Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, progressive, Canadian, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.

wRanter.com - Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, progressive, Canadian, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.
Featured wRants
Thursday the rabbi walked out, or was he pushed?

Being a pulpit rabbi can be a cutthroat business

When Toronto Jews awoke last Saturday morning and collected their Globe and Mail newspapers from their doorsteps (those who still subscribe, that is), they discovered a front-page story detailing how Holy Blossom Temple, the city's ...

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Adolescents or still young kids?

Sixth graders are too young for middle school

My wife and I knew something was awry when Primo lost his lunch box less than two weeks into the fall term. We were pretty annoyed that we were out $10 in what seemed like record ...

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The next occupants of 24 Sussex?

Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives. Here's hoping he's successful, but ...

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He was burned by this very issue.

The Jewish community should fund its own schools

The fallout from the recent controversy over the creation of gay-straight alliance clubs (GSAs) in Ontario's publicly funded Catholic school system should give pause to those seeking funding – in the name of fairness – ...

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Being mislabelled by educators can make school a misery.

Your December-born kid may not have ADHD. He might just be immature.

A new Canadian study is bolstering an argument I've been making to my kids' teachers and principals for years: children born later in a calendar year are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit ...

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Preparing for the unlikely

As a new Jewish year begins, renewed U.S.-led peace talks continue between Israel and the Palestinians. Much has been written about the low expectations surrounding these negotiations on both sides. Certainly, Israelis and Jews have good reason to ...

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Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

Some interesting firsts in Canada's Jewish community

A couple of noteworthy firsts passed with little fanfare this past December that are unusual in Canada's religiously (and increasingly politically) conservative Jewish community. First, Temple Emanu-El Beth Sholom in Montreal named Rabbi Lisa Grushcow to ...

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Adventures in parenting, Part 2: Longing for some sleep

I’m writing this post while in a bit of a haze.

Actually, I’ve written all the posts on this site while in a bit of a haze. So if you find any typos, please excuse them, because I’m a dad of longstanding.

Let me explain.

Boy sleeping at wRanter.com

At least someone is getting some rest.

All the books and advice on parenting emphasize that the first year of parenthood can be as hellish as it is joyful, mainly because of the rest you’re not going to get enough of.

Newborns sleep at odd times, and you and your spouse will be at their beck and call at all hours. After a few months of this, you become addled and paranoid. And if you’re still married by the end, you deserve a medal. (Where can I pick that up, by the way? Never mind.)

It tends to get a bit better after about 12 months or so, when kids begin to develop sleep patterns you can count on. In the meantime, nap time – blessed nap time – gives parents the opportunity to either grab some sleep themselves or to do grownup stuff, like read the newspaper or watch a movie that’s neither animated nor involves puppets.

But the torture continues after their first birthdays, so that by the time your child is three of four, your intellectual capacity is probably 70 or 80 per cent of what it once was, and your brain may never be the same again.

That’s the bad news. Continue reading

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Adventures in parenting, Part 1: Care and feeding of Teen Wolf

It happens almost every time. (OK, not that often, but way too much.)

A 14-year-old boy in a foul mood does something that drives his fortysomething dad bananas, and his fortysomething dad sleepwalks into the trap of allowing himself to be driven bananas.

Before you pass judgment, let me explain.

Wolfman at wRanter.com

Het gets ornery when he's hungry

Primo is 14 and Secondo is 11, well past the stage when they need to have all of their bodily needs attended to by mom and dad. One of the advantages of having older kids is that on the weekend, if you still remember how, you can sleep in until 9, 10, 11 or even – with permission from your middle-age bladder – all the way to noon, the holy grail of loafdom.

This is only possible, however, if your kids take responsibility for feeding themselves. It doesn’t work nearly as well when they don’t, or won’t, because you’ll wake up to hungry, cranky creatures whose meal times have been thrown way off schedule, leaving you (or your payback-demanding spouse) to sort out the mess.

The problem is compounded if one or more of them turns into a complete werewolf when they don’t eat.

We’ve got one of those. Continue reading

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