Why do we judge?

First off, I’d like to apologize for my absence over the last couple weeks.  As I mentioned here, I hurt my shoulder a few weeks ago.  I eventually went to get it checked, and it appears that it is worse than I though, which has made typing more difficult than I anticipated.  Since I do tons of typing at work, I really needed to rest it at home.  I will try to be around more this week, but let me tell you, it’s way harder to with your arm in a sling than I thought it would be, haha.

Anyways, I went out for coffee this week with a girlfriend that I hadn’t seen in months.  It was so great, getting to sit with her and chat, enjoy a slice of cheesecake (yum!), and a hot drink, all without any little people yelling “Mummy!” or “I need to tell you something”.  For both of us.  Her child is the same age as mine, and we actually met when we both put our 3 month olds into baby music class.  Our kids became good friends and so did we.  One of the coolest parts of our friendship, for me, has been that I have had someone who has a child the same age as mine (they are only 2 weeks apart, actually).  Someone I could talk about all the stages and challenges with, someone who understood and sympathized with me because she was experiencing it too.

As we were talking, the subject of 3 year old tantrums came up.  We both related stories of leaving our kicking, screaming, tantrum-ing child on the floor of the grocery store and simply walking down the aisle, telling the kid to let us know when they were finished.  Of course, the kid was in sight at all times, but what else can you do?  I’ve also carried a howling flailing child out of a store over my shoulder, and experienced the looks of disgust and distain, the scowls of judgement, from other people. Don’t get me wrong, this is a rare occurrence in our family, but sometimes it happens.  It’s life.  I think that it happens to everyone.  Actually, I KNOW it does.

How do you deal with tantrums or freakouts in public? What do you do if it’s someone else’s kid?

What we talked about, and couldn’t quite wrap our heads around, was the judgement.  Why do people, especially ones with young children, glare and tsk tsk at you?  Is it that people think that it will never happen to them?  Or is it that they think that you are a bad parent?  Are their children older and they’ve forgotten just how difficult and embarrassing it can be?  I’ve been there when other people’s kids have done the drop and flop on the floor, and I always try to at least give a sympathetic smile, to let them know that they are not alone.   There are so many things that we, as parents, judge each other on, and mums are especially guilty of this, I think.  Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth or disposables, plastic or wooden toys, private or public school… The list goes on and on… Why do we do this?

As parents, we try to make the best decisions for our families.  What you do with your kids is your choice, but so is what I do with mine.  We love our kids, and are just trying to do the best that we can.  Parenting is not a race, or a competition.  We need to support each other, as much as we can.  This is a hard gig, and no one wants to do it by themselves.  Sometimes, all you need is a smile, or an “I’m sorry, I’ve been there too”.  Remember, next time it could be your kid.

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Better late than never

I wanted to join in the Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom, but life this week has been crazy, and I just never got around to writing up my party post.  I thought that it closed earlier this week, so imagine my delight at finding out that I could still jump in till the end of the day today. So here goes.

I’m Brandee, and I’m a married mother to one crazy kid ( hence the title of the blog).  He’s 3 1/2, and is the light of my life.  He is a very high energy, go go go kind of kid, but he is also funny, sweet, and kind.  I honestly had no idea that motherhood would be like this, and I am enjoying it far more than I thought possible.  Outside of being a mum, I do pole fitness and teach Groove classes.  Pole fitness has completely changed my life, my body and the way that I see both myself and others, and I write about it, and the challenges and triumphs that I experience with it from time to time.  Mostly though, I just write about my thoughts and feelings about my son and my family.  I also participate in my friend Northwest Mommy’s Monday Listicles, which is a weekly link of fun lists.  I hope that you will come and join me there too!

Now I’m off to link up and check out some new fabulous blogs.  I know it’s late, but I think that it’s better to be late to the party than not come at all.

Posted in blogging, family, fun stuff | 5 Comments

The power of girlfriends

Tonight was a tough night for me. I am currently working on putting together my own routine for my pole class, and although I feel like it is finally coming together, I have been fighting with a nagging shoulder injury for a couple of weeks. These classes are so important to me, and help me stay grounded and healthy, and I am so scared that I am going to get really hurt and not be able to do it for a while.

I have mentioned before how I think that they make me a better person, a better wife, and a better mum. This is my safe place, my place where I can go and let it all out, knowing that I am surrounded by a group of women who will love and support me no matter what. To me, that is a crazy feeling, and one that is not easily found in our every day world.

When I got hurt again tonight, my friends were there to help, and soothe, and hold a cold water bottle against my shoulder. 20 minutes later, they were cheering me on as I pushed myself to run through the routine one more time. I sometimes think that I am so lucky to belong to a place so real and pure, where there is no jealousy, no resentment, no judgement. I only wish that the “real world” could be more like my studio.

