To the Boy in Walmart

Dear Brayden,

You have solidified my faith in humanity. I still believe the world is a good place regardless of all that is happening throughout. You, sir, have scored a point for the good guys. Your honesty, your integrity, your desire to do the right thing has set you apart from so many others.

When Wanda* called me from Walmart this evening after we had just been there, I was a bit nervous at first. Then she asked me if had a son. I do. And I was still a bit nervous. Did she see him do something he should not have? He had wandered away from me for a minute. Then she asked if he had lost anything there this morning or this afternoon.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

I wasn’t aware that he had but I told her I would ask him. So I stepped outside and hollered to Crash*. Then I had to tell Wanda from Walmart that he’d be right here, he had to climb down out of the tree first.

Finally, he came to me and I asked him he had left anything in Walmart. He couldn’t remember losing anything. Wanda asked his name and how to spell it. I told her and she asked if he lost a little red zipper purse (though we call it a wallet). In it was $25. I asked Crash about it and he said it should be in the basket where it’s always kept. He went to look, but of course it wasn’t there.

It was in Walmart.

Wanda told me she made a donation on either behalf of herself or Walmart (I can’t remember which) for your honesty. Wanda told us you are 11 years old. She also gave us your name and number so that my son could call your son and thank him. Which he did. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to connect directly, but instead left a message thanking him.

Your parents are perfecting this thing called parenting. They have themselves a young man who understands honesty. Who not only understands the difference between right and wrong but can follow through with it. Walmart thanks you. I thank you. My son thanks you.

The world is still a good place and you have scored a point for the good guys.

Sincerely,

A Hopeful Parent

*Names have been changed.

Go ask your father

The sun! The heat! The grass is growing fast than the boys, which I didn’t think was possible. The weather is here, wish you were beautiful. (Thank for that line Jimmy Buffet) I just realized you can change the meaning of that statement with a simple coma. Wish you were, beautiful.

Bang is here crushing my candy. He beat a level for me, as he commonly does.
Me: Thanks for beating that level for me, bud.
Bang: You’re obviously welcome. I am the master, you know.

1. What’s a baby goose called?

A baby oyster is a spat. A baby kangaroo is a joey. A baby jellyfish is an ephyna. A baby pigeon is a squab. A baby spider is a spiderling. A baby alpaca is a cria. Many animals are pups or calves or chicks. A baby goose, though? That’s a gosling. Like the Ryan some females tend to drool over like I drool over a cheeseburger. It’s an old word, apparently. It’s from the Old Norse gǽslingr, from gás ‘goose’ + -ling. You know something else that is Old Norse? Thor, the God of Thunder.

canada-gosling

a baby goose

ryan-gosling_cannes-63rd

not a baby goose

 

 

 

 

2. Who were the first people on Earth?

Depends on who you ask. If you ask Ken Ham the Christian Fundamentalist, Adam and Eve were the first people. He also believes the Earth was created 6,000 years ago. However, if you ask Bill Nye the Science Guy (BILL BILL BILL) the Earth is four and half billion years old and the first humans evolved from apes and human evolved around 2.8 million years ago. But that’s arguable among scientists. Just because it looks human doesn’t necessarily make it human. Did it use tools? How did it get food? How smart was it. I know some people who still haven’t quite finished evolving from their neanderthal status.

3. What’s an anus*?

Here’s how it happened. We were watching a video on YouTube and a family was at a science museum. They were looking at planets. The dad says, “There’s yer-anus.” His son then asks, “My anus?” And then Bang asks his question. The simple answer? It’s the hole your poop comes out. The long answer? It’s the end of your digestive tract. Food leaves your small intestines (10′ long) and enters your large intestines (5′ long). This is comprised of the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon and the sigmoid colon. From there it’s stored in the rectum until it’s ready for expulsion. Whether you’re ready or not.

*also called – one eyed pirate, the stink eye, a poop chute, President…

4. Can I stay up late?

If you have wee ones you have heard this question many times, no doubt. If you read Go Ask Your Father you have read this question before. Tonight, Crash is at a friend’s house for a sleepover. It’ll be the first time he’s gone farther from Nanny’s for a sleepover without his parents. So it’s just Bang and his parents playing Candy Crush. (I’m only at level 439. DW is at 560) Since it’s now 8:00 pm and he’s still awake, the answer is yes. Plus the Orioles play the Blue Jays in Baltimore so that game is on T.V. Will I be up late? Yes, yes I will.

