Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, health, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

The Urban Daddy is Back… Sort of.


Well after a fairly long period of inactivity and about 60 more drafts, I felt it was time to bring back some content to The Urban Daddy.

Here are the groundrules;

  1. Since the kids are getting older, they don’t necessarily want me discussing any details about their personal lives, (“I’ll sue!” said one of them), so I’m going to go back to basics and discuss a bunch of random stuff which involve things Daddies do when their kids are getting older, like work, play and everything in between
  2. I’m not an influencer. I appreciate the pitches, and offers, but only on some occasions would I go down that road. I don’t write posts for that reason, and if all I did was give away stuff, why would people come here??
  3. I’m Canadian. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m not affiliated with Urbandaddy.com in the US, other than the fact that I was here before them, and I sold them my Pinterest account.
  4. I’ve been busy. Some good, more not so good, but I’m still here. I’ve gotten a new career working for a company and filling a role that I absolutely love, so that’s good. COVID is still here, but I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask where possible so I don’t pass along any germs to anyone. I’ve always wondered why sick people don’t wear masks to prevent spreading their colds. I learned this was a very kind thing when we were in Japan a couple of years ago and asked a local guide why there were people wearing masks outside. I thought it might be due to air pollution, but the guide explained that these people are not feeling well and didn’t want to make others sick… Take that, anti-maskers!
  5. I took an online cooking class through George Brown College and their culinary area. It was an intro to cooking and it was vegan and the whole experience was amazing. I used to have a hang-up about cooking – had convinced myself that I was unable to just pick a recipe and follow it – but this course had me making tons of great stuff, like stocks, risotto, my own pasta, and my own tofu. I’m going to take another… Soon.
  6. I’ve also managed to expand my volunteering and wound up with a board position on a local hockey league as their registrar… Not going to lie, but it’s a huge challenge, because I’ve been busy in my new paid role, and trying to find time for my volunteer role has posed a few challenges.
  7. I had hurt myself quite badly at the beginning of the pandemic (not sure if I wrote about this or not), but I was walking on Yonge Street with my sister, and I stepped off the curb to avoid people, but the street was uneven so I rolled my ankle, and in the process did a crap-load of damage to myself, tearing muscles and ligaments off my right hip, right ankle, and I tore my left groin muscle, resulting in me passing out on Yonge Street, then a few days later in the hospital for a ton of tests and medication when I was unable to move because everything seized up. It took me about a year to be able to get everything moving pain-free and since that time, I’ve been walking about 5km/day where possible. I’d love to be able to lose that COVID weight, then the late-night snacking weight, followed by the baby-weight I gained when our now 16yo son was born.
  8. I have a love/hate relationship with the Olympics, so I’ll hopefully have some more words to say about them shortly, other than to say that they always make me cry, and I’m so happy for all Canadian athletes who have won medals, or tried their best.
  9. So, yeah… I guess we’ll see how long this lasts. 😉

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, government, Life, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

More Kid Kontent: Gross Commercials, Politics and Tik Tok


Today, April 19th, 2021 is the first Canadian Federal budget in over 2-years. It’s been a hot topic of conversation amongst my friends, my colleagues and, yes, my kids.

At work, and among friends, we are concerned that the only way this Liberal government can pay for all the massive spending they’ve done over the past 7-years is through increased taxation. Increased taxation to Liberals tends to mean, calling taxes anything but taxes, so “levies”, “fees” and other cute names get thrown around, while the Liberals continue to push for increased taxes on the “wealthy”. Unfortunately, “wealthy” in Canada now becomes anyone earning over $80,000, or combined income of “$120,000”, which essentially becomes the “middle class”.

But I digress.

Whatever I know about politics in Canada I have earned through a specialized honours degree in Public Policy and Administration at University, plus an additional 10+ years of working for the Canadian government. That, however, still doesn’t make me qualified to educate my children about government-related matters because my kids know more. They have Tik Tok.

