Friday, 16 November 2018

Kiddo Questions: Piano

My piano is currently on the floor in the living room. It has a stand, but the stand has collapsed twice. Until I find a new one, the piano will stay on the ground. Not the most decorative arrangement, but on the plus side, Kiddo has easy access. 

Mostly, he's interested in rolling his toy cars over the keys. He's also figured out how to get the demo songs to play. Every once in a while he actually tries to play it properly. Recently, he started counting the keys from left to right. I seized the teaching moment.

Me: "This is the A-key, B, C, D, E, F, G. Then it starts again with A, B, C"

Kiddo: "Where's the H go?"

Me: "There's no H on the piano."

Kiddo: "There is."

Me: "No, there isn't."

Kiddo, banging the keys consecutively, "H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P..."

Maybe a bit too soon for piano lessons.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Beer Slushy

Everyone has their own idea about what makes for the perfect beer. Personally, I like a beer as cold as physically possible without being frozen. I would love to visit the UK one day, but I really cannot get behind the whole warm beer idea.

(Ok, technically I've been to London, but it doesn't really count. I never left the airport and didn't have a beer.)

To accomplish the perfectly-cold beer, I start by putting the glass in the freezer. Sometimes, especially if I'm dealing with recently-purchased, yet-to-be-refrigerated beer, the can/bottle goes in the freezer too. This is a delicate process. When carried out perfectly, the beer is a fraction of a degree above freezing and a light layer of slush forms on top as it's poured into the frozen glass.

If left in too long, the beer will freeze. Depending on to what extent the beer has frozen, this leads to ice chunks that make the pouring process impossible, and/or beer that explodes on opening. Historically, these were the only adverse outcomes in my personal experience.

It turns out there is a point on the spectrum between "thin layer of slush" and "too frozen to pour". It's called the beer slushy:



That's not foam on top. It's ice.

A picture taken one minute earlier would have depicted a glass entirely filled with still-expanding ice, and foamy slush spilling over the top. I didn't take that picture because I was busy trying to slurp the slush-foam as it escaped. My husband was kind enough to help, and we managed to prevent a major mess on the counter. If I'm ever hired to make a beer commercial I will attempt to recreate the effect. It looked awesome.

 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Evening Walk: The Difference a Month Makes

On as many evenings as possible, I take a walk in the 'post-supper, pre-dishes, while Hubby gives Kiddo a bath' time frame. This often means I'm still cleaning the kitchen at 9pm, but we do what we gotta do. It generally works out to be around 6pm, which can look a lot different from one month to the next...


September:


Hot, sunny, green, and wildlife all around – by "wildlife" I mean rabbits, mice and lots of people walking their dogs.


October:


Colourful, cool, and fewer people out so it's nice and quiet. I like October.


November (aka post daylight savings):


Dark. If it weren't for the flashlight on my phone I would have been walking into trees. 

Come December, this path will not only be dark by suppertime. It will also include patches of black ice. In other words, it will be a death trap (or at least an ankle-breaking trap). As much as I prefer the outdoors, I might just have to suck it up and start making use of my gym membership.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Perfect Parenting Part 2

I marvel that I've kept a little human alive for three years, and wonder how anyone survived to their eighteenth birthday before the invention of helmets, seat-belt laws, and for that matter, pillows.

After discussing some of the admirable parenting decisions I made last week, I didn't plan to revisit the subject again so soon. But today has been one of those days...

Kiddo likes to climb. Especially on the arms of the couch. He sits on them, stands on them, and jumps off them. I'm always telling him to get down (or at least sit down to reduce the distance between his head and the floor). For some time now I've had images in my mind of him diving backwards, head first, from the arm of the couch onto the hardwood floor.

Well, it turned out to be more of a back flip than a dive. I don't think he fell from full standing, but I can't be sure. I was looking the other way until motion, or something, caught the outer edges of my vision and made the hairs stand up on my neck. I turned in time to see Kiddo roll backwards over the toys scattered on the floor in his landing zone.

I was sure we were going to the ER, but after a quick cry and a hug he was pulling himself back up onto the couch and bouncing up and down. I checked his pupils, looked him over for bruises, and poked my fingers around his neck and collar bone. All seemed well. Kids really are more resilient than adults.

An hour later, while following me up the stairs, he tripped and bumped his chin on the step. His chin already has a good bruise from yesterday when he slipped (on nothing that I could see) and landed on the ride-on toddler car that happened to be tipped sideways nearby.

Kiddo is now in bed. Half an hour ago, I figured I should check that he was still breathing. As usual, he'd worked his way out from under his blankets. As moms do, I decided to cover him back up. An innocuous action, right?

Kiddo usually sleeps like a rock. But there are exceptions to every rule and this was one of them. The second I moved the blanket he startled and leaped (like really jumped) sideways...off the bed, headfirst, onto the floor. It happened so fast I hardly had time to let go of the blanket let alone catch him. Thankfully, due to some recent 2-am rolls out of bed, there happened to be a blanket and a cushion present to break his fall. Still, I'm amazed he hopped back into bed and let me cover him up without, as far as I could tell, even waking up fully.

I should mention, my husband has been out of town since yesterday afternoon. Now that I think of it, this isn't the first time Kiddo has sustained multiple bruises while Hubby was away. Possibly, he's the one who has been keeping this kid alive all along. Figures. I do ninety percent of the worrying and yet the injuries still happen on my watch.

Hubby won't be home until tomorrow night. Maybe it's a good thing Kiddo goes to daycare tomorrow.




Friday, 12 October 2018

# Perfect Parenting

It’s been a week of shining-star parenting moments for me.

