Tag Archives: Fathers

Daddy Quotes

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A father is someone that holds your hand at the fair makes sure you do what your mother says holds back your hair when you are sick brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy lets you eat ice cream for breakfast but only when mother is away he walks you down the aisle and tells you everything is gonna be Ok! ~ Anonymous

The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, “Daddy, I need to ask you something,” he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan. ~ Garrison Keillor

It is impossible to please all the world and one’s father. ~ Jean de La Fontaine

Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves. ~ Marcelene Cox

Be kind to thy father, for when thou were young, who loved thee so fondly as he? He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue, and joined in thy innocent glee. ~ Margaret Courtney

All fathers are invisible in daytime; daytime is ruled by mothers and fathers come out at night. Darkness brings home fathers, with their real, unspeakable power. There is more to fathers than meets the eye. ~ Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eyes

The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother’s always a democrat. ~ Robert Frost

My son and daughter tell me where they are in very different ways. I know where my son is because I hear him. I know where my daughter is because she tells me. ~ Anonymous

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. ~ Enid Bagnold

Five Rounds at Dinner Time!

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Welcome Ladies & Gentlemen.  You are all about to witness the greatest battle in Mommydom.  This is it, the Toronto Mommy/Daughter Dinnertime Showdown Championship! Through blood and sweat and tears, you are going to see two rivals face off in Five Rounds at Dinner Time.  Let’s Get Ready to Rumbleeeeeee!

In the blue corner, weighing only 35 pounds and measuring 3 1/2 feet, we have Princess Danger!  Don’t let her button nose, dimples and curly blonde hair fool you, she’s a Warrior of Defiance!  This featherweight has sharp teeth, a stiff upper lip and sneaky right hook.

In the red corner, the veteran heavyweight measuring 5 feet 3 inches tall and weights not to be told, Mommy Lionheart.  26 years in the culinary world have made her a contender, but that gullibility may be her downfall.  So Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats as Five Rounds at Dinner Time is about to begin!

DING!!!

ROUND 1

Mommy Lionheart starts with an opening jab; fajitas for dinner.  The smell entices Princess Danger and it brings her too close.  Wham!!!  Princess Danger falls for the grated cheese.  And a right hook from Lionheart with the surprise of chocolate milk for dinner.  Round 1 goes to Lionheart and the crowd goes wild!

ROUND 2

Round 2 is starting off with a bit of back and forth with Princess Danger crippling Mommy Lionheart with some hesitations of sitting in the middle chair.  Oh out of left field comes an uppercut to the Lionheart with Danger beginning to whine “I don’t like dinner.”  Lionheart stumbles but comes back with “You need to eat so you can grow big and strong.”  Great recovery.  Danger sits in the chair but is not out of the fight yet.  Tie for Round 2.

ROUND 3

The battle for dinner time commences in Round 3.  Both look at each other, weighing their strengths and weaknesses.  Lionheart has the authority, but Danger has a unparralleled stubbornness.  This will be a close one.  Danger is toying with Lionheart’s gullibility.  A few love taps are exchanged.  Danger plays with her food, dancing circles around Lionheart persistent nagging.  “Please eat.”  Danger returns with “I am eating, just slowllllyyy.”  Bam!!! Jab to the ribs of Lionheart with Danger sticking out her tongue.  Lionheart counters with Time Out!  Lionheart wins for Round 3.

ROUND 4

Danger is weary but not broken.  After returning from Time Out, she plays safe, slowly eating her dinner, watching Lionheart from the corner of her eye.  Lionheart eases back, sensing her contender’s submission.  Danger pulls a sneak move, dropping her fork on the floor and “accidentally” spilling her food on the floor.  “I’m all done now.” Kapow!!!  Lionheart counters with a fresh plate of food.  Danger, now agitated, starts to pout and pulls out all the stops.  “Daddy Big Softie Pants, please feed me.”  Lionheart screams “Interference, interference!”  The referee does nothing.  2 against 1, how unfair!  Lionheart does her best to keep the authority, but the arrival of the tag team player, throws her off and Round 4 goes to Danger!

