Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Golf with Babies

I went to event for GenNext recently and I was discussing fatherhood with a soon to be father of twins. Although I could not relate to having two new babies at once, I could offer my insight into fatherhood. I discussed with him my feelings about having children in you life and all the wonderful things he will experience in the first few months of his children's lives.

As the discussion progress he offered an idea that I was highly intrigued by. He said that the only activity he does besides work is golf. He proposed to his wife to let him take the two newborns to the driving range and hit a few balls.

I know what your thinking, "How could anyone take their child to a driving range?"
"What mother would ever agree to that?"

I however believe this is a great idea. Here are my reason why:
  1. By taking the children out, the mother receives a much needed rest. The mother can get the sleep she deserves. By getting a few hours without having to care for a child who depends on you for survival will allow her to have a break. A mother who is well rested is a happier mother.
  2. A newborn baby sleeps a lot. The baby is able to sleep while the dad works on his golf game. If the baby wakes up and starts crying, the dad can easily stop on the driving range. This idea would not work on an actual golf course because it would hold up fellow golfers.
  3. The children and the father will be able to bond. Children need some alone time with the father. By going to the driving range a bond can develop over one of the fathers interests
Let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Haircut

Recently, Alyssa had a haircut. The staff at Tangles in Hamilton are great. They enjoy when Alyssa comes in and are great with children. Lori makes it enjoyable for not only the child, but also for the parents. An easy going attitude will take away any stress for the parents. Alyssa sat in the chair and allowed Lori to cut and style her hair. After we were done we had to go to her "school" (daycare) and show off the new style to all her friends. She had such a great time at the hairdresser and enjoyed her day with her dad.

The day did remind me of Alyssa's first haircut. A child's first haircut is very important to parents. It seems to be a milestone in a child's life. Parents will typically both go and have the hairdresser cut the slightest amount of hair off their child's head. The first haircut can happen within the first few months if your child has enough hair or, as in Alyssa's case, the first hair cut can be when the child is much older. Alyssa was over 16 months old at her first one. This was because she had very little hair as a baby and we thought, "Why cut off the little hair she has?" Also, at the time Alyssa was born, I was growing my hair long. We had a hair growing contest. I won.

The first haircut is an experience all to itself. There is nervousness of the parents, the nervousness of the hairdresser and the nervousness of the child to consider. Alyssa had a great experience on her first cut. Although the hairdresser only cut less than an inch off her hair, Alyssa enjoyed the overall experience.

Parents will often keep the hair from their child's first cut. I find this weird. Why do I want to store hair in my house? But, to each their own.

Everyone enjoys getting their hair cut and styled. It is important to your child to make sure they experience all life has to offer. Spending the day with your child getting their hair done can be a great experience for not only your child, but for you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

1,2,3 Run

Physical activity is key for people of all ages. But, as I have discovered, toddlers need physical activity to survive.

Alyssa's favourite thing to do is to run up and down our hallway. We stand at one end of the hall, she says "1,2,3...Go" and we are off. She can do this for up to 20 minutes or until we are tired (Alyssa never tires). We often will race and no matter who gets to the finish line first she always says "I win." The only difficulty we have found with this activity is that you need to have non-skid socks on Alyssa's feet. She has on occasion slipped because of her socks.

Children need physical activity. It helps them burn off energy and makes it an easier transition to a bed time. A report suggests that people need 60 minutes of physical activity every day in order to remain healthy. I believe children need more. Turn off the TV and play with your children.

As a young father, I am able to play with my child. I hope as I grow older, I hope that I still have the energy to keep up with Alyssa.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fun in the Snow

Living in Canada has always allowed me to enjoy winter activities. Whether it is hockey, skating, building snowmen or having a good old fasion snowball fight, I have always loved winter.

This winter has been realitively uneventful as far as a good snow fall. Although that is definitely good for the long driving that I have been doing, I have not been able to spend quality time in the snow with my toddler. Alyssa loves being outside. She can often be found at the window just looking outside. Whenever she gets a chance to go outside she becomes so excited. "Outside please Daddy?"

Yesterday, as luck would have it, we had a great snowfall. Like the great Clark Griswold, I am always looking for a great family adventure. Bundling up in our snowgear and entering into the great outdoors would provide ample opportunity for winter family fun.

We decided to get out the toboggan and go for a ride. Alyssa loved the experience. We live on a partial hill that is the perfect size for a toddler. This allowed Alyssa to gain a sense of independence by going down the hill all by her self. She was so proud of herself.

A toddler does get bored fairly quickly. They need to change activities normally after about 10 minutes. We decided we would make a snowman and roll in the snow. This did eventually turn into a snowball fight and Alyssa laughed and laughed when she was able to pick up the snow and throw it at Daddy and Mommy.

We did eventually get cold and decided to go inside to warm up with some hot chocolate. When I suggested this to Alyssa, she said, "No chocolate for Alyssa Daddy." She decided she would just have some warm milk.

