My little monster…

After raising a wonderful little boy for two and a half year, we have now been given a monster for the past few weeks.

It started around Christmas, with all the sleeping issues caused by late nights and visitors. But it never quite came back. Our son wouldn’t nap anymore. Or when he would, he would then get up 20 times after we put him to bed, until 9 pm, and since he would still wake up at 6 am the next day, he was exhausted. So we stopped the nap, and for a few days it worked beautifully, he would sleep from 7:30 to 7:30 and be reasonably rested. But it didn’t last. Now he wakes up at 6 or 6:30, and he still won’t sleep when we put him down for a nap. We have been trying to put him to bed earlier, but we’re having a really hard time getting supper ready, then eaten early enough to put our boy to bed at 7, especially with my crazy Olympic schedule. So he has been exhausted for a few weeks.

I know that he can’t help it because he needs more sleep, but the results are so annoying that it’s hard to remain calm and composed. The phrase we have been hearing most often lately is “I don’t want to!”. He doesn’t want to walk, he doesn’t want to go pee, he doesn’t want to go home, he doesn’t want to eat,  he doesn’t want to go to bed… There is no reasoning, he has fits of crying for absolutely no reason, and my joyful little boy seems to have completely disappeared.

Of course, he’s also at the age when he would oppose us anyway, and he’s probably too young for complicated reasoning. But it used to be so easy! He used to at least want to please us a little bit. Now if I tell him not to do something, he’ll do it. Systematically.

I’m sure that sleeping well would solve at least part of the problem. But how do you force a child to sleep?


After starting the Olympics on a good note with a great show last weekend, we wanted to go see another show on Friday. Lennie Gallant. He’s a folk singer from Atlantic Canada, very soft music, I love him. Well, he was playing at LiveCity Yaletown and there were so many people waiting in line at 3:30 – for the 7:30 show that we had to give up. The most frustrating thing was that the people in the crowd were mostly 18 to 20-year-olds, who most likely didn’t care at all about Lennie Gallant. They were there for the DJ at 9:30. I wonder if anyone listened to Lennie Gallant or even cheered. It left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

The line-ups are so long that it’s almost impossible to do any Olympic activity. Saturday we went to O-Zone in Richmond, where we were able to get in easily (we were there early), but there was really nothing to do. And you should have seen the line-up for Holland-Heinecken House! We had to wait in line to take the SkyTrain back (it took only 20 minutes, but still), the street are so packed downtown that it’s almost scary walking there with our son. Yesterday we did manage to see the Native Craft Village, which was nice, but not the Aboriginal Pavilion (the line-up was crazy). In the end, the only nice thing I’ve seen of the Olympics is the sunny weather and the buskers. They are good, free, and you can usually maneuver around enough to see them.

Last night we went to Granville Island to see a show by a Quebec group, Les Cowboys Fringants. The show was supposed to start at 7:30. The site is large, there is no security, so we were able to get in at 7:30. But it was the end of the previous show. All in all, a good thing, because their music was really good. Then they finished at 7:50ish, and the main group didn’t start until 8:30. We had already decided to leave at 9 since I work  very early and we had brought our son, who is usually in bed by 7:30. In the half hour of show I saw, the group didn’t manage to play any of their biggest successes. I guess they kept them all for the end. But I was really disappointed.

People are saying that the ambiance around the city is amazing, and it’s true, it’s pretty crazy. I have never seen that many people in the streets. But it makes it really hard to see anything, do anything or get anywhere. It’s just not really enjoyable. Maybe if I didn’t have a child and had nothing else to do but wait in line all day, I’d find it amazing. Right now, I find it slightly annoying!

About national pride

It’s the Olympic Games. I do watch some sports, and I am definitely happy when Canada wins medals. But I can’t help but wonder why.

Why are people proud when a perfect stranger who was simply born and/or raised and/or trained in their country wins a medal? How does that reflect on us? Am I a better person because one of 33 millions other people who live in my country did good in a sport? I really don’t get it, on an intellectual level. It just makes no sense. I didn’t do anything to help him or her win. And his or her victory will not change anything in my life.

Of course, on an emotional level, I’m happy.

A co-worker objected that I did do something to help Canadian athletes win. I payed. With my taxes, I subsidized their training. But that is honestly a very tiny contribution. And I didn’t do it knowingly or on purpose. So I still don’t see where my feeling comes from…

Go Canana!

Our boy is gong ho about the Olympics now. He has spent the last two days (one with Zak, one with me, as I had Tuesday off) walking downtown through all the Olympic installations, waving a Canada flag and yelling “Go, Canana!”.

