A review of the Sing-Along Messiah by Seve, age 5

“I wanted to sit in the back row because it’s higher up.  I REALLY wanted to sit in the back row.

I wanted to go see the top level, too.  We saw it at intermission, which was a lot of steps, but I like that better than an escalator because it’s better for exercise.  You can see more stuff but the seats are NOT soft.

I LOVE the seats that bump back and forth when you stand up.  Those are my FAVOURITE seats. You stand up a LOT in this show.

I didn’t get all the jokes.

My favourite instruments are the two trumpets and the two kettledrums.

My favourite song is Ha-le-you-lah.  It goes like this:


I got gummi bears during the intermission.  I also got a hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles after.

I REALLY wanted to leave after Ha-le-you-lah.  My mom let me play with her phone.

I did NOT like all the clapping after the man sang with the trumpets.  People just would not stop clapping!*

We got to do Ha-le-you-lah two times which is the best part when they do it with the drums.

People on the stage got flowers.  Then we went home.

Oh! And I liked the lights in the building, too, but my mom wouldn’t tell me what P-O-O-O spelled BUT GUESS WHAT IT SPELLS?**

It spells poo!  Now I understand that joke!

I would go see this show again.”

Massey Hall typo* Baritone Brett Polegato was outstanding.  The thunderous applause following The Trumpet Shall Sound was well-deserved.

** Seve asked me this question in the world’s loudest stage whisper. I had no idea what he was talking about until I looked up.

For a sense of what the afternoon’s performance was like, check out Tafelmusik‘s event page or watch this video and sing along to the Ha-le-you-lah chorus in the comfort of your own home.

The what in the whatnow?

“We’re off the the Jungle of Flim-Flam-Fla-roo
To visit a beetle who lives in some poo!”

— P, imagining, or possibly just reciting from, an episode of TV’s
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That

Voiced by Martin Short, the television version of The Cat in the Hat possesses all the calm and equanimity you might expect from a coked-up fabulist who likes to kidnap children and take them on “adventures.”  Okay, kidnap is too strong a word.  He first assures the kids that their parents “won’t mind at all” if they disappear together.  So that makes it … less creepy, I guess?

Whatever.  It’s on TV, so we watch it.

The other night, Seve and I were joking around and we started to come up with alternative combinations of cat and clothing (or rather, I did, because after the third or fourth one, he was laughing to the point of breathless hiccups).  For example:

  • The Cat in the Socks Knows a Lot About Blocks
  • The Cat in the Shirt Knows a Lot About Dirt
  • The Cat in the Shorts Knows a Lot About Forts
  • The Cat in the Mittens Knows a Lot About Kittens

And of course, les pièces de résistance:

  • The Cat in the Boots Knows a Lot About Toots
  • The Cat in the Shoes Knows a Lot About Poos

So by this time, I figured the rhythm and pattern had been well-established, and I asked Seve to come up with a rhyme of his own.  Here’s his contribution:

  • The Cat in the Underwear Knows a Lot About Airports

We’ll keep working on it, kiddo.

P.S.  At first I was regretful, then grateful, not to have gone with “The Cat in the Scarf,” because of course the only acceptable conclusion, if you’re a four-year-old, is “barf,” which is most certainly what I’d have been cleaning up if I’d make him laugh any harder.


I can’t take any credit for this compendium but it was too neat not to share.  It’s a list that P pulled together for posterity, featuring some of the (highly) original words our kids have used to describe everything from chocolate to wheelbarrows.

Accola (S):
Chocolate, was almost exclusively used in combination with Moke, occasionally with Ikey

Addoh (J): (also, Addah, Ayda; see also, Shyla)
Proper name given to a small child of either gender, typically one riding a pink bike, or wearing anything with Hello Kitty on it, in an attempt to engage them in conversation (“Hi, Addoh, hi!” *toddles up and pokes Hello Kitty backpack*)

Ammin (S):
Almond, used exclusively with Moke, to distinguish it from Moo-Cow Moke (or Accola Moke)

Beebee (S, J):
Any flying insect of any sort that is pestering you in the garden

Efloon (J): (also, Floon)
Elephant (see video)

Fleeks (S):

Gabbalo (S, J):
Still in common usage by both siblings, mainly because it has been propagated by parents. Refers to any brand of astronaut food-like foil pouch with fruit compote, such as Dole Squish’ems or Go-Go Squeez (etymology from original brand the grandparents used to buy, which was the Lassonde Bag-A-Loo)

Gabbly (S): (also, Gabbalee)

Happu (J):
Hippopotamus (see video)

Hollis (J):

Ikey (S):
Ice cream

Maymay (S):
Baby, specifically in reference to Juno, for about the first month or so

Moke (S):
Milk (see Accola, Ammin)

Oppapus (J):

Seppy (S):
Spicy, though could also refer to any strongly flavoured food that was too salty, too sour, or bitter

Sotes (S):

Squo (J):

Shyla (J): (also Chayla) see Addoh

Skao Squolly (J):
Scaredy Squirrel™, the character from the Mélanie Watt books, e.g: Skao Squolly Night (Scaredy Squirrel At Night), Skao Squolly Friend (Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend)

Weeweeburial (J):

Now we are four

seve_turns_fourSeve turns four this week.

