Archive for November, 2006

Santa Claus – the trials and tribulations continue

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

After Kindermusik today, I took Reid to St Laurent Mall to see Santa. I talked him up, we practiced “ho-ho-hoing” and listened to Christmas music on the trip to and from Kindermusik. When we first saw Santa, Reid was excited and interested. The closer we go, the closer she snuggled to me. I tried getting her to stand on the bench beside Santa but that was a non-starter. I tried getting her to between me and Santa but still no luck. She wrapped her arms and legs around me and hid her face in my neck. We watched the next kid sit with Santa. Both of his parents sat on the bench and so I decided that would be what we would try. Except I was wearing a pink shirt. I decided to buy my Christmas outfit – or at least a new shirt – so that I wouldn’t be too scary in the photo. Shopping alone with Reid is a bit of a challenge. She was interested in choosing pyjamas for herself and in hiding in the racks but she wasn’t so keen on sticking close to me. I found a nice red turtleneck, but only after I rejected the $50 “Red” shirt that was too hip for me. We managed to sit close to Santa (luckily the line was short when we went back) and the photographer gave us a thumbs up but I haven’t seen the picture yet. I am hoping it doesn’t look like she is saying “What the %$% do you want?” like she did last year. I would like it if I don’t look like a goof or if I do, I hope that I can cut myself out.

Working things through in her head

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

One day when Aunt Karin and Grandma Joyce were visiting, Aunt Karin took Reid to her room for a nap. When Aunt Karin took off her sweatshirt, Reid pointed to Karin’s chest and said, “What zat”.  Karin is straight-forward and so said, “Breast”. In a puzzled and unsure voice, she asked, “Nuk breast?” and Karin had to tell her, “No.” Reid responded confidently, “Mama nuk breast” and climbed into bed for her nap. Since then, Reid and I have discussed that Aunt Karin had milk when her kids were young and that Mama’s have milk when they have babies and then the milk goes away when the kids grow up. I’m not sure what she made of it but little bits of truth will accumulate, I figure.

So that’s what Reid does all day

Friday, November 17th, 2006

On Tuesday night, there was a parent-teacher night at Reid’s daycare. Unfortunately, Ken had to go back to the office and so he again wasn’t able to attend. Last year, he had to stay home with Reid. Amanda was nice enough to watch Reid, “princess sitting,” we call it. All this to say, that I was able to spend about an hour and a half in Reid’s classroom with her four teachers: Karen (from Ruthven), AnneMarie (the first one I ever heard Reid name), Tammy (who puts stamps on Reid’s body) and Raechel (who works a split shift and so always misses out on nap time).

I managed to get a seat on the couch – the other parents maybe hadn’t attended the meeting last year and didn’t realize how uncomfortable the tiny chairs are after a bit. I had decided it would be better to sit on the floor if I couldn’t get a adult-sized chair. Karen started by telling us that two year-olds are terrific (which I knew, of course) and that biting and hitting are the way that they communicate sometimes. She didn’t say why Reid has been the object of “communications” of three biters (or maybe it has been the same one each time). Then, we watched a little video that they had put together to show us the different things that they do each day. They start with “morning snack” (I’m not sure why they don’t call it breakfast) about 7:45 and the kids were all eating cereal with lots of concentration and enthusiasm. Afterwards, they do art or sensory activities (like playing at the water or sand table) and play at the dramatic play (mini kitchen or dress up, etc.), building blocks or dolls/trucks centres and then they go outside to play and for a walk. They seem to be all pretty good at holding on to the yellow rope while they walk. The teachers were saying how lucky that they feel to be able to walk through the farm that the centre sits on and how they point out each of the teachers’ cars and the truck for sale and other details each time as well as looking for bugs and pine cones, etc. to keep the kids enagaged. It is true that you have to keep a sharp eye out to notice things to talk about with Reid; she definitely is examining everything within her eye range. After the walk, it is time for lunch and yet again, the kids all looked to be quite competently feeding themselves, sitting at the little tables with four friends and a teacher. It’s surprising that Reid agrees to stay in her high chair at home but not that she loves her little table. The naptime section was perhaps the most interesting to watch. I had learned last week or so that Reid’s cot (about 6 inches off the ground) was placed in a line of seven or so because she is a good sleeper. The teachers turn off the lights, put on soft music and the kids all snuggled down with a blanket and most went to sleep quickly. The kids who are more distracted are separated a bit from the others and the teachers station themselves around the room to keep every laying down. Reid covered herself with the blanket they gave her even though she refuses all blankets, even the corner of blankets, at home. Peer pressure, I guess. There was a shot of Reid playing with her friend, Lexsie, and the teachers said that they do everything together. Unfortunately, Lexsie is leaving the centre at the end of December. They also had a clip where the kids were sitting in their groups of five for circle time to listen to stories. And then, they said that they have another snack and play outside again. There are a couple of times when the kids can play with whatever they want as well.

