It was just another boring Thursday. That late in the work week, we were tired, half sick, busy, rushed… the usual.

The “highlight” of the day was a visit to Mark’s doctor for a series of vaccines administered at age 4. I follow the immunization schedule religiously, especially given the occasional measles outbreaks and the absurd anti-vaxxer movement, so I had called the doctor’s office a few days after his birthday.

Feng and Mark drove to the University of Ottawa Health Clinic. I was coming from a meeting with a client downtown and I met them in the parking lot. Feng is always on time. I love him for that.

I gave Mark the usual pep talk. Yes, a needle goes into the skin, yes it will hurt a bit—I will let you know when, I will be here and the pain won’t last. I don’t have a needle phobia and I don’t want Mark to develop one. I also don’t lie to him as a matter of principle—shots suck but hey, that’s life!

The nurse was taking forever and I was afraid that Mark’s willingness to endure the “big boy rite of passage” (that was how I branded it) wouldn’t last. She was also making a huge deal of it. According to her, I pretty much should have strapped Mark to the chair. “Honestly, he will be fine. He knows exactly what’s coming, don’t worry,” I told her.

The nurse was dubious but indeed, Mark didn’t cry at all. One shot, two shots… then I got the flu shot (Mark held my hand, of course), then he got his. “This one HURTS!” he complained. I hugged him, secretly proud to have this kid who doesn’t scream to death.

Then, at the same time, I realized that maybe I was training him to become a junkie.

Damn. Parenting is hard, you can’t help second-guessing yourself all the time.

We met the doctor for a brief checkup. Vitals and measurements were taken (Mark is 17 kg and 102 cm) and questions were asked. Yes, Mark can put his shoes on by himself, no I have no idea if his testicles moved down because this is not my area of expertise.

The doctor was less paternalist than when Mark was a baby. Maybe we looked less clueless or maybe we had passed some kind of test, coming back with a grownup little boy instead of a screaming infant or a whiny toddler.

We finally left the office an hour and three sore arms later.

“It’s snowing! Mommy! It’s snowing!”

I may have said “fuck that shit” out loud. I probably did.

It was snowing. In October. Not the kind of slightly wet rain that can still pass as your regular fall rain, but big fluffy snowflakes, the kind Hollywood favours to feature in Christmas family movies.

It snowed all night. The next day, I went to take pictures of fall leaves and snow—yes, I’m still taking the pathway that leads to the crime scene (the guy was arrested, by the way).

This snow won’t last on the ground.

The next one probably will.

Fall leaves and snow
Fall leaves and snow
Wet red leaf on the road
Wet red leaf on the road
Leaves and grey sky
Leaves and grey sky
Grass, leaves, snow
Grass, leaves, snow
Snow under a RV on the supermarket's parking lot
Snow under a RV on the supermarket’s parking lot
Snow on squashes left outside at the supermarket
Snow on squashes left outside at the supermarket
Like the bale says... "Canadian Life"!
Like the label says… “Real Canadian”!
Leaves and snow
Leaves and snow
Wet leaves
Wet leaves
Single yellow leaf
Single yellow leaf
Leaves, snow and my ridiculous rain boots
Leaves, snow and my ridiculous rain boots
Wet leaf
Wet leaf
Late-fall trees
Late-fall trees
Leaves and snow
Leaves and snow
Leaves and snow
Leaves and snow
Leaf and snow
Leaf and snow
Fall colours
Fall colours
October sky
October sky
Rabbit spotted!
Rabbit spotted!
Rabbit trying to hide (pretty badly, I must say)
Rabbit trying to hide (pretty badly, I must say)
Squirrel in a tree
Squirrel in a tree
Wet leaf
Wet leaf
Leaves and snow
Leaves and snow
... and that day, a family in the neighbourhood was having a BBQ o the driveway. Badass Canadians!
… and that day, a family in the neighbourhood was having a BBQ o the driveway. Badass Canadians!
 

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15 Comments

  1. Jeruen October 31, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, you guys have snow quite early!

    Here in Berlin temperatures are hovering between 5 and 10 C. The leaves are yellowed, and it’s about half and half when it comes to whether they’re still on trees or already on the ground. Not sure when snow will appear, but it’s definitely coming!

    Reply
    1. Zhu October 31, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      We always have a first snowfall around this time of the year. It melted already… it was just a warning 🙂

      Reply
  2. Cynthia November 1, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Wow, it’s cold this year in Canada! Yesterday it was around 17 c in Paris and today is kinda hot too.

    Reply
    1. Zhu November 1, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      We always have a first snow around this time of the year, I think. But yeah, yesterday was a cold Halloween night…

      Reply
  3. Frenchie au Canada November 1, 2016 at 10:31 am

    “Then, at the same time, I realized that maybe I was training him to become a junkie.” bahaha and I would have no idea regarding testies either haha
    We had snow on Thanksgiving, nothing since. And I had the same reaction as you!
    You’re raising a trooper 😉

    Reply
    1. Zhu November 1, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      😉

      Now I think I should Google testicles, but at the same time, I really don’t want to 😆

      Reply
    2. Zhu November 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Are you scared of needles? Did you get your vaccinations, as a kid (just wondering, considering your mom’s beliefs back then!)

      Reply
      1. Frenchie au Canada November 2, 2016 at 10:52 am

        Yes I am scared of needles!
        And I only got the first few when I was a kid. Then she started believing and I never got the rest…. I’ve been meaning to get them updated for years but I’m not even sure where to start here….
        And I wouldn’t google that either haha

        Reply
        1. Frenchie au Canada November 2, 2016 at 11:25 am

          Correction: When I was a baby (less than 1 yr old). Nothing after that

          Reply
          1. Zhu November 2, 2016 at 2:15 pm

            I know you probably don’t want to hear that but DO get your shots up to date. Seriously, it doesn’t hurt. There are periodic outbreaks in communities (the latest one was measles) and you will need your shots if you are pregnant 😉

          2. Frenchie au Canada November 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

            I know, when I mentioned it to my last GP he told me not to worry… And I haven’t really pushed it since. I should. funny my GP said it was OK for pregnancy…
            There are a lot of “mother earth” types here so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a lot of kids don’t have all their shots

          3. Zhu November 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

            Oh, there is nothing to worry about! 🙂

            I just remember that the first thing the doc said when my pregnancy was confirmed was to give me a bunch of booster shots since mine weren’t all up-to-date. I was okay with that… I guess if you’re not, you can mention it (before they start with the needle, be quick! :lol:)

  4. Holly November 3, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Out of curiosity – did you get a flu shot when pregnant? I really want to get one done as I hate getting sick – especially after the year I have had and I really don’t want the baby to get flu. I shouldn’t laugh but I am sure Mark won’t become a junkie :p

    Reply
    1. Zhu November 3, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      No, I didn’t. I only started getting the flu shot last year.

      I can’t remember why I didn’t do it… I think we considered ourselves low risk back then, both of us working from home, with little social interactions because, well newborn in the house. If you can (ask your doctor, I guess), it’s probably best to get it.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Canada, Hard Mode, Now With Snow

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