March 2007

March 05


I moved all our stuff out of the Bowmanville house last week (not personally- you can hire people to do this sort of thing…people who know what they are doing, and have insurance and stuff).  It was a big job, but I am pleased to say that it went very smoothly (except fot the fact that we chose the day of the big freezing rain storm to do it!!) and with less stress than I anticipated.  Bruce’s mom came over to help, which was great seeing as I had to oversee the movers and packers and clean the house all with a small baby on my hip.  So she took the arduous task of entertaining Bronwyn while I took care of the many items on my list.  I am pleased to say that my house was not as dirty as I feared.  Bruce had already mopped under the fridge last weekend and I had spent countless hours cleaning and vacuuming in preparation of selling the house that there wasn’t much left.  Not to mention the fact that we hadn’t even been there for a month.  Anyway, that is not what this blog is about.  That is not what I am talking about at all…
While preparing the house to be taken over by the new owners we made several trips to Bowmanville.  I quickly determined that Bancroft is almost exactly half way, and that there is a McDonalds on route.  It became my goal to make it to Bancroft before 11 am so as to partake in breakfast.  I think that McDonalds should start having all-day breakfast.  Anyone agree?  So while we were inside and after I had made my mad dash to the bathroom, I had my food, and Bronwyn’s food and Bronwyn in her carrier and was trying to navigate to a table big enough to accomodate all this plus a high chair and where I could put the food down without B swiping it and throwing it to the floor, or worse putting it in her mouth, a kindly gentleman called out from his table. 
He said “that is a nice looking boy you have there”.  I replied with my standard, “thank you, but she’s a girl”.  Now at this point, most people would apologize profusely and try to cover their faux pas with some girly remark or compliment to Bronwyn’s femininity.  This man did none of those things.  He retorted with “are you sure, because he looks like a boy?”.  I don’t particularly think that Bronwyn looks like a boy, but I agree that she doesn’t quite look like a girl either (she’s a BABY), but for this man to not only disagree but imply that I am either a liar or a fool was a bit more than my usual forgiving nature could tolerate.  I promptly faked a hurt expression and sweetly inquired as to whether or not he routinely told babies that they were ugly.  He appropriately became embarrassed and turned back to his table where I overheard his wife scathingly berating him for hurting my feelings. 
I almost felt sorry for him…almost.
March 08

The Entertainer

I’m sick.  I’ve never been a good sick person before, which is why it is good that I rarely actually get sick.  I am probably not all that sick now but it is compounded by having a baby.  I realized that this is the first time I have been sick since she arrived.  When Bruce plopped her on my chest this morning and waved an (in my opinion) overly cheerful farewell, I am sure he would have been dead at my feet if I could have managed to screw my eyes open wide enough to fix him with my look of death.  Although, Bruce, if you are reading this, you have seen it so many times before, you could probably just imagine it. 
I just barely managed to haul my 10-tonne hands out from under the covers to catch her before she fell over (a feat I should enter into the Olympics for) when she snaked out a chubby little fist and grabbed my nose.  Now, please remember, the child can barely get food into her own mouth.  She has trouble grabbing large inanimate objects; but this morning she had no trouble whatsoever in making a beeline grasp at my snotty nose and weaving it effortlessly into her own mouth.  It wasn’t the fear of germs, or even the grossness of it all that propelled me out of bed, her hand under the stream of running water in less than 3 seconds that galvanized my mad dash to the bathroom sink; but, rather, the fear of having to take care of a sick baby while I too was still sick.  A powerful motivator. 
Bronwyn has been sleeping exceptionally well lately.  She is up at around 7:30 am and goes back down for a few hours at around 9am.  Sometimes she goes down even earlier.  I hoped today was one of those days.  It wasn’t.  We palyed, we ate, we played some more.  I took her on yet another tour of the house.  I carried her around until it felt like my arms would fall off.  All the while keeping up an endless stream of chatter in my nasally voice.  The first time I started talking she looked at me a little funny, but it was when I started to sing to her that she really let me know what she thought.  She was in the middle of trying to worm a mushy piece of banana from her highchair tray to her fist to her mouth.  This is one too many steps for my little Einstein, but she is persistant and eventually got all 9 pieces into her belly (she started with 10, but her progress was so slow, and I was hungry….).  As she was manoevering the slimy fruit around I started singing.  She literally stopped what she was doing, looked up increduously…and laughed.  Which was all the encouragement I needed.  We proceeded through the entire Best of Raffi CD (yes yes I can sing all the songs) with me choking out the words and Bronwyn bopping along in her seat, breakfast forgotten. 
After this impromtu concert, Bronwyn decided she would treat me to her own vocal stylings, and proceeded to keep up a string of monosyllabic, nonsensical mutterings while staring at me for affirmation of her talent.  I was mesmerized.  I didn’t know she could chatter for so long.  Every now and then she would throw in a “real” word like “hi”, “bye”, “mama”, or “doggie”.  Purely coincidental but fun to try to pick them out nonetheless.  By this time she had been awake for almost 3 hours, so with my head pounding and my nose running and my chest feeling like someone was sitting on it, I laid her in her crib with a toy and left her there to finish the show without me.  Luckily my little thespian does not nor has ever needed an audience, and within minutes was snoring gently under her quilt.
March 10

