Le retour des faits divers


1 Une bête noire — c’est-à-dire un “pet peeve” en anglais : les acteurs, chanteurs et autres personnalités des arts et spectacles qui utilisent leur popularité pour nous dire comment voter. Comme ça:

Bête noire #2675

Ce n’est pas parce que les vedettes n’ont pas le droit à leur opinion. Quoi? Tu as écris ou interprété une chanson populaire? Les gens aiment le son de ta voix, les arrangements de tes chansons? Mon frère chante bien aussi mais personne ne lui demande pour qui il vote. La popularité artistique n’est pas un gage de jugement politique, ça m’emmerde quand les gens se donne le droit de se mêler de mon droit de vote parce que les électeurs ont acheté leur album (ou vu leur film).

2 Deux-ième bête noire (tant qu’a y être et parce que Marie-Denise m’en donne une si belle occasion). “Il est à peu près temps qu’on fasse confiance à une femme pour gouverner le Québec…”? Pourquoi? Juste parce qu’elle a des ovaires au lieu des couilles? Comment est-ce que les organes de Pauline la rendent plus apte à gouverner que ceux de Jean ou de François? Voter pour Françoise David ou Pauline Marois c’est donc équivalent? Peut-être qu’il est temps que le Québec fasse confiance à une personne de principe? Quelqu’un avec un leadership solide? Quelqu’un avec une intégrité indiscutable? J’sais pas… Ça vaudrait peut-être la peine d’essayer Québec?

3 Trois jours avant la rentrée scolaire! Ma plus vieille me disait hier: “Je m’ennuie du temps où l’été était interminable. Aujourd’hui, c’est comme si j’avais pris la fin de semaine de congé et je retourne à un casier différent.” Et oui, c’est un signe du temps qui passe et des années qui s’accumulent: les jours passent comme des minutes et les mois comme des jour.

Derniers lambeaux du mois d’août

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4 Quatre semaines avant le premier anniversaire des jumeaux. Parlant de temps qui passe. Il semble qu’hier j’étais enceinte de 35 semaines, en plein mois d’août, dans la chaleur. Puis c’était la mi-septembre et je ne me rappelle de presque rien. Heureusement que j’ai pris une tonne de photos!

11 mois et finalement mobiles (quoique ça ne m’ait pas manqué)

5 Cinq doigts bien hauts pour ma grande fille de 10 ans à qui j’ai demandé qui méritait un “High Five” et qui a répondu “moi!” C’est vrai qu’elle le mérite: elle s’occupe bien des plus petits et réussi à les faire coopérer là où d’autres se cassent le nez. La voilà en train de finir le maquillage de sa petite sœur .

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Work, daycare and the absence of both Pt 2


I finished part 1 of this series by questioning why it was so hard for mothers to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to care for their young children. The previous post wasn’t strictly about daycare but the undervaluation of a mother’s role and experiences is an important consideration when discussing the interactions between women, daycare and the workplace.

In the Globe & Mail article, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/the-daycare-tipping-point/article4465673/?service=mobile

I am quoted saying:

“Right now, I will be paying more in child care than I will make at work part-time, but I will keep my job, my benefits and my continuity of employment. The money that it is costing me to go back to work, I see it as an investment in my career.”

Continue reading “Work, daycare and the absence of both Pt 2”

A babywearing picture album


This post is a babywearing picture album with captions for those wondering about the different kinds of baby carriers.

I am not an expert, just a mom with opinions. I do not sell or advertise carriers but I use them a lot. When the twins were born, I started using the double stroller everywhere. It served it’s purpose. But as they grew  the bulk of the stroller became unnecessary. I decided to ditch the double stroller in favour of a single lightweight stroller and more babywearing (the verb used to refer to parents who prefer “wearing” their babies on their bodies for transport and comfort rather than use devices such as swings and strollers).

In one of my Facebook groups, a mom was asking about the difference between different kinds of soft-structured carriers. This is a picture album with captions resuming the main differences.

You will notice that I only use ergonomic soft carriers and woven wraps.Ergonomic carriers  hold baby in a seated position as opposed to the popular Baby Bjorn or Snugli where baby is held dangling by the crotch. People often ask “What is the best carrier?” and the answer is unfailingly “It depends.” The best carrier is the one that fits the best . The best fit is influenced by mom and baby’s body type, age, weight and life experience (yes, life experience. Such as a back injury or abdominal surgery.)

Read on!

