Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thank you, Ma'am...

Can I help you, Ma'am?

Will that be everything for you, Ma'am?

Thank you, Ma'am, have a great day!

Okay, so somewhere in my 35th year of life, I have become a Ma'am. By the very employees of a service industry I know only too well. One that paid my way through University and taught me the value of a dollar and the joy of being able to spend it. By gas station attendants, waitresses, and store clerks. By pimple-faced, greasy haired teenagers slinging burgers and peddling lattes.

Well, okay, that's a bit mean-spirited. I mean, after all, these kids are not all that much younger than I am...

So the Ma'am, then... what is up with that?

What happened to the "Can I help you, miss?" How did I go from that, to "Ma'am"?

Is it the wedding ring, no longer shiny and new that has etched a permanent groove on my left hand?

Is it the baby fat trapped around my mid-section that I acquired from three exhuberant, robust babies? (Well, alright, three years later can I really continue to blame it on the babies?)

Is it the odd stray hair, stiff and silver, springing up from the top of my head? (That I can continue to blame on the babies...)

Is it the family friendly mini-van I drive?

What about the bags under my eyes from almost seven years of ignoring my need for sleep (again, the babies...)?

Or perhaps is the Mom-sized handbag that has become my staple fashion accessory?

Really, please tell me, what exactly compells you to call me Ma'am??? Have you any idea how old that makes me feel? In my day I could tell the difference between a woman in her prime, and a woman dangerously skirting the precipice of middle-age. You kids today don't have a clue!

Ma'am...

Well, I never!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

gender schmender



I think that green is definitely his colour! Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Playtime

This is the kind of thing that makes kids worth having! Someday I'm going to write a book about them and it'll be the kind of book you just can't make up. I'll call it "Life in the Trenches: An Expose on Working Motherhood" or something along those lines.

It's Saturday morning. We've blown off swimming lessons because two thirds of my troupe is still harbouring an icky eye infection. So, making the best of our quarantine, I'm spending the day doing laundry and post-work week clean up. Instead of doing what I should be doing... playing with my kids!

Or maybe not...

The kids are outside in the carport playing store. I'm inside sweeping the floor. I get distracted by the recycling and I gather it up and take it out to the carport. There, I get distracted by the sleds, shovels and Christmas decor lying around, so I start spring-cleaning up the carport (my house never gets completely clean because I always get distracted and never finish the tasks I start).

Connor says, "Mama, come play store with me!"

I brush him off politely, and keep working.

He insists, "Mama, COME play store with me!" I tell him I'll play later and I keep tidying. He insists louder, so I finally get my priorities in check and agree to come to his store. I leave the carport tidying for... who knows when I'll get back to it. I wander over to his store, which apparently is called "The Everything Store".

I say, "I'd like to buy some candy, please!"

He says, with a very serious expression...

"I'm sorry, we're closed!"



My Little Entrepeneur

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The ASQ

Ages and Stages Questionnaire, that is. The developmental survey that tracks how our babies are doing in areas such as "Communication", "Gross Motor", "Fine Motor", "Problem Solving", and "Personal/Social". There's a range of them, starting at 2 months and going all the way up to 6 years old. With my first, I found them fun to do. With my second, obligatory. With my third, well, let's just say I forgot all about them.





So today in the mail I got a nice surprise. Northern Health mails one out to all people with an up-and-coming 36 month old, which I'd forgotten about. I think, perhaps, when the boys turned 3, I was still wallowing in sleep deprivation and didn't truly appreciate the opportunity, as presented. Today, however, I did. Kirstin, who is turning 3 next week, if you can believe it, happily obliged and participated enthusiastically on her "test". Basically, instead of viewing it as a chore, I viewed it as a chance to try some silly activities with her, hoping that I could mark off "yes", or at the very least, "sometimes", rather than "not yet".



I always feel kind of tempted to cheat on these. Give my children that competitive edge. Or, possibly, just not admit that I have neglected to attempt any of these skills with my children. Cutting with scissors, for example. Tonight was the very first time I have handed my daughter a pair of scissors. Needless to say, I had to mark off "not yet". Really, do other parents of three year olds let them use scissors? Doesn't that lead to unwanted hair cuts or pet grooming?



Don't call me neglectful, call me preventative!



And don't get me started on stringing beads on a shoelace. Of course my daughter can do that... well, we've never actually tried --- but that's because beads are choking hazards, right? What self-respecting mother lets her child sit there stringing choking hazards onto a... strangulation hazard. I mean, really...?



Some of the activities were pretty easy. And Kirstin laughed as she obliged me, with a look that said, "Well, duh, of course I can walk up the stairs, see" or "Okay, I'll draw a circle, but then when you turn your back, I'm going to scribble all over this questionnaire, because that's more fun!"



Some of my responses were positively gleeful!



If your child wants something she cannot reach, does she find a box or chair to stand on?



Well, no, not very often. What she does, instead, is turns on her girlish charm and sweetly asks her brother Connor to get things for her. And he happily scales the book shelves to help her out. Isn't having the ability to get a boy to do her dirty work far more advanced that actually doing it herself?



Or --- Does your child speak in 3-4 word sentences?"



Oh yeah, baby!



Give an example:



Alright...



Me: Kirstin, what did you do today?



Kirstin: We goed outside, but I couldn't find my other shoe, so I hopped on the other foot."



Hah! 17 words, take that, ASQ!



All in all, we had fun filling out the questionnaire and I learned a little more about my daughter that I really haven't taken the time to find out. I know, now, that she has a wicked overhand, that in the absence of a ball, she'll happily kick a running shoe, that she can jump forward with two feet, but would prefer to skip instead, she still holds her crayons with her fist, and that she isn't ready, any time soon, to give herself or anyone else a hair cut.



Now... my next challenge is to remember to mail the darn thing back to Public Health. Therein lies my truely neglectful nature... paperwork!







My "almost" 36 month old 'baby'!