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, March 29, 2007

Not So Pretty Pictures...

So my house is featured in Canadian House and Home, this month's April issue.

The house looks great. I mean, really. It looks better in the photos than it actually does in reality, which is I guess is what happens when, um, you know, someone cleans your house before photos are taken and puts fresh flowers in every room (which does not happen in my house every day...or any day.)

But enough about the house. I have bigger issues.

Like the friggen photo of me in the magazine. Maybe it's true that people always think photos of them suck, but I'm telling you this photo of me bites. It sucks!

They first sent me the shots a couple months ago. But the photo I opened on my e-mail was the size of a stamp. I was like, "OK, I can deal with that. It's so small nobody can even see it." It was too good to be true.

I knew it was bad before I even saw the magazine. I'm in Calgary, and might as well be in Turkey, because we get all our magazines way after the rest of the county...or at least Toronto, the centre of the world. (Or Canada.)

"A full size picture of you!" my mother screamed into the phone. Immediately my heart sank. I knew it couldn't be good. I mean, I don't own any makeup. I never wear makeup. I found some lip gloss I put on before the photo. But, hey, there was no make up artist hanging around my house the day of the photo shoot.

Then it got worse. Another friend from Toronto said he saw the photo in the magazine.

"Just tell me. Do I look fat?" I asked, because I'm a girl and that's what we ask.

"No, you don't look fat. You look..."


"I'm not even going to say it," my friend answered.

Ok, I knew it was really bad. My friend couldn't even bring himself to lie to me and throw out even a, "Well, it's not your best picture. But it's not that bad."

At that point, I still hadn't seen the magazine.

I called my friend the next day, obsessed about this photo of me that seemingly all of Toronto was calling me about (Well, they were calling about the house) that I hadn't seen yet.

"OK, just tell me. Is it my nose? Does my nose look big?" I asked him.

"Well, in all the time I've known you," he admitted, "I never once thought you had a big nose. But it's the angle of the photo," he said. "Yes, you're nose looks big."


"Oh man!" I moaned. "Well, next month I'll be bird cage lining anyway."

Many of you ninepounddictator readers know I have issues with my nose. I mean, if I could be guaranteed to look like Ashlee SImpson post-her-nose-job, then I would do it. I would get a nose job.

Ok, I so would NOT get a nose job. Plastic surgery scares the crap out of me.

But still. I finally got my hands on a copy of the magazine. What can I say? It's a photo only a mother could be proud of.

There's me (and my honker) my daughter (Who looks super cute) and my dog (Who, actually, is the most photogenic of all of us.)

And my nose....

Then, yesterday, I got an e-mail from a woman who I went to hebrew school with about 20 years ago and haven't seen since.

"I saw your photo in Canadian House and Home. You look exactly the same!" she wrote.

Seriously. I know.

My big nose and I are going for a walk now. And I'm going to walk at a way better angle....It's the ANGLE, I swear!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A good idea gone bad?

Sometimes I have these brilliant ideas that just turn bad. I mean well, I do.

The Dictator is obsessed with all things birthday parties. Almost every day she wants to know if she's going to a "kid's birthday party today."

She's obsessed with icing and candles and cake and, well, parties.

So I thought it would be kind of fun to have a "pretend" birthday party. I invited three other couple friends and their children (A total of five) over for dinner (pizza and salad) this week.

I went to Safeway and bought one of those $6.99 birthday cakes with the icing so sweet that you actually kind of feeling like puking just looking at it.

We had a ton of paper plates, plastic cups, Dora napkins, candles, left over from The Dictator's birthday party in October.

I got home from work and the Dictator and I had a fantastic time setting up the table. (She's also obsessed with setting up tables.)

I love how she sets up the table. For five kids, there were about 20 plates, 30 napkins, and 22 cups on our table.

And, though I told her all the kids were around three, she wanted to put 15 candles in the cake. Whatever. It was cute.

All the kids came over and everything was going great.

I mean, sure, there was one 18 month old eating dog food from Ruby - our nine pound dog's - bowl. But whatever. It's really nutritional dog food. The healthiest dog food on the market.

So, there was Benett and North and Zen and Jada and Rowan, The Dictator, having a grand ole' time at the Fake birthday party. We were super impressed when Ben, kind of a shy little man, went upstairs on his own with Rowan to her bedroom.

I was thinking, "Hey, this is great. The Dictator is finally at the age where she can go off and play on her own with her friends! Yippee! I'm free!!!!"

