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Island Parent Celebrating

28 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

September 2016

Vancouver island Baby Fair Show Guide Inside

10 Things nobody Tells You about Having Babies

Fall Programs Guide

Experience the precision of customized vision

Did You Know? Oft en the increased visual demands of schoolwork can make greater demands on a child’s visual skills, pointi ng out a vision problem that was not apparent before school. The child may not realize they have a vision problem – they may simply assume everyone sees the way they do. A vision-related problem may cause some of the symptoms described below: • headaches or irritability • avoidance of near or distance work

Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates

• covering or rubbing of the eyes

• using a fi nger to maintain place while reading

Langford: #105–814 Goldstream Ave 250-474-4567

• losing place while reading

New Patients Welcome

Open House

Thursday, September 1 1 – 4 pm

• ti lti ng of the head or unusual posture

Doctors of Optometry

Sooke: #5–6726 West Coast Rd 250-642-4311

Curiosity • Diversity Exploration • Nature Play-Oriented Learning

• omitti ng or confusing words when reading • performing below their potenti al Protect your child’s vision. If you noti ce any of these symptoms, book an eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry.

Irish Dance Classes Offered in Victoria, Esquimalt, Langford, Sidney & Nanaimo Ages 4 years to Adults Beginners to Champions Recreational & Competitive 250-888-9421 Home Studio: 734 Aldebury # 207 Join the fun of Irish dance classes!


3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC


Register NOW

I belong here, staying active. Saanich has everything you need to stay active, fit and engaged this fall with 4 recreation centres offering hundreds of programs. Register TODAY for best selection of program dates and times.


250-475-7121 250-475-5400 250-475-7100 250-475-7600

JOIN US ON SOCIAL MEDIA September 2016  3

Pregnant? Pregnancy is a state of health. Midwives recognize what an extraordinary time this is in your life and we are available to support you through your childbearing year. Covered by Your BC Health Care BC’s Medical Services Plan pays for midwifery care, including in-home check-ups in labour and after you’ve had your baby. You can self-refer to a midwife.

Quality Care Studies show that midwifery clients have lower rates of episiotomies, infection, Caesarean sections, forceps and vacuum deliveries and newborns that require resuscitation.

18 Kate Wiley:

Dispatches from the French Alps

Features 9 Vancouver Island Baby Fair Show Guide  13 Lindsay Coulter:

     Baby Care Recipes 16 Tamara MacNeil: 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Having Babies   22 Tim Collins:  Of Peacocks & Pokémon 24 Fall Programs  30 Kids & Memory 31 @ the Vancouver Island Baby Fair    32 Literacy Fun 33 Keeping Our Shorelines Clean    48 Lisa Clarabut: Finding Time to Just Be In Every Issue

Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Around the Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56, 57 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 64, 65

Columns 5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note

14 Rachel Dunstan Muller:

  A Lighter Footstep 50 Emillie Parrish:    Cooking With Kids   52 David Leach:    Dadspeak  54 Ashley Degraaf: Is There an App for This? 58 Swati Scott & Janet Krenz:    Healthy Families, Happy Families   60 Diana Hurschler:    New Parent Pages 62 Sara Cassidy: Book Nook  66 Laura Trunkey: Maternity & Beyond    68 Coral Forbes:   Nature Notes 70 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!

Choice of Hospital or Home Birth Continuity of Care Comprehensive Care Breastfeeding Education & Support

Sue Fast 4  Island Parent Magazine

RaeLeigh Buchanan

Mark Warner

Office Manager & Sales

Advertising Consultant


Design & Layout Eacrett Graphic Design

Distribution Ray Cutts & Ted Dawe

Printed by Black Press

ISSN 0838-5505

Island Parent Magazine

We would be pleased to schedule an appointment to answer your questions about midwifery care.

Linda Frear


830–A Pembroke Street Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 250-388-6905

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Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for Vancouver Island families. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Annual mail subscriptions (12 issues) are available for $35 (GST included). Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398.

On the Cover

Vance and Mallory (7). Photo by Marnie Recker, Marnie Recker Photography,

Like the Trees in Autumn... We’re showing our colours


eptember is a time of change. Summer starts to fade, making way for fall’s golden glow. The new school year begins. The autumn air becomes crisp like the fallen leaves beneath our feet. And there’s a freshness—the promise and possibility of a new season. Here at Island Parent, September marks an exciting change—a subtle re-design and full colour on every page of the magazine. Until now, we were one of the few publications that still offered black and white advertisements along with the option of full colour. Now we’re colour through and through, cover to cover. Our roses are red. And our violets can be blue. Or green. Or yellow. Or pink. Colour affects us in mysterious ways. According to a University of B.C. study, red enhances our attention to detail, while blue boosts our ability to think creatively. Other studies have found that yellow represents energy, happiness and attention (and that babies cry more in yellow rooms),

while pink represents love, sweetness and romance. The colour green, said to have a calming nature, can prevent nightmares. Did you know that, according to research out of Arizona State University, men and women see the colour red differently? Or that colours are responsible for 62 to 90 per cent of our first impressions? Or that seeing yellow and orange can make you hungry? We’re not trying to make you hungry. Or feel romantic—even though the possible outcome of romance (babies!) is one of the reasons you pick up this magazine. We’re just presenting these pages in a way that most of us see the world: in full colour. Along with colour on every page, you’ll notice a few subtle changes. We’re now including writer photos with every article, (not just with columns as we did in the past); we’ve changed some article formats and fonts, updated Island Parent Notes (formerly IPM Notes), re-designed the Table of Contents, and refreshed the Family Calendar and our various Directories. We’re

also introducing a new column: Cooking With Kids by Emillie Parrish (on page 50). For 28 years, Island Parent Magazine has provided Vancouver Island families with a printed version of our monthly publication, which honours and supports parents by

Sue Fast Editor’s Note

providing parenting-related articles, along with information on resources and businesses. We print and publish online all of our publications, including the annual Island Parent Teens and Island Grandparent, so that we reach and engage the maximum number of readers—including you. To that end, and as always, we welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. Email to tell us what you think about the changes or to tell us about changes you’d like to see, topics you’d like to see covered, or anything else that would better support you: the vital and diverse Island Parent community.

September 2016  5

Island Parent notes Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

ing cancer in B.C. This event benefits the Vancouver Island Family Support Program which provides an expanded level of services and support specifically for Island-based families that have children with cancer and blood disorders. Held in Victoria each September, the event has raised over $100,000 for various charities supporting cancer care. No previous paddling experience is required. Guides and safety crews will take care of you every step of the way. Launching at Willows Beach you will paddle past Cattle Point into Cadboro Bay to Gyro Beach where you’ll have a chance to stretch your legs and take a snack break before paddling back to Willows Beach to a waiting barbecue lunch with great company for a great cause. A minimum of $300 in fundraising effort is asked of all participants beginning with a voluntary $50 donation upon sign up. Bring your own kayak/canoe/ paddleboard/outrigger or register to paddle one generously provided by sponsors and community partners. Share a day filled with smiles, prizes, Paddle for Health T-shirt, barbecue lunch and inspiration. Paddlers arrive at 8:30am. Launch is at 9:30am. barbecue lunch is from noon– 2:30pm. To register and start collecting pledges, visit

Kick off the school year with a handson learning activity. Teachers can sign up their class for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup taking place from now until November 30. Students can join thousands of Canadians from coast to coast taking part in this annual event to remove shoreline litter from ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. Last year 175,932 kg of litter was removed from over 3,211 km of shoreline, including 93,129 food wrappers, 409,417 Have you registered your child yet for CanSkate? cigarette butts, 37,769 plastic beverage Register at Juan de Fuca Skating Club for bottles and 25,047 plastic bags. This year’s the best learn-to-skate program with certified goal is to remove over 100,000 kg of harmcoaches. No matter if your child wants to play ful litter. To check out how to organize a hockey, speed skate or figure skate; Canskate cleanup for your school or how to register will start them off on the right foot! as a participant in an already organized cleanup, visit You can search the online map to find a cleanup near you or suggest your own site. A cleanup team, consisting of a site coordinator and cleanup participants, comes together to have a positive impact on the environment by ridding local waterways of shoreline litter. Each team gathers and picks THE BEST CURRICULUM up trash while filling out easy-to-use data cards that tabulate the type and amount A complete series of balance, control of litter that is removed. Check shoreline- BC SPCA’s Paws for a Cause and agility skills that will prepare for details. Bring your pooch to Clover Point on skaters for any ice skating sport or September 11 for a day of family fun at reacreational skating the Scotiabank and BC SPCA’s Paws for Paddle for Health Nationally-tested and proven curriculum a Cause Walk, supporting Wild Animal The 9th annual Paddle for Health event and delivery methods that guarantee Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) and the is on September 10 at Willows Beach in skater success Oak Bay. Paddle for Health has partnered Victoria BC SPCA. Registration begins at Designed for 90% movement so skaters with the BC Childhood Cancer Parents 10am, with the 3km walk at 11:30am. Enjoy learn in an active and fun group setting Association (BCCCPA) to invite people entertainment and activities, all in support to raise funds and participate in the pad- of our furry friends. THE BEST COACHES The BC SPCA Wild ARC, located in Medling event. All funds raised will support Nationally certified coaches trained BCCCPA whose mission is to help the tchosin, is the only branch of the BC SPCA specifically in teaching the mechanics families of the 800+ children who are fight- that specializes in wildlife rehabilitation and proper technique of skating Coaches are assisted by trained program assistants Ensures a 1:10 coach/program assistant to skater ratio or lower ng Now offeri te ka CanPowerS

For more information and to register please visit or email 6

Island Parent Magazine

Mineral World Scratch Patch

Scratch Patch has re-opened in Sidney-by-the-Sea. An outdoor adventureland designed to turn anyone into an enthusiastic rockhound, Scratch Patch is set in an 1,800 square foot garden next to the the sea, and contains two gold panning pools, a pond filled with tropical shells, and mounds of semi-precious gemstones (about 80 different varieties like jasper, amethyst, and tiger’s eye). Hunt for that perfect tropical shell to put in your bag. Stay a while, and enjoy the call of the seagulls, the smell of the sea, and the lazy mood at the Scratch Patch. Entrance is free, but if you’d like to collect any of the variety of minerals, you can buy a collector’s bag for $6, $8 or $10. Whatever you fit in the bag, you get to keep. Take a few minutes to fill a bag, or take the whole day. Come and go as often as you like; you’ll be amazed what turns up in those gemstone mounds. Visitors have found fire agates, malachite, tourmaline, aquamarine and even something that might’ve been a star sapphire! 9808 Seaport Place in Sidney. For information, visit

and the only wildlife rehabilitation centre for all of southern Vancouver Island. The BC SPCA Victoria Branch provides care and protection to thousands of domestic animals each year. The society also conducts more than 7,000 cruelty investigations and provides a wide range of advocacy and education programs for domestic, farm and wild animals. Your participation in this event can help give a homeless, injured or abused animal a second chance. The event features pet- and family-friendly activities, including the Doggie Games and the Paws Parlour. For the kids there will be a a Kids’ Zone complete with a bouncy castle, crafts, face painting and more. New this year: Walk Bibs. Who are you walking for? Pick up and customize your walk bib at the registration tent on event day. There will also be walks in Cowichan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Comox and Campbell River on September 11, and there will be walks in Port Alberni and on Salt Spring Island on October 2. People of all ages are asked to take up the challenge, form a team, ask family, friends, neighbours or a business to join in to support animals that need our help. Learn more and pledge online by visiting or

Lantern Festival at Fort Rodd Hill

Grab your coats and step back in time as Fort Rodd Hill opens its doors for an exclusive, after-dark guided tour on Saturday September 24. See the gun batteries by lantern light and eavesdrop on re-enactors in uniform going about the daily activities of garrison life. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of life at Rodd Hill during the period of 1897-1956. There may even be a few surprises along the way. Guided tours leave every 15 minutes from 7-9:15pm. This event is a fundraiser for the VictoriaEsquimalt Military Re-enactors Association (VEMRA) volunteers. Tickets available from the main entrance kiosk during site operational hours. $10 per person, payable by cash only for VEMRA. Regular admission payable by cash, debit or credit card, or use your annual pass. For more information, visit

pregnancy through preschool. You will find maternity wear, baby gear, children’s clothing, keepsakes, health information, parenting resources, gifts and more. Plus, on the Main Stage there will be a variety of parenting talks, from breastfeeding, birth plans and sleep support, to fitness and financial advice for families. Check the website for complete presentation descriptions and bios. Bring your littles to see children’s performers Bobs & Lolo on the stage twice a day, both Saturday and Sunday. The price of these concerts is included in admission to the fair. Come early for your child’s spot in front of the camera at the popular onsite photo studio and contest with PR Photo Creations. Space is limited and proceeds of the photo contest support the ‘Y’ Young Moms Program. A comfortable baby feeding area, diaper change area, café, kid’s corner with bouncy castle and face painting are all available so you can relax and make a day of it. Best of luck in winning the Grand Prize or one of many exhibitor door prizes. Weekend passes are $6 in advance or $10 and $8 at the door for single day admission. Kids 12 and under are free. For complete details visit

Victoria Kids Consignment Fall Sale

The Victoria Kids Consignment (VKC) Fall Sale will be September 30–October 2 at Eagle Ridge Centre, 1089 Langford Parkway. In addition to the thousands of gently-used clothing, shoes, infant gear, bedding, toys, books, games and sporting equipment, you will find the Westshore’s largest selection of brand new Melissa & Doug items. Stock up—and start your holiday shopping early—all in one place. Shop early; the best items go fast. Sign up for a 4-hour volunteer shift and shop first at the Volunteer Presale. Sellers automatically earn a pass for the Sellers Presale. Seller registration and item-entry ends September 27. Unload the items your family no longer needs in one weekend and receive your proceeds just days after the sale. If you have a family-friendly business, don’t miss out on the chance to get your products in front of moms, dads, grandparVancouver Island Baby Fair The 10th annual Vancouver Island Baby ents and kids for as low as $50. Visit the Fair takes place Saturday, September 24 Vendors section of the website for details from 10am-5pm and on Sunday, Septem- and to reserve your space. VKC Fall Sale schedule: ber 25 from 10am-4pm at Pearkes Arena September 30 Presales: Volunteers in Victoria. Bring your friends and family to enjoy great shopping and resources of 5-6pm; Sellers 6-7pm; MOOLA Financial’s 80+ exhibitors geared to families from VIP 7-8pm (requires a $10 VIP ticket, on

Yoga, Support and Fun! September 2016 Schedule 975 Fort Street,Victoria | 250-595-4905

We have lots of classes, activities and support groups for Parents, Babies and Toddlers. All classes are drop-in. Come on down and tryy them out!


Prenatal Yoga 10:30am Family Yoga 12 noon

(all ages, all genders)


Motherhood Circle 11am(by registration) Mommy & Baby Yoga 1pm Baby Massage 2:30pm Yoga for Labour & Birth 5:15pm


Songs & Rhymes for Babies & Toddlers10:15am Mobile Baby Group (9-18mos) 11:15am Mom & Baby Strength & Stretch 1:00pm Prenatal Strength & Stretch 5:15pm


Fun in French 10:15am Listening Mothers 11:15am Older Baby Group (4-9mo) 1:00pm Prenatal Yoga 5:15pm


Toddler Yoga 10:15am Mom & Baby Yoga 11:30am New Baby Group (0-4mos) 1:00pm Prenatal yoga 5:15pm


Prenatal Yoga 10:15am Sing and Sign with Baby 12 noon Pregnancy Happy Hour 5:00pm

Find more information on all of our classes and groups, on our website at

We have TWO mother-focussed therapeutic groups starting this fall. Motherhood Circle with Joss Hurtig-Mitchel focuses on mom's wellbeing, personal awareness and empowerment. Listening Mothers with Sarah Nakatsuka focuses on bonding between mother & her baby, and how to incorporate mindfulness and selfcompassion into motherhood. See our website for more information and to register.

Theplace placefor fornew newand andexpectant expectantparents parents || The

September 2016  7

sale September 17); October 1 Public Sale 10am-4pm; October 2 Half-Price Sale 9amnoon (items marked Discount will be 50 per cent off). Visa, MasterCard, Debit and Cash accepted. Admission and Parking are free. Let Victoria Kids Consignment help you buy from local moms and shop with local moms. Visit for more details.

Nanaimo Child Development’s Annual Telethon

October 2 is the Nanaimo Child Development Centre’s 5th Annual Telethon. Tune in live on Shaw TV Central Vancouver Island (Channel 4), or come down to the Port Theatre in Nanaimo from noon-8pm for free family entertainment. Donations can be made by phone and in person with all proceeds supporting the Nanaimo Child Development Centre (NCDC). The NCDC is a non-profit organization that offers a wide range of services, programs and supports to nearly 1,800 children and youth with special needs and their families from Lantzville to Ladysmith with the Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions assessment program reaching as far west as Tofino. Through support from parents, volunteers, businesses, and the community, the NCDC has grown from its humble beginnings to be a leader in early childhood development and children’s services in the area. It is through these partnerships that Nanaimo Child Development strives to meet the service needs of the children and families it serves. For more information about how you can get involved as a sponsor, donor, or volunteer, please visit

Foliage, Flowers & Tutus at Swan Lake

Foliage, Flowers and Tutus will be in full bloom on Saturday, October 8 when Moscow Ballet Ballerina and Audition Director, Olena Nalyvaiko, arrives at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary where two children’s programs will be offered as part of a fundraising partnership between the ballet company and the Nature Sanctuary. The first class is geared to younger cygnets (children) while the second to teenage swans. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will provide your child with a fun workshop of cultural immersion and personal role modeling with the highly trained world class Russian dancer. It also supports the Bridges to Nature Campaign. During the immersion sessions, children work one-on-one with a Moscow Ballet ballerina in movement and creative expression workshops. Through these activities they can develop positive self-imaging, healthy lifestyle habits and a personal understanding of the contributions they can make to their communities. Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that offers the community a place to enjoy the natural habitat that surrounds the Nature House in which programs and interactive displays educate both children and adults. A registered charitable organization, it is run by the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society. The lands and facilities are owned by the Corporation of the District of Saanich, and the Nature Sanctuary Society operates through a land management agreement with Saanich since June, 1975. Visit For more information on how your child can participate in Foliage, Flowers and Tutus, or if your business is interested in

Enchanted Halloween at Heritage Acres

Imagine the vintage-era village of Heritage Acres bathed in dramatic lighting and accented by glowing hand-crafted lanterns, carved pumpkins and creative decor. This is the backdrop for costumed performers, live musicians, projections and artistic installations which enliven every beautifully weathered corner of this heritage setting for Enchanted Halloween at Heritage Acres. There will be a ton of creepy things for the younger crowd that aren’t too scary: pumpkin carving, face painting, make your own scarecrow and lots of other fun things. A Haunted House, billboard painting, and several other surprises are in store for you and your family. There will also be a concession stand. Enchanted Halloween has always delivered on its promise to be a “beautifully eerie” event with enough festive fun to make it a treat for visitors of all ages. Heritage Acres is the home of the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society (SHAS) and is located in Central Saanich on Lochside Drive. Come out for a spooky-good time on October 21, 22, and 23 4-8pm. This will be a shared event between SHAS and Vancouver Island Model Engineers (VIME). For more information, visit 8  Island Parent Magazine

sponsoring this program, contact Kathleen Burton, executive director at 250-479-0211.

