Friday, December 29, 2006

A bit about flu, but mostly about Russian New Year.

Ok, the flu is not winning so far. Which is amazing. Usually I’m the first to be knocked out by any bug that’s out there in the air. This time I seem to be resisting most of it. Clementines? I wonder. A diet of 20 clementines a day is a sure way to get one’s vitamin C…

Which is not to say that I’m all in the clear. There is the sore throat thing. And the coughing thing. But they are totally manageable. In fact, they give me a raspy low voice I usually lack. Actually, my spoken voice is a whole story to itself. You won’t believe how many times I pick up the phone and the person on the other end asks for my mommy. I can’t say that’s exactly flattering. Doesn’t jive with my self image (or at least the one I’m trying to cultivate) of a serious grown up business woman. Cause you know, in my previous incarnation I was all business. With a business degree and all. Which comes really handy when changing diapers… Hmm…

Anyways, the New Year is coming. And I can’t help but feel that that is the real holiday. The one I gear up for all year. I guess my Russianness is not all out of me yet. Christmas is still a rehearsal holiday. Even though it’s fun. New Year is the big deal. The one full with traditions and associations. The one with a mandatory movie to watch (which my non-Russian husband has already seen quite a few times – I might be lenient about “It’s a wonderful life”, but “Irony of fate” is a must), a mandatory meal to have, mandatory family presence and mandatory loud cheers as the clock strikes 12. Can’t help it. And am sooo looking forward to it.

It is very important to a Russian to meet the New Year well. Cause Russians believe that the way you meet a New Year, is how you’ll spend it. Which is why you want good food, good mood and family around you.

For dinner everyone traditionally has the “Olivie” salad (with pickles, potatoes, canned peas, mayo, etc… -- I’m sure we’ll have it this year, so I’ll post a recipe at some point) and a herring salad. Of course there are also other dishes, but these two are present on pretty much every Russian New Year table I’ve ever seen or heard of. Especially the “Olivie”.

In Russia most people sit down for dinner just before the New Year to thank and say good-bye to the old year, and then they eat more (and drink :-) , but I’ll be skipping that this time) to greet the New Year and wish everyone happiness etc. There is a traditional new-year’s music program on TV, followed by the speech from the president, followed by the Kremlin Tower Clock striking 12 times. I don’t know… But that sound is so ingrained in me, that even now it seems like magic. Somehow during those 12 beats something old comes to an end and a whole new chapter of life opens up.



And that clock is magical. I’ve heard that sound every year since I was too tiny to remember till I left… It’s as if if you don’t hear it, the New Year might not come… It rings a melodic tune first and then strikes the time. And, did you know that it is the most ancient (though frequently restored) mechanical tower clock in the world? In 2004 it turned 600 years old. Needless to say, there is a lot of history and associations that people have with it.

Now that I’m in Canada, I put on my internet Russian channel on in the morning of December 31, and while I’m all frantic preparing, I watch the programs, listen to the clock and get those strange bites of nostalgia that I guess will never fully go away. Cause in my mind’s eye I see all those big parties my parents had, the preparations, the anticipation of gifts and miracles…

By the way, as I already mentioned before, the gifts are brought to kids by Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden). Despite some allegations online that Grandpa Frost was an artificial figure to replace Santa Claus in Communist Russia, he actually predates Santa by a long shot. It’s a figure originating in ancient pagan mythology, though, naturally, more fleshed out in recent history (just like Santa). So, you go Grandpa! I still believe in you ;-)



And on that note, I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope all your wishes come true, and if something is missing in your life, may this be the year when you find it.

PS: Just in case you’re curious, those Russians who do celebrate Christmas do so on January 7th. And on January 13th people also acknowledge “Old” New Year. Has to do with a calendar modification at the beginning of last century, but also is a great excuse to prolong the party season :-) Which is why I’ll be keeping my Christmas tree for at least another two weeks…

Posted by vasilisa @ 11:26 PM :: (10) comments

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas has been survived...

