Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Post Where the Blogger Interviews Herself

Q: Where did you come up with the name “Mommy-Like Days”? Are you glad you picked it? Do you still think it’s cool?
A: From my head; Hard to say; No. I guess I like the intended pun. I have always thought that was Clever. But I picked it in isolation, when I wasn’t exactly involved in the blogosphere. I didn’t realize, should I ever appear on a blog roll, it would place me in the middle of the pack, alphabetically speaking. Clearly, you want to be AAA Mommy, or 1 Mama, or something.

Q: Why blog?
A: Writing is fun! And topically speaking, mommy-related issues, child-rearing issues are extremely relevant to my life now. Blogging about such things is a way to carve out a bit of a life to call my own. As long as I can’t escape the mommyness of my life, I might as well embrace it.

Q: What is the main reason you don’t blog more?
A: The children. Boo doesn’t sleep well—I don’t have a morning, and I certainly don’t have an evening. I sometimes have an afternoon, but you know, things around the house have to get done sometime, as much I don’t prioritize “housework”. My husband once called housework the “biggest waste of human existence”, but he’s given to unintended hyperbole. I am not that strongly opposed to it, but stuff does need to get done.

Q: Who are your favourite bloggers?
A: Bub and Pie, and Her Bad Mother. They’re also the only ones I read regularly—but I’m looking to expand. I really want to expand my horizons.

Q: I’d like to talk about memes. Do you consider them to be an effective way to bring bloggers together, or merely imitative?
A: What’s a meme?

Q: What was a bigger adjustment: having your first baby, or having the second?
A: The second, by far. Adjusting to two kids is far more all encompassing, though when the first was born, I’d never have thought so. I mean, I would have said having one was a pretty big adjustment.

Q: What’s going to be harder, raising a boy or raising a girl?
A: How should I know?

Q: You have what is popularly known as a million dollar family. You have both a son and a daughter. I hear that your husband and you, however, prefer to call your family the choix de roi. Can you explain that?
A: It was in a book we read, a really funny essay of an American couple living in Paris. They were having a daughter and everyone was congratulating them because they had a son already, too; so they had the choix de roi. It takes them almost until the day the wife goes into labour to figure out what people mean. Basically it insures their kingdom survives. . .you know, the first born male preserves the lineage, then the second born, a girl, can be married off and expands the kingdom. I mean, if they were royalty, of course.

Q: You and your husband are not royalty.
A: (Pause) I guess I’m not totally comfortable sharing all the inside jokes . . .

Q: Whatever. Here’s my next question. Are you a good parent?
A: Wow. That’s a good question. My love for my children is absolute and unequalled, so I’m doing OK on that front and for all that matters, which is a good deal I suspect. But it’s the details of parenting that befuddle me, and that I’m not so good at. I can be a bit absent-minded at times. That’s a sign of sleep deprivation, too, but I think I’m not a natural when it comes to their daily care. But encouraging them, exposing them to new experiences, I’m good at that.

Q: I want to thank-you for your time, MLD or however you want to be known. And personally I think you’re a kick-butt mommy, you’re just too humble to see it.
A: Humility is my greatest attribute. And thank-you.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sad, Hungry Geister

This is a sad, hungry boy, demonstrating how to do breakfast right, any time of day.

When Geister got up from his afternoon nap today (he had an afternoon nap—yay!) he climbed up to the table and promptly requested breakfast. He requests breakfast in this manner: “Mommy, I want breakfast. I want Cheerios, juice, and Life cereal on the table.”
That is to say, only the Life cereal is placed directly on the table. The other parts of the meal are in their respective bowls and cups.

Why did he want breakfast of all things? Did he think he just slept through the night??
But then I realized something that made the order or titles of the day’s meals irrelevant: We forgot to give him lunch today.


Nevermind that we were traveling from out of town back home, or that, after a good and proper breakfast in the am, we had drunk drinks with Aunt Sassy* at Starbucks—we had forgotten to give him lunch of any kind.

And so he ate his breakfast and then the chicken fajitas I’d cooked for supper. Oops.

*I would like to introduce Aunt Sassy. She's my sister, and Sassy is not her real name. Despite the fact I just heard a tale of a real-life Aunt Sassy who was/is the family drunkard, I am proud to give my sober sister this name. It originated courtesy of Geister.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What I’m Talking About

One of the most useless rejoinders my husband throws at me in conversation is “What are you talking about?”, always expressed in a tone of slight frustration. Would I be overstating my case if I said I hate it?
Allow me to give some examples of how it is used:

Me: Boo only slept for half an hour this morning. I think she’s going to be cranky.
Him: What are you talking about?

