Wisdom Imparted To Me By My 3 Year Old Son

Kids are wonderful creatures. Their imaginations put most adults to shame and their lack of knowledge makes for some interesting conversations.

For that reason, I’ve compiled a list of things that my son believes to be true and there will be no convincing him otherwise.

Without further ado, here’s what I’ve learned.

#1 – Pinocchio’s character originates from the movie Shrek and NOT from either the 1883 children’s novel or the 1940 Disney classic. End of argument!

#2 – Boys have weiners and Girls have nooners. Common knowledge I know, but he feels the need to share this tidbit every few days.

#3 – Toots are hilarious, no matter the time or place they happen. I was already aware of this one but wanted to include it for those of you who had forgotten.

#4 – I am not allowed to be Spiderman. He is always Spiderman and I have to pick from the leftover super heroes. Note: He’s never seen Spiderman other than in toy form. Also, I wish I could be Spiderman.

#5 – Sharing is optional when he has something but is mandatory when he wants something.

#6 – No matter what episode of The Backyardigans I choose to play from the PVR, it’s the wrong one. There are 32 episodes on there and only one is correct each time.

#7 – Nana brings Donuts, therefore Nana is more valuable than Mommy and Daddy.

#8 – Going to WalMart means we’re either getting McDonald’s or Toys. There are no other reasons to go to WalMart.

#9 – Hide and Seek is still fun if you hide in the same place every time. Also, if you’re not found in 3 seconds, it is acceptable to stand up and say “Here I am!”

#10 – Hockey is boring but dropping rocks in sewers is amazing!

#11 – Banana’s are gross! So are grapes, strawberries, oranges, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, blueberries and any food with colours in them.

#12 – If at first you don’t succeed, move on to something else. I’m working on this one….

#13 – Every game is called “I Win”, even if there are no winners and losers. Ex: Putting the last piece in a puzzle you do together is a win for you. I do not ever get to put the last piece in.

That’s all for now! As you can see, I’ve learned so much in my short term as a parent that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

I know there’s much more to learn from him and maybe I’ll revisit this when I have enough knowledge to share with you all.

Do your kids have any fun beliefs? Feel free to share them in the comments section and as always, don’t be afraid to share and tweet this post if you feel so inclined.

Cheers!!

Review: FunHaven in Ottawa

I took my son to this new kids place in Ottawa called FunHaven. Anyone who knows me is aware that I like going to these types of places about as much as the kids do, so my excitement level was pretty high.

Before we left the house, my son gave me some more material for my “Sh*t My Kids Say” section. Strange kid for sure, lol.

On to the show, we arrived at our destination and we were both giddy with anticipation at what lay ahead.

We got to the counter and paid for the package that included jungle gym time + the mini bowling experience. It was about $24 after taxes, which seemed reasonable, plus I didn’t have to pay to supervise my son, which is a plus for me.

I was excited to play the bumper cars but they were all broken so it was a No-Go. Disappointed to say the least.

Ah well, at least we had the mini bowling to look forward to. Or at least we thought we did.

There were 4 lanes for mini bowling, however 3 of them were broken and the line of people waiting for the single open lane was staggering. We opted for the jungle area with ball pit.

The first thing I noticed about the jungle area is that they had employees standing at the gates but they didn’t seem to be doing anything. My son and I walked right in and then right out again with no questions. I’m not really sure what their role was but I’m hoping it wasn’t to make sure kids didn’t leave unattended because they were not paying attention at all.

The Jungle/Ball Pit is neat. It has these cool cannons that fire harmless foam balls around the open area in the middle of it all. We went to try it but once again a couple of them were broken, leaving only a couple other cannons for like 40 kids. My son is only three and I’m not a parent that can approach other people’s kids to tell them to share. It just doesn’t feel right.

The other issue I had with the jungle area was that there was no one enforcing any sort of order in there. There were kids climbing up the slides and others throwing balls at kids coming down the slides (including my son). I agree that it is the parents responsibility to discipline their kids but from looking around, I could tell that most of the parent’s there had no interest in discipline and were there for the rest on the couches.

