Tag Archive | Canada

The Time I Snapped On A Strange Teenager

Seriously, I did this. I snapped on a teen on the TTC last week. In front of his friends on a very crowded bus. Loudly. I embarassed him. Some people might be feeling bad for him but I don’t and if I could do it over I wouldn’t change a thing.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had started apart time nanny job and this situation happened on a day I was with Minnie. Since she is still being breast fed and hasn’t figured out how easy and convient a bottle is I make one trip a day with both her and Little Miss to her mothers office for a feed. It’s not that far and in nice weather we’ll walk or we sometimes take the TTC. It depends on me and how I feel as much as the weather.

This is never a spur of the moment trip. Pfft. I have to transport a 1 yr old and a four month old. I don’t just up and decide to go out. It takes timing and synchronization of getting all three of us ready to go out. It’s not a huge distance but really, this is Canada, we get cold up here. I don’t want either of them getting over heated before marching out into the Great White North’s sometimes frigid winds.

Last week wasn’t too cold. We walked to Mama Mouse’s office not too far from Eglinton Station and afterwards wondered around the area visiting Toys r Us and The cupcake Shoppe (Amazing by the way). We even went by the office a second time for a top up. 

I should also mention that to make this trip involves a stroller and a baby carrier along with a diaper bag full of two little girls necessities. I can wear either of the girls in the carrier and switch them to the stroller based on their moods and temperments. On this day Little Miss was in the stroller sleeping and Minnie was on my chest sleeping. We were at the bus station before finally getting on the bus to make the short trip home. Little did I realize the high-school only a couple of stops along the way lets out at 3. streaming onto the bus came a hoard of rude, loud and overly Axed teenage boys. One of whom kicked the stroller.

Now, I know that might not seem like anything bug and in fact could have been a mistake even though he kicked it higher up. I thought so too at first. Then he did it again, and again and then finally a forth time. That was when I snapped. In a loud and angry voice that I knew would carry over the teenage cacophony of noise I said ‘If you kick my stroller one more time I’ll kick you right back.’

He looked up at me with a deer in the head lights stare and did that mutter ‘Sorry’ we all know they don’t mean. All of his friends had stopped talking and were watching both their friend and myself with expressions of utter fascination; waiting I imagine to see what would happen next. The man sitting next to me chocked, coughed and started to laugh. An older woman across the way smiled. All of the teenagers stayed quiet from then on.

Oh, and that guy next to me? Yeah, he’s Minnie’s Dad. He’s finished work early and we happened to catch the same bus together. The rest of the trip home these boys watched me, waiting to see if I would do anything else I suppose, and when it was time for me to unload with my stroller they all were very polite and assistive. Each and every one who spoke to me called me Ma’am and nodded their heads and either moved to the side so I didn’t have to push my way off the bus or tried to help me lift it to the side walk.

Could I have done or said something less aggressive? Definintely. Would it have been as effective? Probably not. What if one of the babies legs had been hanging a little closer to the edge and he kicked on of the girls? He was not just gently nudding the stroller, but kicking it. He would have HURT  one of them. Did that thought cross his mind when he made the decision to kick the stroller? Did he mean to try and hurt either of them intentionally? I don’t believe so but that doesn’t make it ok to purposefully assault someone else’s property in public and it wouldn’t have made his behaviour any less horrible if something had happened.

I’m only 26, maybe 10-11 years older than those boys probably were and yet even at my most obnoxious as a teen I never would have done something to inconsiderate. I don’t know anyone really that I knew when I was that age who would have done something like that. I don’t know what has changed in the years since I was a teenager but it sometimes feels as if there has been a monumental shift in what is acceptable behaviour. That since there are so many more teens after school roaming around before the business day ends that other people should cow toe to them and work around them. Maybe some of you will think I was overly harsh, I don’t. I reacted in the moment and in all honesty think I did a good job of not reacting more explosively. I just hope that the next time he of any of his friends are out and about they’ll think twice about their behaviour towards others and their property and how they treat it.

