children

Daddy, I Don’t Want To Hold Your Hand…


Well, it took only 4-years for this moment to arrive and I was not prepared for it, but walking my daughter to school she saw a teacher and a couple of her friends and she let go of my hand.

“Take my hand.” I said.

“I don’t want to hold your hand, daddy” was her reply.

“Oh.  Is it because your friends might see?”

“I just don’t”, she said.

I’m not going to force her to do anything she does not want to do.  She’s getting to be a big girl, so I walked beside her to the school doors, squatted down beside her, gave her a big hug and said, “I love you.”

 

Hmmmm…

 

Not ready for that moment, I have to say.

I remember when my oldest boy did that to me the first time.  I protested, and said, “Fine, just give me a hug.”

In front of his friends he refused to, so in a loud voice and a smile on my face – looking at his friends – I said, “Bye sweetheart.  I love you!” and I have him the biggest kiss possible.

We all laughed.

 

Walking home from school, my 2 youngest ran ahead, and I told this story to my oldest.

He said to me; “I’ll hold your hand, daddy”.

… and that was how we walked home.

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Some Trivia and Facts for you to educate your kids and impress your colleagues.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A public holiday in parts of Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador - St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the death date of St. Patrick, and is celebrated on March 17 by the Irish and Irish diaspora worldwide.

Here are some cool facts you can use to educate your children and impress your colleagues.

  1. St. Patrick is not actually Irish.

St. Patrick was born in Great Britain and was of Romano-British descent.  He was “6 years a slave” in Ireland, being captured by Irish marauders and brought to Ireland at 16-years-old.  He eventually escaped and returned to his family, although he would make his way back to Ireland as a missionary, and be forever associated with Ireland and the holiday in his name.

2. St Patrick’s traditional colour was blue, not green.

Historians say that green was adopted because of St Patrick’s use of the shamrock – a three-leaf clover - and because of the its association with Ireland, the “Emerald Isles.”

  1. Shamrocks weren’t originally symbols of luck

Shamrocks represented the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, however with the commercialization of St. Patrick’s Day, and with shamrocks appearing more and more on greeting cards due to their religious symbolism, shamrocks became lucky charms (without being magically delicious).

  1. The correct short form is Paddy, not Patty.  “Patty” is short for “Patricia,” not “Patrick.”  “Paddy” is an accepted short form for someone who’s name is Patrick.

You are wise not to call anyone of Irish descent “Paddy,” however, because that term is a 19th century slur for Irish people.

And did you know that there is a website and Twitter account created specifically to correct this misnomer.

  1. The St. Patrick‘s Day parade was invented in the United States.

On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched through New York City in attempt to celebrate their Irish roots with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.  Now there are hundreds of St. Patrick’s Day parades worldwide.

  1. If you want to really impress an Irishman or woman try this tongue-twister: Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh.  It means Happy St. Patrick’s Day!.

 

Source of information came from here; http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/562405-st-patricks-day-cool-facts-history-tradition/

March Break Activities for Kids with differing interests. Something for the GTA as well.


Google’s creative projects to keep kids busy during March Break

With schools closed during March Break, it’s a challenge to entertain kids on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. For families with kids with differing interests it can be especially hard to keep everyone engaged throughout the day. Here are a few free tools and projects families can use to keep everyone from the young artist to the budding scientist entertained during their time off.

For the mini movie lover…

Disney’s Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story on the Google Play Store

With thousands of movies & TV shows available on the Google Play Store, there’s something for every little movie buff. Once you’ve found the perfect flick you can enjoy it across devices, which means kids who can’t sit still can start the movie on your laptop while on the couch and finish it on your Android device from the kitchen.

Google and Disney have teamed up on a special original stop-motion movie that’s sure to warm hearts. Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story tells the story of Blank, an unpainted vinyl character, and his quest to find his lost love. Have a look at the trailer here. The Disney Interactive 37-minute stop motion movie will be available exclusively on Google Play.

For the aspiring artist..

Google Art Project

Have an aspiring artist but don’t want to clean up after craft time? Google Art Project lets museums from across the world invite visitors inside their doors and into their galleries with a little help from technology. People across the world who might otherwise never see the real thing, can access masterpieces, antiquities and other artifacts that are part of our cultural heritage.

This digital experience has some of Canada’s – and the world’s – most creative and beautiful art. Some iconic Canadian collections include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal BC Museum and the National Ballet of Canada.

For the inventor…

Google Science Fair

Does your teen want to change the world? Google is challenging students aged 13-18 to submit their brilliant ideas for the fourth annual Google Science Fair. Last year, Canadian student Ann Makosinski scored top honours in her age group for her battery-free flashlight. Thousands of teens around the world have tackled some of today’s greatest challenges, like an anti-flu medicine and more effective ways to beat cancer. The grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship along with a number of once in a lifetime prizes.

To inspire young inventors, Google hosts a series of Hangouts on Air with world-renowned scientists showcasing exclusive tours of cutting edge labs.

For the musically minded…

Pancake Manor on YouTube

The puppets from Pancake Manor know how to make kids move. The Victoria, B.C.-based YouTube channel has been making music for kids of all ages since 2011. The upbeat melodies don’t fail to provide entertaining and educational content. The videos can help teach little ones how to count to 10, how to remember the alphabet and, of course, how to make pancakes.

