Once, when Brianna was about 9 years old, we had a disagreement. I think I had asked her to unload the dishwasher or to stop watching tv because it was time to get ready for bed. Something along those lines. She didn’t like whatever I had asked her to do, so she told me she wasn’t going to do it.
We argued for a little, each of us getting more frustrated with each other, until she finally says, “You can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do. You’re not the boss of me!”
That’s where I nearly lost my cool.
“You go to your room!”, I yelled. She turned around and started to go to her room.
“Wait a minute, come back here!”. She turned around and started to come back. “Never mind, I’m so mad at you that I don’t want to talk to you right now. Go upstairs”. She turns around and walks toward the stairs.
“Wait, come here”. She turns around and walks back to me. “Never mind. I’m still mad. Go to your room.”
I let her get a little farther this time before calling “Wait! Come back here”.
By now she is furious. She stomps all the way back downstairs, comes over to me and yells “WHY DO YOU KEEP MAKING ME COME BACK DOWN HERE!!!”
And I calmly say to her “I thought you said I’m not the boss of you”
Yesterday was Jenny’s birthday. We were not able to properly celebrate it because we both work (she was closing), and the kids had school. Jenny would get home pretty late, and because of that Logan fell asleep before she got home. He barely got to see Mom on her birthday, and I think he felt a little bad about that.
This morning we woke up to him playing Disney Infinity. Not unusual. Until he said “Mom, look what I made for you”, and showed us this. It’s a world he built, and saved it under the title “I love you mom”.
We’ve always had a playful competition about who loves Mom the most, but there is no way I can compete with that.
My boy and his Birthday Card for Mom.
Ahhh, school is back in session, the first payment is made on the home equity loan you took out for school supplies and you’ve met most of the teachers at your school’s open house. Now it’s time for the kids to pick out instruments they wish to learn to play. Here’s some tips to help make the entire process bearable for you.
- Buy decent, sound cancelling headphones. When your child is first learning to play their instrument you won’t be able to determine if the sounds they are making is supposed to be music or if it’s the sound of the 66th seal of Hell being broken. Plug yourself into your device and listen to your Spotify playlist.
- Buy, don’t rent,the instrument. This goes against my World Class level of Cheapness…but hear me out. First, do you really want your little princess blowing in a clarinet that probably got peed on by the previous owner’s cat? Of course not. Besides, you’re just going to have to purchase a instrument outright when she forgets about it while getting on the bus and the bus runs it over.
- If your child has a friend who is also learning an instrument, encourage her to practice with her friend – at the friends house. This will undoubtedly not go over well with the other parents, but this is more about your sanity than making new friends.
- Go to their recitals, even if it is a combined recital for every school in the district. You will be bored. You will get tired. You may fall asleep. Pro Tip: do not drink tons of coffee in an attempt to stay awake throughout the recital. Your coffee farts may be more musically entertaining than your child right now, but nobody came to hear you toot your own horn.
- When you are at their recitals and your child walks on stage, make sure to stand up and very obviously wave to them. Don’t stop waving until they wave back. Trust me, kids love this, especially when they are in middle school.
- At some point you will have to bite the bullet and actually listen to them play. They will sound like Lil’ Wayne playing the guitar, but the the point is they’ve improved. You know it. They know it. Tell them. Playing an instrument is rewarding, and should always be encouraged when your child is interested. Don’t be afraid to tell them how proud you are.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, your children will hear you swear at one point or another. It’s unavoidable. Especially when you are a Horrible Father. My children had two rules when growing up:
- Don’t touch Nana’s hair
- Don’t repeat anything dad says
Looking back, my potty-mouth really couldn’t be helped. It started when I was very young, no more than 3 1/2 years old. I blame it on an undiagnosed and never-before seen speech impediment that I was the only person in history to have. I would, under very specific circumstances, pronounce the “sm” sound as an “f”. And my Grandpa exploited that speech impediment, because it only occurred when I tried to speak one simple, specific little phrase: “Smucker’s Jelly”.
“Hey Pal, I don’t remember…what was the name of that grape jelly you like again?”, and I would answer him…oblivious to what I was saying. But he sure would laugh, which of course would make me laugh.
So, it should have come as no surprise the day my 4 year old son exclaimed in public “She is being a crabass!”
Flabbergasted I turned around and asked him “What did you just say?”. That was a big mistake. Because he told me. Again and again.