Meet Lloyd

This is Lloyd. Lloyd is Little Miss’s favourite thing. He is her security blanky of sorts I guess you could say. Lloyd goes everywhere with us.
image

How did Lloyd get his name? Oddly enough his name comes from Coronation Street. Yes, Coronation Street. C’s family hail from England on one side and he is First Gen Canadian. Most of his family excluding his grandmother have no accent from their time in England but a large portion of them watch Coronation Street and at least 50% of the time at famiyl get togethers the show and its currant story lines will be talked about. C even records all of the previous weeks episodes so he can blow through them at his leisure throughout the week.

Up until this summer Coronation Street would air here in Canada behind England. When we first moved in together it was about a 9-10 month delay in when it aired there vs. here. Whenever C would annoy me or we were bickering I would go online and find out the story lines coming up and tell them to him before he saw them just to annoy him. Petty(ish) and silly I know but hey it’s better than fights, smacks or various other means that people use to bother one another. One day I decided that since Canadian networks were catching up story line wise to the UK telling C them ahead of time wasn’t enough and I started naming Little Miss’s teddies after characters from the show.

There are 6 of Lloyd. 6, that’s right. The original came in a 3 pack and Little Miss loves them so much we got an extra 3 just in case. I highly recommend picking up extras of a babies favourite teddy/blanky for so many reasons. I never have to go looking for Lloyd. There’s one in the babies bed, one in our bed and one in the stroller at the moment and well as one she’s hidden in a hidey hole not yet discovered by us, one in the dirty laundry due to baby barf and a clean one on her dresser. When we go out one goes with us and because we have so many extras if we ever were to lose one luckily there’s a replacement waiting at home. I know it seems crazy and possibly expensive but for us it all worked out. The original 3 pack was a gift and even then only about $30 and the replacements since they are last years model were on clearance. We ended up getting them for about $7 each after you add both costs together and divided by 6.  I know we can’t choose which bears or blankets become babies favourite but if you can see a preferance early on stock up!


image

Wilderness Walk

I already wrote about the wedding reception this past Saturday, now onto Sunday. I went on a hike with 3x Mama. Daddy-Bear and Chan-Man had to drive into Ottawa to see Cam-Bob and we had decided to stay  behind. Daddy-Bear and 3x Mama had mentioned that just outside of Perth a farmer had built hiking trails through out a huge portion of his wooded property and let people wonder about so long as they respected the land and didn’t destroy the metal artwork he creates himself and puts out. He also adds a new trail every couple of years and does all the maintaining himself.

That’s where we went hiking. It took us nearly three hours to go through most of the trails and we still didn’t get them all. We didn’t rush through them nor did we walk slowly. All of the trails are through hilly wooded areas or small fields, a pretty decent workout no matter the pace you choose to set. There we even 2 pulley bridges we got to use as well as a mini suspension bridge. It was fantastic. The trails are very well maintained and the farmer has even built some lovely outhouses that are honestly tidier then ones I’ve seen and used at camping grounds. There’s even a playground for children with a picnic area he built. I can’t wait to go back later on this fall when the leaves have started to change and again in the spring when the Trilliums are in full bloom. It was lovely on Sunday but we visited right in the middle of the two major colour booms in the Ottawa region so there were no massive bursts of red and golds or floorbeds of flowers everywhere, I’ve been told it’s a true sight during these times. I also cannot wait for when Little Miss is a bit older and I can take her along and play in the playground.

I didn’t meet the farmer but 3x Mama told me she’s met him a few times and he truly is a nice man who wants people to go out and enjoy nature and his artwoork; which is interesting enough I’m surprised he hasn’t started to sell it yet. His work is just the sort of stuff cottagers would enjoy as well as others. It actually has a Disney’s Alice In Wonderland as well as a slightly dark sense of humour feel to it you’ll see coming up.

Things I Hope For My Future As A Mom

I know as parents we can’t help but speculate on how our children will turn out; will Timmy be a doctor or lawyer and will Ruthie be a dancer or astronaut?I hope they don’t get pregnant or knock someone up as a teen (Sorry Teen Mom made me pranoid as well as watching my best friend) or that they don’t end up in prison. We all just want our kids to succeed and do well as be happy. THis post isn’t about that, this post is about things I hope for my future as a mom in regards to my relationship with my child(ren).

