Category Archives: reading

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

Earlier this year, I told my sister-in-law a cute anecdote about something BB#1 had said just before his brother was born. As we shared a laugh, I didn’t really notice that the boy himself had gotten up and left the room.

So I’ll admit, I was a bit floored to discover later that he was angry with me–for telling a story about him without asking first. I didn’t consider the story an embarrassing one at all–it has never been my intention to make my children the butt of a joke or to humiliate them in any way, and I abhor the child-shaming that seems to be so rampant online these days (have some foresight, parents!) In actual fact, the point of telling the story had been to show what a clever toddler he had been! But I suddenly remembered being his age, and how I felt at being the topic of conversation–or more specifically, the source of humour–among adults, and I could relate.

It was probably around the same time that I read this post by Tracy Chappell: Why I’m Breaking Up With My Blog. As an editor and writer for Today’s Parent, Tracy had blogged long before I jumped in. And not for the first time, my friend made me think. Although I had purposely kept the boys anonymous online, hadn’t used their photos, and wasn’t writing for the size of audience she had (*waves to reader: hi, Mom!*) I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was right: that the older my kids get, the less their stories are mine to tell.

So although I’ve never been the most consistent of bloggers anyway, I found it more and more difficult to come up with posts that didn’t make me wonder, “would my son(s) want me to share this?” I suppose I could have just asked them, but really, as Jennifer Pinarski points out in her own blog (suggested reading for new parent bloggers!), that’s expecting a child to make an adult decision.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure of my focus–would this be a “mommy blog“, or a collection of thoughts on random topics? My most popular and most commonly shared posts have been those about reading. And when visitors discover my blog through search terms, it tends to be in their quest for information about PFAPA. When the boys first started having these periodic fevers, there wasn’t much about the condition online, so I chose to share our stories in the hopes of helping other families dealing with it. I hope that I have.

In 2015, my top five posts have been:

But the fact is, this blog is called Mum2BeautifulBoys. And as I wrote early on, one of the main reasons I started blogging was to keep a record of some of the little things about parenting I would otherwise forget over the years if they weren’t written down. So while I’ve explored other topics, it has usually been through my parent-lens. And if I want to shift my boys’ stories offline, I’m not sure M2BB has a reason to exist any more.

So what does this mean for 2016? I’m not sure. I will continue writing, but I may need to create a new space, with a new focus, and a new name (got any good ideas?) And pick up a pen to record my family’s more private moments.

In the meantime, Happy New Year, Mom! 😉

 

*These posts are apparently “out” for 2016.

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under breastfeeding, education, house hunting, moving, my kid just said, parenting, PFAPA, privacy, random, reading, real estate, the beautiful boys

Things I’ve Learned as a Supply Teacher

Although I was fortunate enough to have landed two LTO (long term occasional) assignments since becoming an occasional teacher, I’ve learned a few things during my days as an on-call supply teacher too:

Bring something for the headache.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Arrive as early as possible to review the day plan and make sure the resources listed are actually on hand. And to use the washroom.

Don’t forget to pick up the attendance again at lunch.

If you can mispronounce a name, you will.

Count kindergarten children before and after they so much as walk through a door, every time.

Always make sure there are smocks before getting out the paint.

Bring a whistle. And something to write with. And it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own white board markers. Really.

No matter how clear the lesson plans seem to be, the students will ask you a question about the assignment you won’t be able to predict–and probably won’t be able to answer. (Bonus: when you are the classroom teacher, be sure leave explicit instructions. And an answer key where necessary.)

Kids love it when you know Percy and Junie B. and Chester and Babymouse and Raina and Geronimo and…

Even if you have to speak to “that” student over and over again, she’ll still smile and wave and say hello the next time you are in. You should do the same.

Nothing beats a good read aloud.

Leave a comment

Filed under education, reading, schools, teaching

Things I Don’t Regret

Before I had kids, there were lots of things I was never going to do. And there were lots of things I was told never to do, or I’d regret it. Ten years into this parenting gig though, the kids seem to be doing all right, so I can tell you there are a number of choices that I don’t regret. Not at all. Here are some of them:

Breastfeeding my infants on demand around the clock. Breastfeeding past infancy. Not forcing them to wean when they weren’t ready. “Encouraging” them to wean when we both were.

Co-sleeping. “They” said we’d never get them out of our bed. “They” were wrong. If anything I regret not doing it sooner.

Rocking them to sleep. Nursing them to sleep. Staying with them until they fell asleep. Letting them nap in my arms, in the swing, in the car. Those years seem so long ago.

Vaccinating.

Picking my babies up when they cried. Carrying my kids as long as I could.

