Posted in Life

OMG. A dead Raccoon… Or was it a Duck… Or maybe a…


During this long Passover break, we sent our boys to an outdoor camp north of the city for 3 days, and of course it was the three coldest days of the spring.  Being my typical children, Stewie brought his hat and mittens, while Linus brought neither and boy, was Linus cold!  He was so cold that he could not take more than 2 turns at the archery course.  Poor kid.

But after 2 days there, I finally found out something of interest when hanging out with Stewie last night in bed for a few minutes after the three of us watched a couple of innings of the Toronto Blue Jays home opener. (They wanted to see Grampa who was at the game.  lol).

The conversation went like this;

Stewie: “Oh! Next summer I want to go back to this camp!”

Me: “Great, why?  You really liking it?”

Stewie: “Yeah!  Today we saw

Raccoon (Procyon lotor). Français : Raton lave...
Raccoon – with skin and still alive

a dead raccoon, and if we go back next year, then I’ll get to see the raccoons skeleton!”

Me: “Errr, okay.  We can see skeletons at the Museum, if you would like.”

Stewie: “I know.  But I want to see this raccoon… or maybe it was a duck…”

Me: “You couldn’t tell what it was???”

Stewie: “Not really… We thought it was a raccoon.  Our teacher told us that, but some people thought it was a duck.  The other teacher said that too.  But then someone said it was a moose.  And can you believe that someone actually thought it was an elephant… They’re so silly.”

Me: “Was that your brother who said it was an elephant?”

Stewie – smiling.  “No, but your right.  If anyone was going to be silly about that, it probably would have been Linus.  But it was a small child who said that.  Linus thought it was a raccoon.”

Of course…

Posted in Life

Piano, Food and a Very Funny Car Conversation: The Weekend Re-Cap.


Piano
Piano (Photo credit: me5otron)

Sunday in the urban daddy household started as pretty much every day the past couple weeks did, with a lot of piano music.  Practice, practice and more practice was in order for my two boys who had their first ever piano recital in the afternoon.  Linus was playing O’Canada while Stewie was playing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

Getting Linus to practice has been difficult – he reminds me of myself as a kid taking piano lessons reluctantly, even less eager to practice, however he can easily read the music and gets both hands magically pounding out the tunes. Stewie, on the other hand, loves to practice and loves to play. He’s very determined and he enjoys playing songs by ear..

On Friday, for example, Stewie came home quite upset after a busy day at school and a less than satisfying playdate – and he went right over to the piano and began to pound out his songs. It’s his release, and he’s also really good at it.

So after the kids performed their songs at the recital and kicked ass (taking no prisoners) we all headed over to T&T grocery store at the Promenade mall for some samples, groceries, a bite to eat.  We then strolled through the mall eventually ending up in SportChek so we could buy tennis rackets for the boys who will be doing a week of tennis at camp this summer, and we also left the store with a pink baseball that read; “Girls Rule” on it for Berry (which she later dropped on my broken foot by accident) and of course I had to grab a coffee at Aroma so I could include them in my 2012 Coffee Rankings – coming later this month.

With dinner plans up north, and hoping the snack would tide the kids over a took the groceries out to our very hot car – Toronto was roasting today – and drove over to meet my in-laws and my wife’s grandfather for dinner.  In the car I thought to make sure the kids were hungry, and to see if we could plan ahead what we were going to eat and hopefully avoid any meltdowns.

“Linus, are you hungry?”, I asked.
“No, I’m thirsty”, he replied.

“Stewie, are you hungry?” I asked knowing he’s always hungry.
“No. Wait. Yes. I’m hungry”, he said.

To which Linus replied quickly; “Hi hungry, pleased to meet you, I’m thirsty”.  Both boys began to giggle…

To this comment, Berry exploded; “NO! YOU CANNOT SAY HI I’M THIRSTY! That’s not right.  That DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!  It’s not your real name!!!”

Errr. Okay.  She was in fine form again this weekend… At 2 1/2 I cannot wait to see how what she is like a little older when she really grasps her vocabulary.  Yikes.

But she was really cute at dinner, wanting to sit in between her grandfather and great-grandfather and at one point she was a mere few inches from her great-grandfather’s nose when she told him; “You have a big nose!”  Laughing he played the “I’ve got your nose” game which she loved and it was less than 5 minutes before she was back sitting between my wife and I when she turned to my wife and said;
“I’ve got your eye”.

Posted in Life

Life’s Greatest Mysteries; Crop Circles, Who Killed JFK and a Child’s Thought Process


The three items listed in my title will probably never, ever be explained.

Are crop circles an elaborate hoax perpetrated by a bunch of schemers?  Who really killed JFK, was it one shooter or the CIA or the mob?  And how kids brains work…

Since this is a daddy blog first and foremost, let me expand on the last item.

