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What’s in a name? Everything. BOOB!! You’re up now, right?!

Boob is a newish (to me) line of maternity and nursing wear from Sweden. Yep, Sweden. Those crazy Swedes have gone and named nursing clothes Boob.


In name and in nature.

I managed to get my paws on some of their duds and they’re awesome. Pants stay up. In front and in back. Shirts don’t touch where they shouldn’t. In front or in back. And everything stays in its proper place. Properly. Better still, the Boobs at Boob are anything but – they know how to drop a neckline. I have a dress from their fall collection that’s lightweight AND maternity AND, dare I say, kinda hot. And I don’t use the term lightly. Cuz there’s nothing hot about a gal about to give birth in a matter of weeks. Nothin’ but hormones and tempers.

And the Boob neckline.

One thing about being knocked up – you sport a mighty fine rack. You may not always recognize it at the time, but in retrospect? Nice ‘n high ‘n perky. Even the jumbotrons. And for those of us who are somewhat, erm, challenged in that department, when we’ve got ’em, we like to flaunt ’em. And Boob gets it. Lots of other tops made for the mama-to-be like to minimize. High necks. Cheesy collars. Wussy V’s. Go deep or go home, I say. Swing out sisters! Cuz once the babe arrives it’s all downhill. In every way, boob-wise.

Or is it?

I’m pretty hard-core when it came to feeding my kids, whipping one out as and when. Was I strutting round topless? Of course not. But my feeling is, babies have the right to be fed. And if you don’t want to watch? Well, don’t look. It’s possible to be subtle. And stylish too. I was never a believer in “nursing wear”. Bras aside, o’ course. But those weird shirts that you need a degree in aeronautics to open? Pas pour moi. And those godawful frilly nightgowns? Get real. I’d rather stretch out a perfectly good shirt and look somewhat decent in the hours between the feeds then strut around town like some Victorian. One friend of mine had an incredible nursing dress. It came from Victoria’s secret. And she lost it and we’ve never seen the likes of it since.

‘Til now. The Boob nursing tops – or singlets – have these strategic slots. Spots. Openings. Hard to explain. But easy to figure out – basically you lift up one side, drop down the other and you’re locked ‘n loaded. And, again, they’re totally hot. In fact, you could wear these babies even if you’re not nursing. You wouldn’t, to be sure, but you could. Which, to a nursing mama, is nice to know.

I know I’m sounding somewhat evangelical. I swear it’s not just hormones speaking. And if it is? So what?! I have a baby due in 3 weeks, it’s my perogative. Between the hips and the hormones, it’s hard to feel anything but frumpy. Or at least it was. ‘Til I became a Boob girl.

Check out their racks: www.boobdesign.com


Anonymous said…

My friend who is normally so wise- lemme tellya a little something about minimizing (from someone who often seeks to minimize): High necks maximize not minimize! (Strange but true….low necks actually minimize.) Too bad I missed my chance to shop at boob. I will pass it on though.


May 24, 2008   No Comments


Beauty is in The Eye of The Beholder

A few weeks ago, my eldest son looked up at me and told me I was ugly.

Suddenly I flashed back 30 years, when I met my father’s then-girlfriend for the first time. I came home and told my mom all about her, stressing that while the girlfriend was much prettier, my mom was much nicer. As if that were a god thing! How could I have been so dense? And so blind? As it was, this chick wasn’t nearly as attractive as my mom. And I’m not just saying that in hindsight. (Or because she’s my mom. And there’s a family resemblance.) No, I’m saying it now because it’s true. The girlfriend’s long gone now, but memories of her tiny mouse-like face and curling-ironed hair still remain…

As does the fact that my 5-and-a-half year old thinks I’m ugly. UGLY!!!!!! I may not be a supermodel but I’ve been known to turn a head or two. And with 3 babes and 40 years under my belt I may not be at my peak but I can say with certainty that I am not, I repeat, NOT ugly.

Or at least I wasn’t…..

Maybe this is some kind of intergenerational, cosmic payback. According to my eldest, I’m a hag. What the f&ck?!?!?!?! Aren’t your children supposed to see you as the epitome of all that is good and beautiful in the whole wide world? When my second son socked him for insulting me (yeah, he does that), my bigger boy explained through his tears that I looked ugly because my skin looked a little bit green. Green!

