Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, health, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

The Urban Daddy is Back… Sort of.


Well after a fairly long period of inactivity and about 60 more drafts, I felt it was time to bring back some content to The Urban Daddy.

Here are the groundrules;

  1. Since the kids are getting older, they don’t necessarily want me discussing any details about their personal lives, (“I’ll sue!” said one of them), so I’m going to go back to basics and discuss a bunch of random stuff which involve things Daddies do when their kids are getting older, like work, play and everything in between
  2. I’m not an influencer. I appreciate the pitches, and offers, but only on some occasions would I go down that road. I don’t write posts for that reason, and if all I did was give away stuff, why would people come here??
  3. I’m Canadian. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m not affiliated with Urbandaddy.com in the US, other than the fact that I was here before them, and I sold them my Pinterest account.
  4. I’ve been busy. Some good, more not so good, but I’m still here. I’ve gotten a new career working for a company and filling a role that I absolutely love, so that’s good. COVID is still here, but I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask where possible so I don’t pass along any germs to anyone. I’ve always wondered why sick people don’t wear masks to prevent spreading their colds. I learned this was a very kind thing when we were in Japan a couple of years ago and asked a local guide why there were people wearing masks outside. I thought it might be due to air pollution, but the guide explained that these people are not feeling well and didn’t want to make others sick… Take that, anti-maskers!
  5. I took an online cooking class through George Brown College and their culinary area. It was an intro to cooking and it was vegan and the whole experience was amazing. I used to have a hang-up about cooking – had convinced myself that I was unable to just pick a recipe and follow it – but this course had me making tons of great stuff, like stocks, risotto, my own pasta, and my own tofu. I’m going to take another… Soon.
  6. I’ve also managed to expand my volunteering and wound up with a board position on a local hockey league as their registrar… Not going to lie, but it’s a huge challenge, because I’ve been busy in my new paid role, and trying to find time for my volunteer role has posed a few challenges.
  7. I had hurt myself quite badly at the beginning of the pandemic (not sure if I wrote about this or not), but I was walking on Yonge Street with my sister, and I stepped off the curb to avoid people, but the street was uneven so I rolled my ankle, and in the process did a crap-load of damage to myself, tearing muscles and ligaments off my right hip, right ankle, and I tore my left groin muscle, resulting in me passing out on Yonge Street, then a few days later in the hospital for a ton of tests and medication when I was unable to move because everything seized up. It took me about a year to be able to get everything moving pain-free and since that time, I’ve been walking about 5km/day where possible. I’d love to be able to lose that COVID weight, then the late-night snacking weight, followed by the baby-weight I gained when our now 16yo son was born.
  8. I have a love/hate relationship with the Olympics, so I’ll hopefully have some more words to say about them shortly, other than to say that they always make me cry, and I’m so happy for all Canadian athletes who have won medals, or tried their best.
  9. So, yeah… I guess we’ll see how long this lasts. 😉

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

More Questions Children Ask About the Way We Do Things


Building on the previous questions – the post a few days before this one – that children (my children) have asked about the way we do things, and why.

  1. How is the US possibly considering taking away women’s rights to do what they want with their own bodies? If the US is REALLY pro-life, then they would ban guns, and murder, and violence, because who says the life of an unborn baby matters more than the life of a child or adult who are killed for the colour of their skin, their sex or their ethnicity?
  2. If police here in Toronto really wanted to crack down on cars that speed, don’t follow street rules, and have tinted windows, they should make a law. (We have the conversation about the fact there are laws). In that case, if they break the law, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. They should be forced to make the changes to their cars. In the mean time, they should have to take public transit. And they should have to pay a fine. That money should go into educating drivers what will happen if they break the laws. If they drink and drive and hurt someone or kill someone, they no longer get to drive. If they damage someone’s property, they should have to pay for it. There needs to be accountability.
  3. The funniest of these very serious conversations came while discussing limits on screen time. We have always limited screen time, and sites kids can and cannot visit. When parents, my kids say, they will not restrict screen time. They will instead, have serious conversations with their children about when they can access screens and for how long.

When asked what they would do to ensure that school work was completed?

Take away the access until it was done?

Nope.

They would “discuss” the importance of making sure school work is a priority.

How about if they work still isn’t done?

Take away access?

Again, no, it would make much more sense to have a conversation with the children to let them know that school work comes first and electronics second.

So I asked… What if they lie to you about having work done, or don’t contribute to the house chores? Don’t help with meal prep? Don’t set or clean off the table? Don’t take their laundry downstairs, or don’t take their wet towels off their beautiful hardwood floors?

