My Oldest Son Doesn’t Like His Name!

Linus awaits the Great Pumpkin.
Linus awaits the Great Pumpkin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hmmmm.  I seemed to have had quite the dilemma here in the urban daddy household last month when my oldest child, 7-year-old “Linus”, told me he doesn’t like his blog name.

He said it’s “yucky”.

“Do you know why I call you Linus on my blog?” I asked him… “Do you even know who Linus is?” I continued.

“Nope”.  He replied.

So I went scrolling back through my older posts and I showed him this post from February 20th, 2008;

In that post I explain to my readership that I will be referring to my oldest son as “Linus” instead of the “Happy Boy”.  Not because he’s not happy anymore, but because the similarities between him and the character Linus are striking.

Let’s take note:
Though young, Linus is unusually smart.
Everyone likes to think their child is smart, but we have had Linus tested and we know that he is unusually smart especially in mathematics and music.  He does have very strong language skills (often using words like actually, & similar at the age of 2-years-old.  He makes interesting connections, and has a fabulous memory.  He hasn’t quoted philosophers or found the Great Pumpkin yet, but at the time of this comparison, he was just 3!  Now that he’s 7, he’s doing just that (without the Great Pumpkin).
In addition, Linus is almost never without his blue blanket(s), which in our case, is striped.  And we don’t let it out of the house, although, if we did, believe me, it would be with him everywhere.  And like Linus’ blanket, Blankie has magical powers.  If Linus falls and hurts himself, blankie makes the pain feel better.  If he’s scared, Blankie makes him feel less so.
I let him read that post and he thought it was pretty cool, but he was not convinced.  He also asked about “Stewie”.
So here is what I told him about his “little” brother, our second child, the one we used to call the weed because he was exceptionally long when he was born and continues to grow tall and long.  We started calling him “Stewie”.  Yes, him.  While Stewie is one inch shorter than Linus right now, and wearing the same size clothing for a boy 22 months younger that Linus, we felt Stewie better fit his character.

Our Stewie is a character and a half.  He’s stubborn, he’s tough and I swear he’s trying to kill us.  He’s very on the ball, he’s very bright and has been known to mutter obscenities in a British accent.  No.  That last bit I made up.  Our Stewie is always thinking..  Always plotting and like the character on the show, Family Guy, has a fondness for chatting to animals. 

I mentioned numerous times in the past that I felt Stewie was trying to kill me – he was the cause of my herniated disk in my back and he arrives at my bed at night and just stands there… Staring at me.  It’s kind of creepy, to be honest, but he’s determined to get what he wants even if he has to stand by my bed when I fall back to sleep after I’ve told him to go back to his room.  

Stewie Griffin
Stewie Griffin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for our youngest and only daughter, we called her “Berry” from birth, for reasons I think only family and friends understand, but changed her name to “Boo” after she was featured in the show at Disney this past summer. 

The post about that change is right here; 

So after all the explaining all this to him, I took to YouTube and showed Linus video about the Linus character on Peanuts and I watched as his serious face turned to a smile when he realized the similarities. 

He turned to me and said; “When I start my own blog, I’m going to refer to myself as Linus too.”


Dodged a bullet.

Have any of you had issues with your kids and the names you chose for them on your blog or have you decided to use their real names?


Thursday Thirteen – You know you have lost touch with the adult world when…

Hello to my happy readers. As my 2-year-old daughter Berry would say with much excitement in her voice, “You came back!!!”.  For those of you who are first time readers, welcome, feel free to come back at any time, and if you’ve come here accidentially, thanks for the hit and please come back unless you are looking for Santa Claus porn. 

Because I’m a giant loser, I find myself not needing to dip into the almost 80 blog posts sitting in my draft folder for this weeks Thursday Thirteen, but instead I felt compelled to reach out to my readers with kids and form a bond.

Below you will find the 13 ways in which I realized I have lost touch with the adult world.

Sit tight and here we go.

13. I saw what appeared to be 2 hookers walking through the side streets near Eglinton and Allen Road last night in mid-town Toronto, on my way home from the office – probably heading to one of the many massage places with neon lights that light up on the very quiet Eglinton strip (pun intended) after dark.