Ok, one down… The Christmas is done…

And it wasn’t too bad at all! It was actually fun. It even included me shooting some hoops, albeit from a sitting on the couch position. Only on (at?) Christmas…

But first:



See? I did put up that Christmas tree. I eventually came up with a solution to my toddler-breaks-all-ornaments-dilemma, and a last minute trip to the store to buy shutter-proof decorations (and not much fuss, by the way, cause we were the only people buying Christmas decorations the day before Christmas) resulted in an amazing toddler-proof tree! And the kiddo loved it! In fact, every morning for these past few days starts with him demanding that I turn the tree lights on. He’s completely mesmerized by it. And he really helped me decorate it. Every time I’d put an ornament up, he’d take it off and bring it back to me. I guess he really wanted to prolong the fun…

As for the Christmas itself – on Christmas Eve we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I know it sounds corny, but believe it or not, this is the first time my husband ever seen it, so it was genuinely fun. And we ate two huge pizzas, all by ourselves. Which means somewhere there is a turkey that is very grateful…

The Christmas Day should be officially renamed the kiddo’s day. Cause it was all about the kiddo. The kiddo getting gifts from everyone and running around ecstatic between all those boxes and actually been allowed to rip off the wrapping paper. Cause normally mommy goes ballistic at the slightest hint of a ripping sound (usually meaning he’s “reading” a book too zealously).

Let see now… he got a hockey set, a computer game thingy (educational! I can't believe they make them for toddlers...), a basketball set with a basket stand (which explains the above mentioned hoops shooting), a doodling pad (with water! so no mess!), a motorcycle (not a real one, but close…), a tool set, building blocks, a giggling Elmo chair… I’m probably forgetting something. And he is still gonna be getting more, cause my parents don’t buy into the whole get the gift-on-Christmas concept yet (related to the whole Russians and New Years thing I told you about before...), so there will certainly be New Year’s gifts . Cause this year it’s ok. He doesn’t really care for Santa yet. In fact, he’s been pretty wary of strangers lately, so I figured let’s not freak out the child with a red-fat-hairy-dude from somewhere North. We’ll get there next year, I’m sure.

And as for me, I can feel that I’m slowly developing a present that I got from my hubs, I suspect. It’s called a flu and it’s creeping up my throat and ears. And I better not be an incoherent blob on New Years Eve. Cause that would make me very mad. Even if incoherently.

On account of which, let me dish out some advice to all the pregnant woman out there (or thinking of being pregnant, or those who know pregnant women): please don’t go searching the web for things like “flu in pregnancy”. Cause five minutes into such search your blood will boil with terror, and you’ll somehow arrive at some statistic of an influenza telling you all the horrible things that could happen. Especially if you suffer from a “click-a-linkus” syndrome. Which somehow led to me now reading about the great pandemics in history… Like the bubonic plague… Very holidayish uplifting stuff… Brrr…

So I’m drinking my fluids, eating 20 clementines a day (my vitamin C option) and hoping that somehow it will just past me by. And keeping my fingers crossed that the kiddo escapes the flu season, cause I just couldn’t handle both (or should I say all three of us?) being sick at the same time.

But for now all is still cool. I’m still in holiday spirits (despite my attempt to go to the mall on a Boxing Day to buy a new DVD player – what was I thinking?). I still have the tree (which I intend to keep till mid January). And I still plan on having a non-pizza related feast sometime this year. In this house. Made by me. Or at least contributed to by me.

So Dad, I’m counting on you for that New Years' dinner.

But I totally plan on helping.

The tomato will be sliced by yours truly.

And maybe even relocated onto a plate.

The rest we’ll figure as we go along…

Posted by vasilisa @ 12:07 AM :: (5) comments

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays!

I’m going to be taking a little blogging hiatus just cause I’m too busy with all these holidays things. I’m sure most of you are busy too. With all the shopping/cleaning/people meeting/holiday movie watching etc…


So, happy and merry holidays to everyone, and see yah all in the blog universe some time next week :-)

Posted by vasilisa @ 3:40 AM :: (6) comments

Monday, December 18, 2006

Random Christmas and toddler musings...

