I have to admit to everyone out there that I kinda suck as a parent. Or maybe I’m being too hard on myself. You be the judge.
I’m currently in a situation that is less than desirable. My and kids live in Seattle, WA…I live near Austin, TX. So I reside approximately 2,500 miles away from my young children or exactly 45,000 football fields. I don’t get to see them near as much as I like and talking on the phone, well I might as well be communicating via semaphore.
So when I recently spent six days with them I noticed some interesting behavior that I’m unaccustomed to…and I have armadillos, raccoons and deer in my yard every day.
Let’s start in the morning. We wake up at 7 a.m. O.K., that’s normal. All four of us in the same bed…hmmm all right…intra-familial spooning is not illegal in all states. But sleeping next to my 6 year old every night while legal, yes, healthy NO. I’m positive that my six year old was either testing the principal that no two atoms can share the same space…or his mom bought him pajamas that contained a fully functioning particle accelerator somewhere in its seams. And the kicking! Is it heat or cold that is good for cracked ribs? Or Oxycodone?
Next on the agenda was “King of the Mattress”, which I also came to find out is a bedtime ritual except at night it’s called “I’m going to kill you for that pillow”. “King of the Mattress” is basically what it sounds like, three boys trying to hang from the ceiling fan by their feet. Needless to say the fan is no longer operational unless you tie the dog to it and have him run in circles. He does this when they make kitty noises…that’s normal right?
Are we out of the bed yet? Yes, finally. I stumble down the stairs to the theme from Pokémon cartoon with nothing on my mind but locating the next resting spot and having a grande, two Splenda, light room, Americano land in my mouth. But, of course, before my second foot had even hit the ground floor, a myriad of requests (i.e. “demands”) landed upon me like a cargo net over a drugged orangutan.
“I’m cold”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m cold and hungry”
So I figured clothing first, then food. One boy was in his pajamas still…perfect! Not perfect, he wanted to get dressed. One boy was in his pajama bottoms with no top…no big deal, get him dressed…nope, he wants his pajama top. Third boy is naked. No wonder he’s cold! So get him dressed…easy! Wrong, he hates his clothes and doesn’t want to get dressed…but his fully clothed brother has the brown throw blanket that he wants.
There are three throw blankets, but he wants the brown one! O.K. walk back upstairs and practically trip over the pajama top, pants, shirts, sock, shoes, underwear, circular saw!
“Hey, guys…your clothes are right here where you left them last night.”
“Can you bring them to me?”
“No, come up here and get them yourself.”
“No never mind, if you want to get dressed, then just come over here and get your clothes.”
“I don’t want to”
“O.K. here is your pajama top and here are your clothes”
“Right here in my outstretched hand in front of your face.”
“I didn’t see them!!!”
“And here is another throw blanket. “
Now I can make breakfast.
“How do pancakes sound?”
“I hate pancakes!”
“I want a waffle and egg!”
“What kind of pancakes?”
It was 7:30 a.m. I gave them all cold cereal.
Approximately 136 hours of parenting to go, or exactly 45,000 football fields.