Ken’s oral interaction test is scheduled for January 19th. He is working even harder to prepare for it than he did for the grammar and comprehension tests. Or, at least, it seems that way to me. Reid’s and my job is mostly to give him time to study. We speak French to him sometimes but we discuss “home” topics and don’t use the same vocabulary as he will in his test and so its not as helpful as might be. I thought of going away for a weekend or two but its nice to see him for breakfast and supper at least. Our plans have morphed into staycations instead.
On Saturday, we went to that Home Depot Kids’ Workshop and then straight to Kindermusik. We ate our lunch in the recreation centre, where Reid discovered that the lentil couscous I’ve been trying to get her to try for years is actually yummy. Too bad I didn’t feel the same about Reid’s bagel with cream cheese. After class, we had planned on going to Play It Again Sports but Reid fell asleep but I’ve extended the “don’t wake a sleeping baby” rule to prohibit waking Reid, regardless of her age. We slowly made our way home via a circuitous route to prolong Reid’s nap.
Once home, Reid applied the stickers to her calendar and then it was time for a power skating session that was offered in place of hockey. I wish the power skating happened more often. Reid enjoyed the drills – and going to the other end of the ice for the first time – and she needs the skills development. Ken came along to watch. He and I have some of our best conversations sitting in the stands, me trying to absorb all of his extra body heat and both of us thinking of what we want to tell the other. We try for a good conversation at swimming lessons, too, but the heat saps the ideas out of our brains and there is no touching.
On Sunday morning, Reid and I went to the Canada Agriculture Museum for our first visit since the fall. It was sooo cold! I remembered why I don’t usually go to The Farm in the winter. Our arrival put us too late for the rabbit and cow care sessions and before the afternoon sessions started but we were able to say farewell to the ram, about whose departure I had read on Twitter, and visit the pigs, sheep, bull and donkey in the main barn and the cows and calves in the dairy barn. The cows are suffering from ringworm – which they said doesn’t actually involve worms – and we weren’t able to touch them. The calves were behind a door. They’re so cute it’s nearly impossible not to touch them, or rather, they would find it impossible not to touch the people. They are lickers and nuzzlers to a one, those calves.
We ate our lunch sitting in the parking lot and then went to visit my friend, Carol, and her husband in the rural part of Ottawa. We took our snowshoes with us and were out for about an hour, walking along the Jock River and then through a field of pine trees. It was a sunny day and the landscape was quintessentially “winter in Canada”. Carol’s two dogs – one of which is nearly as big as the pony Reid rode when we were at Deerhurst and the other is smaller but still large – accompanied us. They rolled in the snow, ran away and came bounding back, occasionally sniffing at Reid. She was the tiniest bit hesitant at first but only for a short time. She has come a long way from her fear of Zoëy, the smallest (and cutest) Yorkshire terrier I’ve ever met. I thought that the big walk might have worn Reid out but she stayed awake for the whole trip back. Carol and Michael live near one edge of Ottawa and we’re close to another. The city might not be densely populated but it is widely spread out.
I made Madras chicken curry for Ken’s half-birthday, which we were celebrating belatedly. He’d requested a cherry pie, too, but I’d spent too much time away from the house to deliver it. I substituted three store-bought cupcakes that each had a plastic hockey jersey on the top. Reid and I got Senators jerseys (Go, Sens! Go!) and Ken got a Canadiens jersey (Boo! Hiss!).
And all of a sudden, our weekend was over and it was time for bed.
Speaking of the Montreal Canadiens, do you know what the “H” on their jersey signifies?