Outsmarted by a Toddler


When Pete and I learned that we were expecting Baby #2, we were apprehensive, of course.  How would a second baby affect our lives?  We have a nice little family routine going that will be completely turned on its head when the little one arrives.  Little C won’t be the star of the show anymore.  How will she react?  Will she be able to adjust?

Well, we decided to try to tackle some of these issues, rather than just worrying fruitlessly about them.  In order to get C used to the idea of a new baby in our lives, we started to rock and sing to some of her stuffed animals.

“Brilliant,” we thought.  “She’ll see us nurturing something other than her and she’ll get used to the idea that she’ll have to share our attention.”

She would watch us closely while we rocked her animals, singing “Rock-a-Bye Baby” to them.  After a while, she even started to want to rock them herself.  It was working!

Oh no.  That was pride before the fall.  We should have known that nothing with a toddler is that simple.

Now, C insists on being rocked like a baby by both of us.  This is a child who never, ever wanted to be rocked as an infant.  Even before she was able to hold her head up, she wanted to be held in a sitting position, facing out, bouncing, so that she could be part of the action.  Rocking was for suckers.

Now we have a 25+ pound child who can speak in (nearly) full sentences demanding to be held like a baby while we sing lullabies to her.  She’ll demand “Rock baby!  Pleeeeaase!  Rock-a-baby-top!”  (She hasn’t quite figured out the title yet).

We now see how things are going to be around here.  Uh-oh.

Baby Bike



It’s only early March, and our toddler is only 18 months old, but this long-anticipated day has arrived.  C has a bike.

Pete was in Toronto for an appointment and swung over to Sweet Pete’s Bike Shop on Bloor St.  He picked up this little kick-bike for C to start using this summer.  She’s a bit small for it now, but we’re hoping that by June or July she might be able to ride it a bit.

I’m excited for C to try out her own little bike.  Yes, she’s growing up too fast for my liking, but it will be fun to see her try to ride on her own.  I hope she loves cycling as much as we do.  Or, as much as I do.  Maybe not as much as Pete does.  Pete enjoys plummeting down mountains on bikes.  I’m fine with C loving to cycle, as long as her cycling doesn’t turn into this:



What is a “Week-End”?



I’m sure you’ve seen these e-cards popping up on your Facebook newsfeed periodically.  This one is particularly fitting for me.  I’m a stay-at-home parent to my eighteen-month-old, and weekends don’t really exist anymore.  The problem is that I still (after a year and a half) haven’t managed to absorb this new reality.

All week, I look forward to Friday.  I think, “Friday’s almost here!  Woooo!”  And then Friday arrives and Pete and I are both exhausted.  We put C to bed, have a beer, watch Marketplace (and The Fifth Estate if we’re staying up really late) and go to bed.

Before you feel too sorry for me, we sometimes have date nights.  We will often visit with friends during the day and we occasionally go away for the weekend.

But typically, weekends are very similar to weekdays around here.  They involve making meals, cleaning up after meals, dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, errands, and more laundry.  I’m starting to forget what a real (read: childless) weekend is like.  I’m a modern-day, non-fictional Dowager Countess of Grantham.

maggie smith weekend

Of course, the Dowager Countess doesn’t know what a weekend is because she doesn’t associate with anyone with a profession, but that’s neither here nor there.  I have something in common with the inimitable Maggie Smith.  Glass half-full!

I think the solution is going to be letting go of the concept of a weekend.  Weekends no longer exist.  They have been abolished by a small, semi-benevolent dictator.

The problem hasn’t been that I have bad weekends.  They just don’t live up to my old expectations of relaxation and rest.  In order to avoid the disappointment I feel every Sunday (when I’m more exhausted than when I started this weekend business on Friday) I have to make myself forget about the existence of the forty-hour work week.  If I just conceive of Saturday and Sunday as days when Pete happens to be around more, I think I’ll be able to enjoy those days for what they are now, rather than what I think they should be.

And besides, weekends are terribly middle-class, dear.