Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthdays and Blog Awards

My oldest turns 11 tomorrow.  She also leaves for an over-nighter with her school tomorrow, so it's a little odd that on her actual, honest-to-Gord birthday I'm only going to see her for an hour or so, most of which will likely be spent kicking both her and her sister's butts into gear, as the little one also has a school trip tomorrow.  Not a day one wants to be late for the bell.

A few months ago T approached me about a show on YTV called The Next Star which, to the best of my knowledge is in the Idolesque vein of reality shows, except for the 15-and-under crowd.  That's pretty much all I know about it, except that I think the gay kid from Degrassi hosts it.  Toronto auditions happened to be the same weekend that we'd be doing her birthday stuff.  She begged me to take her to audition so I told her that in lieu of a birthday party this year, she could pick a friend and I would take them and Reegs down to the city for the day so she could try out, and then we'd go out for dinner.  That would be her birthday celebration.

I ran into a roadblock when I couldn't get photo ID for T, which was required.  Unless you get a passport, there's not a lot of photo ID options for an 11-year-old around here.  Ontario Health Cards only have a picture above a certain age, because kids change so damn fast that by the next doctor's appointment they probably look nothing like the picture on the card.

So we just pretend they all look like pretty flowers instead.  (Instead of their picture, you get a picture of a white trillium instead.  I Google-image-searched the hell out of variations of 'Kids OHIP card' and 'Children's Ontario Health Card' but all I could find were adult versions so if you're outside of Ontario, you're just going to have to take my word for it, as I'm not about to post my OWN kid's OHIP card on here.  Don't be silly.)

Also, no elementary schools around here have actual Student Cards.  That's just for high school kids.

So I told her this but assured her that we were going to go and that I would try to argue my way out of the photo ID thing.  I considered lying and telling the registration people that I had ordered a passport but that it had yet to arrive in the mail.

It was all kind of moot because I didn't foresee that we would actually miss the registration deadline, seeing as I had searched their site for a registration deadline and didn't see one so I had figured they were on all day.  We had left later than anticipated (the goal was to leave the house by 8, we got out around 9:30) and by the time we got to Yorkdale mall and caught the subway down to Front Street, it was almost noon, and the people at the Convention Center told us that registration closed at 9:30 that morning.  T was a little upset so we found a quiet area so she could have a moment, and so I could figure out for a contingency plan, which came in the form of a bus tour around the city.

Truth be told, the family rate for the bus tour was kind of pricey and at first I had said no, but got to thinking about it and went back and haggled with the guy, explaining that A) the Family rate included two adults and I was only one and that I had travelled with these kids only to have my daughter gravely disappointed ON HER BIRTHDAY NO LESS (not ENTIRELY untrue.. it was her birthday celebration day) and got about 20-25% off the price of the Family pass.  The bus tour included a boat tour of the Toronto Harbour, so once we got to the Harbourfront, we wandered around looking for drinks as my kids were ill-dressed for a day in the sun that was supposed to be spent waiting around the air-conditioned Metro Convention Center.  I got ripped off by a pop machine that stiffed me roughly four bucks from a $10 bill.  Once we had killed enough time we got on the boat for our tour, which turned out to be a relaxing half-hour journey around the Toronto Islands.

The Toronto Skyline from my side of the boat.
After returning to shore, the two older girls wanted to go on a paddle boat ride.  Reegs and I went and checked out a free museum nearby, The Power Plant, while they waiting in line but sadly the museum didn't offer much.  Call me a Philistine if you will, but sometimes I think 'Contemporary Art' is a fancy-shmancy term for "Weird, and kind of sparse."  It took about 15 minutes to go through the whole thing.  We took longer in the bathroom. At least I didn't pay to get in, so that's something.

After the paddle boats we headed back to the subway as it was getting too late to hop back on the bus (kind of rendering the bus thing not worth the money... although the kid we saw that kept declaring with tiny fist pumped "I. LOVE. THE BIG RED BUS!" over and over again to his parent's chagrin kind of made it worth it).  This was all three girls first time riding the subway and was an interesting and slightly nerve-wracking experience.  I guess having walls zoom by a mere inch from your window combined with the sound of steel on steel can be scary for any first timer.

We had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, which seemed like a good idea for a kids birthday.. kind of somewhere in between fast-food kid-mecca and grown-up sit-down dinner.  We ordered one ginormous dessert and between the four of us we still couldn't get through the gobs of brownies and ice cream and whipped cream.

Driving home from the city in the summer on a Sunday is definitely a great thing about living in Cottage Country.. you're almost always guaranteed to be facing the heaviest traffic on your way home, breezing along the Northbound lanes of the 400 while the city folks sit in bumper to bumper traffic on the Southbound.

All in all it was a great day and the thing that was especially nice was that all three girls were very well behaved and appreciative.  T and I have been butting heads quite a bit lately as she has entered into a typically self-centered pre-adolescent stage.. it's like pre-teens kind of regress to that toddler-stage where they don't actually realize that other people are people and may have needs and wants that don't revolve around and instantly gratify their own.  But even with the disappointment upon our arrival to the City, there was no whining, no fighting with her sister, no complaining and no pushing for more, more, more.  It was refreshing and I made sure to let her know that.. I enjoy doing things for them, but I like it even more when I know they appreciate it.

So tomorrow my baby girl turns 11.  Time doesn't ever go backwards, does it?  Not even for a minute.

So in other news, I've now been awarded three times for the Liebster Award so I'm thinking I better get off my ass and thank the folks who've passed it on to me:

So thanks bunches to:

Crystal at Ideally Speaking, a socially active mom and closet comic geek which is how we initially got talking at work way back in the day.

Vanessa at Five Things About Nothing Important whose blog I really need to check out more 

Heidi Millerick at Eight Days A Week, who I've also been lax in checking out.

I may get around to passing this on, but I think for now, I'll just say that if it's in my blog roll over there ---> then it's probably worth taking a peek at.  I know others worth reading but I just don't link as they keep a lower profile.

Yeah, it's a total cop-out, I know.


  1. It sounds like your daughter took the disappointment pretty well. A big deal for an 11 year old. To be disappointed and to handle it well I mean.

  2. Sounds like triumph was snatched from the jaws of potential disaster.

  3. Nearly foiled by a poorly organized website and poorly communicated deadlines. But you pulled it out with some sweet improvisation. Well done.


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