Posted in boo, Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, Happy Boy, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

What Has Your Child Said Which Was / Sounded Racist?


Recently, on CFRB1010am, host Jim Richards covered a topic about when children might have been racist – by accident or by innocence.

I would have loved to have called in and told my story, however, I was unable to, so when I arrived at the location of my next client meeting, I took a few minutes to send a tweet to his show, the Showgram, outlining my story.

They replied!

My story was good.

So I figured I would re-tell it here, and here it is:

Back in the day, when my oldest was just a wee little boy – around 3 or 4-years old, I brought him to a Toronto Rock lacrosse game.

After being completely infatuated with the music and lights in the arena, he turned his attention to the game and asked me; “Daddy, which team do we want to win?”

“Toronto”, was my reply.

“Are they in black?”

“No, the Toronto Rock are wearing blue, red and white.  The Rock’s opponents, however, were the Philadelphia Wings, and they were wearing black uniforms. I told him, “Philadelphia is the team wearing the black jerseys. We do NOT like Philadelphia. Boooo, Philadelphia!”

“Okay, Daddy”, was his response.

Then Philadelphia scored and he said, “Boooooo.  Boooooooo.  Booooo… Black guys!”

I spun towards him and said, “pardon me???”

“Booooo black guys!”

“No, no, no, no, no!” was my immediate response. “We don’t boo “black” guys.  We boo the Philadelphia Wings.”

“Booooo Black guys!”, he yelled, now standing up and at a moment where it is really quite in the arena.

I explained to him again, that it’s Philadelphia that we hate… Everything Philly… The Wings, Flyers, 76ers, possibly the Phillies… 

The crowd around us was laughing, hearing the dialogue between us, and knowing that there was nothing untoward intended.

“Booooo Black guys!” he yelled again.

Now being the superior parent that I am, I felt the need to silence him while I educated him, so I stuffed his little face with cotton candy and orange soda (bad daddy!) and I watched the sugar coma overtake his little body while I explained that we are rooting for the Toronto Rock, and rooting against the Philadelphia Wings, and that what he said was not very nice.

He looked at me… like a half-drunk adult, and said, “okay Daddy, I understand”.

And never a word was spoken for the rest of the game.

TRIUMPH!

I’m such a great daddy!

… and then he fell asleep on my lap.

As the game ended, we walked to the subway, little tired, over-sweetened child and I, and we got on a fairly empty car. and he laid down on the seat and had a quick nap.

As the subway car sped northbound, it emptied a little bit at each stop, until the car held maybe 10-15 people in it.

Suddenly a little head popped up and with his eyes wide open, my son asked me this, “Did we win?”

“Yes we did”, I proudly replied. “Do you like lacrosse?”

“I love the cross” was his response.

And then at the top of his little lungs, he blurted out, “BOO BLACK GUYS!!!”

Without noticing the 4 young boys sitting across from us glaring at us, I reminded him that the Toronto Rock wore blue and that we cheered the blue team, and we booed the team wearing the black jerseys, not the black guys.

Then I looked up and saw the boys looking at me for a second until they burst into laughter.

They understood…

He’s not a racist, I promise! He just doesn’t like the team in black at the cross.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, Happy Boy, Life, Linus, news, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Spring is Coming! Not because a Groundhog said so but because MLB's Spring Training is starting soon!


I join the throngs of other people who scoff at the notion that a groundhog – a giant rodent – determines whether we are having an early spring or if there is 6 more weeks of winter.

Sure, groundhog day is fun for the kids – most kids, any way – mine just wondered how seeing a shadow influenced global weather patterns, but I don’t waste time explaining that to the kids – they’re old enough now, they tell me the truth about Groundhog Day.

Apparently, according to my eldest, farmers used the Groundhog to determine if there was going to be an early spring because the Groundhog likes to get a jump on the mating season, so they would cease hibernating and come out of their holes to find a mate so that when it starts to get warm, the babies will survive.

“Nothing to do with shadows, Dad. Groundhog day is about sex!”

Well, at least that makes more sense that the shadow thing.

But, being The Urban Daddy, I have to remind my children that the real telltale sign of spring is Spring Training for baseball, which is set to begin on February 21st this year when the first games are played.

“Yes, we know, Dad. You tell us every year. We hate baseball. The games are long and boring, the stadiums are empty, the players make too much money and half the league cheats.”

Ouch.

