I’m sure at some point l’ll write a gushy post about the top 5 things I like to do with my kids and if/when I do, shopping at Costco will make the list. But that day isn’t today. I’m en route to Baltimore with a 4 flight day that started at 5 am with B awake after another sleepless night and the day won’t conclude until 11 pm tonight, and then the same vicious nighttime cycle begins again. And you’d think that holding him, patting his back, or just hearing him writhe in agony trying to get back to sleep would crack my top 5, but it doesn’t. He’s a baby, so damn cute, and it’s our last go round so I know someday I’ll look back fondly at this time. Of course, that time isn’t now. So what can possibly top this experience to eek into my top 5? Read on.
Shopping at Michaels
Listen, full disclosure, I’m pretty much the worst artist of all time. They’re on par with my building skills but I can’t blame the former on my heritage. Seriously, have you met a handy Berg, Stein, or Bergstein. But I digress, Michaels, yeah, so I hate this store independently, but add kids into the mix and this experience ranks up there for me with changing a dirty diaper/outfit in an airplane bathroom. First off, what are we in Vegas? It’s so bright in there and I’m pretty sure oxygen is being pumped in to motivate the ranks to shop till you drop. Then, you have thousands of little items perfect for my little one to choke on and then aisles and aisles of various crafts that I hope to god we don’t pick out to do at home. Admittedly, I’ve only been there like 3 times, and the last venture I flew solo but it still sucked and I ended up buying the wrong size scrapbook. And if I ever had any doubt that Miles was my kid, aside from the fact that he’s the spitting image of our Big Papi, it was when I saw the level of excitement he had after finishing said scrapbooking book. I think he would’ve opted for eating meat over this project if given a choice (he’s a vegetarian).
5-7 at night
Just no. The witching time is evil. Thankfully, and sorry Emily, I get to travel a bit for my job, and a bit depends on your definition of the word. I don’t mind bedtime when the beasts are contained and we’re reading, and I even enjoy the occasional time where I’m fully responsible for putting the kids to bed solo because Emily is at Pure Barre or book club or some other pursuit that stimulates either mind or body. But dinner prep, dinner, that window between dinner and bath, it all sucks. I’m not sure if the crying sensation is from the onions or due to how overwhelmed I feel and outnumbered I am. And the unfortunate thing is that aside from the weekend, this is the quality time I get with the kids. It’s enough that by like 5:05, I’m thinking what kind of beer will I have once they’re asleep.
Look, I feel like Pokemon Go may have leveled the playing field a bit because it’s my phone and my rules, but the card game is one where I get dominated. They stack the deck, they cheat, they make up rules as they go along, and they know that I will acquiesce because they’re contained, not fighting, and happy. I played Dungeons and Dragons as a kid, even dabbled in Magic the Gathering (cue the jokes about my teenage sex life), but I just can’t follow this game. Both big boys can read the numbers and now that Miles can read the descriptions I can’t even make shit up to further my cause. Boys, can’t we just go outside and play soccer or have you ride bikes? Well, at least the new virtual version is promoting exercise and seeing your environment . . . Through a phone. And from the looks of this, I’m pretty sure soon we’ll have a new entrant into the fray.
Switching from ESPN to Kids Netflix:
I’m not getting up on purpose before or near 6 am, but invariably I’m up then because either Bennett is up or Oliver has decided that he can’t go downstairs by himself to watch TV. The only solace I have in the former situation is that B doesn’t have an opinion yet and I can place him near his kitchen, sip my coffee, and catch up on Sportscenter. But then, the rest of the herd emerges and immediately demands some Netflix action and I don’t have enough fight in me from being woken up so goddamn early that I give in and we watch their flavor of the week. Miles likes playing soccer so I tried leveraging the UEFA finals match to no avail, and Oliver is a fan of the Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, and Yankees (older cousins and NY = fight I can’t win), but even Big Papi and TFB can’t compel them to watch highlights with me.
You know the sing. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share. Yeah, I wish that was how it went down in my house. Are your kids talented or even remotely decent at picking up after themselves? If they are, you suck and we can’t be friends. Mine blow. It’s like a hurricane comes through our house all day. Between Bennett being in the lets take shit out of every drawer stage, the Pokemon cards strewn all over, the high chair, dinner, stepping on Legos, and their “drawings”, I find most of my free time spent just picking shit up. Oh, and then you call them on it and they get all snippy. And maybe this is bad parenting but bribery/threats are the only way to get them to lift a finger. It’s actually quite genius of them. Make a mess and then get rewarded for cleaning up your own shit. At some point we need to teach them ownership and responsibility but that day isn’t today because I’m too damn tired and need to go to bed.