Saturday, April 20, 2013

Use the Force

It's funny how something like going to the bathroom and finding a bunch of goldfish crackers floating in the toilet can make you question your parenting.  I asked my four year old why they were there and she told me "that's what you do with fish, put them in water".  Can't argue with that logic so score one for us.  Not sure unfettered access to the crackers and toilet was good thinking though.  And deep down I'm a little disappointed she didn't take it a step further by setting herself up with a fishing rod to catch them.  Pretty sure that was just a matter of time.  All in all, I'd classify that one as some good some bad.  Other times there is no doubt.

Case in point, the other morning before school.  I was at the couch helping the older two go over some homework and review science for a test.  Reminds me, don't tell a six year old the way to test states of matter is by trying to pass through it unless you're prepared to have her run into you to see what classification you fall into.  Anyways, from the kitchen entrance little miss four year old yells "aah, a bug".  She then reaches for the nearest thing to her to squash it.  In this case it was her sister's lightsabre because who doesn't keep a lightsabre by the kitchen?  Without even hesitating she turned it on before going after the ant.  Perfectly logical.  Why smash something with the handle when you could attack it with a laser sword?  Obi Wan could have easily knocked the guy in the cantina out with the butt end of his lightsabre but instead he lopped off an arm and set an example.  Someone smacks your friend over the head in a bar and you might jump in.  Your friend gets his arm chopped off by a friggin' laser sword and suddenly you guys weren't that close anyway.

Back to my tale, the battle sounds and flashes continue as the little one is engaged in a battle to the death with this poor ant.  I was rooting for the ant so he could go back to the colony with stories of how a vengeful god with a friggin' laser sword tried to smite him.  I'm trying not to wet myself while watching this when suddenly from the couch Cameron jumps up, raises her hand Vader style and growls "I sense a disturbance."  No doubts at all, these kids are being raised right.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Read Before Signing

So we signed up our oldest for t-ball. I love baseball and we wanted to get her in some sort of team sport this year so it seemed like a perfect fit. When my wife was filling out the forms she got to a section about "would you be interested in being a coach or volunteer?" When she asked me I said sure, figuring I'd be helping out the coach or something. I pictured being in charge of putting the straws in the juice boxes or something. Then I got an email today and apparently I'm the coach. You'd think having three kids, I'd be used to trying to do something fun and ending up with unexpected responsibilities but it still surprises you.

Now when I say responsibilities but that may be a bit of an exaggeration. My understanding is I need to call the parents to let them know about Tuesday's game, hand out shirts, caps, and schedules, and put the ball on the tee for each kid to hit without catching a bat in the jewels. I'm going to make sure someone brings a video camera just in case I fail on that last one. I don't watch AFV much but ten grand is ten grand.

Anyways, it should be fun. A bunch of little kids learning to play a great game together, what more could you ask for? Plus I'm hoping I'll finally get a chance to recreate that great speech from Bull Durham. Who says dreams can't come true?

P.S. If anyone is looking to bet on the game, I'm predicting a final score of "I don't know how to count yet" to "look, I caught a butterfly with my hat."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Young Equestrians Club

I enjoy playing with the kids but I think once the third one starts joining in I'll be in real trouble. I picture those old midget wrestling matches where it's three little fellas against a full sized guy. It sounds pretty funny but you just know the big guy is going to catch a shot in the nads and the ref is going to get bitten on the ass. Although if I got to wear a cool luchador mask it might not be all bad.

Anyways, we were playing the other day and eventually it came time for everyone's favourite game, horsey ride. Basically, I get all the fun of crawling around and basically doing pushups with two youngsters on my back. Lots of laughing, lots of kids falling off and then trying to jump back on. Nothing out of the ordinary until I made the mistake of asking what the horse's name was. A pause while she thought it over and then the big one says "Bunmaster". WTF? I don't know where she got that from but bursting out laughing only encouraged her and I was Bunmaster for quite a while. (Now that I think about it though that would make a decent wrestler name.) You would have thought I'd learn from the mistake of laughing but I don't.

