family

Thursday Thirteen: The Urban Daddy Ponders His Usefulness


The absolute best trait a person with ADD-like symptoms possesses is the ability to think about 45 different things over the course of one full minute.

Since today is Thursday, I’d like to put together 13 items that have crossed my mind in the past 13 minutes – many of course coming as a result of something one of my children has said to me, about me, recently when he questioned my (in)ability to help his with his homework.

  1. On the weekend my son needed help with a project for his math enrichment class. I wanted him to at least try it before asking for help, but I knew that he was hungry and when he’s hungry he is helluva cranky. Not realizing that his crankiness was meant for his mother whom he wanted to work with, my offer of help generated this reply from him; “I DON’T want your help! You’re useless!!”

This lead to #12.

  1. Being called “useless” by a 7-year-old child with low blood sugar is hilarious. I didn’t want to help him anyways! It’s the weekend and I have other things to do… Even things for (gasp) me!

Then I started thinking… See #11.

  1. Then as I set out looking to help one of my other children with schoolwork, I started to think about what my son called me when I came to the conclusion he’s off base. I’m 43-years-old. I’m married. I’m a great dad. I have 3 children, and have 3-years of accounting qualifications under my belt, plus a MBA which I earned while that child was a baby sleeping only 2-3 hours at a time for almost the first year of his life! I am far from useless.

Or…

  1. They say (and I don’t know who “they” are or if this even counts as a fact) that if you can question whether you are “crazy” then you must not be “crazy”. Granted terminology is terrible, but what if I’ve been telling myself that I am useful all these years but in the eyes of my kids, I’m already a dinosaur incapable of helping out wit Grade 2 math… Maybe I do belong in the museum of life.

  2. Or… If I was subconsciously pulling a fast one on my kids to get out of having to help them with their math. I mean when I was growing up and my family decided that I needed to help make lunches before bed, I sabotaged their lunches and was never asked to help out again.

  3. But after a hug from mummy and a handful of grapes, I could hear the cries for “DADDY!!!” from the child who actually needed my help… I think.

  4. I made him apologize. I didn’t need it, but I wanted him to get used to saying sorry. It’s not easy for everyone to say but it’s powerful and liberating to clear your conscience.

  5. Even at 7-years-old, children do not like to be forced to apologize, yet when they know they need help and you are their only option, you get the short, unemotional, “sorry”.

  6. Then we got down to business, and after 2-hours or being creative and cutting, solving, gluing and decorating this project, the light-bulb went on in both of our heads.

  7. It had become my project and it had to be good. Really good.

  8. Daddy was doing his project and it was looking good… Really good.

  9. I stepped back and said to him, “Hey man! It’s your project, not mine. We’re going to do whatever you want to do. Please don’t let me take over or tell you what to put where I think it goes. It’s all yours (and in the back of my mind, while he’s staring at this piece of art, I know he’s thinking it’s awesome and I’m thinking – still think I’m useless?)

  10. He takes over. He colours, aligns, decorates, fixes, alters, and adjusts the project and now it’s ALL his. It’s amazing,

He turns to me with his eyes wide as saucers and says; “I love you Daddy!”

Totally worth it!

TORONTO ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE. March 16th, 2014.


Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day (and the day before)!

On Sunday, March 16, all eyes will be smiling in downtown Toronto for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Enjoy a family friendly celebration of Ireland and St. Patrick with colorful floats, bands, dancers and marching groups. There will be a golden touch at the green celebration with Olympic gold medalist Irish boxer Katie Taylor acting as Grand Marshal.

The procession starts at noon from St. George and Bloor, heading east before turning south along Yonge to Queen where it makes a final turn to finish at Nathan Phillips Square. TTC access and parking are available at several points along the parade route.

For more information, please visit http://www.topatrick.com/.

St. Patrick's Day Parade Route 2014

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!

Looking For Something Fun To Do As A Family On Family Day 2014? How about Kid Lit! Books, Activities, Pizza and More!


KidLit is the Jewish Literary Festival for Children and it is presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts, and the Prosserman JCC.

KidLit is a sensational way for families to spend Family Day, with author readings, hands-on activities, a make your own book station, $5 pizza lunch and much more. It is a wonderfully affordable way to spend the day, and a terrific opportunity to actively engage children with fun literature.

