And Then Jann Arden Called My House

I started to write this post last night. I took a break to hang out on Twitter for a bit, when one tweet changed the entire direction of the story.

I’m not much of a thoughtful gift giver. I mean well, I really do. It just seems that I always come up a bit short.

Today is my wife’s birthday. I used to ask her what she wanted as a gift but she’d always give me the “Oh, I don’t need anything” line. Every man knows this is simply code for “You should know what I like by now, figure it out!”

I spent hours agonizing over what to get her and think I actually did pretty well this year. Here is what the kids and I had planned for her presents:

Yep, shelled out for some nice jewelry and put together a frame with the kids. I was all done, yet something still felt incomplete.

I’ve been increasingly fascinated with this website called Twitter. You may have heard of it. Anyway, I like to go there to flex my funny bone.

It was about 2AM and I thought it would be fun to send a tweet to one of my wife’s favorite musician’s, Jann Arden. She is a notorious tweeter but I wasn’t expecting any reply. Celebrities are busy and I respect that.

Here’s a look at what happened:

That simple reply of “Maybe I should call her” set off a slew of emotions for me. Was she serious? Or was it just a joke? I replied back with a joke comment and then something weird and amazing happened.

Other totally selfless people started tweeting to Jann, saying that she should do it because it would be amazing. I agreed and before I could jump on board, Jann had already messaged me to say that we were on!

I have to admit; at this point I was a wreck. Shaking a bit with excitement. A little skeptical about what was happening (Was this even Jann?). A little hungry. You know, the usual stuff that happens when you are organizing a celebrity phone call for your wife’s birthday at 2 in the morning….

I spent the rest of the night glued to my iPhone, chatting on Twitter and Facebook with other excited fans. I still had no idea what had happened. I lost focus so much that I didn’t fill out my birthday card and almost left the other gifts at work.

Let’s cut to the next morning, we’ll call that day yesterday for the purposes of this story. I still didn’t know how this whole thing was going down. I took my son to the park to play for a bit and then I got a call from my wife.

Her birthday was the next day so I wasn’t expecting anything to happen then, but she had an exciting story for me.

“Jann Arden just called me at the house to say Happy Birthday! And said that you did that!” She didn’t pick up the phone right away so we are lucky enough to have this proof forever:

I literally couldn’t believe it; she had come through and made me look like a superhero husband. The truth is that I really don’t deserve much credit at all. It’s not like it was my idea after all. Chalk it up to right place at the right time.

The one thing I did know is that my wife had loved it and that was the most important thing to me. She is a wonderfully amazing woman and deserves every good thing that comes her way.

She runs a day care, puts up with my shift work (and Bull Sh*t) and basically makes sure that my children get all the love they need and deserve! She is amazing, I am lucky to have her and I am so glad that I was able to have a hand in making her smile for her birthday.

We both showered Jann with big Thank You’s on Twitter and hope that she understands how amazing her act truly was. In case she is reading my lowly blog right now, Thank You again Jann Arden, You Rock!!!

I guess the only problem I have now is that my wife will be expecting something big out of me every year from now on….

No worries, I’ve got my buddy Madonna on speed dial!

Happy Birthday Honey!

Cheers!

The Important Lesson I Taught My Son

Recently I wrote about how picky my son is when it comes to eating food. I also mentioned that he didn’t extend the picky behaviour only to dinner items but to desserts too.

While reading through all your excellent comments and recommendations, I noticed that Jennifer from Mom vs The Boys made a good point about my boy not liking Ice Cream and I set out to rectify the situation.

I’m a Dad. My job is to teach my kids stuff. Learning how to enjoy a delicacy like ice cream, I believe, is one of my jobs and an important one at that.

I actually hadn’t realized just how important it was until we got to the ice cream shop. I managed to get my son to taste my chocolate ice cream, so he could see that it tasted like chocolate milk, his favorite.

He immediately asked for his own cone and we were off and running!

He treated the ice cream as if it was a trick I was playing on him. As if any moment, a dragon was going to pop out of it and eat him. Holding it in his fingertips and taking licks so small, that it almost looked like he wasn’t eating it at all.

But the ice cream was disappearing and soon he was stuck staring at a half empty cone.

I know what you’re thinking…”What is this guy talking about? You don’t teach a kid to eat ice cream, you just eat it!”

Wrong! What happened next is proof of my heroic act of Daddyism!

Staring down at the vast emptiness the cone had to offer, my son then asked me “What now Daddy? Am I done?”

In that moment, I realized that I had more to offer than simply teaching him that ice cream is delicious. “Why no my boy, you can eat the cone too!”, I responded with joy.

I’m not lying when I tell you that we then spent a good 15 minutes going over cone eating techniques. My son then went to work, in what I can only describe as the slowest cone eating adventure there has even been.

