Making friends as a 36-year-old with an 11-month-old baby isn’t quite the same as making friends as a 26-year-old single guy. One new dad shares his hard-won tips.
Today is Father’s Day, 2015.
I love Father’s Day – not just today – but every day, because I feel that every day is Father’s Day. I don’t need a day where it’s forced, but I know that I am not in the majority when it comes to the father’s role in a household.
I am a huge fan of Mother’s Day! – Not for being the only day to celebrate and appreciate your mother and the mother of your children – but because of the pain and effort Mother’s went through to have their children, and then go through for the rest of their lives for their children.
In most cases, without Mothers there would be no Fathers.
Growing up, I never felt the need to go hardcore on either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day because I tried to express my appreciation for my parents every day of the year, or at least more often than once a year. I still bought the cards, chocolates, flowers and whatever else was available for my parents but I never saw it for more than an opportunity for retail stores and the greeting card market to cash in.
Fast forward to today, in 2015, and as a super-involved parent of 3 fabulous children, I feel the same way about Father’s Day for me. I don’t need a tie, or cufflinks, nor a store bought card they signed, or another mug touting me as the World’s Greatest Dad. All I really need is a hug, kiss, and a hand-made gesture of their appreciation for anything that I’ve done during the year.
As a result, my Father’s Day this year was awesome and here are some of the reasons why;
My almost 6-year-old daughter had a soccer tournament through her North Toronto Soccer team, and I’m the coach! She started out playing soccer quite timidly, not surprising as the youngest of 3 kids whose older siblings are boys, but she has been great as of late.
Ever since a classmate of hers knocked her on her ass on purpose, which proved to be a wake-up call from my daughter, who got up, didn’t cry, dusted herself off, and then started playing more physically, which resulted in her scoring 3 goals including the game winner!
In fact, as this was the last game of the season for the team, there was one girl who had not scored a single goal all season, and after my daughter sped through the middle with the ball, and blew past both defenders, she waited at the goal line, called for this girl to run over, and she let the girl score her first goal.
The girl cried.
Her parents cried.
I almost cried.
If that is not the more empathetic thing a 5-year-old can do without being told to do so by anyone on the team, I don’t know what is. It made me realize that this child is special, and maybe… just maybe, the parenting is paying off.
This girls parents told us that their daughter is going to remember this day forever.
From there, we packed a lunch, grabbed some extra tissues in case of nose bleeds, and we headed north to Richmond Hill, to take child number 1 to a birthday party in Vaughan Mills.
We walked around the mall, and walked and walked and walked, and then when we could walk no more, we headed out for dinner to one of my favourite restaurants, Mezza Notte Trattoria, where I ate their super incredible appetizer of escargot on a Portobello mushroom in a cognac sauce, and I had a delicious piece of halibut with tomatoes, olives, and angel hair pasta.
I asked if anyone wanted to try the escargot, and because it was Father’s Day, my daughter stepped up to the plate. She said she liked it, but she also said that she liked it better than the whale we tried while in Iceland.
I had coffee after everyone was in bed with my long-time friend and jazz musician, Dr. Andrew Scott, and then we packed up our belongings and went to the Rinx, for an 11pm ball hockey game. I’ve been running my own team in the YCBHL since I was 19-years-old, called the Tasmaniacs. I love the 11pm games, and it’s great working up a sweat and getting to be all aggressive for an hour. At this particular game, we only had 2 defenseman which meant I got to play almost the entire game.
Then we all got changed, I dropped Dr. Scott off at home, and my neighbour and I went for another coffee at 1am.
I think we got home at 2:30am, so what else can I do at that hour with everyone sleeping but blog.
I blogged, did some paperwork, and hit the bed.
I am truly blessed!
Every day is Father’s Day.
I’m a very open-minded guy. I was not always this way, but as I have gotten older and wiser, I have certainly adopted the philosophy that people can, and will, do and say whatever they want, whenever they want and that is totally fine by me, so long as it doesn’t trample on my human rights.
I mean who are we to define items like marriage, or benefits, or set limits on what a person can and cannot do with their bodies… I find a lot of the laws and customs in practice today found their roots in a time when men were seen as better than woman, and heck, white men greater than everyone. We can now see clearly how wrong that has come to be, and if we step even further back, we can see that we are all just human beings trying to make the best lives for ourselves and our children on this planet we call earth.
So when I came across a blog / rant / all out melt-down around breastfeeding mothers and whether or not they should be allowed to breastfeed in restaurants – for attention – I decided to read along in hopes of finding another point of view or see that this post was just a joke.
However as I read it I became confused with the source of the ranting. At first I thought the author was upset because woman breastfeed in restaurants and in some old-school way the author felt that woman’s breasts are sexualized and thus breastfeeding should be done discreetly. Heck, from the tone of the post one would think that at this particular establishment there are boobs flying left and right, out there for everyone to see… A mother feeding her child.
