Category Archives: Reckonings

Little ones, little wins

As an expectant mother I felt I knew everything about parenting. My child would be Ferberized, would sleep through the night, go to bed early, and would never have my baby sleep in my bed, never, ever, ever.

Of course, I was an idiot. Many people have a lot of success on the sleep front, I just happen to not be one of them. Ryan fell asleep standing up on many occasions while I let him “cry it out”. I rocked him for 2 hours many nights. He rarely fell asleep before 9:30pm. He cried, I cried, my husband vetoed my plans and decided for all of our sanity he would lie down with him in our bed, while watching tv, and let him fall asleep. It worked, and continues to, to this day.

When I was pregnant with our second, Ryan started to fall asleep in our bed, and stay there. Matty was never Ferberized because I was petrified that two children awake and crying would send me over the edge. Then, my new little angel decided he hated the crib. I transferred him to a bed at one year and my body was the barrier that kept him off the floor. So it was official, I no longer slept in the same bed as my husband, but I had two happy kids who slept through the night.

A year later nothing has changed. My husband and I only share a bed on vacation, and with two kids under the age of four there haven’t been many weekends away. However, tonight, with lingering colds in tow, we all climbed into my and Matty’s bed at bedtime for fun. It was early, it was unlikely, but I thought why not? Twenty minutes later I was the only one awake, and it was before 8 pm. I won the lottery. I can’t stop smiling.

In the almost four years of parenthood I have learned to relish in the small wins and ignore the noise that surrounds me and challenges all of my parenting instincts. Too much tv, not enough vegetables, oh well. Toilet training remains a struggle, but Ryan told me he had to pee during his bath tonight…and he didn’t do it in the bath tub. Win. I’ll take it. I may still be an idiot, but at least I have two sleeping children and a bath tub free of urine.

Inanimate love

Children learn to speak, they learn to love, they love to learn.

Children love to express their love, confusion and all other emotions.

Children love to let you know what they know and ask you what they don’t.

Children say ‘hello’ & ‘goodbye’ to trucks, rocks, motorcycles, and many other inanimate objects. I asked my son ‘why do you say goodbye to the cars’ he told me because he loves them. Then he told me he loved me.

I love cars too, for very different & learned reasons, but it all boils down to this: listen to a kid, learn what they love, let them tell you what they want to learn and you’ll love the world around you a lot more.

Childhood memories, remember the goodness.

Childhood memories. More difficult then remembered.

It’s a natural instinct to want your children to enjoy the activities you did as a kid right? Sure some people take it too far and force the pursuit of their lost dreams upon their offspring. Not so cool, our failures are ours, leave them alone or correct them. That being said; I see no problem in pushing our children toward goals & activities we remember being good or hold dear. As a rational adult, if you think it’s a good idea it must be.

Some things that I remember being easy as a child are in fact more difficult for an adult to master or accomplish, I suppose we could attribute it to failing mental plasticity, or the tendency of adult paradigms to complicate things. It begs the question though : how can encasing someone in carbonite be so difficult? Sure, Jabba had a giant room full of equipment and a cavernous chamber but we had a huge sandbox and plenty of H2O.

I spent hours and days perfecting this art as a child, it’s a fairly simple process: Make a sand and water slushie – dribble it all over any Star Wars figure (no need to limit it to Solo) resulting in a mummified – in fact: carbonized in sand, carbonite figure.

The problem is that achieving the perfect consistency IS HARD, you need it to be thick to completely encase the figure while remain thin enough to adhere tenaciously to the contours. I spent a few hours teaching my son this last weekend and getting that perfect viscosity of muck proved more difficult then I imagined. I finally got a very good system engineered involving a small funnel, of course water, sand and some sticks to help push the slurry through the spout.

Needless to say, my son loved it, we had a morning of fun in the sun, there were a few lessons learned about states of matter along the way. Did I over complicate the process? Quite possibly. I did however learn a thing or two about patience and diligence from a toddler.

Thanks kid.