So, did you notice that the posts are not related to cooking again? That’s right… I’m not cooking… The whole point of the blog was to inspire me to cook. But so far it is failing miserably. There is just so little fun in cooking when you can’t eat most of the stuff, that I gave up. I’m now completely relying on our parents, take-out and restaurants. It’s not the most responsible choice, but it is working, and I’m at peace with that.

So let’s talk about something else. Like Christmas? Cause, you know, it’s almost here. And I still didn’t put up the tree! Oh, my… And I really thought that it would happen early this year. But it turns out to be a lot trickier than I expected. Cause the toddler needs to be destructed. Which is not as easy as it sounds. And I’m also trying to figure out how I’ll keep him away from the tree, given all the glass ornaments and such. Hopefully I’ll have an idea before it’s all over. But somehow the combination of fragile glass ornaments plus a toddler makes me want to breath in and out very quickly in sheer panic. Maybe I should just skip the ornaments… It’s the tree that counts, right?

On the positive side, the toddler has recently showed that he is capable of completely mature reactions to things that could've been disasters. Like when a small part of a door hinge came out (and to my horror I didn’t notice it – I’m still shaking), he didn’t do what the books say he would. As in, he didn’t try to ingest it, bite it, or anything of a kind. He called mommy and showed her precisely where it fell from (which gives me an idea that he was at least partially responsible), and was very hands on in directing me as to how to put it back (vigorously pointing and saying “this” over and over again). Now, how mature is that?

And then the other day some person that shall remain nameless left a cup by the couch on one of his toys. A glass cup! With some juice in it! And what do you think the kid did? Break it? Drop it? You are all wrong! He called for mommy, and pointed at it with such a “shocked at how could this disorder be allowed” face, that I had that déjà vu feeling of my parents criticizing me for the messy state of my room…

The kid just likes order. It’s weird… He is not getting it from me. I know I’m not organized in any sense of the word. I leave things around, and pick them up at the last possible minute, when somebody is actually coming over. Yet my kid gets these ideas… Like, that the clothes dumper in his room, which has a cover (which was never ever used by me), has to be covered at all times. Whenever he walks into the room, first thing he does is put the cover on the bin. Isn’t that something?

And he’s only 20 months old! Oh, my…

And now he started pointing out that my kitchen is “dirty”. And there is just something unsettling about being nagged by a 20 months old… It’s a bit too early for him to know more than I do. And to point it out. I’m not ready for that. I’m supposed to be the example and the authority figure. I must be failing totally and completely.

So please excuse me for now, I have to go and clean up the kitchen before the inspection awakes from his nap…

PS: Dear Blogger, I’m fully aware that you have a Beta version out there, and that it in fact may be superior to the one I’m using right now. So please, quit bugging me with the “change now” screens every time I log in. I will when I’m ready. But I really don’t like to feel pressured… So stop it already!

Thanks for understanding.

Posted by vasilisa @ 10:10 PM :: (7) comments

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Flava Flav...

First of all, what is up with Blogger? It won’t let me leave comments on people’s blogs (I’m really sorry for not commenting, but I’ve been blocked everywhere!), or even sign in into my own. And I actually had something to write. And now I completely forgot what it was. Darn…

But whatever that was, now I’d like to ponder the following… A little show called “Flavor Flav” or something like that… Does anyone actually watch it? The first few times I skipped through channels and caught a glimpse of it, I thought it was some kind of “weirdos’r’us” commercial. But it appears to be a whole show. I mean, I thought the whole concept of “Bachelor” was ridiculous, and I couldn’t believe they showed that on TV… Boy, was I wrong… Bachelor is peanuts compared to this. And the show is run on the music channel… The channel mostly viewed by teenagers… Wow! What great role models! What amazing aspirations for our little girls… Just think, with so much competition out there, you still have a chance to get your own “Flava…”

Holly …

This whole reality TV insanity is beginning to get on my nerve. At least when I watch fiction, where people make idiots out of themselves, I know it’s fiction. But this reality TV phenomena shattered my faith in humanity. It really did. Please tell me it’s all scripted. Please tell me that parents on those “Honey, we’re killing the kids” series are pretending to be clueless, or that the American Idol wannabes do not actually think they can sing.

