So, are you pregnant?

Everyone wants to know if and when you are going to have a baby. The question is first asked the day you return from your honeymoon and continues to be asked until there is something growing in your uterus. As soon as that thing is out of your uterus, the questions start coming about when the next little human will be taking up residency there. We’ve all had to field the questions, particularly Mommas who are of…..ummm….let’s say advancing age. Clearly, these are the cruelest of questions for someone dealing with fertility issues.

I found that after my fourth kid, the questions stopped. It is abundantly clear in our society that if you have four, you MUST be done. Strangely, after my fifth baby the questions started up again. I suppose the theory would be that if you are going to have five, why not one or two more?

I seem to be lacking that ‘gene’ that women generally have that notifies them they are ‘done’. I muddle through some sort of non-committal answer every time. If my Mother or MIL are within earshot, they perk up hoping to hear me scream out “I’m done!”

After the week I just had I am left thinking that maybe, gene or no gene, some practical decisions need to be made. Three events occurred that turned my brain to this topic. First off, some of the results came in from a study on the siblings of children with autism. Basically, bad news all round….the numbers of siblings also getting diagnosed with autism is higher than anyone anticipated. So, since my Number One Son has autism, looks like we’ve just managed to dodge that bullet by dumb luck with the four others. Do I want to chance having to go through all of this autism stuff again? It’s exhausting enough to have gone through it once.

Next up, my baby cousin is expecting her first child. She is 10 years younger than me. Maybe I’m just getting too old! I had never considered that before, but my baby cousin is pregnant!!

Finally, a dear friend had a beautiful baby last week with some serious complications that will impact their lives forever. I am in awe of my brave friend and in love with her beautiful baby. But, it’s gonna be a hard road. Really hard. Forever.

So I’m driving home from the hospital after having a great visit with my friend and it strikes me: Maybe, just maybe I’m being a little bit greedy here.

I had never thought about it in those terms before. We always equate motherhood with selflessness, but perhaps that could be up for debate. Maybe I should be happy with what I have and start giving a good, solid, confident answer of “NEVER” the next time someone asks when number six is going to arrive. I may have to practice a few times in front of the mirror first. Even though there are options like adoption out there, the decision to retire one’s uterus is a big one, and one this Mabel Momma struggles with.

A Mabel Moment

At the Mabel office, camp season is upon us. Kim Burke runs our Camp Program and has been hitting all the camp conferences and liaising with all the Camp Directors. Her mission: getting Mabel material to camp offices and stuffed into those camper welcome packs. In case you have not heard, camps are big business and we love nothing better than doing business with folks whose goals include educating kids and providing lasting memories. It’s as though being fun and cool are job requirements. Career change anyone?

I may have already mentioned that while I’m not yet ready to send my little peeps off to sleep-away camp just yet, I did have my son participate in a fantastic hockey camp that is near to our cottage. This allowed him to stay with us, but also to participate in some camp activity while getting summer ice time. For this Momma, it was the best of both worlds.

At hockey camp I had my first Memorable Mabel Moments (MMM) with one of my children. My then five-year-old daughter and I observed the players get off the ice and spread their equipment out in a grass field beside the arena. I assumed it was an attempt to make the smell less offensive. As my daughter and I looked upon a sea of shin pads, elbow guards and helmets, she noticed that many of them were covered with Mabel’s Labels.

She turned to me and said “oh Momma, you are SO nice to give all these campers Mabel’s Labels so they don’t get their stuff all mixed up and lost”.

I accepted my compliment, and saved the hard facts about life in business until she hit the ripe old age of six!


I’ve decided to embrace Spring. The huge pile of snow is gone and we need to live in hope.

Last night the snowsuits and winter boots got packed into the depths of the basement. Good riddance. Last weekend was chock-a-block full of trips to the park, kite flying, roller blading, skateboarding, bike riding and all that other good stuff that usually puts my kids in plaster. Daddy-O dismantled the backyard ice-rink and although we flooded a few neighbourhood gardens, it allowed us to look longingly at the pool with a glimmer of hope that it will one day be in use once again.

It has been a long hard winter for us all. For me, the icing on the cake was when I looked back at the month of March and realized that between March Break, Easter holidays, and the several snow days, my kids went to school eight times in the entire month.

Now that spring is here (fingers firmly crossed) I can reflect on some of the funny winter happenings that took place in our happy home during the frosty season. On the most recent snow day I was getting the kids suited up to play in the snow. I got the three biggie kiddos geared up and sent them out to start shovelling the driveway. When I finished dressing the two little ones, we went outside to find the older siblings tobogganing……from the top of my mini-van. Yep, they were climbing on the roof and sliding right on down. They even managed to knock the licence plate off the front of the vehicle.

I contained my rage. I calmly explained about good choices and bad choices and how both have consequences. They seemed to think that the response “but it was SOOO much fun” was a suitable excuse.

With no licence plate, we were all pulled over by the police the next day. I got flustered and ended up explaining how it happened. Now the cop was looking at me like I was a law breaking citizen AND a crappy Momma!

After the officer left, I explained that the next time they toboggan off the mini-van roof, they’d all be going to jail. Winter had finally won. I had transformed into one grumpy and humourless Momma.

Bring on Spring!

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