Now I know I’m coming out of a pasty-faced winter, but I tend to be more peaches and cream…OK, white… rather than green. Hence the sunburns. If I were green…olive… I’d bronze like a goddess. Or my husband. But no, according to my five and a half year old, I was green. Ish. That said, he did watch the Wizard of Oz recently….


Perhaps. Or not. Maybe I am green. Maybe I do look the wicked witch of the west. Or maybe I’m just, gulp, getting old?

There’s been a lot of talk about aging lately. “Lately” meaning I’m the one talking about it with my people. Is that what happens when you enter your 40’s? Suddenly, I find myself checking out the surgercized chicks with more wonder than cynicism. I’ve been contemplating growing out my bangs but think that maybe now’s the time to keep ’em. That or botox. I’ve become invisible at the cheap ‘n trendy shops, yet a star in the pricey ones. All these older women keep checking me out. Or are they older at all?!? I notice that I don’t often spot people my own age in the streets and on the town….because maybe, just maybe, all those oldsters ARE my own age?


But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?


Luckily for me, my second son thinks I am all that. He likes my toes – painted or plain. Doesn’t mind me in glasses, and likes pony tails. And when I wear red. Which I never ever do, but that’s what he says. I’m thinking it’s ‘cuz Elmo is red, but I’ll take it. Anyhoo, he tells me I’m beautiful. Daily. And that he’s going to marry me when he grows up. OK, so maybe he’s the kinky one, but still. They all seem to know what they like. Or like what they know. Whatever. My biggest boy cried when I got my hair cut (“you don’t look like my mommy anymore!”) My middle one likes jewellery. The more the better. Even my 9-month baby seems to have a fetish for high heels. Literally. He sits in my cupboard and sucks on them. So the particulars and preferences obviously start young. And they tell it like it is.

Which can be a god thing too…Because I got all spiffed to go out the other night and both of my big boys looked at me like I was a movie star. They actually gasped. Told me I looked nice. Reeeeeally nice. A princess-y dress would be better, but in bad-guy, Darth Vader black, I was beautiful. It made my night. Even coming from the under-6 crowd, hearing you look good never gets old.

Unlike the rest of me….


Anonymous said…

The boys told me the other day I looked like a boy. I said, why because my hair is short and I don’t wear dresses? They said yah! Then we talked about all the girlsthey like – and well, none of them wore dresses or were girlie girls. I guess that’s something, but ihit me wear it hurts. I have always secretly thought I looked like a boy!!!

7:19 PM

Anonymous said…

time does wonders for the mind…


April 18, 2008   No Comments


Scoop on Poop

You think it’s all about Idol, right? Wrong! See, just when you think you know someone, I can still whip out a surprise or two.

I’m talking sh&t. Poo. Bowel Movements.


That said, those boys were pretty crapola last night – Chickezie and the youngster aside – but this is about real poopoos: my 2.5 year old son is toilet training himself.


It started about a month ago. Sounds like no (ahem) biggie but it was. Our eldest refused to go near a toilet until he was well past 3. And even then, it was a negotiation, a struggle, a bloody nightmare. You’d think sitting in your own sh&t would be somewhat, erm, uncomfortable. Apparently not. Puh-lease: don’t try it at home….

But I digress. This isn’t about the first-born. (Strange, but true) Back in January my baby told me he wanted to “make a poo”. I told him to crawl under the table like he usually does, but he was adamant. He wanted la toilette. Who was I to argue? I plopped him down, he plopped one out and we were off to the races.

Except we weren’t.

Seems my boy has picked up the habits of….boys. The sitting around, lounging on the can, taking your sweet-ass time kind of habits. All he needs is a paper and he’s ready for the men’s room. Have you noticed that? Boys have no issue picking up the sports section and heading to the john. They’ll even wave, stop to chat and tell you where they’re going. In public!!! Girls would never. N.E.V.E.R. They’ll wait for the comfort of their own homes. And if they must, they’ll find a hotel. Or, better still, a WC with floor to ceiling doors. In the workplace, repeat flushings, water running, even faux coughs – the ladies stay lady-like in the loo.

