Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not As I Do

Putting the girls down to bed last night and Arianna, who usually runs through a laundry list of attempts to thwart bed time, starts in that she's hungry.  You're not hungry, you had a huge dinner; you can have breakfast when you wake up.  "I need to go tisza".  You just got off the potty 12 seconds ago. ... you're fine.  "I'm thirsty".  "Me too", chimes in Genevieve.  Fine.  This one I'll usually allow.  So I get one of their little Dixie cups and fill it with water and let each one take a small sip to satisfy their parched and apparently dehydrated lips.  I then place the cup on the nightstand between their beds so I can tuck them in.  "You leave the water there for me?" Arianna asked.  "No," I told her.  "Why not?" Genevieve chirped.  "Because if I leave it here you'll accidentally spill it in the middle of the night." I explain.  I then turn out the light, reach for the water cup, knocking it over and spilling it all over the night stand.  "That why we no can have it in our room Daddy?" Genevieve responds without missing a beat.  "That is exactly why.  Exactly why."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where My Peeps At?

Gina picked up a new class on Tuesday afternoons as a brand new 24 Hour Fitness in Lakewood.  This is one of the really nice ones they're opening up so the girls really wanted to check out the giant kids club, which by all accounts was awesome.  Anyway, she took them and I stayed with the baby when I got home from work, since she still needed her late afternoon nap.  She woke up and we played a little bit, then I put her in her walker so she could run around.  First thing she does is zoom over to the girls room door and start yelling inside.  After a few times of now response she zooms over to another doorway and yells in there; nothing.  She then runs a big circle around the house yelling and yelling but receiving no response.  She goes back to the girls room one more time and yells in then waits patiently.  Nothing.  At this point she gets really upset and turns to me with a look on her face like "where did my sissies go?"  It was so sweet.  All she wanted was to play with her big sisters and she was so disappointed that they weren't around.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Playing Doctor

As the father of all girls I'm a little terrified of that moment in life when the girls start playing "doctor".  I don't think I need to expound much more on what that game is or why it may have me concerned.  But I'm suddenly even more concerned that maybe they'll actually one day grow up to be real doctors.  Yes, I want them to be as successful as they possibly can be in life, but based on observations yesterday I'm a little worried about malpractice suits.  After getting Rosaline up from her afternoon nap I walked into the girls room and found them play surgery - although they don't know that word yet so that's not what they were calling it - with their baby dolls and a Handy Manny tool set.  Apparently when you're sick it's a screw driver to the nose and if that doesn't work a swift couple of strikes with a hammer on your temple ought to do the trick.  "All better!"  Genevieve was fixing an "owie" with a hand saw and Arianna felt the pliers were good tool for making her babies "butt feel better."  I'm not sure if she was constipated or suffering from hemorrhoids but, whatever it was, it must have been serious.  Note to all readers, if in 25 years or so you find yourself scheduling an appointment with a Dr. Kopp. ... you might want to seek treatment elsewhere.  That is, of course, unless you think a pipe wrench is useful in eye surgery.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Taddle

There's something about a snitch. ... it's almost worse then the offending actor.  You can see the point of the taddler; they're thinking they're reporting the evil doer and that they'll be rewarded for "helping".  But it's so uncool.  Last night Arianna got up from bed about four times to repeatedly tell me that Genevieve was still talking.  I couldn't hear Genevieve, but when ISN'T she talking?!  After telling her the first three times to just go to sleep and not worry about Genevieve, the fourth time I started to think this was less about stopping the talking and more about getting her sister in trouble (or doubling her own stock by drawing comparisons).  Genevieve does the same thing.  If Arianna gets in trouble or is told not to behave a certain way "I no do that" comes flying out of Genevieve's mouth like angry hornets from a nest.  I'm not talking to you, I'll respond, but she always presses the point further.  I guess it's human nature.  We feel compelled to report the wrong doing of others, but rarely to stop the action.  Most of the time it's just to bring ourselves some sort of benefit.  For the record, Rosaline has yet to taddle on anyone.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Two Roads Diverged

