Archive for the ‘Daddy’ Category

Who gets to name countries?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Reid asked a tough question last night: Who gets to name the countries. Ken tried to claim that it was him and claimed that he gave Panama its name in tribute to a Van Halen song. Reid didn’t believe him, though, and asked me what the real answer was. I told her that the original bosses of a country (which is how we explain politicians, the “biggest boss” where Ken and I work, etc.) got to pick the name. Ken and I snarked a bit about “dead, white men” under our breath but didn’t expose Reid to our cynicism.

Reid next asked about “Canada”. Ken was (not) helpfully telling me about the native word “kanata” and how it meant villages as I was trying to tell Reid the very same thing. I told him that I’d seen the relevant Canadian Heritage Minute, thank-you-very-much. I don’t know how accurate it is, the story never came up in any of the courses I took for my BA in Canadian Studies and History. Still, it was a good story and it satisfied Reid.

Reid asked how I knew this and Ken said, “Mama knows everything.” Reid responded with, “You don’t know everything, right, Mama? You don’t know when Jesus came out of Mary’s belly.” I agreed that Reid was right – I don’t know exactly when Jesus came out of Mary’s belly but added that we celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25th. (I’m not sure how or why Reid is aware that Christmas Day is probably not the exact day but there you go, she knows.)

I told Ken that I don’t know where these questions come from but I do worry sometimes about what the next question will be.

Sometimes the solution to one problem leads to another problem

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I asked Reid if she wanted to go to the free Kids’ Workshop at Home Depot this Saturday. She said that she did and then asked if she’d be making a Mother’s Day present since she’d made a Father’s Day present at the last workshop she attended. I told her that we’d missed the Mother’s Day workshop because we’d been camping. Reid considered this and then said, “Well, if it’s for Kid’s Day, I’ll just keep my eyes closed.” <grin> I guess Reid wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise when she opened the present she was making. She might not want the banged fingers from hammering with eyes closed either but, then again, Reid tends not to want to be the one who holds the nail that she is hammering.

According to a couple of websites, Reid and the other kids will be making a message centre. I guess Reid will be able to keep her eyes open since I’m pretty sure the message centre isn’t intended as a present for Kids’ Day, which does exist and is celebrated on various days, including  on November 20th in Canada.

And, no, I’m not concerned about the fact that Home Depot is being attacked in the US for sponsoring Kids Workshops at gay pride events. I do wonder, though, about the people who dedicate energy to objecting to such things who could use that energy to help kids in need.

Birthday present investigation

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

When we were in Wheatley, Sari was taking her big cousin role seriously as she tried to decide on the proper gift for Reid’s birthday. I’m told their conversation went something like this:

Sari: What’s your favourite thing?
Reid: Mama.
Sari: What’s your second favourite thing?
Reid: Daddy.
Sari: What’s your third favourite thing?
Reid: Dylan.
Sari: What’s your favourite colour?
Reid: What is Dylan’s favourite color?

I think Sari gave up at that point and resorted to observational gift research. Reid certainly liked the gifts that she ultimately received from Sari and Jay.

Reid the scientist

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Reid brought a leaf and a rock in from the driveway last night. She said that we needed them because we were scientists. I was cooking supper – I’m the principle human nutrition scientist in the family – and Reid was playing in the hall. All of a sudden, she started crying and Ken went to see what had happened.

Between sobs, Reid explained that the rock had hit in her in the chin. Ken, naturally, asked how the rock had gotten to her chin. Haltingly, the story came out:
Reid: I had the rock on my feet and I moved them and it hit my chin.
Ken: Hunh?
Reid: I had the rock on my feet and I moved them and it hit my chin. (Clearly not seeing anything unusual in her statement)
Me: She was lying on her back.
Reid: I was lying down and my legs were up and the rock was on my feet. Then, I forgot about the rock and moved my feet and the rock hit my chin.
Me: (Laughing in the kitchen, but quietly. How glad I was that Ken was the one dealing directly with Reid!)
Ken: So, you’re saying that you were holding a rock above your head and it hit your face when you moved your feet. (Ken likes to try to teach Reid logic whenever he can to counterbalance the unpredictableness of life with me.)

I’d thought that Reid would be learning about the natural sciences of botany or geology with her leaf and rock but it turned out to be physics on the course schedule.