It didn’t bother this Dad one bit. He ate the whole ice cream cone (without spilling in the car) and I couldn’t have been more proud of him!

I’m finding that, with parenting, even the small victories are still victories. Up until a week ago, my son had scoffed at ice cream, especially if it came in a weird crunchy cup.

And I know it was only an ice cream cone and I shouldn’t be proud about my kids eating junk, but I am and I’m not sorry about it. Every step they take in discovering something new is an exciting experience for a parent and I was happy to be a part of this one!

Have you ever been excited or proud of your kids about something others might see as a small or non existent feat? Share it in the comments below!

My Son Hates Food…

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m not about to write a 1,000 word post, not because I can’t, but because I’m lazy.

The picture above is the beautiful lunch time creation my amazing wife put together for her daycare’s Easter lunch. You’ll notice it looks like one of those Sesame Street skits of “One of these things is not like the other”.

3 perfect Peanut Butter and Fruit Bunnies and one ugly, no makeup, no face Bunny with 2 carrots that it can’t eat because it doesn’t have a mouth.

The empty rabbit is a special lunch modification for my son, who will not touch anything that isn’t a plain piece of bread. Sure he dabbles in carrots, apples and even broccoli if the mood is right but you are essentially looking at his daily feeding.

Before you start the “hide the food in something else” bit, trust me, we’ve tried it. I swear he’s going to become a surgeon someday based on the way he disects every type of food we try to give him, looking for colours that don’t belong.

I sometimes wonder where I went wrong with him in the food department. Daddy loves food. Daddy eats waaayyyy too much of it too. It couldn’t be me! He couldn’t have gotten into my Paint collection, right? Even if he did, this photo wouldn’t scare a child off carrots, would it?

Yeah I know, I’m a monster who draws ridiculously disturbing pictures. We all have our vices. Let’s move on.

He doesn’t even like cake or ice cream or gummy worms!!! The only thing he will eat in the junk department is donuts and thank the lord for that.

Don’t worry, we supplement his diet with vitamins (hidden liquid only because he won’t take a pill or eat a gummy or Flinstone vitamin). We’ve talked to the doctor about it and they said to keep trying new ways to get him to eat his fruits and veggies, so we will.

Some tricks have worked for a few days. The old “I’m gonna eat your food” schtick was good for a couple meals. Then there’s classics like “I’m gonna beat you” or “Apples make you faster and stronger”. Nothing sticks though.

There is some hope though! Recently in a play group circle time, my son was asked what his favorite food was. He responded quickly with this wonderful lie: Apples.

That’s my boy!

Have you ever had problems getting your kids to eat their food? Feel free to share your secrets with me so I can steal them and forget to thank you!

Cheers!

Sh*t My Kids Say #5 – The Spanish Book

It’s no secret that Dora the Explorer has stolen a large chunk of the children’s television market. Part of the draw of the show for parents is that kids get a chance to dabble in a second language.

A three year old doesn’t understand that there are people who speak different languages and therefore doesn’t know the difference between English, French, Spanish and so on.

I recently brought my son to the Library to pick out some new books for circle time at the day care. I always let him pick out his own book too and he always selects a french book first.

I don’t know if the pictures are cooler in french or if it’s because they are the first books you pass by but he will always gravitate to the french section first.

I tried to explain to him a few weeks ago that, while Daddy does speak french, translating the book to English is a bit of a tough task and I asked him to select a book from the English section.

This is the conversation we had yesterday at the Library.

D: “Okay buddy, go ahead and pick out a book.”

L: “Okay Daddy!” **Looks for about 8 seconds** “Here’s a great book Daddy! It has a Boat!”

D: “Sure pal, whatever book you want”

L: **Sits at the table and opens it** “I think I need to find a different book Daddy.”

D: “Why? That one looks good and you love boats.”

L: “I think this one’s Spanish.”

D: “Nope, it’s in English. How do you even know what Spanish is?”

L: “Remember yesterday, you told me not to pick the Spanish books.” **Everything happened yesterday by the way**

D: “That was not yesterday, it was 2 weeks ago and I said don’t pick French books, not Spanish”

L: **Blank stare** “Okay Daddy. I’ll take this Spanish one with the boats!”

D: “Haha, okay pal.”
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I’d like to note that I am not against my kids learning another language, I just think it’s more important for them to master the one they are going to use on a day to day basis first.

Plus I hate translating things, LOL!

Cheers!!

Here’s Why My Son Hates People In Costumes

A couple of days ago, I posted about my son going to his first “drop off your kids and leave” Birthday Party and how the Spider-Man character spooked him.

I was going through some old Easter photos and may have uncovered the reason for my son’s fear of characters in costume. For that info, you’ll have to head on over to Life Of Dad to check out my latest post.

Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this unforgettable family photo.

Cheers!!

Not Even Spider-Man Can Stop My Kid

I’m not even sure where to start this one because it’s a bit emotional and funny all in one event.

My son’s birthday party is going to be in a couple of weeks. I can remember last year, we threw him an Ernie birthday party and he loved it. I asked him what kind of party he wanted this year and he immediately answered “MarioKart!” with joy.

What?!?! How do you go from Ernie to MarioKart in less than a year?

On one hand it’s cool because I get to goof around with a bunch of video game stuff. On the other, I want my little boy back!!!

That brings me to our most recent event.

My son was just invited to his first “drop off your kid and leave” birthday party. He is 3 years old but soon to be 4.

You can forget about the fact that the party was just across the street at a neighbor’s house because it could have been on the moon for all I cared. The point is that my little man is growing up, and quickly!

The neighbor’s kid was turning 5 and was having a Spider-Man themed party, with a special visit from Spider-Man himself (very popular right now, the character shows up and runs games and stuff).

My son does NOT like people in costumes, so upon hearing this, I feared the worst.

Sure enough, I got a phone call from the neighbor about 30 minutes in, asking if I could come over and comfort my son, who was freaked out by Spider-Man. After some calming words to my delirious concerned wife, I ran over to hang out.

I tried to explain to my son that it was just a guy in a costume and that he had nothing to be scared of. Obviously that didn’t work, so we came to the agreement that if I went home and got his Spider-Man costume, he would stay at the party and take part in the games.

Excited to feel needed again, I raced across the street, Spidey suit in hand. Daddy saves the day!!

It took a few minutes for him to rejoin the party and he clung to me for another 10 like a shirt that had gone through the dryer without a Bounce sheet (you know what I mean, shut it).

Eventually I felt comfortable enough to leave him but figured he wouldn’t take part in anything until Spidey was gone.

Well don’t you know it, sometimes when left to fend for themselves, kids rise above the odds and make you the proudest parents in the world.

Here’s the photo I got from the neighbors, 15 minutes after I had left.

Very proud Dad upon seeing this picture. Almost as if I had said or done something to ease his mind about being at the party. Now if he would please stop growing for a couple years, I would very much appreciate it!!

Is there a moment you realized that you were losing your toddler to boy/girlhood? Share it with me in the comments so I can feel better about losing mine 🙂

Cheers!!

The Tooth Fairy Is An Extortionist

That’s right, I said it!

I am 33 years old.

I can remember the days of losing teeth and the excitement that would come over waking up the next morning to find a shiny quarter or two under my pillow.

I was having a very deep and serious chat with some friends the other night at a wedding.

We were laughing at old(er) people dancing and somehow the topic of missing teeth came up, to which one friend had an interesting story to share about his children.

He said that one of his children had just lost a tooth and after researching with other parents, he found that the going rate on teeth these days was about $5 a piece, so that’s what he paid.

I laughed at his hilarious joke and turned back to the dance floor. He then grabbed me by the arm, looked deep into my eyes and told me something I will never forget.

“I’m not joking man, the Tooth Fairy is a thieving little bitch and she charges $5 a tooth now!”

The words came at me in slow motion, like I was a stunned boxer who’d just had his bell rung.

This couldn’t be true! My kids hadn’t even lost any teeth yet and at this rate of inflation, by the time they do, I’ll be paying double that price!

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” I yelled in the middle of the wedding.

Who does this chick think she is? Monopolizing the teeth market by being the only one who dares sneak into young children’s rooms at night to help herself to their lost ivory.

It’s common knowledge among adults that the money left under the pillow is not left there by the tooth fairy, but it is a bounty paid by parents so that the tooth fairy does her job properly.

Otherwise, the tooth would still be there in the morning and the parent would have to explain what happened. Explain why the Tooth Fairy doesn’t love their child.

Do you want to be that parent? DO YOU!?!?

My friend’s story got me panicking so I started to do some research of my own. The first person I asked was a colleague at work.

“I give $2 per tooth”…..”But I’m really cheap”

Bad Start! If the cheap guy is paying $2, that means I stand to be in big, big trouble.

Off to Facebook and Twitter for more guidance. The answers come flowing in like a tipped over truck filled with sewage.

“$2…$4…$5”, and then the bombshell hits as one parent tells me they paid $20 for the first and $5 for each subsequent lost tooth!!!

WHAT!?!?

The trend continues to confirm my fears that I will need to re-mortgage the house in order to pay for two kids to lose all their teeth.

It also puts the final nail in the “Should we have a third child” debate.

I’ve been racking my brain on ways to avoid this inevitable mess but so far I’ve only come up with one possible idea….

I’m going to try opening my own tooth fairy business! What do you think? It suits me, right?

