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!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Aww...Isn't that so cute?

Because I can't have my last post be about puke any longer, I'm moving on to Cute Things The Dictator has Said...I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I can't have my last thought be about puke. So, here goes.

You know how, before you became a mother, you'd hear stories of toddlers, and you'd think, "Yeah, that's cute. I guess." But now that you have your own toddler, or baby, you have a whole new appreciation of cute stories, especially the ones when they say cute things.

Here are a few cute things The Dictator has said in the last week. Please share yours. I now love to hear them. I do. Really.

1) Yesterday I asked her why Daddy works. Her answer: "Daddy works to buy me toys." Where did she learn that? Really?

2) Yesterday, I put The Dictator to sleep. Ten minutes later she got out of bed, walked down the stairs, and said to me, "My sleep was not so good." Which made me laugh. I said, "Your sleep was not so good?" And she responded, "No. My sleep was not so good."

3) The Dictator this week has decided she doesn't like carrots anymore. "Carrots are for babies. I'm not a baby."

4) She has started to call me "Rowan." When she does, I have to call her, "Mommy." It's "our thing" I guess. It goes on for hours.

5) I think it's the cutest thing when The Dictator says "Underpants." I don't know why. It just is.

6) She likes when I tell her "secrets" in her ear. I always say, "I love you." Now she likes to whisper secrets in my ear. She always, always says, "I like stars."

Now, over to you! I love these stories. I do.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


If you have a weak stomach, do NOT read this. In fact, I'm getting sick just writing about it.

Out of the blue on Sunday, The Dictator started puking.

She'd puke, and then be fine and play around, and then she'd puke again.

I hate puke. Really. I hate when other people puke, I hate puking myself, and, it turns out, I really hate being puked on.

Unfortunately, The Dictator started puking while we were at a theme park. Now, The Dictator and I have been on merry go rounds and Ferris wheels before. She loves fast rides. So I knew it had nothing with the rides.

Plus, a couple days earlier, I had been puking. But I thought it was because I had taken The Dictator to the Dora The Explorer Concert and I ate an entire bag of candy floss....and pizza....and popcorn...and cookies. Then I had the chills. I figured Dora The Explorer basically gave me the flu.

But here we were at this theme park, a couple days later, and The Dictator started puking, out of the blue, while we were walking around.

The Fiance wanted to go home immediately. But The Dictator, aside from puking, seemed fine. She was happy, she didn't have a fever, and she had seen the Ferris wheel.

"I want to go on the Ferris Wheel!" she screamed, when I suggested to her maybe we should go home. "FERRIS WHEEL! FERRIS WHEEL!"

"She wants to go on the Ferris wheel," I told The Fiance.

"I don't think that's a good idea," he said.

But The Dictator seemed ok. I swear. Also, I never listen to what is a "good idea." Which is why I ended up being puked on.

We got on the Ferris Wheel, all three of us squished together, and everything was fine. Then, I swear, two seconds before we were to get off, the Dictator puked - all over me, and the ride, in front of a ton of people lining up to get on the Ferris wheel.

I could hear them all, "I'm not getting on THAT seat," they were saying.

I felt so bad for The Dictator. Toddlers do not get puking. They don't understand what's happening. I also felt bad for the teenage ride operators who had to clean up the seat. (Being covered in puke myself, I couldn't really give them a hand. I would have just made it worse.)

Anyway, I told The Dictator that everything was ok, it's just a little puke (It was a lot of puke - in fact, how is it possible that so much comes out of something so small?) took her to the restroom and changed her (See? I have learned how to be a mother! I always bring TWO extra changes of clothes for her on big outings.)

Also, because I guess The Dictator got scared because she was puking, she also peed herself. (She no longer wears diapers during the day!)

I know. Lovely.

It was also lovely how The Dictator puked on me two more times on the way back to the car. When she pukes, she wants me to hug her. It's a hard thing to hug your child, while being puked on at the same time.

Anyway, I was reading this blog last night where a mother mentioned that mothers never appreciate the good things they do for their children, and we're always mentioning our faults as mothers.

It's kind of true isn't it?

Well, let's just say, I did a fantastic job taking care of The Dictator during Puke-a-Polooza. I never knew I had it in me. Yes, I didn't *like* being puked on, but The Dictator is my daughter and I love her and I felt awful for her.

So, of course, I hugged her while she puked on me. (Did I mention THREE times?) And I changed her. And I made her feel better. She even said, "I feel better now mommy." Cute huh?

But now The Fiance has the flu. I love him too. But, nuh-uh. He ain't puking on me.

Now...Canadian Idol Fans!!!! I love Nancy Silverman. You go girl! You have my vote. I'm putting my support behind you!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Regrets? Moi? Never!

So do you all have a friend, or friends, who think they're being nice by telling you things that other people have told them about you, or what they think of you?

For example, "Well Pam told me she heard that Jane hates you because you told Todd you thought he was an idiot. And now she says she's never going to talk to you again and she thinks you're ugly and stupid and that she's never liked you anyway. I just thought you'd be interested to hear that. Because I care about you. Because I'm your friend."

I actually don't have friends like that.