Not my boy. Not any boys I know. Announcements made, they saunter off, close the door (or not) and let ‘er rip. My son’s new thing is to take at least half an hour. I worry he’ll get hemorrhoids from sitting so long (unless that’s a myth.) But he will not be moved. And of course the urge to purge comes at the most inopportune moments. Bedtimes, mealtimes, ready-to-walk-out-the-door-times. So far, so good – we’ve been at home. He’s not manly enough to dump in public. Yet. (Thank god. Half an hour in a public bathroom? Pas pour moi.)

I know I should count my blessings – he wants to ditch the diaper and join the big leagues. But when you’re held back by BM’s? That’s just no fun.

Unless of course it’s your own.



Anonymous said…

glad you’re back baby.. so CLEVER.. keep it up


February 27, 2008   No Comments


Hola Punta Cana

Forgive me readers, it’s been a while. One filled with ups, downs and – oddly – airline travel. That’s right, I’ve been on vacation!

Remember back at school you’d have to write essays about your summer vacation?

Anyone? Anyone? No? (Me neither. Once you were back, you were back. Party’s over) And yet, they always seem to in movies. So, without further ado, may I present:

Ten Things I Learned on my Winter Vacation. (Part I.)

1. I learned that Charter Flights blow. Bite. Suck. And not in a good way, pervs.
I always kind of knew this, but when travelling with small children, beware the cheap ‘n cheerful charter. Or beware of other people’s children (ie. mine) who, after being in transit for nearly 12 hours due to delays on their 4-hour flight might be somewhat, erm, antsy. They might lose interest in the massive bag of books, toys and personal DVDs. They might figure out how to open the tray table. And close it. And open it. And close it. And, well, you get the picture. They might be soothed by massive lollipops but, as everyone knows, the ramifications of the sugar highs can be brutal.

2. I learned that said Charters, despite having a planeload of cranky (irate) passengers, think that by giving out crappy earphones and cheap credit vouchers, all will be OK. It won’t. Not after handing out $15 “lunch vouchers” to be spent at night when all the restaurants close. Nor by keeping the overhead lights on during the all-night flight. Nor by pushing the bloody duty-free after we all spent countless hours in the airport browsing… in duty-free shops. Nor by handing out measly $100 credit vuchers for future travel on the same airine – non-transferable to boot. Oh – and another newsflash – staffing the plane with rude teenagers doesn’t help either. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sure they were tired too – but they were being paid time-and-a-half for their trouble. We certainly weren’t.


3. I learned that sometimes weather reports calling for daily showers in the Carribbean can be correct. Even if you surf every single travel site looking for good news. When they say torrential, they mean it.

3a. Thankfully, I also learned that those daily showers only last for 10 minutes.
3b. But can strike at any time, any place.
3c. But the really deep puddles they leave behind can be almost as fun as a swimming pool. For a few minutes at least.

4. I learned that the best ways to entertain your kids is by enlisting other people’s kids. Preferably older ones. And if they have accents, even better – endless amusement for everyone.

5. I learned that is really is possible to drown in a mater of minutes, in less than a foot of water. NOT THAT ANYONE DID (god forbid poo poo poo). But when you watch your 2 year old get pushed into a pool, leap out of your seat, jump into the water to find him floating motionless on the top step of a mini pool and fish him out, hysterical – well, let’s just say you have a new appreciation for vigilance, paranoia, and landsports.

6. You learn to navigate buffets. Somehow, after walking through day after day and complaining about the cuisine, you manage to fill up your plate. And refill it. And maybe add a little bit more. And then you suck it back. Day after day. And pound after pound.

7. You learn that bulky strollers are RV’s. And you love them. Portable beds, baggage handlers, detention centers – these babies really can do it all, not to mention how well they clear traffic. Think big, act big and everyone’s outta your space.

8. You learn that your children are vampires-in-reverse. By day, nothing beats the joy you feel as your angels frolic by the seaside. You’re all children again, building sandcastles, and playing in the pool. How romantic it all seems: long walks on the beach holding hands, sharing fruity drinks under the palms, posing for family snapshots…Even cheesy organized drinking competitions seem sweet when you watch ’em with your little ones. It’s all so wonderful, everyone is deliriously happy, even without their regular naps and routines. Bliss by day…

And then…

The sun sets. And you learn about a new kid in town. Sprung from your loins. Sharing your room. Darkness falls. The moon rises. And with it – El Diablo. Or, even worse, Los Diablos: your very own flesh and blood who, quick to turn on you, remind you of everything you needed a vacation from: them!!!

