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Posts Tagged ‘Ergo’

Every once in a while I stop and watch Miss S in amazement.  While Miss Q charges ahead with life, exploring and adventuring, Miss S gets pulled along like a barge, observing the excitement from the Ergo.  (Is it wrong to compare your nine-month-old to a barge?)

Sunday, amidst the bustle of having three children under the age of three playing in our living room, and socializing with a close mum friend, I suddenly realized that Miss S was the one interacting with their friend, Miss A, not Miss Q.

These first moments of play were tender.  Miss A, 10 months Miss S’s senior, was so patient as she pulled out plastic food from the Fisher Price kitchen and handed it to Miss S.  Miss A’s generosity didn’t stop there; she then lined barrels up for Miss S and didn’t whimper when Miss S went for her eyes instead of the barrels.

This newfound friendship caught me by surprise.  Because Miss A is soon to be a big sister herself, I have always mentally paired her with Miss Q.

Miss Q, for her part has always tolerated Miss A, who is 19 months her junior.  (Though it’s only been in the last few months that Miss Q has decided not to hoard her toys.)

Naturally, as the first notes of friendship were being played out on the mats, the green-eyed monster arrived.  Miss Q didn’t exactly try to break them up; she opted to meow like a cat at the top of her lungs and race around the living room for attention.

My heart went out to Miss Q, before attempting to quiet her down.  It wasn’t long ago that I was at play dates for my brothers and their friends and found myself the odd girl out.  It’s hard to fit in when you’re the oldest – awkward even.

As I attempted to re-direct Miss Q’s energy, I realized I needed to prepare myself for moments like this.  When your children are little, it’s easy to clump them together in group play, but clearly as they start emerging from the toddler stage, their likes and dislikes evolve, as do the people they want to hang around with.

This time it was Miss Q who was left out, albeit temporarily.  Once the play changed to outside, Miss Q lead Miss A astray – as they both waded into the wading pool: Miss Q barefoot; Miss A in her running shoes.

For the next little while, Miss S will most likely be the one on the sidelines as she gets her wobbly legs under control.

The friendship needs of our girls will always be a balancing act.  Being the odd one out seems to be as much a rite of passage as it is an unavoidable fact – whether you have two children or three.  In the end, the one hope I have for my daughters is they will always be friends with each other first.

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It was painfully obvious as we strolled through a plastic Hello Kitty store (everything was in plastic bags), that wandering in and out of stores for three hours wasn’t going to cut it.  Miss Q had already walked for an hour from Budget Brake and Muffler to Metrotown – the last 30 minutes of the walk, she needed to pee and I felt like the worst mother in the world asking her if she could hold it.  Visions of buying her new pants swirled in my head, but thankfully they just stayed visions.

Both girls were awesome, considering they’d been in motion since four a.m.  Miss S slept in the Ergo while Miss Q kept putting one foot in front of the other until we got to the bathrooms at the Bay.

After exhausting the food court, the only thing left to do, or so I thought, was wander through more stores, repeating: No, sorry pal, we’re not going to buy that.

Enter: the train.

This godsend takes a 15-minute round-trip through the mall.  Now, you’re supposed to pay your dollar (children are free) and get off at one end, join the line-up and re-board when it’s your turn; however, on a Tuesday afternoon, there are no line-ups, so we were able to hop off, switch cars, and ride back.

For four dollars, we rode the rails, killing a little over 1/2 an hour.  Miss Q was in her element, waving at people as we passed, watching the engine weave through the shoppers.

Miss S got in on the action as well, waving at shoppers and standing in the car, so she could feel the wind in her faux hawk.

Unfortunately all good things had to come to an end.  We got a phone call from my friend at Budget saying they were putting the wheels back on the van; we could make our way back anytime.

In a scene that could only be created on the Amazing Race, just as the taxi pulled in front of us at the entrance of the Bay, my phone rang.  It was my husband.  “Where are you?” he asked.

“Just about to get into a taxi to pick up the car.  Where are you?”

“At the Food Court by the Bay,” he replied.

“Okay, hang up and run through the Bay, down the escalator and through the women’s bathing suits.  We’ll wait for you.  Run.”

