Happy Lupercalia Day (or not)

Once upon a romantic time, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, back when humans believed some weird things, there was a wonderful holiday in Rome. It was celebrated around the 15th of February and it was a special time that was believed to bring fertility and purification throughout the year.

First, A goat and a dog would be sacrificed upon an altar, the first for fertility and the second for purification, both to the God of agriculture, Faunus, and to Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. After the sacrifice, strips of the goat’s hide were cut from the body and dipped in sacrificial blood. Men would then take the strips and would gently slap women with them. Women, wanting to be fertile and pure, welcomed the event. Afterwards, all the maiden’s names would be put in an urn. Bachelors would then draw a name and the couple would be matched until the following Lupercalia Day. Often, the couple would end up married.

Christianity eventually outlawed this practice when Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day in honor of Valentine, a priest who would wed couples in secret during a time when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriages. Valentine was imprisoned and while behind bars he would write to his one true love, the jailer’s daughter. Before his execution, he wrote one last letter and closed by writing,

From your Valentine.

I have no goat nor dog to sacrifice. I lack an alter, too. DW doesn’t need to be fertile as we’re done having kids. Therefore, I won’t smack her with strips of goat hide dipped in blood. I think that’s a real sign true love. You’re, welcome hon.

I may not have a goat, or a dog, or an alter, or the desire to sacrifice an animal, or even to smack my wife, gently or otherwise, but I do have a purpose. That purpose lies in being the best husband and father that I can be. I can be their Valentine. I’ll never give up on them. I’ll never give up loving them. I’ll never give up their love for me. Even on the days it’s hard to like them.

After almost thirteen years of marriage and through the raising of two kids, one thing I’ve learned is that we’re better when we work together. We have the common goal of raising happy, healthy, and educated kids. Granted, some days it appears we’re failing on all three accounts. However, we know there will be hurdles to jump and bridges to cross. Together, my valentine and I are prepared to jump and cross.

So, to my Valentine, Happy Valentine’s Day. And a Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, reader. I hope your day was filled with more chocolate, love, and loved ones than sacrificed goats.

Advertisements

Becoming Dad

I always knew I was going to be a dad some day. I don’t know when exactly I determined that, though. It probably wasn’t until my university days that I entertained that thought. Before that I was just a free spirit. A happy wanderer. A lone wolf looking for a pack.

Because of the parents I had, I thought I knew what kind of dad I would be. I would be the dad who played, the dad who disciplined, the dad who got shit done. It probably wouldn’t get done in a timely manner, mind you, but it would get done.

I was going to parent like my parents did. I would allow my kids to think they were acting on their own when in reality I would be watching from a distance. I wasn’t going to be a helicopter or snow plow, or tiger mom dad. I wasn’t going to be free-range, mind you, but somewhere in the middle. I was going to be involved, too. I wanted to be there to watch them succeed, fail, or just plain try.

I was glad I was a teacher before I became a dad. I learned to discipline other people’s kids before I had to discipline my own. Not that it mattered because discipline comes in as many flavors as there are kids. There is much debate between which consequences work best. Seriously, there is no one size fits all. But that’s for another post, entirely.

Of all the things I was going to be as a dad, the one I nailed is being involved. Not in a helicopter way. I’m just there. When they’re getting ready for school in the morning or ready for bed in the evening I’m there prodding them along. When they’re playing a sport, I’m there to watch. When they have a school performance, I’m there to see them. When there are parent/teacher nights, I go. DW is with me all the way. Or I’m with her all way.

We’re in this gig called parenting together.

However, when I imagined myself being a dad before I was dad, back when I was a clueless twenty something, I didn’t imagine myself being quite as involved as I actually am today. My kids would love school because their parents are teachers. My kids would love helping out around the house because we would include them in such chores from an early age. My kids would be polite, respectful, hard working, smart, and a plethora of spectacular superlatives. Whenever I imagined what my kids would be like, I think God giggled a little bit.