Well I did, of course. In the past, circa the years Brandon and Kelly and Dylan and Brenda hung out at the Peach Pit, if you know what I'm saying. (Back in the 80s - the 90210 years. What's with me? I'm on this 90120 kick lately. Anyway....)

True friends, I believe, don't do that. Because it hurts to hear about people talking bad about you. So why would a true friend want to hurt you?

But while I don't have friends who do that, I often (or really, really often for some reason) receive e-mails from perfect strangers telling me that I'm being discussed on certain message boards and then they'll provide me the links to these message boards. (Really, once even a librarian at a major city newspaper did this.)

Of course I never look at these links.

Yeah right!!!!

Of course I look. (Any author who says they don't read the reviews of their book are lying.)

Someone yesterday sent me a very fascinating link to a message board that had been discussing my book, Knocked Up, and also my views on C-sections, after I wrote an opinion piece about having one in Chatelaine magazine.

But this discussion took off in other directions - how I smoked during pregnancy and drank and...

Ok, to set the record straight, because a lot of people who were discussing my book actually hadn't read it, I smoked maybe ten cigarettes in nine months and I drank maybe two glasses of wine during my entire pregnancy.

In fact, I was one of those pregnant women who couldn't STAND the smell of alcohol while pregnant (or salmon either. or the smell of a gas station.)

One person questioned if I would regret writing certain things I've written, not only in the book, but for the newspapers I have written for for the past 8 years. And, um, boy, this person really remembered things I had written five years ago, that I didn't even remember having written.

And that got me thinking. Do I regret columns I have written?

Here's the thing about writing. At least for me anyway. I don't regret writing (or "admitting") anything that I've ever written that has been published. Why? Because when I wrote it, it was how I was feeling at THAT time.

Writing is a very present activity.

When I wrote Knocked Up, that's what I was feeling while I was knocked up. Looking back, do I think all of the things I thought or did were perfect? Absolutely not. Would I feel different during a second pregnancy? Um, probably.

But it was how I was feeling at THAT time. So, no, I don't ever regret writing anything that I have written. I may regret some of my actions. I may have done certain things (or a lot of things) differently today. But I don't regret writing about them.

And it's the same with the blog. And maybe it is with yours too.

I mean, sometimes I write things and that's exactly how I'm feeling at THAT time, on THAT day, that I've written the entry.

Will I feel differently, would I change my views, in two months time? Or two years time? Or in two days time?

Maybe. Like I said, when you write, you are writing in the present.

So, regrets? Moi? Never! (Well, at least about writing.)

Plus, I'm a woman. A w-o-m-a-n. It's, like, in my DNA to change my mind, whenever I feel like it. That's the whole fun about being female, after all. Don't you agree?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Teacher's Pet

Ok, so after three months, The Dictator "graduated" her Friday morning, two hour, "classes."

Parents were invited to hang out on the last day. So, of course, I went. I had too. I mean, The Dictator "graduated" her two-year old class! How could I miss it?

Anyway, as soon as I arrived (Fashionably late, of course - some things never change!) I noticed a counter in the classroom was covered in presents, and gift certificates for Starbucks and Chapters. All for the teacher.

I'm not the most on-the-ball mother. I'm not. But it's my first time BEING a mother, so how was I to know you were supposed to bring a present for the "teacher" of a two hour class, once a week, for three months, for a two year-old?

Of course, I remember being a kid in class and bringing my teachers a gift at the end of the year. But I was with that teacher, five days a week, all day, for ten months.

Anyway, I felt awful for being so stupid for not knowing that you were supposed to bring the teacher a gift. (And, to tell you the truth, The Dictator likes the teenage-assistants in class, better than the teacher.)

Thankfully, at The Jewish Community Centre, where the classes were held, there is also a gift shop. I ran into it, and bought the teacher a $75 gift. It was a pretty necklace. I think she'll like it. I know, I know. $75. But it was that - or a bookmark.

Of course, the gift, wrapped in the bag from the Jewish Community Centre, reeked of "This was a last minute gift. I'm so stupid I didn't know I was supposed to bring you a gift" gift.

When you buy a last minute gift, it has to be a good gift. Right? But things have certainly changed.

My best friend Robo, who has four children, said that, between all her children and all the classes they attend, she has to buy ten gifts. That adds up.

But at least I'm learning. Always bring the diaper bag. Always buy the teacher gift...This learning curve, I tell you. It's big.

And, now I still feel guilty for not buying the two assistants in class a gift too. So, I'm going too. But what? What do you get teenage assistants of a two-year old, once a week, class? Frankly, is it rude to hand them cash? Because if I were a teenager that's what I'd want. (It also makes life easier on my end.)

But, it feels too weird to do that...or is it? And now I have to find these teenagers too. Argh!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tori Spelling...Mary Jo...Deany-boy...

I'm probably an awful Canadian for not knowing who Mary Jo Eustace was before the news came out that she was a Canadian television personality who had been dumped by her husband for Tori Spelling.

Apparently, a lot of Canadians know who she is and love her. I hear she's drop dead gorgeous and very funny.

And, of course, she's made the news a lot in the past couple days.

