Questions I Asked My Kids

The boys are just 2 (and piece) school days away from summer vacation. Monday. Tuesday. An hour and half next Friday to pick up report cards. Their systems on shut down now. They just want it to end. The days are long and sunny and warm and, really, who wants to be in school? No more than anyone wants to be at work. 

I had the questions written last night but forgot to ask them at bedtime. So I meant to ask them at breakfast time but things ’round here got a bit hairy trying to get the oldest to realize that no matter how much he fought us he was still going to school. So I asked them at the bus stop. They answered the last question just as the bus pulled up. So there are only 8 this week instead of the normal 10. However, I’m sure you’ll find just as much humor crammed into these 8. 

1. What are some things you want to do this summer?

Crash: go to the fair, play video games all day, and go to the beach
Bang: go to the fair, get new hamsters, go dumpster diving

2. Why does the sky turn pink or orange when the sun sets?

Crash: because some of the sun is blocked by hills and trees
Bang: Because the sun is behind an orange cloud so it makes the sky orange

3. How many peanut M&M’s can dad put in his mouth?

Crash: 30 because you have  big mouth
Bang: 10

4. what time should bedtime be over summer break?

Crash: 12:00
Bang: 1 o’clock in the morning

5. What scares you?

Crash: wasps
Bang: a rattlesnake 
*Nova Scotia does not have any poisonous snakes

6. What makes you laugh?  

Crash: Cat videos
Bang: When you’re head’s on your butt

7. If you could trade feet with an animal, what animal’s feet would you have?

Crash: Elephant’s, no doubt
Bang: Horse because I want hooves

8. Would you rather have mom’s hair or dad’s?

Crash: Dad’s. but it makes no sense because you don’t have hair
Bang: Dad’s

Monday Share: Week 25

I hope all you dads had great day yesterday. Moms, I hope your children’s father and your own father had a great day.

Even all of you who fill the fatherly role.

Hope you were able to play your “Dad Card” to get out any unwanted duties. Now we’re back to real life so it’s back to working and cooking and cleaning and jumping on trampolines and putting kids to bed and doing whatever it is you do as Dad.

Motherhood Made Me Do It
The death of a good morning…

Four Princesses and the Cheese
Hatchimal craze anyone?

Green Grapes
Seeing the light means being thankful…

Return of the Modern Philosopher
The Prince of Darkness’s father?

Who’s My Favorite Today
Cucumber trees?

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Got to love a good Dad joke…

Being the Dad

It has been a work in progress, really. 40 years in the making. Skills like this don’t happen over night. It comes in tiny portions, miniscule lessons, an observation here and there, a pinch of know how, and a whole lotta luck. 

You don’t get to be a kick ass dad without having a kick ass dad to set the example. Some will tell you how it’s done. Others will show you. Either way, you know you’ve got a good one when you can look back on your childhood and realize that you dad just like your dad did. 

I was a patient kid. I’m a patient man, just like my father. He didn’t teach me to be patient, but I saw the value in it. I understood that it was virtue. Naturally, I lose my patience from time to time. Anyone who knows me knows I lose stuff. My patience shouldn’t be any different. We understand that good things come to those who wait. Work hard. Do your time and your time will come. 

Like patience, my dad knows the value of hard work. So I know a job worth doing is worth doing right. When I walk into a classroom I teach my heart out. I’m a “yes man”. When administration needs me to step up and do extra, I do. My dad worked hard, too. I can still picture him walking into my high school gym still in work clothes to watch my wrestling matches. That was after dark.
Being a good dad isn’t easy. It at comes with it’s share of doubts and hardships. Am I doing the right thing? Am I raising good people? What’s going to happen next? What should I teach them?

However, the rewards outshine both. The laughter. Seeing them act kindly. Watching their excitement when they are successful. Feeling pride swell when they learn, when they win, when they do good when they think no one is watching. 

Any man can be a father. The exceptional ones get to be called dad. I am the dad I am because of the dad my dad is. 

Both of them.

Go Ask Your Father: Soundproof Rooms, Thor’s Hammer, Hiccups, and Brain Messages

*SPOILER ALERT

We’re reading Hatchet. Brian has survived a plane crash and has been stranded in a Canadian forest for 4 days. The night before, he discovered a turtle that had laid some eggs and buried them on the shore Brian both crashed into and is now camped next to.

