Posted in Community, Daddy, disaster, family, health, Life, Linus, Parenting, sleep, Stewie, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Since I Can’t Get a Camera Crew To Follow Us Around, I’ll Blog…


There are so many times that I have wished that I could have a camera crew following around my children – due to their uniqueness, wit and humour – but since that is never going to happen, blogging about them seems to be the perfect fit.

If you have tried blogging about kids, you know what the big problems are, right?  First, having to remember what they said, or did, then there is all the privacy concerns – you don’t want to put them in harm in order to get hits, and finally because as they get older then don’t want stuff about them on the net!

Kids are hilarious.  Admit it.

Take this evening, for example, as my middle child, Stewie was showing a childhood friend of his grampa a new toy that he has called Bey Blades.  In explaining what they are, the question was asked of him, “are they like dreidels?” to which Stewie replied, “they are like dreidels but they are not.  These are made with very sharp steel and if you spin them on your tummy they will slice you in half.”

Oh yes… Very serious boy.

Then there was the day after fathers’ day when Stewie made his 5th consecutive appearance into our bedroom in the middle of the night.  Sometimes he arrives because he’s scared of lightning, other times because he had a bad dream.  This night it was because he was “bored”.

So I walked him back to his room – without talking to him – and tucked him back in the bed.

No sooner had I returned to my bed when he started to wail, and with that, I heard the stomping of his feet as he made his way back to our room.

Then there was silence.

I think I fell right back asleep.

I opened my eyes at what was likely 5-minutes, but felt like 5-hours and there, standing beside my side of the bed, glaring at me with hate in his eyes, was Stewie.

I got out of bed, and walked him back to his room without engaging him, because engaging him is what he wants and if I don’t talk to him, the hope is he’ll stay in bed next time.

But he was starting to complain so I asked him to tip toe back to his room, as I put my finger over my mouth and whispered Ssshhhhh.  That clearly was not what he was hoping for, and instead of tip toeing he began to stomp as loud as he could.

So I got mad and told him if he was going to make any more noise, that I would shut his bedroom door.

NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!

He started to wail very loudly.

Apparently one thing my son hates more than noises in the night is noises in the night in his room with the door closed.

I took a deep breath (probably a very deep breath as it was past 2 in the morning and I made sure I was clear  in the way parenting expert Alyson Schafer taught us and I said to him, “This is your choice.  Do you choose to be quiet and go to sleep, or do you choose to make noise, wake up your brother, sister and mother, and sleep with the door shut”.

He chose to be quiet.

So I left.

Laid my head down on the pillow… closed my eyes… then heard wailing.

So I walked into his room and calmly said to him, “I believe you have chosen to sleep with the door shut” and with that I quietly shut his door and walked away.

He wailed louder than before.

I went into our bedroom and my wife was now clearly awake.  We huddled in for a strategy session.  She suggested I bring him into our bed to sleep before he wakes up the rest of the house.  Not wanting to be a sardine in my own bed, I went to sleep in his bed.

The kid is a master manipulator!  Seriously.  Got what he wanted, which was his mother and got me completely out of the picture… Genius!

He must have still been upset in the morning because while I was brushing my teeth, he confronted me in my bathroom (he’s 4-year-old).  “Are you going to be nice to me today, Daddy?” he asked.

“Are you going to sleep in your bed tonight?” I countered with.

“If you are not going to be nice to me, I am not going to give you back your fathers’ day presents”.

“You took back my fathers’ day presents???”

At which point I heard giggling from our bed.  My wife had heard this exchange and apparently knew he took back my presents.

I got down to his level, gave him a huge hug and kiss, told him I love him and with that, he disappeared into his room, only to return with a bag full of the presents he had given me a week prior.  He unloaded the presents as I stood there wondering how we gave birth to the repo man…

He’s going to be interesting as he grows up…

 

Another interesting parenting moment came one morning last week as we were all struggling though this stomach virus, and our oldest, Linus was sitting on the toilet in his bathroom, Stewie was on the toilet on the main floor of the house and our bathroom was occupied.  Only 30 minutes later did we find that Linus’ toilet was never flushed.  We called him in but he denied it was him.  He said it was Stewie.

“Stewie was on the main floor,” I responded.  “It was totally you!”

“Not it wasn’t” defended Linus.

Believe it or not, this conversation went on for 5 minutes, with myself and my wife defending our position and there was Linus with his one line of defense, “It wasn’t me, it was Stewie”.

He kept this up until we dropped it.

Some battles are just not worth fighting, eh?

I’m going to make a note of this pattern and see if it’s something that progresses, continues or drops off as he gets older.  Defending shit is not worthwhile!

 

Finally, one last Stewie story as tonight, he made his way into our bedroom at only 10pm.  He was watching my wife work on her laptop, and he was very happy to see that she was exploring the online ordering of stuffed Angry Birds toys.

I thought I could capitalize on this moment and be a great parent when I suggested that my wife not order them until Stewie was able to sleep in his bed for 5 nights in a row.   She agreed and together we explained to him why we thought this was a good idea.

