Humour, Motherhood, Olive


I am pretty sure Olive is in the midst of a profound identity crisis at the moment. On one hand, I was expecting this, we all go through it – I remember vacillating between wannabe Spice Girl (Scary Spice if you must know, complete with the tiny buns in the hair, natch) and awkwardly self-aware pre-teen. The pre-teen won out and has now evolved like a caterpillar into an awkwardly self-aware WOMAN!

Metamorphosis indeed.

On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting this so soon for Olive. I thought I’d have at least ten years before helping her choose an identity to latch onto, but here we are. Kids today grow up so fast!

Anyway, the identities currently competing for supremacy? Poverty-stricken, 60-something European peasant woman, or contemporary American teen boy.

Hear me out.

In my opinion – which is pretty important because I am her mother after all – the evidence is weighing heavily in favour of the peasant woman. Everything about Olive’s demeanor suggests that in her past life she had little to no material comforts and would prefer things to stay that way, thankyouverymuch.

[Tangent: Have you ever gone down the rabbit hole of reading about kids past life memories? That shit is WEIRD.]

We’ve already discussed how she loathes clothing, but that can just as easily be attributed to the influence of my hippie sensibilities. The bigger indicator that she is a poor peasant woman incarnate is that she eschews any sort of warmth or coziness. The kid prefers to sleep without pajamas or even COVERS for christ’s sake. When I tuck her in to read at night, nine times out of ten she will impatiently kick the blankets away, “I not NEED covers” she scolds me. If I wake up during the night I’ll check on her and draw them up over her little shoulders, but by morning they are on the floor again.

No covers?? We live in CANADA! But to her it’s like , who cares? I mean Canada is positively balmy compared to the gulags, yes?

Then there’s the porridge situation. I used to make her eggs for breakfast, and it’s one of my most told anecdotes that one morning during a growth spurt Olive single-handedly ate six (6) scrambled eggs. Six!

Not a word of a lie. Get it, girl! But then she discovered porridge and it was all over. She became obsessed with steel cut oats. At first I prepared it like I remembered eating it as a child, warm with a bit of milk and maple syrup. This was adequate for a while until one day she insisted it was “Too hot. Too HOT!” and I so put it in the freezer for a second to cool it down.

From that day forward she still insisted on porridge for breakfast, but cold porridge. So every morning I would get up, make a nice bowl of warm porridge, and then put it in the bloody freezer until cold, to feed to my bizarre daughter.

Enjoy, comrade!

These, to me, are the major clues. But there are smaller indicators too, like how much she enjoys marching. Or how vehemently she screams at us if we engage in unsanctioned singing or dancing. Or how she sometimes sounds like she’s speaking Ukranian.

Oh, and there’s this.


Identity -

It looks so right.

BUT then there are the other moments. The moments any self-respecting middle-European 60-something wouldn’t be caught dead engaging in. The moments that scream adolescent teen boy.

When she casually tries to cop a feel, then denies it. Or the other day when she called me into her room, farted, laughed maniacally, then told me to leave like I was bothering her.

Or how she is consistently angry with me for not letting her drive (seriously every time we are in the car. WHY won’t I let her drive??God, mom.)

Or this morning when she told me to put my hand out. I did and she put something in it and asked, “What is it?” I stared absentmindedly at this small piece of something and couldn’t figure it out, and  said as much.

“It came from my nose!” she crowed triumphantly, “It SNOT!”

Duuuuuude! Not cool. 

Identity -


Can’t wait to see which one will eventually triumph. I’m crossing my fingers for peasant woman, my borscht recipe needs some work.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Nicola May 21, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    I absolutely love all your posts, seriously I look forward to them popping into my inbox but this is the best. Actually laughing out loud. Power to the peasant woman.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine May 21, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      Yesss! Best feeling ever 🙂

  • Reply Erica May 21, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Sounds something like my son too – no covers, ever. And frozen peas only please, do not warm them up!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine May 21, 2015 at 11:40 AM

      YES, frozen peas! WTF?

