The Newest Routine Is the Best Routine

boysoncouch The Newest Routine Is the Best Routine

I have written in the past about how our family’s day breaks down and for the last several months all the moving parts have had to do with everyone but me. I was the constant. I was the one not really changing. That made the home easy to maintain and make sure everything got done and looked after.

Well as you know, I am back to work and that is all changing. Again.

But after only a few days, I can say that it seems to be the best for all.

The days have gotten longer for the kids, but I think they are having much more fun, entertainment and most importantly, interacting with other people.

The funny part, if we could have chosen how it would have all worked out, I don’t think it would be much different.

I landed a job that not only satisfies my needs for work and money, it is located in a place that makes it easy to drop off and pick up the kids each night.

I was dreading the idea of working up in North York and stressing everyday on who would get the kids by 6 pm.

I knock on wood when I say this, everything is working out great.

Here is the new routine that we have managed to pull off for a few days.

6am-630: Katie gets up during this time depending on if it is a wash hair day or not. Coffee is started and by 630 it is time to start waking the boys.

630am: I get up and shower, get dressed and do as much as I can to be ready so I can switch with Katie.

Katie starts breakfast for the boys, while she gets hers.

645am: I join the gang at the table and start to take on the rest of breakfast as Katie eats and gets her coffee on.

7am: Katie goes to get ready. I put together Harry’s snacks and gather up the kid’s stuff for the day. The boys are either still eating or they are taking a moment to play.

710am: I start to get the boys dressed. Harry just needs clothes picked out and then Charlie only takes a minute. They brush teeth, slick hair and are ready usually by 715. The TV will go on and they watch some TVO while I get myself some food.

715-740am: Katie is getting ready for work. I am having breakfast and whatever other little things can be done. We like to tidy up if possible so not to walk into it later on.

740am: I start getting the boys ready to go outside. With boots and snowpants, it takes a little longer.

745-750am: We all leave the house. Katie heads to the subway. I grab the stroller and take kids to school. First stop is Howard to drop off Harry. Then we keep going to Kids Zone to drop off Charlie. I am usually done this by 8:05am.

8:10am: I catch the street car and take the 504 to work. The trip seems to take about 25-30 minutes. It is nice to be above ground so I can read the news and mindlessly scan the Internet.

830am: Katie gets to work.

845am: I get to work.

9am-5pm: We work.

5pm: I catch the street car and head back up to get the boys. I usually have both and walking home by 545pm. Katie gets home via the subway around this time as well.

545pm-630pm: Dinner prep and the boys play.

630-7pm: Dinner.

715: We start the bedtime train with separate baths, books and bed. The only difference is Harry stays up to watch one show.

8pm: All done.

The days are go, go, go now but as I said, I think they are really great and fulfilling for everyone now.

I also want to mention this is a normal day. There are times when Katie has events, or Harry has soccer, that the days get a little busier. Pretty typical snapshot in the life of a family.

Breaking Up Is Oh So Hard To Do

charliesmile Breaking Up Is Oh So Hard To Do

Breaking up? What? Who?

Yep, it is true. I am in the midst of a breakup of sorts. Actually a few if you count me leaving the stay-at-home-dad lifestyle.

But first and foremost, Charlie and I are breaking up from being joined at the hip each and every day.

As I start work tomorrow for the first time since May, Charlie and I will be taking a break. A break from long breakfasts, TV watching, adventure walks, lunch, naps and so much more. Sure those things will still happen, just on weekends.

What a change.

I have been dealing with it okay, mostly internalizing and focusing on other things. Charlie however, well, he has been a bit of a hot mess.

In the last week he has had a cold, started a new daycare, possibly having teeth moving and of course, being separated from his weekday buddy, me.

We have gone down this road before. After I did parental leave with Charlie, we both went our separate ways. It was hard, but we got through it.

But this time. This time Charlie can express his displeasure much more.

Listing to him call for Dada in the most sad voice has been haunting  me for a week. I know I need to let it go and not run to him, but it is hard.

When he is tired, hungry or sad, this past week, he has wanted Dad. He knows what is happening. Our little boys club is breaking up.

