Friday, October 30, 2015


I have the wonderful fortune to have grown up with two sisters.  Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, I'm a boy.  That makes me a brother, or a bother, and, in this case the odd man out.  There's something deeper in the relationship between gender similar siblings.  Brothers with brothers and sisters with sisters, it's just right. It's not to say that I can't, or don't, have good relationships with my sisters. ... it's just on a different level then what the two of them share.
As I watch my gaggle of daughters interact, I take joy that all of them will have this unique bond amongst them.  This lifelong army of sisters to back them through adventures and misadventures alike.  So watch out world.  You take on one Kopp Girl you take on all of them.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Midnight Updates!

We've had some issues the last few weeks with Rosaline wetting the bed in the middle of the night (despite our me taking her in her sleep around 11pm like clockwork).  So I can appreciate that last night, on her own, she got up around 2:30AM and went to the potty all by herself.  What I appreciate slightly less is her needing to wake us up to share the news immediately afterwards.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Of All The Days. ... A Lesson In Bullies

Today was a very special day for the twins; it was they're sixth birthday.  And it was also National Anti-Bullying Day.  But more importantly it was their birthday.  But more importantly, it was also National Anti-Bullying Day.  And Genevieve had her first taste of a bully.

It's not unexpected for us to think our kids would go through this; I think most kids have to deal with it at some point.  But, believe it or not, Gina and I were not always ever the cool kids growing up.  Gina was the awkward girl who preferred reading to playing at recess.  I was the kid with glasses that would make Mr. Magoo giggle, an affinity for musical theater and very poor choices in wardrobe. And yes, that is a mini glow worm doll in lanyard pouch around my neck in this photo.  Trust me, I know bullies.  I recall hiding in the playground tubes while my tormentors sat on top and sang out a clever little rhyme they made up at my expense.  I remember taunts and tricks that kids can play.  It all left it's mark, still there some 30 years later.  And those scars sting a little today.

When Gina went to pick the girls up from school and whisk them away to Chuck E. Cheese in celebration of the big Six Nothing, Genevieve was already in tears.  There's a apparently a little girl in her class who has been something of a thorn.  On this special day Genevieve got to be birthday girl in the class.  One of her duties is appointing a helper who has special privileges too.  Well the thorn used the classic "if you pick me I'll be nice to you and you can be my friend" (oh the old "if you pick me").  Needless to say, Genevieve sacrificed her choice and the bargain was not upheld.  Little thorn became a prick.  Even worse it shifted into a higher gear at lunch with the thorn pursuing Genevieve on the playground and taunting her with hurtful words (I won't repeat them because what's hurtful to a six year old doesn't always carry much weight with adults who aren't their parents and I don't want to lose sight of the fact that the words DID in fact hurt).  When the lunch monitors intervened it stopped, but "the mati" as we call it seemed to worsen through an unapologetic apology.  It struck her deep, this first of many blows.  So much so that after Mr. Cheese's and birthday dinner, ice cream and more presents, it was still a touchy subject when I brought it up during tuck in.  But I wanted to make sure she saw the bigger picture, so we talked.

It's important for her to know that the four eyed boy in bad clothes and after school plays learned what bullies really are.  They're children and adults who aren't as happy as you.  Their mission is not to bring themselves up, but to bring others down so they're not so lonely in the depths of their own misery.  It's awfully sad, and we really should feel compassion for them in between our own tears of hurt.  But we can't give them too much credence.  Words will always hurt, long after the sticks and stones have done their damage, but we can't lose ourselves in all of it, because that's the special light that draws them to us.  That special light is so important that they have to put it out.  They can't stand to see it shine.  But if we keep it lit, in spite of any pressure to dim, the glasses will eventually go into a drawer.  The fashion sense will improve. ... slightly.  And the degree in musical theater is how I met her mother.  I really don't know what to say about the glow worm necklace.

The light she carries is so strong, and the future before her is so bright.  She'll do amazing things as long as she doesn't let those little pricks of the world detract her.  It's easier said then done.  And parents words of comfort and support can often fall short.  But as long as she knows I've been right there with her, that I'm right here with her now. ... maybe I can drown out the negative.  If not me, maybe the outfit I'm wearing in this picture can.

At the end of our conversation, there was still one things that just bothers her to no end about this.

