Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Only Like Crunchy If We're Talkin' Peanut Butter

I’ve decided that I live in the wrong city. Not because I don’t like Vancouver, because I do. I don’t even mind the rain, and that’s saying something! The reason I live in the wrong city is that I am not a nature girl. I love the mountains and the parks and the lakes and rivers. To look at, and admire. That does not mean that I want to necessarily experience them first hand through hiking them, or swimming them, or camping in them. I am not interested in what kinds of bugs live in them. I have no desire to wake up in a tent and smell the clean mountain air. I would rather wake up to the sound of my espresso machine warming up. I have no desire to “rough it”. I like my down comforter and my big fluffy pillow. I like to shower, every day. I like electricity. I hate bugs. And insects. And slimy animals. Basically I dislike everything outdoorsy, besides the tranquility and the beauty. And I have to admit that campfires are pretty cool.

Anyway, living on the west coast with all the hippy, crunchy, granola, tree-hugging people makes me feel like I should try. Like maybe I would like camping if I went with the right people or something. BUT. I am done apologizing and pretending. I am a high maintenance indoor girl and that’s just the way it is.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sad but true, about child number two

I think every parent decides before the birth of the second child that she will make sure that the second one does not get ripped off/short shrifted. Everyone warns you that number one gets a million photos and number two gets three pics: birth, graduation and wedding. Number one gets a tome of scrapbooking and number two gets a piece of loose leaf with measurements from birth and the first doctor’s visit scribbled on it.
Well, I too started out with good intentions….But then, the night that Joonas was born (three weeks early), it started. As we headed to the hospital, Pentti grabbed his camera, as an afterthought. Granted, we never thought we were staying since I wasn’t in labour (my water had broken and the doctor just wanted to check me out). Anyway, imagine if Pentti had not grabbed his camera. Classic second child stuff: yeah, sorry Joonas, but we have no pics of you being born. No, you weren’t adopted, we just didn’t have the camera with us…” We also didn’t bring any clothes for Joonas to the hospital. Pentti did of course go home to get some later, but still.
With number one, you are so careful and consistent. Soothers and bottles get boiled and sterilized regularly. With number two, the soothers get a once-over, maybe some dust is blown off and back in his mouth it goes. Bottles are kept clean, but often you will hear the following exchange: “how old is the milk in this bottle”, “I dunno, I think that’s the one I filled this morning”….and in his mouth it goes.
Matias had no candy until he was at least 2. We watered down his juice to cut down on the sugar. Joonas has been eating sugared stuff from birth (almost). His favourite foods are pulla and banana loaf. He knocks back those juice boxes no problem. I did try to put some juice from the box into his water bottle, but he couldn’t figure out that it was the same stuff and refused to taste it from the bottle. So, I gave up.
Matias watched hardly any tv until after 2. He may have caught some by accident if we were watching, but we never actually sat him down to watch anything. Joonas turns the tv on himself and sits back on our bed to watch at his leisure.
I took Matias to music classes and to Mother Goose and to the public library story times and Music and Movement. I took Joonas to Mother Goose once.
Being the second child does, however, have some advantages too. With Matias we stressed about potty training for months. With Joonas, we’ll let him decide when he’s ready. We clued in with Matias that stressing didn’t help and probably slowed the process down. With Matias we worried that he wasn’t talking soon enough. Joonas will talk when he feels like it and that’s just fine with us. With Matias we had the energy to play (and win) the battle of the wills a lot. With Joonas, we give up a lot. So, he gets his way a lot more than Matias used to. This is of course only an advantage from his prespective.
I do feel guilty sometimes, but there is not much I am willing and/or able to do about it. With two little ones under foot, I need to pick my battles and I have realized that many of the battles that I thought were worth winning, aren’t.