Father Daughter Bubbles

Let Go, Dad

“Let go, Dad!”

We weren’t 5 seconds into her first lesson but I saw the confidence in her eyes as I let my hand slip off the handlebars of her bike.

I still remember spinning her around through a sea of bubbles and giggling together as we tried to pop them all. She was so little. The only thing that mattered in those moments was the laughter. She is 5 now and while there is still lots of laughter, something else has emerged. Now I see a little girl standing in front of me who has real thoughts and feelings and emotions, and I’m not going to lie, it’s a little scary.

It feels like a never ending struggle to find a balance between keeping her safe and letting her explore the world on her own, which I know she loves to do. She constantly pushes her comfort zone to the limit and surprises me at every turn, reminding even me that life itself is about pushing yourself and not being satisfied with the status quo.

The cliché goes, “You can do anything you set your mind to”, and we all laugh at the absurdity of it, but with her I believe it. Tell her she’s too little and she’ll fight to prove you wrong, which is good because we haven’t blessed her with height.

She beamed with pride on this day, as did her parents, as she felt the wind rushing past her face and rang her bell to let the neighbourhood know that the training wheels were gone. Letting go wasn’t easy but the reward was far greater than the fear.

Daughter Bike Ride

Kinder Canada Eggs Minions Movie

Win A Minions Themed Kinder Surprise Prize Pack! Plus, Minion Crafts!

I know I promised you an amazing Minions themed Kinder Surprise giveaway but in honour of the 11 new Minions toys inside specially marked KINDER® SURPRISE® Classic eggs I wanted to show you a very cool and very easy craft you can do with your kids! Follow along with the pictures below to create your very own Kinder Minions!

Step #1 – Gather your supplies. In this case you will need an empty Kinder Surprise Egg, scissors, a sharpie, googly eyes, glue, a piece off some old jeans and glue.

Kinder Egg Minions 1

Step #2 – Use the sharpie to draw a band across the top of your Kinder Surprise Egg.

Kinder Egg Minions 2

Step #3 – Glue a googly eye in the middle of the band and draw a smile and hair on your minion.

Kinder Egg Minions 3

Step #4 – Cut some pieces off the jeans and glue them to the bottom of your minion to make pants! (Parents beware, jeans are tough to cut! You may want to help here.)

Kinder Egg Minions 4

Step #5 – Let your minions dry and they are ready to go looking for a new master!

Kinder Egg Minions 5

MINIONS THEMED KINDER SURPRISE GIVEAWAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and also, don’t forget to visit the Kinder Canada Facebook Page on Friday, May 22 for a chance to win four tickets to see the Minions movie in theatres when it comes out this July!

DISCLOSURE: I’m a #KinderMom/Maman/Dad who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team; as part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products.

Kids Video Camera

Two Kids, Their Toys And A Video Camera

My wife and I recently bought a new camera and we decided to give our old camera to the kids. We taught them how to take pictures and thought it would be funny to check back in to see what they came up with. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined that they would have figured out how to shoot their own videos, but they did…

After marveling at their work, I plucked my favourite video off the memory card and loaded it up onto the YouTube. Without further ado, I present to you a short film by my children entitled, “Nice To Meet You”. Enjoy and never underestimate your children!

Harlem Globetrotters Family

What Do You Do When A Harlem Globetrotter Rings Your Doorbell?

The other day we were fortunate enough to have a special visitor in our home. His name is Zeus McClurkin and he is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters! The Globetrotters will be playing at the Canadian Tire Centre at 3pm on April 12th and Zeus thought it would be fun to stop by to shoot around with my kids and to teach them some new tricks. Check out the video of our experience and then read on to find out why these guys are my new favourite show to see with the kids.

I’ve always been amazed at how long the Globetrotters have been able to sustain their show, especially considering all the distractions today’s world offers our children. After watching Zeus interact with not only my kids but also all the neighbourhood kids that gathered around, I am no longer surprised by this. He brought autographed pictures for every kid in the neighbourhood and took the time to pose for photos until everybody had one.

As Zeus was leaving, my daughter chased him down the street yelling, “Huggy, Huggy!”, with her arms outstretched. That’s the kind of impact these guys and gals have on kids and that’s why we will never miss another Globertrotters show. If you are interested in attending the show in Ottawa on April 12th, you can enter promo code DADS to get 25% off your purchase. Go, now!

