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August 2010
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October 2010

September 2010

Adaptation

Needless to say that having kids your life becomes one huge periode d'adaptation. With every age new milestones, behaviors, likes and dislikes rear themselves. One child may do things one way and another child inevitable does it completely different. This has been the story of my life with Maximilien and Alixe. I've come to terms months ago that Alixe will never cease to surprise me. Sure, I feel more comfortable with KNOWING what is going to happen. Aren't we all? With Max, he was a textbook baby. Like many of the parenting handbooks we find ourselves reading I felt like they had written that book about Max. Alixe broke the mold, so to speak. But it makes for not a dull moment in our lives. I love her just the same. I was saying to Julien the other night that I love both kids so much yet differently. Not in terms of loving one more than the other but when I think about each child the love I feel manifests itself differently inside me. I consider myself lucky to be able to feel these different shades of love.

Max3.5BelleIle

Max left today for his third day at school today. A little difficult getting him out the door. If you can believe it at three and half he already knows how to procrastinate. But just got the call from my husband that there were tears and the dou dou came out of the bag but he willing went to his classroom. It's taking time for my social little guy to get used to school. I don't remember what I felt when i started Montessori at his age but I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be for him. But with each day he's adapting. And so am I... a friend gave me some advice that worked like a charm. Don't stress about the details of what they do all day at Maternelle. When he's ready he'll tell you all about it... and he did just that. About an hour after I picked him up on Friday, he stopped playing in the bac à sable and ran over to tell me that he drew a bonhomme and he had eyes and hands. Even Mama is learning to adapt...

Alixe8.5MosBelleIle

Today, Alixe starts her adaptation week at the Creche. I'm nervous and happy for her. I see her at the park with other kids and she's just over the moon to be with them. I sense she is ready for collectivité. I hope I am ready too. As much as I want to go back to work and be at L'OisiveThé I feel a bit torn being away from my baby. Familiar feelings I had with Max started going to TaTa's and then the Creche. But I firmly believe that it takes a village to raise a child and that the more interactions a child has with his peers and adults the more ready he will be for the next step in life. But back to this torn feeling... I think that as Mothers we feel this feeling because we have a duty to raise our children. And as I take this duty very seriously I have to admit that I need help for my own sanity and the life of my family. I have fond memories of visiting relatives and spending significant time with them growing up and I know that time spent with other adults other than my parents helped to shape the person I am today.

9:20am and I gotta get moving... Alixe is in the middle of her morning nap. Gotta get her up and out to door to get to the Creche by 10am. No more lazy mornings for Mama... and I have to admit that I am looking forward to being a different kind of busy again.

 


First of many...

Today is Max's first day of Maternelle. Comme d'hab, I was running late this morning after a long night with Alixe not sleeping well. I took some photos but as usual I was rushed and didn't take into consideration my own shadow in the photo. Oops. Maybe I'll post the photo later...

But like everyday when we leave the apt, Max loaded up his trusty trotinette and we were off!

Note the cartable that Max is sporting. I had intended to get him a classic backpack but he was against anything we found. He rejected 6 bags before we found this one he spotted in the window of Petite Bateau. Honestly, it's the perfect bag for him. Reflects his summer vacation a la mer and just enough room for his precious dou dou and a change of clothes.

We arrived just a little bit before 10h30 to meet a few of his other classmates. Happy coincidence one of his friends from the Crèche is in his class. We introduced ourselves to the Maitresse and went over to say our goodbyes. Maximilien immediate starting putting together puzzles and started talking to another boy in the class who he had just met. I bent over to tell him that I was leaving and he said to me, "Good bye, Mommy". Kissed me and ran off into the classroom without looking back.

My little boy is going to school. I called a friend and talking to her on the phone that it's always been harder on me the separation from Max than it has been for him. Even when he started the Crèche at 16 months he was toddling off on his own waving goodbye to me before we even entered the building.

Alixe starts the Crèche next week and it will be interesting to see how well she adapts. She's got a lot of separation anxiety going on right now but on verra... my kids never cease to amaze me.