ROUND 5

Lionheart is bruised and bloody but the fight continues.  The tag team is becoming too much.  Danger is only strengthened by Big Softie Pants and they begin dancing circles around her.  She swings tirelessly but it’s no use.  Danger stalls with eating.  “I want ice cream for dessert” Danger begs, and before Lionheart can jab in a “No!” Big Softie Pants throws a right hook “Only if you eat your dinner.”  Lionheart is dizzy.  She tries to negotiate with “Five more bites” but it is no use for the Dynamic Duo.  “You did good Danger, you can have ice cream.” Whoa did you see that coming?!  Despite Danger not finishing her dinner, Big Softie Pants delivers the final blow and it is the final blow to Lionheart!  TKO!!!!!!!!!  Total Knockout Win for Princess Danger and Daddy Big Softie Pants!!!!!!!!  The trophy for today is a Cotton Candy Ice Cream Cone with Sprinkles from Baskin Robbins.

 

*This is a fictionalized account of our dinner time dramas as of late.  Princess is testing every last nerve when it comes to dinner.  As you can see, I’m outnumbered”

Learning to “Grin and Bear it”

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Since learning that I am infertile, one of the hardest things I’ve had to come to terms with is learning to ‘grin and bear it’.  I will admit it is not one of my strongest personality traits as I am one of those people who whatever I am feeling is almost guaranteed to show on my face.  If it’s annoyance, anger, disbelief, happiness, or sadness, the expression is there on my face.  I don’t like to hide, I don’t like to lie, but at the same time, sometimes the time and place for such conversations are not appropriate.  My Princess is almost 4 years old now and many of our friends and family are having children.  And with that, the question Hubby and I dread is being asked at every turn.

“So,” they cheerfully ask, poking me in the abdomen.  “When is she getting a brother or a sister.”

Cue the awkward smile and shift in my stance.  Most of the time they corner Hubby and I alone so we are unable to lean on each other for support or help with the answer.  I know they don’t do it out of spite or malice, but I cringe when I am asked it.

“Oh, umm, you know, hmm, when it happens.  We’ll see how it goes.”  I divert my eyes anywhere but in theirs.  I don’t want to have to see their expression when I don’t give them a straight forward answer.  How do I say, “Well my prolactin levels are extremely high and have drained my estrogen levels so my body is incapable of maintaining any pregnancy and my ovaries are not releasing any eggs.  My body is essentially going into early menopause and I’m only 26. Oh and my ovaries are covered in cysts.”  That doesn’t really make for a great conversation.  It is one thing for me to be uncomfortable, but I really wouldn’t want to be the cause of someone else’s discomfort.  I’ve had strangers on the bus ask me, teachers at my daughter’s daycare, coworkers, friends, family and everyone else in between.  I haven’t yet found a suitable answer.

So many people I know are having babies.  My sister is pregnant and so is a close family member.  My cousin just had a baby and her sister is due any day.  My hubby’s brother had a beautiful blue-eyed baby girl 6 months ago and my friend is having a baby as well.  I am all very happy for them, I really am.  I rub their tummy’s, ask them how they are feeling, celebrate the life the life that is about to be brought into this world.  But as I smile there is a dull ache that lies inside.  It’s not cramps from bad food or from menstruation or ovulation, it’s a dull ache from a fear that I may never get to feel another kick, hear the whooshing of the ultrasound, crave pickles, have heartburn radiating through my body or be hunched over a toilet praying to the porcelain gods again.

I’ve received so many comments from people who I know mean well, but they come off so inconsiderate and back-handed.

“You just need to go back and enjoy sex again.  Then you’ll get pregnant.”

I really wish it were that simple.  Out of 28-35 days, depending on your cycle length, you only have about 25 – 30% chance of becoming pregnant.  You have to determine when you ovulate, how long your luteal phase is, how soft and where your cervix is.  I took Siberian Ginseng, Prenatal Vitamins, Evening Primrose Oil, Dong Quai and Green Tea for their ‘fertility’ aid. I was charting my entire cycle.  I charted my basal temperature, my cervical mucus, how tender my breasts were, lower back pain, how heavy my flow, how long it lasted, basically acting as an ovulatory detective searching for clues when my ovaries will release an egg and when to approach Hubby and give a very small timeline to when we have to “enjoy sex”.   Nothing says ‘sexy’ like “We have to have sex right now and tomorrow and I have to elevate my hips for 30 minutes.”

“Just chill out, you are way to stressed.”

Unfortunately stress and infertility often go hand in hand.  Stress can lead to infertility and infertility only increases stress.  It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation.

“You should be grateful you have one child.  Some people don’t have any.”

I would have to say this is the most inconsiderate and cruel comment I’ve ever received.  I am very grateful for my beautiful brown-eyed, blonde curly-haired little Princess.  She is my entire world.  I look at her and thank every lucky star in the universe for giving her to me.  We almost lost her at 3 months, and the cord wrapped around her neck during labour and she was born via c-section.  I hug her and kiss her and tell her how much she means to me every single day.  Most of my happy moments are the ones where I am with her.  But I also dreamt of giving her siblings.  A house full of siblings.  I always wanted to be a mom to many children.  I took care of my sisters and babysat many children.  I love kids.  Their laughs, smiles, their attitudes, everything about them makes me smile.  They are so innocent and happy that it always boggles my brain when people say they annoy them.  The old adage “Barefoot and Pregnant” was my mantra growing up and I couldn’t think of a better dream for me.  I’m not talking about pulling a Dugger, but I wanted at least 4 kids, if not more.  Just a house full of children running around, me ragged and tired, but overjoyed.  The doctor says I’ll be lucky if I am able to have one more.

“There’s always adoption and surrogates.”

Generally it’s these people who know nothing about costs and legal matters.  These options are not always available to everyone.

I think what hurts the most is that I have to look at my little girl when she asks me where the ‘baby’ went and why she doesn’t have a sister and try to come up with some sort of child-friendly response and then look at my Husband, who wanted a house full of kids and try to articulate ‘I’m sorry’ that I let him down.  I am 26, at the supposed height of my fertile years and have to say “I’m infertile”.   I never thought that phrase would ever come from me.  I’m not embarrassed or ashamed.  I have come to know many people who are infertile and are suffering from what I am suffering from.  It’s just an overwhelming sadness, guilt and grief that is so very hard to explain, comprehend and come to terms with.

After 2 years of trying to get pregnant, I have found an online community that has truly helped me realize I’m not alone and one blogger in particular, Practical Katie and her post “When One Isn’t Enough” really did help me understand this.  And to my readers, your kind words have really helped pick me up when I have been feeling down.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugliness of Daycare

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My Princess has been in daycare since she was 18 months old.  I went back to work on weekend and nights when she was about 10 months old but didn’t go back fulltime until she was 16 months.  I moved from Ottawa to Toronto when I was 7 months pregnant and decided that when I went back to work, I wasn’t getting a transfer.  I knew I needed a job that paid the bills, left a little in the bank and would still cover the cost of daycare.  I searched all over Toronto but most were either inflexible hours, too little pay or ridiculously far away from where we lived.  So I found a job where I worked nights on the weekend.  Despite hating it, it put money in the bank and I didn’t need a sitter.  But eventually it just wasn’t enough, I really didn’t want it to be my career, let alone my job.  So I started looking again for another job.

Finally I found the job where I work now.  I am a food writer for a catering company in Toronto and I’m also the Head Catering Coordinator.  The hours are great, so are my coworkers and it is only a 35 – 45 minute commute each way.  Not bad for Toronto.  I began my search for childcare.  We found one woman who ran her own daycare out of her home who lived near us.  She was relatively priced, had children of her own, so it seemed like a great fit.  We went away the weekend before I was supposed to start and when we came home that Sunday I had a message on my machine.

