Sunday, August 30, 2015

Trust Issues

As a parent you're hardwired to believe you're kid is always right.  If there's crying at the playground, some other kids is the cause.  If there's a report from school, must be the teachers' style.  If they grow up to be short. ... well those are her mother's genes.  But here's the ultimate paradox: what if you have more then one child and they're on polar opposite sides of the conflict?

We had one such issue today during the battle of who did what.  The world was hunky-dory all morning. ... until it suddenly wasn't.  I walked into the piano room to try and sort things out and it was clear it would not be resolved easily.  Arianna claimed Genevieve spit on her and called her a "poopy head".  Yes, that's right; a poopy head.  At five and a half I must explain there is no greater insult to bestow on one then that of the Poopy Head.  For her part, Genevieve was adamant that she had not uttered such a loathful phrase, nor had she allowed the saliva of her mouth to grace the form of her lowly sister.  A dilemma has been born.

Honestly, I don't care about who's a poopy head.  Everyone in this house deserves the title from time to time.  As Mama has pointed out, their father can be a real shit head so it's only natural that his offspring start as poopy heads and work their way up.  I was a little more disturbed by the spitting, but it's Genevieve and she was playing this god awful recorder some one brought her back from Mexico and with the absence of her front teeth at the moment she does spit quit a lot. ... like really, it's Daffy Duck incarnate at times.  What gets me is the lying.  The lying to my face, but even more so the lying in front of their sister who they're attempting to pin the blame on.

It got to the point where they were both in trouble until one of them confessed to what really took place.  Both were steadfast in their story; I mean this thing carried on way beyond where it should have.  Each of them was willing to take what ever punishment was dished just to enjoy the satisfaction of taking their sister down with them.  They ended up in their rooms on a permanent time out until one of them cracked.

About 20 minutes later Gina checked in on them and came down stairs with a message: they were ready to talk.

Turns out they were both lying.  Genevieve did intentionally spit on her sister but Arianna added the "poopy head" comment to compound the crime.

Those are my kids. ... a couple of real poopy heads.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

In the Dark of Night

It's among a father's worst nightmares; being woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of glass breaking downstairs.  Gina and I leap out of bed, she rushes to the girls rooms to make sure they're still safe and sound, I bound to the top of the stairs  in protector mode.  Our 90 pound guard dog remains fast asleep on his extra fluffy dog bed.  Gina joins me and confirms all girls are accounted for and together we peer into the darkness at the bottom of the stairs.

"Hello," Gina calls out.  I'm not sure what we expected.  As if a robber is going to merrily respond with "good evening folks, just here for the flat screen and I'll be on my way."

There was no response so Gina gently nudged me and I began a stealthy decent towards the living room.  It's during this moment that I realize I"m solely in my underwear and now I'm curious who would feel more awkward, me or the intruder.  I imagine we'd both be caught of guard for a moment.  Me by the sight of an actual stranger in my house, them by some very worn out Champion line boxer briefs that probably should have been retired long ago.

By the second half of the staircase (you move extremely slow in a situation like this, almost hoping they have taken the valuables and vacated by the time you get to them) and that's when I hear it.  The heavy, labored breathing. ... of our cat with a deviated septum.  Now trepidation has been replaced by frustration as of course it's that damn cat - keep in mind both dogs (including that 90 pound guard dog) are still fast asleep upstairs.  She had knocked a large drinking glass off the center of the kitchen island and it's shattered across the floor downstairs.  So now Gina and I are on our hands and knees trying desperately to find every last shard before the sun comes up and little girls come bounding downstairs in bare feet. 

We finally get it all and begin our retreat back upstairs.  I'm cursing "my wife's cat" because she has always had this habit of trying to drink out of human glasses so this isn't the first "oop's" she's had.  Gina says something along the lines of "wouldn't you feel terrible if she was out of water?"  I shrug that off and mutter something even I couldn't understand in response; it is 3AM after all.  And then it hits me: it's been 100+ the last week.  She's got one of those giant auto water bowls but I can't remember the last time I filled the reservoir or the last time I even checked it.  So as I pass by I peak into the laundry room and sure enough, it's bone dry.  Damnit!  Now I DO fee bad.  ... a little; it's my wife's cat after all.

So I take the reservoir out and head to the bathroom.  It's so big that the only way you can fill it aside from a hose is in the bathtub.  I top off the few gallons worth that it holds and as I'm putting the base on I hear a very soft "pop".  But I shrug it off and flip the apparatus back over.  Now the way this thing works is the reservoir sits above the drinking dish.  Because it's airtight it allows the water in storage to sit above the dish, waiting to dispense down below without spilling all over the place.  It's the same effect that happens when you fill a cup with water in a lake, and slowly raise it up above the surface.  The water in the cup is able to remain above the surface with out dropping down below.