Once we left the jungle area, we decided to try out the bowling again. It looked like one of the broken lanes was fixed but upon closer inspection, it was zapping in and out of consciousness. I asked an employee about it but he just shrugged and walked away with no explanation. We threw a couple balls while it worked but my son was getting frustrated at the fact that it kept breaking dow so we moved on.

The gaming area was alright, we played some spin the wheel game and sat in the racing car game seats. My son thought he was driving the car, which was probably the highlight for me, lol. “I won, I won” he exclaimed at one point.

We got a swipe card when we got in (standard procedure at these types of places now) and when I decided it was time to go, we went to see how many points he had on it. 59 points was the total and the girl at the counter was very nice and bumped us up to 60 so my son could get what he wanted.

Overall, I was disappointed with our trip to FunHaven and thought it was going to be a lot more fun than it turned out to be. A lot of stuff was broken, Mini bowling, bumper cars, 2 cannons and a couple of the toddler games. There were some pluses such as price and prizes but it definitely wasn’t an experience to write home about.

I was also disappointed at the lack of stuff for anyone under 3-4 years old to do. They have one play structure but that’s about it. For people with young families, this is not somewhere to bring your very young kids.

I think from now on we’ll stick to Cosmic Adventures. They are a little more expensive but you get way more for your money in my opinion. I hate doing negative reviews but I can only call it the way we saw it. Too much broken equipment for such a new place.

Have you been to FunHaven? Let me know what you thought, who knows, you might even change my mind about it!

Cheers!

Sh*t My Kids Say #4 – Kids Don’t Listen

Kids are funny people. They really have no concept of right or wrong, they don’t know not to call people fat or stupid and they have no idea how hilarious their imaginary stories are to adults.

That has led me to create a section here at Canadian Dad called “Sh*t My Kids Say”. I know, I know, it’s a semi dirty word but this is my blog and I’ll swear if I want to, LOL.

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I took my son to a place called Funhaven today but before we left, I witnessed first hand just how easy it is for kids to not pay attention to anything you are saying. Here’s our conversation from earlier today.

D: “C’mon buddy, let’s get going”

L: “Where are we going Daddy?”

D: “To a new place called Funhaven!”

L: “Do they have toys?”

D: “I don’t think so”

L: “Can I play MarioKart later?”

D: “Ummm, I guess so but that has nothing to do with Funhaven”

L: “Oh okay, are we going to Daniel’s house?”

D: “Why would we go to Daniel’s house?”

L: **Blank Expression**

D: “We’re going to Funhaven, it’s like a giant indoor park”

L: “Dora? What about Boots?”

D: “Huh? I said inDOOR, not Dora!”

L: “Do they have toys? Can I bring my new coloring book?”

D: “Just get in the car!”
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I’m guessing had I continued to humour him, that this conversation could have gone on for the whole day! It’s funny because it’s not like he was watching TV or anything, he just straight up wasn’t paying attention to anything I was saying. Frustrating times for sure, LOL!

In case you’re interested, here’s my Review of our FunHaven experience from today.

Cheers!!

Dear Caillou, What’s Your Deal?

A part of the reason I was excited to learn that I was going to become a father was because I knew that I finally had a reason to watch cartoons without being ridiculed by my wife.

I liked shows like Family Guy and South Park so the transition should have been an easy one. How much different could cartoons get anyway?

I knew about Barney and The Wiggles already and was fine with them but nothing could have prepared me for the first time I watched Caillou with my son.

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a rainy day and my son had woken up extra early, I’m guessing because it was Daddy’s day to get up with him. I flicked on the TV, which is auto set to go straight to the Treehouse Channel, and there he was. This funny looking 4 year old with no hair and a catchy theme song.

From the moment he opened his mouth and revealed that nasally whine, I knew him and I were going to have a compatibility issue. My son liked him though so we kept on watching.

Episode after episode, I was forced to listen to Caillou whine about everything from brushing his teeth to wanting a cookie, while his parents did nothing but provide half-assed attempts to get him to learn his manners.

I don’t completely blame the parents though. I mean, my kid is almost 4 and he understands why he can’t have a cookie right before dinner. If he were to throw a fit about it, he would get a timeout and an explanation afterwards.

Caillou’s biggest issue seems to be a lack of discipline but that’s expected when you are being raised by parents who seem to be stuck in the 60’s. Think about it, they are clearly high a majority of the time. They never get frustrated, never fight, never raise their voices even. Caillou is living the dream in that household.

