Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
My 13 year-old has gone on a field trip with her school this week. I lent her my old camera and she took pictures of all of us to remember. This is the picture I took of her last night.
She woke me up at 6am this morning to say good-bye. I said, "I love you. Have a wonderful trip" and fell back asleep.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I'm always walking with my kids because I don't have a car. They're the kind of kids who play on other people's lawns, roll down the hills, walk on garden rocks and hide behind trees. It seems on every street there is one nieghbour who will come out and get mad at us or our kids. I try to teach my kids to understand how people are different.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
He was sad like this for about 2 minutes. If this was my first child it would have devastated me the whole day. As he is the fourth, I got over it in about five minutes.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Our Oldest Angel
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Birthdays. Our 10 year-old turns 11 today.
1. Shop for presents with dad one week before and come up with a list with priorities. Dad will later go out and buy approx. $150 Canadian (we consider ourselves fortunate that we can spend that much) worth of presents.
2. We try to be nice to the birthday child on his or her birthday. It is impossible for everyone to be nice for the whole day so the birthday child needs to live that.
3. Dinner of the birthday child's choice. When we had more money, we used to go our favourite local local restaurant.
4. Family presents are given on the birthday not the birthday party to prevent birthday overload.
5. The birthday cake is usually a McCain's frozen cake of the child's choice. The expensive ordered cake is saved for the birthday party. We put candles on the cake and sing "Happy Birthday" with the lights out. The child makes a wish and blows out the candles.
Objectives of the Blog
1. Improve my writing. I've been wanting to write for a long time but I haven't been able to motivate myself. I thought if I had a blog, the blog would force me to write more often and more carefully knowing someone may read it. I am the third best writer in the family after my wife and 13-year-old daughter. The 10, 7 and 3 year old are catching up to me so I need to start working at it before I fall into last place. My 13 year old actually told me today I should write more. I must admit that she has also told me my blog is boring.
2. Provide a record of this time in my life for my family and myself. I think it would be cool if I could read a diary my dad had of me when I was 3, 7, 10 or 13.
3. Show how I'm happy to be home and watching my kids. That is something of a unique perspective. I usually hear that raising kids is a difficult, worthless and thankless task. I am a minority voice in the world saying it is amazing to be home and I am having a wonderful time.
Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Jane Jacobs
I was at a coffee shop this morning with her and the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" played on the radio. I told her a bit about how Ruben Carter was falsely jailed and how Bob Dylan's song helped to get him freed. Ruben Carter came to live in Toronto and helped speak out against human rights. I also told her the story about how a historian looked at all the events and tried to measure their influence and said that Bob Dylan was the biggest factor in stopping the Vietnam war. I asked her to imagine what it would be like to stop a war. She said "Neat". She may have just been polite. I Think I told her this story before.
When Jane Jacobs died I laid out all the newspaper items (we subscribe to the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the New York Times) about her on her chair. I'm not sure if she read it.
I am a broken record when it comes to talking to my kids about this stuff but I can't help it. If I was just trying to be friends with my daughter or have her like me I wouldn't mention this but I am her dad and I think it is my responsibility to push her. There comes a time when you realize that the things you wish you could do you hand off to your kids. I wanted to make the world a better place but I failed so maybe my kids can do it. I don't think I can start a rock band at my age and tour the world and sell a million records. I don't know the language of the times. No one listens to me anymore.
It's always a balancing act of encouraging your kids and allowing them to relax. I may sometimes be on the wrong side of that balance. My wife is on the other side of this balance and I'm glad she is. The most important thing is my kids know I love them regardless.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
With my first daughter I took her to a game with high hopes which were quickly dashed. It was torture to get her to sit through half an inning. When we left she said, "It's so loud my stomach hurts."
Daughter number two turned out to be the best. Although it was raining, I got there early and we had to walk almost a mile (I forgot the stroller) to get to the park she loved the game. She was up and cheering and had a great time. I bribed her with so much candy I thought she might throw up. She soldiered on for all nine innings. She didn't know the rules of the game so I would occasionally let her know what the score was. She loved the crowd and the candy, although probably not in that order.
With my first son he was most interested in the baseball cards, hat, shirt and the candy. He somewhat interested in the game. I'll have to try him again this year now that he's 7.
Monday, May 01, 2006
3 Year Old Nearly Crossed the Creek
I went to a movie by myself afterwards. Another good day but I am falling behind in the the day to day chores which quickly pile up when you have four kids.