You should have seen the expression on Crash’s face when he found out they were food and Brian would be eat them raw.

“There’s turtles in them!”
“Are there chickens in the eggs we eat?”
“No.”
“Well, there are no turtles,  in the turtle eggs.”
“How do they get inside the egg then?”
“Okay, there are turtles in there, but they haven’t grown into turtles, yet. There’s just the yolk.”

Crash would never be able to survive in the wilderness.

1. How do they make soundproof rooms?

If we had one they would be in and life would sound sweet. Or I would be in it and life would sound sweet. The quietest room hold the Guinness Record, Orfield Labs in Minneapolis at -9 decibels. The walls, floor, and ceiling absorb all sound. It is anechoic. There is no echo. Derek Muller visited and recorded an episode about this room on his YouTube channel, Veritasium. The cheap way to build a sound proof room is to hang thick blankets on the walls. The thicker the better. If you want serious sound proofing you’ll need sound absorbing material like “Sound Sponge”. Duct tape works wonders, too. It really works to muffle the sounds coming from your kids sound hole.

2. How heavy is Thor’s hammer?

My original answer was “Too heavy for anyone but Thor to lift.” I was basing my answer on Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s explanation. He assumed it was forged of the core of a neutron star – among the densest matter in the universe. A teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh about a billion tonnes. Therefore, a hammer forged of such material would weigh “as much as a herd of 300 billion elephants.” However, the Hammer was forged in a neutron star out of a fictional metal called Uru which is native to Thor’s world of Asgard. So it weighs just 42.3 pounds.

3. What makes hiccups go away?

It’s just a simple problem caused by spasms in your diaphragm. What makes them stop?

  • Swallow something sweet
  • Swallow something sour
  • Eat peanut butter, honey, chocolate
  • Sip hot sauce
  • Breathe in to a paper bag
  • Place a paper towel atop a glass of water and drink through the towel
  • Stick your fingers in your ears and drink through a straw
  • Press the palm of your hand with the thumb of your other hand
  • Hold your breath or cover your mouth and nose with cupped hands and breathe slowly
  • Stand on your head
  • Gargle with ice water
  • Get someone to scare you
  • Pull out your tongue

How do you get rid of hiccups?

4. How does my brain send messages to my body?

Bang is still fascinated by brains. How they work. What they look like. What they do. Like Navajo code, neurons are brain cells that only communicate with each other. And no, you can’t kill brain cells. Though, I swear some people aren’t functioning with a full set.  The neurons are the cells while the synapses are the connections. The axons are the lines in which the messages move. Our spinal cord is responsible for holding that line. All muscle movement messages come through your spinal cord. So while I’m sitting here typing this my brain is sending messages to my fingers (though my fingers can’t keep up sometimes) telling them where to move so that I press the correct letter. I guess it could be compared the connections between the keyboard and the monitor and the internet. If you’re curious to know more, watch this excellent Crash Course video to learn more.

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Bonus question: Where else can you find me?

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This Is the Boy…

You know the cliche, the days go slow the years go fast. Today before me stands a six year old. Yesterday he was five. He started school this year and is learning in leaps and bounds. He’s stubborn but loving. He’s quite the comedian, too. If you’ve read any of the Questions I Asked My Kids posts you’ll see that humor shine through. We never know what’s going to come out of him.

This is the boy who talks to himself while doing his business in the bathroom. He pretends to make YouTube videos. 

This is the boy who loves kayaking. His first time in a kayak he paddled away like he’d been doing it for years. He was 5.

This is the boy who still loves trains, trucks, ships, diggers, dumpers, dozers and crossing bridges. He puts his window down to “hear the bridge” whenever we cross one. 

This is the boy who love dirt more than trains, trucks, diggers, dumpers, dozers, and ships. Dirt loves him, too.

This is the boy who loves to do homework with his brother. It won’t be long before his brother will be paying him to do his homework. 

This is the boy who is a half inch taller than what his brother was at the same age. 

This is the boy who’s taught to say “I love you” without saying “I love you”. “I like your face” has become the new quote around the house. “Night night, like your face”. “Bye! Like your face!” Or at some random time when we’re just sitting around watching TV. 