From Tik Tok, they learn a ton. A lot of it is really helpful, and useful, and informative. The facts that these kids pepper me with are factually correct, and legitimate. Considering the chaos around schooling during a pandemic, it’s nice to see the kids are learning important facts, however, some of these facts are a bit, shall we say, too far to the left, and blur the lines between what’s going on the in the US, and what political life is like in Canada.

The extra scrutiny of the Trump Republicans in the US has caused kids to not only tie together Conservativism in the US with Conservatism in Canada, but it also brought along the stereotypes and misinformation from the US, up to Canada. I can’t say how many times, I’ve mentioned that the Canadian conservatives won’t allow guns, won’t discuss abortion and that conservatives are not Neanderthals who treat people different by race, age, sex, religion or nationality. It’s not a thing.

With all of that being said, I do welcome the attention that they now pay to politics, and enjoy the dialogues that we can have around what’s best for Canada and what’s best for Canadians. If my kids know anything, it’s how to spend only the money they have, and not the money they hope to have or hope to borrow, thus making themselves fiscally responsible. They also know that this government in particular is fiscally irresponsible and they do not like the concept that their taxes will be higher as they start to earn money.

When prompted what they would do if they strived to be a high income earner, to start a business, employ and support others and earn as much as they could, they were quite frank in their replies. They would take less money to offer their employees a higher wage/salary. I commend them for that. Unfortunately, when prompted about what they would do if the government took 60% of their income or more, they simply replied, that they would move to a country which took less.

This is my biggest fear with the way this government has gone about their business.

When an election comes, they spend, spend, spend, because they know 3 things. First, that ordinary Canadians appreciate the spending and think the government is doing something for them. Second, they know that if either of the governments are critical of the spending, they would in turn be criticized by Canadians, and third, they know that when a new government takes over and has to balance the budget, by spending less or cutting costs, that narrative doesn’t go over well at all, and can be used as a re-election strategy (re-elect us, because we don’t cut everything like they do).

With all that being said, I expect this will be an election budget, not a pandemic budget, meaning, spending a LOT of money on everything and not making any controversial decisions. No taxes. No cuts. Just spend, spend, spend, without any regard for who is going to pay and when.

Can’t wait to discuss this with the kids, at a more appropriate time.

We started to have this conversation but then one of 2 dreadful commercials came on the TV. It’s a commercial with Heinz Ketchup (a brand we love), in which a potato with a face gets cut up and eaten. It’s enough to not want us to eat potatoes anymore, and just barely exceeds that horrible Pepsi commercial with ice cubes with faces are plummeted into a glass where they melt to death.

As the kids pointed out, we don’t eat as much mean because of the efforts associating the food with a living being that has feelings. After watching those commercials, the kids want to establish a charity to save the potatoes and save the ice cubes.

UGH.

Posted in Daddy, family, Life, Parenting

Kidversations


There is nothing better than conversations with our children, no matter their ages. Granted, the conversations we had when the kids were really young, were a lot more humourous, as they just tended to say really funny stuff, but as the kids get older, they know what they’re saying, and most times, they mean it.

Take this conversation that happened last month between myself and my youngest, Boo.

Boo: Daddy, can we play tennis today?

Me: Sweetie… It’s winter. The courts are covered in snow. It’s cold, and we’re under a lockdown due to COVID. The tennis courts are not open.

Boo thinks about it for a few seconds…

Boo: Daddy, I just don’t care. Play tennis with me or I’ll take off your head and use it as a ball.

Me, absolutely dying on the inside as she is standing there with a tennis racket in her hand and the funniest look on her face.

Boo: Well?

Me: Let’s hope my head bounces. LOL

So we went to the basement, and I taught her how to use a softer ball and hit the ball against the wall on her forehand and backhand. That activity lasted about 20 minutes until I got bored and we wound up playing a game of dodgeball with a stress ball and tennis rackets.

