the modern world, most of which are lurking under furniture and tucked in hidden cubbies and corners just waiting for a curious human with an eye-level of approximately eight inches off the ground to happen by.

And hardy-har-har, I thought the Christmas tree would be safe this year…

In which I trade my mother’s loyalty for a few inches of ink

Huh. Hard to figure out how to play this one.

It’s not every day you get quoted in the Globe and Mail, after all. For an attention junkie like me, it doesn’t get much sweeter than that. When Fiona sent me an e-mail to ask if I’d mind being interviewed for a piece she was working on about baby-led weaning, I knew if nothing else it would make great blog fodder.

Ah, but as many other A-list celebrities like myself have learned, the media is a fickle mistress indeed. I’m quite sure I never would have said that my mother was “nagging” me to start feeding Lucas solids. “Haranguing” maybe, or “cajoling.” “Hectoring” would have been a good word, now that I think of it. But I would never in a million years told Canada’s national newspaper that my mother was “nagging” me. Never.

I’m *so* getting a lump of coal for Christmas, aren’t I, Mom? (We won’t even get into the fact that we skipped over six weeks’ worth of milestones, from first cereal to first Cheerios, in a single en-dash!)

Now that I’ve alienated the one person whose vote I knew was in the bag for the Canadian Blog Awards, I need your vote more than ever. Take pity on me, and throw me a vote, willya?

Lucas the amazing interactive baby

I’ve always said that six to nine months old is one of my favourite baby ages. Old enough to sit up but not old enough to creep around; old enough to love you obviously and joyfully but not old enough to be prone to tantrums; old enough to babble but not old enough to talk back yet.

Lucas at almost nine months is a delightful baby – if you don’t mind the 32 minute naps. I forgot how early babies become interactive, instead of just slobbery little blobs. He is fascinated by the boys and the pets, and loves when the boys pay attention to him. The other day, I was putting his coat on telling him that we were on our way out to get Simon at school, and as soon as I said “Simon” he started craning his head around looking for him. Way too cute!

He’s very talkative. I’m really so very not surprised about that. Hell, you have to be vocal to be heard around our house. What’s cute is how he imitates us. He not only repeats one of three varieties of babble (ahhhh, ba-ba-ba, or da-da-da) but modulates his voice to mimic us. We’re working on ma-ma-ma, but he’s not quite there yet. And there’s no doubt he understands a lot of what we say. I just about fell over the other day when I said, “Lucas, where’s your toes?” and he reached over and grabbed them.

My absolute favourite baby trick, though, is this. About a month ago, I was rocking him to sleep and singing to him when I realized that he wasn’t just cooing softly to himself — in itself almost heartbreakingly endearing — but he was humming along with me as I sang to him. At which point I became a gelatinous ooze of maternal love and forgave him a years’ worth of 32 minute naps.


Isn’t he delicious?