Nonetheless, while Groundhog day might come and go, and the fate of the seasons hinges on whether that silly groundhog sees it’s shadow or doesn’t see it’s shadow, the buzz of baseball is the true sign that the seasons are changing.

Batter up!

Posted in Baby Boy, Baby girl, boo, Coffee, Community, Daddy, family, Food, Happy Boy, hockey, Life, Linus, Parenting, Sports, Stewie, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Great Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day, 2015.


Today is Father’s Day, 2015.

I love Father’s Day – not just today – but every day, because I feel that every day is Father’s Day.  I don’t need a day where it’s forced, but I know that I am not in the majority when it comes to the father’s role in a household.

I am a huge fan of Mother’s Day! – Not for being the only day to celebrate and appreciate your mother and the mother of your children – but because of the pain and effort Mother’s went through to have their children, and then go through for the rest of their lives for their children.

In most cases, without Mothers there would be no Fathers.

Growing up, I never felt the need to go hardcore on either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day because I tried to express my appreciation for my parents every day of the year, or at least more often than once a year.  I still bought the cards, chocolates, flowers and whatever else was available for my parents but I never saw it for more than an opportunity for retail stores and the greeting card market to cash in.

Fast forward to today, in 2015, and as a super-involved parent of 3 fabulous children, I feel the same way about Father’s Day for me.  I don’t need a tie, or cufflinks, nor a store bought card they signed, or another mug touting me as the World’s Greatest Dad.   All I really need is a hug, kiss, and a hand-made gesture of their appreciation for anything that I’ve done during the year.

As a result, my Father’s Day this year was awesome and here are some of the reasons why;

My almost 6-year-old daughter had a soccer tournament through her North Toronto Soccer team, and I’m the coach!  She started out playing soccer quite timidly, not surprising as the youngest of 3 kids whose older siblings are boys, but she has been great as of late.

Ever since a classmate of hers knocked her on her ass on purpose, which proved to be a wake-up call from my daughter, who got up, didn’t cry, dusted herself off, and then started playing more physically, which resulted in her scoring 3 goals including the game winner!

In fact, as this was the last game of the season for the team, there was one girl who had not scored a single goal all season, and after my daughter sped through the middle with the ball, and blew past both defenders, she waited at the goal line, called for this girl to run over, and she let the girl score her first goal.

The girl cried.

Her parents cried.

I almost cried.

If that is not the more empathetic thing a 5-year-old can do without being told to do so by anyone on the team, I don’t know what is.  It made me realize that this child is special, and maybe… just maybe, the parenting is paying off.

This girls parents told us that their daughter is going to remember this day forever.

From there, we packed a lunch, grabbed some extra tissues in case of nose bleeds, and we headed north to Richmond Hill, to take child number 1 to a birthday party in Vaughan Mills.

We walked around the mall, and walked and walked and walked, and then when we could walk no more, we headed out for dinner to one of my favourite restaurants, Mezza Notte Trattoria, where I ate their super incredible appetizer of escargot on a Portobello mushroom in a cognac sauce, and I had a delicious piece of halibut with tomatoes, olives, and angel hair pasta.

I asked if anyone wanted to try the escargot, and because it was Father’s Day, my daughter stepped up to the plate.  She said she liked it, but she also said that she liked it better than the whale we tried while in Iceland.

I had coffee after everyone was in bed with my long-time friend and jazz musician, Dr. Andrew Scott, and then we packed up our belongings and went to the Rinx, for an 11pm ball hockey game.  I’ve been running my own team in the YCBHL since I was 19-years-old, called the Tasmaniacs.  I love the 11pm games, and it’s great working up a sweat and getting to be all aggressive for an hour.  At this particular game, we only had 2 defenseman which meant I got to play almost the entire game.

Then we all got changed, I dropped Dr. Scott off at home, and my neighbour and I went for another coffee at 1am.

I think we got home at 2:30am, so what else can I do at that hour with everyone sleeping but blog.

I blogged, did some paperwork, and hit the bed.

I am truly blessed!

Every day is Father’s Day.

Posted in Baby Boy, family, Happy Boy, Life, Linus

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.

Posted in Baby girl, Being Jewish in Toronto, family, Happy Boy, Happy Wife = Happy Life, Life, Linus

Happy Father’s Day, 2010!


Happy Father’s Day!

It’s Father’s Day and I have just Facebook status to wish all my friends who are fathers a very happy fathers day.  I feel like we’re part of a very exclusive, very cool club, as fathers – who are engaged, involved, and in there for our families for whatever is needed, whenever it is needed.

