The Time Erica Ehm Called My Phone

And That Other Time When I Went To Her House

The Time Erica Ehm Called My Phone

If you're "of a certain age" the name Erica Ehm is a lot more to you than just the name and face of the Yummy Mummy Club.

To those of us that grew up in the 80s, Erica was one of the faces we would rush home to see on tv every day interviewing the day's biggest stars and telling us the day's biggest music news.  This was pre-internet, gang—Erica was our internet.

Erica Ehm, Monika Deol, Michael Williams, JD Roberts, and Steve Anthony were our Ryan Seacrest.  Pop culture icons is the only way to describe them.

So imagine the Belieber level of silly clapping and dancing and screeching I did that time Erica Ehm called my house. 

Erica. Called. Me. 

I had started DadCAMP, a parenting blog, in the fall of 2009 and in the spring of 2011 Erica was on my phone asking me to join her team. 

Shut the front door. 

I said yes in a heartbeat.

Over the past year I have gotten to know Erica Ehm as more than the face and voice I saw on tv everyday growing up.  She is encouraging, flattering, inspiring, visionary, creative, talented, and driven.  She knows what she wants, and she will make it happen. 

The new YMC that was launched this year is so beautiful and filled with growth.  When she showed me the mockups last summer at her home (OMG, yes! I was at Erica Ehm's HOUSE!), I knew she had a winner, and she does.

So it was with a sad face that today I had to be the one to call Erica Ehm to say it was time to leave the nest.  I have been offered a writing gig with another online publisher.  Some will say it's fitting that my new assignment will start on April 1 and I'm a fool to leave this online community.  Perhaps.

Thank you Erica for giving me my first steps on a bigger online stage. I'm eternally grateful.

See you on the twitternets @buzzbishop and @dadcamp and at my new page, which I will be allowed to reveal on April 1.


Alberta Men Say It's Okay To Hit A Woman When Angry

And If You Dress Sexy, You're Asking For It

Alberta Men Say It's Okay To Hit A Woman When Angry

In 2011, Statistics Canada reported that domestic violence was highest in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

This week, a survey released by Leger Marketing underlined that the problem may be getting worse, instead of better.

Eight percent of Alberta men responded positively to a survey question, when asked: "Is it okay to hit a woman when you're angry?" 

One in eleven said that's fine. Walk through your neighborhood and count the houses-that average would be about one house on every single block, where someone thinks domestic violence is a reasonable reaction to anger.

I admit, I have spanked my kids when frustrated, and that's all on me. The feeling after that happens is a guilt I can't escape.

Twenty-one percent of men in the survey, however, think slapping a child's face when he misbehaves is just fine. The Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, was shocked at these results.

"I think that is very troubling, and as a mother of a nine-year-old, I want us to do better as a community," she said. "We have to start saying to people that this behaviour is's not acceptable in Alberta in 2012."

It's not acceptable. Not in the least. Beating my wife? Because I'm angry?  What?

A friend of mine had an interesting reaction to the survey. Never mind the eight percent of men being okay with hitting a woman, he's confused as to why anyone would think it's okay to hit anyone, at anytime. 

Hitting someone because you're angry is wrong-be it your husband, wife, girlfriend, son, best friend, idiot at the bar-it doesn't matter. Having a disagreement and then punching someone over it is wrong.

But the violence statistic is just the headline on the survey. It becomes more disturbing, when nearly half of the male respondents said that a woman is asking to be sexually assaulted depending on how she dresses. Forty-eight percent agreed with the following: "If a woman wears provocative clothing, she's putting herself at risk for rape."

A year ago, Slut Walks were held across the country after a Toronto Police Constable said: "Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."

The results of the survey were released at Breakfast With the Guys, a meeting held to help empower men to step in and stop violence before it occurs, or to reach out and help when they recognize the signs.

Last year, I was homeless for a night to raise money for the YWCA.  Many nights of the year, they're full to capacity because of women fleeing violence. 

Often, women will stay in the home and continue to be beaten by their partners, hoping that they can take the brunt of their abuse instead of their children. It takes a lot for a woman to leave an abusive situation.

If you want a real time experience of the violence that still exists, follow the #ididnotreport hashtag. London Feminist started a movement this week, where women are sharing assaults they experienced and did not report. To follow the stream is shocking, saddening, and heartbreaking. 

As a husband and father, I'm consistently embarrassed that my gender gets painted with this brush, but apparently we (men) haven't figured it out yet.


Ditching The Nap

When You Want Them To Stop Sleeping

Ditching The Nap

At first I loved it when my kids napped. It was a nice little 2-hour break in the day where I could be me, not a parent. Rooms could get organized, shows could get watched, work could get done.

That was then. Now, with a nearly 5-year-old and a just past 2-year-old, the younger's nap is becoming a pain, especially on the weekend.

If we want to do something as a family, it needs to be done in the morning. Home by 12 or 12:30 so that #2 can get his 2 hours in. It's frustrating.

Shannon Hilton has 3 kids, the youngest is 2 and a half and his nap schedule is dragging the family down. "We stopped them for awhile, but can't stand him come 3pm (or earlier, like today!)." she exasperated on Facebook. "Only problem with him having a nap is that he's not ready for bed at 8pm. It's a hard stage for sure."

Shane Byciuk, Calgary Daddy, feels the frustration. "We have to time everything around naptimes. 1pm max. Then out for 2 hours. Have to get stuff done early or it's cranky boy time. ;)"

So here I sit on the couch at 1:45 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Yesterday I took our oldest for a walk and hike in the woods, today it's my wife's turn to get out of the house. We have plans for a family day in the sunshine, but that won't start until about 3. That leaves just enough time to get everyone snacked, pottied, and dressed before it's time to head back home to make dinner.

And the good news is, we have nearly 2 more years of this afternoon nap thing. While most toddlers give up their morning nap around 18 months (that one was hard to say goodbye to), preschoolers don't usually stop the nap until closer to 4.

The nap is really determined by how much they sleep during the night. Toddlers need 12-14 hours of sleep. So if they're an 8-8 baby, they're already almost there and may not need the nap.

When did you ditch the nap? Does your kid 'sleep on the road'?