Harlem Globetrotters Hug

Dad Kids Video Games

The World I Know

I wake up, fall out of bed and drag a comb across my head. Before I get sued by the Beatles I should point out that this is a stunningly accurate portrayal of my daily routine. Every morning I groggily stumble out the front door on my way to work before the kids are even awake. I make sure to check in on them as I pass by their rooms, mostly just to enjoy their tiny faces in their most peaceful of moments.

I somehow manage to make it in to work on time each day, drink way too much coffee and potentially talk a little too much. At the end of the day, I Yabba Dabba Doo my way out to my car where I listen to the same radio show, talking about the same thing they do every other day with a traffic report on the 1’s. I glide peacefully home where I have about thirty minutes of quiet before picking up the kids from school.

The thirty minutes often feels like three but I’m always excited to see the kids. My daughter comes out first and lazily gives me a hug, which I’ve dubbed the leaning tower, as she throws her backpack at my feet and joins the procession of people walking to the next pick up spot. Her brother exits next and they hug a hug that shows how much they love each other. I have to be honest, this is my favourite part of pickup.

Once we get home, it’s road hockey, scooters and laughter until suppertime, which is usually later because it’s hard to be the reason the laughter has to come to an end. Dinner, baths, homework, story time, songs, laughter and sleep round out the day, every day.

When you read through this story it may seem kind of familiar and maybe even a little boring. The truth is that it can be boring at times and that’s fine because every so often you get a moment of difference. It could be an unprompted hug, a random compliment or even just a look from your child that conveys how much they love you. You know the look I’m talking about. In those moments, time stands still and I can’t wait to do it all over again the next day.

Photo credit to David Redding from Redding Photographics

Kinder Surprise Tea Party

What Happens When You Bring Kinder Surprise Eggs To A Fictional Tea Party

You can call it unmanly if you’d like but I love playing dolls with my daughter. We get a chance to laugh together and it’s one of the few times where she gets to be the boss as she lets me know all the mistakes I’m making.

We recently had a big event in the house when it was one of the dolls birthdays! I decided not to ask why this specific doll got to have 4 birthdays in one month because I’m sure there was a perfectly rational explanation. Anyway, because of the special occasion, I volunteered to bring dessert for all of the guests in attendance.

The Kinder Surprise eggs were a huge hit and the video below hints at what happened to the eggs that the dolls obviously couldn’t eat… Enjoy!

Kinder News & Notes

If you and your children love Kinder Surprise Eggs, don’t forget to tag them on Instagram @KinderCanada when sharing your pictures.

Make sure to pop in to the Kinder Surprise Facebook Page for fun and activities, especially on #KinderPlayWednesday!

I was compensated for my participation in the #KinderDad program. All the chocolate eating was 100% real…

Children Art Class

In Dreams

Once the sheep have returned to their pen and the sand starts to form, that’s when the real fun begins. This is the land where imagination becomes reality and anything is possible. Often peaceful, occasionally scary, but always an adventure. In dreams there are no mountains too high or tasks too tall. If you want to fly, you can fly to the moon. If you want to run, you can run faster than the speed of light, and, if you feel like saving the world, well, you can do that too.

Every night, before I go to sleep, I check in on my children for no reason but to see their peaceful faces as they drift off to their own imaginary worlds. I wonder if they are dreaming happy dreams and sometimes secretly hope I’ve made a cameo, even if it is as a dragon or a princess. It’s always nice to be thought of after all.

It’s rare that we take the time to capture our dreams, or even remember them at all, but maybe we should try more often. My daughter took a shot at it recently and what she came up with both captured my imagination and filled me with pride. She described the painting with such reality that you didn’t need to ask why there were upside down trees and flowers in the ocean. The answer, of course, was simply because there are.

Through her art I got a glimpse into her creative mind and longed for the days when my own mind was filled with such vibrant scenery. I certainly don’t think I’m too old to get it back. I think I just misplaced it somewhere along the way and I intend on searching for it. In the meantime, I wish you all the wildest of dreams.

Parenting Roulette

The Game of Parenting Roulette

First off, Happy New Year! It’s nice to see you again and I hope you had an amazing holiday season. Speaking of holidays, my family had its share of traveling to do this season and it gave me the chance to notice an interesting game we play as parents.

It’s a game I like to call, Parenting Roulette. The concept is simple, you attend a party with a bunch of other parents and you all herd your children into one room to play together while you enjoy some adult time. The ages of your children don’t matter because they are children and adapt to all situations, right?

