The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday! And Goodbye.

Happy birthday son! Wow, it seems like just six years ago you were born. Time flies when you’re having fun, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

So you’re six, and in a few weeks heading into Grade 1. I’m blown away. It’s been a fun ride and I suspect it will only get better. Sure we’ve had our differences - typical parent/child stuff - and I know there have been times you’ve thought of me as a total jerk. The reality is... I am. But jerk or not I promise you this much: No matter what challenges we may face together, you will always be my son and I will love you unconditionally.

And hey, you’re a lovable kid. You’ve got years, decades of development ahead of you, but I can already see signs of a leader emerging. You’re empathic, caring and inclusive. Thoughtful, helpful and kind. Yeah you’re only six, and you have all the trappings of a six-year old, but there are some awesome personality traits bubbling to the surface.

It’s also time to sign-off The Jasper Chronicles for good. Honestly I’ve pretty much checked out a year and half ago, but might as well make it official. Not that there are any readers left to even notice, but this blog was never about building a readership. I’m flattered that I got the readers that I did, but no, I created this blog for you son.

I used this blog as a way to document the first few years of your life through my eyes. And while there have been some huge gaps between posts, I think I’ve been fairly successful. Particularly capturing the early years, the years you won’t remember - thankfully - because those are also the years you probably saw me naked far too often.

And just because I haven’t posted in the past year and a half doesn’t mean you’ve gotten off easy. I have hours of video and thousands of pictures stored away. Really embarrassing stuff I can pull out anytime. Stuff that would make you crap yourself; come to think if I have footage of you crapping yourself.

So that’s it. The Jasper Chronicles are done. I might start another blog one day, maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mouth of Babes

We were out for a family bike ride last week. A sunny. warm afternoon on along the seawall.

We ride past a short, plump-ish, but extremely sweet woman. "It looks like you three are having a great time."

The Boy smile back at her, turns to us and yells, "Hey! I just saw a little fat lady!"

P and I almost rode into the water.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I Just Thought You Got Anally Raped

The Boy describes prison to me.
The Boy: I want to go to prison.

Me: Uh....

TB: There's food in prison.

Me: Yeah, but...

TB: They have pepperoni, and sausages, hot dogs, and chicken of course.

Me: They might, but I really don't...

TB: Yeah. It's like a restaurant. In Canada. Prison.

Me: I don't think you want to go to prison.

TB: Yes I do. Everyone likes me there. They all cheer for me and give me high-fives.

Me: Probably for the wrong reasons, but prison isn't a good place.

TB: And pizza. They always have pizza, and hamburgers. Lots to eat.

Me: Okay, so you'll be well fed. Still...

TB: And everyone gets dessert.
With all this eating, it's surprising the prisoners have any time left over to make license plates and telemarket.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas - Good Time to Clean the Grease Trap

We're up in Prince George for Christmas. Despite the usual anxiety associated with visiting the parents (either set) P and I do love the free baby sitting that comes along with it. It's truly win-win, our parents get 100% Boy time, and we get a break. So every visit we carve out some time for ourselves; this time was no exception.

This afternoon, after a bit of last-minute Christmas shopping we found ourselves at Mr. Jake's House of Steak, again (our third visit). One could argue the choices in downtown Prince George are limited, and they'd be right. But no, we actually kind of like Mr, Jake's.

It's grimy, greasy, and questionably prepared, but also friendly, authentic and fully licensed. And while I doubt their guarantee "the quality of our food to be the very best at prices beyond comparison anywhere in BC", it's edible.

Potato salad, served by the ice-cream scoop

The Jake Caesar

P tucks into her Caesar

20 minutes later the Original Jake Burger

I had a Chicken Burger

Prices have gone up over the years. Today's meal set us back $28

We'll be back

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

But I Only Got One Cheque...

My first Unemployment Insurance cheque arrived today (woot!), but it will likely be my last one (poot!) as yesterday I rejoined the ranks of the gainfully employed. I am now Marketing Manager for a tech company downtown.

It comes with some mixed emotions. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity, but the past 10 weeks have been awesome as a Dad. The Boy and I have spend so much time together. He gets dropped off later and picked up earlier from daycare, there have been swimming lessons, bike rides, coffee shops, parks - basically a lot of him and me time. Not to mention the flexibility of freelancing/contract work would allow me to maintain the level of face time.

Yeah there would be a considerable drop in household income while I established myself, but unfettered Boy access seemed worth it. Then this position popped up.