Imagining Possibilities

Around the world, millions of girls have more opportunities and more hope for their futures. But they don’t always have the guidance and tools to achieve their goals and realize their full potential. Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore (SIVW) is trying to meet that need and help young women, stepping into adulthood, to prepare for the journey ahead. One of the ways that SIVW achieves this is through Imagining Possibilities, an annual one-day conference for those who identify as women. Inspired. Fulfilled. Expanded. That is how girls from last year’s Imagining Possibilities felt after attending this event that provides women, aged 15-24, with information, tools, connections, and mentors. The conference includes a choice of three workshops, a keynote speaker, lunch, and the Live Your Dreams exhibition. Workshop topics range from recognizing healthy relationships to money management, and more. During the Live Your Dreams exhibition, girls can learn from and speak one-on-one with over 50 women who have made successful careers in the arts, sciences, health care, technology, personal care, business, and law, to name just a few. Soroptimist International is a worldwide organization of women dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through education and empowerment. This year, Imagining Possibilities will be held at the CFB Esquimalt Chiefs’ and Petty Officer’s Mess at 1575 Lyall Street on Wednesday, October 26 from 9am-3:30pm. Visit to register. The event is free to attend.•


The article, “5 Great Places to Buy and Sell Used Kids’ Clothes” (August, 2016), incorrectly reported that Sailor Jack Consignment does not pay consignor funds until the eight-week sale period has ended. The correct time period is three days after the sale of any item (three days to accommodate Sailor Jack’s three-day return policy). Sailor Jack has always encouraged consignors to take their funds at any time.

First Come, First Served!

Ergobaby Blowout on Selected Styles!

Come shop new fall fashion!

Come try the new Adapt Carrier! September 2016


ooth #23 Visit us in B utes for 5 min t o of on -the -sp ! e FREE advic

Most families owe $1.65 for every $1.00 they earn The average employer-paid life insurance is only 1–3x your income Half of all parents are not saving for their children’s future Almost all financial problems can be solved

778-749-1150 10

Island Parent Magazine



• • • •



I want to protect my family.

TFSAs • Life insurance Critical illness insurance I can help with your goals. Let’s talk about Money for Life.

Marc Bourdon Bus. Admin Tel: 250-385-1471 ext 2217 Cell: 250-896-4614 3962 Borden Street, Suite 101 Victoria, BC V8P 3H8

Life’s brighter under the sun Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2016.



Fall Class Schedule starts September 6 Come try something NEW! /classes/drop-in/

Baby Fair Special

15% off

all regularly priced merchandise We will be featuring Medela Breastpumps. Come and Visit us at our booth by the Main Stage!

the place to connect

975 Fort Street Victoria 250-595-4905 September 2016


Serving the Families of Vancouver Island for Over 23 Years The Kiddies Store



Hanging High Chair

3045–C Douglas St., Victoria, BC V8T 4N2 250-386-2229


I want to protect my family

Finlayson St.

s St.

Call Sukkie Sandhu • 250.857.1408


If your baby or child isn’t getting the sleep they need, help is available.

Whether at home, in a restaurant or on a picnic day, the Perch table-chair will give your child a special place at the family table. The Perch attaches to most tables and folds for easy storage. A handy travel bag is included, which you’ll be able to store under the seat when not in use.

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


Visit Us at the

Are you a firsttime Parent?

Life insurance • Critical illness insurance RRSPs I can help with your goals. Let’s talk about Money for Life.

Bobby Vu* Bobby Vu Financial Solutions Inc.

Participate in physical activity study

Tel: 778-265-2622 Cell: 250-686-2622 Fax: 250-590-4071

Vancouver Island Baby Fair! Participate in a physical activity study

(Booth 40) Come visit the

Life’s brighter under the sun *Mutual funds distributed by Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2016.

12  Island Parent Magazine

Behavioural Medicine Lab at the

Vancouver Island Baby Fair or email at

Come be part of our community at

Baby Care Recipes T

Baby Shampoo

Also works as a body wash. Adults like it too. Shelf life: 1 month. 1 cup distilled water 1 Tbsp calendula herb 1 Tbsp chamomile herb

Mix ingredients together. Optional: add these essential oils: 3 drops sweet orange 2 drops ylang ylang 1 drop geranium Store the mixture in a jar with a sprinkle top. Sprinkle sparingly on your baby’s bedding or diaper area (avoid the face). Baby Wipes Avoid disposable wipes. Shelf life: 1 month. Also makes a great foot or body powder 1⁄4 cup liquid castile soap (try unscented for adults. 1 Tbsp nettle herb 2 tsp comfrey herb or lavender) 1⁄4 cup oil (like calendula oil, sweet almond 1 tsp rosemary herb Baby Butt Balm oil, or apricot kernel oil) If you’d rather not use an animal product, 1 tsp dried orange peel Boil the water, then make a tea with the 2 cups water try castor oil or coconut oil. Shelf life: apabove herbs. If you don’t have all the herbs, Mix ingredients in a glass jar. Apply with proximately 4 months. simply steep a chamomile tea bag with reusable cloths or 100 per cent recycled 1 tsp lanolin some rosemary herb. Cool the tea, strain paper towel by soaking them in the solution. 1 Tbsp calendula oil the liquid and then add: 2 Tbsp olive oil 1⁄2 cup liquid castile soap (try unscented or lavender) 1 tsp calendula oil or jojoba oil Stir and pour into bottle. Use about 1 Tbsp per bath and keep it in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

hese simple recipes will help you avoid harmful chemicals, like fragrance, petrolatum and parabens, found in many baby products. Each one takes less than 10 minutes to make, and all make great “green” baby gifts!

Lindsay Coulter

Baby Massage Oil

These oils nourish the skin, and they’re gentle. Shelf life: 1 month. 1 Tbsp apricot kernel oil 1 Tbsp sweet almond oil 1 Tbsp olive oil Add ingredients to a bottle and shake to blend. Apply with warm hands.

Belly Balm

Baby Powder

Avoid toxic ingredients like talc and fragrance. Shelf life: 1 year. Disclaimer: Most hospitals don’t use baby powder anymore because there are risks associated with inhalation. So powder is best applied by hand to areas of moistness—not shaken or sprinkled. This recipe also makes a great dry shampoo or foot powder. 1⁄4 cup cornstarch 1⁄4 cup arrowroot powder (carried by most grocery stores) 1 Tbsp white clay (found at health food stores)


Tbsp grated beeswax Melt oils and beeswax together in a double boiler. Pour into an airtight container and let cool. You can also combine the ingredients in a glass jar and microwave to melt everything together. Ingredient Properties • Lanolin: acts as a soothing salve (derived from sheared sheeps wool) • Calendula oil: soothes skin • Olive oil: nourishes and smoothes skin • Beeswax: a binding agent. Won’t clog pores and good for all skin types. Stir and pour into bottle.

Combat itching and stretch marks with the skin healing properties of this body butter. Shelf life: 6 months. 4 Tbsp oil like olive, avocado, sweet almond, or jojoba 1 Tbsp shea butter 1 Tbsp beeswax, grated optional: 1⁄2 tsp vitamin E oil Melt first three ingredients over a double boiler. Pour into container and stir in vitamin E oil once cool. Apply 1–2 times per day by massaging over the belly area.

Lindsay Coulter is David Suzuki’s Queen of Green, For more tips and information, visit September 2016  13

Island Parent a Wabi-sabi Home on for Vancouver Island


28 Years

The Resource Publicati


September 2016

Vancouver Island Baby Fair ide Show Guide Ins

10 Things Nobody Tells You About Having Babies

Fall Programs Guide

Please visit any of our valued partners to pick up your latest copy of Island Parent. GREATER VICTORIA Greater Victoria Public Libraries Vancouver Island Regional Libraries Greater Victoria Recreation Centres Thrifty Foods All 25 Serious Coffee locations Island-wide Victoria Gymnastics Country Grocer Chapters Vitamin Shop The Bay Centre (info booth) Scallywags Royal BC Museum Buddies Toys Crumsby’s Market on Yates Market on Millstream Victoria Conservatory JamTots Lifestyle Market Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

DUNCAN Duncan Mall (centre court) Indigo Red Balloon Cowichan Recreation Centre Cowichan Aquatics Centre Kinderbeez Duncan Tourist Information CHEMAINUS Chemainus Theatre SHAWNIGAN LAKE Community Centre LADYSMITH Ladysmith Recreation Centre NANAIMO Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Quality Foods Country Club Mall Regional Library – Boban Fairway Market Island Natural Health Foods Woodgrove Centre

For a complete list of where you can find a copy of Island Parent Magazine, go to 250-388-6905 14

Island Parent Magazine


f you ever come to my house for a visit, do not expect to be blown away by the contemporary décor. Our most recent purchases were a second-hand couch and love seat, now well over a decade old. The rest of our furniture goes back even further—more than a century in a few cases. Family photos and handmade art decorate our walls, while our horizontal surfaces have been claimed by driftwood, river stones, and other natural treasures. I like to think this somewhat eclectic approach works in our character home, built circa 1938. It’s certainly been practical for a family: the nicks and dents our five kids have added form just another layer of history. The Japanese have a name for my preferred decorating style: they call it wabi-sabi. Robyn Griggs Lawrence defines wabi-sabi as “the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all.” In her book Simply Imperfect, Lawrence provides a list of things that are wabi-sabi, and contrasts them with things that are not. Wildflowers, handmade objects, stone, clay and weathered wood all make the cut. Imported roses, factory goods, polished marble and plastic laminate do not. But wabi-sabi is far more than a decorating aesthetic. It’s a philosophy that encourages its followers to slow down, to value what is functional and well-made, to respect objects that are time-worn and weathered. Wabi-sabi provides a lens to help us see the beauty in simple things. I came to this philosophy by accident more than two decades ago. My husband and I married young, and one or the other of us was in university full-time for our first nine years together. That didn’t stop us from having kids. Within four years of saying “I do,” we had three children. Those were lean years financially, to say the least, so we furnished our home with cast-offs and hand-me-downs. But a strange thing happened on our way to greater prosperity. We became attached to our old stuff, and realized that we had little desire to “upgrade” with brand-new stuff from the furniture store. We’d learned to appreciate the quality and the craftsmanship of many of the things we’d rescued and refurbished,

items which were often more attractive and sturdier than their newer counterparts. As time goes on, my loyalty to wabi-sabi has only intensified. I’m a storyteller by vocation (I write novels for children and tell stories to adults), so I’m in the habit of “seeing” stories everywhere I go. When I pick up a typical object sold in a big-box

Rachel Dunstan Muller a lighter Footstep store, the story I see is not uplifting. I see resources that were extracted as cheaply as possible. I see machine-filled factories in countries where environmental and safety rules are lax, and where workers are paid low wages for long, monotonous hours. I see over-flowing landfills to catch the endresults of poor quality control, passing fads, and planned obsolescence. But when I pick up something at a rummage sale, a consignment store, or an antique shop, I see another story entirely. I see an object that has already withstood the wear and tear of use and time. I see a connection to other lives, to other histories. And if an object is particularly well-made, I see a connection to the future as well. Holding something handcrafted is even more rewarding. I see human hands stitching, painting, carving or welding. I see talent and creativity, beauty and dignity. Wabi-sabi isn’t just about what we have, but how much. It reveres simplicity, urging us to clear away clutter so we can see and appreciate what remains. Observing this particular aspect of wabi-sabi is an ongoing struggle in our house—we’re all collectors by nature—but one that we’re working on. I know that I think more clearly and feel more relaxed in a well-organized and pared down environment, and I believe my children do too. If you’d like to bring a little wabi-sabi into your home, consider these ideas:

Less is more

You don’t have to rush out to an antique auction to embrace the wabi-sabi aesthetic. Start by identifying the beautiful and/or meaningful things you already have, and clear some space around them so they stand out. The next time you get the urge to go shopping—whether for clothing, toys, or new furniture—try decluttering a drawer, a closet, or a whole room first. Cleanliness is very wabi-sabi as well. Instead of adding more unnecessary stuff to your home, tackle some dirt—using natural ingredients, like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.

Nurture Your Natural Curiosity

Embrace imperfection

Our families are bombarded by ads every day, ads that tell us that perfection is within our reach if we only buy the right products (anti-aging cream, lawn fertilizer, a new SUV). But this endless quest for superficial perfection means we have less energy for deeper living. Alternatively, embracing the imperfect objects around us—and mending or refurbishing them as necessary—can help us make peace with the imperfect nature of life itself, and allow us to move on to more important things.

Make something

Handcrafted goods are very wabi-sabi. And when we make something ourselves, we get a whole new level of connection to the finished product. Working with our hands can also be a form of meditation, helping us to slow down and focus on the moment, and to appreciate the materials and effort that go into all our things.

Bring some nature inside

If being in nature feeds your spirit, then bring a little of it indoors: colourful leaves in autumn, twisted branches in winter, pussy willows and budding twigs in early spring. Nature is the perfect artist; you can enhance your decor any time of the year with a few river stones or weathered driftwood pieces.

Photo William Ng

The CRD offers outings and activities for nature lovers of all ages in every season: guided nature walks, hikes and drop-in events.

Most are free. All are fun!

There is a whole world of natural and cultural history to explore in CRD’s 33 parks and trails, and at the three nature centres at Elk/Beaver Lake, Francis/King and Witty’s Lagoon Regional Parks.

See the full calendar at Capital Regional District | Regional Parks @crd_bc | CapitalRegionalDistrict | 250.478.3344

Children/Teen (from 7 years)

Be patient

By definition, a wabi-sabi home evolves over years and even decades, reflecting the habits, treasures and experiences of its inhabitants. Let your wabi-sabi home come together organically, as you and your family share life together.

Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at

Sewing Classes! Emphasis is on sewing clothes they can wear! After school and Saturday classes Fernwood/Bay area

Your child/teen can SEW! It’s SEW Easy! Andrea’s

Andrea Bailey

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or email

September 2016  15

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10 Things

Nobody Tells You About

Having Babies You’re Going to Get Pipes

I did karate for years, and never could do more than 10 push ups. I have always had the T-Rex body type: big, strong legs and weeny little arms. That’s changed. Now endless games of airplane, rocket ship, jump, and teaching a little guy how to walk, coupled with onearmed carriers and shhhshhh-shhh sessions three times a day have given me the arms of my dreams. I feel like The Rock himself would approve of these pipes.

Tamara MacNeil

You’ll Hear Your Baby

You’ll hear your baby cry when the shower’s running. You’ll rush out of the shower, dripping, with the towel clutched around you, to find your partner watching TV while the baby snores gently in his bassinet. You’ll also hear the baby when the baby is out of the apartment. You’ll hear the baby in your dreams. Not once, lots of times. That’s because it’s not your ears, it’s your brain. It’s going haywire.

You’ll Never Kiss a Baby’s Feet Again

Turns out babies don’t know that the change table isn’t a place for exuberance. My partner calls our son the Thrashmaster 3000, and it’s an apt name. He loves to wiggle on the change table. This means that we regularly discover a foot has gone into a diaper, and the poopier the diaper, the more likely a foot is going into it. Sure, there are wipes, but this sort of secret knowledge is going to make you think twice about kissing baby’s pudgy little feet.

The Arc of Babyhood Isn’t An Arc At All

Baby books and websites give the impression of a steady arc rising toward more sleeping, less fussing, and an easier time of childcare. This is the median over time and not the experience on the ground. In reality, the trajectory isn’t an arc, it’s a scribble moving backward and forward. Mostly forward, but with a lot of backward sometimes, too. There are growth spurts and sleep regressions and just when you get a handle on that, there’s teething and solid foods. Life’s messy and baby will do what baby’s going to do. You’re just along for the ride. 16  Island Parent Magazine

You Will Begin Speaking About Yourself In Third Person

“Hold on, Jamesie, mummy will get that for you.” “Jamesie, can you look at mummy?” “Ok, buddy, mummy’s going to change your diaper.” This is a thing I’ve seen others do and I swore I’d never do it. But I do it. I do it all the time.

You Will Wake Up Because the Baby Is Crying &… You Will Wake Up Because the Baby Is Not Crying

Scenario I: Oh man, the baby’s awake. Is it time to feed him already? Didn’t I just feed him an hour ago? Scenario II: Why isn’t the baby awake? He has to be hungry; it’s been at least an hour. I better check on him. It turns out it takes a long time to become okay with the baby doing his own thing. At four months, I’m still waiting to get there. I wake up in the night if he doesn’t and check to see if he’s breathing. I go in and check on him while he naps. It’s irrational but it seems to be hard-wired. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop.

That ‘Must-Have’ Baby Item? Industrial Ear Plugs

Holding a teething baby against your shoulder while he wails his little heart out? Baby trying to summon all the dogs in the neighborhood with his new-found high-pitched shriek? Getting a glorious night off while your partner does Dawn Patrol? You want a pair of industrial earplugs. You can get them in a box of 300. We keep them by the bed, and in a dish on the coffee table, and sometimes tape them to the door for the neighbours. We’d like to kiss who ever invented them.

You’ll Never Care Less About Mess

Before I had the baby, I wondered how I’d manage the diapers and upchuck. I didn’t think I’d ever go out in a milk-stained shirt. Four months in and diapers and upchuck are so common I don’t even notice them any more. As for that milk-stained shirt, hah! Did you know you can get four wears out of a milky shirt? Rightside out, inside out, front forward, and backwards too. Amazing.

That Thing That Saved Your Bacon Might Become a Millstone For some people, it’s swaddling, for others it’s using the car to get baby to sleep. And for us? It’s soothers. We have three of them in constant rotation, and if we’ve gone out without one and you’re within a kilometre, you’ll be able to tell.

You Can Do It

Sure, it’s and sticky and goopy and loud, and it’s sometimes like someone dumped a dozen pigs on roller-skates in the middle of your life, but it really does settle out. New routines emerge. New friends replace those who couldn’t handle one little projectile pooping incident. Days whiz by, nights expand and contract and then expand again. You get sort of Zen about cancelling plans. It’s okay. And when you do get two seconds to have a look at what’s happening, it’s a bit breathtaking actually. There’s a little human in your life, there’s a little family living in your home, and it turns out you really can do it.

Boys Can Dance

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If You Are

Moving Expecting a Baby Planning a Wedding A Grandparent A New Business/Executive Interested In a New Career

Contact Welcome Wagon Today! Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

Tamara MacNeil attended UVic and afterward ran away to become a full-time freelance writer. She’s the author of Salt and Iron (as Tam MacNeil), A Fine Romance (as T Neilson) and many other books, short stories, and articles.

September 2016  17

Kate Wiley


Waits for no one It’s the stuff of dreams: A year in the French Alps! Thanks to the Deferred Salary Leave Program available to BC Public Service employees, Kate Wiley and her family of four are living the dream. Her two boys are enrolled at the local elementary school of just 80 pupils. Despite having its own ski hill that overlooks Lake Geneva, the village of Thollon-les-Mémises is mostly off the tourist radar. Almost at the end of their year living in the French Alps, Kate shares her family’s experiences in the final installment in a six-part series.

…Dispatches from the French Alps


ertainly routine makes things easier on a parent. When I stick to the drill, I am less frequently blindsided by hostility from the troops. Take this evening, when I tried to sneak a few onions into our spinach. So long as our four-year-old thought they were potatoes, he was thoroughly pleased with the dish. Rightly so: These onions had sautéed all afternoon in butter and were perfectly golden and sweet. But when one bite betrayed the true identity of the vegetable, I was forced to admit deceit and paid the price for the remainder of the meal.


