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, October 25, 2007

Want your toddler to be a star?

Or at least a mini-star....or at least have their name in a published book? Or at least have something for the scrapbook?

As some of you know I'm hard at work - ok, I'm at work - on my next book, coming out in late summer, called "Toddlers Gone Wild."

I'm just joking. I mean, I'm joking about the "work" part.

I'm actually really hard at work on it. So hard at work that I haven't been able to blog...or find time to eat (so, yes, dear readers, I've been living on apple juice boxes and animal crackers. You know how it is.)

Without giving too much away, I'm writing essays - some short and sweet, perfect reading before bed, or when you find ten minutes of alone time while raising your toddlers. Other essays will be longer. But you'll all be able to relate with the collection. And laugh along with me (and sometimes "at" me.)

I thought it might be a fun idea to have a page before each essay with something along the lines of, "Quotable Toddler Quotes." Or, "Real Life Conversations with My Toddler."

I have many essays. And many priceless mini-conversations with my own toddler, Rowan. The kind of conversation where you're left shaking your head, thinking "My toddler is a spaz! Seriously, she's a spaz!"

However, I thought it would be even more fun to include my mommy blogger readers/friends.


By getting you to send me your short and priceless conversations with your own toddler(s.)

Here's an example of what I'm looking for:

Rowan: “Daddy has a pee-nuth.”
Me: “Right.”
Rowan: “I don’t have a pee-nuth.”
Me: “No. You have a vagina.”
Rowan: “And you don’t have a pee-nuth.”
Me: “Right.”
Rowan: “I’m going to go look at daddy’s pee-nuth now. Bye!”
Me: “OK. Have fun. See you later.”

Obviously they don't have to be that graphic and maybe that's not my very best example. But you see the length of the conversations I'm looking for and the idea.

And I'll include your child's name and age, and your own name, under the quotes/conversation.

Then, in 12 years, you'll have something to embarass the crap out of your child with! (Just at the same time they're completely embarassed of you.)

And think how proud the grandparents will be to see their grandchild's name in a published book!

And, let's face it, who doesn't love the funny things toddlers say? Honestly, once a day, at least, I find myself telling friends the quotes and conversations I had with my toddler.

So, if you're interested, please send me your "Quotable Toddler Quotes" or "Real Life Conversations" to:

State clearly that you give me permission to use your full name, and your child's full name (And what your name and your child's name is) and the age when they said what they said, and a contact phone number.

And I'll pick the cutest/funniest/sweetest ones.

And voila! The memory in print forever!

I can't wait to read them!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Rainforest Cafe...

Has anyone ever been?

My daughter's actual birthday was on Monday, so of course, after we had her birthday party with the kids, and another family birthday party a day later on the Sunday, we just had to do something on her actual birthday...(Talk about a lot of parties for a four year old.)

ALthough, in truth, I had enough of celebrating her birthday. Planning parties are stressful and emotionally exhausting and I'm just glad not that only kid got out alive, but no kid actually cried. They had a great time, adn that's always what really matters.

(I don't really like plugging places here, but this place called the Groove Dance School, made the most painless party for the 21 kids who showed up. So if you're looking for a new venue for a 3-8 year old, it's a fun place to go.)

But, I know, I know, you do actually have to do something on your own child's birthday because the guilt would kill me....if not the food at the Rainforest cafe.

The food isn't great at the Rainforest cafe. It's not awful either. Which means, I guess, it's the perfect place to take a child.

You know it's a perfect place to take a child because it is THE most unromantic resturant I've ever been to in my entire life.

I wanted to take my daughter to tea at the Four Seasons on her actual birthday. But she can be, um, a wild child after school and I don't think the old ladies, dressed in their very tea best, would appreciate my daughter running around the Four Seasons, runing their relaxing afternoon.

Which is why we ended up at the Rainforest cafe, where a monkey hung over my head and every fifteen minutes would wail monkey sounds. Every fifteen minutes, too, the elephants would start howling elephant sounds. There are lots of never ending loud animal sounds at the Rainforest cafe.

The best? Oh, yes, the sound of a thunderstorm going off every half hour. I get why kids love this place (IF you tell them it's your child's birthday a whole bunch of waitors will come out and sing for them - which they love. Yes, it's that kind of place.)

The people I don't get are the people who don't have kids who actually go to this place. Serious, can someone please explain this to me? Why would anyone, without children, go to this place. But they do! There were lots of tables without kids.

If you've been to the Rainforest Cafe, in Yorkdale mall, what exactly attracts you to the place? Maybe you have good food reccomendations. Maybe the fajitas are the best fajitas in town.

