Posted in cars, Community, Daddy, disaster, family, Life, Parenting, school, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

At What Age Will Parents Finally Get It? Re: School drop off


At what age / grade do parents finally have their “a-ha” moment when it comes to dropping off  their kids at school?

I’d like to know, because I’m shocked at the number of parents who just don’t get it.

I see you – every morning – doing the exact same thing, and I’m cursing you. So are all the other cars waiting in line that you have inconvenienced.

What are these parent not getting?

Common Courtesy!

Consideration for others.

Rules of the road.

Traffic laws.

Just to name a few off the top of my head.

You see, most schools have a very limited drop-off window for children and that window is at it’s busiest 15-30 minutes before school starts, and most often, the location for drop off is limited, thus, for drop-off to work effectively and efficiently, it has to be seamless.

The proper drop-off works like this;

  1. Car pulls up to drop off location – not exceeding the speed limit.
  2. Car stops.
  3. Parent says “get out!” or “goodbye”, or “I’ll pick you up”.
  4. Child opens the car door
  5. Child takes backpack.
  6. Child shuts door.
  7. Parent then looks both ways and slowly pulls away from the drop-off area and heads off to do their thing, or if the routine is really organized, then the car pulls forward and away, closely following the car right in front..

This method is so efficient. and so quick, but it never happens…

What really happens:

  1. Giant SUV driven by a very tiny woman zips up to the parking area and stops vehicle where ever she want. In a spot, diagonal facing the curb, on the curb, on the grass… blocking a driveway, or blocking oncoming traffic… Doesn’t matter.
  2. Driver opens the trunk by pressing a button
  3. Driver slowly exits the car in lululemon / workout clothes
  4. Driver then strolls around to the other side of the car and opens the door for the child.
  5. The driver then goes and gets the child’s backpack from the trunk.
  6. Driver helps child out of car
  7. Driver helps child get backpack on
  8. Driver looks child in the face and begins a seemingly long discussion with the child which likely could have occurred in the car.
  9. Driver kisses and hugs the child
  10. Driver points the child in the direction of the door.
  11. Driver waits for the child to enter the school
  12. Driver slowly walks back to the car hoping other lululemon mummy’s will see her outfit.
  13. Driver enters car
  14. Drive pulls away without looking, signalling or waiting, phone in hand, exceeding the speed limit and seemingly unaware that other children are walking on the road trying to get to school.

This is not a joke, nor meant to be a satire. It’s what happens daily.

Cars get frustrated, children are late, and there is a lot of honking.

 

Why can’t parents drop their kids of quickly and let the kids be responsible for getting out on their own?

These are likely the same parents who carry their kids backpacks and don’t get me started on that!

So please, parents… Teach your kids to be considerate of others around them even though you clearly have no hope.

Hopefully, you’ll get it…

One day…

 

 

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, Daddy, disaster, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy

July Was a Very Shitty Month!


What an absolutely shitty month, July turned out to be!

July last year was great! It was the first year that my wife and I had the pleasure of enjoying our @kidfreejuly (yes, we have that Twitter nickname) while all of our kids were enjoying PlanetArowhon. We went out for many dinners together, we tore apart the house and cleaned it from the bottom to the top culminating in a huge garage sale, and we even celebrated our wedding anniversary with our friends.

We were looking forward to more of the same this #KidFreeJuly. Very sadly, however, this July just sucked!

Kid free July began with my epic passing out routine, 45 minutes into an hour fitness class, and only got worse – I know, you’re thinking how much worse can it get than being the old dude walking out of a fitness facility accompanied by a stretcher and 2 EMT’s…

Well let me tell you!

A week after fitnessfailgate, my wife and I flew to the Big Apple, New York City, to meet our friends and enjoy a few days sightseeing, and attending a Billy Joel concert at the famed Madison Square Garden (a huge highlight for me).

We stayed in the lovely Carnegie Hotel, enjoyed a plush, comfy king bed, the snacks, and the 5pm wine and cheese. We had some fantastic meals, including one of the best meals I have ever eaten in my life at the Candle 79 Restaurant.

We walked on the High Line, then stopped in the Chelsea Market for a bite to eat when my wife’s cell phone rang. She answered, and within seconds, spun in her seat to face me – a look of shock in her face – placed her hand on my arm and said, “Oh my G-d, I’m so sorry Warren”.

My mind began to race… You see, my mother has not been well.  She was diagnosed with liver cancer a couple of months ago, and given a year, to a year and a half to live. Hearing that was extremely difficult for me. My father passed away 17-years ago, after my wife and I had been married for just a year, and my dad never got to meet his grandchildren.  Not a day goes by when I wish he could have met them and visa versa.