Island Parent Magazine

Kate Wiley

September 2016


Living in France has been a glorious invitation to step out of our routine. On Sunday, I tried escargot for the first time. As I lifted the fork to my mouth, I struggled mightily to drive away the repulsive image of snail guts plastered to my bike wheel. I gave the mollusc a few cursory chews and swallowed. My husband happily finished off the plate. Even the children have branched out. That same four-year-old who is adverse to onions has spent the year feasting upon Roquefort, Saint-Maure de Touraine and Comté (all of it beautifully unpasteurized, bien sûr). He took a bite of a Mini Babybel Cheese Wheel the other day and asked: “Mom, is this cheese?” “Yes,” I replied, “Why?” “It tastes like grass.” Much like in Victoria, we do our best to break up the school/work routine with weekend adventures. But here our adventures are novel even for Mom and Dad. Everything is fresh and unexpected. Our brains are awake and turned on. That’s what travel does; it activates that part of your brain that thrives on curiosity and marvels at all of life’s little surprises. That part of the brain that gets lazy with age. At 40, I’ve figured out how the world works—what kind of food I like, how to make money, when to pay the bills. Travel shakes me out of that slumber. Every exchange with a neighbour reveals some surprising cultural difference; every precipice offers an unfamiliar view. For my children, the astonishment comes naturally, regardless of their surroundings. They are constantly learning, discovering how the world works, be it from a perch in the Alps or a seat on public transit. As an adult, I must choose adventure. Granted, our circumstances this year make that exceedingly easy. And I am acutely aware that most people are not handed opportunities like this. But I believe the act of stepping out of one’s routine is what’s important. Even if it’s simply taking a different route to work or brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. These disruptive acts, however small, help us tune in. When we are alert, even Babybel can reveal unexpected flavours. Rarely have I seen my boys more alert than at Tindérêts, a mountain refuge where we spent Saturday night. On our way up the mountain, big brother displayed his customary unease in the face of novelty. Departures from the routine are not his bag. His questions tumbled out like so many pebbles underfoot: What is a refuge? Who is it for? What kind of hikers? Will there be toys? As it turned out, there were not toys, but as you can see from the photos,

there was something far more entertaining. Mud! And thanks to a recent deluge, it was in great abundance. Once I released any attachment to keeping our children’s feet dry, the afternoon passed in a chorus of squeals and shrieks. As we neared the vehicle the next day, soggy but well-nourished on Savoyard fare, Cullen erupted in tears. “I want to go back to the cabin! I miss it!” Some of his reaction was clearly a function of low blood sugar, but I choose to interpret it as a sign that his life had been enriched by the experience. I like to think that by rejecting routine every now and then, I am helping to shape a curious, continuously learning citizen—a human being who is adaptable to our increasingly complex and dynamic world. In an economy that supports fewer and fewer salaried 9 to 5ers, he will need to be nimble to succeed. A generalist within his field of specialization. Someone who is not afraid of pushing the boundaries. All of it, part of this wonderful experiment we call life. “Cette grotte est l’œuvre finale de Frère Barthelemy,” reads an engraved marble slab adorning the grotto beside which I have propped my bike. The grotto is carved out of the forest by a diverging stream and shelters a wooden sculpture of the Virgin

Mary. She is surrounded by bouquets of fresh flowers. It appears this grotto is the main attraction in Roseires, a quiet village not far from Thollon-les-Mémises. Aside from a mother and baby out for a walk, the streets are empty. My husband wrestles our sandwiches out of the paniers on his bike. The baguette is loaded with rosette, a type of salami particular to Lyon, and Comté, the local version of Gruyère. Next he produces a thermos filled with red wine. Meanwhile, our children are dining on sautéed radishes and veal at the cantine. The multi-course meal is the working parent’s solution to the daily, two-hour lunchbreak from school. It also serves the recreating parent. Life doesn’t get much more idyllic. A duo of elite cyclists zoom past. We strap on our ski helmets, climb on our borrowed bikes, and continue home. I concentrate on the crumbling rock walls, the collapsing wood and stucco farmhouses, the grazing cattle, their utters heavy with milk. The air smells alternately of cow manure and freshly cut grass. The church bells mark the hour. My ears tune into the birdsong, the buzzing insects, the squelch of mud under my tires.

If I focus on these things intensely enough, will I be able to access traces of them as gaze out the window at the nursing home, 40 years from now? Can I mount them to the grotto in my mind, bedeck them with fresh flowers, and pray the colours don’t fade? What if I arrive at the end of my journey and nothing remains but the digital images? “And therein lies the whole of man’s plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition,” writes Milan Kundera in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Our year in France is drawing to an end. There will never be another one like it. I appease my heavy heart by fantasizing about retiring here one day. So many stars must align for that to happen—constellations contrived of our health, our finances, our family obligations. Better to live these final dreamy days in Europe to the fullest, pedalling onward, pausing only to snap the odd picture. When Kate Wiley is not living with her family in the French Alps (which is most of the time), she calls Langford home.

September 2016


Of Peacocks & Pokémon


t was a picture postcard day in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. Scores of ducks waddled along, doing whatever it is that ducks do beyond looking darned cute. Flowers were in full bloom and dappled rays of sunshine danced through the overhead canopy of trees. I watched as a young dad led his daughter of about five years of age along the pathway. He tugged the little girl along while staring intently at his smart phone. A nearby peacock spread his feathers in a spectacular display of natural wonder. The little girl gasped and stopped in her tracks, nearly dislodging the phone from her dad’s hand. “What are you doing!” He followed the little girl’s gaze and, for the first time, noticed the peacock. “Oh,” he said. Looking back at the phone, he took the girl’s hand

22  Island Parent Magazine

once more and pulled her along the path. “Sweetie, you can’t just stop like that,” he said. He lowered the phone, showing the girl the screen. “Look, there’s three Pokémon right up ahead! We have to go get them.” And with a last look at the strutting peacock, the girl was gone with her dad, leaving me saddened by the encounter. It was a peacock, for crying out loud, and he was pulling her away to chase imaginary electronic creatures in a private fantasy world that didn’t include his child. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed an adult addiction to a smart phone, not to mention its impact on child care. Perhaps it’s because I’m old. I’m in my sixties, of a generation raised without computers, tablets or smart phones. I recall sitting in a field as a child, watching the clouds scud by and creating adventures that incorporated

the fantastic creatures I had discovered in those ever changing tapestries. I remember building a kite and flying it to what seemed tremendous heights, wondering if I could touch those clouds. I remember exploring jungles with my friends. Okay, they were actually overgrown shrubs surrounding the high school, but they were still pretty amazing.And I remember talking to adults about things I’d discovered and asking countless

Tim Collins questions about how the world worked. Why is it easier to strip the bark from some branches than others? Are ladybugs all girls? What does a grasshopper taste like? (Some friends and I eventually tested that one after watching birds feasting on the bugs…it wasn’t our finest hour.) These days, however, I can’t take my granddaughter anywhere without noticing how I seem to be one of the few grownups talking to the child I’m with. So many oth-

ers seem to have their faces buried in their devices, tweeting and texting and checking to see if someone has “friended” them on Facebook or “liked” some inane comment or photo they’d posted. Dr. Jenny Radesky, a pediatrician specializing in child development, recently published a study at Ryerson University in which she said that splitting your attention between your device and your child is a big mistake. She maintains that face-toface interactions are the primary way that children learn. “[Children] learn language, they learn about their own emotions…they learn how to have a conversation, how to read people’s facial expressions. If that’s not happening, children are missing out on important developmental milestones,” she said. It’s a position echoed by psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair in her book The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. “We are behaving in ways that tell children they don’t matter, they’re not interesting to us and they’re not as compelling as anybody…anything…any “ping” that may interrupt our time with them,” writes Steiner-Adair. In her study of over 1,000 children, she encountered children who said they feel sad, mad, lonely and boring when they are with their parents. It’s a small wonder that one four-yearold in the study happily recounted taking daddy’s smart phone and throwing it in the toilet. In retrospect, I suspect that the little girl I saw in Beacon Hill Park would gladly have done the same if it meant she could watch the peacock a little longer. And I may have helped her, or at least cheered her on. As a parent and grandfather who has, incidentally, made more than my own share of mistakes, I do know one thing for certain. No one and nothing happening on your electronic device is more important than the child holding your hand. Being “liked” or “friended” in cyberspace is nothing compared to being liked by a little one and having them consider you their friend and ally. Being a parent, or other caregiver, is a massive responsibility and not one that should ever be supplanted by an electronic ping from a personal device.

Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist living and working in Victoria.

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Celebrating 20 years of creativity and theatre

Register for Fall Programs Today 250-386-8593 September 2016  23

Fall Programs

From art classes to wellness programs—and everything in between— our community offers many programs, resources and services for families. For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent. Art

Ages 5 and up. Drawing: pencil, pastel, charcoal. Painting: Acrylic and water coJoin us for Fall art classes in the Art Gal- lour. Sculpture: Clay and wire. Portfolio lery of Greater Victoria’s (AGGV) Studio preparation: ages 14 and up. Emphasis is to connect with cool new ideas, techniques placed on technique and everyone works and experiment with the creative process. at their own level. Register now. Call Joan Classes are for a wide range of ages inspired at 250-383-0566 or cell: 250-885-7353. by Gallery exhibitions. Register online:; by phone: 250-3844171 ext 0; or in person: 1040 Moss Street. For more information email: jvandepol@ Dance/Drama/ See you in the Studio. Performing Arts

strength in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Valerie Grant, owner and teacher, is a Licentiate member of the Cecchetti Society of Canada, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and Cecchetti International. Ballet examinations are available in the Cecchetti Method. Classes begin September 7 and finish with a few small performances and a recital in June. For more information visit, call 250-5953107, or email Find us on Facebook.

Four Seasons Musical Theatre. FSMT musical theatre classes provide instruction in the skills of stage acting, singing and dancing. We will also cover crew responsibilities and how cast and crew work together. Every child can benefit from learning about expressing themselves, listening to others, moving with intention, and having fun with theatre. Classes run every Saturday from September 17 to November 12, from 9am-noon. There is no class on October 8. Artistic Statement Gallery and School Arabesque Dance Studio offers Classical Visit for of Fine Art. Back to school art classes. ballet instruction for students aged four more information and to register. One- or two-hour session, one, two or years to advanced levels. Students develop three times per week. Day and evening a sense of artistic line, musicality, grace Kaleidoscope’s Performing Arts Studio classes Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. and agility, as well as focus and technical provides exciting and comprehensive explo-

See the IMAX film Mammoths: Titans of the Ice Age now playing with the Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age Exhibition at the Royal BC Museum. On until Dec 31, 2016 - it’s a combination you won’t soon forget! 250-480-4887

• Ride over a Mile of Rail! • Creek & Wildlife Tour • Corn Maze • Hayrides SCHOOL & GROUP TOURS • Pumpkin Patch • Playground to reserve your preferred time • Petting Farm

O C TOBER Book Now

24  Island Parent Magazine

ration of fundamental acting techniques in a fun and safe learning environment. With over 40 years of experience, discover why Kaleidoscope has been Victoria’s choice in professional theatre education for young people since 1974. Offering classes in acting, musical theatre, film, and television and more. Locations include Victoria, Sidney, Saanich, and the West Shore. More information and registration available online at

Little girls with dreams become women of vision.

Kate Rubin Theatre and Drama Studio specializes in dramatic training for children, young people and adults. Classes, workshops and individual coaching are offered throughout the year. Within a professional, experienced and supportive learning environment, students flourish with improved acting skills, stronger confidence, creative thinking, public speaking skills, spontaneity and versatility in physical and vocal expression. For more info, or to register, contact or 250-3868593. facebook. com/KateRubinTheatre. The O’Brien School of Irish Dance offers both recreational and competitive dance programs for children to adults. Registration is open all year for classes both in Victoria, Nanaimo, and our new location Duncan. Highly energetic classes taught with toe tapping music. Dancers are taught the basics of traditional Irish step dance and ceile dancing (group), as well as show steps similar to those seen in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Opportunities to perform around the community especially around St. Patrick’s Day. See for more information or email Since 1980 STAGES Performing Arts School has offered professional instruction in jazz, ballet, lyrical, tap, musical theatre and hip hop for all ages and levels of experience; preschool to professional. It is our goal to promote self-confidence, self-esteem, and fulfilment in each student. We believe that all students should have an equal opportunity to learn in a safe, non-competitive environment which fosters self-expression, a healthy body, confidence, and encourages responsibility, discipline, inspiration, creativity and pride in their accomplishments. For more information, please call STAGES at 250-384-3267 or visit our website

Leaders in Early Childhood Education

Empowering girls’ leadership program

Small school benefits: safe, supportive, high engagement

Canada’s first & only girls’ STEM school: an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary approach




Offering Ballet, Tap & Jazz Register Today!

2758 Peatt Road  778-265-5955 or 250-818-9225

September 2016  25

Victoria Academy of Ballet is widely recognized as a leading Canadian dance school. The Faculty of internationally qualified and award winning teachers are dedicated to giving children dance experiences designed to develop imagination, musicality, kin aesthetic awareness and self confidence. Students age 3 to professional are assisted to develop to their full potential. VAB is celebrated for its sense of community and dedication to developing in students lifelong transferable skills. Like us on FB The Victoria School of Irish Dance offers Irish dance classes in Victoria at Dance Victoria Studios, in Nanaimo, and in Cedar BC, for ages 4 years to adults, beginners to champion, competitive and recreational. VSID dancers compete at the world, national and regional level. VSID develops confidence/ self-esteem, practical skills and lifelong friendships. The Victoria Irish Dancers perform locally year round in many commu-

nity events. Receive a lesson from certified stream Village offers professional, friendly instructors for jigs, reels, and lots of fun. instructors, state-of-the-art teaching equip250-888-9421. ment, in-house performance hall with sound/lighting/stage, plus a wide range of private and group programs for beginner through to advanced musicians. Lessons Gymnastics available on piano, guitar, drums, bass, Victoria Gymnastics provides Greater violin, voice, flute, ukelele, trumpet and Victoria with gymnastics instruction that is saxophone. Enrol today. 250-383-5222. safe, well structured, and most importantly, fun. Our 7,200 sq. ft. facility, which is naturally lighted and acoustically insulated, Education Programs provides a learning environment that will allow children to maximize their potential Founded in 1883 in Paris, l’Alliance franas they move through our non-competitive çaise is a worldwide network of over 1,000 skills development program structure. We independently run non-profit associations. are also excited to announce that this Fall, L’Alliance française de Victoria, dedicated we will be opening our 2nd location in to the promotion of the French language and Colwood. Boys and girls ages 2-17, begin- culture, has been in operation in Victoria ner through advanced, all benefit from the since 1910. We offer a variety of French strength and flexibility that gymnastics language courses, for groups and individudevelops. Visit. als, adapted to the needs of learners. We also organize numerous cultural events for the Francophone community. Phone: 250-592-3661. Email: Music Website: Success in music, success in life…a winning combination for your family. CISV educates and inspires action for a more The Tom Lee Music Academy at Mill- just and peaceful world. CISV is a global

Transforming disability into ability. At Discovery School, learning disabilities are transformed into valuable skills and abilities. Students work at their own pace in small classes, with focused, individualized instruction. • Experienced, highly-qualified teachers • Ongoing assessment, evaluation & feedback • Improves organizational & study skills • Boost confidence, independence & responsibility • Nurturing environment based on Christian values • For students aged 7 – 18 in grades 1 – 12 • Individual Education Plans • Low student/teacher ratio

Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email 26  Island Parent Magazine

non-religious, volunteer organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendships, cooperation and understanding. Since 1965, CISV Victoria has been promoting peace and cross-cultural understanding through a variety of local and international programmes for children, youth and adults. The innovative, fun, non-formal peace education ‘learning by doing’ programmes begin with the original and unique Village for 11-year-olds. CISV offers an exciting blend of seven international camp-based, family exchange and local community programmes. CISV empowers participants to develop skills to become informed, responsible and active global citizens and make a difference in their communities and the world. The glue that underpins all of CISV programmes is friendship, in line with the founding belief that peace is possible through friendship and mutual understanding. Learn more about CISV’s monthly Junior Branch (12-18) and Village (10 and 11) programs at the September Information Night, on Friday, September 30 at 3703 St Aidan’s Road (near UVic). will give you the details you need to view the selection of courses including the very popular Wednesday night programs. New seminars include an evening course for professionals and daytime classes for parents. Their books, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection are available for purchase through the site, Bolen’s Books and Munro’s. 250-595-2649. READ Society. On September 14, READ launches its 40th year of delivering individualized remedial language arts and mathematics programs. Using nationally recognized Level B Assessments and a variety of learning tools and approaches, READ’s qualified teachers design and deliver remedial learning programs that build skills and create confident, capable learners. Classes are scheduled after school, Monday to Thursday. Assessments are available by appointment. Expand your knowledge and find the joy in learning with READ. 250388-7225.

trails. Parks naturalists will have you going buggy, batty or feeling squirrelly and crabby in the best possible way. These free/ low-cost programs are entertaining and educational for adults and children of all ages and abilities. See the calendar at crd. for an event to nurture your family’s natural curiosity. Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre. Back to School can mean busy schedules for the family so don’t forget to make time for fun. We’ve made sure there’s something for everyone. Preschoolers: Tiny Toes Ballet, Art, Soccer, Swimming Lessons, Skating. School Age: Ballet, Soccer, Home Alone, Music, Tennis, Swimming, Skating. Teens: Red Cross Babysitter, Lifesaving/First-Aid, Skating. Adults: Kayaking, Day Trips, Bootcamp, Dance, Swimming, Skating. You can register 24/7 with online registration for Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre programs. Check it out at For more information call 250-361-0732. Juan de Fuca Skating Club has Exciting News. We have developed a new CanSkate Program. Exciting new features include a fresh new look, new awards, great tools for certified coaches and most importantly a tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster. The new program also includes specific skills that pertain to hockey, speed skating and figure skating. For more information visit Pacific Coast Swimming is a year-round swimming club that feels like you are part of a big sporting family. We have many accomplishments and accolades, but what we do best is to get kids swimming. Our team has swimmers from the age of 2 learning to swim through to athletes competing around the world on Canadian teams, even the Olympics. We have been awarded Swim BC’s Club of the Year in 2007 and 2015. Our Lightning Fast Swim Series (for ages 2-10) program is offered in 6 different pools throughout the Greater Victoria area. Contact us through our website

The Victoria Judo Club is at a new location starting September—2780 Richmond Recreation Rd, Gymnasium (Richmond Elementary). There’s a colourful array of nature events Juniors, Monday and Wednesday at 6pm and outings offered by the Capital Regional (starting Sept 12). Seniors, Monday and District at our many regional parks and Wednesday at 7:30pm (starting Sept

250·595·3107 Classes are held at St. Matthias Anglican Church Hall (Richmond Ave. & Richardson St.)

Find us on

Considering your first home purchase? Four secrets you need to know! What to do and what not to do.


Call now to discuss a step-by-step approach to buying your first home.

250-891-6776 September 2016  27


5th). Wanted: We are currently searching for a new home for the 2017/2018 season and onwards. Contact: Jeremy Grant 250-886-0056. For further information and updates please visit our website:

Performing Arts School since 1980

Come Dance With Us

Victoria Synchro. Fall Registration Synchronized swimming recreational classes starting in October: Synchro Kids ages 4-6 Wed 4:15-5:15pm, Synchro School ages 7-11 choice of Mon, Tues or Thurs evening classes; Synchro for Teens ages 12+. All classes participate in club water shows and fun ISync events. Saanich Commonwealth Place. Synchronized swimming is swimming combined with music, dance, gymnastics and drama and it’s a team sport. Fun, fitness and friends! Website: For more information and to register please email:

• Offering classes in Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop & Musical Theatre in a non-competitive atmosphere. • Not sure which class to take? Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation

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Even the littlest angel can dance

For more information call 250-384-3267, Email us at Or visit our website:

Come Swim With Us!

SwimBC Club of the Year!

Pacific Coast Swimming is an athlete focused, professionally led and parent supported swim club, committed to having swimmers at all levels achieve their full athletic potential. PCS swimmers range in experience from our youngest beginners to high performance international athletes. We are proudly affiliated with the University of Victoria Vikes Swim Program through the Ages 4 & up University of Victoria – Pacific Coast Swimming Association.

