Archive for May, 2009

Talking about favourite things to do

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

On Victoria Day afternoon while enjoying a popsicle, Reid was asking me about what my favourite things to do were. That was an easy question to answer: my favourite thing is snuggling her and/or her daddy. I said that I also liked doing things and going on adventures with her. She asked what my other favourite things to do with Daddy are and I told her that I like to talk to him and sit with him while we read our books. Next she asked me what my favourite thing about the weekend with Grandma Joyce, Aunt Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne had been. I said that I liked the circus activities and having extra family members in our house. She said that she liked the circus, too. Reid asked me what had been my favourite thing about the day itself. I said that I liked watching the caricature artist draw Reid’s picture and then I asked what had been her favourite part of the day. “I can’t answer,” Reid said, “the day isn’t over. My favourite part might be right now.”

The next day, I asked Reid what had been her favourite part of the previous day. She said that she’d most enjoyed the tea party she had with her stuffies and doll. She made the “tea” by melting one of her popsicles into a cup. The melting process was slow and has been repeatedly subsequently. I don’t mind but I wish she wouldn’t offer to share it with me. I’m not keen on popsicles when they’re frozen and enjoy them less when they’re liquid.

I had hoped that Reid would choose our conversation about favourites as her favourite thing. If I’d known I could wait until the day was over, I definitely would have chosen that conversation.

Sk8tr boys

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

There’s a small swimming pool at the end of the building that houses Reid’s school. The pool has a ramp going into it that is just right for skateboarders to do tricks on (when the pool is empty, of course). There were a few hoodlums, erh, I mean upstanding young men like Shea on skateboards doing tricks when I picked Reid up from school recently. She was drawn over to them like a moth to a flame. I’m sure it would have been the same if there’d be teen girls putting on a display but I was left wondering: if those that hang around the hockey arena are rink rats and those that hang around for the hockey players are puck bunnies, what do your skateboarders’ groupies?

Dress like a tourist day

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Fridays at Reid’s school are dress down days, or “wear anything” days as we call them. Reid takes a lot of care to choose just the right outfit. I try to keep her from wearing the same outfit twice. There are so many clothes in her drawer that I like to give them a fair chance to get. To complicate matters, the last Friday of each month has a theme for what to wear. We’ve had Hawaiian day and Wear White day and Inside-Out day, among others.

Today is Dress Like a Tourist day. And I have to say that I was stumped. We decided that a souvenir t-shirt, sunglasses and a camera would do. And it would have been great if we hadn’t misplaced the camera. I spent time searching last night and then found it this morning, boldly sitting on a shelf in Reid’s room.  I’d also considered sending her old passport – too much personal information – and thought we could have made binoculars if I planned ahead. Which, of course, I didn’t. I thought about plane tickets but by the time I thought of them, Ken and Reid were standing in the foyer were their shoes on. Reid wasn’t worried about her outfit and so all was good. I took a picture of Reid taking a picture of me before she went into pre-care. That seemed a very touristy thing to do. The first kid we saw was also wearing sunglasses and carrying a camera. I guess Reid fit in.

I worry way to much about these sort of things.

No siblings of her own but we borrow others

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

While Melissa and I worked on supper last night, the kids played hide-and-seek, their favourite game. Reid is at a double disadvantage since she is the youngest and least-familiar with the hiding places at Melissa’s. Unless the bigger kids want to find someone other than Reid – a fielder’s choice sort of situation – they find her first and then she is “it” for the next round. In the midst of their game, Reid and Ben were unable to find Sarah. Ben decided that Reid should count and start a new round. As he bossed her to “Just count!” Melissa made some comment about Ben treating Reid just like family and I replied that it was all part of my plan to keep Reid from becoming a completely unbearable, only child. It’s good for Reid to spend some time at the low end of the pecking order, to be around bigger kids and to learn that she shouldn’t always do whatever those bigger kids are doing or suggesting. It doesn’t hurt that Melissa and I get along so well.

Super Dad and So-So Mom

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Reid and I were listening to “Super Dad” by Jam Sandwich on the way home from school yesterday. Reid asked me why there wasn’t a “Super Mom” song, too. I said that I didn’t know why and asked Reid what she thought the reason could be. Reid didn’t know either but suggested that they’d sing “Super Mom” in the places where they sing “Super Dad” in the original and then sing about moms doing dad-jobs. I couldn’t resist asking what she meant by “dad-jobs”.