“I’m really sorry to do this to you so last-minute, but I’ve changed my mind.  I’m closing down my home daycare.”

Are you serious?!  Thank goodness for my in-laws who helped us out extraordinarily with our search for childcare.  They watched her until we found someone else.  While I was searching for the first place, I had come across a Nanny (or so she called herself) that was fresh out of college.  She was currently working at a daycare, but wished to go into business herself.  She was willing to come to our home and watch her.  She was all up to date with her CPR and First Aid.  She graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at a Toronto College.  She had references from daycare, families and other related jobs and all the references came back stellar.  I even had a police background check done and it was clean.  I did my research and was thorough, she was the person.  It wasn’t long until we learned our lesson.

It started off fairly early that she was not showing up to work, or calling in sick.  Once she told me she couldn’t work on Monday because she “thought” her cousin was getting married.  Then we started to hear from our neighbours that there were people waiting outside for her throughout the day.  We had a discussion with her and told her that under NO circumstances was she to have anyone in our home.  She said she understood.  Next thing we noticed, food from our fridge was missing.  Not a little bit at a time, like cans of soup, tube of cookie dough, you name it, it started to go missing.  We started looking for daycare, because it was getting to be too much.  Then this (insert expletive) did something so atrocious that she will rot in a special place for what she did.  Hubby and I keep all our twoonies to put in the Princess’ piggy bank.  It goes towards her college fund and the Wednesday prior to this day, we had counted it and there was $100 in it.  Hubby suggested that we roll it and put it in the bank.  The next Monday, I came home from work and found numerous Tim Horton cups in our trash.  I remember she brought one when she arrived that morning, but there were three in the garbage and Hubby said he didn’t have any.  Then I went to the sink and found three bowls of Alphaghetti in there.  And none were of my daughter’s special children’s bowls.  Hubby said when he got home, there was someone waiting outside.  Hmm.  My spider senses were beginning to tingle.  I was going to call her that night to ask if she had anyone over.  But first, I had twoonies in my purse that I was going to put in her piggy bank.  Now I kept our laundry money, spare change jar and the Princess’ piggy bank in our bedroom with the door closed.  She was aware that our bedroom was off-limits and she was never to go in there.  So that night, when I went to put the change in the piggy bank, I lifted it up and much to my surprise, it was EMPTY!!!!  Oh I have never been so angry in my life!  I began frantically searching around my home for 50 twoonies.  Asked Hubby if he had taken them to the bank and he said ‘no’.  So I called her.  And this is how the conversation went.

“Hi (insert name).  Did you have someone over today?” I asked calmly.

“No.”

“Well Hubby said he saw your friend outside.”

“Yeah, they were waiting for me.”

“Well I found coffee cups in the garbage.”

“Oh, well they came up to use the bathroom.”

“Did they eat my food too?  I found bowls in the sink.” Rule number one for criminals, get rid of the evidence.

“Ummm.”

“Listen, the Princess’ piggy bank is empty.”

“I never went into your bedroom.”  Caught you!

“That’s funny, because I never told you that’s where the money was.”

Dead silence.

“Listen, you are fired and I’m calling the cops.  You stole money from a baby!  You are low.”

I called the cops and they came and took our statement.  I was assigned a detective and they tried numerous times to call her and go to her place of residence, however, because she lived in an apartment building, and she didn’t answer the buzzer, they couldn’t go in the building.  Robbed a baby and got away with it.  But I was offered this little tidbit of information.  Apparently, in Canada, if you have been arrested but never charged formally, these offenses never show up on your record and our dear sweet thief had been arrested TWICE for shoplifting and theft and ONCE for domestic abuse, but all charges were dropped.  So my background check did absolutely nothing to protect my child.  I did however, call her references and informed them of what she did and they were absolutely wrong to give such stellar ones when she was nothing but a thief.  I felt so guilty after that.  I left my child in the care of someone who robbed her.  Stole money that was to be for her education.  I felt like I made the worst decision of my life.

