Posted in Life

Thursday 13: 13 Things that I do because, I’m a Dad. A Father. Therefore I do “Dad” things.


As a Dad and a father, things change, and there are now certain expectations or responsibilities which make me who I am. 

Here are just 13 things that changed when I became Dad.

  1. Changing expectations when eating vegetables.  My broccoli no longer includes the flourettes, instead my portion is the stems – the part that no one likes to eat.
  2. .. Yum.  But that would be plain cheese pizza because that’s what the family eats. Or, if I’m lucky. Otherwise, I get a whole lot of crusts, and I hope and pray that those crusts have some sauce or cheese on them.
  3. Leftovers? What are those? As Dad, leftovers are my meals.  After “Daddy, daddy, daddy, I want oatmeal for breakfast” and then after refusing to eat it, I pack it up, toss it in the fridge, and then I either eat that oatmeal for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the next few days.
  4. Sniffing or tasting food which someone suspects may not be suitable to eat. If it looks funny, smells funny, is close to the posted expiry date, or has been in the fridge just a bit too long to feed to the kids, it goes into my tummy. Yum.
  5. Cleaning up Poo.  All Poo, anywhere.  Kids, poo, toilet poo, poo in clothing, poo on floors, animals poo, things that might be poo…
  6. Cleaning up vomit… (see above). Nuff said.
  7. When there is a night walker in the house, I intercept.  If there is a line up to sleep with mommy, I move.  If there is a child falling out of bed, or anything nightly disturbance, Daddy is on the scene! That usually means that within a week, I’ve pretty much slept everywhere in the house, but that’s okay so long as everyone else has a good night’s sleep because I’m so exhausted all the time I can sleep anywhere, anytime.
  8. Carpool / Taxi service, call it what you want, but it’s daddy’s territory.
  9. Back-up school help in areas where I am so not qualified, often at the end of a long day:

“Do quotation marks go before or after the period or question mark?”

“Huh?”

“I think I missed that day in public school”. (Child not accepting that answer).  “There is an American way and a Canadian way.”

Still not buying it.

Stalling long enough to Google that question and come up with this answer:

“There is a difference between US and British/Canadian punctuation styles.  In the US, trailing periods and commas always appear inside the quotation marks, for example, “Let’s go to the zoo.” Or, another example, like the spelling of the word is “ampersand.” Or, final example, He said, “Go now,” and turned away.
But in Canada and in the UK, they follow the logical extension of the quote. The period or comma goes outside the quotation mark, except where the period is part of a quote. For example, He said “The day is long.” Or, the movie was called “Benji”.

How about question marks? Well, If you’re quoting a question then the “?” goes within the quotation marks, as in this example, Sally asked, “Where are you going?”

Not to be confusing, but if you’re asking a question about a quote, then the “?” goes after the quotation marks, as in this example. Did Sally say, “We are going to the zoo”?

Clear as mud, eh? I think I taught them to stop asking me questions.

  1. Act responsibly behind the wheel.  I can only slightly exceed the speed limit if everyone in my car is sleeping and if I do so without putting anyone in harm’s way (like weaving in and out of traffic).  Duh.  Learning to not swear at / talk to other cars was WAY more difficult.
  2. Going to the toilet will / has never been the same. If it’s not trying to figure out how the seat got wet when the boys are supposed to pick up the seat to pee, and how the floor got soaked when nobody in my family admits to having used that bathroom, like ever. Or when there is pee on the wall, or all the toilet paper is in the toilet, or someone forgot to flush, or the icing on the cake, whenever I’m in the bathroom and manage to lock the door only to have it unlocked and before I know it I’m face to face with a child.
  3. Promote the playing of sports for fun, while competing, but always within the rules.  I don’t want to be that Dad who forces my son to play a sport because I never had the chance or was good at it.  That’s the best way to build up resentment and that’s not what our generation does…
  4. Keep lines of communication open at all times, and make sure that children are able to read situations and most importantly that they are able to learn what it is that their mother wants / needs and to be sure that she gets it.  She did, after all, birth those kids which I think trumps (not the Donald) everything else that I can and do as a father / dad.

 

What’s changed for you?

Posted in events, family, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Father’s Day: Young Kids vs Teens


Father’s Day!

