My kid’s got a ‘weird’ name – How I’ve helped him embrace it (read: how HE’S helped me learn to love it!)


In my culture, kids tend to be named after loved ones who have passed away after living long fulfilled lives. My husband’s tradition is to give the first born grandson the same name as the LIVING paternal grandfather. When hubby first told me this I’m pretty sure my word-for-word response was something along the lines of “Not a f@#%ing chance is that happening.”

Fast forward 6 years and I’m preggo with boy/girl twins. During those 6 years I went though a lot of heart break – I lost my grandmother, grandfather and uncle, all of whom basically helped raise me. So when I peed on that stick, later confirmed at the fertility clinic (another post for another time), I knew right away that my kids would be named after my dearly departed family… In pipes hubby reminding me about his family tradition.

My hubby’s traditions are important to me, but my feeling goes like this: if I’m the person growing these tiny humans inside me, puking my guts out for 3 months, not sleeping for 4 months and having major surgery to have said tiny humans removed then you better damn well believe I’m making the final decision on what I’m going to call the little monsters.

I spent the next 35 weeks and 6 days going back and forth about what I’d name my son. It was like mental tug-of-war. Who’s gonna be offended? Is it really a bad omen? Do I really want my kid going through life having his name mispronounced? Back and forth, back and forth.

D-day comes and I still haven’t made a final decision. We arrive at the hospital, still no decision. Prepped for my c-section, still no decision. Getting sewn up, still no decision. Puking my guts out in recovery and still no decision. Finally I get to the ward and hold my son for the first time. Instinctively I look at my hubby, who’s fighting back tears of love, joy and fear and behind all of it, I see pride, so much pride. In that split second I gave my little man the same name as his grandpa. When my father-in-law found out my son’s name he cried tears of joy and the same pride I saw in my husband – like father like son.

Even after naming him, I wasn’t so sure about my decision. I was worried he wouldn’t like his name as he got older and went to school and heard all the other kids with ‘normal’ names and decided he didn’t want his name. Mostly, I wasn’t sure how to instill pride about a name I was still iffy on.

At about 4am, after feeding the kids and wanting to scratch my eyes out I went online (because isn’t that the normal thing to do when you’re sleep deprived?) and saw an ad for a book called “The little boy who lost his name”. The books weren’t cheap but I figured it was worth a shot if it would help my son embrace his name, so I bought one for him and of course one for my daughter (twins and all). The books arrived and they were absolutely incredible, and worth every penny. The kids were too little for the books at that point but both loved their books when we first read it to them and still love them 2 years later! It’s not really a book they grow out of until much later, and then it becomes a keepsake.

So, when the company contacted me a couple months ago about their new book “Kingdom of You” I figured I’d give it shot (nothing to loose since they were sending the book free for me to review). My concern was that having twins meant needing 2 books, and while they offered to send 1 book for review, I couldn’t get one kid a book and not the other. Once they found out about the twin situation they graciously sent one book for each kid – now that’s great customer service! The Kingdom of You books are just as well written and beautifully illustrated as the Lost My Name books. The kids get lost in their own personal fairy tale – isn’t that what every kid wants? Anyway, back to my son’s name…

In the end, it isn’t a book that gives my son pride in his name, it’s the fact that our family takes such pride in the history of his name, we tell him about all of the men in the family with the same name and what incredible people they were and still are. Sharing a name with his grandpa gives my little man such pride, you should see the look on his face when he tells people “Me and Grandpa have a the same name!” I love his name because HE loves his name, its history and what it represents. It doesn’t hurt that he’s growing up to be quite an incredible little person.

What’s in a name? I guess that depends who you’re asking…

Until next time,

Your fav Urban Twin Mommy

P.S. Stay tuned for the company’s upcoming book which will feature the option of multiple kids in 1 book!

 

 

Disclosure: I was provided this product to share my honest opinion and believe me, I’m gonna tell you the truth, be it good, bad or ugly!

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Did you know: You can find me here too… Daddy101 @ www.pinkandbluebaby.com


Did you know that you can find me in other places around the web?  Try this URL below, for Pink and Blue Baby, a baby and parenting magazine which has an incredible discussion forum on Facebook.

http://pinkandbluebaby.com/category/daddy-101/

Aptly billed as providing “EXPERT ADVICE FOR FABULOUS MOMS & SAVVY DADS”, Pink & Blue Baby is an online magazine that is unique because it is the first online magazine to feature experts who interacts with parents and parents-to-be by sharing information and advice.

When you check out the magazine you will see that it features experts in their fields on a variety of topics such as; music classes, prenatal, postnatal, nutrition, recipes, child care options, advice from Doctors of all kinds,   holistic remedies, baby names, charity, coupons & deals, sleep, registries, breast-feeding, financial topics, local events, family fun, birthday party ideas and gifts and anything else related to making parents’ fabulous with expert advice and bloggers, and you can write in and ask questions to our experts and ask “Miss Pink & Mr. Blue” all the questions you are curious about.  No boundaries.