KidLit will take place from 9:30am to 1pm at the Prosserman JCC at 4588 Bathurst Street, in Toronto on February 17th.  The event is free.

A link to the event is listed here;

This event is open to – and will be attended by – families of all backgrounds.

It’s all about great books, even better readers and families.

When you don’t allow for comments on your blog, you get this instead.


I’m a very open-minded guy. I was not always this way, but as I have gotten older and wiser, I have certainly adopted the philosophy that people can, and will, do and say whatever they want, whenever they want and that is totally fine by me, so long as it doesn’t trample on my human rights.

I mean who are we to define items like marriage, or benefits, or set limits on what a person can and cannot do with their bodies… I find a lot of the laws and customs in practice today found their roots in a time when men were seen as better than woman, and heck, white men greater than everyone. We can now see clearly how wrong that has come to be, and if we step even further back, we can see that we are all just human beings trying to make the best lives for ourselves and our children on this planet we call earth.

So when I came across a blog / rant / all out melt-down around breastfeeding mothers and whether or not they should be allowed to breastfeed in restaurants – for attention – I decided to read along in hopes of finding another point of view or see that this post was just a joke.

However as I read it I became confused with the source of the ranting.  At first I thought the author was upset because woman breastfeed in restaurants and in some old-school way the author felt that woman’s breasts are sexualized and thus breastfeeding should be done discreetly.  Heck, from the tone of the post one would think that at this particular establishment there are boobs flying left and right, out there for everyone to see… A mother feeding her child.

Then as I read on and thought about the words, I thought that the author was upset because the restaurant in question asked a breastfeeding mother to feed her child in a discreet area of the restaurant away from, I dunno, people like this author who thing breastfeeding is gross, or ugly?!?  The mother declined, went to the press and from what I could gather all hell broke loose.  Either the restaurant was criticized for insensitivity, or there was a breastfeeding sit-in, who knows, but this author clearly felt that that mother needed to go somewhere else to breastfeed.

As a manager, this author would be the same type of employee who would have approached my wife – who breastfed our three children - and asked her to fed the baby in the bathroom.  UGH.  To that suggestion my wife would comment, very calmly; “Would you eat your lunch in the bathroom?”

Point taken.

But aside from the disgust with breastfeeding I was taking from the article, I felt an overwhelming hatred of mothers.  Mothers who want to feed their babies in public.  Mothers who ask for discounts because they are mothers.  Damn you mothers for carrying children and bringing life.

The author also hates nutrition because her solution is for breastfeeding mothers to bring a bottle to feed their kids, obviously oblivious to the fact that a baby sucking on a bottle even once can ruin the latch on the nipple causing pain and agony for the mother – or a premature end to breastfeeding at worst.

If a mother is unable to pump enough breast milk to fill a bottle, I guess the mother can just buy some over-the-counter product and feed the baby that, right?  Who cares what garbage is in that bottle, so long as there are no breasts exposed, right?

Or maybe the author’s “final solution” is best.  Since she offended pretty much all moms everywhere by tagging her post “people I hate” and referring to either women or feminists in her university / college as “feminazis”, she finally concluded that moms with young children do not belong in nice restaurants when there are quality family restaurants like “McDonalds or Burger King” around.

Wow.

I would have commented to the author about her incorrect facts relating to the bottle comment and restaurant solutions in an understanding manner.  How else could she feel this way unless she just did not know.  It’s easy for her to send moms to McD’s, as her post screams about her lack of understanding of what it takes to be a mother and responsible for children while still trying to have a life of their own.  Heck, she referred to children who are breastfeeding – probably under 4-years-old - as  “bratty hellspawn” to think that mothers are only feeding their kids for “attention” pretty much rounds out the absurdity.

I had always thought that mothers fed their children out of necessity so the won’t die.  Funny how that works…

The “breast” solution for this author is to only go to restaurants where families do not “hang out”.

But with nowhere on her blog to add a comment and me left feeling that I have to educate this woman so she won’t go through life thinking that all breastfeeding mothers are Satan’s spawn, I came to post it here.

The link to the original post is below.

http://xoellexo.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/breastfeeding-motherslactivist-nightmares/