Posted in Daddy, family, Life

How My Kids Almost Disowned Me Over Treats: and how I got to stay as their Dad.

I happened to overhear a conversation between my 6-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter regarding the fact that I was taking my 8-year-old son to the store with me;

6yo: “He’s going to buy him snacks! That’s not fair. We’re not going to get anything!”

3yo: “Yeah! That’s not fair. I don’t like Daddy anymore!”

6yo: “Me either! Unless he buys me a treat too. Then I can share it with you!”

3yo: “Or if he buys me a treat, I will share it with you!”

6yo: “Well, what kind of treat do you want? I want mint-chocolate”

3yo: “Well, I want mint-chocolate too… and strawberry and bubble gum and gummies and berries.”

Me: “Ewww, disgusting. I’m not getting anyone a treat guys. Relax”

6yo to me: “Why do you do that? Why do you dismiss everything you don’t like as being disgusting. Just because it is nothing you like does not make it disgusting!!!”

Me, thinking I’ve just been put in my place by a 6yo: “Errr, yup. You are correct. I think it’s disgusting. My opinion only. Sorry about that guys. But all that sugar will eat away at your teeth and that is disgusting, right?

6yo and 3yo: “Ewwww. Disgusting.  We don’t want a treat, Daddy.”

Phew!  Got through that one okay, but barely.  How in the heck am I going to be able to navigate the serious issues?!?  Well that would be my wife’s responsibility!  I got them through diapers, she can get them through the teenage years!

Although I’m sill not sure how I feel about being put in my place by my 6yo.  I get the feeling this is going to be an ongoing issue with him.  🙂

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, family

What a weekend: Karate, BBQ, UJA Walk for Israel and a picture.

Yes, I know it’s almost 1am and I should go to sleep, but I wanted to make sure much of the house was ready for the week ahead and that I would be ready for another productive week at the office.

Really, however, I should have gone to bed at 10am when my wife did because this was one action-packed weekend and like my family, I’m tired!

So where to begin?

Saturday!  Karate.  Both boys did quite well.  Linus was a little goofy at the beginning of his class and I noticed that he cannot bring his knees right up to his chest when he jumps, so I’m going to have to work with him, but every other stretch, or exercise, he was right in there with the bigger kids.  I’m proud of his development.

Stewie on the other hand really looks like he’s the odd-boy out in his group.  He’s the biggest kid in his level and honestly, he’s the most technically sound, which is why they are trying to move him up to his yellow belt, quickly before he gets bored.  He received another stripe in that class.  That puts him one red stripe and some grading away from yellow.  Yay.

It was also this day when I realized my kids refer to “Tim Horton’s” and “Tim-Portance”…

So we came home, cleaned up and had some new friends over for a BBQ.  YUM.  There is nothing like BBQ’d burgers, dogs and corn.  While the food was on the grill it gave me a chance to plant some veggies I bought – okra, beans, tomatoes, beets, and very soon blueberries to got with the raspberries and strawberries. 

It’s kind of funny that we spent all this money on nice patio furniture for our extended deck and we’ve only been able to use it once, with all the rain we’ve been having.   I found the solution to all the rain, I’m going to buy rain boots for my wife  whose birthday is in a couple of days.  Once she gets those the rain will certainly stop.

Sunday was the UJA Walk for Israel in the streets of downtown Toronto.  Last year it was roasting hot and we took to the streets with a then 6 months old baby in the stroller and 5 and 3 year old boys eager to walk check-point to check-point picking up treats and getting their passports stamped.  About 5km into the 7km route, Stewie melted down and we tossed him in the stroller, my wife strapped the baby to her back and with a blister on her foot, we walked the entire route.

This year, we figured with the boys one year older that we could make it through the route if we cut out a couple checkpoints and made sure the they had lots of treats.  Last year there were yogurt drinks, chips, licorice, and other such junk, popsicle, that kept the boy moving but this year checkpoint 1 had gum and water.  My kids don’t eat gum and we had plenty of water.  So this started the “I want a treat” whine from Stewie and he kept this up the entire day.  It even got to the point that he rejected chips and french fries because he wanted chocolate, so my wife threw him in the stroller – figuring he’d appreciate the rest and might even sleep,but he originally wanted no part of that, so what she saw was this;