I didn’t imagine I’d have a kid having ADD and needing constant supervision because he’d be a task avoider. He knows what he needs to do, he just doesn’t do it. I didn’t imagine my kid throwing a temper tantrum the size of a Philadelphia Superbowl riot. How dare I make a pancake without chocolate chips? We never imagine that stuff before we become parents. They don’t teach you that stuff in school. They don’t write about that stuff in books, or at least not in the books I read.

What To Expect When You Don’t Expect Your Kid To Be Different From What You Expect.

I learned to be a dad from my Dad. I learned to be a parent from my parents. They set a pretty good example, too. They had awesome kids though, so they had it “easy”. I wish I had it as easy as my parents did. Perhaps I do because I really don’t know their struggles as parents back then because I was just a kid. You can’t imagine #ParentingStruggles when you are a Terrible Two or a Threenager or even a Teenager, for that matter.

The Fresh Prince knew what he was saying when he said “Parents just don’t understand”. Well, neither do kids.

So, to my parents, I want to say thank you for teaching me to parent by example. To my kids, thank you for testing my parenting ability. One day, you two will understand why your mother and I do what we do.

Kids

Lucy At Home

Even When It’s Not Easy

I read in a book that when given the choice between right and being kind we should always choose to be kind. Both boys understood that concept. Wouldn’t it be great if we could teach it to the whole world?

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here. You, my reader, are kind. You probably show kindness wherever you can, whenever you can, to everyone you can. I don’t need to tell you not to judge others because they wear mismatched socks, or yell at their kids, or cut you off on the highway, or took the last bag of storm chips. I don’t need to tell you to use words of encouragement, to lift others’ spirits, or how a smile can change someone’s day. I think my readership already understands the power of kindness.

You do, don’t you?

However, the words”you can” from that last paragraph leaves us a bit of a loophole, doesn’t it? If you can, you do. If you can’t, you don’t. It is really tough to show kindness that arsehole who just told you you’re a bad parent. It’s really tough to show kindness to the jerk who just flipped you the bird. It’s really tough to show kindness to the idiot who just drove a front loader through your house. But if you can, be kind.

I see it as paying it forward. I’m kind to someone and in return they’re kind to someone else. Eventually, that chain of kindness will return to me. Or you. Or all of us. I think that’s how karma works.

I can honestly say, as much as the boys can drive us absolutely mental sometimes, one thing they fully understand is kindness toward others. Crash looks out for his classmates with special needs. He makes sure they get outside safely when the fire alarm scares them. He sees that they have all their belongings while they’re on field trips. Bang knows how people people laugh. He has adopted all the ladies of the church choir as friends. Sure, they can be total jerks to each other. They’re brothers. However, when it comes to others, I’m proud of them.

*Kindness is one of the greatest attributes one’s character can possess.

*An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

*When you lift others up, you also lift yourself.

Please share your favorite quote on kindness in the comment section. It can even be one you made up…

quote-about-kindness-enchanting-best-25-kindness-quotes-ideas-on-pinterest-heart-quotes-be

All That Jazz

It’s over.

The tree is down. The inside lights are mostly down. I left the winter scene atop the bookshelf because it’s one of my favorites. The outside light are still up because it’s colder than Hell out there.

In Hell, Norway it’s currently 0C. It’s -9C with a windchill of -15 here.

See? Colder than Hell.

My last posting was The Daily Elf on December 21st. You see, my parents arrived on the 22nd and the blog got put on hold. It really doesn’t seem like a week has passed since we were opening gifts. For their arrival, we got a giant refigerator box, wrapped it in wrapping paper, and stuck a bow on it. Shortly before my parents got here we sent the boys to DW’s mom’s house. When my parents got here, we had the box in the living room by the tree and in it my parents went. Then the boys came home and unwrapped them.

Seriously, if you are in need of a smile, go watch the short video. The boys had no idea what they were were unwrapping.

Bang was stuck to my mother all week long. Every chance he got he was snuggling her.

