Tag Archives: Scene from the household

Daddy has the Magic Touch

We were just starting our drive home from our regular Sunday dinner at grandma’s and grandpa’s house.

E1: “Do you think we’ll get stopped at Hood Road again this time?”

Our route home takes us through the intersection of Denison and Hood Road, and it feels like we get faced with a red light 95% of the times we pass through going west-bound. It is particularly frustrating because A)it is approximately 100 meters from another set of traffic lights at Warden; B) it always seems to turn red seconds after the lights at Warden turn green, giving you the initial false hopes that you can pass through; and C)stays red for an inordinate amount of time, especially considering at 9pm on Sundays there is zero traffic driving on Hood Road. I had made enough comments and complaints about it on our drives home that E1 and E2 both knew the location and to look for the light.


This week was one of those odd occasions where T was driving. I pulled my neck a few days earlier and couldn’t really turn my head well, so we all agreed it was safest to have T drive.

Me: “Well, we can only wait and see when we get there. Daddy does seem to have better success at getting through Hood Road without getting a red light though. I always seem to get stopped.”

T: “Probably because you drive way more than I do.” I laughed.

E1: “Well Mommy, I remember on Thanksgiving you got a green light.”

Me: “True, but that’s like the only time I remember.”

E1: “Daddy must have the magic touch.”

T, chuckling: “People have been saying that about me for years.”

E2: “So why does Daddy still get stopped sometimes with the red light there?”

Me: “His magic for Hood Road must be depleted and I guess it takes a while before it gets replenished.”

T: “That’s called mana. My mana must be depleted each time I get through Hood Road without a red light. You guys know what mana is?”

E1: “Yeah! Like the magic in our Magic Quest wands. Before we got them activated again, it kept saying to us ‘Your wand’s mana has been depleted’ when we tried to use the wands at Great Wolf Lodge.”

E2: “What does ‘depleted’ mean?”

Me: “Depleted means used up, drained, finished.”

E1: “Ahh, I don’t talk about it right now, or else Daddy’s magic will go away!”

T: “That’s called, ‘Jinxing’ it.”

We drive along Denison and get stopped at the red light on Warden Ave behind several cars, one light away from the infamous light.

E1 cranes her head to check out the Hood Road light situation. “Oh no! The light is green! That means it’s probably going to turn red by the time we get there again!”

E2: “Oh no oh no oh no!”

The light at Warden turns green and we drive the 100 meters towards Hood Road. Amazingly, the light stays green.

Me: “Oh my gosh guys! We’re going to make it through Hood Road! The light is staying green!”

All in the car: “Yaaayy!”

E2: “Daddy really *does* have the magic touch!”


E1- a budding Sherlock Holmes in the house

The days of me thinking that I can fool my girls is clearly in the past now. Here’s a story about E1 – a budding Sherlock Holmes in the house.

Me: “Ooh, girls. I got a text from Daddy and I think Daddy is going to come home with a surprise. I bet you’ll never guess what it is.”

E1: “Oh! Is it another bike?”

Me (chuckling): “No, it’s not another bike. But considering the past few weeks, that’s an excellent guess.” (In reference to the one day at the beginning of November where we came home to find that he has bought a new road bike for himself, and then picked up two girls bikes that were sitting on the curb in the neighbourhood with a “Free” sign on them.)

E2: “Is it dinner?”

Me: “Hmm. Another good guess, especially since we are getting hungry. But no, that’s not it.”

E1: “New winter boots for us?”

Me: “Hmm, we do need to get you those. Sorry that’s not it either. I’m telling you, you’ll never guess what it is.”

The girls kept guessing during the walk home. They were unsuccessful in guessing correctly, as I predicted.

We got inside the house and were taking off our shoes when E1 looks up at me with a spark in her eye. “Wait! You said that Daddy texted you. I can go upstairs and look on the tablet to see what Daddy said to you.” She took off up the stairs. A minute later I hear her talking to E2. “Oh! I think Daddy got a new car!”

Me and E2: “Whaaaaaaaat?” We were shocked for different reasons.

E1: “Yeah, Daddy wrote something about a Lexus, and I think that’s a type of car.”

Me: “Yes…uh, you got it, sweetie! How, um, did you figure it all out?”

E1: “Well, I remember sometimes when we’re on the tablet watching Netflix or playing a game, i sometimes  see the messages you and Daddy send to each other on Hangout. So I tried to find it.”

This kid blows my mind. Critical thinking skills = +20. Thinking back, I look all the pieces of information she assembled in that 7-year old brain of hers:

  1. Realized guessing blindly was not getting her anywhere, so she thought of an alternative method to get more clues.
  2. Picked up during our conversation the information that Daddy sent me a text message
  3. Remembered that she has seen our text messages on the tablets at home, in addition to our phones
  4. Remembered the name of the app that holds our messages, and how to find it on the tablet.
  5. Somehow remembered that Lexus is a manufacturer of cars, even though noone in our family, or our extended family, owns one (until now, that is).