If you’re up late, click here to check out (and follow!) my Facebook page. Then come back and click here to check out (and follow!) me on Twitter.

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Questions I Asked My Kids: ep 43

1. If you were to make a new flavor of potato chip, what flavor would you make?

Crash: Strawberry
Bang: Strawberry apple
Mom: Asiago something

2. If you create a new baseball team to play the Orioles, what would their name be and what colors is their uniform?

Crash: The Benchwarmers and they’d be light brown and white
Bang: Their uniform would be yellow and black and white. Their name would be The Jeffy Bronze
Mom: [stares blankly]

3. If you had to change your name to something in this room, what would you be called?

Crash: Janigle (one of his stuffies)
Bang: Wall
Mom: George (as in Curious George)

4. If Canada were to make a new coin, who’s face should they put on it?

Crash: My own
Bang: Pop Pop’s
Mom: Mine

5. Would you rather have 4 eyes or 4 arms. Why?

Crash: 4 arms so I could do the dishes faster (he doesn’t do dishes)
Bang: 4 arms so I can floss my teeth faster
Mom: 4 arms so I can get more done

6. What would be the coolest why to go to school?

Crash: Bugatti
Bang: Airplane
Mom: Hovercraft

7. What would be the grossest jelly bean flavor?

Crash: Snot
Bang: Hippopotamus
Mom: Poop

8. If you had to describe yourself with one word, what would you NOT use?

Crash: Stupids
Bang: Boring
Mom: Skinny

9. What song do you want to listen to in the truck?

Crash: That song on Google Play music that made us laugh (it was on Ini Kamoze station, but I have no idea which song or who sings it)
Bang: Here Comes the Hotstepper
Mom: Play that Song

10. What animal would be funny to bring into our house?

Crash: Elephant because when he sits on the couch he’ll break it
Bang: Another Piper (quaker parrot)
Mom: Monkeys who fling poo at Hubband

Am I My Child’s Servant?

The scene: 7 am in the morning, breakfast time. Dad is in the kitchen. 9 year old is in the living room.

Dad: [Hollering from the kitchen] What do you want for breakfast?
9 yo: [Hollering from the living room] A bagel.
Dad: Come on out and make it.
9 yo: Can you make it?
Dad: No.
9 yo: UGH! [stomps on floor]

Am I my child’s servant? I’d like to think I’m not. When it’s pancake morning, I’m more than happy to make them because I’ve seen the resulting mess. That, and I don’t yet trust the 9 year old to use the stove.

We’re working on it, though.

But a bagel? He can make that. And no, I’m not going to pour his milk for him, either. I’m afraid if I were to tend to his every wish I’d soon be wiping his arse and picking his nose for him.

Eww. Gross.

Isn’t that what people think happened to the Millennials? They were coddled and babied and had everything done for them so now they can’t boil water. I’ve heard stories (and I’d like to think they’re just stories, but they’re probably not) about parents attending their child’s job interview. About parents calling university professors to get their child’s grade changed. About Millennials who eat out because they can’t cook.

I apologise to those Millennials this does not apply to.

We’ve been working on independence. Mostly in the morning getting ready for school and in the evening getting ready for bed. His ADD doesn’t really help the situation, but knowing why he’s having so much trouble is a step toward helping him better. Prior to helping him he needed constant supervision to keep him on track. He couldn’t get into pajamas and brush his teeth without being distracted by his brother, or books, or his toenails. So I would stand outside his bedroom door and give constant verbal reminders on what he should be doing.

I’m afraid of what might happen should this continue into his teen years or even later. Should I just resolve the fact that he’ll be living with us forever? Perhaps long enough that I’ll be so old I can’t cook my supper. Maybe by then he’ll have it figured out and will be able to take care of his elderly parents in their final years. Perhaps if we can get him a good job he’ll be able pay for the house and the groceries and the hover cars.

So  we are creating an independent individual today so that he can make his own bagel. If he can make his own bagel he won’t be hungry in school. If he’s not hungry in school he’ll be able to focus better. If he focuses better he’ll learn more. If he learns more he’ll get into university. If he gets into university he’ll get a good job. If he gets a good job he’ll be able to afford to feed himself. If he can feed himself he can make his own bagel.

And wipe his own arse.

Sunday Share Week 20: The Mother’s Day Edition

It takes a village to raise a child.

I had my share of mother’s growing up. My own mother who made sacrifices to make sure I got to play sports – baseball, soccer, and in high school, wrestling. Then there we all my friend’s mothers who often times allowed me over for sleepovers and would feed me and make sure my mom knew where I was. Then there were my two mother-in-laws who took me into their family as if I was one of their own.

