Finally Canadians admit their country is full of bears.
I knew it.
By now we have made friends here in Toronto (there are people attracted by free Swiss chocolate, it seems) and we were therefore asked to feed our neighbors’ pets while they were away.
The pets consist of a non-red fish and a cat. Basic rule is that one should not be the other one’s dinner.
The job looked pretty easy and the Dwarves were excited about it.
After 2 days, Dwarf 2 deciding we needed some entertainment, managed to steal some salt in the kitchen and quick as light dumped it into Rainbow’s aquarium.
Blondes can think quickly under pressure (or so they think) and within a minute I was wondering if Rainbow was a sea or a fresh water fish (he had not told me), how he would manage to survive if salt water was not his cup of tea, if a little boy’s heart would be broken in case of any fishy passing (can you miss a pet fish?), how much would a new fish cost (would we need to sell the car in order to replace an extremely rare, exotic non-red fish?), and finally where can you discreetly sell your kid on the internet in Canada?
Rainbow Warrior survived and Dwarf 2 was threatened to have to lend his favorite bear to his friend to comfort him in case a tragedy occurred.
I am thinking about taking money out of his college fund to pay for hair dye.
Switzerland makes it quite easy for its citizens or visitors to pick souvenirs. Who does not like chocolate?
Other options include Swiss army knives or even watches for people who don’t have kids to feed and entertain, and can therefore afford to bring back nicer presents to friends and relatives.
Being that the Dwarves demand to eat every day we usually stick with chocolate and sometimes knives.
As it seems passengers carrying potential weapons are not too popular in airports nowadays, we carefully packed these sharp gifts. To make sure they would not get stolen, I just stuck them in the Dwarves’ suitcase, in their shorts pockets.
This very smart strategy really made me sweat when I later could not find the knives and remembered I had sent the Dwarves to camp wearing the first thing I could find in their suitcase- shorts.
The thought of Dwarf 1 running some wild experiments implying electricity or a friend’s hand, or Dwarf 2 playing William Tell sure helped me fight jet lag.
What happens in Canada if you send your kids to school carrying their own little pocket knife?
Good thing is, the Children’s aid society already has our number (see Pillow fight).
I recently had to sort some Swiss administrative matters via phone. My questions were answered within a couple of minutes, true Swiss efficiency.
In order to identify myself, I had to answer a couple of basic questions. It reminded me of the real quiz we have to go through here, in order to “protect our privacy”. The questions cover a wide range of topics, such as details about the policy we signed up for with this given company, last time a transaction was made on our account or the % of nitrogen in the air we breathe (OK, slightly exaggerating regarding the last one).
But I insist, the question about the last transaction made on the account is a tricky one as I don’t monitor everything the Man is doing with
all the money he makes my money yet.
I usually pass the test, only to sometimes be told I am not allowed to solve the matter (see Little Miss Nobody).
The Man is usually pretty bad at it, just replying “I don’t know” when he is not sure, therefore making the customer service person refuse to process his request.
To his credit he has a personal assistant who usually handles these matters, and when she is not authorized to perform the task he gets calls from insurances or financial institutions during his working hours.
Somehow replying to security questions during a patient’s open heart surgery always makes him grumpy.
Everybody but polar bears would admit last winter was a tough one here in Canada. It therefore seems people are enjoying summer even more this year.
This also applies to our neighbors (I decided they are students), who believe a huge outside screen, loud music, lots of friends and even more alcohol should be a given at their place every summer evening.
So the past couple of nights were far from quiet in our street.
Oddly enough, I tend to get cranky past midnight: the feeling I am trying to fall asleep on a dance floor never makes me happy (I am actually pretty sure I could, but this would imply way more wine than what we had last night).
I really did not feel like talking to a bunch of drunk students, so I started fantasizing about a 911 call instead. As I was not sure that’s the number to use to complain about noise (they have people to save, no?), I just waited, hoping someone would make the call for me.
