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March 30th, 2009

An ordinary Monday

My day started this morning at about 9:15am. My boy began rolling around in bed restlessly as he tried to cling to the last few minutes of his sleep. Each roll brought him closer and closer to me, such that I was nearly falling off the bed, by the time, he crawled on top of me, smiled and said, "Mommy!". Such a glorious way of greeting the world, as opposed to the cruel harshness of an alarm clock.

We did our usual morning stuff. Pottying, milk, breakfast. Today, as I sometimes do, I put him in his playpen to drink his milk so that I could shower. He relaxed against his Mickey Mouse pillow amongst his stuffed friends. This is the only way that he will happily go into the playpen and the only time that I will put him in.

Today, when I got out of the shower, I didn't hear his usual complaints of discontent. When I went to check on him, I saw that he was standing in the playpen. This certainly isn't the first time that he has pulled himself to standing, but it is the first time that he stood up in his playpen. He looked pretty damn pleased with himself, and I'm still not sure how he did it.

At 10:30am, we ate breakfast together. My boy had oatmeal with apples, apricots and bananas. I ate rice krispies and hard boiled eggs. I finished reading Maya Angelou's Letter to My Daughter. My boy flipped through his ABC book and a few others.

By 11:30am, we arrived at the drop-in centre. Somehow we have only made it there a couple of times before. When we arrived at the front door, my boy frantically signed "Hooray". I asked him if he was saying "Hooray" because his way of signing it looks a lot like his sign for "all done". He confirmed that he was by clapping his hands. I was amazed and proud.

At 12:30pm, I gave my boy lunch at the drop-in. I overheard another mother complaining that her son wouldn't eat vegetables. I smiled to myself as my boy polished off his homemade chick pea stew with brown rice, and even fed himself pieces of brocolli for the first time. My boy has only been feeding himself finger foods for a few days, and it still amazes me. He has never been a hand-to-mouth kid, and only very recently has started putting toys in his mouth.

After lunch, I saw him quickly pull himself to standing on the bottom of the slide. I turned around to wash his lunch dishes, and when I turned back to check on him, I uttered "Oh my God!" and saw that he climbed onto the bottom of the slide.

We left the drop-in at 1:30pm, and my boy finally fell asleep at 2:00pm in his stroller as I walked. Much like me, my boy fights sleep and he fights it hard. But once he succumbs to the sweetness of sleep, he sleeps deeply and wakes slowly, also much like me.

I was so hungry as we walked. It occurred to me as it does most days, that it would be a good thing if I planned out my meals like I do for my boy. I cook his food in batches, and keep a stash in the freezer. Every night, I choose what he will eat the following day. My boy eats very healthy food, and I always take pains to ensure that he has protein and carbs at every meal, and complete proteins where possible by combining brown rice with legumes. I am determined to have my boy grow up healthy and strong as a vegetarian.

After picking up a sandwich and smoothie for lunch at 2:30pm, I shopped for as many organic groceries as I could fit under my stroller.

At 3:30pm, I was heading home. The sun and blue skies made a surprise appearance when rain and grey skies were predicted. It occurred to me that a day spent walking in our urban metropolis was quite a treat in my old life BC (before child) and I still really enjoy it, even when the nagging voice at the back of my head tells me that I should rush home once the boy is asleep and get some things done. As I walked, I felt joy and gratitude.

I felt grateful that I had two working legs to walk and enjoy beautiful days such as this.
I felt grateful that I lived in the city with so many nice places to walk to.
I felt grateful for the cool breeze of spring interspersed with the warmth of the sun.
I felt grateful that I have a nice stroller that is so comfortable for me to push, and obviously comfortable for my boy to sleep in. And one that allows him to face me, so that I can watch his beautiful face as he sleeps.
I felt grateful that I lived in a country that actually paid me to be home with my son for 48 weeks.
And above all, I felt intense gratitude for my little boy. Now, I am not someone who has ever been religious, or even particularly spiritual, but in that moment, it occurred to me that a higher power brought my boy into my life. My little guy is the most incredible, vivacious, inquisitive, happy child that brings a smile to the face of almost every one he meets.

We arrived home at 4:30pm. My boy woke up just as we arrived at our house. He ate a snack of blueberries, pieces of plum and cucumber and yoghurt. Yesterday, he signed for berries just a day or two after being shown it.

At 5:00pm, we headed down to the basement so my boy could have some room to roam and play. I started writing this post, and he crawled over and began playing with the VCR/DVD machine. A couple of days ago, he figured out how to turn it on and off, and how to open and close the DVD. There is a reasonable possibility that he will break the machine, and I really don't care. It is just a thing, an object that can be replaced.

At 6:30pm, we sat down for his supper. On the menu for tonight was sunchoke soup with brown rice and cottage cheese with pieces of cucumber and plum (leftover from snack). I called my mom while he ate and turned on the speaker phone. For the first time, my boy said "Hi" over and over and "Bye" when he didn't want to talk anymore. He also repeatedly said "Bubby", though this is something he has been saying for awhile. He was good enough to perform again when we called my mother-in-law a couple of hours later.

In the middle of his meal, he began waving his hand back and forth, which seems to be his version of the sign for potty. I asked him if he had to go to the potty, and he frantically waved his hand some more. Indeed he did have to go.

We resumed supper. He finished his soup and most of the cottage cheese. With a few bits remaining of the cottage cheese, he opened his mouth, said "Blah" (just like a character in one of his favourite books), stuck out his tongue and spit out the contents of his mouth. That was certainly a clear way of letting me know that he was done.

After supper, we prepared for his bedtime. At about 8:30pm, we read a story, and he drank some milk. I then lay down with him in bed, and he drank some more milk. Halfway through the bottle, he got restless. My experience has shown that he gets restless when he needs to poo because he doesn't like doing it in his diaper (and rarely does). So I asked him if he had to go potty. He did the sign again and I took him. After 12 ounces of milk, his diaper was still dry and he peed and pooed almost immediately when I put him on the potty. My husband then arrived home and he lay down with him until he fell asleep.

At 10:00pm, I reshelved all the books in the boy's room and cleaned up the kitchen. I then started making my dinner. I sat down to eat in front of the TV at 11:00pm.

Just another Monday.

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