Sunday, June 01, 2008

Maternity Compression Hose, I Hate You: Let Me Count the Ways

1. The fact that I have to wear you at all is reason number one. I have hideous, ugly blue bulging veins all down my right leg, and part way down my left. They appeared early in this pregnancy, and when I showed my doctor at my last appointment she didn’t hesitate to write me a prescription. I have to wear you, hose, I have no choice, but I’m not supposed to need you—since a) I’m not overweight and b) I have no family history of varicose veins.
2. You, hose, are impossible—heartbreakingly impossible—to find. I went to numerous pharmacies, prescription in hand, to track you down. Not at Shoppers. Not at Rexall. Not anywhere. . . Finally, I called Women’s College and went to the Foot Care Centre, where I was told Wow this prescription is so strong, our vendor doesn’t sell maternity hose in that strength.
3. Yes, the strength of my prescription causes that reaction. Even dear husband gasped when he finally saw the prescription. “Whoa, that is strong.”
4. You don’t come in my size. At the Foot Care Centre I measured small. And, because you really need to fit my legs tightly to give me the full benefit of your compression power, the FCC woman counseled me to buy the small (in a lesser strength than I need anyway; see point 2). “I am not wearing compression hose if the crotch only comes up to my knees!” I exclaimed. “I’ll take the medium.” Alas, medium, you only come to my upper thigh.
5. I paid full price for you. Full price=$160.
6. I need extra time to get ready in the morning because of you. I’m on a tight schedule, I like to catch the 6:55 train; I don’t have an extra 5 or 10 minutes to gently, yet purposefully, pull you on with rubber gloves (That’s the recommended way. So as not to tear your firm but tender fabric).
7. After wearing you for four hours on day one, I had a hole in the heel the size of Texas.
8. It’s summer. You’re hot.
9. I can’t wear sandals because of you.
10. You don’t make my legs feel all tingly and nice.
11. My pants don’t stay up as well when I wear you. You make them slip down. Today, Geister: “Mommy, I can see your bum!”
12. I still have varicose veins.
13. I hate you.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Since It's Been Forever, Here's a Picture

It's been forever, so here's a picture. I haven't posted since December, which is no coincidence since a couple of weeks after that I found out I was pregnant. And when you're in denial, and not really telling people, how can one be expected to blog?

Plus our house is on the market and that is upheaval defined, which means that when you can't even remember your password because it's been so long, you certainly don't have a chance of finding that password written down anywhere, since everything is put away.
But here's a picture:

Boo after her latest haircut. Gold sprinkles may not have been captured by photographic device, which is a shame. . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cute Stories: One, Two, Three

In order to appreciate Story One, you need to know that Geister never gets out of bed in the mornings by himself. He’s rather attached to his bed that way—once he’s in it he won’t get out unless I go and get him. He’ll shout and bellow for me in the morning, “Moooommmy!!!” but he won’t move until I go get him. I don’t know why, it’s just a thing he does but we love it. It reassures me that he’s not suddenly going to get up in the middle of the night and decide to go to the club.
Secondly, he still has trouble with clothes—getting shirts on and off is particularly difficult. So I guess if he did want to go clubbing, he wouldn’t be able to get dressed for it anyway.
Oh, and, he stills wears overnight diapers.

To appreciate Story Three, you have to believe me when I say that there were no deliberately leading questions whatsoever.


One morning this past week, when I still hadn’t heard from Geister by 8:30 am, I went to check on him. My heart stopped—for a fraction of a fraction of a second—when I saw that he wasn’t in his bed. Where was he? Then I saw him, crouched and hiding beside his dresser, fully dressed!
“I’m dressed Mommy,” he said, and didn’t move.
“I can see that!” I gushed. I crouched down myself in order to be face to face. “Did you put underwear on, too?”
“Yes, I did. I wanted to surprise you Mommy.”
I basked in this moment, this glorious, warm, happy moment. To surprise me. I loved him; and then I saw a wet spot on his pants.
“Sweetie, are your pants wet?” I asked warily.
“Yes, they are. And I pooped in my underwear too. Mommy, I had to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t get up because then you would see me and it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore.”
So then I loved him even more.

