Tag Archives: humour

The Look

I think every family with more than one off-spring has it—you know, The Look. It’s hard to describe as every family has their own version. I know my family has it. The look ranges in various degrees. The mildest is like a warning and the strongest is a “time out.”

I remember growing up as the middle child—that’s having a Big Brother and a Little Sister. Being in the middle sucks big-time. You’re either ranked as “too young” for the privileges of later bedtimes and curfews like Big Brother or “old enough to know better” for not stopping Little Sister from doing something she shouldn’t have.  And, in the midst of this confusing age-thing, earning the parental look.

Reflecting back, I think we all got the look at various times during our childhood. During our playful ruckus and noisy sibling squabbles, one or the other parent would stand in the room, quietly say our names and give that look. It always worked–like a switch had suddenly turned down the noise. Note, I said “turned down” and not “turned off.”

The look worked especially well in a room full of company. At family dinners, if the pushing/shoving/giggling became too much at the table, one of the parents would look over and give the family you-know-what.  I noticed that my aunts and uncles also did this with my cousins. We would all stop except for the feet kicking under the table.

I was thinking about the family look when my cousin glanced over at his two children, noisily wrestling each other over the mini-racing cars in the toybox. He gave his sons the look without uttering a word. The noise level dropped. My sister is a natural teacher and the look was an easy one for her. It must be passed along in the DNA because the kids learn the meaning of a parental look before they can talk.

I never knew I had this ability to give the look until my little granddaughter looked up from happily bashing her wooden blocks on the kitchen floor. For three nano-seconds she stopped her happy squeals, then threw me a big smile and a “luff you PoPo” before resuming her noisy activity. I think I need to practice this look some more, but not right now. . . .


Hubby couldn’t believe I was at the grocery store for two hours getting a few things. You know, the usual meal things, a few cleaning supplies and the normal plethora of stuff.

Why did it take me so long? And, I’m not talking cashier lineups. Well, let me tell you–it’s all about choices and there are just too many on those store shelves. The cleaning supplies come in a multitude of scents and types. Do you want powder cleanser, liquid cleanser, gel or spray? Environmental issues move me  along to the Green Products that still come in an array of choices. Whatever happened to Mrs. Murphy’s liquid cleaner that made everything smell like clean soap? My final decision came down to  my clean home smelling like fresh lemons, a pine forest or fresh mint. I couldn’t believe I had just spent 20 minutes agonizing over cleaning supplies. So, this is where my extensive education takes me—to a major decision on cleaning supplies?

Onwards to the dinner question–did I want to cook poultry, beef, pork, lamb or seafood? If poultry, did I want to consider turkey, duck or chicken? Did I want whole, half or parts? What dish would I prepare if I got parts? And, if parts, would it be thighs, wings, breasts or legs? Boneless, skinless or neither? Maybe I should check out the seafood—salmon, halibut, sole, basa, smelts, tiger prawns, local spot prawns or fresh local oysters? The possibilities are endless and why did I forget my list!

When I finally escaped the meat/fish counters, there were veggies to consider. Should I keep it simple and make a huge salad or cook fresh vegetables? The produce looked so inviting:  long English cucumbers or the mini-ones that are just as tasty but cute; Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, hot-house tomatoes or field tomatoes; red, green and orange peppers or a package of mini-ones; mounds of  red and green kale, iceberg lettuce, curly lettuce, butter lettuce, endive, Romaine, spinach, baby bok-choy, tender young gai-lan; slender green beans from California, small green zucchinis; red beets, purple beets and red/white striped beets; purple topped turnips, red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, Russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and so much more. The produce aisles with its mountains and masses of colours, textures and smells lure shoppers further into the maze of choosing, of making choices.  I was feeling overwhelmed–or maybe hungry–and I hadn’t even reached the fruit aisles yet!  Heaps of apples, at least 15 varieties, all buffed and polished; piles of bananas, mountains of oranges, 5 kinds of pears, 3 kinds of grapes and berries that are a feast for the eyes–plump blueberries, juicy strawberries. sweet raspberries and more. It seemed too decadent to be faced with so many choices. Yet, in this 21st century, it seems we expect all the varieties of fruits and veggies., locally produced and imported from all over the world. In a blink of an eye, it is possible to buy fresh lichee, jicama, star fruit, mangoes, papayas and pineapples at the local supermarket. Exotic choices for sure.

Indeed, we are very fortunate to be able to access all these wonderful choices in foods and products. I didn’t venture into the toothpaste and shampoo aisles as it would have added another hour of agonizing over frizzy teeth or gingivitis hair. Just make sure you have ample time to shop, consider your menu, carry lots of money and don’t forget your list!