Peekaboo + Hello

= "Peekalo!"

All the hip 1-year-olds are using this trendy new greeting.


I have been reminded of another story from our breakfast out.

Waiter: And what would the young lady like this morning?

Jane: Eggs, please.

Waiter: And how would you like them?

Jane: (pointing to nothing) Like this.

The waiter, to his credit, knew she was referring to the photo in the (closed) menu.

Waiter: (writing in his pad of paper) Scrambled. OK. And would you like bacon, ham, or sausage with your eggs?

Jane: (without a pause) Sausage.

Erin and I caught each others' glance across the table. The message was clear: does Jane know what she just ordered?

We don't eat meat, (Well.... Erin, Jane, and I eat fish and eggs. Henry calls us a bunch of carnivores.) but we've always tried not to make a big deal of it. I don't particularly care what you eat. I'm not in charge of your body. When we had kids, we decided they could eat whatever they like. But, since Erin and I are in charge of making the meals, we don't eat meat. If the kids go to a birthday party and there are hot dogs, they can decide themselves if they're going to eat them.

The plates came. Jane's was already covered in her favourite foods: eggs, potatoes, and toast. And... these things.

Erin cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces while Jane ate the rest of her food.

Jane speared one with her fork and placed it in her mouth.

Jane: (eyes wide) It's good. (chewing, eyes wider) It's really good.

She cleaned her plate, raving about how much she loves "this place."

Jane: (to Erin) Next time, can I just order sausage?

small 'e' emergency

"Dad! Mum!" yells Jane from the living room. "Come quick! Henry is hurt!"

I look up from my coffee.

"What's wrong, Cornbread?"

"My toe is really itchy."

From Erin

...An e-mail with the subject line: twinkle twinkle little girls

"My dear man,

Your girls sat side-by-side at the piano this morning patiently waiting to play. I swayed back and forth with a joyful smile on my face as they sang a beautiful duet of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". It was one of those moments.

Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star,

(and now, Jane's ending)

Poke your sister in the eye.


Henceforth, you will all call me "dear man", or just Deer Man.

Her future's so bright

Jane got a new pair of sunglasses yesterday. They're pink with big dark lenses. They haven't yet come off her face.

This morning. At breakfast.

Jane: Mum, pretend you don't know who this pretty girl is.

First tooth out

My phone was ringing as I walked into my office Wednesday morning. The screaming on the other end began before I could get half a 'hello' out.


I hurrayed. I whooped. I yayed. I was awfully glad to be the only person in the office.

Erin phoned several times with updates from Henry's big day. At one point, he jumped up and down, exclaiming, "I love all the attention." Later, at a more ponderous moment, he sat on the couch, exploring the hole in his mouth with his tongue.

"I feel so free."

By the time I arrived home, he had the tooth in a film canister (marked "Henry's Tooth"), ready for placement under his pillow.


He had an awfully hard time falling asleep. It took much longer than usual. He was nervous about whether the Tooth Fairy would come or not.

Me: She's coming.

Henry: Are you sure?

Me: She's coming!

Henry: How do you know?

He finally fell asleep. 20 minutes later, however, he woke himself up. He was quite upset.

Henry: Why does she need to take it?

Erin: That's just how it works.

Henry: But... it was part of me.

And suddenly, our five-year-old son is having mortality issues.

We calmed him down, gave him lots of hugs. We wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy politely asking her to please make and exception this time and leave the tooth (and the money). He went back to bed.

And was back 20 minutes later.

Henry: What if she doesn't see the note?

We found a hiding place for the tooth that even the craftiest Tooth Fairy could never find. This managed to put his mind at ease. He did wake up a few more times before morning, but finding the 2-dollar coin under his pillow made everything better.

See Fig. A)

We took a rare trip the other morning to a restaurant for breakfast. It was a real treat.

The waiter approached our table, pad of paper in hand.

Waiter: And what would this young gentleman like?

Henry: I will have the waffles. (He holds up the kids' menu) As shown here, on the cover of your menu.

