Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Laps and flops

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Reid’s swimming teacher is doing a great job challenging her tonight. Reid swam the length of the pool on her back unassisted and then swam back, with some help to breathe, on her front.

The teacher demonstrated the proper way to dive from one knee and Reid came thisclose to executing but, in the end, did a slight, low-altitude belly flop. The teacher showed how to do a dive from standing and Reid did an impressive belly-flop. It had altitude, a great hang time and an amazing splash. The teacher said that she’d been worried about Reid’s tummy but Reid was proud with no thought of pain. I’m wondering if Reid will go to sleep early tonight with all of the exercise. It tends not to happen that way for us, though.

Sad hockey mom

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Reid has her last hockey practice/game this evening. I’m kind of sad to see her first hockey season end. We had only two 7:00am sessions and the rest were at 8:00 or 9:00 with a few later ones thrown in. For our family, earlier is better. I have enjoyed all of the time sitting close to Ken in the stands – sucking his body heat as much as possible, to be honest – and having time to speak without interruption. It’s been great, too, to watch Reid’s hockey skills improve so dramatically over time. She won’t be rivalling Hailey Wickenheiser anytime soon, especially if she doesn’t decide soon to move more quickly on the ice, but her skating and stickhandling skills are much better than they were. I’ve learned lots about hockey, myself, as the season has progressed. I think Reid has also benefited from the challenge that hockey represents to her. So much comes easy for her that it is good to see her meet a challenge on a regular basis. All this to say that I’m looking forward to September but first I need to savour one last hockey practice/game.

Go, Canada. Go!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Reid, Ken and I watched the Canada-USA hockey game together after supper last night. Reid is usually able to pay attention to the first period and half of the second and so we decided that watching it off the pvr would work out best. She had a little more interest in last night’s game but was playing mini-sticks by the time the third period was one. Unfortunately for us, the mini-sticks arena was located between the couch where Ken and I were sitting and the tv. I didn’t think to say, “Hey, Reid, you make a better door than a window,” but I’m sure Poppa Howard would have said it.

At one point, Reid was cheering for Princess, “Go, Canny. Go!” I asked her if Grandma Joyce had told her about me cheering like that when I was a baby. Reid couldn’t remember the story and so I told about how I’d been about a year old when the Canada-USSR Summit Series was on and I couldn’t say, “Canada” properly and so cheered, “Go, Canny. Go!” Reid grinned and I felt ever-so-Canadian.

As the game passed and then was tied, we worried if we would have the end, since the recording had stopped at 6:00. Finally, though, Sidney Crosby scored and we had at least 6 minutes left on the recording. Reid insisted on watching the teams shake hands but we were ready to go up to bed at 7:15. I was glad Crosby was the one to score since he is the only player whose name Reid recognizes because she got a puzzle with him on it at the Timbits Jamboree on Saturday.

This morning, Reid was dozing in bed when the sports announcer mentioned Canada’s gold medal in men’s hockey and said that fans in Ottawa had walked down Elgin to Parliament Hill, cheering and singing O Canada. Reid perked up and started to sing O Canada herself. Remember how I said I felt Canadian telling about my cheering in 1972, it was doubly-so when Reid sang our national anthem in her little girl voice before it was even dawn.

Knowing and believing

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Reid and I went out to Eddie’s for breakfast yesterday and then went to the Ottawa Farmers Market – which is different from the Byward Market – for the first time. The colours of the fruit and vegetables were vibrant in the golden fall sun. (I love the sun in the fall!) I’m lucky the vendors only accept cash or we would have come home with much more than we’d planned. Reid found organic granola with sulphite-free cranberries for me, artisanal cheese for her dad and smoked sausages for herself; we left all behind and bought broccoli as big as a bride’s bouquet and a cauliflower bigger than Reid’s head. We got some seedless blue and green grapes, golden plums and ground cherries, too. Our only splurge was some tea biscuits that were to die for. Or to die from, if you’re Ken, who has a stronger antipathy to tea biscuits than I remember.

When we got home, Ken invited us to go for a walk at Mer Bleu Bog and, of course, Reid and I accepted. Okay, Reid accepted after I told her that we weren’t going to watch *Dora’s World Adventure* if we stayed home. She was eager for me to see the usually-villainous Swiper in a helpful role. By the time we got to Mer Bleue, though, Reid was keen for the adventure. I tried to apply some of the lessons I’d learned at the photography class I’d taken at Henry’s on Saturday but Reid and Ken were unwilling subjects and not so patient while I worked with the more willing flora. The colours in the bog weren’t quite as vibrant as they will be in a couple of weeks but the walk was lovely.

