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It's Just My Take

Archive for the category “Parenting”

Cutting Off The Nose To Spite The Face?

Nick Troller has two Star Trek themed licence plates. This one that reads 'ASIMIL8' is being recalled by Manitoba Public Insurance. His other plate reads 'Voyager.'Yesterday I watched the news about a city man who had his personalized Star Trek-themed licence plate recalled because ‘Manitoba Public Insurance received a complaint.’  Yes, all it takes is one solitary complaint.  Even over a 2-year old licence plate that is obviously, in a blatant way, not intended to be offensive in the least.

Now as a black man, I do understand and know offensive, (Trust me, I have seen and heard my share of thinly-veiled offense). and I’m happy to know that you Caucasians are looking out for us minorities, but sometimes you over-do it and I’m left embarrassed.  I feel as though you are helicopter parenting me.  My co-workers sometimes say they are ‘working like a slave’.  Should I file a complaint?  What if another caucasian hears it and feel offended? Well that’s just wrong.  Why should YOU feel offended if I am not offended?  I do understand the plight of the Aboriginals who were forced to assimilate and give up their culture but do you think they cringe every time they come across the word while reading a book? Should it be banned then?  Should Star Trek also be banned?  See?  There’s no end to it if we go down this road.  We are cutting off the nose to spite the face.

In this situation, I would recommend a meeting with an aboriginal group and the licence plate owner.  Hear how each party feels about the situation and take it from there.

My two older boys claim the don’t love each other.  In fact, the word hate is used. Whenever I catch them hugging or playing together I would say ‘Look at you! You do love each other!  They would promptly back away and give each other space. So what I learn here is, if you leave some things alone, they would be forgotten but if you keep digging things up and looking under rocks for allusions, you re-open wounds.  Words have multiple meanings and memories for many of us.  Some good and some bad.  Don’t cut the nose to spite the face.

Just My Take



Viral Stupidity. How bout dah?

Image result for cash me outside how bow dahRemember the ‘Cash Me Ousside ‘ girl?  Yup, the 13-year old who disrespected her mom,stole her credit cards and dropped out of school in grade 7.   You probably saw her on Dr. Phil also.  Maybe you thought “What a disaster!  She would never amount to to much.”   Yes, I thought so too.  Heck, I even used her as a teaching moment for my own kids.  You better be nice and stay in school or you boys would never get anywhere in life.  Man were we ever wrong.  She amounted to much and is amounting to much more.

So much for that.  I had not taken into consideration that this was the United States of America, where fame and fortune are always just one viral post away.  It doesn’t matter what you did, legal or illegal, if it goes viral, then get ready to cash out, how bout dah?

And so it happened with this obnoxious and rude teen, Danielle Bregoli.  She became a ‘viral sensation’ with over 8 million Instagram followers!  Her appearances are worth upwards of $40,000 and she even stars in commercials! A celebrity! A success story!  Who needs school and manners?  She is projected to be a Millionaire by the end of 2017!  What a sweet story of a hard working girl.

Seriously America, it’s time to wake up!  You are creating idols and role models out of those who least deserve it.   Turning a 13-year old, Grade 7 dropout into a celebrity?  Rewarding her for being a brat?  What would you do next?  Make a President out of a… um, nevermind.

Just My Take…

Excuse Me, I’m A Rookie Hockey-Dad

It’s been a couple of weeks since my two oldest sons started their foray into the hockey world and I am still lukewarm about this venture.   Coming from soccer to this organized mayhem, it’s a shock to the system.  Maybe next season, if there’s a next season, all that would change and I’ll plunge headlong into being a full-blooded hockey dad.  For now, let’s just go with lukewarm.

“Why don’t you like it?” You might ask.  “After all it’s fun.  The parents are very friendly and willing to help when needed, so why don’t you like hockey, Carlos?”  Maybe I’m cheap? I never thought I was but after paying a high price to sign up for this fun sport, I thought I was done dishing out the coin.  Not even close.  I didn’t reckon on the game ice fee and the jersey fee and the socks fee and the jacket fee and the practice ice fee and the…I gave up. I just take my checkbook to every game and do what I’m told.  It’s fun!  The first time it was announced in the dressing room that we had to bring $300 to the next practice, I tensed, preparing for the parental outbursts of opposition. To my amazement, no one questioned this request.  Good thing I didn’t.  It would have been a embarrassing rookie mistake.  The other parents took it right on the chin without flinching!