Same game and apparently the little one thought Bunmaster was hungry so she grabbed a couple chips from a nearby bag. Thank goodness they weren't stale. She fed me a couple which was fine. Then came the handfuls. Than came the handfuls while my mouth was still full. The combination of my chewing, choking , and laughing didn't help matters. The big one immediately jumped off my back and grabbed a Tupperware container. She started dumping chips into it and I knew what she was doing. "I'm not going to eat out of a trough."

"But that's what horses do."

So I had no choice. Bunmaster ate out of the trough and everyone was happy. I just wonder what the baby is going to come up with when she gets to play. I think I'll make a point of teaching her that horses like to eat junior mints. If I'm going to have junk food shoved in my mouth, it might as well be the best.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Round Draft Pick And A Baby To Be Named Later

Do you have any idea how many law enforcement agencies get involved if you try to trade babies with someone? Depending on if you're talking simply domestic or full on international it can be between 4 and 12. Ok, I'm just guessing on those numbers but I'm sure it's on my list of things to find out. That stems from a conversation my wife had with one of her friends the other day.

She was chatting online with another mom friend from Australia. It was 3 in the afternoon here and about the same time there but in the am. Our youngster was asleep in her swing and hers was awake and cranky. A relateable scenario since it's one that takes place at our house nightly. Being a super problem solver I pointed out the obvious solution that we should just trade babies. Sure, our new kid would have an accent but they speak English in Australia so at least we'd be able to communicate with the kid. (I still have no idea how parents who adopt babies from places like China are ever able to talk to their children. I assume the youngsters come with translators or something.) Apparently my perfect solution brings up all sorts of ethical issues, not to mention a buttload of legal ones. I guess we'll just have to stick with the kids we've got and learn to deal with the sleeplessness. (I must be tired because that seems like way too many ss's but spell check disagrees.) Thank goodness they're cute.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can't Turn Your Head For A Second

Don't you just love how an under supervised child will almost always give you tangible evidence about your own misguided belief that "they're fine on their own for a few minutes." Seriously, you just turn your back to type an unnecessarily long sentence and they're covered from head to toe in bright orange 2 for $6 stickers. By the way, if anyone asks you why there's only 999999 roils of stickers instead of 1000000, just tell them you have no idea what they're talking about.

Anyways, you would have thought I'd learned by now from the haircutting incident, the "I'm all spicy" incident, or hte time our youngest shot Mr. Burns. Ok, that last one was a Simpsons episode but still a valuable lesson about both gun safety and parental supervision. I just don't seem to learn though. I just take comfort in watching other people's kids doing stuff they probably shouldn't. A prime example of that was this past Easter weekend. The girls got a chance to play with their cousins. Our oldest just turned four and the twins are almost five so they have lots of fun together. You figure if you've got four kids playing together at least one of them will be responsible. In fact all of them were doing great but then a wild card was thrown into the mix.

The wild card was another little girl in the yard behind where they were playing. She wanted to join in on their fun, as the girls told us when we became curious about why they were all congregating by the back fence. We told them that it was just a day for family and they went back to playing. Before long they were back at the fence though and this time something seemed to be hanging over it. Upon further inspection it was quite obviously a rope draped over the fence. Immediately my wife went out there to tell them not to climb the rope. She assumed the little girl had tossed it over so our kids could climb into her yard and join her. When she got to the fence it was so much better. The girl had indeed tossed the rope over the fence so she could play too. The best part was she had tied the other end to her belt and wanted our kids to pull her over the fence. My kid side had nothing but respect for the creative problem solving involved and would love to have my kids know someone that inventive and imaginative. My parent side though realized my kids come up with enough bad ideas on their own (ok, I may bear some responsibility in that department) that they don't need to get more from outside sources. I just love that it was someone else's kid for once showing less that perfect judgement while left unattended. I only wish the girls had gotten her part of the way up the fence so her parents could turn around and wonder how their little girl was levitating.

