The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Boy Says Hello

P chided me the other day for not posting more pictures of The Boy, so here's one.

I call it, "Saying Hello in His Own Special Way"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Voice of a New Generation

He's not all that new, but he is The Boy's favourite thing at the moment, so it's new to him. I'm talking about Thomas the Tank Engine.

At The Boy's birthday party on the weekend (full debrief to come) the one common theme seemed to be Thomas, at least amongst the boys. Even the shyest would drop all inhibitions as soon as he saw the little blue train.

And as much as I reject the commercialization of childhood, I'm actually okay with Thomas. If you consider the landscape of characters aimed at toddlers - Barney, Teletubbies, Smurfs, Raffi, Doodlebops, Wiggles, Mickey Mouse - Thomas is easily the best of the lot. Here's why:

  • Thomas doesn't sing. The show is non-musical. The stories revolve around trains and a fat guy in a top-hat. All Thomas does is roll along the floor and make Choo Choo noises.That's reason enough to get my endorsement.

  • Thomas doesn't talk. The story is narrated, so technically all the characters speak via the voice-over. This means when you get a Thomas toy, it keeps its mouth shut.

  • Thomas isn't extendable. Aside from a few items - Thomas bed, backpacks. stickers, etc. - there are no Thomas brand extensions like Baby Thomas, Disco Thomas, Feed and Poop Thomas or Pirate Thomas. Thomas only comes in one flavour - train.

The only downside I can see is Thomas can't help The Boy toilet train. That would be very untrain-like for Thomas to sit up on a toilet. "Look son, Thomas dumps his lumps of "coal" into the potty. Maybe you can too." Excellent visual, but I really can't see Potty Training Thomas catching on.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Boy

Hey little dude, you turn two today.

Where does the time go? It seems like just a year ago we were celebrating your first birthday. A year ago you also couldn't walk, could barely talk, and had a hair line not unlike that of a cue ball. Now you run everywhere, can speak some Chinese, and you're starting to use prepositions and tense in your sentences; your hair on the other hand, let's just say it's not lush and full.

Yup, in the past year I have watched you go from being a little baby to becoming a little person, complete with your own thoughts and personality. It's been exciting, but also makes me a little melancholy, because each time you knock-off another developmental milestone, I know there's no going back. Each little step you take to becoming more independent is another step your take away from me. Looks like all those well-wishers and busy bodies who warned me you'll grow up fast were right; better put them back onto the Christmas list.

But hey I'm not going to get all wrapped up in all that, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy every moment as they come. Because one day you'll become a hulking teenager, borrow the car, then back it into a fire hydrant.

Happy Birthday Son!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Summertime, and the Bloggin' is Easy.

It's Summer, and my computer - as much as I adore him - isn't getting much love at the moment. The fish are jumping, the cotton is high, and BBQs and water parks beckon. When it's a choice between tilting a cool beverage and watching The Boy laugh himself sick in the wading pool, or sit in front of my laptop while Chef-Boy-R-Dee prepares dinner, option one wins every time. Besides, it rains 350 days a year in Vancouver, so if it's sunny and dry outside, I'm there.

Blogging? What's that?

Summer isn't the only thing that has kept me occupied though. The past nine weeks I've been going through the process of getting a new job, and I got it!. I'm the new Marketing Manager for a large Canadian not-for-profit. More money, more responsibility and more challenge. I can't wait to start.

Between Summer with The Boy and settling into my new work-digs, my posts are going to be pretty sporadic over the next few months.

Happy Summer Everyone!

(Except those of you living the Southern Hemisphere - for you, Bundle Up!)

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Last week The Boy and I were building Toilet Paper Castles on our bed*. The game consisted of me building a castle, and The Boy tearing through it like a giant who just "Fe-Fi-Fo-Fummed" an Englishman.

After charging through the castle walls, The Boy would finish off the destruction by kicking the rolls off the bed. Not only was this two fun-filled hours of father/son playtime, it presented me with the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream. You see, ever since I was old enough to remember I've wanted to pull the Lucy - Charlie Brown football gag on someone.

It's a classic Peanuts routine - Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown, and just before he kicks the ball Lucy pulls it away, sending Charlie Brown tumbling to the ground. If I was ever going pull this gag on someone, this was pretty much my best chance. I didn't see any harm in it, at worse The Boy would fall backwards onto the bed and laugh his face off. So he'd have fun, and I'd get to cross off another "do-before-you-die" item off the list.

I set-up another castle (a nice bungalow with bay windows). The Boy knocked it over and started kicking the toilet paper off the bed. He took aim at a roll lying in front of me and began charging. He swung his leg towards the roll and just before he made contact I pull it away.

Hallelujah! Years of waiting had finally come to an end. Everything unfolded just like I imagined it would. The Boy kicked right through the spot where the toilet paper roll was and just like Charlie Brown, began teetering. A smile was starting to break on my face when BOOM! the follow-through placed his foot square in the middle of my crotch.

I crumbled faster than one of the Toilet Paper Castles.** I suppose this was really my fault, but deep down I suspect The Boy did it on purpose. This wouldn't be the first time he's seriously hurt me.

I'll tell you about that some other time.

*I'm just as surprised as you are to discover we own THAT much toilet paper.

**I believe this is the world's first occurrence of a Toilet Paper Castle related injury.