Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dancing Queen

One of the things I love the most about The Dictator is her dancing.

No, she's not a great dancer or anything. She doesn't have rhythm or anything. But I love the fact that The Dictator will dance anywhere, and at any time, she damn well pleases.

I just love that.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I took The Dictator out for a long walk. We decided (or, rather, I decided, because I'm bigger than The Dictator and so she has to follow me) to buy some burgers and fries for dinner from The Burger Inn, about a 20 minute walk from our house.

Yes, The Burger Inn is one of those hidden gem take-out restaurants that has the cranky old smelly men flipping burgers. But so yummy. The burgers, I mean, are so yummy. Not the men making the burgers.

I put in our order and, as we waited for it to be ready, over the loud speaker the song Sweet Home Alabama started to play loudly.

And The Dictator's hips started to move. And she looked up at me with that look - you know those adorable eyes.

I knew what she needed. She needed me to say, "It's Ok. You can dance." So that's what I did. I said, "It's ok. You can dance."
And The Dictator started boggying and and galloping in circles and kicking her legs and, I'm not sure, attempting to do the splits in the air or something.

Whatever she was doing, she was dancing like no one was watching. But they were.

Even the two all-dressed-in-black Mod girls with eyebrow piercings who were also in line, who probably hadn't cracked a smile in two years, started laughing (not at her, but with her.)

And The Dictator kept saying, rather, yelling to me, "Dance mommy! Dance like this! Shake your bottom! Like this Mommy! Like this!" as she shook her hips.

I almost cried tears of embarrassment. Joking. I almost cried because it was so fucking cute.

Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I feel like dancing too. And I'll dance around my living room and put on bad strip tease shows for the fiance.

But if I danced like The Dictator dances at restaurants or on the street, I'd be taken away and institutionalized. Which would suck.

So The Dictator and I have started to have "dance parties," where I'll blast the radio and we'll dance around her bedroom. The only other person allowed to come to these parties is "Ruby the Dancing Dog," as The Dictator says.

I don't know. Sometimes a gal just has to dance. And, sometimes, I want to be two years-old.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Nanny Mimi's Getting Married!

I had kind of planned on maybe getting married this October. I did. Really.

But then one of the fiance's best friends decided to get married at the end of August. And, then, two other of my friends, who had a baby last year, decided to tie the knot, finally, in September. (Their one year-old will, of course, be in attendance.)

I didn't want to ruin the excitement of the marriage of the fiance's friends, nor did I want to follow my two other friends who had a baby and then got married, because it would look like I was just getting married because they were.

And, trust me, one of my friends got engaged around the same time as another of her friends. And then my friend booked her wedding date a week earlier than her friends and...well, let's just say they are no longer friends.

But, mostly, I can't get married in October because Nanny Mimi is. That's right. Nanny Mimi is getting married on the exact same weekend I was maybe debating planning to get married. Well, I certainly couldn't steal Nanny Mimi's thunder, can I?

A couple months ago, Nanny Mimi and her boyfriend were over one evening to babysit. I was all ready to go out and the fiance was still in the shower.

"Rebecca, we have to ask you two something," Nanny Mimi said. Early that day, she had flashed me her amazing engagement ring and told me all the dets.

"Oh, do ask," I said.

"No, we should wait until he's finished showering," Nanny Mimi said about the fiance. "We want to ask you together."

"Oh, forget about him! Just tell me! Tell me! Tell me!!'

"OK, well, we want you too to be sponsors at our wedding!"

"Ok, great! We would be honoured too!" I answered. Meanwhile, what I was really thinking was, "What the fuck does a sponsor do?"

When the fiance came downstairs to join us, I said, "Mimi has asked us to be sponsors at her wedding!"

"Is that ok with you?" Mimi asked the fiance.

"Sure, we would be delighted too." he answered.

And then the fiance and I got into his car.

"Um, Beck. What the hell does a sponsor do?" he asked.

"I don't know. I think it's a Catholic thing," I said.

"Maybe it's a Muslim thing," the fiance said. (Mimi is catholic and her fiance is Muslim.)

"Do you think we just agreed to pay for her wedding?" the fiance asked.

"I don't know. Maybe. Is that what a sponsor does?"

"I have no idea."

Well, it turns out - thanks to our housekeeper who explained what a sponsor does - we just have to sign some papers and light some candles. There was nothing about paying for the wedding, which was good. You know, one day I might need the money to get married myself.

Now a lot of people have been moaning about being bridesmaids recently on their blogs. I wasn't moaning, because for all I knew, I just had to light some candles, and walk down the aisle with The Dictator (she's going to be a flower girl.)

In fact, I got really caught up in planning Nanny Mimi's wedding, especially since she really doesn't have that many girlfriends to go shopping with or get excited about her wedding. I don't know, but planning her wedding seemed more fun than planning my own.

I bought Nanny Mimi Instyle Weddings and gave her a six pack of bridal colour nailpolishes from Essie. I taught her how to use the internet to find venues and bands and even bought her a tiara and a matching purse that she loved that we saw in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I mean, someone should be excited for you when you're getting married, right?

But then....well, then....

"Rebecca? We were also wondering if you can make a speech at our wedding," Nanny Mimi asked last week.

Argh! For some reason, I'm asked to speak at weddings/anniversary parties/birthday parties a lot in my family. No matter how many times I say, "Just because I'm a writer does not mean I make a good speech."

Well, I say it a lot. But no one in my family ever listens to me. Ever!

Anyway, how could I say 'no' to Nanny Mimi? She's become one of the closest people in my life and takes care of the most precious person in my life.

Still, there's nothing worse than being responsible for making a wedding speech. Nothing. I tell you, I'd rather me a bridesmaid.

It means I can't get drunk before I speak. It means I have to be funny. It means now that not only do I have to worry about not setting the place on fire (because I have to light some candles) it means I have to speak to a room of people I don't know about a person I've only known for three years.

I'm completely stressed out - and it's not even my wedding!

And then there's the fact that I'm not sure how much longer Nanny Mimi will stay with us after she gets married. So I'm kind of sad about that. She says she loves to work, and she really loves The Dictator, but her fiance is a little old-skool and may not want her to work.

(When Nanny Mimi comes to Toronto with us, she used to make lunches and dinners and ironed all his clothes for the two weeks she'd be away from him.)

But, I think Nanny Mimi has learned a lot from the almost three years she's been with us. Like, no, you don't actually have to make dinner for your husband every night. (I sure don't.) And that it's ok to use tears when you really, really want something. (I sure do.)

And, sometimes when Nanny Mimi and her fiance are over at our place and the wedding comes up and he'll moan about something Nanny Mimi wants for the wedding, I always stick up for her and say something like, "It's her wedding day! Don't argue with the bride. Just nod your head and smile and show up on the right day at the right place at the right time."

I think Nanny Mimi appreciates this.

Who knows...maybe I can train The Dictator to speak full sentences by October and she could do it for me. Because, as I've said before, just because I'm a writer does not make me a good speaker.

Friday, May 26, 2006

What's the Etiquette...

In tipping dog groomers?

Yesterday, the fiance took Ruby-the-nine-pound-dog-who-limps to the doggy salon early in the morning because he couldn't deal anymore.

Frankly, I like when Ruby-the-nine-pound-dog-who-limps long hair on her ears is matted (They look kind of like dreads.)

How did her ears get like that? Let's just say it involved The Dictator and a bowl of ice cream. Anyway, The fiance was adamant too that they cut Ruby-the-nine-pound-dog-who-limps toenails.

Apparently, the fiance doesn't like to get scratched by anyone's toe nails, including mine.

All day long, the fiance called to remind me, "Beck, you're going to pick Ruby up, right?," "Beck you're going to pick Ruby up right?" "Beck, you're going to pick Ruby up, right?"

How could I forget.? I walked into the doggy salon, just after 4 p.m. and said to the Dog Woman, "I'm here to pick up Ruby."

"She's not here," the Dog Woman said, with a straight face.

"Um, what?"

"She's not here. She left."


"She's gone."

My heart immediately started pounding. Where the hell was my Ruby-the-nine-pound-dog-who-limps? Was it possible, after the fiance reminded me 5000 times to pick her up, that he had? But he would have told me if that was the case, wouldn't he?

"Well-" I answered, trying to get to the bottom of where my dog was. I was starting to freak out. I mean, it's my dog!

"JOKING!" said the dog woman. "I was just joking."

"Oh," I said, looking at her. That was a JOKE? I didn't quite get it.

I mean, if I went to pick up the Dictator and someone pulled that "joke" on me, you can bet that I would never EVER bring her back there again.

Everyone knows that dogs are like children. For goodness sake, they make bridesmaids dresses for dogs and diamond collars. People spend more on their dogs these days than their children. And Ruby is my baby. I love her.

From that moment on, I was flustered. I couldn't get over the joke. But Dog Woman explained that everyone loved Ruby and didn't want to see her go. (So, I guess there was a reason behind the dog-knapping joke. I guess.)

Ruby-the-nine-pound-dog-who limps, I will admit, looked gorgeous. And she smelled all flowery (although I do like dog smell. I really do.) And her toe nails were cut.

Dog Woman-Who-Has-A-strange-sense-of-humour told me how much the bill was ($51) I handed her over $60 and then thought, "Oh, do I tip her for doing my dog's hair and nails?"

I mean, I tip my hairdresser. I tip my manicurists. I had no idea. So I said, "You can keep the change, or give it to the Humane society." (There was a can for the Humane Society on the counter.)

I left, happy that I had Ruby-the-nine-pound-dog-who-limps, still weirded out by Dog Woman's not-funny joke (Does anyone else see the humor in pretending that your dog is gone, when you go to pick them up?) and wondering if I should have tipped more, or less, or not at all.

Anyone know the etiquette?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cat Fight Part Deux - Meow!! Scratch!!

A couple days ago I wrote about a pathetic freelance writer, in Canada, who criticized me in a city newspaper for working and having a nanny. You can look at the post below called, "Fight! Fight! Fight!"

It just keeps getting better and better. Or more pathetic. I'm not sure which.

I had all but forgotten about the freelancer whose name I've forgotten. Linda..Lydia..Nitpick....littlepick...littleprick. Whatever.

In fact, last night I was at a charity dinner, sitting beside an olympic gold medalist, having a grand ole time. I just love Olympians. To me, they are idols.

Whenever I get to meet one, I just smile and smile and smile. And I asked this Gold Medal winner important questions too, like, "How did your wife react when she saw you win?" (She bawled.) And, "Who are you rooting for on American Idol?" (He had the McFever.)

Then, this morning, I took The Dictator to her music class, and we had a grand ole time. (Because, yes, people with nannies still do take their children to class.)

And then....

I turned on my e-mail, only to find requests to be interviewed on television and radio. Oh-my-god-isn't-that-so-cool?

Ahhhh, I love when the true colors of people really come out. I knew it was just a matter of time before this dear Freelancer Writer's true motivation came through. I knew it would. The gal doesn't have an original bone in her body, so it's no surprise.

It turns out Freelance Writer has been telling all the producers she knows about her little spat with me. Because everyone loves a good cat fight, the producers would like me to go on air with her to debate the whole stay-at-home vs. working mother thing.

(The problem is, unlike Freelancer, I don't care what women choose to do. As long as they're happy with their choice, I'm happy for them.)

In fact, it was little nitpick whatever her name is, suggesting that this debate continue on radio and television.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

You want to step outside Freelancer? You want a piece of me? Oooh, I'm so scared. Actually, she could probably sit on me and I'd die.

(Plus, I'm more of a make love not war person...anyhoo.)

Of course I wrote back to the producers (some of whose shows I do listen to and watch) that even if they paid me a million dollars I wouldn't go on air with Freelance Writer whatever-her-name is.

Unlike you dear Freelance Writer, I don't need the publicity. Unlike you, I don't have to go to the media to prove myself. Why?

Because, unlike you, I am completely comfortable with my choice to have a nanny and go to work. I don't have to sell my side of the argument.

(So why do I blog about it? Because it's my blog and people can come visit or not. It's their choice. I haven't gone out begging people to read me, unlike you dear freelancer who is out begging to get some air-time...with me. Oh, by the way, HI FREELANCER!! I know you're here!)

I find it hilarious that this Freelance Writer, who professes that she's such a hands-on mother, not only has enough time to check her e-mail five thousand times a day (Are you feeling a little disconnected all there by yourself?) but also has enough time to tell anyone who will listen about her spat with me.

And then beg them to ask me on air with her and then find the time to do these shows. So, what you're saying Freelance Writer, is that it's not okay to work, but it's ok to go on television and radio shows? Pathetic.

Dear Freelancer, I like going on television. I love radio. But, sorry, no. You'll have to find another wagon to hitch your star to. (Or is that hitch your wagon to another star? Whatever. Stop using my name to get publicity, is what I'm trying to say.)

You see, unlike you, Dear Freelancer, I'm actually living my life, supporting worthwile charities, and meeting actual people who work hard for the pride of their country. Oh, and spending time with my child.

I will never go on air with you. Ever.

I know this is probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you. But I have to go wash my hair.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I want The Dictator to Fit In

Do other moms obsess about their children fitting in with other kids?

I read a really interesting post by a blogger yesterday who was contemplating whether her child should wear Dora the Explorer clothes to school. It's not that this woman was opposed to Dora (How can you hate Dora with her big brown eyes? Plus, she teaches us Spanish! And, I'm sorry, Diego is kind of cute.)

It's just that this mother knew that other kids can be mean and may make fun of her child for wearing Dora to school. (Apparently, you will be made fun of if you like Dora after the age of 6.)

She was trying to think of a good way to suggest to her daughter that she might not want to wear Dora to go to school.

Anyway, I understood where this Blogging Mama was coming from.

How do you make your kid fit in, and dress not to be made fun of, without encouraging them to think it's ok to make fun of kids for what they wear? Because it's not ok.

Yes, it is a tricky problem. Tricky is what it is.

A couple weeks ago, Nanny Mimi came home with The Dictator and handed me a schedule for The Dictator's Friday's "class."

This Friday, I'm the mom responsible for bringing "the class" snacks. (I know, I never saw this ever happening in my life. But here we are...)

Anyway, I asked Nanny Mimi what I should bring. "The teacher wants parents to bring fruit," Nanny Mimi answered.

Um, fruit? Eeesh. Really?

Hey, I love fruit. But I'm an adult and wasn't the fun in getting snacks in class that they were a special treat?

What I definitely didn't want to happen was for my child to bring in fruit if every other kid was bringing in chocolate cupcakes for the class.

I tried explaining this to Nanny Mimi. "So all the other kids brought in fruit then?"

"Well, no. But the teacher wants you to bring in fruit," she said.

Yeah, I'm sure the teacher also wishes The Dictator was toilet trained. But that's not how it's going.

See, I care about The Dictator's well-being. It's these little things that can make or break your kid, and make or break them feeling liked or unliked in class. I know she will probably feel hated in class one day. But I don't want her feeling that yet. Or ever.

It's awful, yes, but true that these things matter. We all remember that one poor classmate whose mother made them bring in carrot/cranberry/bran muffins as their school treat for their birthdays, don't we?

Face it. Kids like chocolate cupcakes more than they like fruit.

"Ok, Mims," I said. "I know the teacher would like us to bring in fruit, but are all the other kids bringing in donuts?"

"The teacher wants you to bring fruit," she repeated.

