Dear Mr. Christie

These are nice, but not a novel flavour.
These are nice, but not a novel flavour.

Mr. Christie, you make good cookies.

Oreo® and Chips Ahoy®, Fudgee-O® and Teddy Grahams® are all so delicious. They taste so good we’ll forgive you for your lapse in judgement when you came up with Belvita®. But Mr. Christie, you don’t seem to like to share. Or you play favourites, I’m not sure which. I do know that the USA has many, many more delectable editions of your famous cookies than we do up here in Canada.

Sure, you’ve given us Double Stuff Oreos  and soft bake Chips Ahoy and we thank you (even though we got them much later than our southern neighbours). I’d also like to say thanks for passing along the recipe for mint Oreos and double Fudgee-Os. Halloween Oreos are a nice token you toss our way, so there’s that.

Recently, through the power of the internet, I discovered that we are missing out in the Great White North. What’s up, Mr. C.? Raspberry Oreos, Chocolate Covered Oreos, Peanut Butter Oreos, must I go on? Okay, I will. Cookie Dough Oreos? What has Canada done to be left out of these special treats?

Did you date a Canadian and it ended badly?

Have you not heard about the Fair Trade Agreement? We signed that thing back in 1987.

You know we can see your commercials up here, right? We know about these cookies, Mr. Christie. We know.

Are you afraid of maple of syrup?

Does poutine make you anxious?

Are we not worthy of cookie dough bundled between chocolate wafers? If you cut us, do we not bleed?

Who hurt you, Mr. Christie?

My kind (and favourite) sister sent me some of these novel cookies and now that we’ve tried them, there is no going back. Please, Mr. Christie, in the name of all that’s Nabisco®, send them to Canada. Or the very least, send them to me.

My passion is real.

A Whole New World

Life can be challenging when you are little. All the good stuff is stored just out of your reach. Would you like to go play in the basement? Sure, but who will turn the light on? You’d like to help yourself to some gum, but it’s tucked away up in cupboard. Thanks to the step stool, you can reach the sink to wash your hands, but what fun is that? If only that step stool was portable. Yes, if you could move it around to the location of your desire, life would be so good – all those things you’ve longed for would be attainable. It would be shining, shimmering, even, dare I say, splendid?

No one could tell you “no” or where to go. Or say you’re only dreaming. It would be a whole new world of possibilities. The new sights – did you know they have a candy jar up there? Indescribable feelings when you discover the pens and pencils that have been waiting for you. Probably one hundred thousand different things to see from your new vantage point.

I’m not sure who invented the portable step stool, but he or she is the hero of every child shorter than the counter top.

Stand amazed at my might power. This step stool and I cannot be defeated.
Stand amazed at my might. This step stool and I cannot be defeated.
See how I deftly move it with just my foot. THE POWER!
See how I deftly move it with just my foot. THE POWER!
Nothing is out of my reach now. Bwahahaha.
Nothing is out of my reach now. Bwahahaha.
She now has a portable "thinking spot". I did not think this through.
She now has a portable “thinking spot”. I did not think this through.

Lost in Translation

There’s a lot involved in raising children. We are responsible for teaching them social skills, personal hygiene, ABCs, colours, what not to lick and that you should not vacuum your brother. I thought we were doing a pretty good job getting all the basics covered with our fourth son, but somehow we’ve dropped the ball with communication.

No matter how we explain it, how often we repeat it, how we model its use in correct context, Little does not seem to know what “I’m hungry” means.

——-

Little, please put your cars away.

No, I hungry.

We’re not having gum right now.

Why won't you give me back my marble when clearly I am wasting away here?
Why won’t you give me back my marble when clearly I am wasting away here?

But I hungry.

Please leave your bib on.

I hungry.

You can watch a show later.

Please?! I hungry.

Don’t sit on your brother.

I hungry. Please.

We’re all done drinking pop.

But I hungry. 

Do you need to use the potty?

I hungry.

We can do play doh in a minute.

But I hungry.

You can go get your own water bottle. It’s upstairs.

I huuuungry.

This is Mommy’s coffee. Hot. No touch.

I so hungry.

——–

We’re at the point now where I’m going to give up and just hope for the best. Maybe he’s on to something. This might be a genius tactic for getting out of undesirable things. Actually, I think I might try it.

Mommy, someone peed on the floor.

Sorry, I hungry.

Just fold your hands. Please.

Meal time.

We gather our family around the kitchen table to partake of a carefully prepared meal. The boys have graciously helped to set out the plates and have only asked six or seven times why we cannot have pop to drink.

Once we have settled in, everyone waits patiently for a serving. And no one snaps an irritated  “hold on a second can’t you see I’m helping your brother why don’t you go get the milk yourself?”

No. Our family is happy to spend this quality time together.

“May I please have an extra serving of vegetables, Mother?”

Dear brother, would you mind passing me the butter when you are finished with it?”

“Here, allow me to get an extra spoon, Father – it’s no trouble at all.”

“No dessert for me, I am absolutely stuffed from that delicious rice concoction – adding extra mushrooms was inspired!”

“Mommy, you look tired, tell us about your day while I go put some coffee on.”