Not potty training. Amazingly, they have been out of diapers for a long, long time, despite the lack of candy or sticker rewards!

Encouraging my kids to take part in different activities. Not pushing them into activities.

Having a child in daycare. Working full time. Having a nanny. Staying home. Being a student-mom. Working part time. Working from home. It’s all good. Honest.

Taking a year of maternity leave. Having my kids three years apart. Taking my preschooler out of daycare while I was on mat leave with BB#2.

Putting my kids in French Immersion.

Not forcing them to do homework in Grade One.

Taking a stroller to Disneyland for my almost-5-year-old. Judge away, at least we had fun!

Spending money on books. Reading to my kids after they could read to themselves.

Letting my kids watch TV and play video games. Not letting my kids watch or play everything their friends are watching or playing.

Giving them choice over their hairstyles.

Staying with them on playdates when they were younger. Letting them walk around the block alone together now that they’re older.

Telling them the proper names for body parts and being honest about where babies come from.

Not being Pinterest-perfect.

Letting them believe in Santa Claus. Not getting into Elf on the Shelf.

1 Comment

Filed under babies, birth, breastfeeding, career, child care, education, midwives, night-time parenting, parenting, reading, schools, sleep, technology, the beautiful boys, Uncategorized, work, working parents

To My Son on His Tenth Birthday

I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks now. What to say to you, my first-born, as you turn ten? That I can’t believe it? That time goes so fast? That it seems like yesterday you were born? These clichés are all true.

Ten years. I won’t say I don’t remember my life without you; I do. But it seems like a different era, and I know I’m not the same person I was before you. You made me a mother. There’s a lot I could say (and have. See: this blog) about being a mother—about those early days and weeks and years where I tried to figure it all out. After all, this is my birth-day too.

But I’d rather focus on the person you are today. At ten, you are so many things. Wise, kind, thoughtful. I wouldn’t change you for the world, and yet, I sometimes worry how this world will change you. You’ve received more than one “Integrity” certificate from school, and though I’ve never set much store by those awards, I admit: your teachers called it.

You are so much like me, and not just because of your red hair and green eyes. You don’t really care for change, or surprises, or being teased “good-naturedly”. And yet unlike me, you aren’t afraid to try new things. You want to do it all—and have already done so much: snowboarding, skiing, swimming, water skiing, tubing, skating, archery, mountain biking, skateboarding, squash, cartooning…And you aren’t afraid to say no, to be your own person. So your friends don’t care for your long hair, or the coloured streaks you’ve sometimes worn? You like them. Kids aren’t playing fairly at the park? You’d rather not play with them. I can’t help but hope this positions you well for the years ahead, when you’ll be faced with following the crowd or staying true to yourself.

You are an amazing big brother, and have been since day one. Even when your brother was first born, after you’d gotten us to yourself for three whole years, I never saw any jealousy. Nothing but you wanting to help him–even when he doesn’t make it easy. I know there will continue to be times you don’t get along, or even like each other much. But I hope the brotherly bond between you will never break.

You are an avid and voracious reader. Since we don’t track those things, I have no idea how many books you read this summer. You usually have two or three on the go. I love that we can share our love for the written word, and even recommend books to one another. You have always had a thirst for knowledge—starting back when the dinosaur encyclopedia was a favourite bedtime story. You wonder and question constantly. I hope you always will.

You are still a child—and I mean that in the very best way. You play, and I hope you will for a long time to come. And yet, you are logical and responsible and reliable in a way that makes it hard to forget you are only ten. You’ll often state that you can’t wait to be older, but I don’t wish this time away. I already know how fast the next ten years will fly by.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.

2 Comments

Filed under parenting, random, reading, the beautiful boys, Uncategorized

My Kid Just Said (Part 36)

“Now that I know how reading feels, I do it all the time!” BB#2, 6.5 years old, backing up his brother as he tried to convince a friend to read more books.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under education, my kid just said, reading, the beautiful boys

My Kid Just Said (Part 34)

“We had to make a prediction about whether or not the animal in the story would survive, and I said yes, because these guided reading books never end in tragedy.” BB#1, 9.5 years old.

I suspect he’s right about that…

Leave a comment

Filed under education, my kid just said, publishing, random, reading, schools, teaching, the beautiful boys

My Kid Just Said (Part 30)

“If I’d known this book was so awesome, I’d have read it a long time ago!” BB#1, 9 years old, about The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, which had been sitting on his shelf unread for a couple years until I started reading it aloud to BB#2 the other day. Now I’m not allowed to read it unless they are both there.

Leave a comment

Filed under my kid just said, reading, the beautiful boys