Archive for August, 2009

How can that be?

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Reid and I had the saddest conversation one morning this week. During our morning snuggle, she announced that Princess was *her* baby (usually she is Reid’s little sister) and I was the grandma. I don’t think I’m old enough to be the grandma, for what it’s worth.* And I definitely wasn’t ready for Reid to say, “And my man didn’t want me anymore so Princess and I are staying with you.” That creep! How could he not want my little girl anymore?!

Then, in a serious and concerned voice, Reid asked, “Is it allowed, even when you’re an adult, to live with your mama and dad?” I told her that she would, of course, be welcome to live with us. I even pointed out that Amanda and Nam live with his parents. Reid wondered what would happen if the man who she loved didn’t want to live with Ken and me after they were married. I told her that she should find out what her dates thought about living with her parents *before* she fell in love with them. I grudgingly added that maybe she would have to live in a different house once she is married.

We’ll have to wait (a couple or three) decades to see how this all turns out. I know Ken thinks Reid will leave home for university but I can’t bring myself to imagine that, yet.

*Yes, I know that I could easily have teenager/twenty-something year old with a child of their own but I don’t.

Things you learn about your kid

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Last Saturday, Aunt Karin and I had decided to have Italian food for supper – were almost at the restaurant, in fact – when we noticed a sign on an adjacent restaurant advertising a lobster fest. We instantly and simultaneously decided we wanted lobster and, since the restaurant with the sign didn’t seem kid-friendly, we headed to Red Lobster. (I love my GPS!) I said that I wondered if there would be a special that included shrimp. Reid piped up from the back seat, “I want shrimp!” That caught me off-guard. I offered Reid shrimp on her birthday and she wouldn’t even touch one. Aunt Karin explained that Shea had ordered popcorn shrimp one night and Reid had tried it and liked it. Of course, if Shea ate cardboard covered in sawdust, there is a very good chance that Reid would like it. At the restaurant, Reid ate breaded shrimp and some cooked in garlic butter and then turned her attention to the crab legs. Fighting to get to the food, especially when tools are involved, appeals to Reid. She was less interested in the lobster tail. I think it seemed to mundane, laying on the plate, waiting to be eaten with no tail to pull off and no exoskeleton to be cracked.

I’m always pleased that Reid will try most foods but it might be okay if she turned her nose up at some of the more expensive ones. ;+)

Advice I can’t believe Reid needed

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Uncle Roger told me that he and Reid were at Seacliffe Park one day last week when Reid got into a sticky situation on the climber. He noticed that she was hanging from the bars as she said, in a normal voice, “Help me, please.” Uncle Roger told Reid that her if she was in trouble she needed to yell loudly. He said that I may have said not to yell but that I would agree it was okay when she needed someone’s help. Reid replied,  “I yelled as loud as I could without hurting my ears.”

I love this story for two reasons:
1. Uncle Roger didn’t try to undermine my rules about yelling while teaching Reid a lesson about self-preservation.
2 Reid seems to have managed not to roll on the ground laughing at the very suggestion that she *needs* to be louder. It’s not advice I’d have ever expected Reid to be given.

I would’ve been tempted to say something about Reid risking broken bones to prevent hurt ears. And Reid might’ve ended up with a phobia about playground structures. It’s good Uncle Roger was there and not me. ;+)

Reid’s excellent vacation

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Reid has been sharing little snippets of what she did last week while in Wheatley and environs. The information will trickle out as this week goes on and things remind Reid of what she did. I know already that she had an excellent visit, though. As proof, I offer the fact that she cried for the first 10 minutes after we left Aunt Karin behind. She cried because she didn’t want Aunt Karin to leave and also because Aunt Pam and Grandma Joyce wouldn’t be at our house when we got there instead of waiting until the weekend. Finally, she cried that we should move to Wheatley because Ottawa was too far from her family. I was sympathetic, tried to help her focus on the fun she’d had and reminded her of how long it had been since she’d seen Daddy and her other friends. Reid wasn’t entirely convinced but she eventually stopped crying and fell asleep. All this to say, I’m glad Reid had fun but I wish she didn’t cry when I take her home.