For a GTA excursion (entry fee applies)…

The Doodle 4 Google Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

In October, Google challenged Canadian students to submit their creative ideas in the form of a doodle for the first-ever Doodle 4 Google Canada contest. Thousands of kids submitted doodles following the theme, “if I could invent anything, I would invent…”

In February and March, the Royal Ontario Museum will feature a special exhibit with the top 75 doodles from across the country. From time machines to new sports to ways to clean the environment, the doodles will be sure to inspire future inventors and young artists. The winner of the contest will of their doodle featured on the Google Canada homepage for one day.

I Love it when Children Blog! Introducing the Kids Food Fanatic.


My 9-year-old son’s friend told me today that he is a “food blogger”.  The mastermind behind Kids Food Fanatic, a blog aimed at giving a kids view of restaurants to other kids.  The blog takes into account the food, décor and some other interesting factors.

“Really? Awesome!” was my reply.

So while him and my son were hanging out at our place on a play-date, I decided to check out his blog.  I was immediately impressed, so I decided to interview him for The Urban Daddy (TUD), to help him get more readers and more comments and so he will be hooked on blogging like so many of us have become.  His blog is called Fun Food Fanatic, and he is the Kid Food Fanatic (KFF).

Here is the interview:

TUD: “Why do you blog?  What got your started?”

KFF: “I love rating food, and I want kids to have the feeling they can make good choices about restaurants they want to go to and they know the food there is a great, and kid-friendly”.

TUD: “What was the best restaurant experience you have had so far?”

KFF: “The Works! Then Boston Pizza“.

TUD: “What did you like about them?”

KFF: “The atmosphere. It was very funny. The food was also rock solid delicious. Did you get that?  Rock Solid Delicious.  It was burger galore at the Works.”

TUD: “How do you decide where you go next?”

KFF: “I don’t decide. I grab my notebook and write about where we go as a family.”

TUD: “Have you been to places you hated?”

KFF: “No, not yet”.

TUD: “What is your favourite type of restaurant / food?”

KFF: “I like restaurants with good burgers which have good, fast service. I also like restaurants with creative decorations I can look at while eating.”

TUD: “What if you went to a restaurant and the food was terrible. Would you post that?”

KFF: “I would tell them why I thought the food was terrible. I would say something like, “nice try” and “please do not make that mistake again” and then I would blog it because kids have to know this.”

Big thank you to the Kids Food Fanatic.

His blog can be found here;

or here if you prefer to paste and click on your own.

Please pay him a visit and welcome him to the blogosphere.

Things I Have Learned as a Parent, a Father, a Husband and a Human Being


I have been doing a lot of soul-searching.  Doesn’t everyone?  And in doing so I have realized there are a lot of things that I have learned this past year, and I never thought about putting together a post until I had a “discussion” with my 9-year-old son after I told him that “I learn something new each and every day.”  He didn’t believe me because at 9-years-old you know as much as a 43-year-old does, right?

But off the top of my head, here are some of the things that I have learned in the not too distant past;

First off, I learned that I am truly blessed.  My family, friends, network… It could be better but it could be much worse.

Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid makes me cry.  It’s the whole story from the song to the Live-Aid concerts…  It chokes me up to think about how the world came together for this cause.

Learning is NEVER a waste of time.

Plenty of people my age are just as confused about life as I am.

I do NOT like the Olympics – what they have become with the politics, greed, and lack of recognition that countries who participate should do so with the understanding that they have to be nice to their citizens outside of the games and that their participants have to be nice to other countries while in the games.  I do, however, love when our Olympians win and that chokes me up.  I’m all Pro Canada when the games are on!

Time isn’t slowing down for any of us.

I don’t like Miley Cyrus, or Justin Beiber at all.

It takes the little effort to be a good friend.

It takes even less effort to be a good person – say “hello” or “good morning” to people, or to smile and not be another reason people have to complain.

‘Health’ goes way beyond working out and eating well.

The real world isn’t that scary.

I’ve had way too many “I should have listened to my wife” moments.

Confidence can be faked – for good sometimes – as we push our children into areas we stayed out of so their futures might be different from ours.

No matter how badly someone needs to change, you cannot force them into it.  They have to be ready.

There is nothing to watch on TV and it gets worse year-by-year.

Be true to yourself.  Not matter what you are giving up to do so.  You’ll be able to sleep at night.

There still are some people in the world who were raised the right way.

Planning, preparing, and cooking dinner for a family AND making sure it tastes good AND is healthy AND all cooks at the same time AND is ready in time for dinner is REALLY hard!  My wife is AWESOME!  I don’t know how she does it, day after day, and night after night.

When something happens in my house – anything broken, items left-out, things damaged – it’s amazing to me that “not me” has done all this damage, and “I don’t know” seems to be there too.  This is right out of the Family Circus comics…

My family has horrible memories when it comes to picking up their laundry from the floor, putting their dishes in the sink, sweeping the floor or helping with lunches, but if they were promised iPad time… that they never forget.

So there!  I did learn new things today, and every day!