No Pressure

No Pressure

Birthday parties are always a bit stressful.

Not mine of course! That usually just requires a good glass of wine.

But I digress…

Planning your kids’ parties is what I should say…

When they’re babies and toddlers you worry less about them and more about having enough food for all the friends and relatives you’ve invited. But as they get older and begin to make friends of their own and make request as to what kind of party they want, the stress level begins to rise.

As preschoolers, they’d like to invite the entire class; they want 3 flavours of cake and every game and snack imaginable…

Oh, is that just my kid?

Whatever it is as parents we do our best to make their birthdays special; giving them what they ask for as much as we possibly can. But in the long run, the stress is usually self-inflicted (when they’re young, anyway) because kids are so resilient that they can usually make fun out of anything as long as they’re with their friends.

Ummm….is that just my kid again???

So as I get ready today for my daughter’s 6th birthday party (where did the time go?) and feel the pressure rising, I have one very distinctive thought…

It will soon be over





What do you do when your child is under attack by another child?

Okay, so attack is a strong word…

But really, when you are teaching your child to respect others and follow the rules and then they come home to tell you that there is a child that picks on them or hits them or is mean to them on almost a daily or weekly basis….WHAT DO YOU DO?

When I was a kid, the choices were simple. My mother would be in the principal’s office before the morning bell rang the very next day. The principal would get an earful about not protecting her daughter, and the teacher would be drilled to the ‘Nth’ degree as to why she would let something like that happen. Then I would be required to take her down the hall or into the playground to show her the culprit and she would give them THE LOOK and that was the extra strength edition that meant “You crossed the line, kid!”

Oh yeah….my mom was that mom!

Diva girl has had run-ins with other kids since her days in daycare which is normal of course, as these little ones start to learn about respecting personal space, sharing and ‘using their words’ to express their feelings. Every incident is upsetting to her and always tugs at my heart. Now that she’s older and in school, it makes me angry and concerned when I hear that another child has hit her or bothered her in some way. Her father and I have both talked to her about choosing kids who play nicely as her friends and speaking up for herself and telling the teacher when she is feeling ‘bullied’.

The thing with my kid is….everyone wants to be her friend!

The Good, the Bad and the Bully!!!!!  (Thought I was gonna say something else, huh?)

Diva girl has always been a part of the group. Her group has always consisted of mostly boys and maybe one or two other girls. But she has always played hard and fast in the playground. The running joke in her daycare was that she needed her own incident report journal because there was never a week (and sometimes day) where myself or her father didn’t have to initial the page that detailed the accident she had while she was outside. When I’d ask her what happened, it usually started out with “I was running and…”

So she’s always played with lots of boys and they love playing with her because she can run as fast as they can and she is not afraid to climb, jump or roll as high or hard.

Sigh…doesn’t help the laundry situation, let me tell ya!

But being part of this group also leaves her a target to some aggressive behaviour and tough as she may sound, she is a very kind person and she’s not a fighter…AT ALL.  She can talk back like nobody’s business and she will not back down from an argument, but she also has not grasped the concept of defending herself from kids that forget to ‘keep their hands to themselves’. In daycare and school she has been taught to work through conflict with words and peaceful alternatives. Okay, I get that…and as her parents, we have always taught her to respect others.

But I’m her mom and when some kid walks up to her and punches her in the stomach or tries to bite  her….????

Ummm…..a hug or a high five isn’t really what’s crossed my mind.

Know what I mean?




It’s been a while and so I thought that this blog would be an update on my two crazy kids and what they’ve been up to and just how crazy I’ve been driven. Until I opened the March edition of Today’s Parent magazine!

There were 2 pieces that I am almost certain were written just for me! I tell you the editor and writers of this magazine must know me or something. The fact that this month’s edition focused on getting organized spoke to me of course, because organization is NOT one of my strong points, no matter how hard I try.

The ‘Letter from Karine’ was the first piece I read and it basically outlines how Karine Ewart  has always thought of herself as an organized person but after becoming a mother, she recognizes that what she is really good at is making lists of all the things she is going to do one day when she actually has the time!

Oh man….I actually almost yelled out ‘AMEN!’

I think I was on cloud nine for a while as I basked in the knowledge that there are other women out there who, although have good intentions, cannot get as organized as they would like.

The next article that I am pretty sure is based on my life has nothing to do with organization.

Okay, listen to the title. Seriously, once you read it you’ll know why I am taping this article to my bedroom wall….


I mean come on!!!

Has this writer met my soon to be six year old???

