Tuesday, 16 December 2014


Well, that was a bit of a gap between my last post and now?!

We are back in Canada, safe and sound, though the radio-silence perhaps didn't quite give that away. Or maybe it did. Or didn't. I've had a few friends lovingly harass me that I need to put something up here because, "Urgh! You can't just move back to Canada and go mute! This is the country where you're actually supposed to be able to speak and have people understand you!" Maybe that's the problem? I've been speaking so much for four months, I'm burned out at the end of the day. My fingers are too tired to speak for me. But I have been talking a lot: people finally understand my wit; I'm engaging in delightful repartee! People actually laugh with me now, and not just roll their eyes at me or harrumph at the slow speaking forgein dunce who can't quite master...anything about their language.

But we're back.

We left Zurich on a bleak August day, otherwise known as summer in Switzerland. (Can I just pause a moment to incredulously exclaim over how shitty that summer was?! Thank goodness Kamloops could be relied on for a few scorcher days before fall kicked in). The day before we left we handed the keys over to our apartment, and headed up to Zurich to stay overnight with Dan's aunt and uncle. The next day Dan drove to the airport with his aunt, the cats, and all our luggage, and I took the city bus with Dan's uncle, who was belligerent to the bus driver the entire ride. Why? Because the damn bus company moved the ticket machine! And he didn't know where to buy his ticket! So we had no ticket. And he was mad. And belligerent. And people stared at us. And I was mortified. And thought, "Please, gods of aviation, let our flight be on-time, let it be on the tarmac, let me please get the hell out of this country with nary a hitch."

They listened.

All our luggage arrived in Vancouver, cats included.

When we landed, the customs guy waived the duty and vet inspection fees owing on the cats; he dismissed our carefully itemized list of household goods and told us not to worry about it; he wanted to buy us a Timmie's to welcome us back to Canada.

He loudly told his coworker to, "Go pinch one out. I'll hold the line."

It was a really confusing moment of joy and disgust for me.

I went back to work full-time in mid-September, and that's likely been the hardest thing about this entire move back. I miss my LB. She's done really well though, and has had a lot of time to get to know her grandparents, her aunts, and uncles. She loves everyone so much, and especially her Papa and aunties. She hands me some telephone-shaped object about twenty times a night and says, "Mom, Auntie Ais," or "Mommy, it's Auntie Meg." And then I spend dozens of minutes carrying on conversations with my sisters only to 'hang-up' and have LB hand me the phone again to be all, "Hell no, that conversation isn't over yet."

See? English is really tiring me out.

In terms of adjusting back, that will probably require more thoughtfulness than I have time to give at the moment. You see, it's a Tuesday afternoon and I have taken a day off work to just chill and hang out with my sweet LB. She is currently curled up on our new couch, sleeping underneath a yellow blanket, with Cosmo sleeping beside her. When she wakes up, we're making sugar cookies that we will decorate with too much icing and sprinkles, and that we will freeze so have something to give ol' Saint Nick when he stops by. I have it on good authority there is going to be a space ship and a doll house under our tree.

(Okay, I'm too excited about this. Will share now: In March I was in a local Brocki and came across a handmade, wooden--it was Switzerland after all--doll house. It was twenty francs. I had to buy it. In fact, I snatched it right up when I saw another mom walking towards it. Then I got to the register and didn't have twenty francs, so had to put down a deposit of eight francs in loose change while I ran to a bank machine to take out cash. I spent all spring refurbishing the house--painting it, wallpapering it, etc..--and then we carefully boxed it up to move it back with us, and that will be LB's Santa gift. God I'm excited!)

We're having a big family Christmas this year, with Dan's family coming to stay with us in our new house. We'll have a big appy night on Christmas Eve with both families, then on Christmas day we'll head into the hills to go sledding. Fingers crossed we have snow. We did have a lot, then a pesky Chinook swept through and melted it all. Otherwise, if there's no snow, we'll spend the day drinking warm things, watching movies, and relishing our first family Christmas in five years.

In the meantime, if you're wondering, I'm not going to close up this blog. I like it too much to say goodbye to it.

Posts will be sporadic though, so thanks for sticking around if you still want to. I have more to say, I just need to find my voice again.

I will leave you with this though: just when I thought wearing pajamas in public was the lowest of the low, I discovered the trend of people wearing BEDROOM SLIPPERS IN PUBLIC.