Did I mention the volunteer shifts?  Well duh! The team needs money to operate and volunteering either in the canteen or bingo games is a fun and easy way to earn the team some cash.  But what about all that money you pay? You must be a rookie for asking that question.  Like I said, THE TEAM NEEDS MONEY!  A couple of late evening shifts in the canteen never hurt anyone, has it? Shouting “50/50!” during games is fun too.  Too bad it’s so early on a weekend that your voice is still cracked and barely audible or you’d probably sell more tickets.  The team needs money.

It’s fun, that’s what they told me when I walked into the dressing room, kid in tow, for his first practice.  Maybe it was fun for them to watch this first time hockey dad trying to make sense of the puzzle-like pieces of his kids hockey equipment.  This looks like a elbow so it must be an elbow pad.  What’s this gladiatorial thing?  Oh it’s just a chest pad.  Skate tying is another thing.  I simply hate it.  After tying the laces for the first time, I stood up, proud of myself, until my son goes, “Daddy, it’s too loose.”  Well how could I make it any tighter?  I have pulled the laces as hard as I could.  Could one of you nice parent come help me with this instead of standing around laughing at me?  It also wasn’t much fun watching my first year skaters trudge around the ice like penguins while the other kids on the teams, obviously entrenched in the system since birth, glided like swans.  At this rate, I would consider it an accomplishment if they touched the puck once in a game.

Like a said, it’s been a couple of weeks.  Hold that, it’s been a month.  There have been some changes since the first week.  The boys not only touch the puck, they get shots on the net!  They do not look much like penguins anymore.  Not quite swans but definitely not penguins.  I also do not pay hidden fees quite as often anymore, in fact, I now leave my checkbook at home!  I still have a few shifts in the canteen to cover but from the last two that I did, they are not that bad.  You get to work alongside an unhappy teenager who is quite happy to have a gofer for the night.  Grab me a bottle of coke and a bag of popcorn!

The boys still need to learn how to stop. No, not stop playing hockey, come to a stop while skating.  I thought of asking the coach to maybe give them some pointers in this regard as they apparently haven’t noticed this slight blip but I didn’t feel like writing a check for extra skating lessons.  These coaches from what I understand, are not paid for their work.  The new-hockey-dad in me wanted to point out to the coaches that maybe they should work on getting the team to be a ‘team’, like say have them introduce themselves to each other or have some team-building exercises so they could be more cohesive on the ice instead of a few pockets of friends but that would be so not the way to do things in organized kids hockey.  And hello!  They are not real coaches!  Just some nice fellas helping out.  A true hockey dad wouldn’t notice that his son still seem like he’s playing a free-for-all than a team sport.  If it’s good enough for Sidney Crosby, it’s good enough for my kids.  Who cares if the kids on the same team barely know the teammate lining up beside them? As least they are all on the ice having fun.

So yeah, organized kids hockey is fun.  I am just being cynical and a party pooper.  All the other parents are fine with it.  They seem like they are having fun and other than the visible cups of coffee at the early morning games, you’d never suspect they were up way too early.  I should just relax and think about the big payoff when one or both boys make it to the big leagues.  After all, that’s what this is all about isn’t it?  I can like this.  I can really like this…Just not right now.

My Take


Why Our Kids Lose Or Misplace Their Stuff

During the first week of school, our 5 year-old came home without his jacket.  How does one forget their jacket that they wore to keep warm? Wouldn’t the sudden drop in temperature be an instant reminder?  Apparently not to these kids who lose their gloves on the coldest of days.

I asked Treyton to check his school lost-and-found as I had no time to drop by his school to look myself.  He claimed that he did but it wasn’t there.  That was in September.  A week ago, I got a call from his school that he didn’t have a lunch.  Yes, he forgot it at home.  I went to his school bringing him MacDonald’s.  While there, I took the opportunity to inquire about his missing jacket.  I was sent to look in the lost-and-found.  It wasn’t hard spotting his jacket almost immediately.  I also saw one that looked suspiciously familiar. I debated taking it but didn’t.

That evening I was telling the family of my find and described the other jacket that looked familiar.  My 9 year-old sheepishly confessed that he had lost two jackets, including the one I described.  He brought them both home the next day.

As parents, one of our biggest issues is our children losing or misplacing their personal belongings.  Whether it’s books, clothes or lunches.  It’s irritating and even though we try to help them, it never works.  We get mad because we can’t understand why.  This morning while having another such talk with the boys, my wife added that as a kid she never lost anything, and that’s when I had the aha moment!

Our children today has so much that it’s difficult not to lose anything.  As a kid I never lost anything.  I always knew where the few things I had were. I never had more than one jacket at a  time, not more than two pairs of shoes or one hat.  It was very easy to keep track of my personal belonging.  As for lunch, sometimes I had none so it’s impossible to lose what you don’t have.  When I did have a lunch, I kept it close to me all the time.

