Monday, March 29, 2010

It Wasn't My Idea

Dear Oliver,

It wasn't my idea. That is what I am going to tell you when you see these pictures. It wasn't my idea.

It was Sunday. We went for a late-afternoon playdate/BBQ at at friend's house. Their daughter is very cute and she gave you a kiss, wee man. Your Moms arranged the get-together. OK, Dads approved of the BBQ theme, including burgers and beer, but we were well prepared. We brought the sippy-cup, and the extra bottle, and the bib.We even had the portable high-chair so everyone could eat together.  We had backup food in case you didn't like what was on offer. We brought spare soothers and teething toys. We didn't really forget to bring it, as much as we hadn't planned on staying so late. We thought the bib would serve it's stated purpose and protect your clothing from the various edible juices, colours and oozes.

Yes son, you are correct. These are all excuses. Still, it wasn't my idea.

It wasn't my idea. We simply didn't have one of your sleepers with us. Yes, yours are covered in variety of trucks, robots, aliens, pirate ships and polar bears. Yes, yours are in shades of blue, brown, grey and green. But really, it was the first sleeper Uncle "D" came across. You were in a little girl's house. We thought you might be too tired to notice.

It wasn't my idea.

Maybe the hat wasn't really necessary.

I did take pictures and I did post them on the interweb.

You can curse me at your wedding.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Burnt Breakfast

It's Sunday morning. The day of rest. After a long week back at work and with the little guy in daycare, this is supposed to be a relaxed, fun, family affair. For some reason the little one interpreted this as "day of mischief". Napping doesn't seem to figure into mischief days. Doesn't he recognize that mommy and daddy are tired following a busy Saturday that included a Beach Dodgeball tourney and his cousin's 3rd birthday? Maybe that is exactly what recognizes. Two parental units to be taken advantage of.

When we finally got him down, which took both of us, operating in shifts. Dad finally had a chance to cook burn some breakfast. I also managed to overflow the espresso. And re-dirty the clean dishes. Oh, and spill cheerios all over the kitchen. Great start. Too bad it was after noon and I was just trying to get myself fed. I'm allowed to be responsible for the entire existence of this wee person when I can't feed (or clothe - that's another story) myself? Caffeine where are you hiding . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life in a Zoo

There are only three of us in our little family. So how come our life is such a zoo? It feels like I just woke up and now I'm going to bed. The time in between is blurry. The words hectic, disaster and what-just-happened I think are accurate, but "zoo" is easier to say and remember, at least for my parenting brain.

The wee man has been asleep for three hours already and since he retired all I've managed to do is eat. Well at least that involved cleaning the kitchen, tidying up where he ate, cooking dinner, chasing a racoon out of the garbage, and watching all of three minutes of the Sweet Sixteen. And that was after he went to bed. Getting him home from daycare and getting him fed was the major challenge of the day.

Well thank you for small mercies. This week's comes in book form:

Thanks Mike, Janine and Grace for this wonderful book. The little guy adores opening the packages to see the different animals the zoo sends. He's going to have to make do, since there is no way we are adding any more real live animals to this one.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Getting Back on the Horse

Well, after a good solid (and completely warranted) cry, the little guy didn't let his fall get in his way. While some of us might be inclined to back-off a bit, the wee one was back to standing as soon as the tears subsided. And in even more precarious poses than before. I'm not sure he's really worried about my health - Dad must have had a half dozen heart attacks since this afternoon's incident.

And why does he still insist on climbing the stairs?!? To daycare with ya tomorrow!

Standing, Standing, Crying

Dad and the little guy were home today for another sick day. He's almost better, not sure if the same thing can be said of Dad, but Dad still put in a solid effort of making the wee man feel better. There were good morning naps, great meals, and lots of fun playing, reading books and rocking out to some killer tunes. And then there are his new tricks.

The wee one has been working on his standing to the point where he's become a bit of a daredevil. One hand, one foot - no problem! Dancing and swaying - easy! Bouncing and dancing on one foot - where's the challenge? That is until we skip afternoon nap. Let's just say that despite his new found stability on two legs, gravity always wins.

Normally this isn't disastrous as he has a remarkable ability to land on the padded parts. Of course when the laws of baby-physics combine with the universal truths of Daddy-on-duty the results are often less than ideal. In this particular case the edge of the chair protruded just a bit too much. The little guy is okay, and I'm sure this will only be the first of many bumps, cuts and bruises, but it doesn't make Daddy feel any better. At least you're a tough little cookie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sick Days

We knew it was coming.


