Is it still called being a picky eater if she only eats gourmet foods?

“I don’t like macaroni and cheese anymore,” she said out of the blue one morning, putting down her spoon after three bites of cereal because it was getting soggy.

Right then. So let’s break this down. Things my five-year-old daughter won’t eat:

Kraft Dinner Kraft Dinner

Image source: Getty Images

Any pizza that isn’t cheese pizza. Actually, no, she won’t eat that either. Pepperoni pizza

Image source: Getty Images

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So I tried something I read on the internet and nearly set my house on fire last night

for making toast

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Wait! I’m not even talking about diagnosing terminal illnesses, magical weight-loss tips, conspiracy theories or anything that aims to debunk established scientific truths. We already know that stuff is crazy.

I’m talking about those lists of helpful tips you see everywhere: 18 Ways To Save Time In the Kitchen; 23 Easy Hacks to Change Your Life; or, my favourite, 48 Tricks Every Parent Should Know. And I should know better! I mean, I already wrote 13 Parenting Tips That Can Bite Me  and the so-called useful advice that has come out since then has been crying out for a sequel. Have you seen the baby sleeper with the built-in mop?! Yes, let’s clothe our infants in mops to maximize the amount of dust and dirt that will cling to them when they crawl across the floor. That’s brilliant.

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We forgot about this when we were wishing for summer

We’re almost a week into summer vacation now and I’m already bent over and gasping for breath. This sucker is the marathon of school vacations and I’m going to have to start pacing myself. I seem to have forgotten exactly how this works and maybe you have too.

1. The kids are home all the time! Unless they’re in camp in which case summer vacation becomes the single biggest financial drain of your year. Hurray! No, but seriously. There’s a two-year-old clinging to my back as I type this, a five-year-old whining about popcicles and an eight-year-old who seems to be in some sort of mind meld-like trance with a video game. In order to get them out of here, I have to go with them.

sitting on curb

 Image credit: Getty Images.

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In defence of kindergarten graduation and trophies for everyone

In defense of kindergarten graduations and trophies for everyone

Image credit: Bill Watson.

Tomorrow is Irene’s graduation from senior kindergarten and I am stoked. Yep, full disclosure: I think it’s sweet.

I still remember my own SK graduation, construction-paper caps, orange “drink” in little Dixie cups and all. It felt like a big deal to me. I was proud and excited to move on to grade one. Grade one is a big change for little kids as the emphasis shifts from play-based learning to more and more desk time. A little ceremony helps to make it feel more special than scary.

But man, do some people ever disagree with me. The anti-mollycoddling movement is alive and well. Their voice is represented in blog and facebook posts around the world. (But The Huffington Post comment section is where they seem to truly come alive.)

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Watch out for my kid, a**hole! 5 easy rules for not running over children with your car

5 easy rules for not running over children with your car

I live in the city of Toronto with three young children. I am a driver and I am a pedestrian. I don’t really cycle. But I am a pedestrian first. We all are. If I were to run for mayor of this city, “Pedestrians first,” would be my slogan. (Though it’s probably easier to buy crack in the “Subways, subways, subways.”)

Unfortunately, many of the drivers in this city (and other cities, too, I’d imagine) do not share my love of pedestrianism. They do not, in fact, seem to care about the safety and well-being of my children at all. Perhaps they do not have children of their own. Perhaps they’ve just returned from a decades-long expedition to the antarctic and have never encountered children at all in their entire adult lives. I don’t know.

So I put together a few simple rules to help them avoid running over kids with their cars. Because that’s really freaking annoying when you’re already late for work.

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Because there always has to be that one kid doing her own thing, right?

Because there always has to be that one kid doing her own thing, right?

Not counting the mandatory square dance unit in my all-girl school grade-nine gym class — that was time well spent — I haven’t taken a dance class in my life. My extracurriculars were confined to figure skating, swimming, girl guides, one week of basketball camp and more than a few dodgy day camps run by hungover teenagers. That was it.

My first two kids do all the same activities because I am nothing if not streamlined. So that’s two kids in hockey and t-ball and swimming and zero kids in dance. Fine by me.

But it just so happens that there’s a nursery school program run by a local children’s dance centre. It’s wonderful, lovely, amazing; you should sign your kids up now. Half-day care a couple times a week was exactly what I needed to fill in my childcare gaps. Perfect. They do typical nursery school activities like crafts and singalongs and a lot of dancing. Sure, sounds good. Whatever. I’m in it for the childcare.

The last week before Christmas break there was a little show for family members in the studio. It was totally casual. Just show up a few minutes early and the kiddies will do a little routine. The kids were off school that day so we all went and sat down on mats on the floor, ready to absorb the cuteness. Cue the music! Aaaand … Mary ran over, crawled into my lap and refused to join in until it was time to take a bow.

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