What the serious what?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

On Moving

Well, after my last dramatic post announcing the move it's probably a good idea to follow that up, eh? Rather than leave it hanging?

I should make it abundantly clear that I am actually excited to move back to Canada; however, I just don't quite feel ready yet. And realistically, I'm not sure if I'd ever feel really ready. Dan, either. Which is why we just decided to go for it.

The reason we are moving back is for LB. Specifically, we want to raise her close to family. We do, of course, have family in Switzerland, but it's extended family. All her grandparents, aunts and uncles (and please, please future cousins) live in Canada. Dan and I decided that being close to family is an important cornerstone we want firmly in place for LB's formative years. Hell, let's be honest, it's important for us too. We're tired, yo! We want a weekend off!

But seriously, in January LB tried to play chase with my Dad through the Skype screen and Dan and I were like, "Yeah, that's not cool. We have the power to change this, and we should." I want to make it clear here that Dan and I are lucky to be in a situation where we actually can make the decision to move closer to family. Lots of people don't have that same freedom of mobility, but we do so why not take advantage of it?

I was out on a walk today, and came across one of those rare Swiss anomalies who actually wanted to chat up a stranger. So we chatted, I mentioned we're moving back to Canada, and she was shocked. Absolutely shocked. Leave Switzerland?! The best country in the world?! WHAT ARE WE THINKING. I'm serious. Her exact sentiments translated to, "Aren't you feeling like this is a mistake? Switzerland is really the best."

Thanks, stranger, but no, leaving Switzerland for Canada is not a mistake. Come on. It's not the Gaza Strip.

That said, of course there's things I'm going to miss about Switzerland. The playgrounds here rock; there's nothing childproof about them. I say this as I cast my mind back to a short little slide at a local Kamloops park that has speed bumps in it.


Like the child is going to get so much friction going they'll shoot into the river.

Switzerland is a civil law system as opposed to Canada's (and the States') common law system. Common law is exactly as it sounds: precedent law. Successful court actions set precedents, and the result is everyone worries about being sued. I am going to miss looking up to one of Bern's fifteen story buildings and seeing people's office windows swinging open to let in fresh air. No one is overly concerned about a lawsuit.

Oh, that idiot fell out the window. Survival of the fittest, y'all!

Personal responsibility reigns supreme. Yeah, that I will miss. It's actually crazy how worried people are about being sued back home, and it trickles down into everything.

Also, I will miss drinking in the park.

Yeah, it sounds just as lush as I described it.

I will miss the big hiking here. Canada has big hiking, for sure, but I'm not wilderness smart so most of it is off limits until I dust off my copy of "Scaring Off Bears And Staying Alive For Dummies".

I will miss Bern. I will miss the Alps. I will miss wandering around cobblestone streets as I mentally compile my grocery list. I will miss the civility of people here taking the time to get dressed in the morning. Not looking like slobs, just because they can get away with it. Seems shallow, but I was seriously appalled back home how lazy people are. Comfort reigns supreme. If it's not elasticized they don't want to wear it. That makes me sound so snobby, but I don't care. I mean, I actually knew a girl who WORE YOGA PANTS TO HER OFFICE JOB. Think about that. No, her office job was not doing filing for a yoga studio. It really annoys me.

I will miss our family ritual of coffee and pastry on Saturday mornings at our favourite place.

I will really, really, really miss my friends. Oh god, how I will miss them.

I will just plain ol' miss it here.

Things I won't miss?

All the recycling. I'm serious. Sometimes I just want to throw something away, dammit! I don't want to get a call from the caretaker telling me I can't dispose of 'x' item in 'y' spot. I have to take it to 'z' but not until the third Tuesday of the month! I'm really tired of all the recycling. Of course I'll still keep it up in Canada, but not to the extreme I have to do it here. Yeah, that's me, pissing all over Mother Earth.

And on that note: riding public transit. I'm over it. Ever since LB came along, I am sick of taking the bus. The transit here is so good we felt like it was a waste of money buying a car, but not anymore! I am ready to now get in my car, crank my tunes, and drive to the grocery store without interacting with another human being. The old guy I got in a fight with on the bus last week just sealed the deal for me: I'm over it!

I'll look forward to eavesdropping again. No seriously, I will! I have a lack of good story ideas since Swiss-German is still the bane of my existence.

I look forward to Thanksgiving with family, to spending Christmas with family (five years without a big Christmas. FIVE YEARS), to taking LB camping out in the middle of nowhere, to owning a house, helping LB with her homework, driving her to soccer tournaments (if she plays soccer), and just being settled.

