Today is Friday the 13th! Here are 13 things Parents really should be weary of…


Friday January 13th.  I think I’m supposed to be afraid today of black cats, open ladders, and a bunch of other crap which has been debunked by science, but not being a superstitious guy, I thought I could help parents with 13 things they really need to worry about – not just on Friday the 13th.

Please read and comment with tongue planted firmly in your cheek.  They are all true, however, your level of worry and fear will be determined by the age of your children and the number of children you have – meaning more kids usually equals less fears…

Sit tight, watch out for open ladders and let’s go!

13.  Kids + playdates + school = germs and sickness.  Remember that anti-bacterial anything is evil and make sure that you’ve got all of your natural and medical aides on hand plus a ton of tissues.  You’ll forget what it’s like to be healthy every now and then.

12.  It’s best to never sit in on a child’s playdate because you will be mortified by what your child says / does and you’ll want to send them to boarding school or never allow them to have playdates again.

11.  Clothing – when kids are young, you buy them colours they like and you stock up, but then that day will come when they will hate everything in their drawers and refuse to go to school.  You can’t plan for this day, you can’t take them with you and buy what they want only.   They wake up hating everyone…

10.  … and everyone.  Prior to the wardrobe catastrophe, comes the parenting realization that they just can’t stand you / can’t stand to be around you / be seen with you / won’t hold your hand in public.  IT’s really hard to accept, considering all that you’ve done for them (ungrateful), that is until…

9.  … They need stuff and they need it to be fancy, and expensive and they need it now.  No longer is that 10-year old Wii that they never play with good enough, because little Jimmy has a PS4, and little Jane has an X-box…  When they need something they will be in your face all the time, remind you a thousand times a day, and go between begging and anger as they try to figure out what it will take to get you to do as they say.  They’ll drive you to the cliff of sanity and if pushing you over gets them what they want, I hope you’ve packed a parachute.

8.   Kids are great at negotiating their position when they want something but when you need them to clean their rooms, pick up after themselves, or clean their dishes off the table, good luck!  Nothing can be more frustrating to parents than having kids who just cannot / or refuse to understand the basic premise of cleanliness

7.   Beware school bags and lunch boxes, especially after 2-weeks of holiday break.  The contents of a plastic container which at one time held lunch but now contains a vomit-scented science experiment can scar a parent for life.

6.   I don’t need to go into great detail here, but children’s underwear which get tossed in the laundry and have sat there for a couple of day and should have been brought to the parents’ attention before they smell / touch / spread throughout the rest of the laundry / house.

5.   As a child I was scarred when someone came into our school (likely Public Health) with these pink chew tablets and when we chewed them the plaque on our teeth turned dark pink.  I was horrified to chew the tablets but also became a fanatical tooth brusher / flosser later in life.   If they tool was still available, and we gave them to our children, the result would be horrifying, especially when we pass the tooth brushing on to them.

4.   Find the kids hiding spot in the house / car… I dare you.  The candy wrappers, chewed gum (especially if you don’t let them chew gum) and other crap they have accumulated / borrowed / stolen / broken would make you tear out your hair.

3.   Sleep!  UGH.  You’ll never get enough, never make up the lost sleep, which makes you look and feel older, and forget sleeping in your own bed!  There are nights where I have slept in every child’s bed with them because of; nightmares, weather, threat of bad weather, sickness, threat of sickness, loneliness, manipulation, I woke them up, or because they’re kids and kids are awesome and just want the attention.  Spending quality time with your kids and being there for them is awesome because there will come a day when the think you’re gross, but as for your sleep… Forget about it!  It’s over.

2.   When girls and boys go from being “yucky” and “gross” to silence.  That silence means they have taken notice and it might be time for that puberty check (armpit hair).  Then it’s a whole different ball game, my friends!  A completely different set of nightmares and worries.

1. Once you get it all figured out and everything seems to be in order (meaning you finally broke them and they are fully complying, or they’re moving out to go to University) you realize just how much you’re going to miss them.  Miss picking up after them.  Miss telling them to chew with their mouths shut.  Miss giving them advice and miss their company, their senses of humour, and they ability to lighten up a room (or clear that room).

 

So make sure this Friday the 13th, after you explain to your kids the myths and superstitions, that you hug them, kiss them and tell them you love them.

