Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Truly Canadian Bookmark

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to visit my family in Toronto and experience my first Canadian fall! I loved everything about it: the weather, nature and especially family time! The only problem is that my sense of time is all messed up now because I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October and my mind is scrambled thinking that I'm behind on my Christmas shopping! And we haven't even had halloween yet. Yikes! Apparently Canadians aren't aware that we can only be thankful after we have gorged ourselves on plastic pumpkins full of candy (although, they do have the whole candy thing on lockdown with the Kinder Eggs and Smarties).

Apart from the autumn leaves and chocolate, one of the highlights of the trip was going to my first hockey game along with my five-year-old cousin. (He's technically my cousin's son, but who's keeping track?) You may know him as the orca lover, so that's what we'll call him! Orca Lover's dad had the good fortune of picking up two coveted tickets to not just any hockey game, but a Toronto Maple Leafs game! Now, I'm no expert on Canadian sports, but from my understanding it doesn't get any bigger than this. And from the looks of the price tag on these things, I'm seriously thinking about opening my own hockey-themed version of Disneyland in Toronto, because I could make a killing!

Since Orca Lover and I had never been to a game, it was decided that we would be the recipients of the tickets and enjoy our first game together! After some secret adult spelling talk, Orca Lover's dad explained that he had a great surprise, as long as the five-year-old agreed to behave properly, despite the fact that the surprise might involve him being out way past his bed time.

Orca Lover agreed eagerly in anticipation for the great surprise.

"I have two tickets to the Leafs game tonight for you and Renée," Orca Lover's dad exclaimed! He pulled out the tickets from his pocket and waved them in the air like mystical cards that revealed our hockey destiny.

Orca Lover smiled brightly and cried out, "Yes! Toronto Maple Leaf Bookmarks!"

His dad half-giggled before correcting his son. "These are the tickets that you have to use to get into the game. They are very special."

After we confirmed with Orca Lover that he could use his ticket as a bookmark after the game, he ran to his room to find his Leafs shirt so he could go watch the game with "the best orca whale teacher cousin ever" (That's me, by the way).

We both loved the game and had a ton of fun. And when American Thanksgiving rolls around, I will be sure to express my gratitude for the great bonding experience with Orca Lover and the opportunity to see the most famous team in Canada win a game. But most of all, I'll be thanking the Toronto Maple Leafs for designing the coolest bookmark ever!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Don't Lick the Bowl!

Things have been a-changin'! The two boys that I nanny recently became big brothers and the eldest, my six-year-old friend, started big kid school! While their mom is out on maternity leave, I've been able to bond a lot more with my three-year-old friend, who we'll call Merlin. He is adjusting to his place as the middle brother and learning how to be a good example for "his baby."

While the eldest, Peter Pan, was growing his little mind at school, Merlin and I made a cake in honor of my birthday. And since their mom is home with the new baby, it's great to have someone to share in the hilarity of these kids and their adorableness! 

I cracked the eggs and Merlin plopped the yolks into the bowl and began to mix. His mom, who works in food safety, asked him if we eat the batter.

"No," he dutifully replied.

"Do you know why we don't lick the bowl, though?" His mom asked.

"Because we just don't."

"But, what's the reason?" She asked again, hoping that her profession had rubbed off on the now middle child.

"We just don't lick the bowl," he said again. "We're people, not cats!"

And that ended that discussion. And even though I am not a cat, I have been guilty of this crime many a time. And don't plan to stop anytime soon!