Friday, September 22, 2006

Buses, McDonald's and my Karate Skills

My comments on America’s Next Top Model are forthcoming – I promise. Because there was a ton of fun e-mailing back and forth throughout the show. But, my ANTM mindset has been somewhat put on the backburner. Because ...

The other day I got thinking about parenting. More precisely, someone challenged me on the topic of spending time with my child – what is important, how much time I spent, and what exactly constituted quality time.

Is it doing a child specific activity or is it just the actual time you spend together doing something, anything, together that really matters?

I didn’t quite have an answer. The question came from someone who, by circumstance, does not have an opportunity to spend as with their child as I do with mine. And it made me realize something – I need to start appreciating my time just a little more than I do.

Case in point – commuting.

I whine about it constantly. I whine on my blog. I whine to my husband. I whine to my friends. I whine to my family. Generally speaking, taking my toddler on the bus is not fun. Okay. I know you all get it.

But, I realized that it’s stuff like this that I should make fun or try to make fun.

Last night, since it’s been a busy week at work and Mike was working late, I decided to take Matty to McDonald’s. I told him that we were taking a special bus – the McDonald’s bus!

There was nothing special about this bus. Well, except my attitude; I decided that I would make commuting FUN. And, it was a blast! We looked out the window, we chatted, we discussed McDonald’s. And, surprise surprise the trip was enjoyable. In fact, I may even go so far as to say it was fun.

Shockingly, because it started off on the right foot, McDonald’s was fun too. Matthew listened to me. He waited in line with me when I ordered, he sat and ate his dinner and then when he was done he asked me if it was time to play. I was impressed. At the end of playtime, while still waiting for Daddy to pick us up, I asked Matt if he wanted ice cream.

Of course he said yes.

And, despite the fact that it was a kind of chilly evening we sat outside on the McDonald’s patio and had strawberry sundaes. The whole time we talked, and laughed and giggled and had fun. And I realized that part of it was because I was making the effort – not to be super mom. But, to just enjoy myself. Which I did.

So …

When we got home we were still in good moods. Mike wanted to walk down to see the Teluscape at the Science Centre. Which we did. It’s not quite ready yet, but it was a fun adventure.

And then it was bedtime. I don’t know what got into me, but Matt brought me an empty paper towel roll.

Perhaps it was the ice cream, or the fun of the evening. But, I decided to demonstrate my karate skills! (wait, have I taken karate. Nope. I did take Wen-Do where you learn to break a board, as well as numerous self defense/aerobics classes).

So, I made Mike hold the paper towel role while I yelled “Hi-YAH!” and broke the role. I know – impressive.

Matthew thought this was the most hilarious thing in the world. So, we spent the next 20 minutes laughing and screaming “Hi-Yah” while trying to break things. Eventually we discovered that karate chopping diapers was great fun.

Truthfully, I don’t know who enjoyed it more – me or Matt. At one point we were both on the floor giggling. It was pretty funny!

And at the end of the evening I figured out the answer to the question. It's not the activity you do with your child that is important - it's the quality of it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Break from the Mommy Posts because ...

Tonight is the first episode of my favourite reality show ... America's Next Top Model!!!
Some people think I'm crazy. I know it's a trashy show. In fact, I don't even like Tyra Banks. Really, I don't.
But, I love the show.
I don't know why. I just get so into it.
I love the cat fights and the anxiety. And I always end up cheering for one person to win. For instance, in the one where Nicole one - I picked her from the beginning. Seriously. But, last time I was not happy with the winner. Whatever.
It starts again tonight. Yippee!

And, in new from last night's Parent advisory committee. It was interesting. And weird. And fun in a way.
I think the goal of the committee is to have music classes for the kids and also yoga classes for the kids. I think Matt would LOVE the yoga. It means lots of fundraising. But, that's fine.
I also had a really nice chat with some people. His preschool teacher was there and I think she's amazing. She's fun and relaxed and we talked for awhile. I can't wait till I get to do pick ups in her room.
And then this other mom stopped me to tell me how much she loves Matt. She said that she was really nervous about putting her son in daycare, but that Matt was the first child who has ever just approached her son and played with him. This little boy's older sister is autistic, and so obviously the playing dynamic between her kids is a little unusual. So, this was a pretty big deal that he was welcomed into the class.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Is it possible that I am being considered as a good mom??
Is it?
Well,yes. Wanna know why? I've been officially asked to be on my son's daycare's parent advisory council.
Okay, I know that to some people this isn't the biggest deal in the world. I know that there will be many PTA's I can join, many Parent-teacher interviews to attend and manky school trips I can chaperone. But, for now, I am relishing in this.
I don't exactly know what this involves. Nor do I really know what I have committed to. I do know that lately I'm feeling a lot more confident in my parenting skills. Like, at drop off and pick up I've been chatting to parents. And, sometimes I'm asked for advice - things like how do I get Matt to cooperate at drop off and how am I encouraging his speech.
A couple years ago people were acting like I was crazy because I didn't own all of the baby einstein dvd's.
And now this - the request to be on parent council.
I know one of my friends is on her parent council. But, this is Ginny. And, she's super mom. She can talk about all the parenting books. She's the person I ask when I don't know what something means. She's the person I will call when I need to know what the best toy on the market is.
So, this is a big deal to me.
And, I'm looking forward to it.
Tomorrow night I shall advise away.

And in other Matty news ...
Today was a pretty big day. First Matt used the daycare potty twice. He's started telling us when he needs to pee - and announcing when he's going to poop.
He also went to visit the preschool room for the afternoon. He loves his teacher Kayla. Actually, so do I. She's really friendly, and not as crazy as his current teacher. When I went to his classroom to pick him up today I looked around and realized that the new toddlers (18 months) just looked like babies compared to my preschool boy. And, the best part is, I'm happy about all of this.
I'm not mourning his growing up. I'm realizing that every day I fall more in love with this kid.