11 Oct 2018, 14:49

Field-trips with Friends

Today my adventure began bright and early. I went downtown (by myself) to take part in the Sunrise Ceremony at the IRSS Legacy Celebration at Nathan Phillips Square. I was late arriving and stood back and watched, I think I could have joined in. I probably should have, but felt uncomfortable and disrespectful about being late for it. (I have this thing with time.)

But it felt meaningful and with intention, as a fairly large group gathered to acknowledge the day. Tkaronto was projected on the left tower of City Hall. 

I met my partner at his office, picked up the small human, and we went back to City Hall to take in some of the programming. And I wanted to vote in the advanced polls that started today. We got it all done.

The kiddo was a hit at the polling area, and was excited to participate in a process we’ve talked about a bit. There was also a Daniel Tiger episode about voting for swings or a slide, and voting for a class pet ( a bunny or a turtle ) so the process of selection has been touched on in a variety of ways already.

He watched me fill in my ballot, and asked me what I was doing - I told him I was selecting the person who I thought would do the best possible job. 

A friend met us with their kiddo, and we got to watch a Lacrosse demonstration from The Toronto Rock, and admire some of artistry of the commemorative teepees and play in the adjoining open spaces. 

And my favourite part of the day - watching our kids play together.

There is nothing better than that. 

10 Oct 2018, 16:11

A Forest School Day

This morning after my partner left for work, we quickly got ready to get outside and go to the forest nearby. We’re lucky to hour our little forest, and I feel grateful to say things like “let’s visit our trees” on a regular basis. 

There was so much to learn and so much to do. We walked hand in hand for most of the trip to the park, but once we got past the traffic gates I let him go and he asked if he could run. I’m unsure how to feel about this question, or why he’s asking it, but I told him of course, but un-fun mom had to ask him to stay out of the puddles until after we had finished our walk, and were coming back home. 

We went to visit “our” trees, but our visit there was brief because in the distance, we saw a group of kids playing and yelling, and my TinyHuman was there for it. 

He asked “can I go play with them?” - I told him we could go over there, but it would be up to all of them if they played together. Can’t escape a lesson in consent I guess. 

So we all stayed together for a while, walking through the forest, and through paths that we normally didn’t go on. I love seeing the TinyHuman with other kids, because we don’t really do that often enough. Working on it, but I could be more diligent about setting up playdates and going to them. 

Eventually we parted ways at the zoo (because free or not, we do not go there,) and me and the little one went over to the gardens. We came across a tree with a strange growth and wondered what it was - he pointed and asked “What’s that?” I took 1 semester of botany in university, and vaguely remembered that it was the result infection - it’s called a Burl. So I told him that it was because the tree had been sick. But when we got home, I had to double check that information. 

I took 1 semester of botany in university, and vaguely remembered that it was the result infection - it’s called a Burl. So I told him that it was because the tree had been sick, but that we could look it up when we got home to make sure.

this is a picture of a burl

Burls, ,which look like weird growths on trees, happen as a result of the tree experiencing a stress of some sort - so things like injury, infection by a virus or fungus, or other environmental factors.

I think he found the idea that trees can get sick especially fascinating - because he repeated “trees get sick” in a sort of wonderfully awestruck and curious way while looking at this tree growth. Also ties into our very recent lesson of Mom gets sick too

We enjoyed the day running around tree trunks, and walked through the gardens, towards Grenadier Pond. I spotted a wooly bear caterpillar (aka Pyrrharctia isabella, aka Isabelle tiger moth) so we stopped in our tracks to watch them zoom across the trail way. 

Wooly bear caterpillars turn into isabelle tiger moths and I think I prefer them in caterpillar form - but that’s not my call, ha ha ha. 

Another person with a toddler came by, and decided to move the caterpillar off the trail, to a tree. I’m not sure if that was the right call, but her heart was in the right place, so I guess that’s as good as can be expected. Me and the little human were keeping the fuzzy dude safe on his journey up to that point. 

We read Lois Ehlert’s “Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf” a few times, which I hadn’t noticed was about an urban transplanted tree when I put it in my bag this morning - it was a bit funny to be reading it in this forest full of old trees - albeit still relevant because there are also many transplanted trees in High Park and the book has a bunch of more in depth (but simplified) information about trees and leaves.