So she’s on a good track to becoming a world-renowned  consulting detective, right? Or a super spy? I just hope she uses her powers for good, and not evil.


Scene from a household: That time E2 got a hamster stuck on her head

I was trying to not laugh too hard in her face. This is one of those parenting moments where your child faces some sort of misfortune of their own doing that is as hilarious to you as it is embarrassing to them.

It was near the end of our bedtime routine. E2 had already finished brushing her teeth and was in their room. I left the bathroom and rounded the corner to the girls’ room, E1 hot on my heels.

Me: “E2, why do you have a hamster on your head?”
She turned and looked at me with wide eyes. Continue reading Scene from a household: That time E2 got a hamster stuck on her head

Scene from a household: E2 practices her powers of persuasion

It was a warm day this week when I picked up E2 from her summer day camp. Her group had been outside all afternoon at a Blue Jays game, and she had a sweaty look to her face.

E2: “I’m so hot… It’s so hot outside,” she lamented dramatically. After a pregnant pause, she states, “I think we should go get some gelato to cool down, Mommy.”

Me, with one eye cocked: “Oh really? You’re that hot?”

E2: “I’m *super* boiling. I think ice cream will be perfect to cool me down. So cold, and creamy…You look like you’re pretty hot too, Mommy. I think you would enjoy some gelato too!”

Me: “I dunno, that would be having dessert before dinner…” I had to admit to myself that some gelato just then did indeed sound like a pretty great idea.

E2: “It’s like a snack! I promise I’ll eat my dinner, and I will only have fruit for dessert after.”

Me: “Well, let’s go pick up your sister and then see.”

E2: “Couldn’t we go get gelato first, and just not tell her?” She smiled a cheeky, conspiring grin.

Me: “E2, that’s not nice, you know how you’d feel if you found out I took E1 for gelato without you.”

E2: “But I won’t tellllll… OK, OK, let’s go get E1,” she concluded, somewhat reluctantly. “But then we’ll walk straight-away to Hollywood Gelato.”

And wouldn’t you know it, we did indeed have gelato that afternoon *before* dinner.


Scene from a household: If T was a dance costume designer

E1:”Guess what our dance costume is this year! ”

All across the dance-studio land, dancers and teachers are gearing up for the end-of-year recitals. The girls’ studio was no different.

T takes a pen and starts sketching on some paper. :”A hamburger! “ dance_costume_sketch_burger

E2: “Noooo! It is a circus theme!”

E1:”I’ll give you a hint. I’m an animal.”

T: “Hmm, ok, I got this.” He draws some more. “Are you a giant squid?”dance_costume_sketch_squid

E1: “That’s not a circus animal! Squid live in the oceans. Be serious Daddy.”

He sketches a new costume. “I know this is a circus animal, am I close?”dance_costume_sketch_dog

E1: “No! The animal I am is a big cat.”

T: “OK, I got this then!” He draws some more. “A big cat! And look, I gave you a nice fish accessory too.” dance_costume_sketch_catThe girls whine their protests about it not being right, all the while trying to suppress some giggles. I am outright Laughing Out Loud.

T: “Ooh, is your dance a jazz number? I add this top hat to the costume, that’s very jazzy.”

I mean, *that’s* entertainment. Who wouldn’t be entertained by a group of 12 dancers prancing around on stage in this getup?


My parents don’t work: Scene from a household

Background context: A couple of weeks ago, E1 was the “student of the day” which meant she could bring in something for show and tell. We decided to bring in a bunch of coins from different countries, since many kids probably haven’t seen money from outside of Canada or US. We had different denominations of Euros, yen, British pounds/pence, and even a rupee.

E1: Wow, how did you get all this different money?

T: Well, you know how I sometimes go on business trips to other countries? This is the change I get when I buy things in those countries.

E1 and E2 both nod understanding. “That’s cool, Daddy.”

Fast forward a few days.

I go to pick up E2 from school, and her teacher greets me with a little smirk.

Teacher: We were having a circle-time conversation today and E2 announced that “My parents don’t work.” I asked her to clarify more, and she just simply said, “My Mommy and Daddy don’t work.” So I challenged that a bit, saying that they must work, otherwise how do they get the money to buy food, and clothes and pay for other things?

“My Daddy just flies to other countries, meets with people, and then they give him money.”

Well…she’s not wrong.

Have a safe flight, honey, on this Valentine’s day as you travel abroad. Go and get that money from those people you’re going to meet while you’re not working. We have swimming lessons to pay for. 😉


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

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

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?