9. I learned about how quickly we forget. No sooner had we touched down after another, erm, antsy, flight than we started dreaming up the next family vacation. We looked at pictures, reminiscing about the good times….the daytimes…

10. I learned that some of us don’t really forget. Sure, for entertainment purposes I’ve tended to accentuate the negative – that’s what creative license is all about. Let’s face it, no one wants to read about perfect getaways and happy endings. We’re all ambulance chasers, looking for the dirty bits, riveted by the nightmares, thanking the universe or god or whoever that those problems are someone else’s, and that we get to hear all about them…. Fact is, it was a fantastic trip – angels and devils notwithstanding. A family love-in. OK, once we were home for a day or so it was back to normal.

But not completely. For within days of returning from our family holiday, I was off on a trip on my own. And I’ve learned that even sitting alone at a friend’s desk, blogging and reliving certain funny-from-far moments, can be a real vacation.


Anonymous said…

Laughed out loud!

Sitting anywhere alone is a vacation! A vacation for the brain!!!!!!

Thanx for the humour!

Love, jj

10:53 AM

Anonymous said…

LOL I love your blog ! so entertaining my vacation consist of me my laptop and portable beds !


January 21, 2008   No Comments


Great Leap Forward

Before I had kids, I vowed I’d never let them watch tv. Until they were old enough to appreciate it, that is.

TV=bad. TV=fat. TV=ADD.

Until I had a baby. And then another one. Suddenly, there was a new god in town, a new kind of salvation. We called it the television. No, not just because I was home with my pvr every night. No, the tube was a godsend. A babysitter. A drug.

Need a break? TV. A rest? TV. A potential punishment? No TV.

And just when we’d finally got a handle on the TV situation, my older son asked me for a Game Cube.

A game cube? Huh? He’s 4. he barely knows his own address. What does he know from Game Cubes?

No, no, no.

Video games=bad. Video games=fat. Video games=ADD.

Until my boys were old enough, there was no way I was going to succumb.

Erm, until I did.

No, we don’t have a Game Cube. Yet.

We got a Leappad. It was a gift, and I was able to justify it. My neices loved their Leappads when they were little and look how clever and well-behaved they are. Besides, it’s basically reading. But with a stylus. And sounds. So my son was hooked. It’s essentially an interactive book, not a dreaded video game. No harm done.

And then we got a LeapFrog Word Launch. I stared at my husband in terror: A VIDEO GAME. He rubbed his hands with glee. He is, after all, a computer geek and all-round tech-whore.

He ripped open the package and the world as I knew ended. the Word Launch launched us into the video age. Imagine the sheer joy of a kid as he learns this wasn’t just TV, wasn’t just a toy – this was a toy you played on the TV. A real, live video game.

The first day we plugged it in, I fumed. I stamped my feet. I was disgusted – with myself, my husband and of course my kids. It was the end of the innocence. So long 4-year old, hello rated-T-for-teen. It was probably a matter of months before he slunk off to the mall, pants below his crack. God help us all.

But then a funny thing happened – and by funny, I mean funny for us: we plugged the thing in and it asked us….I mean, my son…to spell a word. And the word was “hump”. For those who know my boy, they know he’ll stop, drop and roll on dime. Humping is his thang. Always has been. (Apparently normal…) So to learn to spell it was a highlight for him. And the fact that the first word was, ahem, hump, was a highlight for me.

And then, get this – the next word was “dump”. I SWEAR! Who needs primetime when we’ve got this? Fun for the whole family! Granted, the words that followed were less thrilling – for us – but I noticed a little something. My son wanted to spell. Not that he knew it. Poor soul thought he was rebelling with his video game. Sure we had some fun spelling out dirty words – look, if given the choice, it’s hard to resist. But for the most part, it was good, clean fun. And now the guy was coming home from school wanting to word launch! Who could argue with that? No annoying characters or songs (Diego tunes aside, o’course), no muss, no fuss, no guns. This game rocked.

And despite all media evidence to the contrary, he’s learning a lot. And listening. And being, well, a good boy. Especially now that I have another “privilege” to dangle over his head.

Thank you, Leap Frog…

Imagine the harmonious house I’ll have when he asks for a Wii!


Anonymous said…

good one – you are funny. I howled outloud. You don’thave to publsih this – just a comment.

