This is another post from my “Daddy Daze” series, an anecdotal exploration of my odd little adventures in parenting in bite-sized chunks (for your reading enjoyment) and because the last thing this world needs is yet another doting parent blog.
Karin went to Calgary for the week for a work orientation for her new position, so Claire and I are having a daddy-week… alone… in Edmonton…
We’re doing good, and the last thing I want to imply is that we’re lost without the mom around, but there have been a few little quirks that have emerged between the standard school-shuttling, homework-howls, and piano-impatience kind of fun that normally echoes through our house.
A Date For Dinner
Claire got it in her head because mom was out of town, that she and dad were going to dinner.
Claire and dad were going to Swiss Chalet for chicken fingers
And why not? It’s been a few weeks since the non-stop dining-out of Disney World, and mom was on a little mini-vacation (from her daughter’s perspective, at least) down in cow-town. So, Claire and dad were going to Swiss Chalet for chicken fingers.
It’s been cold. The temperature had dropped into the minus twenty Cs and the wind is making the wind-chill show numbers that are more akin to what you’d find at one of the poles. We bustled over to the restaurant, and hurried inside, dashing from car to doors to avoid as much cold as possible.
Now, you’re probably reading this wondering what the punch line is going to be: what went wrong? What did she break? Who did my precious little girl make cry?
But, that’s not the joke. The quirk was that this usually-wiggly, ants-in-her-pants, normally-impatient little girl had it in her head that this was our early Valentine’s dinner (yeah, almost two weeks early) and she was perfectly behaved: she made conversation, she ordered her own food, and she ate everything that was put in front of her.
Her mom was a little green when I told her later.
The Dance Hair Fiasco
On the other end of the dad’s little angel spectrum was the Tuesday night “my hair NEEEEEEDS to be in a bun, DAD!” dance hair fiasco.
See, Tuesday is dance night. And since Karin has been dancing most her life and it was her determination that her daughter at least have a go at following in those footsteps, this dad usually takes a few steps back and let’s the dance thing be a girls thing.
I watch. I listen. I participate where applicable.
The dance thing has been a mommy-daughter activity for the last few years, and that’s a good thing… at least until mom is away on a dance practice night and the particularities of attending dance class become abundantly clear in certain minor details such as the fact every little girl in the class is required to wear their hair in a bun to be a ballerina. And this dad can barely manage getting his daughter’s hat on straight, let alone a clean pony tail or anything even close to resembling a bun.
We got an elastic to (at least) stay in the hair long enough for the teacher to fix it when we got to the studio, but it looks like I’ll be taking some lessons in little-girl-hair-styling in the near future.
Forgotten Snow Pants
Did I mention it’s cold? Yeah: Still cold.
Usually this means that they don’t make the kids go outside at school, instead letting them have access to the gym or some other spaces to burn off some enegry.
So, Claire forgetting her snow pants on the back stairs this morning — despite me specifically asking her five times to remember them — and then not realizing she forgot to bring them until we were AT school HANGING UP an invisible and non-existent pair of those same snow pants on the coat rack… well, normally this would not be a huge deal on a super-cold day.
February 5th is Alberta Winter Walk day
But guess what… February 5th is Alberta Winter Walk day. What is Winter Walk Day, you ask?
“Winter Walk Day is a province-wide initiative to get Albertans up and moving during the winter months. Winter Walk Day celebrates our Alberta winter while promoting the year-round health benefits of walking.”
The certainty of the kids having zero outside time in this cold weather was not exactly a certainty this morning.
My commute got about twenty-five minutes longer as I drove back to the house to get the snow pants and deliver them to Claire.
And… there’s still enough time that there may be a second part to this article…