A Word to Parents

1970.harmon-killebrew.16Harmon Killebrew was a star hitter for the Minnesota Twins in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In recalling his childhood, he often told this story:

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’

‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply.

‘We’re raising boys.'”

Parenting duties can battle with other expectations: Career aspirations, financial goals, fantasies of spotless homes and leisurely schedules.

Whatever you’re treasuring or pursuing, be sure that Papa Killebrew’s simple focus weighs in to your equation because there are a lot of things out there that we aren’t raising and only a few that we are.

Smartest Kid in Egypt

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the future Egyptian president. No joke.

If you aren’t sure what the fighting is about in Africa’s most northeastern nation, listen and learn.

Kids are Funny

B Toys LogoOver the past couple years, we have purchased a few toys produced by Battat Inc.

Within each toy is a small booklet filled with quotes from children. You can submit your own real-life examples to the company HERE.

Here are a few sources of recent smiles and laughter:

“If mommies make babies, and trees make air, then what do we need daddies for?” (Allison, 4)

“Mommy, how does a bee sting of porcupine?” (Amelia, 4)

Callie, 8: “Do people eat cow tongue?”
Mom: “Yes.”
Callie: “Ewwww… It might have grass on it!”

“The baby is naked… ewwwww! Can’t you eat some parents or something so he isn’t naked?!”  (Haley, 8, upon seeing the 4D ultrasound of the baby)

“Before you say mean things about someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Now they can hear you, and you have a free pair of shoes!” (Hannah, 9)

“Don’t THINK. Just follow mommy’s directions.” (Grace, 6, in car with Grandpa who said, “I think we should turn here.”)

Ethan, 3: “Mom, are these both my grandmas?”
Mom: “This is your great grandma and this is your grandma.”
Ethan: “Oh!! This is my great grandma and this is my bad grandma! Right mom?”

“If you drilled through the earth and came out the other side, you’d be upside down. But if you drove there you’d be right side up. That’s why they have all these roads.” (Sawyer, 5)

“My friends, this is my hooker.” (Adam, 3, while holding a tow truck during show and tell)

“That’s a jellyfish. Now we need to find a peanut butter fish.” (Josephine, 3)

“Mom! Stop!! Be careful, there are boys in the Ivy!” (Robert, 6)

“Did you know my uncle Tony is driving around the country in a winning bagel?” (Sean, 5, telling a relative his uncle was going cross-country in an RV)

“Soda is not good for your body. You drink it and then you want more and more. The next thing you know, you are smoking.” (Alyssa, 5)

“Jazz is my favorite color of music!” (Keeley, 2)

“I’m going to have five children and name them Cabbage, French Toast, Table, Shower, and Chair.” (Skye, 6)

Maddie, 4: “What does it mean that it’s Election Day?”
Mom: “Today everyone picks who they want to be President and run our country.”
Maddie: “Oh. I hope they don’t pick me.”

Water is composed of two gins: Oxygin and hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.” (Sam, 11, in response to question on sixth-grade science quiz)

“it’s not real anymore.” (Brody, 2, referring to “outside” when his car window was rolled)

“Mommy, you’re the most beautiful woman in the whole world I ever saw before I left the house.” (Callie, 2)

“My triceratops is afraid of our dust bunnies.” (Clara, 4)

“If the day I came out of your belly is called my birthday, what is the day I went in called?” (Rio, 4)

YOUR TURN: Any favourites? Any chucklers or stunners you remember coming out of your own kids’ mouths? Your comments make this post better.

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Phoenix With Children: Beyond One Day

Served well by The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, we set out to see how else we might entertain our two young children while enjoying ourselves in the process.

Phoenix, what else do you have for us?

A couple answers, at least.

1) Phoenix Zoo

The website claims that it’s been voted one of the nations Top 5 zoos for children.  Seeing as how Phoenix is the #5 or #6 city in the country for population, I’m going to believe the boast.  Situated right next door to the Desert Botanical Gardens, you know the landscape is special, particularly to a family from the Canadian prairies.  Pleasantly sized, this zoo is large enough to house a wide variety of animals (elephants to giraffes to lions to monkeys to tortoises to iguanas and more) without demanding serious miles to be logged, as is necessary in a place like the San Diego Zoo.  Throw in a petting zoo, a couple decent play areas, and a classic carousel, and you can keep a couple cute toddlers busy for part of day.

2) Arizona Mills Mall

Buying or browsing, we always enjoy looking around, when in a new city.  But how to do it while busying the tots?  A bright and busy mall doesn’t hurt.  A well-designed set-up with a handful of toy stores and a Disney store can only help.  Throw in a surprising aquarium (SeaLife Arizona) with a decent play area, and add a large food court surrounded by pumping arcade and a merry-go-round–that ought to keep them busy for a while.  This mall gave us enough enjoyment that we actually visited twice–the second time, we even bought a few things!

There are a host of other things a family might do in Phoenix, but let this post and my previous one at least get you started the next time you find yourself stranded in Arizona with some small ones needing attention.



Phoenix With Children

In a better-than-we-could-have-planned-it twist, we departed Regina on January 11, the first day all winter that felt like the type of winter weather we annually receive.

Destination: Phoenix, Arizona.

Trip-planning has changed its flavour since our children have been born.  It used to involve “Lonely Planet” guides and aggressive checklists to maximize time and opportunities in any given spot.  Both the pace and content are no longer the same.

For what it’s worth, here is the one place in Phoenix that you should not miss if you are traveling with children under the age of eight: The Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  Seriously, this is a fun place!  Initial material I read on it painted an image of a not-quite-Science-Center.  Now, I’m all for Science Centers, but they’re not quite the right cup of tea to serve my three-year-old and one-year-old.

The Children’s Museum, on the other hand, is just perfect.

We spent three hours in the morning and then revisited after a nap in the car.  Tonnes of smiles were flashed, interspersed by laughs, surprises, and adventure.  It was one of the most fun days I’ve had with my little girls.

On the tourist-o-meter, I give this place a perfect score for any families vacationing in the Valley of the Sun.