Soon after that, we found the daycare where we are at now.  It was close to home, reasonably priced and was professionally run.  That is not to say we were not without bumps in the road.  Three days after going into daycare, our Princess contracted Norwalk Virus, and had vicious diarrhea for 3 weeks.  She lost so much weight and her poor bum was so blistered that we had to put a steroid cream just to keep them from bleeding.   She was so miserable it was devastating.  The daycare fortunately refunded us 2 weeks of the cost, however, Hubby and I had to alternatively take days off work just to care for her.  I had literally just started a new job and was missing days out of the week.  I thought for sure I was going to be fired.  But I had no one else.  The daycare wouldn’t take her.  After she finally got over that, it was maybe a week before she got an ear infection that spread to her eyes, throat, sinus and lymph nodes and sent her into a fever that was so high I had to put her in bath of cold water.  She screamed bloody murder.  I put her on the couch naked to try to cool her down when she started to have a seizure.  Her eyes rolled back in her head, she started to shake uncontrollably and was gasping for breath.  I was frantic.  I have epilepsy, but to see it happening to your child is frightening.  She had 12 seizures that day.  She was rushed to the local Children’s Hospital where she spent days in and out of it for close to six months.  Any virus or germ or bacteria that was going around her daycare, she got it.  I never believed it when people told me that once you put them in daycare they get sick all the time, but they were right.  Her drastic change in health put a lot of strain on us emotionally, physically and financially.  I was starting to wonder if going back to work was the right thing to do.

She had lost so much weight and became so weak that she had troubling walking.  She would collapse for no reason, continued to have seizures any time she had a fever and we went for countless tests.  Seeing her hooked up to an EEG machine, with wires running off of her head was so heart breaking.  She went to visit a pediatric neurologist who gave us good news.  She wasn’t epileptic, although her chances of developing it later in life are increased.  He gave us pills that were to crush in her cheek if she had another one and to monitor all her fever’s closely.  Thank GOD she hasn’t had another one after that.  It took about a year in daycare before she was able to ward off any viruses.  But despite her not getting them, she brought them home to us.  Hubby never got tonsilitis until we put her in daycare.  But as soon as she went in, he was getting it every 2 months.  He could even tell before it hit that he was getting it.  Finally in January, after going to the doctors, he had his tonsils removed because the doctor said that his tonsils were basically working against him.   The surgeon said they were the size of meatballs they were so infected.

Now despite a tumultuous year and a half, there were great things about the daycare.  My Princess is a social butterfly and has so many friends.  We would have parents come up to us and say how much their children talk about her.  Kids would fight just to sit next to her.  Her daycare also had fashion shows, plays, puppet shows and field trips that has greatly enriched her life.  Just this week she was able to go to the African Lion Safari which is where you drive through a park of African animals and get to see them close up.  She got to see monkey’s and lions and loved how the monkey’s climbed on the car.  They provided her with life experiences and friends that she may not have gotten if I had stayed home.  I am not worried about her going to Kindergarten now because of how well she flourished in daycare.  I also know now that her immune system is stronger, she won’t be missing that much time at school.  I would recommend our daycare to anyone and if we have another child and I go back to work, we will definitely be using that one again.

Can’t Wait to See “ParaNorman”

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My Princess loves monsters!  Vampires, Zombies (Mommy’s personal favourite), Witches, Wizards, you name it, she is fascinated.  It never really dawned on me how much she loved them until last year.  She was always into Dinosaurs.  She has a three-foot high dinosaur she sleeps with, a dinosaur t-shirt, an 90 piece dino set, a 2 foot long dinosaur that has to be in the shower when she is and Jurassic Park Trilogy is her all time favourite movie collection, not mention all the books on dinosaurs she has.  Loves them.  But when we were visiting her Dziadek (Polish for Grandpa) that the monster fascination finally hit home.  Dziadek was laid up in bed with a bad leg and he was watching “8 Legged Freaks” on TV.  It’s a super cheesy movie with David Arquette about spiders that have been exposed to nuclear toxins and have grown massive and take over a town.  She was glued! Unfortunately for me, Hubby had the movie and she would watch it on repeat.  I almost knew the script line by line.

