time away

My first weekend away from the boys is coming to a close. I made no plans except to sleep, eat and shop without having to worry about anyone else but myself. I went to the usual places where I used to go when I lived in Toronto on my own. Things haven’t changed much. Stores still close at 6-7pm on Saturday and most don’t open until noon on Sunday. A little disappointing if you’re a tourist coming here specifically to shop, I think.

I’m not sure if it was worth the trip out. I tossed and turned at night and don’t feel better rested. Still. I’m grateful for the “time off” … a hubby-imposed vacation.

We had talked about me going away before but for whatever reason it never happened. This time the hubby booked the hotel and booted me out the door on Friday.

It was nice to be away but I’m already looking forward to seeing the boys for dinner. Have I forgotten how to enjoy being alone? Perhaps. This thought doesn’t make me feel anxious. It’s just surprising, in a way.

Sent from my Blackberry device

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about underpants

Dear Kids Gap Designers,

I really like your clothes. Last year, when my mom gave me some underpants with cool pictures on them, I was really excited. I asked her to take my diaper off so that I could put them on right away. But then she put them on the wrong way and I couldn’t see the pictures. I didn’t like that at all.

I’m happy to tell you that I’m now potty trained … even though, sometimes, I still have accidents especially when there’s a good show on tv. I love my gap underpants so much. Here’s a couple of pictures of me in my yellow pair.

Hugs,
Little Dude

* * * * *

Dear Kids Gap Designers,

None of you must have kids. If you did, you’d know that putting the “cool pictures” on the back of kids’ underpants is a bad, BAD idea. My 4-year-old son refuses to wear his unless he can see the “cool pictures” so now he’s walking around with the pee-pee hole on his behind. This is fine for now but when he starts JK in the fall, it might be a different story.

I lived through the 80s and wore my sweatshirts inside-out like all the other wannabe-Flash Dancers. Somehow, I doubt very much that the backward-underpants look will catch on with the other Kindergarten boys. Not to bring my son down or anything but I really don’t see him being the next underwear trendsetter. Marky Mark he is not. Dorky Mark, possibly.

So please, I beg you. Please sell kids underpants with “cool pictures” on the front.

Regards,
Little Dude’s Mom

photographing the everyday

About the same time last year, I wrote a post justifying my blog … my need to write down my experiences raising two boys, not in a private journal, but using a public online medium. Today, I’m not as insecure. Blogging has been incredibly therapeutic this past year. I’m grateful for the outlet as well as the support from mom bloggers. But these days I find myself documenting my tales of motherhood more through photographs.

The joy of motherhood. The chaos. The everyday. Photographs seem to capture them much more vividly than I ever could in words. Sites like Shutter Sisters and Vision and Verb inspire me.

The boys are growing up fast. They are no longer babies. I look at old photos and am surprised at how much I’ve forgotten. Old photographs transport me back to times when they were more fragile. Less mobile. I can almost smell their sweet baby smell again. And feel the soft spot on their head. Hear them gurgle in their sleep.

I don’t want to completely forget. So I take photographs. And, sometimes, I write.

Even as I curse stepping on yet another die-cast car or having to navigate around the wooden train tracks in the family room, I know that one day I will look at the photographs of these everyday objects … evidence … of motherhood and become nostalgic for the days when life was simpler. Easier.

There is a lot of madness in motherhood. And tears. But what will resonate the most in the photographs already (and not yet) taken will be my boys’ laughter. And the quiet innocence that can only come from a child.

Little Dude leaning over his highchair

poop formations

The boys were gathered around the toilet bowl yesterday. Little Dude was sitting on the seat. LittleR Dude hovering over the bowl, finger pointing at the floaties.

“That’s an icecream cone!”

“Yeah. And those are icecream. They go on top of the icecream cone.”

Feeling queasy, yet? Me, too.

Sent from my Blackberry device

formidable fours

I’m convinced that no parent really escapes the terrible twos. This stage is just delayed for some. Little Dude, in particular. I remember hearing a child tantruming in a store aisle and breathing a sigh of relief that MY kids were not one of those … the difficult ones. I felt proud of my boys and I patted myself on the back for helping shape them.

I don’t feel so smug anymore.

I’m not sure what triggered it. The transformation seemed to happen overnight. Sure, he’s had tantrums before but never like this. He’s defiant, angry, and at times hurtful. Yes, hurtful … and this is what saddens me most. I feel that I’m to blame. When I hear the roughness in his voice and his words, I sometimes recognize myself. My frustration with him is feeding his frustration with … with everything. His emotions seem to swallow him up quickly. I remember having more time to react before he completely lost control in the past. I remember much fewer tantrums.

The last couple of days, I’ve been making a better effort to “catch him being good” … complimenting desirable behaviour and ignoring non-lifethreatening, undesirable acts. I bought special stickers that I knew he’d love and have been handing out them out generously. This has helped with lessening the frequency of tantrums but the intensity, when it does happen, remains the same.

I know it’s just a phase. He’s asserting his independence. Experimenting with how far he can push me. I need to be patient. I need to give him some room to grow. Wait and see. LittleR Dude will go through the same thing one day. This is just a primer for the teenage years.

I know all this. We’re making progress already. It doesn’t make the really awful tantrums any easier to take. And, I can’t help feeling that I have somehow failed when he gets into such a state.

transformers

After breakfast, I presented a couple of empty tissue boxes to the boys. Garages for their vehicles, I suggested. They took this lead and brought it to so many different levels. I was amazed.

The garage became a tunnel
Became a bridge
Became a helmet for LittleR Dude
And for Little Dude
Who then turned it into goggles
Became a boat for LittleR Dude
And something else Little Dude
Who had to run to the potty
Bringing their game of ‘transformers’ to an abrupt end.

hello wordpress

I officially left Blogger today and wrote this goodbye post there:

Dear Blogger,

I’m leaving you.
It’s not you. It’s me.
You’ve probably heard that a million times.
But it’s the truth.

You see.
I’ve rekindled an old love.
And his name is Photography.

Surely you must have seen this coming.
I’ve dropped hints.
You’ve seen a few photographs.
I hope we can still be friends.

Sincerely,
Cynthia

I’m toying with the idea of combining my photography blog (a picture in time) and this blog because my focus these days seem to be solely on taking photographs and writing short notes instead of writing longer trains of thought. I’m still undecided.