Family Day, President’s Day and a Birthday


Hectic last few days here in The Urban Daddy household with Family Day yesterday and, ahem, my birthday, today.  The only significance here in Canada about President’s Day is that our friends and family south of the border get to see how we Canadians, at least here in Ontario get to enjoy 15 degree (60 degree fahrenheit) weather in February!!!

I hate my birthday.  I love celebrating other people’s but hate the attention.  I also find my birthday to be very emotional when hundreds of people take the time on Facebook, LinkedIn, and through email to take the time to wish me well on my birthday.  I wish that I could do the same to each and everyone on their special day, and I wish I could personally thank everyone for taking just a moment out of their equally hectic day to send me a greeting.

To everyone who did, you are incredible people and I’m thankful to know you.

To those who wanted to but couldn’t / didn’t get around to it, I am equally thankful that you took a second of your day to think about me.

To those who thought about me today, or tomorrow, or the next day, I appreciate the thoughts, and you rock!

My birthday reminds me of a friend from ball hockey, who has only 6 posts on his Facebook page over the last 6-years and it was me, every year wishing him a happy birthday.  I actually ran into him, and he said that he doesn’t use Facebook, but he got the message each and every year and it meant a lot to him that I took the time to write something even though there was no activity from the previous year(s).

Hey… Everybody needs to be loved, just a little, right?!?

Oddly enough my birthday today started with cards and hugs and kisses from my kids (that really was all that I needed), but then my wife and kids blew me away by giving me a paid of green glass cufflinks that I saw in Murano (or Burano) Italy last summer, that they bought for me.  I love the colour green and I wear cufflinks and it was the most thoughtful and kind gift I could have received.  My wife rocks!!!

Then… Our former Nanny, and part-time house cleaner came at, 8am, with a chocolate cake and after I blew out the candles, we ate cake – I guess our new family tradition!

A fun way to start a birthday, and another hectic day.

So how did you celebrate Family Day / President’s Day?

We were going to go to the Auto Show, but headed to our neighbours for brunch and ping pong (I LOVE ping pong!!!) and then came home and everyone got to work.  My wife had marking to do, the boys worked on their science fair projects and my daughter finished up her Spirit of Math homework and prepared for her Spirit of Math test that evening.

Factors, Prime and Composite numbers, perfect squares… Phew.  I’m re-learning so much!  Thankfully both my boys are really strong in math, the eldest incredibly brilliant in math and they were able to assist her where needed.

Toss into that day, some hockey skills, and the 2 previous days of hockey and swimming and it made for a busy, busy weekend, without the opportunity to go anywhere special other than to see family and friends, and to hang out with the family.

Now it’s back to work, and off to a great start to the week.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Daily Prompt: Replacement


via Daily Prompt: Replacement

Thoughts swirling through my head around the word “replacement”.  In my life, what could replace me, or what (whom) could I replace?

What about in other aspects of society?  Where could the world benefit from replacement, aside from the office of the President of the United States of America where some recent decision scare the crap out of many, while bringing the “protectionist” US back to a time when they turned away other immigrants who were slaughtered by the Nazi’s.

Instead of having a “Trump” card, or a “Veto”, the US needs a “Replacement” vote which should allow the majority of their citizens to have stupid / racist / sexist decisions replaced by common sense ones.

Just a thought….

 

But about me, as a Dad, husband, and tax services professional – I recently had that conversation with my kids about my wife’s new best friend… Art.  She loves Art, and Art makes her feel good.

Art, you see, is not a person, but is what artists do, and my wife has become one seriously talented artist.  Watching her create is exciting and seeing the final product is awe inspiring, but I digress.  “Art” would be a suitable replacement for me.

My kids, however, wonder if “Art” were to be their next daddy, how “he” would treat them.

I told them since “Art” is not a real person, we could pretend that “Art” was really rich… like Bill Gates rich, and “Art” would buy them whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted… And then if “Art” had a huge family then it could help expand our super-small family.  That would be cool right?

They liked the thought, but felt that getting what they wanted, whenever they wanted would become boring after a while, and they kind of like me as their Dad… Awwww.

So “Art” would replace me as a husband, but not as a Dad, while common sense would replace dumb, racist political decisions.

Replacement might be the word of the day, but it offers the best opportunities for everyone to be happy.  At least I think it does.

Thursday 13 – 13 Things You WILL Be Talking About Today.


It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure to compile such a list, but here are the 13 Things you WILL be talking about today (and tomorrow, etc)

  1. You know you’re a Dad when… Breakfast on my way to a meeting this morning was: a handful of stale pretzels, a handful of peanuts, a Clementine orange and a container of 1-day-old cucumber slices.

