Monthly Archives: February 2013

Date night fails

The last two times my husband and I have tried to go out as a couple have ended in failure. A week ago we booked a sitter so we could go see The Hobbit while it’s still in theatres, but an hour before she arrived our daughter whacked her head on the bed frame necessitating a trip to the emergency room and three stitches.

Bandaged in triage, my daughter's head injury killed what might have been a romantic night out. Nevermind, hobbits  kinda kill romance too.

Bandaged in triage, my daughter’s head injury killed what might have been a romantic night out. Nevermind, hairy-footed hobbits kill romance too.

Then, on Saturday, our son spiked a fever five hours before the babysitter showed up. We cancelled. The really annoying part of this particular date foiling was that I’d spent three hours at the salon that morning going back to blonde. My new lustrous locks and subsequent blow out was wasted on a sick five-year-old.

My new hair. Well, not exactly. Dare to dream!

My new hair! Well, not exactly. Dare to dream…

It’s all very deflating and makes you wonder — what’s the point of date night? Should we make an effort to get gussied up to go out on the town (and spend a bunch of money) when we might have to cancel at the last minute? Or, should we just lounge around in our P.J.s and watch Breaking Bad together after the kids are in bed and call it a date? Romantic, I know.

A recent story in the Globe and Mail lambasted the concept of date night, calling it a forced domestic chore that puts added pressure on couples. After our last two sad attempts, I can relate. In the run up to date night, you invest a lot of energy into looking forward to it, relishing (and idealizing) the idea of time away from the kids. But sometimes the movie sucks, or dinner is just okay, or you have to cancel and then imagine that you are missing out on the best night of your life.

On the other hand, there are times when date night works and you return home feeling reconnected with your partner after talking about things other than the kids and schedules. I wrote about date night’s benefits in a Calgary Herald story awhile ago.

Personally, I’d skip the date nights altogether if Blake and I could have regular date weekends. You know, dump the kids off at Grandma’s house and hop a flight to San Francisco or Montreal for a blissful escape exploring a new city. After all, the Globe’s argument wasn’t that couple time isn’t important, but that it’s better spent discovering something new together, or being spontaneous.

Enjoying a weekend in Montreal sans kiddos.

Enjoying a weekend in Montreal sans kiddos.

What about you? Date night — yay or nay?

Drink of the Week: St-Germojito

Please excuse this cocktail’s  ridiculous name. It’s just that I didn’t know what else to call the “mojito” made with St-Germain, that I created earlier this week.

You can almost imagine spring is coming while sipping this St-Germain mojito.

Imagine spring is coming while sipping this St-Germain mojito.

It was happy hour and we were faced with a dire scenario: no gin, no limes and only one lemon. We did have a bunch of leftover mint and some rum, however, so I decided to get experimental. Instead of using lime in my “mojito” I used half a lemon, as I prefer lime cocktails when they’re “cut” with lemon juice. Then, rather than adding sugar or making a simple syrup I added St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur from France, as the drink’s sweetening agent. This worked wonderfully as it’s not too sweet and pairs well with mint.

I actually like my tart and refreshing St-Germojito more than a traditional mojito, which I often find too sweet and/or not strong enough. I could taste both the rum (just slightly) and the St-Germain. In a word: yum.

It's tart and refreshing, thanks to the lemon juice, mint and soda.

It’s tart and refreshing, thanks to the lemon juice, mint and soda.


  • 1 oz Mount Gay Silver
  • 1/2 oz St-Germain
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • Top soda

In the base of a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the mint with the lemon juice and St-Germain. Add the rum and ice and shake. Pour contents of the shaker into a rocks glass, then add more ice if necessary and top with soda (about 1-2 oz). Stir to lift the mint to the top of the glass.

Snow plow parenting? Seriously?

While skiing in Fernie this past weekend my Google alerts brought me news of the very latest trend in parenting: snow plowing. Yes, this dreaded manoeuvre from the bunny hill has become a technique that some parents are using to help their children succeed — they simply sweep all obstacles out of their kids’ way like a snow plow.

The snow plow is painful enough with skis -- let's please not do it while parenting.

The snow plow is painful enough with skis — let’s please not do it while parenting.

For example, parents might bribe a coach with cupcakes to ensure their son gets a spot on the baseball team, or poison the competition so their daughter is chosen for head cheerleader. Really, there’s no telling the lengths modern snow plow parents will go to to clear the path of least resistance for their progeny.  As one blogger lamented, “Snow plow parenting will ruin the world.”

What strikes me as funny about this parenting label is the name. Have you ever watched a little kid learn how to ski (see photo, above)? It’s painful. The snow plow (or “pizza” as it is now called to get kids excited about doing it) takes a lot of muscle co-ordination and is fairly exhausting for little legs to execute down the mountain. It’s why tiny tots take innumerable breaks mid-run and can only ski for a half day tops, or risk putting their legs into the “French fry” (parallel) position to rest their screaming quads, at which point they get out of control and crash.

Sometimes I am forced to snow plow when my daughter takes me on tree trails through the woods. I do this only to check my speed so I won’t end up wrapped around a giant cedar tree with damage to my internal organs. Let’s call the snow plow an emergency position — it’s  not a move I want to transfer onto a groomed run, ever. Or do day after day (I wouldn’t have the energy for it).

As another blogger pointed out, perhaps there’s a little tiger mom, helicopter, free range or snow plow parent in all of us. The trick is knowing which parenting hat to wear, when — and only becoming a “snow plow parent” to keep your kid from crashing into a tree, chair lift tower or other life-threatening obstacle.

What are your thoughts on the latest parenting “trend”?