Tuesday, 24 July 2007

The Smell Of Fear

I am anxious. Ok, I'm petrified. In three days my brood and I shall be deposited (un)cerimoniously at Toronto Pearson to catch our no doubt shambolic Air Canada flight back to London, England. Bearing in mind that my flight companions consist of a teething, rambunctious 8 month old who's just found his voice and loves nothing more at the moment than to shriek loudly like a constipated bat, and a darling but scheming still as of yet not toilet-trained three year old...well you can see why apprehension looms menacingly.
Forget the logistics of how i'm going to cuddle and hold the two boys at once, or how i'm going to be able to supply breast-on-tap to one whilst coercing the other to sit in his chair and not 'go exploring' mid-flight. No, my problems are greater. You see I have this nightmare of dozing off sometime during the 8 hour flight, and waking to the shrieks or screams of a nearby passenger who has been abruptly woken by the placement of a soiled nappy in his lap by a mischievious little imp. I have horrors of opening my eyes to find the seat next to me empty and the aisle littered with cast-off clothes and Egg skipping merrily down the aisle, naked from the waist down, resembling less a jubilant bride than a pissed drunk lephrachan.

And suppose the boys decide to synchronize bowel movements as a way of getting me back for cutting off their supply of fruit roll-ups (BOTH boys are addicted...but that's another matter), and I have to manoever around two dirty bums, four waving arms and four kicking legs, all in the confines of a space no bigger than a phonebox...hmm? What then?

Based on the outward journey on my Air Canada flight, I have no choice but to admit that I am buggered. I am what they call, 'in for it'. I shall learn in eight hours more about what it means to be a parent than in the whole three years previous.

The only positive slant I can take on the whole situation is that perhaps I'll lose the plot entirely and just snap and we'll have to be escorted through security on one of those motorised buggies and instead of a grinning wife and two little cherubs, my husband shall be greeted by hell on wheels.

Darling, if you're reading this be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Mama Fashionista

Today two aunties, two babies and myself set off for a walk in downtown Toronto. Several iced lattes later we found ourselves miraculously outside the Eaton Centre. Now normally a mall on a hot summers day is my idea of hell, but we needed to cool off and one auntie was hankering after a luxury hair product, so we (stupidly) popped inside.
The lovely owner of the high-end beauty outlet noticed that Noah was lugging around a saggy nappy between his chubby thighs and kindly (or should i say foolishly) offered his adjoining salon as a nappy-changing facility if we so desired. I immediately pounced on this unexpected generous offer and was halfway through the door before realising that the accoutrements were in the other pushchair, so regretfully had to declined. It wasn't until later when Auntie Ba and i found ourselves balancing a chubbier-than-chubby chicken on the water-soaked counter of a crowded public restroom, that we realised with horror that had we taken the kindly gentleman up on his offer, than his salon would have smelt like death for an hour afterwards! (Dad, if you're reading this, i can only imagine what sorts of foods you are feeding my secondborn when i'm not around...no way should a nappy smell that bad...seriously!)

Having spent the yearly wage of tailor in a third world country on iced coffees this summer, I am now in a position to comment about the sheer incompetence of many of the barristas who profer up caffienated beverages to desperate souls such as myself. I had a disgusting cup full of ice masquerading as a coffee frappacino at the first place we visited early this morning.

I had no choice but to breastfeed an irate Noah, whilst Egg lost the plot when Auntie Mo cut his giant blueberry muffin in half. He threw it off the table, exploded in tears and started screaming loud enough to cause the table next to us to shoot daggers and rustle their papers menacingly. So I shoved Egg into his pushchair and took off down the street, hoping to put some distance between the Starbucks patrons and my maniacal son, only barely aware that one nipple had escaped and was bobbing along rather contentedly in the open air....damn maternity bras.

Speaking of which, my sisters finally mustered the nerve to confront me, their fashionista sister today, on the state of my upper body contour. With a pitying patronizing air, they decreed that my maternity bra has got to go. Apparently it does nothing for my figure and not only doesn't lift and squeeze, but sag and separates. Oh dear. Well, it's back to nursing in a strapless i suppose. Vanity knows no bounds.