That night I went to get him ready for bed, but I couldn’t find his pajamas anywhere (we usually keep them on the floor, or sometimes if we’re being neat, on the bed). I opened his top drawer to get clean pajamas, and there they were—the pajamas he had worn last night, neatly folded and tucked inside.


Same day. Geister and Boo were playing while I was organizing breakfast. Then I heard him say “Ow” in a nice whiny voice. “What happened?” I asked, in my own tired-of-dealing-with-petty-skirmishes voice.
“I hit myself with the tractor and it hurt. Oww!! I was trying to do something to make Boo laugh but I hurt myself.”
He was just trying to make Boo laugh.

I love him for that, too.


Next day. Geister, Boo and I had just returned from a morning playdate and I was getting Geister out of the car. He saw my ring and asked what it was. So I told him that his daddy gave it to me when he asked if I would marry him. “I want to be married,” Geister said.
“Oh you can’t get married. You’re too young.”
“But I want to.”
“It’s illegal. You have to be much older.”
“Because you do. Besides, I don’t want you to get married yet. You need to live your life first and find the perfect woman.”
“But I already found the perfect woman. You.”

I almost cried. So there it was, the moment which I sense many mothers of young sons experience: the (pseudo) marriage proposal. But it rocks!!!! It really does.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rate Your Mommy Dot Com

I spent some time on Saturday night in the company of people who have been publicly rated on their profession. These were a professor and a doctor. I decided to dig for my own personal ratings, mommyhood being a professional profession, of course. After some extensive internet research, I found two users who had made comments about me! Here follow the results, which I share freely:

Total ratings: 2
Average score: 4/5
Categories: Punctual, Helpful, Knowledge, Clarity, Easiness, and Hotness*.

User 1
P: 3
H: 5
K: 3
C: 4
E: 5
H: 0

Comments: My mommy is one of the best mommies I know. She likes to read to me and she lets me watch TV, particularly if I feel sick or she feels tired and needs a break. I also get to eat lots of gummy bears, and when she makes me peanut butter toast she cuts it the way I like. She always makes sure I have my coat and shoes on and mitts and hat, even when my daddy is trying to rush out the door and says the weather’s just fine, why the smurf bother?
However, she doesn’t play cars with me as much as I would like. I want her to play cars with me all the time; that is, before breakfast, during breakfast, after breakfast, during the morning, before lunch, during lunch, and after lunch, and during the afternoon; as well as before dinner, during dinner, and after dinner, and finally at bedtime.
Sometimes when I’m mad she says I’m a faker, which makes me smile so then she thinks I was faking, but really I was mad, and I’ll be mad as long as I like. I think she needs to respect my moods a little bit more.
She doesn’t always let me play with my sister the way that I want to. Sometimes she yells “Stop pushing your sister!” when I’m not pushing her, I’m just trying to get her out of the way of the cars. Sometimes she makes me actually share my cars with my sister which is even worse. I think I should play with all my own toys and not have to share, even when friends come over.
But my mommy helps me fall to sleep at night, and if I ever wake up in the middle of the night and get scared, she’s the only one I want. So, overall I have to give her a good rating, although as I said, I have to take away marks for not playing cars with me enough.

User 2
P: 4
H: 5
K: 3
C: 4
E: 4
H: 0

Comments: My mommy is a pretty good mommy. I like her a lot, and I have trained her very well to respond to me when I whine a little bit. I can ALWAYS get her to pick me up if I stand at her feet and stretch up my arms and say, “Up! Up!” and get in her way until she complies.
My mommy is not the easiest mommy—she decided to take away my soother except for car rides and sleeping. I don’t like this but again, she is well trained so that if I whine enough she will give me the soother even in the middle of the day.
My mommy is fun, but not very consistent. Sometimes I’m allowed to open up all the drawers in the kitchen and pull everything out, and sometimes I’m allowed to pull down all the movies from the shelves in the family room. But then some days I try to pull, say a knife, out of a drawer and she yells and tries to act very strict.

