Auntie Yukiko, Erika, Elizabeth and I took the bus to Jacques Cartier Park to slide down their giant ice slides. Maria had a date with her Daddy, while Elizabeth's Daddy had a date with a mountain of work. Have I mentioned recently how much I appreciate my extremely talented and hard working spouse?
The bus trip was a big adventure, involving inter-provincial bus transfers and much angst about the right stops and fares. Neither Yukiko nor I had ever set foot in an STO bus before. Our conclusion? We missed the OC Transpo automatic stop announcements, but transfers between the two systems is pretty seamless (STO even accepted our OC Transpo transfer!) Google maps bus instructions told us to walk across the border though; apparently Google doesn't have STO information available or something...
We managed to arrive at the Park as most families were leaving for lunch. The friendly Parks Canada guy that took our photo told us that the line was an hour and a half long in the morning, rather excessive for a three second slide down! We didn't have to wait long. We accidentally went down the big slide first, which may have been a mistake. Elizabeth wasn't too sure about going down. Yukiko scooted over to make more room for Erika, lost her grip and down she went. Erika followed quickly as did we. Elizabeth screamed all the way down.
Clearly it was lunch time!
After lunch Elizabeth was still not keen on slides so we opted to check out some of the other attractions: inflated maze! kicksledding! giant beavers! airplane teeter totters! The kicksledding race was a huge hit, although very hard work for the pusher. Erika decided to push Elizabeth and almost made it there and back by herself (the turn was very difficult).
Elizabeth flatly refused to go down the next slide so we watched Erika and Yukiko from the bottom. We were excited to see the Ice Hogs parade past us with all their friends, especially the "baby dragon with the drum". We followed and watched way too much talking and a little bit of dancing. Then the Ice Hogs left for their vacation up North.
With significant cousinly prompting, Elizabeth finally agreed that we could try the slides again, as long as we stuck to the "kiddie" ones. In fact, Elizabeth was keen to slide "by self", until we got to the top, at which point she changed her mind. Three times we went up, three times she wanted to go, then didn't, then wanted to sit on my lap (or "use Mommy as a sled" and then CHANGED HER MIND ON THE WAY DOWN. So the volunteers at the bottom saw the same child screaming and crying down the slide over and over. She was actually yelling that she wanted to go by herself, not that she was willing to do so when she had a chance. Regardless, Mommy decided enough was enough. Yukiko and Erika went down a few more slides while we took a chocolate Beavertail break.
The dragons came out again, and this time the big one had a giant tail full of holes. Kids were invited to put their heads through the holes and dance around for a few minutes. Erika eagerly went forward. "Do you want to go too?" I asked Elizabeth. She shook her head firmly. I asked her a couple more times as they waited for more kids. "No no no no!" she said. So I stepped back as dragons started their dance. "WAAAAH!" said Elizabeth. "I CHANGED MY MIIIIIND!" But it was too late, so Elizabeth did her very best impersonation of an out of control toddler while we watched Erika dance with the dragon. It was a little nerve wracking, because we haven't really experienced much in the way of the terrible two tantrums yet. Hopefully she hasn't been saving them all for when she's three!
Luckily for our eardrums on the bus ride home, the baby dragon offered Elizabeth a hug "to make her feel better" at the end of the dance. I've heard it said that toddler tantrums are a thunderclap of emotions that can instantly clear to blue skies. Apparently it takes a dragon to chase away those storm clouds.