To register please contact:

5 Time Provincial Champions!

Commonwealth Place


28  Island Parent Magazine

Gordon Head

Oak Bay Rec




Esquimalt, Panorama


Mad Science. We spark children’s interest in science, encourage their curiosity and build their confidence and skills. Join our new EUREKA! program, Science Sleuths, Robots or Secret Agent. Children participate in scientific explorations and have fun. All programs include indoor and outdoor activities. Our mixed classes focus on agespecific needs and abilities. Details and registration available online vancouverisland.

Other Andrea’s Sew Easy. Can you imagine how excited your child would be to make their own clothes? Andrea Bailey has been teaching children to sew from the age of seven, including teens, for over 25 years. Small classes, maximum of four, allow students to work at their own speed. Friends and family will be amazed at the clothes students make for themselves. Classes are held after school, Monday to Friday, and Saturdays. For more information call 250-592-7879, email, or visit or•



Fred Penner Co-presented with:

Saturday, October 29 2:30pm | The Port Theatre

They’ll be at university sooner than you think. Make sure your family knows about the Canada Learning Bond


TICKETS: $42 adults | $38 members | $15 students | $5 | 250-754-8550

If your child was born in 2004 or later and your family income is less than $45,000/year, you are eligible for up to $2,000 of free money for your child’s education after high school. For more information visit

Mid Island

Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like you—Vancouver Island parents who are passionate about their families and are dealing with the day to day issues of raising children in our community. Share your experiences, your thoughts on a particular issue, your ideas on places to see or projects to do— anything related to parenting. Check our Writer’s Guidelines at for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to

September 2016  29

Kids & Memory I

f your toddler is a Forgetful Jones, you might want to help boost his or her brainpower sooner rather than later. New research shows that preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12. “Identifying students who are at risk of eventually dropping out of high school is an important step in preventing this social problem,” says Caroline Fitzpatrick, author

of a study recently published in Intelligence, and a researcher at Concordia University’s PERFORM Centre. The study examined responses from 1,824 children at age two and a half, and then at three and a half. Then the data was compared to the school-related attitudes and results of these children when they entered Grade 7. Results were clear: those that do better on a memory-testing imitation sorting

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task during toddlerhood are more likely to perform better in school later on—and therefore more likely to stay in school. The imitation sorting task is specifically effective in measuring working memory, which can be compared to a childs mental workspace. “Our results suggest that early individual differences in working memory may contribute to developmental risk for high school dropout, as calculated from student engagement in school, grade point average and whether or not they previously repeated a year in school,” says Fitzpatrick. “When taken together, those factors can identify which 12-year-olds are likely to fail to complete high school by the age of 21.” Fitzpatrick and the study’s other researchers, all affiliated with the Université Sainte-Anne and Université de Montréal, have suggestions for how parents can help kids improve their memory.

How to help at home:

“Preschoolers can engage in pretend play with other children to help them practise their working memory, since this activity involves remembering their own roles and the roles of others,” says Linda Pagani of the Université de Montréal, co-senior author. “Encouraging mindfulness in children by helping them focus on their momentto-moment experiences also has a positive effect on working memory.” Pagani also notes that breathing exercises and guided meditation can be practised with preschool and elementary school children. In older kids, vigorous aerobic activity such as soccer, basketball and jumping rope have all been shown to have beneficial effects on concentration and recall. The researchers note that another promising strategy for improving working memory in children is to limit screen time—video games, smartphones, tablets and television—which can undermine cognitive control and take time away from more enriching pursuits. “Our findings underscore the importance of early intervention,” says Fitzpatick. “Parents can help their children develop strong working memory skills at home, and this can have a positive impact on school performance later in life.”

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30  Island Parent Magazine

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@ the Vancouver Island Baby Fair Make a day—or two!—of the Vancouver Island Baby Fair on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25 and check out the following exhibitors. See your there! Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates: Doctors of Optometry specialize in comprehensive eye examinations for the whole family. The care of an Optometrist can start before a child can speak, read or respond in traditional ways. More than just a vision test, modern technology allows an Optometrist to test for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy or crossed-eyes, eye coordination and depth perception. The recommended age for the first eye exam is 6 months. Call 250-4744567 to book your appointment. HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with numerous families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information visit or call 250-857-1408 for a free evaluation. Let’s get started.

Mothering Touch Centre is the comprehensive resource centre for new and expectant parents. We offer support through every stage of pregnancy and early parenthood: childbirth preparation, pre- and post-natal yoga, breastfeeding support, parenting classes, parent-and-baby groups, and baby massage. Our friendly staff inform and support parents and grandparents as they select cloth diapers, nursing bras, breastpumps and breastfeeding accessories and much more. Drop in for a chat, nurse your baby in our lounge, and experience the warmth of the Mothering Touch. 975 Fort St. 250595-4905.

Whether it’s diapers or decor, TJ’s The Kiddies Store is the place to go for all your baby needs. Welcoming your new baby into the world is a wonderful and challenging experience; so many decisions and so little time. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to help make your decisions as stress-free as possible. Our selection varies from furniture sets to safety items and everything in between. TJ’s is also a great place for gifts—with a baby registry and many wonderful gift ideas you will be able to find the right thing to make any new parent happy. We’re easy to find at 3045-c Douglas St. (enter off Larch St)… we’re under Sleep Country. 250-386-2229. Join us for the 10th annual Vancouver Island Baby Fair taking place Saturday September 24 & Sunday, September 25 at Pearkes Arena. Visit our 80+ exhibitors for the best shopping under one roof geared to families ranging from pregnancy through preschool. Check out great resources, informative talks on a variety of parenting topics on the Main Stage, children’s performers Bob’s & Lolo, an onsite photo contest, baby races and more. Visit for details.•

Visit Us For 14 years Sailor Jack Consignment has been providing high quality pre-loved clothing and gear for babies, kids, moms and moms-to-be. With over 4,000 consignors and hundreds of new items added daily, we always provide our shoppers with a fresh and fabulous selection. As a result, our store is very popular so when you consign with us your items sell. Sailor Jack Consignment. 424 Craigflower Road, Victoria BC. 250382-5225.

MOOLA is a fresh team of financial coaches and advisors who understand what you need when it comes to your money. We believe that access to great advice and affordable products should be available to people like us, everyday people. There are no “dumb questions,” so ask away! Reach out to us regarding budgeting, insurance, investing, saving, or debt elimination either by visiting us, emailing SunLife Financial. When starting a family, or calling 778- there are many things that consume your thoughts. Am I ready? Is my job secure? Do 749-1150. Be great. With Money. I have enough money? Often, finances are top of mind. We provide family planning strategies so you can focus on your new family while knowing you’re on the right

path. If thinking about Life Insurance or saving for your child’s education is stressing you out, let’s start with a conversation. Call Bobby Vu Today at 250-686-2622 or Marc Bourdon at 250-896-4614.

at the

Vancouver Island Baby Fair! (Booth 40)

Come be part of our community at

September 2016  31

Literacy Fun

Cooking with numbers


Join us this fall for inspiring art classes


and camps in the AGGV Art Studio! | 250.384.4171 or in person at 1040 Moss Street

Connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process. Classes are for a wide range of ages and

For more information about art classes and camps,

inspired by Gallery exhibitions featuring:


Banana Muffins

It’s In the Making.

AG883_Family Sunday_Focus_Ad.indd 1

2016-08-24 3:44 PM

PumpkinPie Chai Latte PumpkinSpice Latte Sept 5 - Nov 11

Serious Coffee locations can be found throughout Vancouver Island and in Powell River �o �nd one near �ou go to� seriouscoffee�co� 32  Island Parent Magazine

ooking together is a fun—and tasty— way to practice reading, math and language skills for the whole family. Along with learning how to cook, appreciating new foods and building confidence, children also learn how to follow directions while practicing counting and measuring skills. Kids of all ages can help in the kitchen. Encourage younger children to help you by adding ingredients and mixing, and ask older children to help by counting and measuring ingredients. Try this recipe together. Don’t forget to practice literacy skills by reading the directions aloud.

Ingredients: 3 ripe bananas, mashed 6 Tbsp of vegetable oil 1⁄4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla 1 teaspoon of salt 1 egg 11⁄2 cups of flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda Optional: 1⁄2 cup of nuts or seeds or chocolate chips. Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. 2. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside (or use muffin cup liners instead of the spray.) 3. In a large bowl add bananas, oil, sugar, vanilla, salt and egg and mix together. 4. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda to your mixture and stir until combined but still lumpy. 5. Pour in optional ingredients if you’re using them. 6. Fill the muffin cups to about 3⁄4 full. 7. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. 8. When the muffins are cool, remove them from the muffin tin. Enjoy. Reprinted with permission from ABC Life Literacy Canada. For more activities you can share with your children, visit

Keeping Our Shorelines Clean


makes its way to our waterways. Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products and detergents can help keep our waters free of harmful chemicals. Some toothpastes, soaps and facial cleansers can contain microbeads, tiny plastic beads that often cannot be filtered out by wastewater treatment plants. Check product ingredients or learn to make your own products.

eeing the amount of litter on shorelines can have an impact on those who take part in a Shoreline Cleanup. After doing one cleanup event, many volunteers want to do Make your mark on storm drains something more to help. These tips will help you keep your shoreline clean year-round. Storm drains on our roadways are a type of shoreline because they can empty directly • Properly dispose of cigarette butts into local streams. When we wash our cars, Reduce your plastic use Cigarette butts are the most common and hose down our driveways or sidewalks, Single use plastics, such as bottles, grocery bags, and food wrappers, are some of the type of litter across the globe. Discarded what gets washed away will eventually end Dirty Dozen, the top 12 items that litter butts can leach harmful toxins into the up in our water bodies. Mark local storms drains in your community with a fish stencil shorelines across Canada. We can make to remind people that their actions have a difference by reducing our plastic use, Canada’s Dirty Dozen Visit the Yellow Fish Road and making an easy switch to plastic-free List of Shoreline Debris consequences. program from Trout Unlimited Canada to alternatives. Item # of Items find out how. • Make your own plastic-free kits to help Collected you reduce your plastic use. • Start a recycling program at your school 1. Cigarette Butts Bring the Shoreline Cleanup into 409,417 or workplace the classroom 2. Food Wrappers 93,129 Having easy access to recycling for batter- 3. Plastic Bottle Caps Are you an elementary school teacher? 50,904 ies, light bulbs, cell phones and other elec- 4. Plastic Beverage Bottles 37,769 Continue the learning experience with free tronics, makes recycling these items easier. 5. Beverage Cans curriculum guides ( 27,814 Creating your own drop-off recycling centre teachers). 6. Other Plastic & Foam 27,110 or space in your school or office will help 7. Straws & Stirrers 27,047 ensure these items are sent to the proper re- 8. Other Plastic Bags Plan a follow-up cleanup event 25,047 cycling facilities, and stay off our shorelines. 9. Metal Bottle Caps Monthly cleanups are a great way to 22,093 ensure that shorelines and waterways stay 10. Plastic Grocery Bags 20,492 clean year-round. Organize a follow-up Share your cleanup results (friends, 11. Plastic Lids 19,365 cleanup event at the same site or a different social media, media, municipality) 12. Paper Cups & Plates 17,819 site. Bring a friend who has never taken part! You collected valuable data during your environment, and animals, like birds, can cleanup. Share it. • Talk with your friends and family about mistake them for food. If you smoke out- Get your feet wet side, particularly on beaches, take along a your cleanup Now that your shoreline is clean and • Share your cleanup results on Facebook portable ashtray or a small container that tidy, check the Waterkeeper Swim Guide can hold your cigarette butts until you can ( to double check that or Twitter (@cleanshorelines) • Send your photos and data to your lo- dispose of them properly. it’s safe to swim, paddle or splash. cal newspaper and become a local celebrity • Take your data card to your municipal- Choose eco-friendly products For more information, visit ity and discuss what you found What goes down our drains eventually

September 2016  33

PartY Directory Book your Par-T-Pet Party! Adorable AND aff ordable. Exclusively made for Par-T-Perfect


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Family Calendar

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Noon-1:20pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. SUNDAY th Amazing Race at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Bountiful Berries at East Sooke Regional Park. Join Challenge yourself on this skill-testing and fun jaunt SUNDAY a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a walk to explore th through the forest. Drop by any time between 11am for blackberries, Oregon grape berries, salal berries and 2pm and get the scoop from a CRD Regional Pirate & Princess Skate at Panorama Recreation. and more. There will also be an opportunity to taste Parks naturalist. Meet at the Beaver Lake Nature Calling all pirates and princesses for this on-ice jams made from some of these natural delights. Centre off the main parking lot. All ages. BC Transit extravaganza. As a special treat, there will be mag- We will look at and taste berries, but will not be #70 or #72. 250-478-3344. nets and goodies for all the royals and scallywags. collecting them to take home. Meet at the kiosk in 1-2:20pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Rd at 1pm. 5+ years. 250-478-3344. SATURDAY th



Explore the E&N Rail Trail at E&N Rail TrailHumpback Connector. If you haven’t had a chance to explore some of the newly opened sections of the E&N Rail Trail, here is your opportunity to take in a guided tour of the trail. From Langford, head along the trail through scenic View Royal and Esquimalt on our way into town. This urban trail provides quick access to downtown Victoria from the West Shore. Come see for yourself why this newly completed trail has become so popular with residents of the region on this 15 km round-trip program. No fee, but you must pre-register by Sept 8 as space is limited. 12+ years. 10am-2pm. 250-478-3344. One Day Festival at Topaz Park. Music, marketplace, low cost BBQ lunch and refreshments, organized games and activities, children’s Fun Zone including bumper boats, face painting, inflatables, mini golf and more. Free. 10am-3pm. Coast Capital Free Skate at Panorama Recreation. Bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun on the ice. Don’t forget to wear your helmet for a chance to win great prizes. Skate rentals are free as well.

36  Island Parent Magazine

Spider Websites at Uplands Park. A family program that will introduce you to local spiders, their habits and which ones can bite you. Enjoy a spider dress-up to learn about their weird bodies. Frolic with naturalist Margaret Lidkea through the rocky meadows of Uplands Park to discover their different websites. Create your own arachnid to take home. FRIDAY th Donations appreciated. Cancelled if rainy or windy. DigiLab Training Session at Juan de Fuca Branch 1:30-3pm. Uplands Park in the grassy field on Beach Library. Learn to lead a DigiLab program—earn vol- Dr at entrance to Cattle Point. unteer hours and use your creativity and tech skills to inspire your peers. To lead a DigiLab program, you MONDAY th must attend a training session and complete a Teen Volunteer Referral Form. For ages 13-18. 3:30-5pm. Science Literacy Week: For the Love of Bugs at Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Oak Bay Branch Library. Celebrate Science Literacy Week with a visit from the Victoria Bug Zoo Crew and many buggy friends. Drop by to have your questions SATURDAY th answered, and take advantage of photo ops with Bear Necessities at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. the bugs (bring your own camera). Drop-in; space Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn about is limited. Everyone welcome. Admission is on a the natural history of the black bear. Meet at Witty’s first-come, first-served basis. 1-3pm. Lagoon Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd at 1pm. All ages. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. crd. Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria City Hall. Learn about the hazards that can affect Movie Night in the Pool at Panorama Recreation. Come for a movie night swim. Watch “Inside Out” on the big inflatable screen while enjoying some popcorn. 6:30-8:30pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250656-7271.




Victoria, what to include in your home emergency kit, what you can do to minimize injury and protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with loved ones after a disaster. 1-3pm. 250-9203373. Story Buddies: Tween Volunteers at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. If you like working with children, enjoy stories, are a fluent English speaker, and want to help young children with early literacy skills, the library needs you. Story Buddies tween volunteers pair with young children aged 4-6 to make an original story book. We provide training and, upon completion, a certificate for volunteering. First-time volunteers, please complete a Tween Volunteer Referral Form. For ages 10-12. 2-3:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

to stories and participate in fun activities that teach the scientific concepts behind the stories. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250940-GVPL (4875).




Science Literacy Week: Science Storytime for Preschoolers at Central Branch Library. See TUES 20 for details. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).







Hawk Watch at East Sooke Regional Park. Have you ever seen turkey vultures kettling? Join CRD Regional Parks and the Victoria Natural History Society for this Science Literacy Week: Science Storytime for annual migration event. Live raptor demonstrations Preschoolers at Esquimalt Branch Library. See TUES and activities at Aylard Farm, accessible to all ages 20 for details. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register and abilities. For those who want to add a hike, there are experts with spotting scopes at the viewpoint at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). above Beechey Head. The hike up to the viewpoint Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria requires sturdy hiking shoes, and is a 20-minute West Community Centre. See MON 19 for details. trek up a steep and rocky trail. Bring binoculars, water and a lunch. Drop in any time between 11am 7-9pm. 250-920-3373. and 2pm at the Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Rd. All ages. 250-478-3344. FRIDAY th


Story Buddies: Little Buddies at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Make your own original book even if you can’t read or write yet. Story Buddies pairs young children with volunteer tweens for creative writing and illustration fun. Your Big Buddy will write down your story and then you will illustrate it together. For ages 4-6. 2:30-3:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Science Literacy Week: Science Storytime for Preschoolers at Nellie McClung Branch Library. See Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Saanich TUES 20 for details. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Centennial Branch Library. Celebrate food with fun Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). stories and activities. Decorate your own recipe book and enjoy a fruit and veggie snack. An Island Lego Stories at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Health nutritionist will provide kids with some fun Use the library’s Lego and listen to stories while food tips. For ages 5-8. 2:30-4pm. Register at gvpl. you create a masterpiece. Your creation will be ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). displayed until the next meeting. Ages 5-12 years. 3:30-4:30pm. Please register by email at sidney@ Stories on Fern. The Victoria Storytellers Guild or phone 250-656-0944. welcomes you to hear and tell stories . Tea and goodies. Doors open at 7:15pm, stories start at DigiLab: Teen Volunteers at Esquimalt Branch 7:30pm. 1831 Fern St (park on Begbie). $5; $3/ Library. If you have already attended a DigiLab students. training session and completed a Teen Volunteer Referral Form, you can volunteer to lead a DigiLab program. For ages 13-18. 7-8:30pm. Register at gvpl. TUESDAY th ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Science Literacy Week: Science Storytime for Preschoolers at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Listen






Seed Spectacular at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. In the autumn, Mother Nature is planting her garden for next year. Come and see what she has planned. Includes hand-on exploration, crafts, seed scavenger hunt, seed displays, and plant a seed to take home. All ages welcome. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. 3873 Swan Lake Rd. 250-479-0211.




Baby Chat at Central and Juan de Fuca Branch Libraries. Stay after Baby Time to learn about baby care and other child development topics from Island Health practitioners. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in; space is limited. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. 11-11:30am.

September 2016  37

Victoria German School

German Classes For Ages 3 and up





Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Author Kyo Maclear, children’s author of Spork, Virginia Wolf, Mr. Flux, and The Specific Ocean will share her experience as a writer and creative process for picture books. Browse Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and Children’s Bookstore’s table before the event begins at 7:30pm. $7/drop-in; members free. Generously sponsored by IslandLink Library Federation and co-hosted by the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable. No registration required. For more information, call 250-884-1346.




Giggles & Wiggles at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy actionfilled stories, songs and rhymes. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:15am drop in, space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis. 250-886-1420

Art Classes Drawing • Painting Sculpture • Cartooning Portfolio Preparation • Day and Evening Classes • One or Two hour sessions • Technique Oriented • Ages 5 and Up


Now Registering for Fall Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art Call Joan at 250-383-0566 or 250-885-7353 38  Island Parent Magazine

Children’s Author: Kyo Maclear at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Kyo Maclear, picture book author of Spork and The Specific Ocean will talk about how a picture book comes to be. She will read from her books, lead an art activity related to one of her books, and answer your questions. Ages 6 years and up. 1-2pm. 250-656-0944. Miss Peregrine Party at Oak Bay Branch Library. Come dressed as your ‘peculiar’ alter-ego and enjoy Loop Day trivia, a game and activities. It wouldn’t be a proper Loop Day without a slice of Loop Day cake, too. For ages 12-15. 3:30-4:30pm. Register online at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).







