tripping the life unbalanced

Thursday, November 24, 2005

notes for Alice's future therapist

(and make no mistake about this, people, there will be some therapy in this child's life at some point down the road! I mean, she will come by a neurosis honestly, with both parents suffering from some sort of anxiety/depressive disorder)

Alice stayed home sick with a cold and fever today. She has a mild virus, but enough of one to warrant staying home. After I filled her up with some Motrin she was good to go, and spent most of the morning walking around our house pulling every toy she owned off the shelves. I finally decided that some holiday crafts were in order and pulled out all our goodies for Alice to rake through. Glitter and construction paper and glue sticks, oh my!

We started to make some homemade holiday cards out of some left-over Christmas cards and bags I had from last season. She loved it - especially the gluing part.

It was then that I discovered something interesting and perhaps a little disturbing in my kiddo's cards she was making. The image below was taken off the cell camera, so not that great, but can you see Santa's face?

Oh no you can't??? Oh that's right. Alice blocked it out with her glued on pompoms. Take that, Santa!

Oh, what was that Rudolph? You would like to see as well? Sorry - unfortunately you will have the same fate as Santa. Destined to ride through this season with no face.

There are more examples of covered-up faces, but you get the gist. I'm just waiting now for the first parent-teacher conference at preschool, where they start the conversation with "ummmm...we're a little concerned about your daughter..."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

in which Alice finds a new friend

So it's happened. Alice has her first imaginary friend. She came home today from daycare and told us at the dinner table about "Squishy", who's about the size of green pea. Who's female (of course) and who "only plays with Alice." She also lives at daycare and sings songs about Santa all day long. Sounds like my kind of girl!

Other than Squishy, Alice's (IRL) best friend at daycare is Joshua. Joshua is the bomb to Miss Alice. He is funny and a little crazy and has many MANY times out, as Alice tells it. He has also convinced my two year old that he has "the power" and can use "it" on her. Not sure exactly what the power is, but it does entail Joshua punching the air with his fist and yelling "POWER!" And Alice copying him in awe.

My former Women's Studies self could write a whole Phd on this situation and wonders if I should curb her growing admiration somehow, but the mom in me feels happy that my kiddo is experiencing her first real initiated-by-her friendship. Even if it is with a bad boy who is convinced he has real power.

And plus - she always has Squishy to fall back on. Who wouldn't want a pea sized friend in their corner?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

the best way to end my work day

Unexpectingly hearing Biz Markie's "Just A Friend" on CBC radio.

"I asked her her name, she said blah-blah-blah. She had 9/10 pants and a very big bra" OOOOHHHH. Can it get any better than this???

I know, I know - sexism with a capital S. But it's like the Beastie's GIRLS - I just can't resist.

Oooh baby you.....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

the business of birthday parties

Alice attended her first ever non-relative friend-from-daycare birthday party today. With her parents in tow, 'cause she's only two ya know. It was at this place, and OH MY GOD was insane. Crazy. Chaotic. A place where already-hyper kids on crazy sugar highs run around with NO SHOES ONLY SOCKS and throw their bodies down a three storey-high tunneled slide. Seriously.

But we went for the child's sake and she liked it for the most part. Most of the kids were older than her (4 and up) so she was a little out of her league. But of course she put on a brave face like the girl that she is and tried to keep up the best of them. Things started to turn ugly, however, when she found herself trapped in a crazy maze-like structure. You know those slide structures at McDonald's Playland? Ok - think of those, but maybe to a power of 10. Basically, death tubes. Or SERIOUS INJURY slides. I can not stand them. Why don't they make them see-through at least, so you can actually SEE your child as she is losing her shit when three huge five year olds crawl over her to see who can spit down the slide farthest?

(as you can see, today is brought to you by CAPPED LETTERS)

So, I had to go into emergency rescue mode, crawling up an orange tube trying to coax my scared daughter to come down toward me. While other children are trying to also crawl over me and I'm yelling at them " can you please back off? This little girl needs to COME DOWN." We made it out, of course. Barely, as I described it to Matt later.