After the video, we got to ask some questions and then the teachers taught us how to make goop (1:1 ratio of water and corn starch with a bit of food colouring added to the water, who knew it was so simple ;+) and Kool-Aid playdough.

So, now we know a bit more about what Reid does all day.

Aunt Pam and Chantelle visit – part 2

Friday, November 17th, 2006

On Sunday morning, we picked Donald up at 8:30 (yes, Donald, at 8:30 in the morning!) It seems only yesterday that he told me not to call before 2:00 pm because he would be sleeping but he decided to get up and come for breakfast and so he did. We went to Eddie’s for breakfast (of course) and then went to Costco. I am still looking for a wooden train set for Reid, although without much success. I may have to pay regular price after all. We visited the electronic piano and guitar and Reid gave an impromptu performance on each and wandered up and I bought some tops and pyjamas. We pretty much made it home at lunch time and Donald made the tomato soup since I seem to burn it whenever I cook it when company is over. I made chicken curry for supper and Aunt Pam was surprised to see how much Reid was eating. It really is something to see her asking for more and more again but I guess you’re allowed to have lots of your favourite meal.

Chantelle was nice enough to bring some nail polish and flower decorations and then painted Reid’s toe nails. It amazes me how she can get Reid to keep her feet still long enough and that she can get the paint on Reid’s wee little nails. In any case, Reid thinks that she is all that. At swimming, I was commenting on how fabulous her toes looked since we don’t get to see them as much in the winter. On the up-side, wearing socks seems to be keeping the polish longer. During the summer, her grimy little sandal toes lost their polish more quickly but it was a sacrifice that the sandbox demanded.

Aunt Pam and Chantelle left on Monday morning, after good kisses and hugs from Reid. As a I mentioned earlier, next time I will invite our visitors who are here on a weekday to come to daycare.

If I’m going to be late getting home

Friday, November 17th, 2006

I think that if I’m going to be late getting home from work, Wednesday may be the best day (not that getting home late is ever good). Last night I was delayed at the office and got home in time to give Reid, who had already eaten her supper, a quick nurse and then we headed to swimming lessons. By “quick”, I mean that I didn’t even take off my coat. At swimming lessons, we were together without the distraction of things to pick up, the puzzles to build with Daddy, or anything but us. I keep an ear out for what the teacher says but Reid doesn’t really. It’s a bit like private play with suggestions thrown in.  Reid is always full of cuddles and kisses when we’re in the pool – her survival instinct is strong and she knows I keep her from going under ;+) – and having not seen me at home made her all the more enthusiastic.

Now to be home on time every night from now on so that I don’t discover the worst night to be late.

Aunt Pam and Chantelle visit – part 1

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Aunt Pam and Chantelle were in Ottawa this past weekend and stayed with us. I think that every Canadian should be on Parliament Hill on Canada Day and at the National War Memorial on Remembrance Day at least once in their life. I was happy that Pam and Chantelle were able to go downtown for the ceremony. It was a pretty chilly and rainy morning and so I can’t say I was entirely disappointed that I wasn’t among the 25,000 or so who joined them. Ken and I are hoping that Reid will be ready to attend next year.

I took Reid for an early nap so that she would be awake sooner to entertain our guests. She slept nearly three hours and so was able to stay awake to entertain – I might have fallen asleep before she finally did. In the middle of the sleeping, we went to the Outback for supper and then to the Chapters near Donald’s. Reid ate some Craisins, the tomatoes and cucumbers from my salad and some of that wonderful honey-rye bread while waiting for her kids hamburger to come. When it arrived, it was so big that Reid was sure how to get it picked up and into her mouth, which she was trying to do quickly because she still seemed to be starving. I had to cut it in half. I can only imagine what the adult hamburger would look like (and I will never know what it looks like because I would never order anything but steak and Ken only chooses the Alice Springs chicken). We went to Chapters for a bit afterward. Reid now associates it with the train table in the children’s section (I almost wrote children’s *books* section but they have so many toys now it’s no longer accurate).