I have a great relationship with my parents. They broke up as I was turning 10 and moved almost 5 hours apart. I still saw whichever parent I didn’t live with every other weekend. They both were incredibly dedicated to making sure we saw as much as possible of the other as they could manage. I literally spent hundreds of hours commuting between Toronto and my Dad’s hometown.

Of course I went through a teen angst phase, but I always stayed close to them both. I still call them ‘Daddy and Mama’ Not always to other but whenever I’m taling with either they get ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mama’ depending. I also still go on dad and daughter dates where we just hang out together, sometimes just us and sometimes with my step-mom or family; the same goes for my mom. I still call them as two of the first people I tell any big news to, maybe not always the very first but within the top 3. I still say ‘I love you’ at the end of every call and hug and kiss them good-bye. I don’t care if any of you think it’s weird, it’s normal and healthy. I’m a fully functioning member of society with no addictions other then coffee and chocolate; have no record and both of my brothers are the same. They also hug and kiss and say ‘I love you’.

 

 

When Little Miss grows up I hope she’s happy doing whatever it is she decides to do with her life. I hope she excells at everything she puts her mind to and maybe a bit of the quirckiness that runs in my side will have a definite presence. I hope that even though I know she’ll most likely get her heart broken at some point she doesn’t let it turn her into a cynic. I hope she feels like no matter what her problems or issues are that her father and I will always be there to lend a hand or a sympathetic ear. I also want her to be happy, healthy and whole. I hope that the person whom she decides is her One loves her to the best of their ability and she in return does the same for them, and that their loves are full of laughter and joy. I hope that whatever goals she sets for her life come to fruition with enough roadblocks to build character but not so many as to make her a pessimist and unable to realize her goals are met. I hope she always believes in and follows her dreams

I hope she’s kind to others both less and more fortunate than herself. That she she doesn’t let jealousy eat at her or vanity overtake her. I hope she has a gentle and nurturing soul and is always willing to stop for a moment and lend a hand. I hope she can see the wonder and magic in life, even the ordinary days. I hope her sense of humour is fully in evidence and she can laugh at herself and others without malice or derision, I actually hope it’s as off kilter, dry and sometimes as dirty as mine, but I’ll be happy as long as she has one. I hope she smiles easily and often and that she isn’t afarid to laugh. I also hope that since anger is unavoidable in life she doesn’t let it overcome everything else or eat away at her contentment. I hope she isn’t vindictive (I can be) and always tries to see the positive in others and situations.

I know I’m hoping for alot but as I said before as a Mom I can’t help it. I just know that if even half of any of this comes true I’ll be pleased as punch and consider my job as a mother well done. I can’t keep her in a box wrapped in cotton wool but I do hope to proctect her from that harshest parts of life for as long as possible. Maybe it’s silly to want all of this but as I said for her I want her to have dreams and hope why can’t I?

The Sometimes Annoying and Funny or Frustrating Things Kids Say

There’s no way to always know what your child is going say; either in private or public, but there are a few things all parents know they will encounter at some point. Just as we can’t always know when or what our kids will say there’s not always a right reply. Today’s post is about things I fully expect to hear from my daughter and some things I have heard as a nanny as well as my responses or ones I learned from my parents and friends.

Things Kids Say;

1. ‘No!’ – Ahh the dreaded ‘No’, every kid gets this one. It’s usually somewhere in the first few years of their speech that this phase comes along. They are so used to hearing the adults around them saying it to them and others that it’s only to be expected that they would pick up this denial.

‘Baby, it’s nap time.’

‘No!’

‘Baby, it’s time for dinner.’

‘No!’

‘Baby, do you want to go to the park?’

‘No!’

Sometimes, especially in the beginning kids don’t always use ‘no’ at the proper moments and fail to realize they are turning down a treat. I found that replying with another question usually ended up with the same response, so I would try to turn my reply into a statement, something like ‘But you know the park is where the swings are.’ By, adding a little exciting detail the ‘No’ mostly stopped coming, not always but more then half the time. Of course, this didn’t always work, especially with the younger ones but we can’t always stomp our feet and say ‘Too bad, because I say so!’ even if we want to.