On the weekend, one of my girlfriends celebrated her birthday. When she spoke about the impact that we had all had on her life, and mentioned how she had never really been able to relate to women or had close girlfriends, heads were nodding all around the table. Somehow, this group of women have been brought together and as a group, we are learning how to support and relate to one another. I think that this is something that we could all use. Thought this, we are learning to bring this into the world with us, and spread the love to those around us.

The power of girlfriends is amazing, and one that I wish that all women could know. There is nothing more special to know that you are loved for who you are inside, nothing more, nothing less.

Posted in fitness, fun stuff, pole, rambles | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Family night at the hockey game

Last night, we took Q to his first professional hockey game.  We have an AHL team in our town, and we decided to check out a game as a family.  My husband and I have been to a few games in the past, but this was our first time going together as a family.  I wasn’t sure how much Q would like it, given that he gets scared around some loud noises, but he surprised me.  He loved the music, as I knew that he would, and when the play made it’s way to our end, he thought it was pretty cool.  We had great seats, and so we could see all the action really well, which I think helped him enjoy the game a little more.

I had come prepared, and had his LeapPad in my bag.  I ended up having to give it to him for a little while in the second period, after the horn that was blasted after our team scored scared the crap out of him.  When we first arrived, he asked for popcorn and iced tea, so my husband obliged.  He later asked for a hot dog, which both shocked and horrified me, as I am a hater of the hot dog and don’t serve them at home.  Since it was $1 hot dog night, my husband once again obliged, and picked him up a hot dog.  Q took one look at it and recoiled in horror.  I think that he liked the idea of the hot dog, but when faced with it and asked to eat it, he thought better of it. I have to admit, that made me a little happy.  😉  We also picked up some mini cupcakes from a fabulous local cupcake place out of the arena, which made me happier.  I love a good red velvet cupcake, and theirs are delicious.

At the second intermission, Q was standing along the boards watching the entertainment and the guys fixing the ice.  All of a sudden, the ice maintenance guy came over and motioned my husband to bring Q where there was no netting, near the blue line, so he could throw something over to him.  It was a game puck.  Q was thrilled, and I think that it made his whole night.

All in all, we had a fantastic evening, and will do it again, possibly tomorrow, since it is the last game of the season.  I am so happy that we have such a positive, family friendly place that is affordable for a night out.

What kinds of things do you like to do as a family?

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On the road again – kid style

We are road trippers.  Always have been, and, as such, our son has also become a road tripper.  He went on his first long drive ( not counting the hours we spent on the road trying to get him to sleep) at 3 months old.  We took a 3 hour trip to Whistler, BC for a ski holiday.  We’ve also taken him to Seattle (3 hours), Portland (6 hours), through Ontario and Michigan ( 2 days), and last year, we drove from BC to San Diego and Disneyland and back.  It took 3 days each way.  Oh, and did I mention that the kid is only 3 now?  People thought we were straight up nuts to take a not-quite-3 year old on a road trip to California.

You know what though? He loved it. So, in honour of Monday Listicles, here is my list of things I’ve learned while being on the road with a kid.

1. You do not need to have a DVD player in the car to keep a kid occupied.  We use good old fashioned books, music, and occasionally his LeapPad.  Those things got us through 6 days of driving last year.

2. If you teach your kid about the stoplight colours and what they mean, be prepared to hear things like “Boo, red light”, “Red means stop”, “Yellow means stop!”, and ” Hey Daddy, green means go”.  The joys of a 3 year old backseat driver.

3. Trying to keep a no food in the car rule doesn’t work.  Instead, I limit which foods he gets to eat in the car.  Goldfish = good.  Ice cream = not on your life, kid.

4. If you put it on, kids will listen.  I never know what kind of music the kiddo will like.  Some days he likes to rock out to some old school Van Halen or Ozzy, and other days he can dance it up to David Guetta.  We don’t listen to kids music in the car, except on those occasional days when I am trying to keep him awake after preschool.  However, even when he’s asleep, the peanut gallery occasionally pipes up from the backseat to say “I don’t like this song”.  Yes, he has opinions on the musical selections even when he is sleeping.

5.  The car is a good place to have a nap.

6.  Your car will never be clean again.  No matter how hard you try, you will always have books, toys and water cups in the backseat.  The best you can hope for is to not find smushed, soggy goldfish somewhere 2 months later.

7.  The day that you forget to send the child to the bathroom before you leave home will be the day that you will hear “I have to PEE!” from the backseat while you are hurtling down the highway at 100 kms/hour.  Between exits.

8.  My kid can spot a Starbucks or a McDonalds from a mile away.  Seriously.  If we are looking for something, like a Starbucks, we just ask eagle eyes to look for one from the backseat, and he can find one every time.  I don’t know where he learned that skill.

9.   Rest station bathrooms are even grosser when you have a kid.  At least when it was just me, I could make sure that I never touched the toilet with my hands.  The fact that some don’t have soap makes me cringe.  Thank goodness for hand sanitizer!

