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, December 13, 2007

Do you have to pay?

Has your toddler ever broken something in a store? Completely by accident?

Did the store owner/manager make you pay for the accident?

Yesterday, I took the Dictator into a store - let's just say it was NOT Shopper's Drug Mart, but a store like it (Really, it wasn't Shopper's. I'm a Shopper's addict.)

She was thirsty so I grabbed a plastic apple juice bottle from the fridge and handed it to her. My hands were full of other supplies - kid's bandaids, baby shampoo, blah blah....

My daughter dropped the plastic bottle of apple juice and the bottle exploded.

It was completely by accident. AND...AND....AND....

The way the plastic bottle broke wasn't in a way that was her fault. This is kind of hard to explain.

But you know the part around the lid, which is so difficult to rip off, but so you know the bottle hasn't been opened before? The kind that you have to use your teeth to rip open?

Anyway, that's not where the bottle broke. The lid broke in a way that if I had dropped it, the same thing would have happened.

Basically, it was a flawed plastic bottle to begin with. A flawed plastic bottle that my daughter completely by accident dropped.

Now, if you were the store owner, and you saw a mother with a ton of other things she was going to buy and the bottle of apple juice that had completely broken in a way that was clearly the fault of the apple juice company and NOT the child, would you make the person pay the $1.39 for the broken apple juice bottle?

Would you let it go?

I'm not going to say what ended up happening or what I ended up buying or not buying. However I am interested in your stories of your toddlers breaking things in stores and the reactions...

Do tell....

Monday, December 10, 2007

The SO-Early Phone Call...

It's the funniest thing....

I've always been a walker. I love to walk. People are always, "Why can't we just jump in a cab?" And I'll be like, "But it's only a 20 minute walk!"

Part of the problem is that I'm a really fast walker. And I mean really fast.

But, anyway...

I was walking The Dictator to school everymorning and enjoying it...(Although the looks from strangers, when I was walking back home with her empty stroller, with only a Starbucks cup in the seat, as opposed to an actual toddler or baby, somewhat made me feel a little crazy...)

The weather turned cold. I had to start to drive her to school. Because that wind tunnel at Bloor and Ave is miserable.

And, I tell you, I'm back at home by 8:30 a.m. thanks to this quick drive.

By the time I'm home, I've already gotten three messages on my cell phone.

These, of course, are from my other mommy friends, who have just dropped their kids off from school.

I don't know what it is about these early morning phone calls. But I love them. I had no idea I had it in me to be so gossipy before 9 a.m.

But I do have it in me. And I love these phone calls. You can't really talk to your mother friends in the evenings, once they are with their kids. Or when I'm with mine.

Because mostly my conversations with friends go like this, "Oh she just spilled her juice. I got to go wipe it up....oh now she wants a bandaid....oh now she doesn't like her mushy grape....oh now she has just taken off all her clothes...I think I should just go. Call me tomorrow at 8:35 a.m.!"

Some of my best conversations now happen before 9 a.m.

Oh, phone is ringing...It's my best friend who just dropped off her kids....It's 9 a.m.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Teachers and presents....

Again, I need all you mommies out there for some advice.

Yes, it's that time of year again.

I used to be kind of thrilled that I was Jewish and didn't have to go through what seemed like the biggest pain in the ass (according to my friends who celebrate Christmas) when it came to buying gifts. I didn't have to buy X-mas gifts for anyone.

I send flowers to people like certain editors/publishers I like.

But now The Dictator is is full-time school and she has a number of teachers. And I have to buy these teachers X-mas gifts.

She has two main teachers.

But The Dictator also has a music teacher, a gym teacher, a french teacher, a mandarin teacher, and an after-care teacher who sometimes takes care of her when I can't pick her up at three.

Ok, so, my question is, "What the heck do people buy teachers these days?"

First off, her main teacher is a guy. And we all know how difficult it is to buy men presents...anyway. (This is just an added problem.)

Second of all, while I know all her teacher's names, I have no idea what they like to do in their spare time (Would a LCBO gift certificate be appropriate? Because if I had to spend my entire day with 12 toddlers, I'd think that's what I may want.)

I love all her teachers. And The Dictator loves them all too.

So I have to get them something good.

Now, I'm not opposed to gift certificates necessarily. But I would like to get them something a little different, like an actual gift. (That way, they also don't know the exact price of what you spent.)

So, my questions are as follows: What is an appropriate amount to spend on teachers?

What gifts have you given the teachers of your sons/daughters that they seemed to really appreciate?

And, of course, I will be getting a gift for the french/mandarin/music/gym teachers as well. And do they have to be as good as the gifts for the two main teachers?

Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated....