Wordless wednesday – chilly trip to the park
Woo’s bad day
We are lucky to have pretty happy go lucky lil people. They are rarely in bad moods, and when those moods do happen, they rarely last for long. All it generally takes is some silliness, some food, or some silly food and we can reset. My grumpy funks are rarely cured so easily.
This past weekend, Woo woke up in an ornery mood. He didn’t want to do anything, despite the fun adventures that we were proposing for the day. We tried to work with him, but in the end decided to head to Bate Island. It’s a family favourite, especially if there are kayakers, paddle boarders and other crazy water enthusiast riding the standing waves on the north side of the island. Woo was adamant that he was not going to get out of the car, so we told him that was fine. If there is any place where we can easily watch him and still enjoy our time it’s there.
We arrived and noted that there were people in the waves, but parked on the far side of the island and Willy, Goose, and I left Woo to walk around the island. As I suspected, Woo was watching, and ran across to join us as we approached the queue to ride the waves. We all watched for a while, but then Woo decided he wanted to go back to the car, so Willy handed him the keys and he ran off.
He returned a few minutes later, and Willy asked where the keys were. Woo gave that patented seven-year-old shrug, and offered up an “in the car?” as a response. He and Willy set off searching, and as they walked away, I heard Willy ask if he’d locked the car. I had my answer when I saw that Willy was standing beside the car, on the phone.
Woo had locked the keys in the car. On Easter Sunday. Thankfully, Willy was able to get a cab to come get him, and was back with the keys in no time at all. It likely wasn’t the cheapest way to solve the problem, but given that we were stuck on an island in the middle of the Ottawa River with the Lils on a chilly mid-April day, it was the right solution.
Despite the setback, all of us were in a good mood by the time the car was unlocked, and the rest of the day went off without a hitch, until we went for a bike ride after dinner. Generally the lils go for a meandering ride through the neighbourhood, while Willy and I walk behind. It gives them some independence, as they race up and down the streets, and loop around some blocks without us, and lets us have some adult conversation.
All was going well on this particular walk until Woo wobbled as he passed a parked car. I thought that he had just bumped the car with his elbow, but we noted a big scratch on the side of the car as we walked up to it, then confirmed with Woo that his handle bar, the one with the exposed metal on the end of the hand grip had scraped along the car. Willy rang the doorbell and we all apologized to the owners, then gave them our contact information so that they could send us the bill for what was likely to be a costly repair. That brush that had looked so innocent had left a deep scratch on a relatively new car.
As we slowly made our way home, we commiserated to ourselves about what had become a very expensive weekend, and spent some time talking over what had happened with the lils, stressing that they needed to be careful of all things on the roads when they are biking. They listened and responded appropriately. It’s a conversation that we have had before, but we felt that they now had a concrete example to reflect on.
As we got close to home, Woo approached another parked car on the road. “Dad, do you wanna see what happened when I went crazy?” he asked. “No!” shouted Willy as he stood between Woo and the car, “I can’t afford a Volvo!!”
Wordless wednesday – ride the wave
Wordless wednesday – after the melt
He called it
As the parent of a child with allergies, one of the hardest things that we do is let our child eat food that has been prepared by someone other than me, somewhere outside of our control. We do, because there are restaurants, parties, meals with family and friends where the risk can be managed, and we know that great lengths are taken to ensure that the food is nut free. For those times when a nut free option is not available, I provide snacks or treats for Woo, and I make sure that he has them at school and parties.
Tonight was the lils’ hockey banquet, and I made sure that had I let the organizers know of Woo’s allergy in advance. When we arrived, they assured me that all of the items on the buffet were safe, but that the desserts were not, so a fruit plate was being prepared as an alternative. I knew that Woo would not be overly pleased with the fruit, but figured that he would be accepting.
Goose is generally sympathetic of Woo’s plight, and if there is a treat that he is unable to eat, she refuses to eat her serving of the same. Woo wasn’t present when desserts were served tonight, but I explained that Woo would have a perfectly safe and tasty treat, so she should feel comfortable having the unsafe treat. She devoured it, then very carefully washed all traces from her hands and face to ensure that she didn’t accidentally get some on Woo.
When Woo arrived back to the table, he realized what she had eaten and began to negotiate for a better treat at home. I said no, as I have been trying to teach him that it is important to be gracious and accepting when his hosts ensure that there is a safe alternative for him. He switched tactics, and pointed out that fruit was not a dessert, it was just a part of the meal, something that I have said to him on a few occasions. Conceding that he had a point, I suggested that he eat the fruit that had been prepared for him and agreed that he could have a small treat from home.
In the car on the way home, Woo started to ask when he could have his treat. I explained that it was too late to have any sweets before bed, but that I would make sure that he got his Caramel (his current favourite) in the morning. “BUT. They got chocolate cake!!”, he complained. Thinking that he had taken issue with the timing of his treat, I pointed out that the dessert was served over an hour prior, and he had been given his fruit plate at the same time.
“That’s highway robbery!”, he exclaimed, “They got a big piece of cake, and all I got was some fruit and a little caramel?! It’s high-way robb-er-y!” We laughed a little because it was true, the desserts that they had at the banquet were delicious, worth much more than a caramel and some fruit in a trade, but also because this was a new phrase for Woo. I have no idea where he picked it up, but it perfectly described what happened tonight. It didn’t gain him any additional treats, but it did earn some respect for his ability to so accurately describe what had occurred. Highway robbery.
Wordless wednesday – to the sugar shack
Wordless wednesday – walk around a random block
Made up words
When we were living in India, Woo and Goose developed their own language. I assumed it was because they had gone from living in a predominantly English world to one where the language that they heard most often was Hindi. They heard it everywhere and it was like nothing they had ever heard before. The new language surfaced within weeks of our arrival in India, and it shared some characteristics with Hindi, mostly in how it sounded when they spoke. Woo and Goose were taking Hindi at school, so there may have actually been some Hindi mixed in.
Their imaginary language, which they named “Woo and Goose language” stuck with them for the entire year that we were in India. It was a large part of their play, allowing them to get lost together for hours. It both amused and confused me, watching them “talk” to each other. We were certain that they didn’t really know what each other was saying, but right from the start they acted like they knew what they were saying to each other, and they were happy.
Following our return to Canada, the language gradually faded away. There are still times when it comes out, but they are rare. Now they just make up words for things. Toys that have no name, creatures that don’t resemble any known species, or contraptions that they have created or drawn all get some new name, and more often than not, these nonsense words stick. There are a handful of terms that have become so common in our home that I have unconsciously used them in public. What I have done becomes blatantly obvious when I notice the person that I am speaking to is looking at me like I am speaking in tongues, and I silently curse the lils for sucking me into their language.
The other morning, Goose bounded into my room, too full of energy for 6:30 in the morning, so I convinced her to crawl into my bed and cuddle. We lay there contentedly for just a moment before she started to squirm and sing. I tried to keep her quiet, in the hopes of allowing a few more minutes of sleep for Willy, so I engaged her in a quiet conversation. We talked about everything and nothing for a few minutes, until she interrupted me and said, “Mama, you’re the happifier. Because you make me happy.” She then continued to squirm and dance and sing in the bed while I smiled, and vowed never to curse their language again.