Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Night Before

My little family is going on vacation without me tomorrow. They'll be gone all week while I take on a training session at work with later hours. This choice was made because Jack's schedule was not manageable if I couldn't pick him up before 5:00, so the Dude took his week of vacation for the summer.

And so he's taking Jack to the lake because that's where we were planning on going. No reason he should have a crummy summer, missing out, just because things changed on my end.

And this will be good for me. I've been wanting this training and now I'm going to learn new things at work. So overall, it's a good thing. It'll be good for the Dude to have this time with his parents and Jack, some freedom from work, fresh air...

But damn. Five straight days and nights without them. I'll be honest, I had a little cry this evening.

I have some visits with friends lined up, and I'm really looking forward to those. It'll be wonderful to have the ability to just go hang out without any worries in the world about my responsibilities. But it'll also be mandatory for my emotional wellbeing because it's going to be really lonely around these parts for awhile.

I predict I'll be okay for a couple days, but by the end of the week I'll be a wreck. I'm going to miss my little pumpkin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Love at the Splash Pad

The best thing about having a baby who can finally walk and do stuff is getting out in summer time. PARKS! Splash pad! And soon... wading pool! Every day the weather is nice I take Jack to the park and he loses himself in joy and exploration.

There's donated toys all over that he runs to, other people's things I have to keep him out of, new dogs to squeal over, and the splash pad. I tried one day to get him to run through it in his diaper, but this boy of mine has no interest in being naked. He's never liked it, not even from birth. So I put him back in his clothes and he got drenched, with no spare anything to change into.

So the last time we were there I brought a swim ensemble. Basically swim trunks to go over his diaper and a rash guard. But my goodness did he look cute! Now we were ready to get drenched!

Just bein' awesome.
And once in his suit he had to go over to the metal plumbing cover and play on that. He allowed himself to be briefly sprinkled by some water, but mostly he had already found what he wanted to do. 

However, he was eventually deterred from the mysteries of the dirty metal plank by a ridable toy truck that he'd only ever before dreamed to push. But that day he rode on it. And this is the shit I never understood before having a kid of my own, just how precious something like that could be.

More and more, looking at his little handsome face and getting those spontaneous hugs and hearing his high giggle, seeing all the sweet things he does, I feel like I have the best baby in the world. And that's the best part. Every mother feels that way. That's a mother's love, feeling like you really got something special.

He's my little pumpkin <3

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Checklist

So, I don't have The MS. Whew. My doctor was very apologetic about my emotional turmoil surrounding my fear... that she gave me. I forgave her for freaking me out. And it's good, in a way. I mean, passing along my reactions helps her with her bedside manner. I started seeing her when she was a resident, so even though she's a qualified doctor now, she's still learning.

But yeah, she did some tests to determine if I was suffering any symptoms of MS and no, I have none. I have an MRI coming up, low priority, to see what this back thing is, but it's not looking neurological, so actually that's kinda all I care about. Everything else I can work with. No MS. That's the ticket.

Moving on.

I have a list of things to do, things I ought to have done already either because they're very easy or really fucking important. And yet no. What is wrong with me, you ask? Well, heck, I've been trying to figure that out for years.

1. Renew passport. It expired almost a year ago. And I've got less than two months to do this before I have to start over from scratch. Am I going anywhere? No. Do I lead an exciting life where I may be whisked away for a spontaneous adventure? Uh-uh. Do I have any plans to leave the country in the next several years. Nope.

But that ain't the damn point. I should have a valid passport because apparently I am an actual adult. And anyway, I don't have a damn driver's licence as I allowed my G1 to expire back in 2005, so I kinda need something other than my OHIP that's all official-like to indicate I am who I say I am.

This means I have to (gasp) print out a form I've already filled in, get my photo taken a few minutes from my house and then insert these things in an envelope and mail them via the mailbox a couple minutes away. I'll have to cross a street. I have an entire day off every week. I have not managed to accomplish this.

