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Complimentary

 special

Theo, now 4,5, is working on the art of the compliment.

To the babysitter: “Hi N. you are my best friend. I can take you jacket?” [leans in to gently take her jacket off.]. “Oh! I like your shirt!”

Theo: “Mummy I like your food! Your food is good!”

“Daddy you feed me?” Mark: “Why?” Theo: “Because I love you!”

Me: “Theo, how about we go for a bike ride?”  “Mummy! YOU ARE A GENIUS!”

Theo: “Mummy, you aren’t old … Daddy is.”

and the kicker …

Theo: “Mummy, you are bad and nice, and I love you.”

 

 

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Moment 9: the final year

It goes fast.

It goes fast.

The leaves are slowing shifting colour and the mercury’s rising – the promise of a glorious Indian summer fills the air. The streets are full of school children in shining backpacks, pressed jeans and new runners. Some walk shyly hand-in-hand with parents or grandparents. Some have younger siblings at their sides. Some run fill tilt towards the school yard hollering, eager to see old friends and hit the playground before the bell rings. Others walk slowly expressionless, already too cool for school. Still others drag their feet steeped in recent memories of sand and water, burnt marshmallows and block parties, reluctant to let go of summer’s grip.

My four-year-old looks longingly out at the kids as they stream into the schoolyard. He wants to go. He thinks he’s ready. But I’m happy to have him with me for another year. This final pre-school year, the last year of kids’ sizes at the Gap, easy afternoons at the pool, empty playgrounds, wide open spaces at Science World, tranquil beaches and slow mornings.

He may be tall but he’s still little inside. He asks for a “gugu” when he’s tired (milk in a sippy bottle), and his outrageous stories often need a translator. He love kids, but he crashes and burns out like a spectacular meteor from the excitement.

The schoolyard is empty now, and I think how precious this upcoming year is. Early childhood is fleeting; I’m already nostalgic. … gentle sigh.

This is my 9th post for the September – 21 Moments Writing Challenge – 12 more to go.

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Moment 8: Mystery solved

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Theo goes to part-time daycare and like most daycares, the kids nap on little cots in the gym around midday. Theo hasn’t napped at home for almost two years so it’s an ongoing mystery as to whether he actually naps at daycare.

When I pick him up around 4, I always ask him if he had a nap, and he always says yes. The thing is, by 8 pm, he’s stumbling around exhausted, which does not jive with the nap story.

I think I solved the mystery today.

Me:  Did you nap today?

Theo: Yes … [pause] … but … I didn’t close my eyes.

Me:  You napped but you didn’t close your eyes?

Theo: Yes … [pause] …  it’s too dark so I don’t need to close my eyes.

Me:  So it was too dark to close your eyes?  (Trying not to laugh)
So … [lightbulb goes off] did you sleep? 

Theo: No. It was too dark.

Me:  So you napped but you didn’t sleep.

Theo: Yes.

Aha! moment: Napping does not equal sleeping – ding ding!

This is my 8th post for the September – 21 Moments Writing Challenge – 13 more to go.

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This guy!

A rambunctious bundle of enthusiasm, energy, chatter and joie de vivre!

Happy Birthday Theo!

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Read about The Day We Met 4 years ago.

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Summer Needs You

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Inspired by a comment from my friend Fiona after Theo’s latest bout in the ER. She said that Theo needed to get well because “summer needed him.”

Summer needs you to:

  • run half-naked through the sprinkler until a Popsicle appears like magic
  • leap off sun-burnt logs
  • Ooh and aah as fireworks explode against the night sky
  • fill your face with berries fresh off the vine
  • push your friends on the tire swing in the golden evening light
  • inhale hotdogs, cotton candy and ice cream
  • fill your shoes with sand turning the house into a giant sandbox
  • watch big screen blockbusters and fill your belly with popcorn
  • listen to infectious music in the park
  • splash in sparkling waters
  • hand pick “wildflowers”
  • collect snails, slugs and wood lice
  • run through spray parks and dive into pools
  • ride hollering down the sidewalks with a possee of kids until the street lights come on
  • throw rocks in the ocean until the shores are empty
  • shriek and play until voices turn to whispers
  • run and chase and run and chase again until the last vestiges of light have drained from the sky
  • collapse into bed exhausted with a sigh and a  grin

Summer needs your joie de vivre, your innocence, your loudness, and mostly it needs you to remind us all what summer is truly about.

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Father’s Day collage

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Fatherhood is … 

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Fatherhood is …

Fatherhood isn’t …

A new tie or golf balls, cheap beer and televised sports, kitchen blunders and parenting mishaps. Nor is it DNA, genes or a biological connection.

Fatherhood is …

  • walking half-way around Killarney Lake with a broken foot to show your son and his friends how to skip rocks – for three hours.
  • having the patience to sit with your son until he’s finished dinner even if it means feeding him bite by bite.
  • playing the games I won’t: fighting, wrestling, light sabers, and something I like to call “watching bad movies.”
  • trimming your son’s hair even if it takes four nights of full body contact to get it right.
  • teaching your son to ride a bike down the back alley.
  • holding your son when he’s scared, teaching him to man up when he needs courage, and carrying him when he’s too tired to cope.
  • inviting your son’s birthfather into your life without insecurity or hesitation.
  • recognizing fatherhood for the gift that it is.

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