I was practically clutching the pages of the magazine as I read the experiences this mother (Kristine Woudstra) has had with her daughter. I used to think that Diva girl somehow became dramatic around 4 years old, but really, when I think about her personality and even the day she was born, I realize drama was always a part of her being. She is the life of the party, she is a whirlwind, a continuously moving force; the concept of relaxing to her is almost horrifying. When I’ve had enough noise and chaos, I’ll tell her to sit down for a few minutes and find something quiet to do and she looks at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language. The smallest (and I mean smallest) infraction can send her into a gigantic emotional meltdown. Her famous line (now being copied by her sister) is “Mommy, I just can’t stop crying!” This usually lasts until I tell her that if she’s that upset, she must need a nap and then as if by magic the tears are all but dried up.

Thank you Houdini…

But as dramatic as she is, just as the writer of this article says, she is a lot of fun; the one that everyone wants to know. Other parents will say “Oh she’s your daughter?” This is usually because their kids go home every day talking about her and her antics.

So, I guess I should say thank you to the staff of Today’s Parent for thinking of me when they wrote this month’s articles.

That sounds conceited doesn’t it?

Well, you guys already know I’m not perfect!



Self-doubt, it’s one of those things that can pretty much drive you crazy. As a mother it makes you cry. It makes you second guess your decisions and makes you over-analyze the ones you do make.

Was I too harsh in my punishment?

Did I really have to yell?

Maybe it was an accident…

Every day can present its own challenges and all good intentions go out the window.

I try to be patient, but there are days when patience escapes me.

I try to be calm, but I find only frustration.

I try to listen, only to see resistance at every turn.

I try to be the best mom I can be, but I often fall short of my own expectations.

But one thing motherhood has taught me is that children are so much more forgiving than adults are. Messing up is okay, because tomorrow is a new day!

Mistakes will be made. We just need to learn from them.

But on the days when you’re feeling especially bad, there is only one solution.




Do you ever notice how we project our fears onto our children? We want them to grow and experience new things, but at the same time we hold on to them and try to protect them from ‘getting hurt’. Sometimes we hold on so tight that we deprive them from learning and experiencing exactly what we thought would be good for them in the first place.


Being a parent is sometimes such balancing act.

I’ve decided to enrol Diva girl in French Immersion for grade 1 and although I know it will be a good opportunity for her, I am nervous about how she will feel since she will have to change schools. What about all her friends? Will she have problems making new ones? What if she can’t adjust? The school is further away (not five minutes away), what if something happens on the way there; on the way home…?

There’s that ‘what if’ problem again!

But you know what I realized? I was the shy kid in school. I was the kid who hated trying to make new friends. Diva girl is not like me in that sense. Yes, she does like to belong…but who doesn’t. She is definitely more outgoing than I am and people are very drawn to her. When I introduce myself to other parents whether it was at daycare or now at school, they almost always say “Ooooh you’re Diva girl’s mom! I hear about her all the time!”

There was even one parent whose twin girls named their dolls after her!

So, I’ve done my homework and made sure that the school is a good one and so is the neighbourhood. It really isn’t that far away (fifteen minutes at the most) and with a deep breath and a prayer I will be registering her for French Immersion for next year. Yikes!

It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing…..



Baby girl is a talking whirlwind now. We are having full and interesting conversations about daycare and what she ate for lunch. We can discuss the merits of watching Dora or Diego in the morning and when to wake up her sister. Okay, it’s not as sophisticated as it sounds, but I love it. Listening to her is so much fun. Everything is said in a high pitch at an even higher level and ends in a question. When you tell her it’s time to use her inside voice, she whispers every single conversation until you tell her to speak up…and boy does she ever!

But I think the cutest thing is her pronunciation of most words that start with ‘s’.

In Baby girl’s world, it is apparently silent.

“Mommy, I want ‘nack, peese!”  Translation: “…snack, please!”

“Is it ‘nowing yet Mommy?” Translation: “…snowing yet Mommy?”

“He’s ‘noring to yowd” Translation: “…snoring to loud” and she’s talking about her Daddy…not me!

How could you not be engaged in a conversation with such abundant cuteness?

I mean come on!



I am proud to say that I did NOT meet Diva girl at school today! Yay me!

I did a drive by instead!

Listen, I never said I was perfect!

I was happy to see her safe and sound standing beside a teacher waiting to go inside. So I just kept on driving.

All was good in my world…until she came home and told me that one of the kids on the bus hit her! GRRR!

Apparently when she was standing with the teacher it was because she had been crying and just finished telling her what happened. In my efforts to be discreet, I didn’t see her tears.

How could I not have seen them? I feel like the worst mom in the world right now.