If it’s not beans, it’s crap

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

As I was doing Reid’s hair yesterday, I told her we had to do a really good pony tail because we were going to swimming lessons after supper. Reid listened right up to the “s” in lessons. As soon as I finished the pony tail, she got up and went to put her shoes on.  “C’mon, Mama, swimmin’,”she said. I told her she had to go to daycare first and then eat supper and THEN it would be time for swimming. She argued but I told her the pool was sleeping. That worked. For a while.

As soon as Reid finished nursing after daycare/work, she was once again putting her shoes on so that we could go swimming. I reminded her that we had to eat supper first. We made chicken and then ate left overs with it. We had a smorgasbord but Reid wanted only the beans. Not beans and chicken but not potatoes (which she only likes in curry or as fries). No, just green and yellow beans. The beans she ate faster than was polite. I thought when she finished the beans she might eat some chicken or corn or even cheese but she merely drank a bit of milk and got down from the table. She sure nursed enthusiastically before bed.

A rec room is born

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

On Saturday, after Kindermusik, Aunt Karin helped Reid and Mama clean and organize things in the basement. Daddy might have pitched in but he was idling his day away, donating books to the library and caulking the windows because he is a slacker. (Grandma Joyce meanwhile was still chained to the sewing machine.)  After we cleared the space (mostly ;+), Reid and I went for a nap. When we woke up, Karin had finished cleaning, helped Ken bring the big, black couch down and arranged the furniture so that we have a sitting area at one end and then toys and books at the other. Ken, Reid and I are very lucky people to have such visitors. 

Melissa and Peter and the kids came for supper. The kids sat at Reid’s little table and Reid got to sit next to Ben, which is a plus for her. The kids all like tacos and Reid was especially hungry. She sat at her spot saying, “Food, please, Mama” in this little voice that sounded weak from hunger. Which wasn’t the case at all, given she ate a hamburger and some soup at lunch. At supper she ate two full soft-shell tacos, or at least the bits that didn’t hit the floor, and drank three glasses of milk. I wasn’t kidding last week when I said she was working on moving up the weight percentiles.

After supper we took the kids and went downstairs. How nice it was to have the rec room ready for all of us to hang out in. Our challenge with our house is that the main floor is quite narrow with the stairs, bathroom and pantry running along the living and dining rooms. The basment doesn’t suffer from this. Now all we need is some sound-dampening tiles :+)

Volunteer opportunities for a two-year old

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I wonder if the local old folks home has a program for volunteer toddlers – like candy stripers in hospitals but for the younger set. I think there’s a market. On Saturday, we had our Kindermusik class in a retirement home as the church where we usually meet was having their Christmas bazaar. This happened last year as well and so I knew what to expect. We sat in our circle in the common room and the residents sat on chairs and couches around the perimeter. Sometimes they sang along, sometimes they waved but always they watched the children. Men and women both came and seemed to enjoy the process equally.

With everything else going on in our lives, it seems silly to think about adding weekly visits to a retirement home but wouldn’t Reid benefit from thos extra Grandmas and Grandpas? I’ll let you know what happens.

Adventures with Grandma Joyce and Aunt Karin – Part 1

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

On Friday, while I was at work, Grandma Joyce worked on Reid’s Christmas dress and Aunt Karin entertained Reid. Grandma got to eat lunch with and read some books to Reid, too, but reports suggest that much of the day was spent at the park. Reid was in her glory at the park and even decided to lay at the end of one of the slides and go to sleep. Aunt Karin tried to get her to leave but she lay there in the sun and said, “No, sleeping.” Maybe she had a premonition because on the way back, Aunt Karin fell while carrying Reid and made them both cry. Of course, Karin wouldn’t have been carrying Reid if they hadn’t broke the front wheel off of the stroller on the way back from the grocery store but that is another story, I guess. At some point they also found the perfect pumpkin (picture on a plate in the grass at the park) and Reid brought it home. What could I say? Reid was happy with it and we made sure she didn’t put it in her mouth. In a bit of “when Reid needs counselling, I will know why”, Aunt Karin confessed that she hurried Reid along by saying, “Look, there’s a dog, you better hurry.” Sometimes you have to reject parenting advice, especially from your crazy sister.