Thursday, November 27, 2008

Take your poo and stuff it.


DO NOT ask me how old my son is, determine your son is two weeks younger, and ask me if BB is potty-trained. And DO NOT stand there with your eyebrows arched in a slight expression of triumph, mouth battling back a smirk. I am not in some Mom-Olympics competition with you.

I do not agree with your perspective on this battle-ground of potty training. Your manifesto - they say that if kids aren't potty trained by the time they are 30 months, they lose interest, especially boys - is essentially flawed, in my opinion. I don't believe that children are little robots that have to programmed before explicit deadlines or they lose power to essential systems. And I don't see very many 16-year-olds walking around in adult diapers because their mothers missed some magic window of time.

And while we're discussing how you are missing the point, let's try looking at the definition of "potty trained." To me, that means a kid who knows he has to use the bathroom, tells me he has to use the bathroom, then goes to use the bathroom. I may or may not help him, he may or may not miss the mark on rare occasions. But mostly, a potty trained kid is a kid who does the deed by himself.

What you described to me does not meet my definition. Putting my child in a cloth diaper so that he will feel wet is not "trained". Sitting him on the pot when I think is needs to do the deed is not "trained". Dealing with daily misses is not "trained." I could perhaps accept the argument that those things could be a part of training, but certainly not meeting the definition of "trained."

Lady, your kid is not toilet trained. And I don't care that you think you are superior to me because I am not going through the futile effort of "training" a kid who isn't ready. It is fully my intention to wait until he is ready for the process - and with this comes the hope that we can reach the end result of "trained" in a very short period of time (let's talk days/weeks, not months). Maybe it will work or maybe it won't. In the long run, I don't see him wearing diapers to kindergarten.

In fact, my babysitter (who has done this for 17 years and has toilet trained literally hundreds of kids) doesn't want to start that battle. BB is happy. He is not interested in toilet training. He is busy playing. She doesn't have time to run him to the pot every 15 minutes and she won't start with him until he can get into the routine quickly. (And p.s. - she thinks you're kidding yourself.)

So, let's be clear. This is not your business. Spouting off about how and when I should be toilet training my kid is not appropriate. Live and let live, I say. I won't tell you that I think you are nuts for trying to train a 22 month old and I expect you to exercise some of the same restraint.

But, since you started it - YOU'RE NUTS. Now back off.

Respectfully yours,
A Mom With Her Own Approach.

P.S. Now I feel better. This griping stuff is good for the soul.

P.P.S. Those who have done it, potting training war stories to share?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gripe of the Day

Mostly, I walk around writing complaint posts in my head. You know, when something bugs me, I imagine writing a post about it and having the Internets respond with a resounding "Right On, Man!" So, I am going to try out a new feature - Gripe of the Day. We'll see if it catches on.

Since this is my first go, I will probably gripe about several things:

  • I am so sick of celebrities, I could just go crawl under a rock on an uninhabited island and live there in isolation until eternity passes. I am especially sick of pregnant child celebrities or possibly-pregnant Brangelinas. PLEASE STOP TELLING ME ABOUT THESE PEOPLE AND TRYING TO PASS IT OFF AS LEGITIMATE NEWS!!!!!

  • I don't know why the "Original Moritz Icy Squares" aren't as icy as I remember them, and it bugs me. (Doesn't stop me from eating them into oblivion, though).

  • Why doesn't my work software run on a Mac platform? I would switch, if I could....

Was that a boring list of gripes? Perhaps this feature won't grow my readership in the way I had hoped.... [Mental note: Become more witty by the next post...]

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Looking on tempests

It is hard to know how to love C.

The thing about love is that we have been trained to analyze it from all angles.  We work very hard to place definitions or descriptors on our love.  We write songs and poetry and sit in analysts offices dissecting the beast.  

It's more of the quality of love that I am talking about here, not the existence of love.  I love C. deeply and through every fibre of my being.  But it isn't a dynamic love, changing and growing with the fluctuations of time and intimacy.  It is a love of memory.

How is it possible to love someone entirely in memory?  What definition do we give to that love?  It isn't something that I have ever wanted or had even imagined.

When I held BB in my arms that first time, it was like the confirmation of love; I knew I loved him - desperately loved him - from the moment I first knew of him.  Seeing his eyes gazing into mine, suckling him at my breast, smelling his soft, baby sweetness - this just confirmed what I already knew.  Every one of the past year and ten months has gently nudged that love around - I love him for his sense of humour, his dimples, his laugh, his attachment to his stuffed dinosaur, the way he calls himself "baby".  The love I have for him changes every day.

With C., the confirmation has never come.  It will never come.  So the love I have for him feels like the stuff of dreams.  Something sweet that I imagined once for me and for my husband, but something that we don't get to have now.  Something that didn't materialize.

The quality of the love that you feel for the people who live in the here and now can never be the same kind of love that you feel for those who are gone.  I accept that.  What is harder to accept - no, harder to understand how to live with - is the feeling that it just shouldn't have to be this way.  That I am somehow loving C. in the wrong way because it is impossible to love him in the way that I love BB.  The relationship that I have with each of my boys is so very different that the two experiences could hardly even be compared.

I know there is no right way or wrong way.  I don't need reassurance that I am doing this right.  It just is what it is.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Today Canadians look to those who have fallen in war with the deepest of gratitude and  the utmost pride.  Every country honours these men and women in its own way.  Today, we celebrate the identity-defining heroic acts of The War to End All Wars and we think of those young men and women who have fallen in the last few years in the deserts and hills of Afghanistan.

Much of our national identity and our national sense of pride is derived from our proud military history.  Rightly or wrongly, we Canadians see ourselves as Defenders of the Peace.  These conflicts that we engage in have rarely been "our" wars.  Instead, our young people have travelled great distances and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the ideals that our nation holds dear.  In recent history, we have not fought to gain territory or resources - to die for an ideal is a remarkable thing.

Today, I encourage you all to learn a little bit more about Canada's participation in various international conflicts by viewing this stunning documentary at, or following some of the links in this article.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Could anyone care less about my last posts? Honestly, I can hardly care less. When I find a moment to read other blogs, it generally make me feel rather shameful about my own.

My Ravelry invite arrived. I only had time to sign up. I have no idea how to work the thing yet. I will keep you posted (because maybe one person cares, right).

In a knitting related theme, I was thinking about how Joan Sutherland would sit and knit between her scenes during rehearsals. I was contemplating how I could work some of that into my life - what would be my equivalent of knit-one-purl-two-slip-one-knit-two-together, stand up and blast off some high C's, then settle back into the pattern...?

And it hit me. The last time I seriously contemplated this (because it has come up before), I was frantically stitching a gloriously fluffy boucle blanket for a boy who didn't ever come home. I knew I had mere weeks to finish it. Those weeks were actually days and the blanket was never finished. Now it lies tucked into the casket of a tiny boy; an unfinished blanket for a boy who didn't even get to start.

It always takes me off guard how a seemingly simple and uncomplicated train of thought can so easy turn into a train-wreck.

Monday, November 03, 2008