The Gray Badge of Honor

newspaperBack in Ye Oldie Days, our post-breakfast routine included a thorough hand-washing. On Sundays, when Dr. Science made pancakes,* it was sticky maple syrup that had us turning on faucets with our elbows. But every other day of the week it was fingers smudged with newspaper ink that needed soap and water. Back then, we hated newspaper ink. Back then, we held newspapers by the ink-free edges. Back then, we shook our fists against scientists who could send a man to the moon but not invent ink that blah blah blah.

These days, though, our ink-smudged fingers are a gray badge of honor. We are proud to be among the dwindling (and perhaps only) print subscribers in Our Fair City. Dr. Science likes the Sports section. Never mind that he watched the game the night before, that he can look up the box score on the web. He likes reading the sports section with breakfast. He Who Shall Not Be Named likes the comics. And I like the headlines. Plus? There’s something cozy about sharing a newspaper between the three of us. Sometimes we talk and laugh about what we’re reading. Other times we read silently. But we always leave for work and school the same way: with smudged fingers, each of us carrying a reminder of how we started the day, as a family, sharing the paper.

* Scientific pancakes are in the shape of letters, sometimes spelling out short words. Go ahead. Try to make a pancake that spells C-A-T.

The King of Koffee


A giant bag of mystery.

Here at MomBrain HQ, we keep things simple. Short sentences. Pretty pictures. Light and airy spaces. Chocolate chip cookies are in the oven, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air.

Wait – that  is not coffee. It is Dr. Science, whose coffee intake can be measured only with extremely advanced Scientific Tools. But Dr. Science is no connoisseur. Any caffeine wrapped in a bean will do, unless we are in another country. That is because foreign coffee is too scary. So wherever we travel, we must be able to see Starbucks. Even in Canada, the 51st state, Starbucks is the only safe option for Dr. Science’s extreme caffeine needs.

MomBrain: How about the free breakfast in the hotel lobby?

Dr. Science: Meh.

MomBrain: How about the cute little café on the corner?

Dr. Science: Meh.

MomBrain: How about breakfast at Starbucks?

Dr. Science: SURE!

So yes – Dr. Science smells like coffee. But this is better than smelling like hotel soap, or airplanes, or poutineAnd the best part is MomBrain is never homesick. Because no matter where we are, no matter what time zone or country, Dr. Science smells like home.