After lunch, we – mostly Reid – watched the Dora movie and then we got ready for our first ice skate of the season. Reid hunted up her Senators jersey without prompting and insisted on wearing her snowpants from home, even though it was 24 degrees Celsius outside. At the rink, Reid was hesitant to skate without holding onto me. My *knowing* that she could skate on her own didn’t translate into Reid *believing* that she can. We got a skate frame from the complex and she whizzed around the ice with it. Near the end, we returned the frame and Reid confidently skated on her own. Not fast, but certainly faster, and with the confidence that she’d lacked. I was glad I hadn’t insisted Reid tough it out without the frame. I’m finally learning that sometimes we need to sneak up on a solution.

Our skating adventure ended with a definite high and an even more definite low. When public skating finished, the zamboni came out! Yes, really! I hurried to get Reid’s skates off of her so that she could go up in the stands to watch while I took my skates off. Unfortunately, while I was taking my skates off, someone took off with Reid’s skates. I’m hoping that it was an accident, that the woman will notice them and return them to the complex where I’ve left my name and number, but I’m not optimistic that it will happen in time. We were skating on Sunday afternoon to get Reid comfortable on skates before her first hockey practice/game that will happen this Saturday. Now she is comfortable on skates but skateless. Our evenings are jam-packed this week and it seems I may have to try buying skates at lunch, lugging them home and trying them on. Sigh.

Reid asked me if I was going to tell Ken what had happened. It was a funny question. I don’t think I say, “don’t tell Daddy …” Ken and I just aren’t in the sort of relationship where I need to be afraid of his reaction. I told Reid that I would tell him, that I hadn’t done anything wrong and that he’d find out anyway. I should have said, “Of course, I’ll tell him” and left it at that. I don’t want her to think that withholding information is okay when you’ve done something wrong or when the other person won’t find out. But maybe I weigh those things subconsciously? I wish I would have seized the “teachable moment” and told Reid that adults only kids to keep secrets when they – the adults – have done something they shouldn’t have done. Maybe the next time, I’ll think of that. Probably I’ll forget.

At home once more, Reid was a hungry girl. I gave her a golden plum and she loved it! A few minutes later I noticed Reid was still eating plums and told she needed to switch to vegetables. Reid needed two more plums, or so she said. I asked her how many she’d already eaten and she said she didn’t know. I replied that I was   pretty sure she’d had more than three. Reid’s quick comeback was: “But less than ten.” Apparently ten is the minimum number of plums defined by the term “too many”, as in “Reid, you’ve had too many plums. Have some vegetables instead.” Again, I missed a teachable moment. I should have reminded Reid that when you can count something, the term to use is “fewer”. Ah, well.

Just before falling asleep at bedtime, Reid told me that she was sad because she missed her skates. Missed them? She barely knew them!

The opposite of busy

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Well, if last weekend was over programmed – and it was – this weekend was just the opposite. Reid had soccer and swimming on Saturday morning as always and then we planted our vegetable gardens in the afternoon. With all of the rain during the week, the yard and garden were wet and muddy. In other words, perfect for Reid, the poster child for “a dirty kid is a happy kid” movement.

We mixed the soil from last year’s potato crop – which we grew in plastic buckets that the cats’ litter comes in – into the main garden. Ken thought the buckets looked a bit déclassé. Now I need another approach for growing taties this year, though. Suggestions are welcome. We added dirt and sheep poop to the new patch. Reid loves talking about and working with the sheep poop! Finally, we planted tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, leeks and rhubarb. We even put in a blueberry bush. I bet we’ll have to wait years before there are berries to pick but sooner or later we’ll be fighting over a handful of berries from our bush. We should probably plant more bushes. I’d plant some in the front of the house but since someone stole one of the 2 tulips that I managed to get to flower, I don’t think I trust my neighbours. We didn’t plant any seeds but there is always this weekend for that.

By the time we were done gardening, Reid and I were muddy from head-to-toe. We took a bath in water that was soon brown. It made me think of my own childhood. Sigh. The good old days.

In the midst of washing my hair later that night, I had a dizzy spell and had to call Ken to help me get to bed. Reid was panicky that I was sick and started crying. She ended up snuggled beside me as I tried not to toss my cookies while also soothing her. Ken thought there was some injustice in it but that’s just being a mom, eh? When we woke on Sunday morning, Reid looked at me and said, “You need to brush your hair.” She know just the right thing to say to her sick mother.

Since I could only manage to lie still, and Ken was tired from a night spent in Reid’s bed, Reid had lots of time for watching videos and listening to stories. We played a game of bingo since that’s easy to do while lying down. There is something to be said for having to stay home and do nothing for a day. I only wish that I didn’t have to have an inner ear problem for it to happen. I guess I could *plan* not to plan. But probably I won’t.

Victoria Day weekend visitors

Monday, May 18th, 2009

I commented on Facebook that having visitors to our house usually starts with the same excitement as a visit from Santa. We go to bed with just 3 of us in the house and we wake to “presents” in the form of guests. I guess that should be “presence” as presents.