P and I discussed, as we do, and in the end this is a good move for me. It's a new sector for me (tech), online focused (yay!), and chance to really apply my skills - so lots of opportunities for professional growth. Plus after meeting with some of the management team, sounds like a great place to work. I'm looking forward to starting later this month.

As for The Boy, that part still makes me sad. It's not like he'll be suddenly ignored, we'll just spend less time together. On the other hand, I'll have the income to be able to buy him lots of shiny things, because if anything can fuel the onslaught of unnecessary gifts, it's guilt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Okay That's Picky

Most kids are somewhat fussy eaters, and The Boy is no different. He loves vegetables - broccoli, spinach, beets, asparagus, brussel sprouts, to name a few - but has trouble with meat. He'll eat a hamburger but not steak. Ham, bacon but not pork. Turkey sausages but not turkey. Chicken strips in restaurants but not homemade. Sushi but not fish.

Yesterday at daycare things took a turn toward the weird. For his morning snack I packed him one of his favourites - peanut butter and jam sandwich. According to his teacher he sat down, looked at his placemat and started crying.

"What's wrong?!?"

"I don't like my sandwich."

"I thought peanut butter and jam was your favourite?"

"It is, but I don't like the container. It's different."

Eventually he stopped crying, but wouldn't touch his sandwich. Yes I admit I grabbed a different container, but come on little dude, it's only a plastic tub!


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

That Deserves a Lump of Coal

Me: Let's go buy Breakfast with Santa tickets.

The Boy: Awwww man! If I have breakfast with Santa I'll fart!

I'm sure there are a lot of upsides to being a Department Store Santa. Kids farting on your lap is probably not one of them.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Safety First?

Since the late 80's or so, car manufacturers have installed rear door child-safety locks in most of their cars. They come in various flavours, but they all do the same thing - prevent the door from being opened from the inside. The idea is to stop junior from fleeing the car at inappropriate times, like say driving down the highway at 110 km, or driving past a collision between a toy delivery van and ice cream truck.

So a month ago when The Boy stepped up from a car seat to booster seat I activated the safety locks in our car. Then I got to thinking, just how safe are those locks?

Yes it's true, the locks can stop your kid from bolting the car when you least expect it, but what about a situation where you actually want, or need, your kid to get out by themselves. And that's the real question isn't it? If you got in a crash and your door was stuck shut, how would your kid get out of the car?

Whether you choose to use these locks or not really depends on you, but after thinking it through I'm on the side of the prevention through education instead of prevention by restraint (like those stupid kid leashes - but that's for another day).

A week after using the locks, I deactivated them. And so far I haven't had a problem with The Boy getting out when he shouldn't.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Light a Match!

The Boy is pooping upstairs when suddenly, "My eyes are watering!"

"Well if you hurry up you can get out of there." The Boy has been potty trained for well over a year now, but to this day a little piece of me still jumps for joy whenever he wanders into the bathroom by himself. Now the problem is getting him off the pot.

Seems he has discovered the best reading room in the house already. A "big job" for The Boy can last 20 minutes or more, as he likes to settle in with a couple of books.

"You done yet?"

"Not yet."

"Seriously, its been a long time. You must be done."

"Not yet."

"Even Dad doesn't take this long."

"Not yet."

My beautiful, beautiful boy. He's got a taste for garlic and shits like an adult.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Upside to Unemployment

So I've been a Laid-off Dad for a couple weeks now (Not to be confused with THE Laid-off Dad, an excellent read if you're so inclined). A few observations.

  • What's surprised me the most so far is how busy I am. And not the "cross legs in opposite direction while watching daytime TV" type of busy, I'm actually busy. Between reconnecting with my network, errands, housework, and a bit of consulting I barely have enough hours in the day. How the hell did I manage to get everything done while working full-time is a mystery.

  • I'm shocked at how messy the house is. You'd think with me being home a lot the place would be neater, but I think it's actually messier.

  • I have yet to figure out what to tell The Boy when he draws me a picture and says, "You can put this up in your office Dad."

  • I don't miss my old job.

  • This year I will NOT have to wear a Halloween costume to work. Halloween 2009 will be celebrated the way it should be, in my underwear eating mini-chocolate bars.

  • I'm taking The Boy to swimming lessons. I used to think "What parent could possibly take their kids to lessons during the week?!?" The answer: parents like me.

  • But the absolute best part of being unemployed full-time - I get to spend way more time with The Boy. He gets dropped off at daycare later and picked up earlier. Sometimes we walk and check out the neighbourhood along the way, or stop for a hot chocolate on the way home. It's awesome!