Deep down they love you too and might even admit it today (but take it back tomorrow).

… Is that a black cat!!!

 

Aaaarrrrrggghhhhhh.

THIS is What Weighs on the Minds of the Youth of Today…


I wish that I could get into the head of my children!

It seems to be WAY more fun in there, than in the “real” world and sometimes you can just tell when you look at them that they are off in their own world probably having a great time.

Sometime I forget that children possess a combination of curiosity, and I-don’t-care in the way they look at life and when you take into account their naivety, and their innocence, its no wonder they want to be in their own little world.

But to hear what they are thinking about can come at an unexpected time and can often be refreshing and hilarious, take for example the comment blurted out in the car by my son Stewie;

“By the time I am ready to buy a car there won’t be any good license plates left…”

Ummmm…

Yes, that might be the case, my wife and I struck with silence and as processed this odd comment, and of course, he was not finished, so he completed his thought with this;

“I’ll get stuck with a sucky license plate like Poop-so.”

So not only was he concerned that all of the good license plates will have been taken in, what, 10-15 years when he will have his own car,  but he has actually given thought to what that license plate he will be stuck with, will say.

“Poop-so”.

Well, son, Poop-so is a pretty cool license plate.

 

Dinks, Doinks, Clowns and Jerks… How our conversation on the ride home from school progressed…


If only I could record everything that my children say which is either clever, hilarious or unexpected… They’re awesome and I love having conversations with them, or just listening to them, as they grow up.

The ride home from school was no exception.  It began with my play-by-play recap of my ball-hockey game last night, actually both my ball hockey games – back-to-back, but thinking about it now, I’m not sure they asked so much as I wanted to tell them.  LOL.  During the first game, I was one of three defensemen then moved to become one of 5 forwards.  There was a lot of running and there is nothing I like more than getting my money’s worth and running my ass of at these games!

What I wanted to tell my kids was about one play where an opposition player ran a pick play on me, and then my reaction.  My hope is always that by taking the higher road, I can teach my children how to react in situations like these and keep them from doing or saying something which can cause them pain or suffering.

So on this play, and I’m a big guy, the opposing player caught me with a knee in my thigh as I was chasing his teammate around the net trying to scoop the ball off of his stick.  That hit sent me flying and I was upset there was no penalty called because our team needed to score and the power play would have helped, not because he took a cheap shot which hurt like heck.

I thought I could still draw the penalty, so I called the guy exactly what I thought he was… a clown.

He flipped out.  He said to me, “What? You called me a clown?”

“Yes” I replied. “You’re a Clown! Who else knees someone in the thigh while they are chasing someone… a clown.  It suits your playing style and ability since they’re both a joke.”

He thought about it, and laughed.

I took two or three steps away from him – walking towards the bench – when I turned, looked back at him and said “I HATE clowns.”

He flipped out.

The referee stepped in to keep him from getting to me, and he was yelling all kinds of stuff but all I heard was, “blah, blah, blah.”  He eventually got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.  I was sore, but all smiles on the bench.

The rest of the game he kept his distance from me.

So I told this story to my kids – explaining how I didn’t fight, or try to hurt him, because that is not nice, and I didn’t yell or swear at him, because we don’t do that.  I expected a meaningful dialogue about respect, sportsmanship, and playing hard but not going over the edge, or about keeping emotions in check… But instead I got this question right away;

“Daddy, if you don’t like clowns did you like former WWF (now WWE) wrestler Doink the Clown?”

“No”, I said. “Only when he turned bad and became evil Doink.”

Then this came out of my mouth…

“I mean clowns might as well be called what they really are… Jerks. I mean who else hides their face under white make-up, a wig and a fake nose so that they can spray water in your face or make you shake their hands where they have the hand buzzer… A jerk does that.”

My other son then asked; “What about Dink? Doink’s son?”

I replied, “I think naming a wrestler “dink” is always a bad idea since when I was growing up a “dink” was either the name kids called their penis or a name for a small metal car (dinky cars).”

“So Dink was a penis?” my brilliant child asks?

“No”, I said. “It’d be like saying Penis’ Penis… Oh, forget it.”

Then I changed the topic.

🙂

So THIS is How Children Get Interested in Things…


I’ve been trying for what seems like forever to get my children interested in sports, but to no avail.  Even when my middle son, Stewie, went from not being able to stand on ice skates just 2 years ago, to playing houseleague hockey this year, I cannot convince him to watch hockey on TV.

