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Raising a Canadian-Chinese-French Kid

Mark, our Canadian-Chinese-French baby, was born in Ottawa on October 12, 2012. These are our adventures as parents-in-training.

Ottawa, October 2019

The Wizard’s Challenge

Mark is chatty. When he starts talking about movies, bad guys and other favourite topics, you’re in for a monologue—he could write a longer The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mark, 2019

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I bet I’ve never mentioned that Mark’s real father is a superhero and that my other child is a world-famous YouTuber.

Our New Tuesday Evening Phobia

Tuesdays are now known as the “six mots” day, a weekly homework writing exercise a native French speaker and skilled translator/copywriter/proofreader is struggling to complete.

Rainy Easter

The grim forecast was all over local news before the Easter long weekend—“Significant rain expected!” “Exercise caution!” “Flood concerns along the Ottawa River!”

The Slippers

Parents are often asked if they start feeling like a mother and a father the second they see their newborn—does a kid feel like his parents’ child the moment he is held for the first time?

That Night, Six Years Ago

Happy birthday, Mark. You’ve been looking forward to being 6 for almost a year now. No, we can’t pretend you’re ten. Sorry.

Summer Camps? A+, Canada!

Mark gives me a weird look, one that says, “I can’t take you seriously as a mother if you’ve never had a freaking marshmallow”.

Penises and Vulvae 101

Thanks to me French upbringing, I’ve been blessed with the ability to say “penis,” “vulva” and “vagina” without giggling or blushing. I can answer any question.

The First Millennial Trophy

“Mommy! Look what I’ve got! METAL!” “Metal?” “No, medal!” Mark shouts, barging in to my room. “Everybody got one. I won a medal! Did I do well?” he asks eagerly. I’m stumped. Oh, fuck me. It’s almost...

I’m Bad (You Know)

Sometimes, I say ONE thing ONCE and it will be remembered forever. Problem is, I never know what will stick with Mark. If I did, parenting would be easier, right?

The Notes

It takes me a second to realize that Mark snuck into my bedroom again. I smile.

Question Mark

Mark’s big questions always come out of the blue—even though I’m pretty sure he has been thinking about them for hours—and they often start with an assertion statement.