Wednesday, December 20, 2006

DJing for the younger set

Woo-eeeee! The Christmas season has descended on Chez FOO with a vengeance. This past weekend we were on the road for my MIL's family party and my university roommate reunion. Today our playgroup had a festive gathering (organized by yours truly -- cookie decorating, a Starbucks traveller, and a potluck buffet), tomorrow is Charlie's preschool party, Friday is my birthday, Christmas Eve is my family get-together, Christmas Day is HS's family get-together, and Charlie's birthday is on the 27th. Whew! But I love it. I like my family. I like all the parties. I didn't really get all of the magazine articles on holiday stress until last night when I had to make the cookies for today's party. So I got four packs of Pillsbury cookie dough sheets (yes! sheets! awesome! just add cookie cutters!) and got them all done in half an hour. Sweet. Charlie is doing fairly well with all of the excitement, although he had his worst meltdown EVER after the party on Saturday. But really, I could see it coming. Let's see, no nap + cookies and candy galore + lots of cousins to play with + presents + up past bedtime = serious freakout. A no-brainer.

I even had time to whip up a little CD of Charlie's favourite tunes for our playgroup. Here's the playlist:

Yellow Submarine (The Beatles) -- I think every kid likes the Yellow Submarine. And most of the Beatles stuff for that matter.
Pata Pata (Miriam Makeba) -- An effective Oil of Olay ad and a great dancing tune!
The Rainbow (The Apples in Stereo) -- Beatles-esque. See above.
La La La La Lemon (Barenaked Ladies) -- Oh Barenaked Ladies. I used to watch you at The 'Bow when it was just Steve and Ed.
The Coffee Song (Ralph's World) -- If your kid listens to this enough, he/she will learn to spell Mommy, Daddy and coffee. Makes for a great party trick!
Pay Me My Money Down (Bruce Springsteen) -- Pete Seeger is also good for the kiddos, but I really like this version.
Everybody Came (Ambrosia Parsley) -- Who is this singer?
Bushel and a Peck (Dan Zanes) -- I must confess, I have a crush on Dan Zanes.
See You on the Moon! (Great Lake Swimmers) -- I really should download more from this band. I love this song.
Mahna Mahna (Cake) -- But I don't like Cake! I do have fond memories of this from Sesame Street though.
I've Been Everywhere (Johnny Cash) -- He actually mentions Ottawa!
My Doorbell (The White Stripes) -- Surprisingly kid-friendly!
Hockey Monkey (James Kochalka) -- Charlie's favourite. And funny.
Mushaboom (Feist) -- My brother burned me a Feist CD ages ago, but it wasn't until the Lacoste ad that I heard this song. I am so not cool.
Wonderwheel (Dan Zanes) -- Told you I had a crush.
King of Spain (Moxy Fruvous) -- I used to live on the same street as Jian Ghomeshi.
Three Little Birds (Bob Marley) -- Kids love reggae!
Waltzing Matilda (Dan Zanes & Debbie Harry) -- Ok, it's a getting a bit embarassing.
L-O-V-E (Nat King Cole) -- His voice is just awesome.
What's the World Got in Store (Wilco) -- I think every parent asks this question.
The Rainbow Connection (Sarah McLachlan) -- I'd rather have the Kermit version, but this one is nice too.
We're Going to be Friends (The White Stripes) -- A better version than the one in Curious George.
Bonne Nuit Etienne (Montag) -- I don't know who this singer? group? is either, but this song is sweetly soothing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Losing my nerve and my mind

Charlie has decided to squeak in the terrible twos just weeks before he turns three.

Now I know there are lots of posts about crazy days with Charlie and declarations of his only-hood, but at least I used to be able to count on a nap to break up the day. Dammit, that nap was important for my mental health. And Charlie's too because by 5:00 p.m. he is a bundle of sleep-deprived irrationality who wants everything and nothing at all at the same time. I am still trying to enforce quiet time, a mere 45 minutes when he must play in his room or listen to the blessed books on tape. But somehow quiet time has devolved into twenty minutes of Charlie bellowing from his room and slamming his door repeatedly. Behaviour that begets a time-out, which begets more tears and screaming, which begets a frazzled harpy of a mother. Add in negotiating the minefield that is an almost-three-year-old temperament, and by the time HS gets home I'm exhausted. Oh, and it's winter outside. And I can't shake this cold.

So I'm trying handle Charlie the best I can. HS and I hashed out a few things last night (after I dropped a sheet of the best cookies ever on the floor and stomped out of the house). We are trying to stick to our routines as closely as possible. Because they work, and Charlie is happier when he knows what's coming. He also hates being rushed to do anything (eating, crossing the road, and heaven forbid if we wipe his butt too quickly, cause he hates that too), which makes getting to school a bit, ahem, challenging, so I'm rejigging our timing so we won't be rushed. I am clearly outlining all transitions so there are fewer freak-outs at the unexpected. And I am trying to let go of the little things that make no sense to me, but are very important to-do's on a three-year-old's agenda, such as: If Charlie must put his mittens back on for the seven steps it takes to get from the car to the house, then let him. So what if he's just going to take them off when he gets inside? It's not bad behaviour. It just doesn't make sense to anyone over the age of five.

And today was better. But the upshot of all this is: I've lost my nerve. We were all set to go with baby #2, and since we decided to hold off until our timing was better, I'm hesitating. Again.