Frustrating!

Plus, I LOVE watching baseball on TV, win-or-lose, Blue Jays or any other team, yet my kids would sit for a minute – declare it boring – then move on.

I did manage to get them to like / love the Toronto Rock Lacrosse team – as a season ticket holder since their inception – I always thought it was because of the in-game activities like the lights, music playing throughout the game and food, more than the fact that the Rock were the team that won the most in a City starved for sports success.

I remember when the Boston Bruins were good, just a couple of seasons ago, and my oldest son Linus declared his love for Tukka Rask and other Bruins over the hometown Maple Leafs.  I was disappointed but it was then that I realized kids what to support a winning team.  How else can you explain all those fans of the Montreal Canadiens?!?

Now that my oldest is 10, I’m noticing he is paying attention to everything baseball, and why not!  The Toronto Blue Jays staved off elimination last night with a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals and for the past month instead of playing hockey in the basement, we play baseball.

Winning gets the kids attention!  It is winning that get children interested in sports and other events… Other events like politics.

With the Canadian Federal election a couple of days in the past, I can tell you that my children sure as hell know more about the next Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau than I do.  They know he was “Just Not Ready” and that he walks a lot (up a down escalator in one campaign ad, and in a field in another).  They also know that he dropped out of a lot of courses in University and that he is going to spend Canada into massive debt.

They’re not impressed but they are listening to the TV and radio and they are reading articles about the PM and they are watching Trudeau and the Liberals (both Federally and Provincially here in Ontario) like hawks.

It’s also the age.

My 10-year-old and now 9-year-old know every player on the Blue Jays.  They know the scores, they know the batting averages and as a result of post-season baseball for the first time in their lives, they know about stealing signs, the pop-up slide and catchers framing pitches.

I’m excited.

They’re excited.

This is how kids get interested!  It’s part parental encouragement (which sometimes acts as a detriment) part success and part coming of age.

In the meantime, I cannot get my kids to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs – the main discussion here surrounds the proposed name change to Toronto Maple Leaves and my child’s constant joke about the 1-3-2 Leafs and how they, like the “real” leafs “fall” this time of year… Every year.

Ouch.

Go Jays Go!

#ComeTogether

Something I Missed While On Vacation: 31 Million Ashley Madison Users Have Explaining To Do…


I have not paid that much attention to the goings-on over the hack of Ashley Madison – I tried to explain the fuss to my kids and I said to them that it was a dating site for married people to meet other married people for… ummm… naked twister.  No, I didn’t say that.  I said it was a site for married people to meet other married people so they could become friends and go out sometimes.

While we were on vacation, there was a list released by the hacking group which put some or all of the information of the 31 million users out for public consumption.

I was a bit surprised that of that 31 million, 26 million were men, and 5 million women which means that either the data is skewed, that the 5 million women were very much in demand and quite busy or that 10’s of millions of men never found a twister partner.

My interest in Ashley Madison and parent company Avid Life Media (ALM) only lies in the fact that they are a Canadian company and that the site was created, born and raised here in Toronto.  I might one day look to see if I recognize any of the names, but to be honest, I don’t care.  I, like you, am busy with real things, like family, work, and other activities, and what other people do with their time and in their relationships is 100% their own business and no one else’s.

I think I have always taken this standpoint even from way back in the day when I was The Urban (Not Yet A) Daddy, and I want my kids to look at the world the same way if at all possible.  Marriage, relationships, friends, religion… None of this is my business unless you are forcing your views on me, and those views oppress, harm or place others in a lower standing than the rest of us.  Then I have a problem with it.

At the end of the day, strip away everything and you have a planet with land, and humans.  We are all the same.

I hope the Ashley Madison scandal blows over.

I feel bad for the people involved – I hope they choose to continue life as they know it, or that they get help and work out their issues.  I also don’t like to see personal data hacked, stolen, and made public, but I also admire the work of these hackers for taking a stand (if it turns out to be that and not a bitter former employee) and with all of the secrecy in the world it’s nice to know the truth every now and then.  It’s how we can hold people accountable.

What is your take on this?

How would you explain this to your children?

 

Here is the article that I read which helped bring me up to speed;

What’s in the Ashley Madison database that hackers released online