For some reason even I cannot explain, I began singing this following song – out loud – in my car, to the tune of the Dora the Explorer theme;

Do do do DO do DO do… Hookers.
Do do do DO do DO do… Hookers.
Hookers, hookers, HOOKERS on Eglinton.

If you know the theme, you know what I mean.

12. I sit down in front of the television infrequently and instead of checking out the regular stations, Ch22 – Sportsnet, Ch30 TSN, Ch53 Headline sports and Ch 418 the NHL network, my fingers immediately press ch65 which is Treehouse TV.  A bad habit indeed because once the kids catch a glimpse of one of their shows the begging begins.

11. Like my kids, I have found myself not caring about the colour of my socks when I head into the office. It used to be black socks for everything unless I’m wearing blue pants, then it would be blue socks and brown socks for brown pants but because my kids regularly wear, for example, an orange shirt, with green pants and red socks, I’m feeling their vibe. I’m not sure those without kids would understand other than to think I’m  losing my mind.

10. I heard a song by Anthrax called “I’m Alive” which I really love right now but instead of singing that I find myself singing a children song that has words in it like, Syria, Oman, Pakistan… and what’s worse about this is that Stewie played it for me on my birthday saying “It’s daddy’s favourite song”. He knows it and I don’t. DOH!

9. I needed to move an icon from my iPad into a folder and ended up giving it to Linus to close off once I finally figured out how to move it – UrbanMummy showed me how to move them but not how to turn it off.  He knew without hesitation.

8. I needed to get through a level of Plants Vs. Zombies but couldn’t figure out how, so I gave it to Linus and Stewie and they had it done in 2 games. That used to be me…

7. I need to make more guy’s nights out to talk about real world topics not having to do with, or involving diapers, trips, programs or any more to deal with a vasectomy.

6. I have read over 1000 children’s books in the past year, and precisely 1 pleasure book for my interest and it was a Dan Brown book which I polished off in just under 2 weeks.

5. Before my ball-hockey game on Monday night, instead of my normal pre-game ritual of pasta, Advil, tums/rolaids, stretching and very loud aggressive rock to get my mind focussed, I took tips from Linus (who hates hockey and has seen me play twice) and his tips WORKED!   In honour of Ron Simmons who is going into the WWE Hall of Fame, I say this; “DAMN”.

4. See the previous discussion about my kids clothing “style” and wonder why it is that I ask them if my clothes match in the morning before I leave for the office.  That’s like me asking Urban Mummy who tells me I look fine when the room is pitch black and she cannot see me, and is the first to comment when I arrive home at the ned of the day with; “You wore THAT to work today?!?”

3.  As Daddy carpool, I take my kids to karate, swimming, parties, Beavers and any other kid only or family outing (like trips to sleepyville) and I am unable to yell or swear at other cars, bikes or people.  I also am banned from singing in the car or listening to my music. 

2.  I spend so much time in the children’s rooms at night – bedtime routine is happily my task – that my daughter has said to me repeatedly, “You have no bed.  Stewie in Stewie’s bed, Linus in Linus’ bed, Mummy in mummy’s bed and Berry in Berry’s big girl bed.  you have no bed.”  No matter how many times I have tried to convince her than mummy and daddy sleep in the same bed she won’t buy it because she never sees me there.  She’s 2.  Yet, I try to convince her over and over again.  Why is that?  It’s a giant waste of time with a 7-year-old, let alone a 2-year-old.

1.  I spend my days waking up at 6am when the kids get up.  I wipe butts, I smell hands, I smell stinky breath, I deal in diapers (thankfully no more poo).  I cook on demand, entertain on demand, feed on demand.  I’m their bitch.  I keep the TV low at night when watching sports.  I have not watched a movie which has suggestive content, the potential for nudity or swearing or inappropriate TV in 7 years.  What’s up with that?

Crazy stuff at the Urban Daddy household.

I’m tired.

Very tired.

Too tired to blog, too tired to play CityVille and I’m falling asleep at 9pm usually when I sit down to turn on my computer.  I’m not used to being this tired, then again, I am 40 now, maybe my body is finally acting it’s age and going to be at 1 or 2am and getting up at 6am is wearing me out.  It has been a regular pattern for me for the past 7 years.

