I’m not sure the timing of writing this post will give my wife comfort, as she’s away for 3 days at her friend’s wedding, which is the longest stretch, by like 60 hours, that she’s been solo since Bennett was born. You see until 5:45 am on Friday morning, Emily was still nursing B a little, so prior to that there were clear time limitations placed on their separation and therefore my watching of the trio. Obviously, I’ve got 3 kids, so I’m experienced as a parent, but, I’m still a dude, and so there are things that I kind of suck at, and that Emily really runs point on in our family. You know, like life, and everything related to kids. Anyway, day 2 is now in the books of this trip (not the night, which is kind of like a day in and of itself), and it got me reflecting on those differences between when I’m in charge and when Emily is. So, here we go.
Losing to my kids:
At some point, they probably will overtake me in sports, games, whatever, but that time isn’t now, and it’s important for me to remind them who’s boss. Now that Miles plays soccer, he’s got this little bit of swagger that I kind of like, but a reality check is in order when we’re playing in the backyard. Dude, you’re 6 and I could crush you every time, but I won’t, I’ll let you score a couple goals, and maybe tie. Never win, but sometimes tie. Apparently though, not everyone got the memo that you’re supposed to give them a chance. Yup, I’m looking at you Laurie Burke. Miles won’t even look at the Connect Four set since you thrashed him a few months back. But, I understand where you’re coming from, see, just today we decided to play a game of Sequence (excellent game), which they both like to cheat at (Oliver especially). Watch what happens in this round though (note how empty the board is meaning we just started).
I should preface this one by saying that my son now walks around the house singing the first two lines of the following song, which he learned courtesy of my wife. Truly, she’s now corrected his inflection to boot because he hasn’t quite mastered the “I cannot lie” part.
Oh, and also of note is that he’s been spelling decently for about 8 months now, and you can guess who he learned the word “dick” from. Those might be her only 2 judgment mistakes she’s made, whereas I average an f up at least once a day. Frankly, I think I’ve fared quite well this weekend, because maybe it’s been my only time as the Default Parent.
I’m racking my brain for specific examples, but I think the material is just too vast to wade through. Oh, here’s one, and damn did I get a lecture for this. Three days ago, Miles was playing soccer and wanted mama to play and I decided it would be a good idea to shout out that he told me she sucked at soccer. He denies he said that, and he may be right, but probably not good to teach him to be a dick like that. In my head I would’ve taken it as motivation to show up this 6 year old, but Emily quit on the spot. And I tried at various points this weekend to capture some poor judgment on film, like the boys catapulting over the chaise while one was lying on it or crazy speed racing down our hill on their scooters, but they were wholly intact. So, the worst offense was that we rented Power Rangers from the library . . . which apparently is on our do not watch list (yeah, missed that memo). Kinda weak, but I’ll endeavor do to do better next time I’m flying solo.
Like ever. Snacks, proper clothes, diapers/wipes, change of clothes, pack and play, you know, the usual. It’s like my computer science teacher said in my report card, “Mike cannot be depended on to do the right thing in any situation”. Ouch. Look, I was really proud this weekend when I remembered sunscreen, face and body to boot for a jaunt at the park. Well, I may have forgotten to apply it to Bennett, so we just stayed in the shade . . . on a 95 degree day . . . in a field with no trees. Fuck, even Miles was like, dude, Bennett must’ve been running hard because his cheeks are red. Yeah, that’s what it is buddy. D’oh! So, again, here is another area I just leave to my wife and function as the mule on trips. “I need you to carry this, place this behind this seat, this one needs to stay upfront with us, that one needs to be accessible, and don’t forget that it’s winter out so he needs a fucking coat”. Yes, dear.
Dealing with tantrums/injuries:
So far, and tomorrow is a new day, we’re unscathed on this Lord of the Flies weekend. But tantrums, well, those are a daily occurrence in the Roseman household and the way I handle it consists of the following methods:
- Threaten: Because let’s talk about what else you’re about to lose besides your shit right now.
- Try and rationalize: Again, we’re talking here and I’m trying to dissect the tantrum and create a teachable moment . . . at the worst possible time.
- Just stare: This is my favorite because at a certain point it means that Emily takes over and the tantrum will subside in a few minutes.
And don’t get me started on injuries. Most of the time I’m convinced 10% is pain, 50% is wounded pride, and 40% is so they can cuddle mama. We still make fun of Miles for the fact that when a leg would get hurt from a minor fall, he’d start limping and then forget which leg he was supposed to be limping on. Dude, we’re on to you.
Oh, I dominate at making plans. Shit, at breakfast, lunch and dinner are already spec’d out. Vacations, plane connections, train times, that shit’s in my wheelhouse. But plans that include kids, hi . . . no. That’s not my domain. And I know I’m not alone because when I ran this post by my buddies the other night, they all nodded in agreement. It’s like our weekend comes and I’m of a vacuous mind. I can plan post 7:30 pm if I’m going out or we’re going on a date, but in between the 7’s, I got nothin. And on those rare occasions where I do step it up in the plan department, it’s usually because it involves something I want to do. Like you know, kayak, which is awesome and includes kids, well, at least 2 of them, and poor mama and baby are at home again. So, RSVP for a kids birthday party? I think not. Orchestrate a west meadow beach journey? Not gonna happen. But I’ll tag along . . . just don’t expect me to pack. You know how I feel about that too.