Me: Geister needs his snow pants for preschool tomorrow. Don’t forget to bring them.
Him: What are you talking about?

Me: Your parents called this afternoon. You’re supposed to call them back.
Him: What are you talking about?

Me: Hey, do you see yesterday’s paper? I haven’t read it yet.
Him: What are you talking about?

Me: It’s cold outside.
Him: What are you talking about?

The answer to the query of what am I talking about is always exactly what I’ve just said.

So it was to my dismay this morning when, as I was handing Boo a mum mum, Geister looked at me and said, “Mommy, what are you talking about?”
At least, unlike his father, it was not frustration that provoked this question. It was honest, it was sincere, it was of the moment. It was also a little misplaced, as I had said nothing whatsoever.

It was a reminder to me of how our children are a product not only of our genes but of the environment we provide for them. They do what we do, say what we say. Just last night, Geister and his daddy were running around throwing and catching balloons, and I could hear him say “Fumble-itis!” when he missed his catch, or alternatively “Fumble-ruski!” These are the unique lessons (i.e. words) he’s learning from his father. These are not phrases he’s likely to hear outside of our loving home. (He’s sure to pick up the word “smurf” as well from his father which can be used in place of any word whatsoever, as an adjective, noun, etc.—We are leaving early Saturday morning for a road trip. One could say we are leaving at the crack of smurf.—Try it at a party. It’s fun. Honest.)

I wonder what lessons and mannerisms my children are learning from me. Truthfully, I’m too close to tell . . . and maybe I don’t want to know. Do I want someone to notice that my son often walks on a veer, like I tend to do? Or that my daughter rubs her nose like I do?
Hmm, no I don’t.
Note: These are potential examples only and not related to any real life ticks I may or may not have.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

This Is Geister and Boo

It's their stuffed animals, really. I am very technically challenged right now. While this is the picture I meant to upload, I am only doing it so I can try to link to it from elsewhere.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You Do What You Have To

Doing what you have to do is key to surviving with two children. I assume this holds true for more than two kids. Before my daughter was born, this was really the best—not so much advice as truism—that I heard. After a couple of months, I made a list of what “doing what you have to do” means to me. I wrote it in the car, while the children were captive.

The list includes:
  • Letting Geister watch more television than he used to. I used to restrict the amount he was allowed to watch, when it was just the two of us. It’s funny, I used to think that two Baby Einstein videos in one day was indulgent.
  • Going through the drive-through at McDonald’s so that I can eat my lunch, while Geister eats his happily strapped in the car seat, and while Boo sleeps in her car seat (or, if not, then feeding her in the car—actually more comfortable than some narrow-sided rocking chairs I’ve used).
  • Letting Boo cry longer than I’d normally do.
  • Cooking while nursing (putting water on to boil, taking something out of the oven, etc.)
  • Letting Boo co-sleep with us, because I don’t want to come up with creative techniques for inducing sleep, in the middle of the night, when I have a two-year old to deal with in the morning.
  • Keeping Geister in daycare two days a week—excellent for mental survival.
  • Stealing someone else’s diaper while at a drop-in because I forgot some for Geister (sorry Adam, your name was on it but we were desperate). This point is not so much part of the list, but a confession I’ve been meaning to make.
  • Trying to get out of the house every day so that: I retain my sanity, Geister has fun, and Boo falls asleep in the car, there, on the way back, or both. Sometimes I worry I may be over-scheduling the little ones, but that’s another discussion.
  • Putting make-up on in the car as we sit in the driveway in the morning. This works well because, aside from taking advantage of the natural sunlight, the kids are strapped in and not going anywhere. I’d do my make-up in the house, but there just isn’t time.
  • In public, giving in to more demands from my two-year old than I’d like, because when feeding Boo, I can’t physically enforce whatever it is I’ve told him to do (as in “Put the car away, Geister.” He ignores me. I then ignore that I’ve asked him to do anything). Kudos to my friend A. who I’ve seen chasing her son when he doesn’t listen, with her daughter mid-feed.
  • Putting off toilet training.
  • Watching The Berenstain Bears: They’re just like people only more so.

    Note: I wrote this a few months ago. As an update, we are no longer eating at McDonald’s, or any other drive thru. Co-sleeping is a thing of the past (after CIO), and Treehouse has given way to the CARS movie. I would hate to give the impression that I’m somehow “over” these techniques, though. I’d still use them in a second. But is it possible that life is actually getting easier?