Usually lying on the floor means something bad has happened. Did you fall? Collapse? Pass out?
For me, lying on the floor has been something of a ritual since I was a young man. It feels like change.
You see when I got my first apartment as a young man it was a major turning point in my life. There was something about the freedom, the responsibility, the space. The idea that under that roof the rules were mine to make.
Want to eat popcorn for dinner? Done. Stay up until 5 a.m. No problem. Paint the walls lime green? Whatever.
As a dad raising two girls, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to broaden their perspective on gender. I try not to get militant about it, sometimes pink Lego is just pink Lego, I firmly believe that while equality is essential it doesn’t mean everything has to be the same. Opportunity is what matters.
There’s no doubt that technology is changing the way our kids grow up. While some subscribe to the theory that technology is something to be greeted with suspicion, I would rather provide my girls with the awareness, knowledge and tools to embrace this massive change in our society.
The way I see it, mobile is just the television, radio or printing press of our generation. It’s a medium, the message is what we all create on it.
Every parent knows that the best babysitter for their kids is the TV. Sit them in front of it, turn it on, and let it educate them. That’s why it’s so dangerous when the seemingly innocent TV shows you trust to raise your children are bought and sold by special interests looking to push their corporate agendas.
Being a parent is tough sometimes. Things that used to be so simple when you had only yourself to consider become a logistical nightmare the minute you have a tiny helpless human in your care.
Take going to a restaurant: it’s something that makes you feel like an adult, to be able to leave your home, put on clothes that aren’t covered in spit-up, and have someone else cook you a meal for once.
My eldest daughter is a fashionista, she comes by it naturally. My wife and I both worked in retail clothing stores as young adults, and looking good has always been something that was impressed upon me. My mom always made sure I was dressed well - as my Vuarnet shirt and Ikeda overalls will attest to. The understanding that there’s a difference between looking presentable and being obsessed with beauty standards is a tricky line to walk.
What role do dads play in breastfeeding? I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere, but it’s not difficult to see how some dads might not find it funny. It’s hard to admit when something so pure, innocent, and natural makes you feel self conscious but that’s how I felt when my child was first born.
We’re all protective of our kids. We worry, we obsess, we overreact. The reality is that right now, as in this very second, is the safest time in human history. In fact, between the time I wrote this and the time you read it the world will have gotten slightly safer (hooray future you!)
Put down the smartphone. Look up. Engage with the world. It seems every few weeks there’s a new campaign designed to shame us from using our mobile devices. You know, the latest softly lit, emotionally-scored YouTube sensation showing people staring down at their phones while the world goes on around them. While I would never advocate letting any inanimate object monopolize your attention, allow me to make a case for why the mobile devices – supported by the communication networks they run on – are not only awesome, but can actually help you enjoy life even more.
I took my daughters to the toy store a few weeks ago as a long awaited reward for some major milestones we’ve hit recently. One of the big bonuses of being a parent is the ability to play with toys again and not look creepy. One of my favourite toys as a kid was LEGO, so naturally I’ve been pushing for my kids to get into it. However no matter how hard I tried, we always ended up in the princess aisle.
I try my best to teach my kids to respect the environment. I’m not a treehugger by any means, but I do everything I can to ensure my kids understand the value of protecting the natural world. I recycle, I compost (overcoming my utter disgust with maggots), I do my best to make my home energy efficient, and I’m constantly investigating new ways to reduce my impact on the environment.
One thing I didn't do however was to turn off my lights for Earth Hour.
As I sit here watching my two young daughters play, I wonder about the world they will grow up in. Will it be peaceful? Will it be prosperous? Will it be full of wonder? Recently, as a father of girls, I have been given pause to consider whether or not the world they will inherit will be more dangerous simply because of their gender.
As a father of two young daughters, I’m glad to see the concept of body shaming becoming unacceptable in our society. Though we should always be encouraging healthy bodies, the idea that there is an ideal body shape of type for anyone is ludicrous. Being comfortable with our bodies and their eccentricities is a concept that is vital for everyone.