Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brotherly Love

As a parent routine is key. Of course there are benefits like predictability and comfort for the kids, but the real bonus is being able to save on parental brain-space. Since the big guy arrived, almost five years ago, I go about my days with less than my brain power at any given time. At times it is only moderately impaired, while at others it is fully disfunctional. This haze comes from the continuous combination of sleep deprivation, worry for the little ones' health and safety, education and enrichment, not to mention financial stresses of extra food, constantly shrinking clothing, quality daycare, and actually doing stuff (activities).

Routine is what keeps me operational. Our daycare routine is pretty well established. At pick-up time I grab the big guy, gather his clothes (coat, snowpants, boots, mitts, toque - heh it's Canada and it's winter) and his artwork (there is always some new masterpiece) and whatever else is accompanying us (really I wouldn't be surprised if one day it's a full sized elephant) and we head across the hall for his brother. As the little one, #MaxLoco, is only starting to communicate, it's easier to throw his scribbles in the garbage find another more deserving home for his objets d'arts, so really it's just getting his coat and him to the door.

Today, Senior Loco decided to switch it up. Rather than make a bee-line for the exit, as is normal practice, he thought it hilarious to run and hide. Up the ramp, down the ramp, around the ramp, behind the ramp. Whichever way I went, he'd lurk, lure me in and then take off. Being less than 100% (have I bemoaned this dreadful cold yet?) and loaded down with the big guy's all and sundries, I was reluctant to chase. OK. I flat out couldn't manage it.

It was time to dig into the parental toolbox, otherwise known as tactics that may scar for life but seem wholly appropriate at the time.

I went for it "See you later Max! We're leaving!" and I headed for the door. Too my surprise, it wasn't the little one who came running. His big brother abandoned his gentlemanly post holding the door open and rushed to the little one's side.

"Noooooo! We are not leaving Max behind!" he yelled and promptly burst into tears as he embraced the errant toddler in a bear hug.

So yes, I felt bad. And we were no closer to leaving daycare.

Lesson learned. Until next time.

And for those who were wondering, we did make it home, but I think I can skip a trip to the gym this week.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I don't wanna work

I just wanna bang on these drums all day. #MaxLoco

I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok

Having tested the +HondaCanada Odyssey's capacity to haul lumber, it was time for another wintertime tradition, again involving wood. Time for our annual trip to Horton's Tree Farm. 

We bundled up the boys, hit the Starbucks and headed north. Only in the Odyssey the back seat was a lot quieter thanks to the Lion King playing on the widescreen.

The view from the back

With the boys content in their wireless headphones, mommy and I could listen to whatever we liked on the stereo. A rare privilege, not that we don't appreciate the same tunes as the boys (among their favourites are Black Dog, Skyfall and Get Lucky). Rather it's the random and somewhat unreasonable requests to turn off or change the radio.

Man cut tree
Selecting a tree with Mommy

With a tree selected, chopped and hauled back, it was time for hot chocolate. As friends and family struggled with rope, bungies and twine, I popped the trunk with the push of a button and tossed in the tree.

Look at all that room!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Back in December, the good folks at @HondaCanada
gave me a challenge. They lent me the new Odyssey Minivan and in return I had to see if it delivered.

Yes, the Minivan. The last bastion of parental hold-outs. A bridge too far. A line in the sand once crossed no return is possible. It is an admission that you are the chauffeur for early morning athletics, the parental taxi, the delivery driver of human cargo. A physical manifestation of the loss of noontime hungover brunches freshly rolled out of bed. A constant and pressing reminder that you are no longer a youth.

Except . . . this minivan was bumpin'. It blew those preconceptions out of the water. From the slick rims to the widescreen dvd display to the surround sound system with thumping bass - this ride was solid.

Of course, it was still a van so I do more than drive slow?

My good friend Demetri is lucky enough to actually have a backyard (in Toronto this is rare) and in classic Canadian tradition decided to build his own rink. To make it happen he needed some boards. Enter the Odyssey.

We stowed the go seats. 

Folded the middle row captain's chairs.

Just like that, we were set. 

After a quick trip to the Home Depot we had everything we needed back at his place. In one trip. And there was still time for a beer.

And clean-up was even easier. Oh, I haven't mentioned the built-in vacuum cleaner. Imagine if it was goldfish crackers, arrowroot cookies or chicken nugget remnants instead of merely woodchips . . .

Saturday, February 1, 2014


This has been a doozy. A good old fashioned Canadian winter - snow, ice and frigid temperatures. We've had an ice storm, trees losing limbs and impassable roads. Power's gone out, water's frozen and momma got some frostbite.

Old man winter.

Boys are loving it though.

Getting Bigger

#MaxLoco is moving on up. He's left Infants behind and has progressed onto the Toddler room. Potty training is just around the corner. Can't wait to be free of the expense of diapers.

Of course we'll see what happens to the cleaning product budget.