Kiddo hasn't gone around with a soother during the day for a while now. About a month ago my husband and I decided it was time for Kiddo to stop using soothers at night. We totally bribed him with toys to accomplish this.

He had four soothers and traded each one for a toy. It worked well as far as Kiddo agreeing to the trade. Mainly because he really wanted these Rescue Bots. However, since he has used a soother (wubbanubs: pricey but amazing) pretty much since birth (three years of good sleep = no regrets), falling asleep without one proved difficult.

In short, I felt bad for taking away his nighttime comfort object. As a result, Kiddo got extra attention at bedtime for a few nights…and then a few more nights. Fast forward one month and we (Ok I) have created a monster. You know the kind:

-  “I need a drink of water!”

-  “I need to sit on the potty again!”

-  “Fix my blanket!”

And on and on and on. It was time to put a stop to this.

On Tuesday night, after an extra potty break and a blanket fix or two, I decided I would ignore Kiddo’s pleas for a drink of water. After all, the water cup was sitting on his dresser where he can reach it. He doesn’t need me for that. I figured he would cry and call me for a few minutes, then realise he could get the water himself and go to sleep.

That was at 8:30 pm. Two hours of crying, screaming, door pounding, and calling for Mommy later…

Thankfully my mother was visiting and able to provide moral support while I sat on the couch drinking a bottle two bottles of beer. I totally would have caved without her there to remind me that doing so would only ensure another, longer, battle of wills in the future.

At 10:45, after fifteen minutes of silence, we went in to find Kiddo asleep with his water cup balanced precariously on his pillow.

Phew.

On Wednesday morning Kiddo had a 9:00 am dentist appointment. For the first time he voluntarily opened his mouth and allowed the hygienist, and then the dentist, to get a good look at his teeth. This cooperation was, in part, due to my promise we would get doughnuts on the way home. (Don’t tell the dentist.)

At least I was able to truthfully say we’re done with the pacifiers when the dentist asked. I was totally planning to lie, had the soothers still been in use. At our last dentist appointment we got some mild flack of the ‘your kid will need braces and it will be all your fault’ variety to compliment the grave ‘it could impact his speech development’ warning from our GP.

The dentist also told us we should start flossing Kiddo’s teeth once a day as there is some crowding of his teeth (thanks to the evil soothers, naturally) that will leave him prone to cavities over the next couple of years. (Isn’t this set of teeth going to fall out anyway?) We left with some sample flossing tools—those sticks with a bit of floss attached—in a variety of bright colours.

This brings us to Thursday morning at 9 am…when I realised I’ve not only lost the sample pack of flossers, but I just sent Kiddo off to daycare without brushing his teeth.

Yeah, I’ll take that shining-star parent award now.

Other highlights of my week included the discovery that two years into owning this house, we still don’t own a garden hose. And congratulating our next-door neighbours on their two-day-old baby—all the while thinking about the fact our last interaction with them (probably a year ago) was when we complained about their dog’s 5-am barking. It occurs to me they might be avoiding us (and thinking we're dog haters).

Not only am I a perfect parent, I’m a conscientious home owner and an awesome neighbour.

Maybe now that the neighbours have a baby they’ll understand why we were so desperate for neighbourhood quiet at five in the morning…Or maybe I should bake them some cookies.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Where Babies Come From

A close friend of mine had a baby at the beginning of September. Naturally, we wanted to meet the new arrival. And, thankfully, we were between colds and other illnesses. (I’d hate to be responsible for giving a newborn her first cold.) We were able to bring Kiddo and make a family outing of it.

The last time Kiddo saw a newborn he was only eight months old himself. This time, he was much more aware of the situation and not quite sure what to make of it. I needn’t have worried he might sneeze on the baby. He was afraid to get within three feet of her.

I pulled out my phone and showed him a picture from when he was a few days old. We reminded him he used to be a little baby too:


As you can see, in the picture, Kiddo was under the bili-light wearing only a diaper. It’s not the first time he’s seen this picture, but for the first time he was much less interested in the fact he was once a tiny baby than he was suddenly curious about the visible umbilical cord. He pointed and demanded to know what that thing was hanging from his belly button.

I could think of nothing satisfying to say other than the straight up truth. I told him was called an umbilical cord and that it was how he ate when he was growing in my belly, until he was big enough to come out. Kiddo was amused by this explanation and we’ve had multiple discussions since about babies growing inside mommies’ bellies until they're too big to fit anymore.

Thankfully, as of yet, he does not seem concerned with exactly how he got out of my belly. Or how he got in there in the first place. Conversations to look forward to.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Finished Painting...Except Not

I actually finished the painted job that I set out to do two years ago. Unfortunately, it became immediately obvious that the initial goal I set for myself (the living room and entryway) was not sufficient. I thought I could stop painting where the entryway meets the hall off the kitchen. I was wrong:


If you can't tell from the picture, all the corners in my home are rounded rather than 90-degree angles. Curses to whoever dreamed that one up. They must not have had the imagination to think someone might not want to paint their entire house one colour.

Sigh. On the bright side, I overestimated the amount of paint I needed. The full can I have left might be enough to make it look like this paint job wasn't done by a blind person.

I'm not sure exactly when I will accomplish the next phase of this mission. First, I have to work on my next project, staining the bedroom end tables. It went down to 3° Celsius the other night. Summer packed up and took off seemingly overnight and since I plan to do this job in our unheated garage I have to get on it if I want to avoid freezing my ass off while attempting to apply gelatinous stain with a brush of clumped bristles—to reference previous experience.

At this rate I estimate I'll be ready to hang pictures on the walls around Christmas.