23 April 2012

Father Failure

Had a pretty miserable run as a father today. It does not excuse my actions, but I am under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress at work right now.

Taryn: I would like to apologize for not having more time this morning. It led to a bad situation where I was not able to be as patient with you as you needed me to be. I can't undo it, and I hope you have forgiven me.

I am PROUD of you. You used the potty for me tonight, and that was a great thing. You are fiercely independent, a trying but noble trait. It is not going to be an easy ~year for us, but I hope you know I'm trying to make you a more respectful little girl. I don't hate you, not even close.

Paige: you're a fantastic kid. I'm sorry I got on your case at dinner about how
You were sitting at the table. Sometimes Daddies screw up. You're my best buddy, my Paigey pop and I love you.

I'll try to do better tomorrow.


07 April 2012

Holy(fuckingshit) Saturday

Yeah, that about summarizes my Easter-eve.  I warned you, dear readers, with my security settings and my first "post", that this forum would be, at times, totally uncensored.  I am warning you again, right now, that this post may not be pleasant to read.  Continue at your own risk, and please do not judge (or if you must judge in written format, prepare yourself for a rebuttal...)...

I am not going to sugar-coat it - the girls were a total tornado of feces today.  It started at the ass-crack of dawn:

Paige has an alarm clock, which we set for 7:30 on the weekends, that tells her when it is OK to come bother Mommy and Daddy.  It is not a "you can't get out of bed before this goes off" timer.  She's allowed to get up, read books, do puzzles, go downstairs or whatever before it goes off.  She is NOT allowed to bother her sleeping sister or her parents, until 7:30.  Well, she broke that rule this morning.  My day started with a (hollow) threat to my almost 5-year old about not getting to color her Easter eggs if she didn't march her little ass out of my room that very moment.  She obliged, but it was really too late.  The wife and I were up...and so was Taryn.

Taryn.  If you look that name/word up in the OED, you get something like this:

Taryn (n): 1. A grassy knoll (gaelic).  2.  A cute little tow-headed 2.5-year old.  3.  The second gunman personified.

Out of the gate this morning, she was only in need of an iron cauldron in which to ferment her potions.  Would not let her sister or me anywhere near her.  Stayed in her room, serially screaming and shutting the door until Mommy would come get her.  Whatever, this isn't a terribly unique occurrence...but it was the 1st rung on the ladder leading to the Boatman on the river Styx.

I have not the patience to sit here tonight and really go into the minutae of things, so I'll abridge in bullet point format.

*Paige throws fit because she does not like the tights that my wife says she supposed to wear.

*Paige does not nap.

*Taryn does not nap.

*They both really fucking needed a nap.

*Taryn runs through back yard with gardening fork, pointed up at her body, despite her mother AND her father screaming for her to stop, and very nearly causes a 911 call.

*Taryn screams in anger as Daddy holds her on the ground, prys the fork away, and tells her that we were NOT mad at her but that we REALLY need her to listen to us when we tell her something.

*We tried, as a family, to civilly recover and color 36 hard-boiled eggs.

*This did NOT go well, at all.

*PAAS "markers" are really just re-packaged failed Iranian nuclear warheads.  Non-ridgid tips on markers that are so beyond permanent that it isn't funny (seriously, did YOU know that shaving cream will remove permanent marker from your skin?  Well, for permanent markers, it will, but these little terrorist devices?  Fat fucking chance.).

*Broken eggs.  Not one, not two, but several.

*Screaming.  Taryn, Paige, Mommy and Daddy all.

*More fucking screaming.

*A stint on the stairs (Taryn).

*A stint in the room (Taryn).

*A stint in the basement (Daddy).

*A banishment from all things Easter egg (Taryn).

*A 15th fucking chance (Taryn).

*Eggs done.  Halle-fucking-luja.

*Paige is running a fever.

*At least her malfeasance is forgivable...somewhat.




*Paige will not change into her PJs.

*Taryn will not brush her teeth (in fact, she inserts her fist into her mouth so that Mommy can not brush her teeth for her).

*Taryn repeats the process from above after being told "No teeth brushing = No Easter Bunny"

*Taryn will not lie down.

*Paige crawls into bed and passes out (Praise Jeebus).

*Taryn believes Mommy's threat and is adamant about brushing her teeth before capitulating and passing out herself (Can I get an AMEN?  Or at least a fifth of bourbon?)

*I sit down to write this wandering diatribe.

*I stop writing the wandering diatribe, in the hopes that writing it has purged the venom from my blood and that I will greet my kids with a hug and a smile in the morning...and so that when these kids call me in 30 years to complain about what rotten little shits their kids were that day, I can point them in the direction of MY nightmare, from which I still, even now as I sit here, do not want to be roused from...

I love you both, beyond measure, Paige Elara and Taryn Aoibh...I just wish today had been easier...