He just wants things to stay the same.

But, I bet he will love his daycare so much more once he settles in. Other kids, toys, activities and food is going to open up his whole world.

Even today, I am all by myself. I made it until now without missing the little guy. He is such a bowl full of jelly, it is no wonder why I have enjoyed spending over  a year of his life one-on-one, every day. This is also where I should mention how lucky I have been to do this. The stars really aligned honestly.

But as they say on Game of Thrones, Winter is coming. Things are about to change for the better, for everyone.

Dad is back to work, the kids are out of the house all day and we are now starting a new routine that will probably push Katie and I to new levels of tired and stress. But it’s all fun right?

As break ups go, this one is by no means the end of something. Well, unless you count watching Dinosaur Train while we eat snacks at 9:45 am on a Tuesday.

Breaking up is oh so hard to do, but I now get to come home and see Charlie’s big smile and get a warm hug and hear all about his daily adventures.

No We Are Not Down With The Sickness

Happy Thanksgiving to those who bleed red, white and blue today. How is the turkey so far? Based on the inflated stats on the blog that have to do with smoked meat, a lot of you are cooking outdoors. Sweet!

It seems the updates are decreasing over here, but that does not mean life is not happening.

This week’s battle is health. Both boys have been fighting various bugs and colds. Tis the season right?

For Katie and I, it was a cold taste of reality that we had forgotten about. Yep, late night coughing and crying fits.

It has been several months since we had to get up to comfort one of the boys.

So, no, we are not down with the sickness. We want it to go away.

Twice in the last week I have been up with Charlie as he leaks snot everywhere, just trying to get comfy to sleep. Guess where he seems to sleep best? If you guessed on me, you would be correct.

Now while that makes for a great sleep for the little guy, it lacks any comfort for me. Charlie is basically a 30 pounder laying on your chest all night.

Harry has some adult teeth on the move, so he has been waking up with a sore mouth and drool. Luckily for him, just the prospect of medicine calms him down and he goes back to bed.

We had forgotten about these nights. We had forgotten about the stress of just laying there waiting for one of them to wake up. We had forgotten about trying to go about the day feeling like ass because you were up all night.

Thanks sickness. You are not welcome. Please go elsewhere.

Monday was a sick day for both guys. It was one long day for all of us. But since, both boys have been powering through and going to school and daycare.

I had also forgotten how much it sucks listening to your son cough up a lung or just wishing he knew how to blow his own nose.

I am certainly not asking for sympathy. Parents do this every day and have cases that are MUCH worse. I am just laying out the facts.

Katie and I had to dust off our parenting skills and go back to listening for noises in the night and being at the ready for more than usual snuggles.

With my going back to work next week and both boys being around other kids who are sick all day, this is only the beginning no doubt.

I am off to stock the medicine cabinet for the next 4 am house call for dr. mom or dr. dad.

The Toronto Transition Is Now Complete

kidsonstree The Toronto Transition Is Now Complete

Has it been over six months already? Where did the time go since we left our house in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to move back to the big city of Toronto?

When you include kids, selling a house, packing four people’s lives up and everything else involved, the Toronto transition was easily the biggest change I have experienced.

Well thanks to a few events from the past week, I am happy to say, the transition is complete. The chapter is over. It’s time to move to the next act.

What events do I speak of?

Well it all started with Katie getting the job that started the whole move. Then getting the kids settled. Then finding somewhere to live.

See where this is going?

The only piece left was for me to find a job.

Thank You Readers

Wow time flies when you are having fun right? While fighting the battles of parenting this month, this blog crossed a pretty cool milestone. At almost two years to the day of launch, Like A Dad hit the 100,000 views mark.

pageviews Thank You Readers

I know Kim K’s ass gets that in an hour, but for this tiny parenting blog, I think it is an accomplishment.

That is why I want to send a quick thanks to all who read, land on, share and spread the good word  of this site.

I have so many stories to share and creative ideas to get out of my head, I am very happy to have this space to do it.

Again, thank you for your continued support.