I cuddled Reid into sleeping an extra half hour Saturday morning but at 6:20, she absolutely, positively had to get out of bed. She went quickly to see who was sleeping in the guest room and kiss them awake. Aunt Pam was lying in bed waiting for just such a visit. We went to the main floor and found Grandma Joyce already up. Reid was determined to go down to the basement to wake Chantelle and Sulienne. I tried to convince Reid to wait an hour but she was adamant. I guess she knew they wanted to be awake. Aunt Pam went downstairs with Reid – my offer having been rejected – and Reid immediately went into “kiss and wake up mode”. They spent nearly 45 minutes chatting and snuggling before the three girls (when you’re old like me, you can call 25 year olds “girls”) came upstairs. From the look of them, Sulienne and Chantelle weren’t as convinced that 6:30 was a good wake-up time as Reid thought. Still, we managed to eat French toast with cream cheese and fruit and still get out of the house by 8:45.

Reid had her own cheering section at soccer. Chantelle and Sulienne had been a bit concerned about their appearances before we left home but once they got out in the wind and the chill, they sacrificed such concerns and layered on coats that live in Grandma Joyce’s trunk. Before Reid finishes soccer in July, I’m sure I’ll be complaining about how hot I was but that was definitely not the case this Saturday!

Aunt Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne took Reid for her swimming lesson and found themselves in the steam bath that is the swimming pool enclosure. The only ones wetter – but definitely not hotter – were Grandma Joyce and me in rainy Nepean at the wheelchair rental place. We all met up at Ikea for lunch and some time in the ball room for Reid.

I made cider pork medallions and German potato salad for supper. These two dishes are my company-worthy fallbacks. Ken and Reid usually like them and they’re not so complicated that I’m afraid to mess them up. If ever you’re over, don’t be surprised to see them on your plate. Of course, this time Reid wouldn’t eat since we’d woke her from a nap that started at 6:00 and ended at 6:20.

At bedtime, Reid asked Sulienne to put her to sleep but after a while asked if Sulienne would get me to come up instead. As a consolation prize, Reid promised that she would wake Sulienne first. Sulienne resisted the urge to refuse the honour. And so it was that at 6:15 on Sunday morning, Reid went to the basement where Chantelle and Sulienne were sleeping. The big girls came on a solution, though, as Aunt Pam discovered a while later. Sulienne and Chantelle were sleeping with Reid snuggled between them, watching a video.

We went to Eddy’s for breakfast and then to Major’s Hill Park for Tulip Festival fun. There were a series of sculptures made of cans and other non-perishable foods. Reid was much less impressed with the sculptures than the rest of us. We spent lots of time in the Circo-Circuit – a circuit of circus activities with instructors right there. Reid tried her hand at juggling, hula-hooping, swinging beanbags with streamers on them, stilts, tightrope walking, and rope and trapeze tricks. We were surprised to learn that Sulienne can juggle three balls at a time. Reid was disappointed to be told that she was too short to ride the unicycle but since her feet couldn’t reach the pedals, she didn’t protest. The stilts were not of the sort I remember from my childhood, where you stood on blocks attached to poles that extended over your head. These ones were only 3 or 4 feet long and strapped onto the foot and lower leg. The kids were able to use parallel metal bars, like those you see in physiotherapy rooms where adults are relearning to walk, to support themselves as they tried the stilts.

Sulienne accompanied Reid on the 1930s carousel, where they raced to the gold horse that Reid selected and then yelled, “Yee haw!” on each revolution. Reid was right at the maximum height line but squeezed herself into the 1938 fire truck ride. It looked just like the one she rode at the Stirling Fair last year. I was eager to go to the ferris wheel but Reid didn’t want to wait in the line. She noticed that the line for the Scrambler (I didn’t notice when it was made) was much shorter. Sulienne and I declined to ride on it (okay, we wimped out) but Chantelle was more than happy to climb into the compartment with Reid. I think Chantelle might have worried a bit about Reid’s reaction but she said nothing to Reid, other than making sure Reid saw what the ride did. I was dizzy watching them whirl around. Reid is short enough that I could mostly see only the top of her head and so didn’t know what she thought until she joined me back at the ferris wheel. Reid had a great big grin on her face as she announced, “I got so dizzy!” I might have said the same thing if it had been me but Reid meant that she’d had a great time and I wouldn’t have meant that at all. Sulienne went on the ferris wheel with Reid as the last ride. She took my camera and got some good pics of Reid, the circus activities and some unusual angles of Parliament Hill, the National Gallery and the cathedral whose name I forget. Once Reid and Sulienne got on the ferris wheel, we were out of tickets and we’d done everything once. I generally get stuck with extra tickets (which I give to a family that looks like they’d appreciate them) or we have to choose which ride to repeat. The $20 I spent was a bargain, we had a full morning of fun. How often do you think you’ve got a bargain at a circus/carnival?

