Saturday, December 19, 2009

Noah vs. Santa

I'm not sure what possessed me to take my two year old to visit Santa today.

My husband had to work, and I'm currently sporting a wrist brace that leaves me fairly incapable of doing anything useful with my dominant hand.

But I decided today would be a good day to visit Santa. St. Nick found time in his busy schedule to visit our local mall, though I'm not sure why. This shopping area is typically a ghost town, but it does transform into shopping central on the last Saturday before Christmas.

We walked, which was wise - not as wise as the three magi, but well, smarter than driving. It meant I could strap young Noah into his stroller and have a chance at shopping while we waited for Santa to arrive.

You see, timing was my first mistake. Normally Noah goes down for his nap around 12:30pm, a nap he desperately needs considering his fall-asleep-for-the-night time has been around 11pm lately. So rather than check Santa's schedule, I just assumed he would be there waiting for us when we arrived at 12:15.

No way, Momma. Of COURSE Santa's only working limited hours. It's practically Christmas, after all.... so we shopped around locally for 45 minutes until the big man in red finally arrived at 1pm.

In the meantime we got a few last minute gifts, and Noah practiced his four-limbed attack on all things shiny and breakable. We were only banned from one store this time around, which is a 300% improvement from last year's holiday banishment score.

At 12:55 Noah spotted Santa taking his seat in his tinsel-covered throne. 

"SANTAAAAAAAAA!" Noah screamed across the mall. "DON'T HIT SANTA!"

Oh for the love of St. Nicholas.

I'm glad that we taught Noah the "don't hit" rule. It was perfectly effective in training him to keep his hands to himself in regards to other children, friends' babies, and small dogs with big teeth.

But it makes people stare when he uses it indiscriminantly (even though it's still a correct self-affirmation).

In the last two weeks alone, he's publicly declared:

Don't hit Jesus!
Don't hit baby Jesus!
Don't hit the doctor!
Don't hit old lady!
Don't hit Grandma!
Don't hit the candy!
Don't hit Mickey Mouse!
Don't hit Oprah!
Don't hit Nemo!

and finally..


Santa actually HEARD that decree, and looked up across the crowded mall to raise a white-gloved hand and share a hearty "ho ho ho!" with my hit-obsessed son.


Thank God the line was short. Noah leaped from my arms and waddled like a hurried penguin over to the big man. Santa scooped him up and placed him expertly on his knee.

It was like watching a horror movie. Noah's excitement drained from his face, his lower lip quivered for a moment, and he looked at me with puppy dog eyes.

"SANTA ALL DONE!" he announced in desperation.

Sigh. Another year, another photo with Santa.

Oh well. At least Noah didn't hit him!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Counting with Noah 101 ("I Have ONE, TWO, THREE Eyebrows, Mommy!")

Noah and I were counting this morning. I'm not convinced he understands the concept. On a good day, he can count as high as thirteen before he starts mixing up or repeating numbers. But today we weren't having much luck.

"I have ONE, TWO, THREE eyebrows, Mommy!" Noah announced with a giant grin.

"Oh really?" I laughed. "Noah, most people have two eyebrows." (I didn't mention that some unfortunate souls have ONE, and others have NONE.) We looked in the mirror together. "Noah, do you have THREE eyebrows?"

"Nope." Noah replied. "Seven!"

Okay... obviously counting needs work.

We tried counting the lights on the Christmas tree:
"One, two, three, Mommy!"

We tried counting the cars on the street:
"One, two, three, Mommy!"

We tried counting the wheels on his toy truck:
"One, two, three....fourfivesixseveneightnineteneleven."

"Eleven?" I cackled. "Eleven? That's a lot of wheels, Noah!"

He looked at me wide-eyed and replied emphatically:
"Nope. Not eleven wheels, Mommy. SEVEN."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sometimes Even Adoption Support Coordinators need Adoption Support!

Today was a really great day! We had our staff Christmas party, and I had the pleasure of driving one of our regional colleagues to the celebration.

This particular colleague is an old family friend (the friendship is old, NOT the friend) and we hadn't seen each other in yeaaaars. It was so fun to catch up and hear all about her family, her kids, grandkids, and adventures along the way. 

Along with some great conversations, it was really great to bounce some of my own motherhood experiences off her. It was nice to get some feedback from another adoptive parent who's seen and done it all before. I have the luxury of working on a daily basis with some phenomenal people who have strong adoption connections; but it was really affirming to talk to someone who's known me from childhood and also had a great amount of knowledge to share.  

So thanks for the chat today! It's nice to know that when adoption support coordinators need an ear, there's more than a handful of people within our organization who will be happy to listen!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well, Since It's National News, I Might as Well Share His Name!

A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from Today's Parent letting me know I'd won their "Reader with a Cause" award. I was super excited, and can't wait to see the article they're crafting.

They're providing AFABC with $2000 to help support family networking, and the story will appear in the March 2010 issue! They interviewed me on my adoption story, interviewed AFABC on our work to help support & educate adoptive families, and then they wanted my picture.

Back the train up a minute... they want to take my photo  Ohhhhhhhhhhh NO. Not a picture!!! Can't I just hire a toddler to draw one of me instead? 

Have you seen me lately? 
My eyebrows are caterpillars.
I'm breaking out like a teenager on pixie sticks.

I found a whole new crop of grey hairs, and I have wrinkles between my eyebrows (which, see above, resemble caterpillars).
I haven't been to the gym in weeks.
I haven't put the chocolate down in months. (Okay, years. Okay.. my whole lifetime!)
And they wanted to take my picture? 

I put in a call to my esthetician. (Did I even spell that right?) She remembered me, thankfully, and was kind enough to fit me in on one day's notice to tame the brows. But the rest couldn't be helped! They sent a really awesome photographer to our office and set up a very professional backdrop to my 'photo shoot'. 

Let me qualify my apprehension: I am no supermodel. I grew up under the loving watch of a mother who somehow succeeded in NEVER having her photo taken since her wedding day 40 years ago. The idea of joyfully posing for a national magazine gave me cold sweats. But I did it, and it was actually kind of fun!!

The article was a neat experience, too. I like to think of myself as a somewhat talented amateur, and it was really cool to talk to a professional writer and watch her craft our story. Kevin & I talked at length before the interview about how much and what details we would share with the world. This article won't just be reaching the intimate group of 1,000 AFABC members who receive our bi-monthly FOCUS magazine, and it won't be out on the internet like this blog, where anyone could find it but you have to be interested enough to look!

It's going out there to the world in a very respected, widely read national magazine, to be opened (and hopefully enjoyed!) by parents across Canada. So how much did we want to reveal? What details should we divulge, and what should be kept private? 

In the end we made it child-centered, and respectful of all parts of his family. When Little Man grows up and reads the article, he'll feel proud of his story and not upset because too much of it was shared. If any birth mother reads it (his in particular, but anyone who made an adoption plan for their child), they will feel that their choice is respected, and hopefully the love, respect, and gratitude we have for her will shine on the page. 

So we're looking forward to March to see the article in print! And since it's going in the magazine anyways, I suppose it's time to share Little Man's Name.

Although we won't be ready to share his face with the world until he can decide for himself, we are ready to see his name in print. Allow me to introduce our Little Man, Noah.