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Archive for February, 2011

With Kindergarten Comes a Loss of Control

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 by:

I signed my son up for kindergarten yesterday. I was overcome by the fact that this is when parenting is really going to get tough.

Sure my four-year-old sleeps through the night–most of the time. He can get dressed on his own and is not nearly the picky eater he once was. But up until now, I’ve been able to control everything from who he hangs out with to the activities he does. Once he heads to the BIG school, that control is gone.

Fights over broccoli seem to pail in comparison to befriending the school bully or becoming his subject–or, worse, becoming the bully. Kindergarten marks the transition from guardian to mentor. Once our children start school, parenting becomes more about the people our children will be and less about the basics of life.

Most of me looks forward to the next steps we’ll take together. And even though my son’s only four, I’m confident he has the skills to make smart, well-informed choices–most of the time. And, when he doesn’t hopefully I’ll be able to provide help and advice he’ll listen to.

Even Valentine’s Is All About the Kids

Monday, February 14th, 2011 by:

I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’ve always found it contrived and commercialized. Of course, if my guy happened to plan something really special for the 14th I wasn’t about to complain.

Once I had kids, however, something changed. I wouldn’t dream of ignoring my children and not getting them a little something special. I started to get into the kitschy cards and gifts. My boys and I had so much fun making valentines for everyone in their class.

But when it comes to my husband, aside from an extra morning kiss, the day held nothing different.

This year, I decided I should refocus on the meaning of Valentine’s. It’s a romantic holiday–why not make it one?

Unfortunately when I told my husband this he responded that he thought I hated Valentine’s and had already booked an important tennis game for that night. Couldn’t we just celebrate another night? I even bought him a gift (however, as of 10:00 am this morning it has still not arrived). Maybe Valentine’s day as a romantic holiday isn’t supposed to happen for me?

Still, as kids take up more and more of our adult lives I find it more important to make alone time for me and my husband whenever possible. Why shouldn’t Valentine’s take centre stage?

For this year, it seems I may have to settle for an alternative night out (or in). But next year, I plan to plan ahead and make sure I refocus on what Valentine’s is supposed to be. A time for busy couples to show each other how much they care.

Photo courtesy of anankkml

Should Strollers Be Banned?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 by:

As if being a parent wasn’t hard enough, now there’s a Facebook page dedicated to banning the very objects we use to tote our tots around. What’s next? Is someone going to suggest we don’t let our children out of the home until they turn 18?

Personally I love the argument that today’s SUV-style stroller is simply too big. Would you like to see the pram my mother toted me around in? It was huge! And it only held one baby. I have three! Big strollers are nothing new, but the intolerance around their “inconvenience” to passersby is.

Much of the recent debate started on January 2, 2011 when a Halifax, N.S. couple were told they could not board a city bus with their six-month-old twins because their stroller was too big. The bus was almost empty to boot.

The father, Mohammed Ehasan, a PhD candidate and part-time instructor at Dalhousie University, filed a complaint with Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Commission and parents with plus-size prams everywhere are up in arms.

Personally, I’ve never been turned away because of my stroller, but I have dealt with some dirty looks and found it next to impossible to navigate Toronto’s anti-wheeler subways and streetcars. Can’t we all just agree that being a parent is tough and give parents everywhere a break?