We got to do some stuff while they were here, though certainly not all that we wanted. They got to go ice skating with the boys. Or at least my dad did. My mom has a tendency to break her ankles, so we kept her off the ice. She got to watch them, though. They got to see Bang sing with his church choir friends at Christmas Eve mass. They got to open presents with two three very excited boys. DW’s mom and stepdad joined us and we had a big unwrapping fest. We enjoyed a big Christmas turkey that my parents brought with them. They made their traditional trip to Baddeck. They never come to Cape Breton without going to Baddeck. We also took them candlepin bowling. Bowling in Canada is a little different than it’s American cousin. The pins are tall and skinny and the balls are the size of softballs and you get three rolls. The 6 year old won both games.

My brother-in-law and his family arrived Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas). The boys love playing with their cousins. There were 12 people in our house! I would call it a happy chaos.

The night before Nana and Pop Pop (my parents) left for their 1100 mile drive home, Crash and Bang said good bye to them. Bang quickly gave them hugs and tried to hurry to the basement. When I stopped him I could see his eyes get watery and his lip quiver and suddenly he couldn’t hold it in any more. He sat hugging his grandmother with tears flowing and heaving sobs. He managed to bring tears to a few eyes that evening. His only consolation was that he could call them via Facetime. And he has done so every day. Even to read them a story at bedtime.

When the kids woke last Friday morning, my parents had already left. DW’s brother and his family left around noon. Bang suited up and was ready to leave with them because they were stopping at McDonalds for lunch. Suddenly we had gone from a 12 person house to 4. It was strangely quiet. I wanted the noise back. The noise meant the holidays weren’t over. The noise meant family. Like Seuss said, “It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s who’s around it.”

Our family may have left, but the New Year is here, now. Hello 2018. Time to get back to our version of normal. The tree is down. The inside lights are are down. The decorations are down. The elves, Woody and Elfis, are back at the North Pole thinking of new ways to cause mischief. Christmas is packed away for another year.

However, I still have Christmas spirit, joy, and all that jazz in my heart.

Do It the Way You Do It

I thought of writing about the true meaning of Christmas, but you already know that it is far better to give than it is to receive.

I thought of writing about how to make your kids understand that meaning, but I’m struggling to get my own kids to comprehend it.

I thought of writing about the traditions we have, but our traditions are changing. Plus, I’m as sure as the snow on the ground that you have your own traditions. For my south-of-the-equator friends, I’m as sure as the sand on the beach that your traditions are different than ours.

I thought of writing about how much I despise the commercialism of Christmas. Advertising starts at Halloween. We don’t need more and more and more and more…. But I’m sure you are tired of it all, too.

I thought of writing about Christmases past, but we all have our pasts. Good. Bad. Or otherwise. So really, I thought of writing about staying in the present (pun intended), but we’re all mindful of how present we need to be. With all that still needs to be done, it is difficult to do.

I though of writing about how tired we are with so much more do. Piled high atop of everything Christmas, there are still lunches to pack. There is laundry to wash, fold, and hopefully put away. We still need to eat breakfast and go to work. We still need to cook supper and clean up both meals and bathe the brats and read with them and get them into bed and start all over in the morning.

There are Christmas parties and Christmas concerts to attend.

I’m not writing about any of it because it’s all been written about before. It’s been written much more eloquently than I ever could, even with a thesaurus. Instead, I just want to gently remind you (and myself) to close your eyes, take a deep breath, then go do Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever it is you celebrate (or don’t celebrate) this time of the year. Whether you binge watch all the new Christmas movies or the classics, real tree or fake or no tree at all, with lots of family or just a little, at 5 in morning or 5 in the evening, with kids or a spouse or a partner or parents or all by yourself…

Do it the way you do it. It’ll be here and gone faster than we think. If we spend too much time dwelling on the way we want the world to be we will lose sight of those things I was going write about in the first place.

Anyway you do it, hop on over Twitter and Instagram and follow me. I don’t know where we’re going, but we’re having fun getting there!


Lucy At Home

How To Tell If You’re A Parent

 You might be a parent if…

you’ve argued about socks
you had to explain the reason for washing hands after pooping
you get no sleep
you get sleep, but still wake up tired because you’re eternally sleepy
you’ve been peed, pooped, puked, or bled on
you have to be in three different places all at the same time
you could really use a free maid
you could really use a free cook and masseuse, too
you have answered the question “why” so many times you found a parallel universe
you can answer any question sufficiently enough to satisfy their curiosity without raising more questions
You thought you understood parenthood perfectly before you were a parent but now that you’re a parent you realize you know nothing about parenthood.

