January 26, 2012

the singing palaeontologist & the dancing surgeon

Do you ever think about what your kids are going to be when they grow up? Me too.

Naturally, the girls will change their mind about what they want to 'be' several times over in their lifetime, but I think its fun to speculate which profession they might choose based on who they are now.

If I had to choose Lady M's career right now, my guess would be a singing palaeontologist. Not the dull kind, a la Ross on Friends, but a lively little lady, digging up dinosaur bones, sharing her discoveries with people around the world, and all the while singing a cute little song about what she is doing. She is completely fascinated by dinosaurs right now...she has five different dinos that she carries around with her, a great dinosaur craft book, and cannot get enough of the PBS show Dinosaur Train. Her vocabulary is growing tenfold each time she watches the show, and now likes to reference the Cretaceous period, dinosaur plates and horns, and carnivores in a regular conversation. The other day, she even saw a picture of a frog, and said "look mum, a frog! I mean, a palaeobatrachus", and the word rolled off her tongue. Sometimes I really wonder if she's only three...

Lady A on the other hand, is perhaps a little more difficult to predict a future career for at less than 9 months old, but my guess is that she'll do something with her hands. As I mentioned, in a previous post, she is constantly clawing at me, and keeping very busy with her hands, exploring everything she sees. Not uncommon for a baby, of course, but my thought for now is that perhaps she'll follow in her great-grandfather's footsteps and become a surgeon. However, Lady A also has quite the dancing gene and loves to 'boogie' on command...or any other time the feeling strikes. So, naturally, I think she'll add a little  creative flair to the operating room, and find a way to dance through each procedure she completes. 
Realistically, I have no idea what the girls will be when they hit adulthood. I just hope they'll happy with whatever they choose. If you ask Lady M what she's going to be when she grows up, she responds with "I'm going to be a grown up!". So for now I'll speculate, and just let them enjoying being little. 

January 19, 2012

tiger claws & road trips

My little Lady A is snuggly, sweet and happiest when she's curled up in my arms. However, though I love the snuggles, lately, my darling little girl has decided to slowly claw my skin off. Snuggled up, she takes her tiny little baby nails (aka. her claws), and digs them into my arm, chest, neck; wherever she can reach, really. She resists having her nails cut, but they seem to grow at super-speed, leading me to believe she may have some sort of super power.

Of course, if I say 'no' to her scratching me, as if to say: "don't do that tiny little tiger baby", she looks up at me with her beautiful, big brown eyes, and flashes her wide, tooth-free smile, as if to say "I love you too, mummy". So, she doesn't quite understand what 'no' means, and I continue to be clawed at.

I was thinking about this tonight, and realized that perhaps this is the universe's way of getting back at me. And, by 'universe', I think I mean that my older brother, Greg, has placed some sort of voodoo curse on me, and is having his curse carried out by my youngest daughter.

You see, as children, we spent many, many hours in the car driving back and forth to visit our family in Florida. My brother and I would argue and fight in the backseat like any normal siblings would, and as we got older, our shenanigans became less and less acceptable to our parents. So, we found more 'silent' ways of fighting, so as not to alert mum and dad to our spat. Clever, weren't we? Ok, I think we were just extremely bored, and perhaps tired of playing Game Boy.

On one particular trip, I discovered the power of my nails, and quietly scratched at Greg's arms until he had small cuts all over them. Sounds kind of vicious, right? Well, I don't really remember what he did to me, but I'm sure I had bruises on my arms, whatever it was!

So even now, nearly 20 years later, my darling brother has some small scars remaining on his arm, so you can see how I think he's somehow secretly trained my baby to get back at me, day after day, night after night...

Greg...I'm on to you. And maybe someday Lady A will put her little tiger claws away, stop fighting me when I want to trim her nails, and start scratching my brother instead of me!

January 1, 2012

fearing the flush

I'm not a big fan of public washrooms; just the thought of all the germs lurking in there is enough to make anyone squirm. However, my sweet little Lady M has developed a fear of these restrooms not because of the germs, but because of the flush. Its been an ongoing saga for a few months now, and one that doesn't seem to be getting any better quite yet. Let me backtrack a little.

A few months ago, Cal had to go into work one day a little unexpectedly. I was getting ready to go to a wedding shower, so to help me out he took Lady M with him to work, while I got ready and looked after Lady A. Cal was working at a new hotel that day, and while there, Lady M had to use the washroom. But, in the new-age world of germ-avoidance, and touch-free everything, these new washrooms were equipped with automatic flushing toilets. Though she really had to go, the sudden, unexpected flush while she was trying to go to the washroom startled the heck out of her, and she jumped off. She returned to the washroom three times (she really had to go!), only to be faced with the same flushing fate with each visit. And thus, the fear of the public washroom began.