We loved it here, but we never actually felt settled here. We probably could have gone on indefinitely with that 'not settled' feeling because it wasn't that uncomfortable, but when I think about all the things on the horizon for our future in Canada, planting our roots is what appeals to me the most.

We moved here for an adventure, and now the biggest adventure lies in the life we're going to build back home.

Because Canada is, and always was, home.

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Times, They Are a Changin'

In exactly four weeks and one day, we are flying back to Canada...but we won't be flying back to Switzerland. Boy, that feels weird to type.

Yes, we are moving back to Canada.

I wrote a big post about it then deleted it, because I'm feeling a lot of feelings and none of them are articulate.

We decided back in February we were moving so that we could raise LB closer to family. We are really excited, but I am also a hot mess of emotions.

I'll chat more about it, but that's all I can manage for now.

Friday, 4 July 2014

My Blog Needs Defibrillation


I'm in the midst of trying to make it through the day without adding more white hairs to my alarming collection. Dan's had a ton of work commitments, LB still generally thinks sleep is for the weak, is growing and figuring out ways to open doors and escape our apartment, is destroying everything her toddler hands can access, applying mom's favourite lipsticks to her face and hair, and generally being a nearly two year old.

And me? How am I? Well, I accidentally wore my pajama t-shirt to get groceries today. So that sums me up.

Oh yeah! Welcome to my sexy, glamourous, rested, life.


But we hit Paris next week and I am so ready for a vacation.

Bring. It. On.

Chat soon!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


It's a hashtag circulating on twitter, and it's an important one.

If you've been following along I have been doing an On Raising A Daughter series of blogposts. They're important to me because my daughter is going to be a woman one day, and I have concerns for her in how she will navigate a misogynistic society that doesn't admit it is one.

Because that's today's climate, and yesterday's, and it's not okay for anyone to think differently. Maybe in your little pocket of the enchanted forest you live in you don't see discrimination and violence towards women, but you can't ignore it isn't real. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not real.

It's real.

I am lucky. I'm so lucky because I have never been molested or raped. God I'm lucky. But that doesn't mean I haven't been in uncomfortable situations.  I have been sexually harassed by a slow-moving truck full of teen guys wolf whistling at me, asking me to turn around and show them my tits, then calling me a bitch and telling me I have a fat ass before speeding away. I guess I was supposed to be flattered they noticed me? That was on a Monday afternoon while I was walking on a very public river trail. I have been groped in bars, grabbed, been assumed to be public property just because I was a woman in a bar, then angrily called a tease when I told them to stop. I've 'accidentally' had my ass grabbed by a skeevy perv when standing in line at the bank machine.

I've been in a roomful of guys where they talked about my breasts like they weren't attached to me. A person.

I've been told to show more cleavage.

I've been told I'm ugly. By a stranger. Because I wouldn't kiss him.

Remember, I'm lucky.

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for three years. How do you break-up with someone who makes you believe you are unlovable? Unwanted? How do you confess to people that you now believe that, too?

So you stay.

And stay.

And stay.

Until you're not even 1/10th the person you used to be.

He did that to me.

Remember, I'm lucky.

We're told that if we don't want the attention, we shouldn't dress like whores. I watched a reality t.v. show where a dad told his daughters that "men get ideas when too much skin is shown. It can be really hard on a man to have all those feelings churning inside him, so you girls need to be modest so you don't tempt men."

It's emphatically wrong that a woman should modify her wardrobe so a man doesn't have to modify his behaviour.

We are told that it's her fault for always dating losers. It's not the abusers fault, it's her fault for continuing to choose them.

 We blame the victim, because surely she played a role in bringing it on herself.

As teenagers, in our hormonal craze of wanting a boyfriend (perfectly normal) we learn to accept unacceptable male behaviour because isn't that attention better than no attention? We learned this from our sisters. And they learned it from theirs. Boys will be boys, don't forget. They can't help it.

Feminists are crazies.

We should ignore their entire message.

We shouldn't classify ourselves as feminists, despite being females. It's a dirty word and the men don't like it. So let's allow them to continue voting and passing laws on what we should be able to do with our bodies. They know best.

Let's not speak up when they dismiss a woman's competency because she's a woman; let's say nothing when a sexist joke makes you feel uncomfortable because Jesus H. lighten up, IT'S JUST A JOKE. It's your fault you don't find it funny.

