Archive for August, 2007

Still missing Daddy

Friday, August 24th, 2007

On the way home from Melissa’s last night, I asked Reid if she wanted to call Ken at his museum. She said “yes” immediately and then bugged me for the phone the whole time I was dialing. When Ken answered, I checked to be sure he had time to talk – sometimes he’s busy with museum visitors and other trivialities, can you imagine?! Reid took the phone, put up the antenna because she has to do that every time, and said, in a sweet voice, “Hi Daddy. I miss you.” They talked a bit and when the call was over, Reid started to cry a bit that she didn’t want Ken to go the museum. Nevermind that we weren’t home yet or that he would have been home alone for the three hours that we were at Melissa’s.

Ken continues to be the go-to parent for food-cutting, book-reading, and many other things. Absence makes the heart grow fonder even when you’re 3.

Mama guilt

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Ken took Reid to her 3-year-old checkup on Thursday. I’d planned to go, too. Both of us have attended all of her other checkups, even when I was home full-time and Ken had to take time off from work. I’ve taken Reid to walk-in clinics solo when she was sick but the checkup seems more substantial. So, I’m dealing with some mama guilt for not having gone because of a meeting. It was worse on Thursday, when I was wondering if I’d be able to make it, realizing I wouldn’t make it and then officially missing it.

Ken called just when my meeting was ending and I, in my private, selfish centre, thought “oh maybe they haven’t gone in yet.” I actually hoped it was thus. Of course, it would have meant Ken and Reid would have had to sit in the office for 80 minutes and I immediately banished the thought. I had to settle for an “everything went well” or something to that effect until I could see them. On the ride home, I tried to pry details out of Ken but he was concentrating on driving in heavy traffic. Isn’t he difficult? In the end, I learned that Reid is 96 centimetres tall (about 38 inches) and 14.something kilograms (31-33 pounds). The nurse had to record the information in metric but wanted to tell Ken the imperial measurements. My math prodigy husband doesn’t require such assistance and, in the end, we ended up with incomplete info in both systems. Reid is in the 65th percentile for height and about the same for weight. She is sliding down the curve for height, thanks to my genetic contributions. At last year’s checkup, she was still in the 95 percentile for height.

I know I’m obsessed with numbers but it, like being short, is in my nature. The long and short of it ;+) is that Reid is doing well. The doctor did say that it’s time for the dentist and optometrist to be added to the circle of people to whom we take Reid so that I have more to worry over. More on these adventures later.

I’m a big girl

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

On Sunday at lunch, I spilled some of Reid soup into her highchair. Yes, at 3 years of age she still sits in a highchair and I like it. She is less likely to wander away from the table than when she is on a regular chair and I like that. But I digress. I spilled her soup and so the padding had to be taken off and cleaned – a job that usually falls to Ken (I don’t know why) and not one that he enjoys overly much. As Reid finished her lunch while sitting on a regular chair, Ken commented that if Reid had a booster seat, she was a big enough girl that she wouldn’t need a highchair any more.

I put the the padding back in the chair once everything had tried and put the highchair back at the table. Nothing more was said on the matter until last night. As we were sitting down to supper, Reid started talking about how she was a big “dirl” and didn’t need her highchair anymore. Ken piped in that he didn’t know why the highchair was back at the table. I took it all as my cue to go dig the travel booster seat out of the closet and get it attached to a chair.

How proud Reid was! It was worth delaying dinner to see her smile and eyes sparkling with pride. Never mind that she frequently sits at other people’s houses without a highchair or booster seat. This was *her* house and *her* highchair-free meal!

My two favourite people getting snuggly

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Eventually I’ll write about what happened to us in Wheatley and on the train ride back to Ottawa but before I tackle “what I did on my summer vacation” (which seems daunting at this point despite the timeline Karin helped me with) I wanted to tell you about Reid and Ken this weekend.

Reid woke up as we pulled into the train station just before midnight on Saturday. Ken wasn’t allowed to come next to the tracks to meet us and so I guess having a wide-awake 3 year-old in the middle of the night was a good thing since she is a long, heavy deadweight when asleep. Reid didn’t complain when I popped her into her stroller and we followed the guy with the baggage cart across the tracks.

Ken came quickly out of station and met us as we got close. I got the first kiss and then he noticed that Reid was awake. He scooped her up for a kiss and a hug and she offered him a great big smile and returned both the kiss and hug enthusiastically. They so clearly missed each other that it made me a bit sad that I’d separated them for so long. There’ve been quite a few hugs over the last couple of days. And Reid spontaneously and, a propos of nothing, announced that she’d missed Ken in the middle of Sunday afternoon. Last night, I wasn’t even suitable to cut Reid’s chicken.

I love seeing Reid and Ken enjoying each other.