The site also has been doing product give aways – which is a bonus – so as a reader you also have an opportunity to win some great swag while getting the inside goods.

Check out the Facebook group, hit them up on Twitter or follow the URL and come say hello. 

So how did this magazine start, you ask?

The concept came about to fill a niche in the Mommy / Daddy marketplace for those of us who have not always had that group of friends since school who we could turn to in order to ask questions, get advice and seek support.  When you’re a new parent or a 3-time parent such as myself, having support, a network, or someone to turn to is critical to raising sane children (or to stay sane as a parent).  In the case of this magazine, one of the sites creators, Nicole Bloomberg, had a baby girl and moved from Florida to Toronto and wanted to have a network to connect with local mothers and help other mothers connect. Since one did not exist, she created one with Robyn Zeldin, the owner of Wee Care & In a Pinch – which happens to be our nanny agency of choice, I might throw in). 

Viola, out came Pink and Blue Baby.

Here are some links to the rest of the site;

Make sure to check them out and please come by the Daddy101, say hello, post a comment, ask a question and see some of my material done up a little nicer and with pictures!

Hey! I have a 7-year-old.


I’m not going to start with the old adage; “Boy time sure flies” because it’s been a LONG, tiring 7 years, but Tuesday marked our oldest son, Linus’, 7th birthday. 

I sat with him last night, reflecting on the first 6 year of his life – I mistakenly referred to him as being 7 when he corrected me.  “Dad, I’m not seven.  From when I was born until I turned 1 was one year.  I’m already 7.  This is my 8th year being alive”.

Right you are… Smart ass. 

So I went further hoping in my pathetic way to get a good quote from him to tweet.  His brother and sister are destroying him with tweetable quotes and here’s what I got;

On growing older and being a leader: “Respect is the most important thing in the world”.  Not bad, eh?  All this brainwashing is rubbing off, until this came out; “Actually, respect is the second most important thing in the entire world.  Not dying before you are born is the most important”.

Who can argue that point.

So to my 7-year-old (or 8-year-old, whatever you want to call yourself) when you are reflecting back on this post down the road and you want to know what kind of child you were by this age I can tell you this.  Before you I had hair.  It was black, not grey.  You have the best smile in the world, but not the goofy one, the real one.  It is not correct that you “do not care” about absolutely everything, but instead you don’t mind, or are not concerned.  Saying you do not care means all the cool stuff we buy you and all the trips we’ve gone on as a family are a waste of time and I know that is not correct. 

It’s fun being the class clown, isn’t it.  I was one too until I awoke one day to realize I was a joke with crappy grades.  I turned it around and fast.  Please don’t wait until grade 9 like I did.

If only you would practice… Anything.  Karate, piano, swimming, then your brother would not be catching up to you and passing you.  On the bright side while he may be your equal in these areas, you destroyed him at potty training and night-time diaper training and your math skills are off the charts.   

You are hesitant to try anything new or different but trust me that will change when you realize what a rush it is.  Then you’ll be looking for adventure in all the wrong places.

You love the cold.  Aside from me, you are the only person I have met who does not get cold outside.  No hat, no gloves, jacket undone, even at the coldest of temperatures.  You look at me, I look back at you and we silently nod an understanding to each other than it’s Canada.  It gets cold.  We’re tough (and a little cool).

You are starting to like Star Wars.  YAY.  All I need is get you to practice baseball and hockey more, or dodge ball, then you will better fit in with all the boys.  The ones you don’t get along with should respect your karate skills and the girls will continue to dig your awesome smile.  Your parents… They want to see a more focussed son with greater patience.  

Yeah, good luck.  I told your mother that too.

Happy birthday son.  I cannot wait to work with you and plan your year.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. I cannot find a village, will my social media community suffice?


I recently joined a parenting group on Facebook called Pink and Blue Baby. I took a quick look through some of the threads in the group and right away got a feel for what the purpose of the board was – to be a resource for first time parents.

What gave it away? Questions such as; At what age is it okay to take my baby out for the first time? Will my baby ever sleep? When can I give my baby “real” food? All the questions we sorted through just over 6 years ago with our first born son, aptly referred to as Linus on my blog (for the fact he carries a blankie and constantly has his fingers in his mouth). But upon further review of the threads I noticed this board is more than that. It is also serving the purpose of helping parents with their current questions, such as; Looking for play-dates, recommendations for thank you notes, loot bag suggestions, and much, much more.

I couldn’t help but think about how much the times have changed since we had our first baby, Linus, who will only be 7-years-old in just over a month. When he was a baby what did we know? As soon-to-be first time parents, we took advantage of whatever opportunity we had to learn how these things called “babies” worked.

The first class I remember us taking was at the hospital we were giving birth at, North York General Hospital, and if I recall correctly, it was called “When Baby Comes” and looking back now, it was pretty scary. It was taught by a registered nurse and was very descriptive and technical. After Linus came – I was fortunate to be off on parental leave from my job for 9 months, – my wife and I tried to figure out what to do with a child who slept, whenever, ate a lot and pooped a lot. It was hands-on learning.

