The Alternative Canadian Citizenship Test


February 6, 2014 by Katia


I moved to Canada seven years ago with the dream of becoming a citizen one d’eh.

It’s been two years since that day came and went. I proudly smiled at the camera and waved the most cheerful looking flag out there, stood up to lip sync the national anthem, swore my allegiance to the Queen, shook hands, lip synced some more- in French this time and knew that this was a special special day in the history of me, the details of which will escape me for the rest of my life because:

Mommy Brain

Mommy Brain

One of the happiest days in my life. I think.

One of the happiest days in my life. I think.

Mommy brain IS a thing. For reals. It’s also a convenient excuse, albeit not one that I would try to run by the immigration officials grading your test. To become eligible for lip syncing in French and what was probably totally one of the happiest days of my life I had to pass a Citizenship Test. That meant memorizing facts and responding to questions which will demonstrate that I understand the fact that I, as a woman, am allowed to vote and can name the province that is the largest pulp and paper manufacturer (can I get a “quoi-quoi”, Quebec?) and correctly identify the reason for celebrating remembrance day.

I aced Canadian citizenship, but contrary to my own popular belief I did not magically become a Canadian that day. While my papers may argue so, the snow pile on the sidewalk outside my house begs to differ.

Based on this damn Polar Vortex winter and completely subjective reasoning, I propose that the Canadian citizenship test should be a practical one and here’s what you should be tested on:

  • Do you have a snow shoveling and piling technique? If you answered: “technique?” or “yes, I shovel the snow with my shovel” then you were clearly spared the rude awakening of watching my neighbour yesterday, piling up the snow and pounding the top of the pile with the shovel to flatten it. This is how we roll.goodsnowbadsnow
  • Do you have an ice scraping technique? Are you aware of ice scraping being a thing? If you are surprised by non-metaphorical use of “ice breaking” are currently asking yourself “oh, so I was supposed to SCRAPE that?” or if you’ve at any point contemplated melting the ice by pouring boiling water on it I’m sorry. Truly. Try Australia. 
  • So, we’re polar vortexing here and it’s school pick up time. Finish the sentence: Only a total loser would: if you chose “leave home on a day like this” or “leave home without a stroller”… Well, this is awkward. Just take a look around, eh?sledbrrr

So, did you pass?

I’ve failed every single category and spent the last few weeks in a deep sense of incompetence and inadequacy and in fear of my citizenship being revoked. Then I remembered, I’m a positive person, eh, so I got off the couch and now I’m changing my tagline to this:

Every day I’m shoveling.


How’s polar vortex treating you?

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, very loosely based on the topic: “My best dream ever was…”. Please visit these lovely ladies, our hosts:

This post is an FTSF post on the topic: “A funny thing happened on my way…”. Please visitour hosts, the terrifically awesome :

Stephanie at Mommy, For Real

Kristi at Finding Ninee

Kate at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine?

Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic

49 thoughts on “The Alternative Canadian Citizenship Test

  1. Sarah says:

    Ah, yes, shoveling, ice scraping… remind me why we live in these altitudes? Great pics, especially your citizenship pic 🙂

  2. You lost me at snow! Seriously, we have had so much here lately and expect more this weekend. You it is a lot of snow, when I was told about this weekend’s snow and answered, “So what!”, because I literally am now becoming unfazed by seeing as much as I have in the last few weeks!

  3. Sarah Day says:

    This winter is terrible, so bad that we all yawned at the -35 windchill this morning. But not as much snow as some years. One December my husband actually took the snowblower up on the snow bank next to the driveway and blew the bank over a row because he could not throw the snow high enough anymore not get it off the driveway.

  4. Candid Mama says:

    This polar vortex is killing me. I am completely over it. I live in northern Pa., so I can’t imagine what Canada must be like right now! Ugh!

    • Katia says:

      SO over it. Shall we get together and protest in our mommy gear?

      • Candid Mama says:

        OMG you should see my polar vortex gear. I am embarrassed for myself with how I have been dressing to commute into work over the past month. It is kind of a mix between business professional meets lumberjack meets skier meets I just don’t give a crap anymore because it is so freaking cold.

      • Katia says:

        HAHA! Don’t be. Love your description. I just laughed out loud. Mine is simply winter coat meets unrecognizable stains. (Not the Monica Lewinsky kind). (Sorry). (Ew).

  5. quiltykanuck says:

    That was hilarious… My husband became a citizen one year ago January 30th, you post reminded me of the ceremony and how happy we were. But fortunately, he came from a winter place (mid Atlantic USA) so, although he had never seem QUITE as much snow, he was still pretty prepared. 🙂

    • Katia says:

      Thank you so much, yes, despite the mommy brain writing this post I was reminded of a lot of great details myself. It was such a well thought through ceremony and it felt nothing like the formal ceremony I expected. Congrats to your husband on his recent anniversary!

  6. I’ve lived in Ohio for two years now (I’m a native Texan and we moved here via Florida) and, while I can pretty much handle the snow, I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that it will never stop snowing. Ever.

    I will now go out and employ your brilliant Canadian shoveling techniques. Shovel it and pound the top…for the rest of my life.

  7. Beth Teliho says:

    If I showed up at the school with a sled for my boys they would think they’d died and gone to heaven, not to mention he fact that I’d win mommy of the year! wow – that’s a LOT of snow and ice….YUCK. It’s snowed yesterday here in Texas…but it looks nothing like your snow. For one, I don’t have to shovel anything. Although the city did spread salt everywhere last night. that’s never happened before! I’m not talking about the bridges and highways, I’m talking about residential streets!
    love your citizenship photo, you look so happy. 🙂

  8. findingninee says:

    Too much snow this year! We don’t have nearly the amounts that you do but sheesh I think there’s been more No School Days than School Days. Although the sled ride from school is pretty cool. And I LOVE your citizenship photo, eh? Here’s to spring soon, my friend.