He’s stubborn as an old mule. He’s got his grandfather’s (Guppie) temper. But he’s a lovey boy who sits with the old ladies in the church choir, who has hugs for his teachers every day, who shovels the neighbor’s driveway. 

Happy birthday sweet boy. 

This Is the Boy…

You know the cliche, the days go slow the years go fast. Today before me stands a six year old. Yesterday he was five. He started school this year and is learning in leaps and bounds. He’s stubborn but loving. He’s quite the comedian, too. If you’ve read any of the Questions I Asked My Kids posts you’ll see that humor shine through. We never know what’s going to come out of him.

This is the boy who talks to himself while doing his business in the bathroom. He pretends to make YouTube videos. 

This is the boy who loves kayaking. His first time in a kayak he paddled away like he’d been doing it for years. He was 5.

This is the boy who still loves trains, trucks, ships, diggers, dumpers, dozers and crossing bridges. He puts his window down to “hear the bridge” whenever we cross one. 

This is the boy who love dirt more than trains, trucks, diggers, dumpers, dozers, and ships. Dirt loves him, too.

This is the boy who loves to do homework with his brother. It won’t be long before his brother will be paying him to do his homework. 

This is the boy who is a half inch taller than what his brother was at the same age. 

This is the boy who’s taught to say “I love you” without saying “I love you”. “I like your face” has become the new quote around the house. “Night night, like your face”. “Bye! Like your face!” Or at some random time when we’re just sitting around watching TV. 

He’s stubborn as an old mule. He’s got his grandfather’s (Guppie) temper. But he’s a lovey boy who sits with the old ladies in the church choir, who has hugs for his teachers every day, who shovels the neighbor’s driveway. 

Happy birthday sweet boy. 

Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep 47

Today was Field Trip Day for Bang and his class. DW and I were privledged enough to get to chaperone since we have our background checks done and child abuse registry filed. We’re safe around kids. 

Just not our own, on occassion. 

The trip itself is worthy of it’s own post.

Now for the laughs…

1. What was your favorite part about today?

Bang: I loved touching the fish at the fish hatchery
Crash: Going to the computer lab to work on my “History of Basketball” project

2. How many kids do you want to have when you grow up?

Bang: 13
Crash: Geez! One kid.

3. What will their names be?

Bang:  Jonathan, Akrum, Spear, Lainey, David, Nolan, Aiden, Maiden, Sara, Lightning, and Mandy
Crash: If it’s a girl then her name will be Ginny. If it’s a boy, he’ll be Albus.

4. What pets will your kids have?

Bang: Dog, cat, and parrot. cameleon, lizard, tiger, lion, bear, babboon, elephant, skunk, mouse, hippopotamus, wolf
Crash: A cat

5. Where do you want to go on your next field trip?

Bang: To the fire tower to look for fires.
Crash: We’re going to St. F.X. tomorrow. There this place in India and someone took a picture of it and it’s a small small small basketball court and no else has ever found it. I want to take a field trip there. It would be fun. But it’s in India and we’d have to speak Indian.

6. How many people live on Earth?

Bang: Several
Crash: 7 billion

7. What time will you wake up in the morning?

Bang: 8:45 am
Crash: 6:00 so I can play lots of video games before my field trip

8. What is Dad good at?

Bang: Vacuuming
Crash: Editing videos

9. What is Mom good at?

Bang: Snuggling
Crash: Saying bad words

10. What is your brother good at?

Bang: He’s good at playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii, watching TV, and throwing temper tantrums
Crash: There’s more than one. Video games (just like me, following in my footsteps), giving me pain that’s for sure, and coloring

The Game of Binging

This blog is being interrupted because we are binge watching Game of Thrones. We started watching it years ago, but not having HBO made it difficult. We’re almost done the first season.

Now Ned knows Cersi’s kids aren’t Robert’s. Sansa wants to marry Joffery. Terion just escaped death at the Erie. 

What are you watching and how’s it going?

With all this bloodshed on TV I now leave you something cute. Thanks to Sandra for posing this little challenge. 

Have No Fear…

I wrote about where to Draw the Line a couple years ago. That proverbial line in the sand when enough is enough. Or the case of that post, when danger is too dangerous.

I’d like to tackle it again. That post was inspired by an astronaut (the closest to astronaut I get is the space in my head). Former commander of the International Space Station and the first Canadian commander, Chris Hadfield. He gave a Ted Talk about fear and danger. I show that video to classes I substituted in and it inspired me to write about the fears and dangers we face in parenting.