And run he did.  Seconds later, after a two hour commute on public transit (2 busses) from the BC Ferries to Metrotown, my husband joined us in the taxi and we set off to pick up our van.


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Wednesday found us homebound.  After our day of wake on Tuesday, it was well needed.

Along with random emotional outbursts, these days, I’ve noticed that Miss Q is itching to be helpful.  In order to channel this new world of helpfulness; and since Miss Q has always loved helping in the kitchen – dumping in ingredients, decorating, licking the beaters; I opened our kitchen for business.

No, she didn’t wash dishes, or scrub the oven- even though her little hands would be excellent for fiddly work.  Miss Q helped me make Moroccan Chicken Soup and Strawberry Raspberry Crisp (for the latter, by ‘help’ I mean eat the berries).

It was a great hour of cooking with my sous chef while Miss S slept soundly in the Ergo.  She fetched ingredients out of the fridge for me, dumped, stirred, and, of course, tasted.  It always amazes me how confident she is in the kitchen; though she still runs when I turn on the dust-buster or mixer; and I cringe when she declares she can, “pour it myself.”

While waiting for the crisp to bake, Miss Q helped change her first diaper.  How excited was she when I let her pull back the tape, “Ooh this is a good surprise,” she declared.  (Fortunately it was a good surprise and not a stinky one.)

For her part, Miss S giggled and squirmed as she waited for Miss Q to pick the right diaper and outfit for her to wear – Miss S is Miss Q’s biggest fan.

Once the crisp exited the oven, we piled Miss Q’s bike into the back of the car and cruised to the muddy parking lot for a ride with her friends.  (Miss Q was content to splash in the puddles this time – with her boots.  No bike riding for her.)

We came home muddy and pink from the rather cold afternoon breeze.  Good ol’ Victoria: the sun in the winter makes you think it’s warm, until you walk outside into the wind.  Fortunately there was soup accompanied by Daddy’s biscuits and yummy crisp to warm our bones.

Days like this feed your soul and remind you to breathe.

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Miss S officially rolls over.  She sits without wavering and, her latest trick is to chant, “Daddadaddadadda.”  (That’s a fine howdy-do for six months of service.)

Here she’s been, growing silently, while I chase her sister.  The world observed from her perch in the Ergo, strapped to my chest.

Suddenly, it seems, I have an almost six-month-old, who took her first calculated wiggles to crawling last week; an almost six-month-old, who, likes to pull toys out of boxes; an almost six-month-old, who as of two days ago, added carrots to her palate.

This isn’t to say I’m chopped liver.  Miss S and I still have our late-night/ early morning meetings.  We can’t be apart for longer than 1.5 hours.  And, she prefers me to everyone else, including dear ol’ daddadaddadadda.

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Once we got the socks sorted, it was out the door and off to the gas station, Granny’s house (to pick up a forgotten brush) and the grocery store – yay for domestic chores.

Grocery shopping – especially with my girls – is one of my favourite activities.  Up until two weeks ago, my husband never missed a grocery shop, but in the interest of having less to do on his days off, I’m trying it solo (with the girlies), and it’s fantastic.

Honestly, I lived in fear of navigating the aisles with the two of them.  Would Miss Q stay in the cart?  Would Miss S reject the Ergo?  Would Miss Q stay in the cart?  (Yes, that’s the biggest fear.)

Fortunately, thus far, Miss Q enjoys riding in the cart.  It’s sort of a magical ride, as the grocery store we visit has a special cart escalator – the wheels click in and the escalator/conveyor belt carries the cart and Miss Q up to the store – with Miss S and I close behind.

Miss S enjoys peeking out of the Ergo – though it’s a little cumbersome when bending for lower shelf items.

I like to include Miss Q in the grocery choices.  Oh how her face lights up when I ask her what vegetables she wants to eat or what colour grapes we should get.  She is the Captain of the Cauliflower; Empress of the Eggs; Majesty of Milk.

When she sees something she feels we need, her asking technique varies.  Mostly it’s point-blank: Can I have a bakery cookie, Mama?  But sometimes she turns to Jedi mind control: You want to buy that tasty juice, Mama.

