Monday, May 31, 2010

So *that's* what it feels like!

I saw this over at The Bad Moms Club, (posted by Motherbumper), and had to share.

Michael Cera - woot!

I was first introduced to Michael Cera as the dorky and lovable George-Michael Bluth on Arrested Development. I've loved him ever since in everything I've seen him in... although, I will admit, I like bad movies (sorry dude... I love Jack Black too, but Year One? ) Anyway, there's a new one coming out that looks awesome, and I felt the need to share.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, people! Who wouldn't want to kick the ass of every previous 'other' their significant other has had? Well, okay, me, but I'm a pacifist. Except when I see joggers in spandex shorts. Ew.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oh. my. god.

Three times in one day - I must be feeling frisky :)
Try and tell me you don't love this:


Just an update on the whole Zoo debacle:

For the past 11 days, while there have been (of course) a few hiccups, my girl has gone to bed without a fight! Every night, I give her a warning that it's almost bedtime. Then I tell her it's bedtime. Then when we get to her room, we sit down and recite the bedtime rules - which are: 1. Stay in bed. 2. Keep lights off. 3. Keep door closed.

And so... thank god... my little angel will be boarding the big yellow bus off to the Zoo tomorrow morning!

(Although... maybe I shouldn't have written this til her butt was safely on the bus; one more sleep to go!)

I think I learned something...

So. My mother gave me tickets to a parenting seminar called "You're Not the Boss of Me!" (given by Terry Carson of and offered to babysit so that I could attend. Let's ignore the implications of what that means she may or may not think about my parenting and focus on the good part; I got to leave the house for an evening. My husband even got to come with me! It was practically a date!

I was even interested in the topic as Big B has been saying exactly that, in actions if not words, for quite some time now. So, off we go, hoping against hope that we will come back with some magical plan that will fill our home with sunshine and I'll never have to raise my voice again. Or at least be able to have a decent bedtime.

Basically, it was about recognizing different parenting styles and how to adapt yours to better work with your kids. She discussed "Authoritarian Style": your kids do what you tell them, or they're in deep shit. This style involves nagging, criticizing and punishment. "Permissive Style": your kids do whatever they want because you'd really rather not argue about it. "Democratic Style": You and your kids work together in a respectful manner to obtain the mutual goal of a happy and well run life. (I'm paraphrasing a little bit...) Guess which one is the right one? She offered some tips for how to deal with certain situations, funny anecdotes, and some catch phrases.

I did like the woman, and a lot of what she was saying made sense, but I didn't come out of there feeling enlightened. I felt like I was already doing (or trying to do) most of what she'd suggested, and besides that.. most of it seemed like common sense (ie. if you argue about something with your child, say no in the first place and then end up letting them do whatever it is, there will be arguments about every damn thing until the end of time).

I think that the most valuable thing I took away from the talk was this: in trying to learn how to be a better parent, I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job parenting. Only an idiot thinks they know everything. Also, there were about 40 other people in the room, so it's not just me.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a CD about how to get my kids to stop whining to listen to.

Also, some suggested reading: CHILDREN THE CHALLENGE - Rudolf Dreikers
I haven't read it yet, but his work is what a lot of the Democratic parenting method is based on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To Zoo, or not to Zoo?

So. I've written that we've been having some... issues with Big B's behaviour. It all came to a head one night last week, when she decided to spend two and half hours running in and out of her room, throwing things and grabbing her sister through the crib bars after bedtime. She has a class trip to the Zoo coming up. (Do you see where this is going?)

"If I have to come in here one more time, you will NOT be going to the Zoo with your class!"
*SLAM! Stomp, stomp, stomp.* Shit. What did I just say? *squeezing eyes shut and holding my breath* Oh crap... please, please - just stay in bed, please do not open the door. See, the problem here is that I really do like my kids. I want them to be happy. I do not want to make her stay home from a trip that has her 4 year old heart bursting with excitement.

*creeeeeeak*... oh. shit.

"What did I say to you?"
"I don't know," she says, smiling.
"I told you that if I had to come in here again, you would not be going to the Zoo."
"But... " comprehension dawning, "I want to go the Zoo..."
"I know you do. I also know that I gave you many chances tonight to stay in your bed the way you are supposed to. You are not going to the Zoo."

This was followed by a good 20 minutes of sobbing. She did, however, stay in bed.

I spent the whole night wracked with guilt. I can't make her stay home from the Zoo... that's awful! What kind of mum does something like that? Surely there's another way? Unfortunately, I realise that the blame for some of this behaviour can be placed squarely on me. I may not have been the absolute best at follow through lately. I decided it ends here. If I didn't stick to this one, I would have absolutely no credibility with her.

I came up with a compromise. She is in fact, as of this moment, not going to the Zoo. We discussed how things like special trips are a privilege, and how her behavior lately has not been the kind that earns us special privileges. So, how could she earn the privilege of going to the Zoo? We agreed that if she could follow the bedtime rules every single night until the trip, she would be allowed to go. We made up some posters with the rules very clearly written on them so that everyone knows what they are. We also made a big poster to keep track of what a great job she's doing at bedtime. She really does seem to respond to things like sticker charts where she can actually see how well she's doing.

So far so good - it's only 10 days away, and I'm pretty confident that she can do it. Then I'll need something new for leverage.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Today, as you no doubt know, was Mother's Day. I got to "sleep in". What this means for me now (as opposed to the days when I didn't even think of 7:30am as sleeping in) is that I got to stay huddled in my room while listening to the chaos echoing throughout the rest of the house and forcing myself not to run out there and see what all the fuss was about.

I had been ordered by Big B to "stay in bed until the surprise is ready!" I was treated to a lovely breakfast, made by husband and Big B, consisting of toast and coffee. That girl can really spread jam. Then I was given the best card I've ever gotten: my first made-at-school card. I'm sure that every other mum of a kid in that class got the exact same card and that their hearts melted and their eyes teared up a little too.

I have to say, this year has been a little hard on me. My kids have always been (and still are) quite lovely; but this year, there has been illness, some new and hideous behaviour issues and some newly emerging sibling rivalry.

I've always gotten my mum something on Mother's Day. That's my responsibility as someone's kid. This year, however, I made her what I probably should have been giving her all along. A Thank You card. All of the encouragement, poking, prodding, fighting, pushing... it all served a very important purpose: it showed me how to be a mum. So - I thanked her for that, and I hope that someday, when my girls are all grown up and dealing with their own children, I'll get a similar card.

For now, I'm more than happy with a loofah knotted through a paper flower and a partially hand-written poem.