A year after my father died, my grandfather died. He was one of a kind. One of the kindest, sweetest men I have ever met. He was such an inspiration for me.

After losing my father and grandfather, my mother’s 2 brothers began to leave me, my wife and eventually our kids out of family functions, instead choosing to invite just my mother and sister instead.

I didn’t know what I may or may not have done, but for the longest time it really bothered me because it was a huge cause of stress for my mother and grandmother.  I tried to figure it out and resolve it. I apologized for what I thought I had done, and for what I may or may not have done, and I even asked for a face to face meeting to put all of this behind us.

They never responded. Like, ever.

They kept leaving us out, and kept expecting my sister to choose them over me and her niece and nephews.  Whatever… Everyone has family issues, right?

Getting back to that phone call, though… unbelievable.

My grandmother had passed away, just 8-days after her 96th birthday.

Born in the Ukraine, my Bubi was a true balabusta (Russian for homemaker), and to be honest, I thought she was never going to die. She lived alone right up to the end, and she was fully functional and fully operational, not like the Death Star from Star Wars. She was awesome, and for a long time, my sister and I had our grandparents to ourselves until it was finally time to share them with the other grand kids.

We used to visit all the time, help them out in their store, take care of their gardening, help around the house, and I was the only grandchild that my Bubi allowed to help with the hand washing of her dishes.

We were tight. I loved her dearly.

Even as the years progressed and as my mother’s brothers convinced her that I was the problem and they were justified in their actions, it took just one visit, or phone call for her to understand it was all crap.

I spoke to her on her birthday. She sounded great.  This loss hurt.

So after receiving the news we quickly moved to make arrangements to leave NY, get to Northern Ontario, pick up the kids from camp and attend the funeral. The only wrench in the plan would be in they planned a quick funeral.  We contacted Camp and learned that our eldest was in the middle of the wilderness on a camping trip, and while they had an emergency phone, it would only work if the trip leader called the base, at which point the could send a helicopter in to retrieve our son.

He was, however, coming back on the Sunday – just 2 days away – which meant any time Sunday in the afternoon, or Monday for the funeral would be best.

I reached out to my mothers younger brother to explain the situation, that we would need a bit of time, and it her could plan the funeral for the afternoon at the least, it would work out..

He basically said, tough shit, the funeral is planned.

I explained our intentions – my son being the oldest great grandchild, and knowing that he would really want to be there and speak at her funeral.

Again, I was told that there was no chance it was being moved.

Frantic, I offered to pay for the funeral, contact the funeral home, and let everyone know that the funeral has been moved from Sunday morning to Sunday afternoon.

He replied that it was the last he was going to talk about it, and that it was the last he was ever going to speak to me “as long as he lived”…

… okay…

He went on to say that I didn’t attend the mourning period for my grandfather (called a Shiva) and that I hadn’t visited my grandmother in the hospital.

I needed a second to comprehend what he had told me because that Shiva was 16-years-ago and also because I was at that Shiva each and every day.

Yes, I had not visited my grandmother when she was in the hospital because no one told me that she was there, but I did speak with her several times.

Frustrated like never before, I unleashed my thoughts to him in text, and in typical fashion, faced with the truth, he chose not to reply.

So my wife and I changed our flights and just made it home in time for the funeral.

My kids remained at camp, completely unaware that their great grandmother, their last great grand parent, had died.

They were going to be CRUSHED when they came home from camp and learned the news… My heart breaks for them.

During the funeral, I was a mess. I was super close with my grandmother having done so much for her before there were any other grandchildren, and recently watched as my mother and sister picked up the slack and helped her out.

My mother was unable to attend her mother’s funeral and she had been rushed to the hospital and was not doing well in her own right.  I know my mother wanted to be there, but the only bright side was that it saved her from hearing stories about how much her brothers did for my grandmother considering they had to pick up the slack only recently as my mothers health took a turn for the worse. They made themselves seems like such wonderful children…

Then, just 2 weeks after my grandmother died, my children arrived home from camp and after hearing what an amazing time they all had, I had the break the news that their great grandmother had passed away.  You could have heard a pin drop, and that silence which seemed to go on for hours was quickly shattered with the sound of crying.

My oldest was really upset. Why didn’t we come to get him? He was not happy at all knowing that my mothers brother – who cut his own 3 children and 7 grandchildren out of his life – had refused to wait half a day longer for them.

