Family Day and The Winter of our Discontent

It has been a long weekend of contrived observances.

G didn’t have preschool yesterday. I didn’t even bother asking why – I just mentally prepared for a longer day than normal. But Jason got the scoop, from who knows where. ‘Did you know it’s Family Day on Monday,’ he informed me. ‘That’s why schools (etc.) are closed.’

Weird. The U.S. calls this particular Monday in February, President’s Day…but in Canada it’s Family Day. Personally, I think Family Day should only be for people with 8-5 jobs who may not have the ‘opportunity’ to see their kids as much as, say, those with more flexible schedules. In our house, every day is family day. (In fact, Jason and I fully expect the boys will one day berate us for ‘being around too much’.)

So it saddens me that we had to miss out on two hours of preschool, because the Canadian Government thinks we need to spend more time with our kids. But, since there was mandated family fun to be had, we complied.

We started off the morning by watching a movie – Chicken Little; G’s new favorite movie of all time – and sipping hot chocolate and enjoying Anna’s Ginger Thins, which, for a store-bought cookie is quite excellent. The fact that IKEA sells them for $1 a box makes them taste even better.

If I omit the part about how I used the aforementioned movie, hot chocolate and cookies as bribery in order to cut the boys’ hair, it sounds like a very pleasant morning.

Except it wasn’t. Because my boys hate it when I cut their hair. G was so distraught that I had to augment the bribery, and let him watch a bit of a Dora DVD after Chicken Little.

Fortunately it’s ‘Family Day’ not ‘Education Day’.

After lunch and a nap for the Hen, we headed out for a ‘Family Walk.’

There are some micro climates in operation here in Calgary. I can step outside of my front door, think it’s a certain temperature, and dress accordingly. But when I arrive at the trail by the river it is about ten degrees colder. And really windy.

Which means wintry family walks are not terribly enjoyable, because certain little people sit in their strollers and make comments like: ‘my cheeks are freezing’ and ‘can we go back – I want to be done.’ [Call me dramatic, but age almost-five ‘sounds’ a lot like what I imagined age thirteen would sound like.]


Of course, the same certain little people will leap out of the confines of their stroller when they see a playground. Fully capable of setting aside ‘freezing cheeks’ for some time on the swing.

After almost an hour into the experience, we proceeded to walk back to the car. I stopped here and there to try and document the icy surroundings.

But Jason got a tad grumpy with me because he thought my stopping briefly to take 3 pictures sent the Hen into a state of recalcitrance, aka complete unwillingness to sit in his stroller. Bucking and fussing like those wild horses you see in movies. So we ended up carrying him much of the way back – because people give you nasty looks when your kid is sitting in a stroller screaming, with legs and arms flailing.

Before getting in the car we stopped at the coffee shop for a snack. Because promising a snack after a walk (on a cold day) is the only way we can get the grumpelstiltskins to come along. And sure enough, a little bit of cookie or some yogurt parfait erases all the torturous memories, and keeps them going back for more.

3 thoughts on “Family Day and The Winter of our Discontent

  1. Happy Family Day to you. I’m in Calgary too. I came across your blog today. Very funny! I agree, my son missed preschool (for teacher’s convention) last week and I wasn’t impressed. I’m sorry you’re not so impressed with Tim’s. Makes me re-think everyone’s love affair with it. It’s just coffee…

  2. Thanks Miche! I agree, it seems like a long time ago since I last dropped my boy off at preschool. It’s been a long week – luckily we go back today!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s