Was she or was she not asked to leave the Much Music Video Awards by Tori Spelling? Oh my god! Will we EVER know what exactly happened?

I so don't care. Ok, I lie. I care a little, because I enjoy celebrity gossip. But I also care because I find the whole thing so fascinating and sad.

As a mother that is...

I could go on a rant about how I think it's stupid for scorned women to write a book, especially using the woman's name who stole their husband, in the title of that book.

Yes, "My husband left me for Tori Spelling" does sound funny and has a good ring to it.

But, seriously, why exactly does one want to bank off the fact she was dumped for a C-list celebrity? (And, trust me, she will never sell enough books to make it worth her while.)

Or I could go on about how stupid it is for people to only blame Tori for this marriage break up. I'm not sticking up for Tori, I'm just saying that, um, it takes TWO to hook up. Shouldn't Deany-boy also be blamed if blame needs to be placed?

I just hate it when women are always blamed entirely for a breakup of a marriage. Why do the HUSBANDS always get off scott-free? Please, I can't imagine Tori having that much power. Deany-boy should take responsibility for his own actions in his marriage break up.

Or I could go on a rant about why a woman would show up at an event, invited or not, knowing her ex and his new wife would be there, just to give her a look.

I mean, come on! They are MARRIED now. Giving an evil look will not change anything. When has given another woman you hate "a look" ever made any woman feel better about a bad breakup - for more than three minutes?

And, really, was it that important to go to the Much Music Video Awards?

But mostly I want to rant about why anyone - Tori, Mary Jo, Deany-boy - would say anything to the press, and do things in public, they know will end up in the press, knowing they have children? (This includes Tori who is now a step-mom to these children, like it or not.)

I always think that even if The Fiance and I break up, that I'd never say anything negative about him, because of The Dictator, especially in public. Even if he did something awful, he's still the father of our child. And he's a good father too. (I think you can be a good parent, if not a good partner.)

We all have friends, I'm sure, who have gone through bad divorces, who hate each other (for legitimate reasons) and the kids never benefit from two parents hating each other. Or at least hearing about how much their mommy hates daddy and how much daddy hates mommy.

Britney may not have chosen the best of husbands, but, to give her credit, she at least seems to know enough that talking trash about him in public will not be good for their child or soon to be second child.

Same with Tom and Nicole. At least, even if they hate each other, they stay united as parents.

When celebrities have bad break ups, I'm always grateful when they never had children. Hello? Who doesn't feel for Charlie and Denise's children, no matter who did what in that relationship?

The point is, these people are parents and they should be parents before being celebrities. If you know you are a celebrity (even a D-list one) and had a bad break up that people are interested in, don't stir the pot.

Sure, the public is interested (who are we kidding?) but that doesn't mean you need to make it more interesting for us.

Everyone in this Tori Spelling circle should probably take a look at the kids and watch what they're doing. I think it's called growing up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Night Crawlers...

It's all over for me. It's all o-v-e-r.

The Dictator has figured out that, hey, I can just get out of bed. I don't have to wait for my mommy and daddy to come get me. I can just hop out, just like this. Whoo-hoo!

The Dictator has been in her "big girl" bed for seven months. We had ordered her a custom made princess bed. Which is so fabulous that I, in fact, like sleeping in it myself. As soon as it arrived, the crib was taken out, the bed put in.

She had just turned two. I know many parents try and keep their children in cribs as long as possible, for exactly this reason. So they can't just get out whenever they damn well please.

Well, I'm definitely not saying The Dictator is "slow," because it has taken her seven months to figure out she can just hop out of her bed at any time. I just thought we were lucky for having a child who hadn't figured it out yet.

We didn't even put bars up so she couldn't fall out. Are we bad parents? Nah. She has never once fallen out.

Anyway, I hate to admit this, but my almost three year-old does still not sleep through the night. She screams out at least twice, between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. for "MILK. I WANT MILK. WHERE'S MY MILK? GET ME MY MILK NOW YOU ASSHOLES!" (Ok, she doesn't say that - I'm just paraphrasing.)

Which is why I always look like shit. Or at least that's what I tell people. (It has nothing - NOTHING I SAY - to do with the fact I TIVO every reality show on television, including the one with Hulk Hogan and the one with the dude from The Brady Bunch, and watch them until the wee hours of the morning.)

But the other night, after we put The Dictator to bed at the perfectly reasonable hour of 9 p.m., The Fiance and I heard a little pitter patter of feet upstairs. And then a little pitter patter of feet coming down the hallway. And then a little pitter patter of feet coming down the stairs. And then a little voice going, "Mommy? Mommy? MOMMY? MOMMY!?! ARE YOU DOWN THERE? WATCHA DOIN?"

On the one hand, how can you be mad at a little girl who looks so fucking cute in her little nightgown?

But, on the other hand, it was the start to a new stage that I knew would lead no where good (By that, I mean, for the past few nights, it's always the little pitter patter of feet LEADING downstairs, after we put her to bed. Sometimes TWICE!)

The only way to get over this, I think, is to buy her some more nighties. I mean, my god, she looks so cute in them, it's impossible to get mad at her for not staying in bed and ending back up on my lap.