Birds of Beechey Head at East Sooke Regional Park. Join CRD guest naturalist, Geoffrey Newell, and walk up to Beechey Head to observe raptors during their fall migration. Meet at the Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Rd at 9am. 9+ years. 250-478-3344. Esquimalt Story Festival at Esquimalt Branch Library. Join Esquimalt Recreation and the Esquimalt Library for a festival in the plaza. Storytellers will delight and entertain children of all ages. Drop-in 11am-2pm. Button Making and Face Painting at Esquimalt Story Festival. Earn volunteer hours by running our easy-to-use button-making making machine at GVPL events. 11am-noon, Noon-1pm, 1-2pm. For ages 13-18. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Spectacular Spiders at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Walk anywhere in BC and you’ll be less than a metre from a spider. Join guest naturalists Claudia and Darren Copley as we explore in search of spiders and more. Meet at the Beaver Lake Nature Centre off the main parking lot at 2pm. 5+ years. BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344.




Curious George at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Celebrate all things Curious George with stories, songs, rhymes and a paper craft. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Baby Chat at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. See MON 26 for details. For babies 0-15 months and par- DigiLab: Spheros at Oak Bay Branch Library. Learn ent or caregiver. Drop-in; space is limited. Admission to code with DigiLab’s new Sphero SPRKs, robotic on a first-come, first-served basis. Noon-12:30pm. spheres you can program to roll, spin, flip and change colours. These rolling robots teach principles of robotics and coding through play. Ages 13-18. 3:30FRIDAY th TO SUNDAY OCT nd 5pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).



Victoria Kids Consignment Sale at Eagle Ridge Centre. Clothes, toys, gear, brand new Melissa & Doug items and much more. Friday: 5-8pm; Saturday: 10am-4pm; Sunday: 9am-noon. Free admission. for details.




Lego Stories at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Use the library’s Lego and listen to stories while you create a masterpiece. Your creation will be displayed until the next meeting. Ages 5-12 years. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at or 250-656-0944. Little Lego at the Library at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Listen to stories and have fun with the library’s Lego. For ages 4-6; parents and

caregivers are encouraged to attend. 3:30-4:30pm drop in; space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Monster Stomp at Goudy Branch Library. Come to the library for a monster-stomping good time. Enjoy ghoulish stories, activities, a craft and a treat. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Author Monique Gray Smith at Esquimalt Branch Library. Author Monique Gray Smith will read from her acclaimed teen fiction book Tilly and speak about her writing process. For ages 13-18. 10:3011:30am and 1:30-2:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). DigiLab: Green Screen at Central Branch Library. Calling all future film producers, serious actors and stand-up comedians: the DigiLab green screen is ready for your close-up. Plan and produce your own green screen video and choose almost any setting as your backdrop with the click of a few buttons. For ages 13-18. 4-7pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Mandarin Seeds at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Enjoy a fun and interactive storytime and craft in Manadarin. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Marvelous Mushrooms at Francis/King Regional Park. For the novice mushroom explorer, join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to discover more about fungi in the forest. No fee, but you must pre-register by Oct 12 as space is limited. 10:30am-noon. 5+ years. 250-478-3344.

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Family Forest Tea Party at Francis/King Regional Park. Bring the whole family along for a tea party in the woods. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for an interpretive tea tasting featuring some of our local plants. A short guided walk to see some of the plants growing in their native habitat will precede the tea sampling. All ages. 1-3pm. $10/family + GST. Pre-registration required by Oct 12 as space is limited. 250-478-3344.






23rd Annual Community Invasive Plant Bash at Uplands Park. Join Friends of Uplands Park to create a healthier endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem

s, To t C la s s e Pa re n t & p, e t, H ip H o J a z z , Ba ll la s s e s & C o m b o aClle t, Ta p & Even the lit tlest angel can dance

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September 2016  39

in uplands Park. Become an Alien Invader Raider removing invasive plants, like Scotch broom, English ivy, and Daphne laurel. The native animals will love you and your family for helping to make their habitat better. Invasive rats will be annoyed with the removal of their food plants. Suitable for all ages and families. Tools, gloves and refreshments provided. Volunteer hours are used by Oak Bay Parks to apply for federal funds. 1-4pm. Meet at the grassy field on Beach Dr at entrance to Cattle Point.


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Everybody’s So Excited: Mineral World Has Reopened!

mineral world and the scratch patch 250.656.0791 | 9808 Seaport Pl, Sidney 40

Island Parent Magazine



Author Paul Zehr at Central Branch Library. Learn about your inner superhero. Award-winning professor and author Paul Zehr will read from his acclaimed recent pop-sci book, Project Superhero, which won the Silver Medal for Juvenile Fiction in 2015. For ages 10-13. 1:15-2:15pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). stories on Fern. The Victoria Storytellers Guild welcomes you to hear and tell stories . Tea and goodies. Doors open at 7:15pm, stories start at 7:30pm. 1831 Fern St (park on Begbie). $5; $3/ students. Victoria Children’s literature Roundtable: Encouraging Literacy of Autism Spectrum Disorder at the Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Join Becca Keller, a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (behaviour consultant), to learn about selecting great books, stories and activities for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. Browse Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and Children’s Bookstore’s table before the event begins at 7:30pm. $7/drop in; members free. No registration required. For information call 250-884-1346.

FrIDaY Mineral World has reopened in beautiful Sidney-by-the-Sea where we are once again offering our distinctive Earth Science experience. Visitors are able to spend time in the Earth Science Centre and Scratch Patch where they can collect gemstones and learn about the wonders of our planet or wander through our store of amazing gifts, jewellery, minerals and fossils collected from around the world. Our well-respected School and Community Earth Science Program will also be returning in September.


who’s Hooting at Mill Hill Regional Park. The owls are hooting. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn owl calls, find out about these excellent night hunters and get to know our BC owls. Meet at info kiosk in parking lot off Atkins Ave at 1pm. 5+ years. BC Transit #53. 250-478-3344.

monDaY 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria




French storytime at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Enjoy a French language storytime with Canadian Parents for French (CPF), and learn about GVPL’s French resources to support emergent readers. Perfect for French Immersion families. Coffee and cookies provided. For ages 5-8 and parents or caregivers. 10:15-11am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Firefighter storytime at Juan de Fuca Branch

Library. Join a real-life firefighter from the City of Colwood Fire Department for a short storytime and craft, followed by a photo op (bring your own camera). For ages 5-12. 1:30-2:15pm drop in; space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Superheros & Villains Workshop at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Join veteran animator, character designer and children’s book writer and illustrator Gareth Gaudin for a workshop. Whether your creations are funny, fearsome, or frightening, this workshop will help your characters fly off the page. For ages 9-12. 2-3:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

LIFE Seminars presents

Sidestepping the Power Struggle

7:00 to 9:15

Movement Magic with PISE at Central Branch Library. Let’s move it. Interactive stories, active play and fun games with hula-hoops, jumping, ropes and other cool equipment provided by Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence. For ages 5-8. 2:30-3:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

Let’s Get Loony at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Celebrate Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday at this program featuring Canadian animals. Explore animal specimens from the Royal BC Museum collection, listen to stories and create a loon collage. Presented in partnership with the Royal BC Museum. For ages 6-9. 2:30-3:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

The LIFE team will support you to work with the material and create positive and meaningful shifts in your family.

Wednesday Evenings October 12th to November 30th, 2016

May the Force Be with You at Oak Bay Branch Library. Join the library in a galaxy not so far away for Star Wars-inspired stories, activities and crafts. For ages 5-12. 2:30-3:30pm drop in; space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

Elephant, Piggie and Friends at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Fans of Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books will enjoy this celebration jam-packed with stories, a craft and a puppet play. For ages 5-8. 2:30-3:30pm drop in; space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Eight Week Course.

with Dr. Allison Rees and the LIFE Team

For more information go to or call 250-595-2649

Fall Classes September 17 to November 12

Monster Stomp at Esquimalt Branch Library. See WED 12 for details. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Lego Stories at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. See FRI 7 for details. Ages 5-12 years. 3:30-4:30pm. Please register by email at or phone 250-656-0944.




Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional Park. Drop by any time between 11am and 2pm with family and friends for this spook-tacular afternoon of Halloween fun with CRD Regional Parks naturalists. At 11:15am and 1:15pm, join the guided walks, if you

FSMT musical theatre classes provide instruction in the skills of stage acting, singing and dancing. We will also cover crew responsibilities and how cast and crew work together. Every child can benefit from learning about expressing themselves, listening to others, moving with intention, and having fun with theatre. Classes run every Saturday from September 17 to November 12, from 9am to 12pm. There is no class on October 8.

Visit for more information and to register! September 2016  41

dare—we’ll fill the cauldron with spooky treasures from the natural world. Displays, Halloween crafts and hot ghoulish brew await. Wear a costume and win a prize. Meet at the Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. 250-478-3344.

and their families; children under 3 must be accom- brary. Listen to stories and have fun with the library’s panied by an adult. 10:30-11:15am drop in, space is Lego. For ages 7-10. 3:30-4:30pm. Drop-in; space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis. limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis.


BatwingsandBroomsticksatOakBayBranchLibrary. SATURDAY th See TUES 25 for details. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Let’s Get Loony at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional See FRI 21 for details. For ages 6-9. 2:30-3:30pm. Park. See SAT 22 for details. 11am-2pm. All ages. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). THURSDAY 250-478-3344. th





Baby Chat at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Stay after Baby Time to learn about baby care and Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional other child development topics from Island Health Park. See SAT 22 for details. 11am-2pm. All ages. practitioners. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in; space is limited. Admission is on 250-478-3344. a first-come, first-served basis. 11-11:30am.




Sensory Storytime: Pete the Cat at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Discover sensory-rich stories, movement and songs. This fun program is appropriate for preschoolers with autism or sensory processing issues, or preschoolers who thrive on routine. For ages 3-5; maximum of 2 children per accompanying adult. Parent and caregiver participation is required. 10:30-11:15am. Register at or call 250-940GVPL (4875).

Story Club at Central Branch Library. Listen to stories, talk about your favourite books, and enjoy fun activities. Snacks included. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Batwings and Broomsticks at Oak Bay Branch Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Library. See TUES 25 for details. For ages 3-5. 2:30-3:30pm. Register at or call 250-940FRIDAY th GVPL (4875). Baby Chat at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. See THURS 27 for details. For babies 0-15 months and par- SUNDAY WEDNESDAY th th ent or caregiver. Drop-in; space is limited. Admission Giggles & Wiggles at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. on a first-come, first-served basis. Noon-12:30pm. Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy actionPark. See SAT 22 for details. 11am-2pm. All ages. filled stories, songs and rhymes. For young children Lego in the Library at Bruce Hutchison Branch Li- 250-478-3344. Batwings and Broomsticks at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Get goosebumps at this Halloween storytime filled with not-so-scary stories, songs, an easy craft, and a not-too-spooky short film. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).


42  Island Parent Magazine



Creepy Crawlies at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. They creep, they crawl, and may even give you the willies. Meet a variety of six-legged, eight-legged and even no-legged creatures and find out about their amazing adaptations. You might even shake hands with Rosebud the Tarantula. All ages welcome. Noon-3pm drop in. Admission by donation. 3873 Swan Lake Rd. 250-479-0211.




Baby Chat at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. See THURS 27 for details. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in; space is limited. Admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Noon-12:30pm.

O n g oin g BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOL Family Storytimes and Baby Times at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Parents and caregivers are welcome and encouraged to participate with their children. Drop in; space is limited. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete schedule of drop-in programs, visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Good Morning Storytime at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Bring your littlest ones to the library for stories, songs, rhymes and movement. Ages 0-5. Thursdays 10:15-11am, Sept 15-Nov 3. 250-656-0944.

CHILDREN Reading Buddies: Little Buddies at Bruce Hutchison, Juan de Fuca and Nellie McClung Branch Libraries. Does your child need a little help with reading? Reading Buddies provides reading practice and fun, literacy-based activities with volunteer teen Big Buddies. Sessions available in both English and French. For Grades 1-4. Fall session runs 2-3pm or 3:30-4:30pm, Saturdays October 22 to December 10. Register online at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program for English Language Learners at Central Branch Library. Develop leadership and communication skills through practical experience and fun exercises with a Distinguished Toastmaster and other community speakers. For ages 8-12. Saturdays 11am-noon, October 1 to November 5. Register online at gvpl. ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

YOUTH Latin Course for Teens at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Want to learn Latin? Latin is not a dead


Mr P

Creation by belzebrute

“charming, touching & funny”

Part cartoon, part musical comedy, it’s the story of the real Mister Potato Head !

– The Charlebois Post

“Un véritable délice.” –

september 24 2PM (in French)

Metro Studio Theatre, 1411 Quadra. Tickets: $10 at

September 2016  43

language and with a little effort, you can learn to read it. This is a rigorous course in classical Latin for committed teens taught by Gregory Rowe, Angelica Pass and Lauren Mayes (uVic). By year’s end, you will be able to read poems by Catullus, the medieval Bayeux Tapestry, and the Latin translation of Harry Potter. The course is free, but a text book is required; contact for information about purchase, second-hand, or borrowing options. Course runs for eight months, please register for the September-December term and you will be automatically registered for the January-April term. For ages 13-18. Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm. Register at or call the library at 250-940-4875.

Emmanuel Preschool 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road (by entrance to UVic) Children learn through play in our all inclusive, non-denominational Christian preschool. Great facility; outdoor play area and a gym for rainy day play! Two teachers with ECE certifi cation plus an assistant teacher to help with special needs children. A competent and caring teaching team!

Class Options for 2016–2017: Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Phone 250-598-0573

Reading Buddies: Teen Volunteers at Bruce Hutchison, Juan de Fuca and Nellie McClung Branch Libraries. If you like working with children, enjoy reading, are a fluent English speaker and want to help emerging readers, we need you. Reading Buddies teen volunteers mentor children in Grades 1-4 with reading practice and literacy-based activities. We provide training and, upon completion, a reference letter outlining your volunteer hours. Firsttime volunteers, please complete a Teen Volunteer Referral Form and register for a Reading Buddies Training Session. Sessions available in both English and French. For ages 13-18. Registration begins September 6. Fall session runs on Saturdays 1:453pm or 3:15-4:30pm from October 22 to December 10. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). 420 Characters Tiny story Contest at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Can you pack vivid descriptions, original characters and surprising plot twists into a narrative small enough to fit in a status update? We want to hear your tiny stories! The story needs to be 420 characters or fewer—including spaces and punctuation. up to three entries per author. Contest runs online from September 19 to October 24. For ages 13 and up. For more information, visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Tech Buddies: Teen Volunteers at Esquimalt Branch Library. Learn about the library’s digital resources, get tips for helping adults, and meet other volunteers. For teens 13-18 new to the Tech Buddies program. October 14, 21 and 28, 4:45-3pm. Register at or see for more information. Teen Council at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Work on special library projects, represent the library, meet other teens, and earn volunteer hours. For ages 13-18. Saturdays September 17, October 15, November 19 and December 17, 3-5pm. Register at or see

FamIlIes Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support Circles in Victoria. Every second Tuesday morning from 44

Island Parent Magazine

9:30-11:30am or every second Wednesday evening from 6:30-8:30pm. A safe supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. Call 250-384-8042 for more information, or visit Province-wide toll free information and support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email

Girl Guides make a Splash

Summer in the Square in Centennial Square. Lunchtime concerts Tuesday-Thursday until Sept 15. Noon-1pm. Free. Young Parent Drop-In at the Downtown Y. Free breakfast and drop-in for young parents in the community. Socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully-equiped playroom, or have a look in the ‘free store’ for gently used children’s items and household supplies. Information available for local resources, advocacy and counselling support. The Y Young Moms Program also runs groups such as Mother Goose, Nobody’s Perfect, and Food Skills for Families. Thursdays 10am-noon. 250-382-1004. Recyclistas Bicycle Repair Classes at Recyclistas Bike Shop. Affordable classes twice weekly. Learn how to safely and effectively fix, maintain and rebuild bicycles. Thursdays 4-7pm, and Saturdays 1-4pm. $25/adults; $13/youth 10-18. Pre-register by calling 250-418-8867. Concerts in the Park at Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Dance, theatre and musical performances as well as community events. Bring a blanket, or your personal lawn chair and enjoy and afternoon of free entertainment. 1:30-3:20pm, Friday, Saturday, Sundays and holiday until September 11. Moss Street Market at Moss Street and Fairfield Rd. Farmer’s Market, over 75 craft and food vendors. Local musicians, great coffee, special event days and more. Saturdays, 10am-2pm until October 26.





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The No Ivy League at Uplands Park. Join this weekly restoration group to help restore the endangered Garry Oak Ecosystem by removing invasive English Ivy. Tools and gloves will be provided, instruction given, and areas to work in will be determined by Oak Bay Parks Management Plan. Suitable for all ages. Sundays 1-3pm from September 11 to November 27. Meet at the grassy field on Beach Dr at the entrance to Cattle Point. Monthly Dyslexia Information Sessions. Ending dyslexia is now possible. Learn about the latest developments in neuroscience and programs to end dyslexia quickly and with lasting results. Free information sessions held monthly with Marlene Lewis, award-winning registered speech pathologist. Please phone 250-474-6368 or visit•


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The Victoria Judo Club is moving to a new location. 2780 Richmond Rd, Gymnasium Class Times: Juniors, Monday and Wednesday @ 6pm (starting Sept 12th) Seniors, Monday and Wednesday @ 7:30pm (starting Sept 5th) For further information and updates please visit our website: Judo in Victoria since 1957 Wanted: We are currently searching for a new home for the 2017/2018 season and onwards! Contact: Jeremy Grant (250) 886-0056 JudoAdPressready.indd 1

8/17/16 11:29:39 AM

September 2016  45

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live

1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Child Care Resource & Referral Kaleidoscope Theatre Phoenix Theatre Royal BC Museum Silver Threads Service Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: 46  Island Parent Magazine

Around The Island S ep t e m b e r

Visit for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino TUESDAY





Fox Run for cancer research. Registration begins at 9am and run starts at 10am. Register and pledge Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate online at No entry fee, no minimum in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special ef- pledge. Volunteers are also needed. 250-248-3252. fects. Regular admission. 6:30-8pm. 250-756-5200.



Under the Surface at Kin Park, Nanaimo. Did you know that there is a mysterious world living beneath the surface of our oceans and streams? Search for these critters and learn about the life surrounding the shoreline. 3-6 years. Parent-participation course great for home-schooled children. 9-10am and 10:3011:30am. $8/person. 250-756-5200.



Pro D Day Bubble Bonanza Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Come create bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles. Challenge yourself to see who can create the largest bubble and see how long it takes before it goes pop. Everyone welcome. 1:30-2:30pm. Reduced admission. 250-752-5104.

School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. School is out, but skating is in. th 1:30-3pm. Regular admission. 250-248-3252. rdn. One World Festival in the Cowichan Valley. Friday: Cowichan History display with a walk down memory MONDAY th lane, ‘eye-opener’ films, and diverse cultural cuisine demonstrations. Saturday: music, performances, School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceansfashion shows, art, activities for kids and interna- ide Place Arena. School is out, but skating is in. tional foods. Free. 1:30-3pm. Regular admission. 250-248-3252. rdn.









September Festival at St. John’s Anglican Church, Cobble Hill. Mega yard, book and clothing sales. Bake table, hamburgers, popcorn and beverages available. Bouncy castle, face painting and other activities to keep the kids busy. 10am-2pm. 250743-3095.




