What-my-kid-said Wednesday: keeping a record

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“I hope you’re writing this all down somewhere.”

My husband’s aunt said this to me this weekend at the last of the never-ending family Christmas gatherings, after listening to Bean say something particularly hilarious. I nodded, then realized that an unexpected impact of not writing so much over the past couple of months has been that I haven’t remembered to jot down the strange and wonderful things that come out of my son’s mouth.

I’ve never been a good keeper of records. And I have a terrible memory. Hopefully, when I’m old and creaky and sentimental and Bean and Monkey are grown, I’ll be able to look back at these Wednesday posts and remember a little bit of what my kids were like when they were tiny. So this one’s for future-me – not a specific conversation or anecdote, but a collection of common Bean-isms from this moment in time.

“I’m so incited!!” He says “incited” instead of “excited,” and I can’t bring myself to correct him.

“Tell me a pirate story…” Once upon a time I sat on the edge of the tub and told Bean a story about a pirate as he pooped. Now he asks for a pirate story every time he has some business to take care of on the toilet.

“Tomato down!” When something falls on the ground. I don’t know where this comes from.

“Everyone!” to get our attention.

“Hey guys!” to get our attention.

“I’m just a little sad.” Pronounced “yittle saaa-yaaad,” this one comes out every time he hears the word no, or is hungry, or bored.

“Oh man. Oh maaa-yaaan!” Said while crying, through his tears. This is his expression of real emotional anguish. You know, like if I said he couldn’t have a cookie, or something equally earth-shattering.

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I’m still here.

Blog-wise, December was not the greatest month. After the blogging extravaganza that was November and NaBloPoMo, I posted four times in December. Four. And I read very little as well. I could blame it on the holidays and all the go-there, do-that, make-this, visit-here, eat-that (and that, and that). I could blame it on a fit of last-minute crafting that had me knitting scarves and making Christmas cards instead of writing at night after the boys went to bed. But maybe I’ll just forget the blame and resolve to do better. It is the season for trying harder, right?

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions – every time I start to think of one, there are so many things I’d like to change that my list grows longer and longer, until I might as well cross everything off of it and just resolve to be perfect.

So this year, instead of making specific resolutions, I’m going to make a list of somewhat vague intentions to set the tone for 2015.

Presence. Kindness and forgiveness, to myself and others. Face time over screen time; outside over inside. Gratitude. Simplicity. Inspiration. Action.

Happy 2015, everyone. What are your intentions for this year?

The end

It’s finally here – November 30, the end of NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Did I learn anything from blogging every day this month? Have I gained any insight? Any wisdom?

Maybe. But I’m just so tired of writing (for now). So, here’s the Coles Notes version of my NaBloPoMo epiphany: contrary to my fears at the beginning of the month, I do have ideas. I do have things to write about. But posting every single day is a bit much. I want to think about the things I write, not just spew them out night after night. I found a lot of blogs I love through NaBloPoMo, but what with all the writing, there wasn’t enough time to read and comment on them the way I’d like to. Overall, this month has been a both challenge and a confidence booster, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it. But I am so ready to take a break.

There we have it. Done. See you next year, NaBloPoMo… maybe.

NaBloPoMo day 16: This is hard.

It’s been a long day. I’m not feeling particularly brainy or witty or creative. The couch is calling. Anything I write tonight will, most likely, be terrible.

So, as my first official NaBloPoMo cop-out, I present for you a picture of my kids in their Halloween costumes: Rocket Man and The Hot Dog.*

Rocket Man and Hot Dog

I’ll be back tomorrow with something better, I promise.

*I know, it’s 16 days after the fact. No one cares about Halloween anymore. But I’ve been saving this cop-out since day 1 of NaBloPoMo and I’m gonna use it, dammit!

To e-read or not to e-read?

I love books. I love the smell of their pages, the weight of them in my hands, the tactile experience of reading them. I love the look of books on my bookshelf – each unique shape, each coloured spine evoking a memory of its story. I love the feeling of a brand new book, chosen carefully, pages crisp and spine unbroken. I love the promise of a library book, chosen on a whim, cover scratched and pages worn soft. I love the gift of a borrowed book, passed from friend to friend, gaining meaning with each lending and each discussion. And I love revisiting a favourite book, its passages familiar and comforting, its pages falling open to the best bits, the ones I reread again and again.

