Posts Tagged Kids
It’s pretty much inevitable that sooner or later, no matter how well-intentioned the parents, there will come a day when <stay-at-home/work-from-home> parent will have that “Just sit there quietly and wait until <office-work-parent> gets home!” moment. Unfortunately, Monday was that day at la casa de Puddin. The two older boys, Puddinpop and Mini-Me, got into their first official (semi-obligatory) “Summer-is-almost-over-and-we’d-never-admit-it-but-we’re-tired-of-all-this-business-and-bored-and-just-want-school-to-start” altercation of the season.
It was nothing special, really, the kind of dust up brothers of a similar age have been having since, well, the Wright brothers got into a little-known spat over who got to fly in the Business Class seat at Kitty Hawk*. Hell, for what it’s worth, my older brother and I used to faux rumble over the stupidest things you could possibly imagine.
Him: Did you steal my green Hot Wheels with the fire on the hood?
Me: (Looking innocent with a handful of lime green sports car) No.
Him: Did you get into my shoebox (everyone had a “special shoebox”, right? Where you kept your good baseball cards and best action figures, and that utterly generic medal on the red, white, and blue ribbon you got for coming in 2nd in the long jump on Track and Field day)
Me: (wearing the long jump medal) No.
Me: Did you steal the Cap’n Crunch toy out of this box Mom said I got to open?
Him: (looking at cheap plastic cereal baking soda submarine) Yes.
In fact, I recall one time we ended up rolling around on the family room floor in a tangled heap, each trying – and failing spectacularly – to hit the other. Surely, you’d imagine that such hostility would have to be over Something of Grave Import, right? Like a debate over peace in the Middle East, or Minority Rights, or at least, who got the last piece of leftover pizza.
If only. He’d wanted to take a nap, and I turned on the TV, perhaps too loudly. Also perhaps on purpose. Thus begat The Epic Conflict Over The Remote.
Oddly enough, I remember the fight but don’t remember how we resolved it. There’s probably a message in there somewhere.
At any rate, the Puddinpop and Mini-Me were somewhat unkind to each other, as young pups will be, and the Puddinette, knowing that I’d be home in mere moments, condemned to sit quietly and await Judgment.
Of course, I didn’t letting them off the hook easy, either. I got both sides of the story and told them I’d pronounce their respective Dooms after dinner. Nothing like sweating it out over a plate of homemade Salisbury Steak.
Ah, my father taught me well.
After dinner, I levied the appropriate punishments, which largely included the heavy restriction of electronic devices. I find it incredibly ironic that Back In My Day – you know, when Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth, we walked to school uphill both ways in the snow, and cartoons were only available from 3-5 PM daily and on glorious Saturday mornings – if you messed up, you could expect a long and thorough grounding. For days you’d have to sit, forlorn, in your bedroom window with the hang-doggiest of hang-dog looks while watching all the other, not-incarcerated, kids having fun out in the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, with the modern house o’ diversions, grounding is about as effective as sprinkling some pumpkin seeds in Play-Doh and expecting them to spring up in time for Halloween, ready-made with Jack-O-Lantern sneers.
So I cut them off from powered devices and then we all went outside to play in the backyard for the evening as a family. The Attitude got to dig to his little heart’s content, the Puddinpop and Mini-Me played a backyard game of whiffle ball with heavily modified rules, and even the Princess Puddinette ended up covered in dirt and looking like Pig-Pen’s little sister. By the time bath time rolled around, everyone had at least a spot of dust on their checks, if not a full covering of the stuff from sliding – which seemed to resemble something more like rolling-around to me – into third base.
Sure, I was a little lax on the “don’t play in the dirt” rules, but I figured helping them remember that you can still actually have fun outside was more important than keeping them clean.
Clothes will wash out, the memories don’t.
At any rate, we all had a great time, and every single one of us was all smiles as the sun started to set.
Maybe they should get in trouble a little more often.
The past few days, I feel like I’ve been constantly try to catch up to that "normal" spot in the schedule of life. Too many plates in the air, all perilously close to hitting the ground in an impressive symphony of shattered ceramic, and I’m only just barely grabbing them and chucking them back up in time. Of course, that’s probably pretty apparent since my most recent posts have centered on socks and hockey sticks.
At yet, somehow they didn’t catch fire and circle the interwebs in a tornado of re-linking.
Just how crazy have things been? Well, yesterday was one of those days where you throw the daily ritual right out the window pretty much first thing in the morning and fly by the seat of your Underoos* (Spider-man, if possible). And today wasn’t much better, which is to say, I had "lunch" at 4 PM this afternoon and it consisted of a handful of stale pretzels and the remaining third of a dark chocolate bar someone gave me after Christmas.
What? Oh, come on. Chocolate never goes bad.
Given, then, that I still haven’t had a solid opportunity to really listen to the Manic Street Preachers, that post will have to continue to wait a few more days. Instead, I figured after all the hub and the bub buzzing around, this would be a good time for a 10 Reasons Life Doesn’t Suck list.
- Lunch might have only been pretzels and dark chocolate, but I really like pretzels and dark chocolate. Also, it’s awesome that I don’t take all my meals through a straw; solid food rules!
- I don’t work for the kind of corrupt, avaricious, evil, spirit-crushing company that would ever expect someone to make lunch a handful of snacks, four-hour late. I do that sort of thing because I’m a freak who doesn’t like leaving my problems unsolved.
- Antiperspirant. Is it good for my body chemistry? Hell if I know. But it keeps me from reeking like a dead fish in the July sun. Woot! Trust me, you prefer it that way too.
- Writing. At the end of such a span of days, it’s damn nice to be able to sit back and unwind by spitting out a few hundreds words about nothing important (see #3).
- All the kids are in bed, fast asleep. And it didn’t take either a three-ring circus or a S.W.A.T Team to get them there.
- Tonight’s lavish dinner of ham, greens beans, and potatoes. Yeah, I know it sounds simple, but sometimes simple is best. Especially when lunch consisted of well, you know.
- I no longer have that damned Red Solo Cup song stuck in my head. I mean, it’s cute and fun and all, once or twice, but I’ve heard it 856 times in the last 72 hours (well, it sure seems like it).
- Let’s have a party. Prooooo-ceed to party. (DAMMIT!)
- Inspiring, in-your-face-rubbing-it-in-that-I’m-here-and-you’re-not vacation photos from coworkers. Oh, wait, that’s right, nobody likes those. And people who post such shots to social media while on their trip should be shunned by society. Oh, now, I’m just kidding (mostly). Deep down, it is nice to know when your friends are off enjoying themselves. And yes, by the way, the gorgeous mountain shot above is just such a photo.
- A nice frosty glass filled with a malty beverage, a blu-ray player, and a new disc – things that together can erase quite the quantity of "Life be Whack". Like, from the past couple of days.
Which is exactly what I’m going to go do right now.
I recommend you act accordingly.
*Yes, spell-checker, that is too a word!
It’s amazing the difference you see in putting one’s three children to bed on Christmas Eve and then 24 hours later on Christmas night. Last night I nearly had to resort to bribery for them to calm down and go to sleep so that Santa could do his important works. Tonight, after a full day Christmas-y toys, sweets, gifts and late-day meltdowns, the most drastic thing I had to do to get anyone to go to sleep was to walk away from their respective bedrooms after tuck-ins.
If only I could find a way to bottle “child Christmas nighttime” as a sleep aid.
A very Merry (and Puddin-y) Christmas to everyone…and to all a Good Night!