Do yourself a favour

Our kids are growing up in the digital age, this is fact. They are at very real risk of losing sight of physical realities, this is fact.

The opportunities to expand our knowledge of the universe and physical reality is accelerated by the power of computing technology and no doubt within our lives we’ll witness incarnations of those physical realities previously thought impossible. It may be warp drive spaceships or bringing extinct species back to life. It IS google glass, mosquito drones and immersive online experiences, not quite ‘total recall’ but pretty damn close.

We better step up and come to terms with allowing our children to surpass us in knowledge, revel in the fact that they will be smarter then us. We must also be careful to let them remain rooted in reality. Hugs, bruises, gravity and torque are not going away.

So, let’s get these kids outside, splash in a puddle, jump in the mud. Get them an r/c vehicle and let them break it, teach them how to fix it.

Acceleration happens according to Moore’s law in the digital arena but it happens in real life to time and space everywhere else.

The truth about children

Children:

They are cute. They are cuddly. They are intelligent. They are miracles. They are pure love.

The above is all true and mostly, it’s what you hear when you ask someone to describe children, their own or otherwise. Countless mentions have been made about children being the light of lives, wind beneath wings, bright star of direction and straight up reason for being. As a father of two I can attest it is all true, although not always and specifically accurate.

Undoubtedly children can also be described as: messy, stubborn & a general pain in the ass. These are less romantic and warm but also true. That being said, there are other ways we can more specifically describe kids. This article is meant to expose the truth so here it is:

Children are basically just like an adult who is an alcoholic, schizophrenic, sociopathic all around jerk.

Harsh you say? Not at all. Face it, your kids behave just like a person with all these mental diseases, addictions & personality traits combined almost all the time.

Here’s a case study:

Daddy asks son: do you want to go for a ride in daddy’s car, drive fast, and go run in a BIG store? I know its a loaded question as he loves all of these things immensely.

He answers yes. Time to get ready – INSANITY ensues: His mother attempts to put her boots on. He wants to wear them Because HE is Santa. He throws an insanely intense fit. Father explains that mommy needs her boots, its snowing and he has his own, which are even his size! He finally & begrudgingly accepts it and dons his own galoshes. Then there is a battle royale over every other point of getting into the car. Soo much in fact that the mission is totally aborted, everyone goes back in the house. Lesson learned: do NOT let the boy peer inside the garage when trying to leave, it contains sleds, bikes, trucks and other treasures. Obviously he needs to use, ride, and drive ALL of them NOW.

Back in the house there is a major meltdown because the evil parents have destroyed his life by not allowing him to go in the car, drive fast while wearing his boots, sit in his seat and go running in the BIG store.

This is totally insane on soo many levels its too difficult to describe, so I wont bother. Bottom line:

If its logic you seek & empathy or understanding you’re after, your likely not going to seek it from an insane, alcoholic, schizophrenic, drug addicted sociopath right?

So don’t expect them from a 2 yr old.

Pink Milk & Blue Balls

This article is not about gender roles, this article is not about whether it’s right to specify your baby’s accoutrements based on sex, it’s not about strawberry quick (which is delicious) & it’s certainly not about a snooker ball worth 5 points.

My lovely wife nurses our children for the first year (or just under) of their precious little lives, which is commonly accepted as a good time to rip the teet away and let them journey on their way to a heavy cow juice addiction. The problem is that little word I mentioned just now – rip. Our kids seem to come by their chompers rather early in life. My daughter at 5 months had 2, which is two fewer then her big bro at the same age, but those toofies are sharp!

So.. When she began to bite, blood was drawn and curses were heard. At first it was simply a series of little nik’s, nothing major but from what I was told, very painful indeed. After that, very quickly it seems, baby girl became aware of her power and bit harder the next few times, resulting in even more raucous outbursts and more bloodshed. This was becoming a serious problem.

My wife then thought to pump the breastmilk and give her a bottle, but there was an issue – PINK MILK. I couldn’t believe how much damage she had done, there was so much blood from the tiny wounds that the milk was actually dyed pink! I don’t know if this would’ve effected the tastiness & I doubt there are health concerns about it. Oddness sure but whadyagonna do.

