ADHD or Mommy Overload?

A while back, I happened to catch a Dr. Oz show. Don’t worry, I’m not a regular viewer–I tend only to watch shows that go well with wine like Madmen, or the Daily Show or the Muppets… But by the end of the show I was hurling my wine glass at the TV and cursing like a trucker.


Why?  Well, you see, Dr. Oz did an entire show on adult onset ADHD. “ADHD can cause forgetfulness, irritability and procrastination, all of which can put a healthy marriage at risk. In fact, adults with ADHD are twice as likely to get divorced.”
Dr. Oz Website

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Baby surfing…

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I spy with my sunglassed eye…

So while taking baby K to his first year appointment last week, I noticed a new parenting phenom–pushing iPhones to kids as a way to offload actual parenting duties.

Now, before you think I’m getting all high and mighty, let me preface this entry by saying I’m not against technology. Nor am I against kids using it from time to time. In fact when juggling three kids alone at the local fish and chip restaurant (what the f$%k was I thinking?) I did cave and put Thomas on for the older kids so that I could finish my meal in relative peace. And for a last resort, I readily admit the iPhone has been a pure and utter Godsend.

What freaked me out about last week though was hearing this: “Honey do you want me to read a book? Or play a game on the iPad?” She might as well have been asking “Do you want to go to Grandma’s in Hamilton or jet off to Disneyworld and meet Belle and Snow White?” Continue reading

Helicopter Parenting Hell!

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School is officially over. Time to kick back, relax and enjoy the summer…ahhhh

Shit!  I’m supposed to be busy stressing over my children’s placement for class next  fall and, demanding that he move classes immediately! Why? Because, according to the mom’s on council, THAT class is a split Grade 1-2 and so far, only five Grade 2 kids have been placed in it.

The fear, so the parent council brigade tells me, is that the Grade 2 kids are going to suffer socially and academically so I’d better get on the damn phone to the principal and do something about it just as Sophie’s mom had!

The funny part is for a moment I actually almost got caught up in the momentum of the hysteria. And then I thought “what the hell????” Since when is it my job to perfectly orchestrate every little detail of my kids’ lives?  Continue reading

Top 5 signs your a 40+ mom with a baby…

5) You’re relieved to discover that Retin A is okay while breastfeeding.

4) You talk about your baby’s puke, the insanity that is your life and how you want to strangle your husband via a phone conversation vs. texting.

3) You hope other people chalk up your fatigued look to the baby and not to age!

2) Regardless of how many times you throw the baby over your head your triceps are still saggy.

1) The baby pinches your neck “waddle” while feeding (and you actually know what a waddle is because you were a huge fan of Ally McBeal in the 90s!).

Why Tiger why?

Okay, I must admit it. Being married to an Asian guy, and somewhat identifying with Kate in her sad attempts to maintain control when clearly control was nowhere to be found, I was more than a little bummed about Jon and Kate’s breakup. It was sad for the kids, yes. But more importantly, it left all those people who say “yeah, we’re dysfunctional, but isn’t everyone?” a little more uncertain. Continue reading

Dumb Ass Kid Names

If Warhol was f#$ked up, what’s to be of little Matisse and Monet?

So I’m in the library today with baby Noa, sifting through the mass of board books when I hear this woman (and I kid you not, this actually happened) say to her 2-year-old, “Monet, we have to go find Matisse and then go home.”

I thought I didn’t hear her right. I mean would someone actually torture their kids in this way?  But then, clear as a bell, I heard her address her young children as Monet and Matisse. I wondered aloud to my sister-in-law what they would name a son–Pablo? Da Vinci?  Personally, I’m going with Warhol- which I think would be a stellar first name any child would love to have (and would surely never get teased about).  Is it any wonder that kids today are getting high on air from aerosole cans and cutting when there are people in this world bestowing names on their unsuspecting offspring like Monet and Matisse?

