Okay Now, In Unison!


As I dropped my daughter off in front of her school this morning, I was treated to a laugh out loud.

As I pulled to a stop, each of the several cars in front of me and the cars behind me stopped also due to the red light at the head of our line.  Almost in unison, the rear passenger side doors all opened and kids with mammoth back packs all stepped out of their parent’s car and simultaneously slammed the doors as if choreographed.

Then, as one, they each turned, crossed the boulevard, and started walking up the sidewalk.

After seeing that amusing bit of choreography, my eye briefly settled on the “No Stopping” sign but I immediately rationalized our actions because due to the red light we were all stopped anyway.

The light turned green and after a quick wave to my daughter I was on my way.  Just another car in a long column of parents.


Peel Literacy and Beyond Conference

This past Saturday my wife and I attended a children’s literacy conference hosted by the Region of Peel at a High School in Mississauga.  There was a great turnout and it was well worth the drive. 

I was a tad sceptical at first but after an interesting and “moodivational” performance by a guest speaker, I was looking forward to some interesting and informative workshops.  In total there were 53 different workshops offered throughout the day in three sessions.  

The topic of the first was how to help your child with mathematics.  This is an appropriate topic because I had some difficulty with math as a child and all the way through High School.  There were some interesting insights into current Board thinking with respect to math and I think we can use what we learned to help our three kids.

The second workshop we attended focused on socializing children and how to help them to be comfortable in different social situations.  This was another appropriate workshop since our kids tend to be a bit shy and sometimes need some prompting from us to get them involved. 

We were a bit late for lunch since we decided to take a look at the offerings of the vendors and community groups displaying their wares in the main hall.  As a result, only the veggie sandwiches were left but that was fine for us.

The last presentation of the day that we sat through was how to nurture childrens’ intelligence.  The presenters gave us an overview on the current thinking of intelligence and how to help children to strengthen the areas where they are a bit weak.

Overall, I’d say the conference was a success given the number of workshops and the number of parents who considered it important enough to get up and be at the conference for 8am registration.  I was surprised by the turnout and hope that everyone got as much out of the presentations they attended as I did!


Facing the BLANK Page

Sitting here in front of the computer at 8 AM wondering what to write.  Several things come to mind and for one reason or another are discarded but I think I’ll review them right here just to clear them out….

During the March break I stayed in Guelph with my family for a night.  We stayed at a hotel on the Wednesday eve and came home on the Thursday.  Not a long vacation but time enought for us to spend some time together in a more meaningful way than we do at home.  In the comfort of our castle, we tend to be together but all doing separate things:  someone on the computer, someone watching TV in the family room, someone constructing a spaceship out of toilet paper tubes, someone harrassing the dogs, and someone else puttering around the house.  Not exactly apart but not quite together.  In Guelph, we went swimming, had snacks, walked to the Tim Hortons on the corner, and then lazed around the hotel room together.  Nice.

Our two Dalmatians are getting older now and seem less and less “there”.  Riley, the older of the two is 13 years old now and he is getting pretty creaky in the mornings.  He also is not in good control of his…movements.  I have to listen for him while I’m sleeping and as soon as I hear him get out of his bed I have to get him and his sister out of bed and outside before his…movement…surprises him and me.  His sister can hold it a bit better but she needs to get outside right away too since she is 12 and not in complete control either.  It’s sad really but in many ways they age just like we do.  Creakier in the mornings, in need of doggy diapers, Riley has cataracts (Patches eyes are clear so far), and both of them spend more and more time sleeping.  Occasionally they will perk up and act like puppies again but it doesn’t last very long and stops abruptly if Riley runs face-first into the wall.  We need to enjoy their company as much as possible now before we run out of time.

After much delay, I took my older two kids out for a bike ride a few days ago on the last nice day that we had.  Just down the street and through the park but it was nice to get out.  It was early enough in the year that riding a bike with your mouth open didn’t result in flies in your teeth.  The kids were sooooo excited to pull the bikes out of storage that they were happy to put on their helmets and ride off down the street.  EJ still is a bit small for the two-wheeler he’s riding but once he gets going he is fine.  He fell once but no damage done.  They’re probably going to be asking to go for a bike ride every weekend from now until the snow flies in the fall.  When they come running with bike helmets in hand I’ll have to keep in mind that in a few years they probably won’t want me going with them anymore. 


As I near the nine-month mark

of being laid off, I have been busier than I would have ever thought possible.  It seems that the things I’ve put off for the last 15 years are all getting done now.  Of course, having three young kids also means that the taxi service is constantly required as well as the referee, chef, litigator, judge, jury, teacher, psychologist, speech therapist, doctor (well, advil and tylenol dispenser anyway), librarian, book reader, and best of all, friend.

In between that I’ve been taking courses trying to embark on a new career while somehow managing to find the money to pay the bills.  I’ve just completed course two of five with course three scheduled to start in January.  Just need to find a market for my writing now!

Kids are off school for two weeks and I have mixed emotions about that!  Having them away for a few hours each day gave Lily and I a chance to catch our breath but now with them home all the time it seems that the storm named KristenEliJordan is always blowing through our house throwing books, clothes, and toys all over the place.  We go from room to room cleaning up after them while they mess up the rooms behind us…..

It’s all good though, they are growing up in front of my eyes and I know that someday I’ll back fondly on this time while my mind conveniently forgets all the stuff that drives me crazy now.