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Just Call Me Dad

Fatherhood in the 21st Century


Archive for May, 2009

“The Shrine Circus is in town!”

This news was relayed to me by Nick’s Mom on Saturday morning when she got back from a hair appointment. Well, of course we’re going to go; kids love the circus!

This was one of those situations where parents use their children as an excuse to do something they want to do, but feel stupid doing as adults. You know, like buying Lego when your child is too young to use them, or buying an Air Hogs R/C Helicopter because “it will entertain Nick.”

So, the family packed into the truck for a fun-filled afternoon of watching circus performers do their thing. I’m sure there is more than one group of circus performers for the Shrine Circus, but the group that visited our hometown did a great job. One thing I really noticed was how many jobs each performer did at the show. For example, the Russian jugglers were also the elephant trainers and the Brazilian dancers, but it was still fun. You definitely get your money’s worth. The show lasted every minute of three hours (including the intermission); it was actually too long in my opinion.

Surprisingly, Nick did alright. He watched some of the performances (elephants, horses, and the guy on the high-wire swing), and he cried some too. The tent was really hot, and he was tired, so his behaviour wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good, and I was quite proud of him when we left.

I remember going to the circus once as a child, however, the only thing I remember of the circus was not being allowed to ride the elephants. This was definitely a Saturday done right.


Poor Nick had a bit of a rough time tonight. He seemed fine all evening, but threw up all over his bedroom and his Mommy when she went to put him in his crib.

Oddly, as soon as he was finished he was talking and singing and wanting to play. Mommy rocked him back to sleep, and I haven’t heard a peep from him for over three hours.

I don’t know if he’s sick, or just had something in his tummy that he didn’t like, or what. I think I’m going to stay home from work tomorrow with him and make sure he’s okay. There’s no place like home to make someone feel better.

Poor kid.


Saturday Nick and I went to McDonalds for lunch.

I had a Big Mac Meal, and I ordered Nick a Happy Meal. That was pretty cool. Chicken fingers, french fries, and a milk.

I recall going to McDonalds with my dad as a child. The Happy Meal was a staple for kids in the early 80’s (and today, I suppose). The little bag, the food, the toy… it was fun.

I think there are two REALLY cool things about being a Dad. The first is the ability to try and make right all the wrongs that we experienced as a child. This can be bad (as with all the dads who never got to play hockey as a child, and so force their kids to play even when they don’t want to), but it can also be good (like playing catch with your son when your dad was always too busy, or buying your son the big Tonka dump truck you always wanted).

The second REALLY cool thing is simply sharing your happy childhood memories with your kids. This could mean watching all of your favorite movies, reading your favorite books, or going to the neighbourhood swimming pool.

Or, taking your son to McDonalds for his first Happy Meal.


I was travelling out of town on business last week, and I ended up in my hotel room one night looking for something on television.

As I watched the on screen TV guide scroll past, I was delighted to see that channel 34 was playing “The Backyardigans”. I flipped over there to see which episode it was, on the off chance it was one I hadn’t yet seen.

Sadly, I had already seen this particular episode (It was season one, episode 8: “The Key to the Nile”, moral: “You can get almost anything you want if you just say please and thank you.”). However, this made me ask a question of myself. If I hadn’t seen the episode that was playing, would I, a 33 year old man alone in a hotel room in a strange city, have spent 30 minutes watching the exploits of five anthropomorphized animals?

I guess we’ll never know; instead I watched Mike Holmes new show, “Holmes in New Orleans”. It wasn’t very good. Maybe if Mike Holmes had added a couple of song and dance numbers and finished the show with a tasty, healthy snack I would have enjoyed it more…