My boys each has about four different jackets, they are found in the car, van, kitchen, everywhere.  That’s why we never realized that our 9 year-old was missing 2 jackets!  They have more hats than I could count, also found everywhere except on their heads.  With such a huge inventory, should we really blame them for not knowing where everything is?

It’s our fault, not theirs.


Monday Madness: Sex-Change On A Whim?

Do you find it ironic and equally confusing that we tell our kids to accept themselves no matter how, what and who they are yet we applaud Bruce Jenner for not accepting who he was? I do.  At  65 years old, Bruce Jenner of the Kardashian circus fame, decided to have a sex-change.  He set the media world on fire with the revelation that he was now a she.  Many gushed over the transformation, as though he went from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan.  I didn’t.  But then again, I never was one for circuses.

Pardon me here but I find this as nothing short of rich people having nothing better to do with their money and seeking more fame and attention. It doesn’t help that I have yet to see the merits of sex-changes unless medically necessary.  (I have yet to see a medically necessary sex-change).  So it is quite difficult for me to understand why a 65-year-old man would suddenly feel the need to change his sexual makeup.  (And what the heck does ‘Trap in a man’s/woman’s body mean?). Maybe I’m missing something here. Too conservative maybe?

So kids, forget what we say about accepting yourself.  Boys, the girls don’t want you to play on their team? Get the last laugh, become one of them. Ditto for you too girls.  Never again do you ever have to wonder what it feels like to be a girl or boy.  Experience it yourself!  Parents, you can quit trying for that girl or boy.  Just flip on of the other kids. Ah, life is so much easier these days…

Just My Take.



A Tale Of Two Moms

Follow the link below the read the take of a woman on same-sex marriage.  She was raised by two lesbian moms in a loving and caring environment.  Interesting and food for thought.


Don’t Apologize For Your Kids Being Kids, We Were Kids Too.


The above picture is of a goodie back that was handed to airline passengers by a mom who was pre-apologizing for her child in-flight baby noises.  Just in case.  My wife who was flying on the plane was given one and she was taken aback that this mom felt the need to go to such lengths.

Sometimes in church, my boys get antsy from sitting on the not-too-comfortable chairs.  They start doing what kids their ages to, be kids their ages.  My first instinct is usually to tell them to behave like good kids. Well how exactly does a good kid behave? Like a robot? Or I when they are running around the house, I would start with, “Why can’t you behave like a…” Like a what? A grown up? A teenager? Time enough for that later in life.  Right now it’s all about exercising their status as kids.  Yes, I know, within reason.  The same reasons that we stayed within when we were kids. Remember those times? We were so quiet on planes and buses. Not a peep out of us.  Look at us now, frowning at other parent’s kids. “How dare she let her baby cry? Or stand? Or move? Or breathe?”

I feel for this parent who had to resort to this.  It’s not her fault and it’s not the fault of the kid.  Airline passengers have to deal with terrorists, drunk and unruly flyers, the least they could do is tolerate the temporary wailing of a newborn baby exercising its healthy lungs. If they can’t, then maybe they are the ones needing to handout goodie bags to the poor kids who have to share space with people like that.

And you know what? If my kid is disrespectful to you, I would apologize and have a ‘talk’ with him.  If my kid cries in your presence, don’t look at me for an apology, there would be none coming.  In fact, don’t even look at me because I know what you would be thinking…

But that’s just My Take, no offense.

Read related blog:

Son, hit em back!


What The @#$!

English: "No Swearing" sign along At...

English: “No Swearing” sign along Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While holidaying in British Columbia,  I happened to be listening to a local radio station on which they had a call-in to for listeners to give their opinions on whether they think using swear words should become an acceptable part of our society.

I am not one to drop F bombs or any other colorful language, not saying never, but,  I’ve always thought that using them in regular conversation shows a lack of vocabulary skills.  Not to mention the speaker usually comes off as crude.  But here I was listening to both sides of the fence from people who claimed to be well versed on the subject.

The first person to call in was an English Professor.  He agreed that there was indeed a place in our modern society for swearing.  He gave examples where a simple english adjective would not suffice, like being cut off in traffic.  He claimed there dropping and F bomb added an oomph to what you wanted to say that no other word couldn’t.  For a second or even a minute, I agreed with him! Against my better judgement. He was THAT convincing.