Readers of this blog will recall the issues we’ve been having getting Stewie out of his night-time pull ups.  He was quick to train during the day – 2 1/2 if my memory serves me correctly, but it took him until about 4 1/2 to stop soiling his pull-up at night.  The most difficult thing to do has been to get him to understand what he was doing because when he went to sleep he knew not to do that, but when he woke up, he seemed surprised – and a little disappointed – that it had happened.   And to be honest, I don’t think he consciously stopped doing it, I think he just created a pattern which did not include a night-time bowel movement.

Getting him to stop peeing at night, however, has been a disaster.

I tried waking him up ever couple hours to pee, I tried no water before bed, I tried making him pee three times before he sleeps, we tried the double pull up… He hated that one! I tried explaining it to him and I tried mocking him (sorry), by telling him babies wear diapers. His response to that was to not wear a pull-up to bed, then sleeping in a pool of pee.

For the past year and a half he’s slept with a rubber sheet under his sheet and on top of that is a towel which absorbs some of the pee but never enough as he continues to pee through his diapers, then pull-ups.  Neither Huggies nor Pampers helped.  We tried all brands, all styles.  The Pampers Under Jams have worked the best of all the night-time items, they hold a lot of urine! I told him they are night time underwear, and not diapers… Whew. The Huggies Pull-ups, on the other hand worked for one pee, but when the floodgates were open they were pretty much useless. 

Compounding this problem was the fact that he wanted to sleep in bed with mummy, every night for the last 5 months and she couldn’t have him in her bed without him peeing first, changing a full pull-up and a towel on the bed… A lot of work at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning for either of us.

I think the most frustrating part here is that the whole time Stewie knew he was doing this.  He said he was “too tired” to get up to pee. 

A couple of times I would take him to pee and he a little bit of pee would trickle out, then we would put on his pull up and within seconds it would be full. 

I would glare at him, he would smile.  Such a cute face…

Then out of nowhere, just days after his 5th birthday, the little bugger woke up completely dry. I asked him what happened and he said he got up to pee (I know he did not).  I think he just decided he was going to hold it… Finally. 

He just decided to hold it.

Every night for that week, I would walk into his room, and check to see that he was wearing his pull-up, then see how wet it, or he was. It’s been completely dry.

Then he started getting annoyed.  Annoyed that for the past year and a half we’ve been doing the poke test on him.  Poking to see if he’s wearing his pull-up, poking him to see if it’s full and now in the last 3 days, poking him to see if he’s wet.

Just last night, he came into our room, I rushed to move him back to his room, but he returned shortly thereafter (“I NEED mummy!”) he cries, so I took him to his room again and laid down with him. 

Every now and then I would reach over and give the poke test, to which he promptly replied; “Stop poking me, Daddy.  I’m still dry!”.

Well… Excuse me!!!

How he just decided to do this after all this time and all the pee… Is a mystery!

But the mystery gets even more clouded when just over a week later, he was back to his old ways. Fll pull-ups, wet bed, sometimes right through to the towel, or sheets.

Since this is very normal and very common, I’m not overly bothered by it. I hope he turns it on again soon, but in the interim He’ll keep peeing and I’ll keep bugging him.

How did they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar?!?

Posted in Life

Maybe I should have let him put on my cufflinks…


Poor Stewie!

He’s not feeling well.  He’s been sleeping a lot and not eating as much and if you know him, or have read this blog enough, you would know this kid loves to eat.

Just yesterday morning I called to him to come into our room so he could pick my cufflinks and put them on my shirt sleeves but he did not show up. 

His older brother Linus did so I let Linus pick the cufflinks and put them on.  I think he wanted to do it because Stewie does it and likes doing it, and after trying to put the first one in he got bored and I have to remind him I have two arms.

As we left my bedroom, I said to him; “We don’t need to tell Stewie about this.  He’ll just get upset.”

Linus replied, “Okay Daddy”.

Then within 10 seconds of leaving the room, I heard Linus yell to Stewie, “Hey Stewie!  I just picked and put on Daddy’s cufflinks and you didn’t”.

Then came the tears, followed by the rage.

After a couple minutes of explaining to Stewie that I had called for him to come but he did not, I allowed Linus to do it and tomorrow if he wanted he could pick my cufflinks.  He demanded that I take my cufflinks out “RIGHT NOW” so he could put them back in.  He told me he hates me and he said he wanted to “Kick my head off”. 

After hearing that, I walked over to him, knelt down in front of him, placed my head at his waist level and said to him; “Okay, go ahead… Kick my head off.  Go.  Do it”.  wisely, he declined but while trying to explain to me that I should have waited for him, he was secretly undoing my right cufflink. 

I yanked away my arm, cufflink dangling from the loop. 

He then started to cry as I walked towards the door to leave for the office. \

“I hate you”, he yelled, “I love you enough for both of us”, I replied.

“I hope you have a terrible day” he screamed, “I am so far”, I replied, “But I won’t once the door shuts”.

Then he made some silly noise which sounds like a combination between a hiss, a mouth fart and a grunt.

I hope he felt better.

Poor nanny.  🙂

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!