Sex in the Suburbs

I think we can all agree that the title of this particular blog is significantly less flash than “Sex in the City” but then again, so are our lives. With the movie about to hit cinemas, it is fascinating to reflect that the population of mamas I hang out with (current company included) are mildly obsessed with the show, its characters, and the soon to be movie. Moms groups and mama friends are buzzing with plans about hitting opening night. Facebook even has an application where you can discover which SITC character you are most like. It’s nothing short of a phenomenon.

Last weekend I had a speaking engagement at the Ontario Camping Association spring training session. One of my Mabel colleagues joined me. On the drive home from Toronto, she found herself bombarded with questions. You see, she is an early thirty-something single who has an apartment, is an artist, dates cute boys, has friends, and is completely accountable to herself. I had forgotten what a woman does when she doesn’t have to go home and fix the disasters that occurred in her absence. I was hungry to be reminded. So the question period began:
“what are you doing this afternoon? Oh, you might go to the park and read? What will you read…..then you might go shopping? Where do you shop? What will you buy? What is cool to wear this spring? Do you have plans for this Saturday night? Are you going out with a cute boy? Will you kiss him? Will you want him to call you tomorrow?”

Needless to say, my kind Mabel friend looked at me like I’m the idiot I so clearly am. She explained that Sex in the City is largely fictional and that just because you have the opportunity to go out all the time, you don’t actually do it. She gently reminded me to go home and enjoy my afternoon at the park, to deal with the mess, and to give the kids a cuddle from her.

So in my best Carrie Bradshaw column impersonation:

“In a world of modern women debating whether they’d rather have husbands or hot dates, Blahniks or babies, parties or playdates, manicures or mini-vans, has the time come for us all to recognize that each of us has a beautiful lawn where the grass is indeed a lovely shade of green?”

Mother’s Day

I’ve never been a big fan of the holidays that seem to have been created by greeting card companies. That all changed when I became a momma and realized I better cash in on the opportunity to have one day a year honouring me. What I like about this day is that I feel entitled to a rest, even if it doesn’t actually happen. Knowing I can pull Mother’s Day rank is powerful. Today my family managed to only once hear: “hey! whose day is this anyways??”

I always joke that the night before Mother’s Day, I put the recycling box under my bed. My crafts then won’t have too far to travel after presentation with my breakfast in bed (read: cold tea and soggy cereal). With each child averaging three crafts per Mother’s Day, I end up with a fair bit of recycling. A friend suggested that craft etiquette is to let the stuff hang around for a week or so before hitting the blue bin, so I have taken that under advisement.

After wrapping up the breakfast in bed festivities, I loaded kiddos on bikes, scooters, and double stroller and set off for the park (the far-away park). Along the way I was greeted by shouts of “I’m sure one day you will have a very restful Mother’s Day!” I would give a friendly wave and carry on. When I arrived at the park, I met a Dad there with his daughter. He asked “which of these children are not yours?” I paused….such a strange way of asking the question. Most would say “are they all yours?” I responded “uh, none….none are not mine” (ask a strange question, get a strange response). He replied “I was afraid you were going to say that”.

Afraid? Afraid of what? I wondered if I should be offended, but quickly forgave him when I noticed his daughter had a Mabel’s Label on her soccer ball (yeah, I recover easily).

Mother’s Day is now done and dusted for another year. Regardless of what ends up in the recycling, the looks on those little faces as they present their finger paintings and cheezy poems is priceless. I loved every sip of that weak cold tea. And while my five little people may scare Dads in the park, I know I have nothing to be “afraid” of at all.

Bubba (Bottle) Fairy

I had a little person turn three-years-old yesterday. She fancies herself as quite grown up and likes to put herself in the big kid category within our family unit. There are two lingering babyish things about her: her Bubba and her Choochi (soother). Other than that, she appears to be more like a four-year-old both in size and skill. Her two vices are pretty much under control – they are never seen in the public eye and limited to bedtime or long distance car travel.
Parenting experts have a lot to say about bottles and soothers. Generally, my toddlers happily head off to bed with a full bubba of milk and a sea of choochies around them. So far, we’ve had no rotting teeth or dental reconstruction. Admittedly, I have rejected much of what the experts say. Indeed, I’m a bit of a snob about it. From my perspective, most of the experts have reared one or two kids. From my high horse of having graduated from the Parenting School of Hard Knocks, my lessons have trumped a lot of what they’re preaching. Regardless, they’re probably right and all that, but some of us have to get through the day…..everyday….even those really long ones.
So my big, grown up three-year-old agreed it was time for the Bubba Fairy to come and pass along her legacy to a new baby. I was actually a little keen to get on this because the bottles she was using were those long, cheap ones that I’m quite sure have already given her cancer. My only resistance was those vague memories of my other children coming off such vices. I don’t think I would be exaggerating when reflecting on when my son gave up a baby vice – it resembled someone coming off heroine.

I knew the Bubba Fairy was going to have to bring something good. This particular child is the opposite to everything I usually raise. For her, it’s all about Barbies and Princesses. My other daughters have been heard saying things like “my Mama doesn’t like Barbie because she thinks her breasts and high-heeled feet are ridiculous”. Ooooops! Sometimes my self-censor button is out of order. I needed to bring out the big guns if we were going to successfully bid farewell to Bubba. This morning, she woke up to a Cinderella Barbie (gag) at the end of her toddler bed and was happier than a pig in poo about sacrificing her prized possession to the Bubba Fairy.

However, tonight as I tucked her in she firmly stated that she does not wish to have a visit from the Choochi Fairy anytime soon. That visit is not far off and I hate to think of what sort of present is going to be required!
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