The moonlit ocean sparkling and twinkling.


A young couple laughing and frolicking on the beach

Da-dum, Da-dum

A late night dip.

Da-dum, Da-dum, Da-dum, DA-DUM!

We knew it was coming, but we didn't expect it to have such bite. Okay, so in our world there was no ocean, no young couple, no skinny-dpping and no big white shark, but there is daycare. And the diseases that lurk there. After only one week, the little guy has brought home a nasty cold. It's kept him home for the last couple of days.

He's passed the nasty bug on to Daddy (although mommy seems to be immune!) and it is a doozy. He's not sleeping well, he's got a terrible cough, his throat is sore and that's just Daddy - it seems even worse for the wee man. He still has his appetite, but everything else seems a bit off. Not nearly as much fun as a snow day. Hopefully we'll all feel better enough tomorrow to be back at it, but today is soup and naps. At least Daddy hopes he can squeeze one in.

That's all for now. The little is awake and is making a play for the keyboard . . .

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fuzzy Saturday

Well one week of daycare is over. Only another few hundred to go. On the plus side I don't think it can get much worse. The staff are great and when he lets himself, the little guy has tons of fun. It's just that he wants mommy and daddy to be there to share in the fun.

Well the daycare staff called it. Not only is he disrupted at daycare, but he's bringing his dissatisfaction home. Last night he was late to bed and early to wake, again and again and again and one more time. From the haze I think he was up at 2:30, 3:15, 3:50 and 4:30. I'm pretty sure he was up at 5:30 too, but by then I'd lost count and the ability to tell time. What happened to your twelve-hour sleeps, little man?

Thankfully the weather is terrible today. I have no guilt in doing nothing but drink espressos and watch March Madness. We should probably go for a walk before the monster destroys the house. See little one? Daycare is much more fun than Mom and Dad.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hunger Strike

Today's early wake-up set the tone for a day and a week that seems to be only getting worse (full disclosure: the little man has been a pretty good sleeper so losing 2-3 hours sleep a night for us is a big shock, especially when it's Dad's first week back at work). Another tearful drop-off at daycare meant things weren't improving. So now, in his fourth day of real daycare, the little guy had perfected a repertoire of wailing, refusing to nap and reducing nighttime rest. So it was only natural that he decided to go all Ghandi on us. No, he didn't opt for pacifism, but to show everyone just how his rights were being violated he went on a hunger strike. Yeah, that feels great for parents. Your eleventh month-old has stopped eating because of something you are doing to him. Too bad it's so you can pay for his food in the first place.

By early afternoon, Dad had to make the trek back to the daycare to see if I could coax some food into him. We managed (yes two daycare workers - professionals no less!- and his dad) to get some lunch into him. Okay he turned his nose up at the tofu, but I sort of approve of that. After eating a bit his mood improved drastically (the apple does not fall far from the tree - just ask my wife) and I used the opportunity to pull the one of the most underhanded parenting tricks in the non-existent book - I snuck out. Well, it seemed to work. I didn't get another call from the daycare for the rest of the day. Okay so I still picked him up early, but I'm writing this blog so I'm calling it progress.

We had some fun at home - wrestling, making a mess, laughing for no reason. When mommy got home we all went to the park for a little fun in the sun (Canadians really can't pass up 18C weather in March!). He didn't last long, but it was enough. He crashed when we got home but at least he is asleep now. Oh, he'll be up soon - he still hasn't had any bottle, but Dad is taking advantage of the quiet to enjoy a nice gin 'n tonic before I throw the steaks on the old BBQ.

Fingers crossed for Friday.

Baby Wake-up Call

I think ours was broken this morning as it went off at 5:00 and really wouldnt stop for an hour. And boy was it loud. If there was a front desk, I would have called and complained. Maybe our neighbours did. The child screaming somehow has a multiplier effect on time that make it stand still. Just one more piece of a week that has been "rough" at best. Will share more later, after I get a coffee and try to feel somewhat like a human being again. Yes a parent, but a human one all the same.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Operation Fat Daddy

I've never been a heavy guy, but being in my thirties I had acquired a bit of extra padding round the midriff (don't we all?). Surprisingly though, after the little guy's arrival I quickly withered. In the exhaustion of three days in hospital with nothing more than a chair as a bed and not much to eat except some carboard pizza (and an amazing take-out steak donated by my mother and father-in-law), I lost quite a bit of weight. A bit too much. Pants from years ago (yes, I should call Hoarders) were fitting nicely. Lots of shirts though, seemed to hang loosely off my frame - a plus if you're working Bryant Park for NY fashion week, but not so hot for your average guy.

