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!

Valentine’s Day Roundup – I Think I Lost Again…

It’s no secret that there is a silent competition going on between parents on Valentine’s Day, to see who can come up with the best gift for the other parent. Honestly, I’ve never really been good at it, but lately I’ve been finding a bit of creativity that I never had before.

I think my creative bone kicked in shortly after a last minute trip to the Shoppers Drug Mart one fine Valentine’s Day, where I proudly picked out a lovely card from me and two more from the kids. I then proceeded to the Valentine’s Day section of the drug store, where I found a wonderful array of chocolate and stuffed animals to throw in the gift bags for my wife.

I even managed to grab a bouquet of flowers from one of those “side of the road at the gas station” vendors and pranced home knowing I had this one locked up!

What happened next made me realize that the game was changing.

At gift presentation time, I offered to accept first because I wanted to end the festivities with my fireworks worthy bags of goodies. From the first set of heart shaped hand print’s I received, I knew this was going to be a rough ordeal. By the time I finished receiving my gifts, I wanted to crawl under a rock and hibernate for the rest of the winter. There was 2 sets of hand print, one from each of my kids, 2 hand made cards for Daddy and one very nice photo collage set inside a travel mug for me (Starbucks has em).

After giving my wife my embarrassing mish mash of crap, I vowed to do a better job in the coming years. This year, I was having trouble finding alone time with the kids to get things done. Between my shift work and my wife’s day care, there’ not a lot of private time to sneak them away.

I did manage to get it done though and although I think I still lost the battle, the war still has a good 20 years to go, LOL!

You be the judges, Here’s what I got:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tough to top that but I think I put forth a valiant effort this year, including these gems:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we have an 11 X 14 painting done by the kids (hearts by daddy) and 3 hand made cards, including Daddy’s. Not too shabby right? PS – Check out the face my 3 year old drew by himself (Proud Dad). In the end, I think my wife got the best of me this time but I didn’t go down without a fight. By the way, I did get her one more thing (and even got teased at the store) before you start voting…..

 

That’s right, Game Over!!!

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day from Canadian Dad!!

 

 

Did I Really Cry During The Movie ‘Real Steel’???

If you’ve ever seen the TV show Friends, my wife would have accurately described me as the character Chandler. There was a specific episode where they revealed that Chandler couldn’t cry at anything that normal society deemed to be “emotional”. I was no different than him. Sad movies, TV shows, general life moments, I had no ability to cry. It’s not that I had no emotion, I just didn’t show it by turning on my eye faucets.

So, after drying my eyes at the end of the movie “Real Steel” yesterday, it occurred to me that I am a lot more emotional than I used to be. Things that used to make me feel like I wasn’t normal for not crying at are completely sucking the testosterone out of me and replacing it with estrogen.

I started noticing the changes shortly after my father passed away 5 years ago. Here is a really nice article that was done by a sports writer here in Ottawa about him. We even started a foundation in his name, where we give back to underprivileged children who can’t afford to compete in sports. It’s called The Gil Read Memorial Foundation and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Shameless plug over. The changes were small at first. I had always welled up during the movie Rudy (what guy doesn’t) but for some reason, there was now a strange liquid pouring out of my eyes when Rudy takes to the field for the first time, with his fist pumping and a very overweight Jon Favreau uttering my favourite line of the movie “Who’s the Wild Man now”!

I remember starting to cry during an episode of American Idol when there was a contestant with a particularly touching story about his father. I remember my exact thought at that moment, “What the F*ck is going on here?!” I realized at that moment that everything had changed. In fact, to this day, any story/commercial/song/grocery flyer that had anything to do with a father/son, brings on this well of emotion that I have no control over.

Just as I had come to terms with this new, blubbering version of myself and had even found ways to disguise it, my wife gave birth to my son and all bets were off.

I now have 2 children and every day they grow older is a day that I get a little bit less manly. I think the first real indicator was when I started feeling the tingles in my chest while trying to fight back tears during Finding Nemo. I mean, what was this feeling I was having? Clearly my brain was confused. After all, this was just a cartoon movie.