Without missing a beat, they said; “They will”.

Puzzled, I asked, “so all I needed to do was have a serious conversation with you guys about responsibility, but give you free and unlimited access to electronics and you would be help out more around the house?”

“Absolutely!”, was their response…

“But”… was their next word… “You guys are terrible parents so we likely would have just been on our devices all day!”

I sat there blinking my eyes at them.

“Parenting is really not that hard, you just have to know how to do it properly.”

At which point I stopped the car (we were home) and pointed to the outside, and said, “OUT!”

… and they disappeared with devices in hand, never to be seen or heard from again, or at least until I yelled, “dinner!”.

Posted in Canada, Community, family, Food, health, Life, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love Skip the Dishes?


The pandemic has changed the way I do things, and one of best things to come out of self-isolation (besides the weight-loss) has been an introduction to Skip the Dishes. I’ve been using this app quite a lot, and I really like it…

I’ve tried the other apps, and they’re good too, but I find with the Skip app, that some things are just easier to navigate, and they make ordering food really easy. Idiot proof, if you prefer, which suits this idiot just fine.

Just the other day, for example, it gave me the heads up that there were a few new restaurants which might be of interest to me, and as a result, we tried a place called the Rosedale Pantry.

There were many items to choose from at this restaurant – some vegetarian, some dairy free, some gluten free, but just mainly good looking food which sounded like it would be delicious. We ordered just about one of everything (Chicken Shawarma with Tahini, Grilled Salmon, Miami ribs, Caprese Quinoa, Dan Dan Broccoli, Kale Caesar salad, Kale and Beet salad, Middle Eastern salad, Roasted Sweet potatoes, Tahini Cauliflower, Tokyo Slaw, Mac & Cheese, and Wild Mushrooms – I wasn’t kidding when I said we tried almost one of everything) and within minutes, we could see that our driver was on the way to pick up the food.

We love watching the driver on the Skip app, as you get to see the car move through the city from their starting location to the restaurant, and then from restaurant to your home.

The food itself was really delicious, very fresh, very flavourful, and the portions were much larger than I anticipated they would be. Would absolutely order from there again, especially if you were having a post-COVID party and wanted to have salads and dishes of different foods for people to eat. Strongly recommend that!

The other cool feature of the Skip app that I have only had to use a couple of times, was when there was a missing dish, or error in the food. The customer service from these guys is spot on. They are polite, quick, and responsive. There is no waiting for weeks to have an issue resolved.

So it’s due to those reasons and likely a few more, why I choose to use Skip the Dishes when ordering food.

Also, if you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, make sure to check out the Rosedale Pantry.

Which food delivery apps do you prefer? What would you say is their best feature, and worst feature?

Posted in Life

Thursday 13: 13 Things that I do because, I’m a Dad. A Father. Therefore I do “Dad” things.


As a Dad and a father, things change, and there are now certain expectations or responsibilities which make me who I am. 

Here are just 13 things that changed when I became Dad.

  1. Changing expectations when eating vegetables.  My broccoli no longer includes the flourettes, instead my portion is the stems – the part that no one likes to eat.
  2. .. Yum.  But that would be plain cheese pizza because that’s what the family eats. Or, if I’m lucky. Otherwise, I get a whole lot of crusts, and I hope and pray that those crusts have some sauce or cheese on them.
  3. Leftovers? What are those? As Dad, leftovers are my meals.  After “Daddy, daddy, daddy, I want oatmeal for breakfast” and then after refusing to eat it, I pack it up, toss it in the fridge, and then I either eat that oatmeal for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the next few days.
  4. Sniffing or tasting food which someone suspects may not be suitable to eat. If it looks funny, smells funny, is close to the posted expiry date, or has been in the fridge just a bit too long to feed to the kids, it goes into my tummy. Yum.
  5. Cleaning up Poo.  All Poo, anywhere.  Kids, poo, toilet poo, poo in clothing, poo on floors, animals poo, things that might be poo…
  6. Cleaning up vomit… (see above). Nuff said.
  7. When there is a night walker in the house, I intercept.  If there is a line up to sleep with mommy, I move.  If there is a child falling out of bed, or anything nightly disturbance, Daddy is on the scene! That usually means that within a week, I’ve pretty much slept everywhere in the house, but that’s okay so long as everyone else has a good night’s sleep because I’m so exhausted all the time I can sleep anywhere, anytime.
  8. Carpool / Taxi service, call it what you want, but it’s daddy’s territory.
  9. Back-up school help in areas where I am so not qualified, often at the end of a long day:

“Do quotation marks go before or after the period or question mark?”