2:50 PM

Anonymous said…

guess who programmed those words in… your “all around tech whore”.. next words are “snot” and “poo”

10:44 AM

Anonymous said…

LOVE your blog, and will be back time and time again.



November 27, 2007   No Comments


Back to School Blues

Put away your whites, people, ‘cuz it’s Back to School time.

Yep, for all us North Americans, it’s the real deal new year. Doncha think? You get all sentimental about the summer. Then you reflect: too hot, too cold, too fast. Blah blah blah. Same time next year, right? All through August you lament the end of summer and now it’s here. The end, that is. But instead of looking back and waxing nostalgic, it’s really a time of looking ahead. To fall. And the rest of the year. As I said it’s Back to School time.

Despite all the ads and plans and warnings, it doesn’t hit until Labour Day. And then, poof!- it’s here. New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

For the kiddies, it’s a new grade, new teachers, new friends. For the rest of us, it’s the memory of that back-to-school feeling. It’s makes even the die-hard drop out feel new-ish: new season ( not really, but it feels like it, right?) New job/attitude (even if you’ve worked all summer, there’s a different, fresher, more serious vibe, right?) New movies (Goodbye silly boy flicks, Mr Apatow and co notwithstanding. Hello Oscar Bait. Right?) New footwear (even if it’s boiling, you’re tempted to put on your boots, right?) And of course new outifts (September mags, right?)

Everything is new new new.

Labour Day (Labor Day for our American cousins) has a certain weight to it. It’s far more momentous than any January 1st has the right to be. So I say Labout Day is the new New Year. Why not? New year’s resolutions? Do ’em in Sept. Starting a diet? Post-summer’s the perfect time to start. Quitting smoking? Hell-ooo? What better day than the one after a long, hot, smokey summer?!

So what, you may wonder, are my resolutions? Hmmmmm….To tell would be giving away too much, don’t you think? ‘Cuz resolutions aren’t really that different from wishes and I’d hate to think that if I told they wouldn’t come true.

Let’s just say…well, I’m here, right?

Besides, I’m trying to keep my own resolutions at bay. My focus is on my oldest child. For this week, anyway. My almost-4-year-old starts school tomorrow. Real school. The kind that is no longer filed under optional. It’s Junior Kindergarten – not just another program in his overprogrammed world. This one is It. The Biggie. The school he starts tomorrow will be, (hopefully, please god, poo poo poo) the one he graduates from in 9 years. Or 10. Whatever. It’s the one that’ll teach him to read. To write. And god only knows what else. For better or worse.

Yes, this Labour Day is all about Back to School. The first of many for some. And yet another slew of hopeful new beginnings for others.

Healthy. Wealthy. Wise. And working. What more could a girl ask for – for herself, her kids, her people? Aside from a few more glorious weeks of open-toe shoe that is.

Happy New Year.


Anonymous said…

mmm… oscar bait. As one literally going back to school, I just wanna know if it’s still cool to carry a pencil-case.

12:06 AM

Anonymous said…


1:01 AM

Anonymous said…

In case you have forgotten – it is the New Year – I believe some of us call is Rosh Hashana. And although I am more of an eating Jew than a religious one – I think our people have always had it spot on. September, post-summer, is a more organic time – the pagans knew it and the Jews stole their fabulous idea! It’s based on crops, farming, climate! What the hell is January 1st anyway – where did it come from? If it’s a Christian calendar – why not December 25th – or 26th? What is this 1st of Jan smack in the middle of a season with no growth!


September 3, 2007   No Comments


Blabber Chat

Boy yoy yoing…it has been ages. Sorry children. Been a wee bit preoccupied. Where to begin?Let’s start with some idle….I mean Idol talk.

The telethon – a good cause, natch, but oh so earny earnesto, no? Celebs lipsynching to the Bee Gees? Why, oh why? (foreshadowing, perhaps?) All funny men were funny, but Teri Snatcher? When will America speak and send her back to the c-list? Still, all the power to them, getting spoosrs and regular joes to pay up…and then taking all the credit Idol Gives Back? Erm, no, Idol watchers give back. Idol gave nothing. Only Ellen did. Those Idol folks really are media geniuses.