Around the time I found myself starting to yell at the parents to do something, anything to shut him up, I realized that my kid was picking up this behaviour and adapting it as his own. The last time any of us watched Caillou, was the day my son came into the kitchen and said to my wife, “Give me a cookie!!”, which was a particularly disturbing scene where the Mom inevitably gives in and pays up.

Caillou, you’re on the banned show list, along with Teletubbies and that one where Ernie & Bert fly around in the magic bed??? Seriously, what is that show? I’m pretty sure in the theme song, Bert says “This is kind of kinky”?!

Back on topic. Dear Caillou, until you can get through two consecutive episodes without have a giant whining temper tantrum, my family will be boycotting your show.

Dear Caillou’s parents, grow some balls and punish the kid. He’s running all over you and you just stand there like imbeciles. You’re a cartoon, you can do whatever you want. Please, I’m begging you to do something. I don’t spank my kids but there’s always exceptions to the rule and cartoons seem to be a pretty good exception. Get Er Dun!

What show’s are on your banned list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

Cheers!

Can My Child’s Artwork Get Me Arrested?

For the most part, my goal with this blog is to write about the things that amuse me about fatherhood. That doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t get the urge to write about other things that catch me offguard.

That urge struck me yesterday when reading this article in the online news version of The Record.

The story is about a father (Jessie Sansone) who was arrested while picking up his 4 year old daughter from school because she drew a picture of a man holding a gun. When asked about the photo, the girl replied “That’s my daddy’s. He uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters.”

Sansone was strip searched at the police station and three of his children were taken to Family and Children’s Services to be interviewed.

Several hours after being humiliated in front of the entire school, a detective apologized and said Sansone was being released with no charges. Sansone was also asked to sign a paper authorizing a search of his home, where police found no real guns but did find this plastic gun.

I understand the school’s need to deal with this information in a very serious manner. With all of the craziness going on in schools today, I would be outraged if something like this went without being brought up. My problem is with the way the situation was handled.

Sansone recounts that he was not even warned at the school, he simply showed up to get his daughter and they cuffed him, strip searched him and embarassed him in front of his whole community. “My family has been tarnished. My name has been tarnished,” Sansone said.

I can only picture this happening to me and it makes me wonder why they didn’t just call the police and set up a meeting with Sansone to discuss it privately and then decide if action was required?

Imagine going to pick up your 4 year old kid from kindergarten and getting ambushed out of nowhere and rushed into a police car in handcuffs. How would that make you feel? How would it look to all the other parents, kids and community members who witnessed it? How would you ever fix your reputation at that point?

You know how it goes, once your accused of something, you’ll always be the guy that was involved in that scandal, regardless of the outcome. It’s unfortunate but true.

Really, what this story did, is make me rethink my whole parenting philosophy. We play with super soakers in the summertime and the whole neighbourhood joins in. We’ve had some really fun house to house battles but is it really worth it? Does this same fate await me or one of my neighbours? What other things do I do as a parent without realizing the consequences? It’s a scary thought.

What are your thoughts about the way this went down? Do you think the school and police were right in the way they handled the situation or do you think there may have been a more discreet way to deal with it? Let me know in the comments section and thanks for reading!
Cheers!

If You Don’t Know Who The Grumpy Neighbour Is…

I like to think that I have pretty good self-awareness. That’s why it only took a millisecond to realize it.

My kids were out front playing and a car came screaming around the corner at a speed I felt was unacceptable. “Slow Down!!” I yelled. As the final syllable came out of my mouth, I immediately realized what was happening.

I was slowly turning into the grumpy guy on the street.

There were indications that I had previously missed, although I’m pretty sure I knew what was going on and was just afraid to admit it. Kind of like the feeling when you get those first gray hair’s or when you can’t explain why you’re always in some form of pain.

The first sign should have been when we got the plastic yellow guy to put at the end of the driveway, just enough into the road to make driver’s think they about to hit a kid. You know the one.

Perhaps I should have taken a step back on the day when the garbage truck left a trail of trash all down our entire street. Instead I decided to call the city to complain about it. Not like me at all.

