Her first haircut

When Goose was born, she had a full head of dark hair.  It slowly fell out in the first few months, and was replaced with the finest white gold hair.  That hair grew in slowly and by the time she was a year old, I tried to force a “first hair cut” moment, but there wasn’t much to cut, so it was more of a ‘tidy up the wisps’ kinda trim. A little while after this trim, it started growing and growing.

By the time she was two it was long enough to do things with, but I had barely put any effort into styling her hair.  Most of my attempts were met with tears from the brushing, and resulted in a sloppy mess.  Goose would frequently come home from day care at the fabulous N’s with her hair elaborately done up, and I would be mostly in awe of what N had done, but also a little embarrassed that my efforts were never even close to looking that good.

Moving to India brought about two changes in our routine.  We switched Goose from the baby shampoo to a shampoo and a conditioner, which greatly helped with the tangles, and we had to start braiding her hair every night to prevent her from getting really bad heat rashes while she slept. Sure, we still had battles over the brushings, but we both got adventurous and saw some of the fun things that we could do with her hair, and I got MUCH better at doing it.

the bedtime braid

About three months before we moved home, Goose decided that she wanted to cut her hair off.  She had a friend at school that had a really cute short ‘do and she wanted to try something like that.  Realizing that her hair was long enough to donate, I talked to her about donating it to have it made into a wig for children undergoing treatment for cancer.  It took some explaining, but she understood and decided that she wanted to do that.  Sadly there was nowhere to send it in India, so she decided to let it grow longer and cut it in Canada. When we returned to Canada, she decided to wait until summer, when her hair would be even longer.

summer fun

Summer is here, and Goose had decided that the time was right, so I got her an appointment at a local salon today.

getting measured

the first cut

checking herself out after the initial cuts

happy girl!

I am really proud of my little girl, who had her first real haircut today, a sixteen inch cut of hair that took her four years to grow. We will be sending it into to one of the charities listed on the Canadian Cancer Society’s website, and hope that the wig it is used in will make one child’s battle with cancer just a little bit easier.

Goose was so sure of this through the whole process.  She was confident in her decision and never wavered, even when the cut was imminent.  Her reply was always that she wanted to help other children by making wigs.  Even when I offered a trim or a cut that was just at the minimum she would tell me that she grew it longer to help more.

When I asked her what she thought of her haircut at bedtime, her reply was, “I love it, I have an awesome haircut”.  She’s a pretty awesome little girl!


some awesomeness




From the time that they were wee babes, both of the lils have gone to bed really early. It has always been nice, as it allows Willy and me to enjoy some time together in the evenings, but also an opportunity to get things done; work, laundry, dishes, or even veg on the couch playing Ratchet and Clank for three hours.  Even now they are pretty tired from their days and start moving to bed at 7:00. The tiredness, Woo’s pre-dawn waking, and Goose’s general love of sleep have meant that we have little inclination to try and change things.

The long days of late have been lovely, but have threatened to change the bedtime routine in our house.  The lils are tired at bedtime, but the daylight fools them into thinking that they *should* stay up, and they often get the sillies in the early evening.  If this goes too far they get really wound up and start to feed off each other.  Separating them becomes tricky, and then we have to try and wind them back down.  This usually involves an extra story or two, and an extra-long cuddle before leaving them to go to sleep.

Last night was one of those nights.  The lils were having fun together and it got silly.  We got them apart after several false starts and Willy settled in with Woo, Goose with me. I thought that I was doing pretty well with her and was about to leave our cuddle, when she asked me to tell her what parts of her body I loved.  I started to name parts; her eyes, her lips, her knees, her elbows.  Each time that I named a part, she matched and told me about part of my body that she loved.

It was fairly calm and quiet until she said, “I love your boobs.”  I could tell by the mischievous tone in her voice that she was testing, to see how I would react.  Not wanting to rile her up again, I refused to bite and just replied that I loved her toes.  Undeterred, she tried to bait me again, this time with, “I love your stinky breath.” Again I stayed flat and professed my love for her toes.

At this point I thought that she would sense that I wasn’t biting and give up.  She did get that I wasn’t biting, and came back with “I love your tail.”  My TAIL.  At this pointed we both dissolved into giggles and I knew that I had lost.  The silliness continued, and bedtime took a wee bit longer.



