It seems apt that as a new year dawns, my husband and I preparing to start a new chapter by bringing a second child into our family.
I’m scared as hell.
Our son burst into our quiet life like a bomb.…A really cute, completely beloved bomb who sprayed screams for shrapnel. Owl was not what some people would call an “easy baby”, if indeed such a mythical creature does exist.
He had a bad latch and caused me a lot of pain when he nursed. Once he got the hang of it, he never let go. In fact, over two years later, he still nurses like he thinks it will be the last drink he will ever receive.
My baby books said that newborns slept most of the time, but he didn’t sleep. From early afternoon until nearly midnight, he would be awake and screaming, often for six or even eight hours in a row with no naps.
He only began sleeping through the night reliably in the last six months or so.
My husband doesn’t remember much of that first year. All he can recall is a haze of frustration and sleep deprivation. (more…)
Of all of my parenting decisions, my choice to use cloth diapers raises the most eyebrows.
People tend to treat it like an admirable but inconvenient decision that they would never seriously consider themselves, like converting your car to run on vegetable oil or biking everywhere instead of driving.
They see it as difficult, and a little weird.
This bothers me, because I think my choice is more convenient, not less.
I use a diaper service, Happy Nappy, and since they bring my diapers to my door and take them away from me on a weekly basis, you could argue that my choice is actually lazier than using disposables, since I never have to go shopping for diapers. I don’t deal with any more poop than a parent who uses disposables. In fact, since I find that disposables have a deplorable tendency to leak poop down my baby’s leg, I actually deal with more poop when he’s in disposables.
Their cost is comparable to disposables – around $25 a week – and service becomes free after you’ve been with them for 30 months, because kids usually potty train earlier in cloth diapers. So either my kid will be potty trained by 30 months, or I get free diapers. That makes it a cheaper choice, even with the convenience of a diaper service.
So here I am, making a cheaper and more convenient choice, but people respond as though I was hand-knitting my entire family’s wardrobe or something. (more…)
“Canada severs ties with Iran…
…Iranian diplomats are no longer welcome in Canada…
…Will this lead to war? Prime Minister Harper is quoted as saying…”
I’m listening to the radio as I drive from work to my son’s daycare, and it’s full of the news about Canada and Iran. Canada has withdrawn their diplomats, kicked out the Iranian diplomats, and we’re basically on the brink of war with this Middle Eastern nation. And as I drive, I think about the warm, gentle, loving people who care for my son each day.
All of them are from Iran.
There are a lot of Iranian expats in Vancouver, and I wonder what they think of this news. Are they worried for their family back in Iran? No doubt. Are they upset with Canada for causing such problems? Are they fretting about how hard this will make it for them to go home? Or are they supportive of Canada’s decision?
It must be hard to live in a country that is on the brink of war with your own.
But then, many Iranians are living in Canada for a reason. The Islamist government, political turmoil…? Most of what I know about Iran I know from reading Persepolis, so I’m sure my perceptions are out of date. I know that they don’t call themselves Iranians – they call themselves Persians, so that’s what we call them, too.
Which makes it easy to forget that they are even from Iran. (more…)
They say that Canadians are polite. It’s part of our national image. Mostly, though, it’s Americans who say it, and it makes me wonder – does it follow that Americans are ruder?
Some people seem to think so, but I don’t notice much of a difference when we cross the border.
There isn’t much of an accent difference between the province of British Columbia and the state of Washington and the geography is pretty much the same. Then someone says something casually… and I see where Canadians and Americans differ.
“Pull the car closer to the curb.”
It was spoken by our Park-and-Ride attendant. We were getting ready for our trip to Vegas and flying out of Bellingham, Washington, which is about an hour drive from our home. The attendant was a young, friendly guy who looked like Jake Gyllenhaal’s less attractive cousin. He was personable and, yes, polite through all of our interactions.
But his directions felt rude. (more…)
There’s a coffee shop next to my workplace. A mom group meets up there, and when they are in session, I have to navigate an obstacle course of strollers.
Strollers, strollers, everywhere, and if you look closely you might spot the ten pound baby nestled at the heart of each.
Before I had a baby, I always wondered why women need something the size of a shopping cart to transport a bundle the size of a loaf of bread.
Even more baffling to me were the women who choose to lug their babies around by a car seat handle. When I was in grade eleven, I was given an eight pound “baby think-it-over”, which required tending through day and night. The baby (who I dubbed Jan Sebastian and grew deeply attached to, to the dismay of my Family Studies instructor) also came with a plastic car seat.
Tucked in my arms, Jan Sebastian didn’t weigh much and was easy enough to transport. But when I tried to carry him in that plastic seat, my shoulder started to ache.
It made me wonder what I was missing – why do so many women subject themselves to this? (more…)