Nowadays it seems like everything sets me off, especially anything involving kids. From episodes of Criminal Minds and American Idol to movies like Lord of The Rings, Toy Story 3 & the aforementioned Real Steel, I am a blubbering mess. If you haven’t seen it yet, Real Steel is a movie about Robot Boxing….yep, cried.

I should point out that I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be moved by things and I know that there are reasons for the changes. It’s just a big change to go through, especially for me, considering I had barely cried up until about 5 years ago and now I can barely fight it off during shows like Man vs. Food.

Have you guys noticed any changes in the way you react to movies/shows since you’ve had children? Ladies, feel free to rat out your men here, they’re not reading anyway and I won’t tell them!

Cheers!!

Sh*t My Kids Say #1 – The Bad Dream

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.

The first edition of this category features a conversation my son and I had about a bad dream he had the night before and it goes a little something like this.

D: “Luke, how come you came into our bed last night?”

L: “I had a bad dream”

D: “What was your bad dream about?”

L: “Your shirt”

D: “What?”

L: “Your shirt”

D: “What did my shirt do to you?”

L: “It’s blue”

D: “Are you afraid of the colour blue?”

L: “Noooooo, boop, boop, boop”

D: “???????”

End of Conversation.

I was pretty sure by the end of this conversation that he hadn’t been paying attention to me the whole time but I’m still sort of confused by the end result. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll have better luck the next time….

Win A Pair Of Tickets To See The Ottawa Senators vs. New Jersey Devils on March 20th In Ottawa

Here’s your chance to see the new and improved Ottawa Senators as they battle for a playoff spot against the New Jersey Devils on March 20th at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. I have a pair of tickets in Section 325, Row E, Seats 1 & 2.

Winners will be notified by email so please make sure to check your spam folders just in case. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Contest is open to Canadian Residents Only. This draw will be run through Rafflecopter and winner will be chosen using random.org by the Rafflecopter software. All entries are monitored by me personally, if you fail to complete an entry that you claimed to, all subsequent entried will be void.

These tickets are my personal property and will be delivered by me personally after the winner is confirmed. The NHL, Ottawa Senators and NJ Devils are not affiliated with this contest.

Good Luck!!

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Dads, Kids, Video Games and Animal Awareness

There’s something about being a man that instills in me a need to excel at video games. I’m not talking about a specific genre of video game or gaming system, I mean that I feel the need to excel at EVERY video game I play.

So it was no surprise that I found myself wanting the same for my children, especially my son, who is now at the age where he is showing a lot of interest in them.

It began with some iPhone puzzle games and then evolved into an Angry Birds obsession that was beyond comprehension. My daughter started wanting to play too but she mostly just stares at the birds on the screen and laughs when they make noises. I have no expectations for her as far as gaming goes, it’s stereotypically a male thing anyway.

Now before I continue, I want to point out to all the parents who think letting your kids play with electronics is bad, that I am a dedicated father who loves to play things with my kids other that video games. We are an outdoor family who loves sunshine and snow alike but sometimes we also like to enjoy a good video game too, so back off!! LOL.

Back to my son, he recently saw a friend playing Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii and decided that he wanted to play too. He’d seen the Mario box at our house but never knew what it was until that day. He started asking about it but I figured at 3 years old, he probably wasn’t ready yet. I lasted about 2 months before caving the other night and on went the Wii.

Had I known the reaction this monumental event was going to get, I would have started videotaping sooner but better late than never I guess. When I said yes, Luke began running around in circles like a maniac, shouting “Mario, Mario, Mario!!!!” His sister followed suit except her shrieks sounded more like “Mayo, Mayo, Mayo!!”, of course we knew better than to give her a cup of mayo. Even trying to explain the chaotic scene, there’s no way to properly do it justice.

Now, I understand that Luke is only 3 years old but when a video game starts, a man tends to lose control of his regular brain functions and turns into a modified version of a young boy. Common sense doesn’t apply and the competitive side comes out in full force. So on day 2 of playing Mario Kart, I fully expected my son to have figured it all out and to be crushing the computer Princess in every race. This was not the case.

