Archives for category: Imperfect Kids

Skyler 3.7

…makes a forlorn little girl.

My six-year old has plans for us

We’re going camping next month and here’s what Rae has for us in the way of accommodations and recreation:

Translation:
Raeven + Hayden (her best friend) = Big Tent
Raeven + Hayden = Big Pool
Skyler + Maya + Josh + Jasmine = Big Tent
Skyler + Maya = Big Pool & Big Tent
Mommy + Daddy + Mama (her grandma) + Yehyeh (her grandpa) = Small Tent
Daddy + Mommy = Small Tent
Ante (she means Aunty) Mat and Ante Fara (mommies of some of the names above) = Small Tent

The expression on her face says it all.

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Just before all hell broke loose

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Over the hills and faraway

Dear Skyler,

I am so so proud of you.

After almost a year of trying (since to say Mommy had been seriously potty-training you would’ve been a blatant lie and embarrassing – who the hell takes a year?), you’ve finally grasped the gist of going to the potty to wee and not just to do a Number 2 and/or admire your half-naked self in the mirror and/or to turn the bathroom into a swimming pool.

For a few days now, you’ve walked around diaperless, and even partied in only your undies all of yesterday at Aunty Farrah’s barbeque. Bravo, my little trooper!

And what’s even more impressive is that you braved a totally unchartered toilet and survived your first unfamiliar, alien flush all by yourself!!! Without going bonkers!!

I’d choked with tearful pride because the noise of gushing water followed by the traumatic gurgling of preschooler-waste mixed with water draining into the Deep Blue Vortex of No-Return has undoubtedly been your biggest hurdle in our year’s journey of trying to ditch the pull-up, your preferred mode of plumbing the last 1.5 years.

But that is history! Gone! Forgotten! And hopefully never to be recycled!

Although, if I may ask one small favour of you. Tiny really.

You deserve a medal for having come so far in such a short time but please, if you don’t mind, refrain from going up to complete strangers and telling them you have no diapers on, and as if that isn’t clear enough, up-ending, skirt-a-flouncing, to drive the point home?

Thank you so much, baby.

Again, so very proud. 

Love you lots,
Mommy 

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On the drive home after a looooong day in the city today:

Me (pensively): Skyler said “chocolate” today.

Lokes (dazed): Huh?

Me: She said “chocolate” when I gave her chocolate. Usually she says “shlocklate”, remember?

Lokes: Oh…

Me: And the other day she said “watermelon.”

Lokes nods, smiling a little sadly.

Me: Right? She used to say “waterlemon”.

Lokes: Yea…

Me: Sigh…

(Pregnant pause)

Lokes: No, we’re not having another kid so you can hear “shlocklate” again.

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Two pages out of Raeven’s kindergarten memory book:

“I want 100 toys.”
“I want 100 boys.”
“I want 100 Barbies.”
“I don’t want 100 moms or crazy dads.”

“Raeven is worried
(picture of something resembling a green sand-person in the middle of swampy muddy crayon scribbles underneath).”
“Sometimes, I get worried when Mommy scolds me.”

I’m not sure what concerns me more; the damage I’ve irreparably done with my (occasional) screaming or the fact that she wants 100 boys.

Raeven graduates to 1st Grade!

There she is, my six-year old going on sixteen. Congratulations, baby doll!

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I’ve been so busy with my school work and photography that I almost forgot tomorrow is Rae’s graduation from kindergarten to first grade.

I remember my kindy graduation:

Jenn, kindy graduation

Have not graduated from anything since then.

I swear the cute outfit jinxed it.

A few of my friends from way back when have asked me since I posted the two photos of myself in my recent posts, “Wow. Why the change?”

No, they’re not being rude. They know me, these guys. They know I’ve never been a vain person, because I believe that there’s only so much time and resources one has, and as such, image has never been one of my priorities. I prefer to go after other more, shall we say, meaningful pursuits, like how to enrich my mind or my writing, to be a better parent.

Don’t be mistaken. I like looking at beautiful people. Who doesn’t? I totally grasp the concept that appearances matter and the slightly narcissistic but totally primal desire to be admired, but I’ve been one of those fortunate ones who’ve always been able to slip through the cracks of this societal pressure, managing to get by without needing to constantly watch what I eat, spend a lot of money on product or fashion. An example of my good luck is that I married a man who was 150lbs overweight (“was” as in not anymore – no, I’m not divorced, he’s just lost over 130lbs so far). He fell in love with me even when I was a good 50lbs overweight.

So, I figured I could continue to get by.

And then I had a six-year old.

Living in a country where extremes like obesity and bulimia can co-exist so comfortably within a square mile of fast-food chains, yoga studios and everything in between telling you one moment to love the shape you’re in and the next that those 10lbs can come right off if you just drink some Oolong, is a little like being Alice. You don’t know the next moment if you should get bigger or smaller, or stay the same size. If it’s confusing for a grown-up, what more a child?

A month ago, Raeven told me she didn’t want to eat because she didn’t want to be as big as me. I know, brutal but cute at the same time. I told her that it was okay to eat, as long as we eat the right foods and exercise to keep us healthy.

“Do you exercise?” she’d asked.

“Of course,” I’d managed, without even blinking. The next day, I started walking three to four miles each day and went on the South Beach diet.

That was four weeks – and 6lbs – ago.

What I’m saying is that I am losing weight and trying to look good to set an example for my kids, because like it or not, we’re the sun and the moon to them. Like it or not, at this young age, they look to us for guidance and we’re the be all and end all of all standards in their world. If Daddy swears and hits, then it’s okay for me to swear and hit. If Mommy is fat and lazy, that’s good enough for me.

Those who’ve followed my weight-loss journeys (emphasis on the plural) have known that staying motivated is my biggest challenge. I’ve always told Lokes I fail because I just don’t care enough about how I look and put no stock into what total strangers think of me when they see me lumbering by, particularly when my health is still tip-top (I go for annuals and my doc reluctantly tells me it’s a miracle). So preaching to me that I have to be healthy for kids so I can get old enough to see them get married and give me grandkids, doesn’t really hack it either.

But what my children think of me, in the midst of all the noise about health and a healthy body image? Now that matters. It really does, because what they think of me shapes – pun intended – who they are.

That’s more power than I’m willing to screw with.

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