We’re fine!

we're fine

Ahhhhh kids, winter weather and clothing. My wise friend (who said he’d heard it from someone else but I’m crediting him anyway) said: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.” And he’s right. I fear it’s a rite of passage for all teens (and soon to be teens) to forgo the down-filled jackets, sheepskin lined mittens and micro fibre wicking toques, and to brave the elements for all they’re worth. I did it. I’ll bet you did it. The only difference now is that we’re the ones nagging because we know we’re the care-givers that have to be there for them to make chicken soup, take days of work and nurse them back to health when the inevitable happens. (And we haven’t even hit the -20’s yet!)

The art of the diaper change…

Dear Ron,

My apologies for not sending you a note these past couple of weeks, I’ve been busy with a new gig and time does just fly by. I’ve been thinking about you though, and other tidbits I can share about being a dad. I came across the drawing below while flipping through the Art of Dad archives and figured this was worth a note.

Boys and girls are different. We all know that, but what those who’ve never changed a diaper may not know is that gender and the accompanying equipment can have a profound effect on how that diaper change might unfold. I can’t remember a single time my daughter got me, but my son, well, that was a different story. I vaguely recall being warned, but having already changed diapers for nearly two years I’d thought I’d seen it all. I hadn’t. To wit, some suggestions for you when changing your son:

Keep the diaper bag/box/equipment very close. Reaching for it leaves you exposed and opens you up to trouble. Warning: they start wiggling sooner than you think and you’ll find yourself moving to keep up and your supplies just get farther and farther away…

Move quickly. Old one off, new one on. Putting the new one under the old one and doing the quick switch can be effective or at the very least, act as a shield until fully secured. Warning: This is easier said than done if you’ve got a scrapper or a happy-to-be-me-and-free baby.

Keep a washcloth over him while you struggle with the new diaper. Warning: Wrigglers will shake this loose almost immediately and duct-tape is frowned upon.

Minimize exposure time. The more time things are free and easy in the cool air the greater the urge to go. Warning: This is doubly tough if you are faced with diaper rash and believe in getting some air time to help lessen the rash. Somehow I always waited just a moment too long.

Invest in a full hazmat suit. This might be your best option.

Do be the kind of dad that changes your baby regularly, especially early on. Your lovely wife will have just had the workout of her life and will need lots of recovery time. This is a great way for you to help out and connect with your boy. Parenthood is dirty work. You will have things on you that you never dreamed of and running around like a lunatic screaming “GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!” will only be seen as entertainment and re-inforce the behaviour.

With that, I say be well my friend.

Jason

good stream

(And yes, he got me in all of these areas pictured and then some.)

I’m not sure I’d have the same reaction…

fly down

From a story material standpoint the best time of day to be at home is when the kids get back from school. The stuff literally writes itself.

Overnight camp. The gift that keeps on giving…

camp wash

Granted this happened a couple of days ago but it just feels like we’re getting out from under it now (with a HUGE help from Gramma).

Indoor stair climbing championships and send your pic challenge!

indoor stair climbing

My mom had an expression: “Never go upstairs empty handed”. This also included downstairs, outside, inside, into the garage… you get the point. Family living means things get left, placed, intentionally situated, all over the house. How long they remain in that spot is directly proportionate to your family’s adherence to the “never go anywhere empty handed” protocol. In my house, adherence is spotty at best. My tactic has been to place items that need to be taken to people’s rooms, the bathroom and linen closet, in the middle of the stairs that lead up to those rooms. Despite going up and down countless times these items can remain fixed on the stairs for days. Clearly I need to change tactics. If there is a world championship for indoor stair climbing my team would be in the final round.

If your home is also nurturing future stair climbing champs, send me a pic of your stairs full of stuff and I’ll pick one to draw an Art of Dad original!

Surprises in the most surprising places…

surprisesIMG_2921.jpg

A bag of Ruffles all dressed potato chips, opened mind you, underneath a slew of shirts in my son’s dresser drawer. Not what I expected to see when I was looking for a t-shirt.

Ahhhhh laundry….

laundryrev

The signs are all there for when it’s time to outsource a role.

Lost vs misplaced…

Not only did he redefine the state of his mitt, he also deflected responsibility for it’s current whereabouts. Well played my boy, well played. And good luck with that cold hand.

misplaced

Or you could just take off your mitts to do up your zipper…

burning-frustration

I can relate to that idea of getting warm when frustration builds and I’m guessing lots of other people can as well. Mindfulness and equanimity messaging is everywhere. It’s clear we need strategies to help us deal with situations that bring anxiety like being stuck in traffic or dealing with an obstinate co-worker.

Just because kids can’t drive or have to deal with bosses doesn’t mean they’re immune to frustration (as any parent on the planet will attest). Their problems may seem small to us but they are just as relevant to their day-to-day living. While I might point out that putting on one’s mitts AFTER one does up one’s jacket zipper would be a useful way to avoid a repeated frustration, that observation, in my household, would only serve to further ratchet up the heat.

 

You could actually be HERE…

I’ve seen this ad all over the place lately. It’s a cool shot with great composition but for some reason it got me thinking about the message it could be giving to girls. My girl specifically. I’d like her to believe that there is another option for the location she could be in this shot – piloting that rocket ship. So, I tweaked it a little..

you-are-here