I knew the Man was not going to help as he had opted for ear plugs and was happily sleeping. As a dedicated mom, I gave up on such items as I feel someone has to hear the Dwarves if they wake up during the night (although I should trust them to jump on our stomachs or heads if they call and nobody shows up).
I then started plotting my revenge: sending the Dwarves outside at 8 am, with 1 great new toy, asking them to play quietly and share.
Good morning, neighbors.
Dwarf 1’s broken arm has made us haunt the children’s hospital waiting rooms more than I ever wanted to (longest wait 3.5 hours, to hear we would not get the Dwarf a new cast, and there is nothing more to do until we take it off).
As the Dwarf pointed out, they could have sent us an email to share the info.
Good thing is, the Man works in the hospital treating the Dwarf. He therefore spent his extensive 20 minutes lunch break with us, of course wearing his OR scrub : 20 minutes is a short time to get changed if you want to eat and maybe hit the toilets as well (knowing washing your hands is not optional).
Most families who saw us chatting together probably just assumed the Man is a very dedicated but odd physician, truly caring for his patients but eating a sandwich while reassuring them about some cutting-edge surgery needed by the Dwarf.
When the Man kissed me goodbye, a woman and her 2 daughters (about 17 and 25- year-old) started to loudly giggle, staring at us. I had been overhearing their conversations for close to 2 hours (let’s say I don’t think they are potential Nobel Prize nominees), therefore I could not resist and had to add: “Yeah…we really clicked” to their attention (after a few hours one would do anything to get some entertainment in a waiting room).
The look on their faces was worth the joke, and now I cannot help wondering if they really believed I started flirting with a staff member while bringing my kid to the ER.
Bachelors of the world, clubs and bars are so passé.
Image credit Aimee Valentine
In real life I keep joking about social services that will end up calling us
because the Dwarves speak non-stop and sometimes utter half-truths for some reason, and because Dwarf 2 keeps trying to run through walls (he has not been very successful so far).
Well, it finally happened, we got THE call.
Dwarf 1 broke his arm falling down the stairs lately. He actually got hit by a pillow the Man had just thrown in order to tidy up the room, and lost his balance. No need to say he had no clue the Dwarf was coming upstairs (without holding the ramp…), and that he feels terrible about it.
Anyway, accidents happen and Dwarf 1, not in pain and not really bothered by his cast, happily tells everyone the story.
We thought we may get a call or some questions (we obviously don’t know what the standard process is here).
The interesting fact is that we got a call because someone in Dwarf 2 class overheard him explain the story to one of his friends: “My brother is in the hospital because dad hit him with a pillow”.
I knew we could count on Dwarf 2 to make our lives more interesting.
PS Dwarf 1 was not hospitalized at all, and the lady from social services seemed to believe me, so we may not end up in jail after all.
Smart kids give a lot of good advice and after reading my latest post on the topic (see Kids are not pets, a friend explained his daughter bluntly told the lady sitting next to her on a plane that she did not smell good.
Somehow they did not form a strong bond during the flight, and now I am having nightmares about what the Dwarves could start saying in a confined space for 8 hours. And in 2 languages, s’il vous plaît.
Maybe we should consider hiring a private jet for our next flight.
Image credit The Stir by CafeMom
Toronto being such a tolerant city, no one blinks when introduced to multiracial, recomposed or gay families (tick the right box). We love the fact our Dwarves are exposed to different family models and take it as the norm.
However, they know the basics and lately asked about the origin of the “seed” necessary to make a baby when a child has 2 moms (I suspect Dwarf 1 was starting to think we had fooled him on the topic).
We simply explained it is true someone has to give the precious seed, but that is does not make this person a daddy. In summary, what makes a dad is the time and love dedicated to a kid, and not biology.
The Man “See, a dad is the person who gets up at night to take care of his baby, unlike…”
Dwarf 2: “A mom!”
Next time this one is sick he’d better call dad, mom will be on vacation.