Tag Archives: Racheal McCaig
There’s a lot of talk about “teachable moments”, taking potentially difficult, embarrassing or awkward situations, and turning them round so we can learn from them and move forward.
As a parent, I’ve done that many, many times in the school yard, at the park, in movies, music, bookstores and the font of wealth, family holiday gatherings. Somehow the lessons always wrap up neat and tidy like an After School Special. Or Pillsbury cookies.
Now, I live and raise my kids in a little city called Toronto.
Have you heard of it? Apparently all the international media have. Even the Americans -we made Conan!
We have a…well, let’s call him “mayor”, with a…let’s call it “problem”. And in case you think your children don’t notice newspapers or pay attention to the news breaks on the radio in between the latest Katy Perry single on the way to hockey, here’s what my kids have taught me about the Rob Ford Scandal:
1) “You don’t have to know proper grammar to be mayor.”
2) “Red faced, sweaty people don’t look good on TV, and I wouldn’t trust him.”
3) “If you’re mayor, you shouldn’t be a liar.”
4) “The mayor is supposed to set a good example, like our school principal and our teachers, and he’s not. He’s letting the whole city down.”
5) “Bobbleheads are stupid.”
6) “Anyone who smokes and does drugs is a loser and a very, very bad man.”
7) “John Tory should have run.”
You’re meant to buy more. (FYI, last year alone, $14 million was raised from selling 18 million poppies.)
if you want to keep it, here’s some suggestions:
- It’s apparently disrespectful to use a pin, but earring backings are quite appropriate.
- A pencil eraser is also ideal.
- Tape can work, but you need weigh it right: wrap it tight enough to last, but not so much that it bulges and slides off.
- Duct tape, however, is not advisable as it can leave adhesive residue.
- Stitch it. 2 whips will usually do it.
- Blu-tack simply doesn’t work.
Oh, and poppies of any other colour? Just plain tacky.
Now go out and wear them (and lose them) with pride and remembrance.
What I learned from Toronto Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2014:
- Backstage, people are still smiling on Thursday, but by Friday the energy starts to lag and Saturday is just frenetic.
- Yes, the some of the Target models had bullseye red lips and nails.
- Groomed eyebrows and big eyebrows are back
- Clean make up, fresh looking skin is what’ll be hot for Spring/Summer 2014.
- Nude is coming in a big way.
- Nude lips are “a great look for everyone, and goes well with a smokey eye and natural make-up. It’s fun” says Grace Lee
- “You can absolutely find great make-up that’s affordable” (yes, this was sponsored by Maybelline)
- Nude nails, fresh and clean, are the next hot thing. “Like you’re nail but better. Bare or complexion enhancing,” are the buzzwords.
- Hair is pretty much anything goes: flowy, beachy, short cuts are coming back and a lot of loose updos.
- Clothes are flowy, yet showy, and emaciated models are still par for the course.
So what are the biggest makeup mistakes? Says Grace Lee:
- “Too much bronzer –they tend to overdo it and look orange.”
- “Also, women don’t pay enough attention when applying mascara to the root of their lash line. A lot of them are in a hurry and only get their ends, but when I do their mascara, I start right at the lash line and wiggle my way up and it makes a huge difference.”
And the biggest hair mistakes? Says Jorge Joao:
- “Over working the hair. Keep it simple.”
- “Using too much product. Sometimes we think we need more, when really, we just need less.
- If you’re looking for how-tos, Redken Ready has tutorials that are super user friendly.
Biggest Nail Mistakes? Says Essie:
- “Over trimming their cuticles, that’s massive, and can lead to inflammation and bacteria.”
- “Using dark polishes and getting it on the cuticles –they just look bruised.
I’m facing a huge parenting conundrum.
Baby Boy’s fish died and I’m not sure what to do.
Do I tell him?
Do I sneak in a replacement?
Do I let him discover it on his own?
Do I ignore it and pretend he won’t notice? (Let’s be honest, he’s 7 and it’s a fish he forgets to feed, so he might not. However his sister’s fish, who she also forgets to feed, is still roaring away, so…)
I know, I know, it’s the whole circle of life thing, but still. It’s one of those traumatic moments for a parent. When I went to feed them this morning, fish not kids, it was a wee bit gut wrenching. That fish and I have been through a lot. Like me cursing while cleaning his tank.
But I digress.
Have you gone through this?
What did you do?
Sure, last year I took issue with “Orange & Black Day“, and I find it a bit ridiculous that it’s become an issue once again this year.
I love the pumpkins, the costumes, the decorations and the joy that comes from Hallowe’en.
And yes, I am the mom who makes every kid that comes to my door perform a “trick” for their “treat”.
I figure, if I’m forking out that much money on mini candy bars and sticker treat boxes, I deserve to be entertained, or at least have a good laugh. So everyone who rings my bell has to have a joke, a song or a skit ready.
Some of the kids love it and pull out all the stops. Others…well, that’s an article for another day.
There used to be a sporadic spattering throughout our ‘hood, but now it seems that every lawn is sprawled out with R.I.P. blazoned across their greenery.
What’s up with that?
Is there a mommy memo I missed? Is this the cool thing for the ghouls this year? To be honest, I’m starting to find it kind of disturbing.
I know, I know, it’s All Hallow’s Eve, but still! can’t we just keep it cute and cuddly instead of crawly and creepy? I like the mysterious and spooky, but when I’m doing the school run and continually passing hands coming out of fake grave markers, it’s a bit unnerving.
