It’s Not All Mary Poppins

We love construction!

There are some new homes going up in our neighbourhood! First there was a BIG GIANT HOLE in the ground! Then there were machines that POUNDED THE GROUND and made the WHOLE STREET SHAKE! (Really. Two blocks over, I feared for my 100-year-old foundations. I can only imagine the chaos in the house right beside all this. Phew.)

Now the homes are getting framed! Which means that a big truck pulled up, and it had a CRANE on it! And there’s even a bench, right there, so they get a front row seat!

All this wonderfulness is on our way to the park. At this rate, I’m not sure when we’ll actually make it to the park…

May 2, 2012 Posted by | outings | , , , | 5 Comments

Toddler Bliss

The neighbourhood next to mine is torn up these days. A bit of an ordeal to get there, mind you, one which changes day by day. One day there’s a sidewalk between two blocks; the next, you’re trudging over gravel. One day the ‘sidewalk’ is wide enough for two to pass, the next it’s single file all the way. Some days protective fencing blocks part of the path… but in those cases, I’ve always found the construction dudes more than happy to shift it to one side with their manly arms. (Construction dudes generally like babies, I’ve noticed.)

So. A bit of an ordeal to get there. But, when we do, there are GAKKERS!!! (And, yes, ‘dumb f*cks‘.) Gakkers and Loaders! Cranes! Bobcats and excavators! It is VERY EXCITING!!!

(Which is to say, I belatedly realize, that it is an ordeal for me, the engine behind the stroller. It is nothing but excitement and FUN TIMES for those who get to ride, powered by my sweating self…)

And even MORE exciting than all that heavy machinery, there is a Toy Store.

A kickass toy store.

Totally worth the trip, wouldn’t you say???

August 18, 2011 Posted by | Ottawa, outings | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ambivalence on legs

It’s a long, gentle slope along a quiet road above the canal that takes us to the library. The street dead ends at the library, so it’s very quiet. What with the view through the trees to the water, it’s practically idyllic.

Today, however, a roar becomes ever louder as we stroll up the hill. We round the curve and the noise fills the air. That old expression “a wall of sound” becomes reality. The roar and grind and screech is so intense, it feels as if you have to push through it. And every step only makes it louder.

Two burly “workin’ mens” in their orange vests with the reflective tape manoeuvre a large concrete saw. Lift it up, lower it carefully. It whines and roars on the way up, it screams as it moves down, cutting slices through the surface of the street.

I check the small faces. Emily, in the front of the stroller, is enthralled. Malli is mildly curious. Nigel is hopping up and down in excitement, and Timmy is … Timmy is pulling back on the stroller, trying very hard to make us reverse back the way we came. His eyes are enormous, his mouth tight, his steps drag.

“It’s very loud, isn’t it, Timmy?” I holler near his ear.
“NOISY!” he grins. The saw howls. His grin grows crooked, then trembles. “NOISY!”

He’s a study in conflicting responses. Excitement wars with terror, thrill becomes anguish, agony roils into glee.

Emma scoops him up, sets him astride her hip.

“OH! NOISY!!!” His face flickers between beaming delight and wide-eyed terror.

“He’s trembling, mom! His whole little body is shaking!”

Whether it’s shaking with excitement or panic is anyone’s guess.


We are now close enough that the workin’ mens can hear his calls. One of them looks up. He’s not too tall but very wide, squat, burly, red-faced, lots of black hair on his ruddy arms, pants slung precariously beneath the beer belly that overhangs. He stops to wipe the sweat off his face and neck with the back of a grimy hand.


“Ain’t that the truth, kid.” He gives Timmy a second glance, and his squint softens a bit. “You know what? I’m gonna turn this thing off for a minute. Maybe this is too exciting for some of you, huh?” Kindness … it comes wrapped in all sorts of packages.

We head up the hill in blissful peace.


Though it seems not all of us have quite registered the difference…

July 28, 2008 Posted by | outings, Timmy | , , | 10 Comments