The problem is is that Nanny Mimi is also a health food nut. She would want The Dictator to bring in fruit. So I'm being ganged up on by these two fruit-lovers. Unfortunately, I think of the class.

If I were a kid in The Dictator's class, I'd be quite mad at the girl whose mom brought in fruit for snack when every other mother sent brownies (with no peanuts of course!) in. I might even call her "Fruit girl" for the rest of my life.

So I've decided to buy a fruit plate AND cupcakes. That way, the teacher and Nanny Mimi will be happy, and me and the kids will be happy. And I've aided my daughter a tiny bit, maybe, in fitting in. I don't want her to be called "Fruit girl."

This way, everybody wins! (Especially me, who will make sure I get a couple extra cupcakes.)

I just have to remember that Friday is my day for snacks. Friday. Friday. Friday.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fight! Fight! Fight!

I think I just got into my first fight with a stay-at-home mother. I think.

This "Stay-at-home" mother is also a "freelance writer."

Anyway, this Freelance Writer did a Mother's Day column criticizing me for having a blog and also having a nanny.

Apparently, I'm not worthy of having a blog about mothering because I have a Nanny, so therefore couldn't possibly know what it's like to be a real mother. (If being a real mother means changing diapers and all that shit, as she suggests, well I've done that, many, many, many times.)

I had no idea this Freelance Writer even existed (and neither will most of you) until a friend of a family friend e-mailed me her story.

Usually, I don't respond when people write nasty things about me, because usually they are so wrong I laugh it off (No, I didn't yell at a former editor for buying me a salad for lunch. No, I wasn't wearing Prada heels when that didn't happen. No I didn't make the amount you said I did on my first book. I made more.)

But this writer really pissed me off because she was attacking my mothering skills. And she's a mother. And a woman. And, nuh-huh. I was sticking up for myself because I hate women like her.

I wrote her an e-mail, explaining that, just because I work and have a nanny, doesn't mean I don't spend time with my child. In fact, because I'm a writer, I can work anytime I want - so I usually work late at night, while The Dictator sleeps.

I also wrote she shouldn't judge me as she's never met me or my child.

And, fuck you too, I can start a blog about knitting if I damn well please, and I've never knitted a thing in my life. Ok, I didn't write that part, but it's true. I could start a blog about knitting if I wanted.

Then this Freelance Writer wrote me back, writing that she "chooses to be a stay-at-home mom" (Um, sorry, you fucking are "working" even if you tack on freelance - and my guess is, if someone offered you a book deal or a full time columnist position, you'd jump at the chance. Oh, really? You wouldn't? Liar.)

Then this Freelance Writer writes me that she has the "studies to back me up," that being a stay-at-home-mom is best for your child. Whatever. For every study you show me, I'll show you another one that says being a working mother is good too. It's a wash.

Oh, and also, this Freelance Writer wrote she has a "sister who gave up her six-figure job because she also believes a mom should be there during the formative years."

Ooooohh, you have a sister who gave up a six-figure job! Woweee!! You must be right then!! You have a sister who decided to stay at home, after all! How could anyone argue with that?

Then she writes something about actually enjoying changing dirty diapers (Oh, really? You actually laugh at a shitty diaper the day after your baby only ate peas for three meals and think to yourself, 'Oh this is so much fun!" I think you're lying.)

But the topping of the cake was this line: "I think it's really sad that feminists have brainwashed women into believing that they have to plug away at their career in order to be worthwhile."

No, dear Freelance Writer, it's so much better to attack me. Does that make you feel worthwhile? You can't come up with your own ideas, so you read ninepounddictator, even though no one forces you too, to find things to criticize? Does that make you feel worthwhile? Can my daughter please grow up to be like you? Please?

No wait.

There was another line she wrote that made me laugh my ass off. Which was something about me having a nanny when it doesn't "appear" I have to work at all.

I will say this only once: I choose to work because I like my work. It was this way before I had The Dictator and might always be this way, or it might not. But whether I'm making $20,000 a year, or making $400,000 a year, whether the fiance is a billionaire or if he's dirt poor, I work because I like it.

(And, to me, dear Freelance Writer, it "appears" you are a bitter woman, but that doesn't mean you have to be, does it?)

And if this Freelance writer thinks the way she thinks, then I want to tell her she should maybe leave her home once in a while, because obviously she's been watching too much Barney. (Let me guess, dear Freelance Writer, you also don't believe children should watch television?)

There are hundreds of thousands of mothers who need to place their children in day care and don't have the option of staying at home because they have to work. (Are they bad mothers too?)

And there are hundreds of thousands of women who go back to work because they do like it, and they may want to raise their children to believe that they can do anything they want. (Does that make a woman a bad mother?)

I want to make this clear. My very best friend is a stay-at-home mother. She got knocked up, the first time, right after graduating university and has never had a job.

She stays at home raising four children. We are complete opposites. I love her. She loves me.

The point is, I couldn't give a rat's ass if you want to be a stay-at-home mother. Do whatever makes you feel good.

I've never once judged my best friend for her choices, nor does she judge me for mine. Nor do I even blink when I meet a woman who says she stays at home. Why? Because I don't care. The Modern Woman should do what she wants.

So dear Freelance Writer, do not judge me for wanting to work. Do not think I'm a bad mother for having a nanny when it "appears" I don't have to work. Maybe I do have to work for my mental sanity? Did you ever think of that? Did ya? Did ya?

When it comes down to it, I don't think that this Freelance Writer really thinks I'm a bad mother. I think she's just a tad bitter about her life and the only way she can find happiness is to criticize people who are happy with their choices. At least that's the way it "appears" to me.

Let's just say this: I could say I'm really happy this freelance writer is not my mother. I'm not sure how I could live in a household where my mother was so bitter and judgemental over people she doesn't even know.

But I won't.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Stupid Spas

I'm going to spend this afternoon at the spa. Because I have to. That's right. I have to.

Well, I don't have to.

But, see, I have this problem with spa gift certificates, in the sense that I get them, and I'm like, "Yay!" and then I put them in a drawer and I find them two years later, way after the expiry date. And then I think, "Damn. That's like a $200 gift down the drain."

Gift certificates to spas stress me out. Yesterday for example, I saw the gift certificate the fiance bought me for a Mother's Day package. This Mother's Day spa package includes a manicure (an hour) a pedicure (an hour) a massage (an hour) and lunch. In total, this package was for four hours.

Ok, I know four hours in a spa may sound nice. But what working mother has four hours to spend in a spa?

Ok, I do.

But I don't really like spending four hours anywhere.

Yes, even in a spa, where I'm supposed to be getting pampered, I get bored.

And it's never really relaxing. While I'm getting a facial, the facialist is always yammering on about what products she's using now and why they're so great and why I should buy them. It's less stressful watching an infommercial.

But I've dealt with that. I just say, "You can tell me all about the products you use after we're finished, but I think I'm going to try and fall asleep during the facial." Hint, hint.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Even when I say I want to fall asleep, they'll be like, "And now I'm putting something hot on your face. And now this is going to feel cold. And, oh, and this product is great. I'll write it down for you so you can purchase it after."

And I get really stressed out thinking, "Ok, will she shut up now? Is she going to say something now? Why is she talking to me? Should I tell her again I want to fall asleep?"

Massages, well, I try not to get them anymore. The thing is, half the time I leave feeling great. Half the time I feel like - what the fuck? - they just screwed up my back forever. And, also, I always forget to request a woman and so sometimes I end up with a man. I don't like strange men rubbing my ass. It makes me stressed out. (And, my fav part of a massage, is when they rub my gluts.)

Manicures? Well, I usually ask, "So what's the popular color this season?" And, I'm not sure if it's because I'm in Calgary or what, but the answer is usually, "Bright orange!" So I have to explain that, um, I'm not a senior in Miami Beach so I can't go around wearing bright orange nail polish. How about something pale pink?

