Category Archives: Silly and Fun

Could this be the beginning of the end to multiple hand lacerations on Christmas morning?

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos image via Wikipedia

Chances are, you have lived this scene, either post birthday party or Christmas morning.

New toys, unwrapped but still in their package, are strewn around the room. You sit down, scissors and a pair of pliers in hand, ready to do battle with the packaging and free the toys from their prison of rigid plastic and miles of twist tie wire. Your kids are doing the happy dance, watching you with glee and barely contained excitement, breathlessly waiting for the booty to spring forth. As you begin the task, your hand slips and catches on the hard plastic clamshell packaging. Off you go to stop the bleeding. Repeat many times, until you are red faced frustrated and require a blood transfusion while your kids are reduced to sobbing messes because they can’t play with their toys because some sadistic toy manufacturer has made it impossible to free the toys from their packaging!

It ain’t a pretty site.

Well, hope may be at hand, courtesy of Amazon.com, who have announced a new program called the Frustration-Free Packaging Initiative whose first two goals are to eliminate clamshell packaging and wire tie downs.

It certainly helps that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, is spearheading the companies drive. I haven’t looked closely at his hands, but, being that Jeff has 4 kids, I suspect they resemble my 9th grade shop teachers. Hence, the push.

Way to go, Jeff! On behalf of scarred parents everywhere, we applaud you!

If our political leaders were kids

Rick Mercer (Canada’s Stephen Colbert – or is Stephen the US Rick Mercer?) rocks. This probably won’t make much sense to my US friends, but I am sure you have enough of your own political humour to occupy you right now.

Snapping out of my Dad funk

Feeling like my Dad mojo is returning. Good thing, too, cause I realized I was quickly turning into the kind of 70’s era Dad that Sweet Juniper uncovered in an old forgotten Dad book, the kind of which should probably remain forgotten.

Some things never change, however. I still get tired well before the kids when reading them bedtime stories. More than once I have awoken to the sharp thrust of The Girl’s elbow in my ribs and the admonishment to stay awake and finish If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Thanks RebelDad for the link.

Thousands expected to protest culling of the toys

Thousands of angry elves are expected to descend on a small British Columbia city this weekend to protest the annual culling of the toys.

“It’s barbaric,” says Jolly Happy, head of the Society Against Nasty Toy Abuse (S.A.N.T.A.). “The father of this family is about to commit toyicide and we must stop him.”

“There’s just too damn many toys in our house,” says the beleaguered father. “With Christmas and 2 birthdays within the span of 5 weeks, we’re overrun with Dora, Strawberry Shortcake and Tinkerbell crap. We have to get rid of some.”

“I’m not sure why they (S.A.N.T.A.) are so pissed anyway,” says the father. “The vast majority of these toys will find a better home in second hand stores and charities.”

Despite the humane assurances, worldwide reaction to the planned toy cull has been swift.

“He better leave the Lego alone,” says the Danish Toy Council.

In Sweden economic sanctions are planned against Canada should the toy cull result in the premature death of toys created or purchased at Ikea.

And in Brazil, the Brazilian government has offered amnesty to all soccer related toys and equipment, a sentiment supported by the government of Italy.

However, the father plans to proceed despite the international outrage. “I don’t care. I’ve done my last middle of the night step on some stupid stuffed squelchy animal. Look out, Little People, I’m cleaning house!”

The cull is planned for Sunday.

A sad day (yes, this post is about beer, glorious beer)

There are 2 little pleasures in life that I enjoy on an almost daily basis; 2 small rituals that, day in and day out, I look forward to with unbridled enthusiasm.

No matter how crazy my days get, I wake up each morning with the happy thought that it is time to slosh back a cup of coffee.

The second is the unbridled joy the final sip of a good microbrew gives me at the end of each day – yes, I am not ashamed to admit it – I have one just about each and every day. It’s good for you. Really.

So today’s news that a looming shortage of hops is forcing some of my favorite beer companies to reinvent their signature lines and, gasp, in some case raise prices is being met with great sadness in our house. Join me as I raise a bottle and mourn the lose.