When I went on parental leave, things actually got a bit worse. "Feed yourself first" were my wife's instructions, but when the little guy needs to eat, he NEEDS TO EAT. So not only was I was not putting weight back on, I was losing a bit more.

Action was needed. A plan was devised. A strategem elucidated. We launched "Operation Fat Daddy". Now I'm snacking all the time, getting seconds at meals and eating whatever I can. I have to say it's pretty good. Extra treats are sent my way, extra burgers are encouraged, and all in all it's a pretty sweet deal. A breakfast sandwich a day, at work, rest and play . . .

Now to line up the wings, nachos and pretzels for March Madness. Being a new Dad definitely has some perks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daycare Daycare Daycare

So Oliver started Daycare officially this week. That means Dad is back at work. Yes, the 9 to 5. Rat Race. Paper pushing. There are other names too, but I'll leave those to the imagination (some of them are positive, you pessimists!) I'm commuting by car now too. Means no more zoning out on the subway listening to music and playing Uno on my iPhone. At least I get to chat with the little guy on the way in. He babbles away contentedly from the backseat.

Day 1 went quite well, except he didn't nap much. He did enjoy his soup and his cream cheese sandwich. Anything cheese this kid.

Day 2 - not so great. I had to head back an hour after I dropped him off to help console the little fellow. Good thing my office is only two blocks from the daycare. He had another bit of a meltdown in the afternoon but thankfully went down for a two and a half hour nap. I think the daycare staff were thankful. Too bad Dad didn't get one of those today.

Wee man seemed pleased as punch when I got him home so I started to think that he was just unhappy about being abandoned. But his fussiness quickly returned and a glance inside his mouth revealed white gums. Looks like teething is on again. Can't he just make-do with the eight he has, at least for the time being? At least he fell asleep quickly - all tuckered out. Not sure if was the daycare activities or the wailing which finished him, but either way he had nothing left in the tank.

Tomorrow's hump day and then it's coasting downhill from there. At least we can hope. March Madness starts this week too. Maybe the little guy can bring the good luck he brought to my Olympic viewing (did I mention I saw 13 of Canada's 14 Gold medals live?) to my bracket. Papa could use a brand new bag.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daddy Day Care - Service Interruption

So today Daddy Day Care was reconstituted as the little guy was a bit sick and we decided not to send him to daycare. The daycare workers said they would miss him. I'm not sure they would had felt that way had they seen him today. He was definitely out of sorts and wasnt sure what he wanted. Thankfully he had a couple of good naps. He didn't really enjoy his walk either. The pouring rain meant that he was ensconced in his plastic cocoon.

He did learn how to crawl up the stairs though. Little monkey. Here's hoping he has a good night and everyone can sleep in on Saturday morning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daycare Transition - Day 4

When he awoke this morning, the little man was very excited. He couldn't wait to get to daycare. He was looking forward to seeing his little friends, having fun with all the fun activities and eating yummy meals. Mommy visited yesterday and was impressed by the veggie lasagna and how well the little man sat in his chair at the table.

Although we were ready for a bit of a rougher day given it would be his longest yet and he was also supposed to have his first real nap today. The morning passed uneventfully as Daddy hovered nearby ready to swoop in if the phone rang. It didn't. Around 2:30, Daddy had run out of errands to run and had drunk enough coffees, so he was cooling his heels reading a book in the main lobby. All of a sudden the fire alarm sounded. Daddy packed up his bag, put on his coat and walked down the hall to the daycare. By the time he had arrived, the little people had already been rounded up and were on their way out the door. Unfortunately for Oliver, he had just gone down for his big nap only to be so rudely awakened. Dad was impressed with the evacuation which we later learned was due to an explosion in the parking garage! Everything was quickly brought under control with no damage or lasting effects.

I wonder if tomorrow will be as exciting?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Daycare Delights

Oliver had his second morning of daycare today. And again he loved it. He loved storytime, playing with  playdo, the music man and his new little friends. He ate well, played well and smiled a lot. He really didn't notice if Dad was there or not.

He came home in a great mood, and was promptly out for the count. After the early morning today, Dad certainly appreciated the three hour nap! Mommy had to work late today, but she's coming to Daycare tomorrow too.