We have a really lovely book about why leaves change colour appropriately called…. “Why Do Leaves Change Colour” (by Besty Maestro) which of course, I haven’t been able to find in the house yet this fall.

There are lots of really fantastic resources online about why leaves change colour, but I like this one.

One final thing before we went home - there was a sign near Grenadier pond, and the Tinyhuman asked me to read it. It’s a wordy, but interesting background on how Grenadier Pond came to be - history of waterways and shorelines and I learned what a weir is. _(A weir or low head dam is a barrier across the horizontal width of a river that alters the flow characteristics of water and usually results in a change in the height of the river level.)_ They suggest visiting their website to learn more - so we totally did. Well, I did. The tiny human was already napping.

We walked back around, up a very tall staircase, around the High Park children’s teaching garden, and behind Colbourne Lodge, and walked back on a well worn trail to our trees, to play and build nests and watch fat squirrels diligently collecting acorns for the winter. 

It was a lovely morning of hiking, learning, and fun.

09 Oct 2018, 01:33

Mom Tiger is Sick - Rest is Best.

I’ve been sick for a few days and I feel bummed out about it - there is so much I’d like to do, and so much I’d rather be doing, but I’m trying to rest as much as possible.

The sad thing is that I’m conscious of how much I’d love to be cleaning or doing laundry or all the things I normally and eagerly set aside - in favour of this deeply exhausted feeling in my muscles.

On the bright side, I am generally able to focus on a book or to attempt sentence construction, so I’ve been working on some Coursera courses, and have finished a few books in the past few days. 

07 Sep 2018, 22:27

The last time

I was reading a comic I like recently and it made me burst into tears. How Baby Comic talked about an ask reddit thread where people talked about the saddest sentence they could think of, and the author quoted:

 "one day, your parents put you down and never picked you back up again."

We are in that zone now, things are shifting away slowly to a different stage, he’s ready to be more independent, and I am working on let go. For the first 2 years, he wouldn’t hold his bottle by himself, and I was happy to snuggle him anyway. A few months  ago, he started holding it entirely by himself.

Where a few weeks ago, he would still fall asleep on me for his afternoon nap, now he’s getting to the point where he wont need us to snuggle him anymore. Sometimes he falls asleep in his own bed, all by himself. These things are bittersweet. I am excited for his journey towards independence, but it’s that clear sign that he is growing up and out, and part of me just wants to hold him close as long as I can.

It’s been important to us to let him go at his own pace, if he was feeling more independent, we would encourage him, if he was needing more help, I was happy to support him. We play every day by ear, because everyday is different.

25 Apr 2018, 16:28

Fostering Tiny Humans - Step One

A couple of weeks ago I filled out the form on the Children’s Aid Society website indicating an interest to become a foster home. They sent back a message checking in with me, asking whether I was aware of the different religious and cultural based foster agencies in the city, and confirmed whether we wanted to proceed with them (we do).

So now we wait. Our next step is arranging a mutually amicable phone conversation - which I’m already nervous about, but also ready to do anytime. I’m not sure what the questions will be, but we’ll see! I am excited. I am nervous. I am curious.

Even before I had our son I knew that one day I wanted to foster or adopt. I feel like our little family is perfect just the way it is, but I think that feeling would apply no matter what. But I would like to be part of helping kids have a safe supportive home while their parents or families are working through some stuff. So hopefully we get approved to proceed, or realize early on (before being placed with a child) that it’s really not for us - either through talking with more foster parents, or as we go through the training.

I feel like I’m in that strange middle space where I’m filled with what ifs and too much information and simultaneously not enough information. I’m reading people’s experiences, and reading people’s opinions, and blogs and all of that, but I still don’t know what it will be like. Before becoming a parent, I read a bunch of people’s experiences, I played with the idea in my head, I consumed all the information I could handle, and while that helped prepare me, everything changed the moment we actually met our son. That said, I realize previous experience should remind me to remain flexible and curious.

The thing I’m finding surprisingly difficult is finding secular support communities for fostering, even locally. Perhaps we’ll find it while we’re actually doing things, but perhaps we will have to build our own. (though I am already getting ahead of myself.)

I’m hoping to post something regularly about the process and what we’re learning.