The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Clarification for Co-Workers

To co-workers who read my little missives:

The previous post about Casual Fridays was not directed to our office. P and I were in the Bentall Centre across the street, and the entire post was written from that perspective.

Everyone in our office is nothing short of GQ or Vogue material! Who set off the fire alarms? We all did, we're all so hot.

Seriously though, I would never blog about my co-workers. Sorry if anyone mistook the last post.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dress for Success

On our way to work this morning, P says, in her delightful way, "Fridays around here are like an episode of What Not To Wear." I have to admit I haven't been so observant, but once she brought it to my attention, Yowzaa!

When did "Casual Fridays" become "Dress in Your Wal-Mart Best" day? Women in polyester floral print pants and Birkenstocks rubber Gardening Clogs! Men in Hawaiian-inspired shirts and socks with sandals! It's like walking into a Vancouver Clown College Grad Reunion.

Fridays should not be an excuse to raid your closet and relive the days of K-Mart. I'm surprise I haven't seen someone walking around in their robe and slippers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


It took over a hour of gentle coaxing, but at 4:55 this afternoon, The Boy sat down on his potty and took a pee all by himself. His usual M.O. lately is to hide in the spare bedroom and pee on the floor. This time I followed him in and placed the potty beside him everywhere he went.

It finally took a demonstration by his Veggie Friends to convince him the potty was okay. First the Onion took a "pee", then the Cabbage "pooped", and finally the Green Pepper took his turn. This trio of (likely the most heinous tasting) vegetables seemed to do the trick - an hour and five minutes after the process began, he sat down on his potty, skooched it behind the bed and peed.

Whoo Hoo!

On the downside, toilet training has been surprisingly stressful on The Boy, and we've been very low-key about it. We don't force him on the seat, we don't scold him when he has an accident, and we're generally chipper and upbeat about the whole thing. We do keep asking him to try the potty though, and it appears this gentle pressure is affecting him.

I would have never expected this type of reaction; he's usually so easy going. Even though we were laughing and playing the whole hour this afternoon, there were times it seemed forced, like he was trying to pretend he had no bladder.

I hope this gets better not worse. Because if it gets worse, I'm not sure what we're going to do.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Run P Run

Its 6:15 am on Sunday, and P getting ready to run the Vancouver Marathon. I'm barely awake, dragging my ass through the house while she buzzes around gathering her stuff. The Boy is still asleep - lucky him.

7:00 am
The Boy wakes up. As he's been doing for the past few weeks, he looks up at me from his crib and says, "Where's Mummy?"

"Mommy's gone running kid. We'll see her soon."

"Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!"

"Mommy's not here. It's just us guys this morning. Won't that be fun?"

He stares at me blankly, "Toast?"

"That I can do."

9:00 am.
The Boy hides behind the curtain, which usually means a Big Job; he does likes his privacy when squeezing one out.

"Do you have to poo?"


Typically a No precedes a piping hot diaperload, so I know better. I place his potty behind the curtain, "Would you like to use the potty?"


I get his pants off, sit him back down and draw the curtain around him. He might like his privacy, apparently he doesn't care if our neighbours have none. Those glass doors hide nothing.

10:30 am
We're waiting for P to run past so we can exchange fluids (only sounds naughty, unfortunately).

11:00 am
P finally arrives. Way under-dressed and verging on hypothermia, she's having a tough race. I pass her fresh water bottles, the iPod, and kiss her good luck. The Boy is snoring in the stroller.

12:30 pm
The Boy and I are inside the stadium at the finish line waiting for P. The smell of sweat and Tiger Balm hits us in the face like a baseball bat. "Suck it up kid, this is the smell of exercise." The Boy tears off down the field and returns with an orange safety cone on his head. Cute. I scan the stadium for the giant pit or live electrical wire the cone must have been alerting people to. I don't see any apparent dangers, security doesn't seem to care either.

1:00 pm
P is nowhere to be found, so we head to the washroom. The smell of sweat, Tiger Balm and Poo hits us in the face like two baseball bats. "And son, this is the consequence of eating too many sport gels." The Boy wrinkles his nose, but otherwise seems unfazed.

1:10 pm
Looking more refreshed than I would have thought possible, P emerges from the crowd.

"Mummy!" squeals The Boy and gives her a big hug.

"Congratulations on finishing Honey. Uh, you smell like Tiger Balm."

P: "Just a second, I have to use the washroom."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

As parents, we do everything we can to mold our children into the bright, upstanding citizens of the future. Or we bank of the fact that we're raising a prodigy of some sort, and coast through parenthood knowing we're going to totally cash-in when the kids talents are realized! That is unless your kid turns out to be a prodigy of some inane skill like smoking cigarettes, in which case your little superchild is actually going to cost you money.

But back to molding your child. Parents are responsible for instilling all that is good and bad in a child; a love of nature, how to respect others and share their toys, and simply making good choices. From how speak to them to what we've named them, every decision a parent makes can have a lasting impact on the child, and affect them right through adulthood. When you think about it for a second, it's overwhelming, if not downright scary.

Today in the park I saw a defining example of this. There was a boy, about two years old, sporting a mullet! Talk about pre-defining your child's future. Trailer park here he comes. All business in the front, all Par-Tay in the back. What were those parents thinking?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Good Thing Tight Jeans Aren't In Style

In front of me, on my desk right now, are four little pills. They're anti-inflammatory pills. Yeah, the vasectomy hasn't gone as smoothly as I would have liked.

Everytime I forget to take the pills, I sabotage my own recovery, so I've put the pills out in plain site to remember to take them. You'd think that the searing discomfort would be reminder enough, but I've gotten used to the feeling. It only really hurts now when I cross my legs or jump rope, two activities I've learned to live without.

I get the odd question from my co-workers who happen past my desk and see the pills, but no one questions them too deeply. I figure that's better than posting a sticky on my monitor "Take Ball-Swelling-Reduction Pills". That seems just too obvious.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ah Hah!

A conversation from the other day:
P: Mother's Day is coming up.
Me: Oh hey, can you pick up a card for my Mom too?
P: Fuck asshole! I'm a mother too don't forget.
The Boy looks up at us, "UCK?" And I wonder where he is getting his potty mouth from.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Life of Lazy Leisure...

...begins tomorrow, at least for one day a week.

Unfortunately I'm not going to become a stay-at-home Dad, but I am switching to a four day work week so I can spend more time with The Boy. My current employer allows me to work flexible hours, so until I find a new job, I might as well take advantage of it.

Really "Leisure" is the wrong word. This is not going to be a lazy "Scratch your balls and watch sports on TV" day. Wednesdays are going to be a busy "Keep the super active 20-month old entertained, scratch your balls during his nap" day. Definitely not leisurely, but that doesn't mean it's not going to fun.

What to do, what to do? That's the burring question. I've been researching Community Centre programs and emailing other Dads I know; it appears to boil down to a few options.

  • Kindergym at the Community Centre
  • Swimming
  • Playdate with The Boy's buddy Milo
  • Hangin' at the Mall
  • Frolic in the park
  • Visiting the Aquarium
  • Going to Science World
  • Drinking beer and playing guitar. (As Rob rightly pointed out, "What's the point of Dads hanging out together if you don't do at least one of those activities.")

I'm probably thinking about this far too much, but I'm excited. The Boy to myself, all day, in the middle of the week. Whoo Hoo!