The reality of it is that he has no idea what he’s supposed to do and just likes playing with the Wii steering wheel that came with the game. I think the fact the he has his serious face on is what throws me off, as it looks like he ‘IS’ Mario and wants to win at all costs. In reality, that’s the type of focus kids portray with most things they do and it took everything in my power to not yell “You have to turn there man!!” or “”Shoot the Banana at that guy!!”.

In the end, cooler heads prevailed and I took some time to enjoy watching the gaming experience through his eyes. I even found out that we must be doing something right as parents because Luke stopped driving the Kart at one point to let the cartoon cows cross the road, explaining that he didn’t want to hurt them.

Point is, when he eventually figures out that he’s losing the game, he’ll probably get upset about it and I’ll lie and tell him it’s just a game. For an adult male, playing video games, there’s no such thing as “Just a game” because if it was in fact just a game, we wouldn’t be playing it. We eventually to get too old or too fat to do anything else well and this becomes a place where we can excel at something into our later years.

Don’t believe me? Ask my wife about my journey through all the Call of Duty games. Ask my Mom about her experience living with my gamer brother. As the saying goes, “You can’t take the boy out of the man”.

Do you have a funny gaming story? Share it below in the comments and don’t forget to do the Facebook/Twitter thing if you liked this post. Thanks for your continued support!!

Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

Review: Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Resort

My wife and I went to Punta Cana (sans kids) for a friends wedding last year and our stay at the Majestic Colonial was excellent, and only got hampered by an injury that had nothing to do with the resort. Here is my review, in case you are planning a vacation to Punta Cana.

 

Flight: I hate flying and the descent into Punta Cana was the scariest of my life but we landed fine and it was probably the most normal turbulance/air pocket most people encounter. This has nothing to do with the resort but I thought I’d give the entire picture. I’ve also heard that most descents into the Dominican can be rough ones.
Upon landing, 1000 guys try to take your bags for you and utter incoherent gibberish to try to confuse you as they are looking for tips. For you first timers, a firm “No Thanks” is what you have to do or they will keep trying to grab your stuff.

Arrival at Resort: A pleasant crew unload your bags and ask you to check in but before you get to the front desk, you are met with a nice cold towel and a drink, which is a very nice touch. Once you get to the desk, we were met with a pleasant “Hola” and then immediately offered a room upgrade:)) We passed and found that , throughout the week, the more times you say no to the upgrade, the cheaper the rate gets:)

Our Room: We were at the far end of the resort, which is a long walk from the front desk but it also helped me to maintain my original weight throughout the week. Plus we were the only ones in our group with a balcony that offered a great view of the beach. It ended up working out as our group was either at the beach or the swim up pool bar for most of the week and our room was right next to each.

The room was tidy and the shower was amazing, great water pressure and 2 shower heads. Was tough to remember no to drink the water while brushing my teeth but I managed to get through the week without forgetting. The only complaint I had was that our room was at the end of the cleaning route so our room wouldn’t get turned over until late in the afternoon.

Restaurants: This was my favorite part of the trip as I love my food. We tried all the restaurants except the Seafood Place (because I hate Seafood) and the Mexican place, as it got bad reviews by a bunch of people we were with and others we had met. Here is my experience:

Main Buffet: Clean, Stocked and Delicious. There was so much food to choose from that it was hard not to be happy with your selections. If you don’t like pre-cooked food, there were about 4 stations you could go to in order to get food made right in front of you. The bacon was out of this world and I made sure to take full advantage:)) For breakfast, the French Toast was great but my daily routine was visiting the sandwich press operator and getting an amazing Ham, Bacon, Cheese & Mayo sandwich which they put together for you and grilled to perfection.

The lunch selection was fantastic as well but most of our lunches were had at the beach buffet.

Beach Buffet: Less selection than the main but an outdoor buffet that overlooks the beach is too good to pass up. Daily favorite was the Panini station, which is similar to my breakfast sandwich but different ingredients. The cook always made the same joke everyday about putting sardines on the panini and always faked putting some on it but it never got old and he ended up with some pretty good tips from our group:)

Fast Food Place: Hidden down the marketplace alleyway is a divey fast food place which opened from 11pm to 4am and offered all your favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, fries, onion rings and of course, lots of beer. We ended up there on a few occasions and were never disappointed in our orders.