She won.


In the weeks prior, we had a discussion about how eating asparagus can cause some people’s urine to smell.

Apparently, I read somewhere that it’s not that there is a change in the urine, but that it’s a sensory issue and that asparagus changes the smell of everyone’s urine, but that only some people are able to smell the difference…

After a fairly lengthy discussion, this was the conclusion… I was asked if people are allowed to call in sick for work if they eat too much asparagus because everyone shares the bathroom and it wouldn’t be nice to “make everyone smell your stinky pee”.

They clearly didn’t pay attention earlier.

But is it worth taking a day off after eating a bunch of asparagus? Probably not.

Posted in Canada, Community, events, family, health, Life, Parenting, school, sleep, The Urban Daddy

How to Blog During a Pandemic


This blog post will provide some key tips to help you maintain your blog during the pandemic.

The key to doing this involves learning a very important skill; how to repeat posts on a daily basis so you don’t end up filling your draft folder with hundreds and hundreds of posts which you started but never completed.

Take this template, and add your twist to the end.

Blog post #…

Today, I woke up.

Today, I stayed home. Actually, we all stayed home. Today marked the _______ day, that we all stayed home.

Today, we (Insert an activity from the list below);

Browsed social media

Read

Got kids onto their zoom classes

Worked from home / my bed / my dining room table / my home office

Tried to work

Exercised / Tried to Exercise

Browsed Tik Tok (and learned…)

Ordered something online / a package came today which contained…

Optional: Left the house

Not optional: Wore a mask!

Went to sleep

The highlight of my day was…

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

More Questions Children Ask About the Way We Do Things


Building on the previous questions – the post a few days before this one – that children (my children) have asked about the way we do things, and why.

  1. How is the US possibly considering taking away women’s rights to do what they want with their own bodies? If the US is REALLY pro-life, then they would ban guns, and murder, and violence, because who says the life of an unborn baby matters more than the life of a child or adult who are killed for the colour of their skin, their sex or their ethnicity?
  2. If police here in Toronto really wanted to crack down on cars that speed, don’t follow street rules, and have tinted windows, they should make a law. (We have the conversation about the fact there are laws). In that case, if they break the law, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. They should be forced to make the changes to their cars. In the mean time, they should have to take public transit. And they should have to pay a fine. That money should go into educating drivers what will happen if they break the laws. If they drink and drive and hurt someone or kill someone, they no longer get to drive. If they damage someone’s property, they should have to pay for it. There needs to be accountability.
  3. The funniest of these very serious conversations came while discussing limits on screen time. We have always limited screen time, and sites kids can and cannot visit. When parents, my kids say, they will not restrict screen time. They will instead, have serious conversations with their children about when they can access screens and for how long.

When asked what they would do to ensure that school work was completed?

Take away the access until it was done?

Nope.

They would “discuss” the importance of making sure school work is a priority.

How about if they work still isn’t done?

Take away access?

Again, no, it would make much more sense to have a conversation with the children to let them know that school work comes first and electronics second.

So I asked… What if they lie to you about having work done, or don’t contribute to the house chores? Don’t help with meal prep? Don’t set or clean off the table? Don’t take their laundry downstairs, or don’t take their wet towels off their beautiful hardwood floors?

Without missing a beat, they said; “They will”.

Puzzled, I asked, “so all I needed to do was have a serious conversation with you guys about responsibility, but give you free and unlimited access to electronics and you would be help out more around the house?”

“Absolutely!”, was their response…

“But”… was their next word… “You guys are terrible parents so we likely would have just been on our devices all day!”

I sat there blinking my eyes at them.

“Parenting is really not that hard, you just have to know how to do it properly.”

At which point I stopped the car (we were home) and pointed to the outside, and said, “OUT!”

… and they disappeared with devices in hand, never to be seen or heard from again, or at least until I yelled, “dinner!”.