Loved Blake’s Jon Bon perf. L-o-v-e-d it. With his new ‘do he looks like Bono. Intense stare, pas de lips… Don’t get me wrong, sportsfans, he’s no Bono. But I think he’s awesome and hope he wins the whole damn thing. Read it closely – don’t think he will win, but am living in hope. Last week we said adios to Nasal Beckham Timberlake and, dare I say it, Cancer Boy Phil. (Reference should be obvo, but if it isn’t, don’t fret. It’s not cuz he has cancer, just looks like it.) So now it’s The Ladies v. Blake. And guess what next week is? DISCO. With the king of the tight white pantaloons, Mr Guilty himself, Baz Gibb…..Moment for the Brothers no longer with us. And Andy….And back to the show: Woo hoo! Can’t wait for it!

On other MOAM news, we’re no longer all about the shits at our house. Not as much as before, anyway… #1 son has made it to the toilet. That’s the good news. The bad news? We’ve had, erm, toilet traffic jams. We’re talking grid lock. Stand stills. So now we really need to move house. Who wants to share with a 3 year old who can’t wipe his own ass? Pas moi.

Gee, what a great lead in….

We are moving house! Yes, the real estate gods have been kind to us. We found our dream-for-now home – and only had two other bidders to contend with. Talk about tense. In the end, an acknowledgement of The Princess Bride won us the house…Oh, Wesley… More space, more rooms, more toilets. More house. Now we have to fluff our own.

Tell me, movers, does everyone fluff? Or just purge? Do you stay in you house or hit the road? Once the crap’s out, how do you let it back in? Or do you just start accumulating all over again? Inquiry minds wanna know. And I need to know. I won’t be a moving maven until later this summer, so let’s discuss.

Since I plan on turning from gossip rags to decor mags I’ll share some cheesy-in-a-good-way sites: www.dlisted.com, idontlikeyouinthatway.com, and of course Perez, Lainey and TMZ. Such good wastes of time and will save you big bucks on mags. Unless you double dip paper and web.

Wondering where I’m going with all this? Me too.

Erm….nowhere. Fast.

But the tribe has spoken and I had to give ’em something, so a little ramble should satisfy. For now. When the head’s elsewhere, the typing fingers follow. I’ll be back – on better form for-sure-cross-my-heart – next week. Or the week after. Stay tuned….


May 4, 2007   No Comments


Out! Damn Blog Spot

I have been trying to blog for weeks. WEEKS!

About house hunting and toilet training and, of course, American Idol. Not the hopefuls but the guests: Diana Ross as Oprah! Who knew? Lulu as Olivia Newton John! Why? And that Noone fellow… creepy or what? That cringe-worthy dancing!!! Very pedophile-y.

But instead of going on about the Vanjina scandal (He’s a herm! He’s a girl! It’s all fixed!) or singing (ahem) the praises of my fave, Blake such a talent! Such good choices! When did he become attractive?!), I’ve been forced to sit back and wait. Wait until all these subjects, and more, fade out of the collective consciousness. Or at least mine. ‘Til tomorrow.

But I digress….

Which is the point.

Why the long wait, you ask? Why indeed!

Bloody blogspot, that’s why. Wouldn’t open one day. Wouldn’t let me blog the next. And, worst of all, wouldn’t let me publish AFTER I’d written, ranted and raved.

Melinda vs. Kiki? Check. Merits of boys being able to pee outside? (Little boys, not grown men) Check. Understanding your real estate competition? Check, check,check. I’ll give you a tip: the folks with the Prada shoes and shiny BMW will outbid you. Doesn’t matter how optimistic you are. They just will.

But alas, ’twasn’t to be. None of it. Maybe that’s why blogs are becoming so passe. Not only are you, dear readers, getting sick of certain voices (hopefully not mine – is work that busy?!), but no news is, well, no news.There’s nothin coming. Not on my computer(s) anyway.

So for those who’ve asked, and yes, there’ve been a few, thank you very much, that’s where I’ve been. Cursing blogger, yelling at my computer. And now, now that I’ve FINALLY managed to open, write, and hopefully post, what do I have to say for myself? Ermmm.

A whole lotta nothin’. That’s what.

Blogging. You gotta love it….


Kerry said…

I am so glad to hear I wasn’t the only one wondering where you were!! And by the way.. in my new experiences of house hunting in Toronto… I agree. Where are the days of offering 10k LESS than the offering price? What is with this “offer 20k MORE and hope for the best…”??????? Why dont people just ask what they want? Geez.