I have always loved reading. As a child, I was the kid reading under the covers with a flashlight. “Just to the end of this chapter Mum, I promise…” I would have four or five books on the go at any given time. I would lay them all out on the carpet in my bedroom and use the eeny, meeny, miny, moe method to choose which book to read a chapter from first, to ensure a random selection. (Of course, if I just happened to place the books on the floor in an order that would guarantee the best one of the lot being selected first, it was still random, right? Pure coincidence, of course.)

Reading is still a favourite pastime, though there doesn’t seem to be as much time for it anymore, what with the small tornadoes living in my house. Another byproduct of the small tornadoes is that it is difficult to bring them to the library for enough time to really browse the non-children’s section. Same with the book store. So I’ve begun borrowing e-books from my library’s fantastic selection and reading them on my computer, but there are challenges. The only chance I get to read is at bedtime, when I love to burrow into the pillows and turn the pages until my eyes are closing (or until my husband pointedly turns out his light and turns his back). It’s tough to cozy up in bed with a laptop, so I spend my pre-bed reading time at the dining room table, which is not so cozy.

That brings me to the question of the day: should I get an e-reader? I’ve always been adamantly against getting one, because for me, nothing can match the tactile experience of reading printed books. But at the moment I’m not reading much at all, and the convenience of the e-reader is tempting. What if I get one and it’s so convenient that I stop borrowing and buying printed books? Does that even matter?

Thoughts? Any other time-starved book-lovers out there with the same problem?

What am I even writing about, anyway?

It’s day 3 of my challenge to post every day of November, and I’ve already had my blog’s first existential crisis.* I mentioned to someone today that I had started writing a blog, and they asked what it was about, and I couldn’t come up with an answer that satisfied me, and then I had A Moment. The kind of moment in which your brain takes a very small thing down a spiraling path of crazy reasoning, and suddenly that small thing represents the very meaning of your existence.

existential

So what am I writing about? For me, the what is inextricably linked with the why. Why am I writing? What is the point?

I began writing this blog for three reasons:

1) I sent a friend an email detailing a ridiculous conversation I’d had with my toddler, and she replied that she would totally read a blog consisting entirely of my conversations with him. That planted the seed.

2) I was beginning to drag myself out of the dark pit of postpartum depression and thought that writing about it would provide some opportunities for reflection, self-examination, and healing.

3) I was filled with longing for the person I used to be. When I was young and full of potential I thought I would be a writer. When I grew up, instead of pursuing creativity I went the route of stability – practical education, defined career path. Terrified of others reading my writing and finding it lacking, I found other things to occupy my time. I suppose I saw this blog as an opportunity to recapture the person I maybe could have been, had I been a bit braver and chosen the path less travelled.

So, how have I done?

1) I’ve written about Bean. He continues to say ridiculous things, and it is so very amusing to record them and share them with you on What-my-kid-said Wednesdays.

2) I’ve been writing about my experience of postpartum depression, though I haven’t shared it yet. It’s still deeply personal; I’ve only shared my struggle with a handful of people in real life, and while in many ways it’s easier to be honest behind the anonymity of a blog, it’s still tough to hit that “publish” button. My palms get a bit sweaty just thinking about it. But it’s coming.

Aside from writing about depression itself, this blog has helped me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I’d been feeling swallowed up by this maternity leave, consumed by the day-to-day details of babies and toddlers, like I had no identity other than “Mum.” Even though I’m writing about being a mother, the act of writing helps me feel like more than just a mother.

3) I can’t go back to the person I was, and I wouldn’t want to. My life is a good life. But I can search for elements of the old me that bring me happiness. I can flex my creative muscles, weakened from lack of use, and try to live up to some of the potential I once had.

That’s the why. So what is this blog about? What am I even writing about, anyway?

Motherhood. Kids. Life. Self.

Humour. Sadness. Friendship. Depression.

Writing. Reflection. Commentary. Community.

I’m writing for me, so this blog can be whatever I want it to be.

 

* I Googled existential crisis just for fun, and check it out – there’s a WikiHow page for “How to Deal with an Existential Crisis (with Pictures).” Ha!

One month blogiversary and a new challenge

One month ago I wrote my first blog post. I know, not exactly a huge milestone, but I’m in the mood to celebrate… so happy one month blogiversary to me.

And now, feeling inspired, I’ve decided to dive headfirst into the next challenge: writing one post a day for the month of November, as a part of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month).
NaBloPoMo November 2014

Stay tuned… I may even (gasp) try to write about something other than my kids!