March 2005

I took a sick day yesterday. The boys had me up at 4:30 am, and the sleep deprivation coupled with the low-grade migraine that has been dogging me since the weekend pushed me over the edge. I checked my mental calendar, realized I had no meetings scheduled at work nor nothing that couldn’t wait for a day, agonized for another 30 minutes – going to far as to turn on the shower and turn it off again in my indecision – before finally giving up and calling in. (Digression: I hate calling in sick – the actual placing of the call, I mean. On days when I am very sick and have decided in the middle of the night to call in the next morning, my dreams in the wee hours of the morning often revolve around me forgetting to call in and coming to some unfortunate end because of it.)

Having decided to take the day off work, the next dilemma was whether to keep one, or both, of the boys home from daycare. I know Tristan loves his friends and the daycare provider, so I wasn’t really too worried about him. But Simon is still having a few transitional issues and rarely naps well when he’s with Bobbie (the daycare provider). After obsessing just a little too much about it, and hashing it out with Beloved (who was completely perplexed by my desire to keep Simon home) I decided to send both boys and spend the day by myself.

What place have I come to in my life that taking a sick day – one where I’m actually sick! – seems like I’m getting away with something, like I’m somehow cheating the system? It’s the first time since Simon was born that I could actually indulge in feeling like crap, and not have to worry about taking care of someone else at the same time. I think that was the very hardest part of being a stay-at-home mom for the year or so I was home – there is nowhere to hide when you’re really sick, and you can’t just put the baby in the garage for a couple of hours while you nap and take a long shower and lie moaning pathetically on the couch. (No, I am not good with being sick. It’s not pretty.)

So I took my nap, and my long shower. I walked up to the store for my favourite migraine relief – plain chips and coke (I don’t know why, but it works.) Then I picked up the toys, did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and got the garbage ready for the curb. I hung up the clothes that had been piling up on the chair, vacuumed the main floor and sorted through some unopened mail from a week (or two?) ago. By the time I was walking over to the daycare provider’s to pick up the boys, I was feeling much better. But I was feeling GUILTY for not having done more. Sheesh, I was thinking, home for a full day with nobody around, and that’s all I managed to do? Again, I am wondering what place I have come to in my life when I have a (self-imposed) to-do list on a sick day and why I feel guilty when I don’t get through it. I used to be much lazier. I miss those days!


He walks! He talks!

by DaniGirl on March 30, 2005 · 5 comments

in Simon

Simon has joined the illustrious ranks of the world’s bipeds. I love the new walker’s toddle, stumbling around with stiff bowed legs and arms held up and open, ready for the inevitable crash. He’s quite good at it now, having gone from his first tentative steps a couple of weeks ago to being able to cross the room and navigate corners and clutter with ease.

I watch him careen off the furniture and plop uncerimoniously onto his butt, and think how much that would hurt if it were me landing with that much force on my ass-end, even with all the padding I’m carrying around these days. Kids are impressively durable! It’s the bounce that makes me cringe. I wish I could bounce with impunity, but I fear I would end up with my tailbone somewhere between my ears if I fell on my tucus as often and with as much aplomb as Simon does.

He talks now, too. He’s mastered “up”, “nite nite”, “dog” and “ball”. No mama, no dada, but a reasonable stab at “Tistn”, which shows me my place in the family heirarchy. He also babbles ferociously, and I would really like to have use of a Babel Fish for just a day or so to know what it is he is going on about. He’s probably complaining about my cooking.

A friend of mine who has studied linguistics or anthropology or childhood development or something like that (hey, I can’t remember everything) told me that babies are born with the capability to make all the sounds in all human languages, and it is around the age of one year that they begin to whittle out all the sounds they won’t need to speak in their mother tongue. Kind of like undifferentiated linguistic stem cells, I think. I guess that’s why some days I swear he’s spouting off a Wagnerian libretto in gutteral German, other days he sounds like he’s being raised in Chinatown and still other days it sounds like he is speaking in that throat-clicking language of the Inuit.

I want to say this is one of my favourite stages of babyness, but then I said that about the age of 4 to 6 months, when they first start to beam at strangers and sit up for themselves, and about the tiny newborn stage when their cries sound more like angry cats than hungry babies. And I love the next stage, where growing vocabularies intersect with a burgeoning awareness of the world.

What is/was your favourite baby stage?



Aha! (smacks forehead)

by DaniGirl on March 29, 2005 · 6 comments

in Uncategorized

I’ve been feeling a little out of it lately. Tired, cranky, ass-draggy – even moreso than usual. It’s been especially bad on the weekends and I just haven’t been able to figure out why. Yesterday afternoon, I was so sluggish (or, more accurately, slug-like, in that I was lying on the floor in a puddle of my own drool) in the middle of the day that I asked Beloved to throw on a pot of coffee, in hopes of sparking some spring into my step. Or at least being able to sit upright.

Through bleary eyes, I noticed he was scooping from the decaf canister instead of using the real coffee. I was about to whimper, not having the energy to wail, in protest when it struck me… sweet mother of columbian supremo, no wonder I’ve been feeling like crap. I’VE BEEN DRINKING DECAF!!!

We’ve had the same two coffee canisters for years, one with pretty flowers that holds the real coffee, and a glass one that holds the decaf, which we often drink in the evenings. Some time in the last couple of weeks, my adled brain had crossed up which canister has the aromatic grounds of perky goodness, and which canister has the “it’s two hours until bedtime, I’d better not or I’ll be up all night” decaf poser.

I could cry. It’s been weeks since the boys have slept later than 5:30 am, and I’ve been medicating myself with decaf? The horror!