You might be a parent if you’ve ever asked…

Where are your pants?
Why are you naked?
Where’s your other sock?
What is all over the bathroom floor?
How did you get water on the ceiling?
Why are you sitting on your brother’s head?
Why did you put three DVDs into the DVD player?
Why did you think eating the whole thing was a good idea?
Who peed on the toilet seat?
What are you doing up at this hour of the morning?
Why are writing on the walls?
Did you ask your father/mother, yet?
Didn’t I answer that question already?
Why are you peeing outside when we have a perfectly good bathroom inside?
How many times do I need to tell you ___(Fill In The Blank)__?

You might be a parent if you’ve ever experienced a temper tantrum…

because their cup is the wrong color
because a sandwich was cut improperly
over a hotdog that has lines (or doesn’t have lines) on it
over a broken crayon
because someone looked at them
because it’s bedtime or because it’s bedtime!
because they have to brush their teeth
because you didn’t read the book “right”
because you didn’t pick the right shopping cart
because you cut their cheese into the wrong shape
because you didn’t put enough chocolate chips in the pancake
their food is too hot
their food is too cold
their food is too something else…

Come to think of it, you could easily replace “You might be a parent if” with “You might be tending to a drunk if” The similarities are uncanny.

Raising children is like caring for someone too drunk to know that the potato bin is not a toilet.

You know you’re a parent if…

your fridge and walls are decorated with the art of a child
listening to your kids fall asleep is among your favorite sounds
you secretly enjoy when your kids are sick because it means more snuggles
you receive little doses of love when you least expect it and it means all the world
you feel the hand of your child in yours and think all is right with the world
you stop what you’re doing to answer a pretend phone call
listen intently, like you really do care about Minecraft (or whatever else you couldn’t care less about but have to pretend you love so as not to offend)
at the end of the day, all the frustrations, all the arguments, and questions, and exausting coversation, all that really matter are the little hearts that love you more than anything in the whole wide world… all the way to Jupiter and back.

For more fun, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

ef5a0fd5d366c33cab469bca036b1c1c--funny-parenting-parenting-quotes.jpg

Lucy At Home

I’m Not Ready For This

IMG_1828

I’m not talking about the snow we got last night. That cold, white, fluffy stuff can fall all it wants. I’m comfortable driving in it (once we get our winter tires put on). I love playing in it. I love how it makes the world look clean again. We really didn’t even get that much. It was enough to make the roads wet and the grass white for a couple hours. It was also enough to excite a certain 6 year old.

I can’t believe it’s Christmas and it’s only November 14th!!

In truth, what I’m not ready for is the excited 6 year old’s brother to take an interest in girls. I always knew it was just a matter of time, but I didn’t think that time would ever come. It would eternally be “just a matter of time”. Girls are supposed to be gross. Cooties and all…

We’ve now come to a new bridge. One in which we’ve never crossed before. Preferably, I’d like to go ahead and burn it now and make him swim across when he’s 25. On the other hand, I don’t want him to drown or eaten by a manipulative crock when he starts swimming the strange waters that are relationships when he’s 25.

I’ve been trying to think of myself when I was 10. From what I can remember I was a fairly shy little dork back then. The only difference now is that I’m less shy. More importantly, I’m trying to remember how my parents handled me back then. Did I express such an interest in girls in fifth grade? Did my parents let me handle it how I wanted? How much more did they know than they let on to? Should I handle Crash’s love interests the same way?

My God. I’ve got a thousand more questions now than I did when I started writing this post.

I would love to be a hands off, watch from a distance kind of dad. At the same time, I don’t want to be watching from a distance if it’s going to be a trainwreck. But at the same time, it’s his trainwreck and he needs to learn how to handle it. But at the same time, maybe it won’t be trainwreck. I do have an extra tool that my parents didn’t have. Texting. He’s learned to text others from his tablet. This means, unbeknownst to him, we can read his conversations. On one hand it sounds like a breech in privacy and trust. In my head, we’re the parents, he’s 10, and we’re keeping him safe. Right? As of right now he doesn’t know that we DW figured out the password he put on his tablet.

