Sunday, December 27, 2015

Toilet training

There is so much pressure these days for parents to push children to toilet train. Mothers and fathers devote entire weekends to it. There are countless books and theories. 

So let me add my story.

We decided not to toilet train our son. Yup. You heard me. We didn't toilet train. Oh don't get me wrong, when he was 2.5 years old I felt pressured and I bought a potty. I bought the books. The toilet seat insert. I even made a half hearted attempt one weekend with pull ups. But it went nowhere. 

A month ago I bought a big beautiful Bruder truck, and I placed it on the back of the toilet, still in the package. I put a bright blue basket on the counter, full of dinky cars, suckers, play dough, and other dollar store trinkets. I explained to my son, as he looked on with wide eyes, that if he went to the bathroom in the toilet he could choose something from the basket. And furthermore, if he chose to wear underwear and have no accidents for a week , he would get the truck.

He looked at me and said "Mama, don't push me."  Kid you not. 

So I left it. Every now and then I would say, "don't you want to use the toilet?" And he would say no. 

Then suddenly, about two weeks ago, he just started to use the toilet on his own. He even washed his hands on his own. He shuts the door and says "I will call you if I need help".  

He turns 3 on January 1. He did this all on his own. When the week passed without a single accident (he even let's me know when we are out!) you have never seen a boy who was so proud to earn a truck. 

It's been several weeks now, and he continues to be toilet trained. Without any hard core intervention on our part. 

So moms and dads - relax. I promise they will get it in their own time. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

One more minute

There are times that I realize as a mother just how precious these moments are. You won't always want me to see you jump, watch a snail or listen to you sing. These moments are so fleeting. 

Today I watched you walking up the hill from the henhouse. Rubber boots. Shorts. Your bicycle helmet on. (You have a passion for wearing that helmet these days! Lol!) you are such a little boy. My toddler appears to be gone. In its place is this

mischievous boy.

So tonight - you asked me yet again to lie with you for one more minute. I said yes, but instead of setting the timer for one minute I set it for 20. And when it went off I set it for ten more. 

Because these minutes are fleeting. You won't always want your mama to lie with you in the dark. You won't always want to watch my face as I lie there still, beside you. Your little hand clasped in mine. "Love you mama" you whisper, not knowing that my mind is trying desperately to record every minute.  Your sweet toddler voice, the smell of your freshly washed hair. Before I know it you will be a teenager, begging me not to embarrass you in public with a kiss. 

One more minute mama. My sweet son, I will always have time for you.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

I often look at their little smiling faces, and I wonder how on earth I managed for so many years without them.  It's the small moments I try to capture, and burn into my memory. I fear that one day I will sit in a nursing home with nothing but memories, and I want to ensure that I have millions of sunny happy moments in the archives to conjure up at whim.

Moments like today when I lay on the couch with my 6 month old daughter, and marvelled at the small chubby arms; the navy romper with white polka dots and a giant daisy; the tiny whisps of red hair sticking up on her head; the smell of baby shampoo on her skin; and her blue blue blue eyes looking into mine. Her smile lights up my heart.

Or at bedtime with my son. In the stillness of bedtime, he puts a hand either side of my face imploring me to tell him one more time all of the people in his life who love him. We go through the list, and his smile grows larger with each name. We end on "and who loves you most of all, to the moon and back and more than a million bowls of ice-cream?"

"Mama" he whispers in the dark, his smile so enormous that my heart creaks under the weight of it.

I kiss his small forehead, and hope that he doesn't notice my eyes are a little wet.

Another day gone. Another moment to put away in the memory bank. Another shining bright moment, that I hope I never forget.

My children may wonder one day how on earth they will manage without me as they "leave the nest", but I will always know that it's I who will feel the emptiness that time will bring.

Being a mother is bittersweet. Enjoy each moment.

Happy Mother's Day

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring parsnips

Ruth was full of old wives tales, and age old advice. She told me to leave my parsnips in the ground until spring.
I was quite certain that if I followed that advice they would rot. 

Well last fall at 8 months pregnant the garden lay forgotten. Thus the parsnips sat in the ground all winter.

Today was a balmy plus 5, and so baby and I ventured out to begin cleaning up the garden beds. Here's what we found - lovely sweet parsnips! It seems Ruth was right. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015


With my first child, time stood still. Days passed in a blurry haze of cuddles and naps together. It seemed sometimes that weeks lasted forever.

With my second I feel that time is squirming out of my grasp, and I am unable to pin it down long enough to enjoy the moment.  Days fly by in a flurry of activity. Swimming lessons, birthday parties, play dates, errands - and the endless stream of laundry.

I keep reminding myself to be still. To put down the phone. To ignore the dishes and get down on the floor to play trains. To build forts out of blankets and pillows, and turn empty toilet roll tubes into eye spy glasses. To take a moment and stop, and really see my children.  The way the sun turns their small red heads into a million shades of auburn. The way their cheeks dimple as they smile. 

The other day my son leaned into me as I was cooking dinner. "Mama?" He said, imploring me to come down to his level. 
So I did.
He took my cheeks in his hands and kissed me. 
Then he ran off to play with his fire trucks. 

I took a snapshot in my mind and tucked it into memory. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

More toddler ideas

What did mothers do before the Internet? I mean seriously - it's a never ending source of amazing ideas.
Baking soda and coloured vinegar.

You can see where this is going. I had no eye droppers so I used straws and spoons. Not such a great idea. Next time I need the eye droppers.
But he loved it. The fizzing, the colours. It was a big hit!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Painting with a toddler

So keeping a toddler busy is no easy task. I wouldn't trade this time for the world though. To be able to spend another year with my wee farm boy is so amazing. He is such a joy to be around and has a great sense of humour.

I found a use for old wrapping paper. Taped on the wall with painters tape it makes a great canvas for him to paint on.  He was surprisingly good about not panting on the walls, but did ask if he could paint me. 
And could he please paint his sister?
The dog?
Ah, no.

I did allow him to paint his feet and walk on the canvas. I can't be the mom who says no to everything, right?

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015, here we come!

Well thank the good lord we haven't had a house showing since before the baby was born. I looked around today and clearly the fog is lifting from my post baby mind - all I could think was "WHAT A MESS!".

Ok. It really wasn't that bad.  But I am certainly NOT winning any Pintrest awards at the moment. I have 5 baskets of folded laundry to put away. The toys in the family room have taken over. And I don't think I have vacuumed our bedroom in weeks.

So I told hubby he was on kid duty and I made a considerable dent in things today. I even went as far as to rearrange the furniture.  Gawd that man is such a good sport. We get two hours while the wee farmboy naps, and I as I see hubby eyeing up the comfy sofa for a snooze I say "let's move the furniture" with glee. 

So he did. And then he made me lunch. He's a keeper. Seriously.

It's amazing how when my space is organized and clean, my mind is more organized. I can think better. 2015 is off to a good start. Now we simply need to get this place sold, as we have our eye on a 100 acre farm.

Here's hoping the cards fall into place! 

Oh. And I finally got the laundry put away.