You're the problem.

Women are told they can't do the same job as a man.

Women earn less.

All women are scared walking home alone, at night. Because what if...

#NotAllMen are like this, but #YesAllWomen should be passionate about this. And their husbands, and brothers, and fathers, too. Passionate about it for your daughters. Your sisters. Your mothers. Your sons.

I want better for my daughter.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lotions and Potions

You know how cigarette packages must have mandatory health warnings printed on them just to remind people, "Hey! Might not be a good idea! Why don't you go drink a green juice instead?!" Well, I'm starting to think babies should come with a similar warning. As in, every time you stop to admire someone's newborn there should be a little sign around its neck stating the following:

"Hey, just so you know my parents are going to be exhausted for the next five years! Hope they like feeling sluggish and fuzzy-headed, because neither caffeine nor sleep is going to cure this kind of tired! And I'm so freaking cute I'm playing mind games with them as they dance between remembering those days when they were rested and functional, but feeling conflicted and torn because I wasn't there. HAHAHAHA. Suckers."

Hey Ma, I'm just chilling against this wall right now, wearing my wooden bead necklace you bought me so I'd stop breaking your necklaces. I've got my doll and my ball. Life is sweet, and what? Who? Me? I'm not that much trou.....

MEOW! I'm outta here mom, just saw a cat. Don't even try to catch me.

Oh my lord Internet, she is so stinkin' cute. SO CUTE. It takes all my effort not to photo-bomb Facebook and random strangers with the hundreds of pictures I take of her. I just love her to a million little bits, but Lord, she makes me tired.


I said to Dan a couple of weeks ago that it looks like Ma Ingalls just took my face and ran it up and down a scrub board. That's how perma-tired I always look. The fact I don't go to bed until 11:30 probably isn't helping matters...but WHATEVER. 

Night owls unite! For Life!

Recently I was in The Body Shop to get some of my Shea body butter, and I saw these two products and thought I'd give them a try to perk up my skin.

Cleansing Oil and Vitamin E serum

In addition to being tired, my skin is so dehydrated and dry. This is a massive change for me, since you used to be able to oil griddle pans with my acne riddled complexion. But not anymore. Now my skin is Dryee McDryerson.

These are really nice. The cleansing oil doesn't leave me skin oily at all, but it does add some hydration. It's recommended for all skin types, in case anyone with oily skin is interested, and the Vitamin E serum has just given me a concentrated hit of moisture, which I then follow-up with my regular moisturiser. After a couple of weeks of using these every night they have managed to even bring back a smidge of glow to my otherwise dimly-lit face. 

The grooves under my eyes that look like tire tracks are another matter. One that an earlier bedtime might solve, but then how am I supposed to stare for hours at pictures of my baby girl if I'm sleeping?



Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Beautiful Things

It's storming outside.

Downpour, thunder, lightening, the whole works. I do love a good storm...except when we're on week three of stormy weather. Yes, it's unofficially Switzerland's monsoon season. Err, minus the monsoons.

My dad called me last week to say he was golfing with a European fellow, and when finding out Dan and I were in Switzerland, the man commented: "Ah Switzerland, beautiful country. Crappy weather." Yes, that about sums it up.

So instead of feeling droll about the weather, I thought I'd post a few beautiful things that are acting as my sunshine these days.

The first is that we have booked a Paris trip for the beginning of July. Oh yes! God I love Paris. Every cliche exists for a reason and this is my fourth time going; I can hardly wait to bite into my flaky, daily breakfast, pain au chocolat, and picnic under the Eiffel Tower, take LB to the Versailles gardens (we're skipping the actual Palace this time, because lord there is only so many times a person can be interested in the Hall of Mirrors), and avoid any and all attractions pertaining to Napoleon. Because, ugh, no Dan I don't care about that short little dude who needed to lift his leg and piss all over Europe and claim it as his own. I CARED THE FIRST THREE TIMES, NOT ANYMORE. I'm also excited to just be in Paris.

There is still so much of Europe we haven't seen. Scotland was a contender for I wanted to shut myself away in a stone cottage on a moor, teach LB to skip stones on a Loch, while Dan bombed around the countryside getting pissed at distilleries. It was a beautiful idea, but holy: it costs a lot of money to go get drunk in Scotland while your wife and daughter are skipping stones on a Loch. Since we fail at long-term vacation planning, that was out for our July holiday.