Birth order just isn’t fair

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

After supper last night, Reid was asking Ken where the mamas of our kitties were. He explained that Clio had come from the farm that Mama lived on when she was a girl and that we got Leo and Mars from a pet store. I’m not sure how he explained us taking Clio but I did hear him explaining that the pet store helped people who wanted pets find pets that needed homes. The pet store that we went to acts as an outlet for the Ottawa Humane Society. Reid was interested in this aspect of our family history and had a few questions.

Then, she asked something about her being a baby when we got the cats. Ken explained that we’d got Clio, four years later got the Mars and Leo and four years later got her. Reid started to cry and say, “I want to be first.” She was so heartbroken. Ken was taken aback. What an odd thing to cry over! How does a daddy fix birth order? With a hug, of course. It was a wailing and thrashing sort of tragedy, though. I offered to join in a family hug to no great effect. Eventually I just carried Reid to my seat and started talking about something random and distracted her.

Note to self and others, Reid is sensitive to birth order discussions.

Back in the saddle

Monday, August 20th, 2007

I’m back after nearly two weeks away. I’ve written posts but haven’t gotten them all posted. Read on and come back later, too.

Riding the rails with Reid

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

We made it to the train station pretty much at the time I’d planned last Friday but 30 minutes later than Ken had thought wise. I’ll start by confessing that he was right. Reid and I jumped out with the stroller and our bags at the drop-off zone and Ken went to park. I used the self check-in kiosk to convert my web reservation receipt to a ticket. Note to self: use the kiosk everytime. It’s too easy. When I asked the Via guy about pre-boarding, he told me to go straight on. I delayed long enough to attract Ken’s attention and he hurried us acros the tracks and got his good-bye kisses and hugs. He never even looked like he considered saying, “I told you so,” though it would have been well-deserved.

Our trip from Ottawa to Toronto was pretty uneventful, except for the bathroom incident. Reid and I fingerpainted with those magical Color Wonder Crayola fingerpaints. We read some of the Nick Jr books that I bought from Costco. Reid, of course, fell in love with Big Sister Dora! adapted by Alison Inches and Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist (also about Dora) by Christine Ricci. Books based on tv shows generally rub me the wrong way; the stories tend not to flow real well. The Dora the Explorer television shows always make me think that they’re re-purposed video games; the way their written you can imagine being told to “click here.” The books are very similar. At least Reid can easily point at parts of the page. I let Reid watch a Franklin dvd on my laptop. I wasn’t sure if she’d be interested in Franklin but she was. She was also interested in a nap and so was I. I’m shorter than the planned-for passenger. My feet don’t touch the ground when I’m sitting with my back against the seat. My legs ached by the time our nap was over.

When we were waiting to get off the train, an older lady said to me, “Your little girl is very well-behaved.” It was true but still, I told her to please be careful not to jinx me since Reid and I had to get to Chatham still. We both laughed and I was proud of Reid. And maybe proud of me, too, for keeping her entertained.

At Union Station, we took the elevator from the platform. I was glad that it worked this, unlike our arrival in Toronto in June. We went outside briefly, me thinking that Reid would enjoy being able to see the sun and run a bit but she wanted to go inside. It was hot and humid in the station but I guess if you’re riding in the stroller, it doesn’t bother you too much. I’d denied Reid’s request for a hot dog and bought her a hamburger Happy Meal instead. I’m not sure that that was the healthier choice but I thought so. I need to research fast food health sheets.

After supper, I had Reid run around the pre-boarding lounge. She kept herself busy for a bit and then wanted to race me. I obliged her since I’m such a strong believer in running Reid’s wiggles out before we get onto an airplane or train. There was a lady with a two year-old sitting and reading to him. The little guy grinned to see us running around but I didn’t think it appropriate to invite him to join us. I wanted to, though. He was being so good but it seemed like a waste to use his sitting still energy when there was time and room to run. Sometimes, I restrain myself from interfering in someone else’s parenting but I don’t have to restrain myself from commenting. Of course, I didn’t hear or see him on the train; maybe he has a greater reserve of sitting still energy than Reid does.

Once on the train to Chatham, I bought Reid a can of orange juice. I’d said “no” initially but Reid asked for the juice in such a weak, parched voice that I changed my mind. Before we got to Oakville, Reid spilled the orange juice. The kindly older ladies sitting across the aisle in the four-seater took Reid in with them while I did my best to clean up. I took Reid to the closest bathroom, in the next car, and washed her up and changed her into pajamas. As we came out of the bathroom, the service manager told us that we should stay in the new car as our car was full. We agreed and settled ourselves into the nearest seats – in VIA 1.