Food For Thought. Our Kids Don’t Eat Much

harry pizza Food For Thought. Our Kids Dont Eat Much

Last night after going to bed, our oldest son got up and came out to announce he was starving. Yes, he did not say hungry, he used the word starving.

While this may have been an exaggeration, in his mind it was true.

Why was he so hungry? Well, like most nights lately, he did not eat dinner.

Food has been a struggle in our household. It went great when both our boys were babies as they ate pretty much anything.

But then the menu continued to shrink down to two or three foods.

Even the classics like pizza were getting destroyed for having sauce or melted cheese on it.

My wife and I have reached a point of having to choose between cooking food we like and dealing with the fall out, or just making the boring three things all the time.

Our youngest, who is two, has now also hopped on the bandwagon on not liking food. He in fact, really does not even like sitting at the table for dinner.

It is pretty rare that you can serve food, grab a drink and sit down before he pushes his plate forward and gets off his chair.

Before anyone says anything  under their breath, we have tried being firm on having to try everything and having to sit with us.

But eventually, it really is not worth the fight.

It is a power struggle plain and simple and I am not sure if we are winning or losing anymore.

We think, well they will eat when they are hungry. But then eating for us becomes about survival and not enjoyment.

I like sitting at the table with the family every night. Sure we don’t talk about much, but we are together. I bet there are thousands of families who wish they were so lucky.

Back to the eating. The boy’s taste pivot on a dime these days. It seems like the only sure thing is some kind of frozen and breaded piece of chicken.

Like I said, even kid-friendly classics like pizza and pasta no longer make the cut.

So what do we do? What do other parents do?

I ask around and it sounds like we are all in the same boat. It is rare to hear parents say their young kids eat well.

We take our kids grocery shopping, let them pick out stuff, let them learn what food is, let them help cook it and yet they seem to get no enjoyment out of eating.

Maybe we let up on the power struggle. Just stop focusing on it completely. If they eat, great. If not, just most on.

Even the lunches I pack for school don’t get eaten most days and those are made up of 100% things that our son picks out. He claims he forgets to eat it.

When it comes to parenting struggles, the food issue is easily at the top. So far, we have been pretty lucky with our boys. They are happy and socially well-behaved little dudes. They make us laugh, they have great compassion and they are a treat to spend time with.

But this food thing. It is a test of every bit of patience we have. We would love for it to stop, but I think that won’t happen any time soon.

Then you add the prospect of me going back to work, and quality food time is only going to diminish.

I have plenty of time to prepare a good meal for all right now. I can’t imagine what happens when dinner becomes a sprint to the finish each week night.

Is it partly our fault? I am sure of it. I am sure there was a tipping point where we caved on something and the kids assumed control.

But you do what you have to do to get through a meal.

I grew up in a household where you sat there until you ate it. That is how it used to be done for many. It was horrible. It solved little. But it was again, a power struggle that a parent could feel like they won.

I don’t want to see the boys sitting at the table for hours when there is life to be enjoyed. I want them to love having family dinners. I want them to love food, or at least new food.

I also feel like there is little left to try that has not already been tried. The “experts” advice always comes from people who seem to have perfect kids.

Our son asked if we could wash the sauce off his chili last night. See where we are?

This week’s strategy I think will be trying to reset and not focus on it so much. I hate making such a big deal out of lunch and dinner. I am sure it adds to stress, pressure and the fight to be the winner.

Easier said in the afternoon, when you are well rested and not staring down the screaming face of your kid who says he is hungry but does not like the colour of something that has been that colour for the history of time.

We are trying to stick to not cooking different dinners for different people. That is really the only thing we have not tried. It seems like it is a band-aid that will bite us in the ass later.

The bottom line is, it breaks my heart just a little when you hear your son tell you he is starving. Yes, he has the power to fix it by simply eating dinner, but at the same time all you want to do is give him the snack he wants, so he will be happy and go to bed. Full disclosure, we did give him a snack and he slept fine.

Wrong? Sure. But what are you going to do right?

Have a food story to share? Does your kid actually eat what you do every night? We would love to hear how you did that (and video proof).

The one thing I have come to learn from all of this, my parents did a good job because my sister and I were the exact same way.

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