She is very good at keeping track of my things: she always knows where my soother is, and my blanket and dog. Sometimes she loses her own things, but not mine.
My mom is good at encouraging me to try new words. She gets very excited when I say new things, and she likes it when I say more than one word at once. She also gets extremely excited when I sit on the potty with my diaper and pants on and pretend to go.

I don’t like it when my mommy tries to get my hair out of my eyes, and I HATE it when she tries to make me wear a barrette. Once I let her put one in, but I made sure to take it out before anyone in public saw it.
Overall, my mommy performs her job well, and I can recommend her as a mommy. But that doesn’t mean I want to share her, because I don’t. I like to have her attention all to myself.

* This category is not considered when determining averages.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy All Saints Day

Only some of the creatures and characters at my house last night. . .
I don't know what I'm in for when Christmas rolls around, but I have learned that Halloween is so pulse-quickening, adrenaline-rushing, sugar-high exciting that when a three year old boy wakes up in the night (because the covers came off? Because he was dreaming? Because he really does have a sore ear?) that memories of the trick or treating completed mere hours before can then keep said boy up for an hour, telling and retelling his mommy tales of his exploits that she might not have known before.
I therefore learned at 3am this morning that sometimes you have to knock on the doors, but sometimes you don't--shouting "Trick or treat!" can be enough to get someone to open the door; that Boo is a very good trick or treater and when she went up for seconds nobody minded so she got lots of candy; that my poor pirate's eye patch was lost somewhere on route and couldn't be found even though Daddy tried to find it; that Boo rushed to greet the dogs that met them on the trick or treating trail, but that Geister rushed away; that pumpkins feel slimy on the inside and sometimes their lids fall into their bodies; and that Daddy said "What the frig?" but frig is not a nice word, in fact it's "bad language."
I am so tired today, but who cares, it was worth it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hand Slip

My daughter just left. She’s left for a week to visit my in-laws, her Grandpa and Grandma. I packed her suitcase, made sure she had two coats in case it gets cold; I packed an extra pair of shoes, her toothbrush and special toothpaste, her hair brush—something she actually needs now that her hair is long enough to get tangled after the bath. I packed some toys, some books, a doll. I took a diaper bag and filled it full of size 4s, and then added three packs of wipes, even though she’s been asking lately—with a point towards the bathroom and a word that sounds like “potty”—to go to the potty. I grabbed her musical elephant so she can sleep at night, and sleep at nap time. I gathered three stuffed dogs, her most precious treasures, and put them in their own special bag for the trip. I packed her bottles and some formula, and with those, stuck in the page of notes I’d made for Grandma detailing her granddaughter’s daily routine. The note said maybe she’ll need this much formula, but it’s OK if you try to give her more milk instead.

This visit was planned in August. I knew it was coming, I agreed it was a good idea, but I never dwelt on it. Why should I have? My mother-in-law asked to take her for a week, and helpfully pointed out that she had taken my son for a week when he was only 16 months old. At 19 months old, my daughter was long overdue. But we’ve only ever been separated for 21 hours before. This time I’m not going on vacation; the higher purpose (for me) of my daughter’s absence is so I can toilet train her brother (he’s 3 ¾ years old) intensively. Really focus, pull him out of preschool, get the job done.

So, in theory I’m OK. I believe in grandchildren bonding with their grandparents even over an extended period. I got to do it with my grandparents, and I won’t deny my children that. But part of me wonders, when so many of my friends wouldn’t even consider letting their children go for that long, am I a good mother?

In Grandma and Grandpa’s car, I strapped my daughter into her car seat. I tucked her pink blanket around her, positioned Dougal (her favourite dog) under her arm. I brushed her bangs across her forehead. I kissed her.