Having fun in the snow is great for families. Going outside is free and families can have lots of fun. Be creative and enjoy the outdoors.

If you are interested in more winter activities for your family check out Today's Parent list of Winter Fun for the Family.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Making Some Time for the Family

Weekends are always good for quality time with the family. Being able to relax and enjoy each others company is always enjoyable.

This weekend, being a family themed holiday, we made some time for our toddler to go out and experience the world. We planned for lots of fun activities where Alyssa could just enjoy being a toddler.

On Saturday we travelled to London, Ontario. I would highly recommend the Children's Museum where Alyssa played and explored for hours. She enjoyed the space themed room where she could watch a space launch and gaze at the constellations. They also offer a Where you Live exhibit, Science in Your World and a Dinosaur exhibit.

For a family adventure, the London Children's Museum offers a fun adventure for the family at a reasonably cheap price. Alyssa really enjoyed a trip to London and we have decided that we would go back and try to experience all the city has to offer.

We continued our weekend by heading back to Dundas and enjoying the outdoor skating rink located in Dundas Driving Park. Alyssa loved the outdoor adventure. Enjoying the winter with the family was a nice treat.

The rink is beautiful. It offers a great time for the family and would make a nice outing for anyone. It is free to skate and there was a concession that offered food and hot drinks.

Making little family trips to spend time together helps the family bond. Alyssa really enjoyed the museum and wants to continue to skate. Enjoying the outdoors is great for the family.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Toddler Meltdowns

Like every parent of a toddler, I have experienced my fair share of toddler meltdowns. Here is a meltdown example:

As you can see, meltdowns are not only for toddlers. Everyone can experience meltdowns. Recently, I have been experiencing the dreaded toddler meltdown during Alyssa’s bedtime and morning routine.

Every toddler meltdown may happen for different reasons, but they all have similar characteristics. The word “no,” throwing themselves to the ground, and screaming or crying are often present. Although this happens mostly in the home, it does on occasion make an appearance in public.

As a parent I try to minimize the situations when a meltdown can occur. Although I cannot give Alyssa everything she wants when we out at the store, I have developed some techniques to get through an adventure in the outside world. Here are five tips to avoiding a public toddler meltdown:

  1. Time the outing so it does not conflict with a naptime. Toddlers need their rest and a tired child equals an unhappy child.
  2. Bring snacks. Nothing keeps children happy like Goldfish or Cheerios. When you can tell your child is getting upset, break out the snacks.
  3. Do not drag your child for an all day outing to a place where they cannot enjoy themselves. As an adult, I do not enjoy going for a long outing to a boring mall so why would I make my child suffer through this pain. Although these trips are often unavoidable, keep them short.
  4. When you are going on an outing where waiting is unavoidable, ie doctors appointment or restaurant, bring a colouring book and some crayons. This can be fun for the child and the parents and will keep the child occupied until the waiting is over.
  5. Above all, make sure the outing is fun. Even if you need to boring things, make the best of the situation. Begin to dance or sing fun songs. Enjoy the outing as a family.

Although these tips will help, they will not completely rid of the toddler meltdown. As a parent you need to stand your ground and remember that every other parent knows what you are going through. They completely understand the toddler meltdown.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Partying with a Toddler: There's no better thing

Being a young dad, I am still inclined to party every so often. So this weekend offered the perfect opportunity to get together with friends, eat some food and enjoy some football.

The Super Bowl is a chance for football fans and non-football fans to enjoy each others company, socialize and shush each other during the commercials (can we not concentrate on the game instead?).

Our get together consisted of three men, three women, and two toddlers. Although we cooked a large meal and some of us had a few beers, the party was quite mellow. The children took much of the attention off the game and my daughter provided many laughs for everyone who attended. It was the first Super Bowl party I attended that had a tea party.

Since having a child, two major things have changed within my life:
  1. I enjoy a long sleep
  2. My night life has settled substantially

This is not necessarily a bad thing. The choice to go out and party in a smelly, sweaty and loud bar or hang out with my daughter playing, dancing and singing is hardly a choice at all. Although the smelly bar is appealing...my daughter is the best part of my life.

Party with a toddler can still be done but caution must be taken. Remember you are still a parent and your child is watching you at all times. Set an example.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Day the World Changed

Alyssa was born on the morning of November 9, 2007. After days of labour, Alyssa arrived to two young parents who were thrilled, scared and unprepared for the future with a new baby girl.

Like any parent, we were thrilled to be welcoming this new addition to our family. Not having any experience with children, we have relied on our instincts. The first two years have had many ups and downs. From nights with no sleep to her first steps, we have enjoyed every moment.

Today Alyssa is a full grown two year old toddler. She can run, she can sing, she can talk and she can dance. Dancing is her favourite past time.

This Blog is about the trials and tribulations of a young family trying to survive toddlerhood. We will have failures, successes, but most of all we we have fun.