Then there was Sweden. Oh Sweden, I wanted to stay in a forest hotel. As in, the hotel is built INTO THE TREES. See above, re: shit, it costs a lot to sleep like Tarzan for a few nights.

Dan refuses to go back to Italy anymore because he's too Swiss, and Italy literally causes his brain to short circuit.


Dan floated Germany, and I was all, "Deutsch, pretzels, and bratwurst...PASS."

So Paris it is, and oh I am glad.

The next thing making me happy are the following:

Angle One

Angle Two

So the first thing I'll draw your attention to is the make-up bag with the birds on it. I don't own a lot of make-up, but I learnt my lesson (see Cheap Nudes, somewhere in the archives...), so the little bit of make-up I own is good stuff, and I was keeping that good stuff in a ratty cardboard box. 


I was out last Saturday, saw this bag, and snatched it up. Yes, a cardboard box is utilitarian but there's nothing beautiful about it, and I have been making a concerted effort lately that when it's time to replace something, I'm replacing it with the most beautiful option I can find. 

This brings me to the next item, which is the blue-flowered placemat. LB is eating at the table now, and after she dragged her cloth placemat through her dinner for the fifth time, I thought, 'It's time for plastic placemats!' 

Except, dudes, plastic placemats are capital U ugly. I did not want Tweety Bird, Cars, Tinkerbell, or farm animals at my dinner table. So I found these plastic placemats by Rice DK and boom. Problem solved.

Yes, I am fully willing to admit I am a snob when it comes to kid stuff. An utter snob. Which brings us to the third item: LB's new pj's. I have this thing where I think that children should be dressed just like little well-groomed adults. What I mean by this is I don't want her wearing anything that is ugly as fuck and clearly made 'for kids'. That means no Disney characters on her clothes, no juvenile prints, and NO SWEATPANTS IN PUBLIC.

You see? I am a snob. This snobbery is my financial burden to bear, for I'm sure there are a lot of parents out there who are shaking their head a little ol' fiscally irresponsible me because everything I categorised above is cheap. And kids grow fast.

And I don't care! 

So LB outgrew most of her jammies, and I needed to find her new ones that fit within my snobby parameters. This whale number did the trick. In fact, I also asked if they carried them in adult sizes, because damn, I totally want them too.

But they didn't, so I bought some peonies instead. 

My favourite flower, they're in season, enough said. 

I always have fresh flowers in the house lately, because why not. Fresh blooms are beautiful, and beauty is the point of life.

The end.

P.S. What's bringing you guys sunshine, if you're living under clouds?

Friday, 25 April 2014

Missing in Action

Oh it's been awhile!

I'd like to say my prolonged absence was for a super cool reason like we were on a safari, or holidaying on a remote island with no internet, or else on a shopping spree bender, but alas none of those are the reasons. We've been kicking around here the whole time.

The reason I haven't blogged, and oh I am about to bust out my most loathed reason, is because I've been...gulp...busy.


I'm so ashamed of myself!

Once upon a time I wrote a ranty blog post about this very excuse and to this day I still stand by that rant. I absolutely loathe it when you ask how someone is and they reply 'busy'. But here I sit with absolutely no other reason to give you. Well, okay, here's one...lazy.

Yes! That's why I haven't blogged: laziness.

Just about every single day LB and I are meeting up with friends for play dates, we're hiking the Gurten, we're having coffee and babyccino dates, we're at the park, we're checking out the horses. Essentially, we're never home.  When we are home she's napping and I'm working. When evening rolls around, I'm usually working for a bit.

I suppose I could blog after I stop work but this is the exact thought that goes through my head every night: "Blog, or watch True Detective/Girls. TV WINS TV WINS TV WINS."

Then I watch t.v. while refurbishing a used dollhouse I found at a local Brocki.

I haven't blogged because I straight up haven't wanted to.

But I have a new post brewing for my 'On Raising A Daugther' series, so I thought I'd pop in and say hi before I drop another ranty post on everyone. Hi. How's it going? I'm good, thanks for asking.

Do you like yogurt? Yes?

Oh good, us too. I have a good yogurt trick up my sleeve if anyone is interested?

You are?

Good. Cool.

So, LB loves yogurt. LOOOVVVEEESS it. Her favourites are the flavoured ones, but there's a hella lot of sugar in those yogurts for her to be eating them every day. And trust me, she likes to eat them every day. So I've started pimping my own yogurt for her to enjoy and oh is she ever. To be honest, every time I make a yogurt for her I feel like quite a smug super-mom, so I thought I should share my secrets so my head doesn't explode from my growing smug-ego.