But the “Bachelor” type (and it’s latest incarnation – Flava…) are the ones that really make me stall. Does anyone, in the show or watching, actually fall for it? Why would women want to compete for a guy they never met before and really don’t know? Is self respect completely gone out of dating? Or are they so desperate to get famous they are willing to do anything, literally?

Cause I’m sure the girls on the show are not looking for love. In circles less polite then my blog they’d be called some really unappealing words… relating to certain ancient professions…

But heck, with the direction modern networks are taking (which sometimes at night make me wonder if I by mistake signed up for strange channels previously reserved only for specially paid TV) I think exploring the nitty-gritty of that profession is the great next reality TV idea.

America’s Top ****, anyone?

Posted by vasilisa @ 3:00 AM :: (10) comments

Thursday, December 14, 2006

She cooks! ( He screams...) The events are unrelated...

Look! She actually cooks! Yes! (Even though that was yesterday…)



So, yesterday I finally got myself into my precious kitchen again and made a simple rice/chicken dish. Basically, you cook the rice separately. Then fry an onion and a few garlic cloves (I used 4), chopped, then add chopped chicken and fry a bit longer. Add veggies you have in the fridge (I happened to have carrots, celery and a bell pepper), chop them too. A bit of soy sauce (optional), a tablespoon or so of ketchup, salt, pepper, a cup of water, cover and simmer till everything is cooked (15-20 minutes). Then mix it all with rice, let it sit for a while and serve.

The best part is that my kiddo liked it. He has generally been on a very non-eating wave lately. Picky-picky and refuses everything. Even french-fries. I know french-fries are not good for kids, and I hate giving it to him, but when I see that he goes a whole day on a couple of spoons of cereal, I give in. He’s gotta eat something!

I think he is edging into those terrible twos a little early. The other day, we were out… Let’s just say I wanted to fall through the floor and disappear… And for all you people out there saying (or thinking) “control your children!” -- TELL ME HOW! I’ll be glad to. Really. Do you think I’m doing this on purpose? Have you ever tried to reason with a toddler? Telling him that “yelling is not nice” and getting any effect out of that? There must be some secret information on handling kids that I just don’t know. Sometimes I feel completely incompetent. I know I’m supposed to do something, but what?

(But don’t get me wrong. He’s generally a very good kid. He just gets in those moods sometimes… But don’t we all?)

There are these moments when it strikes me that soon I’ll have two… How am I going to handle two kids? Is it humanly possible? I’m getting bouts of panic more and more frequently now.

And then the kid does something wonderful. He climbs up on me, hugs me and gives me a giant smile. And he says “mama”. He makes me know that “he really, really loves me”…

And then I figure it will all be OK…

And that I’ll never watch another Oprah show…



PS: I don’t actually watch Oprah. But for some reason if I ever flip the channels and bump into her show, it’s some horror story about families in distress, kids with guns, postpartum depressions and husbands that are so insane I can’t understand how anyone ever married them… Though today it was different. Apparently the crisis of the day is that most women are wearing wrong size bras… Yup… Like I’ve got nothing else to worry about…

Posted by vasilisa @ 12:27 AM :: (2) comments

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An update

Ahh… an update… Have been so busy with the “secret project” that just couldn’t find time for anything else. But here I am. And let me say that I survived the get-together on Saturday in one piece. And the house was clean. And take out was great (thank you God for inventing Chinese food!). And the company was excellent. Though I must say that some people have strange reaction to kids. I guess their time will come…

Kiddo was actually on mostly best behavior, considering that in all the excitement he decided to skip his nap. He was extremely shy at the beginning (how did that happen?) and wouldn’t let go of me for some half an hour while he was carefully studying the “strangers”. He then proceeded to make friends his own way, i.e. by giving them all kinds of toys and studying their reaction. Quite a fascinating process, actually. I think by the end he figured they were OK, and fell back into his normal run-around-being-loud-and-happy kid. Which I don’t mind. And if anyone else does – well, that’s too bad… (I think my friends took it in stride… Though it makes me wonder if I contributed to their wanting to have kids sooner, or the opposite…)

It was also strange in other ways… Like the fact that we are all the same age, graduated from the same program, but are now at such different points in our lives. They live downtown, while I live in suburbia. They got jobs and a social life, while I chase a toddler all day. They are not even planning kids yet, while I’m on number two… It’s as if I fell of the program at some point, and now just kind of check in on it.