And by the way, try shopping and feeling good about yourself when you have a three year old constantly worming into changing rooms and telling you that outfits look 'ugly' and that i should put my 'bum' away. Not a fan of low-rise skinny jeans is my darling Egg?

Ah well, they should be lucky they don't have a Ma who has succombed to comfort over style. Not me! I continue to wave the flag of trendy motherhood high and proud, and though my hipsters might often chafe, I have no intention of ever resorting to the dreaded comfort-wear of mothers everywhere. And you can hold me to that :)

Friday, 20 July 2007

Hoovers and Helmets and Hair Dryers…Oh My!

Egg has now developed a severe aversion to the following items: Hoovers (vacuum cleaners for you non-Brits), Helmets (go figure – not big, scary motorcycles, but actual helmets!), Hand Dryers (massively hampering our diligent toilet training attempts while out in public as he absolutely refuses to enter any public washroom which contains one), Hair Dryers, foxes, lizards, and new (inexplicable) entries 'wristbands' and 'handstamps'.

Anything he hates he publicly banishes to 'Old McDonalds Farm'. It's his version of Hades and like a mini despot he gesticulates and loudly pronounces his most hated things banished to the farm. (Currently Jesus and Grandma are residing there with a plethora of unwanted rodents and other undesirables).

My son the enigma. He can count to ten unprompted in French, yet he can't seem to get his head round riding a tricycle. Little Egg continues to call his ratty teddy bear 'Bacon' his 'sweet little baby' and luckily no longer breastfeeds him in public – though Bacon can often be seen wearing Egg's brand new 'underpants'.

Not much more to say at present. Have discovered that single parent families are the hero's of the modern age. With Jay not around to help I am getting swamped under with the unenviable statistics of 2 to 1.

Toilet training continues in earnest, and we're making great headway with the 'stand-up pee pee's' but no progress on the number two front (sigh). Still I remain optimistic – if only because I am absolutely determined that Egg is going to nursery this fall. I will lie about him being toilet trained if it comes to it. I will teach him how to change his own nappies if need be (actually, he already does that). HE IS GOING TO SCHOOL. END OF STORY. No matter what.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


All this fresh Toronto air has had the effect of relieving Egg from his clothes as of late. Apparently the warm breezes coming off Lake Ontario are too sweet to resist for my budding nudist of a 3 year old. As often as not Egg is to be found playing/running/eating happily in the semi-nude...that is, perfectly dressed from the waist up and naked as the day he was born on the bottom. Not only that but whenever we're outside he asks pleadingly whether he may relieve himself beside the nearest tree. Should i be worried?

Meanwhile, Ollie Dumpie (who already wears size 4 nappies and size 3 shoes) has found a new pastime...flinging all his (and my) possessions out of the pushchair as we hurtle along crowded Toronto streets. So far we have lost two toys, his sunhat, and various other accoutrements...some retreived and some not. His fat little wrist flings them out faster than I can keep track of and i'm now limiting him to strictly biscuits while on the road in an effort to keep the defecit down.

Last night Dad naively suggested that Egg sleep with him in his bed, in an effort to gift me with a more restful sleep. Haha. Not only did Egg wet the bed upon being tucked in, but the next morning Dad awoke to find no trace of Egg, merely a wet nappy balled up on the pillow beside him and a rogue pair of pajama bottoms. The nudie bandit strikes again. Moreover Dad got kicked within an inch of his life throughout the night apparently. Can't see that offer being repeated again.

Anyway, keeping this short and sweet tonight as it's midnight and i have one child asleep in the pushchair in the hallway (too scared to move him at present) and another crashed fully-clothed on the sofa while 'What Not To Wear' plays idly on the telly in the background. We just got back from Dumpies' first live gig (Cinematic Orchestra) down on the Harbourfront (they were brilliant by the way) and though he slept through most of it he did enjoy a good few songs whilst munching biscuits and tapping fat little toes to the electronic beats. Egg enjoyed about three songs until Auntie Ba was unable to name the drummer, at which point he lost interest and took off with his Grandpa for ice-cream without a backward glance.