He’s 1, she’s 4 and Dad caught a real Man Cold

The Girl turns 4 today. A month ago, The Boy turned one. In between there was the month of December where Mom headed back to work after her 1 year mat leave and I (temporarily) stepped off the work track and climbed back in the SAHDle again.

It was only for a month, but I was looking forward to it with great anticipation. Too bad I didn’t follow my own rules, especially #1 – Lower Expectations.

The plan was supposed to be to not only spend time with the kids, but also begin acclimatizing The Boy to daycare in preparation for the new year when both my wife and I would be back at work. Along the way, The Girl was going to continue her 3 days a week routine at her preschool. It all looked good on paper, as they say. A few days a week with both the kids, a couple days with just The Boy and me and, depending on how the transition to daycare went, perhaps even a few days to myself in there.

Oh, how much I would get done! Imagine – having a full day to yourself? Oh the wonderful things that could be accomplished. Why, I could design a rocket ship, create a new high yielding crop that would triple the amount of food farmers could get off their land, and maybe even cure a horrible disease. And then after lunch I could paint the living room, watch the entire first season of the BBC’s version of The Office and catch up on all those 2006 World Cup soccer matches I recorded but never got around to watching.

Yes, I had plans. However, the plan I needed the most was a contingency plan. Three days into my month long “vacation” The Girl came down with the flu. She was out of action for a week. Meanwhile, The Boy and daycare was proving to be more difficult than I had imagined. I ended up spending hours with him at the center, trying to get him used to the new routine.

And then, (no doubt helped along by getting puked on by The Girl at 2 am one night) it was my turn. Now this wasn’t a normal flu…this was a full blown Man Cold.

The good news was that we were all fine by the time Christmas rolled around and had a great last week before we headed into our new routine with 2 working parents and kids in daycare.

So, while December didn’t turn out quite like I expected, I am grateful that we have managed to juggle everyones schedules enough so that the kids are in care only 3 days a week, thanks to some great bosses, creative scheduling and a very helpful daycare & preschool. Sure, Mom and I have wonky work weeks, but if it means that the kids get to spend more time with their parents then so be it. For them they have “Mommy days” where Mom is at home and Dad is at work, “Daddy days” where I am at home and she is at work and days at daycare. The downside to the working family schedule is that we only get one day a week (Sundays) where we are all together as a family. But for now, it’ll do.

Kids say the craziest things…turns out, parents do as well

Only a Parent

We all know what comes tumbling out of a kids mouth is gut busting. But what is often just as funny is the stuff that comes tumbling out of OUR mouths in response to what our kids are doing. That is the premise of Only a Parent, a website where you can submit those crazy things that we all hear ourselves saying, but if we really stop and think about it, sound absolutely ridiculous. The owner of the site then creates a custom illustration for the quote, giving all of us parents a fine chuckle.

The site relies on submissions from parents, so if you have ever heard yourself saying something that doesn’t sound quite right when removed from the context you said it in, send ‘er in.

Moving from 2 to 3 kids requires a change in strategy

No, it’s not us planning a third. I ran into a friend on the weekend who has just gone from 2 to 3 kids. When I asked him how it was he came back with a great sports metaphor. “It’s like basketball,’ he said. “We’ve moved from man to man to zone coverage.”

How to survive a zombie attack

Watch out for those pesky flaming zombies.

Happy Halloween! (and thanks Alec for the lead).

That’s mighty cute giardia

giardia from Warehouse 23And then there is Warehouse 23. If you’ve got a bit of a bent sense of humor, check out their selection of stuffies. I quite like their germ section. Nothing like snuggling up with giardia (left), mad cow disease or a stomach ache, although cuddling up with a KISS doll might be pretty cool, too. Not to mention a Monty Python classic: the Black Beast of Aaaarrrggghhhh from “In Search of the Holy Grail”. Your kids probably won’t be getting these from Grandma this Christmas.