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Daddy Daydreamer

Screen time squabbles: Dad versus kids

I let my son decide his own consequence for a video game infraction. He made a pretty mature decision

Atari 2600 video game console

When I was a kid, I really liked to play video games. I grew up on an Atari 2600. The games were two-dimensional, blocky, with bleeps and blurts. It was good fun. Asteroids, Missile Command and Defender were my favourites. Yars' Revenge was pretty cool, too.

I liked the Atari so much, as an adult, I bought an Atari Flashback . . .

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August 17, 2018

Why I'm saying 'no' to perfectionism

Imperfect action is a lot better for my mental health

Sign that reads 'wisdom', with perfectionism crossed out underneathPerfectionism is not altogether a bad thing. It's good to have high standards.

But it's doing me more harm than good.

I think I may have unwittingly passed my perfectionism on to my kids.

I realized this playing catch with my son. He was way too hard on himself because he wasn't catching every ball.

One of my simplest . . .

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June 08, 2018

How a school play brought together a community

Manor Park School's production of The Lion King Jr was magic

Lion

One part art. One part story. One part love. Mix together: The result is magic.

Kids from Manor Park Public School in Ottawa brought together a community with their production of The Lion King Jr

I once told my children to think of school as a community. Instead of the physical building and walls that . . .

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May 06, 2018

Living with depression sucks

I wonder why I put myself through the mental wringer

Figurine comforting a sad figurine

Depression tracks me like a ninja, quietly plotting his course in the dark; muted footfalls, cagey eyes.

Living with it requires constant vigilance, self-care. Ignoring the signs can lead to disaster. I constantly calculate the costs and benefits of disclosure. I'm afraid of appearing weak.

I push through.

Deep down, I . . .

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April 19, 2018

Easter: Jesus or chocolate eggs and bunnies?

I talked about Jesus, but my kid's focus was on the Easter bunny

Person in rabbit costume looking at the horizon

I'm not a religious person. But I know there are forces I can't even begin to understand in this universe—forces greater than anything I can ever fathom.

I'm a non-practising Christian, but I always reflect around Easter. Good Friday, especially. I was going through my journals and came upon a passage. A discussion about . . .

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March 30, 2018

We got ripped off, but I'm proud my son was generous

A con artist left me feeling grateful and betrayed

Thou shalt not

I have to give her credit, she told a great story. Before my son and I realized she scammed us, we felt pretty good about ourselves.

We were enjoying a nice father-son walk around the neighbourhood. Came across a woman near the end of our street. She was hard at work, chipping away ice on her driveway.

A bit rough around the . . .

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February 25, 2018

Some dude texted me by accident and said he was going to kill himself

I called him backā€”find out what happened

Diary note, anger, shame, potential suicidal thoughts

The call came at 5:09 on a cold January morning, waking me from a sound sleep. It was a text-to-landline message.

"Goodbye Nicole, I love you," the robotic voice said. An obvious wrong number.

I thought about the message. Maybe it was a husband sending a sweet message to his wife. But I felt a finality to it; five words can mean . . .

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January 31, 2018

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