You can probably tell I've been out of it lately.  It's like I have to force myself to write an entery and, literally I do.  I have been so swamped at work I can't even begin to explain.  Add to that I've got 3rd year law school finals tomorrow morning at 7; so blogging has been an afterthought.  Yesterday I watched as they built up the paper stack on my desk like expert masons constructing some sort of fortress wall.  I spent 3 1/2 hours in the morning just building orders for 32 schools and 4 hours in the afternoon putting those constructed orders through to vendors (not to mention the rest of my job that has nothing to do with this part).  Gina called in the middle of the chaos to tell me the girls had just bought new swim goggles and were looking forward to practicing their diving when I got home.  Our new thing - especially Genevieve - is diving under water to find toys that have sunk down.  They're really quite impressive.  In fact, I think I may have found my new scuba partner in Genevieve; she can do that all day.  Unfortunately my mind was on my desk, not on the phone call and so I just kind of skimmed over it.  About twenty minutes later I came to the realization that there was no way I would get home in time to swim, so I picked up the phone to make sure one of my in-laws would be home since Gina teaches Wednesday nights.  As the bland hum of the ringer in my ear persisted something hit me. ... what are you doing?  I'm miserable all day long.  The only thing that gets me through a monotonous day of office work is the knowledge that at the end I can go home and play with the three little girls I love most in the world.  And here I am canceling that?!  I'm sorry if you don't like foul language but there's only one thing I can say here: Fuck that!  Seriously.  Fuck that!  I made the decision long ago that I would work to live not live to work.  Not one single person will give a rats ass if I finished that paper work that day or came in early the next to finish.  Not one.  But three little people would care a great deal if I blow them off for our daily swim lessons.  And those are the only three people that mean anything to me anyway.  I have a choice to make at this juncture in my life.  I am the dad who works all the time, or I'm the worker who father's all of the time.  I'm making the decision, no one else.  I am going to be a dad first and an employee second.  And you know what?  Genevieve dove beautifully.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When Kids Fly

One of my favorite relationships of the past decade has been the one I've shared with the youngest of my sister-in-laws.  She was two when I arrived on the scene so she's been kind of like my practice kid.  When I'd walk in the door she'd climb up on me like a jungle gym.  When she had soccer games I was there taking notes on the sideline.  But my favorite was/is the pool.  I got to be the launching device that would send her skyward towards the deep end of the pool, flipping, splashing and belly flopping into the water below.  Fortunately, thus far, I've managed to keep in good enough shape to accommodate her size swing from toddler to pre-teen.  But lately, even though we swim almost daily, my attention is focused on the girls; working on their exercises and then keeping vigilant watch on their doggy paddle's as they free swim, with only the aid from their flippered feet, afterwards.  The point of all this work in the water is simple: I want to get to the stage where they can just play effortlessly and I don't have to worry so much about them remembering to come up for air.  This takes practice of course.  Practice and time.  But I got a little teaser yesterday of things to come.  Toward the end of our pool time my sister-in-law sheepishly asks "Can Thea fly today?"  Like I could say no to that request.  I had the girls sit on the side of the pool and spectate - they can't be swimming around if my focus is elsewhere - as Thea climbed upon my shoulders and I pressed off the bottom of the pool to send her flipping down the length of the water.  "Again, again" they cried to both of our delight.  Then, the request changed.  "Me turn!" Arianna shouted.  "Me turn!"  This is what I was waiting for.  Obviously I didn't launch her skyward, but she climbed on my shoulders as I held her little hands and slowly stood up, pulling her off and simulating the jumping motion.  "Again, again!" she squealed through the broadest of smiles.  There are some aspects of being a dad that are tough.  I'm never the first choice when they're not feeling good.  When they pick out prom dresses or (god forbid) wedding dresses I won't be consulted, just handed the invoice.  Five days a week I'm here in the office blogging instead of working while they're off on some jealousy inducing adventure.  But there's one market I've got cornered. ... the human playground.  And fortunately for me, I enjoy this much more then dress shopping.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Me, Myself and I

