Thirty years ago, I was just a young child playing on our front lawn. It was a warm summer day and the sprinkler was on. My sister and I were running back and forth in the water, having fun splashing around.
Some men happened to pull up to the stop sign beside our corner house. They rolled down their windows and gave me my first taste of what some of the world thought of me.
“Get out of our country.”
I was four years old.
It’s funny because I don’t remember a lot of what happened as a young child but I remember that.
I remember it all the time.
I remembered it as a kindergarten student when the doctor's receptionist made fun of my parents’ accents with the other staff right in front of us. I’m not sure it would have been any less painful had my parents not been there.
I remembered it as a student in grade three when two older boys pulled me down by my braids and kicked me repeatedly because I looked different. I think they said I had ugly hair.
I remembered it in my first junior high school class when the teacher laughed along at a classmate’s joke about pakis and curry. It wasn’t really all that original or funny.
I remembered it in high school when my sister told me about the picture of a lynching scene that had been taped to her locker. The teacher told her the best course of action was to ignore it. The school didn’t want to create a big hullabaloo about nothing. It was just a prank, after all.
I remembered it at my first job as an awkward fifteen-year-old when I was made aware of how I didn’t fit the part of a Calgarian. Apparently I looked unauthentic in my cowboy hat and was asked not to come back. Perhaps they thought another type of headdress would suit me better.
I remembered it while I watched Big Brother this summer and saw players be ridiculed for their ethnicity. I suppose they made for easily visible targets.
I remembered it just a few weeks ago when Miss America was elected. I know by now that most beauty queens don’t have brown skin so I’m not really surprised by the backlash. After all, she can’t possibly be the girl next door.
I remembered it when Quebec came out with its proposed Charter of Values. I know what it feels like to look different. To be judged because you look different. To be made to feel like you don’t belong.
I remember that day again and again.
I was four years old but it took only an instance to learn that I was easy to hate.
I am easy to hate.
Easy to hate because of the way I look.
And that is something I can never forget.
My child has brought home her first cold of the year. And it only took about a month of preschool.
Germy kids are the worst. Mine included.
The worst part is that my preschooler passed the cold onto her baby sister. So now baby has her first cold and let me tell you, that’s no fun at all.
It means even less sleep than usual and snot everywhere.
If I was a first time mother, this would have thrown me into a full-fledged panic. I was a mess when my oldest daughter had her first cold.
But I have experience on my side now.
I am a card holding member of Mothers Kicking Cold and Flu Ass (MKCFA is the incredibly easy acronym) so screw you, you evil germs.
As a card holding member of MKCFA (catchy, right?), I’m going to let you in on my secret arsenal of WMDs.
When your poor baby succumbs to his/her first cold or flu, here’s what you absolutely need to have in your medicine cabinet:
Baby medicine. I’m not going to pretend to know which one is the best one out there but I will say that you should find one that works best for your family and keep it on hand before the cold or flu strikes. The last thing you want to do when your baby gets sick is be running to the drugstore because you don’t have something on hand to help fight the symptoms. For the record, I really like Dimpleskins Naturals Sniffles Eucalayptus Rub for Kids and Boiron Coryzalia Cold for Kids. Both are available at www.well.ca
Humidifier. My daughters both sleep with a humidifier every night but I find it’s even more important when they’re sick. The moisture helps to loosen congestion and breathe more easily. It also helps with their cough and soothes their dry throat. I always add a few drops of Echinacea essential oil into the humidifier to help with the symptoms. I really like the cute animal shapes of the Crane Cool Mist Humidifier. It is available at www.toysrus.ca
Saline and nasal aspirator. I’ve already written about how much I love these because they seriously are that amazing. They literally suck all the mucus out from your baby's nasal cavity and help baby breathe so much better. I have used both the NoseFrida Aspirator and the HydraSense Nasal Aspirator and would recommend both. They are available at www.toysrus.ca or www.lussobaby.ca
Natural Cleaning Spray or Wipes. When babies are sick, they tend to get everything dirty with either their snot or their sneezing or more likely, some combination of both. This is why it’s so important to have a natural cleaning products on hand to quickly wipe down toys, baby gear, and anything else they tend to put in their mouths. I really like the Abundance Naturally Baby Bum Bum Spray which is perfect for wiping up products, hands, faces, and of course, baby bums. It is available at www.abundancenaturally.com
Digital Thermometer. It is so important to have a good and reliable thermometer on hand. Anytime my daughters feel warm, I pull out our trusty thermometer. A fever can quickly get out of control so it’s very important to monitor it closely. There are so many options for thermometers and you should find one that works best for your children. I’ve always just used the Safety 1st 8 Second Digital Thermometer. It is available at www.toysrus.ca
Cool Gel Forehead Sheets. These are amazing for when baby has a high fever and to bring down body temperature. It’s a lot harder than it may seem to use cold compresses on a squirmy baby and these are perfect because they literally stick to the forehead. I really like the Be Koool Kids Soft Gel Sheets because of their Disney themed designs. They are available at Shopper’s Drug Mart.
Having these items on hand can really help when dealing with baby’s first flu and cold season. It’s not any fun but it can definitely be made easier with a little preparation!
My oldest daughter started preschool and let me tell you, it’s hard. It’s so unbelievably hard, people. I don’t know how you parents with school aged children do it. I’m not sure I’m cut out for this.
I’m talking about lunches.
They have become the bane of my existence. I am constantly worrying, fretting, thinking about lunches.
My child eats nothing. Nothing.
Nothing I buy and especially nothing I make.
Every day she comes home with an untouched lunch bag.
A lunch bag that I so painstakingly packed with careful thought and deliberation. Not that my child cares about that. At all.
I’ve tried everything. Creative faces, fancy skewers, easy to eat, fun sized, finger foods, colourful, bland, flavourful, hot, cold, warm. Everything and still, nothing.
I’ve searched countless websites for lunch ideas that might work. I’ve Googled endlessly. I’ve scoured Pinterest. I’ve tweeted. I’ve posted on Facebook. Everything and still…..nothing.
I’ve tried her favourite food and I’ve tried new, interesting food. It’s to no avail.
I’m at wit’s end. I have no idea what to do anymore and I’m only a month into the school year. This doesn’t bode well for the future months.
I can get her to eat a fairly big breakfast before school and she’s starving after school but lunch? Nope, not happening.
Her teachers tell me not to worry. Her pediatrician tells me not to worry. Her father tells me not to worry.
But I’m a mother. I worry.
I wonder how she’s getting through all those hours without eating a proper meal. I wonder if it’s hindering her learning. I wonder if it’s impacting her experience. I wonder if it's setting her up to fail.
I wonder if I just make awful lunches.
I can’t be the only one, can I? Surely some of you also have this dilemma in the evenings (if you’re a meticulous planner) or in the mornings (if you’re like me and not such a meticulous planner).
Any secrets? Any tips?
Anything at all?
I’ll pay you in sandwiches (Pinterest worthy if you look at them cross-eyed).