The first one I'll share with you is one I like to make her for a dip. She eats this with celery, carrots, apples, or cucumber. It's peanut butter yogurt. YES IT IS. And it's delicious. I take about a 1/2 cup (roughly) of plain Greek yogurt (it must be Greek for all recipes to follow...no watery low-fat crap, cool?) and I mix in roughly a tablespoon of peanut butter. Then I sweeten it with just the tiniest squeeze of honey, and *bam* LB's got herself a yummy dip for her afternoon snacks.

The second one is her Saturday morning yogurt treat. Again, I take about a 1/2 cup of yogurt, and then I mix in...Nutella! Oh yes I do. And you should, too. It's yummy, and you're in total control of the amount of sugar going in. We love Saturday's for this very reason.

The next one I do is take yogurt and mix in frozen berries and oats, and that's her standard muesli in the morning for the week.

Finally, when she just wants a little treat to spoon up, I will mix applesauce into plain yogurt. Also a mega-win, and one of her favourite post-nap snacks.


Be back soon.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Mother Load

Oh lord, I am weary.

I want to do my best in this post to articulate the struggles I am having with motherhood at the moment. Not with LB. Though LB has made me a mother, so obviously my in-the-moment overwhelmedness with motherhood is directly related to our relationship as it is becoming increasingly the norm that our mild-mannered daily tangos seem to be more often turning into tangles. She is getting older and is more and more determined to show me that she is her own person who knows best. Who knows what she wants to do. What she should do. And she doesn't want to be told what to do. Ever.

I have a friend here who has a theory that if you only have one child, you only have a yellow belt in parenting. The more kids you have, the more belt levels you move up because every child--with their own unique personalities--brings a new level of parenting experience you can add to your repertoire. I think she's very right about this.

I have a lot of friends here who only have one, and when I talk to them about what I'm going through with LB they can't seem to fathom that these issues are 'real' because they didn't experience them with their kids at her age.

"She's just little. She can't be that determined yet."

"Tantrums don't start that young."

"Little kids don't like exploring on their own. They like to be with their parents."

None of these are true of LB.

She is little. She is very determined. A friend was over on Sunday, and the only thing LB wanted to do was bang the keys on my computer. My computer was turned on for work, and it's a pain-in-the-ass to close all my programs, shut if off, turn it back on, reopen my programs, so I had it in sleep mode for the two hours I was off. Putting it away was not an option for me, and she had to respect that.

Tricks don't work on LB. She will not be distracted with another toy, she will not divert her attention to a book, or playing with you, or chasing you, or being chased, or anything.

She wants what she wants what she wants.


My friend, who has a little one who is very easy to distract, tried to see if she could flex her parenting muscle with her powers of distraction and was confident she'd succeeded. Great. I am open to learning. We all went down to LB's room to admire Dan's feat of Brio train track engineering, complete with block structures, and as we looked at it we didn't notice LB sneak out. At this point it had been 1.5 hours she'd been trying to bang on that computer. I noticed she wasn't there and told my friend, "I bet you a $100 I know where she is."

"Surely not. She wouldn't be on there. She can't be that determined."

Guess where she was?

Dogged persistence is going to be her greatest strength, I just need to teach her how to harness it, and I don't know how to do this. I am at a loss.

Yesterday was a truly awful day, complete with the most epic tantrum she's every thrown, and every single calming trick I know wouldn't work. I stepped out of her room to count to ten and collect myself, and she threw-up. To say I felt like the shittiest mom ever would be an understatement. If only I'd diffused the situation earlier. If only I'd noticed the signs. If only, if only, if only.

The blame game, it goes on and on and on.

I am going to be very, very clear here: LB is strong willed. She is not developmentally frustrated. She is not on any spectrum other than, "Parents, I will do what I want. Period." Our girl has an amazing strength of will that I don't know how to work through with her. She is not a hitter, she does not shove, she does not bite. She honestly gets along fairly well with most kids her age. When she doesn't want them near her, she will scream at them. Fair enough, it's the only way she knows how to communicate 'back-off', though we're working on 'nay' being used in those situations.

Her strength of will comes down to being absolutely against whatever instructions her dad or I give her. She wants to show us she can do it. I allow her to do this within the safe confines of certain situations. Others are non-negotiable and that's where we tangle. It's my job to give her the tools to work through her frustration, but I have no idea what tools to give her.