The advantage is that it gives us an insight into what’s going on in his head. It’s easy to forget that he’s got more going on than just going to school and learning. He’s learning to make friends and be a friend. He’s learning about this girl interest. He’s got everything going on at home… being a son, being a brother, his own interests and desires. He is his own person even if he’s still growing into the man he’ll be one day. It’s our responsibility to help him grow into that man. Help him navigate those new waters, new experiences, and figure out how to grow up.

For now, I’ll just keep snooping, keep my trap shut on what I know, and try to show a little more patience.

Then I’ll cross my fingers and hope for more snow.

The Backup Plan

Backstory:

DW started a keto diet about a month ago. It’s great for her and she’s doing a killer job of sticking to it. Because it’s a high fat, moderate protein diet I often find myself cooking two dishes. One for her and one for the boys and I. This often leaves her more leftovers than the boys and I. That brings us to where I was this evening.

Here’s what the original plan was…

Because of my lack of wanting to cook this evening and DW having some of her leftover Tex-Mex chicken that I cooked last night, all I had to do was find something for myself and the boys to eat. We almost had PB&J. That’s how much I didn’t feel like cooking. We had some popcorn chicken in the freezer and we wanted some fries with that but I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store to get some. You know what the grocery has besides french fries?

That’s peppermint ice cream with chunks of fudge. That stuff is amazing. I knew damn well I couldn’t bring this home and still be called a loving husband by the DW on the diet. So I jumped into action and started baking. I love baking, but because of diets and not needing more junk food in the house, I haven’t baked much recently. DW’s sister-in-law (does that make her my sister-in-law, too?) sent a recipie back at Thanksgiving for a keto friendly cheesecake and DW loved it.

It satisfied her chocolate craving. Anyone with a partner suffering a chocolate craving and has no access to chocolate knows how ugly it can get. If you’re not sure, just imagine a zombie apocalypse- ready to eat the head off anybody.

It ended up being a team effort. I made the cheesecake, she made the whipped chocolate topping. Overall, she said it was slightly different than her SIL’s, but that it was good. It was slightly different because I used a different brand of sweetener. I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll just leave a link to the recipe below. As a tease, you’ll have to see my Instagram to see the picture of our final, delicious product..

Brownie Cheesecake

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – If you need a backup plan, follow me. I don’t know where we’re going but we’re going to have fun getting there.

10 Reasons My Kids Are A-Holes

I wrote once that I wanted to keep my kids from being a-holes so that when they grew up they could be respectful, contributing citizens of wherever they live.

But right now? Right now they’re a-holes. Especially, to each other. I thought it was just a phase. I thought it would pass. It’s been 10 and 6 years. It hasn’t passed.

1. He used to LOVE bananas.

Now they’re too “mushy” and won’t touch them. Even the unripe, green bananas are too mushy for him now. He liked them last week. Today he hates them. There were two fruits he would eat, the other being apples. If they weren’t mushy. He likes mushy food. He practically lives off mashed potatoes. He’s like that with other foods, too. He will eat carrots unless you tell him there’s carrots in his meal. The only meat he’ll eat that’s not mashed into mashed potatoes is ham and haddock. Simply put, he’s a typical picky eater. The silver lining here is that we no longer have a fruit fly farm.

2. His toast was cut into too many triangles.

Now he won’t touch it. He wanted it cut into two triangles, diagonally. I forgot to ask and I cut into four triangles. I might as well have spread bananas across it. I remember a time when my uncle was trying to prepare a hotdog for this same child. Naturally, he got it wrong the first time. After he was told by said 4 year old child what to do he tried to rectify the situation. It still wasn’t right. Why? Because you can never please an asshole child. It’s not that the bar is set too high. It’s that there is no f***ing bar.