I sit here sipping a root beer and ponder sleep. I wonder whether there is anyway I can leave my children sleeping where they are and still call myself a good mother. Probably not. But it's very tempting to indulge the fantasy of creeping to the back bedroom now and crawling under the soft duvet and sleeping for 12 hours. In my dreams right? (sigh) Wonder if i snuck off to bed whether Grandpa or Auntie Ba would feel compelled to take over....? Hmmm.....

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


So we've been here in Toronto for several days now. Currently we're staying down at my dad's place on the harbourfront. I realise I've been neglecting my blogging duty but frankly I've been too busy enjoying the warm hot summer weather (for a London dweller this is a rarity - at least the consistant aspect of it) and trying to keep two fiesty fella's from electrocuting themselves, dying of head injuries and injesting poisonous substances.

Have had a few close calls lately. (What else is new?) Dumpie was found chewing on plasticine the other day and was irate when I spent about a minute tring to fish out random bits of dayglo yellow toxic matter from his gummy mouth. Egg has discovered Dad's vast knife collection (numbering in the hundreds as he is a brilliant cook and has two whole drawers devoted to them.) It is just a matter of time before he attempts to practise his carving skills on his chubby chicken of a little brother.

In the meantime, Dumpie is growing ever bigger and stronger. This could be due in part to Dad's sneaky daily administrations of his high power super-strength protein drinks. In stark contrast Egg has discovered tiny chocolate donuts (timbits) and now insists on his own little bag of two a day. He declares them to be exceptionally 'yummy' and nibbles on them like a little gourmet - though never thinks to offer anyone else a bite of these precious delicacies.

I've noticed a rather interesting observation. In both Florida and Toronto Egg is as often as not declared 'a pretty little girl', whereas in the UK the mistake has never been made. Nevermind that he goes around here in loud Hawaiian print tops, dirty basecall cap, camoflauge shorts and little boy trainers...nope - his shoulder length hair and delicate features seem to confuse local 'folk' and lead to all sorts of embarrassing misunderstandings. Yesterday for instance Egg was privy to two little sisters' picnic (managing to score cheesies, 7-up and part of a twix bar for his troubles....little scavenger) simply due to the misunderstanding of a Korean family who mistook him for a little girl. I didn't bother to correct them because a) hey, free childcare while i lie in the sun...what's not to love?? b) i didn't want to embarrass them c) refer to a

Everyday Dad and I have a routine which involves getting two coffees and taking Egg to the local park which has a play 'choo-choo' train with several seats and conductors cabin. Well you can probably imagine what ensues. Little Egg (having a bit of an addiction to all things train-related at the moment) feels it HIS right to be the conductor and not a passenger. So he makes it his job to clear out anyone who might not be aware of these unspoken rules. In all fairness he does the job professionally, and gestures emphatically to those children who might be too young to understand that they must leave the conductors cabin forthwith. Also to his credit he does a mighty fine job of collecting 'tickets' and checking the passports of the bewildered assembled tots, and is even helpful in assigning seats to the more spacially-challenged playmates.

A slightly more alarming recent trend of Egg's has to do with his tourettes-like utterances about random strangers. He has no qualms about proclaiming various facts to do with physical appearances, and can't see anything wrong with calling salesladies 'fat and ugly' if he so sees fit. He doesn't say these things in a childish vibratto, but rather calmly announces to me and Dumpie that 'I don't want to talk to that lady, she is fat and ugly and I do not like her'. (Ummm...thanks for that Egg I think as I shamefacedly slide my Visa card across the counter to pay for a purchase, before whipping the two of them out of there with the scorned lady yelling, "You forgot your reciept!"). Whatever. Last weekend we were visiting Jay's parents in Mississauga, and Egg inadvertantly walked into his other grandparents bedroom while 'Granny' was getting changed. We hear,

"I don't want to see a naked Granny!" then giggles (...of horror from Granny and amusement from Egg).

Since then, whenever he sees Granny Egg insists on referring to her as 'Naked Granny'. Will it stick? Anyones guess. Sorry Granny...it's in the genes...don't blame me!

Anyway, today we are planning to head to 'The Beaches'...a lovely stretch of sand and grass and a kids water play area and lovely trees beneath which to watch all the chaos ensue. Can't wait.