Anyway, I didn't want this year's gift certificate to go to waste, beacuse I've let too many spa gift certificates go to waste and why should the Stillwater Spa get my fiance's hard earned money? So, I went to the trouble and called.

After being on hold for 9 minutes (which, when you're on hold, is a very very very long time) someone finally came to the phone. (This stresses me out too. I do not like to be on hold.)

I explained the fiance bought me a mother's day package. I was told they were booked for weeks. Which stressed me out. I do not like making appointments weeks in advance. Because I don't remember appointments made weeks in advance.

It took years, but I finally have people in my life who can fit me in THE NEXT DAY. That's right. I tip very well, and so when I call (fill in manicurist/facialist/masseuse/therapist/trainer/hairdresser) I say "Hey, it's Rebecca. Can you please, please, please fit me in tomorrow." And they always do. Even if it means they open the doors at 7 a.m for me. (They also get very nice Christmas gifts.)

Weeks to use up my gift certificate? No. I want to use my gift certificate. And I want to use it now. Thanks.

So, I said, "Well, I don't want the massage. I want a facial instead. And I don't need the lunch." The woman typed typed typed away into her computer, god knows what, but came back to the phone and said, "OK, when were you thinking of coming in?"

So I told her the truth. I told her I was thinking that I wanted to come in "tomorrow." (Meaning today.)

Type, type, type away. And, go figure, she somehow got me in for a manicure, a pedicure and a facial for today.

So, I said, thanks. And then she said, "Well, you may as well get the meal thrown in as well, because it's paid for."

So I said OK. (I'm not sure how it went from I couldn't get in for weeks, to getting in the very next day, but whatever. I'm in. The advice here is to always keep asking until they will fit you in - after they type type type away.)

And it couldn't really come at a better time. I need a pedicure. And it's not because I do yoga, which was the reason I used to get pedicures.

It's because at The Dictator's music class, we have to take off our shoes. I know. Awful. But a rule is a rule.

And I just know the other mother's are staring at my feet, because when you have to take off your shoes, that's what you do. You look at other people's feet and you think, "God, she needs a pedicure."

Anyway, I'm heading to the spa. I'm sure it won't be relaxing. But I have to do it. I have to.

Dear Readers...

Dear readers of ninepounddictator,

So, we've almost made the 5000 mark of readers on ninepounddictator, or so says the "profile."

I'm not sure how the "profile" thing works. Does that mean nearly 5000 different people have read ninepounddictator? Or does Blogger count all the people who look, even the regulars, every day? (Blogger man? Are you out there? Answers please, dear Blogger Man...)

In any case, it's been two months and I think I now understand this blog world. And what I want to accomplish by blogging. Or maybe I don't. What do I know? (I do know that Katherine McPhee is in the top two in American Idol and I've been rooting for her since day one! Whoopie!!!)

Anyway, I made a promise to myself that when my profile hit 5000 (only nine more people, people!) that I would ask some questions.

Because I really think I've been quite sweet on this blog, and, the truth is, sometimes I feel like being wicked. Sometimes I want to swear! (Oooohhhh)

Sometimes I really, really want to shake things up. For example, sometimes I want to respond to people who think they know me, but really don't. And I want to swear at them, because they're idiots.

For example, the reader who wrote that I used to be fat and pale. Ok, dude. You don't know me but at all!

I've never weighed more than 105 pounds in my life (except when I was pregnant, but I was pregnant, not fat!) and if I'm even in the sun for two minutes, with 45 sunblock, I turn brown. So fuck you. (Ok, did that offend anyone?)

There has been a lot of talk lately on different blogs about how to "find your voice" on your blog, and what you should and should not be writing about. For example, a lot of women question whether or not they should complain about their husbands. Personally, I love reading those blogs. But then again, I love to complain.

Sometimes, like the other day when I wrote, I feel like 'crap,' I really wanted to write, I feel like 'shit.' But I edited myself, because I didn't want to offend. Shit, I should have trusted my judgment and wrote, "I feel like shit." (Did that offend anyone?)

In America, there are a ton of bloggers who really write what they're thinking, swear like sailors, and they are hilarious. I've sort of done this so far. But have I been entirely truthful? Well, no. Because sometimes I want to swear and write what I really feel, but back off. Do you?

If anyone is reading this from The Fiance's work, please just send an anonymous e-mail, like, 'I work in the lunch room at your fiance's office and I adore your blog. I just am so fascinated to learn that he snores. I will never look at him when I serve him a wrap the same again!' If no one responds, then I will feel really really ok about writing about him (In a really nice way.)

If you are reading this, dear fiance, can you let me know? Like, tonight, just say to me, "I read your blog," and then I'll know you're reading it and that I can't blog about what you told me the other night and made me promise to never talk about, you know that thing about....joking! I'm not joking though about wanting to know if you read this. Do ya? Do ya?

Also, feel free to ask me to write about things. I often read people's blogs and write them, "Hey can you write more about the suburb you live in in LA?" Because I really, really, want to know. Or, for book reviewers who have blogs, I often ask them to review fiction books.

So, there you have it. You can ask me to write about anything, I want to swear on my blog, maybe, if I feel like it. I want to know if The Fiance is reading this, and if anyone who knows the Fiance is reading this.

I guess, I'm just trying to find out how honest is too honest on a blog. See, the blogs I like the most are the ones I feel where the blogger is being the most truthful. The funniest blogs I've read are by women who really really write what they feel.

Stay tuned. We're going hard core blogging now.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm Grumpy..

So grumpy. I blame "Seasonal Allergies" which are ruining my life. They keep me up at night. They annoy the crap out of me.

And the thing is...well, the thing is, I'm not even the one who suffers from Seasonal Allergies. It's the stupid fiance. (Yes, that's how grumpy I am.)

For the past week, I haven't slept. Here's my routine. We get into bed. I give a sigh of relief, "Thank God I made it through another -"

And then the fiance is snoring.

I'm not sure what annoys me more. The fact that he can fall asleep in 12 seconds or the fact that as soon as he falls asleep he's snoring. Either way, I want to hurt him.

I've tried to be nice, you know, hitting him on his back as opposed to slapping him in the face. I've begged him - "Please dear god, let me fall asleep first."

I've made him do the nasal spray thing and I swear, I. am. this. close. to. buying. him. those. hideous. nose. strips. But I'm not that cruel. Not yet anyway.

So I've been sleeping in The Dictator's bed. Which sucks because she needs her Dora the Explorer sheets and, to me, they make me feel like I'm sleeping on paper towel. But I can deal with that. I can not deal with the fact The Dictator is now a girl.

A girl who kicks. And sleeps sidewways. And kicks. And kicks. And kicks.

So, here are my choices a) I sleep with The Snorer or b) I sleep with the Kicker.

I don't like either of those options.

I like option c) finding a doctor who will prescibe me a jar of sleeping pills so I can have options - the options being being able to sleep through the snores or being able to sleep through the kicks. I don't care. Drug me. Please.

I don't know. I just don't know.

You know, if I can offer one piece of advice for all those who haven't found mates, it would be to ask Potentials if they have seasonal allergies. If they say yes, end the date right there and don't look back.

I'm just saying...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

To Spoil or Not to Spoil?

I am working on a very controversial theory. Here it is.

I think spoiling your child rotten is beneficial. What? Who? Where? Gaa?

Let me explain.

I spoil The Dictator silly. If she even points to a toy, I will buy it for her.

I've been like this since, well, since she learned how to point.

If we're at Shoppers, and she wants bubbles, she'll get them. If we're at a toy store, I'll say, "Whatever you want, pick it. As long as I can lift it, it's yours!"