2. ‘Why?’ – This one never stops, even when they’re older you’ll still get this one, just with a few added words thrown in in the case of teenagers. With littles, it sometimes feels like any time you say anything you’ll be hit with a ‘Why’ and after you answer it’ll be another ‘Why’ and ‘I Dunno’ just isn’t a good enough reply. It can drive you batty. This one is harder to step away from if you’re in the car or somewhere that makes it hard to distract them from the fun of constantly saying ‘Why’ but if you’re able I found that distraction worked best for me. I would never immediately try to turn their attention because asking questions is part of how little kids learn and process but after 5-10 minutes of it I figured once I was making up answers it would be more harmful to continue. I didn’t want any of my charges to wonder into kindergarden one day and telling all their friends that the dinosaurs died out because they didn’t listen to their mothers and brush their teeth or something crazy.

3. ‘I don’t like it.’ Obviously most kids don’t like the dentist, I’m talking about the new food ‘I don’t like it’s.’ As much as we want to ask if they are psychic, that’s not the best way to go. Did you know that studies have shown it takes the average taste buds up to seven times experiencing a new food for our bodies to develope a taste for it? I didn’t until recently, but there you have it.

My parents always went the whole ‘If you don’t eat it for dinner you can have it for breakfast cold’ route. Not fun, and always worse in the morning than the night before, or if we wouldn’t eat enough we got no dessert or treats afterwards. I didn’t like this way and tried a different tack. I just didn’t tell the kids what they were eating when they were younger.

‘It’s dinner.’ was what I stuck to.

‘But it looks funny/different/yucky.’

‘Oh well, it’s all we have today.’ Then I would start to eat my meal, ignoring their pouting faces. Usually I would make exaggerated faces of satisfaction and ‘Mmm’ sounds and unless they were being really stubborn most of the kids would at least try it without too much whining. Once they did try it all I asked was for a certian number of bits or a set amount to be eaten. This worked pretty well, I got the kids I looked after eating Indian food with almost no fuss.

4. ‘I Hate you!’ – I never got this one, but I remember saying it to my parents when I was younger. Always in anger and when I felt I was being unfairly treated. I still remember what I got in reply, sometimes they yelled it back when I was in a particularly rotten mode but usually in a scolding tone. My parents would always say ‘That’s ok, I love you enough for the both of us.’

I was definitely not an angel and went through a pretty awful patch when I was 14-15, I was very sick and house bound for most of it. I was a terror. I can’t imagine how hard it was for my parents to say this and not respond in an equally cutting way. Now that I’m older I know it would have hurt to hear your child shout those words at you and yet they always tried to not retaliate. The funny thing is, it actually did help, I cooled off sooner and was usually able to see their side more easily. It also always made it easier to apologize later on knowing they weren’t going to hold it against me. This is one I wholly have taken to heart and plan to keep in my parenting arsenal in case the Little Miss decides to whip this phrase out on me.

5. ‘But it’s not fair!’ – Obviously life isn’t fair and at some point most people snap and say so to kids, but it shouldn’t be the go to reply. Yes, it can seem like the kids are wailing this constantly and bemoaning that we’re not letting them get their way, but the least we can do is cushion the realization that life isn’t all ‘Me me me’ and ‘I want, I want, I want’s. There is no ‘right’ response to this, it’s situational, but I always tried to explain why I was making the choice I did, and yes, I would get a ‘Why?’ or ‘No!’ sometimes, but just revert back to my earleir notings of how I dealt with those phrases.

Since I don’t yet have a child who is talking yet I figured I would let you in on some of the unexpected little things I’ve been privy to hearing over the years. When I first started looking after the last set of children I was a nanny for they were 9 (boy), 2 (girl) and a belly (boy), they are in order of age; Con-Man, Bean and Roni.

Bean was sucking on a popsicle one summer afternoon and wondering around the yard while her mother and I chatted. We happened to be just a few feet away and watching her when she dropped her popsicle on the side walk.

Her little shoulders slumped and she looked at her fallen treat and in the saddest, funniest little voise said ‘Oh cwap.’ She was 2 1/2 and neither of us had any clue she knew that mini curse or where she had picked it up from (we think her mechanic dad). Do you know how hard it is to tell a toddler that something they’ve said is not ok while you’re dying of laughter? Yeah, that hard.