We’ll see what the Tooth Fairy’s goons have to say about that but I’m ready for them.

No more will I stand idly by as she treats us parents like her slaves!!! We will band together to fight this injustice!

She may continue to try and take our hard earned money, but she will Never Take Our Freedom!!!!!

Who’s with me? What price does the Tooth Fairy charge at your house? Leave me a comment below and we can all share in each other’s misery…

Cheers!!

Was I Not Supposed To Watch The Hunger Games

I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to do some writing for the “Life Of Dad” website.

I decided to make my first post over there about my experience at the premiere for The Hunger Games last night.

Sooo, If you want to find out how I ended up on a National radio show because of my tweets or If you’re interested in finding out about my crazy 24 hours of emotions, from happy to depressed to happy again…

CLICK HERE!!! to read the whole story.

Cheers!!

Front Runner For Toy Of The Year

My kids have a LOT of toys! They live in a house that is also home to a Day Care, so there is never a time where a toy isn’t within arms reach.

Do you know that we had our first nice day of the spring today? Yep, I spent 10 minutes dragging all my kids toys out of the garage so that they could enjoy them in this beautiful weather.

There were other things going on too. Some neighbourhood kids came over, I did groceries, Oh Yeah, and I took the garbage out to the curb.

With all the glorious toy goodness the kids had to play with, I was excited to see how they were going to react.

Were they going to play with their new PlasmaCars???

NOPE!

Most Definitely they’d be using their new hockey nets though!! Right?

WRONG AGAIN!!

You can imagine my surprise, after all my hard work, to find that the most popular toy of the day was in fact something that I had put out with the garbage.


There you have it folks! The 2012 Toy Of The Year is…..

Random Cardboard Box?!

Remember that when you are debating whether or not to get the $600 Kid sized Hummer from Toys R Us. It may look cool to you but the box it comes in will look a lot cooler to your kid!

Ever found your kids wasting your hard earned money by playing with garbage?? Share your story in he comments section and we can all console each other.

Cheers!

Diagnosis: Fat!

I was hanging out with some friends the other day (yes, I have friends). As we always do, we were telling the same old recycled stories we always do, while laughing at them as hard as we always do.

It occurred to me, in that moment, that my new blog has given me a new venue to tell these stories and I thought I would share one with you right now.

It all began with some back pain.

I had been experiencing some pretty severe hip and back pain for a few months before I finally decided to go to the doctor to discuss it.

He did some tests but in the end decided it would be best for me to see a specialist.

I’m going to interrupt the story here to let you know that for about 3 years, I dealt with a pretty intense bout of hypochondria. I probably visited the emergency room more than some doctors and that’s no lie.

So to hear that I was going to see a specialist was both good and bad news.

The good news was that I was going to see the magical specialist who would fix all my problems and send me on my way.

The bad news was that my doctor didn’t know what was wrong and I was going to a specialist because I was most likely going to die.

5 months later…my turn in the specialist appointment line had come. I waited patiently in the bacteria pit and taunted the other patients with my strut as my name was called.

I gave the doctor my test results and he looked them over in a very serious manner. He asked questions about my work life and general habits which I feel I answered to the best of my abilities.

After what felt like an hour (probably more like 3 minutes), he was ready for the diagnosis. Here is a word for word account of the results.

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Doctor: “Okay, so here’s what I want you to do”

Me: (Very excited at the possibility of recovery) “Okay, I’m listening” (Notepad and pen ready because I forget things)

Doctor: “I need you to go to a Wal-Mart or Department Store”

Me: “Okay, great!”

Doctor: “You’re going to go in there and you’re going to want to buy yourself a good scale”

Me: “Scale. Got it!” (Huh? He’s a doctor, so we soldier on, no questions asked)

Doctor: “Then you’re going to go home and stand on it. Then write down the number.”

Me: “Write down the number. Check!”….”Like my weight, you mean?”

Doctor: “Yeah, your weight. After that, I want to you to get on it again each day and make the number equal less than the day before”

Me: (Pathetic, fat, hypochondriac finally gets the message) “Yes sir…”

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At first I was mortified at the response and even a little angry. That was actually one of the first times in my life I had been called fat and I’ll never forget it.

It was also one of the first moments that made me realize how ridiculous my obsession with dying had become. I can’t say I’ve done the best job with his advice from that day but I have managed to conquer my anxiety towards death and that’s a big step for me…and for my wife, who I’m sure was getting tired of all the complaining!

Don’t worry, I still complain. The difference is that now I complain about real issues, like why I have to do dishes or why the cars drive so fast on our street when there are so many kids outside playing.

In the end, the angry from the diagnosis subsided at about the same time that I told the story to my friends for the first time. The laughter that ensued at my expense made me grateful to have had the experience at all.

Hope you all have a great day!!!

Cheers!!!