My wife found a registered nurse in the area who taught classes to a group of local moms, and these moms formed the baby group that our son grew up with. All the kids were around the same age (one born mere minutes after our son at the same hospital) and it was this group that served as our resource for the first year, to year and a half of Linus’ life. Food, fitness, health, growth spurts, etc were all discussed in the class, and then with these moms. The moms, became the dads and the dads would all get together, head out for wings and beer and talk about our kids. It was great. With this group came the siblings for most of the parents and with that the purpose of the group became clear. Play-dates, birthday parties, all kinds of questions, and much more were discussed through this group in person and via email.

While my wife was increasing her knowledge on the baby front, I was using my parental leave to work on my MBA. I found the evenings worked great because I wanted to be around to help out as much as possible. I would take Linus for long walks each day – he would score me free shwag all over the place, especially at the local Starbucks. I did as many diaper changes as necessary; I loved feeding him and reading books to him. It was trial by error on my side and a lot of research on my wife’s side. Why don’t these kids comes with instruction manuals?!?

Looking back, how did we ever get through baby #1 without the benefit of a cool group like this one I just joined?!? Well to be honest, it was all my wife. She read the baby books, she surfed the net looking for resources, and with her mother’s intuition she did all the rest. She got Linus on a schedule after reading that babies need structure. She arranged for cloth diapers after reading that it helps kids potty train sooner, and she made his food instead of buying it because with her science background and as a budding nutritionist she knew the added chemicals were not good for him. She sought out and then checked out kids’ furniture. She also found a great resource online which detailed Linus’ progression and explained what we could expect from them at that age on a week by week basis.

After putting in all this work, child #2, Stewie (named on my blog after the baby from Family Guy because we thought he was trying to kill us by getting up every 2-3 hours for the first 10 months of his life, without fail) was a breeze. Armed with plenty of resources and almost two years practical hands on experience we were ready for anything.

Linus, you see, was a textbook baby. We knew this by reading the textbooks. So was Stewie, and so far our third (and last) child, Berry fits that mold too. These kids follow the models laid out in the text, so the more we read, the easier it was to predict their next growth spurt, or when their teeth were set to come it. It made life much easier for us.

One think I noticed as we both headed back to work was that we now had a family of 6 (3 kids and a nanny) and running the household was that much more challenging. With work, schedules, school, programs, and meal planning and preparation there was no time for anything else outside of being a parent. Where was the time for us?

Fear not new parents, it gets better… (No, really it doesn’t). It cannot get better than being surrounded by children and the more kids, the more love, the more poop, the more shmootz, and the less sleep. If it’s not one kid getting up in the middle of the night, it’s one of the others.

Needless to say parents; no matter if you’re a first time parent or a 4th time parent, it’s all the same. Our kids will continue to grow and we will always have parenting questions. We will worry about them and in doing so forget about you. It’s okay, it’s natural and we all do it. Just keep asking those questions on this message board and when you get more experienced, you too will share your thoughts and observations about what it was like for you, as I have done tonight too, and do with regularity on my blog.

If you want to read more, you can find this urban daddy at www.urbandaddy.wordpress.com.

 

A new Phobia…


A while back my 3 year old Stewie was at a birthday party at a place called the Active Kids Zone (don’t go there, please… details to follow).  During the party, Mr. Independant decided he had to pee and after telling his mummy that he had to pee, he went off to the bathroom to relive himself. 

His latest trick, when going to the bathroom himself is to lock the door so no one comes in.  He actually locks the bathroom doors in our house (although sadly he does this upon exiting the bathroom too).

So with our other boy playing inside and my wife and I with the baby, nobody noticed that little Stewie had locked himself in the bathroom and was crying, trying to get someone to help him get out. 

After being in there for a good 5 minutes, another mother alerted us that he was in there and she freed him.

He clung to us the rest of the party.

The impact of that event stays with us to this day.

Just tonight, for example, after being in bed for a good hour he appeared in our bedroom and said to my wife; “Do you remember when I was locked in the bathroom?”

“Yes” She replied.

“I did not like that”, he said.  “I don’t want to go back there”, he finished with.

I even noticed that for a week and a half, he would ask me at night questions about being locked in the bathroom.  It really bothered him.

But now he developed a new phobia…

He will not get into the car unless one of us are in it and ready to drive. 

I used to leave him in the car when he was sleeping, either stay with him or wander in and out of the house but all of a sudden he won’t get in the car unless someone is in it and ready to drive.

Tonight, for example, I put him, his older brother and baby sister in the car, with my wife, and started the car before leaving to get something from in the house (don’t worry, it’s a hybrid… Only running on battery) and when I came back out 30 seconds later the car was off, only to hear from my wife that our son was freaking out.  He mentioned something about the car rolling away.

I’ll have to get to the bottom of this.

Has this happened to you?  How have you coped with it?