Reid explained, “Dads fix fings.” She continued, “And dads build fings that don’t fall apart.” Unlike moms who build things that *do* fall apart, I guess. She also told me that dads can do much more than moms. Feeling a little worried, I asked Reid what jobs moms usually did that dads don’t.

Reid thought a bit and at last came up with, “Moms sing songs.” I asked if there wasn’t anything else that moms do. After still more thinking, Reid finally said that moms clean the house. And eventually she remembered that moms plant gardens. I’m in trouble, here, folks. Reid doesn’t let me sing very often anymore and I don’t think I’ll be nominated for any good housemaker awards. As for my gardening abilities, I tend to be better at the planting then weeding or watering.

Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I asked which parent does more. Definitely dads, according to Reid. She talked again about fixing and building things and then added that dads are big and strong. In fact, Reid noted, “Dads are so good at working faster than moms.” Reid decided to pursue the topic. Like Diego, she wanted to review what we’d learned. She had me list the 3 things that moms can do and then all of the things that dads can do. Just in case I missed her point, Reid asked, “Which parent can’t do as much?” And I had to answer, “Moms.” But I protested that I thought Reid had missed one or two things that I can do. Like take photos, cook, sew, knit and …

In the end, I guess there is a very good reason that there is no “Super Mom” song because moms just don’t do enough to warrant it.

Now that is love

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

The rod for the shower curtain came down last night when Reid was in the tub. I don’t think either of us touched it; it just came crashing down. I twisted it a bit and got it to hang again and forgot all about it until this morning. I hadn’t got the pole hung high enough and the bottom of the shower curtain was lying on the floor. Somehow in raising it, I made it so it wouldn’t stay up at all. Ken came to my rescue. He fiddled with the rod but it didn’t want to stay in place. I showered quickly while Ken held the rod up. That’s love, eh? To hold the curtain up for someone rather than making them go to the other shower.

ETA: I thought Ken would comment that he was just worried about getting water on the floor. He said that he was too much asleep to tell me to go to the other shower. Ah well…

Who planned that weekend?

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Sometimes I decide that we can do more in a day than really we should take on. I did that on both days of this past weekend. On Saturday, Reid and I were up early to make rhubarb cake and lasagna for supper. She even set the table for supper so that we’d be ready. I managed one of the fastest showers of my life and we got to Reid’s swimming lessons just 2 minutes late. Immediately after the lessons finished, we headed to the Melon Heads at Place d’Orleans so that Reid could get her hair cut. Reid had asked on Thursday to get her hair cut like Ken’s – basically a long brush cut – but we said “no” to that but did offer a shorter hairstyle. I hunted through Lands End catalogues and parenting magazines but couldn’t find any pictures of girls with hair shorter than their chin. The Internet let me down, too. Lucky for me, Reid had decided that she wanted her hair still “long” just shorter than it was. In the end, her hair is cut to chin length and she is cute as always.

Next, we went to the photo studio at Loblaws. I’d forgotten to make an appointment for Ken and Reid to have their pictures taken for Mother’s Day. It was late enough that we decided that we might as well do Father’s Day pics, too. We all smiled and posed on cue. Reid had asked me if I’d brought any things for the pictures. I’m not sure what it means that she knows to ask if I’ve brought any props. I didn’t, if you’re wondering.

We had a late lunch at the food court and then Reid and I took a bus to the National Arts Centre for the last concert in the TD Family Adventures series. This one featured Veronica Tennant, the former ballerina, as the co-host and was called “Dance with the NAC Orchestra”. A local dance school supplied dancers for a number of the pieces, including the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker and a work by Bach that featured a tap dancer and contemporary dancer. Many a child, especially the little girls, left the concert hall spinning and planning their own dance career.

On our way to the bus stop, we saw some of the Ottawa Race Weekend crowds. They’re the reason we took a bus; with the races, there were many road closures. I’ve been meaning to travel more by bus on the weekend, since I have a bus pass and kids 5 and under ride for free but hadn’t been that organized yet. Driving allows for more poor planning ;+)

We walked in to the smell of almost-cooked lasagna and in that instant, I decided that I’m going to make lasagna for company more often. I’d cleaned the kitchen hours earlier and wasn’t stressing out just before people arrived. Stephen had a school project to work on and Peter was out of town, which meant that only Sarah and Ben were with Melissa. The kids sat at Reid’s little table and were well-behaved with only one small kicking incident. Maybe there were other troubles but they weren’t noticeable from the table the adults were at. I highly recommend separate seating for kids and adults. The kids do, too, since sitting at Reid’s table was offered as a choice this time. Ken disappeared upstairs to work on his French while Melissa and I enjoyed our tea from fancy china cups. Tea tastes better or you drink it slower or something when you use the fancy cups. Reid and Ben conned Melissa into reading a couple of books and then it was time for bed. As busy as the day was, I was happy not to be super-tired. It was hectic but not stressful.

