nodding & smiling

ceci n'est pas un bébé lala



So blurry but taken by a kid! My friends & I. We met at our kids' ringette games!

So blurry but taken by a kid! My friends & I. We met at our kids’ ringette games!

One thing I’ve discovered over my 18+ years of parenting is that it’s important to have allies. Allies in the form of friends and family who “have your back”. Sometimes an ally comes in the form of your child’s friend’s parent, forming naturally by virtue of the amount of time you spend with the same people. Other times, you meet a parent who just seems like “your kind of person” and you make the effort to become their friend.

Even though a few of the kids’ friendships have waned a bit with their evolving interests and groups of friends, I’ve remained friends with certain parents. Other friendships I’ve also let wane, as some relationships are finite and have a beginning and an end. I’m okay with that.

Allies when parenting are amazing. Being able to text your friend about the naughty thing her child and your child just did on their playdate at your house (come on – it was funny!), and know you’re both on the same page and “get it” is invaluable. Having someone you can call in a panic because you won’t be home in time to get your kid after school is also comforting (yes this has happened to me). And car-pooling? Don’t even get me started. With all the driving around we do, it’s nice to have someone to take turns with, or someone cool to share a drive with.

Allies. Get some!



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Beauties on the beach, 2011

Beauties on the beach, 2011

I started puberty early, as did my girls. Mean boys called me “Wonderbra” in grade 5, even though I spent the better part of my time trying to conceal the fact that I was wearing a bra.

When it came time to have the talk with my elder daughter, I thought I handled it pretty well: Years later I learned that I left out a VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL: I never told her that her period would end. That’s right: I didn’t say, “don’t worry – it only lasts 3-5 days”.  The poor kid thought she’d bleed forever from that day on! No wonder she was devastated.


So with my second daughter, I had an opportunity to redeem myself. Had the same talk, presented the same useful books, and was super-clear about the fact that her period would both begin, and end, monthly. She asked questions, wasn’t embarrassed, and has practically worn out the books since then.

The problem?

My younger daughter was SO open and comfortable with the subject that she decided to impart her newly-acquired knowledge to her (very religious) friends.

“Hello [mother of friend 1], this is Natalie, Katherine’s mother? Yes. I’d like to apologize for her impromptu sex-ed tutorial at yesterday’s playdate. I understand that you’re pretty upset…”