Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thank You Stinky

Last night we had a big joint birthday party for our kids. Their birthdays are about two weeks apart and two parties so close together are exhausting so we decided to try a new route this year. It worked out really well; no drowning, no bloodshed and plenty of smiling faces on departure. Phew! The other thing that happened last night is that I was reminded of what a great dad my ex-husband is. Watching him doing cannonballs off the diving board, looking like a drunk walrus and thoroughly entertaining the kids, I realized that I have a lot to be thankful for.

Now, don't get me wrong, he is my EX-husband for good reasons which I'll save for another post; perhaps when he pisses me off (muah-ha-ha-haaa). Since our split he has, however, truly stepped up to bat as a father. At first, I put my hurt and anger aside for the kids' sake in order to be able to parent them with him but, working in this new form of partnership, we actually managed to rediscover our friendship. This has an awful lot to do with his behaviour.

I hear about so many dads who don't exercise their visitation right, who don't make their child support payments or who move on to their "new" families without looking back and find myself so grateful. Stinky and I have shared custody, each of us having the kids every other week and he has never failed to take them when he is supposed to. He also takes his financial responsibilies very seriously; never missing any payment and even giving a little extra help when I've been a bit short.

He also has the most amazing girlfriend. He and SM have been together for three years now and I couldn't ask for a better step-mom for my kids. She is loving, attentive and has a family that has accepted my kids as two of their own. She has become a great third partner in this parenting team. I know, the ex-wife isn't supposed to get along with her ex's current lady so well but SM and I do really well. We respect each other and rarely "step on each other's toes". When that does happen, we all get along well enough to be able to say it and deal with it. The three of us can be seen at all sporting events, music concerts and celebrations.

I know that this blog entry hasn't been humourous and I hope that I haven't bored anyone to death but I guess that I just needed to express what is on my mind this morning. I see so many blogs and hear so many stories about dads that fall down on the job that, for once, I thought it might be nice to put something out there that is positive.

Thank you Stinky, for being who you are.


Friday, September 18, 2009

New Things On The Horizon

Today, I bought my son a cel phone. Many people have said that so you wouldn't think that it's a big deal but, in this case it is. It is the beginning of a new era in this family. You see, he is turning 11 in a week-and-a-half and is in Grade 6. This means that he will be starting high school next year and his father and I have decided that it's time that we started giving him more responsibilities and freedom.

Next year, he'll be taking public transit to go to school, travelling on his own; not being driven to school to hang out in daycare like he has for the last six years. This will be a huge change so we've decided to get him used to this by letting him walk home from school (with his sister) rather that stay at daycare until I get home from work. This will mean two hours on their own during which I expect them to do their homework. We'll only be doing this on the kids' weeks with me since their father lives further away from the school, making the idea unfeasible for his weeks. Call it the big experiment in freedom.

Now, Scout Boy is totally thrilled at the prospect of this and can't wait for Monday to come. His mother, on the other hand, is suffering acid reflux at the idea. Don't get me wrong, both of my kids are very responsible and are totally not the type to play with matches or throw wild parties (not yet anyway...) but I'm a mother and it's my job to worry. Hence the purchase of a cel phone to be able to call me. You see, I dumped my land-line almost two years ago because I was tired of paying for a cel phone AND a land line when I barely talk on the phone enough to justify one phone line. I figured that I would revisit the whole phone idea "once the kids are older". How did that time come so quickly?!

It seems that, just yesterday, he was a toddler vying with his new baby sister for my attention. Now he's almost as tall as I am (his dad's 6'2" and he's heading there too, I think) who does so much without me now. I'm so proud that he is mature and responsible enough for me to be able to even consider this. It means that Stinky and I have done a pretty darned good job as parents. There is, though, an undeniable ache in my heart that makes loosening those apron strings so very tough. Well, maybe I won't have to loosen them too much. After all, I've got his number on my speed dial.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Drama Girl

This is a day of conflicting emotions for me. This is the day when everyone who is old enough to remember September 11, 2001 stops and remembers. We remember where we were, what we were doing, how we felt and the endless news footage and newspaper stories that kept the horror alive long after the actual events of that day. It is to my generation what JFK's assassination was to my parent's generation; a day of grief, shock and horror that shook not only a nation but the world to it's foundations.

The reason for my conflict is that it was also my daughter's first birthday. A momentous occasion in any child's life but more so for Drama Girl. You see, we had a health scare with her when she was five months old that left us briefly (thank goodness) afraid of actually losing her. So you see, her first birthday should have been a day of joy and thankfullness for our beautiful little girl and her (thankfully) healthy big brother. I'm afraid that, on that day, the poor birthday girl had competition for our attention that she, frankly, couldn't compete with.

Since that year, though, I have always made sure that she is front and centre on her big day. I feel that if I spend her every birthday wrapped up in 9/11 memorials and asking "Where were you that day?", then the terrorists that sought to break our spirits will have scored a few more points. Therefore, I have taken back that day for my little Drama Girl who turned 9 years old today. We stayed up and made Rice Krispie treats for her class last night and we went out for supper tonight. Her thrilled smile when she opened the presents that I gave her was a blessing for this tired mom's heart.

I have no intention of ever forgetting the events of eight years ago that shook the world but I will not let them eclipse all that I have to live for today.


Sunday, September 6, 2009


When I started this blog last month, I set myself the lofty goal of writing approximately twice a week. Hah! I always have wonderful intentions but then life gets in the way. Last week, I was Soccer Mom/Scout Mother chauffeuring my ever-grateful children (yeah sure!) everywhere they needed to go on top of my busy workdays. This week, my work schedule was so packed that I was actually kind of grateful that the kids were at their dad's place. I came home each night and pretty much flaked out. As you can imagine, my place looks like a bomb hit it since no actual housework has been done in a while. I guess that I'll be starting that after I finish typing this.

You may be wondering "Kat, where is your Me-time?" and you'd be quite right to wonder that. I wonder sometimes myself. I did manage to slip in a nap yesterday afternoon after running errands. Of course, I was so pooped from my week that I couldn't keep my eyes open so it was probably a good thing that I let myself collapse for a bit. The problem is that I don't really consider a nap to be Me time. A period of unconsciousness may be good for the body but it does nothing for the soul.

Did you notice that I use a capital "M"? This is a measure of how important I think it is. We all need some time in our lives, whether fifteen minutes or two hours, that we devote entirely to ourselves on a regular basis. Time in which we only think of our own pleasure and nobody else's. The way we put this time to use varies as much as we vary from each other: reading a good book, soaking in a bubble bath, chatting with a friend on the phone, going shopping/out for coffee/out for drinks/jogging, catching up with friends on Twitter/Facebook/MySpace with a glass of wine (or two or three), blogging, etc.

When I don't eke out enough Me-time from my schedule, I get cranky and out-of-sorts and can't be the mother/friend/coworker that I want to be. I've spoken to mothers who feel guilty about dumping the kiddos on a sitter or their spouse and escaping to do something as "selfish" as enjoy some time on their own. That's bullshit! You're not doing those around you any favours if you don't find time to take care of your own mental and emotional well-being. Of course, since I'm so nice, I find a nicer way to say it than that ;)

I've just spent a while catching up with Twitter, my own little addiction, and writing this blog so Me-time is over for now but I feel so much better for it. It's time to go tackle that mountain of laundry and make the floors shine. Who knows I may eventually attain that lofty goal of two blogs a week but, for now, maybe I'll just strive to stop when I can, pour a glass of wine and start typing without stressing about how many days it's been since the last time.