We'll go to Chapters, and I'll be like, "Whatever books you want, go!"

I probably buy The Dictator something every single day. (Because she's only two-and-a-half, I'm not talking about clothes here. When I buy her designer duds, who am I kidding, it's really for me.)

I'm also like this with junk food. If The Dictator wants chips, she can have them. If she wants to eat smarties before dinner, I'm absolutely fine with that. Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm a chocolaholic and, who am I kidding, I need chocolate in the house.

I'm no hypocrite. I like eating smarties before dinner too. If I do it, how can I expect her not too? If she wants to eat ice cream for breakfast, go right ahead, and get me a bowl too, will ya?

Now, before you think I should win Worst-Mother-of-The-Year Award, let me explain why all of this has worked out just fine, more than fine even.

I took the Dictator to Zellers the other night to buy her more toys. We walked around and I was like, "Pick out whatever you want," as I always do. So she picked out a Tea Set ($3.99) I asked her if she also wanted the Dora the Explorer Truck thing. "Maybe tomorrow," was her answer. What? Who? Where? Gaa!

Then it happened again. Last night, I took her to Shoppers to buy her some bubbles. I asked her, "Do you want the skipping rope too?" Her answer, "No thanks. Maybe tomorrow."

She's like that with junk food too. Because it was always readily available to her, she's now like, "No thanks," when I ask her if she wants chocolate. "Maybe later."

That's right. I've spoiled my child into a very nice little girl who now rarely asks for anything and actually likes to eat corn and broccoli. The best part of her day now is when a plate of peas is put in front of her.

I always knew this is how I'd be as a mother. I knew because of the way I grew up, which was no sugar cereal in the house, no McDonald's, except twice a year, and I most definitely could not walk into a toy store and hear, "Whatever you want!"

So, as soon as I moved out, I was eating fruit loops for breakfast and McDonald's for dinner. My mother, by forcing me to be healthy as a kid, kind of ruined me as an adult. (I still love fruit loops and McDonald's.)

So I took the opposite approach raising The Dictator and it's working!

For The Dictator, chocolate is not a "special treat." It's always there, take it or leave it, and now she leaves it.

Same with toy stores. The Dictator has thrown only two temper tantrums in her life and these are supposed to be the Terrible Twos. I'm not joking. And not one of those happened in a store because I refused to buy her something.

She's actually quite mature because I spoiled her. If she says, "Mom I want a bike," I'll say, "Well, I can't carry it today, but we'll get you one on the weekend," and she'll be like, "OK, we'll get one on the weekend," because she knows I'm not lying. Why would she think I'm lying after I've always gotten her what she wants? (And all kids deserve a bike!)

I know there will be the naysayers out there, scoffing and saying, "Well, just wait until she's 15 and she'll be a real piece of work."

And, to that, I say, "You show me yours in 15 years and I'll show you mine."

Because, really, no matter how we raise our children, no one ever knows how they'll turn out. No one can see into the future. Which is why talk shows always feature university educated, career-oriented parents, with children who have turned into prostitute drug addicts (Knock on wood. Knock on wood.)

So, spoil away and don't feel bad. How many toddlers do you know, after all, who say, "No thanks. Maybe later," when you want to buy them toys, and say, "No thanks," to junk food?

God, forbid, she ends up like me eating Fruit Loops in her 30s.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Low Frequency People...

My friend refers to these people as low-frequency people.

But, mostly, it's about low-frequency feelings.

About three months ago, or maybe four now, I made my twice yearly phone call to an ex boyfriend from high school (Or did we last until year one University?)

Honestly, it was the one relationship that ended well. I swear.

I only have nice thoughts about this young...oh wait...we're not so young But I do only have nice thoughts. He was funny, kind, cute and he was my first...Ok, this is a family blog. We really just grew apart. Or did he move to Vancouver? In any case, he was my first real love.

Whatever the case, we've kept in touch, about two or three times a year since the break up. We've been broken up now for, um, 13 years. In fact, there are some years that we hadn't spoken at all since the breakup. But then I'll pick up the phone, or he'll e-mail, and we'll have a nice chat and it's all very nice. See, I kind of like the dude. For someone I talk to twice a year.

Last time we spoke, he told me he was getting married. And I was like, um, WHAT?????

I also thought, "Well, I got engaged first, and I had a baby first and nananana-boo-boo!"

But it brought up these "low frequency" feelings. No, it's not jealousy. It's not that I have feelings for this dude. It's been 13 years! Maybe 10 per cent of it is that he's supposed to be pining for me forever. But I don't even think that's it. (After all, I did get engaged first and had a baby first, nananana-boo-boo.)

I think mostly it's a big reminder of time gone by or something, kind of like looking at your junior high year book and reading what your best friend wrote to you and you're like, "Stacy? Who's that? I don't remember being best friends with a Stacy."

Or maybe, because he was my first true love, I feel protective of him. Which is ridiculous. Or maybe it's the same feeling you get when you break up with someone and they get married before you, and have a baby before you (And, you know, that sucks) but not exactly the same because I got engaged first and had a baby first and nanana-boo-boo.

I was happy for him...And I was also...Well, I had low-frequency feelings.

Anyway, I just left him a message, "Hey. It's me. I think you got married two or three months ago. Call me. I want to know the dets."

I guess what it really means is that we're over. But I got engaged first and had the ba - ok, you get the point.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My Blind Date With A Blogger

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether you can be true friends with fellow bloggers.

A few weeks ago, one of my regular readers let me know they were coming to Calgary, where I live part-time and am slowly, slowly, slowly trying to live full-time.

This blogger didn't actually come out and say, "Can we meet?" But it was obvious there was that implied suggestion. So, of course, as someone who never looks more than three hours into the future, I was the one to throw out, "Let's meet!"

I mean, it would be so many weeks before this blogger actually came to Calgary, and, surely, I'd either forget about it, or they would.

After you've been to 3259 cocktail parties, where people air-kiss you and say, "We should get together!" you really start to believe that no one ever actually gets together. Because no one ever gets together!

But that didn't happen this time. "I'm coming to Calgary next week," went the e-mail I received last week. "Are we still on?"
So, of course, I wrote back, "Of course we're still on." (Apparently, this blogger doesn't travel in the same cocktail party circuit as I do where "We should get together," means "See you at the next cocktail party.")

The day before we were to meet, I told The Fiance I was meeting a blogger for lunch the next day. He was all like, "Are you friggen crazy?"

So I was like, "Um, duh. Yeah I'm crazy. But what does that have to do with me meeting a blogger for lunch?"

I'm quite naive about people. I really do believe the best in people and that everyone is nice. I'm always shocked when people are mean to, or about, me. "Why are people so mean?" I'll ask the fiance, when, oh I don't know, someone sends me evil (but often hilarious) e-mails.

"Because in the real world," he always tells me. "People are not nice. If you put yourself out there, people will be mean."

And I'm like, "But where do people find the time? When I have even two minutes of free time, I'd never spend it sending evil e-mails to strangers."

And then The Fiance will say, "And that's why you are who you are," which I take to mean that when I have free time, I'll use it to work and make $1500 doing a freelance assignment (Check out this month's Chatelaine - it's actually a pretty good mag), while other's spend their time writing about me, or sending me evil (but hilarious) e-mails, instead of focusing on their own careers.

But that's just me. Maybe there are people out there who prefer sending evil e-mails to strangers than making money.

But I'm getting off topic. The fiance thought I was "friggen crazy" to meet a blogger who I knew nothing about.

"That's not true!" I said. "I know this person has two dogs, a cat, is 23 years-old and married." (I read this on her profile.)

"How do you know it's not a crazy stalker man who is pretending to be a female blogger only to lure you to meet them?" he asked. "How do you know they are who they say they are? You better have your cell phone on THE ENTIRE lunch."