“Huh?”

“I think I missed that day in public school”. (Child not accepting that answer).  “There is an American way and a Canadian way.”

Still not buying it.

Stalling long enough to Google that question and come up with this answer:

“There is a difference between US and British/Canadian punctuation styles.  In the US, trailing periods and commas always appear inside the quotation marks, for example, “Let’s go to the zoo.” Or, another example, like the spelling of the word is “ampersand.” Or, final example, He said, “Go now,” and turned away.
But in Canada and in the UK, they follow the logical extension of the quote. The period or comma goes outside the quotation mark, except where the period is part of a quote. For example, He said “The day is long.” Or, the movie was called “Benji”.

How about question marks? Well, If you’re quoting a question then the “?” goes within the quotation marks, as in this example, Sally asked, “Where are you going?”

Not to be confusing, but if you’re asking a question about a quote, then the “?” goes after the quotation marks, as in this example. Did Sally say, “We are going to the zoo”?

Clear as mud, eh? I think I taught them to stop asking me questions.

  1. Act responsibly behind the wheel.  I can only slightly exceed the speed limit if everyone in my car is sleeping and if I do so without putting anyone in harm’s way (like weaving in and out of traffic).  Duh.  Learning to not swear at / talk to other cars was WAY more difficult.
  2. Going to the toilet will / has never been the same. If it’s not trying to figure out how the seat got wet when the boys are supposed to pick up the seat to pee, and how the floor got soaked when nobody in my family admits to having used that bathroom, like ever. Or when there is pee on the wall, or all the toilet paper is in the toilet, or someone forgot to flush, or the icing on the cake, whenever I’m in the bathroom and manage to lock the door only to have it unlocked and before I know it I’m face to face with a child.
  3. Promote the playing of sports for fun, while competing, but always within the rules.  I don’t want to be that Dad who forces my son to play a sport because I never had the chance or was good at it.  That’s the best way to build up resentment and that’s not what our generation does…
  4. Keep lines of communication open at all times, and make sure that children are able to read situations and most importantly that they are able to learn what it is that their mother wants / needs and to be sure that she gets it.  She did, after all, birth those kids which I think trumps (not the Donald) everything else that I can and do as a father / dad.

 

What’s changed for you?

Posted in events, family, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Father’s Day: Young Kids vs Teens


Father’s Day!

Every day is father’s day, in my eyes, and this day is just another day for me – thankful for being a father, and thinking of my father who passed away 17-years ago at such a young age and who never got to see my children.

Thank goodness my wife’s father is alive, healthy and have developed such a wonderful relationship with my kids.

So with that being said, and having been at this blogging thing for almost 15-years, I have a great perspective of what it’s like being a father for the first time, when the kid(s) are young, and now that they are approaching and in their early teens (my oldest is 14).

First Father’s Day

The novelty of having children and being a father is finally sinking in, which makes your relationship with your father / father-in-law / father figure / grand father, etc., a bit more enriched.

You are likely to get a card from your wife, from your child, parents, siblings, etc., and a picture or baby hand imprint, or paper with drool on it – something like that which you will keep.

Future Father’s Days

The kid(s) ask what you want, and they usually make stuff at school. Cute stuff, like the hand print, or the paper saying that your dad is 83-years-old, and have no hair, and your favourite colour is blue, and that for a living you yell and them and burp a lot.

This is the age of BBQ’s and “Best Father” mugs, and ties, and stuff like that. Father’s day is still super awesome, if not more awesome because you’ve realized the amount of work your wife has put into the family so you whisk the kids away for the day and take them to the zoo, to a movie, to the park, or to see your mother.

Caution: The Teen / Tween Years

I’m still relatively new to this, but thus far, Father’s day goes something like this;

  1. Remind the kids father’s day is coming up
  2. Remind the kids that you really like a homemade card or craft but a hug and kiss will suffice
  3. Ask them halfway through the day is they know what day today is…
  4. When the kids fight or disagree with each other, try making peace between them by saying, “Hey! It’s Father’s Day!!”
  5. Try not to laugh when told, “You’re as useful as a screen door on a submarine”, or “You’re not the stupidest person on the planet… But you’d better hope that person doesn’t die.”

 

(If you laugh they think it’s acceptable – or really funny – and they’ll want to quit school and go on tour as a comedian… OY!)

So you end up wishing yourself a Happy Father’s Day, and you think about how great it’s been thus far as a father, and then you try to figure out where on earth it all went so wrong.