Alice got over the near-death experience, though, and was soon gulping down TWO cups of orange pop before I knew what was happening. And then she climbed into the bouncy castle and threw herself around like a chimp on speed. I watched uncomfortably from the sidelines, cringing every time some bigger kids came THISCLOSE to jumping right on her face. Alice's face was pure bliss, as she jumped and jumped with such wild abandonment. I, however, was counting the seconds until we got out of there.

When we finally escaped, loot bag in hand, we sat in the car for a few moments. Just taking in the quiet moment and attempting to get all our heart rates back to normal. I was about to wax poetic to Matt about the horrors of places like that and how they made their business out of bithdays, when Alice piped up from the back seat (chocolate cake in her hair and orange pop smeared all over her face) "Can we go to my birthday party now?

Crap. Four months and counting.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

me me me. and also me. (me?)

I'm going to bite the bullet and do one of those 100 THINGS ABOUT ME lists. Stand back, people, this could be boring. Read at your own risk.

1. I am the eldest of four children.
2. My mother had four children in seven years - she says she was crazy for part of those years (who wouldn't be?)
3. I have been known to be bossy
4. all of my siblings would say this is true. and most of my friends. and my husband.
5. my daughter doesn't yet get to call me bossy, but I am sure it is coming
6. she is bossy herself
7. I like to fill up lists with the word "bossy."
8. I can be vain and insecure at the same time. Yes, it's a gift.
9. I have a shameless love of reality and teen shows. Even the ones that amongst friends I mock.
10. In fact, I am rushing this list along so I can go watch the end of America's Next Top Model
11. My husband and I once left Toronto and moved to Nova Scotia with our heads full of ideas for a better life of clean air and less stress.
12. What we got instead was a farmhouse with no furniture and jobs packing strawberry plants
13. I was not so good at the farm work, contrary to what you might think
14. I sucked so bad that the female seasonal workers from Newfoundland took pity on me and would help me fill my boxes.
15. The most I ever made at that job was $30/day.
16. We left Nova Scotia a few months after we arrived, with our city-kid tails between our legs
17. I also lived for awhile in Hong Kong.
18. My parents lived in Hong Kong and I was a visiting student there for a semester.
19. I have a B.A in Women's Studies and English. And I work in television, so you do the math on how my preferred job prospects worked out.
20. I can't believe I am only at # 20
21. I am 32, my husband is 30, and our daughter is two and a half. Alice tells everyone I am 45, her dad is 13, and she is 7.
22. I think her guesstimate is more on the money.
23. I named my daughter "Alice" after I heard a woman call her dog "Alice."
24. I was all set on calling her "Jane" but then considered "Alice" after hearing it.
25. Most people think there was a more romantic idea behind her name, like she was named after her great-grandmother or that she is named after ALICE IN WONDERFUL. But nope - she was named after a dog. A dog I don't even know.
26. I played piano for 10 years and was quite good at one point in my life.
27. When I was 17 and close to taking my ARTC I met a boy and fucked off on practicing for a long time and never really picked it up again.
28. I still regret that.
29. I have my great-grandmother's grand piano in my house, the only thing I own that is actually worth anything. (other than my love, of course. barf).
30. It's a beautiful instrument and I hope one day Alice might get interested.
31. I swear a lot.
32. I am trying to curb my swearing around my small child but just can't get used to saying "oh fudge". Doesn't give me the same rush and satisfaction.
33. I used to smoke but quit when I got pregnant.
34. I have never really gone back to smoking full-hog but have been known to have one here or there when I am around friends. note to judgers: not around my child
35. I should remember this is my blog and who gives a flying fuck if I smoke now and again
36. I refer you back to #8 - insecure.
37. I know many people and am surrounded by lots of acquaintances, but have only a few really close friends. I like it like that.
38. I used to be quite close with a number of people, but something changed around the time I had my daughter
39. the friends I am close with now I really cherish as they are kick-ass people. If you are reading this, you know who you are.
40. My little sister has become a good friend, despite the fact she lives in New Jersey (asshat)
41. I frequently find myself dressing Alice in pink even though I personally only wear mainly black. Don't know how that happened.
42. I am now officially missing the end of America's Next Top Model to finish this
43. My husband can really get on my nerves and I on his.
44. We can bicker like nobody else
45. Apparently, though, we still love each other. No worries, friends!
46. I am 5'8"
47. I am the shortest in my family.