As we wrap up this delightful family time of conversation and replenishment, Bearded Husband passes me the family devotion book to read. The boys all listen attentively and ask how the truths presented can be applied in their lives. This is followed by a short prayer.

“Alright, everyone, let’s pray. Quiet, please. Close your eyes, Little. Eyes closed. Shhh. SHHHH. Listen.  How does God want you to act at prayer time? JESUS WOULD NOT PICK HIS TOE JAM AT THE TABLE.”

(Only one of those quotes is true – can you guess which one was actually said? Take a moment, it’s tricky.)

Charmin: Stop it.

When I was young the biggest concern surrounding toilet paper was trying to squeeze it without Mr. Whipple catching you.

And that’s how we liked it.

Charmin, I feel like you need a friend. A real friend who will tell you the hard truths. You have spinach in your teeth. Yes, that outfit does make your bum look big. No, you can’t pull off that perm. Hon, that sweater just needs to go.

That friend.

So I’m telling you: stop it.

People don’t want to talk about toilet paper or what they want from their TP. Did they just talk about “skid marks” in that last commercial?! Yes, yes they did. 

Here’s the most anyone ever wants to say about toilet paper. I made a list for easy reference:

1. We need more toilet paper

Vague references to “softness” and “absorbant” without really getting into the nitty-gritty details of toilet paper and its role in our lives, that’s what the masses want. All we need to know is that your product can help us take care of business at a good price point. If your paper is even just a bit better than the recycled, accordion-folded sandpaper found in our schools growing up, then you’ve got us as loyal customers. Call it a day, Marketing Department and go home.

You couldn’t leave it at that, though. Next you introduced us to the Bear Family. I thought it strange that bears were chosen to sell toilet paper, but carried on, I’m not a marketing expert.

But then you went too far. 

I don’t want to think about random bits of toilet paper left on anyone’s (bear or human) behind. And now we’re discussingt if we like going to the bathroom? THE BEARS ARE TEXTING FROM THE TOILET.

Oh, Charmin, what have you done?

Where is your blue liquid?

What happened to quilted softness?

Who took over for Mr. Whipple?

Are we savages just squeezing toilet paper at will?

How did you get “skid marks” past the censors?

Do you even use a test group before you launch these campaigns?

Do you owe money to bears?

Please, Charmin, I’m begging you. Stop it. Or at the very least, bring back Mr. Whipple.

My 5 Rules for Eyes-Closed Tag

We planned to go skatingtobogganing (American translation: sledding) and play some shinny (street hockey) with the neighbours. But what do you do when it’s too cold outside even for hearty Canadians like ourselves? After multiple races on the Wii, a game of “Apples to Apples” that got a little too physical, and some heated debates about various pronunciation of words, we moved things to the basement. I never know how these games get started, but I was quickly roped into playing another game of “Eyes-Closed Tag”.

To play this extremely safe game, one person is It and closes his/her eyes while attempting to find other people in a sectioned-off area of the basement. If you are tagged, you are then It. Pretty simple, but we needed a few ground rules.

My Five Rules for Eyes-Closed Tag

1. Protective gear is not mandatory, but do move slowly to avoid serious injury (this applies primarily to the one who is It).

Give yourself wide-bearth.
Give yourself wide-bearth.

2. You can’t hide directly behind someone. Ok, you can, but not behind me. I refuse to be a human shield.

3.  Throwing small toys to create a diversion is acceptable and at times encouraged, but try to avoid hitting fellow players.

Nylon pants are noisy - choose your clothing wisely
Nylon pants are noisy – choose your clothing wisely

4. No peeking.

5. No, really – no peeking.

A few extra bits of advice….

According to BH, if you don’t cheat and really keep your eyes closed then “your other senses will be even stronger” (I think he has watched “Daredevil” too many times). The truth is, we all know when you don’t – subtlety is not your strong suit. Plus, only peekers completely avoid bumping into things for the entire game – you are not that skilled.

It’s okay if you prefer to watch, but if you’re going to give hints to your brother keep in mind that “he’s right there. Right there. RIGHT. THERE.” while frantically pointing, really tells nothing (please see Rule #5). Also, consider learning your Left and Right.

———

Your turn – what questionable games did you devise as a kid? Was a helmet required?

My Five Rules: Ice Storm

When you are trapped enjoying a day at home due to an ice storm, there are a few simple rules to keep everyone happy.

1. You may only play the “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron” 100 times on the record player if:

a) you let it finish

b) turn the volume down

c) LET IT FINISH

d) stop changing the speed.

2. Attendance at the family meeting is mandatory. Agenda as follows:

I. Bickering: What’s your role?

II. It’s an Ice Day, not the end of the world. Snacks will be served at their usual time. Stop asking.

III. Where can you play “Chase?

3. If Mommy’s eyes are closed, leave her alone. (NOTE: This rule applies to most days.)

In the event that the power goes out:

4. Do not open the fridge unless it is life or death.

5. When reading in the makeshift camp, no methane emissions of any kind.

We're in this together, no Dutch Ovens.
We’re in this together, no Dutch Ovens.