1.a. Get an Age Of Majority or LCBO card to at least be able to buy alcohol without needing a passport.

2. Have a hair appointment so I can look decent again. I found a hair stylist minutes away who is affordable and good, whose hours don't make me sob in despair. I don't remember my last colouring. I'm getting too used to seeing my grey hairs.

2a. Make sure I get photos for passport taken after hair appointment so I can look good unlike previous passports.

3. Get water tested for lead. Oh yes. In this city we appear to have a lead issue! I drank tap water throughout my pregnancy. I fed my baby formula made with tap water. Boiling doesn't destroy lead. And their suggestion is to just breastfeed any babies. A) that ship has sailed and B) if you drink the water yourself, don't you have breast milk with lead in it...?

Anyway, I know why I haven't tested it. I can't go back and not drink the water. If there's damage, it's done. And I have no power as a renter to get the pipes upgraded anyway. But I still should. I mean, if there's frigging lead, I ought to be able to tell my landlord and at least see if anything changes.

And heck, I can get this tested right by the hair salon.

4. Finish Jack's baby book. I just need to print some pictures. Which I can do where I get my passport shots. Which I'll do after a hair appointment.

And if you follow, all I need to do to be productive is make a hair appointment.

With nice hair, maybe I can be as fabulous as this kid:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The MS

I am, like, the laziest blogger. But I'll try 'n stuff. I will.

So tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment. A few months after I had Jack, I started getting this fuzzy tingling on my back. It would come and go. I have no idea what the hell it is, but since I was recovering from Mega Pregnancy, epidural and a C section, I figured my body was just sorta figuring things out.

At one of Jack's appointments, my doctor asked me how I was doing and I mentioned the back thing, not really thinking anything of it. Her first questions, or maybe just the only one I remember, was, "Does anyone in your family have MS?"


And no, no, there is no family history of that, yeah, okay, what? MS you say? I could have that? And I don't know if the look of alarm registered on my face, but she said to let her know if it persisted.

When I got home I did what any sensible person would do and I googled the shit out of MS. I then convinced myself I had MS. Then I spooked the Dude into thinking I had MS. Then I was feeling lazy on the couch and asked him to get me a bowl of ice cream, please, because I had "the MS." And then I stopped feeling it, so I forgot about it and calmed my ass down.

Well, it's back. Back! And, you know, I'm just going to see what this is. For one, I just need to know it's not MS. Two, it's annoying. Maybe I effed my back during my pregnancy or something.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

McPal Wedding

So earlier this month my dear friends, McPal and his fiance (HUSBAND!) got married. I'm not one of those people who complain about weddings or who hates attending them. I adore weddings and this was a very special one. It's so amazing when your friends get married. They are your chosen family.

Neither of their parents attended, though. Yeah, it's the year 2014 and still there are people out there for cultural or religious reasons who allow their culture and religion to deny their children unconditional love. I've been thinking a lot about that lately.

Jack could be gay. He could marry a man one day. He's just a baby, so who he is deep down inside is a mystery. That area of his personhood is unknown. But if he's gay then it's already written into the fabric of who he'll be. And if he is, I can't imagine either A. not attending his wedding over that and B. viewing it as a negative thing in the first place.

My mom, when I was growing up, told my brother and I that if we were gay, she'd love us but also that she'd be sad because it's a harder life to live. Had she lived, she'd have been there are my wedding, no matter who I married. She'd have celebrated and shared our joy and toasted her glass. With a mother like her, being gay wouldn't have been hard for us as it is for others. There would have been no rejection from the person who's supposed to love you most.

I was the first person McPal came out to. I was not a close friend at the time and like so many before him, I was a good practice come-out. I was safe. He knew my views, and I wasn't a big part of his life. It really was an honour, though, and I think it's what really and truly kickstarted our friendship. And it means a lot to me that a meaningful friendship was ignited over an important shared experience where I could be the sort of friend that was needed.