His freak-out gave me pause. It was true. How much really do we ever know about bloggers? We see their profiles, the movies they like, and the books they read. But it would be very easy to lie.

But, because I'm naive, I take blogger's profiles to be true. If you say your favorite movie is The Princess Bride, well, I'll believe your favorite movie is The Princess Bride.

But The Fiance freaked me out. I really did know nothing about this blogger. In fact, I didn't even know what she looked like (The photo of them was from when they were a kid.) I only knew that this blogger went by the moniker "How Did I Wind Up Here?" I wasn't even sure of this bloggers name.

But the day arrived. I kept my phone on. I walked into the very public restaurant I suggested at the very public hour of 12:30 p.m. I had pepper spray in my purse. Ok, that's not true. But, suddenly, the fact that this blogger could be very boring and that I'd waste 2 hours of my time, was the least of my worries.

Here's what happened: I met this blogger, who was female (phew!) and I had an amazing time. It was super fun. She was super nice, very interesting, and very funny. In fact, it turned out to be one of those lunches where the waiter came back to ask, three times, "So are you ready to order yet?" when we hadn't even looked at the menu. That's how fun the lunch was.

Meanwhile, my cell phone kept ringing and ringing to the point it was embarassing (The fiance making sure I was still alive) I turned it off because I was enjoying myself so much. I felt like I had met a new friend, who seemed like an old friend. And, the best part of meeting this blogger was that it restored my faith in human nature.

Because, sometimes, a blogger is just a blogger.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Daughter's First Crush

My daughter has her first crush!!!

I'm only slightly concerned. I mean, the guy is, after all, 28 years older than she is. Which means he's only slightly younger than me.

I haven't met this sex god...yet.

Nanny Mimi first told me about The Dictator's crush about three weeks ago. The Dictator has a crush on a man named Hulger and he teaches her music class, Thursdays, at the Jewish Community Center.

And, yes, my brave daughter apparently said to Hulger, her music teacher, "You come home with me now, Ok?" after class one day.

Seriously. What is it with toddlers these days? I was, like, 15 before I invited a boy back to my place!

And, what if Hulger had actually accepted The Dictator's invitation to "come home with her, ok?" and The Fiance came home, and there we were - me, Hulger, and The Dictator - sitting around laughing over pound cake.

I'd have some explainin' to do. I'd have to say, "He's not here for me! He's your daughter's boy toy, not mine!"

Anyway, Hulger let The Dictator down easy saying, "Maybe some other time," which I thought was thoughtful of know, not to break my two year-old daughter's heart and all.

Of course, I did what any other mother would do upon hearing their daughter had her first crush.

I started singing, "Rowan and Hulger sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Rowan pushing a baby carriage." (Or in my case, first comes love, then comes baby, then comes...crap, I'll get married when I wanna, so just leave me be!)

Anyway, The Dictator loved the song and picked it up in an hour. She started singing "Rowan and Hulger sitting in a tree" along with me for hours.

I thought The Dictator understood the concept of the song, until she started to sing, "Mommy and Mimi sitting in a tree," and, "Mommy and Ruby sitting in a tree," and "Mommy and poo poo sitting in a tree." Anyway.

Tomorrow, I'll be meeting this young man who has so captured my daughters heart. I'll be the one taking The Dictator to this music class (or is that luv class?)

Because it's my birthday, and I want to spend the day with my daughter, who, apparently, is growing up way too fast for my liking. Yes, it's my birthday and I'm turning...what do you mean you can't hear me...Hello? Are you there?...I must be going through a tunnel....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

People are Funny About Money, Honey

I received an e-mail a few weeks back that I put in my "I'll deal with this later" file.

Usually that means it will stay in my Inbox until I do some feng shui deleting. Or I'll do it never. It's 50-50.

Anyway, I found it. It was from someone who works at Toronto Life magazine.

"Rebecca," it began. "We're conducting a salary survey of prominent and interesting Torontonians. The results will be published in our next issue and blah, blah, blah..We wondered if you would be willing to tell us how much you earned in 2005 blah blah blah Please let me know if you're interested in participating."

My first thought was, "Hey, thanks for thinking I'm such a prominent and interesting Torontonian, even though I don't really consider myself a Torontonian anymore."

A few years back, Toronto Life asked me the same question. A few years back, I was kind of incredibly stupid and gave them an answer. I thought, "Well, I'm a journalist and always asking people intimate details of their personal life, and I expect them to answer. So I should."

Well, the shit hit the proverbial fan. Actually, the shit hit the fan at the newspaper where I used to work. Apparently, after I disclosed how much I was making, the poor higher ups were accosted by other staff asking to be paid more.

Was I being paid too much? Absolutely....not. Why would anyone ever think they were being paid too much?

Only journalists (and teachers and nurses - who I do believe are paid way too little) would ever think I was being paid too much. I can tell you most lawyers, basketball players, rock stars, Simon Cowell, the cast of Friends, would have looked at what I was being paid and thought I was close to being on welfare.

Like every one else in the world, I always think I'm being paid too little. Even the cast of Friends thought they were being too little. Do I think journalists are paid too little? Maybe. For example, the freelance rate has remained the same - $1 a word - since, I think, the 1800s.

Anyway, I thought about sending Toronto Life back an answer this time: "I made $500,000 in 2005, give or take."

Ha ha! I can't believe you actually thought that was true! I'm a writer, in Canada, for goodness sake!

The truth is, it would be very hard to tell anyone how much I made in 2005. I was making a salary, I also had a few book deals, which pay out in installments, and Knocked Up, my first book, sold in a couple more countries, and some of those deals came in, I think, and you know, I do some freelance work, but that depends on month to month.

All I know is that I do believe I work quite hard. I mean, it's hard work making it seem like what I do is not hard work. If you know what I mean.

All I know is that if I wanted to, I could have bought that Coach purse, and probably not thought twice about it. And, no, this has nada to do with The Fiance. I'm talking about my money, honey, the money that I've made.

And since it's a few years later, and I'm not as incredibly stupid as a few years abck, I would never have answered.

Who the heck is stupid enough to answer such a personal question? I guess I'll find out next month. I can hardly wait.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mom's Day with or Without Children

Do you think Mother's Day for you would be a happier occassion with or without your child (or children.)

On the one hand, it would be nice to have The Dictator sleep over at Nanny Mimi's house, so I can sleep in with The Fiance, and then get up and go to brunch with him. And then, maybe, we'd see a movie, and then maybe go shopping, and then go out for a nice dinner.

One of my best friends, a mother of four, is actually taking off to Florida with some other of her mother friends, over Mothers Day weekend. And, no, none of these mothers are bringing their children. And they're just fine - more than fine - with this.

Mother's Day is tricky. As mother's, we all want to be not only celebrated on this one day a year, but spoiled silly. And, then, in an effort to be spoiled silly, our husbands will make "breakfast in bed" for us with the kids. And we all know how this story ends...with mommies cleaning up the kitchen...and the trail of pancake mix...and the spilled orange juice on the steps up to the bedroom.

Last year, leading up to my first Mother's Day (I tried to convince the fiance that I still a mother when I was pregnant because someone was growing in me, but that didn't work. He said he needed to see proof of a baby before I'd get a gift) I asked a few mother's I knew what their best mother's day was.

It was so depressing. All these mother's saying they never really had a memorable mother's day, because they still had to look after their children, feed their children, change their babies diapers, and their husbands forgetting, as if it were any other day of the year.

Ok, it's really not any other day of the year. Sure, it's another day, but mother's should at least get presents. The best kind of presents for these kind of occassions, mother's day, birthdays, is the kind of gift you'd never buy for yourself, but you really, really, want - a day at the spa, an expensive handbag, a pair of sexy high heels (Feel free to e-mail this posting to the father of your child. There's still time.)

