I saw lots of children in Montreal. Groups of them trailing through the Museum of Contemporary Art; groups of them in the Parc Lafontaine. But I never heard a single child wailing or whining. No children threatening or screaming. None pummeling their mothers or each other.
I do not of course imagine that children in Montreal never do these things. We're talking about another city, not another species.
I said something like this to Beth, and she said simply, "They're happy children."
I think of all the measures of prosperity and well-being and quality of life that you read in the papers. Canada of course tends to come out on the top of those, as well. But I think you could replace them all with a simple scale based on what the children sound like.