Then there is DW, the mother of my children. Not only does she keep our kids in line, but she’s taken over keeping me in line, too. Kind of like the passing of the torch.

It takes a village.

KS Beth
Moms and circuses…

Erika Kind
100 years…

A Momma’s View
An unpaid, full-time job…

Ah Dad
Scoring brownie points…

Sheila Moss
Trying to say thanks…

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Community Clean Up

I’ve written about Earth before. Several times, actually. I shared a video last June narrated by Julia Roberts. I have since learned there are a slew of these video narrated by various celebrities and cover all facets of our Mother Earth. Oceans. Rainforests. The Sky.

Today, Team Wood did our small part. Every spring our community organizes a town clean-up. Today was the fourth annual clean up. According to organizers there were about 30 volunteers who showed up. She guessed the numbers were low because today was the first full day of sunshine in over a week. We knew where we wanted to clean, so, upon registration, we just informed them where we were going. We were handed 8 very large garbage bags and 1 clear bag for refundables, then set off. The sun was shining. The kids were excited. With gloves donned we were cleaning up a ditch along main street. 

That’s a glimpse of what it was like before we started. This gully was about 75 meters long and it looked like this the entire length. It was also parallel to a heavily trafficked road. This is what visitors to our town would see. So we cleaned it up. 

The boys were on a mission for an hour and half and DW and I were both impressed with their determination and attitudes. In past clean up they had been less than helpful. DW talked to them afterwards telling them to remember this when they are older and out with their friends. The Earth is not a garbage can. When people treat it like this we end up having to clean up their mess. So should they or their friends be tempted to just throw their garbage on the ground, remember this day, remember this is the only Earth we have. How difficult would be to just put it in a garbage can?

Here’s what it looked like after filling 4 very large garbage bags and a bag of refundables…

How do you help Mother Earth?If you’re looking for a clean place to go, find my exceptionally tidy place on Facebook and Twitter!
 

Go Ask Your Father: Birth, Books, Infinity, and Heaven

I want to talk politics for a minute. Don’t worry, I’m not going shove my views down your throat. I’m a pretty complacent guy. Not much gets me riled up. The Orioles losing and salsa on the walls do, but not much else. Oh, and people who think if you don’t have their beliefs, loyalties, opinions then you can’t be anything but wrong. Take this photo for instance.

Capture

See anything wrong? That’s our Bang in the middle, in case you didn’t recognise him. On the right is our MLA Michel Samson. He’s the Premier’s right hand man and great guy all round. That’s the Premier on the left. In US terms, he’d be the governor. They were in town for a rally and we were there. So was Bang and he was making his presence known. The Premier’s photographer snapped this shot. My favorite part is Divo, the stuffed dog, hanging out of his pocket. DW posted this photo to her FB wall with this message:

My little future politician? This image was taken by the premier’s photographer at the community BBQ yesterday evening. My little ham was hugging everyone and jumping into all the photos. Before anyone feels the need to post negative comments keep in mind that he is 5 (note the stuffy hanging out of his pocket), and I support Michel. I appreciate everyone’s right to an opinion while not driving mine down anyone’s throat…extend the same courtesy please!

People are only seeing one issue, the teacher issue. There is so much more Michel has done for our area.

1. What does Heaven look like?

Poor Bang has had so many questions since his Guppie died back in February. This was one. At first, I considered telling me what I thought Heaven was like. I thought maybe Heaven is like our favorite place with all our favorite things. For me that would mean lots of Mother Nature, outdoor activites, books, and a bakery. That would make Heaven a different place for all of us. So I told him no one knows what Heaven is like because all who have been there haven’t been able to come tell us what it’s like. I related it to twins in mommy’s (not his mommy’s) belly. When one baby is born it can’t go back in Mommy’s belly and tell it what it’s like outside of her belly. Nor can we really imagine what Heaven is like because it’s not of this world. 

2. How do babies come out?

Of course, explaining why we don’t know what Heaven is like as babies being born led him to questions exactly how babies are born. Through the bum? Out the belly button? I told him babies come out head first. Most of the time. Then his brain kicked into overdrive. “So they cut it out of the mom’s belly?” Sometimes, I told him. That’s called a C-section. Then I whipsered, “Sometimes they come out mom’s pee pee” which I know is technically incorrect, but to a 5 year old boy, but for a 5 year old boy will have to do for now. Don’t be surprised to see an episode of “Go Ask Your Mother” in the coming weeks.