Personally, for me, I want to spend at least a large chunk of Mother's Day with The Dicatator. I'd feel weird not seeing her at all on Mother's Day. But that's just me. After all, The Dictator is the best gift of all. What else could I ever ask for on Mother's Day?

Ha ha. I'm completely joking!

Sure, I love The Dictator and all, and I want to spend time with her on Mother's Day, but I also want a gift that I wouldn't necessarily by for myself. I've already put in my request to the fiance for a Louis Vuittion large purse. And if The Dictator had any money of her own, I'd ask for a matching wallet.

One day...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Can You Be A Mommy And Good-looking?

So, there I was the other night at another book launch for Bonnie Fuller, celebrating her book, The Joys of Much Too Much. (Which is a fun read!)

All the "media" and television cameras were there, ET Tonight and Shinan Govani, gossip columnist, who was also hosting the bash.

I tried to look good that night. For the past few months, I've been living in pajamas, trying to finish a book, occasionally remembering to shower.

When I had to go out -for dinner or a movie or a party - and had to wear jeans (you know actual clothes) I felt so uncomfortable because I'm actually not used to wearing clothes that aren't 100 per cent cotton. Anyway.

For Bonnie, I had straightened my long hair, I had showered, I had worn a pair of Rock and Republic skinny jeans (also known as Torture Jeans because you gain one pound and you can't fit into them anymore) a pair of high heels, a push-up bra under a tight black James Pearce tank top and a green crochet mini sweater I had bought at Anthropologie.

I even wore lip gloss And I rarely, if ever, wear makeup.

Like most women, I was like, "Oh man, I even tried tonight and I don't know if this outfit works. I'm so ugly!"

But, my gay neighbour, who saw me on the way out said, "I'm really impressed! You look amazing! I'm really impressed."

And if a gay guy says that to you, well, you know, I actually felt I did look good. After all, my gay friend complimented me! And he's a touch critic. He once yelled at me for twenty minutes because I was wearing Ugg boots - in my home!

At the book launch, a Famous Canadian (Really, if you saw this person, you'd know who they were) came up to me and said, "Wow, Rebecca. You look gorgeous," as they pecked me on each cheek. "And, you're a mother!"

Gaa! Argh! Gaa! Eeek!

The way this Famous Canadian said this to me was like they were surprised that I looked good and WAS a mother - all at the very same time! I'm so talented!

I've seen this Famous Canadian numerous times after The Dictator was born. This person knows very well that I have a toddler. So, then I thought, "Crap. Maybe all the other times I saw Famous Canadia I looked liked poo-poo." (The Dicator's word, not mine.)

I mean, I thought the weird comments had stopped. When I was pregnant, yes, I got a ton of constant wierd comments, like, "I guess you won't have to flirt anymore," and, "I guess you won't be having any fun anymore."

Then, after I gave birth, I also got a ton of strange comments ranging from, "Oh, right. You're a mother now. You can't have fun," to, "Does your daughter have crossed-eyes?" (I mean, really, you do not ask a mother that question! Especially since The DIctator MOST CERTAINLY didn't have crossed eyes.)

But I hadn't had any strange comments for a while now. Until Famous Canadian, who is actually an extremely nice person, who doesn't have children - made the comment "You look gorgeous...and you're a mother!" as if mother's can't be good looking and it's an either or thing. You either are good-looking. Or you're a mother.

What do a pick? What do I pick? What do I pick? Should I be goodlooking or a mother? Argh! Joking.

There are plenty of mommies who are also good-looking. In fact, all my friends who are mothers, if you met them, you'd be in awe that they have a child (or children.)

And don't you always have come-backs way too late. I hate that. I mean, I just thought this very second that I should have said, "Yes, and I can walk and talk at the same time too!" or something like that

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Important Answers!!

I've been doing for a couple months now. It time for a Frequently Asked Question post...

Q. I've sent you comments and you haven't posted them. You only seem to post comments from bloggers who agree with what you write. You should post all comments, shouldn't you?

A. Let me ask my staff. "Hey, everyone! I need your attention for one quick second. Should I post every single comment on even the vicious cruel ones sent from stupid people who either need a life, need to get laid, need a hobby, or need to get a JOB?".....OK, I'm back. Staff says 'Yeah, right! You can do anything you want!"

That's because I'm the sole staff here at It's my blog and I can post comments or not post comments, which makes me feel very powerful indeed. Ha ha ha! That's the beauty of only having to answer to me. I do, in fact, post comments which disagree. I do not post comments from people who write things ABOUT me clearly in an attempt to hurt my feelings. Why would I? It's my blog. Deal.

Q. Do you like anonymous commentors?

A. I kind of do. Sometimes anonymous posters just don't have blogger accounts. But, duh, I can tell if the nasty comments are coming from the same computer and that, not only the anonymous posters, but the ones with fake names, are coming from the same computer. Thanks to my staff. Oh, wait. That's me. Bahhhaaaaa...

Q. Why don't you just stick to writing about mothering?

A. Interesting. An annoymous - of course - commentor asked me about this just yesterday. Let me ask my staff. "Hey, everyone! Can I write about whatever I want or do I have to just stick to writing about mothering?"....OK, I'm back. Staff says I can write about whatever I damn well please and if you don't like it, tough." Again, I asked myself, the only staff here at

Q. I comment on your blog, why don't you comment on mine?

A. Good question. I do check out everyone's blog who comments on mine. I have met some great bloggiefriends, who I try to comment on often and these bloggers know who they are (love you guys!) Even if I don't comment on your blog all the time, I'm still reading it! I may just not have something to contribute. Sometimes it takes me a few days to comment, but I do try my very best!

Q) How does The Dictator feel about being called The Dictator?

A) Another good question. Let me check. "Hey, Rowan! Do you mind mommy calling you The Dictator?" Rowan's answer: "I want bubble gum!" ...I'll take that to mean she doesn't care.

Q) I abolutely hate reading! I've read all your posts and they all make me want to vomit. What do you say about that, bee-yatch?

A) I say the word, "Be-yatch" stopping being cool around the same time The O.C. started to become really boring. I also say, why do you continue to read this blog. I'm not forcing you to! No one is forcing you to! In fact, if you hate it so much, and are still reading it, and sending nasty comments, I say a) get a therapist, b) go on anti-pychotic drugs, those are your only options.

Q) You said you'd blogroll me and post my logo. And it's not up yet. What happened?

A ) Let me talk to my staff...ok, I'm back. The staff here (me) apologizes profusely and says please email it to me again ( and I will put it up. The staff here (me) can be forgettful.

Q) Why do you have spelling mistakes and typos? Don't you re-read your work you idiot?

A) Let me converse with my copy editor...Ok, I'm back. My copy editor has explained, that no, she doesn't really reread her posts before posting, that she sucks at spelling and there will always ALWAYS be at least one spelling mistake and a couple typos in each post. I should really fire her. You're fired! Oh, wait. I can't. There's only me here. You're hired again!

Q) Do you have any favorite mommy bloggers?

A) Yes, I do. I don't want to pick my absloute favorites (2Badladies, Kristen) but if you look at my blogroll, you'll find many bloggers I read at least a couple times a week. And you find any you think the staff here at will like, let us - I mean, ME - know! I love finding new mommy bloggers.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Toxic Female Friendships

Ok, so you've been friends with another female for a few years. You've tried hard to ignore her backhanded compliments, because you didn't understand why she would say them and maybe you're hearing her wrong.

You've tried hard to ignore the spiteful things she says about you to you and behind your back. (You want to believe that the gossip mill is wrong.)

For some strange reason, you can't shake the fact you just know she kind of wants you to fail, that she's happy your relationship is rocky, that you've lost your job, or whatever. She constantly is bragging about her successes and you are honestly happy for her. But...