Steakhouse: In the same place as the Beach Buffet, we ate at the Steakhouse twice and had varying results. The first night there, I got the sirloin and was underwhelmed by the taste and texture. The battered pinneapple/chicken skewer appetizer was amazing though. The second trip was much better as I ordered the Chateaubriand andit lived up to it’s billing. I tiped one of the waiters $5 at the beginning of the meal and he basically sat with us the whole dinner, making sure we had everything we needed. Good Dude.

Japanese Experience: The most fun I had at a dinner, make sure you make a reservation for the demonstration and not just a walk in meal. Our cook, Raphael, was great at entertaining and had a sixth sense about when a photo was about to be taken, as he posed perfectly at a secondsd notice. He also looked exactly like Kobe Bryant, which was cool to this sports fan. The food was great and I even tried shrimp and Sushi for the first time. Don’t worry though, they also serve beef and chicken, which is also delicious.

French Gourmet: Saving the best for last, my experience at the Gourmet was the best food I’ve ever had. I ordered the lobster bisk (again a first) and it was good but the Churasco wrapped around asparagus, on top of the best mashed potatoes in the world, made me want to take 5 minutes for every bite. Follow all that up with Red Wine and Creme Brule and it was a food night to remember.

The Beach: The beach was pristine, the servers were prompt and the fish were everywhere for a great underwater experience. We did the Banana Boat Ride for $12 which was worth every penny as the boat driver did everything in his power to throw us from the narrow raft. I did get offered some “good stuff” one of the days but it was more funny than disturbing. No complaints about the beach, I can’t think of anything that could have been improved with it. The sunrise/sunsets are to die for, don’t be afraid to wake up early a couple of days, you won’t be sorry.

The Pool/Swim Up Bar: My crew set up shop daily right across from the swim up bar in the pool. We staked our claim to a particular spot every day and spent a good 4 hours there, playing football and soaking the days away. The staff were good but at certain times seemed disinterested, which was fine by me as they kept up with the drink demands. We met some cool people and befriended some cool British kids, who we shared our football with and in exchange, they taught us some funny slang words:))

The Entertainment: We didn’t go to the resort for the entertainment so it wasn’t a problem for any of us that it was subpar in general. The “Pump Up Crew” they have are kind of cheesy but still fun in general and you can tell they work long, hard hours, even though it seems like their job is just partying. Daily pool side dance lessons and funny drinking contests are all part of the fun.

As for the night time stuff, the Michael Jackson experience lived up to it’s billing and is a must see. The Karaoke nights were a lot of fun and people seemed to really enjoy watching others get up there but they only lasted 1 hour, which was waaaaay too short for such a crowd pleasing event. And the 70/80/90’s dance night was fun for anyone who loves to dance the night away. I didn’t make it to the discoteque but I heard from a lot of people that the guy to girl ratio was like 40 to 1 so for all you single men out there, not the best odds.

The Casino was small and had only a few slot machines and tables. The slot machines couldn’t handle a large volume and often broke down. I wasn’t there to gamble so no big deal.

The Marketplace: There are a number of stores along the walkway and each have varying prices. I got a vibe that they were not the bartering type of shops but found out that everyone has their price so don’t be afraid to try to lower the price a bit.

Once a week, the flea market shops come and set up booths down the walkway and that’s where the real deals are made. I hate haggling but found it easy with the pushy nature of some of these guys. Always trying to give you free stuff to lure you in, don’t take it unless you are going to buy something else. We ended up getting some very good deals and found that an opening price of $95 can easily end at paying $20. Walking away is a strong tactic here, so is changing the game a bit. If they want $25, you say that you’ll give $20 and $2-3 for the seller and their attitude quickly changes to your side. That $2-3 is more than the commission they’ll get for the $5 on the actual price. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be writing this stuff but I wish I had had this info before hand.