Winning the game takes zero skill and a lot of luck. About five to seven times throughout the party, one of the children will come out of the play area either crying or to fetch the parent of a crying child. Now for the roulette portion of the game. The parents all listen intently, with fingers crossed, as the crying child reveals the name of the offending child and then breathe a very loud sigh of relief if their child’s name isn’t called.

We had a pretty good run this season, only losing the game a couple times, but the odds change by the second in parenting roulette so you never feel like you have a sure bet. A quick pro-tip, this game is normally an unspoken thing between parents so if you are planning on gloating out loud, you may want to make sure you are around close friends and not simply acquaintances. You don’t want to be “that parent”, am I right?

I wish you the best of luck in future games of parenting roulette and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Sens Experience Hockey

He Shoots, He Scores!

I watched in awe as a child skated, untouched, through an entire team of 5 and 6 year olds. With one kid to beat the puck slid off his stick and into the corner. He chased after it along with every other child on the ice, as 6 year old hockey players do. Every child, that is, but one. There, standing in front of the net with his stick dutifully on the ice, was my son.

It’s his first year in hockey and the learning curve has been steep. Because of his age, most of the kids he is playing with have already played for a season or two, so he has some catching up to do. I volunteered to be an on-ice helper so that I could encourage him to keep at it, and also because coaching seems to be in my blood.

On this particular day, his team was playing in their first game of the year. This wasn’t any regular game, though. They were playing on the same ice as the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, taking part in a special program the team runs for minor hockey players. The stands were filled with excited parents, grandparents and friends. We had a referee, scorekeeper and announcer to give the game a very real feel to it. They even played the national anthem before we started, which was one of my favourite parts of the experience.

It’s tough to teach a 6 year old how to play hockey, especially when he has never played before. There is only so much information they can take in at one time so you have to pick a couple things and focus on them. The one thing I tried to explain to my son before the game was that if he saw a flock of kids all chasing after the puck, that he should get into the open and put his stick on the ice. Much to my surprise, he actually listened to me.

There he stood, in front of the net, puck on his stick, and a flock of puck hungry 6 year olds skating right at him. He lifted his head and fired the puck as the crowd crashed into each other in front of the net. The next few seconds were a blur. I wasn’t sure what had happened until I heard the announcer call out my son’s name as the goal scorer and it literally took everything in my fatherly heart to react like a normal human being, as opposed to jumping on to the ice like my brain was suggesting.

I am not telling this story to brag about how my son scored a goal. Okay, maybe a little. I think I was surprised at how proud I was in that moment. I’m always proud of my kids but in this case he was rewarded because he listened to my advice and that felt good. His first words upon returning to the bench were, “Dad, did you see my goal? I did what you said and just shot it!”. It was one of the first times I truly felt like I had earned credibility as a father in his eyes.

I have no delusions of my son being a superstar hockey player. Frankly, I fear I have blessed him with my lack of height, which is usually a deal breaker for a lot of sports. I am just really proud of how hard he tries when he is out on the ice. I haven’t seen him invest in something like this before and it gives me a lot of joy to see him smiling even while he learns.

Dad Kids Goofy

Fatherhood

“Daddy, can I have ice cream?”, my 4 year old daughter asked, at ten in the morning while in the checkout line at Costco.
“Hmmmm, I guess so”, I replied. She was home from school because of a fever the previous day, so I figured we could both use the treat.
“HOORAY! You’re the best daddy ever!!”, she shouted as she hugged me in the middle of the store.

While I’m not sure that most people would award me the “Best Daddy Ever” trophy after feeding my child an ice cream cone at ten in the morning, it certainly made me feel special. Plus, no one else knew why she screamed that, so I just pretended that I bought her a pony or something. The point here is that as each day goes by, I get a greater sense of how lucky I am to call myself a father to these two amazing kids.

There are so many times in the day that I catch myself awestruck with their many quirks and qualities. Even the smallest things can strike me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Hearing my daughter sing along to a song when she thinks no one else is around, knowing that if she saw me she would surely stop. Watching my son bond with his new hockey teammates in a setting that would make most adults cringe with fear.

Life can be friggin’ hard, man. You have to worry about money, time, health and everything else that being an adult and parent brings. Being a father is the thing that saves me from my own mind and lets me focus on the fact that there are two little people that need me to be a man for them so they can grow into their full potential. How can you think about financial struggles when your daughter wants to shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off? Who has time to beat themselves up over skipping a workout when you and your son are engaged in an epic Pokemon battle?! Not me.

Any time I lose focus on what’s important in life, my kids are always there to remind me with open arms, and for that I feel extremely lucky.