Like me, I’m sure you have found strange personality quirks in your children. I’ve already documented my youngest son’s obsession with DVDs – not watching them, but playing with the actual disks. His obsession is weird, annoying, and expensive, but probably not as frustrating as my two-year-old daughter’s obsession with writing instruments and causing as much destruction as possible with them.
Motivational business articles often suggest that the most successful people are those that keep to-do lists. I agree there is gratification in the simple act of crossing something off a list, enough so that I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t make one for the summer, which has now officially ended. Apparently, crossing items off a mental list just doesn’t have the same effect.
I know as parents, we often hear about how our kids are supposed to be embarrassed by the things that we do. However, not much ever gets reported about how our kids embarrass us.
To demonstrate that this phenomenon does, in fact, exist, I am presenting the five stages of parenting embarrassment and how I came to realize the existence of each stage when taking the kids to the library last week.
Exciting news! Although he’s only three, Grayson is already showing potential for a promising career in science.
A couple weeks ago, he decided to conduct an experiment to see how well my 51″ plasma TV would hold up when struck repeatedly by a flying sippy cup. His experiment had a very conclusive result. TVs, in fact, do not hold up well when having sippy cups thrown at them. His findings showed, with little margin of error, that doing so results in premature death of the TV.
For his next experiment, he decided to test the longevity of our Kindle Fire under harsh impact conditions. Specifically, he tested the Kindle Fire’s natural reaction to being dropped on the hardwood floor. Again, the results were conclusive. The shattered screen corresponded directly to the height from which the unit was dropped.
His findings also suggest that an increase in broken electronics correlates to a decrease in checking account funds. I told you, he has scientist written all over him.
One evening last week, the weather was nice (finally) and the wife had the seemingly excellent suggestion for the six of us to go out to eat and then go to the park afterwards. What was she thinking?!?
We went to a local sandwich place, which was an innocuous choice at first glance. It proved to be anything but that.
I could look past the kids climbing on chairs and tables and built-in furniture. Nothing new here. I could disregard them weaving in-and-out of line, standing with other families, and pulling chip bags down onto the floor. It happens all the time.
For the last few years, I have had a single gray chest hair. I have never understood why. The blame likely goes to my oldest daughter, Alexis, who takes pride in aging her dad well beyond his years. But, who knows?
Now suddenly, as if overnight, I have four. Now, I’m not narcissistic enough to check for this sort of thing every day, so perhaps they have been there for a week or two, but today was the first time I discovered them.
Of my four kids, Grayson has to be the most stubborn of all (which is saying a lot!). Not unusual for boys his age, I am sure, but nap time (or lack thereof) is a constant struggle.
He will nap occasionally, of course, but only when unprompted, never when told, and usually in the strangest, most inconvenient places.
If universities ever wanted to teach their students how to multitask or if corporations ever wanted to train their employees in effective time management skills, all they would have to do is offer hands-on work studies or off-site training seminars in parenting. Looking just at this past week, my job functions included being chauffeur, short-order cook, soccer coach, artist, woodworker, housekeeper, teacher, accountant, nutrition specialist, etc., etc.
I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back, but to collectively pat the back of all active parents. Sometimes I wonder how parents have managed this since the dawn of mankind. I will admit, however, that much of my free time lately has been spent planning a mostly kid-free vacation.
It was another rockin’ Friday night in the active dad household. Cameron got the hook-up with Ninjago Lego sets for Christmas, so I promised him that we would start knocking them out this weekend.
It quickly turned into a family affair, which basically meant I was building all the individual sets (Samurai X, the Temple of Light, and the Golden Ninja) while I had four kids climbing on top of me and each other, wanting to “help.” The process would not have been so painful, had Cam decided not to open all the boxes and dump all of the thousands of individual lego pieces into one big pile, which I then had to re-sort in an effort to keep my rapidly slipping sanity.
I’m back after an extended winter break at home with all four kids. I’m sure many of you also experienced the arctic cold weather that swept across the US. Honestly, in my 34+ years, I cannot remember it ever being as cold as it was this past Monday: -30 wind chills. I still cringe just thinking about it.
The weather also caused two consecutive days of school closings after the kids had already been off for two weeks. On top of that, since it was so cold, the kids and I were trapped inside the house for the most part. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that I spent the majority of those two extra days planning a kid-free vacation for myself this summer. Continue reading