Showing posts from April, 2013

Imagine that

by Andrea Mulder-Slater   " Mom! Mom! Come look at this!”  The four year old was standing at the window – something wildly fantastic had caught her attention. Again. “Maaaaawwmmmmm! Come look! Mom! Look!”  I stood up from my chair for what felt like the four hundredth time that hour. It had been a busy day of discoveries for the littlest one in the house. As usual, my daughter’s imagination had been running wild – her detections shared with excruciating diligence. First, there was a carrot that looked like a harbor seal. “Let’s never throw this out! Never!” Then, a pile of cracker crumbs which resembled a dog snout. “I have to show Nana!” A heart-shaped piece of toilet paper… “Put this with your collection mom.”  (For the record, I do collect toilet paper. Don’t ask.) And, a day-old banana with an indisputable likeness of a baby Komodo dragon emblazoned on its spotty peel. “Let’s take a picture of this with our brain heads.”   Back to the window and t

We're on a rural route to nowhere or somewhere, depending

When I was a kid, we lived in the country. Way in the country. Isn’t that obvious by now? Although we lived far away from any city or town, we were by no means the only family in the outskirts. Though most were cottagers who made only brief appearances once a year, there were a few “constant” families living among the wildlife. But they were nothing like us. There were the Hilfigers* - a rather uptight crew of five who had escaped life in the big city to settle in a lakefront mansion. At least, I thought it was a mansion. I had little to go on other than the fact that my house had one floor and theirs had two. Also, a mudroom. The Hilfiger father - a doctor – ran past our house and up and down our long country road every day, before dawn, at noon, after supper and when the sun went down. I know now that he was running to his mistress’ house in the nearest community, hours away by car. But at the time, I just thought he was really, really, fit. It now occurs to me that he proba

Put your feet up, stay a while

by Andrea Mulder-Slater When my daughter was born, I received my share of unsolicited parenting advice. Use cloth diapers. Buy disposables and a Diaper Genie. Don't give the baby a soother. Try this binky. Introduce meat at 4 months. Breastfeed until age 5. Here, slather this ointment on your nipples.  Some suggestions were more helpful than others. One of my favorites was: "Always run a vacuum cleaner when you put the baby to bed." Theory being that if you have your child fall asleep amidst obnoxious housekeeping noises, then – in addition to having a clean floor – your offspring will be able to sleep anywhere, anytime... mid meal, mid play, mid work. Whichever. Like this kid. And this one. While I didn’t plug in the Dyson at nap time, I didn’t go overboard trying to create a silent sleeping environment for my newborn either. As a result, she dozed her way through several board meetings, numerous coffee shop visits and more than half a dozen Waffle H