To be fair, he does pronounce Canada right most of the time, but our friend’s son was saying Canana and now imitation has kicked in. The two of  them got lots of looks. I have to say they ARE pretty cute!


When I got home from work yesterday, my son was lying on the floor, his head on the couch cushion, and all he could say to me was “Maman, I am really really sick”!

Zak had warned me: he threw up several times throughout the day and wouldn’t keep even water down, so I stopped to buy chicken broth and pedialyte, the latter in liquid and popsicle form, just in case.  He was on the floor because he had puked on the couch, which Zak had to wash (just like his jacket, his shoes and all the other clothes he and Zak had worn that day). He was miserable.

In an effort to rehydrate him, we offered him both forms of pedialyte, broth and diluted orange juice that Zak had prepared. He declared they were all yucky, but he had a few sips of each, especially when we bribed him with a special permission to play on our iPod touch if he drank a little. He kept it down, but all he wanted was water. And then food once he felt a bit better. We just kept trying to make him drink, then we put him to bed. He woke up at 4 in the morning,he was trying to take off his diaper to use the potty. I shipped him back to bed as soon as possible (after putting a new diaper on him and forcing a bit more liquid down his throat). Then he woke up at 5. Then at 5:20

I guess he was probably hungry. Plus he had a nap yesterday and didn’t move much, so I guess he wasn’t tired anymore. But now I am…

This morning he seems fine, he ate some toast and drank some water. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Especially so we can sleep better tonight!

Olympic Games…

I am slowly becoming a fan of the Olympic Games. Slowly, because like many who live in Vancouver I got a bit sick of all the money being thrown at this event. But now that it has begun, we decided to enjoy it while it lasted. Thursday night we went to see the Olympic flame go past our house. Our son was really happy – not sure he cared about the flame, but there were lots of people, he stayed up later than usual, and there were police motorbikes and mounties on horses! The horses, especially, caught his attention.

Then Friday night we watched the opening ceremony, and we quite enjoyed it until CTV caught the Internet feed at 9 pm. The show was supposed to end at 9. It was late, and we missed the lighting of the olympic cauldron. Needless to say I haven’t forgiven CTV yet. They finally went back live and we were able to rewind and watched what we missed, but it’s not the same. Our son watched the first part of the show and asked us if we could go see it live like the flame. We had to explain that we didn’t have a thousand bucks (each) to spend on the show.

Then last night, we went to Place de la francophonie, on Granville Island, where about all the singers I know from Quebec are going to be playing during the Games. Last night was Mes aïeux, and we went with our boy. He really liked it, and the evening went very well, so much so that we may go back for more shows. I really enjoyed it – the mass of French-speaking people, the music… We brought some neighbors who don’t speak enough French to follow the words, but loved the music anyway. Even the rain didn’t dampen my spirits. I was slightly discouraged by the fact that they sold a poutine for $8, but it’s ok, we didn’t eat there. And our supper did cost $25, but the show was free, so it’s still a pretty cheap evening.

So I’m a pretty satisfied customer so far. We’ll see how things go on in the future…

The end of the boob…

So it seems that I have weaned my son. At 2 and a half, many will say that it was more than time. And to tell you the truth, I’m not even really sad about it. It happened quite naturally: I have been sent to work at VANOC for the duration of the Olympics, which forces me to leave at a specific time in the morning (no more “you come in when you want” work situation). Our boy stopped napping in the afternoon, so he needs to sleep longer at night. With all that combined, I have barely seen him in the morning all of last week, and yesterday I even had to leave while he was still sleeping.

And so with the change of the routine, I stopped breastfeeding him. It just happened. He didn’t even ask me – I guess he didn’t think about it, as we were running to have breakfast as soon as he woke up. And now a week later I fear the day when he will think about it again, because I will have to say no. It is too good an occasion to wean him not to take it. I mean, I can’t go on breastfeeding him forever. So it may as well be now when it happens naturally. He’s had a good run at it: most kids are weaned way before their second birthday, which was the goal I had in mind given the recommendation by the WHO. And our boy was so attached to his morning snack that I was really wondering how I would ever manage to wean him.

Well, it seems to be over now.  I’m glad, I really am. I just need to convince myself that I am. Because it also means the end of something that had been going on for 30 months. The end of a special relationship, something that nobody but me could give him, something he obviously enjoyed that came from me and me alone. And of course, it also means that my son is growing up – which is also evidenced by his renewed interest in potty training.

So I guess I am a little bit sad. But just a little. That is why we have kids, after all, isn’t it? To see them grow and become increasingly independent until they leave.  And besides, my boy will still hold my hand, even in public, and likes a cuddle once in a while. So I’ll concentrate on what I can still enjoy and say goodbye to breastfeeding. For now…