Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back in the Day

Back in my day, kids were tough. We went outside unsupervised all day long. We rode bicycles without helmets. When we crashed, we splinted our shattered limbs and kept right on pedaling. We climbed to dizzying heights in trees, plummeted to our dooms from net-less trampolines, and waded through creeks flush with brain-eating amoebas, pinching crawdads, and hissing serpents. And we liked it!

We caught snakes; some apparently poisonous. We riled up wasp nests and paid the price. Our swimming pools didn’t have fences around the perimeter. Our neighborhood pool had a high diving board with a treacherous ladder and the risk of a belly flop from 10 feet in the air.

We rode our bikes to the Collin Creek Mall where we would spend unsupervised hours in the arcade, the bulk candy store, and the video game store. We crossed moderately busy roads without using crosswalks, and I can’t remember anything like a close call with a car.

We didn't have safety. It wasn't invented back then. Ever seen one of those crazy Japanese obstacle course shows? That's what our playgrounds were like: hard metal edges, treacherous monkey bars, unprotected drops to an unforgiving earth, crotch-slamming seesaws, brutal merry-go-rounds fit to launch the unwary into near-Earth synchronous orbit. And we liked it!

We would play under the baking sun all summer. You see, dehydration hadn't been invented yet. A swig of hot water from a filthy garden hose was all we needed. Sunscreen? Are you kidding me? "Get outside. Kids shouldn't sit around all day in air conditioning. Turn off the Nintendo and get out!" they would tell us. So we did.

Were there casualties? Sure, not all of us made it. I was no stranger to the emergency room. We took it in stride and kept right on going with a new cast or some stitches.

Nowadays, I’ve got two little boys of my own, and I think maybe they don’t need to be as tough as I was. A little safety might be in order. Have you seen how much copays and ER visits cost these days?

Monday, June 25, 2012


I really liked this quote.

Michael: "Omar says that crayons aren't magic. But I say that crayons are magic.We don't eat crayons. That's bad manners"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baby Logic

I am a baby. My name is Owen. I am exceedingly fond of pacifiers. I like them like my dad likes coffee, and if you take my pacifier away, I will shriek until your ears bleed.

Sometimes I get mad. Perhaps I would like to climb the stairs, and someone stops me. Life is not easy. I have no freedom. Can't talk. I misplace a toy. My brother steals one. I slam my head on the coffee table. Darn dog just grabbed my slice of cheese right out of my hand. Sometimes at meals, they give me inedible food. It's enough to drive a fellow to tears, I tell you. I just want to take that bowl of cereal and sweep it off the high chair in a glorious cascade of tumbling cheerios. And sometimes I do.

When I become enraged, I must take action. As person of diminutive size and youthful age, my options are limited. There's yelling, squirming, slapping, and flopping on the ground. Each approach has its merits and drawbacks. However, my favorite thing to do is take my pacifier out of my mouth and throw it as far as I can.

Doesn't make sense, does it? I usually think, "I've made a huge mistake." I don't really understand why I do this either. It's the one possession that I love above all others, and I just throw it all away in a fit of rage. If you have any idea why I do this, I would love to know.. In the meantime would you mind picking it up off the floor and giving it back to me? Thanks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Although today is bittersweet having just lost my own dad a little over a month ago, I'm very lucky to have a husband who adores his kids as much as Christopher does.  Our boys are fortunate to have such an involved and joyful dad.  Happy Father's Day Christopher!

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Sleep of the Innocent

We were enjoying that beautiful, peaceful time that lies somewhere between when both of the boys are finally down for the night and when we pass out from the cumulative lack of sleep combined with the relentless hustling that is parenting. On most nights, that window is quite small.

On an average night, Owen winds down and stops babbling from his crib some time around 9. Michael is usually trouble. Once we meet or deflect his various demands (it's like getting the concert contract rider demands from a diva on tour; I want chocolate milk. I need a bandaid. You didn't put medicine on my bug bites. Can you change the pictures on my wall. Can you read me another book. Lay down with me. I have to go potty. I'm hungry, etc.), and once he ceases his sneaky little reconnaissance missions out of his room, it is often close to 10 o'clock. That leaves an hour or two to hang out, catch up on the day, and maybe watch Khaleesi and her merry band of dragons melt a few faces on Game of Thrones.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dog Training

"Hey honey, what do think about sending Bella to one of those dog training boot camps? Wouldn't it be awesome if she just went away and came back trained up?"

"I don't know. You would probably just revert back to the old way and mess it up."

 Michael quietly listens to the conversation.

Michael: "Are we going to dog training now?"

"No, we're going to the park to play."

"But, I don't wanna go to the park. I want to go to dog training!"

"Are you sure? The park is really fun! You can make new friends and swing on the swing..."

"I want to go dog training!" (Picture a sad pouty face.)

"Michael, do you know what dog training is?"

"It's a big choo choo train, and dogs can ride on it. And she will "Ruff" at everything. I want to go to dog training!"

"That sounds awesome! I want to go to dog training, too"