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.

 

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Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, government, Parenting, Toronto, travel, urbandaddyblog, US

It’s All My Fault!


canadian iglooIt’s all my fault.

Not the fault of the many who removed their snow tires, or put away their shovels, but my fault that it’s snowing in Toronto on April 4th.

And for that, I’m sorry.

You see we have family just south of the border in The United States of Donald Trump, and for what seems like the past couple of weeks, that area has been pounded by snow.

Snow.

I know, crazy, eh?

Since it is my long-lasting belief that most Americans believe that north of the boarder Canada is always covered in snow, I mockingly sent a Facebook message to said relatives telling them that they needed to move to Toronto, not the Southern US because it was plus 8 here and we hadn’t seen snow in quite a while.

I mean really…

Spring weather in Toronto.

Snow in the US…

In April.

 

Clearly Trump saw my message and commended Mother Nature to sick light snow flakes on the City along with 90 km/h winds.

 

Heck… I’ll take the little bit of snow and I’m okay that Americans generally think we live in igloos in exchange for not having to arm our school teachers with guns, and not electing incompetent leaders…

Wait.

Disregard the leader comment, and let’s stick with no guns!

Brrrrrr.

Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, Food, health, money, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, travel

Travel With Kids! Yeah! As Much As Possible, Please!


I opened my Twitter feed this morning (I’m @urbandaddyblog if you’re not following me yet – and if you’re not… SHAME!) and the first tweet that greeted me was this one;

“Up next with on Travel Edition. Are healthy eating and traveling even possible with hotel stays and security restrictions? Tune in to hear more…

Then I thought about all of the travel we have done over the years with the kids and food, make that nutritious food, has never been an issue… anywhere!

By “travel”, I’m not just referring to East York, Mississauga, or GASP, Richmond Hill – which if you live in or near the Greater Toronto Area, you will know take 40 minutes to an hour no matter what time of day, and literally used to take “5-minutes” when I was younger…

Here are some of the places we’ve taken the kids (current ages are 8-13);

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • PEI
  • England
  • France
    • Paris 3 times
    • Drove the country heading south
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
    • Seville
    • Drove the country / took trains
  • Italy
    • Venice
    • Rome
    • Amalfi Coast
    • Florence
    • Drove the country / took trains
    • Tuscany
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Holland
    • Amsterdam
    • Ghent
    • Edam
  • Florida

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

We’re big into the experience, so I’m not including cruises, but we backpack – take the least amount possible, and when we look for places to stay, there are no hotels.  We want to experience our destination as the locals would, which is why Air BnB is great for us.

With Air BnB not only do we save on accommodations because 5 people at hotels require an extra room, or extra charge, but we ensure we have WiFi, Air Conditioning and most importantly a kitchen!

With a kitchen, the food, especially healthy food, never becomes an issue.   We are so lucky to have a spouse who is almost certified as a nutritionist, and who is so incredibly organized that when we (read: she) plans our accommodations and itinerary around grocery stores so we can gather the food we need for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Without having to rely on eating out all the time, we save money, and eat much better and much healthier, plus we have snacks available for taking with us on our excursions / day-trips.

That’s how we get to experience the world with children, while eating healthy, and having a ton of fun.

 

 

Posted in Canada, family, Life, news, politics

March 8th, 2018: International Woman’s Day!


IWD logo 2018

Today, March 8th, 2018, is International Woman’s Day, and as I said to my wife this morning, “Happy International Woman’s Day! I wish we didn’t need this day”, to which she responded, “Neither do we!”

International Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights, and is observed around the world with celebrations, protests, marches, and awareness that woman are people too.

It astounds me to think that in 2018, some women cannot drive, be elected to government, and cannot live their lives without being sexually harassed or assaulted just because they are women.

The “MeToo” movement really brought up a lot of controversial topics which were swept under the rug for way too long, which is why on this day, I support my wife and my daughter and hope that they will one day not be judged in comparison to men but on their own merit.

It still sickens me to think that on a daily basis, women all around the world are concerned about their physical well-being by the actions of men, just because of the fact they are women.

While so much has changed…  As a society, we still have SO far to go!

Remember how we would muse that if women ran the world, there would be no wars, no wasted money, and everyone would get along…

It’s time!

 

Posted in news, Parenting, urbandaddyblog

Halloween Safety Reminder for Adults from Rayovac!


Have a Scary, but Safe, Halloween from Rayovac!

