Hi. Um, so, I'm in Canada. With my little side-kick, who is just a little uncertain of geography and asks for clarification every five minutes, seeking to determine whether this is, in fact, Canada or Jakarta.
We've been here for only two days, but already have eaten pizza twice, walked about a million kilometres revealing in the unobstructed sidewalks, enjoyed fresh air and blue skies, and done a circuit of the city's playgrounds.
Meanwhile, I keep wondering what Stella makes of this trip. For a kid who's spent the majority of her life in Asia, Canada must seem weird, right? But when I ask her what she thinks is different about Canada, she responds with a blank stare.
So, I piece together a fractured understanding of her perception of this place based on her comments. Choo-choo buses (Street cars) are totally rad. Carseats and seat belts are bullshit. As is the rule that decrees "In Canada that children cannot run around in restaurants." Total balls. We watched the "gym people" running past the cafe window. I guess that's weird? And the cyclists wearing helmets. Weird. And there was an episode where Stella began screaming in absolute terror as a pigeon pecked away on the sidewalk in front of us. So, pigeons are weird? And terrifying? I guess?
As for me, I'm happy to report the following observations:
Flying with a three year old is infinitely easier than flying with a two year old. Stella slept a whopping 4 hours on the flight. She played independently in her seat, and let me snooze in half-hour stretches. And, most amazingly of all, this kid walked by herself through all airports while managing her own suitcase. I mean, jackpot, you guys!
Three-year-old jet lag is not nearly as horrendous as baby jet lag. (Though this point may require a caveat; I let the iPad do all the parenting between 3-6 am.)
Canada is freezing. Duh, me.
This fact does not deter Canadians from dressing in shorts, sleeveless tops, and sandals. Meanwhile, I'm worrying about hypothermia because It's 22 degrees Celsius, and maybe I should put a hat on my kid? And some mittens? Perhaps?
Canadians are the friendliest. Really. I had forgotten about this fact. I've had at least 10 random strangers go completely out out of their way to open doors for me, warn me of an out-of-order elevator, or carry Stella's stroller up steps, or wish me a nice day. It's almost enough to make me crave the constraints of a mortgage and a over-priced shoebox-sized condo in Toronto.