It was their great grandmother!

My kids were crushed. Devastated.

Then I had to break the news about my mother, whom the kids were REALLY close to. They loved her so much. When they saw her, or spoke to her you could see and hear the unconditional love in their emotions. The feeling was very much mutual.

We went right from the camp pickup point to the hospital to visit my mother who’s health had deteriorated to being in the 3-month to 6-month range, and we had no idea what we were about to face…

My mother was not doing well this day. She was in pain, and although I had come and spent time with her, supported my sister, over the previous 2 weeks that she was in the hospital, my mother just wanted to know when she could see the kids.

When my eldest arrived, my mother smiled for the first time in a very long time and told him how much she loved him.

Over the next hour, while being whisked from room to room and from doctor to doctor, to learn that my mother had days to live, she managed to tell all my kids that she loved them.

Later that night, she passed away.

She held on long enough for her grandchildren to return from camp, before she succumbed to her ailments and 2 weeks after the passing of her mother, she left us.

What came next makes me shake my head as I write this…

My mother would have wanted the family to mourn together for the week-long Shiva period, but that was not to be the case as her brothers decided they were going to observe their mourning period about 10 minutes away in the condo that belonged to my grandmother.

At the funeral, the youngest of my mothers brothers ignored me, my wife and my kids, instead embracing my sister while saying “I’m so sorry for your loss”.

Against the advice of the Rabbi my mother’s eldest brother announced to the attendees that he had some “issues” with my mother and that they “made peace” and that out of respect for my mother, they were sitting separately.

Absolutely disrespectful. If making peace means apologizing for 17-years of family stress by treating one of her children poorly (and his family), then one does not then continue the pattern and do exactly what my mother would not have wanted.

Then, not 5 minutes after we had buried my mother, he texted my sister and asked her to come mourn with them. Completely disregarding the fact that it’s our mother who died and that we actually had a relationship with her and didn’t cause her stress over the last 15 years with made up stories.

They never reached out to me to see how I was.

They emptied my grandmother’s condo without even asking me if there was something that I would like.

None of them – 4 adults and 6 children – contacted me in any way to offer condolence.

My eyes were open, but they have been opened even wider now.

I don’t know why they continue to put my sister in the middle of their childish stupidity.

I’ve come to realize that the opposite of love is not hate – I don’t hate anyone – but indifference.

I’m indifferent to them.

But Karma… She’s a bitch…

Posted in Community, Daddy, hockey, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Insert Toronto Maple Leafs Joke here…


Fine, okay, I get it… Being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs has never been easy. No Stanley Cups in my life-time, and very few players to get excited about.  Save for Rick Vaive, Wendel Clark, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Jiri Crha, and likely the best goaltender they have had in a very long time, Ed Belfour.

There are teams retiring the numbers of legends that people actually knew about. Among the Leafs retired numbers is Ace Bailey, who was almost killed on the ice, and the NHL held an all-star game to raise funds to benefit his medical bills – and we’ve suffered through all-star games ever since.  Then there is Bill Barilko, who I know about from a Tragically Hip song, 50 Mission Cap.  There is also the number up in the rafters which my middle child pointed at during a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game and said; “Dad, that’s my favourite former Leaf.” After going through pretty much the entire list, he blurted out, “it’s Tim Horton… I love his coffee.”  So I had to explain the who Tim Horton’s situation to him (Leaf, traded, Buffalo, Coffee Shop, Died, Wife sold the 2 shops for like $36,000)…

But this current crop of Leafs is the absolute best I have ever seen. They are very talented, and very skilled and very young, and even though the Marleau contract is not paying dividends, having his leadership is hopefully helpful. If it is not, they can always ship him to Robidas Island where Jeoffrey Lupel lives.

But when I look at this team I cannot help but see the elephant in the room that people are not talking about. The elephant is what caused the Leafs season to turn from being one of the best to being eliminated in game 7, yet again at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

Willie Nylander.

He held out much like his old man did when he played in the NHL, and he was rewarded by the Leafs rookie GM Kyle Dubas for doing so.

The day they brought Willy back was the day the team was destined for failure.

Need proof?

I have some.

The team was 20-8 with out Willy (.714 win percentage), and they ended 46-28 which means with Willy (I am a superstar so pay me like a superstar), they were 26-20 (.565 winning percentage).

