bentangle

Tag: kids

Dawn of a New Day

by on Sep.08, 2010, under family, parenthood

This week my wife received a rare gift – freedom.  For the first time in at least 4 years my wife had the benefit of time in a day without a kid in tow or a phone-call away from needing to be picked up.   You see when we discovered we were having a second child, it quickly became evident that daycare costs strongly outweighed the benefits of a second income (at least at the level of income we were accustomed to earning).  So my wife drew the short straw of being the stay-at-home parent and has subsisted at some level of harried-ness ever since (I could often gauge that level by how early in the day I’d get the IM asking when I’d be coming home – 5:00=relatively good day, 2:30=pick up gin on the way home).  But this week that all changed.  This week both children started a new school year – Cricket in first grade and Grasshopper in pre-school.

Tuesday was Cricket’s first day.  The night before seemed to require a number of pep talks due to nerves and fears over the changes to her routine (new teacher, new room, some new classmates).  After my wife’s pep talk seemed to leave her more skittish, I gave her a relate-able story from my own youth that got her not only out of her funk, but looking forward to school.  She was all set in the morning in her pink flowery outfit and sporting her new princess backpack (the pink fedora got nixed in favor of pigtails despite her pleading).  As a family we all walked to her school (it is only a few blocks away within our neighborhood), got her in the right line into the school, and made the trek back home where I hopped in the car and headed to work and my wife and Grasshopper got to some fun mommy-son time (probably involving sword-fighting).

Wednesday was Grasshopper’s first day.  Though his was somewhat abbreviated as it was an orientation day and he insisted that I be the one to go with him to it (good thing my office is fairly flexible about when I get in).  So he and I got to play in his new classroom with all his classmates and their moms.  Since it is the same pre-school that Cricket went to, several of the teachers and administrators came and fawned over him as the young male version of his sister (it won’t take them long to figure out how different they are from each other).  He played at almost every station in the room with the possible exception of the dress-up station (which I took with relief as I knew he would likely have put on a cape and possibly started to refer to himself as Captain Cockwarts – I have no explanation for this one, he seemed to just make up this persona this weekend).  At the end of the day, mommy came to pick him up so I could jet on to work from there.

So going forward, my wife will have Tuesdays and Thursdays with just Grasshopper, and the rest of the weekdays to herself until after lunch.  I’m sure she is already planning how these slots of time will be filled.  I’m also sure she is bittersweet about it as it is time she will miss spending with her babies (I almost said angels, but that would be grossly inaccurate).  I’m fairly certain that I won’t get nearly as many 2:30 pleas as to when I’ll be coming home, but I’d also be willing to bet I’ll get a lot more IMs from her before lunch (if I worked closer to home, maybe I’d go home for … lunch).  The point is that she will finally have a share of personal freedom in her life to do with as she pleases.  My calendar, however, already seems to be filling up with more items (e.g., back-to-school nights, parent events, taking the kids to YMCA classes).  Ah well.

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Amusement Parks: A Learning Lesson

by on Aug.24, 2009, under family, parenthood

Upon taking the kids to Dutch Wonderland this weekend, I learned a few things about my 2-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.  Here is a short list:

  1. My son has a limited understanding of (or patience for) lines – if he saw an opportunity to weave his way through the crowd, he would take it.
  2. My daughter has no qualms about assisting in hampering such efforts including but not limited to clotheslining him mid-getaway.
  3. My daughter, despite her patience with such lines, seems to let her excitement to get to the next thing hamper her judgment (such as making sure anyone is actually following her).
  4. Fruit flies have a longer attention span than my son (once he is old enough, he will likely need to be on medication).
  5. No matter how many times she is asked to remain silent, my daughter is incapable of stopping the stream of consciousness that flows freely from her mouth – the only peace of the drive home came when she fell asleep.

In addition to the lessons about my kids above, I also learned the following life lessons:  I need a more reliable clip for my keys.  I should trust my instincts to (a) have my wife bring her keys and to (b) leave mine in the car.  Finally, my house is much easier to break into than it should be.  Luckily, my missing keys are already in the mail, my wife has orders to make several dupes of her keys, and our house’s weak point is already being addressed.  Things to add to a shopping list:  a new key clip, a hide-a-key rock, and possibly leashes.

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Garbled Lyrics

by on Aug.10, 2009, under family, music

I take a modicum of pride in the fact that I expose my kids to modern music rather than strictly kids stuff.  While they do listen to and enjoy some of the kids music, they mostly prefer less bubble-gummy fare.  And while I am happy that our tastes can overlap, most of this pride is in the fact that they have a keen enough sense of self to be selective in what they like.

To get to the point, one song that is on one of the CDs they listen to often in the family car, which also happens to be one of my ringtones on my phone (I like the introductory guitar sequence) is “Psycho” by Puddle of Mudd.  Often when it comes on in the car, my 2-year-old son will joke that I should answer my phone.  The other day, though, he had my wife in tears as he is singing it to himself without the song on to back him up as his interpretation of the chorus is “baby I’m a wow” (with significant twang on the word ‘wow’) – for those unfamiliar, the actual line goes “maybe I’m the one”.

Here is a video for the song (unfortunately I don’t have video of my son belting out his version):  Psycho – Puddle of Mudd

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From the Mouths of Babes

by on Aug.03, 2009, under family

If you have kids, you know that they are bound to throw out some gems from time to time – off the wall notions, insights beyond their age, or hilarious misuses of words or phrases. My two are no exception and I am determined to share more of such moments through this new meme. I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s entry is from this weekend from my daughter (she is 5 1/2). She was sitting by herself at the table in our kitchen having a drink while my wife was nearby. The table is a counter-height table and she is sitting along the one side of it in a row of 3 chairs. Their exchange was as follows:

daughter: I feel like I’m at a bar.
mom: What do you mean?
daughter: You know, a bar – like the kind where they have drinks.
mom: Oh yeah?
daughter: [finishes drink, holds up her cup and the rattles the ice in it] I’m empty!

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Friday 5: From the Mouths of Babes

by on Jun.05, 2009, under family, parenthood

Kids can say surprising things – from hilarious to awe-inspiring.  Here are a few recent gems from my clan:

  1. From 5yo daughter – “Wouldn’t it be cool if dogs could talk – not just communicate, but talk like people do?”
  2. From 2yo son regarding a nearby pet store with a paw print logo – “Let’s go to Blue’s Clues store.”
  3. From 5yo while walking in a stream and talking about the animals that live in the stream under the rocks – “So am I squishing all their houses right now?”
  4. My wife recently had another MRSA-infected cut so we had to go through decontamination.  While swabbing my daughter’s nostrils with an antibiotic salve, my son pipes up “I want white boogers, too!”
  5. From daughter – “Mommy, I love you ten.  But Daddy, I love you eleven.”  (she has always been a daddy’s girl)
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