I have a theory about clean houses and people who have kids. It's basically this;
If you have a sparkly clean house then you don't love your child.
Okay. Maybe that's not quite it. Let me try again.
If you have a sparkly clean house and you have kids, I hate you.
Agh. This isn't coming out right. Third time is a charm.
If you have a sparkly clean house, and have kids, then I'm putting you in my "UNICORN" category.
Don't get me wrong, our house is clean. Well, clean-ish. It gets cleaned in sections. The floors will be done, but the laundry is piled up. The laundry will get done, but the vacuuming gets neglected. Our bathrooms stay clean, but the basement is a disaster. It's only when we have people over that it's "all hands on deck" and everything gets cleaned at once. In fact, I think we throw parties for this very reason…
But honestly, I don't want to spend all of my free time cleaning, and I don't think I should have to. I have a child, therefore, my house doesn't need to be perfect. What is Cole going to remember most when he grows up: finger painting, building sand castles, and kicking the soccer ball around with his Mom and Dad? Or having a meticulously cleaned bathroom whose faucets gleam in the afternoon light? I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that he won't give a rat's ass about sparkly fixtures…
Though sometimes, I have to admit, I do cringe at the thought of certain activities because I know they will be messy and require a lot of effort. But I try to remind myself that sometimes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to have fun.
Like last weekend.
I wanted to bake cookies with Cole. I knew I could just do them myself and then have him help me at the very end, but what fun is that? Wouldn't it be so much more fun if I let him scoop the flour (and have it fall all over the floor?) And crack the eggs (and have the shells fall in the bowl?) And then whisk the batter, and have it spray all over the place? Well,it was certainly messy, but it was a lot of fun. It took three times as long, but that's okay, we weren't in a rush. Our kitchen floor was a mess, but the cookies were amazing, but not nearly as amazing as the memories of making them.
As my little boy gets older, there are so many things I look forward to doing with him: building forts in the living room, making homemade pizzas, playing hide-and-go-seek, playing boardgames, water-balloon fights, and tickle fights.
Sorry house. You're just going to have to accept that you are not a priority. I'll keep you clean enough, but the sparkle fantasy you're after might have to wait until I retire…
Last weekend, I went on my first baby-free vacation with three of my best friends to New York. After 15 and a half months of being within boob-shot of my son at all times, I was really looking forward to some "Me" time.
Time to shop. Time to drink wine. Time to dance.
Time to literally, let my hair down — because no one was going to pull it. Or puke in it!
Hmm... On second thought, both of those things still could happen depending on how hard we decided to party. Regardless, you get my point...
So at 7:55am on Friday morning, we boarded our small plane at Porter airport in Toronto. We were giddy with excitement, despite the heavy bags under our eyes (who books a flight this early anyway? Someone after a good seat sale price, that's who) But it didn't matter. We ordered white wine instead of orange juice and our adventure began.
I'll use a few pictures to illustrate our weekend. It looked something like this:
It was pretty much a perfect weekend.
Except for the two hours we spent at Central Park. That sucked because everyone was there with their babies and families and I didn't have any wine or shoes to distract myself. I might have cried a little beneath my sunglasses. Those two hours at Central Park made me miss my baby boy more than I could have imagined. I wished in that instant I could close my eyes and open them again having the magical powers to blink him into my arms. I wanted so badly to smell his sweaty-sunscreened-little dirt-infused head.
There I was in one of the most amazing and vibrant cities in the world and I was longing to be back in Whitby, Ontario — going down a tunnel slide with my son sitting on my lap. I checked the time. 24 hours until that could be my reality.
I took a deep breath, and decided to focus on the present and enjoy the rest of my time in New York. So we promptly left the park, and went home to nap (bliss) and then got ready for our last night out in the city.
This is what happened:
Yep. I let my freshly cut hair down, and danced on a bar (and despite my natural love of the spotlight— it was NOT my idea to get up there!) But, if you yell loud enough into a megaphone (like the bartender did) and single me out (like the bartender did) then I will carefully climb onto the bar in my heels and shake my ass like I'm told to, purely out of fear.
It was a fun night.
It was a perfect weekend.
And as much as I truly missed my son — I know it was good for both of us to have a bit of space. Cole had time to bond with his Dad, and I had time to...shake my ass on a bar. It's sort of the same thing, right?
If you'd like to hear more about my life's adventures, you can read about my 30th Birthday celebration...when I peed my pants.
Hello. It's me again. The mom whose son still doesn't sleep very well at night. He's 13 months old. I'm at the point that I want to scream whenever parents complain that their 3-week-old baby that wakes up every 2-3 hours.
"Oh yeah? You've been going through that for 3 weeks now? That must be really hard on you. I've been going through it for 62 weeks. And three days. Not that I'm counting."
And trust me, I've tried everything. I've read the books. I've tried the bedtime bath routine. I've tried having a "serious talk" with my son. I've had him go to bed earlier, go to bed later. More naps. Less naps. More food before bed. Less food before bed.
Nothing seems to consistently work.
If you told me that angling his bed to the northwest corner, and putting him in red PJs would make him sleep, I'd re-arrange his furniture and buy him an entirely red wardrobe. I'm that desperate.
I have, however, added something new to our bedtime routine which has helped soothe him at nighttime. It's the Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium, one of the Fisher-Price Favourites. If you haven't seen it — here is what it looks like:
It has three different settings (music, lights, music & lights) and three different volume levels. Cole finds it fascinating and loves watching the fish swim back and forth in the bubbles.
When it's bedtime, I put him in his crib (in an already dozy / nearly sleeping state) and set the music to play for 18 consecutive minutes. Then I carefully tip-toe out of his room. The aquarium comes with a remote so if he's still stirring after the music is done I can press play again without risking the creaky walk across his bedroom floor to press the button. It's awesome.
Now if only their next model came with extendable arms that could also reach out and rock the baby back to sleep. Hmmm. Something to consider... But that might also be creepy.
Okay, that's it for me tonight. If you need me — I'll be sleeping by 9pm, and awake again by midnight...
I'll just remind myself of something my friend Kevan told me, "There are worse things in the world than waking in the middle of the night to hold your child." So. True.