It’s a pretty special thing to grow up Canadian, eh? We’re not without our imperfections, and we can always work on being more compassionate, but we also pride ourselves on our ability to say we're sorry ... a lot. Plus, the poutine is always flowing, Beaver Tails aren't just an appendage and no road trip is complete without a box of Timbits. Canuck kids are coming of age in a country where winters are long, mosquitoes are fierce, buffalo plaid is a fashion statement, and maple is an ice cream flavour—and they've got some cute quirks to show for it! With that in mind, here are 10 ways you know your kids are obviously Canadian.
Canadians are a diverse group of people with a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and beliefs. But one thing that unites us from coast to coast is our love for discussing the weather. Even Canuck kids can sniff the air and announce that snow is coming, or that it’s threatening rain. They really should just teach meteorology in elementary school.
Not all Canadian stereotypes are entirely correct. Case in point: many of us have never actually heard anyone pronounce "about" as a-boot. But the propensity to say “sorry” a lot really is bang on, and Canuck kids get this word down pat from an early age. So much so that it likely ranks among the most common first words for Canadian babies across the country.
Parents: “What letter does zebra start with?” Kids: “Zee!” Parents: “Actually, it’s zed.” Kids proceed to sing the ABC song to prove you wrong. They’ll never understand why Z is pronounced “zed” when it should rhyme with V, and so this back-and-forth argument between kindergartners and their parents will continue to infinity.
There's no denying that Tim Hortons is a cultural phenomenon here, and this isn't a testament to its deliciousness so much as just how ubiquitous they are. Because of this, you may notice your kid shouting “She’ll have a double double!” through the window when you roll up to a drive-thru—any drive-thru—even if it’s a bank machine. My kids have even tried to roll up the rim on a Starbucks cup.
It doesn’t matter if you live in Halifax, Tofino, Nunavut, or anywhere in between: Our winters are long and chilly. So, when the temperatures finally climb to a modest nine degrees after what feels like an endless winter, tiny Canadians run outside in bathing suits and rain boots like it’s spring break in Cancun.
This was a universal truth when I was a kid, and it’s a universal truth now. Kids know it’s going to be frigid on Halloween night, and they know they’re going to be forced to dress warm. Last year, my daughter and her friends strategized their costumes with sweaters and snowpants in mind. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that.
I don’t know about you, but when I wake up, look out the window and see that it dumped snow all night long, I silently scream in horror. Canadian kids—who are oblivious to the torture of shovelling, salting and scraping windshields—react as if they’ve just won the lottery (West Coast kids, especially!). Even if it’s the 43rd straight day of snowfall. Even if it’s April. Bless their innocence.
Not just ice cream, but freezies, popsicles and slushies. Canadian kids are used to being cold 70 percent of the time anyway, so adding an icy snack into the mix is no big deal.
In other countries, finding a pile of coins under your pillow the morning after you’ve lost a tooth may be a disappointment. But not for Canadian kids. That’s because two of our coins (loonies and toonies) actually have some real value. So, when Canuck kids wake up to find that the tooth fairy has left them a toonie, it’s legit cause for celebration ... and a trip to Tim’s for some Timbits?
By the time Canadian kids are about five years old, they’ve been through enough seasons to know that the height of the sun is not an indication of whether or not it’s bedtime. That’s because in the winter, it’s pitch black way before dinner. And in the summer, kids go to bed and wake up with the sun blazing through their windows. Canuck kid problems, eh?