Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year

I wanted to start this blog many months before I actually did, nearly four years ago. A diary-keeper since childhood, it seemed only natural that I would keep up with the times and migrate it using modern technology. But I hesitated for a long time. Maybe it was because so many people had wonderfully written blogs that I read regularly, some of which have since turned into books. And I know I don't have the writing chops for that.

But then I realised there was no need to make my blog public. After all, it was going to be just an online diary, right? So here I am, chronicling what started as the life of an average mother and turned out to be the life of a mother of an extra-special child.

And now a few people occasionally read this blog. They are old friends and new, all very dear to my heart, and I value their comments and feelings of sympathy.

This the first February 29th since the blog's existence, so I wanted to mark it with a post. Happy Leap Year, dear readers (all five of you). May we all continue to make leaps - of friendship and faith - as the years go on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Word Fun

Little A has been spelling a lot lately. For a while we packed away his letter tiles and magnets because he would simply arrange letters in alphabetical order.

When I brought the letters out again after a couple of months, he went right back to words, adding many new ones to his repertoire. "Letgo" or just "go" when he wants out, "orchesta" and its variations, with his musical instruments lined up in a row alongside, easy ones like "train", "noah", "ark", "zoo" and "jugle" with animals next to them. But there's one word that has me stumped every time, which he spells quite regularly as if just waiting for me to get it - "nogrmail."

Could it be that he sees me checking my email regularly? But why the "no" before that? Does he want me to play with him instead of checking my email? When he asks, if I'm not impossibly busy, I do, or at least take a break to play for a little while.

Verbally, he's mastered "ah" for up. Now we're on "baba" for borrow, "oh-peh" for open, and his first "complete" word - "ah-pah" for iPad.

The barrage of therapies goes on, with more hours added every week. Let's hope the improvement continues apace.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Both Ends of the Candle

I'm no stranger to work. By the time I was ten, I was regularly doing double duty - one of the top in my year at school despite company apprentice-level daily ballet class and rehearsals. At boarding school it was more of the same. University meant scheduling classes early so that I could make company class, rehearsals and evening performances.

When I hung up my pointe shoes to see what "normal" life felt like, I took on a fun yet tiring regular weekend job as an assistant wedding coordinator in addition to my nine-to-five weekday work. By 2003, I was three-timing - teaching the New York City Ballet workout twice a week in the evenings after work and doing weddings on weekends. As a young singleton, I enjoyed this productive work and the extra income. Big A and I spent enough time together in spite of it all.

By the time Little A came along, I traded all of this for full-time motherhood. But two years ago my mum opened her shop, and it all began again - this time I was working wife and mum.

Lately, with the exponential increase in Little A's therapy hours (and corresponding exponential increase in therapy fees), both Big A and I have had to take on any and every extra income opportunity to make ends meet. Our cost of living has doubled, so in addition to the new business he started last year, Big A's gone back to investing in the stock market and is looking into getting back into it, part-time.

I've taken on a couple of weddings, and am working double time getting more corporate accounts for my mum's business as we're attempting to get into the black this year. Naturally, there's been cost cutting on some fronts - no shopping for me beyond groceries, nor book buying beyond a small fixed amount per month. I've got to start packing lunches, or at least snacks, as the minimal amount I sometimes need to spend to stop from keeling over with hunger while Little A is at school still adds up.

There have been little treats though - coupon purchases for discounted meals, a subscription to a theatre company's season ticket. So the belt tightening hasn't been all gloom and doom. Plus there's Lent coming, when making sacrifices is the thing to do. As long as we keep our heads above water and our health intact, we'll be okay.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Recently, Little A had his first ride in a Porsche. A car dealer friend of Big A's was showing it to him on the way home from the garage. Little A happened to come across them while going for his evening walk. He climbed into the car and refused to get out. When the big boys got into the front seats and revved up to go for a ride, his smile was brighter than I've ever seen it. He sat in his little bucket seat, grinning from ear to ear.

The boys went for a couple of spins around the block like it was a race track. Tires squealing, hard turns. They were in testosterone heaven. Little A had to be pulled out of the car when it was over, and he promptly walked down the road to where another red, shiny sports car was parked (and Audi R8, I think it was) and waiting patiently outside it in vain, in the hopes that the complete stranger who owned it might let him have another ride.

Our bedtime reading lately has been the story of Lightning McQueen and his tow truck buddy. I surmise Little A associated the red sports cars with this now favourite character, but perhaps he's just a typical car-obsessed boy.