I have to admit, she’s 90% successful.

Though I miss wandering the aisles with my husband, having complete control over what we consume is delicious.  He still helps me make a list, but searching for deals and finding in-store coupons is a hunt I enjoy immensely.

Today as we visited the tank of crabs (over half of whom weren’t moving) I wondered what grocery shopping would look like with the girls in a couple years when Miss S is two and Miss Q is four.  Would there be fights over the cart or who gets to pick the cereal?  Tantrums over the flavour of ice cream?  Perhaps we’ll revisit my husband’s level of participation with the shop before then.

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We’ve only been trying to get to Fort Rodd Hill for two weeks.  Last Thursday it was too rainy.  Today, it was closed for maintenance.  Go figure.

Fort Rodd Hill’s loss was the beach’s gain.  The six children (two in Ergos) had fun walking down the beach waving sticks, poking at the sand and climbing over logs.  Perhaps the best part was walking in the surf, and the waves crashing over their boots – seriously need to look into knee-high boots or hip waders.

Miss S was hypnotized by the waves.  Her first trip to the beach; and what a glorious day to be introduced.  After all the storms we’ve had, the world was sparkly and warm.

Once we said good-bye to our friends, the girls and I walked across the road to watch the swans.  Of course moments after I told Miss Q we had to stay on the logs to watch; we didn’t want to get too close, a family started feeding them out of the palm of their hands.

Miss Q didn’t want to leave.  I believe it is safe to say Miss S didn’t either, from the fact she woke and resumed looking at everything, instead of immediately wanting food or out of the Ergo.

It was nice to be reminded, once again, that we live on an island.  It’s so easy to get caught, driving from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, and miss completely the ocean that surrounds us.

We will try again for Fort Rodd Hill – third time should be a charm; and add the beach to our list of adventures more often.

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The good news is the Woolly Mammoth is still there.  He/she took Miss Q’s breath away, as she stood almost against the wall, looking diagonally up at him.

The effect of this formidable animal was heightened by the sound effects stemming from a speaker.  “That’s what a Woolly Mammoth sounds like,” I told Miss Q.  “Mama’s old friend, Woolly.”  Don’t know if I reassured her, or added to the confusion of whether Woolly was going to stomp out of his display.

I love the Royal BC Museum.  Besides Woolly, Old Town is my favorite.  I love peeking in on the shops from the 19th century, smelling the apple pie in the hotel’s kitchen, and looking at all the boxes of herbal remedies in Chinatown.

It was fun to return to the museum with Miss Q and Miss S, though the latter fell asleep in Old Town – guess she wasn’t as impressed with the silent film playing in the movie theater as her sister.

The girls’ first movie theater experience: Charlie Chaplin.  Miss Q walked right in to the darkened room, flipped down a red velvet seat and settled in.  All that was missing was a box of popcorn, and we would have been set for the morning.

It was a shame the train wasn’t running this visit.  My excited brothers and I used to sit on the wooden benches, waiting for it to arrive.  (The train is sound effects and if memory serves me correctly, a shadow through the windows.)  Miss Q didn’t know what she was missing and was happy to look at the model trains on display beside the station.

Her interest didn’t wane, as we moved through the different industries of BC.  She was very interested in the miniature diagrams of Fort Victoria, train logging, and the cannery.  But Miss Q’s favourite, much to my surprise, was the sea lion skeleton.  “Because it was good.”  Good, and I think reminded her of dinosaurs, which she really wanted to see, but our museum doesn’t have.  (The Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, is firmly on our vacation list.)

It was a sunny, but cold winter day, by Victoria standards; the type of day my former self would have strolled up Government Street to grab a giant mocha at Murchies, and settle down for some writing on one of their stools overlooking the near-empty streets.

Today, however, with Miss S, now awake and happily looking around from her perch in the Ergo, and Miss Q matching her size 9’s with the dinosaur footprints in the cement outside the museum; a stroll through the heavily pruned rose garden at the Empress, on our way back to the car, was all I dared tack to the adventure.

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