Thursday, October 30, 2008

Educational toys

Long before I had Kali, I was of the opinion that educational toys were a crock. Is the world around us not educational? I would wonder. I'd scoff at the parents with every possible or Lea-p-f-rog toy in the children's playroom. Educational, my ass, I would say. These toys are just doing the parents' job.

And now I am a parent, and while I love my job, sometimes mommy needs to do something very important, like Check her email for hilarious forwarded jokes or Call her best friend. And now I understand the appeal of educational toys.

And so, as a service to my readers, I am pleased to present a list of...

Decemberbaby's favourite educational toys!

1. Learning laundry basket
This high-quality plastic basket with perforated sides will amuse and entertain your baby while teaching important lessons for any developmental stage. Throwing neatly folded clothes out of the basket, Junior will learn about cause and effect and will experience a variety of textures and colours. Climbing into the basket will develop baby's proprioceptive sense. More advanced children will exercise their sense of compassion when mommy turns the basket upside down on them, simulating the experience of children in captivity. Fun for all ages, the learning laundry basket is easy to clean, portable, and can double as an infant bassinet.

2. The big stone fireplace
Featuring real stone and a working flue handle, the big stone fireplace is a hit with our junior testers. The variety of shapes and textures stimulate baby's developing brain while the flue handle exercises her fine motor skills. Hear baby squeal with delight as the wind comes whooshing down the chimney and into her face! Note: rocks may be hard and/or sharp. Adult supervision recommended. Do not play with The big stone fireplace if there is already a fire in it.

3. The clothes dryer
The clothes dryer offers hours of educational fun! Baby can push the buttons, turn on and off the drum light, start and stop the dryer, and watch the clothing spin. Includes a load of clothing so that baby can fill and empty the dryer over and over again. Note: not for use as a ride. Do not put baby to sleep on top of dryer. Do not put baby IN the dryer, you nitwit.

4. Stainless steel step can
Babies love looking at themselves. With the stainless steel step can, baby can see himself from any angle. He'll enjoy pushing the pedal and making the top flip open. Best of all, when in lying-down mode, the can can't roll away because the step pedal acts as a natural kickstand. Great for encouraging baby to crawl and to pull up!

5. Sleeping bag bolster
It's soft, it's round, it rolls on the ground, it makes a squishity sound... it's a sleeping bag in a bag! Roll it back and forth - its specially designed cylindrical shape keeps it from rolling off in a different direction! Baby will love to crawl along behind this toy as it rolls. And when it's naptime, she can snuggle up to it. A fabulous travel toy!

Why yes, we did spend a few hours in the basement while I folded laundry. Why do you ask?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Further proof that I am, indeed, a mother

You know you're a mom when somebody passes you a Torah, and as you take it in your arms you immediately start to rock back and forth and make shushing noises.

You know you're a mom of an older baby when somebody passes you a Torah and you say, "hey, this feels pretty light - what are the guys always complaining about?"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We need to invent a new phrase... where's Mel?

We were at shul (synagogue) tonight for Simchas Torah. (yes, I'm on the computer on a holiday. We're working towards complete observance, but we're still probably years away from it. The internet is probably my biggest obstacle... but I digress.) There's a woman in our congregation who absolutely loves to hold Kali, always has. I've always handed Kali over promptly because I could see that "I want to cuddle a baby" longing in her eyes. I've assumed that there was a story behind that look - she has two kids, one bio and one adopted, with a huge age gap in between. How could I not wonder?

She asked me whether I'm still breastfeeding Kali and when I plan to wean. I leaned over and said, "I'll wean whenever I'm ready to go back to the fertility clinic and do this all over again." It took a minute to sink in, and then she looked at me with complete understanding. She took my hand and confessed, "I had to do that too. Secondary infertility. It didn't work." She hugged Kali tight, and looking close to tears, said, "so this is extra special for you, isn't it?"

She gets me. I figured she would.

So... this reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently. He introduced me to a new verb: "to bagel". To bagel someone is to work a reference to Jewish practice into the conversation, in the hopes that the person you are "bagelling" will meet your revelation of religious affiliation with his/her own. Hence, "bagelling" is a tool used to either identify or draw out fellow Jews.

I think this behaviour exists among us infertiles, but we don't really have a name for it. Do we? What do we call it when we drop a superfluous reference to fertility issues into the conversation so that someone else will feel comfortable talking about their struggle? What should we call it?

I'm open to suggestions. Anybody have one?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year day...


And before someone gets her panties in a knot, not, it's not because the baby is asleep and I can do things for me. Although I will go ahead and say, at the risk of being selfish, that every so often I need to evacuate bodily wastes and fuel my digestive system (not always in that order).

Most days, naptime is my favourite time of day because Kali pulls herself up, starts pawing at my shirt, and when I pick her up she immediately burrows her face into my neck. She is her most cuddly, peaceful self right before a nap. She nurses (all the while absently grabbing and releasing my clothes) and smiles and sighs and closes her eyes. Opens them. Closes them. Slurps on her right thumb, rests on my shoulder and drops off.

I love naptime. I love how it starts - with the cuddle I've just described - and I love how it ends - with her standing in the crib, arms outstretched and little tears glistening on her cheeks because she woke up and mummy wasn't there and she thought the universe was falling apart. And then mummy came back.

To Kali, I am the human version of duct tape. I hold her universe together. I'm an all-purpose solution to a myriad of problems, from sudden noises that startle her to a very full diaper to an empty tummy. Kali can use me to fix a toy, find the lost cheerio ("it was under the table, baby. You know, where you threw it."), or transport her outside. Like duct tape, I'm a tad sticky - once Kali holds onto me, she knows I won't suddenly let go. Like duct tape, I am always around here somewhere, because you never know when I might come in handy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Once again...


That is all. Now go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

apologies are so last week...

I know, I've been gone for a long time. To be honest, I feel like readership has dropped off so I figured nobody would really miss me. (except you, Dagny. I miss you too.) I mean, really, I used to be funny. Okay, funny-ish. Back when I was bitter and sarcastic and stuff. Right now? Not so bitter, not so funny, just enjoying my life. Really.

My brother's wedding was beautiful. However, taffeta is not my friend. Somebody at the wedding asked me, "so when's your due date?" !!! I repressed the urge to clobber him with my bouquet, because a) he's one of the nicest people I know, and b) that day it really wasn't about me. But yeah, I looked phat fat. I could pretend to be outraged or hurt, but I know that this belly is mostly a result of my inability to "put down the fucking fork", as is said in cynical circles.

Then we went to Seattle for a wedding. The wedding was gorgeous, we were very happy for the couple, but the trip was just not good timing for us. Too many things interrupted. And I got mastitis in Seattle and got to navigate the lovely American health care system (good thing we have insurance). And then we came back, and it was Rosh Hashanah, and then I got sick with a nasty cold, and here we are.

So really, you didn't miss anything.

Am I allowed to demonstrate my patheticness now? Is "patheticness" a word? I think not. Whatever.

Anybody else remember the last time I had a really nasty cold, nosebleeds, and a resting pulse rate over 82? Anybody? How about now?

I'm not saying I am, and I'm not saying I'm not. I'm not sure what I really think or how I really feel... but I just had to put it out there. According to murphy's law, AF will come soon and I won't have to wonder.