From a nutritional perspective this luckily coincided with the advent of other foods being introduced so wifey’s nipples were given some breaks here and there to heal. It’s a going concern but the baby food and the nipple shields I purchased have helped.

What wasn’t given a break was me. You see, injured, bleeding nipples don’t make women want to get sexy time. So Here I sit in a toddler induced war torn household, full of bloody milk and crying babies, in my basement with my blue balls.

 

 

Logic is King – Sleeping with the enemy

You’d think from the sounds coming out of the second floor of my house that my wife was beating the sh%! out of our 2 yr old son.  Screaming, yelling, whining, all at a billion decibels.  She is trying to convince him to take a nap!  He is tired, exhausted even, but the mere suggestion of a nap has him freaking out as if you were smashing all his toys and not letting him eat.. ever.

What is this logic?  I mean I get the feeling of not wanting to miss out on something, like when your friends are having a party but you can’t attend – it sucks.  However, we’ve told him that we are taking a nap too and nothing is going on this afternoon, indeed I wish I WAS taking a nap.  The logic of feeling tired should be enough on it’s own to dictate the a nap but not with a 2 year old, it’s just a source of anger.

I understand, they are sewing oats, trying to prove that they have control of their own destiny and all the rest.  But for god’s sake man, sleep deprivation and  hunger strikes are not good ways to prove your point, or maybe they are, it worked for Mohandas Gandhi

The difference is that a two years old’s plight usually includes violence of some kind.

Snickering to the oldies

There are many ways to score points with the wife; snickering while she struggles to hopelessly reason with your two-year old son is not one of them.

The mind of a two-year old cares not that mommy is exhausted and wants to get the kitchen cleaned up and go to bed, never mind that its past his bedtime and his powers of reasoning have waxed beyond their gruesomely weak normal range. As I watched the scene below unfold I laugh:

Mother is trying to load the dishwasher, baby boy is engrossed with the 2 levels of racks he’s sliding in and out, on wheels nonetheless! Then he spots the cheese grater, being unsure of its purpose, he pulls it out and exclaims “what’s dis?”

Mommy is trying to be nice but is rapidly losing it and grabs it to put it back, I snicker and explain “that’s for cutting cheese to put on pizza” now the boy decides he should crawl under the open door, proclaim he is pooping, then freak out because he doesn’t want the dishwasher door to be closed.

Really all mundane moments in day-to-day life, but I find this power struggle HILARIOUS: so I laugh. Wife is not appreciative to say the least.

So really the advice here would be: don’t laugh, help clean up. I find this impossible and continue to laugh.

Logs on the floor

Running with wreckless abandon, unabashed glee and endless bounds of energy.

We lay on the bed observing the naked kid swirling around our bedroom, my wife and I smiling and laughing at the fact that this small human feels no need to be clothed and in fact prefers to be naked whenever possible.  What if the rest of us were like that I wonder.

Then, suddenly; He stops running, stands there looking bemused and staring at me.  I pry myself up from my comfy recline and approach him asking “what’s up buddy?”  - And then, Blammo, I see it, LOGS ON THE FLOOR!

He has shit approximately 3 logs on the floor, it’s like a poo poo train. Luckily the wooden floors are resiliant to this type of treatment (more on that later)   I continue my discovery to find that he is soaked in urine and has indeed stepped in one of the logs.  D Luke looks at me with expressions of confusion & concern.  I laugh and make sure to tell the boy “I’m not laughin at you, but it’s funny what you did”

This is an amazing moment in the learning curve that is the constant plight of a 1 yr old.  He has just received another lesson in cause and effect, if you crap on the floor, pee all over, then step in one of the logs, your foot feels squishy and funny & your legs are wet.

So it’s tag team cleanup for me and mommy, to the tub! get the mop! I mop the floor incessantly giggling.  Ahhh, my life has sure changed, just a few years ago I remember a similar scene, although the players were drunken idiotic adults, and my wife did not find it funny.