Springtime at last!!

by DaniGirl on March 28, 2005 · 6 comments

in Ah, me boys

It’s been a while since I posted any pictures, so I thought I’d show you why I’ve neglected blog this weekend in favour of having some fun with the boys. First, while Simon was napping on Friday, Tristan and I painted some eggs.

Then, on Saturday we went to the Farm with some friends. Simon got a free ride…

… while Tristan ran his little legs off. Notice the gravitational pull of that puddle… an entire farm to play in, and the boys head right for the puddle. Needless to say, they were soaked. Happy, but soaked.

We actually managed to get a few of them to stand still long enough for a picture! From left to right, that’s Tristan, Grant, Ben and Trevor.

Then on Sunday, we played outside some more. What a gorgeous weekend!


Okay, so this is a bit of a lazy blog, but I’m having too much fun in the springtime sun with my boys to come in and write a decent entry.

As promised, here are a dozen lamebrained things I swore I’d never do before I became a parent. Heck, some of this stuff I do daily!

1. I’d never give a baby a pacifier.

2. I’d never tiptoe around the house or whisper because baby is sleeping. (Fact: I nearly throttled the mailman one day because he had the temerity to ring the doorbell during nap time.)

3. I’d never consider cheetos and olives an acceptable dinner.

4. I’d never let naptime schedule my day. (Fact: naptime is the only thing that schedules my day.)

5. I’d never say “because I said so.”

6. I’d never rescue a dropped lollipop from the mall floor, lick the germs off and give it back to my hysterical toddler.

7. I’d never nurse a baby once his teeth grew in. (Fact: he’s almost 14 months and I see no end in sight. Probably soon, but maybe not.)

8. I would never bribe my children with candies or other treats. (Fact: if it weren’t for smarties and jelly beans, nothing would ever get done around here.)

9. I would never give my children snacks in their car seats.

10. I would never speak to my children in that annoying singsong-y voice.

11. I would never use TV as a babysitter.

12. I would never spend $20 on a little wooden train. (Fact: we have at least a dozen of them.)

So those are my confessions. Yours?


Call me Steve

by DaniGirl on March 24, 2005 · 3 comments

in My inner geek, Uncategorized

You thought we Canadians were running amok with our liberalist ways – sanctioning gay marriage, legalizing marajuana, and allowing our beef to get mad cow cooties. You ain’t heard the half of it. According to today’s Ottawa Citizen (yes, it’s subscriber only, but I’ll tell you the juicy parts anyway – oh wait, here’s a link to a similar story on the BBC) … ahem, where was I? Oh yes, according to news reports, IMAX theatres in the U.S. Bible Belt are refusing to screen science films that mention or even hint at the theory of evolution – and where are most of those films made? Why, right here in Canada of course.

One of the more recent films, Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, has been called “blasphemous” because although it never explicitly mentions evolution, the script does explain that the DNA of microscopic bacteria living in undersea volcanoes contains the same building blocks as human DNA. Cover your preschooler’s ears, this is risqué stuff!

I would like to be open-minded about this. Really, I think the idea of creationism, or it’s modern incarnation of “intelligent design” is a quaint idea. Sure, if you want to believe in that, good on ya – kind of the same way I’m more than happy to let you continue to believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. But I was astonished to read that in more than 40 (that’s FORTY!) U.S. states, the creationist lobby has attempted to push evolution out of the science textbooks and classrooms entirely.

I could go on about this for a while, but instead I will tell you about the brilliant response the U.S. based National Center for Science Education has concocted: Project Steve. They wanted to counter the prevalent creationist argument that even scientists dissent with the theory of evolution, and issued a statement supporting the teaching of evolution in schools.

The 220 signatories are a distinguished group. Almost all hold PhDs in the sciences. They include two Nobel prize winners, eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, and several well-known authors of popular science books such as Why We Age, Darwin’s Ghost, and How the Mind Works. And they are all named Steve….

Creationists are fond of amassing lists of PhDs who deny evolution to try to give the false impression that evolution is somehow on the verge of being rejected by the scientific community. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Hundreds of scientists endorsed the NCSE statement. And we asked only scientists named Steve — who represent approximately 1% of scientists. (from the NCSE Web site)

They started with 220 scientists named Steve (and Stephanie) in early 2003, and now have more than 500 signatories, including the Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg and the incomparable Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time. Their statement, also available on a T-shirt that I did not know existed and am now fiercely coveting, sums up the argument better than I ever could. (Sheesh, you’d think these guys were rocket scientists or something, they’re so smart.)

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

Amen, brothers. I’d be honoured to be a Steve for a day.


I have the power

23 March 2005 Mothering without a licence

It started innoccuously enough. I was trying – with little success – to motivate Tristan into getting his little butt in gear so we could get out the door. He had a different agenda. Me (ordinary voice) : “Okay, Tristan-bean, time to get your shoes on.”Tristan : ignoreMe (singsong voice) : “Triiiiistan, it’s time to […]

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Goodbye soother…

21 March 2005 Uncategorized

I wanted to come up with a witty and eye-catching title for this post, but my heart just isn’t in it. Tristan has finally given up his soother, and I’m surprised by the strange mix of emotions I feel. Before I had kids, I swore I’d never use pacifiers. “Take a beautiful baby and hide […]

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From the drawer – The CIO Diaries

20 March 2005 Uncategorized

Another missive from the drawer. I was thinking about this the other day when I was reading about Jen’s trouble getting Baby Girl to sleep on MUBAR, and about Mimilou’s night-time adventures. What really made me realize I had to share this, though, was this lovely little search hit from the referral logs. Yes, some […]

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A love story

18 March 2005 Uncategorized

Ten years ago tonight, I walked into a bar and fell in love. Everything about how we met danced with cliché: we met in a bar; he told me he was an artist and offered to show me his sketches (I said yes and followed him home); it truly was love at first sight. If […]

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