Monday, December 20, 2010

Life's A Beach

There was the faintest edge of panic in her voice when she called to me from the sofa where she was sitting with the computer on her lap, doing her online homework assignment.

"Mom?  Mom?  What is this?  Can they say that?"

I knew she was working on English.  I assumed her distress had something to do with one of the scary, irregular verbs both her and her teachers are always stumbling over.  I was elbow deep in dinner preparations, and frankly not in the mood to be very helpful.  I sighed impatiently, "For heaven's sake Emma.  Just sound it out.  One letter at a time.  You'll get to it."

"I can't say that."

"Of course you can.  One letter at a..."

"No.  Mom.  You wouldn't want me to say that word."

"What do you mean?"


So I did.

Now I ask you, what is the point of trying to teach them the difference between 'nice' words and 'naughty' words, when this is the shit they're learning from school?  I know I should be outraged.  And I probably will be just as soon as I can stop giggling about it.

Daniel, as usual, had the final word on the matter, "Well Mom, it makes sense. Sand is kind of annoying..."

It is a bitch, Boy.  Damn right.  It's a bitch!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

This turned out to be so much fun, I could almost forgive the repeat of last winter's bitterly cold draught.

Here's how we spent our weekend:

In the 14 years we've lived in this house, the lake has frozen this way--thick and smooth enough for ice skating--only twice. So this was a real treat.  We were skiing all over it last winter, but the deep freeze didn't come until after the snow last year, so it was never fit for skating.

I did a fair amount of skating as a kid. Most of it of the 'roller' variety, but the mechanics are essentially the same.  But there was plenty of ice skating too.  I remember spending many a happy winter afternoon ice skating at the dingy little rink in Murray Park.  The place smelled like damp socks, and the fries they served were always soggy and over salted, but I liked it.  I think I even took some lessons there at one point. But my childhood recall button is notoriously faulty, so I could be wrong.  Still, I swear I remember some sort of skills test, or something...I did well...lady said I was in the wrong class...

Meh, unimportant.  The point is--I liked skating.  It's kind of what I remember doing most during my outside off time.  And I've never quite understood why my girls aren't spending their youth similarly occupied.

It took me some time to trust the ice.  Despite all my youthful skating, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've done it on a lake like this.  There's a good 20 cm of solid ice out there, but it's a bit creepy to stare down through all the cracks and air bubbles frozen in place.  Plus, it shifts and crackles sometimes as you move over it.  Shudder.  But once I got used to it, and my feet and legs started to remember how to move in skates, I had a grand old time.

So did the kids. 

Not to mention Toblerone.  Whose ass, by the by, I squarely kick in the skating department.

It snowed a little Saturday night, so on Sunday the kids got to make the obligatory snow-angels on the ice.

Untold liters of hot cocoa and marshmallow fluff were sacrificed in the making of this blog post.  The writer is unrepentant.