Truly some parents should be put away for their stupidity. How are these kids ever going to be anything but freaky goth kids strung out on crystal meth?  I’m willing to bet several cans of Campbell’s soup on it.

Deadbeat New Year’s Resolutions

Well I know it’s a little late for resolutions, but I swear, I’ve been thinking about writing them since December 26th!  Anyway, I’ll skip the lame excuses and get down to business. My resolutions for 2008:

  1.  I will watch less TV (truth be told: I’m currently typing this while watching American Idol and think I may have just witnessed the next Courtney Love).
  2. I will NOT compare Noa’s good looks and charm with other toddlers (though clearly he is the cutest, smartest and funniest baby in the universe).
  3. I will attempt to take showers that last longer than three minutes.
  4. I vow to make a weekly contribution to my blog even if Noa is teething and I’m living on 2 hours of sleep a night.
  5. I will write a children’s novel about Chloe–my insanely jealous cat with bladder control issues–to toilet train children everywhere.
  6. I promise to stop breastfeeding Noa before his 26th birthday (and this coming from the woman who thought she wouldn’t last six months).
  7. I will not blast my husband or be bitchy when he attempts to be ‘helpful’ (why the f%$k would anyone one think an unneeded diaper change at 2am would make things better–are your f8$^&#ng kidding me????)
  8. I will NOT use cosmetic tools such as botox despite the fact that the first year of motherhood has added 10 years (note: excluding microdermabrasion and eye lifts).
  9. I will be on time for Noa’s play dates and Gymboree classes no matter how much he poops before he gets there.
  10. I will replace cursing in front of Noa–especially when some goddamn bastard motherf*^%er cuts me off while driving–with a much more dignified and silent middle finger.  

Allergy Schmallergy!

Sometimes it’s painfully obvious that when I make sweeping generalizations there is someone up there (woman, man, reincarnated spirit, mass of energy–whatever turns you on spiritually) just waiting to bite me in the ass.

 Case in point: allergies.

God, if I had to hear about those damn allergies again. The Western World seems to have gone HYPERallergenic. I mean you’re now officially the Devil if you try and send your kid to school with a peanut butter and jam sandwich. “It’s so freakin’ ridiculous,” I recall ranting to a neighbour. “Just a complete overreaction by the schools to cover their ass liability-wise.” I was a total eye-roller on the issue and really believed it was mommy paranoia taken to the max.

That is, until Noa had a lick of a yogurt popsicle and in 60 seconds or less proceeded to blow up–looking as if he had gone ten rounds with Ali or Tyson.  The little guy was impressive though: despite the fact that he resembled horror-flick Chuckie, he still managed to smile and laugh as I tickled his nose on the car ride to the Emergency Room. Ah yes, the big cheese in the sky was definitely sending a message loud and clear.

Now my perogative is a little different: 

KEEP YOUR F*%CKING MILK, CHEESE AND YOGURT AWAY FROM MY SON OR I’LL HUNT YOU DOWN!  

Ah yes, God works in not-so-mysterious ways…

If breastfeeding is obscene…Ten things to ban now!

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Heard about the whole facebook and breastfeeding kafuffle http://www.thestar.com/article/255628and and have got to say–bravo to the uptight right! You’ve now made eating a sin! In the spirit of this wise and well-thought-out decision, I believe pictures of the following should also be banned:

1) All 50-something, overweight hairy European men wearing Speedo racers–I mean seriously, doesn’t this make every woman want to slather themselves in anti-bacterial gel?

2) Shots of Toronto’s CN Tower–it is after all, the world’s largest phallic symbol.

3) A woman sipping a $5 coffee from that famous American chain–otherwise known as the “mother’s milk” of a generation.

4) Ultimate fighting on YouTube: I know my husband’s addicted and the homo-eroticism of all those sweaty men rolling around is simply blasphemous.

5) Donuts coated in icing sugar–as children exposed to this kind of lurid food may, later in life develop a cocaine addiction.

