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My daughter, enjoying being out and about on Canada Day - July 1, 2013

My eldest daughter, Canada Day in Ottawa – July 1, 2013

The memory to accompany the photo could be recounted as follows:

What a day!  My two daughters – aged three and one – my mother and I: out for a refined girls’ afternoon on the town for Canada Day.

My eldest loved Granny’s hat, and borrowed it.  A lovely moment, captured in the above photo.

We all enjoyed meandering through downtown, revelling in the friendly hustle and bustle.  We paused to watch a parade!  We waved our flags; got maple leafs painted on our cheeks; had a quick bathroom break; and grabbed a bite to eat on the grass by the National War Memorial.

Then, as we got ready to head back to the car, my youngest decided she wanted to walk the entire way!  It took a while, but it was so cute!  And it gave my eldest a chance to play “baby” and ride in the stroller, which she always enjoys.

When we got home, the girls had a nice nap and I enjoyed some wine as my husband and I waited for our friends to show up for an evening barbecue we were hosting.

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Alternatively, I could tell the story this way:

What a day!  My husband needed a break, so – because I’m slightly masochistic – I decided to take my two daughters – aged three and one – downtown on Canada Day.  My mom was kind enough to come along and help.

The girls both loved Granny’s hat.  She gave it to my eldest.  This naturally resulted in a fight, but we sorted it out.  I tried to get a picture of my eldest wearing the hat, but she refused.  I finally managed to snap this one of her as she wandered off.  Whatever works!

The crowds were fun, but it was hard getting around with one in a stroller and the other running about.  We might have lost my eldest if the cops hadn’t been stopping everyone to wait for the Governor General’s motorcade to go through.  We told the girls it was a parade.  They bought it!

Then my eldest broke her flag.  We averted implosion by quickly getting maple leafs painted on our cheeks.

After that, we managed to find a free spot on the grass by the War Memorial and settled down for a bite to eat.  I was sorting out food for my youngest when I turned around to catch my 3-year-old with her dress hiked up and undies down, ready to pee right there on the grass!

Given there was no bathroom in site, I stuck a pull-up on her; told her to go in it; then whipped it off; put her undies back on; got rid of the evidence; and avoided eye contact with everyone around us.

Then, as we got ready to head home, my eldest decided she had to ride in the stroller.  Fortunately, my youngest wanted to walk the eight blocks back to the car.  I had lots of time to reflect on how impressed I was by her fortitude – and my 3-year-old’s equivalent lack thereof – in the hour it took to get there as a result.

They were both asleep by the time we got home and I was more than ready for a glass of wine before gearing up for an evening barbecue my husband thought would be fun to host.

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When I look at this photo, I choose to remember the first scenario.

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