Off Resort Flea Market: We went off the resort about a 5-10 minute walk to the local flea market and had an interesting experience. A lot of people were hesitant about us going off the resort but I checked with our tour rep and the ffront desk and both said it was safe. I never felt uncomfortable at any point and recommend the experience to others.
The first booth I went into, I bartered down a price and even though I paid more than I should have, the seller said to me (after I paid) that he didn’t believe I was Canadian because I was too cheap….and then had the nerve to ask for a $1 commission. Yeah Right! After that, we met a nice Haitian (second shop on the left) who lured us into his shop by telling us he wouldn’t bother us like the other shop owners. He kept his word and his prices were so good, the need to barter was minimal. He also threw in a bunch of extra stuff (shot glasses, bracelets) after I had already paid. Good Salesmanship!!

Overall, good market experience but very tiring to barter for over an hour…

The Medical Center: I wish I hadn’t had to go here but my wife got a very bad sunburn and her ankles & feet got really swollen. I got a feeling like there wasn’t much the Doc was going to be able to do and I was right. He recommended that we go the hospital and we started panicking. Luckily I had travel insurance so the whole ordeal was covered but it was anything but enjoyable. For the record, this was not the resort’s problem and I wouldn’t hold this against my experience with them.

The Doc called an ambulance and we began our 4 hour journey off the resort at midnight in the middle of the DR. Any driving is scary in this place but the ambulance ride with my wife and no seatbelts was the scariest of my life. Flying around cars and crazy turns made my stomach turn. At the hospital, there was very little english and we could only have faith in their medical system as the plugged the IV into my wife’s arm and gave us a bunch of prescription medication for her to bring back to the resort. Scary times for sure but long story short, we got back safely at about 3am, went for fast food and we are now back home and have a new prescription for an allergic reaction. Was a little surprised at the lack of english speaking staff at the hospital though, very scary ordeal, I recommed not getting injured while visiting here:))

Odds & Ends: My friend and I are in a band back home and he brought his guitar. We set up shop in the lower lobby bar one night with about 10 of our friends and played music til about 2 am. No one complained and in fact, people started coming over to sing with us, even the bartender came over, requested La Bamba and then danced on the sofa when we obliged.

Most of the staff were courteous and eager to help out but there were some that seemed disinterested in smiling or putting forth any effort. I always tried to reward the really friendly ones with generous tips but not fully understanding the economic climate there, it was hard to tell if my tips really helped.

I had an issue with the Coffee providers being called “Coffee Boy” and wondered if Coffee Guy or Coffee Man would be a better title but that was just my quirky brain working overtime.

We brought children’s items with us (colouring books, crayons, pens, pencils, etc..) and left them for the cleaning crew and other staff throughout the week. They really seemed to appreciate that and always thanked us daily.

There was a guy on the beach who painted T Shirts and he was really cool and accomodating to any request. I got myself a Montreal Canadiens shirt with a beach scene and “Punta Cana” painted on it. Very Cool.

I can’t think of much else to write about but would like to thank the entire staff at the Majestic Colonial for a wonderful week and an amazing experience. We will definitely be back and are already trying to convince some of our friends to get married so we have an excuse:))

PS – DO NOT lose your towel….$25 is a hefty replacement fee:))

A Fish Called Mater

My family were always dog people. So much so, that I can’t remember a time from my childhood where there wasn’t a dog running around the house. Before we had kids, my wife and I had a Husky named Bacardi (keep in mind that my wife won that battle,  I wanted to call him Crown Royal). He was a great dog but the amount of hair he left around the house coupled with his hyperactivity and a new baby meant one of the two had to go.

We chose to keep the baby but found an amazing family with a huge yard for Bacardi to play in. It was a tough day for both of us but we know we did the right thing by letting the dog go, he wouldn’t have got the attention he deserved with a baby around. We’ve kept in touch with the family that took him and all is well.

My dear wife, thinking the kids were ready for pets, decided they should each get a pet fish (Daisy and Mater) for their birthdays (which are 2 days apart). I didn’t fight it too hard, after all, how hard can fish be to maintain? The answer to that question came about 2 weeks in, when the first fish, Daisy, suddenly died of natural causes…

As I was starting to panic about how I unprepared I was to have the “death” discussion with the kids, I realized that not only had they not noticed the fish had died, they had forgotten about the fish altogether. Somewhat relieved, I sent Daisy off on a swirly journey to fishy heaven and went about my business.

