Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Love Letter

Dear Sam,

You're two, almost three. It's a tough age. For both of us. Lately I've been asking myself why you are such a dick so much of the time. Is it because you have a new sister who you have to share us with? Is it just "the age"? Or is it me? Do I expect too much from you? Am I too strict and need to chill out?

But today I had a bit of a realization about this boundary testing you are doing, this quest for control that you have undertaken.

Took me long enough, but here it is.

Sam, my darling boy. My sweet, funny, bright, two-almost-three-year-old . . .

The rules will always be the same. You are never allowed to bite your sister's nose or run over the cat with your bike. You must share your toys with your friends if you expect them to share with you. Hitting me will always gain you a time out. If you throw things, they will be taken away for the rest of the day. You must say please and thank you.

Your routine will always be stable. We never watch TV before breakfast. There will be meals and snacks at regular, predictable times, and for-the-love-of-my-sanity we always have quiet time after lunch so please stop telling me you don't want to!! You will wash your hands after using the toilet. You will use soap. Before bed you have a bath, brush your teeth and we read books together . . . after which I expect you to actually GO TO BED. Tomorrow we will do it all again.

The answers to certain questions will always be the same, so - omg - you can stop asking!!! Yes, that is Lucy. No, you may not jump on the bed while she is laying there. Yes, I'm making you french toast. No, the coffee table is not a Sam table so please get down off of it. No, you may not play with the nail clippers. Because you could cut yourself. No, no, no. Because, because, because.

Yes, that is wine in my glass. No, you can't have any.

But most importantly, Sam, I will always love you. No matter how often you throw your toys or don't share. No matter how many time-outs I give. No matter how impatient I get with your repetitive questions or whining refusal to cooperate. No matter how strict I may seem, or how high I set the bar for you.

No matter how many babies I have after you.

I will ALWAYS love you more than you can imagine.

And I know that you are just experimenting to discover which boundaries of your universe are absolute and which can be bent to your will. I get that. So I will try to be more patient, more understanding, more enthusiastic. I will try to remember that everything is a big deal to you, even if it is terribly mundane to me. And I will take a deep breath before losing my cool and practice saying yes more often than no.

When I'm having difficulty enjoying your company, I'll try to add to this list:

I love watching your little brain work when you're trying to figure something out.
I love the expression on your face when I've given you an answer that you know is not true. Don't worry, it's just sarcasm. You'll become very familiar with it.
I love your belly laugh.
I love when you come cuddle with me in the morning after dad leaves for work.
I love how you kiss your little sister goodnight.

You're a cool little dude, Sam. I like hanging out with you and watching the person you are growing into.

xoxox  Mum

Thursday, July 5, 2012


This was kind of fun.

When I was pregnant with Sam, we took some pics at home in lieu of having a professional photo session because they are expensive and I generally hate how I look pregnant - all bloated and puffy and whatnot. Here are a couple that I don't hate.

 23 weeks

36-ish weeks

This time we opted for the professional route because

. . . (organ notes of doom) . . .

we don't know if we'll have another baby, so we thought we should take this opportunity to preserve me in all my pregnant, bloated, puffy glory. Also, I really wanted those adorable toddler and belly pictures that I see on other peoples' blogs and FB pages - and I didn't trust David's iPhone shooting abilities to capture the moments I was hoping for.

Aside: My friends and I have come to realize that there is a generation being raised right now (our kids) whose entire childhood will be documented on the iPhone. Just snap a crappy pic and email it immediately to Nana and Papa. Text it to Grandpa. What's film?

As the sun comes out in our townhouse complex, so too do the parents of small children who have been couped up inside making their mothers crazy with repetitive questions, whiny demands for attention, and screaming refusals to cooperate. Toddlers and preschoolers trickle into the "street" with their bubble wands and road chalk, their trikes and water squirters. They play and share (and fight over toys like siblings sometimes) while the parents sit in lawn chairs and chat - and occasionally drink : ) It's wonderful.

As it happens, one of our neighbours, with a daughter very close in age to Sam, is a professional photographer. Over the past couple of years we - and the kids - have become quite chummy. We had a session with her when I was 37 weeks pregnant. The weather was lovely, Sam was in a good mood, and Cora masterfully directed me so that only one chin was ever visible in each photo.

I'm posting some of my favourite shots here with credit to (and permission from) my wonderful friend and neighbour Cora Rudy Henderson of Cora's Photography

This last one is my absolute favourite, for what I hope are obvious reasons. My (then) only baby, about to become my "first" baby sharing in nose kisses - sigh.

We were so happy with the photos Cora took that we saw her again after my "second" baby was born for a newborn/family session. Will post those separately.