That was until we heard this awful cry. We all ran upstairs.

Well, it turned out that my darling little Dictator slammed her bedroom door on her little friend's hand.

I thought it was super painful to see your own child get hurt.

But when your child hurts another child it's just as painful in a different way. I tell you, I haven't felt that bad about anything in a very long time. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever felt that bad.

It turned into mayhem. Poor little man was crying and perhaps a little in shock. The Dictator was crying because she knew something bad was happening and maybe she knew she was responsible. The Fiance was outside drinking a glass of wine (OK, that wasn't mayhem....) with another father. The 18 month old was still eating dog food.

I was calling my doctor to see if she'd come over to check out this little boy. I felt like throwing up. The little man's parents were debating taking him to the emergency room.

I was looking at his fingers trying to figure out if they looked different or crooked. I so did not want to be responsible for my daughter breaking another little boy's finger. And that's how I felt. Completely responsible for maybe ruining his little fingers for life.

So his parents decided to take him home, but the Little Man didn't want to leave because we hadn't had cake and he didn't get to blow out the candles at this Fake Birthday Party. It was nuts! All of it.

But I figured maybe his fingers weren't broken because he seemed to be able to move them and he wanted to blow out candles and he still wanted to stick around.

So then there was a rush to get the kids around the cake and blow out the candles. Which they did. But I was totally concerned still that his fingers were broken. And that MY CHILD was the one who did this to him.

Anyway, it turns out The Little Man was just fine. We called the next day and everything was fine and he could move his fingers and they weren't even swollen.

The point is I still feel awful about The Dictator slamming the door on his hand. The Dictator is SO NOT the Hostess with the Mostest.

Or maybe the point is that you should never let your daughter go up to a bedroom without parental supervision with a member of the opposite sex. Not at 15, and not at 3.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The Dictator's new favorite two words are "But Mommy..."

I swear, I might have to start putting the Dictator to bed at 4 p.m. because it now takes her so long to go to sleep. If I put her into bed at 7 p.m., she'll finally stop coming out of her room at about 9: 15 p.m. If I put her into bed at 8:15 p.m., she'll stop getting out of bed by 10:30 p.m.

I tell you, sleeping is my number one hobby, so I don't get why she doesn't want to go to sleep! I'm waiting for the day someone forces me to go to sleep.

"But mommy," she says, after I tuck her in, for the 8th or 9th time.


"I want you to sleep with me," she says.

"Ok, you fall asleep first and then I'll come sleep with you," I'll say.

"But mommy. I have to go poo," she'll say. (And, unfortunately, she's always telling the truth about that.)

Then we go poo. And get her back into bed.

"But mommy, I want another book," she'll say.

"Not tonight," I'll say. "I already read you five."

"But mommy. My toe hurts," she'll say.

"Ok, I'll kiss it better," I tell her, and I do.

"But Mommy, I'm not tired," she'll say.

"Yes, you are."

"But mommy, I want to you to sing me a song."

And I sing her a few songs, say goodnight for the millionth time, say to her, "Do not get out of bed," for the millionth time, tell her I love her for the millionth time and then...

"But Mommy...."

Grrr. On and on the "But mommy" goes.

I can't be the bad cop. The fiance and I have talked about discipline, mostly if he tells her to do something, I'm to back him up, and if I tell The Dictator to do something, he backs me up.

But I just can't. I know it's probably (most definitely) bad. But I just can't yell at her. I make the Fiance do it.

"You have to go yell at her now," I'll tell him, after the Dictator has come out of bed a dozen times.

The thing I've recently learned too, is that the fiance can't really be the bad cop either. We're basically screwed, I figure.

"I'm going to go up and yell at her now," he'll say. "I'm going to be the bad cop."

But when he goes up, all I hear is laughter and singing. The fiance is the nicest bad cop ever. Yup, we're pretty much screwed.

Who is the bad cop in your relationships? I think it's different if you have more than one child, when you have to keep the ship tighter. But I do wonder how many mothers can be bad cops?

Part of the problem is I just even when she won't stay in bed, her excuses are too funny. "My toe hurts," kind of just makes me crack up. It's kind of hard to yell at her when I'm trying not to laugh.

On another note, check out for a review of my upcoming book Wiped! Life with a pint-size Dictator. It's a good site too, for all you hip mothers to know about anyway, and features some really fun columns.