The Unacceptable Mermaid
Over the weekend there was an open house at the Tim Horton’s Camp in Tatamagouche, and a certain wife of mine thought it would be a good idea to go. I was somewhat hesitant, given that the afternoon would consist of a whole slew of poorly-behaved children, hopped up on timbits and ice cream, running around like animals. It was pointed out to me that the afternoon was about the kids, and not about me seeing how much I could grumble.
So three mood-stabilizing pills later(I think they may have actually been horse tranquilizers, but I can’t prove it), we set off. On the way, we nearly hit a deer, though due to my medicated state, I didn’t care. While driving through the small town of Tatamagouche, it dawned on me that if I should ever need to escape the hustle and bustle of our town of almost 4000 people, the slower pace of Tatamagouche might be a nice place to “get away from it all”.
Upon arrival at the camp we were told where to park by a young man who had obviously taken the complete opposite of what my wife had slipped me prior to our trip. I believe he was personally responsible for powering the camp, using his own energy. Holy smokes, dude! calm down. You’re directing me to a parking spot, not the Arc of the Covenant.
Once we had parked the car, we wandered through the grounds to the main lodge where there was a guy playing music, some lady handing out balloons(only to kids, it turned out. I really don’t know why I wasn’t allowed to have one. Seems like someone is being “age-ist”. What a cow! I bet the guy directing parking would have given me one), and more Timbits and ice cream than you could shake a stick at! There was also some sort of liquid that we were told was juice. Oh really? What fruit produces juice that is so vibrantly blue that it looks as though it could glow in the dark?
Once we had sat on the grass with our coffee, Timbits, and “juice”, and listened to some music, we decided that it was time for the kids to get their faces painted. We went over and stood in line, all the while trying to help the kids decide what design they might like to adorn their tiny cheeks. Tevye had decided on Spider Man, as there were other boys running around who had gone with this design. Saarah was set on Dora. We told her that the lady might think Dora was too tricky. Okay, fine, she’ll be nice and change her mind, instead wanting a mermaid. Of course she wanted a mermaid.
We spent the entire time in the lengthy lineup trying to convince her to go with a butterfly, or perhaps a heart, as both these designs were being churned out easily by the artists. These suggestions were met with a resounding “no”. Saarah was, as she has been many times before, insistent. I believe I’ve made it known throughout this blog that if Saarah is insistent on something, there will be no changing her mind. Her mother and I pray each night before we go to sleep that she might channel her steely determination towards good later in life. If she harnesses her powers for evil, we’re all in a lot of trouble.
I accompanied Tevye while he was transformed, through the magic of face paint, into Spider man. He was very appreciative to the young lady who worked her butt off. The final result was far better than anything I could have painted on his face
Saarah and Mama went over, all the while I’m praying that she has spared the girl the trouble of trying to create a mermaid, and just settled on a butterfly. Alas, it was not to be. Saarah had managed to convince this lady, who had most likely been sitting and painting the faces of over-excited children for the past four hours, to paint a mermaid on her cheek.
Once complete, a mirror was held up so that Miss Saarah might marvel at the beautiful creation, now adorning her very pinch-able cheek. The artiste, who had laboured over this creation inquired if Saarah liked it, to which my normally very polite daughter answered “No, it’s not beautiful”.
I don’t normally think that my children are jerks, but seriously, that was just mean. I know that she’s only three, and there’s a lot going on, and her nap was interrupted in the car on the way over, and it was getting towards supper-time so she was probably hungry, but come on Saarah.
I apologized profusely to the lady, and like so many parents in years gone past, assured this stranger that “she’s not normally like this”. The worst part about it was that the young lady actually looked as though she took it personally, and I felt bad for the way my child had acted.
To the lady who painted this lovely mermaid on my daughter’s cheek, if you happen to be reading this, in the car on the way home, Saarah told us how much she liked her mermaid. And to all the people sitting and painting ice cream-stained faces all afternoon, you all deserve to receive The Order of Canada for being able to keep a smile on your face all afternoon. As each child left your station, I could see each of you sigh in exasperation, before repainting your own smile and calling out “Okay, who’s next?”.
*I know that I complained a lot in this post, but we really did have a nice time, and were very impressed by the camp, itself. If you don’t know what the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation is, it’s a wonderful organization, which raises money each year to send underprivileged children to summer camp. Keep up the good work, Tim Horton’s