Brother to Brother Turning Two

Dear Gus:

Happy Birthday. I like you because you are cute. You definitely aren’t that old, but you’re great. 

Since you’re not that big, I still like you.

-Monty (4 years old)

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It was merry. Very.

Gingerbread CN Tower

Christmas Eve


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Three-year-old Strategic Voting or Too Much Green Eggs and Ham

Me: Monty, you and Gus have to come with me to vote today.
Monty: I don’t know how to vote.
Me: That’s ok. You just come with me to the high school and watch while I write an x in a box for the person I want to work for us.
Monty: Well, I would vote in a boat.
Me: That would make it more fun, but there isn’t a boat.
Monty:  (getting sad) Well, there should be a boat.
Me: I agree.
Monty: (getting angry) If you don’t take me in a boat then I won’t go voting with you.
Me: We could go in the wagon.
Monty: No! I want to go in a red boat with a paddle. I will find a big duck and a ring and vote over to the big kids’ side.
Me: I think you are confusing vote and float.
Monty: (screaming) No. You will go in the BOX and I will vote in the boat BY MYSELF!

Happy voting!

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Lucy at 5

She talked about starting school for months. She planned her lunch and meticulously labeled everything in her backpack. She was ready. We were ready. We were wrong.

At the beginning of this month, Lucy turned five. On that very same day, she had her first full day of kindergarten.

She had gone, happily, to a small-group kindergarten orientation. Then, she realized she had to go back the next day.

While changing diapers, braiding hair, throwing lunches into bags, and trying to find cleanish clothes to wear to work, the morning-long discussion started with patience and ended in us wrestling her 40lbs of raging emotion into the van and peeling out of the driveway. We then realized that no one is ever ready with Lucy.

She’d humbled us before:

  • insisting on walking on all fours onto an airplane – then barking and growling at the passengers all the way down the aisle to the back of the plane
  • wailing unconsolably for  entire cross-Canada flights
  • screaming for the majority of the first six months of her life

We’ve had our moments, so I guess we should have known.

Lucy is fiercely passionate about everything. And sometimes, that exhibits itself in justifiable rage…


and other times in pure love…


Lucy loves wholeheartedly and loyally. She openly shares everything with her brothers, gives the tightest hugs, and tells me her favourite part of school is getting to ride the bus with Oscar because he lets her sleep on his shoulder. 

So it was by some miracle of intuition that Lucy’s kindergarten teacher, seeing Lucy’s stress in Jeff’s arms, picked her up, hugged her close, and won her loyalty in an instant. 

It left us all humbled. 

Which is why it made sense to me when one morning, while gazing into her cereal, Lucy said to me:

Mom, Oscar is your son, but I’m your sunshine, right?

Yes, Lucy. You are the burning ball of hot plasma that we rely on for the warmth that nourishes and sustains us. 

IMG_8430 IMG_5877IMG_8468

Happy 5th, kindergartener!

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Passing the Torch

Last weekend marked the end of my first week back at work and the beginning of Jeff’s parental leave.

It’s been seven months of being home full time with Gus – – oh – and the other three, too… Jeff’s first week at home is off to a fine start. We have different ways of doing things and the kids seem to already be appreciating the variety.

Lucy and Oscar on RoofAs for me, I’ve been asked: “How was your first week back at work?”

The long answer includes wild stories of:

  • Working uninterrupted in an office and feeling like the most productive human on the planet
  • Feeling happy (but secretly sad) that the kids aren’t falling apart without me
  • Leaking milk through multiple shirts

The short answer is: “fine.”

Luckily, on Friday (my last afternoon of solo daytime parenting for a while), Lucy gifted me some of her four-year-old wisdom to take back to work. Ten minutes before Jeff comes home, I always frantically try to hide the slovenly disaster in which I operate most days. As usual, I was dejectedly eyeing up the mess…

Me: It always takes me way longer than I think to clean up.
Lucy: Then why don’t you just stop thinking about it?

I guess it is that simple. 

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Monty says…

May the fourth be with you as you eat your cereal –

– and as you wear your finest gown.

Elsa plays with Vader

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Oscar is Seven 

Tonight, around 1 a.m., Oscar will turn seven.  

We lied and told him his birthday was today so he wouldn’t hijack the whole Easter weekend from his siblings. Of course, he figured it out (he figures everything out) and reminded us repeatedly that tomorrow is still his birthday. Yes, Oscar. Easter weekend is all about you.

On the eve of his fake birthday, Lucy was as excited as Oscar. Before they fell asleep, Jeff overheard:

Lucy: (seriously) “I love you, Oscar.”

Oscar: (hesitantly) “I love you, Lucy… but… I love Lego. I love Lego.”   Happy 7th trip around the sun to the lego-loving, holiday-hijacking, worm-dancing, oldest kid in the house.  Easter is all yours this year.   

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