As I did last year, I eschewed parties and balloons and streamers and all that floof in favour of pestering him ceaselessly.  And I have to say: while it was no Frost/Nixon, interviewing an almost-four-year-old is fully 73% easier than interviewing an almost-three-year-old.

Here’s how it went down last year:

  • I asked the questions over several days, sometimes repeating them at different times to “test” his answers.
  • Two of the questions never got answered.
  • Frustration/boredom was also signaled by the following: staring at the ceiling, asking for a snack, yelling LA-LA-LA
  • He walked out on me twice.

This year he answered every question I asked (including some I hadn’t asked yet!).

His answers, and my obtuse observations, below.

Interview with Seve, (nearly) age four
(week of Sept. 23, 2013)

1. What is your favourite colour?


(According to the nail polish on his toes, yes.)

2. What is your favourite toy?

Um … fire trucks.  They have lots of equipment.

3. What is your favourite fruit?

Well, I like purple grapes.  Purple grapes are yummier.

(Judging by the number of raisinesque purple grapes we just transferred from the fridge to the green bin, this is a complete fabrication.)

4. What is your favourite TV show?

Toopy and Binoo Vroom Vroom Zoom.

(Among kids’ television, this is totally accurate.  But he’s also a fan of kid-friendly programming on Discovery, which prompted a follow-up question …)

4A. What is your favourite TV show on Discovery?

The car-smashing show.

(That describes more than one program, pretty sure.  I’m going to guess he means Last Car Standing.)

5. What is your favourite food to eat for lunch?

Macaroni and cheese.

6. What are your favourite clothes to wear?

The hot dog shirt is my favourite shirt.

(Yes, he owns one.  Phew.)

7. What is your favourite game to play?

I like Lego.

8. What is your favourite snack?

Goldfish crackers.  And honeydew melon.

9. What is your favourite animal?

Um … tigers.  And my favourite drink is almond milk.  And plain milk.

10. What is your favourite song?

The Jolly Friends.  That’s my favourite song.

(The song is “See See My Playmate” and he knows it from a weird CD titled “Jolly Friends” that we picked up somewhere — baby shower? birthday party? CD Fairy? — and that, despite it being an irredeemably annoying vanity project, he love-love-loves.)

11. What is your favourite book?


(Oh, Beaster.  Mine too.)

12. Who do you like to play with?

Well, Reveen and Batoto are camping right now.  The table makes a bed.

(Reveen and Batoto are the names of two imaginary friends, corresponding to his left and right hands.  We’re working on making non-imaginary friends.)

13. What is your favourite food to eat for dinner?

Cheese bites and hot dogs and ketchup.  And my favourite breakfast is oatmeal and some blueberry raisins and some cherries.

(Cheese bites are grilled cheese sandwiches, cut into small pieces.  And we do occasionally have breakfast for dinner, but not as frequently as this answer suggests.)

14. What is your favourite thing to do outside?

Play lots of things.

15. What is your favourite thing to drink?

(see #9)

16. Where is your favourite place to go?

Well, we’ve got to go to the grocery store to pick up some vegetables.  And then we’re going to stir them up and make a salad.

(He said “grocery store” last year, too, but only after he mentioned “toy store.”  Follow-up time!)

16A. Is the grocery store your favourite place to go?

Well, Grandma and Grampa’s house is a good place to go.

17. What do you like to do before bed?

Read Thing-Thing.

18. What is your favourite breakfast?


(Screw you, oatmeal and some blueberry raisins and some cherries!)

19. What do you want for your birthday?

Chocolate cake.

(When it’s 3:55 AM on the day of his birthday and I am still awake trying to cobble together a police bus from whatever Lego pieces we’ve got left over, I’ll think back on this answer and then I’ll go put on a pair of Sorels THAT I MIGHT BETTER KICK MYSELF.)

19A. What would you like for a present?

A police bus.


20. What do you want to do or be when you’re big?

A good idea is to go to work when I’m like my daddy.

They’d be lucky to have you, Beaster.  So, so lucky.  As are we.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.