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…

The museums are marvellous

Monday, May 4th, 2009

We had a full and fun weekend. I’d noticed that Pizza Pizza was running a special where medium cheese or cheese-and-pepperoni pizzas were $5 and they made a donation to the Children’s Wish Foundation (or something similar). I’d offered to get Ken add another topping to his pizza, thinking the price difference wouldn’t be too severe. When it would have doubled the cost, I choked and stuck with the pepperoni. I love him more than $5 worth but I’m kind of cheap. I told Reid that we would sit in the backyard, as she has been wanting to do for weeks, even before the snow melted, without checking out the temperature. I guess the temperature was okay but the wind was stronger than I’d expected. I shivered and whined while Reid ate her pizza and Ken gave me his “you got us into this” look. Reid was happy and I didn’t freeze to death as had seemed imminent and so it was a good start to our weekend.

On Saturday, I went out for lunch with Melissa and to see a play called “Moms the Word” (the ticket was my birthday present from Melissa) while Ken and Reid went to her swimming lesson and then to the Museum of Science and Technology. There were special activities centred on astronomy as the museum – and Ken and Reid – marked National Astronomy Day. (They also have a Family Astronomy and Space program that might be worth checking out.) We all arrived home about the same time, which meant Reid and Ken were at the museum about 3.5 hours, and we had lots of stories to exchange. Unfortunately, Reid doesn’t listen closely to what Ken is saying and I sometimes got her version of his story just after he’d finished. Reid is excited to be bringing the telescope camping this weekend and I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be rainy or cloudy.

Reid and I headed out for breakfast at Cora’s on Sunday morning. I’d asked Reid if she wanted to go to the Canada Agriculture Museum or the Canadian Children’s Museum and she countered with the option of developing a list, which she promptly did – breakfast, the Children’s Museum and the Farm. What a good problem solver, eh?

We’ve only just started making forays into the main part of the Museum of Civilization but since we were fresh, we didn’t go immediately to the Children’s Museum. We looked at the West Coast Native Canadian exhibit and explored the first half of the “Tombs of Eternity” exhibit in a gallery hidden in the basement that don’t think I’ve ever been to before. There was a game called “Dogs and Jackals” that was played in Ancient Egypt that worked a lot like “Snakes and Ladders”. Reid won three games quickly and then decided to quit while she was ahead. I need a rematch! I led us through the Canadian Postal Museum and into the back of the Children’s Museum. Reid was mighty impressed. “This was a genius idea, Mama!” she said. I love the praise ;+) We spent a couple of hours looking around and visited only half of what is there – I don’t know how Reid can enjoy the same toys and exhibits over and over but those museum folks seem to know more than me because Reid is not showing any signs of tiring of the Children’s Museum. Finally, my tummy required that I put an end to the visit and we went home.

Reid hadn’t forgotten about the Farm, though, and was eager that Ken come with us. His least-favourite museum is the Children’s Museum – it’s too loud and there are too many kids for Ken – and Reid knows it. But she also knows that he likes the Farm. We ate our lunch and, then Ken took Reid upstairs to see what he’d been up to while we were out. Reid was very impressed! Ken had but the double bed from the guest room into her room, with the intention of putting her bed in the guest room which doubles as an office. Reid was excited that the three of us could snuggle together on her bed. She talked about napping altogether but then she kept on talking so the nap didn’t happen.

On my (misguided) advice, Reid and I changed into capris and short-sleeved tops and Ken left his jacket at home. The day was warm and sunny but a wind seemed to appear from nowhere and I had to endure (justifiably) resentful looks from Ken as his goose-bumps developed goose bumps. Reid was impervious, of course. There was a special presentation just outside of Goody the Bull’s enclosure. Goody is Reid’s favourite animal on the farm and so this was a harbinger of a great visit. The guides talked with Reid about different breeds of cattle, the difference between beef and dairy cattle and showed a range of products made from cattle. The rest of the visit was fun, even though the fellow running the horse and wagon ride cancelled the last run, and so we couldn’t go. Reid was disappointed but didn’t make a big deal of it. She remembered a few stories about what happened when she visited the Farm on a field trip a few weeks ago. It’s great to hear her stories since she spends so much time at school.