Every day is father’s day, in my eyes, and this day is just another day for me – thankful for being a father, and thinking of my father who passed away 17-years ago at such a young age and who never got to see my children.

Thank goodness my wife’s father is alive, healthy and have developed such a wonderful relationship with my kids.

So with that being said, and having been at this blogging thing for almost 15-years, I have a great perspective of what it’s like being a father for the first time, when the kid(s) are young, and now that they are approaching and in their early teens (my oldest is 14).

First Father’s Day

The novelty of having children and being a father is finally sinking in, which makes your relationship with your father / father-in-law / father figure / grand father, etc., a bit more enriched.

You are likely to get a card from your wife, from your child, parents, siblings, etc., and a picture or baby hand imprint, or paper with drool on it – something like that which you will keep.

Future Father’s Days

The kid(s) ask what you want, and they usually make stuff at school. Cute stuff, like the hand print, or the paper saying that your dad is 83-years-old, and have no hair, and your favourite colour is blue, and that for a living you yell and them and burp a lot.

This is the age of BBQ’s and “Best Father” mugs, and ties, and stuff like that. Father’s day is still super awesome, if not more awesome because you’ve realized the amount of work your wife has put into the family so you whisk the kids away for the day and take them to the zoo, to a movie, to the park, or to see your mother.

Caution: The Teen / Tween Years

I’m still relatively new to this, but thus far, Father’s day goes something like this;

  1. Remind the kids father’s day is coming up
  2. Remind the kids that you really like a homemade card or craft but a hug and kiss will suffice
  3. Ask them halfway through the day is they know what day today is…
  4. When the kids fight or disagree with each other, try making peace between them by saying, “Hey! It’s Father’s Day!!”
  5. Try not to laugh when told, “You’re as useful as a screen door on a submarine”, or “You’re not the stupidest person on the planet… But you’d better hope that person doesn’t die.”

 

(If you laugh they think it’s acceptable – or really funny – and they’ll want to quit school and go on tour as a comedian… OY!)

So you end up wishing yourself a Happy Father’s Day, and you think about how great it’s been thus far as a father, and then you try to figure out where on earth it all went so wrong.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Coffee, Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Dads / Moms… Is it just me?


This is a question for the Dads and Moms out there in cyberspace.  Is it just me, or is it necessary to identify yourself as a parent when you approach another father / mother with small kids and offer assistance?

This morning, for example, I’m waiting for a client in my local Starbucks and it’s fairly busy in the store when in walks a mother carrying a baby in the bucket car seat in one hand and holding hands with a toddler in the other hand.

She orders her coffee, buys her daughter a treat and then finds the only open table which has one chair placed beneath it.  She places the bucket on the table, and sits her daughter in the chair.

Seeing this, I know that there is a bit of space at the large rectangle table in the back and I could totally go there to work, so I get up, and offer her my chair.

She politely denies.

Then I start thinking… I’m in my 40’s, and what’s left of my hair is pretty grey, I’m in a grey suit, and I don’t wear my wedding band because it doesn’t fit my finger (hello 1st child 25lb weight gain – 13 years ago) so maybe she politely declines because I’m a creepy guy offering her a seat.

Then I remember that creeps don’t wear suits.

Work with me here…

So I tell her it’s okay, she can have the seat because I’m going to sit in the back.

Then the panic in her eyes leaves, and she says that she appreciates the offer but she’s waiting for her coffee then she’s jetting out of here to a play date.

That told me 2 things;  Firstly, she recognized that I’m a parent too and I totally understand how brave she is with a child in a bucket and a toddler – just leaving the house should be commended.

Secondly, she might not have panicked if I had started with something like this; “Hey, would you like to use my seat? I’ve been there – have 3 of my own – you might be more comfortable, even for a minute, knowing your kids are safe and you can wait comfortably with them.

Or is that worse?

Am I reading too much into this?

Or being approached by a stranger, the default is to reject, not to engage and protect the kiddos.

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

 

Posted in Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

When Your Math-Loving Child Wants to Express Their Love…


My math-loving child must really love me!

He said;

“Dad, I love you more than a decimal irrational number…”

I tried to pretend that I knew what that meant, but then he said;

“It’s never ending…”

 

Awwww….