48. My favourite snacks are anything that involves sour cream.
49. When I was pregnant I almost ate an entire tub of sour cream by myself. and it was goooooood.
50. good god I am only at #50
51. at the start of my career I worked for two big assholes, in companies that are notorious for being horrible places to work.
52. That experience truly affected how I now deal with work relationships. For the better.
53. I learned to always say thank you and to give credit where it was due.
53. I also learned the finer points of the television distribution industry, which has helped me in my current job
53. I am now a Partner in my own company and have a great business partner with whom I love working.
53. I can honestly say that I love my job (for the most part).
54. I got "let go" in Girl Guides when I was 11.
55. Apparently, I had a problem with tying knots, had a bad attitude. and never had my uniform on correctly.
56. Being asked to leave Girl Guides goes over really well with your Catholic parents.
57. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, which pretty much equally fucked me up and did me a ton of good at the same time.
58. I also got into trouble there for never wearing my uniform correctly. (Puhleeeeaaase - only white t-shirts under white blouses and NO kilt above the knee?)
59. My mom helped me shorten my kilt herself.
60. She also went to Catholic girls school and was a child of the 60s, so she knew the way of the mini-kilt.
61. That might have been the only thing my mom and I agreed on in high school.
62. We fought a lot. I gave her a really hard time. She said she used to bite her tongue the minute I entered the room.
63. We got much closer when I moved out at 19, and had her granddaughter at 29.
64. I know that karma's a bitch, and I expect the same from Alice
65. I love to scare the carp out of myself with scary movies but then am afraid to sleep afterwards
66. I am on Celexa for my generalised anxiety disorder.(GAD)
67. When the doctor told me she thought I had GAD, I said "but isn't that what all moms have???"
68. I still struggle with my decision to be on these meds, and I am sure at one point soon will want to come off
69. I can have bad panic attacks in lines, mainly at the bank and at grocery stores.
70. Once I had such a bad panic attack in Zellers and I was with Alice. I started looking around for people I could approach to look after her if I totally passed out.
71. That's when I knew I really needed help - when I was looking for strangers to watch my child
72. After I found out I had GAD, it turns out my father had carried around a bottle of Valium for mnay years for the same problem.
73. My family is loud and agressive and in your face.
74. They are also totally lovable and I will take on anyone who says otherwise.
75. Did I mention I'm a bit protective?
76. Matt and I have started to talk about the possibility of a sibling for Alice
77. The thought of doing it all again (delivery and the first year) scares the shit outta me. I'm much happier with this stage.
78. I want Alice to have the benefit of having a brother or sister, but I don't know if we will ever be ready.
79. I sometimes wake up with horrifying dreams of Alice being killed in some horrible way.
80. And then I can't get back to sleep and I end up watching reruns of Roseanne late at night
81. I am an avid book reader, and usually have about 3 books on the go at once.
82. Once when I was working at a crappy retail store in university, I closed the shop at 11AM and spent the rest of the day in the store's creepy basement finishing THE ENGLISH PATIENT.
83. I once enacted an elaborate revenge plot against an asshole who I kinda-sorta didn't-date-but-shared-his-bed in unversity for a few months.
84. It was so successful that my desire for my revenge actually scared me and I had to end the plan.
85. Just to be clear: there was no physical harm involved in this revenge. Just some job and reputation loss.
86. On his end, not mine
87. I can't believe I am almost at 100!
88. I love cats, but Matt is allergic
89. We are getting mice, however, due to our close proximity to a restaurant strip. And getting a cat will be the only thing that stops them for good. Ahem, Matt.
90. I hate mouse traps, but we have been using them
91. I am fairly new to the blogging world, having just started in September of this year
92. To be honest, I was blown away by both the quality of the entries and scope of the blogging friendship network.
93. Once, I was on the same plane as the Beastie Boys
94. Good lord, this is my big claim to fame. A lot of you have already heard that.
95. But can I just say once more how cute I think Ad-Rock is?
96. I also have a giant crush on Joaquin Phoenix.
97. and my husband. Yes I still have a crush on Matt. As long as he shaves.
98. I once was a girl who went to indie rock shows and drooled over guitar boys and ended the night with nachos at Sneaky Dees
99. Now I'm a girl who goes to craft shows and drools over the my new dvd portable player and ends the night with camomile tea and LOST.
100. I wouldn't change a thing. (welllll....maybe a few things. But not the important stuff)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

