Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, hockey, Life, Parenting, sleep, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

What’s Better Than Coaching Hockey?


What’s better than coaching hockey?  Coaching AND being the convener!

Oh yes!

I’ve always loved coaching hockey.  I’ve never actually ever played a single game of ice hockey in my life, but I have coached ice hockey before.  This year represents my 7th year coaching hockey.  My previous 6-years were in my early 20’s when my sports rehab coach, Michael Grafstein (he was the BEST!), asked me to open and close the doors in the bench for him as he was the head coach of a team in North Toronto Hockey Association.

He failed to tell me that the games were at 6am.

So I asked a friend of mine to join me, and together we would go out Saturday nights, come home at 3am or 4am, then get up at 5am and head to the rink.  It was way more fun than it seemed.

After doing that for 3-years, my “Uncle” asked me to help coach his oldest son all the way up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, for the Richmond Hill Hockey Association, and again I would drive up there and open and close the doors for that team.  I went on the ice as little as possible, but I was there, and I learned.

I decided I wanted to be a real coach, so I started the process of getting certified by Hockey Canada, and I took courses towards my National Canadian Coaching Certification, but stopped when I had to pick a sport to specialize in.  I didn’t want to specialize in baseball, for example, only to find my future children would never play that sport.

All this time, I was playing and coaching my ball hockey team.  From the age of 19 up to 45-years-old, I played in a the North West Toronto Ball Hockey League and the York Central / North Central Ball Hockey League, until I tore my calf muscle in a game.

I was awarded the Coach / Manager of the year award 6 or 7 times, and we won the championships somewhere around 7-10 times, and it’s funny how many hockey players tried out ball hockey but couldn’t play because there is no coasting in ball hockey like you can do in ice hockey.

With all that being said, when asked if I wanted to coach my 11-year-old son this season in his house league in the Forest Hill Hockey Association, I jumped at the opportunity.  We had moved from that horrible experience last season back to the league where he played his first 2 seasons and in this league, when you make the select team, you have to play house league too.

With coaches in place, the league was then looking for a convener or two to run their division this season and I must not have said no quick enough because that’s now part of my role.  I’m actually really happy about it, and really excited to see how the season is going to play out.  The other convener that I’m working with is absolutely fantastic.  He’s been around the game much longer than I have and his personality and thoughts about how teams should run themselves are a perfect match with mine.

So this season, while my oldest continues to swim competitively, and my youngest dances and trains in synchronized swimming, I get to spend time with my middle son at his select hockey practices, and his house league hockey games, and taking him to basketball games because why play only one or 2 sports when you can play them all and make your parents drive you around every evening and weekend.

I wish I had these opportunities as a kid…

I’m happy to do this for the fitness component, and so that my kids have an opportunity to work in a team, to have responsibilities to their team and their coaches, and because it’s proven that exercise helps kids focus and sleep better.

It’s a win-win-win-win-win… Scenario.

I prefer being called “Coach”.  I’m not sure what people call conveners other than really nasty words.  lol.

Thank goodness I have a brand new Canada Goose jacket to keep me warm!

 

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Posted in boo, Canada, Daddy, family, Life, money, Parenting, sleep, The Urban Daddy, urbandaddyblog

What Do You Mean The Tooth Fairy Does Not Exist???


Has this already happened in your family?

All hell broke loose at The Urban Daddy household, and it all had to do with the “Tooth Fairy”.

Turns out that the Tooth Fairy somehow managed to write a letter to one of our children from my wife’s laptop…

Unbelievable.

Taker of teeth!  Giver of money!  Hacker!

This fact was discovered by our oldest hacker, er, child, Linus, who managed to keep that quiet from his younger brother and sister for the better part of a year.

This piece of information came to light as Stewie lost a tooth, and with the boys engaged in a brotherly game of “I’m smarter than you”.

Thankfully, it came at the exact right time because Stewie was none too excited about the prospects of some flying, tooth stealing, letter-writing fairy coming into his room at night and grabbing things out from under his pillow.

He could do without the money, heck, he could just continue to grab those funds from his brother or father’s stash, as we believe he’s been doing for a while now – although he does deny it.

Besides, in his mind, if that damn fairy can get into the house, so could the dreaded raccoons which live on the roof of our neighbours, or a robber, dinosaur or anything else…

Males sense, right.

So armed with this new information, we armed the alarm at night and let the cat out of the bag.

The Tooth Fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny, and the like are real…  Real to those who want to believe they exist and it’s not our place to tell that to others.

We all need to believe in something, right?

I still believe the Toronto Maple Leafs will one day win the Stanley Cup (but I no longer believe that will be done in my lifetime as I did when I was 8-years-old).

Oh, and it took Stewie less than 1/2 hour to tip his sister off on the truth, which we had to correct in part due to the fact that we told them not to tell a soul!

His little sister, however, finally is being regularly visited by the Tooth Fairy.  Two teeth thus far, and he’s kept that secret, OR, he’s convinced her to not tell us that he’s already told her the truth.  I suspect the latter.

How did the Tooth Fairy story go in your family?

Posted in Community, Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, sleep

When a Parents Says: “You Can Go Play With Your Neighbour AFTER Lunch”, Here is What a Child Hears…


On the weekend our children get up nice and early.  6am, usually, but 5am is not out of the question.

I believe we have convinced them not to come wake us (or each other) at that time, but I could be very wrong about that since they may not come and wake us up, but they certainly wake us through playing, talking and laughing.

Aside: Parents – How many of you also have become light sleepers as a result of your kids walking, talking, crying, calling, etc., in the middle of the night?