There were other situations that arose yesterday (all on less sleep than I've had since she was a week old) and I found myself getting short-tempered. Yelling. Mirroring her frustration.

It's very rarely I read any form of parenting literature, and it's not because I think I know best. It's because I don't want my natural instincts for my child to be secondary to anything I read that might contradict what I know is best for my child. However, last night I logged onto a blog written by a child-psychologist, whose advice I respect within certain situations. But there wasn't any solace there, last night. She wrote that children who explore with disregard to their parents' location, who won't listen, or who are reluctant to follow their parents' instructions, are not emotionally attached to their parents.

Cue the crying.

I felt. like. shit.

LB doesn't feel attached to me, is what she was saying. So I found myself tossing and turning last night, feeling like I don't know what I'm doing and that I'm failing. I got up and wrote in my journal for her. Honest in the bad-day we'd had, and honest in writing out the verbal apology I'd given her earlier. "I'm sorry that I lost my temper with you today. We were both grumpy and we weren't our best selves. We will do better tomorrow. I love you so much, tiny Sparrow. You're my girl."

And as I wrote to her, I found clarity and belief in my own self. Of course she is attached to me. I am her mom. I am the one she runs to when she is hurt. She runs up to give me kisses, just because. She rests her head on my shoulder when we read stories. I have her heart, and she has mine. And we have bad days.

And she is her own person, and she wants us to respect that. And I do, but I am her mom and her safety and her growth are my job. We will tango again, but right now we are working through the tangle.

And that's okay.

That's life. That's parenthood.

But yes, it's hard.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Generation Whoa

Last night Dan and I were chilling out and listening to some music after LB went to bed. We were listening to, what Dan proudly refers to, as Dan's Mix I. The man takes his mixed compilations very seriously, and each is a perfectly blended mix of tunes designed to invoke a mood and attitude. I was even regaled with the story of how he used to make mixed tapes: it was a multi-day process that involved exact planning and timing so that each sixty minute side of the tape was seamless; there were appropriate delays between songs, and no song was ever left unfinished at the end of Side A or Side B.

My only reaction to this was, "Oh my lord, YOU ARE SO SWISS."

My mix tapes were messy affairs, usually taken right from the radio (commercials included) and there was always one song sacrificed at the end of Side A or Side B.

So we were chilling, letting the soft wave of nostalgia sweep over us as Dan's Mix I took us right back to the 90's and our high school years. There was a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers on there, and we couldn't believe that this band used to be considered hard core. I mean damn, their music is downright peaceful and MUSICAL compared to all this new-age digitally remastered mumbo-jumbo. Now someone get me my cane so I can bang the Pandora station and decry all this garbage the youngin's are listening to these days.

"I can't believe these guys were considered out there," Dan said shaking his head.

"I know. They were the hard core druggie band of my youth; the bad influence. My god, their behaviour is like a gangly puppy compared to most artists these days."

"I bet when LB's a teen it's going to be commonplace for singers to just be shagging on stage and touching other people's nether regions."

And then I died from laughter.



I didn't know that every day instead of going to work Dan secretly hopped a flight and hung out in the UK, absorbing their posh lingo and just waiting for the day when he got to use 'shagging' and 'nether regions' in a conversation.

But anyhow, back to his point.

It's a curve for sure. Remember when Christina Aguilera's 'Dirty' video caused mass outrage? Her leather chaps that revealed a lot of--to borrow a word from Dan's new lingo--her bottom, while she danced sexily in a boxing ring with other women. Then she switched into some sort of sexy-school-lady-garage-girl-outfit. My god. I saw that video a while ago, and I thought, "Hmm, she's pretty covered up. What was the big deal?" I mean Internet, she was practicing motorcycle safety: she was wearing a jacket and helmet after all. She wasn't totally throwing the impressionable youth under the wheels of the morality bus. Perhaps the most offensive thing about that video, upon recent viewing, is her bleached blond hair being striped with black streaks. Ugh. Talk about a dated hairstyle. Oh, and her chin and nose piercing. Those studs were hideous.

Where does this curve lead us for LB's teen years? Will singers just abandon any pretense for clothing and start naked and then it will be risky as years go on, and they slowly become more covered up? They're all going to be sexual animals corrupting our youth! This leaves me with no other choice than to introduce her to the smooth crooning tunes of Elvis.

Everyone knows he didn't cause any parental angst.