I just don't quite get why anyone would go to such a loud place, with so many kids, elephants ranting, thunderstorms going off, if you don't have any kids with you.

And after all this, I know I'll be going back. Hey, my kid loves the place. Which means I, too, will learn to love the place.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Skool Trips with Good Intentions....

I had really good intentions. I swear.

The Dictator turned four today.....I can't believe it.

In any case, I really have grown up with her. I know, hardy har. But it's true. I still love her more and more every day.

In fact, when the pamphlet came at the beginning of September from her new school, I actually read the entire thing - cover to cover. Twice!

I made one goal for myself this year. I am going to drop off my daughter every day and pick her up every day. So far, so good. We've never been late. I'm, like, the first parent to pick her up. I'm doing good. And I really get such joy out of doing it.

Even if dropping her off at 9 a.m. and then picking her up at 2:45 p.m. really does cut into the day. I'm not complaining, but it's a fact. If I go to a yoga class at 10 a.m. I get back home at 12:30, eat lunch, and then it's basically time to pick her up.

But I really did want to get more active in her school. Well, not entirely it turns out.

The other day I was standing with another parent, while waiting for school to let out, who is also a friend. She's much more of a jetsetter than I am, flying off to Paris Fashion week, parties out of town every weekend, and she works in PR.

Another woman came up to us and said, "Your children are in JK, right?"

"Right," we said back.

"Well, we're looking for a parent blah blah..." I forget what the word was. Oh, yeah, it was a 'parent class representative."

I looked at my friend and of course did what any other parent who DOES NOT like the sound of being a Parent Class Representative would do. I pointed at my friend and said, "That sounds perfect for you! You'd be great at that!"

My friend said - rather whispered violently into my ear - something like, "I'm going to wrap a rope around your neck and strangle you."

My friend told this other woman that she was a working mother and just has no time.

I, too, am a working mother, and, quite frankly don't want to be the one responsible for calling all the Dictator's classmates if there's a snowstorm to tell them not to go to school.

Parent Class Representative would also be responsible for collection money from other parents and buying the teachers X-mas presents.

I mean, I COULD do that all. But I'm so disorganized that I just KNOW I would end up buying the gift and never collect the money from the other parents. And on stormy days, I don't want to get up and call everyone in her class. I just want to stay in bed.

So I told this woman that I couldn't possibly because I'm a working mother and VERY disorganized. Luckily, my parents also happened to be picking up The Dictator with me that day.

"Ask my mother," I told this woman. "She'll tell you I'm the most disorganized person in the world!"

So my mother said, "Yes, I didn't raise her like that. But it's true. She's the worst. But I didn't raise her like that." (Thanks Mom! Even though it's true, you know, it still hurts when your mother crticizes you in front of, well, anyone....)

I could volunteer for pizza day once a month. But I don't really want to clean up after the kids. I certainly don't want to volunteer on skating days, because it's too friggen cold for me and I quite hate skating. And even more than hating the cold and skating, I hate having to put skates on kids. I mean, I really hate skating.

I could volunteer at the lunch room, but they wanted a one term committment at least once a week, and frankly, I can't commit. Because if I ever want to finish this book, I can't be picking up pieces of noodles off the floor. (Also, you have to sit with the kids and make sure they only talk about non-competitive things....I'm super competitive, so I'm not so sure what is considered competitive between 3 and 4 year olds...)

But this Friday, The Dictator will be going on her first field trip to the Yorkville Fire Station. Now, to me, that sounds like a no-brainer. It;s five minutes away from my house. There will be fireman there. And even ugly firemen are kind of cute. That's the one I wanted to volunteer at. I was excited.

So, the good mother I now am, said to The Dictator's teacher this morning, "I know you're going on a field trip. Do you need extra parents to go along? Because I'll help." (I mean, if I have to volunteer for something, this is the thing I want to volunteer for....firemen...firemen...)

"Thanks so much Rebecca, but we don't need help this one. But there will be a lot in the future that I'll definitely ask you."

Doh! Shit! What did I just get myself into???

See, my intentions were good, but god only knows now that I'll probably have to end up going to some puppet show, on the school bus far away from home in the middle of winter. I just know it.

Or even worse, The Science Centre (Still am traumatized from school trips I was forced to go on as a kid. That stupid thig that makes your hair stand on end???? In fact, I walk into the science centre and I immediately want to take a nap.)

So, what do you all think of going on school trips with your kids? Fun? Funny stories? Share with me please!

I am very sad that I don't get to see the firemen....sigh. And I certainly can't go back to the teacher now telling him THAT was the field trip I wanted to go on....I wanted to see firemen, not puppets! Argh.

Four years ago today, was the happiest moment of my life. Still is.