Nonetheless, I’ve got a lot of stuff sitting in my draft folder which I’m plopping into this one post and making it a shorter, more random one.  Enjoy.

My kids recognize “We Are the Champions” by Queen and Stewie turned up the music in our kitchen when it was on.  At that time, I was making an omelet with green onions, mushrooms, marble cheese and a touch of white wine when I felt the need to “educate” my kids, so I stopped cooking, and proceeded to hold the mushrooms up over my head and sang “We are the Champignons”.  Confused but intrigued, Linus came over to learn that Champignon, in French, means mushroom.

The next song on the radio happened to be “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.  My wife is a HUGE Beatles fan so of course I had to be a shit and I tried to convince her that the Beatles were anti-Semitic because “Jude” is “Jew” in German and when they sing, “Hey Jude… Don’t let me down” it’s really the band calling out our religion.  Smart girl, however, she’s known me for almost 12 years and completely dismissed my rantings as those of an insane father who just fed 3 incredibly overtired and cranky children while she played Cityville.

As the day progressed, the boys and I did a deep cleaning of the basement and for being so well-behaved, I thought it was the perfect time to teach the boys how to play chess.  So out came the glass chessboard with glass pieces that I was given and we all sat down so I could explain the rules.

They picked up the game very quickly and both really enjoyed it.  To show how much they play together and how well they play together, it took 7 turned each before a piece left the board.  They were very meticulous and strategize the game quite well.  Since that day they’ve played numerous times. 

Not only have the kids brains turned on to chess, but for some strange reason they have decided they want to play soccer in the basement, so for an hour a day, we’ve been playing soccer.  They play together, they play with Berry, we all played as a family, we played with our nanny and some nannies from the neighbourhood… It’s a soccer-fest each and every day and while I’m way too tired to exercise, I’m getting such a workout at home that I have muscles in my legs and knees aching which I didn’t know I had and I’ve played ball-hockey for 20 years!

Also changing since January 1st is Berry, who turned 2-years-old at the end of November has suddenly become a big girl and is well on her way to being potty trained.  This past weekend, for example, we’ve had no accidents and she’s even gone to nap in the afternoon and awaken dry. 

It’s time to call Comfy Cotton diaper service and have them hold off on the cloth diapers, I think.  She’s been able to hold it when she has to and she can identify when she has to pee and notify us in enough time so that her pants are not wet by the time she finishes her notification.

Reminds me of Linus.  He was out of diapers at 2 years and 3 months old because he really wanted red little boy boxer shorts and I think in that full year before we completely took him out of night diapers (even though he was dry through out the night for over 6 of those months – 1st kid, eh?) he had 4 accidents total.

Berry, loves her Hello Kitty panties that we buy from H&M.  I think it’s what got her out of diapers.  Finding their currency is the key!

While I’m typing this, Berry is singing the ABC’s to me in Tagalog.  At least that’s what my wife says.  It’s so cute even if I have no idea what she’s saying.

So now Berry can count to 10 in English, Tagalog and Spanish.  She is working on Hebrew and French.  She can do ABC’s in Tagalog and English.


A post about my biggest boy on his 6th birthday

Today is my oldest boy’s 6th birthday.  As the youngest kid in his grade, it’s nice for him to be “catching up” to the rest of the kids.  Sure when he comes back to school there will be some kids turning 7-year-old, but to him he’ll be 6 like most of them.

In honour of his 6th birthday (besides our regular celebratory trips to the Mandarin) I have a post I’ve been keeping to post on this day, about a conversation him and I had a couple of weeks ago.  It just seems to fit – him turning 6, and me turning 40 in the new year…

Here it is;

In early December, Linus came up to me and asked me to give him some money for school.

“What do you need to buy?” I asked.  “Does mummy know?” figuring he’s already hit her up and is now trying to extort money from me…

“I’m not buying anything”, he said. ” I need old money for show and tell… I have some already but I need more.”

He proceeds to show me a penny with the year “2000” on it.  “Yes, that’s old… To you!”  I say to him.  “But surely we can do better than that!  Let me find some older coins for you.  Like when Daddy was younger.  Let’s go look”.

So off we went looking through my change where I found a 1972 penny.  “Here buddy… This penny is one year younger than Daddy”, I say.

“GASP!  He says, before he turns and bolts out of the room.

“Stewie!!!  Daddy gave me REALLY, REALLY, REALLY OLD money!!!”

“Hey!… It’s not that old!” 

So off I went to find older money to show the kids that 1972 is not super-museum old.  I found a dime from 1968, a penny from 1956 and then a penny from 1932.

We discussed how old this money was by comparing it to ages of family members.    He seemed generally unimpressed by it all, even when I handed him another old penny, a 1944 one on his way to school.

So I kept giving him old coins figuring if he wasn’t going to be impressed maybe his teachers would, or some of the other kids in his class would tell their parents… I went and found a whole lot of old coins and gave them to him.

When I came home from work that evening I made a point to ask him right away how his show and tell went and if anyone like his coins. 

“Oh yes”, he said. 

“My teacher liked them, as did my classmates… Which is why I put them in the charity can, so others can like them too…”

“You did WHAT?”

“Gave them to charity”, he said.

“OH… Okay…”

So the point of this story is… I’m really, really, really old and my son likes to give to those less fortunate than he is.

Happy birthday Linus!

Comparing one kid to the next

If, by some chance, you have this blog set up in some sort of blog reader, then you will have noticed that you received about 10 posts today, most of the from back in 2007.

So let me tell you why…

I was looking for some information on child #2, referred to in the blog as Stewie (named after the character in Family Guy – as we really felt he wanted to kill us as a baby) but previously known as the “Weed” because he was growing like a weed (still is).

So when #2 was 7 months old, he began clapping, and started pulling himself up on items, like the couch.  #3, on the other hand, has been clapping for a couple of weeks, and is 8 1/2 months old.  She does not crawl yet (unless you count crawling backwards – and getting stuck under items like the couch) but she can get on her knees and rock back-and-forth.  She also shows zero interest in standing or pulling herself up. 

What she is doing, is teething.  She has her two bottom teeth and is now drooling like a fiend.  The combination of the teething and the trying to crawl, plus trying to go from laying on her tummy to sitting up means she doesn’t want to sleep at night, and she gets up in the middle of the night and is really cranky during the day.

Poor UrbanMummy.

Thank goodness for being at work, eh?  Except that I’m REALLY tired now. 

Sure, I could do less work on the computer, or less unpacking, but I need some downtime after a long day @ the office… Don’t you?

So now that accounts for the newest one, #3, aka Berry.

What are my other 2 monsters up to???

Well, #1, the Happy Boy – now being referred to as “Linus” because they both carried around their blankets, had a horrible weekend.  He was not acting the 5 1/2 years old that he is, but acting more like the 4 years old that his 3 1.2 year old brother acts… Get that?

So there was pinching, being bossy, yelling, talking back, a ton of crying and that dreaded baby-talk he does which I DETEST!

He was trying this weekend to say the least.

Now back to #2…

Very mature kid.  Knows what he wants and doesn’t want (just like his mummy)  but he cannot sleep through the night without peeing through his diaper, soaking his bed.

Linus was completely out of diapers by the time he was 3-years-old.  He was really out by 2 1/2, but we made him wear one at night, much to his protests.   Stewie, on the other hand, was out of diapers by 2 1/2 during the day, but he continues to pee a TON and even poo in the morning in his diaper.  I’m not sure if he does it because he is lazy or because he is such a deep sleeper that he doesn’t know…

But I need to find out as I stupidly bought these cheap-ass WalMart diapers and he pee’d through 2 of them last night, soaking his bed and himself.  The only reason he didn’t soak the third one is because he awoke at 5am so he knew to go to the can and poo there.

It is beyond frustrating.

He tells me at night that he is not going to pee – he is going to hold it – but I insist he go pee when he needs to, and if he needs help putting the diaper back, that he should come into our room and wake me up. 

He doesn’t.

So as you can see, I was looking to see what my other kids were up to around that age, and in going through older posts, I spell checked a bunch of them and upon updating them, they showed up in the readers…