 

The Princess’ Goosebumps Collection

 

After that, all types of monsters began to capture her imagination.  I am a firm believer that if your child shows an interest in something, encourage it and we did.  We bought her the “Monstrous Book of Monsters”  that teaches the reader how to notice, capture and eradicate such evil creatures.  She also has quite the collection of Goosebump Books.  At first there was some hesitation as to whether or not they would give her nightmares or frighten her, but thus far we have been without incident.  In fact, many times Hubby and I are referred to Mommy and Daddy Monster and she is Baby Monster and the imaginative game continues.  We have to hide, eat the Daddy Monster, and chase the Mommy Monster.  She enjoys these fictitious monsters and she loves reading about them.  We don’t buy her monster movies but we buy her books about them which keeps her reading, so I’m happy.

 

Monstrous Book of Monsters

 

Hubby and I had a date night last week where we went to see “Ted”.  While waiting in line, we saw a cardboard cut out for “ParaNorman“.  By the producers of Coraline, Focus Features brings “ParaNorman” to the big screen.  The premise is that a misunderstood boy named Norman helps save his town from a Zombie invasion brought on by a witches curse, using his ability to speak to the Dead.  When we saw it, we knew we had to bring the Princess.  We showed her the Official Trailer to gauge her response whether or not she would like it and her first response was “Daddy, I want to see the Zombies!”  I’m sure this movie would scare most children, but I have a little Princess who prefers scary monster movies to the Cat in the Hat.  I will be sure to post my review of it after we see it.  It’s making its international release August 17th!

The Neverending “Why” Questions

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My Princess has officially hit the “Why” stage.  Every question is followed by yet another ‘why’ question until you are left answerless.  This was today’s ‘why’ series;

“Mommy, do you have a grandma and grandpa?”

“Yes but they are in heaven now.”

“Why?”

“Because they were old and sick and it was their time to go.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what happens when you are old.  You get called up to heaven.”

“Why?”

“Because when it’s your time, it’s your time.”

“Why?”

“Because there is a greater place for us when we are done on Earth.”

“Why?”

“Because Earth is a place for living people, heaven is for people who have passed on and they live another life there.”

“Why?”

“Because you can’t live on Earth forever.”

“Why?”

At this I have given up.  As much as I don’t want to admit it, I don’t think her 3 year old brain can handle an in depth existential conversation about the hereafter. One of my favourite comedian’s does a great bit on the ‘why’ questions of children.  It’s full of swear words but I think it really drives the point home.

Excitement All Around

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In my post earlier, we had received the Princess’ Kindergarten package today.  She was already at daycare when we got them so I didn’t have the chance to tell her.  I called Hubby on my lunch and we decided that we were going to take her out to dinner and tell her then.  When we told her she was shouting at the top of her lungs.  She was telling the waitress and anyone who would listen.  But the one thing she could not let go of was her want and need of a backpack.  Nevermind the wealth of knowledge she would be acquiring or the friends she would play with, it was the backpack.  She was quite clear that she wants a pink princess one and she wants us to get it as soon as possible.  I am so glad that she is excited for school, it makes me feel better for putting her in.

A New Milestone

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My little Princess

Our family reached a new milestone today.  We received our Welcome Package to Junior Kindergarten this morning and as of September, Princess will be in full-day school.  While I am so proud and excited for her, I’m also sad.  My baby is growing up before my eyes and I just want to hold her and hug her and tell her how much I love her.  In the short 3 1/2 years since the day she was born,

I have been there for her first poop, step, word, doctor’s appointment, boo boo, vacation, laugh, sentence, and nightmare.  I birthed her from my body, nursed her at my breast, rocked her in my arms, wiped away her tears and now I will have to let go of her hand as she goes to school.

