Monday, July 26, 2010

Safe Landings

First flight is over. It wasn't a solo shot across the Atlantic or a tour du globe and we didn't end up on some small Pacific atoll, but we made it. The little guy was actually really good. Completely behind schedule on our way to the airport (blame yer parents), we managed to miss the pre-boarding. Nor did we get food into him. We also ended up with a few too many carry-on bags. We did, however, score coffees and breakfast sandwiches so I call it even.

Despite the gate agent's unhelpfulness (I'm being generous, she was pretty rude), and having it made clear in no uncertain terms that we were sharing the row with seatmates, once we boarded they magically disappeared. I'm not sure what we would have done without the extra seat. He sat in it, played in it, ate in it and finally slept in it. I guess we will find out on our way home.

Vacation so far is going great. He loves seeing his grandparents, but is definitely protesting sleep in all it's forms - naps, bedtimes et al. I guess it's just too much fun here. Why miss anything sleeping? That's just mom and dad's idea of an ideal vacation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Leaving, On a Jet Plane

Tomorrow is the first day of our vacation. We're off to the big sky, open prairie and craggy Rocky mountains of Alberta (despite PR campaigns to the contrary). It's where I grew up and it's where one half of the wee man's grandparents live. Days of lounging by the pool in thirty degree dry heat with a few days of camping in the most glorious of national parks, Jasper, await. Great food, good company, rest and relaxation, natural beauty, a live-in babysitter. Should be a dream vacation.

Snaring River, Jasper, AB
So we should be excited, gettin' in the groove, takin' a load off, sittin' back and enjoying the ride. Yes, we should, in theory.

There's just a couple of little hurdles in the way.

The first, is we like to be organized. Now that we're a bit older, and definitely strict adherers to "the rules", we tend to like to know what's in store. We tend to google the sh*t out of it, read, plan, make lists, apply lessons-learned and scour friends, neighbours and colleagues for best practices. Sure we may be a bit anal, but it's become how we roll. Unfortunately we've never done this particular this before. We've never travelled long distance with the little guy at this age (we did do 3200 kms by car last summer, but he was still immobile) and never by plane. We don't really know what to expect, let alone how to prepare.

And this leads to our second big hurdle - what's the flight with the little man going to be like? Will he be chill, resigned to his fate on my lap, flirting with stewardesses, charming seatmates and making the flight literally fly by? Or will he, as in my worst nightmares, howl the entire journey, struggling against his confinement like a trapped wildebeast, throwing aeroplane food and alienating an entire cabin of complete strangers?

I'll be sure to let you know, provided we actually get there.

I just hope my folks have a beer or two on ice for when we touch down in Edmonton.

Rockin out to ABC

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Helping Hand

I've read my share of history texts that make sweeping generalizations about economic and social structure. You know the line where the author ends up equating lots of children with more hands on deck - a family based many-hands-make-light work manual for economic subsistence. To date, my experience, and granted it's only 15 months of experience, of parenthood is notably different. Then again I'm not a pioneer on the wild plains of North America or the Siberian steppe, but I do inhabit an urban jungle.

This morning though, with my ears still ringing of Cut Like a Buffalo and Hustle and Cuss, I came downstairs to find the little man helping out his Mom. There she was folding laundry and he was all to eager to help. Of course helping for the squirt consisted of unfolding everything as he pulled apart neat piles of clothing, stuffing it all back in the basket, but the intention was there. He clearly wanted to help out. He really does enjoy putting things away - does it matter that he takes equal relish in pulling them all out too?

Fatherhood Friday at Dad BlogsWhat I really want to know is when can he start taking out the garbage and shovellig the walk?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ditching the Car

This morning we left the car at home. The little man still needed to get to daycare and I still needed to get to work (unfortuntaely), but we went back to public transit. It's taken us a while, but a sometimes sensitive little guy, a ridiculous lack of accessibility on the transit system, and inclement weather have all conspired to keep us driving the 30 minutes minimum to travel that epic 5km. Ok, so that is a bit of an excuse, but actually getting life organized is a bit of challenge more often than not.

So after scouring Kijiji and Craigslist we managed to get our hands on a baby-backpack. Now I'm schleping him 'round town. Sure I need to organize a change of shirts at the office and he's not so sure about the dark subway tunnels, but the car is firmly parked. At least it was today. Hopefully it will be tomorrow too. And the day after that. 

I'll let you know how it goes when we're stuck between stations on an a/c-less train in rush hour in desperate need of dinner due to signal troubles at Woodbine. . .

Out of the car and on to the streets!

Backpacking to work

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reading together

For Father's Day, the wee man got me a book called "Daddy and Me". It's his new favourite and we often read it before bed, although we've already lost some of the lift-the-flaps. Time to teach him about Duct Tape.

Backpack Boy

It's been a big weekend. I'm stiff, aching and pretty tired.

It really starts with Canada Day. Thursday, a day off, and beautiful weather. Add a new backpack for toting the wee man about. Our first backpacking outing was a short, and reasonable, trip just down to the corner for some coffees.

Buoyed by our successful trip round the hood, we decided to kick things up a notch. So we threw the wee one in the backpack and headed down the to Brickworks, a former brick factory transformed into a natural oasis in the heart of Toronto. A few hours later, I still had a little person on my back.

In a few weeks we head out to Alberta and some time in the Rockies. The plan is avoid the stroller for those peaks and valleys.  Looks like I'm going to have to do some more backpacking outings, not just because he loves it in the pack, but I really need to get in shape.

I can always use the old fallback - the air is thinner up there, but even if that gets me a tiny bit of sympathy it won't ease my aches.

And there won't be a bus to get us the rest of the way home.