A few weeks later, we were heading up to northern Ontario to visit some family for Thanksgiving. On the way we stopped at a rest station to grab a bite to eat, and use the washroom. Lady M quickly noticed the automatic flush, and said she wouldn't go. As she slowly backed away from the toilet in the family washroom, she found herself standing immediately underneath an automatic hand dryer. Not just your average dryer, nope, an Xcelerator one. The extremely loud noise, coupled with the shock of being blown by the strong air, scared my poor little girl so much that she refused to go to the washroom (again), and actually held it all the way up north (a 6-hour journey, when all was said and done). We went to Canadian Tire and bought a new potty seat for her, and with a little coaxing, she finally gave in to using the washroom at the house for the rest of our stay.

Later that week, we were heading to the airport to pick my mum and dad up after a trip they had been on. Once again, my little sweetie had to use the restroom in public, but by this point she was so fearful of the toilet that she got into the family restroom and SCREAMED. I was certain that by the time we got out of the washroom, authorities would be waiting to see who was stealing children at the airport, naturally concerned by the blood-curdling screams coming from beyond the door. This time took another three visits to the washroom before she finally went, and thankfully nobody was waiting to pull me into a scary interrogation room when we came out.

Then yesterday we were out at a store, rather close to our house, but she suddenly told me she REALLY had to go. So, into the public washroom we went, only to be met with the now usual cries and screams, though I assured her this one didn't have an automatic flush. Another woman came into the stall next door, so I explained to Lady M that the toilet beside her would flush, and not to be afraid. I then heard the nice woman kindly say "I can come back and flush in a few minutes if you'd like, she's breaking my heart"! Though very kind, I said not to worry, and Lady M dealt with the flush next door without much concern.

Having not gone to the washroom, we exited the stall and ended up chatting with the nice lady 'next door'. She told me that when her son was little he refused to go in public too, so they actually carried a full potty for him everywhere they went until he was four years old! If he had to go, they'd head out to the car, pull out the potty and deal with it. I must say, it was nice to hear that someone else had struggled with this too. She also told me that her son is now 26, and they still make fun of him for having to take that potty everywhere!

So, the saga continues, without any resolution as of yet. Hopefully one day soon my little Lady M will settle into using a public washroom. But for now, we'll just carry a little travel potty seat with us, and try to get her used to going in public when necessary! Hopefully before long, she'll stop fearing the flush.

bells on pop-tails ring...

Hard to believe the Christmas season has already come and gone. Even though with a three-year-old in the house, the celebration started earlier than ever (November), it still managed to flash by in a moment. Last year Lady M got quite in to Christmas, or so I thought. Because it was nothing like the excitement she felt this year as we counted down the days to the arrival of S. Claus. She talked about Christmas constantly, learned several carols verbatim, and told us every day of a new toy she hoped Santa would bring.

We had a friendly little 'elf on the shelf' visit our home this year, fondly named "Bubby" on the first morning he arrived. Lady M loved looking for him every morning when she awoke, and would pop by his daily location to chat with him here and there. On top of that, she received a special video message from Santa Claus' PNP, which she watched no fewer than ten times, quite proud that she was on Santa's 'nice list'. She also went to her first Santa Claus parade this year in our hometown, and got to see Lady A and I in the parade. Of course, she was most excited to see the big guy in his sleigh at the end of the parade!

This was the first year I couldn't really take Lady M Christmas shopping with me, as she's not the greatest at keeping a secret. For instance, we would pick something up for Cal and she would quickly say "Daddy, we got you a new coat!". So much for surprises! But, armed with this knowledge, I became well-acquainted with the glorious world of online shopping. Thanks to Toys R Us, Best Buy and Old Navy's respective online shopping systems, Christmas was easily completed, and delivered right to my door!

Lady A was blissfully oblivious to what was happening throughout the season, but she happily crawled around, climbed on her new presents, and tried to eat lots of colourful wrapping paper and bows. Just about right for a little one who is approaching the 8-month mark! Lady M gladly "helped" her sister open all of her presents, even going the extra mile, testing them all out for Lady A. If that's not sisterly love, I don't know what is!

But my favourite part of this Christmas, by far, was Lady M's love of Christmas carols. Between the ones we sang at home, the CD of kids carols we had in the car, and the songs she learned at preschool, her musical repertoire grew tenfold this year, and she has been singing non-stop for weeks.

Her favourite two songs were Rudolph and Jingle Bells, even if she thought the bells on 'pop-tails' were ringing! She then took her beautiful singing skills to the stage with all of her preschool friends when she took part in her first Christmas recital. A proud moment for any parent, naturally. She was adorable, decked out in her pretty party dress, belting out tunes alongside her adorable little classmates. What's not to love?

As the youngest in my family, I always heard people say that Christmas is better with kids. I didn't really understand it until I became a parent, and after spending four Christmases with Lady M, and one now with Lady A, I have no doubt that Christmas will be a little more fabulous and fun with each passing year.

So, the bells on pop-tails have stopped ringing for this year, but the memories will keep me happy for the next eleven months until we get set to do it all again.

Happy New Year!