So after a 5:30am wake-up and plenty of playing around the house, my daughter Boo decided that she HAD to go visit our neighbour 2-doors down for a playdate.  These girls have become best friends, they go to the same school, were in the same class and we would walk to school together in the mornings.

But at 8am, it’s not nice to knock on someone’s door and invite yourself in.

“After lunch.” We told her.

“You can have a playdate with the neighbour, but after lunch.”

What she and her brother Stewie heard is a completely different story…

10 minutes later, the front door opened and by the time I got to the door, I saw Stewie entering the neighbours house, with no sign of Boo.

“Stewie!” I called out.  “Where is Boo?”

“Inside” he yelled back.

“Absolutely not!” I replied.  “It’s 8 o’clock in the morning and I said you had to wait until after lunch!  Get Boo and come back home!”


Both kids came back home and were greeted at the door by myself and my wife.

“What are you doing?” I asked.  “We said you could not go until after lunch.  It is only 8 o’clock in the morning!”

“We just finished lunch” was Boo’s reply.  “We ate breakfast at 6am, and were hungry again, so we just ate lunch.  You said we could go after lunch.”

Yes.

Yes, we did.

 

Posted in Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, sleep

When Did They Get To Be So Big. So Devious!


The other night I fell asleep on the couch. Again. Not surprising either, since it’s tax season, I’m super-busy up late working away (not complaining!) and with a steady flow of children who want to see/talk to/sleep with mummy, I wouldn’t be sleeping anyways.

At some point in the night – I think between 1am and 4am – I dozed off, with the TV on, and my laptop still on my lap when one of my children came downstairs, grabbed my iPhone, logged in using my password, snapped a picture of me and then sent it to my sister via text or BBM.

Of course, the next day they all denied it.

I would never have known had my sister not sent me the picture back.

Time for better passwords!

Or an electric fence.

#Parenting
#WatchYourBack

Posted in Daddy, family, Life, sleep, Stewie, urbandaddyblog

Happy 6th Birthday Stewie!


Happy Birthday
Happy 6th Birthday Stewie!

Stewie!

Finally you are 6-years-old today (tonight to be more specific). Wow.

To be honest, it kind of feels like you’ve been 6 for a long time already.   You and you almost 8-year-old brother are often mistaken for twins.  You eat the most at one seating than your family, including me, and I’ve been known to pack back the food in my day.  You are strong like a bull, like your father, which you proved to us and a bunch of 6-year-old’s when you singlehandedly helped your team win a tug-of-war where you were the anchor.  You are driven, determined, serious, focussed and everything else that people look at and follow up with “wow”.  Quite frankly if I didn’t see your birth with my own eyes, I would have thought you were switched at birth.

I mean you are the reason why I herniated the disc in my back – because until you were 10 months old, you refused to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time.  I carried you morning, noon and night – even though all you wanted was food and mummy.   Mummy also had Linus to take care of, so it was me or the cry-way.  Tough luck for you!   You were stuck with me.

Looking back now I should have known how you would be at 6-years-old… When you were born – a planned home birth – your breathing was shallow so the mid-wives stepped out of our bedroom to call 911 (forgetting that our parents were on the main floor listening and becoming quite worried – I remember my mother calling me as the mid-wives were explaining that calling for backup just in case was a standard practice from babies with shallow breathing – asking me if everything was alright because she heard the call, whereas we did not.  But after seeing what you did when you were given oxygen by the mid-wives – you ripped the tube from your mouth over and over again, we all knew you would be just fine!  You didn’t want it.  You didn’t need it.  You didn’t have it.

Fast forward to today and you are the same size and weight as your 7-year-old brother.  You look older than you are, you act older than you are and you have an old soul who comes across as a kind, compassionate boy who asks really great questions – some not so great mind you (If Big Show fought all the birds in the world, who would win?).

You love school but get frustrated that you’re not learning fast enough – like after the 2nd day when you wanted to quit school because you were colouring with crayons and you could do that at home, you certainly didn’t need to go to school for that – and you get frustrated when your classmates talk during class or (gasp) try to talk to you when there is work to be done.  You also somehow failed to mention to us last year that you were reading at a beginning grade 2 level when you were finishing senior kindergarten.  You excel at karate and swimming.  You are a trusting friend until someone does you wrong, then you have a memory of an elephant, yet your big brother is your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time.  You two fight, then within a few minutes you’ve made up and are playing together again like nothing happened.

You have a very strong sense of justice, and as a result you always protect your brother and sister and I’ve often told the story about how, when you were 2-years-old, a 6-year-old boy took your brother’s balloon. After he had asked for it back, unsuccessfully, you stepped in and grabbed this boy by the shirt, looked him in the eyes and said “I’m going to throw you in the garbage!”  He handed you the balloon and quickly walked away.  You passed that balloon to your brother and went on playing like nothing happened.

You are a piano whiz, and you said you want to try the violin and learn your way up, trying all the string instruments, until you get to the big ones, like a cello.

When asked what you want to be when you grow up, you replied with; “Everything!” I finally got you to confirm it was because you wanted to know what you would really be good at want to do for the rest of your life.

When I blog about things you have said, like punching G-d, my hits go through the roof.  You’re very funny, and the reason we started a Twitter account for you, called @LittleBoyPurple which we don’t update any more, but you probably will one day because you’re a hoot!

So, son, I want to wish you a very happy 6th birthday.  I love you and please, keep feeding me the material, and let me know when that middle child syndrome has set in.  🙂