Friday, July 28, 2006

The Ups and Downs

This month has been, by far, one of the craziest on record for me. At least one of the craziest since having Matt - where I have tried to be relatively stable, sane and consistent.
But, we knew that this month would bring sheer insanity to our lives, and it truly has.
A rundown of these past 4 weeks are:
Week 1) Family trip to Vermont
Week 2) Laural away for work
Week 3) Daycare closed, living with Grandma and Grandpa in Oakville while simoultaneously taping a television show in Toronto (current week)
Week 4) Daycare still closed, living at Grandma and Grandpa's house while they are on vacation and Matt is being taken care of by a babysitter, more show taping, etc.
Add to this that we are trying to live on a cash budget (don't get me started) and we are trying to not fight, and make it to work on time every day.
It's a little crazy.
But, that's not what this is about.
This is about my monkey. Because he is in the middle of the upheaval. And, he is doing great. Last night Mike said to me that he wishes he could be as strong as our two-year old. And, he's right.
While we are stressing about everything, Matthew just takes things a day at a time. His time with Grandpa has been an adventure. Together they have built a set of steps in the backyard (Matt truly helped by handing my dad nails and stuff), going to playgrounds, having ice cream, etc. He's stayed with a friend of the family, with my sister and with my parents.
And throughout it all he's been happy and smiling and excited to tell us about his day. And, in the last few weeks he has started talking a lot more. Like, he can express himself in full sentences, and he jokes about stuff. It's hilarious.
And then there was last night. He and I went to bed at the same time - 9:30. Mike had been lying down with him and then I got myself ready and came to join them. We all laid there quietly, listening to Matt's tape. And, then Matt reached over, gave me a big hug and patted me on the back. It was a moment to cherish.
I love that child.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Great Daycare Debate

Recently I was talking with someone about daycare.
To me it's a bit of a ridiculous issue. The bottom line is that if you work your child needs to be taken care of. This is true until roughly the age of maybe 11 or 12. (maybe older). And, so the bottom line is that you have to have someone watch your child.
From what I understand there are a few options:
1) Your child goes to a daycare centre (public or private)
2) Your child goes to a home daycare
3) You have a nanny
4) Your child is with a family member
In some cases the decision is clear cut. Most of the people I know have a very strong opinion one way or another, or they are forced into a decision based on finances.
For Mike and I the choice was a daycare centre. We researched all of the options, went to see the various options and then made a choice. For us the choice was not so much of a financial one as it was a gut instinct.
I guess for me it boiled down to the fact that I felt, and still feel, that Matthew is a really high maintenance child. He needs constant entertainment and activity. After a day alone with him I am honestly tired. To me it was clear that he needed to be in a social setting and I truthfully wondered if one person could handle his energy day in and day out.
So I chose daycare. First he went to a privately run one (LOVED it - I still regularly e-mail them) and then when our situation changed he went to a municipal run daycare - love it too.
But, the other day I was speaking to someone who asked me about my choice.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't offended, but I was annoyed. The gist of the conversation was that the daycare centres are for those of us who don't make enough of an income to hire a good nanny. Really.
I have to say I was taken aback by that.
I know lots of kids who had nannies. I grew up in private school and trust me, I had friends whose nannies picked them up every day, took us places, and all sorts of stuff. Some were nice, some were mean. Some were just okay. But, I never thought of it as a priviledge of the rich. It was just a lifestyle.
But, to even insinuate that I made a choice for my child based on finances? Not cool.
I mean, really.
I would pretty much do whatever I need to in order for Matty to be a happy well adjusted child. If it meant going into debt (well, further who am I kidding), or anything I'd do it. But, I'm happy with my choice. And, I think it is right. Financial issues or not.
Seriously, make decisions, choose what is best for your family. But, don't judge it's stupid. If you're happy with your nanny be glad that my kid goes to daycare because it means I won't steal your nanny!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Where's the Line??

The other day Mike and I were sitting in a restaurant, on our own, enjoying a dinner alone. We don't do this often, and when we get the chance we like to enjoy it, and prefer not to be sitting around kids.
But, this particular evening we were. One family with kids was fine - nice, well behaved, etc. The other was not so nice.
It was a large group of adults (6) and one little boy, about Matty's age.
I don't know what this group was thinking. First of all, it was late, like 8:30 and he was tired. Like, the kid was cranky, but the parents/friends just kept socializing. Okay - I get that. But, then they started doing to most annoying thing - they kept doing some weird surprise thing that made him scream.
It wasn't a cute laugh he was emitting. It was a stupid annoying shrieking scream that made them all laugh and then he would laugh and do it again.
Here's the thing.
My son is not a perfect angel, and sadly when he walks into a restaurant he doesn't suddenly become one. But, we always encourage good behaviour. If he starts having a meltdown/temper tantrum we do something about it - whether it's try to give him crayons, take him away from the table or sing a song.
But we would never, ever encourage him to do something so annoying and stupid that annoys an entire restaurant.
Don't get me wrong. I have a ton of sympathy for parents who are trying. I am not the person who stares other patrons down or gives advice (I have shared toys, but in a friendly way). But for parents like that I have to say something.
I mean, grow up. What are you thinking? Not only is your kid REALLY annoying - you are giving other parents a bad name. And you are making your kid look like a total brat.
In the end my stares did nothing. Mike gave 0ne menacing glare and the mom shut the kid up.