We had lunch at the food court at the Rideau Centre. Reid chose A&W because Uncle Roger introduced her to Mozza Burgers and she loves them still. After lunch, we went to Parliament Hill. We’d hoped for a tour but they said they’d run out of tickets by 10:00. Instead, we walked around, stopping to see the cats who live on the hill and admire the Library of Parliament, in particular. We spent some time posing with the Famous Five statues, by far the most popular on the hill. I doubt that many people know about why the statues of those women are there but they do make for good photo ops.

Once home, Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne got be all dolled up for my date with Ken to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Reid voluntarily laid herself on the couch for a nap, to give you an idea of how tired she was after our adventures. Ken and I left as Reid was planning her girls’ evening in, complete with a tea party and make up. Ken and I had a nice evening and Reid sure seemed to as well.

While we were away, Grandma Joyce explained that when she was a girl, children never called adults by their first name. Grandma said, that she would have called a friend of her mother’s Aunt Whoever or Grandma Whoever or Mrs Whoever. Then, Grandma said, if Aunt Pam’s name was Pam Cake, then she would have been Aunt Pam or Mrs Cake. Reid’s eyes sparkled and she laughed. She asked Chantelle and Sulienne if they’d heard Grandma say that Aunt Pam’s last name could have been “Cake!” Chantelle broke the news to Reid that her whole name was “Chantelle Cake”. Reid didn’t find this as hilarious as Pam Cake, apparently.

At bedtime, Aunt Pam read a couple stories to Reid and then laid with her, reading while Reid settled to sleep. After a bit, Reid told Aunt Pam and she could go. Aunt Pam asked if she should turn the light out. Reid said, “Turn the light out. Take the cat. Shut the door.” With such clear direction, Aunt Pam did as she was asked and Reid went to sleep.

Returning home after a night out to find Reid asleep is like realizing we have premium ice cream in the freezer when I’ve baked a cake: a real treat. Sunday night’s return was even better since Sulienne and Chantelle had cleaned the house as an anniversary present. They couldn’t have chosen anything better! While it was happening, I’m told that Reid commented that it was just like when the cleaners came. I told her on Monday how much I appreciated the work she, Chantelle and Sulienne had done. Reid was quick to set me straight, “Suli and Chantelle cleaned. I made sure they did it right!” Is she my kid or what?!

Reid was up early again on Monday morning and once again spent some quality time with the girls and Dora the Explorer. We had a leisurely breakfast and then the car was packed and Grandma Joyce, Aunt Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne hit the open road. Reid was sad but didn’t cry as she had earlier when I told her that our visitors were leaving after breakfast. It seems that Reid had planned to take them to the Farm on Monday. She hadn’t mentioned anything to me, though, or I might have been able to work it in on Sunday.

We were sad to see everyone get in the car but we’d had such a good weekend that we really couldn’t complain. Saying good bye is always tough. We love Ottawa but wouldn’t say “no” to a super-rapid train or Star Trek transporter to help us see our relatives more often.

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.

Teaching (false) modesty

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

On the way to swimming lessons on Sunday, Reid said, “I’m the goodest, umm, [pause as she looked for the correction that I always provide] best in my class.” I told her that I didn’t know if she was the best but I did like how she paid attention to the teacher and tried to do whatever the teacher suggested. She is, incidentally, the best in her class but her behaviour is my biggest concern. Given that she is now bold enough to be a bit of a danger to herself, I worry more.

During the class, Reid did the floats, bobs and rockets that the teacher asked her to do. She even got the rings from the pool’s bottom with her hands rather than her feet. At the end of the class, the teacher helped the girls put on their life jackets and then led them to the deep end where the rope for swinging out over the water was out for play. I wondered if Reid would balk but, of course, she is now “fearless Reid” and she didn’t hesitate as the teacher helped her climb the rope. Like most of the kids, Reid swung out and then let go when the rope made it back to the midway point.

Reid’s teacher was handing out report cards by the time I made my way to the class. To my surprise, Reid’s evaluation had a sticker attached to it, indicating that she passed. Reid spent so long in Preschool B, that I didn’t expect that she’d pass Preschool C after only one session. In Preschool D, they’re going to teach her to do front and back crawl, for goodness sake. I’d signed her up for C for the next 2 sessions. Ken thought she’d need only 1 extra session at the same level and so I added a Preschool D, that I planned to cancel. All this to say, I rushed home to try and find a class at the right level with spots available for the next session. The third was the charm and I snapped up the last spot. I sure hope it works out. I think it will be good for Reid to be weaker than most so that she has to work a bit harder and listen to the teacher more. Does that make me a bad human being?