Words of Wisdom for Parents


Out of the mouths of babes;

“Running shoes are very important, as are smoke detectors in houses.”

Yes.

Yes they are…

 

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How to talk about sex with our kids


I’m not ready to have the conversation with my daughter about anything sex-related.  She is just 7-years-old, and after 2-boys, she’s my little girl… I know that sounds like a complete cop-out, but I think I need to leave that conversation to my wife.  Thank goodness my wife is so awesome and started the conversation with the boys, long, long ago.

I thought I was close to having to have that conversation with her in the car the other day, after we heard a news story on the radio about a robbery.

Turns out there were 2 burglars who had broken into someone’s house and instead of robbing it and leaving, they hopped on the couch and starting having sex.

The homeowner arrived and started hitting them, called the police and they were arrested… duh, eh?

Well, my daughter apparently overheard the news report and we had this conversation;

Boo: Daddy what were the burgers doing on the couch that they were arrested for?

Me:  Ummm, they were burglars… Robbers, thieves, criminals and they were, ummm, kissing.

Her: No, I heard the radio.  There were burgers on the couch.  What were they doing on the couch?

Me: They were burglars and they were, ummm, kissing..  watching TV… No, I think they both fell asleep.  I didn’t hear it.

Her: No.  I heard the radio.  Oh, I know.  They were hit because they had sacks on the couch.

Me: NO.  They were kissing!

Her: No daddy.  It was sacks.  They had their 2 sacks on the couch.  The sacks must have been dirty and the owner told them to remove them, but when they didn’t, she hit them.

Me: (phew)… Yes. That was what happened.  Good thing you were listening.

They grow up so fast!

 

The Urban Daddy: Back from family vacation. Europe V4.0.


So we have returned from our annual family vacation – I’m back at work, the kids have one week left before school starts, and my wife has the absolute pleasure of coordinating the back to school festivities.  Dentist appointments, vaccinations, clothes, shoes, school supplies, and most importantly, scheduling!

Forget the programming of extra-curricular activities and sports programs, because that is just going to have to wait… So many commitments, and such little precious time.

You get it!

But normally, I do not like to speak publicly about personal matters, however this summer’s vacation is worth sharing not because of what we did, but because of how we did it.

This was our 4th summer in Europe.  As a family.  We plan the trips in October / November and in the summer we pack as little as possible into backpacks, and we go and explore the world.

Since we are a family of 5, staying in a hotel is not a viable option, so we resort to using Air BnB’s so we have choice of location, a kitchen and sometimes other exciting amenities, such as a pool.

With the kitchen we avoid the costly dinners out and instead hit up local grocery stores and eat breakfast and dinner we’ve made ourselves and if we decide not to pack lunch, we can eat out before heading back for a siesta.

This summer took us to Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville, and London with many stops along the way via the train, or the car we rented for a week.

We don’t have a home base for the entire trip, instead we stay in places for anywhere from 2-5 days before moving on.  Each new country, city, town bring a new experience and the excitement of a new place which might be better (or worse) than the previous one.

We’ve yet to be disappointed.

I’d say after 5-years of family travels, the one disappointing place we stayed at was in Rome 2-years ago which was in a fabulous location, but the Air Conditioning didn’t work and it was during a hot spell, where the average temperature was 45 degrees Celsius.

This year also represented the first year that our bags were lost during a transfer at airports, and our bags were lost twice, the final time, only 3 of our 5 bags made it home.  The final bag arrived 3 days after us.

Kudos to my wife for planting the seed of travel into our kids.  Imagine taking a 4-year-old back-packing as we did 3-years ago, through Paris, the south of France, Amsterdam and Belgium.  She was an absolute trooper.  No strollers, just walking, looking at art, and enjoying ourselves.

Now at the ripe age of 7, she’s a pro.

I encourage parents to explore travel with their children to introduce them to how the rest of the world lives.  Sure, we had gone on a family cruise before, and we took the kids to Disney, but before we headed overseas, we explored the East coast of Canada – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI – to see if we would do driving trips overseas and after that success, we took the plunge.

I love that my oldest can easily navigate the Paris Metro, or the London Underground.  Even the Seville Metro and Brussels subway pose no issues with him.  Our middle child has found an appreciation for art, museums, and the food and drink that other places have to offer.  He’s in his element wherever he is, and that warms my heart.

Our youngest, my daughter… Such a trooper, and with a strength in languages, she enjoys what we all enjoy… the sites, the food, the language… the experience.

As someone who had to find ways to cope with some significant undiagnosed anxiety in my life, the travel bug has bitten me and I look forward to the flights, train rides, and bus, tram and subway rides because of what they bring.  New experiences, new adventures and quality family time!

For those who knew of our travels, we appreciated the texts and messages as we were in Barcelona one week before that horrible murderous act by a group of criminals.  We were on the exact stop where the van came to rest.  We also were at Buckingham Palace in London a day before some mentally unstable resident showed up with a 4-foot sword there.

But it’s great to be back home, back in Canada, back to the greatest country in the world.

 

 

 

Manchester Tragedy Crossed The Line


What happened last night in Manchester, England crossed the line.

The cowardly killing of innocent children – mainly girls – by a (hate to quote the US President, but I have to) LOSER, has repulsed pretty much every living and breathing person with a heart and a pulse.

The fact that this loser waited until the end of the show…

Ah, forget it.

He’s a loser.  A murderer.  A coward.  He deserves to be dead.  His victims do not.  He’s not going to heaven, he’s not getting any virgins.  He’s going to rot like the worthless piece of trash that he was.

Now the UK needs to do this right and they need to go round up anyone and everyone who knew him, who taught him, who called him a friend, or a family and they need to send the message that friends of losers and family of losers and teachers of losers are losers too.

The UK need to act fast and act swiftly, and go through their list of “suspected” losers and round them up now.  Screw their human rights.  Honestly.  They’re on the government’s watch list not because they’ve been good citizens but because they’re potential criminals, talking to bad evil guys and because they’re going to do something bad.

It’s time to take action for the safety of society.  Reasoning and rationalizing, sympathizing and understanding, banning and stereotyping and not the options that are going to bring a close to this problem.

Speaking up and being a solid contributing member of society will.

To each and every hero who helped the sick, dying, hurt and scared last night, I say thank you a thousand times.  It’s your courage and your kindness and your compassion which keep everyone’s faith in society.

If I believed in hell, I’d say rot in hell, losers.

I just hope and pray that we can continue to keep our kids safe, teach them right from wrong, and that we need to be a kind, supporting, inclusive society so losers don’t feel that they need to cowardly take their own lives and those of little girls and other people.

 

No Tres-Passing… Once, Twice or even Three Times…


It’s amazing what you get from a 6-year-old who blends the English language with another language and processes it using their special wit and humour.

While stopped at a red light, my daughter must have noticed a sign which read;

She asked me; “What does No Trespassing mean, Daddy?”

“It means you are not allowed on that property / land… Why? Where did you see that?” I asked.

“Oh, over there, in the construction site” she answered.

Then she continued… “But I thought “trespassing” meant you had to pass the place 3 times… Like Uno, Dues, Tres… you know, Daddy… Tres-passing…”

“Ah, I know dear… Very clever!”

I love it.