Well, turns out that "pop" was a small crack in the top of the plastic reservoir, so as I begin walking back towards the laundry room with this multiple gallon water unit, the laws of physics kick in and air coming in the crack pushes the water in the reservoir down and I've now got a full on flood cascading over me and the carpet in our hallway as I desperately try to run back towards the bathroom and the tub.

All of this on my Friday night, the night I'm supposed to get to sleep in because I don't have to get up at 4:30 on Saturdays.  But I should look at the positives, after all it's not a total loss.  The guard dog was still able to get a solid 8 hours.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preschool for the Kamikaze

 

 
Our third little journey of learning has officially begun.  Yesterday little Rozzie Kamikaze started pre-school for the first time.  She was so excited, like Christmas morning excited, in the days and morning leading up to going.  She was talking about all the stuff she was going to learn, what she was going to do, new friends she was going to make.  But then, as we walked toward the front door, it seemed that something dawned on her for the very first time: she was going in alone.  She's always had this exuberant energy; this need to compete with older sisters that drives her to be louder, faster, more unpredictable.  It's been as much an issue for us parenting as it has been a blessing for seeing a little one with so much life.  But that comes from this place of being the baby, and you're not "the baby" unless their are older siblings on whom you can rely.  Anywhere she goes she can be loud and boisterous because her big sisters have her back.  Any obstacle in her way she can vault over with a triple axle because her sisters will be there to catch her.  Anything she doesn't know she can confidently shout an answer for because her sisters will correct her if she's wrong.  But she doesn't have them here.  For the first time she has to walk a path alone, with out support, with out guidance, with out anyone.  For the first time in her little life I saw shyness creep in.  When the teacher greeted her, she retreated briefly.  Hidden was the confidence.  Reserved was the calamity.  It was unsettling.  Fortunately, it seems not to have lasted long.  Before the first day was over she clearly found her own footing with out her supportive siblings and I doubt it will be long before she loses that fitting, breaks another bone and realizes she can also pick herself up with out assistance.  It's a first step in a long academic journey, but I can see she's going to continue to run instead of walk.  And that makes me happy.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Oh Baby. ....

With my work life at a very different place then it was when the first three were born, I'm sad to say that my involvement with Lorelei in infancy has been limited (by comparison).  In the middle of the nights I've let Gina take the load so I can still get out of bed at 4:30 and function till I get home at 6.  By the time I'm home now, she's already on her way down, and I tend to run point on showers and jammies for the big three while Gina gets to nursing and wrapping her up.  There is a small part of me that misses that.  I feel like somehow our bond won't be as tight because I'm not there as much as I was for the others.  And then last night happened.  I'm good now, I'm good.

Gina was invited out for a girls night with some of the other ladies in the community.  I could tell she really wanted needed to go and since Lorelei recently started taking an occasional bottle I figured "I got this."  By the time I got home, however, World War 3 had already broken out.  Rosaline had fallen asleep on the drive home from where ever they had been that afternoon.  She not only woke up on the wrong side of the car, she woke up on the wrong side of the galaxy.  It got so bad that I actually banished her from the dinner table and sent her to bed.  Of course by that time the baby had started to scream as well, but Gina had just nuresed her before she left so I didn't want to waste my one bottle that soon.  I tried every position of holding her, I paced the house for an hour, I tried the bouncy seat and the playmat; I even strapped her in her car seat and swung her till my arm felt like it was going to fall off.  All of this going on while simultaneously having to march upstairs every five minutes to confront Rosaline for what ever new trouble she was getting into.  OH!! And in the background I got to listen to the dialogue from Disney's new cinimatic treasure "The Descendants". ... for the second time.

Finally I had no options so I pulled out the bottle and she drained it in a horrifying split second.  Then she looked at me with her big blue eyes as if to ask for more and I had nothing.  And so she cried.  And then she screamed.  And then I cried.  And then Rosaline screamed.  And then the twins plugged their ears.  And we all cried.

Movie was done, baby was a little less upset, so I sent the twins up to brush their teeth (don't forget, Rosaline was banished to bed like 2 1/2 hours ago) when I hear Genevieve yell "Daddy, come look at my sink!".  I trudge upstairs to find toothpaste smeared all over the counter.  That little f........ 

Before I even got to the door I can hear her apologizing from with in.

By the time Gina got home the baby was fast asleep in my arms, big girls fast asleep upstairs, and I was well on my way.  And she wanted to know why I didn't respond to any of her texts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Indoor Summer Campout

 
Three summers ago we experienced our first August residing more then 10 miles from the beach and it's coastal breezes.  Growing up in Long Beach we never had an air condition in our house; why would you?!  Any hint of heat you just open up the windows and let the salt laden air flow through.  In Corona?  Not so easy.  No matter how hot it gets, you keep those windows closed and those blinds drawn or the wrath and fury of hell will overpower all things holy within those four walls.  After that you crank on the AC and pray to the gods of Southern California Edison that there are no rolling blackouts in your area. 
 
