I’m scared of normal stuff: people around me getting hurt, daycare centres going bankrupt, not making enough money, dying, not being a good enough mother, running out of time, my mother-in-law and forgetting important stuff. I’m not scared of monsters, so I’m a great monster exterminator.
Browsing: Toddler Mark
It is March Break and Mark’s daycare decided to organize fun activities throughout the week. It’s a great idea, except that tomorrow is “Beach Day”. And I must admit I’m struggling with the concept.
On a cold and snowy day of December, I probably scarred a toddler for life. “Oh no! Doing what?” “Using… the negative form. And an exclamation point.”
I’ve been dealing with human beings for almost 32 years now, and I’m pretty sure a conjunction is coming after the ellipsis. You know, like when a guy says “you’re very pretty…” or your manager starts with “great job on the project…”.
Fortunately, you have plenty of time to devise a battle plan because even at 8 a.m. on a snowy Saturday morning, the waiting room is full of disgustingly sick people trying to score drugs as well. I hate them.
Most days, I feel like I start the day as a giant yummy chocolate cake fresh out of the oven. But hours after hours, minutes after minutes, Mark grabs bites of me. And at the end of the day, there is nothing left but useless stale crumbs. “Need… shower…” I grumble around 7 p.m.
“Mommy sit.” “Mommy doesn’t feel like sitting on the curb.” “MOMMY SIT!” “And now what?”…
“Boxing Day” had nothing to do with sports, unless you consider putting products in a basket, waiting in line and swiping your credit card is an activity involving physical exertion and skill. No, Boxing Day is about the other national sport—shopping.
I am writing to you on behalf of Mark, our two-year-and-two-month-old toddler dragon. You may remember him from the mall—he is the kid who is fascinated by Christmas lights and decorations but claims he is afraid of you. Yes, well, this is Mark.
We called more daycare centres—all with interchangeable cutesy names involving “love”, “children”, “wee” or “bear” —booking tours if they didn’t hang up on us. We drove to places well outside our neighborhood, filling up endless forms—“what do you want from a daycare?”, “list the three main ways you want your child to grow”, etc.
This isn’t a blog time machine, you haven’t jumped into the future and lost twelve years, Mark isn’t a moody teenager yet—just a toddler who entered the “no phase.”
At the tender age of two, Mark just lost his first job. A victim of capitalism—one more.
Mark loves “machines”. “Machines” can be, well, any machine—air con units, vacuum cleaners, washing machines… anything with a loud engine that roars, bonus if something spins and he can see it.
On October 30, Feng and I were scrambling to find a Halloween costume for Mark. I had been sick all week and I didn’t have the chance to plan ahead. So while I was looking for last year’s pirate hat in the closet, Feng drove to Dollarama to buy a few accessories.
At home, we have two ways of dealing with sickness. Feng is ultra-careful and takes drugs whenever something hurts or something doesn’t feel right. If he could quarantine himself from the world, he would. On the other side, I pretend it doesn’t exist. No, I’m not coughing. No, I don’t have a fever. No, I’m not passed out in bed.
Filling out daycare application forms is a tough exercise. You’d think you’re applying for Harvard—although I strongly suspect the main admission factor is the cheque you have to write every month.
Yes, Mark is going to daycare. It’s about bloody time.
Being a North American parent comes with a few requirements, like the ability to make PB&J sandwiches (yet comply with “peanut free” areas when necessary) or the skills to plan ahead for major holidays. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know Halloween was coming up—for the past few weeks, I’ve been walking past plastic limbs in backyards and skeletons hung in trees. Yes, people take Halloween seriously here.
These days, flying isn’t as fun as it was once with all the security regulations, and everyone has a “there was a kid on board…” hellish story. But really, it’s not that bad.
Mark seems to be attracted by anything dirty of messy. If there is one puddle of muddy water in the middle of a perfectly dry sidewalk, he is going to jump in it with obvious delight. He eats with his fingers and happily wipes them on me. He grabs the sole of his shoes, absentmindedly licks his fingers, then run his hands through my hair.
I’ve been saying that Mark is two years old for a little while now—counting in…
It all started in the car. Eh, we are living in North America, after all.
Feng was driving, I was sitting in the passenger seat and Mark was at the back, in the car seat that he hates—well, he hates being trapped. So he was whining, and that’s fucking annoying. I did what any mother would do: I handed him a shrimp cracker. Okay, maybe not all mothers keep shrimp crackers in the car, but in our family, we do.
Some days I don’t want to be the mom. Don’t get me wrong: I still want Mark in my life—I just don’t want to be the “CEO” of Family Inc., I don’t want to be the one in charge.
Mark isn’t two yet but I think the “terrible twos” started. He throws tantrums for no reason, gets frustrated easily and plays tricks on us. He is testing limits. Constantly.