But tomorrow I will be speaking with the bus driver and the school.

Unhappy mom signing off.



Soooo….tomorrow is the second week of school and I am NOT meeting Diva girl at school when she gets off the bus. I AM NOT MEETING HER. I AM NOT MEETING HER.

Okay, if I say it enough times, it should sink in by the morning and I should be fine. Sigh.

Ugh…this mom thing is hard. There is no book in the world that can prepare you for the worry, the “what ifs”, the heart stopping fear and the unending flow of tears that become a permanent part of your world once you become a mom. Can you imagine if someone passed you a manual in your early twenties that told you in great detail how you would become this mushy, emotional ball of nerves at the merest thought of anything slightly negative happening to your child? How your world stops when they are hurt or sick; or how the feeling of relief at their well-being can reduce you into a pool of water?

All you’ll ever hear is that motherhood isn’t easy.

But it is rewarding. Aside from the worrying, there is the laughter and the hugs and the wet kisses. There are the “I love you Mommy” times and the “snuggle up” times. There is the pride in their accomplishments and their growth and development. When they look back at you with a thumbs up to say they’re okay and the smiles when they’ve finally tied their own shoelace or zipped up their jacket. There is the ultimate joy of learning to ride a bike or jumping rope, when they say “Mommy, I did it!”

Ugh…isn’t this mom thing great?




Grandparents are a blessing. They are there for emergency babysitting, they provide comfort, advice (lots of advice!) and much needed support.

Children are very smart and know exactly how to play their grandparents to get the attention they crave.

Wait…this doesn’t only apply to my children, does it?

My oldest has always had a very close relationship with my mother. At times I’ve almost felt like I was competing with my mother to raise my child the way I saw fit. Is that crazy? Don’t get me wrong, my mom is the best! She’s there whenever I need her and she’ll drop anything or anyone to come when I call. But grandchildren make your parents lose their mind!!!

Wait…this doesn’t only apply to my parents, does it?

Oh come on people…don’t leave me hanging!

There are things that I could never get away with when I was a child that my mother finds so cute in my children now. My mother’s famous tag line is “Life’s too short….!”  Ha! If I did or said half the things that my kids do now when I was a kid, I would have gotten a look that could freeze the Sahara! But my kids know that all they have to do is squeeze out a few tears and make enough noise to make their grandmother say “Okay, okay, here you go…don’t cry!” Ugh!

What’s worse is that my oldest will hide behind her grandmother when she knows she’s misbehaving and make a face that says “Ha, ha, you can’t get me!”

But she’s only five….it doesn’t occur to her that Nana has to go home sometimes……

(Insert evil laugh here)



Okay, so do you remember before you had kids? I know, I know, seems like forever right? Think about those times when you’d be out, either at the mall or someone’s house and there would be that one child that wasn’t listening. As a matter of fact they were being downright rude! Remember looking at them and shaking your head and saying something like “Geez! Why doesn’t his mother or father do something?” and then the really good part: “WHEN I HAVE KIDS, THEY WILL NEVER BEHAVE LIKE THAT!” (Insert laughter here!)

Oh yes, parents everywhere you were duped into thinking that your child would be the one ‘special’ child that behaved like an angel everywhere you went! Poor fools! You thought ‘the look’ that your parents used on you would work on your own offspring?! Sigh…so did I; my friends! So… did… I!

I remember going out with my mom, and I was usually pretty well behaved. But you know how it is…every so often you try to push your boundaries. But whenever I did, my mother pushed right back! All she had to do was give me ‘the look’. You know…the one that said “You must have lost your mind, to think you could get away with that!” One of those looks, could straighten your posture, sit you down and press every wrinkle out of your best outfit! Whew!

However, this generation of beautiful, talented and independent children don’t always respond to ‘the look’. Now don’t get me wrong, my kids are pretty good. But every so often I have to remind them that there is a certain way to behave when you are in public and every so often they choose to ignore ‘the look’.  I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve only had one major public tantrum from Diva girl, who is now old enough to think again before throwing herself down on the floor. Baby girl still has her moments but it’s manageable.

I’ve worked very hard on my look. You know you have to get it just right. A little bit of “don’t even think about it” and a touch of “I will get loud right about now!” and sprinkle some “didn’t we talk about this before we left the house?”  If you get just the right combo, it can usually calm things down, before they get out of hand. But as a mother of two, I am now seasoned enough to know that it’s a fine line between manageable and full blown chaos sometimes!

I don’t know about you, but now when I do see a child misbehaving in public, instead of shaking my head, I say “Thank God it’s not my kid!”

At least not today!