Archives for November 2007

Is it Christmas Yet?

Hannah keeps asking me if it’s Christmastime yet. She is mucho excited about this holiday, I can tell you. There is nothing that she is not looking forward to – hardly surprising, considering this is a holiday pretty much tailor-made for a 3-year-old.

And me? I am going to confess that I also love Christmas and all of its trappings. Even balancing all of our various commitments has become fun as I watch my daughter and her friends and relatives, thick as thieves, having so much fun. Truthfully, though, my love of the holiday is not related solely to Hannah, although it is more fun with her. I have always loved Christmas. The trees, colourful packages, songs, food, lights, and feelings of goodwill. I even sort of enjoy the crowds, as everyone bustles in the common purpose of holiday preparations. And at the heart of it all, there is the holiness and solemn majesty of birth, the promise of new life that I appreciate so much more now that I have a child of my own.

This is my confession. I have been listening to Christmas music in my car for weeks. I can’t wait for the holiday to be here. As ridiculous as Christmas in August may be, I am the first one chomping at the bit of the midwinter festival. And tomorrow, tomorrow it will be December, and Sunday will kick off the Advent season, so I will have free reign. I will be able to wallow in holiday trimmings and trappings without fear of censure or sideways glances. Because, you see, it will be Christmastime, or what passes for it in our culture. Hannah and I can’t wait.

Great Day

Today was a great day. I attended the Maternal Creations craft fair. The other exhibitors were fabulous, and I really enjoyed myself. There’s so many amazing, crafty mamas out there, making fabulous things in between wiping noses and doing laundry. I’m so glad I went.

Meanwhile, Hannah spent the day with her grandfather. They watched a lot of TV, shared lunch at Hannah’s favourite restaurant (hint: she loves the ‘pirate ship’), and paid a visit to Santa at the mall. When I got home, she said hi to me, and then immediately reached back for her grandfather. I think they both had a really good time, and I’m so glad about that. A day alone with a toddler does me in, but Ted really took it in stride. I’m sure that both grandfather and granddaughter will sleep well tonight, though.

So, yes, today was a great day for everyone in our neck of the woods. Here’s holding out hope for tomorrow. 🙂

Ain’t Life Grand?

Hannah has special relationships with her grandparents. Now that she’s older, and can handle the commute out to the valley on a regular basis, she especially loves to go and visit them. I can’t tell her very far in advance when we will be going to see her grandparents, or I am treated to a non-stop stream of demands to leave now, Right! Now! No more waiting! LET’S GO!

The kid has her favourite activities with each set of grandparents. She chatters the whole way out in the car about all the fun things that she will do. Then, she complains all the way home again about how she doesn’t want to go home, she wants to go back and play more. After all, why hang out with boring old Mom and Dad when she can be doted on by adoring grandparents providing forbidden treats and new adventures?

I am simply delighted to watch this mutual admiration society between grandparents and grandchildren. I know that these relationships will stand Hannah in good stead, and give her a sense of person and place that she will keep all her life. Any child can only benefit by having more people love her, support her, and care for her. Hannah, as the oldest (and so far only) grandchild and great-grandchild on all sides is certainly blessed in this regard. She likes to ask me, “Mom, am I a lucky girl?” I can only say, “Yes, Hannah, you are a very lucky girl.” And so she is.

Best Place on Earth

The government of British Columbia has a new provincial slogan – The Best Place on Earth. As someone who was born here and has known no other home, they’ll hear no arguments from me. I am a proud Canadian, but I don’t really like winter, so I live here on the coast. The trees, the ocean, and the mountains form the landscape of my soul, and I feel at home amongst them.

Days like today are especially marvelous. It’s a sunny 10 degrees outside, and Hannah and I were working in the garden. We transplanted and re-arranged a bunch of plants, taking advantage of the moist soil that means we won’t need to water. And on my raspberry bushes? A handful of delicious, juicy raspberries. I am picking fresh berries well after Halloween. It’s hard not be at least a little bit smug about that, when most of the rest of the country has already had snow.

Of course, days like today are rare in November, which is generally a month of non-stop rain. But we won’t talk about that now, will we? I would hate to have to wipe this self-satisfied grin off my face. 😉

It’s Too Soon

This past week we went to visit our local Montessori school, where Hannah has a place starting in January. Once she turns 3 in February she will be too old to attend her current daycare centre. While the company she’s with now has 2 facilities for 3-5 year olds, they’re pretty much booked solid and there’s no guarantee that a space will be available for her when the time comes. Also, the new centre is much closer to home (2 minute walk, even at Hannah’s pace).

After visiting the new centre, I have Grave Misgivings about this whole venture. Everyone I speak with seems to feel that Hannah is totally ready to make the move to a 3-5 year old facility. Me? I’m not so sure. This new place has Curriculum, Educational Activities, and lots of Structure. Maybe she’ll like it, maybe she’ll thrive. But in my heart I feel she’s too young to be academically inclined. I feel like she should have years left to play freely, without any sort of expectation of progress or advancement.

I myself attended a Waldorf preschool and kindergarten (yes, my parents were hippies, why do you ask? ;-)). My parents moved me to public school for grade one because it turned out I veered more towards academics than beeswax-modelling. And, I did well in public school. I think my parents made the right decision.

Now that it’s time to make educational decisions for my own daughter, though, my roots are showing through. My favourite toys come from Natural Pod, purveyor of local, natural, imaginative toys. I feel drawn to beeswax crayons, wooden playstands, and rainbow-coloured silk dress-up clothes. I have an idyllic view of childhood as a time of unstructured play, when kids can run wild and explore to their hearts’ contents.

Between my maternal instinct that says Hannah is still my baby, and my inborn resistance to structure in early childhood, I am at a loss. So, I will try Hannah at the Montessori school. It may well be that she thrives in this new place – I probably would have, at her age. If not, she is on several more waiting lists all over Coquitlam and Port Moody, and something will work out. As for me, I will fill the rest of her time with as much freedom, as many wooden toys, and as much imagination as I can muster. And I will try to stop sobbing about how my little girl is growing up far too soon, at least in front of Hannah. 😉

Hannah’s Words

Hannah’s vocabulary is pretty large, now. Here are some of the words and phrases that she uses regularly that make me smile:

1. Actually – Actually, it’s only a little mess, Mama.
2. Hilarious – You are ‘eelarious!
3. Not quiteHannah, are you finished your sandwich? Not quite.
4. Perfect – Perfect! (when I put her shoes on for her)
5. Beautiful – Oh, these shoes are just beautiful!

Aftermath

So, here’s the problem with me and Halloween treats. I have no control. Last week I made myself seriously ill, and it took me several days to completely return to normal. I should have learned my lesson, but I have not. Today, someone planted a (very large) bag of candy on the table in our work area. And me? I have had 7 pieces so far. In 4 hours. Plus the 2 chocolate chip cookies I brought from home. I do not feel well.

The trouble with getting older is that you can’t do the things you used to do without paying the price. And yet, your basic personality does not change, so you find yourself paying that price rather dearly, maybe on multiple occasions, before it sinks through your thick skull. You. Are. Not. A. Kid. Anymore. If you eat 15 Halloween candies at a sitting, you will be ill, and you will regret it. Maybe even for a long time.

So, here I am, more than a week after Halloween, still suffering from the aftermath. Because while I have the good sense to severely limit Hannah’s candy intake, I am not so smart about myself. Bleck.

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