Mini Golf for Youth and Adults at Paradise Adventures Mini Gold. This annual event is a chance for youth 11-18 years and adults 55+ to connect over a game of mini golf. Free with registration. 4-6pm. 250-248-3252 to pre-register.

The Intertidal Zone Tour at Moorecroft Regional Park. Take a walk with a certified Park Naturalist and explore the intertidal zone of Vancouver Island’s east shores. From barnacles to the “love cycle” of the sea TUESDAY th cucumber, you don’t want to miss this interesting session in the tide pools. 11:30am-1:30pm. $15.50/ Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate adult; $5/child. 250-248-3252. in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. 6:30-8pm. 250-756-5200. Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Come out and enjoy the new soft light ‘stars’ and passive LED SATURDAY th glow lights. A great night out for families. Regular admission rates. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200. Mother Goose Family Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Bring your little ducklings to swim and play. Enjoy rhymes and songs and a visit with Mother SUNDAY th Goose. Regular admission. 10am-noon. 250-752Terry Fox Run at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. 5014. Walk, ride or run 3km or 10km to support the Terry








colour and drop to the ground. Every child loves to walk through and play in fallen leaves. Come for Disco Light Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Try fall crafts and learn about why trees have leaves, something different and come skate under the disco and why they change colours in the fall. Great for lights. Flashing disco lights and pumping disco mu- home-schooled children. 3-6 years. 1-2pm. $8/ sic will take you back in time. Everyone welcome. person. 250-756-5200. 5:45-7:15pm. 250-248-3252. Oceanside Generals Halloween Skate at OceansHalloween Dive-in Movie at Nanaimo Aquatic ide Place Arena. The Oceanside Generals invite Centre. Celebrate Halloween by watching a movie you to join them for a Halloween themed skating session. Wear your costumes, meet the players, join in the pool. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200. in a small scrimmage and receive skating tips from your favourite player. Everyone welcome. 2-3:30pm. SUNDAY th Free admission and skate rentals. 250-248-3252. Silly Spiders at Linley Valley, Nanaimo. Are your spidey senses tingling? Explore the amazing world of spiders and what they eat, the types of webs they Halloween Howl Swim at Ravensong Aquatic spin and why. 3-6 years. This is a parent-participation Centre. Ghosts and goblins will be seen with a few course and is great for home-schooled children. tricks and games for the children. The howl will finish off with an annual piñata bash. Parents are free 9-10am. $8/person. 250-756-5200. when accompanied by your children. 6:30-8pm. 250-248-3252. THURSDAY th

Growing healthy families, together.


Dr. Meghan van Drimmelen ND and Dr. Carla Cashin ND


School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. School is out, but skating is in. 1:30-3pm. Regular admission. 250-248-3252. rdn. PRESCHOOL

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Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes Pro-D Day Freezie Swim at Ravensong Aquatic and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. Centre. School is out, so come to the pool where 2687 James St. the inflatable toys will be out for you to enjoy. After swimming, participants will be given a freezie treat to FAMILY enjoy. Everyone welcome. Reduced rate admission. 1:30-2:30pm. 250-752-5014. Family Pool Party at Beban Pool. End the hard work week with a party at the pool. Fridays 7-9pm, October 7-December 9. 250-756-5200. SATURDAY nd

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Drop-in Science Studio at Departure Bay Eco School. At Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society’s Science studio, kids are encouraged to explore the many interactive displays and activities. Activities include: 8 foot marble wall, 2,000 KEVA blocks, kid-friendly microscopes, wind tunnels, FRIDAY th a high-powered air field, math puzzles, sign-out Halloween Howl at Beban Pool. “Howl” at the activities, and more. For safety purposes, children moon at the Halloween extravaganza. 4-7pm. under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. $4/ child; adults free. Tuesday-Thursday 10am-noon; 250-756-5200. Thursdays 3-5pm; Saturdays 9am-noon. Schedule Teen Pizza & Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. subject to change, so please check nanaimoscience. Enjoy Friday night swim activities geared to the teen org for most current schedule. crowd with an added pizza bonus. For 13-18 year olds. 7-9pm. Free. 250-752-5014. Lions Free Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Every Sunday noon-1:30pm. 250-756-5200. Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Come out and enjoy the new soft light ‘stars’ and passive LED glow lights. A great night out for families. Regular admission rates. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200.





Falling Leaves at Bowen Park Upper Picnic Shelter. Fall is a wonderful time to take in the beauty of trees—especially those whose leaves change

Parksville Lions and Save-on-Foods Family Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Pond hockey is not available during this session. Sundays 12:15-1:45pm starting October 2. 250-248-3252.•

AllianceFrançaise de Victoria The Alliance Française is a worldwide organization based in Paris, offering language instruction by certified teachers, adapted to the needs of learners. Classes at various skill levels are offered though community centres. Private instruction is tailored to individuals, business and government agencies. For more information, please see our website: September 2016  47


The Cicada and the Ant

Sursaut Dance December 4 at 11am

Will Stroet of Will’s Jams

Finding Time to Just Be


hen I became a parent at 18 years old, I was lucky enough to have a supportive family that was able to help me be the best mom I could be. They allowed me to continue to live at home and helped out with childcare. At the time, I knew how I was perceived by the outside world and as a young, single mom I faced the negative stereotype that came with my choices. I experienced the judgmental stares and inappropriate questions that were directed towards me. I decided that I was going to challenge the idea that I couldn’t be a loving, educated and dedicated parent just because I was young. So, I dove into parenting with everything I had—I read books, took parenting classes and learned about child development and behavior. When I wasn’t working or in school, I gave all of my time and attention to raising my son and our relationship.

many people, the idea of putting myself first was not on my radar at all. In fact, I think I let my focus be so much on parenting that I didn’t know how I would possibly take care of me. Being a parent, especially a single parent, can be exhausting. You have to be the chef, chauffer, money maker, bill payer, good cop, bad cop, entertainer, teacher and everything in between. Often we put our kid’s needs first and so naturally our own needs fall to the bottom of the priority list. However, just because self-care falls to the bottom, doesn’t mean it should stay there. This became even more obvious to me as I started my career in counselling. The concept of self-care was drilled into me in my university classes, but I had never created the time or space for it. My family and the people I worked with were important to me, and I wanted to give them the best of me. I started to realize that this wouldn’t

So…why the full disclosure? Because I wanted you to know that I get it. I was a single parent for eight years before I met my husband. I became a mom to my second child four years ago, and I then found myself parenting kids who were 15 years apart. My daughter is four and my son is now 19 years old. Given their age difference, my kids have very different needs and demands of me. Their developmental milestones are miles apart—as my daughter was learning to walk, her brother was learning how to drive! With the demand of being many things to

be possible if I wasn’t taking care of myself. And, eventually I started to feel it; I started to feel the effects of the many hats that I was wearing both in my professional and personal lives. Noticing how my health and well-being were affected was the gentle nudge I needed to make some changes in my life. So how does one do this when there can be barriers such as limited time, energy and money? The first step is coming to terms with the fact that you need and deserve time and at-

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48  Island Parent Magazine

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tention—just like your children. This can be a hard concept to convince ourselves of when we are already feeling exhausted and guilty. By making time for yourself, you are allowing yourself the breathing room to better yourself—which in turn benefits your kids. So, don’t beat yourself up about missing bedtime to go to your exercise class. Know that you are going to be a more relaxed and patient parent for having taken C






Lisa Clarabut



time for yourself. Filling yourself up will make it easier to be a more present parent. The second step is recruiting your support team. This will look different for all of us, but could include: hiring a babysitter, asking friends or family to help out, doing a babysitting exchange or signing up for a class or gym that has childminding. Or it could just be taking some “me time” at home once the kids are in bed to watch your favorite TV show. For me, it’s become about being present in the little things such as enjoying an uninterrupted bath, sitting outside in the sunshine reading a book or exercising. It’s about finding what works for you to create balance in your life. Step three is figuring out where your interests and passions lie. This can seem like a daunting task, you might be thinking that you have no idea what you would do if you had a spare moment to yourself. That’s OK, just start by imagining and daydreaming and asking yourself a few questions. What did you enjoy doing before you became a parent? What do you want to learn now? How can you enjoy spending your kid-free time? What can you do for yourself that recharges you? Do you need alone time or social time with friends? The idea is to create the space in your life where you get to focus on you for a bit of time. By role modelling self-care, you are giving your kids the skills they will need to take care of themselves as they grow up. Whether you are a single parent or coparenting, we all need a little time to just be. Lisa has been working as a Youth & Family Counsellor for the past 12 years in Victoria. She is a proud mama to a preschooler and a teen and continues to find the space to just be.

Meg Hickling

Sexual Health Education for Families Tues, October 4

7:00 to 9:00pm Parents/Guardians/ Educators Adults only

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Quadra & Balmoral For Registration call 250-388-5188 ext. 221 or visit September 2016  49

Cooking with G

one are the days when the kids would come home from school and automatically help out in the kitchen. Our lives are busier than ever, which makes it almost impossible to imagine dragging our kids away from their homework and after school activities just so that they can help out with making dinner. However, it’s important to include children in our daily cooking routines. It is the best way to teach them how to feed themselves healthy wholesome food, and it’s also a great opportunity to connect with them at the end of a busy day. Not having the skills needed to cook healthy food from scratch is called food deskilling, and it’s become a global problem that is linked to poor diet choices and subsequent health problems. While the huge amount of processed foods available in our grocery stores is partly to blame, the main reason for food deskilling is that kids are no longer being taught how to cook. So teach your kids some basic cooking skills and turn making dinner from a chore into something fun!


A New Monthly Column… 50

Island Parent Magazine

If you aren’t sure how to get your kids cooking, here’s a quick age-based guide to some of the things they can do around the kitchen. 0–2 years: This age is all about exploring. Keep your baby in the kitchen with you while you cook, and when they are old enough you can let them play with foods as you prepare them. As they get older have them help you wash vegetables and stir batters (away from the stove). Let your toddler play with whole sheets of nori. They can rip it up into all sort of different shapes before eating it. 3–5 years: Preschoolers naturally love to help out cooking their parents. Let them pack with Kids their own snacks or lunch boxes. They can also slice up soft items— like tofu and mushrooms—with a butter knife. My three-year-old always grates the cheese for dinner. We even let her do some highly-supervised cooking, like flipping pancakes or stirring a pot on the stove. Preschoolers can have fun making their own snack by spreading peanut butter on crackers. 6–10 years: This is a great age to have your kids help you cook. They can use a sharp serrated knife to slice up fruits and vegetables. They can read a simple recipe and help with supervised cooking. My eight-year-old is pretty good at making simple meals like soups, stews, pasta and nachos.

Emillie Parish

Deviled eggs: Peel six hard boiled eggs . Slice them in half and collect the yolks in a bowl . mash the yolks with a 1⁄4 cup of mayonnaise and 1 tsp mustard . then fill the eggs with the mashed yolks . let your kid use this basic recipe to experiment with adding different flavours (herbs, paprika, capers) . 10+ years: Once kids have the basic skills needed to prepare food, you can help them transition to independent cooking. A teenager should be able to cook a family meal or bake cookies from scratch. However they may need help with following a recipe because sometimes cooking skills need to be demonstrated rather than just read about in a recipe. Mexican pie: mix together 1 can of refried beans, 1 cup of flour, 1⁄4 cup of water and 1 1⁄2 tsp of baking powder until smooth . Spread this mixture evenly in the pie plate to make the “crust” of the pie . Spread on a layer of salsa and then top with your favourite toppings (onions, peppers, mushrooms) . Cover with a layer of cheese, then bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes . Serve hot from the oven with sour cream and guacamole . Teaching your children to cook offers so many benefits. It helps them develop a sense of responsibility, confidence and self-reliance. They’ll learn about healthy eating, planning meals and combining food flavours. It’s also a great way to solidify math skills (double that recipe!). If you aren’t sure how to get your children excited about cooking, let them choose what they want to make and I’m sure you’ll have a budding chef in your kitchen. Also, it’s never too late to for parents to learn some new cooking skills. There are a number of food educators on the Island offering courses for all skill levels. You can find a listing of organizations offering food skills workshops in the CRD here:

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog

September 2016



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Making Memories


or parents, summer operates on the weird laws of quantum physics rather than the normal logic of the other seasons. Depending on when and where you look at it, the dimensions of summer seem to expand or contract. In January, summer looks impossibly distant, a flickering mirage on the horizon of a long, dark winter. By mid-August, when your kids have gone feral, it feels like time has stopped. Will summer ever end? Then Labour Day hits and panic ensues because vacation season has vanished in a blink, leaving unfulfilled plans and hasty backto-school preparations. Where did it all go? Having kids amps up your anxiety. We have only so many summers in which to forge family memories before the fatcheeked toddlers we squeezed into sun-suits are now quaffing coffee and hustling out the door for new jobs. Summer, like childhood, is fleeting. You can’t waste a week. Working parents must also juggle planning holidays with scouting summer camps. For our family, the worrying kicks off around March Break, when we start to compile a spreadsheet of options. What’s the right mix of outdoor fun and self-improvement activities? Of sports and arts? Of enjoying old friendships and making new ones? Summer is also a good time to untether kids from the hypnotizing screens of smartphones, iPads and TVs. But it’s 2016. Won’t their job prospects falter if we don’t register them in “Learn to Code” camps before Grade 3? (Full disclosure: My parents sent me to Computer Camp back in the dawn of the P.C. Era, where I had to study Boolean logic and solder circuit boards in a hot classroom while my friends frolicked at the neighbourhood pool. I might forgive them one day.) Kids have high expectations for the sunny season, too—and let you know when their projections aren’t met. When he was five or six, my son would ride an emotional rollercoaster to the bottom of a big day and then, over-tired and cranky, start shouting: “Worst! Trip! Ever!” or “Worst! Summer!

Ever!” As a parent, I felt crushed. What could we do to make the next one better? Would he be traumatized by a not-quiteperfect summer? (Short answer: there was no disappointment that a nap or a popsicle couldn’t fix.) Maybe we don’t need to hit the panic button when we feel the post-summertime blues. Neuroscientists have learned that

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206–1830 Oak Bay Ave memories don’t work like data in a digital hard-drive, exact copies stored and retrieved at will, a perfect scrapbook of moments locked in time. Instead our memories are works-in-progress. Through a mental process called “reconsolidation,” every time our brains call up a memory, we reinforce and reshape it in subtle ways. Our connection to the past, in other words, might be as malleable as Play-Doh. The power of reconsolidation makes summer seem less daunting. If the season for making memories ends too quickly, we still have the fall—and the rest of our lives—to fine-tune our remembrances of family times past. The tales we tell around the campfire—or the comic anecdote I now share about nearly burning down our tent lighting a fire near Long Beach—are collective acts of memory making. We shape our larger family histories out of these smaller stories. Remember that “What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?” essay we all reluctantly penned in the first week of school? Well, it was a useful reminder to pause and reflect on the experiences that meant most to us in a season slipping into the hazy past, a chance to burnish our best memories for future enjoyment. So, even as we scramble with fall chores and back-to-school bustling, we should sit down with our families and retell our favourite moments from the last few months. Then repeat after me: “Best. Summer. Ever!”





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September 2016  53

Chanting I

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Island Parent Magazine


couldn’t help but giggle. I felt my face go red. I had never chanted like this before. I’m not talking about the yogarelaxation-kind-of-chanting. You know the ‘om’ kind often done at the end of a session or as the yogis say, the “Let’s bring the practice to a peaceful end, sealing in the work done and offering the efforts of our practice to improve the state of the world” kind. I’m talking about envisioning yourself in labour, the pushing-out-a-baby-in-extremepain chanting. The scene was a prenatal yoga class at the Matraea Centre in Duncan. I was about six or so months pregnant with my youngest. The thought of chanting during labour may seem odd, but when you think about its benefits, it makes sense. If you’re expecting you should give it a chance like I did. Going back to the prenatal class, I wasn’t the only one embarrassed. Some of the other women were also red in the face, not chanting to their fullest and too shy to let it all out. But let me tell you, when it came to DDay, when Miss Audrey decided to make her arrival quickly, I let it all out. And my face was red, but for a completely different reason. Chanting was one of the most comforting things I did during the painful contractions. It helped get through the pain without any meds. I believe it helped me progress more quickly and also I have chanting to thank for a less painful outcome, let’s just say, down south. In return, not only do I have to thank my prenatal yoga instructor but also natural birth advocate and midwife Ina May Gaskin. I purchased Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth about a quarter of a way through my pregnancy. It was around the same time I started hearing about home births. I had been introduced to Gaskin when I watched the documentary, The Business of Being Born. How can you not idolize a woman who utters the most profound advice about childbirth in casual ramblings? “Stories teach us in ways we can remember,” writes Gaskin. “They teach us that each woman responds to birth in her

unique way and how very wide-ranging that way can be. “They also demonstrate the mind/body connection in a way that medical studies cannot. Birth stories told by women who were active participants in giving birth

Ashley Degraaf Is there an app for this?

Toys, Games & Puzzles for All Ages

often express a good deal of practical wisdom, inspiration, and information for other women.” Although some of the book was pretty “granola,” the information on chanting among other things was helpful. “Early in my midwifery career,” writes Gaskin. “I observed another fascinating relationship pertaining to the Law of the Sphincter. I noticed a strong connection between the sphincters of the mouth/throat and those of the cervix and yoni. “A relaxed mouth means a more elastic cervix. Women whose mouths and throats are open and relaxed during labour and birth rarely need stiches after childbirth.” What also happens when you chant? Your heart rate relaxes and your blood pressure and stress hormones decrease, your melatonin output increases and as well as your lymphatic circulation, and your body also enhances the release of endorphins. Pretty cool, hey? And there are other benefits not only geared toward childbirth but overall well-being. A handy tip for when your children are driving you mental: start chanting. It will relax you and your kids will look at you like you’ve gone nuts, likely stopping whatever they were doing to drive you there to begin with. If the idea of chanting makes you giggle like it did me, try to move past it and give it a chance. Just try it one day when you’re all by yourself. Just know there’s a time and a place. The doctor’s office waiting room might be kind of weird, but if it’s during labour, you surely won’t regret it.

Ashley Degraaf is a freelance writer based out of the Cowichan Valley. She enjoys channeling her inner momma while chronicling her daily adventures with her children.

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Family Services Directory This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families.

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training for peer helper positions, a mentoring program for single moms and a support group for dads. The Centre also offers a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community (fees are on a sliding scale). The Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry for single parents. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, books and toys are welcome. Hours are Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9-4, Wed: 12-7. 602 Gorge Rd. East; call 250-385-1114 or Beacon Community Services is a community-based non-profit agency providing social, employment, and health services to Saanich Peninsula, Greater Victoria, and Southern Gulf Islands residents. Beacon offers: child, youth, and family services; a drop-in family resource centre; counselling; employment services for adults, youth, and people with disabilities; home support; volunteer services and opportunities; community events; affordable assisted living for seniors; referrals, information, and resources; thrift shops. For Home Support information call 250-658-6407; for all other inquiries call 250-6560134, or visit

are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further info call 250-380-6363 or TM

our Parents Together program and parent workshops. For more information on all programs and services visit or call 250-384-9133. Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high-quality, adapted sports, recreational and social programs for kids, teens and young adults living with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events take place throughout the year! Become a member for only $25/year at canucksautism. ca/join. Call 604-685-4049, email info@canucksautism. ca or visit for more information. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, professional, non-profit agency that provides services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domestically and internationally. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, clientcentered adoption service which best meets the needs of everyone in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at, or call 250-479-9811 for further information.