Later that day, we (read:my wife) decided that we should replace the fish with another one, just in case the kids noticed we were one fish down. Off Daddy went to the pet store to get a replacement fish, to be named Daisy 2. What happened next at the Pet Store was probably one of the most unexpected and humiliating things that’s ever happened to me.

There I was in the fish aisle, looking for Daisy 2, when the small fish “expert” came to see if I needed any help. I explained the situation as delicately as a man could, “stupid fish died, need another stupid fish before the kids notice the last stupid fish is missing”. Apparently my story didn’t jive with the clerk, who laced into a tirade that would have made Ace Ventura proud. It was clear to me why this clerk had been hired by the pet store and it also made me think about how many fish posters this person had plastered throughout their home.

After feigning regret for a few minutes I had found my Daisy 2 and proceeded to the check out, where my fish story had obviously been told and a lecture from the cashier ensued. I wanted to scream, “It’s Just A Fish, Get Over It!!!”, but held my tongue and made my way home to sneak Daisy 2 into her new tank as Daddy the Hero would do.

Just as the kids hadn’t noticed a fish was gone, they also didn’t notice that Daisy had completely changed colours. This turned into a good thing, as Daisy 2’s health didn’t last nearly as long as the year we were told it would. In fact, it lasted about 3 weeks before she too met her fate. It was embarrassing really, to not be able to keep a fish alive for longer than a month! We did everything we were told to but it still didn’t work out for poor Daisy 2.

I decided there was no way I was going back to the pet store for another round of booing and hissing, so we were down to 1 fish and the kids were none the wiser. Eventually my son began to pay attention to the remaining fish and surprisingly never asked what had happened to Daisy 1. He decided the fish’s new name would be Lanny, the lovable elf from Disney’s Prep & Landing movies. About once a month he decides to show the fish some love and asks if he can feed it and he talks to it for awhile.

My daughter still doesn’t bother paying any attention to it, there’s plenty more important things like Barbie and Hide and Seek for her to be bothered by something that just floats in a box and does nothing entertaining. Maybe someday she’ll be interested but I imagine she’ll go straight to wanting a dog judging by the way she reacts around them. But that’s a story for another day.

As for the fish, he must feel completely lost up there on his lonely perch. Not knowing what your name is can be very confusing when you’re trying to meet the lady fish and hes had a lot of them. Here’s a detailed list of all the names I’ve heard called to date: Mater, Lanny, Wayne, Zerby (??? I know), Mater again, Nemo, Flounder, Mater once again and just this morning when I asked my son what my next post should be about, he said it should be about Doc. Based on the post, I imagine you could guess who Doc is…

Do your kids have funny names for their pets? Let me know in the comments section and thanks for reading!!

Don’t forget you can catch me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/#!/CanadianDadBlog and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CanadianDad

Cheers!!

What Exactly Is A Stoodie Doo Anyway?

So my son has reached an incredible stage of his young life where he’s begun to make up new words to share with his family and friends. His favorite of these is the word, person, phrase “Stoodie Doo” (he wasn’t sure of the spelling but there was definitely an ‘S’ in there).

It got me thinking about how great it would be if everyone, young and old, did this, when it occurred to me that we actually do it every day. I wondered if the person who first uttered the term “woot” ever stopped to think about how ridiculous it sounds? My guess is probably not, because if they had, they probably would have put that one back in the holster.

Anyway, back to my son. He started off by just saying Stoodie a few times for no good reason and my wife and I sort of looked at each with blank expressions. Now it has evolved into a part of his daily vocabulary and apparently as a part of ours after I caught myself using it in a sentence the other day while talking to a buddy of mine and had no good explanation for the meaning.

To help you picture it a bit better, it reminds me of the movie/TV show The Smurfs. Everything is Stoodie. Everyone is a Stoodie Do. Lunch is stoodie time. Mommy is a Stoodie Doo and so on. After the initial concern that something might be wrong with his speech had passed, we decided to celebrate his inner inventor by trying to incorporate the word into our daily conversation, a move that he finds quite amusing.