The bubs

The older Alixe gets the more fun it becomes for Max. He is smitten for his petite soeur and Alixe adores her grand frère.I am surprised that my little three and half year old has the attention span to play with his little sister. The last few weeks Max as said to me on several occasions that he'd rather play in his room with his sister than go out to the park or the library. Max builds intricate train tracks and let his sister rip them apart. He doesn't get upset instead he just starts again so she can come destroy it again. He's always giving his sister calin and bisous. Holding her hand while we walk and she rides in the pousette. He is anxious for her to walk and often asks when she will have her own trotinette and they can go to the park and ride together.

MaxAlixeChairPortraits (6 of 7)
Soon, my son, soon... your sister will be chasing after you before you know it. Until then, these two find their own ways to have fun. While taking these photos they spent 10 minutes putting and pulling off a hat. Endless fun and giggles. They may not remember this moment in a few years from now but I know I will because it was here that I realized that our family is complete with the four of us.

 

MaxAlixeChairPortraits (2 of 7)

 

MaxAlixeChairPortraits (5 of 7)


Busier than ever and then everything stops...

Sunday I was busy getting the kids ready for an afternoon out. Julien was covering my shift at the tea house. Such a busy time in our lives right now. And while my mind was thinking about things to come later in the week I had one second of inattentativeness with Alixe and the next thing I knew she had catapulted herself off of her brother's 4.5 foot high loft bed and landed flat on her back and banged the back of her head. The sound still haunts me. I picked her up immediately. She didn't cry right away because the fall had knocked the wind from her but once she found her voice the cry was like nothing I had ever heard before. I rushed her to my bedroom and looked at her. She had stopped crying by the time I put her on the bed but her nose was bleeding profusely. The moments after that are sort of a blur, I remember grabbing some clothes from my dirty clothes basket and throwing them on and then throwing clothes at Max to put on as I rushed to put my shoes on. We live right across from our pediatrician's office so my first thought was to run over there and see Alixe's Ped. But it was Saturday afternon and they were closed! Carrying Alixe and holding Max's hand we walked back to the apt and I called Julien. He was home in 5 minutes. We called le quinze to see what we should do. By then it had been 15 minutes since Alixe fell. I had gotten her nose to stop bleeding and she was surprisingly acting completely normal. It freaked me out even more. We were strongly advised to head to the nearest pediatric hospital to have alixe checked out. And we were off and less than 30 minutes after the accident we were waiting in line to get Alixe checked in. The waiting room was filled with sick/injured children but suprisingly they took us in right away. Her fall apparently pushed her to the front of the waiting line. I felt bad for the parents we bypassed but also felt relief that we were going to be seen right away. At this moment, I was convinced that I had caused permenant brain damage to Alixe.

The doctor ran a few physical tests on Alixe and everything checked out well but head injuries in babies can manifest themselves differently so they wanted to keep Alixe for observation. They checked us into a private room and then watched her. The room had a window where the nurses and doctors could see Alixe while she sat and played. I was encouraged to feed her dinner and then try to put her to bed. Finally after 4 hours of trying to rocker to sleep, Alixe gave in and fell asleep on her own. So tired she slept practically sitting up. They hooked up monitors to her to watch her heart rate and breathing and to make sure she was getting enough oxygen to her brain. They told me that I should sleep because it was going to be a long night. Yeah, right... sleep?! I couldn't stop staring at the machine and her vital stats.

 

HospitalMonitor
I watched this machine for 6 hours. 3 of the hours Alixe slept. I learned that my daughter indeed can sleep deeply. This is something I highly doubted until now. I also learned she has moments of apnea when she sleeps (!) which kinda freaks me out but the doctor reassured me that it's normal. After 6 hours of monitoring they let us go home. Alixe has been her cheery self ever since and I am slowly letting go of the image of her falling out of my head.

I was talking with a friend about parenting and how it's all trial and error. You learn from your mistakes. At one point, I said to her kids are forgiving and if you make a mistake they will forgive you. Look what I did? I let my kid fall on her head and she still loves me. Ok, maybe that's a big extreame but I learned from all the tweets from my Mama friends that these things happen. Such is life. Time to move forward and not look back.