That's the right answer for all of this, right?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Will and Grace, The Fiance and Me

The other night The Fiance and I got into a "discussion" about the television show Will and Grace.

I use quotes around the word "discussion" because it wasn't quite an argument, but it wasn't not an argument either. What it was was a discussion with quotes around the word discussion. If you know what I mean...

And it wasn't so much a "discussion" about Will and Grace as it was a discussion over whether or not we've become boring.

Personally, I think every couple who becomes parents wonder if they've become boring. Haven't you?

This is how our "discussion" began.

I had just come back from a four day child-free jaunt in Toronto. My plane landed in Toronto at 4 p.m. on Friday. By 6 p.m. I was at The Spoke Club with two friends.

Saturday, I woke up, met my Canadian Idol Judge friend for brunch and we spent the afternoon shopping. Saturday evening, I went to a cocktail party at my agent's house, and continued partying with some writers, and my best friend Lou Lou, until 2 a.m. at The Drake.

Sunday, my parents came over and we went for brunch in Yorkville. Then I headed to Book Expo, which was a gathering of publishers and writers and editors.

Sunday night, um, can't remember what I did. Oh, right, I watched Curb Your Enthusiasm on DVD, because I was hungover.

Monday morning, I worked on my Globe and Mail column and then met with a television producer to talk about possible television shows to pitch to networks.

Monday evening I went to Margaret Atwood's home and out for dinner with a friend. (Ok, I'm sorry to name drop, but come on! It's Peggy, who is my Idol and I'm her stalker. Ok, I'm not her stalker. Let's just say I'm her number one fan - bahahaha.)

Tuesday, I met with an Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker, who I may possibly work on a project with, then to my agent's house to discuss future book projects, then I finished my column.

Tuesday night, I went out to dinner with two of my best friends, Jasmine and Robo, to a sushi restaurant in Yorkville and then they came back to my place and we hung out and talked about boys and did our nails and braided each other's hair and had pillow fights until the wee hours.

That's all true, except for the doing our nails and braiding each other's hair and pillow fight part.

Wednesday, I left my house at 6 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. flight back to Calgary.

It was a jam packed long weekend, half-business, half-fun, but all social. I was barely at home. It was anything but boring.

Hearing about my trip made The Fiance sad. Because in Calgary, aside from going out with him, and a few other couple friends, we mostly stay in.

And that's where Will and Grace comes in. Monday to Friday, at 10:30 p.m. I watch Will and Grace.

This disturbs The Fiance because he thinks I don't have fun in Calgary. This isn't entirely true. It's a different kind of fun.

In Calgary, I work hard during the day, take care of The Dictator when I get home, and I'm tired at the end of the day. I'm not saying that The Dictator is a job, because I love her more than anyone, but as any mother who has a job and then comes home to take care of a child (or children) it sometimes feels like having two jobs.

What I want to do at the end of the day in Calgary is vedge out and watch Will and Grace.

"I like Will and Grace," I told The Fiance. "What's wrong with Will and Grace?"

"It's not Will and Grace. It's the fact that all it seems you do here is watch Will and Grace," The Fiance said to me.

"But I like Will and Grace. What's wrong with Will and Grace?" I asked again.

"That's not the point, Beck," he said. "I wish you had more fun here."

"How can you not like Will and Grace?" I asked. "It's so fucking funny."

"I'm not talking about Will and Grace!" he said annoyed. "I think you should get out more here!"

"Why don't you like Will and Grace?" I asked. "Seriously. What's wrong with Will and Grace?"

I know it wasn't the point he was trying to make. But, you know, I like Will and Grace. And I don't really want to go out more.

The Fiance and I do go out. We go to restaurants all the time. We see movies all the time. What else is it that people with children do?

"I think this is what people do when they get older," I told him. "I think most people with children stay home most nights, don't they?"

"I don't know. Do they?" he asked.

"Can we talk about this later?" I asked. "Will and Grace is on."

I'm joking. I didn't say that.

But our "discussion" got me thinking. Have we become boring? I don't really find that. As I told The Fiance, I actually like hanging out with him at our house, with The Dictator, and Ruby, our nine-pound-dog-who-limps.

Sure, sometimes I do like to go out and party. But, after my four days in Toronto, I actually really appreciated the simplicity of staying in with The Fiance and doing nothing but watching Will and Grace. (I ran into gossip columnist Shinan Govani twice in my four day stay in Toronto. It was time to leave. Joking. I love that man.)

The fact is, I now like being boring. The Fiance just doesn't believe it. But it's true. Sure, maybe we have become boring, but boring can be nice, can't it? I like hanging out with him at home with The Dictator. I do. Because I don't find him boring. And, um, there's never a boring moment with The Dictator.

But tell me. Am I wrong that, once you have a family, boring becomes nice?

And, also, Will and Grace is funny, right?

PS: Thank you all so much for your Daddy Day gift ideas. There were three I loved, and I'm doing them!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Daddy's Day Disaster?

The Fiance is the type of guy who has everything. And he doesn't have very many hobbies, aside from golf and listening to me moan about my problems, which isn't so much a hobby as much as it is his second job.