When her hand slipped out of mine, by this I mean the car drove around the corner and out of sight, I went into the house and cried. I can’t quite bear the thought that she’s gone for the week, and I can’t quite bear the sight of the car driving away with my baby. But my tears reassured me, that though I’m willing to let her go, it breaks my heart, and that means I’m not giving her up glibly, or without a sense of what I’m losing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We Got Home at Last, Which Was Forever Ago (Whatever)

Pretty Tallin

Day 16: July 27

Off to Tallin, Estonia. This was a great day. We took the ferry from Helsinki, across the Gulf of Finland, to Tallin, the capital of Estonia. It’s a good thing the ferry is so fun, since it was a large part of the day (i.e. three hours total spent on the ferry, four minus customs in Estonia). On the ferry you can eat, shop, watch people, chase your kids around, and go up and down stairs repeatedly with them.

Tallin is so much different from what I remember; but then again, I was here last shortly after the iron curtain fell. Given the time, the grayness has given way to colour, and capitalism. In any case, the hours we were there were not nearly long enough. We ate lunch in the old town, and then shopped in the square. Geister and his dad climbed in the old medieval wall, and then it was time to walk/run back to the ferry. Unfortunately on the way back to the ferry we had an incident—M. was pushing Geister in the big stroller over a curb and the stroller collapsed, pinching Geister’s legs and knees. From what I could tell, it was more hurt pride and shock than anything else that made him (Geister) cry, but he did cry. I had to carry him back to the boat with many reassurances that Daddy didn't mean to do it, while M. pushed and kicked the broken stroller along.

[Sidebar: For anyone who is concerned about the welfare of Geister and the stroller, the update is that Geister turned out to be absolutely fine and now has a story to tell about the time he was in the stroller and his daddy broke it with him in it, and it hurt his legs, in Stonia. The stroller on the other hand, did not survive the incident. After Temo broke it some more after attempting to fix it, we ditched it at a garbage bin.]

Once we got back to Helsinki, Temo picked us up and we went back to their house. We had just enough time to turn around to go out again—M. and I were taking the family out to eat, while Geister and Boo stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa. Really, a win-win for me.

We let our hosts pick the restaurant (something cool on the esplanade, I hoped) and they picked, with us in mind, a typical Finnish restaurant. Now, since we’d all been eating authentic Finnish food since the beginning of the trip (did I mention the elk, the white fish, and the blueberries yet? Oh, and the reindeer?) this was a second choice for me. But whatever. Our hosts were very excited—a chance for the Canadians to experience real Finnish food like it used to be served back in the day. To start with, Temo ordered himself and M. an aperitif called The Drunken Log. Very Finnish. Then he ordered beer and wine. Also very Finnish. M. ordered the bear (not a typo) which is less typically Finnish since you can’t get it all year round.

I perused the menu, slightly terrified of the choices—hmm, bear no. Seafood, no. Reindeer, no. Lamb, not so much. That left only one dish for me, the steak. The very rare steak. At least it came with potatoes, also very Finnish.

After dinner wrapped up (with the conclusion that reindeer is superior to bear), we climbed in the car and headed, because we insisted, to the Arctic Ice Bar. It’s a very small room in downtown Helsinki that is entirely ice. You have to pay a hefty cover to get in, but with the fee you get to wear ice bar-issued parkas, and you get one vodka drink of your choice. Tell me this wasn’t worth it:

Ice ice, baby

Drinks and parkas, all part of the fun

Day 17: July 28

Shopping today. Nothing but shopping. Fun, fun, fun. The boys went to a hardware store, had drinks, and then did a few more sights in the city.

Day 18: July 29

Time to leave. So glad to be going home, because the trip has been such a success I feel completely satisfied. The only time I hesitated was when the family dropped us off and Temo said to me, “Well, MLD. . .” and then hugged me, with a voice and a gesture towards me that was very “Gus, quite a party.” So then I was sad but no time to dwell on that when you have two children to check in and manage, and then you get yourself in a bit of a situation because you accidentally walk out of the airport and can’t get back in without the boarding pass that you left with all your stuff (ahem), until it's time to board the flight.