3. He killed his brother just watch him die.

They like to play Lego Star Wars for the Wii. First off, it’s Star Wars! Second off, it’s Lego! It’s a great work together kind of game. Therefore as long as they’re playing nice I don’t mind giving them some extra screen time. The problem is, they often don’t play nice. Bang gets stuck and his big brother won’t help. Instead, he starts shooting his blaster at him. Or, even better, goes all Dark Side and kills him with a light saber. The sole reason? Just to watch his little brother’s character explode into tiny Lego pieces, killed him on purpose like he’s Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.

4. He’s not being nice to his brother’s stuffie.

Crash loves his stuffies. He has a queen size bed (hand me down) and what space his little-no-so-little body doesn’t use is taken up by stuffies. He treats them as if they were real animals. It’s the Velveteen Rabbit all over again, minus the scarlet fever. It’s good to see him so loving and caring and gentle. I just wish he’d treat his brother similarly. His brother, on the other hand, fully understands the stuffies aren’t real. They can’t be hurt. It doesn’t matter how hard or often you throw them against the wall they won’t talk. It doesn’t matter how many times you jump on their head, they just won’t cry. But you know… it’s all in the name of pissing off your brother for killing you on purpose.

5. He didn’t share the last of the ice cream.

Imagine having three scoops of ice cream left. I know it’s hard to picture, but just try. Just a little bit left that didn’t get eaten. Perhaps it was saved for later, like after the kids go to bed, but then you fell asleep with the kids and didn’t get to eat it. Then, after supper the oldest child finds it while looking for dessert because God forbid he not get dessert. Then he proceeds to clean out the tub and lick it clean. Meanwhile, his little brother gets nothing. I made sure little brother got extra cookies to make big brother jealous, too. Unfortunately, this isn’t a phase, though we’re trying our hardest to teach them to do good.

6. He doesn’t hold the door open.

He lets it slam on the person behind him. Could be me, his mother, his little brother. He gets through the door and he doesn’t let it hit him on the ass on his way out. This goes for both little heathens. Even getting into the truck, they absolutely refuse to let each other in “their side” unless strictly requested. Fortunately, this is only at home and in the truck. But still…

7. I mopped the floor last night.

This morning they are eating pancakes on the living room floor. Sticky, syrupy pancakes.

“That’s okay. I love to be your maid”
~No Parent Ever

  • They’re tracking muddy shoes across a freshly vacuumed floor.
  • They’re flinging toothpaste on a freshly cleaned bathroom mirror
  • They’re jumping on a freshly made bed
  • They peed on the toilet that I just finished cleaning pee off
  • They put a dirty dish in a sink that I just emptied by washing and drying all the dirty dishes that were in it.
  • They spilled strawberry jam on a counter I scrubbed clean 30 seconds ago
  • They dumped the crayon bucket to find peach on a kitchen table I just cleared off for supper

No doubt, whatever it was that was just cleaned will be wrecked in 30 seconds or less or the next one’s free.

8. He’s aiming a Nerf gun at his brother.

While I enjoy a good Nerf gun fight, they can’t be had in our house for a couple reasons. When we start a fight it’s all fun and games. Then someone runs out of darts and has to call a timeout. During the timeout someone gets tired of waiting starts shooting. The victim then proceeds to go batshit crazy. The second scenario is that the game ends except someone doesn’t know it ended and continues firing. Like the USS Shenandoah that continued to chase down and sink Union ships six months after the Confederacy collapsed. Which brings us to the second reason. The youngest hates to have darts shot at him. Whether he was shot at close range, had his eye shot out, or took one to the face, or all of the above, he hates to even have a Nerf gun pointed at him. Loaded or not. Johnny could easily have sung, I shot my brother just to hear him scream”.

9. I told him not to touch the cart.

Then, he touched the cart. It’s a stupid rule. Both Crash and I know it’s a stupid rule. Neither one us are allowed to touch the shopping cart. That’s Bang’s job. He has passed up a trip to the bookstore and the promise of picking out books to go grocery shopping just so he can push the cart. He does not want help with it, either. So the rule is, don’t touch the cart. I will not subject you to hearing the hissy fit that occurrs when the cart is touched.