6) Milk in general: I mean really, doesn’t it just take you back to that obscene breast of mama?

7) Hot, cheap designer shoes on eBay–which may cause women to orgasmically cry out, “oh yeah baby!”

8) Super baggy rap star pants belted low to reveal boxers–okay, I really believe these should be banned. Why? The part I find offensive is that this rapper “trend” has lasted at least 15 years. Boys, it’s time to move on to another ridiculous look please. Perhaps, walking around with one shoe or pairing these pants with a Speedo…

9) All retractable, domed stadiums–naturally, this conjures up images of the cervix dilating during that horrible, pornographic process known as childbirth.

10) Any photos or info regarding Britney Spears (okay, she’s one mama I actually hope is NOT still breastfeeding. Think of what that milk must contain…) 

Your baby is so cute! And other lies new moms utter…

 Okay, I’ve got to admit it: saying another baby is cute is like a Nike ad–you just do it. You HAVE to say the obligatory “what a cutie” and “how many months?” even if you think the baby looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid on acid. Truth be told, most of us are thinking “cute baby, but not as cute as my baby.” It’s nature’s way of making sure you don’t pitch the kid out the window when he has a complete and utter meltdown at 3am.

9 Other Lies:

2) “I don’t know why he’s crying when he’s usually so good.”
Read: the only time the baby shuts up is when he’s chomping down on a boob or in the bath.

3) “I’ll just have half a glass of wine since I’m breastfeeding”
Truth: okay, so maybe you end up drinking 8 half glasses–so what?

4) Yeah, my husband took the baby last night to give me a break.
Reality: I screeched at my man to “take the damn baby now or else I’m jumping out the bedroom window!”

5) I think the little guy is teething
Read: the neighbours called the police because they thought we were operating a poultry slaughterhouse out of our apartment.

6) Wow, he’s got a really unique cry.
Read: thank God my baby doesn’t sound like a chicken being slaughtered.

7) You know the pediatric society now recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years old ?
Truth: you know if you stop breastfeeding, those french fries and chocolate cake you scarfed down at breakfast will go straight to your hips.

8) I religiously give my baby Vitamin D.
Fact: your baby is 10 months old and is still on the first 5ml bottle of the stuff.

9) “She just flung herself off of the bed!”
Truth: You were “resting your eyes” while your little gymnast decided to try out pillow vaulting as a new hobby.

10) “Our sex life has never been better.”

No explanation required.

The Dance of Mommydom

dreamstime_16725141.jpgPeople will tell you that when you first have a baby, a lot of your non-parent friends will drop off the radar. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact your nipples hurt for a solid three months (all those midwives and breastfeeding experts lie to get you to hang in there), or because the mama bear killer instinct leaves you so hyper-focused on meeting the 24/7 needs of this crying lump of poo, burps and pee that a sleep-deprived bitchy Dr. Jekyl takes over. It all ends badly when you reach your breaking point and scream at your skinny, well-rested  yet perpetually whiney friend: “Do you really think I give a f**k about your stupid-ass job and loser boyfriend? I was ten centimeters dialated–TEN CENTIMETERS!”

 Okay, so when you think of it this way, it’s not that surprising.

What I never expected though is the kind of Junior High “will you be my friend” mentality that grips a lot of terrified new moms. Case in point: my trip to the drug store (yes for some reason the drug store has become a kind of Shakespearean playground for my blog).

I was innocently walking around the store with baby Noa sporting my latest insanely expensive purchase–a comfy but butt-ugly baby carrier that actually ADDS rolls of back fat. I passed a thrirty-something mom pushing her 4-month-old baby around in a top-of-the-line stroller. We exchanged obligatory smiles as  I continue on my way to the junk food aisle (sure, it’s the carrier that’s causing my back to look flabby).

