When I first met Sandy, it wasn’t in person. It was online through a good friend of mine, her sister in-law. I think we saw each other years before that at said friend’s wedding, from a distance across the room. We didn’t know then how much we had in common or that we’d girl crush on each other hardcore.
It wasn’t until we were both pregnant at the same time and realizing that we both had Etsy shops that we began to talk. And by talk I mean guffaw, make crude/dark jokes and talk indie/artisan bizz stuff together. And then we each had another kid similarly close in age to our first ones and we decided it was high time we got together.
It was no small surprise that when I met her daughter Flora, I was instantly smitten. A mini of her mama with the fiery personality to match. I love her little Canadiana french accent when she speaks English, (yes, girl is bilingual), her sense of style and mad artistic skills. Which her mom thought was totally worth rendering timeless through comic illustration and I would have to concur. The little comic strip Sandy started up starring Flo gives me a good chuckle. It probably will you too!
Check out a few of my favourite Flo comics by Sandy below and make sure you check out her mom’s Tumblr to see the rest! (Don’t forget to check out the Q & A I did with Sandy after the brief slideshow, we got into some controversial territory…)
What inspired you to capture Flo’s toddlerisms in cartoon form?
I was tired of being frustrated with – and sick of whining about – my limited time to do art. I never seemed to have enough time to draw, so I just ended up doing quick little sketches of my crazy life whenever and wherever I could. And my kids make me laugh – I love a good laugh.
What are your top 3 challenges with parenting the headstrong, vivacious human toddler person known as Flo?
1. I think all of us parents of toddlers deal with this challenge. Aren’t they all so headstrong? I try to do my best, not to lose my temper and to always be kind while maneuvering my way through tough situations, but sometimes I yell and sometimes I cry.
2. Sometimes I’m so lazy I just can’t handle the constant negotiating – so I probably let her eat dinner on the couch too often, stay in the bath way too late, and I always give another story at bedtime.
3. The biggest challenge I experience in parenting is that my brain sort of functions like a kid’s brain, so I am overly empathetic. For example, I’m not great at comforting Flo at night when she’s scared to go to bed – I was scared to sleep alone til I was probably 12 or something, I get it. My brother used to let me sleep at the foot of his bed like a dog, or under his bed. So I let her sleep with us if she’s scared. Also, I often don’t feel like eating dinner, so I feel weird when I try to force her to eat.
Then also, how do you manage such, uhm, a strong and passionate will?
Flo and I don’t have that many clashes. We think kind of similarly (which says a lot about my level of maturity) so I can usually reason with her. During meltdowns I usually invent a game of some sort where Flo “wins’” and gets a “treat” (I tell her that yogurt is ice cream, or I give her buttons to put in her piggy bank, or I let her steal money off of Sylv’s desk to put in her piggy bank….). I’ve seen a huge difference as she gets older too, which is awesome.
Genius. Do Flo and Len always get along? How do you handle conflicts between them as they arise?
Flo and Lenny have been in love since day 1. We’ve been so lucky that way. Just recently has he started having little tantrums, taking toys from Flo, grabbing her food, etc. In this case I usually pretend to reprimand him to make Flo feel better. I use a calm fake angry voice and say “Lennon apologize to your sister” and then I tell Flo that he looks really sorry and feels bad and then she ends up hugging him and kissing him all over his face saying “It’s okay, babe.” Win-win!
Whats your daycare/work-from-home set-up? (If you don’t mind sharing)
Our daycare is just at the end of the street, and they kids just started going full time together last week, so I’m not so sure how our new schedule will be, to be honest. But I suspect it will be fairly simple; I work from a home office (on Moon and Sparrow / Illustration). Up until now I’ve had either both kids or just Lenny home with me mostly so I used to work really early in the morning, around 4am, and only on a part time basis, about 15 hours a week.
Describe your creative process specifically when it comes to your newest project, Flo The Comic
Hmmm. Like with all my projects, I start on paper with an HB pencil. I sketch out really tiny what I’d like the comic to look like (choosing from a list of good subject matter jotted down throughout the week) and then start drawing the panels larger usually at the kitchen table where I don’t see all my other mess. I have to make lots of faces in the mirror to try to nail certain difficult expressions (skepticism, know-it-all-ness, etc). So that gets pretty funny. I have a little mirror in my bag.
What are your thoughts on sharing pictures and stories about our kids on the internet?
Ah. Yes. A biggie. I, like most parents, have mixed thoughts on this. I am careful with what I post and always always ask myself “would Flo or Len mind if they find this one day on the internet when they’re older?” before posting a photo or anecdote of them. I also always make sure that I keep a bit of our own private relationships just for us. I don’t talk about everything, and I always make sure to respect my little guys as their own individual selves. As with all comedy, there’s a fine line between laughing at somebody or with them, and I would hate for it to come across as the former.
More Babbles From Selena…
- The Essential Tip To Resovling Toddler Sibling Conflicts
- 24 of My Favourite Memories With The Kids This Summer
- Playing With Food: 7 Cute & Creative After-School Snack Ideas For Toddlers
- The Fun Dinnertime Activity That Gets My Toddlers To Eat
- The Most Incredibly Condescending, Sexist and Problematic Article Ever
- 10 Tips For Raising Healthy Eaters
Elsewhere on the internets…
Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve