Great Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day, 2015.


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.

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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;

https://urbandaddy.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/re-introducing-the-urbandaddy-family/

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; https://urbandaddy.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/a-change-at-the-urban-daddy-blog-bye-bye-berry-welcome-boo/ 

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.”

Whew.

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.
Hookers…

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.

Awesome.

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!