It’s Not All Mary Poppins

International relations move forward

harper1“Why are there helicopters, Mary?” Emily and Timmy are peering up and out through the living room window as the chucka-chucka of the helicopters thrums through the walls.

“We are having an important visitor in Ottawa today, hon. Mr. Harper is the leader of Canada. Mr. Obama is the leader of the country beside ours, and he is visiting with Mr. Harper today. ”

“And he is coming in a helicopter?”

“No. He came in an airplane, but now he is driving to Mr. Harper’s office downtown. The helicopters are watching Mr. Obama’s car to make sure no bad guys try to hurt him.”

“Are there police mens in the helicopters?”

“I would think so.”

Emily nods, satisfied.

A few hours later, Emily and Anna build intricate block-cities on the kitchen floor.

“Who is that on the radio, Mary?”

“It’s Mr. Harper, Em.”

“Mr. Harper and Mr. Obama?” It’s been five hours since our conversation this morning. What a smart little cookie this girl is!

“Yes. They are taking turns answering questions.”

obamafamily“And when Mr. Obama is done talking on the radio,” Anna declares, “he can come to my house and visit. My daddy will make dinner for us all.”

“I don’t think so, Anna. When he is done answering questions, he will have to go home.”

“He can come to my house and then he can go home.”

“No, lovie. I bet he would like to meet you, because he has two little girls of his own. But he has to go home and be with his girls.”

Anna’s brow furrows, then clears.

“That’s okay! They can come, too! My daddy will make more dinner for them! And their mommy can come, too!”

So there you have it. Barack and Michelle? You and the girls are invited for a home-cooked meal here in Ottawa, any time you can fit it in your schedule. I can vouch for Anna: she’s quite the charmer. You’re sure to be entertained.

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Anna, Canada, Ottawa, the cuteness!, the things they say! | , , , , | 6 Comments

There’s sad and there’s sad

newt1I am baking brownies for dessert. Which, if you knew our family at all, would tell you we’re having guests over to dinner. Tell my children we’re having company, and the response is not “Who’s coming?” but “Yay! Dessert!”

Timmy and Anna are playing quietly at my feet. They have woken up a little earlier than the other children, and are thus allowed to play in the kitchen (the furthest end of the house from the stairs), and QUIETLY. If they don’t play quietly, they must go lie down again until the others wake.

Thus, they are playing quietly. Which is little short of a miracle, since they are my two loudest children. Though, come to that, Tyler is emerging as a considerable auditory force. Once he gets some actual vocabulary, the windows, they will be a-rattling. (And my eardrums, oh, mercy me, my poor eardrums.)

They are playing quietly, and I am making brownies. And, because these are brownies for guests, and, because our oven is stuck at 400 degrees (as it has been for the last four years), I am diligently cutting off the slightly-too-dry edges. (The hostess double-standard: For my own family? They can crunch their way into the centre. For company? Perfectly soft’n’chewy brownies, from edge to edge.)

Apart from crunchiness, there is nothing wrong with the centimetre-wide strips of brownie I’m left with…

Lucky Timmy and Anna.

“Here guys. You want some brownies?”
(That, boys and girls, is what is called a “rhetorical” question.)
“Now, be careful. Chocolate is bad for dogs. You mustn’t give any to Indie. It could make her sick.”
“And maybe even DIIIIEEE!” Which could have been said with far less exuberant relish, perhaps, but the content is accurate enough.
“Yes, Anna. Enough chocolate could even make her die. That would be very sad.”
“That would be very sad.” Timmy is showing a more appropriate level of concern, perhaps because he’s had some personal experience in pet-bereavement. Or, as it turns out, second-hand experience. “My mummy’s newt died, and she was very sad.”
“Your mummy had a newt?”
“Yes, and it died. And she was very sad.”
“Not as sad as for a dog, I think.”
He doesn’t lose a beat.
“No. Prolly not.”

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Anna, food, health and safety, the dog, Timmy | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments