Maman’s drawer…

Yesterday, while Zak was in the washroom, my daughter raided my underwear drawer. It does happen to be the drawer lowest to the ground (I’ll have to rethink that)! When I came home, she had spent most of the day lugging around a pair of panties that I own. Apparently, the color or the texture was just right, because when Zak took them away from her (he did veto taking them to the playground), she had a fit. Apparently, they make a great hat.

In the meantime, my son had followed suit, wanting to share the spotlight with his sister. He went to see Zak, asking “Can I wear Maman’s seins (breasts) holder?”. Yup. He wore my bra around the living room for a while – and we have photos to prove it. I’m sure it will come in handy during his teenage years for use as blackmail! That said, I am certain it is totally healthy and age appropriate for him to play drags,  but I was not overly pleased when I came home to see my underwear strewn about the living room.

Oh well… As Zak would say, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep ‘em quiet!

Street sense

My son has no street sense.

I used to think that given how smart he is, he would fare well in the world. I thought he understood that cars are dangerous or that you have to listen to your parents. I was wrong. He’s a child, and like all other children, he does not understand the consequence of his actions.

Our first big fright was earlier this summer when we were in Kelowna. My mother-in-law had parked the car in front of the house to help her mother in, then she returned to the car. My son, who was playing in the yard, went towards the car right behind his grandmother. I thought she had seen him and that he would help her carry things in as he often did. I was taking care of his sister. Then I looked up again, and my eyes took in this vision in a fraction of a second: my son was on the street, crouched behind the back of the car (invisible to the driver), and my mother-in-law was behind the wheel. I though she was about to back up into the parking lot. I yelled at my son. He refused to move. I yelled again. He came back to safety.

Turns out my mother-in-law was only grabbing something, but I didn’t know that and neither did he. Their car was silent, but it’s a hybrid so it didn’t mean it wasn’t on. We spent a lot of time that night trying to explain to our son that if his grandma had killed him by backing up the car, everyone would have been devastated (and he would have been dead). There was a lot of crying involved. But we thought he understood.

Then three days ago, I came outside after popping in to change the baby and another mother came to tell me she had found my son (and two other kids his age) on the street. Well, on the sidewalk, but outside the courtyard’s gate. It’s a very busy street. He was fine, but it scared the crap out of me. Again. Because we told him again and again not to go out of the courtyard, yet he did it. They had been watering the front steps and followed the water out of the gate to see how far it went. That means if his ball had gotten out of an open gate, he might have followed it all the way into the street.

I don’t want to stop letting him play unsupervised, or loosely supervised. I can’t be with him at all time. But I am realizing that he is a lot less street smart than I would have though. He claims he didn’t come up with the idea but followed a friend. Of course, peer pressure! At 4! What’s a mother to do?

I punished him by not allowing him to go out by himself for a few days. We tried to drill street sense into him. But I trust him a lot less than I did before. And I watch more closely…

My baby loves me!

Ok, that’s not a big shocker. But my girl has never been much of a cuddler: she was too busy doing things and going places. Now that I’m back at work, though, she spends a lot of time giving me hugs when I’m home. And she now gives kisses! And she wants me to carry her all the time…

So yeah, it’s mostly good news. I don’t overly appreciate how hard it is to put her down, lest she cries all the time, but I certainly love the hugs. It’s good to feel loved!

Cancer again…

I was going to post about how my daughter started walking this weekend, but first I read the letter Jack Layton wrote before his death and now I’m crying. So I thought I should talk about him instead.

I didn’t like Jack Layton that much. I’ve been voting NDP ever since I moved to BC because I couldn’t vote for the Bloc Québécois anymore and the NDP is the closest to my social-democratic values. But to be honest, their leader irritated me. I didn’t follow the last election as closely as I should have (I was moving and I had a baby), but in the previous election, I found Layton aggressive in televised debate. He was cutting everyone. He was shouting. He sounded mad. And he seemed determined to pretend that he could become Prime minister when everyone else knew it was impossible.

But he became opposition leader. True, his success was largely due to the fact that Quebeckers got sick of the Bloc and fell in love with Layton’s personality on a very popular talk show. But Jack was putting himself and his party out there. His anger was probably justified given the way things were going in Ottawa. And although I found him annoying, it seems like he knew what he was doing.

Most of all, from what I can tell and from what everybody is saying, he was true. True to himself, and honest with the public. He was idealistic. Of course, if he had managed to seize power, he may have hit a wall and been unable to lead with the same integrity as he did at the head of the NDP. It is much, much easier to make promises when you can’t realize them. But I think he truly meant what he said. He didn’t act like a careful politician. He didn’t speak the same politically-correct language. He was a breath of fresh air.