Anyway, Daddy's Day is coming up, as I just realized, and I need suggestions and fast!

Actually, I lie. The Fiance does have hobbies. One hobby is cars. And, no, I cannot afford to buy him a ferrari.

He is also very into art. And, no, I cannot afford to buy him a Jack Bush painting.

And he's very into wine (and by wine, I mean alcohol, not me going, 'My ass is fat! My ass is fat! Why is my ass so fat?") And he has a wine cellar that has hundreds of bottles of wine that I'm not allowed to touch, because once I by accident grabbed a bottle to take to a friend's birthday party, only to find out after it was worth about $450.

For his birthday last year, I bought him a treadmill and a cool stationary bike with a built in air conditioner, which he loved. Or so he said. Between the two of us, we've used each about, um, 6 times. But that gift took me about four months to come up with. And I have only, what?, three days before Father's day?

Men are the worst to buy for. The fiance is the kind of guy who pretty much doesn't need or want much, but when he wants something he gets it himself. Digital camera? He bought it for himself. Ipod? Got it for himself. All things to do with golf? Gets it for himself.

And since I am no longer 18, I can't very well make him up a "coupon" for "Sex, baby, any way you want three times a week for a year" or or buy him a pair of boxer shorts with lips all over them. You know what I'm saying?

Last Father's Day, I bought a cup from starbucks that you could put all these pictures in. So I cut out a bunch of photos of The Dictator, stuck them in the cup, and gave it to him.

I was pretty excited about it, because I love photos of The Dictator. But The Fiance looked at the cup I made him for about 12 seconds, said it was "nice," and went back to watching some car race on television.

Now I could go on a rant about how much I hate the word "nice" when you do something you think is very thoughtful for someone. What the fuck is up with the Fiance saying, "It's nice." I kind of expected him to say something like, "Oh, Beck. That was the best present I have ever received and I couldn't have asked for anything better for Father's Day."

But I won't go on that rant because I have bigger problems which is what the fuck should I get him for Father's Day.

He doesn't like jewelry. He doesn't wear cologne. He already owns two expensive watches. He's very particular about what he wears and I don't even know his size.

I'm telling you, The Dude is impossible to buy for. And, let's face it, buying a tie or a book on barbecuing is kind of lame.

Of course I'll get The Dictator to scribble with a marker a line on a piece of paper and sign her name and write out "I Love You Daddy," but let's face it. Men don't see the beauty in art work by two year-olds like mothers do.

So what do you get the guy who has everything? (And, no, he refuses to go to spas, he already has a personal trainer.)

So what are you all doing for a gift for Father's Day?

Because at this point, I may well have to make him a coupon for "Sex five times a week for the rest of your life."

But we all know that would be a big lie.

Suggestions? Anyone?

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Love You And Needles!

I do. I really do. Thank you for all you advice on whether I should leave The Dictator for a two week vacation.

99 per cent of you nice and loyal readers of ninepounddictator have told me to go to Italy, and leave The Dictator in the 10 good hands of Nanny Mimi, The In-Laws and my parents.

So I feel a lot better about my choice to go for it and leave The Dictator for two weeks.

Apparently, I'm not the only woman out there who sees the beauty in the fact there is a Prada outlet in Italy. There is such a thing. Really. It is not a myth. So I've definitely decided to go.


I've decided to go to Provence - and thank you all once again for pointing out my spelling mistake - yes, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to spelling. Once there, I'll decide whether or not to continue onto Italy.

If, while in Provence (not Provance) and I'm missing The Dictator too much, then I'll come back and let The Fiance head to Italy on his own. It will be good for him. And by "good for him" I mean "good for his credit card."

Many of you have suggested that I take The Dictator on the vacation. And to that I answer, "Um, that would not be a vacation!"

Once you have a two year-old, you realize there is a major difference between a "vacation" and a "trip."

A "vacation" is fun and relaxing! Meaning, on vacation you can lie by the pool, ogle the hot guys who bring you drinks, nap, read actual novels as opposed to US Weekly (and, don't get me wrong, I love the US Weekly), stay out late, eat at nice restaurants, sleep in and also have sex morning, noon, and night. Also, you can pack just for yourself.

When you travel with kids, that's a "trip." Meaning, you have to take a carry-on bag that weighs 5000 tons to keep your child occupied on the plane. And you have to share a room with your child, and mine now likes to wake up at 5:45 a.m.

And, though The Dictator does have a shoe collection that can compete with Barbara Amiel (I swear, The Dictator has 42 pairs of shoes) I can't see her enjoying spending two hours at the Prada outlet or seeing an Opera in Verona.

But, mostly, The Dictator can't come along because The Fiance won't let her. I did suggest that we bring her, because I do want to bring her, but when I asked if she could come, The Fiance said, "No."

But we will go on a family "trip" in January.

Moving on....

I want to tell you all about my acupuncturist. I have had major health issues in the last three months, which I won't get into because I do not like pity. I mean, I like to pity myself, but I don't like others pitying me.