After picking up and subsequently putting down about four different boxes of cookies, I switch tactics and head for the healthier dairy section. Again our mommy worlds collide. She smiles shyly at baby Noa. “He’s so cute,” she says in a tone that suggests she’s only saying this so I’ll comment on her stroller candy.

“So is she,” I respond taking her cue. There’s an awkward yet familiar pause…Ah yes, it’s like that uneasy feeling I used to get at nightclubs when some guy I had no interest in would buy me a drink. I’d politely stand there and answer his chit-chatty questions as I tried to down the beer as quickly as possible before making like Cinderella at the ball and fleeing.  Unfortunately now, there’s not even a drink in my hand (though it is possible that the Musac version of “Groove is in the Heart” is playing over the loudspeaker) and there is most certainly no dry ice to fog up that look of desperation. Instead it’s there for me to see in the fullness of the flourescent lighting.

“So, do you know anything about the Early Years Centre around here?” she says nervously.

God, can’t she come up with a more original line than that? I mean really, she might as well ask me if I’m from “around here.” Fortunately, though,  the question also provides me with the out I’m looking for. “Sorry, I don’t, I’m afraid I live in the southern district and the centre for this area is different.”

The hope that had lit her eyes quickly burns out. Like a slot machine searching for the right combination of cherries and dollar signs to claim even the smallest of wins, I can see her mind sorting through the different ways she might be able to connect with me. But I’m not into the instant gratification of slot machines. Instead, I prefer the gradual  comraderie that develops over a couple of hours sitting at a blackjack table.

And while she seems nice enough, truth is, I barely have time to brush my teeth in the morning, let alone befriend this new mom–this complete stranger–in the drug store. Her internal wheels are still spinning when I decide to cut and run.

“Well, I’d better go–it looks like rain,” I say cheerfully. “Nice to meet you.” God, please don’t ask for my number. Is it inappropriate to give another mom a fake number?  I had no problem doing it in my clubbing days.

“Yeah, I’ll talk to you later–” she says nervously. “Uh…I mean maybe I’ll see you around.”

“I’m sure you will,” I reassure her. I want to tell her it’s me, not her and that there are plenty of perfectly nice, somewhat lonely new moms out there who would cherish her friendship. My dancecard, though, is already jammed packed–with my Tuesday mamma’s group, work and marriage–and I’m just not looking for a new relationship.

Besides, I can be a pretty crap friend at the best of times: I’m almost always a day or two off when remembering birthdays, am perpetually late meeting my buddies for movies or dinner and still have all my completed, unsent Christmas cards from last year sitting in the top drawer of my desk (I’m thinking I might be able to wait it out and send them this year).

 All of this is meaningless, however, because I’m sure in her mind, I’ve left her standing alone at the bar with the tab.

10 Signs Your Baby Has Taken Over Your Life

  1. You refer to yourself as “Mommy” when you’re out on your own with friends.
  2. Your excitement over shoe sales is replaced by discounts on organic baby food.
  3. You pee your pants because between feeding, laundry, telemarketers, playing with the baby and Oprah, there just isn’t time to get to the bathroom.
  4. The baby interrupts a lusty moment and you find yourself feeding in a bustier and thong as your husband waits anxiously in the next room.
  5. The baby monitor takes precedence over your cell phone and Blackberry.
  6. You now consider baby spittle a fashion accessory.
  7. You’re still wearing maternity underwear because you’re saving to send your nine-month-old to college.
  8. You call your mate “Daddy” in bed.
  9. You turn down a wild night out bar hopping with the girls to attend a baby sign language class. 
  10. You serve a roast beef smoothie for dinner so the baby doesn’t feel left out.

Sleep Deprivation=Blogging Blahs

I’ve noticed there’s a correlation between teething and my ability to complete tasks. Just when I was getting all pumped about creating this awesome blog that would be read by thousands of moms around the globe it happened: the little guy stopped sleeping through the night.