I used to have a mole just next to my arm pit. The two littlest loved it. When they were tiny they liked to rub it lightly as if it were a teddy or good luck charm. I kid you not that it was something they did for comfort, their mom had a mole on her torso below her clavicle and they did the same thing to it. I had it removed almost 2 and a half years ago. The first time I saw them after it was removed and healed they asked to see it and touch it like usual and when I told then it was gone they didn’t believe me. I showed them the little pink scar and they were horrified ‘But you’re ugly now! Put it back’. Talk about a confidence booster.

I think it’s important for people to feel comfortable in their own skin naked, maybe we shouldn’t run around outside nude, but letting kids pre or post bath/shower run around the house naked I think is fine and good for their sense of body image. When Roni was around three I came across him lying on the floor in the living room watching TV. He was naked and leaning against one of the big couch pillows. His back was to me and I couldn’t see what he was doing.

‘Whatcha doing there Roni?’ I asked.

The little man turned his head and gave me the sweetest most innocent smile, “I’m playing with my Willie!” and then he showed me. That was an awkward talk we had about touching is ok in private but not for public and yes he named his penis ‘Willie’. He still calls it that.

I almost forgot the mention the ‘Skinny-dink’ incident. Yep, skinny-dink. I don’t know if  ‘Sharon Lois and Bram’ was aired anywhere other then in Canada but I used to LOVE that show. I saw them live and watched it constantly as a kid with my brothers. When I started watching the kids I would sing the ‘Skinamarinky Dinky Dink’ song to Bean, hand motions and all. We made this a daily habit. She loved it too. Her parents had no clue we did this and one day while her mother had business guest over Bean wondered into the dining room and asked if they would do the ‘Skinny-dink’ with her. They didn’t know what she meant and she kept saying it over and over until she finally broke out into the song, until that moment I’m told all the adults stood back in minor horrified silence trying to figure out why a 2 1/2 year old was talking to them about dinks. After they realized what Bean meant they laughed but until then it was uncomfortable I guess.

There countless funny and awkward things kids say; we all hear them, some just stick in our heads a little more. If you have any more that your kids or kids you know have said and stuck you feel free to let me know. I love hearing about them.

Devastating…

We have PVR, since with a baby watching your favourite TV show at its regular air time isn’t always an option. We didn’t get around to watching this past weeks episode of Grey’s Anatomy until Friday and I’ve needed until now to be able to process it and what I wanted to write.

So the episode was Titled ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and in the show one of the interns had to let her preemie baby pass due to complications of the premature birth. Sad for almost anyone to watch, especially someone with a baby or who had recently suffered the same thing. I’m lucky to say I didn’t have to go through that but I have been watching one of my best friends deal with this.

Literally the day I was at Sick Kids in March with Maddie my friend, ‘S’, was at Sunnybrooke giving birth to her preemie. This was ironically the same day that on ‘Grey’s’ the intern gave birth early. Similar right? Wait, there are more co-relations than that. My friend was 8 hrs shy of 23 weeks, the intern was just 23. Early labour due to mothers undiagnosed condition? That too, although different conditions. Both also had little boys.

In the show the baby had many complications and went through several surgeries before finally having to be taken off life support last week, by the time he’d passed in the show around 5-8 weeks had gone by, although you’re never really sure with that show. It was terrible watching the intern, Morgan, have to hold her baby while he slowly stopped fighting to breathe. I bawled and finally had to skip over it, I couldn’t watch that knowing that ‘S’ had to do the same thing only 6 weeks previously.

It all started on a Sunday night when she sent me a text asking what I thought about her ‘plug’ coming out. I wasn’t too worried but since I’d gone through it and ended up on modified bed rest I made her call the hospitals 24 hr line to talk to the OB on-call. They said to not worry, keep an eye on it and come in ASAP if there was any bleeding but since she was coming in on Thursday to just take it easy until then. Over the next bit she kept me updated, until Tuesday night she told me she didn’t feel right but when I suggested she go into Triage she decided not to since the Dr said it wasn’t an emergency.

