Monday, July 1, 2019

Kid Magnet

I know I'm not the favorite parent, and rightfully so.  I don't even like me best, so I get it.  But why - why dear god - am I the one they're drawn to when the slide into our bed in the middle of the night.  We have a California King bed.  It's big.  It's big because I'm a bigger guy.  I'm a bigger guy but I only get about 3 1/2 inches of sleeping space because whoever has decided to join us for the evening has made it their mission for the night to push me off the designated sleeping area.

Last night Lorelei slept on my face.  Literally on top of my face.  This after she had turned perpendicular to the bed, put her feet on by back and leg pressed me to the very edge of the Cal King perimeter. 

I wake up every 20 to 30 minutes to try and "fix" things, and there's Gina; acres and acres of unused sleeping space.  What.  The.  Hell?!  Am I magnetic?!  I'm this close to joining the dogs on the floor.  They seem to have plenty of space on their beds for me.

(Next weeks blog post from the dogs):
I know I'm not the favorite dog, and rightfully so.  But why - why dear god - am I the one that Kyle's drawn to in the middle of the night. ….

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Right Dress, Wrong Kid

So last weekend 2 of the 4 girls had their semi-annual dance recital.  This time around was different then past events in that I was able to sign up for a Daddy/Daughter number with each of them.  We've been rehearsing for the last several weeks and Friday night I had my performance with Arianna and her group, followed on Saturday morning with Lorelei and the 4 and under group.

Both dances went very well and tugged at my heartstrings exactly as I knew they would, with only one slight hiccup taking place.

For Saturdays number with the little ones, all the dads lined up back stage a few numbers before we were scheduled to go on.  The volunteers then brought out each little girl (already dressed in her formal gown back stage) and paired them with the appropriate dad.  Time went by and each dad had been linked with their appropriate kid, except for me. I  was still childless.  Add to that concern, there was one child who appeared to be equally fatherless; and this was creating panic.

There seemed to be more concern over the missing dad then over my missing kid, until I brought up one point: the little girl was wearing my daughters dress.  I knew this because each kid had brought their own clothes for this routine, so nothing was matching or similar.  And further, my mother in law had purchased said dress from a boutique, so it was almost guaranteed that no one had the same dress as Lorelei had brought.

The volunteers asked the little girl if she was doing the father/daughter dance; she answered "no".  They asked why she had the dress on; she answered "it was sparkly".

Turns out four-year-old's are no different then large mouth bass; they see something sparkly, they just go for it.

The rush was on to find my child, get her put into her dress and rush her to the stage before the number started (seeing as we were the first pair in the line to enter stage left).  Fortunately we made it, just in time: me, the dress and the correct kid.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Don't Call It A Comeback / The Journey To Womanhood is Terrifying

So yeah, it's been nearly three years since I wrote a post.  Three.  Years.  I'm certain that none of my followers are still following, 'cause that would be weird if they were still checking in after that long.  But, if by some chance some are, that baby we were last talking about just turned 4.  🤯  I should apologize for everything you missed; honestly at the time I felt there wasn't much you would.  See, after taking four babies through the "baby stages" I felt my stories were beginning to repeat themselves.  You can only read so many "baby took their first steps" stories before you want to puke, and I figured 3 was pretty close to that magic number so I wouldn't continue pushing it at 4.   So I let this little blog fade away.

Truthfully, I don't even know if "blogs" are a thing anymore.  Maybe writing it again is akin to starting a Sanskrit debate team.  Perhaps I should focus on an Instagram page or start a podcast or something; but I'm a writer so I suppose I'm stuck with this format.

So why start again at all?  What's the end purpose?  Hold your horses; I'm getting to it.  The past few days the Fam and I were on a short vacation and at one point we were gathered around pre-dinner and the girls got a hold of a phone and began searching Google.  Their goal was to discover if their parents were at all Google worthy, i.e. famous (this is how we're judged now), and they were searching our names to see what might come up.  They quickly found their way to the remnants of this blog, hidden away in dustbin of cyberspace and they began reading.  They began reading and laughing, laughing and asking more questions, absorbing the stories of their infancy.  They did the exact thing I had hoped they would do when I originally started writing them down.  Granted, probably 15 to 20 years earlier then I'd anticipated, but they reminded me of long forgotten moments and they joined in on the joy of those stories along with us.  It's as though they captured a clearer image of themselves through our eyes during those long ago days.  And when they asked why I stopped writing them down, why the new stories weren't logged. ... I had no good answer to give them.  After all I never wrote them for you; I wrote them for us, for me, for them.

So I'm back, and here's today's story - the journey to womanhood is terrifying.

On this little vacation, we were forced to share some very tight quarters, beds and even something we've never had to deal with since potty training became a thing of yore: a single bathroom.  Normally no more of an issue then apologizing for a lingering smell or someone taking too long and someone else not having the ability to hold it any longer, this particular scenario became slightly more complicated given Gina was, how shall I say, at that particular moment of the month.

Cut to last night, everyone has prepped for bed, we're saying our good-nights, then Arianna decides she needs to use the toilet one more time.  She scurries off, there's a beat in time, then she screams "Oh my god, Daddy, what did you do?!!!!!!"

Gina and I look each other inquisitively.  For the record, I had yet to use the facilities for the evening.