Let those who can’t…teach

I am bored.  Really bored.  Normally when I am bored to this extent I rearrange bookshelves, or clean out closets or organize my tupperware drawer.  As you might well realize though, I cannot DO any of those things (or risk Aunt Claire never finding anything again!!).  That being said, Bruce suggested I check out what there is to do in Deep River for a young mom and her baby.  Now Deep River is a great town, but the possibilities for daytime (or nightime) fun are limited.  So much so that I decided that swimming lessons were our best option.  For thsoe of you who are wondering why this last sentence is dripping with sarcasm, it is not because I do not believe in swimming lessons, I do.  So much so that I became a Red Cross Instructor and spent 5 years teaching little kids and teenagers how to swim and save lives.  Now do you see?  Why on earth would I pay money to have someone else teach my own child how to swim?  Because I am that bored. 
After explaining this very carefully to Bruce (he quickly got the irony of the lessons) and getting his approval to shell out the dough for a seemingly needless activity and a new bathing suit for me (hey I have to look better than the other moms, right?) I trudged through the slushy precipitate bundled against the cold and my cold silently fantasizing about meeting my dream friend.  We would both rush into the arena stamping the snow from our pretty boots and rubbing our hands together (unladen because her child would also be asleep being watched by her husband at home).  We would strike up a converstion and I would discover that she too was looking for a fun activity to do with her baby while her maternity leave wound down.  While we waited in line we would chat about everything and she would suggest continuing this over coffee while we giggled and conspired to let our husbands deal with the kids. 
The reality was far less appealing.  As I waited in the crowded room for my number to be called, I looked around at the hordes of over-tired children and harried parents and didn’t see one smiling face.  It was disorganized and painfully slow.  It took over an hour for me to register Bronwyn.  I arrived 15 minutes after it started and was handed number 39.  The only person I talked to was a tiny asian lady who had such a heavy accent I had to strain to understand her.  Finally I realized that she was asking me what number I had!  When I showed her my slip of paper she (what I could only assume was) cackled and gloated while waving her own number 33 in my face.  I hastily retreated to some hard plastic kiddie chairs set up along one wall where I waited and coughed into my kleenex (thereby discouragingany further attempts at conversation by the crazy asian lady). 
Here I was able to watch the instructors covertly, and assess their competency (who am I kidding, JUDGE them) in their task of teaching my baby to swim.  My conclusions?  I don’t ever remember looking or acting that young.  I thought there was an age minimum when I started of 18, but these girls looked to still be in high school.  They were chatting on their cells and gossiping about boys while they filled out receipts.  The only lady who looked over 16 was about 40 and had a permanent scowl and condescending mannerism.  If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn she was a triage nurse!  I hope I never looked or acted like that while I worked- making money by teaching children, and guarding people’s lives. 
March 12

Proud moment

I play with Brownyn in a variety of ways.  I have her sit in front of a basket of toys and let her pick some out to play with.  I make her lie on her belly and put toys in front of her so she has to reach for them.  I lay her on her back and let her grab her toes or my hair and she rocks back and forth.  I even pull her to a standing position and let her play with objects she finds on the coffee table (safe ones of course!!).  But when Bruce plays with her he does things completely different.  He throws her in the air to squeals of delight.  He showed her how to play peekaboo and now she pulls anything that covers her eyes off her head (her hat included!!).  Bruce was the one who discovered that she loves to chase me around the sofa, perched on his shoulders and waving her arms.  Today he figured out how to get Brownyn to stand on her own.  Not ALONE, on her own.  He called me down excitedly and showed off her new talent.  From a sitting position, she will grasp his fingers, then with her face the picture of concentration, brow furrowed and lips clenched, she raises her fat little bottom off the floor and inch at a time until she can straighten her legs, proudly grinning up at her astonished mother. 
What would I do without Bruce?
March 20

And that is the end of that…

Well I have been notified that my last blog was more than a week ago, but honestly, nothing has happened.  And I know that the majority of the people who read this blog do NOT want to hear about half of the mundane things I already talk about, so I thought I would spare you all a recap of “we woke up and then ate breakfast, and then played on the floor and then B took a nap while I did laundry and cleaned the kitchen and got firewood.  This preceded lunch, more playing, making dinner, watching tv and going to bed.  Yep, my life is exciting.  However….
…Today all that changed!  We were laying about in bed this morning (as per usual), and Bronwyn likes to flap her hand against things that interest her.  Lately it has been the headboard (kinda rough wrough-iron).  it makes a hollow clangy noise and she loves to hit different parts to make different noises.  Today though, instead of hitting the bars, she grabbed them and pulled herself up to a standing position.  All that practice paid off I guess, she loves to stand now, and prefers it even to sitting.  I wonder if this means she likes to look down on people?  If so, I sure hope she gets Bruce’s height genes!
March 23