Beacon Community’s Employment Services. Beacon Community Services provides a full menu of employment services to the Saanich Peninsula, Southern Gulf Islands. We have been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a client’s strengths and resolve barriers to securing and maintaining employment. Furthermore, we work in tandem with our employer network to support those residents looking for work. If you need help finding a job or need employees please pay us a visit! It’s FREE. 9860 Third St, Sidney, 250-656-0134,

Community Living Victoria’s Autism Services offers dynamic community-based programs for children and youth (6 – 18 yrs) with Autism. We offer 1:1 Behaviour Intervention, Social Skills Groups and spring, summer and winter Day Camps. Our skilled and caring team draws from various behaviour support models to customize programming for each youth. Fun programming within safe, supportive environments motivate youth to expand their interests, gain confidence, strengthen social and communication skills, and build friendships. 250-477-7231.

Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through

Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens (age 13-18)

Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has been serving families since 1978. We provide a full range of services to the whole family in supporting their relationship and through separation and divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and a range of group programs are available for children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help. HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE evaluation. Let’s get started! HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with seizures by offering parent workshops three times a year, educational presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677. Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a service agency for immigrants and refugees. Programs offered include cross-cultural counseling, parenting programs (child care available), family violence programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, ESL instruction, volunteering, youth programs and tutoring, as well as intercultural arts programming. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250-388-4728,, Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learning disabilities and related conditions. Services include a public lending library, individual/ group support for parents and children, professional/

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Expand your skills, build your confidence and find the joy in learning! Nationally recognized Level B Academic Assessments After school remedial learning classes, starting at 3:30 p.m. Language Arts, Mathematics, study skills and higher-level Math and Science All READ Teachers are certified by the BC Ministry of Education Locations: Colwood, Sidney and Victoria

Call 250-388-7225 for information about our services and schedules Check out the website: 56  Island Parent Magazine

educational workshops for parents and professionals. Child and youth programs include: reading/ writing, academic skills, social/emotional skill development and Fast ForWord. 1562 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8S 5J2. Ph 250-370-9513. Fax. 250-370-9421. Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) provides programs and services to the military family community including: 24-Hour Information Line; Deployment Information and Workshops; Short Term Counselling, Crisis Support or Intervention; Welcome/Relocation Services; Childcare and Family Support Services; Assistance for Families with Special Needs and Responsibilities. Call the MFRC: 250-363-2640 (1-800-353-3329) for information or visit Power To Be provides inclusive nature-based activity programs for youth and families living with a barrier or disability who need support to access recreation and their community. We create year-round programs to fit participant needs through activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and more. Visit or call 250-385-2363 to get involved. Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) provides Family Resource Programs including: Prenatal Education and Outreach, Parent-Tot Drop-In Groups, Parent Discussion Groups, Family Support Groups and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library, and Kingfisher Preschool. Sooke-Westshore Child Care Resource and Referral services, as well as all-ages counselling services are also provided by SFRS. Services are provided from the Child, Youth and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore. Call 250-642-5152 for more information or visit our website at SFRS’s Welcome Home Program is looking for homes that can support adults diagnosed with a disability looking to gain further independence. The livingsituations are varied and unique and can include living within a family home or a suite in the family home. The needs of the individuals are varied, dependent on the disability, but can include relationship building, life skills, meal prep, etc. For more information, please call 778-433-2023 or go Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore and can be reached at 250-217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include one-onone counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at or phone 250-361-9433.







The place online where parents and grandparents get information about their community for their family: Read current and past issues of Island Parent Magazine. Visit our Marketplace to find businesses, programs and services that cater to the little person in your life. Looking for that special something you had when you were a kid? Check out our classified ads. Want to see what’s up today or this weekend? View our calendar of events. Whether it’s dance lessons, parenting workshops, fun days and festivals, what’s happening at your local rec centre or community events—Island Parent Online has it all! Maybe you are looking for something to engage your mind or perhaps need a little bit of advice. Well we have that too on our community forum. Receive Island Parent e-newsletter for updates and exclusive contests. You can also enter our monthly and photo contests.

Come be part of our community at September 2016  57


An Investment in Healthy Communities Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400 Saanich 250-519-5100 Saltspring Island 250-538-4880 Sooke 250-642-5464 Victoria 250-388-2200 West Shore 250-519-3490

Central Island Health Units Duncan Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Nanaimo Nanaimo Princess Royal Parksville/ Qualicum

250-709-3050 250-755-3342 250-749-6878 250-755-3342 250-755-3342

Port Alberni Tofino

250-731-1315 250-725-4020


North Island Health Units Campbell River 250-850-2110 Courtenay 250-331-8520 Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289 ‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522 Port Hardy 250-902-6071 58  Island Parent Magazine


e celebrate Breastfeeding Week annually in Canada from October 1-7. The first week of October represents the 40th week of gestation, when life outside the womb begins with breastfeeding, the baby’s first food and first natural vaccine against many infections. This year, World Breastfeeding Week is highlighting how breastfeeding plays a key role in building healthy vibrant communities everywhere.

What Can We Do?

Some things we can all do: • Listen to mom. Tell her she is wonderful. Give her a hug. • Make positive, supportive comments about breastfeeding—“Way to go,” “Any breastmilk is so good for your baby.” • Help mom get help right away if there are any breastfeeding difficulties, such as calling the doctor, midwife or your local public health unit. • Bathe, change, settle, walk, play, and/ or sing to baby. • Bring or prepare food. Vacuum. Do the dishes. Help with laundry. Some things that organizations and employers can do: • Put up “Breastfeeding Friendly” posters/decals at your business. • Smile or give the thumbs up to moms who are breastfeeding. • Provide pleasant areas for moms to breastfeed or pump. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.” Any amount of breastfeeding contributes towards positive health for both mom and baby. So any amount of continued breastfeeding can help towards disease prevention and good health. Healthy babies, healthy moms, and healthy families lead to healthy communities and healthy countries. Let us all do what we can, by learning and protecting, to better support breastfeeding families everywhere.

Why Is This Important?

Although research has firmly established the importance of breastfeeding, and while most mothers have every intention

to breastfeed, statistics show that many mothers are not continuing to breastfeed. Current recommendations set by the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada state that, for healthy-term infants, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months. Thereafter, they recommend the introduction of foods starting at six months along with continuing breastfeeding for two years or more. This is based on the full potential for the biological development for both the gut and immune system. Over the past several years, with more information and research, there have been more and more discussions about how breastfeeding is not just important for mother and baby, but in fact, it has a ripple effect on the family, community, and population as a whole. In September 2015, world leaders came together and committed to 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity. These goals are known as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Breastfeeding impacts and is connected to each of these 17 goals. Through collaboration, conversations, and partnerships, everyone can help spread the word to help support, inform, and protect breastfeeding. We all play a role in supporting and empowering mothers to reach their goals, and everyone benefits. We, as a society, need to make a commitment to support, educate, and protect the health of all mothers, babies, families, and communities. Prevention of disease and promotion of good health from individual to community to population level are all impacted by breastfeeding. A special issue on breastfeeding in the January issue of the international medical journal, The Lancet, highlighted: • Breastfeeding has a multitude of benefits for women and children, regardless of whether they live in a high or low income country or in a rich or poor household. • Despite the growing body of evidence,

women worldwide do not have the support they need to breastfeed. • Rates of breastfeeding have not substantially increased in the past two decades, and most countries are off track to meet the global target. • Mothers are 2.5 times more likely to breastfeed where breastfeeding is protected, promoted and supported.

Swati Scott & Janet Krenz Ch i ld Yo u t h & Fa mi ly P u b l ic H e a lt h

Bumble & Hive is a fun, modern, clean and very unique space to hold your party! Book your children’s birthday parties (ages 1–6), baby showers, Mommy / Parent related event, or gatherings with friends and family today! No prep, no clean-up. Let us take care of it for you! Call or check out our website for package options and time availability. 2 hrs Free Parking behind the Market off Fisgard.

Happy Families, Healthy Families

• Commitment and investment for women’s and children’s health—including breastfeeding—will bring the global target within reach and drive progress toward other health and development goals. Even the Vice President of Human Development for the World Bank Group, Keith Hansen, commented on the importance of investing in breastfeeding saying, “The evidence on breastfeeding leaves no doubt that it is a smart and cost-effective investment in a more prosperous future. Let’s ensure that every child—and every nation—can reap the benefits of breastfeeding. ” Many initiatives show that there is a cost to not breastfeeding, including: increasing health costs, food insecurity, and inequity. The infant formula industry is a billion dollar industry that continues to market aggressively and directly to parents and contributes hugely to both carbon and water footprint.


Dance is about more than the steps, it’s about life lessons. Inspiring dancers since 1993


What do the numbers tell us?

In B.C., from 2013 to 2014, 95.5 per cent of newborns received breast milk during their hospital stay after birth and at six months, this is down to 41 per cent which is defined as receiving any breastfeeding. Accurate statistics on breastfeeding at six months, one year, and beyond are rare.

Unlock the



There are a variety of events and celebrations—in person and via social media— happening during Breastfeeding Week and throughout October on Vancouver Island. See and social media for details about events in your community. Swati Scott, RD, IBCLC and Janet Krenz, RD, are Community Registered Dietitians with Child, Youth and Family Health.

With professional, one-on-one, tutoring. 1-on-1, In-Home, Professional Tutoring Math | Language Arts | Languages | Study Skills | Homework Support Call 250.544.1588 to learn more Enriching Young Minds in Victoria since 2002.

September 2016  59

Understanding Infant Sleep Does your child have difficulty reading? • can’t read words just read earlier • letter reversal • symptoms of dyslexia • “sounds out” words but can not blend them correctly • confuses similar sounding words • avoids reading/poor speller I offer an effective program that works! Call for more information or to arrange your individualized one-on-one tutoring solution.

Brenda Osadchy 778-440-0997


ne of the great challenges of early parenthood is the exhaustion that comes from waking up during the night to attend to baby. Many new parents feel surprised and exasperated at the fact that baby will not sleep more than an hour or so without waking up. It is important to remember that no one sleeps through the night, as both adults and babies progress through many stages and cycles of sleep. Adults can go directly from a state of wakefulness into a state of sleep. Infant sleep patterns begin with a period of light sleep before entering deep sleep and will go between these stages throughout the night. In order to better understand the how-to’s of getting you and your baby to enjoy going to sleep and staying asleep, here are some important principles of sleep that every new parent needs to understand.

Typical Sleep Patterns for Newborns

Newborns sleep a lot, typically between 16 to 17 hours a day. But most babies don’t stay asleep for more than two to four hours at a time, day or night, during the first few weeks of life. Babies wake often because their sleep cycles are shorter than adults. After about an hour of deep sleep baby will re-enter the light sleep stage. During this period any kind of stimulus can awaken baby. Baby will enter this period of sleep every hour or so throughout the night. Most restless nights will occur because baby has trouble getting back to the stage of deep sleep, not because they can’t stay asleep. The result? Lots of sleep for your baby and a very irregular—and tiring—schedule for you. As a new parent, you’ll probably be up several times during the night to change, feed and comfort him.

extraordinary development happening in their brain. All this unpredictability is a necessary phase for your baby and it doesn’t last long.

When Your Baby Will Start to Sleep Longer

At six to eight weeks of age, most babies begin to sleep for shorter periods during the day and longer periods at night, though most continue to wake up to feed during the night. They also have shorter periods of REM sleep, and longer periods of deep, non-REM sleep. Somewhere between four and six months, experts say, most babies are capable of sleeping a stretch of eight to 12 hours a night. Some infants sleep for a long stretch at night as early as six weeks, but many babies don’t reach that milestone until they’re five or six months old and some continue to wake up at night into toddlerhood. You can help your baby get there sooner, if that’s your goal, by teaching him good sleep habits from the start.

How to Establish Good Baby Sleep Habits

Give your baby a chance to nap frequently. For the first six to eight weeks, most babies aren’t able to stay up much longer than two hours at a time. If you wait longer than that to put your baby down, he may be overtired and have trouble falling asleep. Teach your baby the difference between day and night. Some infants are night owls (something you may have gotten a hint of during pregnancy) and will be wide awake just when you want to hit the hay. For the first few days you won’t be able to do much about this. But once your baby is about two weeks old, you can start teaching him to distinguish between day and night. When he’s alert and awake during the day, interact Why Newborn Sleep Patterns and play with him as much as you can, keep are Unpredictable Baby sleep cycles are far shorter than the house and his room light and bright, those of adults, and babies spend more and don’t worry about minimizing regular time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, daytime noises like the phone, music, or which is thought to be necessary for the dishwasher. If he tends to sleep through 60  Island Parent Magazine

feedings, wake him up. At night, don’t play with him when he wakes up. Keep the lights and noise level low, and don’t spend too much time talking to him. Before long he should begin to figure out that nighttime is for sleeping. Look for signs that your baby is tired. Is he rubbing his eyes or being more fussy than normal? If you spot these or any other signs of sleepiness, try putting him down to sleep. You’ll soon develop a sixth sense

Diana Hurschler New Parent Pages about your baby’s daily rhythms and patterns, and you’ll know instinctively when he’s ready for a nap. Consider a bedtime routine for your baby. It can be something as simple as getting your baby changed for bed, singing a lullaby, and giving him a kiss goodnight. Babies need to be parented to sleep, not just put to sleep. Some babies can be put down while drowsy yet still awake and drift off; others need parental help by being rocked or nursed to sleep. The reason is that while adults can usually go directly into the state of deep sleep, infants in the early months enter sleep through an initial period of light sleep. After 20 minutes or more, they gradually enter deep sleep, from which they are not so easily aroused. You may have noticed that if you try to rush your baby to bed while she is still in the initial light sleep period, she will usually awaken. In later months, some babies can enter deep sleep more quickly, bypassing the lengthy light sleep stage. Lastly, do the best thing for your family by remembering one of the fundamentals of good parenting: take good care of yourself so that you can take good care of your baby. Rest when you can and don’t forget to ask for and accept help if you need it. Please remember that this stage will indeed pass and soon everyone in the household will all be getting the rest they need! Diana Hurschler, RN BscN, childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, has been helping families in their childbearing years and beyond since 1998. Diana is the proud mama of four little ones. Email diana@

Foliage, Flowers and Tutus in Full Bloom A Fundraiser for Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary in Partnership with Moscow Ballet’s New Horizons Program. All proceeds to benefit the Bridges to Nature Campaign

Saturday, October 8th



(Junior Swans age 5–9) Member rate $20 Non-Member rate $35

(Intermediates age 9 & up) Member rate $20 Non-Member rate $35

Register your Swan or Cygnet today: 250.479.0211

For more information on how your child can participate or if your business is interested in sponsorship of this program, contact Kathleen Burton, Executive Director 250.479.0211

Swan Lake christmas hill n a t u r e

s a n c t u a r y

O’Brien School of Irish Dance

Cadboro Bay, Esquimalt, Downtown Victoria and Duncan Recreational, performance and competitive classes Dance, dance wherever you may be….

September 2016  61

solutions for Cold Feet & absent Parents


have hungered for Sannich artist Kristi Bridgeman’s illustrations ever since she soaked the pages of late poet P.K. Page’s three fables in the The Sky Tree and the re-telling of a Brazilian legend about a shape-shifting song wren in Uirapurú, nominated for a Governor General’s Award in children’s literature illustration (both books are from Oolican Books, 2009, 2010). In those books, her sumptuous layers of bright sepia inks and watercolours lift off as they embody the mythological. If you can get your hands on those two picture books, do. Bridgeman’s illustrations in the new board book, A Parade of Puppies (Orca Book Publishers, 2016), written by prolific children’s writer Charles Ghigna—who lives in a treehouse in Alabama—are fittingly light and playful. The book quietly and intelligently introduces children to common dog breeds. The rhyming text begins with, “I saw a puppy look up at me. What kind of puppy could she be?” A smidgeon of a puppy is shown: “White coat. Black spots. Friendly and smart.” Turn the page to see the puppy in full, and learn its name: “A loyal Dalmatian who stole my heart!” After a few reads, a very young child will be able to identify beagles, dachsunds, boxers, and more. It’s non-fiction at its best, with facts shared through a non-didactic, engaging guessing game—“hint and reveal” in publishing parlance. The book ends with great fodder for discussion, a mixed breed dog from an animal rescue: “This little puppy just wants to play.” Bridgeman and Ghigna also produced the board book A Carnival of Cats (Orca, 2015), which introduces children to cat breeds. I am wary of children’s books that celebrate reading—they can too easily tilt into righteous, self-congratulatory solipsism. But famed U.S.-based children’s storyteller and illustrator Oliver Jeffers and illustrator Sam Winston’s A Child of Books (Candlewick Press, 2016) leapfrogs any dogmatic proscriptions by plunging fully into the realms that reading opens to children. These realms are both private and places to commune with other readers. “I have sailed across a sea of words,” a girl says a boy, “to ask if you will come away

with me.” Though the text is sometimes cloying—“we will travel over mountains of make-believe”—the illustrations, built up with actual text, the letters and paragraphs, from children’s classics, carry the book. Imagine children climbing a mountain that is shaped out of paragraphs of Peter Pan. Or a cave where text is laid over text, until it is dark with ink. In my favourite illustration, the girl and her friend shout “as loud as we like in space.” The uppercase and lowercase letter A’s that they shout, in white ink on a black page, pour from their mouths and rise into the night sky and become stars. This is a book for future graphic designers as well as bookworms. I love Toronto illustrator Carey Sookocheff’s Solutions for Cold Feet and other little problems (Tundra, 2016). The illustrator of Maureen Fergus’s funny, peppy Buddy and Earl books (Groundwood Press) comes into her own as an author, too, in this quiet and deceptively simple book for young children. Broken into vignettes, the book shows a girl and her dog tackling everyday problems from multiple angles. There are Solutions for Getting Caught in the Rain (run, take cover outside, take cover inside), Solutions for a Melting Ice Cream Cone (eat fast, lots of napkins), Solutions for a Flyaway Hat (use your mittens, rewrap your scarf), and others. There’s something secular about the book that I am grateful for. Cerebral may be the word. There is no treacly lyricism, no preachy condescension: the bigger picture is the here now, the vital details of daily life, and how to tackle them or have fun with them, with curiosity and self-reliance. For middle grade readers, The Biggest Poutine in the World (Annick Press, 2016), by award-winning Quebec writer Andrée Poulin, and translated from the French, is a fantastic introduction to literary fiction, especially for reluctant readers. Told in very short chapters, scenes that build up the story prismatically, often through text messages and emails, and with many graphic elements (think Geronimo Stilton for the cooler set), the novel tells of 12-year-old, Thomas, who hopes that by making the biggest poutine in the world and getting his name into the Guinness World Records, he will earn the

attention of his mother, who left when he was five. The story, about friendship and determination and imperfect families (anger and alcoholism are subjects), is funny and moving. Raymie Clarke, in Kate DiCamillo’s stunning Raymie Nightingale (Candle-

Sara Cassidy


SWIMMING LESSONS Lessons that t your busy schedule!

Book Nook wick, 2016), also seeks a parent’s attention through a marvellous feat. She hopes to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, which will get her into the newspaper. The wobbly idea is that Raymie’s father, who has run off with a dental hygienist, will see his daughter in the paper and, filled with pride, return home to her. Raymie is told that baton lessons are crucial to winning the competition, which gets her to Ida Nee’s for lessons. But instead of learning to twirl batons, Raymie forms immediate, deep friendships with two other baton twirling students, Beverly and Louisiana, who have also been set adrift by parents. The three ramble through their small town, dreamy, determined, restless, loyal, brave, hurting, impulsive and poetic. They release a bird from a birdcage, pick locks with penknives, pound gravel into dust with the rubbery end of a baton, and along the way meet unhelpful and helpful adults. Raymie learns about courage, and about the ever-shifting size of her soul, which can billow like a sail or shrink smaller than a pebble. A joy of the book is that it is set in 1975 and captures the rambling, exploratory, freedom of childhood in those days, especially in a small town. Mercifully, two-time Newberry medalist Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane), whose writing is always surprising and exquisitely crafted, remains unconstrained by ideas about any perfect (protected) childhood, and is fully open to the cascade of revelations that is growing up.