Thank goodness for the next caller who jarred me back to reality.  She was an ethics specialist, or whatever you call them.  She was very firm and unwavering in her stance that swearing was not acceptable.  She also mentioned that those who do, display weak vocabulary skills. (Told ya! Sorry Prof.)  The majority of calls sided with her.  One mom pointed out that she hated it when people swear in front of her kids.

It’s a rather sticky subject as many people cannot speak a complete sentence without injecting some form of swearing.  In the heat of the moment, I have uttered the F word so I am not judging.  In my opinion, it should never be something we accept, no matter how accepting we are becoming.


Frank Friday: Too Little Too Late?

Dress Code PosterLately, there have been crackdowns in some schools on the way the kids dress, especially girls.  The latest was a Quebec teen who was suspended for wearing shorts that were not up to the school’s dress code.  Here.  In some schools, students are told to stand with their hands at their sides and if their shorts or skirts are higher than their fingertips then it is deemed offensive.   The teen’s shorts were such.  People are weighing in on this with many feeling that it is an overkill.   “With a third of Quebec teenagers dropping out of high school and cyberbullying reaching epidemic proportions, wearing shorts to class seems a relatively minor affair”.  Stated The National Post.  But is it really?

Living close to a few high schools, I have seen the way school girls are dressing.  You know it’s a problem when my 16-year-old cousin mentions it.  He thinks it’s a bit much.  It’s as if they are trying to out-thrash each other.  Who can wear the most revealing shirt, the tiniest shorts or the tightest tank tops.  Schools were once respectable institutions where students at least looked respectable, even if some weren’t.  Now it’s more like a catwalk where many go to model the latest fashions.  Schools are not just for learning Math and English etc. but also to learn how to respect oneself.  To dress comfortably but conservatively and tastefully as well.  Dressing for success starts in schools but some seem destined to make their success in other ways. Pardon my bluntness.

There was one incident where I think the school erred and that’s when they singled out a student for wearing shorts that revealed her scars.  According to them, the scars were ‘inappropriate for the learning environment’.  I am not sure about the specifics of that case but from just what I read, it was bad judgement on the part of that school’s administration.  In another school, one teen was sent to the principal’s office because ‘she was wearing a top with “spaghetti” straps that revealed her bra straps, rather than the permissible “lasagna” straps that don’t.” I see where they are coming from.  The bra is called an ‘underwear’ for a reason.  You WEAR it UNDER.  No need to reveal your Victoria Secrets.


From the foregoing, you could gather that I am in favor of the schools’ dress code.  Of course I am! I am just afraid that the damage is already been done.  I still like what the Chairman of the Lester B. Pearson School Board had to say: “It’s just imposing rules of respectable dress in that environment,” Stein Day said. “Schools are charged with teaching teenagers more than science and geography, but for the next stage of life — training them for the workforce. … You have to follow rules and just because you think a rule is wrong doesn’t make it so.”  My Take, exactly!

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I Am Now Officially A Dog

This image shows a young mixed-breed dog. The ...

This image shows a young mixed-breed dog. The parents are a white shepherd dog and an alsatian dog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am changing species.  I know what you are thinking, “What the heck is he talking about now?”  Let me explain…

I recently blogged about the way some parents behave at their kids hockey games.  Yelling at referees, starting fights and just being plain obnoxious.  Because of this, Winnipeg Hockey made it mandatory for such parents to take a course before they could be at a game.  It’s appalling and should not be tolerated and in my blog I called for banning these so-called parents from attending games.

A few days later, hockey violence involving 12-year old players kids reared its ugly head almost in my backyard.  It was all caught on tape and you can hear the parents verbally abusing the refs who had their hands full to begin with.  It’s always the referees fault.  It’s the referees fault why there’s a fight.  Refs fault why these parents would stop at nothing to see their kids become the next big NHL star found in a small town in Winnipeg.  How can we rail against kids for being goons while we act like goons at their games?..anyways, back to the topic.  After hearing this, I realized that even banning said parents would not be a solution.  I then concurred that maybe I am missing the point here.  Maybe we as humans are evolving into beasts. It’s not just hockey, it’s everything.  Beasts everywhere! Animals abound.  So, I am getting out while there’s still time.  I am jumping ship.  Changing species.  From now on I am no longer part of the human race.  I am a dog.

I am ashamed to be called a human if being a human means acting selfishly towards another human.  I am embarrassed to be classed in the same specie as those who prey on each other whether physically, mentally or otherwise.  When humans who expect their kids to be decent, (or is that just me?) exhibit behavior that is reserved for the lowest of rabid animals, I can’t be identified with them.  I was wrong.  Proper conduct courses and bans would not save this doomed specie.

Yes, I am now officially a dog.  And I’m proud of it.  Woof!

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