Watching the kids at daycare has only added to Oliver's arsenal of little tricks. In addition to doing the "downward dog" on a regular basis, he has taken to pulling up to standing. Very exciting! Just not when Daddy is trying to give him bath, although the yoga pose does make it easier to clean certain areas.

We can't wait for tomorrow's adventures (and the exciting menu at daycare)!

Monday, March 8, 2010

And so it begins

Today was Oliver's first day in Daycare. Dad has handed off to the professionals. Oliver is ecstatic.

Actually, this week is "transition week". He only put in two hours this morning. He loved it though. I'm not sure if it'll hold once he realizes the implications, but for now it is an amazing and fun place. They have a few of his favourite things: tambourines, books and a pit of balls. The staff got a kick of his little mischievous sense of humour too. We'll see if that holds too. All in all, so far so good. We have three hours tomorrow as it steadily ramps up all week. The big test will be nap time. I'm not sure it can go much worse than at home today though.

Despite the refusal to nap (and the associated late day crankiness), the little man and I had a blast today too. It was a beautiful 14 degrees with the glorious sunshine streaming down. With a coffee in hand, the forced 6:30 am wake-up was maybe not glorious, Dad and Oliver explored tree-lined streets and beautiful parks. Dad forgot the little one's sunglasses (not that he'd wear them anyway), but Oliver seemed to appreciate the sunshine. Regardless, the votes have been cast and the sunglasses fall in the "not" category.

Dad added to win the column tonight too by actually getting the taxes filed. You need to eat and new clothes, don't you wee man?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Daddy Day Care - The Final Countdown

Well today was the last day of Daddy Day Care, so we made it a good one. We went for a long walk that included a stop at Riverdale Farm. Oliver loved the chickens. He thought they were hilarious. He was not so keen on the piglets or the turkeys, however. We read stories and played games. We hung out and partied it up. We laughed, we cried. I'm going to miss the little man and our days together. He'll probably love daycare.

Anyway, to all the Dads out there who aren't sure whether they should take parental leave, consider this a ringing endorsement. It is a special time that you can't get back. I learned a lot from the little guy and we bonded.

Enjoy it!

We'll keep blogging as we explore the trials and tribulations of 2 full-time working parents, daycare and a growing little man.

Cheers! Daddy Day Care, over and out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Daddy Day Care - Day 43

Has it really been 43 days?!? Has it only been 43 days?!?

If I total up all my grey hairs, aching muscles, amazing memories, belly laughs, frazzled nerves, wondrous moments, and messy poops it pretty much comes out to that. It's a new sort of math: one part baby brain, one part Raffi song, one part advanced quantum mechanics and one part wee man.  I prefer to the current budget math in Ottawa. Either way, 2 days to go and then it's a whole new adventure.

The little guy was great today, we had a blast! He was up early, but napped early enough and long enough that Dad was able to put his head down for a bit too. He loved Rainbow Songs - no crying at all (too bad he has his final class on Thursday). The sun was out too so we went for a great walk. He's becoming less of a little vampire and isn't hiding from the sun quite so much. He still sneezes, but doesn't shy away. He's not wearing his un-hip sunglasses either.

He is becoming more of a little monkey at home though. Well, I'm not sure if he is more of a little monkey or is just able to execute more of his mischievous plans with his increased mobility. He still has his commando crawl, but can do it on his knees too. He's also getting better at pulling himself up. He's quite tall too, so things we thought were out of reach are actually far too accessible. I think he'll be standing and walking soon. Good thing we have those baby gates and cabinet locks. I still need to devise a solution for the stereo and speaker cables.  I'm definitely getting a workout keeping up with him!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mommy and Daddy Day Care

Little guy wasn't feeling the best today. He had long naps (plus for Daddy), was a bit tired for Gymboree (minus for Daddy), loved seeing mommy when she got home (plus for mommy), but decided to not go to sleep until 9:30 (minus for mommy since Daddy was at Dodgeball).

He has mastered his snacktrap these days and he lets you know that he wants it. And boy does he want it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Daddy Day Care

Monday of our last week started off a bit rough. Well at least from Daddy's point of view. I was maybe a bit worse for wear following the glorious gold overtime victory from the evening before. Who knew that watching a hockey game could be so physically draining?

The munchkin is perfecting new tricks daily, so many it is hard to keep up. He makes all sorts of noises, has new expressions and new ways of communicating. He has definitely learned how to ask for what he wants too. He may be ready for daycare after all.