We headed over to Gina's aunt's house yesterday for a swim and a barbecue.  They'd moved about an hour away from where we are so, while Gina had been there a while back, a few of us had not yet seen the new digs.  After splashing around for most of the day and scattering our collection of toys around the house, Gina took the baby inside to be fawned over by everyone and I settled into a hammock with the two big girls and we counted airplanes (Grandpa Steve's as they call them; since their Grandpa is a commercial pilot).  As we laid there - well, I laid there, they bounced and flopped and squirmed and wrestled and did everything BUT just lay there - I had this nearly indescribable moment of serenity.  My wife filled a large hole in my heart when she came into the picture, it's like she completed me.  But simultaneously she's still a separate entity.  It's like the round peg in the round hole, you still have a peg and a hole, they're just together.  But my children aren't separate from me.  At least, that's not how it feels.  Sitting with them, being with them is really just like being alone.  Not in the "I'm sad and alone so I need to wallow and eat comfort food" alone but in the "let's sing at the top of my lungs and dance around in my skivvies because no one will judge me" alone.  They are me.  They're not pegs that fill up the void they're part of the object itself.  It's a very strange thing.  And it's not a new feeling, it's just one that hit me as unique and notable.  I don't think there's anyone that makes you feel more "you" then you're children do.  There were three of us in that hammock, but really was just me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pic of the Week

"Don't turn around kid. What ever you do, don't turn around!"


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pissin' the Night Away

Well, now that I have Chumbawumba's Tubthumpin' firmly planted in my head (and hopefully yours too - I get knocked down, but I get up again, no you're never gonna keep me down) on to today's post.  Potty training. ... oh it seems so easily conquered in the beginning.  Both girls took to it very well and we've had, literally, zero accidents (aside from the occasional trying to get out of the swimming pool fast enough but only make it to the patio when the stream starts, then turn and sheepishly ask "Is this ok?").  But night time. ... well, we just sleep too heavy.  The truth is Genevieve has been wearing underwear to bed for months now.  She has no problem.  I think she's also half camel, though, because she can go like 8 hours with out a drop.  But poor Arianna.  She chugs everything like a little frat boy and then passes out like one at night, so she just can't get up to take care of business.  The past few weeks she's done very well, waking up in the morning with dry pull ups like 75% of the time.  Then, at night, when we're getting ready for bed she looks up and desperately asks to be in underwear like her sister.  That's got to be awful, and it's part of the difficulty of twins.  They're not always at the same stage and it's really hard to treat one differently then the other.  If they were a year apart I could say, well, sissies older - when you're older you can do that too.  But I can't.  So on Tuesday, after four straight days of dry mornings, we put her to bed in underwear.  Before we went down, around 11, Gina took her potty and she emptied her bladder and went back to bed.  Unfortunately that wasn't enough.  Gina woke up in the morning and Arianna was passed out in a cold puddle of old pee.  So sheets were washed and I was told (Gina teaches Wednesday nights) to go back to the "ladies" (pull-ups with princess on them) that night.  But I couldn't do it.  I couldn't look into her big, blue, baby doll eyes as she asked for "Khakis. ... please daddy?"  So I devised a plan: I would take her at 11, then I'd get up when the baby had her midnight nursing and take her again.  That should do the trick.  So right before bed she unloaded a gallon's worth of pee, then at 11 she went like thoroughbred before the derby, so around 4 am when the baby was nursing I popped up ready to help her get through this night dry.  By 4:30 I'd finished changing the sheets and she was back asleep in new pajamas. ... sigh.  Once again she was passed out in a cold puddle.  As I tried to wake her she was shivering.  I told her we needed to change cloths because she had pee'd.  "No me tsiza, I'm just cold Daddy!" she refuted.  So congratulations Pull-Up's, you get to keep us as loyal customers for a while longer.  I hope you're happy.