I’m afraid my kids will fall out of the tree when they climb to the top.
I’m afraid my kids will drown while swimming at the beach.
I’m afraid my kids will like the Yankees.
I’m afraid my kids will roll their eyes at me and I’ll have to knock them back into place.

When I stop to think (which doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should) I understand that fear is all in my head. I can’t see it. I can’t touch it, though I can certainly feel it. I can’t smell it or hear it, either. I’m not saying it’s not real. It’s very real, just like every part our mental health. Depression. Anxiety. Addiction.

I also understand that saying “Don’t be afraid,” equates to “Don’t be sad” or “Don’t be so anxious”. It’s like telling your wife “Calm down”. You just don’t do it unless you have a high tolerance for pain and can survive death stares.

However, with fear, we need to evaluate the risks involved. For example, is that spider poisonous? Very unlikely (unless you live in Australia where everything is poisonous, even the kangaroos). Here in Canada, there is only one poisonous spider, the black widow, and it doesn’t even build a web that you can walk into. It builds webs in corners near the floor and it’s “no more than a nasty sting” (according to Chris. I’ve never been bitten by one nor do I want to test that claim myself).

*side note: It’s called a black widow only because the female kills the male after mating. 

Will my kids fall out of that tree? It’s a possibility, but they’re good climbers. It’s a pine tree so there there are lots of branches packed close together. I should be afraid to see them at the top. Will my kids drown? Unlikely. We’ve thought out possible scenarios and have taken preventative measures. We stay close. We put a life jacket on the 5 year old when the water’s too deep. We watch for signs of fatigue. I’m not saying it can’t happen, just that we’re cautious to be sure that it doesn’t.

The danger of falling out of that tree or drowning at the beach is very real. They could lose their footing, lose their grip, forget how deep the water is, or inhale water. Like I mentioned, we’ve taken preventative measures. We’ve looked at the possible dangers and set in place rules so those dangers are no longer factors. Would I like throw them off the pier sometimes? Sure. Like when I’m explaining for the 15th time why he can’t play the recorder right now (he’s supposed to be getting dressed, brushing his teeth, and packing his backpack because we were supposed to leave for school 15 minutes ago). Would I throw them off the pier? No, of course not. They know how swim anyway.

Your fears are in your head. The dangers are what will hurt you. It’s not the fall that will kill you, but the sudden stop at the end. I love how Chris explained how to overcome a fear. Repetition. His example used spiderwebs and our caveman reaction to get the web and spider off us. He explains that to rid ourselves of that reaction, that fear, to walk in spiderwebs intentionally, i.e. face your fears. Every time I go hiking I walk into a half dozen webs. My reaction now doesn’t involve flailing arms, a crazy dance, and screaming. Now I just wipe the web off my face and keep moving. Not once have I been bitten by a spider. My fear is gone because I understand the danger. It’s still fun to watch others flailing and dancing and screaming, though.

The boys are not Yankees fans.

The eye rolls still happen. Lucky for them their eyes haven’t gotten stuck back there.

Bear Grylls Brave Fear

Have no fear… you can find me on Facebook Facebook and Twitter!

 Lucy At Home

Sunday Share: Week 24

We relayed all day yesterday. Relayed for Life. Our town used to host a Relay for Life. However, last year they opted not because of a lack of support. So “Ray Ray’s Sugarbears” made this their final year for Relay. Their dad put the bug in their ear last fall about taking part in one nearby since our town wasn’t holding one. When he passed in February DW and her brother vowed to make it their best one yet.

They set ambitious fundraising goals. DW wanted to raise $2,000. Her brother, $15,000. Not only did they reach their $17,000 wish, they blew it out of the sky.

They were the top fundraising team with $22,500.

The goal for the town’s Relay was $20,000. They raised $50,000.

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Left: DW’s Brother, an Aunt, Nanny, an Aunt, DW, an Uncle Front: Crash, cousin, cousin, Bang

Lutheran Liar
A special party with Champagne and dancing…

A Song Diary
Totally not Beyonce’s song…

Dramatic Momologue
Dammit y’all…

True North Nomad
Finding a new kind of home…

Old Time Rock and Roll
R.I.P. music…