I had a funky dream last night. 
It was very convoluted, but the main points were that my bonzai fig (which I have recently nursed back from the brink of death) lost all its leaves.  Bronwyn woke up this morning with 8 teeth, but all on the right side (upper and lower).  I dreamed that I was going to Sudbury for Kristie and Lisa’s weddings (I know Kris is already married!!) and was in both wedding parties.  We were travelling through the mountains (the Rockies maybe?) and Bruce and I stopped the car to go skiing on the side of the road, but there was no one to watch Bronwyn.  I said we would be late for Ben and Sarah’s wedding if we didn’t hurry.  That was when Kristie’s mom pulls up and hands me this lavender sweater and says I have to wear it for Lisa’s wedding photos.  Another tiny car arrives too with about eight bridesmaids all dressed in various purple sweaters.  We were supposed to enter some contest and we all had to wear the same colour, but my sweater was too small, and Lisa says they didn’t get into the contest in time, but they all made me where the sweater anyway.  Sarah Q shows up then with my cloak over her shoulder and tells me that she’ll watch Bronwyn because she is pregnant.  We are all standing at the top of the mountain and are watching people arrive at the top from the tow rope.  The run must be at least a kilometre long, but there was no chair lift.  The view was breathtaking and I turned to comment to Bruce about it when I see him and Ben jump into our car and take off.  So I am standing on basically a snow-covered cliff without any way to leave, surrounded by a bunch of girls all yammering at me in a very uncomfortable sweater.  My baby is crying and my husband took off with Ben without even telling me where he was going.
Any thoughts….!?
March 28

Scrapes and Springtime

Today is such a beautiful day.  Sunny, warm, no wind.  You can hear the birds singing and smell that unique spring smell.  I thought I would take the opportunity of a little sunshine to expose my little one to the wonders of nature in the springtime.  We touched trees.  We listened to birds.  We smelled pine needles.  And we watched the dogs play. 
Dude, for those of you who might not know, is our border collie.  Well, part border collie part who knows what else.  There might be some hound in him.  If you have ever heard him howl or seen him sniff out a toy or treat, you’d hardly gainsay this observation.  But Dude is also decidedly border collie.  His life’s work is to…well…work.  As soon as someone leaves the house, Dude figures it is time to start working.  He immediately rounds up the other dogs and brings a ball so that I can throw it for everyone.  When I say everyone though, I mean just him.  Sophie is too old and dignified to chase an inanimate object.  Toby, although putting up a good pretense of chasing the ball never actually touches it for fear of Dude’s wrath.  And Nevis would much rather not run anywhere but take his chances at dislodging the ball from Dude and then proudly presenting it to me like he was the one who had it all along! 
Today was no different.  I went outside, and sat Bronwyn on a blanket while I kneeled behind her and threw the proffered ball.  This went smoothly until Toby, tired of the game, attempted to sit on my lap.  Pushed aside, Bronwyn fell flat on her face quite suddenly and scraped her nose.  This did not go over well with my delicate flower, and it required no little shouting and pushing to convince Toby to leave his post, which he had, in his opinion, so cunningly appropriated to himself. 
After this incident I decided we would go in search of loftier seating arrangements.  A garden bench presented itself serendipitiously at the front of the house with a good view of the road, the side yard where the dogs like to play, and the front door.  It was also situated in a pool of springtime sunshine.  I arranged us on the bench, feeling somewhat like an invalid with Bronwyn’s blanket tucked over our legs, and waited for springtime peace to descend once again.  We watched trucks rattle past.  We saw Dude and Nevis wrestle on the grass.  We watched as Toby systematically ate a tennis ball.  We felt the warm sunshine on our faces, and watched as the wind whipped the tree branches far above our spot on the bench.
This is when Dude, seeing me just sitting there, decided to try with the ball once again.  He slunk over with the ball in his mouth, grinning like a wheedling fox in a cartoon.  He dropped the ball at my feet and gave a short bark.  Bronwyn started waving her hands frantically and saying “daw daw”.  I don’t know if it could be considered talking exactly, but I am confident she was referring to the dog.  So, with Bronwyn’s evident support, I threw the ball onto the driveway.  It was worth every minute of touching that slimy, saliva incapsulated sphere just to watch Dude in action.  Since we moved there haven’t been too many opportunities to watch Dude fetch.  He is truly a virtuoso.  He watches the ball carefully, timing whereabouts it should land, then flings himself into the air in order to grasp it at its peak.  He always lands on his feet, and sometimes barely misses trees, puddles and Nevis in his attempts to reach maximum heights.  He then trots back to me, his eyes focussed on my hand, where he places the ball and sits back on his haunches waiting for the next missile to be launched. 
Bronwyn was having a genuinely excited time watching this tireless escapade with arm-waving enthusiasm.  It never occurred to me that she was less interested in the athletic prowess of the “daw” and more in the lime green ball that remained just out of her reach.  I didn’t wait to find out what would happen if she tried to grab at Dude’s ball.  I had already witnessed a no-nonsense snap aimed at the flitatious Sophie when she sidled too near.  I hefted Bronwyn to the other knee to keep curious hands well away from salivating jaws.  Because you just never know. 

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