Wordless wednesday – at the zoo

DSC09476 DSC09527 DSC09568 DSC09576 DSC09580 DSC09595 DSC09623 DSC09661 DSC09686

No comments yet


Parents behaving badly

We’ve gone through a rough patch over the last few weeks where the lils have been behaving very badly at times, behaviour that escalates as they feed off each other, and ignore our efforts to rein them in.  I know that summer is coming and that they are more than ready after their extra month of school this year, so I have been trying to cut them some slack, while still letting them know that we expect that they will be polite and respectful to their parents, teachers, friends, and those around them.  Still, it`s hard when you are four and six, but they are trying.

One of the things that I have noticed of late is that my lils are not the only ones who are having a hard time behaving as we ease into summer.  Oddly enough, it isn’t the other children who catch my attention, it’s their parents.  Parents like the father at the Zoo who walked away from his child to swear right in front of my children – repeatedly – despite my polite request that he not swear in front of my lils, or the mom at the museum who watched us talking to our child about the importance of moving off an exhibit and letting the other children use it, but felt it necessary to interrupt me to say “will you just get him off it so my kids can use it?” These and other experiences have made me shake my head and wonder what they were thinking, but nothing has upset me quite as much as the two fathers who were sitting beside me at soccer last week.

The lils’ soccer classes follow each other on Thursday evenings, so Goose and I were sitting on the grass watching Woo’s lesson when it happened.  His class was warming up, and the leaders had them playing a game of freeze tag. It was pretty chaotic, but the lils on the field were all having a good time, when I noticed the conversation of the two men sitting right beside me.  They were being extremely critical of one of the children on the field, making snarky remarks about how he ran, who he tagged… I shook my head, thinking that I was wrong or that I misunderstood, but they continued, and made several more comments which made his identity clear.  I wanted to say something, but I had Goose with me and didn’t want to get angry. I also didn’t want to call her attention to what they were saying.  Then they started talking about whether he had a disability, or if something was “wrong” with him, and I knew I had to leave.

I walked away and took Goose to the play structure.  I was mad at myself for not saying anything to them, but they were being jerks and I knew it would end badly.  Mostly I was mad at them.  These are six year olds.  All of them, their sons included, were having fun.  They were playing a game.  Why do these parents even care how any of them play it?  Why do they think that they have the right to say what they were saying, out loud, ever? The only thing that was “wrong” on this particular field was the two men beside me.

Four days later, my heart still races when I think about this.  In hindsight, I should have said something, but the moment had passed by the time I was calm enough not to just tell them off.  If it ever happens again, I will be prepared. Sad that I have to think about what I would say, but sometimes the old, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” isn’t enough.



Wordless wednesday – FIFO, first tooth edition







Getting on my bike again

When we were little, my sister, brother and I used to bike all over our neighbourhood; all the kids did.  We’d go to school, to friend’s houses, to Becker’s and buy treats, or just for a cruise.  We’d also ride down to the creek to misbehave, but our favourite thing to do was ride the hill that was across the street from my parent’s house.  To the under ten crowd, it was steep and long, and we would ride up and down it all day long if we could.  I am pretty sure that all of the neighbourhood kids from that era still have bits of gravel embedded in their skin from wiping out on that hill.  I know I do, as does my sister.

My bike back then was one of the big banana seat bikes with the high handle bars and a sissy bar on the back.  I am sure that it was a hand-me-down from my sister or one of my parent’s friends, but it was still golden to me.  I could easily double on it in comfort, could carry loads of treasure, and rode it all over our community.  As I got older, I biked less and less, and eventually that bike made it up to the cottage, where we rode it down another big hill – a trip that always ended with a jump off the end of the dock into the lake, bike and all.

I was in my mid-thirties before I thought to bike again.  Willy is an avid cyclist, and it was important to him that the lils bike too.  I knew that setting a good example was one way to ensure this, so I took a chance on a bike that I saw posted on freecycle.  It turned out to be a great bike, and I was really starting to enjoy it when we moved to India; enough that I packed the bike up and brought it with me.  I left the bike with a friend when we moved home, so I needed a new bike this spring.

The bike that I bought is quite nice, and I have taken to riding it on most sunny days.  I go for a 30-50 minute ride that ends at the lils’ school, and we all bike home together.  When I first started to ride, I stayed close to home.  I found that if I rode on every street in my community once, the ride was about 30 minutes. This kept me away from traffic and busy streets, and offered enough.  A few weeks in, I found that I was getting bored with the scenery, and started to look farther afield. I knew that if I could just cross that one scary busy street, there was a whole other neighbourhood, and beyond it, the bike path.