10. He farted.

In the truck. At the table. In the living room. While brushing his teeth. In his brother’s room. The stench from it is enough to peel the paint off the walls. It’s all fun and games and hilarious when he does it. Guess what ensues when someone else does it? All Hell? Yeah, it breaks loose. Oh sure, farts are hilarious, but only when they’re your own. We easily know who dropped a destroyer because the other will lose his shit.

*Disclaimer: They are not like this all the time. I picked out specific instances that they did jerk things. Hopefully, to provide humor and solace to those have kids who do asshole things, too. We love our two assholes very dearly.

If you’re not an A-Hole you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Lucy At Home

Things I learned After Having Kids

I can only imagine  how much my parents learned about parenthood after I was born. I was colicy. I hated coloring. I painted newspaper to the floor. I joined the wrestling team. While I had a steep learning curve it was mostly because I was the first born. My brother, however, brought whole new challenges to the table. In the beginning, the only electronics we had in the house was an Atari. No tablets. No cell phones. No computers unless you count the Commodor 64. Now we have all that and social media and everyone is “connected” every which to Sunday.

My kids are not me

Oh hell… Who am I kidding. They’re more like me than I care to admit. From “I had it a minute ago, I don’t know where it is now.” To all the broken things. They could tear the hinges off of Hades if only I hadn’t torn them off when I was their age. However, they are more headstrong than I remember myself being. I was a go-with-the-flow kind of kid. These two are not. They know what they want and they are not afraid to ask for it. Or ask Nanny for it. They’re also not afraid to argue their point of view. They haven’t figured out this household isn’t a democracy.

Two kids isn’t easier than one

Silly me. So nieve when I was “young”. One kid was easy. Easy to feed. Easy to entertain. Easy to transport. Easy to put to bed. When we added a second, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. When the second was an infant we were so tired to call us zombies would have been a compliment compared to how we felt. Yet no matter how tired we were, we still had our first born to care for. One can stay awake for just so many games of UNO on such little sleep. Now that they’re old, the ideal would be for them to entertain and play with each other. Naturally, we’re not there. Everything is a competition. Everything is a distraction. They live to annoy the shit out of each other. At breakfast time. At suppertime. At bedtime.

The common enemy

It’s us versus them. Having two kids has brought us closer together. “You’re momma told ya not to do that and you went and did it anyway. Don’t come crying to me about it.” It works in reverse, too. Only on rare occassions when we feel the other just needs to take their chill pill will we override the consequences. If they ever realized they could play us against each other, our world would crumble like last Christmas’s gingerbread house.

Not all things are teachable

I’m a teacher. I teach things. All kinds of things. I teach kids to multiply double digits numbers. I teach kids long division. I teach kids to speak with respect to others and to take pride in their work. Do you think I can teach my kids to pick up their toys when they’re done? Do you think I can teach my kids to pee IN the toilet instead of ON it? Do you think I can teach them that life is so much better when they’re playing together rather than fighting together. I just can’t do it.

For the most part, I wasn’t an instigator growing up. My brother was my brother and it usually wasn’t my intent to piss him off. Usually. My two thrive on instigating fights and arguments with each other. Just tonight at bedtime, the youngest was laughing his head off at his brother who was red-in-the-face angry at whatever it was his little brother was doing or saying. We’re not even sure. All we knew was that it was bedtime and they needed to get there before we went batshit crazy like big brother was.

Pride comes in small doses

It could be a random “I love you” or “I like your face” or “thank you for loving me”. It could be an assignment they’re proud of completing in school. It could be at hit they made, a fly ball they caught, a goal they scored. It could be a first word or a first step or reading their first book. Perhaps it was a first solo song or finally getting rid of the training wheels. It could be a new picture for the fridge or special card they made at school.

Wherever it comes from it reaches deep and grabs your heartstrings. When the days end and you feel their little bodies softly slip into slumber, you can’t help but feel the love. They in your loving embrace and you in their warmth and innocence. You kept them alive for yet another day and in that success you can be proud.

You can make me proud by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

3555288-quotes-about-being-a-parent