3. How long can books be?

Sometimes books seem to go on and on and on. As Ambrose Briece has been quoted as writing, “The covers of this book are too far apart.” Others are indeed really long. After Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the books start picking up significantly in length. Topping out at 870 pages in the US version. However, this isn’t the longest book. A German novel by the name of Zettles Traum by Arno Schmidt has and estimated 1,100,000 words on 1,536 pages. In comparison, together, all seven books of Harry Potter contain 1,084,170 words. Or roughly the same number of words my kids use in the run of a day.

4. What comes after infinity?

Uhh… infinity +1? Once upon a time I would have said nothing come after infinity. Infinity is on going, has no end, go on forever. Of course, there are different kinds of infinity with some infinities being larger than others. There are an infinite number of numbers between 0 and 1. There are an infinite number of numbers. Thanks to Vsauce of YouTube, I now know there are things beyond infinity. You can watch it if you want. I’ll admit I’ve watched it several (maybe 3 or 4) times already. If numbers are your thing, you’ll find it fascinating. Otherwise, Buzz sumed it up best when he said, “To infinity and beyond!”

This post is brought you to by the number 2 – the 2 places to find me. Facebook and Twitter.

Questions I Asked My Kids and My Parents: Episode 42

#LifeWithKids

Here’s how it played out this evening…

Me: Where is your bowl of salsa that you didn’t finish?
The Boys: Spilled on the basement stairs
Me: (deep sigh) So it’s all over the carpet?
The Boys: And the wall.

Just another day cleaning up messes! As you can read in the title I included my parents in the festivities this week. They, like the boys, they didn’t fail to entertain… Happy Reading!

1. If part of your body became robotic, which part would you want it to be?

Crash: My heart
Bang: My ribs, they would explode then grow again
Nana: My brain. Hopefully a robot brain would work better than mine.
Pop Pop: My head

2. What will you miss about being a kid when you grow up?

Crash: I’m going to miss not having to go to jail
Bang: Playing Mario Kart Wii because I’ll have to go to places and stuff like that
Nana: Being so naive to the problems of the world.
Pop Pop: No schedules

3. Pretend you’re a deep sea diver and you find a treasure chest. How did it get there?

Crash: There were two pirate ships with laser cannons and one shot lasers at the other ship that had 10 treasure chests with 350,000,000 dollars. The laser sunk the ship and scattered the treasure chests across the ocean.
Bang: Somebody exploded a crystal and there was a treasure chest in it and they threw it in the water
Nana: Pirates
Pop Pop: I put it there because I have too many

4. If you were to start a new collection, what would you like to collect?

Crash: Funko Pops
Bang: Pillows
Nana: Money
Pop Pop: Cars

5. If your skin were to turn into the skin of an animal, which animal would you choose?

Crash: Chameleon
Bang: Turtle skin
Nana: Otter, their pelt is gorgeous and waterproof
Pop Pop: Jaguar

6. If your voice turned into an animal sound, which animal would you want to sound like?

Crash: A lion so I could be a roaring chameleon
Bang: A cow MOOOOO!
Nana: Hyena, they laugh all the time.
Pop Pop: Grizzly Bear

7. If you got to put any three things from the grocery store in the cart, what would you put in?

Crash: Bear Paws, Milk, and Cookies
Bang: Ice cream, cookies, and lemons
Nana: Famous Amos cookies, Moose Tracks ice cream, and the store’s safe!
Pop Pop: Butter pecan ice cream , red meat and the lottery ticket dispenser

8. What do you love to learn about?

Crash: Video games
Bang: God
Nana: US History
Pop Pop: UFO’s and Aliens

9. If your picture was in the dictionary, what word would it be next to?

Crash: Amazing
Bang: Eye
Nana: D’oh
Pop Pop: Immortal

10. What does Mom want for Mother’s Day?

Crash: Tickets to a spa, no doubt.
Bang: To get squished! Or a canvass to paint on
Nana: Good question
Pop Pop: Amazon Gift Card

Are you questioning where to find me? I have an answer: Facebook and Twitter!

Lucy At Home

Go Ask Your Father: Sun, Space Temps, Rubber Band Balls, and Weekends

Welcome to Friday, y’all. Hope it finds you happy and healthy.