Willie Nylander scored 7 goals and 20 assists for his $12,000,000 salary this year.  12-million. The percentage of points per dollars is so small, I’m not even going to put it here… It’s embarrassing.   The player who was filling his role at a $832,000 salary was Kaspari Kapanen and he managed a mere 20 goals, and 22 assists for 44 points. It’s fair to say that if Nylander had stayed home, Kapanen would have had upwards of 60 points and he wouldn’t demand $12,000,000 in salary.

For all of the players who say its a business, there are some players on the team who really love to play the game and seeing Nylander take care of himself and not help the team, it had to have a negative impact on the team morale.

Watching Nylander on the ice and you could see clearly that he was disinterested, disengaged and not giving it his all. Could it be from missing training camp and getting up to the same pace as the rest of the players? I don’t buy that. If he’s a true superstar, then he should have had no issues getting back into the swing of things within a few games. Instead, he had brain cramps on the ice, didn’t hustle where they needed him to, and scored a couple of garbage goals – either empty nets, or when the score didn’t matter.

And how did the “superstar” do in the playoffs? 1 goal, 2 assists (all points were even strength) and a whopping 14 shots on goal. WOW.

I think the fact that the team performed as they did, Matthews, Marner, Kadri (when he was suspended), Marleau, and to a much lesser extent Tavares, Brown, Hyman and Kapanen, the Leafs didn’t play like a team. It’s Nylander that I blame for that.

The Buds would be best to move off from Willie in the off-season. Unfortunately, before his selfishness and lack of interest in playing like a $12,000,000 player I felt they could have gotten a really good player in exchange, however, now that his true self has shown through, I don’t feel the team can get back anything of value if they can trade that salary at all.

I think the Nylander money can be used to keep Gardiner, and the team will be better without him.

Thanks Willy! Enjoy counting your money.

 

 

Posted in Canada, hockey, news, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Put Up Or Shut Up: William Nylander


What are the Toronto Maple Leafs going to do with William Nylander?  Sign him by 5pm today, December 1st, 2018, let that time pass and force him to sit out the entire NHL season, or trade him?

The saga might end today, or maybe it doesn’t.

The team certainly could use him, but then again, Kasperi Kapanen has been great in Willie’s spot.

The Leafs could let him sit out the entire season to teach him a lesson?  He’s an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so he belongs to the Leafs and just has to agree to the dollars and length of a contract and play, but he wants a lot of money and the Leafs don’t want to pay him a lot.

That’s a problem.

Maybe the Leafs make him sit out.

People keep saying that Willie needs to take the most money he can get because hockey careers are short and he should maximize his earnings and while we might think that’s greedy, and not best for the team, maybe losing the million or so he would have earned this season, plus the $4-5 million that he would have earned had he signed could be money he’ll never get back, especially if he can’t recapture his touch, or produce at a level he thinks he can while playing for the Hurricanes or Coyotes after the Leafs ship him out of town.

Personally, I think he’s got to sit, or go.  I think that he’s producing at his rate because he’s skilled but also so is the team, and while he might think he’s comparable to Dreiseitl in Edmonton at $8 million per year, if you were to remove Leon and place him on, say, Arizona, does he produce on his own at the rate he is now?  We know that to be a resounding no.

So what happens to Willie after 5pm today if he doesn’t sign, you ask?

Well, he’s only 22-years-old, and has only played in 2 NHL seasons so he falls way short of the 27-year-old / 7-season threshold needed to become an unrestricted free agent (meaning he could then sign with any team).

As for next season… He would still be a restricted free agent (RFA), meaning he would be in exactly the same spot he is in this year, but he would have missed an entire season and not been paid at all.

How about arbitration?  Maybe an arbitrator could solve this?  Again, no.  Willie hasn’t met the NHL requirements of playing 4-seasons, so he is ineligible.

Ouch.

He can be traded at any time, but he can’t then sign a contract until July 1st, 2019 because he’s ineligible to play this season if him and his daddy decide that money takes precedence over everything.

The Leafs are hoping that faced with these options Willie will take their offer.  Willie, I’m sure is being told that the Leafs need him (they do and they don’t) and that they’ll cave as the deadline approaches.

If the Leafs cave, what does that say to Marner and Matthew’s agents?

As a fan of the team, I’m positive that there are players on the team who would like to see him moved.  No player is bigger than a team – see Las Vegas last season – and his actions at the end of the day may be his right, but they’re selfish.

Sure, the team could trade him at a moment’s notice, blah, blah, blah, but that’s the price you pay for making it to the NHL.  You get a ton of money if you’re good.  But somehow, if suddenly you suck, the players don’t seem to be offering it back to the team, do they?

Today is put up or shut up time for Willie, but I really feel the damage has been done.