Cat vs Kid: Part 2

Kiddo: “I want to pet cat.”

I look over at the cat, sitting on the warm floor vent, minding her own business. I should really leave her alone. But Kiddo asked so nicely. It’s important to reinforce these things.

I scoop up the bemused cat and carry her toward Kiddo. She realizes what’s up and stiffens. We get to within Kiddo’s reach, “Remember,” I say, “quiet and gentle.”

Kiddo reaches out and carefully rubs the cat’s back. The cat seems to relax a little. This is going so well…

Kiddo thinks so too. He emits a high-pitched “Squeeeeeal!” of delight.

Claws dig into my arm. Furry limbs twist and squirm. I let go before blood is drawn. The cat escapes in a blur.

Kiddo in dismay, “Cat! Pet cat!”

Me: “The cat doesn’t want any more pets right now.”

Kiddo: “Cat come here!”

There are no winners of this round.




Haggis…or Not

I’ve never been to Scotland (it is on my list). I might have some Scottish heritage, I’m not really sure. I certainly wasn’t raised with any connection to the culture. Thus, it’s really not for me to say…but um…vegetarian haggis?

According to Merriam-Webster haggis is “a traditionally Scottish dish that consists of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep or a calf minced with suet, onions, oatmeal, and seasonings and boiled in the stomach of the animal”.

From what I understand the actual stomach is optional by present-day standards. But, just like calling it cheese doesn’t make it so, I’m pretty sure removing the meat makes it, well, not haggis.

Points to note:

This is not intended as a dig at vegetarianism or any other diet choice. It’s a dig at the incongruous naming of food items.

The pub this menu belongs to is very nice. The food was good, so was the service, and this dish (whatever you call it) is probably tasty. I can’t vouch for it specifically as I opted for fries and deep-fried pickles.

Don’t Rain on My (or Santa’s) Parade

This past weekend, Hubby had two ideas for how to spend Saturday. First, we would go to McDonald’s for dinner so Kiddo could play in the play place. Then, we would head downtown and see if we could get close enough to watch the Santa Clause parade.

Hubby had no doubt this would be fun.

I was concerned.

For starters, the last time we brought Kiddo to the McDonald’s Play Place he made it halfway up the steps into the labyrinth of plastic tunnels and froze. I had to climb up (in direct violation of posted signage) and rescue him. Second, there was rain in the forecast. Nothing says ‘fun’ to me like standing in the cold rain with a toddler hoping for a glimpse of Santa.

It turned out both of our instincts were on the mark.

I did have to rescue Kiddo from the play place labyrinth, and we did get rained on waiting for Santa. However, despite ultimately getting stuck, Kiddo had fun in the play place. (The only tears were when it was time to leave.) We didn’t dissolve in the rain and, while he might still be ambivalent about Santa, there were plenty of exciting things for Kiddo to see in the parade.

Like fire trucks:

and Lightning McQueen:

Less than forty-eight hours later, rain has been replaced by snow. Not enough snow yet for a proper snowman, but we did our best:

Then Kiddo exclaimed, “Crush it.” And proceeded to do so:



As I write this we’re on the highway with one lane closed and traffic crawling (no I’m not blogging and driving. Hubby is driving.) Kiddo is waffling between content and cranky. And it’s raining. 

Suddenly I remembered that two years ago (almost to the day) we were stuck in a traffic jam on our way through Toronto with a 3 month old screaming his head off. (We wound up taking the nearest exit and waiting out the traffic at McDonalds.)

Perspective. This is nothing. And by the time I finished writing this, traffic was back up to full speed. Yay!

Stories That Stick: The Cremation of Sam McGee

There is not a lot of poetry on my home bookshelf. I do, however, have a copy of The Best of Robert Service, and I reread a number of the poems on a semi-regular basis. Many of Service’s poems are good examples of how poetry can be rich without being bewildering, and how a good story can be told in poetic form. In other words, his poems are fun to read and don’t leave me feeling like a literary moron. (Whether or not I am a literary moron is a debate for another day.)

The first Robert Service poem I remember reading is, arguably, his best known: The Cremation of Sam McGee. I can’t remember exactly how old I was. Young enough that I remember it was actually being read to me. I also can’t say exactly how old I was when I realised The Cremation of Sam McGee was not intended as a children’s story.

In hindsight, cremation does seem an unlikely topic for a children’s book. On the other hand, I don’t recall being freaked out in the least. Goes to show, you can broach pretty much any topic with kids if you do it right.

How might one confuse the story of a Klondike prospector cremating his Tennessee-born, recently frozen to death friend with children’s literature?

We had a very good illustrated version. I’m pretty sure it was this one by Kids Can Press:

My clearest mental image is of Sam McGee smiling from the flames of the boiler in which he was cremated (with unanticipated results). Kudos to the illustrator, Ted Harrison; it didn’t look nearly as creepy as it sounds. And kudos to Kids Can Press for realising even a poem about death and cremation in the Klondike could be presented in a kid-friendly fashion.

Thanks to this early exposure to Robert Service, I’m a life-long fan. I also have a greater appreciation (which is to say, I have any appreciation at all) for poetry in general than I would, likely, have otherwise. (Note: My grade-ten English teacher also deserves some of the credit for that.)

Anyone else remember that Klondike Bar commercial from the 80s? It’s now stuck in my head. I will leave you with the question: What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

Cat vs Kid

Cat: Haha, across the floor. Just out of the reach of those tiny-human hands. Can’t get my fur now.

Kiddo learns to crawl.

Cat: Hahaha, the couch! You may be able to pull yourself along the floor at alarming speed, but the couch is high. The couch is safe.

Kiddo learns to climb up on the couch…even the back of the couch.

Cat: The TV stand, surely he’ll never be tall enough to…

Kiddo: Wanna bet? Oooh and look, I can turn off the TV speakers from here too.

Cat: Blast, foiled again. What about the dinning table?

Kiddo: Nice try, but you’ll never escape me…and you’re sitting on my crayons.

Cat: Oh yeah?

Any chance I can get my meals up here?

The Mysteriously Missing Flu Shots and Pickles

Kiddo and I were scheduled to get our flu shots this morning at our family doctor’s office. Our appointment time was 1015…

We arrive at 1005. I tell the receptionist who we are, why we are there, and show our health cards. As expected, she tells us to take a seat. We comply, mostly. I sit, Kiddo tests three or four different seats between excursions to explore the toy corner and interact with the various old ladies in the room.

Our appointment time comes…and goes. At 1040 our names are called. Phew. I corral Kiddo and into the little room we go. The nurse then proceeds to tell me the morning’s shipment of children’s flu shots has not arrived. Do I still want mine? (This while I’m trying to keep Kiddo’s hands off the basket of vials for blood draws.)

When I ask why no one said anything during the half hour I was in the waiting area (in view of the receptionist who I’m sure was fully aware of the missing vaccines) the nurse shrugs (actually shrugs) and says: “We were hoping they would show up.”

I somehow (narrowly) escape the office without screaming or swearing. Though, I’m sure my emotions were no secret. Later, my exceptionally patient husband gets to hear all the things I really wanted to say at the doctor’s office.

Our new appointment time is next Thursday at 6:30pm. Cause nothing makes a two year old’s bedtime routine better than a needle.

Wednesdays are also swimming lesson day for Kiddo. Today’s trip to the pool ended with a stop at the McDonalds drive thru–I will confess, this is typical of swim days. When we got home I discovered that my ‘cheese burger with extra pickles’ had no pickles. Not one. Sigh.