First class train travel is at least as good as first class air travel. The chairs were wide, reclined far enough to sleep comfortably and there was lots of leg room in front of them. When you actually pay for a VIA 1 ticket, the steward brings food and drinks at no additional charge. If Reid wasn’t travelling for free in Comfort class (read: economy), I’d be very tempted to pay the difference between my ticket and first class. When I was pregnant I travelled first class a few times. With my big belly on the second trip to Chatham, I could barely open the tray to eat my meal.

Reid watched Franklin again and a new PBS show, Word something or other – a preview dvd that I got at the BlogHer conference. Reid liked the new show enough that I’ll watch it and provide an actual review in the next week.

We got into Chatham very near to our scheduled 10:30 arrival time. Reid had fallen asleep about 9:00 and so I had a dead weight to carry off the train. I got Reid into Uncle Roger’s arms still asleep though she roused when I turned to go back for the stroller. It got worse when I pinched her leg with Grandma Joyce’s super deluxe car seat that has a crazily short buckle strap. She fell back to sleep in short order, though.

Uncle Roger was impressed with our two backpacks and one shoulder bag for luggage. I was impressed, too. My plan had been to bring only the two backpacks but I couldn’t cut back enough on what I was bringing. Ken would blame it on my electronics -iPod, Blackberry, laptop, 2 cameras and a video camera. But I’d say those things were necessary. Reid didn’t play with all of the toys that I packed but it’s impossible to predict what will engage her and we still had the 8 or so hour return trip.


Friday, August 10th, 2007

Reid and the other Juniors at daycare must have been learning to count to 20 lately. A couple of times in the last week she has counted aloud past 10. She consistently gets 11 and 12 in their proper places and then says some but not all of the numbers 13 through 19 and in a somewhat random order. My favourite, though, is “eleventeen”. This number is very close to 20. It comes up most times Reid counts higher than 12. It will be interesting to see how long it persists.

Worrisome words on the eve of our trip

Friday, August 10th, 2007

As we drove to Melissa’s Thursday night, I was telling Reid about our big day.

Me: You’ll go to daycare in the morning and then Daddy and Mama will get you at lunchtime. Then, Mama and Reid will take a train to go see Grandma Joyce and your uncles and aunts and cousins.
Reid: Um-huh. [Pause] Why we no drive?
Me: Daddy needs the car to get to and from work while we’re away. Plus, the train is WAY MORE FUN. [Maybe trying too hard but I was worried.]
Reid: I no like the train!
Me: If we drive, I’ll have to stay in the front in my seat and you’ll have to stay in your seat.
Reid: Let’s take Daddy to work and then we drive ourselves.

It would have been a good solution if only Ken had a bed at his office. There is a kitchen and a shower, you know. He’d have to stay outside from 6 pm til 8 am each night but I’m sure he’d want to do that for Reid. Too bad about the lack of bed.

Reid mentioned again this morning that she didn’t like the train but she didn’t make a scene. We’re nearly 3 hours into our trip, she has been good so far. We ate lunch, napped more than an hour and coloured a bit. Then, I offered up videos and she’s been entranced since then.

The train is full. Reid and I snagged a 4 seater and are sharing it with two young women (18 and early 20s). They haven’t said much and don’t take up much of our floor space and so we’re all good. I bought Reid a chocolate milk when the snack cart first came by after lunch. When the lady asked if we needed anything, Reid said, “I’m firsty,” in a pathetic little voice. What could I do? When the lady came back, I asked for chips. Reid likes them and I was craving the salt. I wonder if Reid knew I was treating me and not just me.

Slowly, ever so slowly

Friday, August 10th, 2007

On Tuesdays, we try and get Reid to eat her supper – or most of it – in the car before gymnastics. When we get home it’s such a rush for us to eat and then to get Reid to bed. Sometimes she just prefers to play or fuss a bit. This week I asked Ken to bathe Reid while I prepared supper. Yes, I know this is just the sort of night I should use my crockpot or something from the freezer but I don’t seem to be that organized.

In any case, on this particular Tuesday Reid ate veggies and a sandwich before class and was eager to join us at the table after her bath. She seemed amused to be wearing her pajamas at the supper table although – or because – she also wears them at breakfast. Reid served herself potatoes (which she usually refuses), corn and chicken-meat and began eating. She tried some chili sauce on her potatoes and chicken, just like Daddy. She chatted and ate and then decided to use the bathrooom. She came back to the table and ate some more before declaring herself full. Ken practically ripped her plate away, or he would have if she hadn’t decided to eat a bit more.

Poor Ken needed to get the dining room and kitchen tidied up, the garbage out and laundry started. He also likes to be around to get Reid into bed and, when the planets align, have a little downtime before bed. Reid ate pretty much every kernel of corn, every speck of potatoes but oh, so, slowly. She wasn’t deliberately torturing Ken but the effect was the same. Goes to show you how you can’t rush a kid any more than you can herd cats. And with our kid, who has learned so much from our cats, it truly is an impossible task.