Then as I read on and thought about the words, I thought that the author was upset because the restaurant in question asked a breastfeeding mother to feed her child in a discreet area of the restaurant away from, I dunno, people like this author who thing breastfeeding is gross, or ugly?!? The mother declined, went to the press and from what I could gather all hell broke loose. Either the restaurant was criticized for insensitivity, or there was a breastfeeding sit-in, who knows, but this author clearly felt that that mother needed to go somewhere else to breastfeed.
As a manager, this author would be the same type of employee who would have approached my wife – who breastfed our three children – and asked her to fed the baby in the bathroom. UGH. To that suggestion my wife would comment, very calmly; “Would you eat your lunch in the bathroom?”
But aside from the disgust with breastfeeding I was taking from the article, I felt an overwhelming hatred of mothers. Mothers who want to feed their babies in public. Mothers who ask for discounts because they are mothers. Damn you mothers for carrying children and bringing life.
The author also hates nutrition because her solution is for breastfeeding mothers to bring a bottle to feed their kids, obviously oblivious to the fact that a baby sucking on a bottle even once can ruin the latch on the nipple causing pain and agony for the mother – or a premature end to breastfeeding at worst.
If a mother is unable to pump enough breast milk to fill a bottle, I guess the mother can just buy some over-the-counter product and feed the baby that, right? Who cares what garbage is in that bottle, so long as there are no breasts exposed, right?
Or maybe the author’s “final solution” is best. Since she offended pretty much all moms everywhere by tagging her post “people I hate” and referring to either women or feminists in her university / college as “feminazis”, she finally concluded that moms with young children do not belong in nice restaurants when there are quality family restaurants like “McDonalds or Burger King” around.
I would have commented to the author about her incorrect facts relating to the bottle comment and restaurant solutions in an understanding manner. How else could she feel this way unless she just did not know. It’s easy for her to send moms to McD’s, as her post screams about her lack of understanding of what it takes to be a mother and responsible for children while still trying to have a life of their own. Heck, she referred to children who are breastfeeding – probably under 4-years-old – as “bratty hellspawn” to think that mothers are only feeding their kids for “attention” pretty much rounds out the absurdity.
I had always thought that mothers fed their children out of necessity so the won’t die. Funny how that works…
The “breast” solution for this author is to only go to restaurants where families do not “hang out”.
But with nowhere on her blog to add a comment and me left feeling that I have to educate this woman so she won’t go through life thinking that all breastfeeding mothers are Satan’s spawn, I came to post it here.
The link to the original post is below.
Today was special because of the very neat Father’s Day treat I received from the kind folks at WordPress.com;
Please follow the link and read the article, but in case you would rather read it here, I have included the text below;
Writing about family life and parenthood is not simply the province of mothers: dads are carving out their own blogular niche. Single dads, stay-at-home dads, working dads, two-dad families — you can find every perspective on WordPress.com. As the US celebrates Father’s Day, here are some dad blogs we love:
What’s the point of having kids if you can’t raise them into die-hard Star Wars fans? DorkDaddy — dentist by day, geek by night, dad 24/7 — uses his blog to chronicle life with this three geeks-in-training.
You respond to his combination of candid takes on parenting with analysis of key issues (would Superman would be a better father than Batman?), and so do we. From whipping up Butterbeer for a sick dorkling to LEGO extravaganzas to building homemade hovercrafts, he takes us through the richness of parenthood with grace, humor, and, yes, a substantial measure of unabashed dorkiness. (We also love his frequent odes to the DorkMommy.)
We’re clearly not the only fans of The Urban Daddy’s mix of “parenting, politics, and common sense” — you made him a finalist in both the Best Canadian Weblog and Best Family or Parenting Weblog categories of this year’s Bloggie Awards. Less a traditional “DaddyBlog” than a blog about life by someone who happens to be a dad, we appreciate the mix of hockey, health, political, and other news (professional wrestling, anyone?) — all served with a side of dad-perspective and cute kid stories.
What happens when a “real man’s man” becomes a stay-at-home-dad? He gets a little dadgitated.
I fish, I hunt, I can shoe a horse, run a boat, change a tire on an eighteen wheeler, hold my booze, make moonshine, butcher livestock, lift heavy objects, use a smoker in a proper manner, chop wood and I’m pretty sure I could survive the up-coming zombie apocalypse. I’ve worked heavy construction. I’ve worked on the deck of big boats. I’ve fought with 2,000 lbs draft horses and won.
Now I’m a stay-at-home father… and I think it will be the end of me.