When you attempt something great, like getting a book deal, suddenly she must get one too.

When you start a blog, she'll tell everyone how much she hates blogs and that bloggins is stupid.

When you have a baby and start writing about it, she starts telling everyone why she doesn't want a baby and how life sucks once you have a baby.

On and on the list goes. You're pretty sure whatever you do, she'll either race out and try to catch up, or she'll critcize you for doing it.

Yes, it's the Toxic Friend (otherwise known as The Frenemy, thanks to Sex and The City.) We all have them, or had them.

I attended a book launch party last night for my very good friend Lousia McCormack, whose recently released debut novel is about dumping a best girlfriend. It's called Six Weeks To Toxic.

There are number of reasons you should by Six Weeks To Toxic, at your bookstore, off, or even

1) The books is amazing. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it. The last book I did this with, for a Canadian author, was two years ago, with The Bird Factory, by David Layton.

2) She's my friend. Which means she is also your friend. She is definitely NOT a toxic girlfriend. She once took me to the hospital, when I was all alone in the city and having a medical emergency when I was pregnant, even though her favorite show, America's Next Top Model, was on that night.

3) The book is sexy and raunchy (in a good way.) The cover is brillant and cool.

4) She's donating part of the sales of Six Weeks To Toxic to a charity for literacy. Come on! How many authors do you know who do that?

5) She's Canadian. And we should all support Canadian authors, because it is hard work to write a book and get it published. And most Canadian authors, save for Margaret Atwood, would get paid more money if they worked part-time at McDonald's for a year.

But it is also about a friendship between two women which goes south over six weeks. All women can relate to that.

McCormack is right. Most females know how to dump a guy. Females do not know how to dump females. And it's hard to pinpoint that exact moment when female friendship turns from rocky to non-existent.

It took me a lot longer than six weeks to ditch my Former Toxic Friend. I'm sure she will tell you, and whoever else will listen or care (not many) that she ditched me.

Like most male/female breakups, everyone wants to be the dumper, not the dumpee. (Unless you're like me. I liked being the dumpee.)

Though I have had bad breakups with men, I can't really name one who would ruin my night if I ran into him again. Breaking up with a female is different. You DON'T want to see them ever again. I would leave any place that my Former Toxic Friend was at, if it wasn't imperative that I be there.

You don't want to attempt small talk with a Former Toxic Friend when you run into them at a party, bar, or book launch. Because you are soooo past even wanting to try. And, after breaking up with a Former Toxic Friend, you feel better about life, and you don't want to ruin that feeling that took weeks to get to.

A good friend is one that you should be able to blackmail, but you would never. Female friends always do know more than your male partner, because that's what females do. They share their most intimate secrets, most of which you are completely embarassed about.

How could I break up with Former Toxic Friend? She knows too much about me! But you realize that you know way too much about them.

That's once difference between female-male breakups and female-female breakups. When you break up with a man, you know they'd never pass on your secrets, because they probably weren't listening to them in the first place.

But human decency should keep your trap shut about Former Toxic Friends.

And, also, I kind of even forget I was once close with this Former Toxic Friend, let alone remember her secrets. That's what happens with all breakups. Time heals all wounds, it is true.

The Fiance, for years, has been saying to me about my Former Toxic Friend, "She's just not a nice person," and The Fiance NEVER says a mean word about anyone, so I should have listened. I kept telling him, "NO, she's ok. She is!" He would just shake is head and say, "How come you can't see it?"

I finally did see it, about three years later. But, you know, like a breakup with a boyfriend because it's just not working out, ditching a female friend is a lot like that. You know it's just not working out, but what do you say? Can you really call a girlfriend and say, "Listen, I just think you are not nice, haven't been good to me, and I don't want to be friends with you anymore."

You can say that to a guy, but a girl? No, you just have to stop returning calls, stop calling her, and, eventually, you just aren't talking anymore. You aren't going to get that much sought-after "closure" dumping a Toxic Friend. Oh well.

Sure, I remember the good times and there were times she was a good friend, but I've moved on. And, so, hopefully has she. What it was, really, was just a relationship (friendship) that was just not working out.

The tricky part is when you travel in some of the same social circles as your Former Toxic Friend. Because you are over the age of 25, you don't expect people to "pick sides."

I never even bother telling mutual friends we're not friends anymore. I just change the subject, if her name comes up, and fast. One of our mutual friends, who maybe kind of knew about our break up, said, "Well, that's just her. Doesn't she just say mean things to everybody?"

Also, there was another one of our mutual girlfriends who knew I wasn't talkint to my Fomer Toxic friend, and called to bitch about her. I honestly said, "I don't want to talk about it. It makes me really uncomfortable."

While I may not like my Former Toxic Friend, bitching about her doesn't make me feel any better. It just a procrastination tool, and I had work to do!

I much rather forget about her altogether, than talk about her.

In any case, much like breaking up with a guy, you do forget about the breakup. You realize you haven't thought of you Former Toxic Friend in weeks. It's liberating.

And, it's kind of a good thing to break up with a toxic girlfriend. It makes you reevaluate other friendships, and realize who your true friends are, and you stop wasting time on those who, for whatever reason, make you feel bad.

Buy Six Weeks To Toxic. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it's better than Cats.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Major Meltdowns

Ok, so Friday night, I had a major meltdown. You know the kind. I was screaming at The Fiance things like, "You just don't understand," and, "You don't love me!"

As I was screaming, I was thinking in my head, "What ARE you going on about? You're making no sense!" And, "Maybe you should go back on those anti-depressants."

It was one of those meltdowns that came out of nowhere, and you have no idea how the fight started or why even you're screaming. All I know was that I was furious at The Fiance. And, also, that I don't remember what set me off.

It was the first time I cried in front of The Dictator, except for the fifteen minutes immediately after she was born, and I was crying tears of joy. (That was the very first time I actually cried tears of joy too!)

Don't get me wrong. I cry often. I like to cry (In fact, crying actually gets me things like doctors appointments and such) But it was the first time I cried hard in front of The Dictator.

The Dictator looked at me crying and came up to me and said, "Mommy you feel better now," and handed me a pretend bottle of milk (Exactly what I do when she cries - except I give her a real bottle.) And then she kept saying, "You feel better now. You feel better now," and giving me kisses on my face.

Then I was really crying.

I felt awful that The Dictator saw me crying. I mean, she was so worried. And, also, she was so sweet and kind, trying to cheer me up, that I started crying tears of guilt that I was crying in front of her. I think they were also tears of, I don't know, gratefulness that she was so understanding, even though she's only two.

I made myself stop crying and told The Dictator, "Yes, I feel better now. Mommy feels all better now." Then we played blocks and read books together.

It's stunning how in tune our children can become to our moods. I mean, not only was The Dictator worried, she tried to cheer me up. Maybe I am raising a kindhearted, empathetic, child!

I made up with The Fiance, later that evening, even though I don't remember what we were fighting about.

On Sunday, The Dictator had a major meltdown. We were at a birthday party of a kid in her music class. All the children were sitting around this big table, happily munching away on fruit, vegetables, and potato chips, when the mother brought in the cake with three candles on it.

Well, The Dictator didn't deal so well with that. She started screaming, "Where's my candles? Where's my candles?" and crying so hard and freaking out that you'd think I told her I hated Dora The Exploer and that all-things Dora were banned from the house.

And, yes, she was the only child screaming through the "Happy Birthday" song. Yikes!

Apparently, The Dictator doesn't really understand the concept of birthdays, and the fact you only get candles when it's yoiur birthday. Anyway.

We had to leave the birthday party, because The Dictator wouldn't stop her major meltdown. It was actually the first time she had a temper tantrum. So it was a weekend of firsts for both of us.

Man, can she cry hard! Hmm. I wonder where she gets that from.