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Ghosts and goblins, little witches and skeletons — and more than likely the latest Disney princesses and comic book characters — will be roaming the streets come Halloween.

A scary as the subtext of Halloween may be, it’s not meant to be dangerous day. While adult costume parties are increasingly popular, it is still a day meant for the kids, and you want to do all that you can to keep it safe for them without taking the spirit of the day away.

“Halloween is such a fun time of year, with the costumes, parties and scary décor,” says Namita Gupta, Senior Marketing Manager for Rayovac at Spectrum Brands. “You don’t want to dampen that fun with an accident or emergency that could have been avoided by taking the right precautions.”

Namita offers the following tips to keep your Halloween safe without taking away any of the fun:

Drive carefully.

Ideally, you won’t have to get in your vehicle on Halloween. But if you do, remember there will be scores of excited youngsters roaming the streets, and they could be darting out into the road unexpectedly. Please pay attention.

Keep an eye on those kids.

Kids can be quick and crafty. To keep them from running out into the road unattended, sampling some candy you haven’t inspected or entering a stranger’s house, don’t divert your attention from their Halloween frivolity.

Illuminate from within.

The Jack O’Lantern is a time-honoured Halloween tradition. Carve a scary face into the side of pumpkin, put in a candle and voila! a creepy glowing scary face out front of your house. But anytime you are using a live flame, like a candle, there is a risk of fire. Mitigate that risk by using small battery-powered lights to give your Jack its spooky aura.

Light the way.

No question, Halloween is best enjoyed after dark. But it can be treacherous walking to streets with limited visibility after the sun goes down. Best to carry a small flashlight with you to ensure no tripping hazards are in your path.

Charge up.

Taking the kids out trick or treating is the Halloween mainstay, the kids decked out in their costumes going door-to-door for some free candy. No doubt you will want to snap some pictures on your mobile phone, coordinate with the parents of your children’s friends, or — worst case — maybe even need your phone in the event of an emergency. It’s not a time you want to be running out of juice. Bring along a portable charger to ensure your phone is ready when you are.

Enjoy cautiously.For the kids, it’s all about the candy. Mini chocolate bars, bags of chips, rockets, molasses kisses … by the end of the night their treat bags are a veritable cornucopia of junk food.  Parents should closely inspect all of the candy the kids bring home on Halloween, looking closely for any evidence it may have been tampered with. It is also a wise idea to monitor how much they are eating to ensure it stays in balance with a relatively healthy diet.

 

For more information on Rayovac, please visit Rayovac.com.

 

About Rayovac:

Rayovac is a brand of consumer products owned by Spectrum Brands Inc. Rayovac® products lead the world in battery power and innovation. Backed by a long history of bringing the latest innovations to the marketplace, Rayovac® offers a full range of high-performance batteries to meet the power needs of today’s consumers. From long-lasting alkaline batteries to advanced rechargeable technology to mercury free, enhanced hearing aid batteries, Rayovac’s state-of-the-art products offer more power for the money. The company also manufactures a wide selection of high-quality flashlights. For more information, visit www.rayovac.com.

 

About Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc:

Spectrum Brands Holdings, a member of the Russell 2000 Index, is a global and diversified consumer products company and a leading supplier of consumer batteries, residential locksets, residential builders’ hardware, plumbing, shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden and home pest control products, personal insect repellents, and auto care products. Helping to meet the needs of consumers worldwide, our Company offers a broad portfolio of market-leading, well-known and widely trusted brands including Rayovac®, VARTA®, Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, National Hardware®, Pfister®, Remington®, George Foreman®, Russell Hobbs®, Black+ Decker®, Tetra®, Marineland®, Nature’s Miracle®, Dingo®, 8-in-1®, FURminator®, IAMS®, Eukanuba®, Digest-eeze™, Healthy-Hide®, Littermaid®, Spectracide®, Cutter®, Repel®, Hot Shot®, Black Flag®, Liquid Fence®, Armor All®, STP® and A/C PRO®. Spectrum Brands Canada is based in Mississauga, ON. The Global Auto Care Division manages the Armor All® and STP® brands. Spectrum Brands Holdingsbased in Middleton, Wisconsin, generated net sales of approximately $4.69 billion in fiscal 2015, employs more than 13,500 employees worldwide and sells to the top 25 global retailers with products in more than one million stores. For more information, visit www.spectrumbrands.com.