Then, while at work on the Wednesday, like me she started to bleed. She got up and went to the Maternity Triage immediately. At this point she was 22 weeks 5 1/2 days. When the nurse came in to check on her at one point she asked point blank if it was possible she was having an abruption since she was having the same symptoms I’d had only a few months before. The nurse told her ‘No’ because if it were she would be in much more pain. No doctor had seen her yet and wouldn’t for at least another 2 hours, by then she’d started having contractions and dilating. They admitted her and told her she wasn’t even allowed to stand up because her sack had started to decend through the cervix and they hoped to stop the contractions.

Finally, Thursday morning the Doctors told her she was going to have to deliver but since the baby was on the Edge of Viability he would not survive and there was no real hope, but if she wanted they might try to save him. How devastating, right? They had her fully convinced that her baby would be either still born, due to her heavy bleeding or would die shortly after and that if she told them to try it would be basically useless. I remember her texting me and telling me before they started her on pushing how sad she was and in shock. She wasn’t fully aware anymore, she’d retreated in on herself.

Before I continue let me explain what the Edge of Viability is… It’s the line that Doctors have drawn on when they’ll intervene essentially on premature births. In Canada it’s usually 23 weeks and up or 500+ grams. The doctors will fudge on this sometimes but only at the extreme insistence of the parents barring that the mother is at a hospital with a NICU with extreme preemie capabilities. Sunnybrooke has them. Now this line isn’t the same for every country, it shifts and even then can be pushed to the side. There is right now in Miami a little girl who in 2006 was born at 19 1/2 weeks and from all accounts is actually quite normal developmentally. She’s the youngest surviving preemie in the world. The lightest weighing one was a twin and was 244 grams, both she and her sister are alive now. So, we know that babies under both of Canada’s standard have lived. Yes, there are risks as with anything and the statistics aren’t the best but it’s possible.

Thursday in the late afternoon ‘S’ gave birth to her son at 22 weeks 6 days and 16 hours… so close. He weighed in at 484 grams… Again, so close. The doctors and nurses clipped his cord, put a hat and booties on him wrapped him up and gave him to her so she could be with him while he passed. It took 12 minutes. 12 minutes where the doctors hadn’t given him anything for the pain to make it easier. It might not seem long but imagine fighting to breathe for that lenth of time and then tell me that isn’t too long. That’s a fifth of an hour. That’s longer then even the medical staff thought he’d survive, they’d figured a moment or two.

I cannot say what Sunnybrooke’s practice is on preemie deaths but I know that at Sick Kids when a preemie cannot survive they give the baby a pain medication to stop any pain and put them to sleep so that their passing is easier for both the child and parent. My friends baby got nothing.

The reason the doctors thought he would only live for a moment or two is because when a baby is born premature their lungs are not ready to breathe. A babies lungs are underdeveloped and brittle until about the 8th month, so a premature baby is given surfactan, a liduid medication that help the babie’s lung mature faster and soften to ease the assisted breathing. He managed to go 12 minutes without it, how long he could have survived with it and a ventilator and all the other care a preemie receives we’ll never know.

My friend had her own complications, she wouldn’t stop bleeding and had to while holding her son be treated and the doctors help keep her from bleeding out or anyother risks she faced due to what ended up being anbruption, as she’d feared. Hers was in the most extreme tyre of which 24% are, and yet she’d been told she couldn’t be having one. On top of the abruption she had the early signs of Gestational Diabetes, for which she’d been tested already and told was negative and a clotting problem. At her 6 week postpartum check up they told her all this and that any future pregnancy would be considered ‘high-risk’ and she would have to be monitored closely.

It’s been almost 7 weeks now and since then my friend has been on an uphill battle to right her life, which was completely flipped upside down. She’s blamed herself, the doctors, God. She’s over the blaming and knows that things happen we cannot control, but she’s still devastated emotionally and trying to figure out how to move forward now without the little boy she’d been preparing to bring home in July.

I know TV is not real and some shows are more fanciful than others, but in that moment when I was watching Morgan lose her son, I believe they got it exactly right. I can’t imagine what people who have to face that reality are going through, but having watched ‘S’ I can say I know that it must be absolutely heart-wrenching and something that you never fully get over. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, ever.