Category Archives: Storytime

E2: I’m going to marry Collin – Scene from a household

As I pull the car away from the curb in front of E2’s daycare, I hear E2’s little voice pipe up.

E2: “I’m going to marry Collin.”

This takes me by surprise. Typically I have to fish information about her days at daycare out of her, so that this came out unprompted was unusual.

Me: “Oh really? Why do you think so?”

E2: “Because he loves me.”

Me: “And how do you know he loves you? Does he treat you nicely?”

E2: “He hugs me, and holds my hand. He always sits next to me.”

Me: “I see. And how do you feel about him? You should love him too if you are going to marry him.”

E2: <with a world weary sigh> “Yes yes, of course I love him too.”

Me: “Ok. Well, you are only 4 years old, I’m just warning you that a lot can change by the time you are 18 years old. (And please wait until you are at least 18 years old to get married. Preferably at least 25.) For example, your sister when she was your age she thought for sure she and this boy named Matthew were going to get married. Now she barely remembers what he looks like.”

E2: “I’m sure!”

The next day I decide to ask her teacher about it. During drop-off I see this boy make a beeline for E2, and gives her this big hug that is prolonged into this swaying, rotating, squeeze of a hug. Both have big grins on their faces.

Me: “So…E2 told me yesterday that she wanted to marry Collin. Have they been playing together a lot?”

Teacher: <amused>”Oh my goodness. You should see them together. He is so sweet to her, and they spend quite a bit of time playing together. When E2 is grumpy as we wake her from her nap, he comes over and pats her back or strokes her hair to comfort her.”

Me: “Oh really? And what do they talk about?”

Teacher: “You know…it’s like one of those relationships where not a lot has to be said.”

Oh my sweet E2. I hope you always remember this first love of yours, how nicely he treated you, and how good you feel to be around him, because that is the way you should feel with someone you love.


The Mystery of the Blue Hand: Scene from a household

It likely will be the enduring mystery of 2015 for the Toh family: The Mystery of the Blue Hand. Continue reading The Mystery of the Blue Hand: Scene from a household

I did the 2015 Toronto Polar bear dip, and lived to tell this tale

I had missed hearing the countdown. The people in front of me just started charging into the waters of Lake Ontario. In the chaos of excited participants, wind, bare skin, and a belated realization that we should move closer to where T would be trying to take photographs, the countdown didn’t even register with me. My buddy A and I exchanged a look, and followed on in. The Toronto polar bear dip of 2015 was on. Continue reading I did the 2015 Toronto Polar bear dip, and lived to tell this tale

The Christmas Miracle of 2008: The Return of Cartman

“Cartman” was an invaluable addition to our family when we lived in a condo back in 2008. We received Cartman from the previous owners of the condo. The story goes that they purchased him from a “Masters Choice” grocery store fire sale when it was being renovated, but we suspect a more nefarious origin. During our time in the condo, he bore the weight of many a grocery bag, IKEA box–any load that cannot be lifted by one person. He did this without complaint and with only the slightest of rattles and squeaks. He lived happily by our parking spot #48, next to the ventilation fan, always happy to greet us and our loads to bear.

Then, in November 2008, Cartman was taken from us by an unknown assailant. Continue reading The Christmas Miracle of 2008: The Return of Cartman

Furtive potato chip eating: Scenes from a household

Me: “You want to watch an episode of Castle together?”

T glances at the clock. The clock hands are pushing 11:30pm. He yawns. “No I’m beat. I can’t do it tonight. You go ahead and watch Elementary.”

Aside: Castle is the one TV show that we PVR and wait until we are both ready to watch together as a couple. It started as an affinity for Continue reading Furtive potato chip eating: Scenes from a household

What happens when you don’t “Respect the Knife”

One of the near-mandatory experiences when going to Disney World with two young daughters is to do some sort of meet-and-greet with the Disney princesses. However, one would think that this wouldn’t also entail a trip to the hospital for the dad.   Yet that is exactly what happened to T, and the girls witnessed a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t “Respect the Knife”.

Continue reading What happens when you don’t “Respect the Knife”

Portrait of my younger daughter E2-Age 4

E2, so cute she’s delicious. The last vestiges of toddler chub remain on E2’s body, so I get my nibbles in whenever I can. “Mommy, people are not for eating!” she protests to me. But how can anyone resist squeezing or nipping those cute chubby cheeks, roundish belly, and juicy legs? Already this past summer she has been lengthening out, and I just know by the end of this winter my baby will be transformed fully to little girl. Continue reading Portrait of my younger daughter E2-Age 4

Portrait of my elder daughter E1-age 6

*Sigh*, my first baby is no longer a baby, not by a long shot. Six years old and E1 is already so mature. I totally trust her to keep herself safe and not initiate trouble or take excessive risks–she is a bit of a scaredy-cat. Her limbs and torso have lengthened out and that baby chub she had as a toddler is long gone. She has a generally sunny disposition and even temper. The following are other random tidbits about E1, as a profile: Continue reading Portrait of my elder daughter E1-age 6

Our method for delegating petty tasks: Scenes from a household

My beloved husband and I have a highly scientific method for determining who gets to do the unwanted petty task of the moment. These petty tasks have in the past included:

  • bathing the children
  • before we had a working dishwasher appliance, hand washing the dirty dishes
  • now that we do have an awesome dishwasher, hand washing the dirty dishes that don’t fit in the dishwasher
  • getting out of the comfortable, warm bed to trudge over to the light switch by the door to turn off the bedroom light before going to bed
  • getting out of the comfortable, warm bed on the Sunday morning to deal with the kids who’ve woken up and decided they now need attention
  • taking daughter to the potty and reading to her Dora (the Explorer)’s Nursery Time Adventure for the three hundredth time

What is this systematic and foolproof method, you ask?

Rock, Paper, Scissors“, naturally. We often limber up with some quick pre-showdown warm-up exercises, including shoulder rolls, warm-up jumps, hand dexterity exercises, and head rolls. We wouldn’t want to hinder our chances of victory by hampering our reflexes. Then when ready we square off and appraise each other cooly in the eye. Contestants’ hand is shown after the count of three. Rounds proceed until the first clear victor, no “best X out of Y” tournament.

For whatever reason we always seem to both choose Rock first. It almost seems like an amuse bouche round before we get to the real decision. Things do get heated though when more than one round goes by with us shooting the same hand. There was that epic showdown in late 2013 where we matched the same hand for 7 or 8 rounds. The tension and adrenaline just kept getting notched higher and higher with each passing round…until victory occurred, the tension was released, and the petty task of giving the kids a shower at grandma and grandpa’s house proceeded.

The funny thing is I don’t even remember who won that day. Perhaps I lost and that is why I’m suppressing that particular detail from memory. So that next time a petty task comes up I can face the challenge without the humiliating memory of defeat lingering in the background. :-p

But tonight…I think the girls can skip the bath tonight, right Honey?


Scene from the household – Underwear Dancing Time

It’s becoming a regular thing in our house in the evenings while the girls are getting ready for bed — Underwear Dancing Time. Just one mention from one of the girls and it suddenly the bedroom transforms into an impromptu dance show complete with lip synch and choreographed dance moves.

Current dance song of choice: Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Tonight they even went and slicked their hair back with water. E2 (the younger 4 year old) appraised her reflection approvingly and declared, “ooh, so stylish!”. E1 (the elder 6 year old) was engrossed in trying out different floor poses.

Dancing is of course, done in underwear, facing the full-length mirrored closet doors. My favourite move of theirs is the disco hand rolls that travel from one side to the other.

I admit to participating in the dance show, but I won’t reveal whether I joined in on the dress code. 🙂