And now he’s gone. For years, I wanted the NDP to replace him because I didn’t think he would succeed. Now I think that Canada has lost a very important person. And I’m sad. He was 61, younger than my parents are. He had a 2-year-old granddaughter who won’t remember her Grandpa. That’s life. But it’s sad.

One of my coworkers lost his father last week; he is 47 and his wife is pregnant, due in 6 week, after years of IVF treatments. He really hoped his dad would meet his only grandson. It was not meant to be. Life is ironic. Life is a bitch.

Add that the fact that my neighbor’s 5-year-old is dying of a brain tumor and you might understand my state of mind. Death sucks. I have never wished harder that I could believe in God. But I don’t. I don’t want people I love to die. I don’t want to die. But it will happen. All I can hope for is to delay it as much as possible. That sucks.

Sigh. I’ll feel better tomorrow. At least I’ll try to.

Bad maman!

So on Sunday afternoon, when it came time to cut something (I don’t even remember what), I was taking the cutting board out of the cupboard when my son said “I want to carry it to the table”. I passed the board to him, and somehow (the exact sequence of events is still being discussed since we don’t have instant replay), the board fell on my son’s big toe. A very heavy maple board. It hurt like a bitch. My son blames it on me. I blame it on an incomplete transfer. Who knows?

The problem is, although I know it does hurt, my son is a bit of a drama king and I cannot fully trust his reaction to know how bad it is. He was able to play with his friends, but as soon as he was bored the tears would come back. He kept waking up after going to bed, so I finally gave him children Tylenol hoping it would help. He fell asleep at last. Then woke up at 4 in the morning after peeing in bed, which he never does.

The week was hard. Our baby’s morning nap had to go because Zak has to take her along with him and the boy now that I’m back at work, and my son had a class every morning this week (a one week theater workshop). She didn’t sleep too well in the afternoon either and still wakes up at 5:30, so she’s exhausted. Me too, of course. Work is fine, but it would be easier on more sleep. And Zak is exhausted and kinda sick of dealing with a cranky baby and an over-dramatic boy.

Last night my son woke up at 1 am, wet again. I’m suspecting foul play on this one, so I announced that if this kept up we would put the diapers back. No shaming, no telling off, but I’m just not going to change the bed twice a week in the middle of the night. He didn’t seem to like the possibility, so hopefully that motivates him to get up to pee. Then I had trouble falling back asleep. And then the baby woke up just before 5. I let her cry until 5:30, but of course I didn’t sleep a wink.

To make matters worse, my son’s toe is not getting any better. It was redder this morning, Zak thinks his nail is going to fall and I can only imagine how well that will go. Although I understand that it hurts a lot, Zak and I are having to refrain from telling him “at least you’re not dying like your friend”. Of course we refrain. But it’s tempting!

And our friends are going to stay put in the end, but it’s not really good news. Their child is doing much, much worse. They get about half an hour of normal behaviour, and then the child stops responding when being talked to and kinda wanders aimlessly. They were hospitalized last week and were wondering if the child would ever come out. So there will be no move because a) the child is not healthy enough to move, and b) they figure there is not enough time left to make it worth it.

As you can see, it was a wonderful week. At least, work is grand. People are happy I’m back (they don’t replace people on mat leave, plus someone retired recently, plus there is no replacing anyone in the near future because there’s no money and some people are actually getting laid-off) because I ease their workload. I get to mentor a new employee who is nice, enthusiastic, happy and – most of all – good. I can sip tea without being interrupted by my baby crying.

Zak is jealous and makes me feel guilty about being able to escape… but I know my bliss won’t last. Soon there will be issues at work again. Soon he will settle in a new routine and get to enjoy his freedom. For the time being, I try to enjoy work during the day and my family at night.


Back to work

That’s it, I’m back at work today! I can’t wait to hear how Zak makes it through his day between our oldest who hurt his foot last night and didn’t sleep well (and is therefore whiny) and the youngest who will be looking for her mom all day. I really have the easier of the two jobs. And a better pay. I am so lucky!

The things kids say…

I was on Skype with my sister yesterday. We talked about the events of the last weeks, including our friend’s birthday party last weekend. My sister asked, tactfully, knowing that my son didn’t have the whole story, “is that the friend who is having some issues?”. Before I could respond, my son did: “My friend had cancer for their birthday.”

We then proceeded to explain that cancer is not a present and that it was not in any way linked to the birthday. But I guess it’s our bad: we did announce the cancer just after the party. I’m glad it came out then and not as a full-blown meltdown after his party today when he starts worrying that he’s also going to get a nasty present!

In the meantime, the friend in question will not make my son’s birthday party today because they are in the hospital. Not doing good. Things are progressing extremely fast and I’m not sure if I should consider that it’s for better (shortening the sufferings of everybody) or for worse (because the parents will have very little time to prepare for the end). Like my cousin said in the comments of a previous post, I think the parents need a little bit more time to love their child before accepting death. If you can ever accept it.