Stewie, Urban Daddy, Berry and Linus walking
The 4 of us walked for a little bit until Stewie went back for the stroller and I scooped up Berry so we could head towards the finish. 
It was a good walk.  I put on 24,528 steps today for my Global Corporate Challenge.
I also realized I am officially bald.  I burned the top of my head.
Right before the end of the walk, there were these crazy orthodox men protesting the existence of Israel.  I thought that was really weird, as did Linus, until my wife pointed out that I had the same reaction last year.  These guys don’t speak Hebrew, they speak Yiddish, and they want to be free to pray where ever they want or something like that.
This upset Linus – who goes to a Jewish day school – because they fill their heads with pro-Israel news and information how could the kids not bond with the country.  Personally, I’ve never been there and my family comes more from Russia and Poland, so I don’t feel the tie to Israel, nor do I understand why peace cannot be ironed out, but hopefully we’ll get there in the next couple years.
One funny point today occurred when we cut through the Rogers Centre to get to a different check-point (I was holding a pizza and we wanted to eat it, then catch up…  Well we took the skywalk back to Union station but along the way my wife took the elevator to the ground floor, while the boys and I took it down only once floor so we were separated.  I called her and we agreed to meet at the next checkpoint, problems is, she had the map. 
So the boys and I walked on to Front street, found a gaggle of walkers, and joined their walk on King street when I noticed that we had butted out way into the Aja Khan walk and we going g-d knows where with g-d knows who.  With that, we quietly left that walk and headed back to Front street where we could my wife and daughter.
So all in all a great day!  Kids are clean and out cold, and my wife has not stirred since her head hit the pillow.  The kitchen is clean, I cma clean and it’s time for beg 
Posted in family

Is it still bribery?

Is it still bribery if it works?

For months I have been complaining here and on Facebook about my kids lack of love for skating and karate.

Skating we do Saturday morning and Karate on Sunday morning.

Watching the older boy do karate is very painful. He knows the moves but gets distracted, is tired or generally would rather talk to the girl sensei’s. He has white belt with an orange stripe and a couple notches for about a year and I thought he would never progress towards his yellow belt.

In skating, he fared a little better as he became on of the fits kids his group to jump, but he still sends way too much time sitting on the ice complaining. Considering he had never skated before I am extremely pleased with his progress and willingness to try new things.

Stewie on the other hand is excelling in karate, just behind his brother in rank although himself just starting about 6 months ago. He listens, tries and looks like he really enjoys it. That makes me happy.

But in karate… Look out! He’s a disaster. He spends a lot of time on the ice wailing. Doesn’t want to fall, or get up once he falls, or skate or sit still.

I gave up and decided to bribe them, if that is the correct word.

I offer them a Tim Horton’s cookie after class (a couple times before class if they have already started melting down). The sugar / treat keeps them interested and they follow better and perform better.

Now they are both taking party in the skating contest at the end of the program and Linus is up for testing to get his yellow belt.

Some may cal it “bribery” but I call it incentive.

Am I wrong?

What do you do to get your kids to perform better?

Posted in Life, Parenting

Thoughts of Parenting, Sports and… Taxes…

Random things rolling through my head at this exact moment:

So rumour has it that Mats Sundin wants to leave the Toronto Maple Leafs and go play for the New York Rangers, eh? Hmmmm. He might have just turn down $10 million a year from the Vancouver Canucks, so I don’t buy it.  Might be a contract ploy.

This is yet another reason why I love my son, Linus:

Linus at 4-years-old, already knows that we ask him what he did and what he ate when he goes to see Grandma and Grandpa.  He’s always been spot on and able to recollect things like that, so we can rely on his word as the truth… So far, at least.  Tonight, however, there was a blip on the radar.

Apparently, us asking him, and then using that information against his grandparents, have caused his grandparents to warn him about what he tells us…

Maybe time for a new plan!

After denying everything, I went right for the jugular, and asked him if he ate “cookies or chocolate” while there, which have always been a no no.

He not only caved on that answer but he went a tad further by telling us that he liked it!

He also said he had a bath which he liked as well.

He also said they went for a ride… “in the black car… in a car seat… with no seat belt, he held it shut.”


He was joking.

Funny kid.

Last night at Sportball soccer, Linus actually kicked the ball twice during the game as he took time from sucking on the front of his shirt.

I’m SO proud of him.

I yelled and clapped and he looked really excited.

I don’t care if he ever touched the ball (not really) but I just want him to have fun (again, not really). 🙂

Also thinking about why I am so stressed out? I’m on vacation until September?  Must be the 2 kids, MBA school and life…

Anyone know where I can buy tax books? Like on GST, and stuff like that? Can’t get them from a library… My wife mentioned something called the Internet, but I think she’s going crazy.  This Internet thing is just a fad…

Spent most of the day trekking around downtown Toronto with my wife and kids looking for jewelry supply companies and silver beads… Found a few, she picked up quite a beautiful haul. Look for some of her fantastic stuff posted here.

What is the best way to get a child into a different school district? I’ve heard about buying a house in that area as an option, as I’ve also heard that tears work… Suggestions anyone?

Had my last softball game of the season tonight – and by far our team’s best game although we lost due to some HORRIBLE umpiring. I went 3 for 4, my one out was a rocket to deep left field and I threw 2 runners out at second base from the outfield on singles. Made a few catches… All in all a great way to end a season.   Ball hockey begins Thursday!!!

Thinking I might sleep now that I’ve gotten all this off my chest…