Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothering Day

Ugh. What a bad way to end off a weekend.  The Big Yam was sick with a high fever and yesterday, on Mother's Day, I basically acted like a jerk to him and was in a horrible mood that resulted in tears and shouting (both him and me) and a flummoxed Dotytron.  I just wasn't INTO it, you know?  I didn't want to hang with my mum (sorry mum, nothing personal) and when we went to have dim sum the Big Yam started acting up and I was being judged by another stranger mom there and I was embarrassed and frustrated and angry.

Note to self: though I have been guilty of this in the past, I will absolutely try my best from here on in to refrain from judging the practices of other parents I know.  Well, actually, I tend not to judge my friends or acquaintances, I judge strangers.  But it behooves me to remember that when I see a kid having a meltdown, it's a "there but for the grace of some higher power, go I" moment and I'm only seeing a very small portion of that person's day.  Who knows what's going on in their lives?  They could have a feverish bambino who is just tired of sitting in a high chair (as was the case for me.)

And then we had dinner at Momma D's house, made by Ehmdo, and it was lovely and all, but at the end of it - I just wanted to have a day with MY family.  I wanted the Dotytron to have a chance to make me breakfast and for us to have a leisurely morning of hanging out and tooling around, instead of trucking ourselves from this place to that place and feeling like my precious, precious Sunday was galloping away from me when I was already over-tired from snuggling with the Big Yam when he woke up at 1am feverish and miserable.

So basically I feel guilty because a) I was a jerk to my kid when he was sick and basically just needed me to be nice to him instead of being a dragon mama; and b) I should be grateful that I have my mum and the Dotytron's mum around still to be with instead of being selfish and resenting the lack of just Lagerfeld-Dotytron family time.    

I'm a horrible person.

We had a nice Saturday, though.  Saturday was really, really lovely actually, veering very close to an almost-perfect day.  We slept in a bit and then loaded everyone up and took a nice, long walk around the neighbourhood, checking out the heaps and heaps of yard sales that were happening.  We stopped at Hastings Snack Bar (since 1963!) which is a lunch counter from a by-gone era.  Worn vinyl-topped stools, chipped Formica counter, two toasters that were old enough to be fire hazards but not so old to be charmingly retro, one lone patron lazily paging through the Toronto Sun and an old (!) Chinese (!) man frying up the orders.  I got us a bacon'n'egg sandwich - priced at $3.50, thinking it was a safe bet.  Imagine my complete pleasure when I opened up the wax paper and saw that it's a DOUBLE DECKER!  Really basic: just white Wonderbread toast, a mess of hormone-and-nitrite-laden crispy bacon, over easy egg - but so, so satisfying.  Then we chased these with almond croissants from JPChallet, which I love, because the almond flavour is really subtle and natural.  They also leave the skins on the almonds when they make their almond paste for the filling, which gives everything a really nice, nutty flavour.

It was such a lovely way to spend the morning!  No big agenda - just walking and strolling and poking around other people's junk looking for treasure.  I made out a like a bandit - a big bag of duplo for $1.50 and a big box of assorted milk glass (including a Hoosier bud vase!) for $10.00.

The Big Yam and his buddy, the Norseman, watching us play softball.

Then we had softball practice and I experienced the particular pleasure once again of feeling the resounding crack of aluminum bat against softball (I have no idea what softballs are made of).  We then had Dr. Rei and Hanbo over for tacos (tongue tacos and chorizo & potato tacos) and Settlers.  I also made tres leches cake.  Settlers was boss (because I won).

I'm going to get over my guilt by being a better parent this week.  That's my goal.

I read this awful blog post from this mum who had her baby girl die from this rare liver disease which had me crying at my desk last week.  The thing the mum kept saying was how this made her realize how those little things (dishes piling up in the sink, a cranky toddler) just don't matter and how she wishes she had rejoiced in those moments more.  I think it's the nature of life to be caught up in small things because we can't conceptualize the big picture, but there is a point to what she was saying.  So while I continue to find it hard to navigate my sense of mortality (everyone's) with balancing life and being a good, productive person (ie. the logical extension of the reality-of-the-finite-nature-of-life is that you never discipline your kids? Or you never clean?), I think it's worthwhile for me to get some perspective on my insane drive to accomplish tasks.  I need to sit more and luxuriate in my time with my kid.  I need to realize he's not going to want to be carried by me forever (or even for much longer) and that I should take a moment to appreciate each and every second of his arms wrapped tight around my neck and the weight of his head on my shoulder.

So that's what I'm going to do.  I'll report back in a year.

For those of you who weren't aware, Maurice Sendak passed away last week.  Here is a quote of his on death:

“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”


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