  • Reply Chelsea May 21, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Oh my! I think I might have to Google the whole “kids talking about their last lives” thing. If this is toddler-hood, can’t wait to see what different identifies my little man will embody! I love reading your posts, it’s like a preview of what’s to come…

    • Reply Chelsea May 21, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      So many typos, my goodness. *past, not last and *identities, not identifies.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine May 21, 2015 at 11:40 AM

      Haha! No worries, I just went through and corrected about eight in the post itself! And I updated it to link to some of the past life stuff. SO weird. Warning, you will become obsessed with reading about it!

  • Reply Renata Wall May 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    Love your writing!

    My kids as toddlers are/were no cover kids though my oldest has outgrown that and swung the other way. And I’m pretty sure the oldest is 4 going on 14 going on 40… the phrase Mom, I don’t like you, I want a different mom has been replaced recently by Mom, I’m angry at you but I still love you. Good luck with your peasant woman/teenage boy! And I expect if you get a kick butt Borscht recipe you’ll share with the rest of us 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine June 2, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      Ohhh, I don’t know how I will get through the “Mom, I don’t like you” phase, if/when it comes. Soul-crushing!

  • Reply Ashley May 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    Ha my two-year-old also hates anything even remotely warm to eat. If it is anything but room temperature or cool (but not cold!), he will scream “brrr” because for some reason he thinks that brr means both hot and cold. Brrr eggs. Brr toast. Brr frozen teething ring I just grabbed out of the freezer myself but now realize is too cold. Brr. He hasn’t quite figured out how to take his clothes off by himself yet but I’m sure that day is coming and then we are in trouble. Even here in Minnesota the child is normally a sweaty mess when he wakes up no matter what. I can’t wait until he is old enough to just say “nope, no pajamas” and we can trust him on it.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine June 2, 2015 at 7:23 PM

      Is this maybe a toddler thing? I’ve heard from so many people since I posted this, that their child is the exact same! Olive, you have many comrades!

  • Reply Jillian May 21, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Oh man… the cold porridge just about killed me. I felt the absolute urge to send this to more or less everyone I know. Hilarious. I hope the peasant woman wins!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine June 2, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      Yeah, the peasant woman seems like she might be able to help with laundry and menial labour. The pre-teen seems like it would just involve a lot of grunting and dirty socks…

  • Reply Cassie May 21, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Hilarity! Love her. 🙂

  • Reply Danica May 21, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    So funny, Madeleine! Many similarities to the peasant woman with my daughter Charlotte also. No Jammies, loves frozen foods, no covers, comfort is unnecessary. I love it and prefer it so much to having a high maintenance princess with an innate sense of entitlement! Enjoy her identity crisis!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine June 2, 2015 at 7:34 PM

      Hahaha! Oh lord, these weirdos. I can’t wait to revile her with these stories when she has evolved into a normal human being.

  • Reply Cate B May 22, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    Lying in bed, trying so hard not burst out laughing. This post made my day. Olive is a legend!

  • Reply Poppy May 22, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    Oh my gosh, hilarious!

  • Reply rosaliejayne May 27, 2015 at 3:47 AM

    This is the funniest blog post I think I’ve ever read! I just laughed rather loudly in my living room and received some strange looks from my family…

  • Reply Adrianne June 2, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    I seriously had to stop reading this at work because I was on the verge of crying. Thanks for the laughs!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine June 2, 2015 at 7:40 PM

      Haha! Yassss! SweetMadeleine: Eroding productivity since 2008! 😉

  • Reply Aynsley June 2, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    You had me laughing with this post. My darling daughter is only 3wks old but can only imagine the laughs we’re in for. Olive you are adorable x

    • Reply sweetmadeleine June 2, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      Oh my god, you have so much fun ahead of you!! I hope you are recovering from the wild journey of birth and adjusting to motherhood okay! My old neighbour was named Ainsley (different spelling but same gorgeous sound) and I’ve always loved the name!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.