But there are perks. I keep reminding myself that in just a few years I’ll be done making babies, I’ll get myself back in shape, I’ll get a job again, and I’ll still be only starting my 30s! Those are the benefit of starting early. You get out of the worst of it early too. And honestly, luck of sleep is much easier to survive when you’re younger. There was a time when I thought nothing about staying up all night to cram for a test. Now – if I don’t get my sleep, I wouldn’t even remember what subject I was studying for. And I don’t even want to think about what it will be like in ten years. I just hope I won’t have to stay up all night then. Which is what I’m working on now. Handling the sleepless nights and morning sickness while I can. So that my 30s are a breeze…

Or so I hope...

Posted by vasilisa @ 1:16 AM :: (5) comments

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cleaning up...

Things haven’t been too peachy food-wise here… Which is why I’m not posting. Really. I’m sure no one is interested in anymore morning-sickness discussions, so I’m trying to avoid them… Suffice it to say that I’ve been pretty much subsiding on instant noodles and clementines. The only foods I’m friends with at the moment.

On the bright sight, it’s Friday night, and I’m in the middle of panic-cleaning (yup… I’ve procrastinated, as usual…). I’m getting very creative with stashing ten piles of papers into one neat one, and finding little boxes in the closet to put junk into.

I really wish I was more organized…

But I think I’m getting better. Not so many years ago I’d have to spend at least a month getting my room ready for a visit. Now, I can proudly say that the house is just a couple of hours away from presentable. There are actually clothes in the closet and dishes in the dishwasher. It’s that part of me trying to be responsible with toddler-proofing. Some maintenance is necessary, or somebody is bound to call in child protection services...

Funny thing though is that my son seems to have a clean streak that is just not noticeable in his parents. Every once in a while he picks up some little paper or thing like that from the floor, loudly announces “dirty” and gives it to mommy to take away. Where’s that coming from? (And why doesn’t it translate to picking up toys?) I’m both proud and shocked. I just hope he sticks to it… And his broom/vacuum fascination…

I could use some help around here…

Posted by vasilisa @ 12:02 AM :: (5) comments

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

On past and pasta…

Today I made the “military style pasta” for the boys, but I can’t find my camera (which makes me very miserable and irritated), so I can’t take a pic… So you’ll just have to believe me. I really did make it. Cause it’s so simple. And requires almost no ingredients, except pasta, onion and chicken (plus salt and pepper). For those budget/fridge tight moments, it’s simply indispensable…

Recipe: Boil pasta… I use shell pasta, and boil half a standard pack. Separately, fry a chopped onion, and then add chopped chicken (breasts, thighs, whatever you have…), one package – which is normally about a pound. Fry chicken for a while, then add half a cup of water, salt, pepper, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Mix pasta with the chicken, let it blend for a few minutes and serve. Even my ultra picky son eats it. And that says a lot. Cause he’s such a picky eater, I’m loosing my mind over what to feed him on a daily basis.

And on a different note, I got a very special letter today. From a friend I tracked down in Russia. Someone I was best friends with 16 years ago! Oh my God! 16 years! What do you write to a person you haven’t seen/heard from or about in 16 years? Back then we were kids, and not even thinking boys yet… Now… We’re both married, with kids, and totally different lives (except for the "married" and "kids" part). It seems so surreal. So strange. And stranger yet that we are corresponding via REGULAR MAIL! With stamps! And envelopes! And I actually have to write with pen on paper… With no “Delete” key anywhere in sight…

It is so weird, but it seems that the older I get (yes, I know I’m not old, I mean older…) the more I look back to my roots. I want to find people that affected me back then, and see how they turned out. And I’m also more interested in my culture and history… I don’t really know why that is. But it seems that for some reason when you are young (kid, teenager) all you really want to do is belong to the group that surrounds you at the moment. But as you get older, you want to find out who YOU are, where YOU come from, what is YOUR legacy that you’ll pass to your children. Something about your ancestry becomes more real.