After getting a number of X-rays and an MRI (Which possibly was the most awful thing I have ever had to do) and seeing 12 doctors, none of who could agree on what was wrong with me, and after crying every day for six weeks because not one doctor could help me, I went to see an acupunturist. (Trust me, I am not liking the Canadian medical system at present.)

I told Dr. Zhao, my acupuncturist, what was wrong with me, or what I thought was wrong with me, based on the 8 different diagnosis I received, and he said something like...well, actually, he didn't speak English very well so I'm not sure what the fuck he said, but he told me to lie on my side.

He put a number of needles all over my body, from the top of my head, in my ear, down my back, and told me I should come in to see him 12 times. I've been to see him 8 times so far.

And guess what?

I feel better! I am almost entirely cured! I love the dude.

But the best thing, aside from no longer being in so much pain that I would cry out every night, was that I told him I still had cravings for cigarettes and asked him if he could do anything about that. To which is he said, well..I don't know what the fuck he said, because, like I said, he doesn't speak English very well.

But I suppose he understood me, because he put some more needles in my ear, and voila. I no longer have cravings. Not only for butts, but for everything bad for me! I don't crave chocolate anymore. I don't crave caffeine. I think I may have lost 5 pounds after seeing Dr. Zhao.

There's only one bad thing about acupuncture. See, it doesn't hurt at all. But, the other day, I made the horrific mistake of turning my head to see all the needles sticking out of me, and I freaked out. As you may know by now, I'm a big crier. So, of course, after seeing 20 needles sticking out of me, I started to cry like a baby.

It was all so pathetic. "Hello?" I called out from the room I was in. "H-h-h-hello????"

And Dr. Zhao couldn't hear me, which made me cry even harder. I was in a hospital gown and didn't know what to do. Do I walk out into the waiting room with needles sticking out of me and tears streaming down my face? Um, no.

So I called out louder. "HELLO!!!!!! HELLO!! HELP!!!!!"

That he heard.

He came in and looked at me crying and did some magic and told me to relax and I did.

Anyway, I really suggest anyone with any sort of problem, from insomnia to depression to chronic pain to wanting to lose weight, to see a good acupuncturist. I'm not sure how it works. Nor do I really care how it works. But it works.

I also had a really fun weekend. My weekend included having a wonderfully fun night partying with a blind man until 2 a.m. And also hanging out with a Canadian Idol judge who took me shopping all day Saturday. But more on that tomorrow. (Oohhhh can you wait???)

Thank you again for your advice. I owe you all a big one.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Help Pu-leaze!

Isn't it funny how I now want to go to my blogger friends for advice?

I have a problem. And when you hear what it is, you'll be like, "That's your problem? If only I had that problem, you bitch!"

Still, it is a problem for me and I need your advice.

Here's what's what. The fiance and I are going to Provance for a week in July. The Dictator is not coming with us. I'm ok with this because I've never been to Provance and I'll only be leaving The Dictator for one week.

I've left The Dictator for a week before. Once when I went to Paris and another time when I went to Arizona. Both times I thought I would die, and got a feeling of what it's like to be a junkie heading to rehab.

Yes, My Name Is Rebecca and I'm a Dictator-aholoic. Even after one day, I start to shake without seeing her, and I need my fix. I tell you, quitting smoking was the hardest thing I've ever done, next to not seeing The Dictator for a week. (Oh, and I once hiked up that Grouse Grind in Vancouver and that was pretty fucking hard too.)

Anyway, The Fiance is going to Italy after Provance for another week to visit friends who own a Villa there. He wants me to come along too. I told him, "No fucking way. I can't leave The Dictator for more than a week."

But, I've never been to Italy. I've never stayed in a Villa in Italy. I've never been to the Prada outlet in Italy. And I want too.

Luckily I have Nanny Mimi who is more than happy to move into our home for a week, to take care of The Dicatator while we're gone. And The In-Laws will be around too, to help out. In fact, I think the In-Laws love it when we go away, because they can pretend they're The Dictator's parents. Anyway.

My best friend, Robo, who has four kids, has to plan three months in advance for people to take care of her children, when she wants to go away even for four days.

My parents, too, have offered to come stay at our house while we're gone. So, The Dictator will have four grandparents, Nanny Mimi, and a portable DVD player to keep her occupied while we're gone.

So that makes me feel a little better about leaving her. But, still. Can I really leave her for TWO weeks? Will I enjoy myself if I'm missing her so much, which I know I will?

So, do I stay for two weeks, or don't I? Is it too long to leave my baby behind? Or will it be good for her?

Help me please!

(Also, I'm sorry if I haven't posted your comments. It's not my fault. It's Mr. Blogger's fault. In fact, after yesterday, if Mr. Blogger was my boyfriend, I'd dump him. He's given me so many issues in the past few days. So it wasn't personal. Blame Mr. Blogger.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'll give you a hundred dollars if...

The Dictator is a bad little girl.

And that's why I had to take a couple days off from blogging. It's because the baby I only very recently bragged about being such a nice little girl has...turned on me. Yes, she has turned on me!!

I'm exhausted.

How could I have been so naive to think that I could escape the Terrible Twos? I mean, The Dictator is now two..and a half!