Anticipation or dread

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Ken sent me an email today to ask about the reservation for us to go camping in May. He’s asked before but I’ve forgotten. I might have thought that he was eagerly anticipating our first camping trip as a family but for the subject line of his email: when is our KIA reservation. Before I could stop giggling long enough to respond, he’d sent another message to clarify that he’d meant the KOA reservation. I hope that the mistake was a simple Freudian slip or typo and not a harbinger of things to come.

By the way, if you’re looking for us on May 8th, 9th or 10th, we’ll be taking advantage of a rent one night – get one night free at the Cardinal KOA. The special is North America wide, if you’re inclined to go camping as well.

Edited to add: Ken needs his chance to respond (now and again)

Just to clarify, in case you don’t know (and who could blame you if you don’t) – KIA is short for killed in action.  This is a military term far too prevalent in my professional life and, thus, far more likely to come out my mouth (or typing fingers) than KOA.  I don’t even know what KOA stands for, except that I think it’s “K” for “camping”.  And, I am looking forward to our upcoming weekend at the KOA.

Confident, if not well-trained

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Reid’s started her new level at swimming lessons today. Even though I said I wanted her to be the weak one in the class, I was worried that it would be too difficult. The first part of the class was just like the previous level but then the teacher – the first male that she’s had for quite a while –  asked if Reid would like to be the first to do the front crawl. Reid didn’t say a word but just launched herself out into the pool and half-crawled, half-flailed for a couple of metres. The teacher smiled at Reid, complimented her on her efforts and offered some tips for improvement. When it was time for the back crawl, the teacher had the kids practice the arm movements while standing up. Poor Reid couldn’t manage to get her arms to rotate in the proper direction at first. I often look for signs that Reid has Ken’s coordination rather than mine and this morning was definitely not a good sign. When it was time to put the arm-turning together with the kicking and floating on her back, Reid gave it a good try and was able to move through the water and breathe at the same time. Her arm movements were not particularly close to being circular, though, but Reid wasn’t concerned. I think that she is at just the right level. It’s always nice to watch Reid develop a new skill. She is a determined learner and proud of her efforts along the way and her accomplishments in the end.

Outsmarted by homework already

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Reid’s Kindermusik homework for this week includes composing a breakfast song – both lyrics and score. As you may or may not know, I am seriously rhythmically challenged. Ken can easily carry a tune but neither of can know how to write music. Reid has a innate sense of rhythm and is learning that the notes on a musical staff are related to bars on her glockenspiel and also that there are full- and half-notes (ta and ti-ti sounds if you learned music as a child). She knows about rests, too. All of this means that she can read music better than either Ken or me. What she can’t do, though, is write enough words for lyrics to a song, however short. Which isn’t so bad considering she could not read the lyrics anyway. I have to say that the assignment had me stumped.

When they first got home Monday night, Ken reminded Reid that she needed to work on her breakfast song and she dragged out her glockenspiel. The first instruction that Ken gave was for Reid to draw some pictures to help her remember what she would be singing about. Brilliant! She drew some grapes and a peanut butter sandwich. Next, Ken had Reid choose a few notes to play while looked at her “lyrics” pictures. She played 3 notes to accompany her first 3 syllables and then sang the rest of the song a capella. We suggested that she needed a note per syllable and Reid looked at us dubiously. Even though we don’t have write music we have listened to more than a few songs over the years. We insisted on the syllable-to-word concord. I know that it’s not always so but it’s a good place for a 4-year-old to start.

The resulting song goes like this:

I love to eat peanut butter sandwiches and grapes!

As of this evening, each syllable got its own note – from high C on down – and “grapes” came out on a glissando. I’m not sure if she’ll remember to strike each note or the glissando but at least she did for a bit. Also, I have to acknowledge that Shannon was probably hoping the Reid’s voice would match the notes she is playing but that’ll have to wait for another assignment.

I thought that I’d have until grade 6 math before I was stumped by Reid’s homework. Ah, well, I’ve been wrong before.

Accurate translation but …

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I walked into the living room on Saturday afternoon to see Reid grinning her “I’m trouble with a capital ‘T’”. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me that she was telling Ken how to say, ‘”I peed in my pants,” in French. She had the right words in the right order and, as always, her accent was great. I had to ask her if she thought Ken would ever need to know that phrase. Reid turned up the power on her grin and assured me that it was the sort of thing her dad might need. She should focus on “Where is the bathroom?” and “May I have some of that [cheese/bread/candy/etc.]? But there would be much fewer giggles if she did, I suppose.