It doesn’t mean that I think my culture is better than others. It just means that I want to know more about it. Cause that’s my history. One way or another it has affected me, and helped to shape me into the person I am now. And you can’t really go forward if you don’t know where you’re coming from…

And I often wonder how it will be for my kids. They will all be Canadian-born and raised. No distant memories of another life. No secret pangs of nostalgia over a place and time that doesn’t even exist now. I want to help to find that middle ground where they know they are Canadian, but also care about the backgrounds of their parents. Both mine and my husbands. Cause, honestly, both of us have very rich cultural backgrounds that would be a shame to loose.

I’m not yet sure how to do that. I only hope that they grow up comfortable in their own skins, and that curiosity strikes them as they get older. And by that time I’ll be ready with some answers…

Maybe I should start writing down notes for them. With pen on paper… Just in case…

Posted by vasilisa @ 4:39 AM :: (6) comments

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The people… they are coming…

After months of hibernating in a virtual social isolation (apart from gazillion parents and restaurant visitations…) I have invited a few of my girlfriends over this Saturday. I haven’t seen them for months (shame!) and this would be a great opportunity to socialize… Except, now I have TO PUT THIS HOUSE IN A PRESENTABLE ORDER, in LESS THEN A WEEK! Me! With my procrastination skills! I mean, do you remember all those Christmas decorations I was so planning to put up? Guess where they are… Yup… Still in the box in the basement… Ouch…

I have thought through the menu though… It’s called take-out. Cause there is no way I’m cooking that much. Nope. Take-out is a perfectly acceptable option, and luckily my friends are not high-maintenance.

Or I’ll see if they can cook something… And I’ll do the drinks… It’s only fair…

And I’m so looking forward to adult conversations and catching up with friends in general. Being stay-at-home (and sick-and-pregnant-wife) is really not all it cracked out to be. Sometimes the loneliness and boredom make me want to start howling at the moon. I mean, I love talking to my son and all… But there are only so many times I can be genuinely excited to repeat that the “ball” is indeed a “ball”. Sometimes I need deeper meaning to my conversations. Maybe once we reach the point where a “green ball” can be differentiated from a “yellow ball”, I’ll feel more intellectually stimulated…

So, I’m excited, and agitated. I really gotta do some serious cleaning. Like wiping all those stains from the fridge and the stove… Cause, stainless steel appliances look really fancy and modern – but they are such a pain to keep clean! If I knew that ahead, I’d probably go for a more old fashioned look… (nah… they look way to hip when clean… ) And open concept house is cool – but it also means that everyone sees pretty much everything everywhere. No secret messy kitchen allowed. No big paper stash in the middle of the library… No unidentified piles of unidentified stuff in the corridor. It all must go. By Saturday. And be gone… At least till Saturday… (But don’t get me wrong… I LOVE my house…)

And then I’ll try to keep it that way till Christmas…

(What’s wrong with dreaming?)

Posted by vasilisa @ 2:03 AM :: (5) comments

Friday, December 01, 2006

On babies and categories…

But first, let’s begin this entry with a bit of entertainment. Check out this commercial… Really…

the funny commercial

This is for those of you who are iffy on the whole kids issue… My contribution to the dilemma :-) (And those of you who already took the plunge, you know it all can be too true…)

I mean, just today we went out to a restaurant (*hides head, avoids eye contact, and hopes no one will notice that she was eating out again...*) and the kiddo wanted his bottle. And then he wanted to play with the tablecloth (by pulling it over the head). And really, you cannot reason with a toddler (if you can, send me pointers). So pretty soon all I could think of was getting the darn bill and getting out of there before somebody called the cops or social services.