March 26, 2007   No Comments


Fight Club

Parental playground question : who’s got it worse – mother of the victim or mother of the perp?

Poor victim. No one wants to see their child hurt. You feel awful, wishing you could absorb your child’s pain. So the victim’s mom gets righteous indignation. Not the perp’s mom. Or Dad. Or Nanny. Or whatever Guardian has to cringe as their charge taunts, teases, or beats the crap out of another small fry. After all, there is only so much you can do to, erm, train your child. Despite your best efforts, at some point, your kid’s gonna be the bad guy.

And how will that make you feel?

Complicated answer.

I remember my older babe had these “friends” who liked to push him around after school. By day, they were all pals. In fact one of them constantly referred to my son as his Best Friend. Well! With friends like these…The second those tots were released into their parent’s charges, mayhem set in. Every afternoon, like clockwork, these two little f&ckers would torture my angel. Push him, poke him, yell, scream, hit. You name it. Oddly enough, they were tiny things compared to my strapping lad. Possibly half his size. Did Napoleonic complex set in at 3? Maybe, Cuz they were like ratty little terriers.

I’d watch, loathe to get involved, as my son would tell them it was enough. He didn’t like that (his emphasis). Part of me was proud. My son chose words. Brain over brawn. Another part of me wondered why the parents of these monsters didn’t remove them, rather than issuing half-hearted warnings amid discussions of Christmas presents. And then there was the other part of me. The one I silenced. The one that secretly wished my son would realize his own strength and just wallop his tormentors once and for all.

One afternoon, as the moms stood around pretending to be pals, I noticed the kids playing one the slide. Together. Nicely. What a relief. Maybe I could make friends with these people. Maybe those boys were my son’s best friends. Maybe….Suddenly a man started yelling about the kid in the red jacket. I pretended not to notice. There were lots of kids with red jackets, right? Then the waterworks started. And they weren’t our brand. I turned to see this Dad holding my son by the hood of his coat. The look of defiance on my son’s face was all I needed to know that he’d gone from victim to perp. He looked me in the eye and told me he hit —-. When I asked why, he said he had to. Before I could respond I was being berated on all sides. He didn’t just hit —-, he kicked him in the head.

Suddenly, my child was the devil. The enemy at the schoolyard gates. I tried consoling the hysterical bully-turned-victim. I tried forcing my child to apologize, but no chance, Lance. I grabbed his hand to take him home, my face blazing with anger. But inside, I was jumping for joy. Atta boy, son! You showed those twerps. At last, he stood up for himself. Granted, he took it a little further than the pushes he’d experienced, but still… His “best friends” never bugged him again.

Yeah, I felt bad. Ish. And my son was punished. Sort of. But the fact is, that kid kind of deserved a swift kick to the head. It’s a pity that my son had to be the one to give it to him. And, yes, it did make me feel guilty. Guilty that he got caught…


February 7, 2007   1 Comment


The Gift That Keeps on Giving

It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid…

Unless you’re hitting the stores this weekend, ‘cuz ’tis the season to go shopping…


Yeah yeah yeah, I’ve heard it all – peace on earth, spirit of giving, time for family, blah blah blah. Spiritual holiday my ass – it’s all about the shops.

And hey – what’s wrong with that?

I actually don’t do Christmas. Nope, it’s That Other Holiday for me. Eight days of candles, soirees, latkes and, of course, presents. Sure eight days is better than one, but I have Christmas envy all the same. Love the lights/tree/tinsel combo. I can skip a wreath, but a stocking full of treats? Sign me up!

But alas, ’tis not to be. It’s Chanukah or bust chez nous, where the spirit of gifting is out in full force. Nephews, neices, kids and Others: those are the folks on my shopping list. Chanukah’s all about kids and the Others involved with them: teachers, nannies, etc. No husband-wife swapping… Oops! I mean husband-wife GIFT swapping. Not for a lack of trying on my part, but after several years of fighting it, I’ve succumbed, and now Chanukah is just about the kids. OK. Having kids helped.