I suppose I should get back to parenting and clean up the giant stickertastrophe that is our basement. If you're in the market for a cranky youngster with a runny nose, there's apparently some deals to be had over by the couch, which also appears to be on sale 2 for $6. As I look around the kid, the couch, the TV, my pants, the baby's swing, and of course the baby are all selling 2 for $6 today. Oh crap, the dog's on sale too. Stickers on fur, awesome.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

4 Years Old Already?

So we're now the parents of a 4 year old. Kind of hard to believe since it seems like just yesterday that we were getting used to having a little baby around. Actually, we were doing that yesterday but that was the newest one so it doesn't really make my point. All I know is our little girls seem to grow up so quickly. The cool thing is the 2 year age difference between each means we've got our own little developmental chart. If we get them standing in a single file row it looks like the evolution of man. The problem with evolution is they get smarter.

In the past week or so that's become quite apparent. There was the day I was telling the story of the time our dog peed on another dog. A friend of ours was visiting with her dog, who is ten times better behaved than our dog. Her dog was sitting ever so obediently in the kitchen when Mojo decided to take the opportunity to mark his territory. Apparently in his mind he considered this new dog part of his territory because he let loose right on her. To her credit she didn't' budge which is more than I can say for myself the time he peed on me. So after the story there were lots of questions including if it was a boy dog or girl dog. When I said it was a girl dog there was one more question. "How did you know? Did you check and see it's, kind of, vagina?" On the one hand I was happy to see she understands physical characteristics that differentiate genders and the proper terms for those parts. On the other hand, I was a little concerned that she thinks I would get down on all fours and check out a dog's bits and bites in order to find out if it's a girl or boy dog.

"No sweetie, my friend told me it was a girl and I just assumed she was right." That's what I said after I stopped laughing my ass off. Of course the laughter only encourages her.

She's becoming very aware of how cute she can be and how to use that. Last Monday after the kids had been put to bed my wife and I were in our room watching The Big Bang Theory, easily one of the top 5 shows on TV. With all the laughing we didn't notice someone had snuck into the room and was sitting on the floor. Once we saw her she looked at us with a big smile and said "this is a good movie, can I watch too?" The combination of cuteness and good taste left us with no other option than to say yes. It sets a dangerous precedent but what could we do?

I don't always give in though. The night before her birthday last week I was tucking her in and we were talking about the fun we'd have tomorrow. Apparently, it was very important that she "look pretty" so she had big plans for her outfit. Then she told me all about what I was supposed to wear. She told me I had to wear white pants, a white sweater as well as a bow tie and hat. If she'd given me more than 9 hours notice I might have been able to pull it off. As it stands I'll have to file that outfit away in the memory banks so I can dust it off for a special occasion. I figure birthdays 12 through 18 would be just special enough. That should give me enough time to find just the right bow tie as well as learning how to do the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince. The girls' teen years will be a truly magical time for them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bad Influence

Ok, our youngest is definitely in trouble. I don't just mean the trouble caused by having me as a parent. I'm not always the best influence. For instance, last week I got a timeout for horsing around on the stairs. Honestly though, if you're not supposed to jump down the stair then why are the turning points called landings? It's a good thing there aren't any real spacious landings in our house. When I was a kid we had a nice big landing so I set up some couch cushions and then jumped from the half wall overlooking the staircase. My occasional poor judgement aside, the issue here is the youngest is going to be in trouble when she's older because of her sisters.

A couple days ago the oldest went to use the potty with her little sister following behind. No real problems there. A few minutes later little miss potty trained came back into the room with some news for me. "Daddy, I told Cameron to clean the toilet and there was, uhh kind of, pee in it." As soon as the words were out of her mouth her little sister comes bouncing into the room with a wet face cloth in her hand.

"Oh crap. You know you're not supposed to clean toilets like that. We have a toilet brush to clean the toilet with."

"She couldn't use the brush because I was using it. So I gave her the towel."

On the one hand I can't fault her logic but at the same time I cringe for what the future will hold for our little baby once she's old enough to take orders. At least we can look forward to having toilets that are absolutely spotless.