Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tips to new parents from an OK mom

I have been a mother for five and a half years and I think I’m OK at it. I am by no means great, but I am also not the worst mom in the world. The way I see it is this: most people think their mom was the best. So unless I mess up royally, chances are my kids will think of me as more than half-way decent. I’ll take that.

Motherhood has had its ups and downs and it has been a wonderful [and frustrating] learning experience. So here are some tips for those of you just starting out, in no particular order.

1. When your child is first born, don’t wear cashmere. Or anything nice that is dry clean only. Newborns spit up a lot.

2. In fact, don’t buy anything nice. They will scratch, spill on, write on [with permanent markers] every single nice piece of furniture that you own.

3. Give up on the idea of having a ‘child-free’ zone in the house. The whole house is theirs. You’re just paying to live there.

messier basement
4. When other parents tell you that their newborn doesn’t cry and sleeps through the night. Don’t believe them! They are lying. [even if they are not what good does it do you to believe them anyway?]

5. There will be times when your own child will feel more like your Nemesis. Don’t hate yourself for it. This does not make you a bad person. It just makes you normal. Also, kids can be real a$%*&s sometimes.

6. When dishing out punishments BE VERY CAREFUL. If you are going to take away TV, iPad or other electronics use think twice before doing so on a Saturday. That is punishing yourself because you will be responsible for the kids’ entertainment for the entire weekend.

7. Always keep lollipops in your bag. They will be your best friend and can be used as bribes and rewards and will make flights, shopping trips and long car rides possible.

8. Do not make ridiculous promises to yourself like: you will not yell at your children, you will not be one of THOSE moms/dads, or you will never say “you will appreciate me when I’m gone”. Hate to break it to you. You will.

9. There will be days when you will start counting down to bedtime at 2pm.

10. Little kids cry a lot. Fell and hurt her knee? Cries. You won’t let him drink bath water? Cries. You are not a bad parent if you ignore the crying over the bath water.

11. Accept the fact that you will never enjoy a dessert in your children’s presence ever again. They will try it, eat it all, spit it out. Anything to keep you from enjoying it.

12. Other things you will not be able to enjoy in their presence include: reading a book, having a glass of wine, having a nice dinner, watching the news, having your first cup of coffee in the morning, talking on the phone.

13. Always bring wipes.

14. Always bring snacks.

15. Everyone is an expert/consultant: random person on the street will tell you to put a hat on the baby because he’s cold. Strangers in stores will tell you that your baby is crying because she’s hungry. Your mother or mother-in-law will say that you’re holding the newborn wrong. Don’t fight it. Just smile and nod.

16. Be prepared to break some of your own rules. Sure no sugary treats before lunch is a very reasonable rule to have. But if you are out trying to finish shopping for the week, and your toddler is bored and cranky and is about to throw the eggs on the floor give him a cookie. It’s not the end of the world.

17. In fact, most things are not the end of the world. Always keep that in mind.

You’re welcome.

Travelling with Vs travelling without kids

passportb&w

Last week, for the first time in five and a half years I took a flight without kids. Holy shit it’s different! And by different, I mean better…. Much, much better.

First, I should clarify that since the birth of my daughter five and a half years ago I have been on more flights that I can remember, some as long as 17 hours and others as short as two hours. So flying without kids was a cause of celebration in and of itself. The fact that I was going to San Francisco, one of my favourite cities, where I would spend 3 days with my husband just walking around, drinking [a lot of] nice wine and eating nice food was really an added bonus.

So here are the main differences between traveling with and traveling without our beautiful bundles of joy.

Arriving at the airport

With kids

You arrive at the airport at least 2 to 3 hours earlier.  Go through security where you have to open and taste all of the liquid foods you are bringing on board; try to fit the stroller through the scanner and convince the children to let go of their dolls/stuffed animals so they can go through as well. Then, you run around the airport frantically looking for a semi-nutritious meal to give the kids before you get on the plane. The kids, of-course, don’t eat any of it so all you’ve done was spend $15 on a ham and cheese sandwich no one wants.

Without kids

You arrive about an hour before, check-in and leisurely go through the security line. If you have time you grab a coffee or a drink while reading your book and waiting to board.

Bag of tricks

With kids

You bring at least 20 lollipops for take-off and landing and other major crises, granola bars, crackers, candy, drinks, toys, iPads, headphones, crayons, colouring books, stickers extra clothes, wipes, and diapers, because you need to be prepared for every possibility.  Of-course, chances are you still forgot something.

Without kids

You bring a book and a bottle of water.

Other passengers

With kids

You board the plane carrying one of them on your hip, one or two bags of tricks (depending on the length of the journey) and yelling at the other one to move because there are people behind her. You can see the fear in everyone’s eyes as you near them and the relief as you walk past their seat. Some avoid eye contact even, as if you are wild animals and you will not go near them if you don’t feel challenged. And then, as you approach your seat you see the panic in everyone’s eyes. Yes they may try to disguise it with nervous smiles. But their eyes say it all.

For the next X hours you smile nervously at those around you while apologising for the car and food that is thrown at their head, the toy thrown under their seat that they have to pick up 20 times, and the screaming and the crying (and not just the children’s). Eventually, you land exhausted, with wrappers of candy and crumbs all over the floor and apologise one last time to everyone in the seats in front , next to and behind you. They say politely “they weren’t that bad,” and the really nice people  say “we’ve all been there dear.” But you can see the relief in their eyes and even some candy stuck in their hair from one of the many battles during the flight.

Without kids

You smile politely at the person next to you, chat for a few minutes and open your book. The only time you apologise to them is if they have an aisle seat and you need to go to the bathroom.

Arriving at destination

With kids

At the very least, you arrive exhausted and a little broken, wondering what [the fuck] you were thinking doing this with kids and dreading the flight back home. Worst case scenario (and I am speaking from personal experience) you have been puked and/or pooped on, you have no clean clothes for yourself because you didn’t think of that possibility when packing the bag of tricks.

Without kids

You arrive refreshed and excited for the vacation. Your only problem is that you finished your book on the flight here. But you can buy a new one at the airport on the way back.

21 ways small children are like old people

  1. Just like small children think you can’t see them when they close their eyes, old people think you can’t hear them when they fart

closed eyes BW(2)
2. If you mess up their routine, be prepared to suffer the consequences.

3. They like soft foods

4. They like to eat small frequent meals

5. They are always chewing on something even when there’s no food around.

6. They lack impulse control

7. They are often the source of suspicious/unpleasant smells

8. It takes them forever to get ready to go anywhere

9. They talk AT you, not TO you

10. They don’t have all their teeth

11. Their food is either too much, too little, too hot or too cold

12. They accuse other small children/old people of taking their stuff

13. They don’t listen/ can’t hear

14. They are loud

15. They put food they don’t want on your plate (even if it’s half-chewed)

16. They like to bring random items with them wherever they go (because one never knows when one will need a single glove)

17. They are self-entitled

18. When they are done with a telephone conversation they hang-up, no time for good-byes

19. They can get very grumpy, very quickly

20. They fall asleep as soon as they get into the car

21. They go to bed early and wake up before dawn