More recently, I have escalated my grumpy efforts. The other day, we had guys from an energy company that will remain nameless, Summitt Energy, come to the door and try to trick me into letting them in to “check to see if I had the appropriate stickers” on my hot water tank. They even went so far as to pretend they were sent by my energy company.

That was the last straw for me. Not only did I not let them in but I sent messages to my neighbours to warn them not to let them in and even went ahead and followed them down the street to make sure they didn’t con any of my other friends on the street. They didn’t like that.

Upon further inspection of this company’s practices, I noticed on the BBB website that they’ve received a number of hefty fines already for these types of practices.

Nobody messes with my family or the families of my friends and gets away with it, LOL. I couldn’t help but wonder if Bruce Wayne would have been proud of my efforts in this case but I think he would have.

You should note that I have never been good at confrontational situations. In fact, it was to a point where I would turn off a TV show if I knew there was going to be an uncomfortable situation.

You couldn’t even count the number of times when I let places get away with terrible service or restaurants messing up orders. You name it, I’ve backed down from it.

Nowadays, if I don’t like the performance of my new car, I write a letter to the owner of the dealership. Unhappy with my banking or cable or mobile service?? An email or phone call is surely going to follow. In this new social media age, companies are being very careful about negative feedback. A Twitter rampage could be very damaging for a smaller business.

I guess when I really think about it, maybe I’m not becoming a grump after all. Maybe having kids and responsibilities is just turning me into more of a man.

Nah! I’m just getting grumpier, hahaha!!!

Has this type of change happened to you? Hit the comments section and let me know some grumpy things you’ve done since having kids. It can only be me right???

Also, if you feel so inclined, you can hit the share or tweet buttons at the top and help get the word out there.

Cheers!!

Sh*t My Kids Say #3 – Wieners

Kids are funny people. They really have no concept of right or wrong, they don’t know not to call people fat or stupid and they have no idea how hilarious their imaginary stories are to adults.

That has led me to the decision to create a new section here at Canadian Dad called “Sh*t My Kids Say”. I know, I know, it’s a semi dirty word but this is my blog and I’ll swear if I want to, LOL.

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This was a conversation I overheard between my wife and son.

L: “Mommy, does Julia have a wiener?”

M: “No, she has a nooner.”

L: “You have a nooner, you have a nooner!!”

Yep, that’s my boy!

PlaSmart Perplexus Review and Giveaway

Remember the game Labryinth? Yeah, me neither. At least not since I played the amazing 3D maze that is the Perplexus Original.

The fine folks at PlaSmart Inc were kind enough to help out a new blogger by providing me with one of their most popular toys, a Perplexus Original, to do a review and giveaway.

The first thing that happened when I first took the Perplexus out of the box, was that my 1 year old daughter grabbed it and wouldn’t let anyone touch it for the rest of the night. To avoid a tantrum, we obliged.

So the first night didn’t go as planned. On to Day 2!

My son is 3 years old and with the recommended age being 6+, I figured the best person to review this toy would be me and my work friends. I did let my son try it out and he did surprisingly well, getting all the way to 23 by himself before dropping the ball.

The point of the Perplexus is to get the little ball from levels 1 to 100 while navigating through the incredibly challenging 3D maze. To say this game has it all, would be an understatement.

I brought it to work to try it out and I rarely got to touch it. I placed it on my desk and before I knew it, people I rarely see, were popping in to say hi and to try out the new gadget propped up on my desk. It was actually nice because I got to see first hand, what this game can do.

I saw joy, excitement, sadness, anger, greed, anticipation, concentration and finally, I saw pure child like elation as the first person managed to finish all the levels.

Who was that person you ask?

Why it was me, of course! Who else could possibly tame this beast on the first day but the self proclaimed “Puzzle Master”?

On of my favorite features about this game is that it is broken down into levels, sort of like the show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. Once you get past level 26, you get to start at the second starting point for each subsequent crack at it. The same goes for level 59, where you then get to start at the third position. From 59 to 100 though, it’s all you.

I thought after finishing all the levels, that I would lose interest in the game but that could not have been further from what happened. We actually began running time trials to see who could beat it the fastest and the game took on a new life.

