August 20, 2012

My Daughters, On Vacation

Yesterday, we returned home from several days at the beach.  This was Harper's second trip and Brynn's first.  Rather than give a blow-by-blow of the activities, which would be amazingly boring for anyone who doesn't have my last name, and probably pretty boring for them, I will simply write a few of the lessons that I learned along the way and, of course, post some adorable pictures.

The first lesson is that no place is child-proofed as much you would like.  A nice home filled with memories of your own childhood are also filled with tiny shells and spice canisters at knee-level, all of which your own children will find and destroy with reckless abandon and complete disregard for your own upbringing.

Another important thing to know is that you can't possibly clean enough sand off of your kids to make them happy.  They will manage to stuff granules into crevices that you didn't even know existed.  If you put said child in the washing machine for 3 weeks, they will still have sand in their hair.

The most important lesson, however, of this past week is the fact that the job of the person taking pictures is not to chronicle the vacation, but to provide the rosy picture of what the vacation is supposed to be, whether or not it happened.  This is not to say that one should use the camera to lie, but rather to avoid the unpleasant realities that exist when traveling with children.

The following is a list of things that were not recorded on the digital record:

Children up at 3am for no reason.
Children screaming for their mother to carry them at all times.
Children falling and biting their lips, bleeding.
Harper standing on the beach, refusing to move until Sara picks her up.
Brynn climbing off the porch, running down the street, laughing as we chase her.

None of these things are important.  What's important is the record of happy times that we all had at the beach.  In 20 years, none of us will remember that I was ready to come home within 10 minutes of being there.

What we will remember is the collection of smiling pictures that I took, the sunrise that I watched with Harper when she got up at 5am, for no reason and bobbing in the ocean, holding my laughing daughter.

August 10, 2012

My Daughter, Did Not Check Herself...

... and, therefore, wrecked herself.

Perhaps you will recall some of my previous posts about how my kids are a danger to themselves.

Yesterday, Brynn decided that the blood pressure of her parents wasn't high enough.  As Sara was walking to the baby room at day care, she heard a crying that, without doubt, emanated from our younger offspring.

The child had foolishly walked over a pillow and fallen wrong, giving herself a green stick fracture in her left distal radius.  The day care was, rightly, horrified.

Sara took her to the hospital to get an XRay, which I hear is not fun to try to take from a 1-year-old.  They hooked her up with a brace and an ace bandage that will look great at derby practice.

Other than trying to pull off the bandage, she's in a great mood and slept well last night.  We have an appointment on Tuesday to cast the tiny arm up and I'm going to put up a Kickstarter for a college fund with contribution rewards that will be things for her to hit with the cast.  For a $200 contribution, Brynn will come to your house and awkwardly try to pet your animals.  For a $1000 contribution, she will follow you down the street crying while you tell people how tough you are for beating up a toddler.  For a $10,000 contribution, you can carry her around and tell hot chicks at the bar how you saved her from a car wreck.

The possibilities are endless.

Because I am an awful person and a pretty bad father, I find it vindicating that the first major injury is not a result of my roughhousing with the girls, as many people stated it would be, but rather from the excessive use of pillows.

Take that, Bed, Bath & Beyond!

August 7, 2012

My Daughters, Extraterrestrial Visitors

I am hiding from my children.

I went to the gym this morning, then  went home, hot a shower, picked up the laptop and came over to Barnes and Noble because that have free wifi and are away from my children.

I love my girls.  I really do.

But sometimes you just have to get away.  Any parent who says otherwise is a liar, or mentally unbalanced to the point where they shouldn't be a parent.

Anyone who tries to guilt a parent into feeling bad about wanting to spend time away from their children is a bad influence, needs a week in a locked room with a hungry howler monkey and should then spend recess writing "I will not tell people what to do with their howler monkeys" 500 times on the blackboard.

Imagine for a moment that Obama breaks into the latest episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras" with the important announcement that we have made contact with an extraterrestrial species.  This species does, in fact, come in peace and wishes to learn everything they can about our society.  As part of the treaty, and in exchange for the secret of, I don't know, delicious tasting healthy food, about a third of the households in the country will, at any given time, be host to a visitor who will observe and interact with human beings.  Hosting one or more of these beings in entirely voluntary but it is the responsibility of the host family to teach this creature what it means to be human.

Now imagine that these creatures possess two very important qualities.  The first in physiological.  Instead of arms and hands, the visitors extremities are composed entirely of a mildly adhesive, semi-gelatinous substance.

Their limbs contain no bones or muscles of any kind.  When the creatures spin around, their arms and legs go flying in all directions, as dictated by momentum, involuntarily attaching to whatever objects they happen to encounter, tearing said objects from their rightful place and flinging them into the least convenient spaces available.

The second quality that the visitors posses in language.  We know from extensive study that they will, after years of study, be able to communicate using human language.  When they arrive at the host family home, they speak no English and communicate only in their native tongue, a high-pitched screaming that, when spoken properly, shatters glass and leaves the human ear drum a shredded wreck of anatomy.  The visitors are physically unable to communicate in any other way for the first several years, regardless of how extreme or mundane the situation may be.

In case you were a little slow to pick up the allegory, this is what it is like to parent a toddler.  No parent should ever be made to feel guilty for wanting some time away.  It's nothing personal, toddlers.  It's just that you are Ace Ventura and sometimes, parents just need some double-paned soundproof glass!

Author's Note: This article is crossposted to Life of Dad

August 2, 2012

My Daughters, The Swingers

We have been trying for weeks to teach Harper how to swing on a swing.  It turns out that trying to explain front/back coordination and timing are not as easy as I think it should be.

I suddenly realize how lucky it is that we don't have to try to teach children how to breathe, or swallow, or blink.

Thank goodness for the autonomic system!

At this point, Brynn couldn't care less! She's very happy sitting in the swing and being pushed for hours.


Harper, on the other hand, can be a bit impatient, an unheard of quality in my family.  She, too, wants to be pushed on the swing, but doesn't want to wait her turn.  She hasn't yet mastered the art of swinging, so she managed yesterday to satisfy her needs in other ways.

My daughter is thinking outside the box! I win at parenting!



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