  2. Not busy enough on Twitter, US President Donald Trump is stirring up the debate on abortion with his fellow males.  Donald, in less that 140 characters, I want to tell you this, “Stay out of my uterus!”

  3. Scientists – and I love me some science – are going to make tomatoes taste delicious again!  YAY.  For those of you who have been reading The Urban Daddy for a long-time, you will remember that I love gardening and my favourite thing to grow… Tomatoes!  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/scientists-make-tomatoes-great-again-1.3953185

  4. The “Doomsday clock” has moved to 11:58pm for the first time since like 1954.  This means nothing to me, to be honest, and I didn’t even like the cartoon Doonsbury, so there!

5. GM is cutting 800 Canadian jobs and moving them to Mexico… Damn.  I hope Trump doesn’t hear that.  In retaliation, Canada has agreed to build a wall between Canada and Mexico.  Damn you capitalism!!!

6. I don’t know where you live, but here in Toronto where we need road tolls to keep the 905’ers out (see wall building), we have pot holes the size of, well, Mexico.  One such pot hole cost my wife her front tire and rim.  Damn you Mexico!

  1. Mary Tyler Moore passed away, and after being reacquainted with her show recently I came to realize that her TV feminism was inspiring and much needed.  She will be missed.

  2. The Toronto Maple Leafs do not stink… Am I dead???

9. I read somewhere that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mother had met the Donald (see President Trump earlier) back in the 70’s.  I thought the writer was trying to convince us that Donald Trump was his father, and when I told this to someone, they said, “Trump?  No.  Castro, yes!  They even look alike!!”  What?!?

  1. New expression in The Urban Daddy dictionary; “Playing your trump card”  Means saying whatever it takes to get what you want.  Truth, lies, half-truths… whatever!

  2. Trumpanomics.  Putting America first.  Hopefully Canada second. Could change direction at a moments Tweet and may or may not be accurate or true… Nobody knows…

  3. 2 hours before turning over reigns of the US to Trump, Former President Obama sent $221 million dollars to the Palestinian authority.  It would be a shame if that money was not used to build infrastructure and was used by the “leadership” to acquire weapons, build tunnels or for their pockets.  If you want your own state, start acting like responsible leaders and put your people first!  As for Obama… Not cool!

  4. One week of President Trump and here is what we know:  Torture good, Mexico bad.  Jobs good, jobs from tourists in Islamic countries bad. Woman bad. Free Trade bad. The Apprentice good. Climate change – fake.  Vaccinations – fake.

  5. (It’s my Trump calculations…) Tim Horton’s is opening up in… Gulp… Mexico.  Don’t tell Trump.  He’ll kick the coffee company out of the US.  Or, those in the southern US will need a really long straw to sip those yummy Timmy’s beverages.

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.

Halloween Safety Reminder from Health Canada (and from The Urban Daddy)


Halloween Safety

During the Halloween season it is important to keep your child’s safety in mind when planning costumes, decorations, treats and activities. Make sure that Halloween is a safe and happy experience for the whole family by preparing ahead of time.

Choose the right costume

      • Look for costumes and accessories such as beards, wigs, wings and tails that are labelled flame-resistant. Flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames.
      • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.
      • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks – improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child’s vision or breathing. If you do choose a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe easily.
      • Do not use contact lenses that change eye colour or create special effects because they can cause injury to a child’s eyes.

Avoid danger when decorating

      • To avoid injuries, let children draw a face or design on the pumpkin and then have an adult carve it.
      • Candles, jack-o-lanterns, lighters and matches are all fire hazards. Place lighted candles and jack-o-lanterns away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave them unattended.  Instead of candles, consider using a small flashlight or battery candle to light your jack-o-lantern.
      • Keep candles, matches, lighters and other fire hazards in a place that children cannot reach.
      • Check indoor and outdoor decorative lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Do not overload extension cords.

Stay secure while trick or treating

      • Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend.
      • Give each child a flashlight to carry, to make them more visible to motorists and others.
      • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on.
      • Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
      • Teach your children to be careful when crossing the street. Make sure they look both ways and only cross when no cars are coming. Cross streets at the corner, and never cross between parked cars.

For more safety tips, visit: 
http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/security-securite/home-maison/halloween-eng.php

Health Canada
Communications and Public Affairs Branch
Ontario Region

 

If you’ve made it this far, The Urban Daddy’s tip is this;  Trade the candy your children get for a toy.  Give out the candy you don’t want to eat (lol) and let them keep 5-10 pieces.

The candy will be long gone, but the toy will last until they lose interest in it.

 

Works like a charm!