17 October 2008

Paper Identification

Last night I went to the post office to pick up the munchkin’s passports. After months of struggling with various government offices to get the adoption paperwork and birth certificates in order, and then gathering all the items and signatures for the passports, we finally submitted the applications earlier this month.

Timing is of the essence here as we’re now booked on an out of country vacation this Christmas…only the kids are not yet aware of the impending adventure. So last night when I returned from the post office I was very excited to show the kids their very official travel documents.

I handed Bubaloo his, and he got all excited about the pages and the possibilities of collecting stamps one day. I handed Bella hers. She opened it up to see the face of a young boy sporting a mod-hawk by the name of Samuel.

We’re now in the possession of a very official travel document that doesn’t belong to us. Passport Canada sent us the wrong passport and somewhere in the world a stranger is holding our daughter’s passport.

Now getting this sorted out doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a walk in the park. Calling Passport Canada only has resulted in us getting re-directed to having to show up at the office. The only result of this is more paperwork.

Like in high school, where I didn’t like science labs because lab = lab report, I’m beginning to develop this equation: children = horrid amounts of paperwork + bureaucratic headache inducing snafus. To date, we have yet to have a single piece of official documentation be issued successfully.

05 October 2008

Not 'Yer Grandfather's Stew

Since she first moved in with us, Bella has always talked about her favourite meal. Stew. Not just any stew, but the stew her Grandfather used to make her. This is the kind of food that foodies love best because it's a meal tied to memories.

The thing is I hate stew. For the same associative memories that make Bella love it, I cannot stand it. The smell, the taste and most of all the texture. It's just not a meal that I've brought myself to make for her in the past year and a half.

But on Saturday morning as I meandered over to Loblaws, there, in the meat cooler was a package of stewing beef with a bright pink label marking it 50% off. While I love the Saturday morning meat sale - there's nothing like getting more meat for your family and making that dollar spread further - this stewing beef called to me. I could take advantage of the great price and do something nice for my daughter at the same time. The generosity of a cheapskate!

I talked proudly about the stew I was going to make just for her. I searched the internet for a great recipe. I even came in early from planting bulbs so I could brown the beef for the stew. When I realized we were out of bread I even adorned the best puppy dog eyes so that Wifey would quickly run to the store to grab some.

I made the stew with love and three hours later dished it out for the dinner table.

The look on her face said it all. She wasn't impressed with my efforts. Not one bit. We probed about what the problem was couched only in the guilt of "look at all the effort I went to for you" that a parent could muster.

She then spilled all her disappointment. "The stew my Grandfather used to make was white," she said. The bowl that we'd assembled for her contained a brown stew. As she ate it, it also turned out that she didn't like the potatoes. Or the stew sauce. Or the beef.

In the end I'd venture to guess that what her Grandfather used to make her wasn't stew at all. The lesson I get from this is that frugally motivated kindness will give you a karmic kick in the ass every time.

01 October 2008

The Edu-muh-cation of RKW

Last night around the kitchen table, Wifey was telling her favourite joke. "Pass the honey...honey. Pass the sugar...sugar. Pass the tea...bag." I groan. This kids think it's hilarious. Wifey thinks she's a comedian.

After pleading courses of "tell it again, Mommy!" Wifey acquiesced and told it with a newfie twist.

At the end of the joke, Bella asked what a newfie was, and we responded that it was someone from Newfoundland.

To keep her on the toes of her geography skills, we asked her to tell us where Newfoundland is.

Bella: It's east, east of here. I'm sure.

Mommies: Good job sweetie!

Bella: I read in a book once that it's close to Australia.

Mommies: Um, no. I think you might be confusing Newfoundland with New Zealand.

And then, she tried to argue with us about the location of this Canadian province. Unless there's be some sudden tectonic plate shifts we don't know about, I'm pretty sure that when I woke up this morning Newfoundland was a couple of thousand kilometers to the east, not tens of thousands of kilometers.