"Why did it have to be on my birthday?! ... And why on National Anti-Bullying day?!!!"

We concluded that the little thorn was not wearing orange today like the rest of the school to show support for the day and it's meaning.  I'm hoping it's because she and her parents did not know (that's easier to swallow then an intentional decision NOT to support Anti-Bullying, in which case our problems may increase with this one moving forward).  Perhaps that's a reflection of the lack of education and awareness that's still out there.  Just because your kid didn't come home crying today because they were bullied does not mean you should not address this topic with your children.  Maybe they didn't come home crying because they're the bully in this story.  And if that's the case, you've got a lot more damage to deal with tonight then I do. 

Despite all of this, a very Happy Birthday to my oldest girls
 I can't hold as well as I used to, but I'll never let you go.

Monday, October 12, 2015

You Want The Tooth?! You Can't Handle The Tooth!

So, warning: if you're not someone who can handle dentistry topics then maybe jump to another posting cause this might not be for you.

My kids love the dentist. ... weirdo's.  But it's true, they really do.  They think it's a magical experience and they are more then eager to visit the lady who get's the sugar bugs out of their mouths.  So last week they had their visit and for two out of three it was a typical good check up, but Genevieve had a little bit of an odd day.

It started when the Dr. thought she saw a cavity forming in one of Genevieve's molars.  It's odd, if only for the fact that she's only had them a short time now - it wouldn't seem possible with even basic brushing for one to have formed so soon.  But it was a deep groove and the Dr. wanted to make sure she treated it before it became any kind of real issue.  So she advised Gina and began the process. ... and then she paused.

You see, as she began to drill gently against the tooth, it started to gave in.  That's right, her tooth began collapsing in on itself.  The more she explored, the more of the tooth crumbled, until there was what I can only describe as Molokini crater in her mouth. .... HA!  I just read that out loud and realized we should call it Molar-kini crater. ... I crack myself up.  But I digress.  What I found most bizarre rather then expose root or nerve, underneath the fallen enamel was healthy, pink gum line.  What the Dr. believes is that her tooth never formed in utero.  In essence a bubble got inside and the tooth formed around it, so once pressure from the drill was applied it basically turned into a sink hole in her mouth.  Crazy right?!  Here's a pic (because what half way decent parent wouldn't shove their iPhone into their kids mouth during what may be an otherwise traumatizing experience):
All's well that ends well, though.  Dr. was able to clear out the void, fill it and seal it so it shouldn't pose an issue moving forward.  And Genevieve is the ultimate champ.  Five years old and she didn't even flinch during all of this.  Her father, on the other hand, soaked through his shirt with sweat sitting in that chair a week earlier for a routine cleaning.  Turns out my kid did not get her nerves of steel from me.
And shout out to Dr. Negar Derakshani - like the best dentist I've ever had!  If you're an avid reader you'll know this not the first unusal Kopp case she's had to deal with.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

That Bloody Moon

Here in lies the problem with my new found resolution to keep up with this blog; sometimes I am going to be a week late in posting stories relevant to that moment. 

Remember all the way back to LAST Sunday, when we had that Super/Blood Moon combo going on?  Well it hit the left coast right around 7:30, which was just after the girls had transition to bed.  But I chanced by an open window and saw it was a perfect night and the moon was situated just above the roof line.  My whole motto on parenting is making sure they experience moments of magic and wonder so I rushed back upstairs and pulled them from their beds.  I dragged them downstairs and into the street in their nightgowns, pointing at the moon and making certain they revel in the uniqueness of a moment like this.

Big mistake.

Arianna asked me if we can see it again tomorrow - I think her interest was more piqued by my obvious interest rather then her own - and I explained that a moment exactly like this would not occur until she was a grown up and had a family of her own.  I wanted to stress how special it was, make sure she grasped it. ... but for the next two hours (YES!  TWO HOURS!!!!) I had to consul a distraught Arianna over the fact that she would have to wait 30 something years to see a super blood moon again.  Yea. ... I did not see that coming.  It even extended to the following day as I had to promise that we'd look at all of the instagram pictures posted when I got home from work in order to finally calm her down enough to sleep.  And she was certain to hold me to that. 

The next cosmic event I'm keeping to myself; it might just be easier that way.  Stupid blood moon.