Ain’t missing me at all

Friday, August 21st, 2009

When Reid was in Wheatley in July, she really wasn’t interested in speaking to me on the phone. At one point, someone told her, “but Mama misses you.” Reid’s response was, “Mama misses me because I’m all that she has but I have my cousins and grandma and everyone and I’m busy.” I think we’re at the same point in this week away. I’d love to hear from Reid and she is busy again. Until I see her tomorrow, I’m going to wander around with the fragment of Tina Turner’s “Missing You” running through my head:
I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
No matter what my friends say.

Poor, poor me, forgotten so easily.

And lucky, lucky Reid to have such good relationships with all of you in Wheatley, Leamington and Windsor. And Harrow. If I forget to say “Harrow”, Reid adds it. Sometimes we remember Tilbury, too, but sometimes we forget – not that we ever forget you, Sari. And I’m not even sure where Chantelle lives.

Parks and cars but not parked cars

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

One of the parents of a child in  Reid’s class invited us – and a few others – by email to a local park on Saturday morning. Three other families were there and then another classmate and her brother and father, who hadn’t been on the email, turned up as well. The kids were excited to see each other and we parents had lots to say as well. One of the fathers had brought along a 5-foot-tall inflatable rocket that was powered by water and air pressure. The kids “helped” getting everything set up and then took turns pumping the air in and then launching the rocket. We were all impressed with how high the rocket flew. After a few launches, the rocket was put away and the kids scattered.

Reid went to the splash pad along with a couple of others. It was the best choice because it was already hot. I took advantage of the opportunity to practice with my new lens.  For some reason my hand wants to turn it the wrong way to zoom. The results were pretty good, I think. When Reid was comfortable, I went to sit with the other parents while I watched Reid. After a couple of hours, some of the families decided to go swimming at a nearby pond but Reid and I needed to go home for lunch. I suggested that we should meet up again on the 29th to help the kids prepare for their first day of school. Someone suggested that I should organize it since I’m good at it. I’m anal, that’s what they meant. I’ll take on the challenge.

We had lunch with Ken and then headed for Grandmama’s. Before we got to the first exit, I realized that I’d forgotten to get gas. Which then reminded me that I’d left my wallet in out swimming bag. Back home we went. I asked Ken to watch Reid while got my wallet and a couple of other things. By the time I got back to the car, Reid was asleep. She slept for an hour and forty-five minutes and I was worried that I wasn’t going to have a chance to stop for wild blueberries offered for sale at the side of the road. We both appreciated the chance to stretch our legs and buy a pie to go along with the oh-so-sweet (and oh-so-expensive) tiny blueberries. We didn’t have too much longer to drive, though. When we arrived at Grandmama’s apartment, Reid commented on how short the drive had been. I suggested that her long nap had been the key difference but Reid told me that she had napped only briefly but rested for a long time. I hadn’t realized that she rests with eyes closed and her mouth open.

We spent an enjoyable couple of hours with Grandmama. Reid showed how she could solve the Camelot Jr puzzles – reuniting the knight and princess over and over. For greater effect, Reid brought them together sometimes and made kissy noises. The mix of princess fantasy and math skills is really odd. Reid inspected the pretty, little things on Grandmama’s window ledges and tables. She had questions and comments about nearly everyone. Having Reid play with them stressed me out but Grandmama didn’t seem to mind. After supper, we tidied up and then hit the road again.

Aunt Lisa was visiting at Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s when we got there. Uncle Ron and the kids had gone to a Buffalo Bills pre-season game. We had a visit with her and then I shuffled Reid off the bed, congratulating myself on Reid’s nap giving us a bit of breathing room in terms of bedtime. Except. Except that Reid still wasn’t tired and I was more than tired. I told her we’d get up to see the stars in the middle of the night, planning to take advantage of the reduced noise pollution. I just couldn’t face waking Reid at 2:00 when I woke up but at 5:00, Reid’s eyes popped open and she asked it was time. I told her yes, and we hurried outside. For 15 minutes, we looked at the moon and the stars. Reid asked a bunch of questions and I said, “We’ll have to look that up” a bunch of times and then I took her back to bed before she noticed that the sky was lightening. It was pretty magical to be outside in the dark. We’ll have to do it again. Reid drifted off for another 45 minutes and then was up to greet the day.

Grandpa Terry and Grandma Barb cooked us a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs and all the trimmings and then we climbed into the car again, this time on our way to Toronto. I asked Reid if she wanted to go the Rainforest Café or McDonalds for lunch and she chose McDonalds. That saved me a bunch of money. I’m so glad I asked.

