Tag Archives: motherhood

The Tale of the Fashion Wars

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The other day, my daughter chose to wear these competing polka dot patterns. Another blog I follow would suggest that wearing two different polka dot patterns is all the rage, so perhaps my daughter is on the cutting edge, but I’m not sure she’s quite got it here – or that we’re living in the right part of the world for that sort of fashion-forward thinking.

I honestly believed that my daughter and I wouldn’t wage war over clothing choices until she was at least part way through elementary school. I thought we’d be good until about Grade 5 or 6, and then it would ramp up and be at it’s worst during high school. Even then, I would be the cool Mom who ‘totally gets’ what the kids are wearing and helps her daughter keep up with trends while still looking modest and presentable (the odds of this are diminishing as I am sometimes baffled by what ‘the kids are wearing these days’. And then I feel old. And then I feel depressed. And then I eat chocolate and watch the skinny jeans slip away from being a possibility for me. Sigh).

But somewhere between age 2 and 3 it all began. Her first revolt was capris (“I don’t want those short pants”). Then she fixated on a hideous hand-me-down shirt that was too big (and not from our usual source which I will describe later). Finally, she became convinced that matching means both top and bottom are the same colour. How do you explain “matching” to a 3-year-old? It’s 2012 – weren’t we all supposed to be wearing the same coloured one piece suits by now? Have we learned nothing from sci-fi literature and movies? That would just make my life so much easier…

I greatly mourn the fabulous outfits I could make from the hand-me-downs from her cousins (my sister-in-law has such good taste in clothing, I want her to dress me). Sometimes, I can get her into an outfit of my choosing, often we compromise, and sometimes I would really like to slap an “I dressed myself today” button on her.

I suppose I should be grateful for her growing independence and respect her desire for self-expression. But, if I can’t dress her up in great clothes that proudly proclaim her unarguable cuteness, what was the point in having kids?

How do the fashion wars play out at your house?

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The Tale of the Reason Why

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Young people who are considering their life’s course, people who do not have kids and don’t want them, people who have kids — all have asked the same question — Why have kids? I will tell you why with this story:

The other day I was in the shower when I heard the door open and sensed a little person had entered the bathroom. I peeked around the curtain to see my preschooler clad in a paper crown made at Sunday School and placing a fire truck, a dump truck and a turtle on the floor in a precise line. She then got herself settled onto her potty. It was at this point that I alerted her to my peeking and said “Hi”. She said, “Hey, give me my pribacy” (I thought, hey, great time to teach ‘irony’, but let it slide).

But, this, this is why you have kids. Forget things like biological clocks, leaving a legacy, continuing the species, blah, blah, blah. How much more interesting is life when you can peek out of your shower curtain to see such a delight as the above scene?

The Tale of Expectations

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We had friends over on Friday night. The kind that doesn’t have kids but is about to (as in she is pregnant). Our kid is still recovering from sugery, and we wanted to avoid a meltdown at all costs (that is either a rationalization, justification, or genuine explanation – I am not sure which). We now have the perfect storm – a young couple now thinking a lot about parenting, and a family who is about to display example after example of poor parenting.

I could practically hear “We’ll never do that with our kids” screaming in their heads.

I know this because I would have thought the same thing before I had kids.

You are always the best parent before you have kids.

Once you have them it is amazing what you’ll do out of exhaustion, love and sheer wimpiness. The children – they are a formidable foe. They come to you cute and precious and they get cuter, pudgy and more precious. And they cry. And they cry. And there are days when you will do anything to make the crying stop. And there are days when you or the kid or both will be so close to a complete breakdown that some of your hard and fast rules are bent, broken or obliterated. And some days the rules are bent or broken for other reasons – because they were made to be.

And, ultimately, you will find that most situations are not as cut and dry as you perceive before the little goobers appear on the scene. Before kids (BK) you will not conceive of a situation where you will allow (or even offer) cookies for breakfast, after kids (AK), it happens. BK you are sure that you will be nothing but consistent on bedtime, snacktime and all the other ‘times’; AK you’ll find your 3-year-old up after 10pm, and feed her popsicle after popsicle (i.e. our Friday night). BK your kid is going to be polite, clean, and quiet; AK you will constantly be on edge in public working to keep the kid from climbing on tables, keep her face, hands, hair, clothes and nose clean, and keep them from screaming and carrying on at a decibel that attracts the attention of anyone in a 5K radius.

We like discipline, structure and orderliness. Children bring in the opposite and challenge our every notion of parenting.

Or, maybe, it’s just us, and our friends will find parenting a breeze and do everything right  – just as they intended. Sigh. I should say, our “former friends”.