And from that day to his wedding day, it's been wonderful to watch my friend grow into who he's supposed to be, and marry the person he's supposed to marry (Who really is quite a catch). And though nothing can really make up for the parental abandonment in this case, I hope they felt blanketed by their friends' support and good wishes. They're a very popular couple, and with good reason. Everyone loves them.

Having become a mother, myself, I don't understand their parents. I just don't get it. I wish their parents could see what they're missing. If I don't go to Jack's wedding it'll be because I'm dead or something. I can't think of another good reason to miss it.

If life gives you beautiful sons, you don't toss them aside. It goes against nature. So ultimately, it's their loss.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ontario Science Centre With Baby

Today was the sort of day you dream about having when you start a family. We're talking good naps, brunch with friends and a well-behaved baby, and a trip to the Ontario Science Centre. We were going to go to the Aquarium, but we thought Jack needed more opportunity to run around and wear himself out.

By the time we got there we only had an hour to spend at Kidspark, the kid's section at the Centre. On one hand, this was okay since he only has a waking window of three hours max, plus that has to include a meal of some kind. When you include travel, we did the best we could. But damn, he went crazy in there. We really could have used more time.

There were so many things to touch and look at. He almost didn't know what to do with his bad self. By the time we got to the toddler area, he was pretty overstimulated and acted like a racoon who fell into a dumpster of shiny objects and corn cobs. It was amazing.

I had been wondering if 13 months was too young to enjoy this place or not and I couldn't get a good answer anywhere. Eventually I figured, fuck it. We'll just go. So glad we did. We're going to get the family pass and try and make this a thing, maybe once every month or two as a special treat.

We didn't get to see everything, by a long shot, but there was lots of stuff he was still too young for, things we can look forward to him enjoying later.

When I was younger, before I was sure I wanted a child, I used to see parents watching their kids play and I thought it looked boring. I felt bad for them stuck watching kids have fun while they sat on the sidelines. I've since learned that is the whole magic of it all. Watching your little baby become a toddler bit by bit, discovering the world, learning how to navigate his tiny body through a maze of new surroundings is almost a rush.

When you see a wee kid climb a ledge, it means nothing to you. When your own does it, you know the day he learned that skill and you relive your pride when you watch him do it somewhere new, on his way to figuring out something new.

Days like this are what I've always wanted. I experienced total contentment. And there's more to come.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Full of Beans

My son is full of beans. Like, all the beans. I go to daycare to pick him up and our provider, who loves him, tells me all about his latest adventures in stealing other kids' food, pinching, getting jealous over a smaller baby, slamming doors and all kinds of other nonsense. And then she says he makes her laugh and she loves him.

My 13-month-old is a real character, basically. I'm working on extinguishing violence. We're firm about the hitting. We say no hitting, and we use a stern voice and an unimpressed face, no yelling, no antics, just a lack of rewarding reactions that might feed the behaviour. It's working, for the most part. He still does it, but doesn't repeat it, or will stop mid-hit and not make contact. He also seems very hesitant about hitting now, which is an improvement.

But damn, it's an ongoing thing. And that's just one thing. There's many things I have to be aware of. He just learned to climb stairs. Now I must follow him up and down on the playground because he has not learned to be careful around ledges. I have to have recurring dialogues about being kind to animals and not charging them or grabbing fur. I have to explain other people's belongings are not there for his benefit; sorry you can't pick them up and take them with you. I have to try and teach him about different foods and make sure enough healthy calories go into his body.  I'm trying to teach him when he throws things away, particularly out of reach, he has to do without them.

And on and on and on. Every day there are countless teaching moments about acting right and I'm only with him two hours on weekdays. I don't resent this or even get bored. Hell, like I said, it's only two hours most days. I gotta pack in the time with useful things.

But damn, he still wears me out somehow in that window.

On an unrelated note, you could help me win free baby food: Vote for my video here and you'll help me save money, money, money.

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