We met Aunt Karin, Shea and Jordyn at their hotel and Reid visited the kids while we got checked in and then we all went to A&W – which is better than McDonalds in Reid’s opinion. Reid had initially said that she didn’t want me to stay for lunch. She said that she’d seen me lots for she hadn’t seen Aunt Karin for a “hundred days”. Reid is an exaggerator, a hundred is a popular number and also a million and a googol. I explained that I’d missed Aunt Karin, too, and I stayed for lunch. Reid barely looked up as I left and got in the car for my drive back to Ottawa.

Confessions of a falsely-accused allergen purveyor

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Reid’s been at Gymnastics Camp this week at Starr Gymnastics (where she used to take classes before she suddenly stopped liking them this time last year). They ban sesame seeds, as well as peanuts and tree nuts, from their facility. I didn’t think the impact would be that much greater until the coach took Reid’s ancient grain tortilla roll-up sandwich away from her on Monday at lunch. Now, technically, she was told that she could eat the sandwich if she went to the office. What 5 year old is going to choose exile? Luckily, I’d packed lots because I wasn’t sure how much Reid would need, what with me having to pack snacks, too.

Since we had no explanation, I decided that perhaps flax seeds were also banned.  We have 2 kinds of bread and 2 kinds of pitas in our house. All have flax seeds in them. On Tuesday morning, thanks to us not having a functioning central air system, Reid and I were both up by 5:30 and thus able to bake banana muffins for her snack. All seemed to be fine at camp but on Wednesday night, Reid reported that the coach had taken her muffins away.

I asked on Thursday morning why they kept confiscating Reid’s food, since by then I’d verified that flax seeds weren’t actually banned and I couldn’t figure out what whole grain foods I could send with her. The fellow said that the flax seeds had probably been mistaken for sesame seeds and they didn’t know what was in homemade foods. There’s an endorsement for single-serving convenience foods, eh? I was told that I should label things I baked and then they’d know. Coincidentally, I’d done just that earlier in the morning. Not that there was anything in the camp info to say this was important. I also received a small lecture about the severity of allergies suffered by some of the campers. I never disputed the need for vigilance, though, just the lack of feedback I was getting. It’ll be good to get Reid back into school where all of the food she requires is provided.

Sometimes the solution to one problem leads to another problem

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I asked Reid if she wanted to go to the free Kids’ Workshop at Home Depot this Saturday. She said that she did and then asked if she’d be making a Mother’s Day present since she’d made a Father’s Day present at the last workshop she attended. I told her that we’d missed the Mother’s Day workshop because we’d been camping. Reid considered this and then said, “Well, if it’s for Kid’s Day, I’ll just keep my eyes closed.” <grin> I guess Reid wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise when she opened the present she was making. She might not want the banged fingers from hammering with eyes closed either but, then again, Reid tends not to want to be the one who holds the nail that she is hammering.

According to a couple of websites, Reid and the other kids will be making a message centre. I guess Reid will be able to keep her eyes open since I’m pretty sure the message centre isn’t intended as a present for Kids’ Day, which does exist and is celebrated on various days, including  on November 20th in Canada.

And, no, I’m not concerned about the fact that Home Depot is being attacked in the US for sponsoring Kids Workshops at gay pride events. I do wonder, though, about the people who dedicate energy to objecting to such things who could use that energy to help kids in need.

How does she get so girly?

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Reid went to a birthday party of a little boy in her class on Sunday afternoon. When a present was first mentioned, she told me that J likes Spiderman and that we should choose something involving him. I’d already bought a chalk rake like we gave Dylan and always have a stash of book and so J got those instead. As Reid was signing the card and drawing a present, she asked if Ken or I could draw Spiderman for her to colour. I snorted at the mental image of what a Spiderman that *I* drew would look like and Ken also declined (though I bet he could have drawn something that could be recognized as Spiderman). Reid decided that a cat was “cool” and J likes cool. The fact that she can draw cats might have factored in ;+)

When it was time to put our shoes – or 5 minutes after we should have left – Reid paused in putting on her bejewelled Crocs. “J likes cool,” she said. I said that I thought her Crocs were pretty (especially since she was half-done putting them on) but Reid said, “No, these are pretty.” She chose some leather sandals from her bin and declared them “cool”. I somehow doubt that J noticed her sandals – cool, though they were. I don’t think 5-year-old boys think about such things. This 38-year-old mother doesn’t.