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Toddler Mark

The terrible toddlers years!


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.

When Pretending is Hard

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.

Hit Me Baby (One More Time)

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…”.

Selfish Little Monster

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.

In the Beginning Was the Word

Article views: 0 New Haircut, Ottawa, February 2015 “Mommy sit.” “Mommy doesn’t feel like sitting on the curb.” “MOMMY SIT!” “And now what?” “Picture. Mark, picture.” “Oh, you want me to take a picture of you?” “Uh.” “There you go.” “See. I SEE, I SEE! Mark,” he shouts, pointing to the...

Dear Santa

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.

Daycare-Hunting Hell—Report from the Front

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...

The Mother Who Sucked at Christmas

Mark doesn’t care about the Santa book I’m holding and the great speech I had prepared. Hopefully I will have more success with the heart-to-heart mother-to-son conversation we will have one day about where babies come from.


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.”

“No Hand, I Swear!”

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.

IKEA, Ottawa, November 2014

IKEA, Apples and Cravings

The woman looks at Mark and me as if we were crazy. Yes, I have a kid who craves apples. The very same apples we have at home, the very same wedges he ate in the car when we picked him up from school an hour ago.

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

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...

Mark, Ogdensburg, USA, October 2014

“Zàng”, I said!

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...