Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Family update part 2 -- stories

Time to continue the family update, this time with anecdotes from the past few weeks:

You know what I mean

It had been a long day, and Jamie and I were trying to get the kids ready for bed. I had already told Samantha twice that she needed to clean her room and put pajamas on before playing. I then left her room to go help out with Jack.

Two minutes later I checked on Samantha. Her room was still a mess, and she was totally naked, dancing in front of the mirror. I tried my best to stifle my laughter as I took her to Jamie. You see, it was Jamie's night to put Samantha to bed, so I was going to let it be her call on the consequence for Samantha's behavior.

Samantha walked over, still naked, to her mommy.

"Tell her what happened, Samantha", I said.

"I didn't clean my room."

"And what does your room look like right now?", I asked.

"It's a big desire."

Blank stares all around.

"Do you mean disaster?", I asked.


Stifling didn't work anymore.


I had both kids with me at Home Depot, one of their favorite places. I turned my back on them for a second to pick out the light bulbs I was looking for. When I turned back to face them, Jack was climbing up a weedeater. Yes, a weedeater. My instincts took over and I yelled out, "JACK! OFF!"

Except I said those words really close together. It didn't really sound like two words. Everybody turned to look at the filthy-mouthed redhead.

Hotel Adventures

Last weekend we drove to Arkansas to attend my grandad's 80th birthday party. That meant three nights in a hotel with our kids, which is usually pretty fun. We call it "hotel adventure" time. On this trip, though, we didn't even make it past 2am on the first night before changing the sleeping arrangments. The kids had to be separated so I shared a bed with Samantha and Jamie slept with Jack. Jamie got the good end of that one, I tell you.

Samantha did the following over the next two nights:

Full-body twitches
Going deep under the covers and then sitting up (?).
Headbutting me repeatedly -- sometimes in single, large bashes, and sometimes with a series of light taps

More on the clapping. One night at about 5am she sat upright in bed, raised her arms to her sides and brought them together in one loud clap. Then she laid back down.

One hour later the same thing happened. Upright, big clap, lay down. She laid on her side facing me so I said, "Samantha, stop clapping." "Okay", she responded.

Then, while still looking me in the eye, she proceeded to lift her arms up from under the covers and clap loudly. Twice. Clap! Clap!

She was obviously still asleep and had no idea what she was doing, and she had no memory of this when she woke up the next day.

My uncle had the best tip of the weekend -- future hotel adventures should include a two-room suite with a connecting door. Samantha can get her nighttime freakshow on all by herself.

Not really funny

It's interesting that out of the 20 kids in Samantha's gymnastics class, I'm the only dad who is ever there to watch (it ends at 5:30).

It was interesting that out of the 10 kids who graduated yesterday from pre-kindergarten at Samantha's school, I was one of only four dads to attend.

Actually that's not interesting, it's just sad...


Hal Johnson said...

I'm kind of a nosy dude, so when I learn that someone is an older dad, I'll practically interview him. One of the common threads I see with dads on their "second time around" is a certain grieving process: they regret that they didn't spend the time or energy with their children from wife number one that they lavished on kids from wife number two.

I grieve over the times when I screw up as a dad, and over the little moments of magic that I sometimes let pass by. But sheesh, so many dads out there seem utterly oblivious. . .

James W said...

That is some good stuff! There is never a dull moment with kids!

~aj~ said...

Someone told me about the nighttime clapping over the weekend. That is hilarious, albeit bizarre.

Your kids are so blessed to have you as a dad.

debby said...

Cara is a good kid. When she was a young teen, she was grappling with the idea of the ministry. She also never swore. We had a new dog, a stray who was still very nervous about being left alone, so we took him with us. I had to stop at a store. Cara took him for a quick walk. He slipped his collar and Cara, terrified that he would get hit by a car, began shrieking "BUCK! BUCK! BUCK!" (For the dog's part, he just stood there looking blankly. He had abandonment issues. He wasn't going anywhere. But Cara got a lecture from an elderly lady and was mortified. By the time I got back to the car, she was bawling and saying, "WE ARE CHANGING THE DOG'S NAME!"

MamaRose said...

THESE GREAT TIMES, when your kids are 'at home' all/most of the day ARE SO PRECIOUS & go by SO QUICKLY!

We're THRILLED & BLESSED that ya'll are parenting your kids the WAY YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The fewer regrets you have, in all your life, the EASIER it is to ENJOY your 'later years'--from one who thankfully has very few regrets!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RoRo