Now let it find you educated…

1. How big is the sun?

About as big as a few egos. I won’t names names, like the new ruler of the US. Or perhaps it’s the same size as a certain singer’s derriere. The sun, by human standards, is enormous. The sun is 864,400 miles across (diameter). Compared to the Earth, that’s 109 times bigger. It weighs about 333,000 times more. WTH? Who the hell weighed the sun? If the sun were an ajar jar and the Earth a marble it would take 1,300,000 marbles to fill it up. That’s just compared to the Earth and humans. When compared to other celestial bodies, the sun is just another average, run of the mill, star. Unless you compare it to Arcturus. That star is just over 22 million miles across!

2. How cold is outer space?

Colder than the ice bucket challenge. Colder than throwing ice water on the person in the shower. To be exact it’s 2.7 Kelvin (-270.45 Celsius, -454.81 Fahrenheit). A typical Canada winter. I speak in Kelvin because it’s easier. Just know that a comfortable 70F is 293K. 0 Kelvin is bottom of the Kelvin scale. 0 Kelvin = −273.15° C or  −459.67° F. Outer space is still 45 degrees above that theoretical 0 mark. Scientists can easily reach 2.7 Kelvin here on Earth. They’ve been as low as 0.3 K using an isotope of helium. Beyond that and gravity is too strong. NASA is sending Cold Atom Laboratory to the ISS (space station) where there is no gravity. They are expecting to reach 100 picokelvin, or 100 trillionth of a degree above 0 Kelvin. Or the same temperature as my feet when I crawl into bed.

3. How are rubber band balls made?

These things are not only fun to play with, but are very effective at keeping all those elastics in one place and untangled. Assuming you can figure out which band is on top. First, you need a core. This core can be one of two things. It can be a small ball slightly larger than a marble or it can be a bunch of rubber bands all rolled up. Then you use small bands to wrap around the core. As it grows larger use larger bands. Soon enough you’ll have yourself a bouncy ball of fun. Just don’t put your eye out should one come flying off!

4. Is it the weekend?

Indeed it is. All though Saturday and Sunday are the two weekend days, Friday night counts, too. The boys know that on the weekends we’re a little more lenient with bedtime. It’s also a time for sleepovers. Sometimes at Nanny’s house. Sometimes in each other’s bed. Where they go to dream dreams of soaring through the Universe no matter how big, no matter how cold, but always fantastical.

Questions I Asked My Kids: Episode 41

I’m toying with the idea of setting up a Facebook page to accompany my blog, All In A Dad’s Work. Actually, I’ve already started setting it up, but haven’t published it, yet. Right now I share all my posts to my personal Facebook page. I’m now considering not publishing there. Have you tried, successfully or not, to run a Facebook page that was a companion to your blog? Right now all communication occurs on WordPress. Rarely does anyone comment about a post from FB. This would separate my blogging “life” from my personal. Though, often times, they’re one in the same.

Now, on to the questions. The boys had a friend over so naturally, we included her in the questioning. Happy Reading!

ND = Neighbor’s Daughter

1. If you creatd a new flavor of gum, what flavor would it be?

Crash: Strawberry milkshake
Bang: Trampoline grass
ND: Strawberry smoothie

2. Which fictional character do you wish would come to our house?

Crash: Squirtle
Bang: Queen Amadala
ND: Pikachu

3. What two animals would it be fun to combine?

Crash: Pig and elephant
Bang: Camel and cow
ND: Spider and giraffe

4. If you got a trophy, what would you get it for doing?

Crash: Nintendo championship trophy for being the best gamer in the world
Bang: First place for racing in my car
ND: For being the best sister

5. What do you think your favorite animal’s favorite sport would be?

Crash: An eagle playing Quidditch
Bang: A giraffe’s favorite would be soccer
ND: A cat playing football

6. If we communicated with musical instruments, which instrument would you use?

Crash: Recorder
Bang:
Trumpet
ND: Tuba

7. If you went to a super hero pet store, what pet would you get and what would its super power be?

Crash: I would get a chameleon that could turn invisible and have super springy legs
Bang: I would have a dog that could fly
ND: A hamster that could brainwash people

8. You got your picture in the paper for making a discovery at the park. What did you discover?

Crash: A treasure chest with a million diamond gems, dollar bills and other loot and treasure like that
Bang: I discovered a blue and red train
ND: I discovered a lemon shaped like snake

9. If you could make the moon a different shape, what shape would you make it?

Crash: Pidgeon
Bang: Triangle
ND: Heart

10. What would it be fun to be for Halloween if you could really turn into it?

Crash: Eagle
Bang: A ghost
ND: A Hummingbird