I honestly believed I was lucky. (Of course, the only things I've ever won was $100 at bingo when I was 18, and a free pair of shoes from a store on Bloor street, which, I'll admit, was kind of nice.)

Literally, I can tell you the day The Dictator turned from good to bad. June 1st, 2006, I can even tell you the time. 9 p.m.

"Time to go to bed," I had said to her.

"No," was The Dictator's response. She had never said that to me before. She always willing went to bed. (At least she's living up to her nickname!)

"Yes, time to go to bed," I had said.



Also, the other day she showed me she was eating a box of raisins. Then she dumped all the raisins on the floor.

Also, the other day she took a cup of water and then dumped it all on the floor.

Also, she's torturing Ruby, the nine-pound-dog-who-limps.

Also, when we had to leave the park she had a temper tantrum.

Also, she gave me a bloody nose. Don't ask. Don't even ask.

When I ask her to do something now, she just says, "No." And then I say, "Yes" and then she says "No." We can go on with this round of "yes" and "no" for twenty minutes.

I'm not good with people who say no. Actually, I'm not good with adults who say "no" to me. If any adult says "no" to me, then I'll somehow manage to get my way, either by begging and pleading, crying, or going to some other adult who will give me what I want.

I do not know how to get The Dictator to do what I ask. I mean, I can't beg and plead with her. I can't cry to her. I can't go and find another baby who will do what I say. I'm stuck with the one I have.

She's so bad, in fact, that I was planning to take her to Toronto with me next week, where I have to go for a couple cocktail parties and meetings, and I thought, "There's no way. She's too bad."

So I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I've been too busy bribing. That's right. Bribing.

"I'll give you a piece of gum if you get into your car seat." And, "I'll give you your baby doll if you go upstairs." And, "I'll give you a bottle of milk if we get you into your pajamas." And "You can only shower with me if you be nice."

Bribing bites. Bribing is tiring.

The Gods are not looking down at me kindly. I think this mostly has everything to do with the fact that I had blog-bragged about what a nice baby I had.

The Dictator is bad, bad, bad. Do you hear me Gods? Can you make her good again now? I'll give you a hundred bucks...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I want to publish a book!!!

About three times a week, I receive e-mails from people telling me they have a really good idea for a book and they want to know how to go about getting it published.

I am not an expert in the book publishing world. I only sort of kind of have a grasp on the whole book business. But, mostly, I don't get it.

I do know one thing for certain. It's a fucking hard business to break into. And even if you do break into the publishing world and get a book deal, it's still fucking hard. And then, even if you get a book published and into the stores, it's still fucking hard.

It's one of those businesses that if The Dictator ever said, "Mommy, I want to be a writer when I grow up," I'd say, "Um, really? Don't you want to be a pilot or an actress or, well, something, anything else, but a writer?"

Almost 99 per cent of the time, people who ask me how to publish a book do have a great idea for a book. I think. I mean, I would read the book if they get it published. That's the truth.

Unfortunately, there can only be so many books published. And I know most writers would hate me for doing this (then again, all writers hate all competition, because it is so competitive) but if people ask how to do a book proposal, I e-mail them an outline of how to do a book proposal.

Hey, I love reading. The more authors out there, the better. ( if you want a copy of how to do a proposal.)

One of the main reasons you will not get a book published is because you will not end up finishing the book. Writing a book is really fucking hard. So, yes, you may have a brilliant idea, but sitting down and writing it is a whole other story (Hey, that's a funny pun. The story part?)

In fact, I think it's funny that many people will read a book and think, "I could do so much better than that. What is that book published?" It's published because the author actually finished it.

These days, if you are a first time author, you pretty much need the entire book done, before anyone will look at it.

People assume that just because they have a great idea and write a proposal, that they're going to get a book deal. I, too, would absolutely love it if that were the case.

I have 5000 ideas for books, and I'm always thinking, "I should really do that." But, sigh, most of the ideas stay in my brain. I don't even do the proposals. Why? Because I can be seriously fucking lazy and I just found this new game show on television called "Deal or No Deal" and I rather watch that. (Hi Howie!!)

This is what I've learned (and, remember, I'm really not an expert. This is purely my experience.)

If you have an idea, and then write a brilliant proposal (basically, you have to argue why this is the best idea ever since the invention of tampons and that all the other books out there on the same subject - and there always are books already published on the same subject - suck and yours will be so much better) you need to get an agent.

I was once at a Christmas party at a publisher's house and she showed me her closet. I swear to god, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. There was a stack of manuscripts, taller than me, by authors who sent her their manuscripts. This is called the "slush pile." I don't know why. But I do know there are a million hopeful writers out there whose manuscripts are in a closet.

I do also know that it's very rare that a publisher or editor at a publishing house has the time to read all the manuscripts sent to them. This publisher was nice. She did take all the manuscripts home and attempted to go through them all over her break. I had a new respect for her.

Anyway, the point is, you need an agent these days. Well, it definitely helps. Because publishers listen to agents. They respond to their e-mails - with good news, or bad. At least agents get a return phone call.