One of the wonderful things about blogs is how they connect us to people with similar experiences and passions; reading other bloggers’ perspectives can validate and enrich our own. Honest writing about parenthood on Dadgitated (how do you explain what a vagina is to your four-year old?) creates a space where parents can see and laugh at themselves — giving us the breathing room we need to be better parents.
Here are some other community favorites for your Father’s Day reading pleasure:
- Snoozing on the Sofa follows older dad Scott as he navigates marriage and fatherhood, and learns that he can no longer have nice things.
- UK-based Whiskey for Aftershave hits the dad trifecta — an older, stay-at-home dad of twins.
- Touchline Dad is a sports lover raising three sporty children, and learning how to be a perfectly supportive sideline dad.
- Twinfamy’s name says it all — one dad raising the “two greatest children to ever walk the earth, aside, of course, from Jesus Christ and Chuck Norris.”
- The Dorky Daddy has no delusions of being “the cool dad,” and he’s not ashamed.
Do you have a favorite WordPress.com dad? Let us know!
What are your favourite Daddy bloggers – WordPress users or other?
So what a nice surprise to be featured by WordPress.com as one of their top Daddy Blogs – not only in Canada, but in the US too! It’s nice to be noticed, especially this time of year when everyone turns their attention to the Father’s.
Thank you Word Press.
- DaddyBloggers in the Spotlight: A Father’s Day Roundup (en.blog.wordpress.com)
Finally you are 6-years-old today (tonight to be more specific). Wow.
To be honest, it kind of feels like you’ve been 6 for a long time already. You and you almost 8-year-old brother are often mistaken for twins. You eat the most at one seating than your family, including me, and I’ve been known to pack back the food in my day. You are strong like a bull, like your father, which you proved to us and a bunch of 6-year-old’s when you singlehandedly helped your team win a tug-of-war where you were the anchor. You are driven, determined, serious, focussed and everything else that people look at and follow up with “wow”. Quite frankly if I didn’t see your birth with my own eyes, I would have thought you were switched at birth.
I mean you are the reason why I herniated the disc in my back – because until you were 10 months old, you refused to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time. I carried you morning, noon and night – even though all you wanted was food and mummy. Mummy also had Linus to take care of, so it was me or the cry-way. Tough luck for you! You were stuck with me.
Looking back now I should have known how you would be at 6-years-old… When you were born – a planned home birth – your breathing was shallow so the mid-wives stepped out of our bedroom to call 911 (forgetting that our parents were on the main floor listening and becoming quite worried – I remember my mother calling me as the mid-wives were explaining that calling for backup just in case was a standard practice from babies with shallow breathing – asking me if everything was alright because she heard the call, whereas we did not. But after seeing what you did when you were given oxygen by the mid-wives – you ripped the tube from your mouth over and over again, we all knew you would be just fine! You didn’t want it. You didn’t need it. You didn’t have it.
Fast forward to today and you are the same size and weight as your 7-year-old brother. You look older than you are, you act older than you are and you have an old soul who comes across as a kind, compassionate boy who asks really great questions – some not so great mind you (If Big Show fought all the birds in the world, who would win?).
You love school but get frustrated that you’re not learning fast enough – like after the 2nd day when you wanted to quit school because you were colouring with crayons and you could do that at home, you certainly didn’t need to go to school for that – and you get frustrated when your classmates talk during class or (gasp) try to talk to you when there is work to be done. You also somehow failed to mention to us last year that you were reading at a beginning grade 2 level when you were finishing senior kindergarten. You excel at karate and swimming. You are a trusting friend until someone does you wrong, then you have a memory of an elephant, yet your big brother is your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time. You two fight, then within a few minutes you’ve made up and are playing together again like nothing happened.
You have a very strong sense of justice, and as a result you always protect your brother and sister and I’ve often told the story about how, when you were 2-years-old, a 6-year-old boy took your brother’s balloon. After he had asked for it back, unsuccessfully, you stepped in and grabbed this boy by the shirt, looked him in the eyes and said “I’m going to throw you in the garbage!” He handed you the balloon and quickly walked away. You passed that balloon to your brother and went on playing like nothing happened.
You are a piano whiz, and you said you want to try the violin and learn your way up, trying all the string instruments, until you get to the big ones, like a cello.
When asked what you want to be when you grow up, you replied with; “Everything!” I finally got you to confirm it was because you wanted to know what you would really be good at want to do for the rest of your life.
When I blog about things you have said, like punching G-d, my hits go through the roof. You’re very funny, and the reason we started a Twitter account for you, called @LittleBoyPurple which we don’t update any more, but you probably will one day because you’re a hoot!
So, son, I want to wish you a very happy 6th birthday. I love you and please, keep feeding me the material, and let me know when that middle child syndrome has set in. 🙂