As far as I can tell, a Stoodie is either a hilarious cartoon monster, some type of meal, bath time, a pair of boots or the game Angry Birds. In any case, it is hilarious to him and that’s all that really matters. I’ve done my best to try to illustrate what I feel he is picturing when he calls me a Stoodie Doo.

I feel pretty bang on about this so I’ll show it to him and let you know what he thinks. Either way, it’s a great time to be a parent when your kids start to show independence, even if it’s in the form of made up creatures. At least I know his imagination is in full swing and that’s alright by me.

Do your kids have any made up words, expressions or special friends that they talk about all the time? Let me know in the comments section and don’t forget to sign up for the Canadian Dad Mailing List as we have some great giveaways coming up very soon.

Soccer Kid

A Father’s Insecurity: What If My Son Hates Sports?

I’ve always been an athletic person. Even in my older, chubbier dad years, I still feel like I can hold my own on a sports field.

I got this from my Dad. In a bittersweet and cruel twist of fate, I lost my father on the same day my wife found out that we were pregnant with our first child. Regrettably, I never got the chance to sit down and talk dad stuff with him. I didn’t get to ask him questions about my youth, or his for that matter and that’s one of those things that you regret as a son and father.

From the young age of 6 and maybe sooner for all I can remember, my dad encouraged me to take part in sport and I gladly obliged. Really by the time I was a teenager, sports was all I knew and I loved the feeling of being able to excel in something that I knew made my dad proud. He didn’t force anything on me, I truly enjoyed the time it afforded us together.

He coached almost every team I ever played on and when we weren’t at the diamond or on the ice, he always made time to ask if there was anything I wanted to work on in my respective disciplines. He went as far as building a rink in our backyard every year and also making a huge net for me to take batting practice in the garage. We grew very close through sports and when I found out that I was going to become a father, I couldn’t help but hope for the same type of result with my son.

Flash Forward to today, my son is almost four years old and is more than ready to start carving his niche in the world. Obviously I would love for that to involve sports but I worry about the prospect of him not wanting anything to do with it. After all, sports is really all I knew growing up, so naturally I have a lot to offer as far as coaching and experience go.

I have also developed a love for music, but as a singer with no formal training and no instrumental skills, there’s really not much I can teach him other than a brief history of rock and roll and what I learned from the Foo Fighters documentary. So that brings us back to sports as my main source of expert knowledge to share with my son.

I’ve started trying to get him into sporty things. I tried to get him to watch hockey with me but without Lightning McQueen or Buzz Lightyear on either team, my efforts fell by the wayside. I still remember the first day he asked me if I wanted to go outside and play hockey, I beamed with joy and shot outside so fast that I forgot to bring him with me. The hockey game lasted 5 minutes before hide and seek became all the rage.

Now we’ve begun soccer lessons and I can’t tell if he enjoys it or not. I know he has fun at it but I wonder if it’s because of the sport aspect or because he has a couple buddies in the class. He’s starting to understand that when the ball or puck goes into the net, he’s done something worth celebrating and while I try to make a big deal out of his goals, I also don’t want to look like one of those crazy parents at a sporting event that makes their kid and themselves look ridiculous.

The point of this article is not to criticize my son on his ability or interest in sports, it’s to shed light on my insecurity that if he decides sports aren’t for him, what do I have to offer him as a father? It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as a father who doesn’t want to fail his son.

In the end, no matter what he decides his path will be, I am going to be supportive (unless he chooses a life of crime I suppose). I also want to be able to help him grow into the kind of person my father has helped me to become, regardless of his life choices. And I guess I would just feel more confident if that life included something tangible I knew how to teach him, other than life necessities such as using the toilet and brushing his teeth, which my wife and dentist will attest to as being things I’m not even that good at, lol.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of my inner workings with you. It feels good to put it all down in writing, even if no one reads it. I often wonder if Mom’s struggle with the same insecurities that us Dad’s do? They always seem to have such a level head about everything and look to have it all put together as natural parents. If I had to do half the work my wife does or that my mother did, I think my head would literally explode into tiny pieces.

If you have anything you want to say about this topic, please feel free to leave me a comment below. I check and respond to them all and love hearing from everyone.

Cheers!