10.  There is immeasurable fun in stopping to play on the grass at a rest station during a long drive.  Even just kicking around a soccer ball or tossing a football for 10 minutes is enough to cheer up a grumpy kid.  Always keep something to play with in the car.

Do you go on long drives with your kids?  What are your tricks and tips?

Posted in blogging, family, fun stuff, kids, Monday Listicles, travel | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Sometimes it’s the little things

Sometimes, the littlest things can have the biggest impact.  Let me tell you a story.

A couple of nights ago, Q -man and I were at home.  I had just come down with some child-induced cold or plauge or something, and was feeling totally yucky.  I had a nose that wouldn’t stop running, a cough, and my body ached like I had been beaten by a bunch of people with bats in my sleep.  In short, I was feeling miserable.

I had been blowing my nose so much that I had gone through a box of Kleenex already, and thought that we didn’t have any in the house.  I was feeling far too yucky to drag my sorry self out to the drug store to get more.  At that point in the night, I cared so little that I switched to paper towels.  As I sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself and watching yet another video with the Q-man, I sneezed, looked around, and saw nothing to clean myself up with. “How lovely”, I thought to myself.  I asked Q to go and grab me a paper towel from the kitchen.

Off he went, and although I could hear some shuffling around in the kitchen, I just figured he was trying to rip a towel off the roll.  After a couple of minutes, I should have gotten suspicious, but in my cold-induced haze, I didn’t really think anything of it.  Q returned to the living room, with some ruffling paper noises accompanying him.  He said “I can’t get it open!”. “Oh no!” I thought, wondering what he had gotten himself into this time.  I looked over to him, and saw him holding a box of Kleenex. Brand new.  He handed it to me, and said “For you Mummy.”

I nearly cried.  That one little gesture meant so much to me, much more than his 3 year old self could understand at the time.  I was so proud of him at that moment.  Somehow he knew that Kleenex would be way nicer for me than a paper towel would be, and so he went looking and found it.

I love that kid.

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Pleasures? Yes. Guilty? No

I think that it’s important to have things that we do, or have, that make us happy. I always wonder, though, why do we feel guilty about it?  You like what you like.  Own it and enjoy it!

This week, for Monday Listicles, Miss Marina Star decided that we should talk about our guilty pleasures.  Well, I say that yes, I have pleasures, but no! they don’t make me feel guilty.  (Well, maybe just a little, but that’s a whole other issue).

Lattes – anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy a good Starbucks latte or mocha or caramel macchiato daily on occasion.  Although I have actually cut back on my trips to Starbucks, every weekend, I go with the Q man and my husband to sit and enjoy a drink and a snack.

Chocolate – I looooove some good chocolate.  Purdy’s, Callebaut, the yummy stuff.  None of that ordinary stuff for this girl.  Well, maybe sometimes, but that can be between us, ok?

Going to the spa – Really, who doesn’t love to have their muscles pummled into oblivion by a tiny spa therapist. Or have their nails painted, or goop put on their face?  Not me, that is for sure! 😉

Glee – yes, I watch it.  No, don’t laugh.  As a former choir member and ever so slight high school misfit, it somehow strikes a chord with me.  Plus, the music is fun. Don’t judge.

Books – I love them. If I could, I would probably fill an entire library by myself.  For some strange reason, I can’t walk buy a bookstore without stopping in and buying a book or four for myself or the Q man.  I have boxes of books in my closet and there are more books in the shelf than there is room for them, but I’m ok with that. Plus, I can’t give them away. I’m weird like that.

my iPad – We are  might be joined at the hip.  We travel pretty much everywhere together, and, I will admit, may have slept together a time or two.  It’s got everything I need, books, games, and access to the ‘net. Pictures, music and now a camera.  What more could a girl want?

Reality shows – no, I’m not talking about the Real Housewives series, what do you take me for here people?  I’m talking the Amazing Race, and Survivor.  So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent.  They amuse me.  Plus, I would love to be on the Amazing Race.  I think that I could kick some serious butt, except maybe when it came to those eating or height challenges.  Those might be a problem.

Tea – glorious, lovely David’s Tea.  Have you seen my stash?  I am not a tiny bit ashamed to admit that it may have grown since then too.  I may have been called a tea addict a time or two, but really, who hasn’t?

Twitter – need I say more?

Rock Band – I am the resident vocalist at our house, and can rock out Bohemian Rhapsody with the best of them.  I love belting out a good tune while my husband and son are plinking away at the guitar, drums or keyboard.  We can get quite a rocking band going here.  What? It’s fun!!!

I would love to hear about your guilty pleasures.  Do we share any in common? If so, let’s be friends.  If you send tea or chocolate, we can be friends forever.  😉

Posted in fun stuff, Monday Listicles | Tagged , | 3 Comments