Reflection on daycare, work and the absence of both Pt1


I was privileged to be interviewed for a Globe & Mail piece on childcare. You can find the piece here. When Roma Luciw interviewed me, we were pulling into Rivière-du-Loup Qc after 10 hours on the road. I wasn’t sure what the article would be about but I hoped that I sounded sane. The daycare tipping point, or the decision to stay home or go to work from a daycare cost perspective:

When does it make sense to put your career on hold and look after the kids versus going back to work and forking out the money for child care?

It’s a directed look at childcare and I am always in support of more public discussion about women, family, children and society. But the decision to work for a pay cheque is rarely as one-dimensional as the piece’s angle. I propose this series of posts as a reflection on childcare beyond basic math.   It’s not about assigning blame or responsibility where no blame is deserved or responsibility owed. It’s a reflection about how we can do better for our sake and for our children’s sake.

Continue reading “Reflection on daycare, work and the absence of both Pt1”

Some stats for you


I had a look at my blog’s stats today and I am happy to announce that the  most viewed page is… drumroll… the Home page. That makes sense. Followed by… The About page! If you are like me, the first thing you do when landing on a new blog is to check the About page. But where it gets in equal part interesting, amusing and slightly disturbing, is the third most viewed page. The third highest hit page? This one.

It didn’t come as a surprise (and in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn’t rank higher) since the search engine themes that most often lead people to my blog are a variation on “Keep the toilet clean messages”… Which is a sad commentary on the world we live in at several level. Like, we need to remind people that we’d rather not sit in their pee or flush their number-2s. Like we need to consult Google to figure out how to write “Please clean-up after yer-selves, thank you.” Like, some parenting blogs are really boring, inane and not all that well written and have a gazillion more subscribers than I do, meanwhile, I’m reaching notoriety for my approach to telling people that they are slobs. And by  notoriety I mean that I have half-a-dozen subscribers including my parents and my husband and daily hits in the range of 50-100. *Sigh*

Sweet.

Back in the saddle


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Running, how I’ve missed thee. Well, “missed” might be a generous word. I missed the feeling of doing something healthy. I missed feeling sore for a good reason. I missed the good fatigue. I missed feeling energetic and motivated. The running part is just what I do to get there.

Sunday morning I left for an early morning run with my husband and the 3 under 3. We both pushed a jogging stroller, me with the twins and my husband with our preschooler. It felt great. I may have packed a few ice cream pounds during our holiday in Cow’s country but the constant babywearing has kept my legs and core in good working order.

That’s when I saw her. She was sitting on a patch of grass in the shadow of a large green electrical box. Even at 8:00 am the sun was hitting hard at the tail-end of a dry heat wave. In suburbia, the saplings don’t provide shade, the utilities do. She was sitting in the shade of an electrical box next to a public transit stop, waiting for a bus. A little old Asian lady, with a face like a dried apple. What was she doing at a bus stop at 08:00 am on a Sunday morning? She wasn’t dressed to go to Church. Was she going to work? Was she at the end of a night shift? Maybe as a nighttime home caregiver? Was she going to babysit a grandchild? She looked tired, seeking shade and rest in this sea of asphalt and concrete. There’s nowhere to sit in suburbia. You are either coming or leaving. You’ll sit when you get home.

She watched us run by and I suddenly felt self-conscious, burdened by the sadness and futility of our lifestyles. “How crazy is that?” I asked my husband. Here we are, on a Sunday morning, running nowhere. We’re not running because we’re being chased or because we’re chasing something. We’re running because we are an affluent couple with such sedentary lives that we need to get special shoes and special strollers to make our bodies do what they’re supposed to do to stay healthy, keep illness at bay and avoid decrepitude.

Our bodies were not made for grocery stores with just-on-time delivery and beverages with enough calories to cover two meals. They weren’t made for cheap, easy, fat, sugar and salt. Our bodies were not made for online shopping, Facebook and desk jobs. In the absence of anything to chase, haul, till or hack we are left to devise contraptions like the treadmill and the weight machine to trick our bodies in the belief that our lifestyle is healthy and active.

I ran past the little lady sitting in the shade of the electrical box on a Sunday morning thinking the world was upside down. Sunday used to be a day of rest. My husband and I can rest on Sunday but we shouldn’t. This little lady should rest on Sunday but she can’t.

This Sunday morning reflection lead me down the path of our recent to move into a rental house and our decision to start saving to build our not-so-big passive house in the country. I yearn for an active lifestyle that keeps me fit in itself. And as much as I enjoy working out and breaking a good sweat, I will not look back when I stop running nowhere.

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My street team, also known as my
Greatest Handicap.