The big question is, of course, what to buy. And that’s why god created gift cards. I mean really, is there anything better than a gift card? Sure I like to unwrap the big boxes as much as the next gal…Hell, I don’t even mind wrapping them. My mother had a wrapping cupboard – not a Candy Spelling full on room, but a cupboard. And it was awesome. Name your colour, your style, your ribbon – she had it all. I tried to recreate my own giftwrapping cupboard, but it’s turned into a regift space, the only wrapping is old gift bags and stolen tissue paper, ready to be reused.

But back to the gift cards. They’re not for everyone. A young child is still innocent enough to appreciate a toy. And toys for the little ones are still cheap enough to buy. Besides, who doesn’t love roaming the aisles of the toy stores? Sure it’s a pain in the ass in theory, but in practise? Suddenly, everybody’s young and happy and keen and excited. Cutting edge, retro classic, electronic wish listers – toys are fun. And of course they are – they’re toys!!! So for little folks, buying and wrapping is the way to go.

And they they turn 10. And suddenly, it’s all about the cash. No 10+ year old is going to instruct a hapless auntie on where to go and what to buy. They will, however, tell their parents. Or tell you which store they like. Saving up for a bearded gecko? Gift card. An ipod massage chair? Gift card. Jeans too expensive for anyone under 30? Gift card. Yep, for the 10 and over set it’s gift card all the way. And yes, I know cash is king, but it often ends up being spent the wrong way. So stick with the gift cards.

And Others? Sure you could go all out and buy the deluxe bath bombs or coffee mug ‘n milk frother sets. Or not. At my son’s school, the parents are banding together to give the gift of choice – a gift card to a mall. Each parent pays less than they would for an impersonal dud gift, and the teachers get to buy what they want, what they really, really want. Everybody wins!

Gift cards…they’re not just for Christmas! New baby? Gift card is the most considerate way to go. Every new mom I know spends the first few months of their baby’s life returning. Come on, people, you know it’s true. Me, I’ve been practically living on giftcards and credit notes for the past 3 years. Birthdays? Showers? Weddings? Ditto, ditto, ditto.

Don’t get all snippy now, I know how impersonal a gift card can be. But let’s be honest here -everyone thinks they have great taste. And, sadly, most people don’t. So unless the recipient is a little kid, or someone you know very very very well, or someone you want to either re-gift or cheap out on, opt for the gift that never disappoints and deck the halls. With loads of giftcards.

Fa la la la laaaaa, la la ka-ching!


Anonymous said…

Gift cards are not the fix all. I recieved one for my childs birthday. He went to the store, picked out a gift and went to pay. The card registered 0. I quickly paid for the item, I did not want to dissapoint the tyke and then went to the manager to investigate the matter further. The manager said it was empty. Maybe is was faulty suprise!Or de-magnitized by somthing etc etc etc. Do I go back to the parent who gave it??? Talk about akward. I let it go. 25 bucks will not break the bank but I am not convienced that all the gift cards in my purse are so great. I forget I have them half the time until its too late.


Dont be fooled when it comes to our poverty line paid nursery/pre school teachers “Cash is king”. The card is just a pain in the you know what. Maybe they have to pay a power bill or phone bill or credit card bill from over spending at the holiday season. The most appreciated gift is cash in an envelope. We tip waiters in foo foo restaurants more than we give to our teachers at the holiday!!! Be generous they are doing a little more than serving us a foo foo meal! They are taking care of our kids. What can be more important than that?

12:28 PM

Anonymous said…

There is a draw back to the gift card – they know how much you spent! And that can be brutal if you are a great shopper like me and get really awesome stuff cheap. A gift card looks lame unless it gets up there. It’s like the Bar Mitzvah $10 Sam’s gift certificate. It felt cheap. Believe me, a gift card upward of a C-note is divine. $50 – depending on the place (read Indigo). But $25 or less, you feel like – “what, are you too busy to consider me?” I guess it does owrk for the teens, although, as a teen I loved cash and yes, I spent it the wrong way and that’s why teens are teens. Nice to have you back.

8:16 PM

Mother of all Mavens said…

For those whose giftcards have disappeared…sounds a bit suspicious to me. I’ve one instant of that because the person gave me the wrong card (we discussed). As for the cash. yes, we spent it on the wrong things. That was then. This is now. When the parents BEG you not to give the kids cash, what can you do? As for the teathers…some deserve their weight in gold…others – lead. If that. And some think cash is cheesy – not I, of course, but some. Gift card is the answer. Besides, they can always regift it.


December 14, 2006   No Comments