Which was good, since we had a few things to do on Sunday. Reid and I were at the garden centre/nursery before it opened on Sunday and took our time selecting vegetables, seeds and decorative plants. Reid was happy with our plant car – she was boxed in on the one side by plants and on the other by stuff that usually rides around in the cargo area and there were plants in the front. We’d barely got the plants unloaded when Bruno showed up to help. I don’t know how parents with two kids manage the eagerness. I was reminded that I haven’t spoken much French lately. Sigh. We did get some flowers planted before lunch, though. After lunch, I took Reid to M’s, a friend from school. Reid was so excited to be going to a friend’s house when it wasn’t for a birthday. I didn’t point out that she’d only been out to one at-home birthday party. The mom said that I could run errands or whatever as she thought the girls would occupy themselves. From all reports they did just that, spending most of their time in the backyard. I returned from my trip to the consignment store and St Vincent de Paul store where I’d made drop offs in time to hear the girls starting to get on each other’s nerves. Three hours was just long enough, I think. We’ll invite M over right away. Reid is thinking that she now has Sunday afternoon plans for the rest of her life. I’m not shutting out the possibility of activities that don’t involve M but I don’t think I’ll be killing Reid’s dream quite yet.

Bedtime was welcome on Sunday. I’ll try and plan for somewhat less this weekend. I guess.

Slang Saturday

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

I made pancakes for breakfast today and Reid announced that she wanted to make hers into a sandwich. Thanks to Aunt Karin’s influence, this sort of thing is acceptable as long as no syrup is involved. Blame it on her and San Diego. My response was, “Fill your boots.” Reid asked, surprised, “What the heck?” While Ken tried not to laugh out loud, I explained to Reid that I meant that she should go ahead, like she had boots and she should use them. It’s an army thing I picked up when I worked for National Defence.

I was a bit surprised by Reid’s comment – for at least an hour – until I heard myself use the same expression when speaking with Grandma Joyce. It could’ve been worse. Ken has taught me some bad words over the years.

Why my house looks like it does

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Last Sunday afternoon, Ken suggested that Reid and I should clean up her bookshelves. He’d gone through the toys that used to live on them and but them on a different bookcase. I thought it was a great idea since it’s something that I think of doing each night when I see the books piled every which way.

We went up and I started pulling the books off of the shelves. I asked Reid to start gathering the Franklin books in one pile and the Clifford the Big Red Dog in another. I put the Christmas books together and also the other holiday books and then grouped hardcovers, softcovers, Dr Seuss and so on. Ken came in after a while and was surprised that book situation was worse instead of better. I explained my organization principles and he said, “I thought you’d take the ones that were in piles and stand them up.”

I like to be able to find the Easter books at Easter and books about mamas just before Mother’s Day and I couldn’t do that this year. Now, it’d be easy to lay my hands on just the right book, even the one where the groundhog lobbies for a whole month instead of just a day.

I’m trying to read each book once before repeating them. So far, Reid hasn’t asked to hear one twice. She tried to misfile a book that I’d chosen and she rejected, though, much to Ken’s amusement. I could put signs on the shelves but since Reid doesn’t read and wasn’t concerned when I explained the problem, I’m not sure it would help. In fact, Ken might mix them up just to drive me nutty. He’s like that, you know.

C’mon over and read a book whenever you’re free. We’ve got lots from which to choose.

If she’d known that I wouldn’t remember

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Grandma Joyce told a story last weekend about how I’d had my heart set on going to the circus at one point when I was a kid. She said that she and Lila finally agreed to take Janet and me to the circus in an arena in Windsor. She talked about how loud and smelly the whole experience had been. She said that I’d very much enjoyed myself. I have to take her word for it. I appreciate the sacrifice Grandma Joyce made, given that she doesn’t like being in crowds at the best of times. I told her that it’s too bad she hadn’t known what a phenomenally bad memory I’d have as an adult. Otherwise, she could have stayed home and just told me when I was grown that she took me the circus when I was a kid. It might have been hard to handle all of the pestering from the little kid me, though. Grandma Joyce probably made the right decision. Taking a photo would have been a good idea, though.