250-478-8384 | You’re invited to CISV Information Night: Fri, Sept 30, 2016

Come and learn about our FUN and AMAZING programmes for ages 10–19+

CISV Victoria Information Night Sara Cassidy’s seventh book for children, A Boy Named Queen, is out this month. “A small eloquent book with a powerful message.”

Fri, Sept 30, 7–9pm at St. Aidan’s Hall 3703 St. Aidan’s St, near UVic

What’s CISV? Formerly called “Children’s International Summer Villages,” we’re a youth and family-focused, world-wide organization of volunteers offering local and international programmes, camps and community activities to promote a more peaceful world. What do we do? Have fun by promoting youth: *cross-cultural understanding *global friendships *leadership and communication skills *travel *action for a more peaceful world (*non-religious and non-political)

September 2016  63

Preschool & Child Care Directory CENTRAL SAANICH Chrysalis Child Care................................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 21⁄2–5 year old children. Qualified ECE promotes learning through play.

Colwood/LANGFORD Goldstream Co-op Preschool....................250-474-3011 Learning Through Play for 3 and 4yr olds! For registration information go to our website: Leap Forward Childcare...........................250-818-9225 2758 Peatt RD. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Offering full-time and parttime care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. For more information please contact Amber:, Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5. Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email RIA Early Learning Centre........................ 250-590-0781 Reggio Program—for Preschool aged children. A unique learning environment—encourages each child’s development.

CORDOVA BAY Carrot Seed Preschool.............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. Cordova Bay Preschool........................... 250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15. Lakeview Christian Preschool/Daycare..... 250-658-5082 30 mths to Kindergarten entry. Small group. Experienced teacher. Full time and part time spaces. Mornings only or full day. Monthly DROP IN STORY HOUR. For information please email

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre...................250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt...............250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum

Child Care

Resource & Referral 64  Island Parent Magazine

offered within a warm, caring all-day program. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available.

friendship. Over 50 years serving Victoria’s families. Nuturing and highly qualified ECE and ECE Assistant. Parent participation level options available, nut-free and allergy-aware. Join us!

La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool......250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

Recreation Oak Bay.................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.



Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care Inc........... 250-590-3603 Only seconds past Luxurious Bear Mountain our HIGHLY reputable Nature Program will not disappoint! Our NATURAL outdoor environment provides an experience like no other… in our own rainforest. Located on 2 acres of treed forest land, your child will learn and grow in NATURE! Our Brand NEW Infant/Toddler centre is tranquil and serene. All the furniture, shelving and some toys have been hand crafted using the trees on our own property! Programs for 3 to 5’s and for Infant/Toddlers. Spaces avail. NOW! Visit our Facebook blog, and website at Call for more info. Cub House: 778-432-3600.

Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre..............250-477-3731 Formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten. Half Day and Full Day Preschool Programs. Children’s learning is supported and nurtured through inquiry, exploration, play and creative expression.

METCHOSIN Metchosin Co-op Preschool..................... 250-478-9241 Est. 1960. Our school provides a beautiful natural play space and inclusive child led learning through play emergent curriculum. Two excellent ECEs per class provide loving and enriching family support. Half-day programs for 2.5-5 yrs. West-Mont Montessori School.................250-474-2626 Preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment in Metchosin. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating Nature, French, Music and Art into a complete educational program. Be a part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

North SAANICH In The Garden Childcare Centre.............. 250-654-0306 A GREAT PLACE TO GROW. Offering preschool, full day care, before and after school care for children aged 2.5 to 12 years old. Open all year.

OAK BAY Emmanuel Preschool.............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. Gonzales Co-op Preschool....................... 250-727-1003 Children explore their imaginations in our learning-throughplay environments and large natural playground. Our Reggio Emilia inspired program focuses on art, nature, music and

Camosun College Child Care Services........250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. Carrot Seed Preschool.............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. Extended hours starting Sept. Cloverdale Child Care................................. 250-995-1766 Register now for preschool 4 year olds Mon/Wed/Fri 9:00–1:00 & 3 & 4 year olds Tue/Thur 9:00–1:00. Full time Early Learning Centre 7:00am – 6:00 pm 3–5 year olds. Before and after school care. cloverdalechildcare@shawbiz. ca, Full o’ Beans Preschool............................... 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing! Island Montessori House......................... 250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and Kindergarten programs. Located in a lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities such as gardening and composting. Lakehill Co-op Preschool.......................... 250-477-4141 Where children’s development is nurtured through a child centered inclusive, play based program. Come visit our natural outdoor playground and meet our loving qualified ECE team. Multiple Levels of participation available, please enquire. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare........ 250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s only parent-participation preschool and childcare centre. Flexible options, play-based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40+ years.

Looking for child care? Need help with subsidy forms? Taking care of children? Need child care training? Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152  Westshore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC

Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten....... 250-479-4410 Welcoming, culturally sensitive parent participation program in Lakehill School. Morning and afternoon. For 3s and 4s. See website for details. neighbourhood

Babies to Big Kids Childcare.......................250-590-2722 949 Fullerton Ave. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 11 years old. Offering full-time and part-time care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. info@babies,

Oakcrest Preschool................................ 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs.

Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, qual. ECE staff. Since 1958. Preschool and full-time care.

Pacific Christian School – Pre-School.......250-479-4532 Your child will love the playful, safe environment and caring staff at PCS Pre-School. Come and explore Educational Excellence to the Glory of God.

Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building.

Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher.

Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten.......................... 250-383-5132 ECE and Specialist teachers provide an outstanding all-day, licensed program for 3–5 year olds. Spacious, renovated facility with a huge backyard in Fairfield.

Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE.

Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd....................250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/Drama programme.

Rogers Child Care Centre........................250-744-2343 Trusted High Quality Non Profit Care since 1991. Year Round Early Learning and Out of School Care. For more info go to St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool................... 250-479-1237 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare................ 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

SIDNEY Acorntree Preschool................................250-686-1408 Balanced indoor/outdoor program, designed to stimulate natural curiosity and foster empathy and compassion towards others. We believe in the importance of both child and teacher directed activities.

Parkdale Early Childhood Centre.............250-382-0512 ECEs offer the highest quality care and positive learning experiences in our daycare and preschool. Full time or part time. Call for a tour or visit us at Rainbow Express Daycare....................... 250-382-2314 A nurturing environment for children to learn through play and discovery in a natural setting. ECEs and specialist teachers. Close to city centre. Ross Bay Preschool.................................250-383-7445 Positive/supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Daily outdoor time, special guests and community events! rossbaypreschool The Sir James Douglas Playschool.......... 250-389-0500 Fun, creative and educational ECE program for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop life long skills. Come play and learn in our bright and modern centre in Fairfield.

A Secret Garden Preschool..................... 250-380-8293 Program built on Christian values. Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities. asecretgardenpreschool@shaw. ca. View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds. View Royal Preschool..............................250-479-8067 Exciting inclusive program in a safe and exceptional care environment. 3-5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program. Full/part-time spaces available.

Mill Bay / Cobble Hill Cedar Montessori..................................... 250-710-9007 A beautiful rural setting where children are lovingly supported to learn at their own pace within a stimulating Montessori environment.

DUNCAN Parkside Academy..................................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit or find us on Facebook. Queen Margaret’s School.......................... 250-746-4185 Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks and lunch provided. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool..............250-743-7253 A warm, nature-based Waldorf rhythm where wonder is nurtured. Led by Waldorf trained ECE teachers.


Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues.

Victoria Montessori................................ 250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–K.

St. Joseph’s Preschool..............................250-246-3191 An enriching preschool program allowing children to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing Christian environment.

YMCA-YWCA Child Care Centres...............250-386-7511 Enriched programs for children 10 months – 5 years. Our programs support healthy child development and future school success.

Qualicum Beach

Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC.


VICTORIA ArtsCalibre Academy.............................. 250-382-3533 Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 6, delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts. Outstanding educators, locations and facilities.

Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. Little Wonders Preschool (View Royal OSC)..................................... 250-744-2718 A creative and supportive program that will prepare your child for a lifetime of learning! Out of School Care is also available for school aged children.

Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery Little Star Children’s Centre.....................250-752-4554 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

Port Alberni John Paul II Catholic School.....................250-723-0637 “Where children grow and learn through play.” We provide a program that will inspire development physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually.

September 2016  65

Angel Watching Over Me


ast week my grandmother died. She was 90, and her body had been betraying her as old bodies tend to do. Angus had watched this happen. He took great pleasure in racing her walker down her condo’s hallway, practice for his own old age. But although he declared that she was “shrinking down to the size of a chipmunk,” her mind remained the same. She lived alone and took care of herself completely. She was a force in my life—one of my favourite people. And of course for that reason she was a big presence in Angus’s life also. She came to the ultrasound when we found out he was a boy. His middle name, Gregor, was the name she chose for her own hoped-for son, though she only had daughters. She had been to every family celebration in Angus’s life, was the recipient of his baking experiments, and an active member of his fan club. She loved him fiercely, and it was mutual.


The last time we visited, Great Gran gave Angus two small stuffed animals she had kept on her bedside table. As always, she named the people in the photographs hanging by the door—her mother, her mother’s mother, my grandfather and his siblings. “It felt like the last visit,” I said to Mike, “Like she knew it was.” But he shook his head. “We should see her more often, though,” he said. It was a week later that she died. Angus had talked to her three days before. There is photographic evidence of that final conversation: Angus with the phone gripped in his hand during a sleepover at Granny’s. I couldn’t tell him the day I found out. Instead, I said I was allergic to the freshly cut grass and that was why my eyes were watering. Mike said I could wait days, wait until I was ready, but the telling was something I dreaded and I needed to get it over with. The next day Mike took the day

off work and we planned a morning at the lake. We told Angus before we left. My Aunt died two years ago. Angus knew she was sick and had visited her a couple times in hospice. But he was two, and didn’t understand completely—not her illness or her death. At some point someone said she was up among the clouds, and that seemed a satisfactory answer. Still, every time we passed the Royal Jubilee Hospital he would say “that’s where Kenna lives.” No one corrected him, but eventually the sentence shifted to past tense and then he stopped saying it altogether. Not knowing how to start this conversation, I first told Angus that Great Gran was with Kenna. He said he wished he were a bird so he could fly up and see her. Clearly, the image of someone in the clouds was too literal. Neither Mike nor I is religious, which leaves one in a bit of a predicament when discussing death with children. My friend says she told her son that his grandma became part of the earth, but decomposition is hardly hopeful. And beside, Angus is a believer. He is fascinated by all talk of Baby Jesus. The spirituals in the children’s

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compilation CDs are the first songs he commits to memory, and he belts them on the top of his lungs. “Who built the ark? Noah! Noah!”, and a favourite: “All night, all day, angels watching over me my lord!” Angels were the answer—that’s what Great Gran

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Maternity & Beyond was. Something intangible, but by Angus easily accepted. And then I cried, and he started to wail. He jumped off the couch and lay on the floor with his face smashed onto the wood. “Great Gran was very old,” I said. “And she was sick.” “When I’m sick I take medicine,” he said. “But sometimes when you’re very old, medicine doesn’t work anymore.” “Do all people die when they’re old?” he asked. I nodded. “Will I die when I’m 10?” “Ten isn’t old,” I said, and then when he opened his mouth to argue I decided to make it more concrete. “Great Gran was 90. Let’s count to ninety together.” And we did. “She was much older than 10,” I said when we finished. And that was it. Though he was clingy for the rest of the day, and the next and the day after that, he didn’t bring it up. When we made cookies, he didn’t suggest we deliver some to Great Gran like he always did before. I’ve seen him looking at the picture of him and Great Gran on his mantle, but he hasn’t said another word. He will of course. There are so many memories I want him to hold on to. So many times he spent with her that are precious to all of us. There is the Night Before Christmas book she recorded herself reading that we will haul out of the crawl space in December. We will talk about Great Gran, and how much we love her still. I don’t believe in angels, not really, but I don’t believe in dirt either. Angus’s Great Gran will be with him his whole life, just like she’ll be with me for all of mine. We’ll keep her alive together. Laura Trunkey is the mother of the amazing Angus, and the author of the story collection Double Dutch (House of Anansi, 2016). Find her at

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From ‘Ew, Gross’ to Engrossed


enerally, a person’s first reaction to snakes is one of loathing. We don’t like the way they move: the slithering and quick movements, or the fact that they are lacking limbs and ears, and what’s with their tongue anyway? Snakes desperately need a marketing and communications team and the Naturalists at the Swan Lake Nature House try to fill that role. Nearly every day I am asked about the snakes; questions range from “Can I hold it?” to “When will you put it away?” At a senior’s nature program I recently led, three of the ladies covered their faces until I was done showing the snake. Fear is a natural and important feeling; it keeps us safe. But is there anything to fear from the snakes here on Vancouver Island? We share our home with three species of garter snake (often referred to as “Garden Snake” which perhaps makes more sense), the Northwestern (Thamnophis ordinoides), the Western Terrestrial (Thamnophis elegans) and the Common Garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). There is also the rare Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) which is named for its sharp scale on the top of its tail.

Unlike most places in the world, Vancouver Island hosts completely harmless snakes. No constrictors, no venom, no problem (unless you are a worm, slug, baby bird, small rodent, tadpole or a fish—all favourite foods for snakes)! So, now that we know our snakes are not dangerous you can safely love them, right? Not quite. Another reason we fear things is because we don’t understand them. They are too different from us and we cannot relate to their appearance or lifestyle. So let’s dive a bit deeper into the lives of our scaled neighbours. Snakes are meat eaters, they eat their prey live (remember no venom or constricting) and swallow it whole. Despite their carnivorous ways, snakes are not only predators, but also prey for many animals including raccoons, mink, and raptors (owls, hawks, eagles, and the like). Depending on camouflage and speed to escape their predators, their only other defense is a release of a mix of smelly musk and feces when handled. If extremely threatened, Western Terrestrial Garter Snakes may bite, which is more of a shock than an injury. Their teeth are small and curve backwards to help them hold

in their slimy prey rather than inflict any damage from biting. They cannot see very well, but can detect movement and have no ears but can sense vibrations. Their most well developed sense is the sense of smell. Snakes have a specialized structure, called a Jacobson’s organ, on the roof of their mouth. Chemical signals are picked up when the snake’s tongue is flicked out and then brought into contact with the organ. Snakes, like many animals, sleep away the winter months. Reptilian hibernation is sometimes known as brumation. Finding crevices, snakes hibernate together in a hibernacula until the first warm days of spring. Males generally leave before females. Mating occurs soon after the females emerge, and sometimes numerous males will court a female, forming a mating ball. The majority of snakes lay eggs, however all but one species in our area bear live young between July and October. Generally a female may have 10-15 snakelets, although very occasionally she may have as many as 80 or as few as five. Baby snakes are independent from birth and have no nurturing from the parents. Young snakes rely mostly on a diet of worms until they hone their hunting skills. As snakes grow they moult by loosening the outer scales of their skin against a rock, and then shedding the entire skin inside out—like pulling off a sock. The Sharp-tailed Snake is a small, elusive reptile whose range in Canada is confined

Although identifying the differences between the garter snakes can be difficult, here are a few things to look for: Common Name

Typical Habitat

Distinguishing Features

Average Size

Northwestern Garter Snake

Most active during the daytime in the summer. Terrestrial and most often seen in gardens.

Small head not much wider than the neck with a pale upper lip, and blunt snout. Comes in a variety of color patterns but usually has some yellow or red striping. The main body colour is usually brown or black.

Up to 38 inches long but averages 12–24 inches

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

Often found by water but can be found in a range of habitats.

Olive or greenish grey base colour with three light yellow or cream stripes, one dorsal and two lateral, with two rows of dark brown or black diamond-like blotches between the stripes on each side of the body. Large head that is distinct from the neck.

Up to 43 inches

Common Garter Snake

Often found swimming.

Generally dark brown or black with a pattern of bright yellow stripes, and may have a red stripe along the side with some red blotching. The pattern can vary and the color of the stripes may also be tan or orange. The head is larger than the neck.

Averages 18–26 inches but can grow up to 48 inches

68  Island Parent Magazine

to southeast Vancouver Island, some of the Gulf Islands, and one location in the Pemberton area on the B.C. Mainland. It is reddish-brown or grey and lays its eggs in the summer which hatch in the fall. This snake is most active during the rainy months and although all snakes are dependent on their environment for warmth (unlike

Coral Forbes Nature Notes other animals such as mammals which can create their own body heat), adult Sharptailed Snakes don’t bask out in the open; they seek warm spots under rocks, logs or pieces of bark, which makes them hard to study. Their very restricted geographic range means that populations are small and isolated and therefore vulnerable to extinction from human disturbance, natural catastrophes, and chance events. The rarity of these snakes, combined with the loss and fragmentation of their forest habitats, raises concerns about the persistence of the species in British Columbia and as such they are considered endangered. So the next time you come across a snake in your yard, remember that there is nothing to fear but stinky hands. Feel free to gently pick the snake up, show your children and ask them to think about all that we have in common with these reptiles instead of all of the ways that they are different from us. They have bones, a heart, lungs and a brain. They react and feel and are an important part of so many food webs all around us, including those that protect your precious garden seedlings from munching slugs. Make a connection, appreciate their beauty and perfected adaptations but then allow them to continue on their way. Keep in mind the plight of the Sharp Tailed snake and that we are the ones that pose a threat, not the snakes. Your reactions and decisions should be based on understanding and your fear should be for the snakes not of them. Coral Forbes is a Program Naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. She worried that if she put the word snake in the title of this article, you wouldn’t read it. Visit Swan Lake Nature House and learn more about these amazing animals. If you ask nicely, you may even get to hold one!

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email: September 2016  69

Kids’ Stuff

Letting kids deal with kids


eing a kid is tough because kids have to hang out with self-centered peers. Do you get upset when your kid says his friend is being cruel? Do you take over the problem and agree with your child’s perceptions? If you do, you might want to CUT IT OUT! While we need to step in to help with anything that will overwhelm our kids, we do have to let go as they grow, and help them realize they have the strength to deal with the fact that their friends are, well, um, kids. We can’t have zero tolerance for immaturity in our kids and their friends! Children don’t act like the kind adults that many kids are used to. They simply don’t have the maturity to be living by the golden rule.

2. Be able to think maturely and flexibly, consider the long-term results of his actions, and look at all aspects of a situation. 3. Have a sense of himself as an independent human being rather than someone who blindly obeys rules or disobeys them. 4. Have the ability to recognize his own feelings, express them appropriately, hold back hurtful actions which might result from those feelings, and meet his needs in ways which do not harm either himself or others in the long run. 5. Have a thorough understanding that other persons, of all kinds, are selves like him and that his actions can have helpful or harmful consequences for them. It’s hard to see our kids struggle and feel pain but feeding the expectation that friends should always be nice isn’t helpful. If we prevent our kids from experiencing pain, To develop mature moral they will never learn to handle it, and they values, a child needs to: 1. Know the realities of life, the meaning will become anxious adults. Can you resist taking over and trying to of truth and falsehood, and the results of solve your children’s problems yourself? deception.

70  Island Parent Magazine

How helpful would it be if your child developed some tolerance for the normal behaviours of other kids? If you ask the right questions, your child may have some great ideas.

Allison Rees Cut It Out! Useful questions:

What happened? What about this is important to you? What bothers you most about this? Is it something you can do something about, or is it out of your control? What matters to you? How do you feel? What could help? What has worked for you before? What will you do or could you do? LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

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