a windy Sunday

It's one of those days here that is windy and warm(er, for November in Toronto). Alice and I spent yesterday morning raking up leaves and jumping in them, only to look out our back window to see the lawn completely covered in leaves again. The wind is so fierce at times that it looks like it is snowing, but that's only the leaves falling.

A day for stew and homemade cookies and movies and books. Well, we'll see if we can get to at least one of those things!

I have discovered a great new TIME CONSUMING activity for Alice (note that TIME CONSUMING is in capital letters, as I think my new job in life is to find activities which take up Alice's TIME so I can have some TIME to do my own things too). During our weekly visit to the library I found a Robert Munsch CD that has quickly become a part of my new TIME CONSUMING plan. Alice already owns about 5 of the stories that are on that CD, and she loves to lie on the floor and "read" each book along with Munsch's telling of it. It's amazing! It's awesome! It's a great new idea...(uhh...wait a minute...didn't we use to do the same thing as kids, but with records and stories that had Tinkerbell ringing her bells to turn the page?) Alice will spend up to an hour lying there listening to stories and turning the pages and I will spend the same time reading the paper or catching up on Coronation Street (which is OH MY GOD amazing right now).

Anyway, to any of you with preschoolers, I just thought I share the tip. But maybe you already thought of this great idea yourself and maybe I just sing my body electric too much.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

my new favourite moment

Just now. Matt, Alice & I shaking our booties to Missy Eliot's "Pass That Dutch." Yes people, I not only let my child listen to those lyrics but laugh my ass off when she jumps around to it. And says "this is a fast one, mommy!"

Remember this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

my year of anxiety. part one.

A recent post of Scarbie Doll's has me thinking about motherhood and anxiety and all things in between. This past year has been a rollercoaster of panic attacks for me, and it's only now that I can see some light at the end. I was actually diagnosed with GAD recently (generalised anxiety disorder) and most of it (I am convinced) was triggered by the birth of my daughter. Or maybe it was always there, waiting to appear. But in any case, my anxiety issues are definitely tied up with my mothering, and it's difficult to see the two as separate.

But maybe I should start at the beginning. Back to when Alice was born, and start the story there. So here's the short of the long:

I have always been a worrier. Maybe not more than most, but still I had my share of worrying prior to having a baby. But the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy were surprisingly fairly worry-free. Until I had my first ultrasound at 20 weeks, where they found a large cyst on my left ovary. Not just any fluid-filled cyst, but a good 'ole endometrioma cyst to boot. Which meant that the damn thing grew along with my pregnancy to the same size as Alice's head basically. And which also meant I had to have a c-section instead of a vaginal birth, as all parties involved (midwives, gps, OBGYNs) were concerned the cyst might burst during delivery. Needless to say, this meant the 2nd half of my pregnancy was a bit stressful, and I was pissed about having to have a section. But whatever. In the end, the c-section and the cyst were the least of my worries. Because in the end, it was the health of baby Alice after she came into this world that became a problem.

Because she was born via section, Alice had tons of fluid on her lungs and needed to be on a c-pap machine the first 5 days of her life. I wasn't able to hold her for 4 days. I could only see her through the incubator. And of course that was hell enough. Somehow we made it through those awful days of not knowing what was going to happen to her - with tubes and heart monitors going off all the time. Somehow I got my baby home and settled into our life and breastfeeding and all that stuff. And somehow I didn't actually deal with the trauma of her birth and just went along, not really feeling what had happened.

I wonder now if it's possible to have a delayed post-portum depression? Because I don't think I actually started to deal with the anxiety and worry from those early days until last year, when Alice was well past the one year old stage.

More to come...