This weekend with Gina and the baby enjoying the coastal breezes of Santa Barabra and a festival, the girls and I opened our Bibles straight to a page in Revelations when the upstairs (where the bedrooms are located) AC conked out.  We have a warranty that will fix it, no issue - but they couldn't get a tech to us for 3 days.  So the first night, I tried fans on the stairs to bring up the downstairs cool, I pushed the roaters on the ceiling fans to the brink, I put everyone in the least amount of sleep appropriate clothing I could - but by 3am it was still 88 degrees and everyone was miserable.  I know. ... 88 degrees. ... anyone reading this in Mumbai is punching out their screen.  But we're sissy's, ok?!  So night two I went a different route.  If you can't sleep upstairs, blast the AC downstairs and have an indoor camp out!  We watched movies, we ate ice cream, we even put on long pants at one point. ... it was glorious!  Except for me who slept on the couch in case anyone had issues in the middle of the night.  Life Lesson #482: when buying a new sofa, take a nap on it just in case one day you need to know if it'll do the trick.

 



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Mommy Doesn't Blog

Let me begin by stating this is not my story.  This is the story of my wife who does not blog and, if anything, is meant to show you that I'm not the only one who survives some of these parenting fiasco's.  I just blog about them to make myself feel better. ... she prefers Pinot Grigio.

Last Friday my beautiful wife of 9 years, mother of my 4 children, decided it was necessary that Costco be conquered that day.  She loaded the troops and headed off with a brilliant plan of attack.  She would feed them, stuff them with ice cream and then rush the aisles quickly before the food coma wore off.  This is why I don't make plans.

She got in line with the baby for the hot dogs outside of Costco.  She sat the three big girls at a table and told them to stay right there where she could see them while she ordered.  She repeated to Rosaline - STAY.

Not thirty seconds go by when she feels a clammy hand wrap around her thigh.  She looks down to see Rosaline beaming up at her.  "I told you to stay with your sisters," she says.  "I just wanted to tell you I love you," came the reply.  Gina points and she trudges back.

Perhaps another minute passes before she catches a mop of curly blond hair out of the corner of her eye. "I love you Mama!' Rosaline screams as she high tails it back to the table.

A beat of a butterflies wing later she's back again, only this time she's not even sure why.  So Gina lost her patience, as all great mothers do. No ice cream for you.  Mount Vesuvius erupts.  Now she's trying to order hot dogs, twins at the table perplexed, Rosaline full tantrum mode on the ground, the world watching.

Somehow they survive the dogs and, as promised, the twins get ice cream to follow and Rosaline does not.  By this point she's reduced to a stuttering whimper but the baby is now hungry as well.  She rounds them up, back to the car to eat their ice cream and feed this baby.

Twins are in the way back enjoying their dessert, baby is latched in the front with Mama and Rosaline is in the middle seats, plotting her revenge.  She notices Arianna is buckled but the car is not moving; she's found her chance.  Rosaline jumps up and leaps into the back to force Arianna to unbuckle her seat belt.  In the melee that proceeds, the buckle is indeed disengaged, it coils back, hits Arianna's ice cream and Jackson Pollacks the car in frozen confection.

Now Arianna is screaming, this of course causes Gina to turn and baby to become detached mid stream.  So now breast milk is spouting like a ruptured sprinkler head all over the car, Arianna is hysterical, Gina screaming behind her grabbing at childless air, Rosaline cowering, and Genevieve peacefully enjoying her ice cream pretending she's adopted.

Somehow they still made it through Costco and got everything from the list.  Even a magnum of Kirkland Pinot Grigio.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wedding of the Year

"Four girls!" they exclaim; as if I wasn't aware.  And 99% of the time they follow this up with "that means four weddings!!!"  So far no one has calculated in a funeral, but there's still time.  Yes.  Yes, it has dawned on me that there's a good chance each of these girls will be married at some point, and yes I realize the traditional rules say that Gina and I are due to pay host these events.  I'm serious that my hope is they will all meet and fall in love in the same 3 month window and we can talk them into a doing it all in one shot.  Of course that's unlikely.  The other hope is my father-in-law still owns his wedding facility - La Mariposa - and we can convince the girls to hold festivities in Arizona. 

Fortunately, it seems at least one of my expenses has been covered.  I came home the other day to find  out a ceremony was in progress and Rosaline was marrying her long time bff Rafe from down the street (finally!  these kids have been together like 2 1/2 years already; it's about time).  It was a wedding destined to happen so who really cares if it happened 14 years before it's legal in this state.  Mazel Tov you two; my blessings upon you.  Now Rafe cut your hair and get a god damn job.


Something to point out as well: Rosaline and Rafe are the real life Taylor and and Ed from this music video. ... it's eerie because they look so much like then but even eerier that they act so much like them.