Kid vs. Cottage

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

July 20th, 2011



Our cottage weekend had one special ingredient this year: a baby. Guest post by Jackie Davis, assistant editor.

My friends and I just had our annual Girls’ Weekend at a friend’s cottage on Haliburton Lake. There are seven of us, and we’ve all known each other since at least grade seven. We’ve done this for many years, but 2011 was different, sort of: One of my friends brought her 10-month-old baby. And yikes—I didn’t realize how potentially hazardous the cottage could be. Things that seem vaguely menacing—Wood-chopping axe! Random electrical cords! Sharp corners! Weird-looking bugs!—are a lot more dangerous if you spend most of your time on the floor, grabbing everything and trying to stuff it into your mouth. Also scary: Wildlife. At one point, a bear came right up to the front porch of the cottage. My first thought was, Dear God, where is the baby?! Then someone said, “I left my keys in the car. I hope that bear can’t drive.”

We spent a lot of the weekend making sure the baby wasn’t a hazard to himself, or other objects. He kept trying to eat paper, especially magazines. I saved the copies of Cottage Life, but People wasn’t so lucky. I’m pretty sure he got part of The Bachelorette’s face. Luckily, music helped entertain and distract him; he seemed to enjoy MGMT’s “Electric Feel.” Good call, baby. So all in all, it was another successful (and disaster-free) weekend.

Check back Wed., July 27 for my next post.


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Jul. 27, 2011

2:26 pm

We had the same issues with our two young boys and our cottage in the Kawarthas. Wild animals, steep cliffs, deep water. It's one of the reasons we switched to a beach cottage on Thunder Beach on Georgian Bay. Beaches are great for kids: keeps them busy day-in day-out playing in the sand and shallow (warm) water. On a wide open beach, it's easy to keep an eye on them while you're relaxing with other adults either on the beach or on the deck overlooking the beach. It made an unbelievable difference to our quality of life. Check out the beach at

Penny Caldwell

Jul. 20, 2011

6:20 pm

Good grief, Jackie. We work 30 metres away from each other. How did I not know about the bear? You probably heard that Mike (another of our colleagues, for those who don't know) had a bear climb up onto his front porch when he and his family were on holiday. We should tell our blog followers about the story coming in the next issue: everything you wanted to know about cottage bears but were afraid to ask.

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