Maybe I’ve just been reading too much of Maggie Stiefvater’s the Raven Boys series. Maybe I should revert to soft, cuddly, benign Edward Cullen instead…
Though people may be starting to cool their heels a bit about the potential lyric changes, leave it to the marketers to get in on the changes.
The debates about the lyrics were so hot and heavy, and yet no one’s even mentioned this:
Except my kids.
Who thought it was stupid.
“Why would they do that to the anthem, mom?” asked Darling Daughter.
Baby Boy piped in “isn’t it disrespectful?”
“Well, yes,” I explained, “it is. But, it also got your attention, so it means it was an effecive advertizing tool.”
“So it’s just another ad?”
“They shouldn’t do that.”
“You’re right they shouldn’t.”
Now pass me a pizza sub…
So a group of prominent Canadian women have decided our national anthem isn’t quite up to snuff and are petitioning for change.
“The words “all thy sons command” in the English national anthem suggests that only male loyalty is being invoked,” Margaret Atwood said in a statement.
Of course Margaret Atwood’s at the helm. As soon as you heard “prominent Canadian women” did you expect anyone else?
Oh really Margaret? Cause I’m pretty sure I was in school with your daughter when the lyrics were last changed to include the Judeo-Christian God, effectively alienating a whole lot of other people.
But there were men in that group, so I guess it didn’t count.
Do we also need to change manholes to utility covers? Because if you start there, where does it end? What about humanity to hupeopleity? And the ever popular women to womyn? I realise we ride a fine line between tradition and equality, but there has to be a happy medium somewhere. A place where we can accept our history without constantly changing it to make us feel better.
I find it interesting to note that the original lyrics to O Canada, written by, oh English Canada don’t cringe, French people, have never changed.
Calixa Lavallee and Adolph-Basile Routhier can rest easy. Their lyrics, with nary reference to gender, can’t offend anyone.
When I asked my 10 year old feminist daughter what she though of the proposed change, the first thing she asked was “what do they want to change it to?”
I told her they want to change “in all thy sons command” to “thou dost in us command.”
Without skipping a beat she said “well that’s really stupid,” and started humming The Maple Leaf Forever.
But as the day progressed and movie time neared, pangs of Mommy Guilt started kicking in.
Because I suddenly remembered, they shoot the dog in the end. Am I ready to traumatize my kids? Am I ready for the cries of “how could you do this to us?” For the nighttime sobs thinking about Yeller saving Travis and then later, as the rabies kicks in, growling at him ready to attack?
There are so many movies I want to share with the kids –films I loved as a child. But sometimes, I forget how old I was when I first saw them. Like Ghostbusters. I was 11 not, 7. And there’s a big difference in appropriateness between 11 and 7. So I’ve held off on a lot of them. And for the moment, I held off on Old Yeller too.
If any of you remember it, then you’ll understand when I tell you that we were ALL traumatized by that one. How on earth that got a PG rating is beyond me.
Annie is PG.
Harry Potter is PG.
But that’s a rant for another day…
So I’m supposed to be at We Day today, but a snag has hit and I can’t be there.
But the question I keep asking (and if you’re reading, you must be too) is what exactly is We Day and why should I care?
Aside from the fact Canadian Living is a media sponsor (insert plug here), the We Day website tells me :“We Day is an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.”
What kind of marketing goop is that? Am I supposed to distill a message from that? And am I supposed to care?
And then I scroll further down and get to this:
“We Day is part of a family of organizations, including Free The Children and Me to We, that has a shared goal: to empower a generation to shift the world from ‘me’ to ‘we’—through how we act, how we give, the choices we make on what to buy and what to wear, the media we consume and the experiences with which we choose to engage.”
Bang! They won me over.
Because as I see our society sinking further down into a self-obsorbed, self-obsessed, insular, material-centric mess, I long for the good ol’ days of Free To Be You and Me. The messages of folk singers on The Muppet Show like Harry Belafonte reminding us that we are all one and we can make a difference.
I still think David Suzuki must be sitting somewhere shaking his head saying “I told you so…”
So go their site, look at the presenters, read why they’ve chosen to take part, watch the youtube clips, and start the discussion.
“Mom, what do you do?”
I stop for a moment to think about it. In a day I:
- Wake up
- Work out (sometimes. Ok, not as often as I should…)
- Prep articles
- Pay bills
- Prep lunches
- Make breakfast
- Do laundry
- Clean the counter
- Get the them up
- Make sure they’re fed, cleaned, clothed and brushed
- Clean the counter
- Do the school run
- Write articles
- Volunteer at school
- Clean the counter
- Do a photoshoot
- Or a media launch
- Or both
- Prep an after school snack
- Occasionally let Starbucks prep the after school snack
- Clean the counter, even at Starbucks
- Pick up the kids
- Deliver snack and start the afterschool activities chauffeur juggling routine
- Realise I didn’t plug in the slow cooker and prep dinner as the bairn chill out
- Clean the counter
- Have “quiet time” as they do their home work and I start processing images, write another article or, if I’m lucky, read a book
- If I don’t have a night shoot, book club or a dinner party, I’ll start the bedtime routine. Sometimes it’s a basketball shoot-out, a walk to the park, or just to the tub.
- Then it’s pjs, tooth brushing, a last counter wipe before settling in for story time and finally tucking them into bed.
But that’s not what I tell them.
“Well, I…I write articles and take pictures of famous people.”
“Ya, that’s what we thought…”