I am so very proud of the little girl she has grown into.  She is very much the light and joy in me and her father’s lives, and we are so thankful to have her.  After everything we have come through in the last 3 years, I don’t know if we could have done it without her smile, voice and presence.  She took 2 twenty-something’s and turned us into parents, adults, and better people.  While I am crying whilst writing this before leaving for work, they are not just tears of sadness, but tears of joy.  My baby is now a big girl.

My Big Girl

“Do you not like to support your community?”

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This is what I was asked by a young man on Bloor Street while I was trying to get home after work.  He was no older than 21, mohawked, pimpled and wearing superman shorts, he jogged up to me carrying a file folder.

“Just so you know, we’re going to talk,” he smiles.  Oh no, I really just want to get home, however because I worked as a telemarketer in my university days, I agree to at least listen.

“Okay.”

“Do you sponsor a child?” he asks nonchalantly.  I think to myself, does my own count?

“No I don’t.”

“Have you ever considered it?”

“Not overly.”

“Do you know someone who does?” I nod as I do.  I think at this point he is beginning to sense that this is a dead on, but he is optimistic.

“Did you know for only $1 a day, you can provide a child in Peru with housing, food and an education?  That is less than daily ATM fees.”  I argue with him that my hesitation to sponsor a child is from first hand accounts I’ve heard from people I know that work for these kind of companies that a large portion of the money goes to the business and not these kids in need.  His face grows stern and his pessimism grows.

“Do you not like to support your community?  I bet you don’t even donate to charity. It’s really not that expensive, you could afford it.”

I explain to him that yes, I do like to support my community, however, contrary to his belief, Peru is not my community.  Toronto and Canada are my communities.  I also contribute to charities.  I am a firm supporter of child literacy programs, local food banks and shelters.  This past weekend, I donated over 10 garbage sized bags of clothes and shoes to a local clothing drive in Toronto.  I had 42 diaper boxes of girl’s clothes that I had saved from when the Princess was born and of those 42, I kept a tote of clothes for any future children I may have and have 17 boxes left to give to friends and family that already have or are having girls.  The rest, on top of clothes that Hubby and I no longer wore, went to clothing my fellow Canadians and Torontonians.

“C’mon,” he argued.  “It’s not that expensive.”

I explain that I cannot consent to this right here and now as this concerns money, and I must consult with my Hubby.  I don’t need to ask his permission, but as this is a financial decision, it has to be a mutual one.  He had enough and walked away from me sighing, but then smiles quickly as he sees the next person walking down the street.

I don’t want to put out the impression that I do not care for the starving children in the world, because I do.  As a parent, it’s almost impossible for me not to.  However, I have a child that requires me to feed her, and clothe her, and house her, and provide for her.  My own government won’t assist my financially, let alone people from other countries.  She is my responsibility, those children are not.  It makes my heart ache to see them on the TV, with their bellies swollen from kwashiorkor, flies swarming around their mouths and the squalor they live in.  If I had the resources to feed all the children and provide for them, I really would.  But I cannot justify giving money to care for another child when I have my own to care for.  Some of you may be thinking, “It’s only a $1 a day.”  You are absolutely right, it’s only $352 a year.  But that is roughly 2 weeks of childcare, less than a month’s worth of groceries, 4 month’s worth of Hydro, and/or transportation costs for our family for a month.

I would also like to point out that there are children in Canada and the United States that do not get enough to eat, or have daily access to housing or running water.  Abuse and neglect are still rampant, drug abuse and violence are an everyday occurrence, and in some northern parts of Canada, the suicide rate is 11% higher than the national Canadian average.  To me, those are issues that are closer to my heart than those in other countries.   I cannot help everyone in the world, no matter how much I would love to, but I can help some people.  I just choose to help my community.  A motto I follow is “In order to help others, you must first help yourself.”  I once explained this to someone who didn’t quite understand my point of view.  I argued that in most life-threatening situations, they always tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you.  You can’t help someone if you are endangered yourself.  The same can be said in this situation.  So to the young man who approached me, let me say this;  Your selling techniques need work, and just because I didn’t sponsor a child, I’m not a bad person.