And I’m beginning to think that those screams were completely calculated. Cause he didn’t cry, or look distressed, or anything. He actually smiled. And then opened his mouth and let out a glass-smashing/dead-awakening “ahhhhhh……”. And then smiled again. “Aren’t you proud of me, mommy? I’m going to be the next Michael Bolton!”

And then (when I got home…) just as I was pondering the manipulative ways babies/toddlers/kids can have their parents wrapped around their tiny little fingers, and how they are much smarter than we would think, I stumbled on this intriguing article: "Mom Unlocks Babytalk". In a nutshell, it says that all infants have five basic cries, and each has a meaning:

“Neh, Owh, Heh, Eairh, Eh, meaning, I'm hungry; I'm sleepy; I'm experiencing discomfort (also known as "change my diaper already"); I have lower gas pain and I need to burp.”

Really? What about the one that means “I just don’t think you should sleep tonight, cause I’m bored”? Or the “Don’t you dare putting me in the crib, I’m fully expecting the comfort of the king sized foam mattress, cause NASA says it’s good for my back”? I mean, I’m not an expert or anything, but JUST FIVE SOUNDS? FIVE NEEDS? I doubt it. Maybe the robo-babies in techno-land. Real babies also get bored, get stuffy noses, get scared, confused, and just get plain cranky. I mean, they are already people, from day one… just tiny ones…

And they have enough personality to spare… Much more than any five needs can cover…

Before I had a kid, I would’ve probably bought that theory. Back then I used to always envision all those things I’ll teach my kids. In my mind kids were probably something like play-dough out of which I’d be molding the perfect human being. Surprise, surprise – they come with personalities from the get go. So you think your kid will read a lot? Yah, that’s what I thought… and bought like a hundred baby books… only to discover that they make an excellent building material… Or you think your kid will play with those educational toys you get? Ha… I have yet to find a toy that beats the phone… And it better be a real phone. The kid’s no dummy. The gazillion toy phones are living in perfect harmony at the bottom of the toy box.

I can see my son at 19 months with a personality that is wholly and totally his own. I might be able to interest him in things, but he does the picking and the choosing. For some reason the habit of putting his toys away is not sticking even in the slightest. Yet just try and walk around the house without some kind of shoes! He doesn’t think that’s right. Wherever did he get that idea? If it was up to me, he’d realize that five seconds without shoes, cause mommy wants to put her feet up on the couch, are perfectly acceptable. Yet whenever that happens, mommy inevitably finds two house slippers stuffed at her, accompanied by a completely distressed toddler screaming “shoes” as if the world was coming to an end. Did I teach him that? I don’t think so… At least not the urgency of it…

And he had a personality from the moment he was born. You see, he squeaked a little at first, but didn’t bother screaming too much. He was calm, cool and collected. Looking around. Well, that's just the way he is in a new situation (and not in a restaurant, where he’s been a thousand times already) he’s just calm, cool, collected and observing. That’s him. I didn’t teach him that. He came with that package.

And I love that so much more than the play-dough model. I’m getting to know, love and raise a completely unique human being, who has a path of his own. I’m not his master, I’m his guide. My job is to help him find that path, and help him get to whatever it is that he sets out to accomplish. And to protect him from the holes on the road. But not to push or pull him. And not to lump his needs into a few tiny categories that should define him in a nutshell.

Cause he’s a lot more than that.

Posted by vasilisa @ 12:17 AM :: (4) comments

About

I'm a 29 year old mom of two! A toddler (kiddo one) and a new baby (kiddo junior). I am also the most horrible (as in I barely ever do it) cook that I have met in my life. This blog is a diary of my attempts to feed my hungry growing family

PS: My name is not actually Vasilisa... But I find that honest reporting comes easier when there is a shred of anonymity. (Apparently, posting pics of my sons doesn't count...)

PPS: For those of you wondering where on the planet I am: I'm cosily tacked away in the Torontonian suburbia of the Great White North (Canada).

The Beginnings

What is all this?

Listening

To music, naturally.

Reading

All kinds of books. Haven't figured out how to post links to them yet.

E-mail me

Yes, you can actually email me:

Vasilia

Real Savvy Mom Blogger