Doctor Daddy.

07 March 2012

Why we moved...

It has been too long since I've written anything down here.  And, as I type this, I wonder: exactly to whom am I writing?  Myself?  My kids?  The random citizen of the interwebs in Norway?  Well, at any rate, I've been considering something for a while now and I have a little time on my hands so I thought I'd wax about it a bit:

We moved, roughly 25 miles up the interstate, at the end of last summer.  Life was made a little harder on my wife (longer commute) but has been much better for the family as a whole, I believe.  Our reasons for moving were roughly three-fold: 

1. We were living on top of one another.  In a cramped townhome where an entire floor was essentially a no-fly zone due to a cat with a temperment issue.  We spent most of our waking hours cooking, eating and "playing" in approximately 400 square feet of space.  No deck.  A lousy, minuscule, damp, rocky and obnoxiously loud back yard.  A parking lot for a front yard.  No escape.  No elbow room.

2. The neighborhood was deteriorating (not that it was ever a picturesque place) and semi-violent crime was on the increase.  A local hispanic gang had started targeting homes for break-ins and there was some non-fatal violence...but these things typically escalate as the group gets bolder.  We just didn't feel safe.

3. Kindergarten/School district.  

I guess, when you boil it all down, #2 begat the situation for #3.  The local elementary school, while reasonably "good" on a scholastic scale, was a disaster in terms of socio-economics.  Please understand, I am all for diversity, and want my kids to be exposed to all shapes, sizes, colors and sounds.  The ethnicity of the schools' attendees were not at issue.  The safety of my girls, and the involvement of the community that supported the school were.  It was a den of problems.  Old and run-down.  A very high percentage of kids who did not speak English as a first language, and not at all at their homes.  We wanted to be able to provide more for our daughters.

We had talked about the possibility of getting them into the elementary school across the parking lot from their daycare center (one of the best schools in the county...and that is saying something), but we knew that there were to be no guarantees in this regard.  To be sure of a better situation, we had to bite the bullet, take an enormous loss on our house (did I mention the crappy housing market?) and find a new place to call home.

So, we did.  A big single-family house with a large back yard and a quiet neighborhood.  Solidly middle-class families that fed into a fairly new elementary school with a very good reputation.  A school, I might add, which has a very diverse ethnic population (way more diverse than where I grew up...there you were either a hick or a yokel...now,  I'm "Dr" Yokel).  We had done it!

This brings us to last week: we filled out the paperwork.  Our little girl has been registered for Kindergarten.  A momentous occasion in any parent's life I suppose.  But that, in and of itself, is not what has had me thinking lately.  It isn't that I'm not ready for her to go to school yet either.  No, it's that I'm not sure SHE is ready to go to school.

Oh, sure, in many ways she's just fine.  She handles social situations very well, and is certainly smart enough (this is always a weird area to talk about for me...I know she's smart, but all parents think their kids are smart...and I hate getting into mental pissing contests or having to tone down my pride in my daughter).  She befriends EVERY teacher she has EVER had under ANY circumstance (this could get her in trouble later on, when her classmates give her the old "teacher's pet" business...but that'll be her problem).

The thing is, I think she still needs her mother and I in a way that her younger sister has already kind of moved past.  Today, for instance, I had to stay home with her (because she had a stomach thing and couldn't be away from a bathroom for too long) and the entire day she was glued to my hip.  Sure, it's made worse by her feeling ill, but in general she won't do anything around the house without either my wife or I in the same room.  

We built the kids a playroom in the basement and stuffed it with toys and books and crafts and decorated it all in Disney.  The youngest will happily traipse down the stairs and play.  Paige, however, requires one of us to be down there with her.  She'd rather go down and bring up a toy to play with than actually play in her own play-place.  

And, back to the illness issue: I changed her PJs three times today and her underwear four times.  She just couldn't make it to the facility the first couple of times she had to purge (both ends, I know...nice visual).  School is only 5.5 months away...should she be able to do this by now?  Do teachers/nurses at an elementary school do what I did for sick kids while their parents are en route?  

I don't know.  I can't seem to get my point out tonight.  I know the "sick" thing is only an occasional issue.  I'm not interested in her zooming through her childhood, but I DO want her to be ready for the next step in her blossoming young life.  She's probably going to be fine.  Maybe it really is me at the root of the issue.  Maybe she's just a needy kid sometimes.  What's wrong with that?  I'm all in for hugs from her for LIFE (got that Mr "boyfriend" guy who's reading this 19 years from today while thinking about giving her that diamond burning a hole in your jacket pocket?) - so why am I wishing she'd detach?  

Life was certainly easier without kids...though, to be sure, much less interesting and invisibly incomplete.

Good luck in 5 months Paigey...Daddy loves you.