Sometimes writers become friends with their agents. I love my agent. I'm not sure I'd consider her a friend, like I wouldn't tell her for example that I'm PMSing and so am in a bitchy mood or anything. In fact, I think I've talked to her on the phone five times in my life. But she's done amazing things for me. And I try to keep our relationship business-only. That way, I can't get mad at her over anything, because I'm not emotionally invested.

I know a lot of writers who are super close to their agents. And sometimes it does not end well. Like, for example, if their agent doesn't sell their book to Turkey, they'll take it personally and blame their agent for not caring about their book enough.

Which is kind of ridiculous because agents make their money off the writer, so of course, selling your book to Turkey is in their best interest as well. (I think my agent takes 20 percent. But I'm happy to give it to her, because I do not want to deal with ANY business aspect at all. When I say I'm not about the money, it is true. Hey, money is great. But writers write because they have too, not for the money.)

So, get an agent. Google Canadian agents and lists will pop up. And then e-mail them.

Then, let's say your agent likes your idea and proposal and they take you as a client and you actually write the entire book and the agent sends it off to publishers and one actually bites and offers you a book deal (I think this is probably a 1 in 10,000 shot) But it does happen.

Do not be surprised when you are offered $7,000 for the book it took you four years to write.

You take the fucking deal, even though you may wonder how you are going to pay your rent. So you, of course, have an actual job as well. (oh, and you will be rejected by more than one publishing house before you may get the deal.)

I actually keep all my rejection letters. In fact, I am so used to rejections that I read the letters and go out for dinner.

Then, oh god, the editing process. I'm in the process of writing two books now. Both are in the editing process and I want to crawl under my covers and never wake up again. Actually, that's not entirely true. One book has been kind of easy to edit. The other one, not so much.

In any case, you might hate your editor and think, "What the fuck? I love that line! Why do they want me to take it out?" Or, "They hated that one character? So now I have to rewrite the entire book?" I actually love all my editors. After the initial, "What the fuck?" I think, "Fine. They're so right." Because editors do know better.

Blah, blah, forward a year (yes, it takes a year to edit.) If you get a book deal in the year 2004, you'll be lucky to get your book out in 2007. That's how long it takes.

Then the fun part. Just when you can't stand your book any longer, because you've read it 1009 times, and it's been through editing three or four times, it is done. And they'll send you cover options for your book and you might tear up, because it is like seeing your baby for the first time. (That nine months of hard work being pregnant is nothing compared to popping out a book. Yes, that's right. Giving birth is way less painful then publishing a book.)

Fast forward another six months to when the book is actually ready to be released. The best thing to do is to leave town when the reviews come out, because unless you are Margaret Atwood, at least one reviewer in Canada, (or, actually, maybe almost all of them in my case) will find fault with your book.

This will sting. I actually think being a book reviewer is one of the best jobs around. I love to read. To get paid for doing it? Brilliant.

In any case, you must remind yourself that the reviewer is only one person. I always read book reviews. Not everyone does. In fact, most people don't. But I read them and ignore the criticism and compliments, because I just want to know the plot of the book. If the plot sounds good to me, I'll buy the book.

I mean, someone like Plum Sykes gets awful reviews. I love her books. It's one of those things like Britney Spears. What's good is read and what's read is good. You may not think Britney is talented but she sells. So you can argue that she must be good. That's my theory.

And you will want your book to end up on the bestsellers list. It will sting when it's not. (Of course, bestsellers list are hard to figure out. I understood a bestseller in Canada was 5000 books. I never made any bestsellers list in Canada and Knocked Up sold way more than that number. I know because authors get these pieces of paper that show sales.)

And then you will basically sell your soul and call every single person you know in the media in hopes they will plug your book. And you pray to god your publicist is a pitbull and will get you on every show on television. And they may, or they may not. In fact, getting publicity for your book and convincing people to buy your book is harder than writing it.

In fact, you actually do contemplate sending Heather Reisman a bottle of champagne, or a hot male stripper (joking) to be a "Heather's Pick."

Meanwhile, your agent is hard at work selling your book to the States, everywhere in Europe, Israel...anywhere. So you get rejections again, or you jump in glee when a country offers you a few thousand Euros to publish your book. (or a few hundred Euros.)

And all the covers change for every country. One country who bought Knocked Up put on the cover a baby, with its umbilical cord going into a martini glass. Fucking hilarious.

That's how you make money off your book. But 99.9 percent of writers will not be the next Dan Brown. You will not make a billion dollars from your book. You could blow your whole book advance on an expensive dinner and a new outfit.

And's all over. Five years of work, your book is out, and the party is over. And then you have to start all over again with a new proposal for a new book, getting rejections, bad reviews....

So, you still want to write a book? Good for you! Because, after the dust settles down, and you forgive the book reviewers, and spend your book money on expensive footwear, it kind of seems worth it.

The best piece of advice I've ever gotten is that writing books is a career. Which means, your first one may not do well, maybe your second one won't either, but maybe the third one will be the next Harry Potter. Or maybe your first proposal will be turned down, and so will your second, but maybe someone will take the third proposal.

All I know is that I should be editing right now. But thanks for letting me procrastinate for just a little while longer. Oh, and buy books!