The best news of the day came while I was browsing the Perplexus website and I noticed that there were two other versions of this game, The Perplexus Rookie (75 levels) and the Perplexus Epic (125 levels). Needless to say, we were playing the Perplexus Epic at work the next day….

This game is perfect for kids and adults alike, whether you are a puzzle nerd or not, the Perplexus will have you coming back for more. It’s an excellent centerpiece for a coffee table and guarantees to have your company talking about it and laughing with each other as you battle to be the first to the finish line.

PlaSmart does not sell direct from their website but they do provide a handy “Where 2 Buy” section on their website.

Please feel free to Like PlaSmart Perplexus on Facebook and don’t forget to Follow them on Twitter.

I wanted to leave you with one final glimpse inside the Perplexus world by providing you with a short video entitled the “Faces Of Perplexus”. It is on my “YouTube channel” and I hope it shines a light on exactly how badly you need to get one or all of these toys. I mean like now! Go Get One!

Thanks to the fine people at PlaSmart for taking a chance on a new blogger, it was very much appreciated!

Now on to the good stuff!! If you would like a Perplexus Original of your very own, all you have to do is enter the contest below and PlaSmart will send one to our lucky winner!!

Cheers!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Disney On Ice Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From my childhood, I seem to remember Disney On Ice as being Mickey and his crew skating around for half an hour, with no clear objective and random Disney tunes playing in the background. How times have changed. Then again, I sometimes also forget what I had for lunch the previous day and I lose my car keys at least twice a week so my childhood memory could be skewed.

Of course, I have no concept of dollar value from 25 years ago, so whether it was worth my parents hard earned money or not, I have no idea. What I do understand is today’s dollar value and I’m here to break down what I saw last night.

Let’s start from the top. There were 4 of us going to the show with children under 2 being free. That’s great until you realize that it means no 4th seat for coats/bags/etc. Don’t under estimate the importance of the extra seat. We didn’t pay for the extra seat and here’s the breakdown on why.

– 3 Tickets @ $15 each, we got them through one of those Groupon type sites so it wasn’t a bad deal until you get hit with the fees associated to the tickets. What should have been $45 quickly turned into $70. FAIL.

– Parking for packed hockey games is $12, Parking for 1/4 Disney on Ice event is $12, FAIL.

– 1 Tinkerbell doll – $24; 1 set of Incredibles’ figurines – $30 ( The figurine set was actually reasonably priced so props to that). The doll is a FAIL though, lol.

– 2 Hot Dogs, 1 Poutine, 1 Pizza Slice, Small Drink – $26. Parent FAIL for giving the kids Hot Dogs I guess.

That was it for the spending, the entire evening came out to about $165 for the 4 of us, which I guess isn’t the worst. Plus we could have had dinner at home before hand but I worked until about 10 minutes before we had to leave. Plus, the toys were technically the kids Valentine’s Day presents, as were the tickets I guess, spoiled much?

On to the show! We had some great seats, thanks to my beautiful wife. We were about 5 rows up from the ice, right in the center and on the aisle, which I find to be a huge deal with little kids. The show started at 7pm, so I expected to be driving home by about 8:15pm…wrong!

I’m not going to breakdown the whole show, just the highlights as I noticed them. For the most part, men are less interested in things like figure skating and Disney princesses than they are with hockey and heist movies (my favorite). This event was no exception for me.

For me, events like this provide me with two joys. The first is watching the excitement on my own kids faces when they get to see all their favorite characters up close. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing my kids happy and Disney On Ice does the job well.

The second thing I get to do during these outings is people watch. Don’t pretend you don’t do it, we all do it to varying degrees. My degree happens to be a high one as this is one of my favorite pastimes and Disney On Ice does not disappoint!

Within seconds of sitting down, an older usher asks my wife this question about my daughter, “She’s cute, are you still nursing her?”, WHAT?! He then went on to explain that they had a specific section set aside for nursing mothers. My wife politely declined and he went on his way. Here’s some thoughts on this interaction.

First, I actually thought he meant that they had a day care on site to watch young kids during the show, this is because I am a man and couldn’t imagine ever asking a woman if she was still breastfeeding and honestly, I couldn’t care less if she was. My second reaction was, did his employer put him up to asking every mother with a younger looking child if they are still breastfeeding so they could use the magical Disney Breastfeeding Center in section 203? If so, I now feel for the usher because that’s way worse than your wife asking you to buy her feminine products.