 Yes, unfortunately, I was one of those smug moms many of you love to hate (I’d hate me too) that had a baby–at 4 months no less–that would sleep through the night. So soundly would the little guy sleep that I’d have to sneak into his room and check on him just to make sure he was still breathing.

 To make a long story short (cause I am sleep-deprived these days), teething was the day the music died.

Then once the teeth finally poked out, we were off to Japan and all bets were off–especially since we were back to sharing a room. Needless to say the trip became an all-night buffet for the little guy.

 Even a month after being back, he’s still demanding a 1a.m. last call drink.

 So to all those parents that hated me and who now have marathon power sleepers –I hate you too!

Recipe for a Good Mommies Group

I must confess: I’m not really the mommy group type. Sure I like to cook, but that’s really where Martha Stewart and I part ways. I’m not into scrap-booking, failed Grade 8 sewing and am generally turned off by all the “oohing and aaahing” over china patterns and pressed flower arrangements.

 Which is why I dropped the first mom’s group I went to like a very wet diaper. Before I get any hate mail, let me just clarify: I like doing crafty stuff (I suck at it, but that’s what makes it kind of fun). I’m even thinking about making my own baby food. But while all the women at the mom’s group seemed very nice, I couldn’t crack their veneer. They were too nice. Too happy. Too damn pleasant and perky. 

 There I was, making a baby foot print shadow box for my in-laws and I gotta say: I wasn’t feeling the love. I was tired, cranky and dammit, my nipples hurt. Sure I love the bejesus out of baby N but I was having a bad day.  Apparently, I was the only one.  Everyone around me was all smiles and hugs and “oooh that paper is just the cutest!” and “I’ve already made two scrapbooks to commemorate the first two weeks of little Janie’s life!” I left there feeling disconnected and glum: maybe mommydom wasn’t for me after all.

 But a great thing happened. My neighbour (who I didn’t know all that well) invited a couple of new moms and I over for lunch and yes, even a glass of wine (before I get more hate mail about being a deadbeat alcoholic mom, breastfeeding guru Jack Newman says it’s okay to indulge now and then). The four of us sat there, babes in arms or tucked away in a vibra chair and something amazing transpired: we dished it out straight, even though we barely knew each other.

 We all, it turns out, have moments of sheer love, panic, joy, insanity, peace and frustration over being new moms. We sat there and laughed and bitched and laughed–about sleepless nights, stupid things our mates sometimes utter, the cute little things our babies had started doing, the consistency and regularity of poop, the crying, the cooing, the hormonal up and downswings, the fact that we felt unprepared. And then we laughed some more until we realized we’d been sitting there for over four hours. All without having made one shadowbox, assembled one scrapbook page, or having decided on which ‘special guest’ we could bring in to tell us how to feed, bond and burp our babies.

Yet something was acheived that day: we all found a place where we could be our messy, complicated new mom selves without judgement and without having to accomplish any task other than to enjoy each others’ company. And now a group of six, we’ve decided to do it every week.

 It’s real, it’s raw, and I must say, it’s something I look forward to every Tuesday!

Deadbeat moms unite

Ever dropped the baby? Forgot to buckle the safety seat? Thought it was okay to give your one-year-old honey? Found out that spot on your little one’s face was frostbite?

 Welcome to the world of the deadbeat mom. Reality check:  real deadbeat moms would never own up to the fact. They’d blame other parents, the government, Children’s Aid, the liquor store worker or the high cost of smokes for their own shortcomings as mama bear.

I’m talking to all those moms who gobble up parenting books like krispy kremes. Who’ll breastfeed until age 15 if they think it’ll give their kids an edge at school. And then realize they’ve screwed it up when they poke their infant’s soft spot while strapping them in to the baby carrier.  

Yeah, like it or not it’s a fact of life: all new moms have a bit of deadbeat in them. I’m hoping this blog will help give sleep-deprived, bitchy, engorged new moms everywhere a chuckle, or at least a good burp.