Personally, I really feel that being a dad, makes us guys very lucky… For most of us, pretty much every day is father’s day.

Yes, we don’t have to grow the child, carry it for 9 months, and birth it, have our bodies changed forever as a result, and if the child is breastfed only, we can’t help with that either.  So, we kind of get off easy, I guess.  Even if you love being a dad like I do, then it’s even better getting to help out in every way possible, it makes you want to be a stay-at-home dad (SAHD).

Regarding father’s day, I don’t need any fancy gifts from my kids – a hand made card is more than enough. I don’t need anything from my wife – she has already contributed more than her share to our family and is the reason that I’m a father.

That being said, are there rules about who gives and gets gifts on Father’s Day?  We gave to my father-in-law and wife’s grandfather (my father and both grand-fathers have sadly passed), and I received from my mother and sister… See how it’s odd?!? But all in all, hanging out with my entire family – wife and kids made the day super-special.  It’s all that I ask for.

Sure there are BBQ’s and some gifts exchanged, but it’s just not the same as say Mother’s Day. If anyone misses celebrating Mother’s Day, look out!  Without mother’s there would be no children, and there would be war and chaos everywhere.  Kids would eat junk food all day and play video games all night.  We love the mothers, and we need the mothers!

If Father’s Day celebrations were missed… It’s understood.  We go with the flow.

Take my weekend, for example…

Saturday:

I made the kids breakfast in the morning and we were about to sit down to enjoy a nice healthy bowl of organic fresh oatmeal, until I was attacked by my family with great gifts, beautiful cards and a lot of love! My 3-year-old son made a card for me in school where he has to fill in the blanks. So the first question was, “My Dad is ___ old”. He put 60. The next one was; “My Dad’s job is ____”. He put “Peeling apples”. The next one; “My Dad weighs ____”. He put “2000 pounds”. And there were more. LOL. I got an awesome book in gardening in small spaces. I CAN’T wait to read this book. It’s perfect! and my 6 custom tailored dress shirts from Maxwell the tailor showed up and my wife graciously paid the duty and included them in my gift. The shirts are… Interesting… 3 of them I love. One looks like a table cloth, one like wrapping paper and one… well… she said I need to keep 2 buttons open, hang big gold chains and put a ghetto blaster on my shoulder. It’s a little bit shiny… OK a LOT shiny.

After breakfast and lots of hugs and kisses, we set off to do some organic strawberry picking / strawberry buffet (fresh peas too) with our very cool cousins. We had a blast. We picked, ate and picked some more. I love strawberries!!!

After getting all covered in berries we went to have some yummy veggie Dim Sum for lunch at the Lotus Pond in Scarborough, about 25 minutes East of Toronto. We’ve been going there for years.

We headed home around 3pm so our 5-year-old, Linus, would have some rest before a 4pm birthday party.

After the party, it was a quick dinner, some packing and moving of boxes in the garage, then bed.
WHEW.

Sunday:

Sunday’s breakfast was yummy and simple, as we all ate Cheerios with fresh picked berries in it.  There is a reason the box has it pictured that way.  It’s so yummy.  Plus, we all loved the way the milk turned pink from the fresh, sweet berries.
Then it was off to karate class when both boys had awesome classes today.  Maybe it was because we dragged mummy and 6-month-old baby Boo along to watch Stewie try for his yellow advanced belt.

He was inspired, and he got it! He was SO excited. I was excited, but certainly not surprised.  That kid is all focus on the task at hand.  I wouldn’t be surprised if her surpassed his brother at karate within a year!  Then what to do?!?

I also like Sunday morning karate because I get to hang with Supernova Elliott for an hour, drink an XL double double Tim Horton’s coffee and talk about being Dad’s to 3 kids. We also talk music, about why our wives won’t eat red meat, and our frustration with people who hate for a living.

After karate we hit up a high-end men’s store in Toronto called the Coop for a present for my father-in-law, and after that myself and the boys walked down to the flower / plant sore for some tomato plants, flowers and a ficus benjamina for my wife.

I’m starting to notice that the kids really love flowers, and they’re getting the gist of what it takes to grow vegetables at home and why it’s a good idea to do so.

From there, we came home, cleaned the garage for a couple hours – packed more boxes – then set off to my inlaws for a BBQ. We had 4 generations of her family there. It was pretty amazing.

Then it was time to come home and put everyone to bed.

Before long it will be Monday and I get to witness the impact of the G20 on the streets of Toronto, firsthand… Can’t wait!