Well let me tell you, for those of you who have not met Stewie before, that this bright idea of mine did not go over well at all!  He broke into a fit and through part exhaustion, part stress, he said to my wife that she was the “meanest mummy in the universe”.

That was just the beginning!  I’m starting to see that when he feels jaded, picked on, or feels that he is being treated unfairly, he immediately strikes out against my wife / his mother.  Then he turns his attention to me.

All we heard about for the next 45 minutes through tears, anger and an unwillingness to forget, was that he wanted / needed / was going to get an Angry Bird or he was going to “break down our house”.

Oh my.

He was so over-tired we tried to listen without giggling, but the odd giggle slipped out and I think it made it worse.

Needless to say, we did not order the Angry Birds.  We gave him the conditions, and within 2-3 weeks he had the toy.

Another character trait to watch as he gets older!

Advertisements
Posted in family

Here is what this urban daddy is reading


Here are the 3 books I am reading right now;

  1. Honey I Wrecked the Kids – Alyson Schafer
  2. Corporate Trust Program – The Trust Institute / The Institute of Canadian Bankers
  3. The Follow Through Factor – Gene Hayden

At the completion of these books I will better be able to…

  1. Raise my kids
  2. Do my job
  3. Do what I say I will do

Oh, and last night I read my son 9 chapters of Captain Underpants. He is… and interesting character, that underpants guy… I don’t remember reading silly books when I was a kid – well, I didn’t really read at all until I was 6 or 7.  I do remember reading tons of Archie comics and the sports section of every newspaper I could get my hands on. From there I graduated to the Choose Your Own Adventure series, while my sister raved about Judy Blume.

Now kids read about Professor Poppy P. Poopypants…

Cool, eh?

I’ll let you know how this works out.  🙂

Posted in family, Life, sleep, urbandaddyblog

It is that time of year… Tax time!


For those of you who are new to this site, or who drop in occasionally, you may not know that in my real life, I play a tax manager.  I post tax information that I find interesting, or that I have to dig up and research on at www.intaxicating.wordpress.com, soon to be at www.intaxicating.ca once I find the password and username that I misplaced.

So what that means is that this time of year – actually beginning in August -is super-hectic.  Beginning December 1st, my walk hurried into a jog, and now in mid-January I am already in full sprint.  I’m not sure ho long this pace can keep up with 2 1/2 months to go…

I had an idea how this day was going to shape up, when the first song I heard on my iPad was “Under Pressure” by Queen.  I spent most of the day pushing ahead tasks and projects where there was room to move them, while trying to get other projects completed ahead of schedule, while putting out fires that happened throughout the day.  Nothing new for me, and to be honest, since I really like doing this a lot, it makes for a fun time.  I’m just reminded as I get more and more tired that I need to get to the gym as that got me through 2 previous tax seasons.

I also realized today that taking care of my kids on Saturday, while awesome, really set me back a bit, when on Sunday I took the boys tobogganing for a couple of hours in -25 degree celcius (with windchill) weather and boy did that fresh air mess with us all.

Both kids were exhausted at night and I was a disaster on Monday. I actually went right to sleep at 8pm after all the kids were asleep and slept right through until 7am the next morning.  I would say that was the most uninterrupted sleep I have had in 6 years.

It was also today when I realized how much I appreciate my wife, and that she does what I did on Saturday each and every day.  Sure we have a nanny to help her out but she still works, feeds us, pays the bills, programs the entire family and keeps the house running smoothly…  Zowie.  I feel like such a wuss now.

I often ask her opinion on how to manage a situation because while she has not managed people per se, she manages the household, the kids, the nanny, and in her former life as a high-school teacher, she managed to stay sane.

I think the task of managing kids is very similar to managing adults as in both cases you are looking to make sure both groups do what is right for themselves and for the rest of the team / family, while at the same time you want to make sure there is no conflict and you have to work together to get the job done. 

For both kids and adults, working towards a goal is key.  IT’s easier to track progress that way and having a prize at the end of the maze makes the race more worthwhile.

In reading “Honey, I wrecked the kids” by Alyson Schafer, I am learning new less physical ways to interact with the kids and get them to do what my wife and I expect from them.  I am finding success.  Instead of asking Linus to remove his plate from the table night in and night out, Alyson suggests that since kids know their responsibilities, a simple one word reminder should suffice, so this morning when Linus got up and walked away from the table, I said; “Linus.  Plate.”  He turned around, walked back to the table and removed his plate.

Another tool is the re-direct.  Linus was making a spitting noise that I cannot stand and instead of asking him to stop and give him all that attention for the wrong reasons, I merely asked him different questions until he forgot what he was doing and started chatting with me.

Good one Alyson!

The last technique that I am finding to be a great help (I’m halfway through the book) is the introducing of consequences.

You don’t have to clean your room if you don’t want to put I will not read a book to anyone is a messy room, worked wonders the other day.  As does the line, you can stay downstairs and play if you want.  You will miss snack before bed and if that is your choice, that is okay with me.

Can’t wait to get through the book… One night parenting, next night taxation, following night parenting…

As an aside, I’m looking for a beginner yoga class in the Toronto area that begins after our kids are in bed, so around 8pm.  Anyone?