  9. Karen says:

    Two words: Tucson, Arizona. We’re expecting the high 70s next week but it’s a chilly 63 today. Yes, all our vegetation is covered in thorns and we have something called jumping cactus because it literally jumps onto you if you get too close but I can still feel my toes. I can’t even imagine snow like that.

    • Katia says:

      One word: Israel. Seven years ago the only salt my feet (potentially could have) walked on was that of the sea (if one was capable of walking on the sea, or ever visited the beach to begin with…)

      Seriously, though, I’m not complaining. I’m totally loving the snow, I’m just not a fan of shoveling and ice scraping, as it turns out, but who is, eh?

  10. I love snow … but I’ll be honest–I love it even more with a snow blower and a teenager to shovel. Ha!!

  11. This was awesome. I love cold and snow. I could totally be Canadian (though, in New England, I am not too far). I would even pass the Canadian driving test! I’ve driven (err, slid) through Quebec during a snow storm… no problem, eh! 😉

  12. Congrats on becoming one of us! Yeah! Now I have to say – move out West. We have not had one day of snow since before Christmas. While snow is forecast for this weekend I suspect it will all be gone by Tuesday. Seriously. I have a snow shovel. Somewhere.

  13. Sarah says:

    New city and the polar vortex have got me learning these skills. I had no idea snow shoveling was so hard! But last time, we got some neighbor boys to do it for us while we sat in front of the fire.
    My neighborhood is in a complete uproar right now. A month or so ago, someone recommended a pet-safe salt on our neighborhood list serve. Many people tried it, and now their sidewalks are crumbling. Yet, some debate that it’s the quality of the sidewalk rather than the pet-safe salt. I’m talking 8-10 emails a day on this subject. Oh my.

    • Katia says:

      I love a good neighbourhood uproar over salt. I’ve held numerous a debate on salt myself.

      It’s not easy moving to a new polar vortexed city, I wish you all the best (I used to get to know people).

  14. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    We’ve hardly had any snow. Last week we got 1.5 inches and school was closed for 2 days!

  15. haha Mom brain is a thing indeed, its very spastic at times. Thankfully we don’t get hit that badly in the DC Metropolican area – so we’re admiring some pretty decent 30’s temperatures with sunny skies – I’m enjoying the sun and moderately warmth. We’re getting snow threats for tomorrow which I just hope it isn’t so! Glad you’re loving your new home country of Canada! 🙂 I’m happy in my area – it’s great here! Have a great one Katia! -Iva

  16. So basically, I could never be a Canadian citizen, is that what you’re saying? 😉

  17. Stephanie Sprenger says:

    Oh dear, I am giggling like crazy. “Every day I’m shoveling,” and “Can I get a quoi-quoi?” should totally be things. And you poor thing in your Polar Vortex! Ice-scraping should NOT be a thing. Sending you love and warm drinks and brain cells to keep going with your funny self. xoxo

  18. Dana says:

    Love the last line, even though shoveling sucks. I’ve done no shoveling this winter, leaving it to my kids and husband. Hiding in the bathroom helps too. Let’s hope we thaw out soon!

    • Katia says:

      Shoveling sucks big time. Especially every day shoveling. I can’t leave it for the fam if only for the reason that the bathroom is the most public place in my house…

  19. I loved the “can I get a ‘quoi-quoi’?” LOL! This snow is killing me. I grew up in Virginia where the any snow that falls melts within two days and now live in Chicago where snow is on the ground from late December until March (we were spared last year from that somehow). The snow is exceptionally high this year. I had to go out and shovel 8″ two days ago. We decided a long time ago to not buy a snow-blower because we have three kids that can do it. But I found myself doing the bad mom thing and went out and did it myself instead of listening to the whining and complaining. I justified it by saying I was getting some exercise. Ugh.

    • Katia says:

      You have thoroughly impressed me, Kate, with the shovel 8” reference. See, here’s another thing I didn’t know! Is a shovel ”8 the way to roll?? Off to update my proposal!

  20. Lizzi R says:

    We live. We learn. And your whole life, has perhaps been a learning curve of extreme newness. And you adapt. It is inherent within you, and you do it JOYFULLY (perhaps edited well, but the joy is still there).

    You got this.

    And I LOVE that even though you’re now almost a little French, you’re also much more almost a little British. And that rocks 🙂

    • Katia says:

      So before I ever dreamed of becoming a Canadian citizen, I dreamed for years of becoming a subject of the Queen. I even had my London neighbourhood picked out and everything. British totally rocks. Rocking is how you roll. 😀

  21. mike says:

    I grew up 20 miles from the Canadian border. I don’t miss the snow all that much except for snowmobiles, ice fishing, and skiing.

  22. Jen says:

    I love you, you crack me up. Can you please get an international phone plan???
    FYI we’re currently getting .5inch a minute of snow here. What’s that in mm… hmmm. As part of not being a Canadian or a European I don’t need to know the metric system, so you figure it out.
    For real, I am sure it will NEVER be warm again. My little dog runs outside and then right back in again and pees on the rug. Good times.
    I think you’re an awesome Canadian for not abandoning ship!

  23. Aussa Lorens says:

    I would make a horrible Canadian. I haven’t even rolled my trashcan out to the curb since October. That is only a SLIGHT exaggeration.

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