Ooooooooooh, Canada

Little Alice has started hiding when it's time to do her business. If she's missing for a few minutes, rest assured, she's crouched in the corner of a dark bedroom with a red face.

I found her hunkered down the other morning in a closet. In her hand, a little Canadian flag.

She gave it a little wave. I left her to finish up.

Stupid time machine

"Smile!" says Erin, our old film camera held up to her eye. Henry is splayed out in the snow before her in some silly pose. As she clicks the shutter, a familiar feeling creeps up from my stomach and into my chest.

The time machine. I am back on it. Like a character from some bad science-fiction story, I am sucked into a time warp I have no control over.

In a second, the photo is developed, placed in an envelope, and transferred to an album. It is instantly yellowed with age, and I am a very old man staring at it, pondering, yet again, about how quickly it all goes by.

The first time I rode the time machine was when Henry was three-months old. I had just finished changing his diaper, and he was crying. Henry was normally a very happy baby, so this was unusual. I remember trying many things to calm him down.

I picked him up in my arms. He was so small. His tiny face pressed into my neck, as he cried uncontrollably.

In a moment, this tiny baby grew in my arms. He grew and grew until his feet touched the floor. I was no longer holding a crying baby who needed me, but a grown man who very much did not. Maybe I was just exhausted, but suddenly he wasn't the only one crying.

The time machine picks me up for a ride every six months or so. I never know when it's coming, but I recognize it right away.

I always thought it only traveled one way, until about six months ago. I found a CD of photos I had not looked at since Henry was an infant. As I trolled through the files, I found one I didn't know existed. It was a movie file, which confused me because we've never taken moving image of the kids. There must have been some sort of mistake. I clicked on it.

I was not prepared for what I saw. For 30 seconds, my little Henry--just four-hours old--cried to me as he received his first sponge bath. That cry was unmistakable. That face, so familiar. I was a mess.

Stupid time machine.

It drops me off this again this morning, back in my house with my kids still 5, 3, and 1. Jane catches my eye.

"What's wrong, Daddy?"

"Nothing, sweetie. Just took a ride on the time machine."

"Can I come?"

Life: so hard

Friday morning, I am shoveling out our driveway. Several nighttime passes by the plow have created a metre-high ridge at that extends about three metres from the road. It is wet. It is heavy. I am ill tempered.

Henry: (nibbling, yet again, at the snow stuck to his mitt) I want to sled.

Me: Great. The sleds are in the garage.

Henry: I can't open the door with my mitts on. Will you get them?

Me: Why don't you take a mitt off?

Henry: (scoff) Do I have to do everything around here?

ENHANCED Landmarks on the way home

Shortly after moving to PEI, I wrote a post about the landmarks Jane looks for as we drive from my work to our house (this is it). I'm reposting it today, enhanced with Google Street View.

Jane finds it hard to stay awake on our drive home from Charlottetown. We're about 10 minutes outside of town -- just long enough for the lull of the car to put her out.


We've tried many things. Mostly, we shout, "Don't go to sleep, Jane!"

Leave it to Jane to devise a solution to her own problem. She has found a series of landmarks along Route 2 which she anticipates with glee, and announces at the top of her lungs when she spots them.

1. "Marshmallow farm!" (a field of hay which has been baled and wrapped in white plastic)

2. "Sleepy cows!" (a field of Black Angus cattle, who always seem to be laying down)

3a) "Llama farm! Llamalamalamalamalamalama!" (a llama farm)

3b) "Llama farm! Ohhhh. No llamas today. Llamalamalamalamalama!" (sometimes the llamas aren't grazing in that field)

4. "Marshmallow farm!" (a second field of baled hay)

5. "Space church!" (A church with wood shingles painted red and grey, which give it an oddly futuristic look, especially the rocket-like steeple)

From here it's a three-minute drive to our house. Just long enough that us shouting usually gets the job done.

I must say, I occasionally shout "Llama farm!" when I'm driving by myself. (helps keep me awake)

Bonus: here I am waving at you out the window of our '98 Buick Century. Yes, I'm THAT cool.