Finally, late last week I made the leap.  I rode up to the traffic light, and boldly crossed the road (there is a joke in there somewhere) and meandered through the new neighbourhood to the bike path.  My rides since have been longer and much more of an adventure, and I find I am looking forward to the next ride before I have finished putting my bike in the garage as I arrive home.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself for crossing the big scary road.  Proud that is until Sunday; when Woo was out with Willy and I and asked if he could see where I had been riding.  He didn’t blink as we rode to the traffic light and safely crossed to the other side.  Then Monday, he and his dad went even further than I have ever been, and even crossed under the highway!  Suddenly I feel like I haven’t explored nearly enough.  At least I know he’ll be game to go with me if I want some company!



Falsely accused

This spring we entered the world of Pokemon.  It caught me completely off guard, as I didn’t even know that it was still a thing. It clearly is.  There are books, games, movies, and the cards.  The trading cards have taken over Woo’s world, along with most of the boys in his class. I do not understand them at all.

I thought that I could ignore them, and this fad would pass, but sadly, it hasn’t.  Woo is so invested in Pokemon that he has spent some of his allowance on the cards; significant because it is only the second time that he has actually spent his own money.  He talks about them all the time, gets books from the library, and trades.  I think that he would trade all the time if he could. He can’t do it at school (because they are banned in his class, which should have been a clue to us), so he and his friends are constantly making playdates so that they can trade.

The thing is, he is new to this game, and he makes some really lopsided trades.  Trades that he loses.  Willy and I are trying to strike a balance between letting him make his own mistakes and helping him see that there is a ranking to these cards, and if he trades all his “good” cards, he will have nothing left to trade.  Along the way we, along with some of his friend’s parents, have intervened to ensure that trades approximate something fair for both sides.

Woo had a friend over this afternoon, and they spent the better part of two hours talking and trading Pokemon. It had been mostly amicable, so I was shocked when Woo came to me, visibly upset and claiming that his friend had taken all of Woo’s cards and mixed them in to his own collection. I went to investigate, and got an ambiguous response when I asked the friend if he had done this. He didn’t deny that he had done it, but acknowledged that it the cards may have been mixed together.  I directed the boys to sort out the cards, but it quickly became clear that Woo’s cards were not there.  A quick search revealed that they had been left by Woo, in Woo’s room.

I felt awful.  I believed Woo, and in doing so, essentially accused this friend of taking his cards.  He’d done nothing wrong, yet he was now afraid that he had, and that I would tell his parents and he would be punished. We talked it out, and Woo and I both apologized. He bounced, and the boys enjoyed the rest of their time together.  I did tell his parents, but there was no danger that he would get in trouble.  They were understanding, but still. I feel terrible.



Wordless wednesday – wander through the orchard









1 comment


Pick up the pace

I am not a runner. I know this, and I don’t even pretend to be one, even though I have run on occasion, have completed a couple of 5km runs, and often run in my basement or on the way home from dropping the lils off at school. I am not a runner, but I do dabble in running occasionally. With this in mind, I was tempted to enter a 5km run with my girlfriends at the beach this weekend. We had talked about doing it together when we planned the trip, and a little over a week before we left, a race was found.

A variety of injuries, and maybe a little bit of inertia, kept four of the five of us from running on Sunday morning, but we got up with our friend Barbara to support her and cheer her on. It was early, really early, when we arrived at the beach for registration, but we all chatted to pass the time until the runners set off. Knowing that a 5km run is not terribly long, we quickly got coffee and walked a short way along the course to find a spot for to watch for Barbara.

Minutes after we sat down, the first runner rounded a corner into our view. Instead of just sitting there, we cheered for him. He kept his focus and ran past, but the next runner was now close by, so we cheered for him too. He looked a little sheepish, but smiled and ran by us. More and more people came, and we cheered for them all. Some cheered back, and at least one runner took our picture. It was fun and we were goofing around. Most were very receptive, especially Barbara, who got our loudest cheer.

I’ve never actually gone to a race to cheer on the participants, but it was really quite a cool experience. This was a small race, so we were able to cheer for each and every runner that ran that morning. They seemed happy to see and hear us, and the majority of them noticeably perked up and ran a wee bit faster when we started to cheer them. It was a hot morning and we were fairly close to the finish line, so they were near the end and needing a boost. I didn’t know how easy it would be, but I get it now, I understand why people go to cheer their loved ones, but stay to cheer for the other runners. I’ll gladly do that again!

Four cheerleaders! (thanks Barbara for taking the photo!)

1 comment