I yell back, "what do you mean?"

She responds, "It looks like you broke your butt in here."

At this point Gina's eyes widen after realizing that she may not have completely vacated the toilet bowl after changing a tampon, and neither of us has any idea how to move the conversation forward from here.

By now a crowd has gathered.  I'm being blamed for many things, among them swallowing and now passing a chicken bone, murdering a banana, and of course the previously mentioned and most popular among the masses, "breaking my butt off."

Because neither of us are ready to begin the conversation in detail on mensuration with 9, 7 and 4 year olds, and because Gina was not chomping at the bit to claim herself the causation of the scene, it seems the popular theory has now been accepted as fact that this is something that Daddy can do and may again do in the future.  So prepare yourselves.

And with that, I welcome you back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Real Dads Get Their Nails Did

Kid With No Edges

As summer wraps up, the twins are preparing to enter first grade in the fall.  Their experience in kindergarten was wonderful and they excelled in all avenues they encountered.  A big part of that, both Gina and I fely, had to do with the fundamentals they learned in Pre-K.  They came into kindergarten with the know-how already in place and were able to build on that strong foundation.  Now I know only a fraction of children are able to take advantage of the program, so I can't consider it a necessity, but it was certainly something we wanted Rosaline to take advantage of as well.  Unfortunately she was born two weeks late, just missing the cut off age limit.  We had petitioned to get her in, but were informed this week that they're already at capacity and can't make the exception for her.

Sounds like no big deal, she'll be a normal kindergartner in 2017, right?!  Well. .. Rosaline is her own drummer.  And by that I don't mean she's marching to her own beat, I mean she's animal from the Muppets wailing away and completely unconcerned with what ever anyone else is doing.  In the past 4 1/2 years she's shown herself to be completely unique and a point of concern for us, as her parents.  I often joke that my goal is to get three though college and keep one out of jail, and it's funny. ... but it rings a little true I'm afraid.  She's just so full of life and energy that she bounces off the surface of the planet like a racquet ball.  Trying to get her to stop for a moment in order to learn something is like asking the moon to come back and stay a while, it just isn't going to happen.  It's to our own detriment that the twins were exceptionally good at "learning" the traditional way.  Both are eager to please, both have great retention skills and both think logically.  This means that for me, a logical mind, it's easy to work with them and help them excel.

I got it in my head that it's our duty to get Rosaline up to speed if the pre-K program can't take her.  The last thing I want for her is to struggle in kinder early where her sisters succeeded and get down on herself comparing to them.  So I thought, in addition to our nightly bedtime story, we'll work in some mind games, like puzzles.  So last night, I sat down with her and a puzzle.  Oh ... my ....god.  I was desperately trying to explain the concept of working the edges first so you can give the image a boundary and work your way to center.  This did not register at all.  She's trying to shove straight edges into squiggly holes and putting trains upside down, in the sky, so they'll appease what she thinks I want her to do. ... it was maddeningly frustrating.

And then Gina said something to me.  "Kyle," she said.  "You're trying to put boundaries on a child who doesn't understand the concept of edges."  "Yes, I know," I snapped.  "No, you don't."  She continued, "in her world there is no edge to what she can do or what she can perceive.  In her world it's limitless, there's no reason for an edge to exist.  She see's the world in sections and pieces - focusing on this train and that tree - and she may work to an eventual ending point.  But to see the world - and in this case the puzzle - as a bordered, bound and measurable piece is not a reality that registers with her."  In essence, she's not logical, but the world doesn't have to be.

It was an "aha"moment for me.  While the world and I (and especially her future teachers) might try to teach her logic and force her mind to process the way we do, it's actually detrimental to the beauty of who she is.  We want her to be logical, but she's fantastical.  We want her to have order, but she sees beauty in chaos.  I want her to sit. ... but she's designed to fly; and god damn me for ever thinking I needed to bring her down to my level "for her own good".  If anything, I should be working on how to fly up there with her. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I'm Going To Miss This

On Sunday we took a trek to my mother's new house, her planned retirement destination.  For the next year or so it will be a weekend retreat of sorts, but by all accounts it is the place that she will call home as my kids grow into adulthood.  Because Gina was out of town, I naturally forgot important things to take along, like sunscreen. ... and a pack n' play for the baby to nap in.  So as afternoon took it's grasp and she became more and more agitated, I retreated to a quite room, cuddled her in my arms and rocked until her eyelids dropped and we became one unit at rest. 

I often get asked if four children is overwhelming.  Like I have some brilliant response. "How do you do it?", the press.  Well, this moment is how. ... this moment is why.  Because the only true purpose of my life is these children.  Because as I hold her, her trust in me inspires greatness in me.  If I fail myself, I can make excuse.  If I fail my wife, I can beg forgiveness.  I fail my child. ... there is no coming back from that.  I hold in my hands, in my opinion, the most valuable thing in the universe.  An irreplaceable, unquantifiable, unimaginably perfect item.  And she trusts me as she slumbers to do everything physically possible, and perhaps even more, to protect her, to love her, to see her through.

How do I do it?  How can I not?  There's not a damn thing in the world that could stop me?

And an occasional cold beer helps a bit too.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Rosaline Wisdom

Rosaline: "Why do they call it a substitute teacher?  Don't they know that a "toot" is a fart?!