We were lucky enough to have a couple Disney characters sitting right in our row too, which was nice. Remember Skippy from Family Ties? He was sitting right next to me and was more into the show than any kid I saw the whole time we were there. The downside to this fellow is that he was 9 feet tall and was seriously encroaching onto my side of the seating plan. I let it go for the sake of my children but I could have taken him if I wanted to, lol.

We also had this woman in our row. I`m not really sure if she was with anyone but she had the huge fur coat and was really into staring at random people for no good reason. I gave her a pass when I realized that I was doing the exact same thing, minus the fur coat and with a little more tact. I kept waiting for Dalmatians to come running from under her seat but it never happened. I guess Cruella De Vil wasn’t a part of the show.

As for the actual show, not much to report. My son has the same face at every single event we’ve ever gone to. It’s a face that has me constantly him if he is enjoying himself because it’s impossible to read. Need some examples? Here’s some live action shots from The Wiggles, Backyardigans and Disney on Ice from last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, that’s my boy!

As for Julia, she couldn’t have been created any more opposite from her brother. I honestly thought we were going to have to take her to CHEO when Minnie Mouse (her favorite) finally came out. She started shaking uncontrollably and pointing to the ice yelling “Mouse, mouse, mouse!!!!!”, to the point where she started crying and scaring her parents. Here’s what her Disney experience looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

My Mom used to tell me that I would do they shaking/crying thing when Ernie and Bert would come on TV and I always called her a liar and said I would never do that. I guess I owe an apology now because I have passed this trait on to my daughter…

The rest of the night went about according to plan, except for the length of the show. Every time I thought it was ending, a new princess would come flying out, ruining my aspirations for a good night’s sleep.

At the very end, all the characters came out for one final number. The only problem I had with this is that we had bought my son a set of Incredibles figures to remember the trip (read:keep him happy) and while the Incredibles had opened the show, they didn’t come out at the end?! Here he was holding up his guys for all to see but his heroes were a no show. Instead, we got to see characters that weren’t in the show in the first place – Yeah, I’m talking to you Mulan!

Overall, expensive but great family night out and we even got a treat on the way home as my son and I had this memorable conversation.

Did you take your kids to Disney On Ice? Let me know in the comments section how you enjoyed your experience?

Cheers!!

 

Sh*t My Kids Say #2 – Disney On Ice

Kids are funny people. They really have no concept of right or wrong, they don’t know not to call people fat or stupid and they have no idea how hilarious their imaginary stories are to adults.

That has led me to the decision to create a new section here at Canadian Dad called “Sh*t My Kids Say”. I know, I know, it’s a semi dirty word but this is my blog and I’ll swear if I want to, LOL.

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We had a great time at Disney On Ice last night, other than the length of time it spanned. I mean seriously, 2 hours and a bit of dancing princesses? I’m as excited about Disney as anyone but after a while they all start to look the same.
On the drive home, we asked my son what he thought of the show.

D: “Hey buddy, what was your favorite part of the show?”

L: “Ummmm, the part where I got my toy”

D: “Really? The part before we even sat down at our seats, when we bought you the Incredibles figurines?”

L: “Yeah, I really, really love them”

D: “What about the show? Anything from the actual show that you liked?”

L: “Donald Duck”

D: “Donald Duck was in the 2 hour show for 3 minutes and said no words, that’s all you liked?”

L: “I liked….(clearly humouring me at this point) the claw”

D: “What claw???”

L: “The claw from Peter Pan”

D: “?????” “You mean Captain Hook?”

L: “No Daddy, the claw. And when the crocodile ate the guy”

D: :Well, I’m glad you liked it???”

L: “But I really, really love my Incredible guys”

D: “Excellent!”

The main thing I learned from this conversation is that my son could care less about what happened that night because he lost interest upon receiving his late Valentine’s Day gift of Incredibles figurines.
I know he had fun because I was watching him throughout the show, I think he just hasn’t figured out the “favorite part” thing yet. Maybe he just enjoyed it so much that everything was his favorite part? Either way, the toys ruled the day and I’m happy to report that as of 12 hours later, he still really, really loves them, haha.

Cheers!