Friday, January 28, 2011

Now That's Quality Play!

Wednesday after work Little One and I attended a meeting with a group of fellow Early Childhood Educators. I told her it was a party -- I tell her everything's a party because well, everything is.

To get ready, she packed up two of her puffiest play dresses and stuffed them in a bag. Next, she found two headbands (the kind with the sparkly antennas sticking out the top) and stuffed them in the bag. When she had enough play clothes to go around (she wanted no child to go without), we hopped into the car.

She was excited to meet everybody; she was a little shy and silly at first. We've never known her to be shy, but as a child leaves the toddler/young preschooler stage (she's almost 3.5, yikes!) and begins to develop empathy and an awareness of others, they become very aware of their surroundings and the people around. Little One got shy and hid behind my leg and then did funny things like stick her tongue out. As she got more brave, she would show off her dance moves ... and then run behind me to hide. Once she got settled and comfortable, out came the dress up clothes and she got right into playing.

She was happily stacking dominoes when our meeting began but, within minutes was inviting me to the middle of the living room to dance with her. I tried directing her attention to some 'quiet' activities (at some point in my parenting career, I developed a fear of my child making 'noise'). It was quite a refreshing when the host went into the kitchen and returned with a stack of metal bowls, wooden spoons and a dump truck load of dried beans.

Here is how she spent the next hour and a half...

Their baking is heating up in the oven...

It was noisy, it was messy and they played and played and played in those beans for an hour and a half. They cooked muffins, put them in the oven, chatted back and forth, filled and poured, problem solved, shared all the tools and materials, and shared ideas, excitement and laughter.

As a parting gift he sent us home with a bucket full of beans. You can guess what was in our sensory table the next morning!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh Where, Oh Where Have My Boobs Gone?

I never had any body issues before. Sure my boobs are small, I look two generations younger than I actually am and my hair isn't as shiny and pretty as my sisters but I don't mind, that's just the way it is. I've accepted my flat-chest, my boring hair and have learned to get a kick out of people's reactions when they find out I'm twelve years older than they thought. (I did feel bad last winter when I got ID'd at the bar. I was with a guy pal and he felt like a pervert knowing they'd even consider he'd be there with a minor!)

Anyway, I had accepted and embraced everything and was leading a happy, flat-chested life. And then.... Enter motherhood. More specifically? Breastfeeding.

Our breastfeeding relationship ended long ago but now? I have no boobs. NO BOOBS. They are gone. Those perky little A cups? Gone. Bu bye! I am a negative AAA cup. There is no bra that exists that will fit my man chest. The poor woman in the lingerie section of the department store couldn't even help me, there is NO BRA that fits me.

It's not just the size but the consistency. There is no substance. There is nothing in them. They're just ... empty and you can see my ribs under them. Boobs aside, let's talk nipples. They are horrendous! Any woman who's nursed knows the abuse these things go through. Mine have gone from dainty little pencil erasers to giant jube-jubes -- but they're not even the right colour. They are giant discoloured jube-jubes that tower over my deflated non-boobs. I can't even look at myself in the mirror without cringing. I close my eyes and run away.

Obviously, this was something that had been getting me down as I had begun to -- no, I had made the decision to get implants. I talked to people who had implants and everything was pro-silicone. However, I had this yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach -- how grossed out would I feel having something so plastic stuck in me forever? I actually think it would get me even more depressed than having chronic flat-chest. So, I was back to square one: I have no boobs.

Maybe they weren't so bad. Maybe this was all in my head so, I went to my sister -- the one with the voluptuous hair. She heard me out. All serious and supportive she asks to see. I lifted my shirt, exposed my man-chest, closed my eyes tight, and then ... "hahahahahaha!!! You are so getting implants!" Immediately we phoned sister # 2. Gave her the scoop... "Mama, we will pay for your boobs." So... the cycle continued, do I? Don't I? Why do I want them? Can I really get over not having boobs? Honestly, I don't have time for this body self-conscious shit. I deserve big boobs. Implants it is.

I'm a single mom, I have to date and I will admit that if I was married to a very nice man and had his child and lived happily ever after then there would be no issue. You just go through these things together. However... I have to date! I have to date and I have weird, non-boobs! Logically, I went straight to the guys and I start asking. To my surprise, I find out that hands down they prefer small boobs over implants. (There was one dude who preferred implants but he was not very credible and his response actually gave a point to the flat-chest side). Perhaps these guys were all being nice? So I dug a little deeper. I have a way of getting the truth out of people and by the end I was quite confident that this particular group of men prefer small boobs. And um... some really. do. prefer. small. boobs... Unfortunately, I still feel like crap. Let's face it, I have a pre-pubescent body and I'm shaped like a pair -- I'm not feeling sexy here people. However, I really do need to get over it because the guys just don't care.

My friend Roxy came to visit. Roxy has big boobs. Roxy is honest. Roxy says, "give me a God damn break girl! You have super model tits for God sake's what do you have to complain about? Ooh you poor thing... (so on and so forth)." She goes on to explain, "there are so many shirts you can wear; I have tons magazines (she has tons of magazines) I will show you". Now there's hope and I am excited. Roxy's got style and now I'm looking forward to a shopping spree with my new personal wardrobe assistant. But in the meantime I went to where my money could take me -- Value Village.

I scraped together $20 and headed out on a life changing shopping trip. I went through the entire clothes rack and tried on every non-bra shirt. It was summer and skimpy little tank tops with the built-in padded bras are easy to come by; I found some and was pretty happy. Then, the season's changed. My supermodel shirts got packed away and I was left going through the whole process again. I found a bra; and ugly bra, it kind of looked like a massive bandage that one would wear coming out of the burn unit. I wore lots of hoodies and t-shirts that looked fine with this ugly bandage underneath. "I'm sick of this" I decide, "just get me some boobs". But then... "gross, I don't want plastic". I had to make a decision and I had to make it quick because I was putting way to much energy into it.

I decided to get over it. I'm not getting implants -- and my sister's are going to be sooo disappointed as sister #2 offered again over Christmas to pay for my implants. I replied, "if I'm going to spend thousands on anything, it will be on starting up my businesses. Will you give me money for that?" Her response? "Nope, just boobs."

I will embrace my man-chest. I will find clothes that 'flatter' my non-figure, figure. It's really not that easy but since crawling out of poverty, it has become a little more exciting. However, I'm still left with that pesky consistency / jube-jube thing so I'm not quite there yet. I just have to pretend to like them and then eventually I will. Instead of cringing in the mirror I force myself to stay and say, "I love my boobs they're so ... wonderful." -- And yes it's very forced and I still have to fight to keep my eyes open, but the more I say it the sooner I'll think it. So...

I love my boobs. They are wonderful. So ... wonderful. I love them so much. I love my new pear shape -- I've never looked so hot on the pool deck -- yeeeow. My (very near) future man loves them just as much as I do. And if he doesn't? Well then Aunty Darci will buy me implants, haha.

As a tribute to all the mom's out there: The Shape Of A Mother

And for a funny story:
I was in the shower one day, ready to get out when the door opened and Little One wandered in and plunked herself down on her potty. We're both girls here so I continue to get out and as she looks up, her face lights right up, "Mommy! I ate your boobies!" And laughs hysterically.

~Somebody asked me about breastfeeding and losing my boobs, "do you regret it?" My response? "Nope!"