My attempts at fitting into the Canadian way of life have continued this week with my first trip ice skating since Neil and I went on a romantic date to the picturesque Dundonald Ice Bowl not long after we first met.
My skating hasn’t improved during my 15 year break but I enjoyed wobbling my way round, trying to avoid the children performing perfect double salchows, triple axels and just generally bombing around as if they’d been born with skates attached to their feet. Casper even entered into the spirit of things and had a go, though he didn’t quite pull off the Canadian “born to skate” look, as soon as he stepped on to the ice his legs went to jelly and he exclaimed that it was “too slippy for Casper” (he likes to refer to himself in the third person, a bit like The Queen…and Craig David).
We then rounded off the weekend with a trip to the beautiful Deep Cove, we managed a quick stop on the stunning little beach before the snow started and we retreated inside for some delicious (and obviously calorie free) Fish and Chips followed by Honey covered donuts.
We have also been to our first children’s birthday party since leaving Manchester. Casper hasn’t forgotten what’s expected though – give the birthday boy a present, eat too much sugar, run around like a lunatic and then cry all the way home. The morning of the party was a total washout, even by Vancouver standards, when our road became a river we did think we might really have to embrace the Canadian way and Kayak to the party. It would have been worth it, the hosts were Australian and despite the rain lived up to their national stereotype and had an amazing barbie going, the food was phenomenal – pulled pork and ribs with homemade bbq sauce, no cremated on the outside raw in the middle food poisoning specials here. It was a great party, we’ve got a lot to live up to for Theo’s first birthday, in fact I might start lying about his age to avoid it.
This week I have also been approaching the subject of potty training with Casper. He was very keen on buying a potty and “Big Boy Pants” – so proud in fact he showed them to all the children in his song-time group (fortunately he wasn’t wearing them at the time). He wasn’t keen on actually sitting on the potty at first, though I thought I’d cracked it two mornings in when he sat on it three times – mind you he didn’t do anything whilst he was there, just sat there looking at himself in the mirror. A while later he got up from where he was playing and toddled off and had a wee…in the pushchair. He’s getting the idea now though – the promise of a new toy train seems to have helped. I’ve also found the potty useful, it’s got a lid so that children can stand on it to reach to wash their hands and short mums can reach the kitchen cupboards.
The trouble with potty training though is the inordinate amount of time I seem to be talking about wee and poo – constantly asking Casper if he needs to go, if he has gone or if he’s currently going, though he loves this topic of conversation. We went out for a coffee in one of Vancouver’s thousands of coffee shops and I nipped to the loo, Casper came with me. It was just a single toilet, no cubicles, and the key was kept on the counter and there was no inside lock. Whilst I was on the loo Casper opened the door and ran out into the busy coffee shop to tell Neil that “Mummy’s done a wee”. Nice.
Now that I’m a “Full time Mum” I thought I ought to attempt some baking with Casper. The appalling result would make Mary Berry weep. Though, as any bad workman would tell you, I blame the tools, we don’t have any kitchen scales so I had to estimate, then mix the dough in the fruit bowl and roll it out with a wine bottle…here’s the sorry looking result…