Things that I did not do, but wanted to, while at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa with my 6-week-old daughter:
- Put Abby inside a small French mortar. It wasn’t very deep and the odds of her getting stuck in it were really low, but it was also very busy in there and I got the sense that the other tourists would have looked down on me taking pictures of my baby as she pretended to be a cannonball.
- Pose Abby with an 18th century musket. They had one out for people to handle, but there was just now way to try to get her to hold on to a 14 pound gun when she doesn’t even weigh that much herself yet.
- Dress Abby in a WWI soldier’s outfit. The sizes were really limited, even though they clearly had uniforms small enough for 14-year-olds back in the day. (I know this because my wife’s Great Uncle Perce signed up to go overseas when he was 14. He lied and said he was 16, which is still two years too young for service, but a live body was a live a body.)
- Place Abby in the gunner’s seat of a Soviet T34/85 tank. I’m pretty sure that I could have squeezed her in through the viewport, but getting her back out would have been tricky.
All in all, I would say that Abby really enjoyed the War Museum, but we weren’t able to get past WWII due to a wedding obligation across town. We rushed out knowing that we were cutting it a bit close, but I did not fully recognize the sheer volume of traffic that passes directly in front of the Parliament buildings around lunch time. I also did not realize that Abby was getting hungry. Further to that, I did not realize that a 6-week-old could scream loudly enough to deafen four adults, but my bleeding ears were a testament to the volume that Abby can produce when she is almighty pissed off.
Erin changed her outfit while she was simultaneously feeding and diapering Abby (proving once again that women are better multi-taskers than men), and I threw on a shirt and tie that looked every bit like they had travelled 9 hours to get there. We repacked our car and my in-laws’ SUV, and barreled off to the wedding.
It was a lovely ceremony, and we were able to show off Abby to many old friends, but then things went weird on me again. Through a series of logistical magic tricks that I still don’t understand, I found myself walking from the site of the ceremony to go get the cars, both of which had ended up parked roughly four kilometers away. Dale, my father-in-law, insisted that there was a shortcut through the woods, and thus we found ourselves tromping through overgrown fields and forests, dodging the security forces of nearby international embassy houses, and almost falling in the Prime Minister’s pool.
I really wouldn’t have minded so much, but I was still wearing a suit and dress shoes; the burrs and mud stains, however, did present some interesting discussion points for the reception.